alexandra-burke

Alexandra Burke wants to 'do family proud' on Strictly following death of mother

The X Factor winner announced the death of her mother on Monday

Ainhoa Barcelona

Alexandra Burke has said she is determined to do her family proud as she prepares to compete on Strictly Come Dancing, just days after her mother passed away. The X Factor winner sadly announced her mum's death last week, telling her Twitter followers that she knows her mum Melissa Bell would have wanted her to "carry on".

Speaking days later, Alexandra said: "Strictly is all about the fun, the families, it's a great learning experience and I just want do my family proud. The biggest thing for me that I'm looking forward to is walking down those steps, getting on the stage and seeing my family in the audience, seeing my loved ones out there. Of course, the part that everyone always talks about and loves is the dresses, the outfits, the glitter and that all excites me, but doing my family and my friends proud is a big achievement for me."

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Alexandra's mother passed away last week

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Alexandra rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008. The Hallelujah singer, who has street and contemporary dance training, said the biggest challenge for her would be performing with only her partner. "Not having a microphone, that's a big challenge," she admitted. "It's a safety net, I've always got a microphone in my hand, a mic stand, always got my dancers, always comfortable with what I know I'm doing on stage and I still get nervous at my own shows. There are no distractions and that's what I'm scared of, it's just me and my dance partner."

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The singer and fellow contestant Jonnie Peacock

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Last Monday, Alexandra broke the news of her mother's death on Twitter, paying tribute to her "beautiful, funny and loving mum". Melissa died just three days after Alexandra's 29th birthday, with the singer confirming: "Our beautiful mother gained her wings on Monday 28th August 2017, a day that has changed our lives forever." She continued: "Mummy has always been my biggest supporter and was over the moon when I told her I was doing Strictly. It was always a dream of hers that I would one day be part of the show and I know that she would have wanted me to carry on."