The X Factor pals appear distant as their friendship fizzles out

As Alexandra Burke celebrated her 21st birthday at a lavish party in London’s Shoreditch House two weeks ago, one person was noticeably missing: her former X Factor best mate Ruth Lorenzo.

Now tongues are wagging with speculation that the two girls, who shared their journey to fame via the ITV1 reality show, are being torn apart by either scheduling constraints or a cooling down of their once-close friendship.

The unlikely pals shared a close bond after meeting on The X Factor 2008, which saw north London-born Alexandra romp to victory in the final last December.

Within weeks of Alex winning the £1 million contract, Alex and Ruth – who came fifth – had jetted off to Mauritius for a break.

Girly shopping trips to designer stores and sleepovers at Alex’s swanky new riverside penthouse pad followed, but just weeks into the X Factor tour things turned sour when unfounded reports of the girls’ feuding began to surface.

However, whispers suggest that Alex is distancing herself from all X Factor contestants as pressure mounts on the release of her next single Bad Boys on 12 October.

Last week, when questioned about her once close relationship with Ruth, Alex’s quick-fire response was: ‘I keep in touch with all the X Factor contestants,’ before adding: ‘You shouldn’t believe everything you read.’ It was almost a nod to the constant reports that all’s not well in their camp.

Alex was quick to play down any strain, confirming that Ruth would be absent from her birthday celebrations as she ‘had family stuff on in Spain’.

Now, with a matter of weeks to go before her new material’s released, Alex is back in the studio in Los Angeles putting the finishing touches to her album. But whether she and Ruth will be able to
pick up their friendship where they left it remains to be seen.

See the full story and latest pictures of Ruth Lorenzo and Alexandra Burke in Now magazine dated 14 September 2009 – out tomorrow!