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X Factor 2016: Simon Cowell slammed for ‘sexism’ after telling Nicole Scherzinger to ‘shut up’

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/11/2016 Emma Powell
Simon Cowell © Provided by Evening Standard Limited Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell came under attack from X Factor viewers after he told fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger to “shut up”.

The music mogul, 57, interrupted Scherzinger, 38, as she attempted to give feedback on his contestant Sam Lavery’s performance during disco week.

Scherzinger was critical of the 17-year-old’s slowed down rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and told he she needs to “unleash”.

She said: “My favourite part of that entire song is when you put your foot out and stomp it and you slip because you came to life. 

“You sound amazing Sam, but I think the song has the wrong tempo. It was too slow for me. Your voice has a fire behind it and I wanted you to unleash that on stage.”

As Scherzinger wrapped up her criticism, Cowell put his hand in the air and told her to “shut up”.

Sam Lavery © Provided by Evening Standard Limited Sam Lavery Viewers were unimpressed by his interruption and expressed their anger at his actions on Twitter.

One user tweeted: “Simon comes across as a real sexist pig telling Nicole to "shut up" every week. She should deck him tbh #XFactor.”

Another commented: “Even for Simon that was rude! Telling the beautiful @NicoleScherzy to shut up!! #XFactor.”

Scherzinger wasn’t the only judge who was left disappointed by Lavery’s performance.

Louis Walsh – who is mentoring the groups said: “I kept wanting you to turn it into the disco anthem that it is. For me that was a bit slow I have to agree with Nicole.”

Osbourne – who is looking after the over 25s said: “Same you’ve probably never heard of that song you’re so young. You sang it well but I want to see another side of you and use the stage. You were sassy with the song.”

Cowell defended his song choice, saying: “If we’d have done the original version it could have been a bit karaoke. This is the first time since you’ve been on the live show that I’ve felt you controlled the song. It felt like your version. You’re very gutsy Sam. I think it worked.”

Cowell later faced the same criticism when his second contestant Emily Middlemas performed a slow version of Rose Royce’s Wishing On A Star.

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