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.