After Drew Ryniewicz was eliminated on The X Factor last week, some angry fans expressed their outrage on Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, a few of those messages took the form of death threats directed toward judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, who both opted to save Marcus Canty instead of Ryniewicz. After Wednesday’s show, the five remaining singers had a simple message for those haters on Twitter: chill out.
“I just want people to relax,” Marcus Canty, who was also a recipient of some hostile online comments, told reporters backstage. “This is a friendly competition. There’s no reason to say you’re going to bomb people’s houses or try to kill them. It affected me because I love Paula and Nicole — they’re so nice. It makes me feel bad to see other people being so hateful and rude to them, but I guess that’s just part of the show.”
Viewers complaining about the results of a reality show is one thing. It’s another thing entirely when those complaints wish for a judge’s demise. “I’m glad people are passionate about the people they support and about the show, but that’s taking it too far,” said Josh Krajick. “Anytime you start talking that way, it’s bad karma, man. And when somebody is that serious about the show, I think they really have to re-prioritize. But there are trolls out there, you know? They feel there are no consequences and that they can say whatever they want.”
Melanie Amaro, while appreciative of how much viewers care about The X Factor, said that the show’s fans needs to be more accepting of the judges’ difficult choices. “The judges can’t let the fans or the people in the audience dictate their decisions,” explained Amaro. “They have to make a decision based upon what they feel. God forbid, if I go home tomorrow, [my fans] have to understand that this was the judges’ decision and that this is a competition.”
According to Krajick, the venomous tweets didn’t faze Scherzinger too much. “Nicole kept pretty cool and calm about it,” said Krajick. “I think sometimes the less you deal with those kind of things, the better. And our security guys are obviously great. You got to trust in those guys, and I think Nicole does. But I just hope that people calm down.”
However, leave it to Rachel Crow, that “old soul” in a 13-year-old body, to reduce the controversy to its essence. “I think those people [on Twitter] aren’t very nice,” Crow said matter-of-factly. “Drew will have a big career, so they didn’t have to do all that. They should be nicer.” A nicer Internet? That’s something we can all dream about.
(Chris Rene declined to discuss the death-threat topic.)