It was announced that the 500 British Army reinforcements to be sent to Afghanistan will be made up entirely of X-Factor Contestants, but they won't be required to perform their act in the middle of actual combat situations, a government spokesperson confirmed yesterday.
"The 500 Contestants will be given one week's instruction in the use of body armour and tactical positioning in a combat situation.", the spokesperson elaborated. "Then they will be airlifted to the front in Southern Afghanistan where they will be deployed as the forward elements of our standing patrols of the region, replacing valuable combat troops and keeping them out of danger."
The spokesperson dismissed the ethical issues raised by sending civilian participants in a talent show into a battle area. " We think that this will give them a good grounding for the few survivors to appear on X-Factor. All the contestants will have to do is to face the risk of ambush or direct assault by a bunch of bloodthirsty tribesmen wielding AK-47s or RPG-7s who are willing to fight to the death. It's very competitive in Southern Afghanistan so we believe they'll feel right at home there. They may also be blown up by roadside bombs, but then this means that we will knowwhere the bombs are, admittedly after they have gone off."
The spokesman insisted that the contestants would not be armed. "Just like in the show, no opportunity will be given to them to defend or retaliate against the assaults. We do want this experience to be as authentic as possible."