Show stealer Alexandra Burke has been accused on numerous occasions of “faking” her reactions to the judge’s scores of her performances during this series of Strictly Come Dancing.
On Saturday (Dec 9) night’s semi-final, Shirley Ballas, the Strictly Come Dancing head judge, went to bat for Alexandra and defended her against the contestant’s critics, as she heaped praise on the X Factor winner.
Viewers have hit out at Alexandra on multiple occasions for “overreacting” to the judge’s scores, but Shirley said that she believes everything about the singer is “sincere.”
However, fans of the BBC hit dance competition did not quite see it that way and once again took aim at Alexandra as she struggled to hold back the tears on Saturday night.
The X Factor winner did admit that it had been a “tough week” after finding herself in the dance-off for the second week in a row.
But despite finding herself in the dance-off for the second week running, she and her professional dance partner Gorka Marquez nonetheless impressed with their incredible Viennese Waltz to Tina Arena’s version of Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.
Bruno said it was “elegant and classy”, while Darcy said it had “an ethereal quality”.
However, it was Shirley Ballas’ comments in defence of the X Factor winner and her praise of the pair’s performance that stirred up controversy of the fans watching at home.
She said: “It was quite an emotional performance. Everything came together. You’re so sincere in your movement, everything about you is sincere.
“I loved the way you finished in the space. everything about it was stunning, you are stunning.”
The dancing duo were awarded 39 points by the show’s judges, and Alexandra seemed beside herself and fell in disbelief into her partner Gorka Marquez’s arms, despite receiving top marks on more than a few occasions.
And fans of the show were quick to pick up on this too, and took to Twitter to have their say and blast Shirley Bassal for her defence of Alexandra Burke.
Suck it Alexandra Burke haters! Four 10s! ?? She’s incredible. Take your negative, petty “she’s fake” bitching elsewhere. #Strictly ??????
— Michael Beltran (@MickyBell) December 9, 2017
One viewer said: “Sincere! HA! She couldn’t be more fake if she tried! #strictly #strictly2017”
Another added: “Shirley Ballas just called Alexandra “sincere”. Someone’s trying to send a message to certain TV viewers and gossip columnists. #Strictly”
A third said: “Joe and Katya’s opening dance was fantastic, Alexandra and Gorka’s was boring. And sincere?! Ha! That’s why she keeps going on the Dance off – we don’t buy it #Strictly”
Despite the online scepticism, Alexandra’s pro dance partner Gorka Marquez also addressed the backlash on Sunday’s results show as Alexandra made it to the finals.
He said: “Without her, I wouldn’t be sitting here.She works hard, she is very talented. She has this strength inside of her, she fights everything. It doesn’t matter how hard everything hits on her, she wakes up the next day ready with a smile on.”
Hitting back at claims of her “fake reactions”, Alexandra stated that the hurtful comments on social media have left her feeling insecure about expressing her feelings in public.
“Twitter seems to have given people permission to be incredibly hurtful. They don’t seem to realise that I have feelings and get upset.” she said.
“The saddest thing is that I started the show completely myself – my joy and my tears were 100 percent genuine, however much people said they were fake – but I’m now so self-conscious, I try not to react at all in case people say, ‘Oh, look, here are the fake tears again'”.
Alexandra makes her way into the final alongside surprise star Debbie McGee and Joe McFaddon and Gemma Atkinson. Sadly, Mollie King and AJ Pritchard were sent home after finding themselves in the dance-off.
Mollie told her partner upon exiting: “AJ, you have been just incredible and you have been my hero for the last couple of months so thank you so much. I couldn’t have done any of it without you.”
Before AJ responded with heartfelt emotion: “I want to say thank you so much for being in training and literally spending all the time working so hard and always willing to try everything and performing every single night as if it’s your last.”
There have been recent rumours that Mollie and AJ are romantically involved and even Claudia Winkleman caused a sensation when she muttered: “Let’s address the elephant in the room”. Co-host Tess Daly responded: “What whether Mollie and AJ are a couple?”
Whilst rumours are still floating around, an insider told The Sun that a future relationship between the pair may be on the cards: “They have been seen kissing, canoodling and even snogging while training.” they said. “It’s still very early days and they are not officially dating or in a relationship, but there’s a real chemistry and attraction between them.Everyone is talking about it backstage and they are desperate for them to become a couple.’
And fans of Alexandra and Gorka were over the moon with the news of their triumph as they took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One person said: “YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! #Strictly Finalist So happy for you Ms Burke and Gorka. You’ve been nothing but graceful Alexandra. I’m so proud of you huni.”
While a different user commented: “So happy for Alexandra and Gorka #Strictly.”
However, not all is well behind-the-scenes of the huge final as Debbie is said to have been left enraged by the recent rumours that herself and fellow contestant Alexandra Burke are at loggerheads over winning the Strictly trophy.
She has since written to The Sun for reportedly writing “fake” stories about their relationship during her stint on the show and also made a statement to The Telegraph about the truth of the matter.
“There have been stories about Alexandra and I feuding, and you do find it hard to deal with because it really is all fiction.” she said. “There’s nothing that I’ve read that’s been true.At first we laughed about them, but as it goes on, I’ve stopped reading things. When you’re going through grief [as Alex is], you don’t feel as strong as you once were. Some things have affected me more since Paul died. We’re now in week 12, so I can relate to Alex’s comments about things taking their toll.”
It will be interesting to see who will win the Strictly trophy in next week’s final. Will it be Debbie, Alexandra, Gemma or Joe? Tune in on BBC 1 this Saturday to find out.