Jillian Jensen On X Factor: How Criticism & Bullying Are Totally Different!

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The Jillian Jensen X Factor audition was one of the premiere’s highlights. | Source: YouTube

When the Jillian Jensen X Factor audition aired, it brought a lot of people to tears. Jillian told a story about how she was bullied through middle school and high school, earning wet eyes from the entire panel and a ton of the audience. Then when she actually began to sing, she blew everyone away: She cried and sang at the same time. Most of us can barely even speak clearly when we’re sobbing, but she managed to belt. We gave major props to Jillian Jensen for that!

And so did the judges’ panel, with unanimous praise from Demi Lovato, who gave her a hug and a pep talk, Britney Spears, L.A. Reid, and Simon Cowell, who Demz even pointed out was weepy at Jillian’s story. Watch the whole she-bang right here:

Demi Lovato has been an outspoken advocate for anti-bullying for years now, so her support of Jillian Jensen isn’t surprising. However, Demi and X Factor as a whole are coming under some criticism of their own for supposedly bullying contestants–and a lot of people think that Demi Lovato in particular is conveying a lot of conflicting messages.

Here’s the thing, though: Criticism and bullying are two really different things, and that’s something that Demi Lovato actually pointed out in a new interview.

“I think bullying is something that’s totally different than criticism,” Demi said. “Bullying, I think, can be when you’re just … harsh really for no reason. I feel when you’re giving criticism, you’re only trying to help somebody with their performance or their voice or whatever. I think definitely there could be a fine line between some jokes, but for me, ultimately, I’m just having fun and trying to give them criticism.”

We totally agree with Demi on this one. Criticism is something that people, especially performers on shows like X Factor, American Idol, and The Voice actively seek out–even when they don’t necessarily like what they hear. When you audition for a show like this, you know what you’re getting into, and usually, the judges (save occasionally for Simon!) are polite, if direct, with their advice and perspectives. At the end of the day, even when criticism is negative on the surface, it’s still helpful, because it forces you to look at something differently and reassess–which will ultimately help you improve.

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Demi Lovato and Jillian Jensen bonded over being bullied. | Source: YouTube

Bullying, however, is unwarranted and unduly cruel, and it benefits absolutely no one. No one asks to be bullied, and nothing good comes out of being bullied or bullying anyone else. Even Simon knows when to give it a rest!

Think of it this way: Criticism would be Demi or Simon telling someone at an X Factor audition, “You need to work on your pitch,” whereas bullying would be Simon and Demi going up to someone on the street humming along to their iPod and being like, “You’re a douchebag and that is the worst thing I’ve ever heard. Also, your mom is fat.” See the difference here?

Do you think Demi Lovato and the X Factor judges bully contestants? Were you impressed by the Jillian Jensen X Factor audition? Would you ever audition for X Factor? Tell us in the comments!

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  • Cam

    My daughter wants to sing(she does need practice)and she watched and listened to Jillians story and song.she had a new outlook on the critisizing part of it!now she knows her friends arn’t being cruel,just honest about her singing,she has since learned to belt out the song so people can hear her!she has only been bullied once,and she understands the differance now(she’s 10)but thanks to Jillians story and performance,my little girl is so much better and not so shy about singing now!it’s great now to listen to her sing with so much more confidence!people who bully have problems themselves and to should be helped by whatever means it may be,they to are people(they just need help!!)as a parent,if your child gets into trouble for bullying others,get help,don’t blow it off,that will only hurt your child!I’m glad Demi is an activist against bullying,and hope the whole world will get in on it to help stop it!!Parents,get involved with your childs life,it is an important and developmental stage of their life,bullying can lead a child down a self destructive path,and to be a bully can lead to a life that is destructive and with no purpose.help stop this sensless act of pain infliction on others and help your children grow and reach their full potential in life!

  • Steel

    Demi may not be a bully (except when she laughed at that Adonis guy), but “X Factor” as a show is edited to make people look bad. The bad auditions should really happen off camera so the people aren’t embarrassed.

  • Joey

    Jillian jensen your song makes many cry and ache in pain just knowing what you have been through Thank you I have been through bulling in the since of not being protected and helped by authority figures. I listen to your song at least once a day for the strengh

  • delani

    Omfg that was so sad the people that bullied her should be slapped in the face!

  • ebony

    i used to get bullied so i know what it is like i am happy that is got thought to the next round

  • Tamarya

    Oh, God. My third time watching and I just keep crying. We have the same story. But hopefully for Jillian, the struggle is over. I’m a victim and still witness bullying every day of my middle school life.

  • Val

    WAW I haven’t seen this, because i’m not from USA, but it’s so shocking, i almost cry because of her history, and I had goosebumps. she is amazing!