Pres­sure worry over young cast

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

The X Fac­tor head­ing to­wards the grand fi­nal, the pres­sure can only in­ten­sify in com­ing weeks. Psy­chol­o­gist Dr Janet Hall warns the younger con­tes­tants are ‘‘lit­tle pres­sure cook­ers’’ with ‘‘highly aroused emo­tions and stress’’. ‘‘Their ner­vous sys­tems are highly strung. They feel the pres­sure of com­pet­ing against older per­form­ers whom they know are ‘old hands’.’’ The X Fac­tor caused con­tro­versy when it low­ered the age limit for con­tes­tants from 16 to 14. ‘‘Per­haps 14 is too young,’’ Dr Hall says. Pro­duc­ers Fre­mantleMe­dia Aus­tralia say con­tes­tants are mon­i­tored throughout the com­pe­ti­tion. ‘‘We take our duty of care with the con­tes­tants se­ri­ously and it is al­ways a pri­or­ity for the pro­duc­tion,’’ a spokesper­son says. ‘‘Con­tes­tants un­der 16 have a par­ent with them at all times. All con­tes­tants have ac­cess to a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist and the psy­chol­o­gist also mon­i­tors each con­tes­tant throughout the com­pe­ti­tion. ‘‘Our judges pro­vide sup­port to the artists they are men­tor­ing.’’

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