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'X Factor' Admits To Auto-Tuning Contestants Performances

The producers of 'X Factor' have admitted to using vocal enhancement processes after thousands of fans noticed contestant's pitch and off-key notes had been corrected.

Auto-tuning is typically used in recording studios to improve performances by correcting pitch and disguising off-key mistakes. But fans are outraged the process is being used in a talent show, especially one in which the winner is determined by viewer votes.

"The judges make their decisions at the auditions stage based on what they hear on the day, live in the arena," says a spokesman for the ITV talent show.

"The footage and sound is then edited and dubbed into a finished programme, to deliver the most entertaining experience possible for viewers. When it gets to the live shows, it will be all live."

The focus of the debate surrounded 18-year-old contestant Gamu Nhengu, who sang 'Walking On Sunshine'.

After hearing her effort, judge Simon Cowell told her she was "really talented" before she was unanimously voted through to the next round.

"Cannot believe they auto-tuned her," noticed one fan. "Listen to the words 'door' and 'telephone' and it's very clear. She's so good as well, but obviously the producers of X Factor didn't think she was good enough."

Furious politicians have argued that the public is being robbed of making up their own minds.

"It’s as bad as rigging the phone lines for voting," says Labour MP Tom Watson.

But s show source tells the 'Mirror' that the software has been used for years.

"It has been used for a long time on the show both for the auditions and the live shows. The problem is that you have got a lot of contestants who sound equally good, so how do viewers at home make a judgement on who to pick."

"So Auto-Tune has been used to make good singers sound even better and not so good singers sound much worse.:

"Obviously that would result in a much more entertaining show where some singers sounded hilariously bad, constantly missing notes, and others were amazingly polished. We all thought it wasn’t right to use that kind of equipment on a talent contest as it gave viewers a misleading view of the singers’ ability. It was a bit of a con."

Simon Cowell has now ordered an immediate ban on auto-tune being used in future shows in an attempt to do some damage control on the hit he is bringing to the US next season.

August 24, 2010 |

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