Simon Cowell is under fire for shaming a 17-year-old girl's looks on tonight's 'X Factor' 5 years ago

Simon Cowell is under fire for shaming a 17-year-old girl's looks on tonight's 'X Factor'

Viewers of tonight's X Factor were shocked to hear Simon Cowell tell a teenage girl to remove all her make-up, before coming back and auditioning for him again.

It's Judges' Houses week on the talent show - Louis Walsh is getting a lot of abuse tonight too over his decisions - and one of those hoping to make it through to the live shows was 17-year-old Samantha Lavery.

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Simon described wild card Samantha as "distant" to guest judges Emma Bunton and Mel B as the young girl arrived to perform.

"Samantha I wish we had met without what you think is your pop star image," he tells her. "With you I think we've had a bit of a mask put up. I'd almost like to see you without so much make-up."

Emma and Mel did not look impressed by Cowell's words.

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Samantha looked upset about the criticism too, and so Simon tried to roll back by saying, "All I'm saying Samantha is I want you to peel back the mask".

"Does that sound bad?" he then asks Emma and Mel, and they both admonished him, explaining that experimenting with looks is what girls do.

A fresh-faced Samantha later came back and auditioned, singing Ed Sheeran’s 'Make it Rain'.

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Simon was now full of praise for her appearance. "I didn't say it to be mean," he told her. "I actually said it because I hadn't quite connected with you."

This is the segment in question:

Samantha ended up being selected for the live shows, but viewers were deeply angered by Cowell's comments to the girl.

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Still, make-up change seemed to do the trick for guest judge Emma Bunton...

The important point is:

In the end, here's who got through to Simon's group for the live shows...

...and here's who was axed.