Asia Argento Joins 'X Factor' in Italy as Judge

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Asia Argento

The singer, director and activist makes a stunning return after being exiled from the Italian entertainment industry.

Asia Argento will return to Italian television as a judge on Italy's upcoming season of The X Factor. She joins fellow judges Fedez, Mara Maionchi and Manuel Agnelli, along with host Alessandro Cattelan.

X Factor Italy is produced by FremantleMedia Italy for Sky. "We are excited to welcome Asia to the X Factor family, where we are confident that the contribution of her musical culture and personality will be very important to the show," said Nils Hartmann, director of Sky Italy original productions.

"We welcome all the protagonists of this new edition, but particularly Asia Argento, whom we are delighted to have on board," said Gabriele Immirzi, COO of FremantleMedia Italy. "X Factor 2018 will signal a more creative and productive renovation of the show, with the ambition to continue to grow and be more and more the reference point for Italian and international music shows."

In additon to her titles of actress, director and activist, Argento has long led a succesful music career. She is also the great-granddaughter of famed Italian composer Alfredo Casella. She recently collaborated with french super-group Indochine on their platinum album 13, singing the duet "Gloria" and directing a music video for their song "La vie est belle." She has also sung on collaborations over the years with Brian Molko of Placebo, Tricky, and Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. 

The new role on the popular show will also mark a triumphant return for Argento after being shunned by the Italian industry and denounced in Italian media after she spoke out about being raped in Cannes by Harvey Weinstein. At this year's Palme d'Or awards ceremony, she gave a powerful speech, describing the festival as Weinstein's "hunting ground," as well as calling out his many industry enablers.

Argento tweeted that her joining X Factor was important, "especially because I will be working in Italy" where "I was slut-shamed for months on primetime TV and front page of newspapers." She concluded by expressing how she felt about getting her new on-air role: "Sweet. Bittersweet."

X Factor Italy begins shooting its new season in June. It is set to start airing in September.