Dannii Minogue outing Danyl Johnson as gay

In a night of 70% forgettable performances, the opening night of [[The X Factor 2009|X Factor]] will forever be remembered for Dannii Minogue suggesting that singer [[Danyl Johnson]] might be gay.

After a storming rendition of And I'm Telling You, (covered by Lisa here) Danyl took a touch of criticism from Louis Walsh for being overconfident. Immediately afterward, Dannii Minogue said (quoting from Unreality TV's liveblog tonight:

A true X Factor performance. But if we’re to believe everything we read in the paper, he didn’t need to change the gender reference in it. [Oooh, tumbleweed rolls across the stage as Dannii cast aspersions about Danyl's sexuality LIVE on air. Danyl's raging. He's really upset. Jesus, Minogue, what have you done?]

To make matters worse, [[Simon Cowell|Simon]] leaned in and made her repeat herself. The camera flicked to Danyl on the stage looking distinctly upset and at one point he turned away from the camera. Dannii's remarks were met with a stony silence, and Cheryl Cole jumped in with her comments to fill the empty space. When Cheryl was finished, Simon leaped to Danyl's defense and sternly told Dannii:

You can forget playing any of those games with him, I won’t have it. This guy deserves a break, he sang his heart out, he deserves it.


In a week where the reality TV news was dominated by Anton Du Beke's racial slur against Strictly Come Dancing partner Laila Rouass, Dannii Minogue's comments will bring a touch of scandal to ITV.

Kind of puts show host Dermot O'Leary's comments about Du Beke in the shade. Speaking about the Strictly scandal, Dermot claimed that it wouldn't happen on X Factor:

I don’t want to trade low blows to Strictly but the thing about The X Factor is it does show modern Britain and a lot of positives to do with British society.

But then, Dannii's Australian, isn't she? Still, live on Saturday night primetime TV is not the best time to be outed as gay, is it?

I've been tracking the public reaction to Dannii's comments on our posting over on Unreality TV, and the general consensus is that people are outraged that she would bring sexuality up on a live show. Here are a few comments left by people on the site:

I seriously could not believe Danni’s comment tonight! I hope she gets some repercussions – whether it be complaints to the show or a decline in ppl who actually like her!! How DARE she bring ‘what the papers say’ up on national prime time TV. Its plain dirty tactics in an attempt to lose him votes. regardess of his sexuality

I am shocked and appalled. She should be sacked. You wouldn't get away with saying something about someone's race - and someone's sexuality should be no different. Come on people - contact Ofcom and get the homophobic, small minded, bigoted idiot in trouble!

Who does she think she is? Danyl’s sexual preference has absolutely nothing to do with the X Factor and nothing to do with Dannii. So what if he's straight, bi or gay, he's still a great talent. His performance was the best tonight and he deserved to be praised. The whole show was weird and the judges are getting way too competitive.

We've been in contact with the X Factor press team, and are waiting for an official line from the production to see what will happen next. Complaints are already being made to Ofcom by some viewers, and other commentators are suggesting that Dannii needs to make a public apology regarding the matter.

Storm In A Teacup?

Dan Wooton, a journalist for News Of The World tweeted an explanation: Danyl himself has been open about his sexuality, and the News Of The World ran a story about it weeks ago:

@danwootton I must just stress Dannii did NOT out Danyl. He did it himself weeks ago in the News of the World!

However, he does note that many people might not understand Dannii's reference to their story, hence the outrage over tonight's seemingly inappropriate outburst. Hackford Jones, who are handling some of the publicity for the show, retweeted the message to help people understand the source of the comment.

On the other hand, there will always be a number of people who don't think a performer's sexuality should be relevant, especially in a popularity contest like X Factor.

Blog Categories: 


Lydia's picture

I think that the comment about Danyl's sexuality was extremely out of order. I mean, what on earth does that have to do with his live peformance? Yes, he's a cocky so and so but there was absolutely no need to humiliate him on national TV like that. I have a feeling she'll be in trouble for that one!

robbiefand's picture

Why? Is being gay humiliating TO YOU?? Danni's question although inappropriate was innocent, its everyone's reaction to it thats comparing being gay as "humiliating, shameful, embaressing".Anyone happy and comfortable with there sexuality would have accepted this comment along with all the other far hurtful 'you haven't won it yet' comments.Danyl entered this comp knowing his private life would be exposed, so shouldn't act hurt when a perfectly logical comment is made regarding his song, (remember it was a comment regarding his songs change of wording, not a direct 'I 'm out to expose you' attack of some kind :(

Gerard McGarry's picture

I don't think that's the deal at all. I think people are saying that his sexuality has nothing to do with his ability to perform.

robbiefand's picture

Of course it doesn't but Danni didn't say or imply in any way that it did?? She was refering to the wording not the performance?

Miss Frank's number 1 fan's picture

The worst thing about her stupid comment was the suggestive pause at the end "...no?" which she said TWICE, as in trying to get some sort of verification from him on his sexual preference, or have an open debate on the issue. That is why its awful, it made it look like she's trying to dig for gossip or scandal, on live tv! I know Danyl has outted himself through the press, but that's his decision and his right to do so. It has nothing to do with Danni, his performance or the x factor - she was well and truly bang out of order.

chris's picture

I'll tell you what Mrs. Minogue has been doing: It is called sexual harassment. A person in a position of power over someone else, like Mrs. Minogue as one of the judges on "X Factor", making comments about the sexuality of someone else is sexual harassment, plain and simple. Now this hasn't happened in a private setting, but in front of millions of people. No wonder that there is such an outrage. What do you think was the intention? Do you really believe that the intention was to discuss the choice of words in a song? Please. The intention, probably planned well in advance, was to cause embarrassment to an excellent singer, at a time and in a situation when he was not in any position to defend himself. 

robbiefand's picture

As I already said Dannii's comments were inappropriate, but I do not believe they were an intentional attack on Danyl. E.G A black singer changing the wording in a song which expressed they were white or vice versa? Why would you do that? Its the same principle, why alter the wording only to keep narrow the minded public happy?  I don't think I know of many if any gay songwriters/artists that openly sing there songs according to there gender preference. And why not? There is nothing wrong with it and like Danyl himself said 'he is not ashamed'. This is the point, (although badly done and badly timed) I think Danni was trying to make.

willow's picture

i think she should leave now, she said alot of nasty comments, she reduced that man to tears for being gay. she brought a nasty vibe to a really enjoyable show. i thought this was the 21st century. i really never understood the point of her, shes only famous because her sister has a horses face.

Rob's picture

How dare you insult the faboulous and gorgeous Minogue sisters - if your such an oil painting yourself then post a picture - are you even real you have moved the debate from a reference to a wording in a song to looks?!  Get a grip

Lisa's picture

Dannii didnt make Danyl cry.  It was after Cherlys comment that he was cocky and hadnt won the show yet, that he started crying.  He has already come out as gay in the papers so Danniis comment wouldnt have shocked him.  And it is something a lot of people already knew.  Dannii is a big supporter of gay rights so she is not homophobic.  Her comment was naive and ill-judged but not nasty and bitchy.

Tom's picture

I've never written on a message board before but I'm furious that Danni who is clearly moderately intelligent at least thought it was a good idea or entertaining to bring up a contestants sexuality (and the last contestant of the night at that).

The fact is - it was neither entertaining nor appropriate nor fun - it was simply stupid and unprofessional.

You know she'll be making a public apology in the results show and I can also imagine that Danyl will say "it's okay and I like Danni - she didn't mean to upset me" or words to that effect.

If he genuinely forgives her then that's great as it was a comment towards him not you or I. I hope this puts an end to absurd comments on such high profile shows.

We'll see...

Rob's picture

Get a grip my fellow homosexuals!  At first we are mortified like you were but when we rewinded it on Sky Plus and resaw the comment and Danyl's reaction it wasnt that bad.  All she was saying was why should he change the reference from man to woman in the song.  Look at Will Young - he is an out gay singer and still sings ballads with reference to a man and woman.  In a gay tolerant society Danyl should be able to sing about a man and man and that was all what Danni was saying.

All she was repeating was what was in the papers - like the other Judges were doing about John and Edward.  Its all a storm in a teacup - god bless ya and love you always Danni xxx

Anonymous's picture

Well im still fuming from her comment. ifo ty wasnt fo her gay fans where wuld she and her sister be ? hmmm


Totally inexcusable if ya ask me and i think she should appoligise to him tommrow night on air for being suck B**CH !
Who cares about sexuality,  Austin.... (cough.. cough)
i didn;t se any remarks there. and he was clearly no mistakenly gay.
Tut Tut miss Minouge. I'm Ashamed for you.
Anonymous's picture

Soooo Is Danni Minogue Homophobic, sexist or just plain nasty, those comments were outrageous, and clearly well thought out and pre-planned, She should be sacked and I wont watch the X-Factor again till she is gone. That was way beyond an appology ! Bye Danni.........

Anonymous's picture

She should not have made them comments. According the the Ofcom regulations I think she is defintly in the wrong...the comment came across as being intended to  humiliate him / get female voters not to vote for him. If this comment was made in a UK office that member of staff could expect to be geting a warning letter or worse fired...and why should things not be the same for her.

Papers can / do report what they want and you have to deal with it but someone deciding to bring it up right in front of him, face to face, LIVE is not on!!!

Anonymous's picture

It is completely unnacceptable that on the first night of live shows when all competitors are fragile Danni Minogue should deem it appropriate to make allegations about sexuality based on tabloid press gossip. My respect for Danyl remains unchanged, but Danni should be removed without ceremony for her pathetic attempt to bring dishonour on another judges act. Grow up the lot of you - its not about you , its about the competitors.

Anonymous's picture

Danyl outsed himself ages ago, as stated above. Dannii is not homophobic, she is a gay activist!! If you cant get your facts right, you people really shouldnt comment. This world is too quick to judge.

Soapstar's picture

So just because someone has been a gay activist in the past it means that they are at liberty to make innapropriate comments to someones sexuality?? Therefore by your theory someone that has campaigned for animal rights can up and beat a dog to death because they have campaingned for their rights in the past. What crazy logic!

Moo's picture

You can't seriously compare a misplaced comment to beating a dog to death, the two aren't even remotely linked.  I'd say that's more insulting than Dannii's stupid comment.

And I do think she made a stupid comment, not because she "outed" him - which is simply untrue - but because it had no place in the competition.  He could be a proud gay man like me, or he could have been in the closet (to everyone, to friends, to family, to his students and their parents - whoever) - the Judges have no place delving into someone's personal life like that, regardless.  It has no place on the show.  Funny thing is, people don't react this way if it's something that tugs at the heart strings.  Should we not be just as outraged when they talk about their contestant's hardships?  Their pasts?  Their ills?

I think the way she said it probably didn't help though.  It did sound as though it wasn't an innocent question, I think she intended to put him on the spot to throw him off.  Silly woman.

She did something stupid but to take offence is being overzealous to the extreme.

Anonymous's picture

Gay...... Not gay, does it matter.  What does it have to do with the Xfactor performance?  Dannii's comments were totally uncalled for, she's paid too much to behave like that.  In fact it was like a witch hunt after poor Danyl's performance.  I've never posted on this site before, just had to do something.  I think she should be sacked!!

Anonymous's picture

She was wrong. His sexuality could be common knowledge to the whole world but, and the big but, is the silence and atmosphere in the theatre after her comment was made. Making him stand on that stage in that moment, faced with the pressure of everyones reaction to her clever comment was what was cruel. The mentors have a responsibility to protect the artists, ALL of the artists in a very vicious business.  This isn't or at least shouldn't be a blood sport and if the mentors want to make it one, they shouldn't be there.

Danyllalltheway's picture

Sadly, X Factor is not a singing competition, if it was then they wouldn't go to their homes and all get a chance to talk about their 'humble' backgrounds, their brother who is in prison, their Dad who left when they were three, their sister who is a crack whore over looping Take That ballads (you get my drift). With that in mind, it was not a homophobic comment.  She simply said why change the lyrics if he were indeed bisexual/gay?  The answer is probably easy, because we are still scared to openly acknowledge gay people in society and the fact that a guy could sing about a guy.  I think Dannii must be surrounded by gay guys all the time and she performs regularly at G-A-Y club.  She must think she should have made a comment about his vocals now but really its not bad to ask why a gay/bi guy has to fiddle with the lyrics.

Dee's picture

If Danyl Johnson is gay, he shouldn’t have been outed during a live broadcasting. That was extremely cruel. Also, if he isn’t gay, this has put him into an impossible defensive situation which is equally cruel.

In any case, it is irrelevant what is Danyl Johnson’s sexual orientation, as it is his private matter. It is up to him if he wishes to discuss it or not. It should not be ever discussed on TV. Especially as he is a teacher and this can have long-term impact on his work.

I work as a diversity and equality officer for a large institution, and if one of my colleagues did what Minogue did tonight, they would be disciplined.

I believe Minogue should apologise for her behaviour and ITV should be made accountable for this. I will be writing a complaint to Ofcom.

Anonymous's picture

I am disgusted at Dannii's comment. I understand it's not homophobic as such, but just damn rude. She had no right to bring up his sexuality. He's a primary school teacher, and he knew that the children he teaches would probably be watching, so maybe that's why he changed the lyrics! She didn't consider that! He even said "I'm not ashamed!" so it's not like he doesn't want people to know he's gay/bisexual. If Dannii Minogue doesn't make a public apology to him, i will be shocked because she was bang out of order! Danyl is a fanstic performer, and at the end of the day the show is about the music, not the contestants sexual preferences. Dannii most certainly lost a large proportion of the publics respect tonight. I wouldn't be suprised if the press crucify her tommorrow, and good riddance if they do, she deserves it after that cheap, nasty shot!

Danyllalltheway's picture

Why should he change the lyrics for school kids? He's gay not a pedophile! Your comment is far more insulting than what Dannii said. 


Leeds's picture

...it's a family show and I can only imagine lots of parents having to give a sex education lesson at the end of X-Factor, rather than discussing the family's favourites. This is a talent show about singing. Dannii was below the belt trying to bring his sexuality into a line change in a song. Am I not allowed to sing any male vocal songs because I am a woman? He should've been merited on his performance as a singer. Whether he outed himself weeks ago, or Dannii outed him tonight to those of us who didn't know, the fact remains - it was unnecessary and a low point for Dannii's non-career. She should be sacked, sorry, but this would not be allowed in the workplace. What an archaic comment.

SB's picture

 "I can only imagine lots of parents having to give a sex education lesson at the end of X-Factor, rather than discussing the family's favourites"

This is actually a positive, children should be encouraged to discuss  sexual orientation instead of it being avoided.

"Dannii was below the belt trying to bring his sexuality into a line change in a song"

She said he didn't need to change the words, she is right again. If he is gay/bi as he admitted last weekend why not be proud about  it instead of changing the gender of the song. Big fuzz about nothing in my book.

Gerard McGarry's picture

Just to add to this comment - I think Dannii's comments were well enough veiled that kids wouldn't understand the sexual reference. Anyone who understood what she was saying would have been old enough to deal with it.

Plus, what's wrong with educating kids about sexuality anyway?

london's picture

Fire Danni - totally uncalled for


Anonymous's picture

Danni has a very short memory.................If she flicks back a few years, she will have found herself slapped all over 'The News Of The World' for performing an 'Illicit' act on another female.....oh yes caught on CCTV in a nightclub!!  So what is her sexuality????

She should be ashamed, she knew Danyl was a teacher, and probably all of the school kids were watching him.   So what if he is gay, Bi sexual, this is 2009, and it has no reflection on his voice, he was amazing!!!!   tut tut tut Danni............The only person you humiliated was............YOURSELF......


Anonymous's picture

well watever the papers said about dnyl, i know one thing, that danii will defo be in them tomoz/today. seen as she loves readin them an all see how she likes readin bout herself....

Anonymous's picture

Danni's conduct was appalling.

I'm not upset about the sexual orientation references per se.  That was just totally rude and innappropriate and totally irrelevant to his performance and no ones business.

Whats upset me is the bullying aspect to it.  it was car crash TV.  There's enough nastiness out there both in real life, on the news and in many other media forms such as hard tough films and documentaries.

The X Factor is LIVE singing competition on Sat night when all the family can watch something together that supposedly ISN'T NASTY or below the belt.

THATS whats upset me. 





Anonymous's picture

I was really surprised at the judges reaction to Danyl on X-factor tonight.  Having watched his performances and heard his singing, I thought right from the start he was too good for the show and a real performer - though there seems to be more talent this year than most...  It was appalling to see the guy being treated so badly - actually by Louis and Cheryl too - but Dannii's comment's were totally offensive. It was pretty shocking to hear in this day and age.  He has a great voice and considerable talent - it was a bit like watching a witchhunt. This is supposed to be entertaining - and we should not have to watch someone being humiliated like this live on tv.

Anonymous's picture

x factor is a singing competition danyl was amazing hes sexual orientation has nothing to do with it it was malicious and uncalled for! she should make a public apology to danyl and the public on tomorrows results show! simon should take actiojn on this occasion as any homophobic comments cannot be tollerated in any way shape or form!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture

dannii minogue's comments tonight about contestant danyl johnson were out of order, wether the rumours are true or not , his sexual preference should not come in to it or his personal life, this could affect danyl  if he ever returns to his teaching job & no doubt many of his pupils would have been watching tonights show. dannii has already done the damage "  dannii should appoligize on air on sundays results show thats the least she can do "

Anonymous's picture

Surely some people are missing the point. Its not what she was said but the way she said it, the language she used. 'Rumours in the paper etc' suggest something that is not known, or with our tabloid culture that someone is hiding something. To me, watching it, not having watched any of xfactor before, it did seem almost an attack, almost like she was suggesting he was hiding something. Of course looking into the story this is not the case, though 'm guessing thier our loads of people who don't follow every tiny thing about X-Factor. For me its nothing to do whether he is bi-sexual, its that Dannii made it seem to people that he is hiding his sexuality, or he is ashamed of it, which he clearly isn't.

Dannii could have phrased it so many different way for it too sound encouraging, but she didn't.

Daniel's picture

Has anyone considered the fact that she may find his sexuality such a non event that it didn't occur to her that bringing it up on TV would cause such offence? Why does everyone think being gay or being accused of being day is SOOOOO offensive? Would someone be equally offended if Dannii implied someone was heterosexual? Who cares if he is a school teacher. Being gay is a fact of life - no matter what age. If a family needs to discuss homosexuality with their children after their weekly fix of x-factor, then good. At least those children will be prepared for the real work. When people make an issue of it like this, it implies that it's not right or not normal. It shouldn't be issue.

Dannii we love you!

Big gay Dan x

Anonymous's picture

your missing the point !!! dannii need't implied anything, his personal life is his own, he may not of wanted his school or pupils to know about his personal life ,it is not for dannii minogue to make judgements, this is live show at the end of the day & you have to be careful about comments you make on air.

willow's picture

i think she should leave now, she said alot of nasty comments, she reduced that man to tears for being gay. she brought a nasty vibe to a really enjoyable show. i thought this was the 21st century. i really never understood the point of her, shes only famous because her sister has a horses face.

Julien F.'s picture

it's not because Danyl said clearly that he was bi in the papers, that she has the right to repeat it in front of everybody, she might wanted to be funny or something but it was a terrible thing to say in this context, so what, if she admits she did porn he just can shout it on live tv a saturday night?this is just ridiculous, even though Louis's comments were ruthless, they were constructive and it was about the competition, she just played bitchy and she has lost all my respect, as far as i'm concerned, i want her out

james's picture

i dont understand what would bring her to say such a stupid thing! she should apologise for what she said it was just plain thick. and her music is terrible. maybe shes jealous because danyl can sing a girls song better than her and her sister put togeather. f*ckin MORON!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture

Dannii’s behaviour and comment was appalling. If the comment had occurred in an employment setting it would have been considered grounds for harassment and bullying.

Homophobic crime is one of the highest forms of hate crime reported to the Police, and a comment of this nature on a show as influential as X Factor implies that it is acceptable behaviour. I have reported this matter to Ofcom, Stonewall and as a hate incident to the Metropolitan Police.

Moo's picture

Whilst I agree that her comment was silly, and completely out of place, I think that the heated reaction from so many here is perhaps just as bad.  When people start to use terms like "homophobe" so frivolously it simply waters down the very idea behind it, and suddenly there's no line between true anti-gay acts or statements and negative comments that happen to feature sexuality.  When that line becomes indistinguishable, you lose the battle for equality.

How anyone can accuse her of being homophobic is beyond me.  Her comment didn't contain malice towards Danyl's sexuality, she didn't intend to 'out' him because she felt the public needed to know of his heinous sin, she didn't attack his being gay - her comment foolishly winked at the media and rumours of his sexuality.  Plain and simple.

As a gay man I fully support fighting homophobia, and all forms of bigoted behaviour but frankly I think people citing this as an example is just hurling yet another stone at progress.  It's hard enough to get people to take actual homophobia seriously, incidents like this being highlighted for more than what they are only hinders progress because it looks as though we're merely creating an enemy to further an agenda.  This sort of thing only helps to reinforce those views.

I must concur with an earlier statement: Get a grip people.

Anonymous's picture

If Simon Cowell was so bothered about any questioning of Danyl's sexual orientation then why did he make him sing such a diva song in the first place? The whole thing was bound to raise a few eyebrows. I think it was a stage-managed publicity stunt using false outrage.

willow's picture

i think she should leave now, she said alot of nasty comments, she reduced that man to tears for being gay. she brought a nasty vibe to a really enjoyable show. i thought this was the 21st century. i really never understood the point of her, shes only famous because her sister has a horses face.

Squirrel's picture

The only reason that makes sense for Adam Lambert losing American Idol this year had to have been homophobia, and little girls not wanting to vote for him because of it.  I think that NOT KYLIE twunt was grasping at whatever she could to take Danyl down so she could have a chance of winning this year.

robbiefand's picture

If by being gay means Danyl will lose the competition, then I think that is a real reflection on us as a society, not one person's comment. Which although ill placed and badly done, was not intended as a 'below the belt' tactical blow. If you truly believe a person can lose this show due to gender preference, then we are all to blame for being absolute idiots!

Anonymous's picture

All guys in that show are gay, who cares?

Lisa's picture

Dannii didnt make Danyl cry.  It was after Cherlys comment that he was cocky and hadnt won the show yet, that he started crying.  He has already come out as gay in the papers so Danniis comment wouldnt have shocked him.  And it is something a lot of people already knew.  Dannii is a big supporter of gay rights so she is not homophobic.  Her comment was naive and ill-judged but not nasty and bitchy.

vikki's picture

Is it me or do half the people commenting on the Danni\Danyl
thing need to get a GRIP!!???
The guy has openly admitted being gay to the press,
so why should he,or why would he take offence to a remark
about whether or not he sings a love song to a man or a woman?
I am a straight woman - if I'd just belted out a song about a woman
Leaving me, surely anybody who had just listened to it would ask
why the song hadn't been directed at somebody of the male
species? That wouldn't offend me in the slightest.
Why then would a gay man take offence at a comment
About gender reference, unless he was ASHAMED or EMBARRASSED
About being gay?????!!!!!
I think anybody who is offended or bothered by Dannii's
remark, needs to ask WHY they are upset by this..
Why would a gay man( who has already TOLD the public
that he is what he is) be offended by somebody saying that
maybe a love song could have\should have been
directed to a man!!?? I don't get it...
We live in an age now where we don't bat an eyelid at
Homosexuality.....why are people so enraged at a reference to a man being
Gay when he openly and unashamedly is!!??
Am I missing something here ????!!!!!!