“You Told Me To Sing Pink!!” How X Factor Producers Set Zoe Alexander Up

August 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

Ella Ferguson will steal the headlines with her heart-melting performance in the first episode of this year’s X Factor (we totally had something in our eye by the way) but the prize for best stage exit must go to Zoe Alexander.

The Welsh Pink impersonator threw her mic to the ground, launched a stinging four-letter tirade at the judges, attacked a camera and shoved over an X Factor producer as she stormed off the stage.

Her reaction was outrageous, but she has explained that what we didn’t see was the way that X Factor producers strung her along for over a month and set her up for a fall. There’s no doubt it was captivating television, but was it made for the right reasons and should we feel comfortable watching someone exploited in such a way for our entertainment?

Gary Barlow & Co. explained told her that they were looking for a star of the future and not a tribute act, which is understandable. At this week’s launch event Louis protested that “we gave her two chances!” and that “she came dressed as Pink!” yet the Doublespeak on display was clear for all to see.

When one journalist pushed the judges on whether Zoe had been set up, they denied any involvement (completely plausible as the show has a string of preliminary judges who decide who goes forward and who doesn’t) and some ITV stooge explained that they’ve talked to her since and “she’s fine” before ignoring follow-up questions and moving on. Yet it wasn’t difficult to read between the lines. Dermott explained that it was her choice to sing Pink, but it’s clear that she was strongly encouraged to do so by producers. It’s a bit like your lawyer ‘advising’ you to plead guilty and claiming it was “your choice” when you get life.

Alexander’s reaction was obviously unacceptable (she was eventually cautioned by police for assaulting a producer) yet it if what she says about the way she was manipulated behind the scenes is true, it’s not hard to empathise with her on some level.

“When the judges rejected me I realised I had been manipulated by the X Factor for the previous six weeks,” she told The Daily Mirror in June. “They lured me in, coaxed me and even chose my song all with the intention of setting me up for a fall. I am really shocked at the lengths they will go to to set people up for humiliation.”

“They knew I had a bit of attitude on stage – which is nothing like I am in real life. When Gary Barlow told me I was just a Pink tribute act I was stunned – that’s exactly what the producers asked me to be. They mocked me and made fun out of what I do for a living.?

Some will say that ITV are in the business of making an entertainment show and people know what they’re signing up for (or at least they certainly should by now!) but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

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Tulisa Denies Exploiting ‘Aggressive’ X Factor Auditionee

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked
submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!

Prussia the awsome says:

omg how prefetic she should had expect the worse and besides u would be expecting the worse and if u don’t go though then just say “alright that’s ok at least i tried” not throw a fit like that because that would get u no were

Maria says:

@ What Have We Come To?:

Reality TV has never been reality…. in what part of your life is it normal to shove a camera in your face? Noone acts totally normal when a camera is around. Just think how you yourself would be if a camera was always around. Reality TV has always been fake and scripted, and the fact that people still hasn’t understood that just show how numb and daft people have become to what they see and experience.

The point is, even if the producers had encouraged her to be the Pink tribute act as she is, it was still her choice! Don’t stand on stage and explain the reason for entering the competion that you want to make your own identity outside your tribute act job, and show up in a Pink costume singing a Pink song, and expect to not get a reaction. Sure, she has the right to get mad and humiliated over what happened, but if your first reaction to rejection is with violence and nasty language, then that really shows your true colours and most people just don’t do that.
I don’t really have much sympathy with these people because the show has been on for years, they watch it and know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.

StevenCorbett says:

Reading between the lines of this article will reveal that you have absolutely 0 basis of fact for your claims that she was coaxed into singing Pink, your whole basis of the facts is literally you just writing ‘reading between the lines’.

Sorry, but this article is very misleading. If you’re going to criticise, at least set an example by not employing those same methods you chose to have a go at in the first place!.

katerina bartusova says:

I was at Cardiff auditions and didn’t see it there. Nicole was wearing the same dress as in the show I saw on TV. It must have been total set up done either after or before the real audition in Cardiff was filmed.

Arun says:

That’s reality!

Nathanael says:

I looked all over the internet for an un-biased article, then when I eventually found it a load of morons had commented

Who would have thought it…

Arun says:

Zoey’s reaction was one of the few genuine things we see on so called ‘reality’ shows.

If she comes to London, I will buy tickets for her show.

Well done to her for not going quietly. If she had sheepishly left the stage like most of us in this country would have done, she would be finished as a professional entertainer. The experience would have probably put her off from taking any more risks for the rest of her life and her spirit would have been broken.

The producers may think that it is acceptable to use people like this to gain ratings, I hope the rest of us don’t.

Who committed the worst crime, Zoey with her reaction or the producers who misled her?

X factor got more viewings because of this. I hope Zoey can get some money out of this too. There are very few opportunities for people who live in Wales and Zoey has actually got off her backside and tried to make things happen for her.

Lee says:


What’s the problem with Simon Cowell lining his pockets?,Isn’t that what business is about?, Are you jealous you don’t earn anywhere near what he makes?

Ellie says:

I think it’s her singing that is irrelevant, it wasn’t brilliant but not bad either. What is relevant is how distressed this poor girl looked on realizing that she had very obviously been set up by the xfactor producers. Maybe she was naive but Simon Cowell and co bring much more shame on themselves than Zoe did. I don’t condone violent behaviour but she was
genuinely distressed and the producers come off looking much worse than she does. I will not be watching it again.

Vicky says:

I think her behaviour was completely unacceptable. She had the opportunity to sing two very different songs and didn’t sing particularly great on either of them.

Elle says:

This is all irrelevant. She was given a second song. She was told no purely because she was out of tune and needed improvement

What Have We Come To? says:

I was thinking this for so long- what have we come to? Everyone would say she’s just delusional and, quite bluntly, a psycho. I thought this too, and at the time, found it thoroughly entertaining. The shock on the judges faces, her dad bringing her back onstage etc. But then I thought about what she said- “You told me to sing a Pink song!” That was never the kind of thing any psycho overly-confident rejected auditioner would make up…no matter how delusional.
Let’s face it, Scary Spice, the nerd (which they did overplay to be a nerd a lot to emphasise the shock factor) who turned out to be able to sing, that guy who was singing “What a wonderful world” like the cookie monster…

-What if they told Scary to be mean -to eliminate average-very good (but not shocking) auditions- and live up to her name (with a bit of added brutalness).
Why hire her, then ask her to be nicer? Hello?! It’s SCARY Spice for a reason!

-What if the whole “Did you ever have a girlfriend?” chat the nerd had with the other girl over a drink was scripted and rehearsed? And what he said to the judges right before singing- to give him the loser….-but-with-a-fabulous-voice SuBo-style “Wow I did not expect that voice to come out of him” affect on the spectators- us. And we did say that, didn’t we?

-What if they told Zoe Alexander to sing Pink? I find myself totally believing her. These are not reality shows anymore, people. They’re faked. Set-up. Acted. Why? Are expectations are too high. We EXPECT overly-confident people who think they can sing but can’t (and fight with the judges) and humble, nervous, shy people with a spectacular voice- like Ella and Jahmene.
What is the first thing you find when you type in X Factor 2012 auditions on youtube? Zoe Alexander. Why? Because it was outrageous. What are you most likely gonna talk about with your friends about the X Factor? Zoe Alexander. Why? Same reason. Just think how she’d feel- so set up. The judges, I think, are oblivious to what the producers are doing for views. It leaves them more shocked- making us also more shocked.

There are no more real stuff on TV, we’re all either set up or acting.
I wouldn’t be surprised if people started killing themselves on TV in some daredevil Jackass style. Then what next? Gladiators/Hunger Games. On TV. I mean in a few hundred years, expectations will be so high, we’ll be watching death on TV instead. What is the World coming to?

gil wating says:

maybe she shoul complain to ofcom

Stupot says:

Serves her right for entering into this exploitative bullshit in the first place. Every moment of these shows is planned weeks in advance. The X-Factor is one huge PR stunt for itself. This whole ‘pink’ thing is a PR stunt, regardless of whether Ella herself is in on it or not. Every time ‘Louis gets axed’ or ‘Cheryl has a go at Sharon’ or ‘so-and-so is disqualified for lying about her age’, it’s ALL pre-determined. Am I the only one who can see through it? If you watch this stuff you are an absolute idiot who deserves to be lied to and exploited week in week out while Simon Cowell lines his pockets.

Kath says:

Sorry, but she’s a fool if she expected to go on a Reality TV show and not be humiliated. Has she never watched the show before? Did she really think it was going to be a way into the music industry that would lead to her being taken seriously? She’s been incredibly naive.

Everyone knows what these shows are and while it’s objectionable, that’s the nature of reality entertaiment and nobody should be surprised by their behaviour after choosing to become involved in the genre.

ibrahim says:

looooooool i watched that and she was scary. I mean she said “you told me to sing pink” and they didn’t!!! Why get so violent?