How Strictly is healing my family’s wounds
SINGING star Alexandra Burke already feels like a winner on Strictly Come Dancing – because appearing on the show has brought her family together.
Still reeling from the death of their mum six weeks ago, Alex and her four siblings are finding the dance contest is helping them begin to put years of strife behind them.
In recent times they have been rocked by allegations of drug dealing and violence – and even saw Alex’s younger brother charged with assaulting mum Melissa.
But as they rally to support the former X Factor winner, the singer’s older half-brother Travoir has told how the whole family has been given a lift by her courage.
Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Mirror, Travoir, 37, said of his family: “They have something to look forward to and not be worried, not think about Mum and start crying again.
“If she wins it will be good. They can say, ‘Mum was watching over her’. She’s happy about going on the show and wants to show the world she can do it – so she’ll do it.”
Mum Melissa Bell, 53, former lead singer of Soul II Soul, died of kidney failure on August 28 – three days after Alex’s 29th birthday and just weeks before her Strictly debut.
Security guard Travoir said: “I know her mum would have wanted her to go on and do it. You can’t just lock yourself away in a closet.
“You need something to focus on and get over what happened.”
In a heartfelt post online, Alexandra wrote: “Mummy has always been my biggest supporter and was over the moon I was doing Strictly.
“It was a dream of hers that I would one day be part of the show and I know she would have wanted me to carry on.”
In her first show she wept as she danced a waltz to Melissa’s favourite song, Aretha Franklin’s (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
Travoir says he and siblings David, Sheniece, 32, and Aaron, 24, are all rooting for the singer to lift the coveted Glitterball Trophy.
And he revealed dad David, 59, will be cheering his daughter on at the live shows. Travoir, of Sutton, Surrey, said: “They’ll all be there. I work all the time so can’t get there.
“But I’ll be voting. I won’t be running up a huge bill, but I’ll definitely put one or two votes in.”
The 2008 XFactor champ has already wowed judges and viewers alongside partner Gorka Marquez, topping the leaderboard last week with their sizzling paso doble.
And new head judge Shirley Ballas has tipped Alex as “a front