Jessie J has joined the row over allowing children to compete in Britain’s Got Talent – saying it should be made illegal.
Speaking to The Sun, the singer – currently onscreen in the knockout rounds of The Voice – accused the show of holding younger performers up for laughs at auditions.
“I cannot agree with kids having to go through three or four auditions when it’s purely for ridicule,” she said.
“I don’t understand why it’s legal, I think it’s wrong. I watched BGT auditions and there are these kids getting laughed at by the audience, I’m like, ‘Woah, why?’
She added: “I get very uncomfortable seeing young kids on stage because I know what it’s like.I know however much greatness there is in this world, there are also a lot of mean people behind computers. Children need to be children.”
The debate over having child acts on the show was ignited by Bruce Forsyth, who blasted Simon Cowell for putting children through the ‘ordeal’ of auditions – and that talented youngsters should have their own show instead.
Jessie, meanwhile, suggested that the public appetite for shows in which acts are held up for ridicule may be waning.
“I think the public, thank god, have finally realised that it’s wrong,” she said.
Despite all the controversy this year’s Britain’s Got Talent final will be full of child performers – with acts through to next Saturday’s showdown including dance troupe 11-year-old singers Ariksandra and Asanda Jezile, 14-year-old comedian Jack Carroll, 14-year-old songwriter Gabz Gardiner and dance troupe Pre Skool.
The last of this year’s semi-finals will be screened on Saturday night at 7pm.