X Factor's Simon Cowell defends Sam Lavery no make-up idea, as she says it's the "best decision" she ever made

Published Monday, Oct 3 2016, 10:16 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Simon Cowell has defended his decision asking X Factor hopeful Samantha Lavery to take off her makeup at Judges' Houses.

The 17-year-old - who was a wildcard pick - had arrived to perform for Simon in Malibu but he sent her way to strip back her makeup and 'stage' clothes, saying he wanted to see the real Sam and understand who she is.

Sam Lavery at X Factor Judges' Houses

© ITV / Thames / Syco

Sam after stripping back her makeup.

His decision caused a bit of controversy on social media, with some viewers saying he had no right to tell a woman how much makeup to wear, and others suggesting it could have dented Sam's confidence ahead of performing. Some also said none of the other performers had to change their look.

Phoning into Xtra Factor on Sunday night, Simon said: "I know I got a bit of stick for saying, 'Take off your makeup' and I was being rude. But I did it for a reason as I didn't know who she was and I don't think she knew who she was, she was hiding behind this image."

X Factor: Rylan and Matt on Xtra Factor talking to Simon Cowell
2 October 2016


Simon phoned into Xtra Factor on Sunday night.

It worked in Sam's favour as she made it through to live shows after wowing Simon and his guest judges Mel B and Emma Bunton with her performance, when she returned to face them with a new, stripped back look.

And Sam certainly isn't accusing Simon of being rude, as she tweeted to her followers: "Taking off my makeup was the best decision ever! I loooooove my new look guys! It's the real me!"

Sam Lavery tweets about taking makeup off at X Factor Judges' Houses

© Twitter

Sam isn't fussed about removing her makeup.

Sam Lavery at X Factor Judges' Houses in Malibu
1 October 2016

© ITV / Thames / Syco

Simon felt Sam hid behind her image.

Appearing on Xtra Factor on Saturday night, Sam added: "He wanted to see a different side to me and I just went with it. To be honest, it was the best decision I've ever made because I have found a side to myself I love more. I love this style more and this is me."

She went through to live shows alongside fellow girls Gifty Louise and Emily Middlemas.

Simon's Girls
Samantha Lavery
Emily Middlemas
Gifty Louise

Sharon's Overs:
Honey G
Saara Aalto
Relley C

Louis' Groups:
Brooks Way
5 After Midnight

Nicole's Boys:
Matt Terry
Freddy Parker
Ryan Lawrie

X Factor's live shows start Saturday at 8pm on ITV.


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