Belfast Telegraph

Such a crying shame, Nicole

By Lindy McDowell

As well as X Factor (here) I have been following X Factor (over there). And in recent days the American version has produced not just impressive talent but some considerable drama.

Rachel Crow has been voted out. Or to use the more cruel but possibly more accurate X Factor term - eliminated.

Rachel, in case you haven't been watching, is a 13-year-old singing prodigy with the face of a six-year-old and the precocious delivery of a 47-year-old diplomat.

She is very American-child-star. Not entirely endearing. But (we must remember) still only a child even if she didn't always sound like one.

She wasn't voted out by the panel per se. Judge Nicole Scherzinger, blubbing like the drama queen that we now know her to be, couldn't make her mind up, so the decision went to deadlock where the public vote counted.

Rachel had assured Nicole she was ready for this decision. The decision was that she was out. Rachel collapsed.

The child - for that is what she is - then began crying for her "mommy, mommy, mommy!" It was quite shocking stuff.

Needless to say, like a greyhound from a trap, Simon Cowell was by her side in an instant attempting to calm the little girl. Her mother sprang forward too.

Asked for her view of it all, the still-sobbing Nicole shook her weepy head. The audience booed loudly.

It will, of course, fuel the debate about the age and vulnerability of show contestants.

But tellingly Rachel, like the little trouper she is, was back on the red carpet within hours, tweeting love to her fans and generally putting a brave face on rejection.

The wee thing may well be a tough as her wee Doc Marten boots. She'll get over it, I think.

It's judge Nicole I'd worry about ...

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