Cover Story: X Factor Judges Implode
This year TV’S most popular talent show has been rocked with heartache before it’s even hit our screens
Let’s face it, The X Factor never comes without controversy. Every year Simon Cowell designs it to be as salacious and headline grabbing as possible. But now, after 11 years on TV screens, the latest season of the show has got off to a very upsetting start for all of the judges on the panel. Firstly, of course, Cheryl FernandezVersini has come under fire for her extremely slim figure. When she stepped onto the red carpet for the first day of auditions, she drew gasps from the waiting crowds and it wasn’t long before her picture was splashed over newspapers and social media, with many criticising her for dropping so much weight.
CHERYL’S ANGRY WEIGHT RANT
However, feisty Cheryl didn’t take the weight jibes sitting down and almost immediately hit back on her Instagram account. The 32-year-old’s angry outburst read, “I am so sick and tired of it being okay to call somebody ‘too thin’ or a ‘bag of bones’. I would never dream of calling somebody too fat and that they should maybe cut down on their food intake? What is the difference?” This divided public opinion; on the one hand people came forward agreeing that she had a point and body shaming is wrong whether it’s against those considered over or under weight. While others stated that Cheryl is a role model and her weight loss could send out the wrong message to her young fanbase. But Cheryl tried to further explain her drastic weight loss, claiming that grief over the death of her husband, Jean-bernard’s father, was in part to blame for the change in her appearance. She said, “You have no idea what I have been through. Just losing my father-in-law very recently and everything that comes with that. Not that I am or should justify myself to anyone.” Jean-bernard has also leapt to his wife of one year’s defence in a slew of social media posts ( pictured right). We can only guess that he’s referring to anyone who dares write negatively about Cheryl’s slender frame.
SIMON OFFERS A DIFFERENT VERSION
But whilst Cheryl talks about the sadness she’s felt after losing her father-in-law and the impact that may have had on her weight, Simon seemed to have a different story about why Cheryl looks thinner than ever these days. During an interview with The Sun he then threw another excuse into the mix, “This is not someone who’s trying to make herself thin, I think she did pick up a bug.” Either way, there’s no denying that something is going on with Cheryl. She’s spoken in the past about suffering from mental health issues when she was younger and so it’s no wonder people are concerned when she steps out looking so frail. A couple of years ago she said, “I’m probably going to end up dying with worry. I was clinically depressed once after a bad relationship. We have it in the family.” She also wrote in her memoir that after splitting with Ashley she felt as though she was having a nervous breakdown. But the suggestion that people are worried about her weight seems to be making Cheryl irate, she lashed out again saying, “I am just tired of the ignorance... at some point it’s just enough. Some people are naturally thin. My mother is all of 4’11 and six stone something. And is incredibly healthy and happy.”
PREVIOUS EXTREME DIETS
The ‘naturally thin’ justification may hold more weight if she hadn’t been so vocal in the past about her battle with the pounds. Back in 2009 she confessed about dieting hard after struggling to fit into a pair of jeans, “I remember being in Selfridges and taking these size 28s into the changing room and not being able to get them on, and then getting on the scales and crying because I was nine and a half stone. Nine and a half stone when I’m only 5ft 3in!” She continued, “Jennifer Aniston was doing something called the Atkins Diet at the time and I thought I’d give it a try. The record company had just moved us into this hotel called K West and I remember I ate the same thing from room service – chicken in cream sauce with a couple of carrots – every night, for weeks, and I just
felt horrible. But I was on this mission.” Perhaps she’s now forgotten that she’d talked about her weight battles in the past.
RITA’S LOVE SPLIT SADNESS
But Cheryl isn’t the only X Factor judge who’s been suffering, new judge, Rita Ora is currently nursing a broken heart. The 24-year-old is no stranger to love drama, her acrimonious split with Calvin Harris is now infamous after she was forced to pull a lot of the music that they collaborated on together. She was also on the receiving end of a very public torrent of abuse from her ex Rob Kardashian, who accused her of cheating on him with multiple men. And now she’s split up with her latest long-term beau, Ricky, son of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. Whilst publicly both parties are saying the split was amicable, Rita is said to be upset that she’s having to deal with heartbreak at the same time as starting one of the biggest jobs of her career. Plus she’s already experiencing the classic X Factor backlash as rumours have emerged that producers have rigged the show so that one of Rita’s former school friends makes it through the auditions stage. And Rita isn’t the only new judge suffering, radio DJ Nick Grimshaw has already had to face accusations that he’s not qualified to judge talent as he’s not a singer, manager or producer. Apparently this has left him feeling under extreme pressure as so many people already presume he will fail in his new role.
SIMON FOLLOWS HIS MUM’S WISHES
However, the judge dealing with the biggest trauma is undoubtedly Simon Cowell, who lost his beloved mum in July. Simon and Julie, 89, were extremely close and he’s always been very open in years gone by about how important she was to him and how much respect he had for her. So when it was announced that she had sadly passed away it all seemed very sudden, and the tributes and messages of love started flooding in to Simon’s social media accounts. Simon then shocked everyone by returning to work at The X Factor auditions two days after Julie’s passing. In a recent chat with The Sun he explained his decision, “It sounds corny but it’s exactly what she would have wanted me to do as she loved what I did. When it came to work, she would say, ‘Get back and do what you enjoy’.” He also went on to divulge that his mum had sadly been ill for nine months but he’d kept the news bottled up inside, “I did not want to burden anyone else with my problem. That’s why I never talked about it. In a way that was the hardest part because it was always on my mind. But look, I experienced it with my dad and the only thing I can say is that I have incredible memories.” Poor Simon has understandably struggled to get back into the swing of things at work but has credited his girlfriend Lauren and his son Eric with helping him to deal with his loss. With all of the pain and sadness that mired the start of this season’s show, we have to wonder how the judges are going to cope as we get closer to the day it lands back on our screens.
Simon with his beloved mum Julie who sadly passed away a few weeks ago Nick is accused of not being qualifiedto be a judge
Rita with her now ex-boyfriend Ricky Hilfiger There’s no denying that Cheryl’s appearance is very different now