Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne’s criticism saves a woman’s life

Normally, criticism on a reality TV talent show saves the public from pain, and the contestant from a life of further humiliation. But on his UK series The X Factor, Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne’s criticism actually ended up saving a woman’s life.

After she performed during an episode that aired Saturday night, 46-year-old Jacqui Gray faced the judges, and Simon said, “You have a very odd-sounding voice. Something happens to your throat when you sing. It is quite raspy. It sounds as if you have someone else in there, like you were choking on something.” Sharon Osbourne told her, “get it checked out.” Then they cut her from the competition.

Still, Jacqui is thrilled. “I want to thank them both. I may not have got through X Factor but they gave me something much more important than that…they really did save my life,” Jacqui told The Mirror. “I have been singing since I was a kid but that had never been pointed out to me before. … I thought I was suffering from a chest infection or swollen glands. … I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis and told if I had not got it seen to, it could have killed me,” she said.

Simon Cowell saves life [The Mirror]
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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.