'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry says the show needs to be a 'safe space'

·2-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04:  Joe McElderry performs at the Breast Cancer Care London Fashion Show in association with Dorothy Perkins at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on October 4, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Breast Cancer Care)
Joe McElderry has highlighted some ways The X Factor can improve. (Getty Images for Breast Cancer Care)

Joe McElderry, former winner of The X Factor has said that the singing competition needs to become a "safe space".

The singer was discussing the prospect of the reality show returning to screens after it was axed by ITV in 2021 and has been criticised for being "cruel".

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Talking to Access All Areas, McElderry highlighted some ways The X Factor could improve: “I hope if it does come back, they do make some more changes to make it a bit more of a safe space for artists in terms of the way the contracts are formed and the aftercare of the artists and things like that.”

X factor winner Joe McElderry during a CD signing session of his debut single The Climb at the HMV store on King Street in his home town of South Shields, south Tyneside.   (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Joe McElderry with his debut single 'The Climb'. (PA Images via Getty Images)

He added: "We're hearing more and more stories about how people suffered on those shows, and not just X Factor, lots of other reality shows as well. It's not just that one. I do think changes are being made but I still think there's a long way to go. So, I hope if it does come back, it's made in a safe place in the artists' interests that are going onto the show.”

There have been recent reports that The X Factor is set to return on a different channel after not airing on ITV since 2018.

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Channel 5 were reportedly leading the race to acquire the show which is responsible for acts such as Little Mix, One Direction, Leona Lewis and Olly Murs.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04:  Joe McElderry performs at the Breast Cancer Care London Fashion Show in association with Dorothy Perkins at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on October 4, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Breast Cancer Care)
Joe McElderry performing live. (Getty Images for Breast Cancer Care)

McElderry won The X Factor in 2009 and later achieved a number one single with a cover of Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb'.

He has since embarked on a career on stage, appearing in touring versions of Tommy and Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Later this year, he is set to perform a tribute tour to George Michael who he performed with on The X Factor.

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