Alexandra Burke has won The X Factor, had six top ten singles, enjoyed a successful career performing on stage and has the potential to add the Glitterball Trophy to her list of accolades.
However, after ten weeks consistently topping the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard, the favourite-to-win found herself in the bottom two for the first time this series, alongside comedian Susan Calman.
The 29-year-old star’s romantic rumba with her dance partner, Gorka Marquez, was heavily criticised by the judges, but she still placed second overall after winning the Paso Doble-thon.
It was the damning viewers’ vote that played the crucial role in Alexandra’s fate, and with a backlash over her emotional reactions to her well-earned scores, it has left many fans divided over her authenticity.
And just weeks after Aston Merrigold’s shock exit, it’s prompted viewers yet again to question ‘racist voting’ as the reason Alexandra’s spot in the BBC competition could be at risk.
Alexandra Burke was heavily criticised by the judges for her rumba with Gorka Marquez on Saturday night
By the end of the show Alexandra had earned herself joint second place after winning the Paso Doble-thon
But viewers have been questioning the reasons the singer found herself in the bottom two, with some claiming ‘racist voting’
‘Alexandra is the best dancer ever on Strictly, but how did she end[sic] doing the dance off? Racist voting,’ suggested one upset person.
‘The amount of hate I’ve seen towards Alexandra Burke in comparison to the other dancers is gross. Ppl just love to hate on black women,’ added another.
ALEXANDRA’S STRICTLY SCORES
WEEK ONE: 24 points, 5th place
WEEK TWO: 36 points, 1st place
WEEK THREE: 33 points, 2nd place
WEEK FOUR: 39 points, 1st place
WEEK FIVE: 23 points, 7th place
WEEK SIX: 39 points, joint 2nd
WEEK SEVEN: 39 points, 2nd place
WEEK EIGHT: 38 points, joint 1st
WEEK NINE: 39 points, 1st place
WEEK TEN: 39 points, joint 2nd
On Saturday’s show Craig said of Alexandra’s dance: ‘It lacked any kind of connection and chemistry.’
Darcey Bussell agreed: ‘I wasn’t seeing that desire or – as Craig said, that connection, which was unusual. I just expected more.’
Despite giving Alexandra some of her lowest marks, the judges unanimously decided to keep Alexandra in the competition over Susan.
Alexandra, who lost her mother just weeks before the competition began, came under fire early on for her emotional reaction to scoring the first tens of the series.
It led people to blast her for being ‘false’ and ‘fake’, while others claimed that her dance experience was superior to the rest of the cast.
‘Hated Alexandra Burke and her crying on X factor and now I hate it on strictly too,’ moaned one.
‘Surely Alexandra has far too much dance experience to be considered as a #SCD contestant?’ asked another.
However, other fans of the show have grown tired of Alexandra’s emotional reactions, insisting that she is ‘fake’
Alexandra was scored 32 for her rumba with Gorka, and then later scored seven points after she won the Paso Doble-thon placing her joint second overall with 39 points
Alexandra and Gorka were in the bottom two alongside Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton, with Susan being voted off unanimously by the judges
Viewers were quick to comment on Alexandra being ‘hated’ on the show
It had emerged as the series kicked off that Alexandra had links to judge Craig Revel Horwood, who choreographed and directed her when she starred as the lead role in the UK touring production of Sister Act.
A history of the Strictly race row
2005: Holby City actress Jaye Jacobs, 35, is voted out second
2006: Singer Mica Paris, 48, is also second out, followed by DJ Spoony, 47
2009: TV presenter Rav Wilding, 39, is third out
2010: Musician Goldie, 52, is the first to leave
2015: Boxer Anthony Ogogo, 28, leaves second, shortly followed by chef Ainsley Harriott, 60, in fourth place
2016: DJ Melvin Odoom, 37, leaves first, followed by actress Temeka Empson, 40, and TV presenter Naga Munchetty, 42, fourth
2017: Chizzy Akudolu, 43, becomes the first to be booted out, despite sitting in the middle of the leaderboard. Aston Merrygold, 29, voted off the show despite consistently placing top of the leaderboard
Viewers insisted the decision to have her on the show was a ‘fix’ with Strictly bosses hit back that it was ‘utter nonsense’.
Alexandra spoke out about the race row during an appearance on Victoria Derbyshire, disputing any problem.
‘I don’t think that’s true at all. Those kinds of accusations against amazing shows like this I think are wrong.
‘For a black person who is in the industry, for me I’ve had a wonderful nine years of being in this industry and hoping to achieve more with hard work and determination.
‘I don’t think it comes down to colour, I don’t see colour when I see music or TV shows. I think that’s so important not to see that because at the end of the day we might be all different colours but we’re all the same, we’re all human.’
But some of her fans disagreed, with one saying: ‘The UK can’t stand black people being excellent, see the amount of s*** Aston Merrygold and Alexandra Burke get for being on Strictly smh.’
‘Alexandra Burke on dance off? This is the point I get confused with the voting public! She has delivered week after week! Now down to skin tone I’m guessing?’ fumed one.
‘Why do the audience at home hate Alexandra Burke so much? What has she done wrong, what did I miss? questioned another.
Alexandra has consistently scored high during the ten weeks she has danced in the competition but found herself in the dance off
Former boyband star Aston Merrigold was voted off in week seven when judges chose Mollie King to remain
Aston Merrigold had also been tipped as one of the favourites to win, but a combination of a low score from the judges and viewer voting meant he was put in the bottom two.
He had consistently been placed towards the top of the leaderboard, in fierce competition with Debbie McGee and Alexandra Burke.
But he was voted out in week seven when the judges picked Mollie King to remain, which caused a fierce backlash from viewers.
Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu, 43, was also the first person to be voted off the show despite placing in the middle of the leaderboard.
Viewers had previously pointed out that contestants who aren’t white often leave the BBC competition early, with DJ Melvin Odoom, 37, becoming the first to leave the 2016 series.
EastEnders actress Tameka Empson, 40, was second to leave that year, followed by TV presenter Naga Munchetty, 42, in week four.
The series was won by TV presenter Ore Oduba, 31, but he was consistently placed in the bottom two throughout the competition.
In 2015 boxer Anthony Ogogo, 28, was voted out second, shortly followed by chef Ainsley Harriott, 60, who left fourth.
The BBC have declined to comment.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday at 7.05pm on BBC One.