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James Blunt explains why he found being a judge on The X Factor ‘quite painful’

James Blunt has said he “didn’t enjoy” his time as a judge on The X Factor Australia, calling the decision-making required “quite painful”.

The English hitmaker, 49, who shot to fame in 2005 with his debut album Back to Bedlam, appeared on the Australian version of the singing competition series for its seventh season in 2015.

Speaking about his time on the show in a new interview with Radio Times, Blunt said: “I didn’t enjoy it, and I struggle with The X Factor, because it’s more TV show than music competition. The winners are always the judges’ choices rather than the ones who do best each week.

“Seeing these hopefuls with their 15 minutes, and their dreams shattered for ratings, I find quite painful.”

Blunt was joined on the show’s judging panel by Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian, Dannii Minogue and “Wicked Game” singer Chris Isaak.

The X Factor Australia continued for one more season after Blunt’s exit before it was cancelled in 2016.

The original, British version of the show was officially cancelled by ITV in 2021 following a three-year hiatus.

Judge and series producer Simon Cowell claimed in November 2022 that a future reboot is “more likely than not”.

James Blunt (Getty Images)
James Blunt (Getty Images)

Blunt, who is known for his tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, recently claimed that he edited his own Wikipedia page to make himself two years younger.

“If you look at my Wikipedia page, it will say that I’m 47 – I’m actually 49,” Blunt told The Guardian. “That’s because I changed the entry.”

In the same interview, Blunt looked back on the difficulties of balancing work and raising two children.

He married Sofia Wellesley, the daughter of Lord and Lady John Henry Wellesley, in 2014.

“Being hands-on with my kids when I can is important,” he said, before going on to note times in his life when he wasn’t able to be as present.

“I am away for long periods. With my second child, I left the day after the birth for nine months. Fatherhood changed my priorities. I was selfish. Now these little people are far more important than me.”

Blunt’s seventh studio album, Who We Used To Be, will be released on 27 October.