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Why is X Factor adding to the pressure by sexing things up?

An interesting chat happened on Xtra Factor last Saturday night. Jack Walton, who is one of the many cute young lads on the show, told the presenter Sarah Jane that he and Mel B, his mentor, had had a bit of a falling out.

The reason? Mel wanted him to rip open his shirt during his performance. He felt uncomfortable with this and refused to do it.

It was an unusually awkward moment in a show that is normally fun, cheeky and full of banter. A sort of an arresting stillness came over the studio as the young singer made the public aware that these performers are at the beginning of a journey on which they will have to sell their souls and their bodies.

I don't know if X Factor is trying to sex things up this year, but the amount of flesh on show during Saturday night's live performances was incredible.


The troupe of sassy female dancers, hip high in bare leg and chest low in cleavage, were all over many of the acts. For the novice performers, it must be strange.

For the viewer, its unsettling. Paul Akister looked like he was surrounded by jelly fish - staring at the dancers like they were about to sting him, rather than move with him.

And poor Fleur had to get into a full-on lady on lady conga, gyrating in rhythm with the experienced chorus girls.

The schedule for the X Factor performers each week must be insane. But to land them now with a new remit - to sex it up, is not only challenging for them, it's possibly crossing a line.

And poor Jack Walton is learning that if he wants to get on in this game of talent shows, the top must pop off occasionally.