Strictly’s Alexandra Burke has a message for her haters ahead of the Strictly 2017 finale

Alexandra Burke says online abuse "can take its toll" – but she is determined to look on the bright side

Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez on Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 finalist Alexandra Burke has vowed to “concentrate on the love” and forget the online trolls that have threatened to overshadow her time on the BBC talent show.

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Speaking ahead of the Strictly 2017 final this Saturday 16th December, the former X Factor winner and Strictly contestant said, “It would be silly for me to not acknowledge yes, there has been some trolling.”

However, she added, “But the way that we deal with it is we just get on with it, really. Sometimes it can take its toll, mentally. And that’s my fault for reading [the comments], but you can’t help but read certain things when you’ve got the apps like Twitter and Instagram just there on your phone, and notifications pop up.

Alexandra Burke in Strictly Come Dancing

“But at the end of the day there’s so much more love out there. So I concentrate on the love, the positivity, because I’m such a positive person and I don’t care what I’m going through I find a reason to smile at everything, and that’s just the way I’ve been from a little girl.”

She added: “So the trolls can go away.”

Alexandra faced a tragedy at the very beginning of her Strictly journey, when – on the same day as the BBC show’s red carpet launch event – her mother passed away. She wrote on Twitter that her mum had been “over the moon” to hear she was taking part in Strictly, adding: “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.”

After months of hard work, Alexandra has now reached the final – and she has no regrets about her Strictly journey, despite her grief.

Strictly star Alexandra Burke

“I had the opportunity to take a step back and say to myself, ‘Maybe I’m not ready to do this show mentally,’ but actually I’ve surprised myself,” she explained. “And I’m not going to say everything’s been rosy – I’ve had ups and downs – but I’ve done something that has brought me such joy.

“So if I could inspire somebody else to do the same thing, to dance, to do what they love in the toughest of times in their life, then that’s what I’m here for.”

She added: “This was my mum’s favourite show, and I think she’d be very proud. At least I hope. Actually, I’m very sure she would be.

“My mum was just the most amazing woman and gave me so much strength, and she still does to this day. And everything I do is for my family, so I think she’d be proud.”

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The Strictly Come Dancing final airs on Saturday 16th December at 6.30pm on BBC1