Calvin Harris has made a surprise appearance on The X Factor despite memorably mocking the “terrible” show.
The Scottish DJ joined judge Nicole Scherzinger at her French Riviera mansion to help her choose three acts to take into the live finals. But seven years ago, he accused the show’s boss, music mogul Simon Cowell, of having a “frightening stranglehold” on the charts.
Cowell was thought to have banned Harris from featuring on future episodes of The X Factor after he described novelty double act Jedward as “pretty much down there with the worst”. The 32-year-old behind recent hit “My Way” interrupted a live performance by the duo in 2009 when he stormed the stage and danced around with a pineapple in imitation of their unusual haircuts.
“I was just inspired to make a mockery of the show,” he said at the time. “Because it is a music competition, it is a joke and I think it should be treated as such, so when people were saying ‘John and Edward, maybe they deserve to stay in this week,’ I was like, ‘Are you watching what I’m watching?’
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible. For the greater good of the nation I wanted to go out there and make an idiot of myself and sort of just bring the whole show into another kind of area in which it’s treated as kind of a joke.”
Harris criticised spiky-haired twins John and Edward Grimes for being “knowingly funny”, but said he wanted them to win The X Factor because it might undermine the competition’s future.
It is believed that Harris was invited back for 2016 thanks to his incredible chart success in the intervening years. There was no reference to his stunt but he did cheekily tweet a pineapple emoji during the show. Jedward replied by tweeting: “Hey Calvin Harris, you are fantastic” along with a picture of the fruit.
Harris’s return from exile was overshadowed by an outpouring of dismay over Sharon Osbourne’s decision to send a 35-year-old wannabe rapper through. Honey G was sent through by the Over 25s mentor after she decided to take a “risk” following her rendition of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”.
“I was born to perform,” said Honey G, real name Anna Georgette Gilford, suggesting she could be “the next big recording artist”.
The X Factor continues next Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on ITV.
With additional reporting by Press Association
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies