Misdirected Ire?

Nearly 4,000 people complain about a talent show reference to bisexuality

Bi stories erupted all over the press for a week in October after an “X Factor” contestant talked about relationships with men and women and said he wouldn’t rule someone out based on their gender.

But the furore wasn’t about his sexuality – it was about one of the judging panel reminding him and the viewers about it.

After Danyl Johnson’s performance the judging panel made their comments.  When it came to her turn, Dannii challenged him: “Danyl – a fantastic performance, a true X Factor performance, turning a girl’s song into a guy’s song – but if we’re to believe everything we read in the paper maybe you didn’t need to change the gender reference in it?”

Fellow judge Simon Cowell yelped a shocked “What did you say?” and got a repeat of the line from Dannii – and thousands of complaints rolled in.  The gist seems to have been that she was seeking to undermine a contestant by using his sexuality against him.  But was she?  It looks to me more like challenging the idea that to win in the competition and make it in the music biz, the contestant needed to mask his ‘gay side’ as bisexuality would put people off.

Writing on Twitter, Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton said: “Just watched again. Cheryl [Cole] began the slot by saying, ‘He’s singing a woman’s song – it’s ridiculous’. So the lyrics must have been changed because it must be a problem for a man to sing a song about another man.”

So another judge opined that he mustn’t “sing a woman’s song”, and the 3,885 complaints to OFCOM were about Dannii?