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Sharon Osbourne wasn’t impressed with last year’s X Factor judging panel

Criticism for 2015’s youthful panel continues to pour in as Mrs O says last year’s acts should have been telling Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw what to do

Published: Monday, 15th August 2016 at 9:37 am

Returning X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne has joined in the criticism of last year’s panel, saying the newer mentors didn’t have a long enough career to tell others what to do.


In a nod to the youthful 2015 panel – which saw pop star Rita Ora and radio DJ Nick Grimshaw join returning panellists Simon Cowell and Cheryl – Mrs O wasn’t sugar coating her words:

“If I was a contestant and there was a young girl or guy on the panel, who’s had success but not long success because they are so young, and they were telling me what I should and shouldn’t do, I would tell them what to do. I would.

“I think when you are advising people on their career, it always comes better from people who have had experience through age and who have had a long career themselves,” she said, speaking to the Sun on Sunday.

“If somebody has just happened, and they are two years into their career, then they can’t tell someone what to do, or what they feel they should do.

“Or they can tell them, but the person they’re telling is going to be like: ‘Who are you? Are you going to be here in five years?’ They haven’t passed the test of time yet.”

It’s not the first time the panel has come under fire. Cowell himself has admitted it didn’t “feel great”, telling the Mirror that the minute the new-look panel was announced there was a lot of talk of it being a “mistake”.

Louis Walsh, who is among those returning to panel this year, also hasn’t been backwards at coming forwards with his complaints.

“We didn’t want Rita Ora,” he told Best magazine of re-casting this year's show. “It turned into a fashion show […] The panel didn’t have the right credentials. They were lightweight.”

But Mrs Osbourne is confident in this year’s group, which sees the familiar line-up of Walsh, Osbourne, Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger teaming up.

“We – Simon, Nicole, Louis and I – have all got decades in the business,” Osbourne said.

“It’s great to work with Nicole on a technical level because — one artist to another — she can get up there with the contestants. She will sing with them, tell them technical things.

“Louis knows what he’s looking for as a manager. And I always look at artists and think, ‘How are we going to market this artist? What can we do with them? Where do they fit in the music industry today?’

“So we all bring something to the table. I think time is a great thing, we can read each other.”

As for the contestants, Mrs O has got a stern warning for them, too. Notably those just looking for fame:

“It’s the same all over the world — people just want to be famous. Do you want to be an artist or do you want to be a celebrity? There’s a huge difference. There are people who don’t want credibility.

“They just want the fame, the quick rise, the money, the attention — and those people don’t last. They really don’t.”


The X Factor returns to ITV at the end of this month


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