Alexandra Burke and Aston Merrygold are responsible for one of the best ‘X Factor’ showdowns ever in the 2008 final, but they’ve insisted the competition between them will not be as intense when they go head-to-head on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
The pair are both contestants on the new series of the BBC ballroom show - nine years after Alexandra triumphed over Aston’s band JLS on the ITV talent competition.
However, rather than be rivals, they are hoping to help each other through the gruelling ‘Strictly’ regime.
“Do you know what? Honestly, it honestly doesn’t feel like a competition,” Aston told HuffPost UK and other reporters.
“Alex is brilliant so I can’t wait to see her dance.”
He added: “It’s nice to have a bit of a support network within as well.”
Alexandra also said: “Aston and I have a special relationship. I am constantly clinging to him because he is my comfort and my support. The fact there is somebody there who is my friend and who I know is amazing.
“At the end of the day, we’re there to support each other and we have been since the beginning. I especially want to support him because he’s expecting a new baby soon and he’s going to be away from his family for quite some time, from his Mrs, but I just want to support him.
“He’s my friend and wherever we go in the competition, we will support each other to the end.”
Aston is currently the bookies’ favourite to win the show - ahead of Alexandra - but he can’t understand why, despite being in a boyband who regularly showed off their moves on stage.
“We enjoyed dancing, but in terms of this whole experience, is just different,” he insisted. “Argentine Tango, waltz - these are not things that me and the boys - when we sang ‘Everybody in Love’, we’re not going to do it to a waltz do you know what I mean? So it’s just one of them things.”
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ launches on Saturday (9 September) at 7pm on BBC One, when the celebrities will learn who their professional dance partners are.