'It's not just about talent': X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne hits back after sparking outrage with a controversial decision to give her 'joke' rapper a place in the show's live heats
The X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne has defended her controversial decision to give a ‘joke’ rapper a place in the show’s coveted live heats.
Her decision last week to make bizarre ‘urban’ act Honey G one of the show’s 12 finalists infuriated head judge Simon Cowell and provoked a furious backlash on social media.
But Osbourne said her critics needed to remember that the ITV show, which reached its live stages last night, was as much an entertainment show as a talent search.
Sharon Osbourne branded Honey G (pictured) as 'unique' and 'quite different'
She said: ‘I stick by my decision. I love Honey G and I accept that, compared to other rappers, she is quite unique, quite different.
‘But this is an entertainment show. People forget we are making a TV show as well as looking for talent.
‘I think Honey G has got as good a chance as anybody else but it’s up to the public.’
Sharon Osbourne was criticised for putting Honey G through to the live heats
Honey G – real name Anna Georgette Gilford – performs in a baseball cap, ripped jeans and sunglasses.
X Factor fans have questioned her vocal abilities and her claims to be an authentic ‘urban artist’, pointing out that she has a privileged middle-class background and was privately educated.
Osbourne was slammed after choosing Honey G, 35, over other acts deemed to be more talented. Fans of rejected singer Samantha Atkinson even launched a petition demanding she be reinstated.
Osbourne said: ‘Sam is a great, great, singer. But its not about who is the most talented. It’s about who the public like.
‘It’s not just about the voice, it’s about their personality, it’s about their story. The petition’s all too late, nothing is going to change. So its really a waste of everybody’s energy.’
Osbourne admitted that Cowell had rung her to query her decision but said she had stuck to her guns. ‘Of course Simon called me. I just said, “Simon, don’t start on me.”’
The 63-year-old wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne has returned as a judge after a three-year break and is thought to have boosted the show’s ratings.
- The X Factor continues tonight at 8pm on ITV.
Fans of Samantha Atkinson launched a petition demanding she is reinstated on the show
Honey G has been a controversial contestant since she was included in Sharon Osbourne's team on the live heats
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