Tuesday 28 February 2017

‘Is this not Hell on Earth?’ - X Factor’s 6 Chair Challenge prompts viewer backlash

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Rita consoling Karen Mav after the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Rita consoling Karen Mav after the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Rita consoling Karen Mav after the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of (left-right) Havva Rebke, Lauren Murray, Kiera Weathers, Rita Ora, Monica Michaels, Louisa Johnson and Chloe Paige during the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
Monica Michael X Factor
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Kiera Weathers during the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Kiera Weathers performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Chloe Paige performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Louisa Johnson performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Katie Coleman performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Havva Rebka performing at the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.

X Factor's controversial Six Chair Challenge is back and has come under fire, once again, from viewers who feel it is 'cruel' and 'twisted'.

Sunday night's episode of the ITV reality talent show saw the Girls category whittled down to just six to progress to judges' houses with mentor Rita Ora.

Contestants sang their hearts out for the four judges, including Simon Cowell, Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl Fernandez Versini, but it was ultimately Rita's decision who got through.

However, while some girls were awarded seats early on, they were later swapped for other girls who Rita deemed did a better job, a process which toyed horribly with everyone's emotions.

SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Monica Michaels and Lucy Duffield (right) during the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.
SYCO/THAMES TV Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Monica Michaels and Lucy Duffield (right) during the Six Chair Challenge during the ITV1 talent show, The X Factor.

At one point contestant Monica Michael (who had a chair, which she was worried about losing) whispered to the other girls, "Is this not hell on earth?".

The first successful chair candidate who was asked to leave was Chloe Baker who had to give up her seat for 17-year-old Louisa Johnson.  Then Havva Rebke took a seat from Charli Beard and then Karen Mav, Sharon Rose and Lucy Duffield all had to give up their seats.

Karen Mav found the news particularly difficult to take prompting Rita to take to the stage to give her a hug.

As the girls auditioned, Rita repeatedly looked to the baying audience for advice on which girl to replace, and the crowd screamed 'swap' and held up fingers corresponding to each girl's chair.

The process was brutal.

Viewers took to Twitter to voice their disapproval of the Challenge, which judge Cheryl had campaigned to have axed from the series to no avail.

Some deemed it too "harsh" and "cruel" while others stated they had erased X Factor from their series record and said that ITV should "be ashamed".

They were also unhappy with the fact that there will be four Six Chair Challenges, each two hours long.

Here's a taster of the response to Sunday night's show:

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