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Are Simon Cowell's 'X Factor' Contestants in Danger?

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 31st 2011 9:10AM
Simon CowellFor music mogul Simon Cowell, passionate fans and security threats are nothing new; the man has made a career out of being the judge that audiences love to hate (and hate to agree with).

But the contestants on his reality shows aren't so accustomed to such fervent attention, and no matter how harmlessly enthusiastic the 'X Factor' crowd may be, it's somewhat inevitable that fans will get out of hand sooner or later.

According to TMZ, Cowell is concerned that the popularity of his three contestants (Melanie Amaro, Rachel Crow and Drew Ryniewicz) poses a serious security risk, after the girls were reportedly mobbed during a casual visit to the mall.

Because of this, Cowell has apparently instructed his personal bodyguards to keep close tabs on the three young contestants, with orders that the girls are not allowed to leave the studio without some kind of security escort. The mentor is supposedly gravely concerned for their safety, but still wants the girls to experience the same activities that other people their ages enjoy.

Are his concerns legitimate, or is this another typically Cowell attempt to keep his team in the spotlight? (Yes, we know we're enabling him.)

It's undeniable that his trio has generated a huge reaction from audiences -- thanks in no small part to the bait-and-switch that saw Melanie Amaro eliminated before being brought back in an eleventh-hour "twist" -- but have they really reached the level of visibility that prevents them from walking down the street unsupervised? And where are their parents in all of this, since Drew and Rachel are under 18?

We're all for taking precautions, especially when a child's safety is involved, but we wonder if the news is a little premature, even for Cowell -- we just hope we're not sitting behind Drew's seven-foot bodyguard in the movie theater if she decides to go and see the next 'Twilight'.

'The X Factor' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on Fox.

Do you think Cowell's contestants are legitimately at risk, or does this smell like a publicity stunt?

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I haven't thought about this for a few years... But just because I'm not thinking about something, doesn't mean it couldn't exist. I actually think they are at risk because of their immense popularity. In fact, I could think most contestants could be at risk to nutjobs out there. Wow, what a great way to extort money. Grab little Drew and make demands for her release. Kids are abducted every day. There have also been some minor scares in the past on american idol. I do realize it could be a publicity stunt, however it's more likely that the strange requests are a result of idol producers reacting to the current and changing events. After all, they got "mobbed" already. If that happened, their reaction is justified and makes the possibility of it being a stunt seem remote.

November 03 2011 at 5:22 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Simon needs to know that Melanie Amaro was never heard singing on FOX5 (Las Vegas). Instead we got to watch commercials! It's the only singer we didn't get to hear. Personally, I was looking forward to hearing her.
She shouldn't be sent home when we didn't even get to hear her sing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 03 2011 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The twist eliminating 4 contestants at once by their own mentors repeats this year's UK X Factor. Bringing Melanie back from the brink repeats a theme in last year's UK X Factor. He will want some conflict between judges & some seedy pasts unearthed. All publicity is good publicity & Simon intends to make a Syco Killing.

November 02 2011 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FCI Fincl Serv

I thought Simon was a tough guy, a real man! Seems like he only a mouth held up by a sissy!

October 31 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Anyone who has followed Simon Cowell over the years knows he is a master at publicity. He hasn't gotten where he is by being a run-of-the-mill businessman. This is publicity. Those contestants are already being watched over and guarded whenever they step out the door. And why was he the only one who had to go back and "correct" his mistake this season? Publicity! Everything that man does is planned from day one. And to that I say, "Good for him. He's intelligent, successful, and has created shows both here and in England that are masterful hits. His does what he has to do to make it all work!"

October 31 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Do what you think is best Simon, and there will be no regrets later.

October 31 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. G man

I think it goes both ways. to protect & for publicity>

October 31 2011 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think this is just free publicity and hype for Simon, his team of contestants, and the show. He may or may not be concerned for these girls' safety. Who knows. But one thing for sure, Simon doesn't do anything unless it involves money, himself, money(oh, did I say that already?) And by money, I mean money going into his pockets.

October 31 2011 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This time I happen to agree with Simon, given the spot light of X Factor... the three need secruity. Good job by Simon!

October 31 2011 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to scivonne's comment

It may "add" to the hype but they are 13, 14, and 19 I think... and they are girls and it is INSTANT fame with that show. I am in total agreement with him too!

October 31 2011 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

one other thing i would like to say is simon has enough money if the show works out or not.i think he is concern for them,he's doing the right thing.

October 31 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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