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Asia Argento has been officially replaced from her role as a judge on X Factor Italy by Lodo Guenzi. He will join judges Fedez, Mara Maionchi and Manuel Agnelli for the show’s live editions beginning Oct. 25 on Sky Uno.
Indie rockstar Guenzi is the front man for group Lo Stato Sociale. Guenzi, a former actor, posted on his Instagram account that watching X Factor was one of the reasons he went into music. “The idea that there are so many ways to get your voice, either good or bad, to people’s hearts makes me feel free,” he wrote. “I think Asia did a great job and I am lucky to inherit the amazing team she picked, and whatever good thing happens it will basically be thanks to her.”
Asia Argento was dropped from her role on the show after allegations in The New York Times claimed that she paid off former child actor Jimmy Bennett for an alleged sexual assault in California when he was 17.
Argento has denied any wrongdoing and recently appeared on Italian television show Non e l’Arena to claim that she was the victim of the assault and that she had to seek trauma therapy following the incident. The show’s host, Massimo Giletti, made an appeal to Sky Italia’s CEO to hire her back on the show.
An online petition from fans hoped to get Argento reinstated, and her fellow judges on the show also voiced their support.
Argento became a popular figure on Italian television, praised for her work on the first seven episodes of the show. Sky decided to air the initial auditions, which had already been shot, so as not to penalize the 40,000 people who initially attended casting calls.
X Factor Italy will shoot eight more episodes to narrow down the final star from 12 finalists.
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