Alexandra Burke got “really, really sick” as she attempted to cope with an exceptionally busy work schedule last year (17).
The 29-year-old singer competed on the last series of U.K. TV talent show Strictly Come Dancing, but came in second to actor Joe McFadden. And while she enjoyed her experience as a whole on the program, Alexandra has revealed in a new interview with HuffPost UK that she was actually battling an illness behind the scenes as she approached the final of the programme.
In fact, it was her incredibly busy schedule, starting Strictly just after finishing an 18-month stint in stage show Sister Act and recording new album The Truth Is while on the much-loved series, that led to her becoming unwell.
“I’m not going to lie to you, it was bloody difficult. I was in the studio every single day while doing Strictly, and I had to stop towards the end because I got really, really sick during the last three weeks of Strictly, which I didn’t tell anyone about,” she said.
“So I stopped recording because it had really affected my voice, being so ill.”
Alexandra was also dealing with an emotional loss, with her mother Melissa Bell dying in August – just weeks after she had been announced as part of the Strictly line-up. And when it came to competing on the program, the former The X Factor winner was also forced to contend with nasty comments from internet trolls and false stories being printed by tabloids – all of which had a massive effect on her.
“My family kept saying to me, ‘nobody’s going to believe it, it’s fine’,” Alexandra said. “But when I was getting trolled online and abuse from people saying, ‘the papers have printed this, and said you were that, and we hate you for it’, it became so hurtful.”