Proving the old adage "If at first you don't succeed...," soul singer Alexandra Burke emerged victorious as the winner of the fifth season of The X-Factor, three years after being rejected by the same show. Born in Islington, London, in 1988, the daughter of ex-Soul II Soul vocalist Melissa Bell began singing from an early age. At 12 years old, she entered the BBC talent show Star for a Night but lost out in the final to a then-unknown Joss Stone. After leaving school, Burke concentrated on pursuing a career in the music industry, performing at various clubs and touring with Young Voices, a choir that raised money for children with leukemia. In 2005, she auditioned for the second series of The X-Factor, where she made it to the final seven of her category, only narrowly missing out on a place in mentor Louis Walsh's top three. In 2008 she entered the series again, but this time impressed new judge Cheryl Cole enough to be chosen for the live shows.