“The X Factor” U.K. judge Sharon Osbourne, 60, lost her temper and threw a pen at a 73-year-old rejected contestant who insulted her husband, Ozzy Osbourne. The Sun reported on June 29, 2013, that after contestant Johnnie Rocco got “no” votes from all four judges, he told Sharon: “You think Ozzy can sing?”
According to The Sun, Sharon yelled to security about Rocco: “Get him out of my f*cking room!” The pen she threw at Rocco nicked him on the shoulder before he was escorted out by security personnel. The incident took place at a May 2013 audition in Old Trafford in Manchester, England.
So why is this story coming out now? It sounds like a publicity stunt that was “leaked” to The Sun by an unnamed “insider.”
An unnamed source told The Sun: “Jonnie hit a really raw nerve and Sharon was furious. Normally she takes criticism from contestants on the chin. But she and Ozzy have obviously been through a tough time this year and any negative remarks about him are like a red rag to a bull as far as she’s concerned.”
This isn’t the first time that Rocco was rejected by “The X Factor” U.K.
He had a failed audition in 2007, and he reportedly made a death threat against “X Factor” U.K. judge Louis Walsh, according to The Sun.
Sharon and Ozzy made headlines in April 2013, when it was reported that the couple (who have been married since 1982) were living apart and no longer wearing their wedding rings. Ozzy, who is a recovering drug addict/alcoholic, then made a statement on his official Facebook page that he had relapsed from late 2011 to early 2013 but that he had been clean and sober since March 2013.
In the statement, Ozzy made a public apology for relapsing and how he acted during his relapse. He and Sharon both publicly acknowledged that their marriage was going through a rough patch, but they both denied that they’re getting divorced.
Sharon has been Ozzy’s manager since 1979. Sharon and Ozzy have three children together: Aimee, Kelly and Jack. Ozzy has three other kids (Elliot, Jessica and Louis) from his first marriage to ex-wife Thelma. Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly have each spent time in rehab for addiction issues.
The Osbournes have also had to deal with other health issues: Sharon is a survivor of colon cancer, and she had a double mastectomy in 2012 after she found out that she has a gene that greatly increases her chances of getting breast cancer. Jack was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012.
By May 2013, Ozzy and Sharon had reportedly reconciled and moved back in together. It was also the month that it was officially announced that Sharon replaced fired judge Tulisa Contostavlos on “The X Factor” U.K. The news had been reported by British tabloids several months before it was officially announced. The other judges on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2013 are Walsh, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger.
Sharon was a judge on ITV’s “The X Factor” U.K. from 2004 to 2007, and a judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” from 2007 to 2012. She has been co-hosting CBS’s Los Angeles-based daytime chat show “The Talk” since the show’s 2010 debut. She announced on “The Talk” that she is not quitting the show, and that she will commute back and forth between the U.K. and the U.S. in order to continue working on “The X Factor” and “The Talk.”
Sharon’s outburst against Rocco was tame compared to a violent incident instigated by “X Factor” U.K. judge Barlow at “X Factor” U.K. auditions at ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London on June 19, 2013. According to The Sun, Barlow smashed a mug on the ground and threw a chair across a room in order to make a point to a contestant about being “edgy.” No one was hurt during this incident.
In 2013, “The X Factor” U.K. went back to its original format of holding private a cappella auditions in small rooms instead of having the auditions at arena shows that are free and open to the public. The show had originally had this format of private auditions from 2004 to 2008.
The “boot camp” phase of the competition will reportedly still be an arena show that is free and open to the public. The dates and location for the show’s “boot camp” this year are to be announced.
July 21, 2013 update: The Sun reports that Rocco filed a complaint with police about the pen-throwing incident, and he claimed that Sharon’s “vile” behavior had given him nightmares and the pen “could have knocked my eye out.” According to The Sun: “Greater Manchester Police confirmed they would be writing to the show’s bosses to ‘remind them of the need to conduct themselves in a professional manner’ — but would be taking no other action.”