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Gay X Factor star reflects on the infamous moment Dannii Minogue outed him on live TV a decade on

Patrick Kelleher September 14, 2020
Dannii Minogue Danyl Johnson X Factor outing gay

Dannii Minogue (Graham Denholm/WireImage) and Danyl Johnson (Ian Gavan/Getty)

The X Factor star Danyl Johnson has said he forgives Dannii Minogue for outing him on live television.

Johnson, who competed on season six of the singing competition in 2009, was infamously outed by the then-judge after changing the lyrics of the Dreamgirls classic “And I’m Telling You” to make it about a woman instead of about a man.

Fans were shocked when Minogue referenced his sexuality in her critique, saying: “If we are to believe everything we read in the paper maybe you didn’t need to change the gender reference in it.” She was referencing tabloid speculation at the time that Johnson was bisexual.

Minogue was swiftly rebuked by her fellow judges, with both Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole awkwardly trying to move past it.

The incident sparked almost 4,000 complaints — but a decade on, Johnson said he felt sorry for Minogue, and knew she meant no harm.

“Could you imagine if that happened now?!” the X Factor star said in an interview with Metro.

“I mean look what’s happening with Diversity. It’s dividing opinion. At that time, that situation with Dannii was the most complained about thing in TV history ever.”

Johnson explained that he actually changed the song’s lyrics to make it about a woman in an effort to avoid an unwanted focus on his sexuality – but things did not work out as planned.

She just thought it funny, and maybe it was – maybe there was a joke missed.

“I’m a gay man. I just said, ‘It’s just easier and it’s gonna be overdramatic so let’s just say girl’, then people are going to ignore it,” Johnson laughed.

“They didn’t ignore it.”

Dannii Minogue was ‘in tears’ over Danyl Johnson outing.

Danyl Johnson said the other X Factor judges gave “a hell of a hard time to Dannii” over the incident – and that the singer was mortified afterwards.

“I went and saw Dannii the next day, and she was just in tears,” he said.

“People were saying stuff on Twitter. Lucky enough Twitter was like, one year old… you wouldn’t be getting away with s**t now.”

Johnson went on to describe Dannii Minogue as a “frickin’ gay icon” and said she had only ever been kind to him.

“One thing about Dannii I’ll say is her room was always open, and she wasn’t my judge.

“She made a mistake. She just thought it was fun and funny, and maybe it was — maybe there was a joke missed.”

He added: “The thing about it is, is it important? It didn’t ruin my life. It might have been a bit embarrassing. It might not have been needed, but it wasn’t done in malice.

“She wasn’t doing it to be horrible, she wasn’t doing it to be homophobic, it might have come across that way, but it wasn’t intentional, and she apologised and I accepted the apology. Done.”

Minogue later apologised for her comments in a blog post, saying that she and Johnson had been “joking” in rehearsals about his sexuality.

“I’d like to apologise to anyone that was offended by my comments. It was never my intention. I spoke to Danyl straight after the show last night and he wasn’t offended or upset by my comments, and knew exactly what I was saying.”

More: Dannii Minogue, Danyl Johnson, X Factor

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