Contestants on “The X Factor” U.S. have reportedly been banned from mentioning the death of Demi Lovato’s father when talking to her. According to a Radar Online article published on July 11, 2013, contestants have received explicit instructions not to mention the death of Patrick Lovato, who passed away on June 22, 2013, after a long battle with cancer. A spokesperson for Demi (who became a judge on “The X Factor” U.S. in 2012) confirmed to the media that Patrick Lovato died but the cause of death has not been made public.
Demi and her father (who left her and her family when she was a toddler) had been estranged for several years. She said in many interviews that she had not spoken to him since 2007 because it was too emotionally painful to have a relationship with him and she was tired of him disappointing her.
An unnamed “insider” told Radar Online about what happened when a contestant offered condolences to Demi at “X Factor” auditions in Los Angeles on July 10, 2013: “One kid got up on stage to sing and when the judges asked him about his motivation for singing he mentioned a family member that had recently died. He then voiced his condolences to Demi for just losing her father and she didn’t even respond. All the judges kind of froze and told him to sing. Instead of critiquing him or discussing his performance, all the judges just said ‘no’ and they basically rushed him off the stage.
“Demi had been really upbeat and funny the entire night of auditions. But her mood completely changed after that contestant, which is understandable. That poor kid didn’t have a chance once he brought up Demi’s dad.”
Of course, the contestant could have been rejected because the judges didn’t think he was talented enough, but Radar Online did not mention what kind of vocal talent this contestant showed during his “X Factor” audition.
“The X Factor” U.S. has not commented on this Radar Online report.
Demi and other members of her family have gone on Twitter to thank well-wishers and supporters who have offered condolences during this difficult time. As previously reported, Demi said in a “Good Morning America” interview in June 2013 that the death of her father prompted her to start the charity the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program to help people with mental illnesses. Demi has gone public in saying that mental illness runs in her family that she is bipolar.
In the “Good Morning America” interview, Demi talked about how she has been coping with the death of her father: “I’m handling it OK. My father and I didn’t have the most ideal relationship, but at the end of the day, he’s still my dad. I grew up with him. He was a wonderful person. It’s difficult, but I’m handling it OK.
“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I’ve dealt with mental illnesses, but my father also dealt with mental illness, and he wasn’t able to function very well in society. That happens to a lot of people.”
Meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this year’s “X Factor” auditions in Los Angeles (which took place on July 10, July 11 and July 12, 2013) were very underwhelming, as an unusually high percentage of contestants were rejected.
As previously reported, the four “X Factor” U.S. judges (Lovato, Simon Cowell, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio) also did interviews at a press event in Los Angeles on July 11, 2013. During the interviews, they tried to portray the judging panel as a happy family, but we’ll see how true that really is when they judges start fiercely competing with each other for their mentored contestants to win.