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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Alexandra Burke: Mum would be proud of me for reaching Strictly final

Alexandra Burke has said her late mother Melissa Bell would be proud of her for reaching the Strictly Come Dancing final.

The former X Factor winner and partner Gorka Marquez will take to the dance floor on Saturday night in a bid to win the glitterball trophy alongside fellow finalists Gemma Atkinson, Joe McFadden and Debbie McGee.

It comes following an emotional journey for the singer after her mother, an avid Strictly fan, died in August just prior to the launch of the 15th series.

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Alexandra Burke (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Ahead of the final, Burke said: “This was my mum’s favourite show, my family’s favourite show.

“I think she’ll be very proud, at least I hope. Actually I’m very sure she would be.

“My mum was just the most amazing woman who gave me so much strength and she still does to this day.

“And everything I do is for my family so I think she’d be proud,” she added.

Burke has regularly topped the leaderboard during the series which comes nine years after she took victory on the X Factor.

The four Strictly Come Dancing finalists. (BBC/Guy Levy)

Asked how performing with Marquez compared to singing with Beyonce on the final of the ITV singing competition, Burke revealed she had been teaching the professional dancer how to sing.

“It’s really cool he’s got a great tone actually, he’s really good.”

Burke also addressed the criticism she had received on social media during her time on the show, telling the trolls they can “just go away”.

“We’re cool right here,” she added.

“The way we just deal with it is we get on with it really.

“Sometimes it can take its toll mentally and that’s my fault for reading but you can’t help but read certain things when you’ve got the apps like Twitter and Instagram just there on your phone and notifications pop up.

“At the end of the day there’s so much more love out there so I concentrate on the love because I am just such a positive person and I don’t care what I’m going through I will find a reason to smile at anything and that’s how I’ve been since I was a little girl.”

Burke and Marquez will perform three times on Saturday night including an American Smooth to Wouldn’t It Be Lovely from My Fair Lady and showdance to Ethel Merman’s There’s No Business Like Showbusiness.

:: Strictly Come Dancing’s grand final airs at 6.30pm on BBC One.