The pair attracted complaints for their respective performances on the ITV1 show in December. The official response today confirmed that 2,868 complaints had been received, with a majority concerned that the routines had been "too sexually explicit" for what is perceived to be "a family show".
However, Ofcom revealed that "approximately 2,000" of the complaints had been received following coverage of Rihanna and Aguilera's performances in the Daily Mail. It highlighted that the report had featured a number of stills which were "significantly more graphic and close-up" than the material that had been broadcast on the programme, and that were "taken from a different angle to the television cameras".
Ofcom launched an investigation into the programme based on two rules which state that: "Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them," and "In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context."
Channel TV, which compiled the programme on behalf of ITV1, insisted that "it did not believe that anything in the performances of Christina Aguilera or Rihanna was inappropriate for the time of broadcast" and suggested that regular viewers of the show "would be aware that it is designed to entertain a mixed audience".
However, it was confirmed that the director had made changes to the camera shots used during Aguilera's routine as some of them had been "too close for comfort". Close up shots of the Burlesque star and her dancers were replaced by "looser, wide shots".
The report continued: "Channel TV said on behalf of ITV1 that it regretted that some viewers were taken aback by the performance, but it believed that it took appropriate steps to minimise potential offence and make the dance routines as broadcast suitable for all by reviewing and amending the camera angles and shots used after seeing the performances 'blocked' at rehearsals."
In its ruling, Ofcom noted that of the show's total audience, 7% (1.05 million) were young children. A further 5.7% (then 50,000) youngsters watched a repeat at 9.30am the following morning.
On Rihanna's performance of 'What's My Name?', the media regulator said that it was "largely shot at a wide angle" and close-ups focused on the Bajan star's head and shoulders.
Watch Rihanna's performance of 'What's My Name?' below:
"The part of the dance routine which featured some gentle thrusting of the buttocks by Rihanna was in keeping with her performing style, suitably limited and brief in duration, and in Ofcom's view was suitable for a pre-watershed audience," it said.
Judging Aguilera's showing, Ofcom stated that the routine had been "sexualised in nature to some extent" and featured "a number of simultaneous, sexualised elements concentrated into a relatively short period of time and there was therefore a cumulative effect".
Watch Aguilera's performance of 'Express' below:
However, it was again noted that wider shots of the stage had served in "minimising the potential impact". Although the ruling continued to add that "the overtly sexual nature of the burlesque-style routine of the dancers" was "clearly capable of causing offence to some viewers" and that it "considered that this content was at the very margin of acceptability for broadcast".
Concluding its findings, Ofcom warned that broadcasters of programmes which attract family audiences "should recognise the significant potential for causing offence" and that care must be taken to "provide appropriate protection for those audiences".
New guidance "about the acceptability of material in pre-watershed programmes" is due to issued by Ofcom shortly. It was also confirmed that broadcasters will be asked to attend a meeting to discuss "the compliance of such material".
> Aguilera defends raunchy performances