Original X Factor judges from the very first Season of X Factor UK, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, and Louis Walsh are under fire for blatantly fat-shaming a pregnant contestant after a video clip from her audition in 2004 resurfaced.
The clip was recently rediscovered and shared on Twitter by an individual with the handle @RussellHayward. The tweet featured a full-length audition piece that was originally aired back in 2004.
The contestant was a woman named Samantha who appeared to be an average size curvy woman with a warm and bubbly personality that Simon himself admitted to being drawn to.
She told judges and producers how excited she was to be there. She also revealed she had just gotten married a week prior and had canceled her honeymoon to be there to perform.
What happened next is what seems to have put the internet up in arms.
After performing a pleasant rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” the judges proceeded to verbally tear the young newlywed apart. Instead of judging her on the merit of her performance, the judges focused on her size and appearance.
The three judges began to talk about the contestant and discussed her appearance almost as if she was not standing right before them.
“I think you should have gone on your honeymoon. I really do. It’s nothing special,” said Louis Walsh
Simon then followed with comments equally as hurtful, “You sound nice but you look like a shop girl that’s the problem.”
— Metro Entertainment (@Metro_Ents) January 12, 2019
Samantha let the rude comments slide as she was determined to push her way into the next round. She told the judges that she understood their concerns and it was something she could “work on.”
She then proceeded to tell the judges that she was dedicated to her journey and that she would do anything to get a chance to perform. She followed up by telling Simon, “I know what you’re saying.”
Simon asked, “What am I saying?”
“That I am overweight, basically,” she quickly responded.
Simon replied, “You are. You really are.”
Unfortunately for Samantha, the humiliation wasn’t over just yet.
Absolutely no excuse for this whatsoever. https://t.co/1t2xByKIRV
— Metro Entertainment (@Metro_Ents) January 11, 2019
Louis Walsh voted no, stating that she was “mission impossible.” Then, Simon voted yes because he wanted to see how dedicated she was to lose the weight.
Putting the decision in Sharon Osbourne’s hands, the only female judge at the time voted yes but told Samantha she needed to “go on a diet.”
Posted with the caption, “I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW HARSH THEY USED TO BE ON THE X FACTOR. This poor woman. Imagine the uproar if they said this now,” just 48 hours ago, the tweet has accumulated over 10,000 retweets and just shy of 40,000 likes. Nearly 1,000 individuals have also taken the time to stop and comment on the tweet.
Season 1 X Factor winner Steve Brookstein even chimed in on the post, “Louis Walsh said I looked like a serial killer. Sharon called me a f***ing c*nt. Yeah, so pretty harsh.”
According to Metro, it was later learned that Samantha was pregnant at the time of the audition. After learning the video clip had resurfaced on social media, Samantha did reach out to the individual who posted the clip on Twitter via DM.
— ????Russell (@RussellHayward) January 11, 2019
“You want to let everyone know I’m alive and kicking! A friend sent me the link today so I joined Twitter to have a read!! It was brutal to watch looking back but like a good wine I got better with age,” Samantha penned in her DM.