1 JUN 2021

FREMANTLE AND SKY ITALIA TO DEVELOP A GENDER NEUTRAL VERSION OF “X FACTOR”

It’s the first time a format has ever discarded gender and age categories among contestants. The move, to be seen upon the show’s debut in Italy, will allow participants to be considered for their musical talent rather than gender identification.

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Fremantle and Sky Italia's “The X Factor” is doing away with contestant gender and age categories for the first time ever in the show’s 17-year tenure. “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,” Antonella d’Errico, Executive Vice President of Programming at Sky Italia, said. 

Upon debuting in September, the show's contestants will be divided into “heterogeneous” teams and will be mentored by one of the four judges: Emma, Hell Raton, Manuel Agnelli, and Mika. The characteristics considered to select the group of participants will be based on their musical abilities and artistry. The show normally divides contestants into male and female categories.

In the next edition of the globally distributed show. which airs on the Comcast-owned Sky Italia paybox, each judge must have at least one soloist and one band on their team. There are also categories for different age groups, and solo artists and bands.  Sky Italia recently announced the upcoming edition of “X-Factor Italia” will have a new host, up and coming local actor Ludovico Tersigni while the jury will remain the same as last year.

The network is considered an “X-Factor” pioneer, becoming in 2012 the first platform to beam the music talent contest live exclusively on pay-TV — a key step in its involvement in local production. Since then, “X-Factor Italia” has launched several local talents that have gone on to become successful, most notably glam rock group, Måneskin, which recently won the Eurovision Song Contest and subsequently cracked the U.K. top 20 charts.

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.” Antonella d’Errico Executive Vice President of Programming, Sky Italia