The X Factor

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The X Factor
Created by Simon Cowell
Country of origin United Kingdom

The X Factor is a television music competition franchise created by British producer Simon Cowell and his company SYCOtv. It originated in the United Kingdom, where it was devised as a replacement for Pop Idol (2001–2003), and has been adapted in various countries. The "X Factor" of the title refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. [1] The prize is usually a recording contract, in addition to the publicity that appearance in the later stages of the show itself generates, not only for the winner but also for other highly ranked contestants.

Simon Cowell English reality television judge, television producer and music executive

Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent show competition judge, A&R executive, entrepreneur, entertainment manager and consultant, television producer, and critic. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.

<i>The X Factor</i> (UK TV series) UK Television Series

The X Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talent. The contestants are aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in 2004 and has since aired annually from August/September until December. The show is produced by Fremantle's Thames and Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment. It is broadcast on the ITV network in the UK and simulcast on Virgin Media One in Ireland. "X Factor" refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The series consists of auditions, bootcamp, judges' houses, several weeks of live shows, semi-finals and the final. The series had a spin-off behind-the-scenes show called The Xtra Factor, which aired directly after the main show on ITV2. This lasted for the first thirteen series, when it was cancelled by ITV in January 2017. It is replaced by an online spin-off show Xtra Bites exclusively on the ITV Hub. The first three series were presented by Kate Thornton, then from series four to eleven, the show was presented by Dermot O'Leary. Series 12 was presented by Caroline Flack and Olly Murs with O'Leary returning for series 13 onwards.

<i>Pop Idol</i> television series

Pop Idol is a British music competition television series created by Simon Fuller which ran on ITV from 2001 to 2003. The aim of the show was to decide the best new young pop singer in the UK based on viewer voting and participation. Two series were broadcast—one in 2001–2002 and a second in 2003. Pop Idol was subsequently put on an indefinite hiatus after series judge Simon Cowell announced the launch of The X Factor in the UK in April 2004.


The similarities between The X Factor and Idols prompted Idol creator Simon Fuller, along with 19 Entertainment, to file a lawsuit against Cowell, SYCOtv, and FremantleMedia in 2004. An out-of-court settlement was reached in 2005 allowing Fuller to gain a 10 per cent share in The X Factor format, and preventing an American version until 2010. [2] [3] Fuller later filed another lawsuit in 2011, claiming that he had also been promised that he would be credited as an executive producer of The X Factor USA , but that Syco, FremantleMedia, and Fox Broadcasting Company had failed to fulfill that promise; that lawsuit is pending. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Simon Fuller is an English entrepreneur, artist manager, film and television producer. He is best known for being the creator of the Idol franchise, which was first seen in the UK under the name Pop Idol, and includes American Idol in the U.S. Fuller is also the executive producer of several shows and films including So You Think You Can Dance, Q'Viva, Spiceworld The Movie, My Generation starring Michael Caine and others.

19 Entertainment

19 Entertainment is a producer of entertainment properties for television with a focus on music. Based in Los Angeles, their contributions to the music industry include American Idol in the United States, Pop Idol in the United Kingdom and versions of the Idol series in more than seventy countries around the world. 19 Entertainment is also responsible for the production of So You Think You Can Dance.

Fremantle Limited is a British international television content and production/distribution subsidiary of Bertelsmann's RTL Group, founded in 2001, and evolved as Europe's largest TV, radio, and production company. Its world headquarters are located in London.

Unlike Idol, where the judges only critique the contestants' performances, on The X Factor each judge "mentors" the finalists in a particular category, aiding them with song selection and styling, while also participating together in judging the contestants in the other categories. Not only Idol, but also new singing shows The Voice and Rising Star have become rival shows to The X Factor.

The X Factor around the world

Location of different franchises of The X Factor

Own version
Joint version
Regional version The X Factor world map.png
Location of different franchises of The X Factor
  Own version
  Joint version
  Regional version

There have been a total of 198 winners of The X Factor worldwide.

     Franchise that is currently airing
     Franchise that is not currently airing, but will return in the future
     Franchise that has ended
     Franchise that is in development

Country/RegionLocal titleNetworkHostsJudgesWinner
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania
Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo
X Factor TV Klan
Flag of the Arab League.svg Arab world

Flag of Algeria.svg Flag of Bahrain.svg Flag of Comoros.svg Flag of Djibouti.svg
Flag of Egypt.svg Flag of Iraq.svg Flag of Jordan.svg Flag of Kuwait.svg
Flag of Lebanon.svg Flag of Libya.svg Flag of Mauritania.svg Flag of Morocco.svg
Flag of Oman.svg Flag of Qatar.svg Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Flag of Somalia.svg
Flag of Sudan.svg Flag of Syria.svg Flag of Tunisia.svg Flag of United Arab Emirates.svg Flag of Yemen.svg

The X Factor
سير النجاحX
Rotana (1–2)
CBC (3)
MBC 4 (4)
Shant TV
  • Season 1, 2010–11: Vrezh Kirakosyan
  • Season 2, 2012–13: Kim Grigoryan
  • Season 3, 2014: Vahé Margaryan
  • Season 4, 2016–17: Edgar Ghandilyan
  • Season 5, 2018–19: TBD
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia The X Factor Former
Seven Network (2–8)
Network Ten (1)
X Factor Adria TV Sitel (1–2)
Federalna (1–2)
RTV Pink (1)
RTL Televizija (2)
Prva (2)
RTRS (2)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Ana Grubin (live shows, 1)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Bane Jevtić (1, Auditions, backstage, 1)
  • Flag of North Macedonia.svg Snezana Velkov (1, Auditions, backstage, 1)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Una Senić (X Star, judges' houses, 1)
  • Flag of Croatia.svg Antonija Blaće (selection process, live shows, 2)
  • Flag of Serbia.svg Aleksandar Radojičić (selection process, live shows, 2)
  • Flag of Croatia.svg Nikolina Pišek (backstage, 2)
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium X Factor vtm
Flag of Bolivia.svg  Bolivia Factor X Bolivia Red Uno
  • Season 1, 2018: Javier Cortéz
  • Season 2, 2018: Juan Lovera
  • Season 3, 2019: Upcoming season
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil X Factor Band
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria X Factor NovaTv
  • Current
  • Maria Ignatova (2–)
  • Alexandra Raeva (2–)
  • Former
  • Deo (1)
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia X Factor Cambodia Hang Meas HDTV
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • Season 1, TBC: Upcoming season
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile Factor X TVN
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China The X Factor: 激情唱响
The X Factor: Passionate Singer (1)

The X Factor: 中国最强音
The X Factor: China's Strongest Voice (2)

Liaoning TV (1)

HBS:Hunan TV (2)

  • Da Zuo (1)
  • Shao Wenjie (1)
  • Zhu Dan (2)
  • He Jiong (2)
  • Season 1, 2011: Li Shangshang
  • Season 2, 2012: Chen Yumeng
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia El Factor X
The X Factor
  • Marbelle
  • José Gaviria
  • Juan Carlos Coronel
El Factor X: Batalla de las Estrellas
The X Factor: Battle of the Stars
  • Series 1, 2006: Luz Amparo Álvarez
El Factor Xs
  • Season 1, 2006: Andres Camilo Hurtado
  • Season 2, 2007: Camilo Echeverry Correa
  • Season 3, 2011: Shaira Selena Peláez
El Factor X Family
  • Season 1, 2015: Dúo Herencia
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic X Factor TV Nova
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia
X Factor Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Prima family
Flag of Slovakia.svg TV JOJ
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark X Factor Current
TV 2 (12–)
DR (1–11)
  • Current
  • Sofie Linde Ingversen (9–)
  • Former
  • Eva Harlou (7–8)
  • Lise Rønne (1–2, 4–5)
  • Signe Muusmann (3)
  • Signe Molde (6)
  • Emil Thorup (Xtra Factor, 6)
  • Thomas Skov (X Factor Backstage, 8)
  • Joakim Ingversen (11 from 1st to 2nd live shows)
  • Joakim Ingversen (Ultra Factor, 9–11)
  • Jacob Riising (Ultra Factor, 11)
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador Factor X Kids Ecuador Ecuavisa
  • Season 1, 2015: Celena Rosero
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland X Factor MTV3
  • Current
  • Ile Uusivuori (2–)
  • Viivi Pumpanen (2–)
  • Former
  • Heikki Paasonen (1)
  • Jukka Rossi (Xtra Factor, 1)
X Factor Flag of France.svg W9 (1)
Flag of France.svg M6 (2)
Flag of Belgium.svg Flag of Wallonia.svg RTL–TVI
X Factor Georgia
X ფაქტორი
Rustavi 2
  • Gega Palavandishvili (1)
  • la Sukhitashvili (1)
  • Giorgi Kipshidze (2)
  • Ruska Makashvili (3–)
  • Erekle Getsadze (4)
  • Vaniko Tarkhnishvili
  • Season 1, 2014: Tornike Kipiani
  • Season 2, 2015: Giorgi Nakashidze
  • Season 3, 2016: Avto Abeslamidze
  • Season 4, 2017: Sandro Lacquer
  • Season 5, 2018: Anri Guchmanidze
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany X Factor VOX (1–3)
Sky 1 (4)
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus
The X Factor Current
Open TV (6–)
Omega (6–)
ANT1 (1–3)
Skai TV (4–5)
Sigma TV (4–5)
  • Current
  • Flag of Germany.svg Despina Vandi (6–)
  • TBA (backstage, 6–)
  • Former
  • Sakis Rouvas (1–5)
  • Flag of Germany.svg Giorgos Lianos (auditions, 1–3)
  • Despina Kampouri (auditions, 1–2)
  • Maria Sinatsaki (auditions, 3)
  • Evangelia Aravani (backstage, 4–5)
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary X-Faktor RTL Klub
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland X Factor Stöð 2
  • Halla Vilhjálmsdóttir (1)
Flag of India.svg  India X Factor India Sony Entertainment TV
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia X Factor Indonesia RCTI
  • Robby Purba (1–2)
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel The X Factor ישראל
The X Factor Israel
Reshet 13 (3–)
Channel 2 (1–2)
Reshet (1–2)


Flag of Italy.svg  Italy X Factor Current
Sky Uno (5–)
TV8 (10–)
Rai 2 (1–4)


  • Aurora Ramazzotti (X Factor daily, 9–11)
  • Former
  • Francesco Facchinetti (1–4; Xtra Factor, 4)
  • Alessandra Barzaghi (Xtra Factor, 4)
  • Max Novaresi (Xtra Factor, 5–6)
  • Brenda Lodigiani (Xtra Factor, 5–6)
  • Matteo Bordone (Xtra Factor, 7–8)
  • Mara Maionchi (Xtra Factor, 8–11)


Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
Flag of Okinawa Prefecture.svg  Okinawa
X Factor Okinawa Japan Okinawa TV
  • Season 1, 2013–14: Sky's the Limit
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan X Factor Perviy Kanal Evraziya
  • Current
  • Daniyar Dzumadilov
  • Former
  • Adil Liyan (1)
  • Arnur Istybaev (2–6)
  • Current
  • Nagima Eskalieva
  • Nurbergen Makhambetov (5 from live–)
  • Dilnaz Akhmadieva (4–5, until live, 7)
  • Former
  • Alexander Shevchenko (1–5)
  • Sultana Karazhigitova (1–2, until live)
  • Ismail Igіlmanov (2, from live)
  • Erlan Kokeev (3)
  • Eva Becher (6)
  • Season 1, 2011: Dariya Gabdull
  • Season 2, 2012: Andrey Tikhonov
  • Season 3, 2013: Evgeniya Barysheva
  • Season 4, 2013: Kairat Kapanov
  • Season 5, 2014: Evgeny Vyblov
  • Season 6, 2015: Astana Kargabay
  • Season 7, 2018: Dilnura Birzhanova
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia X Faktors TV3
  • Season 1, 2017: Artūrs Gruzdiņš
  • Season 2, 2018: Flag of Belarus.svg Kattie
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania X Faktorius TV3
  • Season 1, 2012–13: Giedrė Vokietytė
  • Season 2, 2013–14: Žygimantas Gečas
  • Season 3, 2015–16: Monika Pundziūtė
  • Season 4, 2016–17: Iglė Bernotaitytė
  • Season 5, 2017–18: 120
  • Season 6, 2018–19: Good Time Boys
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta X Factor Malta TVM [8]
  • Ben Camille
  • Howard Keith Debono
  • Ray Mercieca
  • Alexandra Alden
  • Ira Losco
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar The X Factor Myanmar MRTV 4
  • Zaw Htet (1)
  • Hmu Thiha Thu (2)
  • Si Thu Lwin (1–2)
  • Nge Nge (1–2)
  • Eaint Chit (1)
  • Za War (1–2)
  • Zam Nuu (2)
  • Season 1, 2016: Htun Naung Sint
  • Season 2, 2017: David Derrick
  • Season 3, 2018: TBD
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands X Factor RTL 4
  • Wendy van Dijk (1–4)
  • Martijn Krabbe (2–5)
  • Nathalie Bulters (Backstage, 3)
  • Eva Treurniet (Backstage, 3)
  • Lieke van Lexmond (Backstage, 4)
  • Ferry Doedens (Backstage, 5)
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand The X Factor TV3
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway X Factor TV 2
  • Ravi (2)
  • Guri Solberg (2)
  • Peter Moi Brubresko (Xtra Factor)
  • Katarina Flatland (Xtra Factor)
  • Flag of Germany.svg Charlotte Thorstvedt (1)
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines The X Factor Philippines ABS–CBN
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland X Factor TVN
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Factor X SIC
  • Season 1, 2013–14: Berg
  • Season 2, 2014: Flag of Mozambique.svg Kika Kardoso
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania X Factor Antena 1
  • Răzvan Simion
  • Dani Oțil
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Секрет успеха
Secret of Success (1–2)
Фактор А
The A Factor (3–5)
Главная сцена
The Main Stage (6–7)
RTR (1–2)
Russia 1 (3–7)
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia X Faktor POP TV
  • Damjan Damjanovič
  • Jadranka Juras
  • Aleš Uranjek
  • Season 1, 2012: Demetra Malalan
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa The X Factor SA SABC 1
  • Andile Ncube
  • Season 1, 2015: FOUR
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Factor X Cuatro (1–2) [9]
Telecinco (3–4)
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden X Factor TV4
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand The X Factor Thailand Workpoint TV
  • Season 1, 2017: Slow
  • Season 2, 2019: TBD
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey X Factor: Star Işığı Kanal D
  • Season 1, 2014: Halil Polat
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine The X Factor STB


  • Oksana Marchenko (1–7)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 1 The X Factor ITV
The X Factor: Battle of the Stars
Flag of the United States.svg  United States The X Factor Fox
El Factor X
The X Factor
(Spanish Kids version)
  • Season 1, 2013: Los Tres Charritos
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam The X Factor Vietnam
Nhân tố bí ẩn
  • Current
  • Thành Trung (2–)
  • Gil Lê (2–)
  • Former
  • Nguyên Khang
  • Thu Thủy
  • Season 1, 2014: Giang Hồng Ngọc
  • Season 2, 2016: Trần Minh Như
  • Season 3, 2018: TBD
West Africa

Flag of Benin.svg Flag of Burkina Faso.svg Flag of Cape Verde.svg Flag of Ivory Coast.svg Flag of Gambia.svg Flag of Ghana.svg Flag of Guinea.svg Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg Flag of Liberia.svg Flag of Mali.svg Flag of Mauritania.svg Flag of Niger.svg Flag of Nigeria.svg Flag of Senegal.svg Flag of Sierra Leone.svg Flag of Togo.svg

X Factor AIT, NTA,
STV, ViaSat,
  • Season 1, 2013: Flag of Nigeria.svg DJ Switch
  1. ^ Also shown in Republic of Ireland and in series 3, 4, 7 and 13 auditions were held in Dublin, and viewers in Ireland were allowed to vote. The UK version of The X Factor is also shown in Malta on channel TVM.

Celebrity versions

From 29 May – 5 June 2006, ITV broadcast a celebrity version of The X Factor in the UK called The X Factor: Battle of the Stars . It was hosted by Kate Thornton and judged by Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh. It was won by actress Lucy Benjamin. There has also been a celebrity version in Colombia, El Factor X: Batalla de las Estrellas , also broadcast in 2006.

ITV (TV network) TV network in the United Kingdom

ITV is a British free-to-air Television network. Headquartered in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, that was established in 1932. ITV is also the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would usually be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name.

<i>The X Factor: Battle of the Stars</i> television series

The X Factor: Battle of the Stars was a UK celebrity special edition of The X Factor, which screened on ITV, started on 29 May 2006 and lasting for eight consecutive nights. Pop Idol was meant to air in its place as Celebrity Pop Idol but was stopped shortly before transmission, when ITV picked The X Factor over it.

Kate Thornton television presenter

Kate Thornton is an English journalist and television presenter, best known as the first presenter of The X Factor (2004–2006) and for presenting daytime shows including Loose Women and This Morning (2009–2012). In 2010, she co-presented the first series of 71 Degrees North alongside Gethin Jones.

International versions

On 24 August 2013, a 24th anniversary television special was broadcast by RCTI in Indonesia called the X Factor Around the World . It featured winners and runners-up from versions of The X Factor in Indonesia, United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The judging panel comprised Paula Abdul, Anggun, Daniel Bedingfield, Ahmad Dhani and Louis Walsh. The show was purely a music showcase and no winner was announced. [10] [11] [12]

RCTI television network in Indonesia

RCTI is an Indonesian free-to-air television network based in West Jakarta. Its programming consists of news bulletins, sports events and soap operas.

X Factor Around the World is the 24th anniversary television special of RCTI, joining four continents' biggest versions of The X Factor reality singing competition—X Factor Indonesia (Asia), The X Factor USA (America), The X Factor UK (Europe) and The X Factor Australia (Australia). The show was originally aired on 24 August 2013 in Indonesia and featured performances by six winners and runners-up: Melanie Amaro, Samantha Jade, The Collective, Jahmene Douglas, Fatin Shidqia, Novita Dewi.

<i>X Factor Indonesia</i> television series

The X Factor Indonesia is an Indonesian reality television music competition to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public audition. The show that was adopted from the British The X Factor with the show is produced by FremantleMedia and Cowell's production company Syco. It is broadcast on the RCTI. In 2014, X Factor Indonesia won the Panasonic Gobel Awards for the category Talent and Best Reality Show.

Disputes and controversies

Since it was first broadcast in 2004, The X Factor has been the subject of much controversy and criticism in the United Kingdom and many other countries where it was broadcast.

Simon Fuller, the creator of Pop Idol , claimed that the format of The X Factor was copied from his own show. Through his company 19 TV, Fuller filed a lawsuit against The X Factor producers FremantleMedia, The X Factor creator Simon Cowell, and Cowell's companies Simco and Syco. [13] A High Court hearing began in London in November 2005, and the outcome was awaited with interest by media lawyers for its potential effect on the legal situation regarding the copyrighting of formats. However, the hearing was quickly adjourned [13] and an out-of-court settlement was reached at the end of the month. [14]

X Factor Contract

The X Factor franchise requires every contestant to sign a contract and "sign over their lives" in order to move forward in the competition. Therefore, all the choosing and picking between contestants that the celebrity judges do on television is actually pre-determined before airing. Some of the conditions included in this contract include signing over your recording rights, allowing The X Factor to monitor your behavior during your time in the competition, and if you are eliminated and wish to audition for another TV show you must have the permission from the entire franchise. In addition, there is a "gag clause" included in this document preventing any of the contestants to speak about the matter in person or social media. [15]


The Danish version has been criticised by Danish music contract expert and consultant for The Danish Musicians' Association (Dansk Musiker Forbund) Mikael Højris. According to Højris, the contracts for participation in the show are unfair for participants and almost amount to serfdom to DR1 (the channel airing the show) stating that clauses in the contracts forbid the participants – whether they pass the first round or not – from performing or participating in any other musical event for three months. He also criticises that participants are obliged to travel at their own expense. [16]


The Italian version of The X Factor generated controversy when one of the judges, actress and #MeToo activist Asia Argento was accused of sexual misconduct by American child actor, Jimmy Bennett. Argento and Bennett first met on the set of The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things when he was seven years old and Argento was in her 20s. Argento, who was one of the promiment voices of the #MeToo movement against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, paid a then 17-year old Jimmy Bennett $380,000 for sexual intercourse in a California hotel in 2013, she was 37 years at the time. According to the constitution of the State of California, the age of consent is 18 years. [17]

Photos and videos of Argento "snuggling" a 17-year old Bennett surfaced online, receiving heavy criticism from several media outlets. [18] Bennett, who is now 22, accused Argento of sexual misconduct and statutory rape. Argento denied the allegation of sexual assault. She said that she never had a sexual encounter with Bennett, and that when he made a request for money, her partner, late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, paid him to avoid negative publicity. Bourdain was found dead in a French hotel in June 2018, just two months before the sexual abuse allegations against his then-girlfriend surfaced online via The New York Post. [19]

On 27 August 2018, Sky Uno and FremantleMedia Italia announced that Argento had been fired from The X Factor Italy following these allegations, making her the third judge fired from the X Factor franchise. [20] The twelfth series of The X Factor Italy premiered in September with Alessandro Cattelan, Manuel Agnelli, Fedez and Mara Maionchi returning as host and judges, respectively. A fourth new judge, Italian singer Lodovico Guenzi, of the band Lo Stato Sociale, replaced Argento in the live shows.

New Zealand

Natalia Kills outburst

On the second series of The X Factor during filming of the final judges' auditions session in December 2014, whilst giving feedback to busker Sally Faherty's rendition of Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You", Natalia Kills suggested Faherty had wallflower body language. Kills then said "buskers often end up performing more to themselves than to the people around them because they go unappreciated for so long it's as if the people around them think that they are invisible. You have the body language as you're trying to blend into the background behind you." The audience didn't appreciate what Kills had said and started booing her. Kills then said that Faherty was not invisible on the stage and that it was her time to change that. Judges Melanie Blatt and Stan Walker gave Faherty a "Yes", whilst Willy Moon (Husband of Natalia Kills) gave Faherty a "No". The pressure was on Natalia Kills (Moon's wife) to make the final decision. The crowd got involved trying to persuade Kills to put Faherty through. Kills then snapped at the audience saying "Stop, stop it right now, you're going to fuck this for her". Despite her comments, Kills decided to put Faherty through to Bootcamp by giving her a "Yes". Some members of the audience (including children) were shocked at the outburst and walked out. A TV3 spokeswoman said both the network and Kills apologised for the incident. [21] The incident was featured in the final audition episode, with the profanity bleeped out. Faherty was also heard using the F word backstage which was bleeped out. [22]

Shae Brider

On the second series of The X Factor , in the sixth audition show which aired on television on 24 February 2015, convicted ex-prisoner Shae Brider auditioned and was put through to the boot camp round. In the episode Brider revealed that he had been involved in a 2004 murder in Wanganui and had served six years in prison for manslaughter. [23] In reaction to criticism from the public and media, MediaWorks issued a statement saying that Brider's criminal record had been fully disclosed when he entered The X Factor and that the New Zealand justice system considers that Brider has paid his debt to society. Mediaworks also apologized for any distress the episode may have caused viewers. [24] Brider later told media that he regretted appearing on the series and had not thought through the impact of his appearance. [25] TV3 announced that the first two bootcamp episodes would start with an apology to the victim's mother and her family. [26] International The X Factor producers FremantleMedia Australia and Syco Entertainment discussed the situation with the show's producers, with a spokesperson for FremantleMedia describing the inclusion of Brider on the show as "a very poor editorial decision" and saying that "a more rigid approval process" would ensure a similar situation would not happen in future. [27]

Natalia Kills and Willy Moon rude comments towards contestant

During the first live show of The X Factor , following the performance of contestant Joe Irvine, Natalia Kills began bullying and trying to humiliate Irvine during the judges comments, calling him out as "a doppelganger in our midst", [28] referring to Irvine's apparent copying of Kills' husband Willy Moon's hairstyle and dress sense. Kills deemed Irvine a "laughing stock", overtly "cheesy", "disgusting" and "artistically atrocious". [29] Moon continued the assault, stating Irvine was "like Norman Bates dressing up in his mother's clothing, it's just a little bit creepy" and "I feel like you are going to stitch someone's skin to your face and then kill everybody in the audience". Viewers' response to the tirade was overwhelmingly negative, with some calling for Kills and Moon to be fired from the show mid-series, and others simply describing the comments as disgusting. A Facebook page demanding that the two be fired was set up on 15 March 2015, and within twelve hours had amassed over 50,000 likes. The incident led to criticism from the show's sponsors, franchise owner, and fellow judges. [28]

A petition asking TV3 to "Take Natalia Kills off XFactor", calling for the removal of only Natalia without mentioning her husband, had attracted 77,049 signatures. [30]

Moon and Kills were both fired from the show the day after the incident, several hours before the next episode went to air. [31]


Erick Galán audition

Erick Galán auditioned for the Factor X series 3 with a song he presented as his own composition. The judges quickly noticed he was lip-syncing to the track, and when questioned after the performance, he explained that the song's producer failed to provide him with the clean base track for the audition. Despite the incident, and judge Risto Mejide pointing out that they didn't really know what he sounded like, he was allowed through after three out of the four judges gave him a yes. [32] Galán was later eliminated at the Five Chair Challenge, in which he did sing live.

Poupie elimination and subsequent accusations of nepotism

During the Factor X series 3 semi-final, when the judges voted to determine who would be the last eliminated contestant of the evening (and therefore, to determine the last finalist as well) between Poupie, mentored by Risto Mejide, and group W-Caps, mentored by Xavi Martínez, Risto started off the round voting against Poupie, and from his earlier words, looking to force a deadlock. The move backfired on him when, after Laura Pausini had voted against W-Caps and Fernando Montesinos against Poupie, Xavi Martínez decided to let his pupils through to the finals and voted against Poupie as well, resulting in her being eliminated. The following week, during the finals, Martínez and Mejide argued throughout the evening about the incident, with the latter flat-out accusing the former of nepotism. [33] Part of the audience instead perceived Risto's failed tactics as an attempt to cheat Poupie out of the finals to favor his other protegé Elena Farga, who was already seen by some as Telecinco's hand-picked winner, [34] and this resulted in viewers calling for a boycott against her on social media. Farga came in second to Pol Granch in the final vote.

United Kingdom

United States

Rachel Crow elimination

  • During week 7 of the live shows during the first season, judge Nicole Scherzinger could not decide which act to send home between contestants Rachel Crow and Marcus Canty. Scherzinger sent the vote to deadlock to let America's votes determine who would be eliminated. Crow was eliminated, shocking Crow, Scherzinger, and fans. Scherzinger was booed off the stage at the end of the show with many calling for her to be fired [35] and subsequently received death threats from some viewers. [36] It is speculated that this is the main reason for Scherzinger's dismissal as a judge following the season ending and subsequent transfer to the UK version of the show.

Don Phillip audition

  • In the season two premiere, Don Philip, someone who once collaborated with Britney Spears, auditioned in front of the judges, and received a "no" from all judges. He then told Access Hollywood that ten minutes of footage from the interview was cut as he says he felt bullied into revealing he was gay. [37] Spears reportedly replied "It is fine that you are gay," though that was edited out as well. [38] Those at Fox then released a statement saying "The judges were not given any information at all about Mr Philip prior to his audition." [39] Later that year, an insider revealed that he was contacted specifically by producers because of his association with Britney Spears, and that according to him "she already knew he was going to be there, of course, because this is a reality show". [40]

See also

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