Alexandra Burke has spoken out in defence of her former X Factor mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. The 26-year-old singer supported Cheryl's recent comments that she would leave the show to start a family – and talked about Simon Cowell's stance on the subject.
"Simon is a guy. It's very different for women… You kind of want to take some time off to be with your child…," Alexandra told the Mail Online this week, while attending the Amy Winehouse Foundation Ball.
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Alexandra Burke has defended former mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
"So I would not blame her for taking time off should she get pregnant. I think that would be a great thing to do and as a first-time mother I guess it's the right thing."
Cheryl, 31, recently spoke about her future plans and told the Sun that something would have to give if she and husband Jean-Bernard decided to have a baby.
"You couldn't do them both," she said. "Next year is going to have to be the time where I reflect on what I've done and think about what I want to do."
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and her husband Jean-Bernard
X Factor boss Simon was then asked by the newspaper about her comments, and seemed less than impressed. "Well I had one," said the 55-year-old, who welcomed son Eric with Lauren Silverman in February of this year.
Quizzed as to whether he thought Cheryl would return for next year's X Factor, Simon added, "Whenever you ask anyone at this stage of the competition whether they want to come back or not, you're knackered – and the idea of doing it again is, like, 'My god, I couldn’t go through this again'.
"I like to let people finish the show, relax over the New Year then see how they feel. So I wouldn't ask Cheryl the question this year.
Simon Cowell has said it is too early to ask Cheryl back for next year's X Factor
"But one thing I say to all these judges now is that it’s only important to come back if you want to come back for the right reasons, which is you want to find stars, you want to mentor people.
"Yes, the money is always a factor. But Cheryl's got a lot of money. So has Mel, and she has been after this job for five years."