X Factor judges were moved by transgender singer Felix Shepherd’s heartfelt audition on Saturday night’s episode.
However, some X Factor fans have criticised new judge Robbie Williams for asking the contestant his birth name.
20-year-old songwriting student Shepherd spoke openly to the judges about his transition from being an assigned at birth female to now identifying as a man.
“I’m here to prove to everyone that I’m more than just a transgender guy and we can be overlooked I suppose.
Uhm, Felix's mum is called Helen 😂 pic.twitter.com/fgmjIxMuib
— The X Factor (@TheXFactor) September 8, 2018
“I live a normal life, I sleep in, I know my mum thinks I leave things everywhere, I’m just like an everyday kind of person!” Shepherd said.
He went on to say his mum Helen had helped pay privately for his reassignment treatments, and that his friends and family had ‘gone out of their way’ to be supportive.
Williams then asked him what his birth name was, to which Shepherd replied ‘My name was Emily.’
Viewers on Twitter accused Williams of being insensitive by asking the question and that Shepherd’s original name is likely now seen by him as his ‘dead name.’
Robbie Williams forcing a trans man to dead name himself on X Factor is it.
ugh. I hope they're more sensitive to Felix going forward and that Robbie apologises to him.
— Holly (@holski_beat) September 8, 2018
@TheXFactor Why did Robbie Williams ask for Felix's birth name. How is that relevant to how well he sings? Isn't that just a bit rude.
— Kathryn (@PeachehKate) September 8, 2018
#XFactor felixs deadname did not even NEED to be mentioned. Robbie should NOT have asked that.
I never watch x factor and i ofc coincidentally tune in when robbie williams asks a trans persons deadname….
Well felix was amazing tho!!!
— ︽✵︽ Billie ︽✵︽ (@Coal_hill_quill) September 8, 2018
Tell me why Robbie williams asked Felix the trans guy on x factor ehat his name was when he was born on national tv?? Like why do people think theyre entitled to know this
— – (@ba151c) September 8, 2018
Shepherd chose to sing Kodaline’s ‘All I want’ because: “It’s the first song I ever performed. Obviously my voice has dropped, I had to adapt,” he explained.
The Birmingham student walked away with four yeses. New judge Louis Tomlinson praise him with ‘your tone is very, very exciting’ while fellow newbie judge Ayda Field said:
“This isn’t just about singing. At the very core of the competition it is about people. And everything you told us today makes you the most incredible contestant on this show. I think we would be very lucky to have you on this competition,” she said.
Viewers on Twitter also reacted overwhelmingly positively to Thomas’ performance with one calling him this year’s X Factor ‘winner’ and another rated his performance as ‘amazing.’
This young trans boy is absolutely amazing. Felix will win X factor this year, I’ve called it 👀🔮 #XFactor
— Nic🌈 (@nic_c951) September 8, 2018
brave enough to go on X factor even though he knows people don't like how he feels, but his voice is amazing, i hope felix gets recognised as more than just a trans guy #XFactorUK
— p!atd in 198 (@lashtonncuddles) September 8, 2018
— luckie ⚰️ (@LuckieRae) September 8, 2018
So much respect for Felix on the X Factor showing everyone trans people are just like everybody else ❤️
— ollie🍂 (@ayup_ollie) September 8, 2018
X Factor continues on Sunday on ITV.
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