Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

X Factor winner Burke joins panel

Alexandra Burke is replacing X Factor judge Kelly Rowland, who is ill

Former X Factor champion Alexandra Burke has joined the show's judging panel after Kelly Rowland dropped out due to illness.

The 23-year-old, who won the competition in 2008, took on the role as guest judge for the weekend.

Destiny's Child star Rowland had been due to jet back from the US to take her judging seat but is said to have "a viral throat infection" which prevented her from flying.

Burke said: "I am really looking forward to it. I am here to back the girls - Kelly's girls - I am just going to have some fun and I am not taking any nonsense from this one over here," she said, pointing to fellow judge Tulisa Contostavlos.

The acts mentored by Rowland - Misha Bryan, Sophie Habibis and Janet Devlin - have apparently wished her well.

During last weekend's shows, Rowland was involved in a row about Misha's behaviour.

There were reports the former Destiny's Child singer had gone AWOL and fled to Los Angeles, but representatives said she was merely keeping some long-standing commitments in the US and that she would return when she was able.

Contostavlos had accused Misha of being "mean" to other contestants during Saturday's show.

Panellist Louis Walsh went further by suggesting she had been a "bully", but on Sunday's episode he was forced to apologise to viewers.

Rowland and Contostavlos are reported to have not spoken since their on-screen bust-up at the weekend.

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