The X factor is no stranger to controversy. Over the years we’ve watched Sharon storm off, Danni dish the dirt and Simon sort the can-bes from the wanna-bes. But it seemed that no-one was prepared for Danni Minogue’s jibe at contestant Danyl this Saturday.
After singing the traditionally female song “I’m telling you”, Danyl was heavily criticised by the judges for being over-confident. However, Danni took the criticism a step further with a controversial remark about his sexuality. The audience were unusually silent as the judge told Danyl: “If we’re to believe what we read in the papers, there was no need to switch the gender reference in that song”. The complaints flooded in as Danyl left the stage teary-eyed, prompting calls from some viewers for Danni to leave the show. So on a programme where contestants are regularly reduced to tears, why has this caused such controversy?
Perhaps the main issue is that the comment wasn’t relevant to his performance. Simon has made some pretty personal remarks in the past, but they’ve mainly been points which could affect the contestant’s chances. When he called John and Edward obnoxious, the audience was mainly behind him. Not only because the fake American accents, metre-high hair and blazer get-up had provoked the same feeling of nausea in all of us, but because their image could cost them votes. Danyl’s sexuality, however, shouldn’t affect votes or performance. This is maybe why Danni came across as being excessively personal and unfair. In fact, Danyl later revealed that the comment was an in-joke between him and the judge and was not intended maliciously.
That’s not to say the comments between the judges are quite so innocuous. Louis and Simon regularly exchange personal jibes regarding each other’s sexuality, style and taste in music and yet no-one bats an eyelid. Perhaps because the judges are better-positioned than the contestants to defend themselves. Or perhaps because anyone who wears high-waisted trousers, whitens their teeth and says their most treasured possession is a mirror deserves whatever is thrown at them. Although if there is any truth to the insults, I think Louis and Simon would make a lovely couple. Where else could you find two middle-aged men who openly admit to liking Westlife?