X Factor judge Gary Barlow believes show is too tough on youngsters

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After the final 16 contestants were revealed over the weekend, X Factor judge Gary Barlow has admitted that the show could be too tough on the younger contestants.

The Take That singer decided to send home 16-year-old Luke Lucas at the final stage before the live shows, a decision that clearly had the youngster visibly distraught.

Speaking afterwards, Barlow said: “Sixteen is just too young to be in a competition with this kind of pressure, but some 16-year-olds are more mature than others. Luke is just too young.”

“I have a responsibility here as well. It was too much for him – no wonder he cracked under the pressure.”

Supporting claims that the age limit for the show should perhaps be increased, Robbie Williams – Gary’s band mate and guest mentor for the judges houses stage – said: “I do think 16 is a bit young but when you get an opportunity you just grab it. If it was my son or my daughter I don’t think I would be pushing them that early.”

“Eighteen or 19 maybe, then you’ve found yourself, you’ve left school, hung out with mates, earned some money and know what money means, you’ve been anonymous and done your fun things.”

“At 16… it is amazing how much of your hopes, dreams, wants become all about this. And if you don’t get it then everything is broken. But it isn’t. Some people that don’t make it might have got off lightly.”

On the flip side of this is the fact that 16-year-old contestants Janet Devlin and Amelia Lily made it through to the live shows, so perhaps it is just how well a contestant this age can handle the pressure.

Looking at the betting for the show now that the final 16 have been revealed, Janet and Amelia are actually the two favourites at 3/1 and 5/1 respectively.

Frankie Cocozza – who Gary decided to put through – is the most likely of the boys to win the show at 10/1, while Nu Vibe have the best chance of being the first group to ever win the show at 16/1.

Clive Montague
Clive is the deputy editor of Celebritybets.co.uk. For any suggestions, infomation or questions Clive can be contacted on c.montague@celebritybets.co.uk

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