Is One Direction’s Liam Payne Being Lined Up For Sexual Tension On X-Factor?

For weeks now the majority of One Direction gossip has centered on Liam Payne’s relationship with Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. It would be fair to say that many One Direction fans have not bought into Liam’s new romance. Few would argue that Liam’s new relationship is a peculiar one, Cheryl is after all 10-years Payne’s senior, and more controversially she is married.

Those concerns about Liam’s “new love” pale into insignificance when it is considered that news of Payne and Fernandez-Versini’s relationship was revealed in the Sun in February. Worse still, the story was broken by Dan Wootton, a reporter that many One Direction fans despise. Wootton has never been popular with Payne’s fans, but his unpopularity reached fever pitch last year when he claimed that Payne’s bandmates Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles despise each other. The fact is that Payne’s fanbase assume any story about One Direction in the Sun is a lie until it is proven otherwise.

As any fan of Liam Payne and One Direction will be all too aware that many fans believe that Liam and his bandmates have been forced into numerous PR stunts by the One Direction management team, and the Sun has been a key player in that charade. As previously reported in the Inquisitr, the links between Simon Cowell, One Direction’s management team, and the Sun are more that a little incestuous.

Those links have come to the fore again today. Wootton and the Sun have launched Bizarre TV, a new column in the U.K. tabloid. Of the millions of celebrities who could have been interviewed to launch the column Wootton selected Cowell to talk about Liam Payne, Cheryl and X-Factor.

According to the Daily Mail Cowell was more than happy to talk about Liam and Cheryl, and insisted that their romance was not a PR stunt.

“I saw them together and we had a really nice dinner. They were on good form. They’re like two little chipmunks madly in love. Literally they were so cute.

“But importantly they both seemed very happy over here and very relaxed. I’m happy for them.”

Simon even claimed that he had no idea that Payne and Cheryl were dating until he read about it in the Sun. Of course Liam’s fans are well aware that Cowell is desperate to save the X-Factor, the show that gave rise to One Direction. The show has been struggling for years and a revamp for the last season led to its lowest ever viewing figures. Both Payne and bandmate Louis Tomlinson have been linked as a replacement for Harry Styles pal Nick Grimshaw, who was sacked after the last season.

Current gossip has it that Payne has moved ahead of Tomlinson for a possible judging role alongside Cheryl on the failing show. According to the Mirror, Cowell says that Liam and Cheryl are “madly in love,” so a big public bust up just before the next season of X-Factor would add an element of sexual tension between two judges if Liam and Cheryl are both on the panel.

Of course, it may well be that Payne and Cheryl are indeed in a loving relationship. If that is the case, Payne’s fans will doubtless wish them every happiness, but they will certainly resent Cowell using Liam to publicize his show between seasons.

One of the reasons that so many fans despise Cowell and the rest of One Direction’s management so much is because they believe that Payne and his bandmates have been sexualized purely to make money for Cowell and Syco. Even with Payne and his bandmates on hiatus, it seems that there is no end in sight for that particular form of exploitation.

At present, it is not clear whether or not either Liam or Cheryl will appear on the next season of X-Factor. According to the Daily Record, Cowell would like to bring back both Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, and it is expected that an announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

Whether or not Payne and Cheryl do make an appearance on the judging panel, many of Liam’s fans will believe that Payne is being used to keep us talking about a show that seems to be dying on its feet.

[Photo by: KGC-305/STAR MAX/IPx/AP]

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