Formats

Italian “X Factor” nixes gender, age categories

Production company Fremantle and broadcaster Sky Italia are making some big changes to X Factor‘s format for the upcoming Italian edition of the show, namely dropping the gender and age ...
June 1, 2021

Production company Fremantle and broadcaster Sky Italia are making some big changes to X Factor‘s format for the upcoming Italian edition of the show, namely dropping the gender and age categories, as well as the distinctions between solo artists and groups.

The 2021 season of X Factor in Italy will be the first edition of the popular music reality series to do away with the historical divisions between sexes and ages, with the four judges — Emma, Hell Raton, Manuel Agnelli, and Mika — mentoring four “heterogeneous” teams of both solo artists and bands. The 12 finalists will be selected purely on the basis of their musical and artistic merits.

“By removing the historical division by categories, X Factor welcomes change and wants to become a torchbearer and, in a world that no longer needs to make distinctions of gender or age, talent is for us a neutral noun,” said Antonella d’Errico, executive vice president of programming at Sky Italia in a release. “We will ask all the contestants of this year’s edition to bring the only thing they really need: their personal, unique X Factor.”

The change marks the first time since the show’s launch in 2004 that gender and age won’t be used to distinguish between contestants.

Fremantle Italy CEO Gabriele Immirzi lauded the change, adding: “We are in fact the first X Factor in the world to change a historic and characterizing element of the format that today, in 2021, according with Syco Entertainment, we feel is not up-to-date with the reality of everyday life, especially the life of the generations who participate in X Factor.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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