Alexandra Burke has responded to claims of racism on Strictly Come Dancing. The 29-year-old, who is currently competing in the BBC dance competition with partner Gorka Marquez, was asked about the issue during an appearance on The Victoria Derbyshire Show this week, and disputed the suggestion that the show has a race issue. "I don't think that's true at all," the former X Factor winner said. "Those kind 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 all be different colours but we're all the same, we're all human."
Alexandra Burke is currently competing on Strictly with partner Gorka Marquez
Alexandra's remarks echo those made by Holby City star Chizzy Akudolu, who was first to be eliminated from the 2017 series. "There are real racial injustices going on in the world," the 44-year-old actress said. "And I think it's dangerous to throw the race card in for something that has no bearing. I wasn't in the bottom two because of my race, the public didn't like my dance."
There are eight celebrity contestants still competing in Strictly, and this week they will head to Blackpool – the home of ballroom dancing. However, there are fears that Debbie McGee will be unable to perform, with her sister Donna telling the Mirror: "She's twisted a muscle so she's struggling. It's a real shame. She has been suffering – she had a hot water bottle on her back all week. It's really been playing up."
Debbie and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice, 27, are due to perform the Samba to a Spice Girls medley of Wannabe and Who Do You Think You Are. The popular couple have enjoyed major success on the show so far and are hotly tipped to be this year's winners. They became the first pair to score a perfect 40 for their tango two weeks ago.