X Factor hopeful axed over nude pics

ADRIAN LOWE
Last updated 15:13 21/09/2012

Australian X Factor Josh Brookes Contestant Booted From Show

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X Factor Australia contestant Josh Brookes has been sacked from the reality show for reportedly trying to solicit nude photos from some of his 24,000 followers during an unauthorised Twitcam chat this week.

The Seven Network released a statement saying Brookes, one of the 11 remaining contestants who was being put up in an apartment in Sydney, was being sent home to Perth as he "behaved in an inappropriate manner".

Details have emerged of the suggestive conversation the now-booted talent show contestant had with fans, many of them teens, during a live webcam chat at the weekend, where he asked girls to send him "sneaky banana" pictures.

He was apparently using Twitcam with Memon who was had been eliminated from the Australian show on Tuesday night.

Brookes, 20 and fellow contestant Adil Memon, 18, promoted their TwitCam appearance on Saturday on the microblogging site but both have since deleted all traces of the appearance - and their Twitter accounts.

Many fans are teenage girls who use Twitter to contact the contestants but also to profess love and adulation for them, similar to that showered on boybands and other celebrities.

TwitCam is a site that allows Twitter users to create a broadcast and connect with followers through a webcam.

Memon, eliminated last week, tweeted of the TwitCam show: "Come chat with X Factor's current bachelors now!! ;D" while Brookes tweeted: "Xfactors two biggest playaz GO LIVE!!"

Fairfax understands that Brookes was asking chat participants to send "sneaky banana pics" - a slang term for a naked self-portrait, also known as a "naked selfie".

"They were swearing a bit and asking for 'sneaky banana pics'," said one participant.

Memon insisted after the stream that "there was no subliminal dirty meaning in that twitcam hahaha @j-brookez [Brookes' Twitter handle] was just eating a banana hence y it started haha!"

It is also understood that fans tweeted the singers with their phone numbers so that they could be called during the stream.

Brookes specifically asked for one girl, 17, to send pictures of herself - she did not - and later phoned her.

"Honestly, I don't think they meant any harm from it, they're boys and they have so many restrictions as contestants," she said today.

In a statement, the Seven Network said Brookes was participating in an out-of-hours social media session in an inappropriate way.

Fans have expressed outrage at Brookes' firing since it was announced last night, but others have attacked those defending him.

"We have all these famous singers on drugs, in rehab and behaving like animals yet a mistake that any young man can make gets you booted from the show," wrote one on Facebook. "What a real shame. It doesn't mean that your singing days are over though mate..."

But another wrote: "Yes people do make mistakes Josh but you had intent and that is no mistake. You are old enough to know better than to be asking for nude pictures online. I hope it was worth it to you because I for 1 would never buy 1 of your albums now if you released 1. I have young daughters and obviously you cant be trusted to behave in an appropriate manner. Your immaturity sure shines through."

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Brookes last night posted on his Facebook page: "People make mistakes, but sadly sometimes you must learn the hard way..."

Seven in its statement said a replacement in the X Factor competition would be announced soon, but the furore may well play in to the network's hands, with the program already one of its top-rating shows.

-Sydney Morning Herald and AAP

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