Connect with us

Australia

Strictly: Alexandra Burke avoids the dance-off

By Eve Buckland For Mailonline

Published: 15:55 EST, 10 December 2017 | Updated: 01:17 EST, 11 Dece..

Published

on

By Eve Buckland For Mailonline

Published: 15:55 EST, 10 December 2017 | Updated: 01:17 EST, 11 December 2017

Despite sizzling dancefloor routines and stellar scores from the judges she shockingly ended up in the dreaded dance-off for two weeks running.

And Alexandra Burke couldn't contain her excitement as she made it through it to the Strictly Come Dancing grand final, and avoided being in the bottom two for a third consecutive week.

The singer, 29, screamed as she was given the news she and dance partner Gorka Marquez would be progressing to the final week, before jumping on Gorka and hugging him.

Scroll down for video

We did it! Alexandra Burke couldn't contain her excitement as she made it through it to the Strictly Come Dancing grand final, and avoided being in the bottom two for a third consecutive week

We did it! Alexandra Burke couldn't contain her excitement as she made it through it to the Strictly Come Dancing grand final, and avoided being in the bottom two for a third consecutive week

A beaming and visibly relieved Alexandra said: 'Not for a second did I think we would get this far – thank you, your support just means the world.'

This means that Alexandra and Gorka will be joining Joe McFadden and Katya Jones, Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice and this week's dance-off survivors Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec in the final.

Alexandra and Gorka topped the leaderboard on Saturday night's show, being awarded their first 40 for the Salsa to Finally by Ce Ce Peniston and 39 for their Viennese Waltz to Everybody Hurts by Tina Arena.

She continued: 'It feels so overwhelming, I am over the moon. I can't even put it into words.'

Dance-off danger: Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec narrowly made it to the final, after winning the dance-off against Mollie King and AJ PritchardDance-off danger: Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec narrowly made it to the final, after winning the dance-off against Mollie King and AJ Pritchard

Dance-off danger: Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec narrowly made it to the final, after winning the dance-off against Mollie King and AJ Pritchard

Hug: The singer, 29, screamed as she was given the news she and dance partner Gorka Marquez would be progressing to the final week, before jumping on Gorka and hugging himHug: The singer, 29, screamed as she was given the news she and dance partner Gorka Marquez would be progressing to the final week, before jumping on Gorka and hugging him

Hug: The singer, 29, screamed as she was given the news she and dance partner Gorka Marquez would be progressing to the final week, before jumping on Gorka and hugging him

Yes1 A beaming and visibly relieved Alexandra said: 'Not for a second did I think we would get this far - thank you, your support just means the world'Yes1 A beaming and visibly relieved Alexandra said: 'Not for a second did I think we would get this far - thank you, your support just means the world'

Yes1 A beaming and visibly relieved Alexandra said: 'Not for a second did I think we would get this far – thank you, your support just means the world'

A delighted Gorka praised Alexandra for her resolve, saying: 'She has this strength inside of her and she fights for everything. No matter what happens, she wakes up the next day with a smile.'

Last week Alexandra survived the dance-off for the second consecutive week after she landed into the bottom two with actor Davood Ghadami and his dance partner Nadiya Bychkova.

This was made even more jaw-dropping due to the fact that she and Gorka had topped the leaderboard with their Charleston to Supercalifragilistic, scoring a near-perfect 39.

Fighter: A delighted Gorka praised Alexandra for her resolve, saying: 'She has this strength inside of her and she fights for everything. No matter what happens, she wakes up the next day with a smile'Fighter: A delighted Gorka praised Alexandra for her resolve, saying: 'She has this strength inside of her and she fights for everything. No matter what happens, she wakes up the next day with a smile'

Fighter: A delighted Gorka praised Alexandra for her resolve, saying: 'She has this strength inside of her and she fights for everything. No matter what happens, she wakes up the next day with a smile'

And in week 10 Alexandra made a surprise appearance in the bottom two alongside comedian Susan Calman after landing fourth on the leaderboard with her rumba and winning the paso doble-athon.

Ahead of her performance she opened up about the tough time she'd been receiving from trolls recently, welling up as she admitted it was a stressful task being on the show, but she's always wanted to do it.

The singer admitted she'd had a tough week, but revealed it was all worth it for the show she's always wanted to do, taking place just weeks after she tragically lost her mother.

'Watching the video showed how much love is out there. It's definitely given me the kick I needed,' she admitted between tears as she was shown a video of public supporters.

'It's been a tough week but it was worth it!' Alexandra admitted as Gorka Marquez picked Claudia up in excitement.

Into the final: Last week Alexandra survived the dance-off for the second consecutive week after she landed into the bottom two with actor Davood Ghadami and his dance partner Nadiya BychkovaInto the final: Last week Alexandra survived the dance-off for the second consecutive week after she landed into the bottom two with actor Davood Ghadami and his dance partner Nadiya Bychkova

Into the final: Last week Alexandra survived the dance-off for the second consecutive week after she landed into the bottom two with actor Davood Ghadami and his dance partner Nadiya Bychkova

This came after she opened up to The Telegraph, admitting she struggled to cope 'mentally' with the relentless criticism of trolls during her stint on the show.

'It got to a point where I was like, I can't take any more mentally. It felt like a personal attack'.

She wrote last week: 'I've tried my best to just be strong and brush it all off but mentally it's taking its toll.'

Final four: Joe McFadden and Katya Jones were ecstatic as they heard they had made it into the finalFinal four: Joe McFadden and Katya Jones were ecstatic as they heard they had made it into the final

Final four: Joe McFadden and Katya Jones were ecstatic as they heard they had made it into the final

Glee: Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice looked over the moon as they made it thoughGlee: Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice looked over the moon as they made it though

Glee: Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice looked over the moon as they made it though

Relief: Gemma and Aljaz looked relieved as they scraped their way through to the finalRelief: Gemma and Aljaz looked relieved as they scraped their way through to the final

Relief: Gemma and Aljaz looked relieved as they scraped their way through to the final

Burke also admitted the slew of nasty comments has left her feeling self-conscious because her '100 per cent genuine' emotions are being called fake.

'Twitter seems to have given people permission to be incredibly hurtful,' she told Radio Times, this week. 'They don’t seem to realise that I have feelings and get upset.'

'The saddest thing is that I started the show completely myself – my joy and my tears were 100 per cent genuine, however much people said they were fake – but I’m now so self-conscious, I try not to react at all in case people say, “Oh, look, here are the fake tears again".'

Kiss goodbye? Mollie King and AJ Pritchard looked especially close as they bid farewell to Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday night in the semi-finalKiss goodbye? Mollie King and AJ Pritchard looked especially close as they bid farewell to Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday night in the semi-final

Kiss goodbye? Mollie King and AJ Pritchard looked especially close as they bid farewell to Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday night in the semi-final

The star went on: 'I have struggled with some of the public reaction. I've never experienced anything like this.'

Mollie King and AJ Pritchard became the 11th couple to be eliminated from Strictly Come Dancing, narrowly missing out on a place in next week's final.

The Saturdays singer, 30, was eliminated from the competition after finding herself in the bottom two for the third time, alongside actress Gemma Atkinson, 33, who was in the dance-off for the first time.

Reflecting on her time on the show, an emotional Mollie paid a heartfelt tribute to her dance partner AJ, 22, for being her 'hero' during the gruelling competition.

'Couldn't have done it without you': Mollie and AJ faced Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec but missed out on going through to the final'Couldn't have done it without you': Mollie and AJ faced Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec but missed out on going through to the final

'Couldn't have done it without you': Mollie and AJ faced Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec but missed out on going through to the final

She said: 'AJ, you have been just incredible and you have been my hero for the last couple of months so thank you so much. I couldn’t have done any of it without you.'

Returning the praise in kind, a proud AJ responded: 'I want to say thank you so much for being in training and literally spending all the time working so hard and always willing to try everything and performing every single night as if it’s your last.'

Mollie also complimented the hard work of Gemma and her dance partner Aljaz Skorjanec, along with thanking her fans for getting the pair to the semi-final.

Saying good bye: Though she was emotional, Mollie embraced her counterparts with a smileSaying good bye: Though she was emotional, Mollie embraced her counterparts with a smile

Saying good bye: Though she was emotional, Mollie embraced her counterparts with a smile

She said: 'Congratulations to Gemma and Aljaž because they danced their socks off and totally deserved to be there and congratulations to all the finalists, they’re so incredible and good luck, I can’t wait to watch you all, so go out there and get it! I have so many thank you’s.

Thank you to everyone who has voted us through to the semi-finals, it’s so far beyond what we ever thought that would happen; I’m so so grateful for that.

'Thank you to all the professionals, you have been so much fun and so encouraging. Thank you to the judges, you have just been unbelievable and I will forever remember everything that you said and I will take it on board when I’m dancing at home or wherever I’m dancing.'

Semi-final night: Sending one couple home just before the finale, Tess Daly (right) and Claudia Winkleman (left) glammed up for the nightSemi-final night: Sending one couple home just before the finale, Tess Daly (right) and Claudia Winkleman (left) glammed up for the night

Semi-final night: Sending one couple home just before the finale, Tess Daly (right) and Claudia Winkleman (left) glammed up for the night

'And to Tess, Claudia and Zoe, you have been amazing, you have been so so just lovely and above all.'

The pair's time on Strictly came to an end after they failed to impress with their two dances – the Samba to Shakira's Whenever, Wherever and their Waltz to Angel by Sarah McLachlan- and landed bottom of the leaderboard with 56 points.

Gemma and Aljaz were just above with 62 points.

When the dreaded dance-off results were announced Mollie and AJ chose to perform their Waltz again while Gemma and Aljaz picked their Tango to My Sharona by The Knack.

With both couples performing their routines again, it was Gemma and Aljaz who found themselves sailing through to the final with all four judges voting to save them.

Showgirl: The blonde has really risen to the occasion during the competitionShowgirl: The blonde has really risen to the occasion during the competition

Showgirl: The blonde has really risen to the occasion during the competition

Craig Revel Horwood said: 'Both couples neck and neck, both couples ballroom which is unusual, both couples I think pulled out the stops tonight but for me the couple that had the edge…. Gemma and Aljaž.'

Darcey Bussell added: 'Well both couples made a great great improvement but the couple that was more assured and more confident was Gemma and Aljaž.'

Sealing Mollie and AJ's fate, Bruno Tonioli said: 'Well first I want to congratulate you both because you did so well, you improved so much, gave everything you had to this, but I really have to choose the couple that stood out to my eye. I have to choose Gemma and Aljaž.'

Head judge Shirley Ballas' vote therefore did not count but she said she agreed with her fellow judges and would have also saved Gemma and Aljaz.

Saturday night's show saw Alexandra Burke and her partner Gorka Marquez top the leaderboard, being awarded their first 40 for the Salsa to Finally by Ce Ce Peniston and 39 for their Viennese Waltz to Everybody Hurts by Tina Arena.

Sunday’s results show featured a stunning musical performance Craig David and Bastille.

The remaining four couples will perform three dances next week when Strictly Come Dancing returns for the glittering grand final on BBC One.

'He was the best part': Mollie paid tribute to her dance partner AJ'He was the best part': Mollie paid tribute to her dance partner AJ

'He was the best part': Mollie paid tribute to her dance partner AJ

Original Article

The post Strictly: Alexandra Burke avoids the dance-off appeared first on News Wire Now.

Continue Reading

Australia

Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative

Published

on

In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.

The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.

But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.

So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?

‘Just paperwork’

Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.

Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.

The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.

Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.

Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.

Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.

Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.

It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.

“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”

But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.

Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.

But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.

It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.

Critics push for investigation

Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.

But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.

And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.

Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.

Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.

“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.

“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”

The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.

Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.

And she says the same transparency is needed here.

The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them

The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.

“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.

“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”

PM defends governor-general

Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.

“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”

Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.

“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.

“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”

A role fit for purpose?

Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.

She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.

“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”

Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.

“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.

“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”

But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.

“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”

 

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62683210

Continue Reading

Australia

Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

Published

on

A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

Continue Reading

Australia

Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

Published

on

Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

source

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 , madridjournals.com