Seven, Mel B kiss and make up.

Three years ago Seven and Mel B. went into battle over breach of contract. Now everyone is singing a new tune.


In news that has surprised nobody (with the possible exception of NSW Supreme Court Justice David Hammerschlag) Mel B is returning to The X Factor.

She was confirmed as the ‘Underdog Judge’ last night, choosing 3 finalists from acts eliminated by fellow judges  Guy Sebastian, Iggy Azalea and Adam Lambert.

Melanie Brown was on The X Factor Australia in 2011 and 2012 until Seven released her from her contract due to family issues and visas for Australia. But when Nine snapped her up for Australia’s Got Talent in 2013, Seven took her to court for breach of contract.

Seven’s Director of Production, Brad Lyons, told the court of negotiations with Brown’s husband Stephen Belafonte in which he agreed to release Brown from the series (but hoped to involve her in “home visits”). The agreement was that Brown could not work for any other network during the dates of their contract.

In the end the court agreed with Lyons position over Belafonte’s, noting “The problem is with Mel.” It was an expensive battle with Nine having to pay costs.

Three years later, both sides are back at work together.

This week Brown said, “My family and I love Australia and cannot wait to get back there.”


12 Responses

  1. I don’t know I feel a little disappointed to see Mel back. I mean this season is a fresh start and they bring back someone from the past. Never been a fan of her anyway. Guess I will watch it but may choose to record it and ff through her bits.

  2. Casting aside who the underdog judge is, I think this category would be more interesting as it would be more diverse as it would have the under/over 22 and group.

    1. Yes but 7 dragged her career out of the gutter. Her XF Australian job led to a gig on Americas got talent and UK XF. Not very loyal but to her credit she makes great TV and I am glad that she is back. She makes me laugh as she is cheeky and naughty.

  3. Its interesting that some people think Australia wouldn’t want her back despite her casting being seen as the key to X factors success in 2011 (after the 2010 season suffered low ratings and nearly wasn’t brought back at all). Say what you want but things were never dull with Mel on the panel!

    1. There are plenty of other artists with ‘big’ personality if you want to look at the ‘not dull’ perspective. You are right…those on this site who do not favor her return could be minority compared to you (rest of the nation).

  4. This week Brown said, “My family and I love Australia and cannot wait to get back there.”

    Yeah right – plus lots of money being thrown at her to come back. It’d be interesting to see how she gets along with Iggy. And Guy said it really well ‘ I thought we got rid of her for good!”. Well, Australia thought so but Seven begs to differ. Grrrrrr.

  5. Another hint that it was going to be Mel B was that she stars in the current Jenny Craig ad. The first network I saw this ad was on 7. Subtle much?

  6. If you sk me, she was always going to be the 4th Judge but probably couldn’t make it to Aus during the initial filming, when she became “available” they slot her in this way. Seems like it was always the plan….. and yawn, she bores the hell out of me.

  7. So they build up all this hype of who the underdog judge is and it’s just Mel B. Talk about underwhelming. Makes a mockery of the so called next gen tagline they’ve been using for this series.

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