X Factor judge Cheryl tells hopefuls to finish GCSEs first

The singer's comments are a contrast to fellow judge Simon Cowell, who is in favour of featuring younger talent

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The Independent Culture

X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has told several young auditionees to pass their exams instead of trying to get a place on the TV talent show.

The singer and X Factor judge said to a number of young hopefuls that they should try out on the show in a couple of years, after passing their GCSEs.

She told one teenager, “I don’t think a 14-year-old needs that pressure on his shoulders,’ before adding: ‘He’s got to do his GCSEs,” reports the MailOnline.

Her comments came in sharp contrast to other members of the judging panel, Louis Walsh, Mel B and Simon Cowell, who liked the young singer’s performance of the Spice Girls’ hit Wannabe.

In response, Cowell said, “In Cheryl’s opinion anyone under the age of 16 shouldn’t be on this show.”


The singer made the remarks during the auditions for this year’s competition. Fernandez-Versini herself rose to fame after auditioning on Popstars:The Rivals back in 2002 and is aware of the pressures that come with fame at a young age.

Both X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent have attracted criticism for featuring young contestants because of the pressures involved but that hasn't stopped younger acts from taking part.

It was announced back in January that the show would be lowering the minimum age for applicants from 16 to 14.

It is believed by some that the change was made in an attempt to find fresh, young talent to replicate the phenomenal success of One Direction, who originally appeared on the X Factor back in 2010.

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