Auditioners sue X Factor, claiming exhaustion from filming caused them to lose

An 86-year-old man, his 78-year-old wife, and 54-year-old son have sued Fox’s The X Factor and Simon Cowell, claiming that he was eliminated from the competition because he was too exhausted from all the filming the show had him do prior to his audition.

The lawsuit “claims that the Hyman clan was made to film a segment numerous times, in which they were made to walk from a car into Miami’s Bank United Center while a camera filmed multiple takes. Between the 96-degree heat, Hyman’s age and Stephen’s asthma, the suit alleges, the regimen equaled disaster,” according to The Wrap.

The judges rejected them, and Simon apparently cited their age and exhaustion. Interestingly, instead of money, they want to be able to audition again–although if they can’t have that, they want $1 million each.

While this seems like a frivolous lawsuit, it’s kind of interesting, at least in the way it exposes the way those American Idol-style packages are created, never mind the rigor of reality TV productions that involve a lot of setting up scenes and trying to get something to look just right, instead of filming reality.

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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, 36, 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.