As the series approaches its finale Woman can exclusively reveal how poisonous things are behind the scenes of Strictly Come Dancing. While it’s usually the Strictly curse – this time it’s the leading ladies at war!

Feuding partners

At the centre of most of the controversy this year is Alexandra Burke, 29, with the singer linked to a number of rifts with her co-stars – including her own professional dance partner Gorka Marquez.

Our source admits, “Alexandra has annoyed everybody with how desperate she is to win. Her competitiveness is off the scale, and she’s even been clashing with Gorka.”

Viewers of the show are picking up on the singer’s behaviour, with one tweeting, ‘Omg! We can’t stand Alexandra Burke and it appears nor do her colleagues, given their facial expressions behind her and Gorka,’ while another wrote, ‘Alright girl you can dance we know it, we also know you know it!’.

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Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London ‘Hogwarts in The Snow’ VIP Launch Event, The Making of Harry Potter, Watford, UK – 22 Nov 2017

The former X Factor winner previously revealed that Gorka, 27, is ‘scared’ of her and that she shouts and screams at him during rehearsals.

“There was one time that he stopped mid-dance,” Alexandra said. “And I shouted and screamed at him saying, “You are meant to be a pro, don’t ever stop!” He was like, ‘Woah, ok girl, I will never stop again’.”

Understandably, the friction between Alexandra and Gorka has undoubtedly been heightened by the speculation of a budding romance between the professional dancer and fellow contestant Gemma Atkinson.

The pair have been romantically linked since the beginning of the series, which is said to have left Alexandra ‘furious’ about how it could impact her.

And it seems as though Alexandra is rubbing everyone up with the wrong way with our insider confessing, “When she gives it the tears and humility you can see cast and crew rolling their eyes, and the received wisdom among the dancers is that Alex has been ‘overmarked’ by the judges.”

Healthy competition

Although Alexandra is frequently top of the judges’ leader board, it’s clear that she’s up against some tough competition in the form of rival Gemma, 33.

“Don’t be fooled by Gemma’s laid back manner – she’s seriously driven to win this thing,” our TV insider admits. “She’s desperate to beat Alexandra now – to ‘show her where she can shove her glitterball’, as Gemma put it at one point.”

However, our source revealed that Gemma isn’t the only one with her eyes on the prize, with ‘competitive’ Debbie McGee ready to give the ladies a run for their money – in particular, Alexandra.

With speculation that Debbie, 59, and Alexandra’s friendship is becoming increasingly strained as the weeks go on, our source has admitted that the 59-year-old isn’t so fond on Alexandra.

“‘At first it was nothing more than healthy competition,” our source says. “But both Debbie and Alexandra are determined to win and neither is prepared to let the other get in their way. It’s like they’ll do anything to come out on top.”

Fans of the show are picking up on the hostility between the pair, with one viewer writing, ‘As soon as Alexandra mentioned the “camaraderie” between the couples l knew that her and Debbie were at loggerheads.’

‘Alexandra is the only one who has moaned about Debbie being a trained dancer,’ our insider confessed. ‘Debbie is a mature person, so she doesn’t shoot off at the lip or burst into tears, but if the tension carries on she could explode.’


It looks as though the tension isn’t just on the dance floor, with our insider admitting that things aren’t as rosy on the judging panel either.

With the introduction of new head judge Shirley Ballas, there was bound to be a change in the show’s dynamic – and, despite the fact they get on, Darcey Bussell could feel the competitiveness immediately.

And with viewers picking up on the apparent tension between them, Shirley, 57, and Darcey, 48, are trying their best to dispel rumours of any hostile feelings by sharing friendly pictures and tweets.

But our source has revealed that the female judges are anything but friends, claiming, “Darcey was initially shocked by Shirley’s brisk nature and kept her distance. For a time Shirley did the same but things between them seem to be thawing.”

With the glitterball trophy in sight, we highly doubt the tension will be easing up between these ladies any time soon.