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Ex-Judge James Blunt Slams Australian X-Factor

7 September 2023 | 11:11 am | Mary Varvaris

"I didn’t enjoy it, and I struggle with The X Factor because it’s more TV show than music competition."

James Blunt

James Blunt (Source: Supplied)

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James Blunt, the master of poking fun of himself on social media, has revealed that his time on The X Factor Australia in 2015 is a period he doesn’t feel fond about.

“I didn’t enjoy it, and I struggle with The X Factor because it’s more TV show than music competition,” Blunt stated in a new interview with the Radio Times.

He continued, “The winners are always the judges' choices rather than the ones who do best each week. Seeing these hopefuls with their 15 minutes and their dreams shattered for ratings, I find quite painful.”

While Blunt was on The X Factor Australia, he was on the judging panel alongside Guy Sebastian, Dannii Minogue and Wicked Game crooner Chris Isaak. In the 2015 season, Isaak’s contestant, Cyrus Villanueva, was named the winner.

This year, Australian Idol returned to our screens to excited reviews, with Royston Sagigi-Baira, a First Nations singer from Cape York, crowned winner of the show for 2023. He took home the prize money of $100,000 and a recording contract with Sony Music Australia.

Australian Idol's original run ended in 2009 and had a strong radio and chart hits record. However, its predecessors, such as The Voice and Australia's Got Talent, have had progressively worse results, with many winners being ignored by radio and failing to chart.

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Earlier this year, Ed Sheeran collaborator and booming talent Budjerah said, “I’m quite glad [with] how it turned out, yeah,” after revealing that no judges turned for him on The Voice Australia in 2019.

Meanwhile, the 2023 season of The Voice has seen Australia fall in love with country artists Bella Mackenzie and The Bushwackers. All four judges were moved by The Bushwackers’ all-Australian spirit following their audition, where they performed I Am Australian with the local coaches – Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian – and international judges Jason Derulo and Rita Ora – applauding the duo’s dedication to inclusivity and community.

In 2021, Bella Mackenzie became the inaugural winner of the Groundwater Country Music Festival KIX-Start Competition, earning praise and recognition from one of Australia's most successful country music festivals and Australian country music radio. She’s been fast-tracked to the Battles round after her soulful rendition of Slide Away by Miley Cyrus during the Callbacks round.