Career over after Brookes slipped on a 'sneaky banana'

Disqualified: Josh Brookes.
Disqualified: Josh Brookes.
A montage of X Factor contestant Josh Brookes' 'sneaky banana' Twitcam broadcast.

A montage of X Factor contestant Josh Brookes' 'sneaky banana' Twitcam broadcast.

Eliminated X Factor contestant Josh Brookes has lost his chance to be famous musician, entertainment gurus say.

Brookes, 20, was among the show's top 12 finalists when he was eliminated for asking girls to send him "sneaky banana" — nude — pictures on a live webcam conversation with fans, many of them teens, on the weekend. He conceded his mistake on social networking website Facebook after being booted from the reality television talent show.

Head of publicity agency Markson Sparks, Max Markson, said the revelations were not positive at the start of his career, with more popular singers' careers ruined by similar scandals in the past.

"He's not famous enough to have established himself to have a career that can be ruined," Mr Markson said. "He'll be forgotten about very quickly. It's not like a star who's had hit singles and been performing all over the place and all of a sudden done something wrong."

Mr Markson said Brookes' behaviour was not acceptable, and that he would now be treated as a liability in the entertainment industry.

"Why would you waste your time with someone like this when there's so much more talented [singers] out there who want to be successful and will behave themselves as well?

"It's hard enough being in the rock and roll and entertainment industry [where you] step one foot wrong and get hauled over coals for it. You'd rather do it by accident, not deliberately."

Mr Markson said it was unlikely Mr Brookes could re-launch his music career in Australia in the near future.

"If he wanted to relaunch himself he's best to to change his name by default, his look and have some plastic surgery done."

Former Australian Idol judge and music industry veteran Mark Holden said he had not been following the show or heard of Brookes before. But he said Brookes had lost his opportunity to build an audience on the television show.

"I don't know whether that sort of story would particualrly upset the target audience of young people but...the whole point of these talent shows is that you have a massive marketing opportunity week after week that you stay on (through which) you can build an audience and create a name brand," Mr Holden, now a barrister who practices in defamation law, said.

He said that if the scandal had happened at a later stage in the show it might not have "hurt" his career. If he was already an established artist like Robbie Williams "it might be regarded as bad boy behaviour" that helped his career.

"But ... record companies don't really have marketing budgets anymore and so the marketing you get is staying on television as long as possible."

Mr Holden said Brookes had also lost the opportunity to develop a relationship with the Seven Network, which could have led to greater exposure and cross-promotion on other popular television shows like Home and Away that lead to other entertainment roles.

"If you have that kind of exit you've just described, I would think that Channel 7 would be not the slightest bit interest in continuing a relationship with someone like that."

He said that entertainers were competing in the "toughest landscape there has ever been" particularly in Australia, where television networks and record companies were few and far between.

While social media networks like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter had helped propel musicians such as Justin Bieber to superstardom in the US, Mr Holden did not think this was possible in Australia.

"How many of those can you actually name in Australia? Try and name somebody who's developed from a social [media] network alone and ended up successful careers," he said.

"I'm not saying they don't exist but ... I can't think of one off the top of my head."

This story Career over after Brookes slipped on a 'sneaky banana' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.