Simon Cowell reportedly banned Take That from using dancers dressed in police riot gear during their appearance on "The X Factor" on Sunday, December 12, just days after violent clashes between cops and students in London. The five-piece had planned to stage a thrilling rendition of their new single "Kidz" on the British reality show, but the music mogul stepped in to stop them.
He was said to find the costumes "inappropriate" after Thursday's December 9 protests in the U.K. capital over the rise in university tuition fees, according to Britain's The Sun. Boxes full of helmets and a wrapped shield were later seen being taken away unused from the show's Wembley studios. A source tells the publication, "When Simon found out about the riot cop gear he was upset. For him X Factor is an entertainment show pure and simple. It's about people having a good time. It's not about politics."
"He thought it wasn't on (inappropriate) having dancers dressed as riot police. He told Take That it was insensitive and inappropriate and asked them to change things. It was touch and go for a minute as they were threatening to walk out but Simon stood firm. He'd rather have filled the three minutes with something else. Take That might be a huge band, but when it comes to The X Factor, Simon calls the shots."
One of the band's dancers, Jennifer Leuner, wrote on Facebook.com, "Simon Cowell cut us! Said it was too controversial. I'm gutted because it was gonna be so good!" The band instead performed their last single "The Flood" on the show's final, which saw series favorite Matt Cardle take the winner's title.