X Factor Controversy: Don Philip Claims Producers 'Bullied' Him To Admit He's Gay
There was a lot of drama on the season premiere of “The X Factor” on Wednesday night, especially when a singer from Britney Spears’ past – Don Philip – hit the stage.
Don, who dueted with the singer on “I Will Still Love You,” off Britney’s debut album, “… Baby One More Time,” was reduced to tears after he was told he wouldn’t carry on by the panel – including Spears who said his voice wasn’t “up to the bar of the standards of ‘The X Factor.”
On Thursday, however, Philip told Access Hollywood more than just seeing Spears again, there was another reason for his emotional backstage moment.
Philip claimed the show cut out 10 minutes of his interview where he admitted he is gay, after what he alleged was bullying.
“It was kind of a private thing they forced out of me,” Philip claimed to Access on Thursday. “I would say bullied out of me.”
Philip told the New York Post that after his audition, which was taped June 16 in San Francisco, he was devastated.
“After that thing, I went home and had thoughts of [suicide]. I was so destroyed that they set me up,” he told the Post.
Speaking to Access, Philip claimed he told “X Factor” producers he didn’t want to talk about being gay on the reality program.
“Backstage, I’d talked to the producers about what was my secret was. And I mentioned that my secret was I was gay, but I really didn’t want to talk about it on the show. So, minutes later when I got on stage, L.A. Reid said, ‘What’s the secret? What’s the secret?’ over and over again. And I had to say it,” Philip claimed. “I just felt like they were going to say it so I felt like I needed to say it first. And, I was just so emotionally distraught, I couldn’t pull it together to actually sing.
“The X Factor” did not air that portion which Philip claimed happened.
Addressing Philip’s statements to the media, FOX released a statement.
“The judges were not given any information at all about Mr. Philip prior to his audition. The personal information that Mr. Philip quickly volunteered at the start of his audition was a surprise to the judges, who asked what had happened during the past 10 years, as they were interested in Mr. Philip’s career. While we understand his decision to discuss his personal life, Mr. Philip’s sexual orientation was not something that any of the judges or producers felt was relevant to this audition,” the statement read. “When advertising and promoting open auditions, thousands of people are informed about the ways to enter the show. Mr. Philip himself chose to enter for a chance to win a five million dollar recording contract.”
While Philip’s audition made headlines, Spears appeared not to remember it while on the red carpet at “The X Factor” premiere party earlier this week.
“Have you run into anyone from your past as a judge like Christina Aguilera did on ‘The Voice’?” an Access Hollywood producer asked Spears, referencing when Aguilera didn’t recognize Tony Lucca, her former “Mickey Mouse Club” co-star during his “Voice” audition in Season 2.
“Um, no, actually,” Spears told Access. “I haven’t. No.”
In related “X Factor” news, after the highly-publicized remarks from Simon Cowell, who was upset when the NBC extended “The Voice’s” Season 3 premiere to three-nights, pitting it, on Wednesday opposite “The X Factor’s” Season 2 premiere, a winner was crowned in the initial battle for ratings.
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“The Voice,” with Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green, beat “The X Factor” in the numbers by around 3 million viewers. Around 10.5 million watched “The Voice,” while 7.5 watched “The X Factor.”
“The X Factor” continues its Season 2 premiere Thursday night at 8/7c on FOX.
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