Check Out Our New Look

Simon Cowell’s Third UK Cheating Scandal

UPDATE: Susan Boyle’s famous audition for Britain’s Got Talent was digitally tweaked, according to a show insider. The Evening Standard quotes an anonymous source saying that the show’s production team — which is the same as The X Factor — smoothed out the Scottish singer’s voice in post-production.

PREVIOUS: Talkback Thames, which co-produces Simon Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent with his Syco, has admitted to me that the show has used Auto-Tune to make auditions sound better. (Auto-Tune is primarily designed to correct pitch and disguise off-key mistakes as well as filter outside noise.) This is now the 2nd Cowell contest show which is using sound enhancement technology and the 3rd  Cowell contest show which is cheating. ”In line with standard television practice, sound filtering technology has been used on Britain’s Got Talent on our pre-recorded shows, but this does not unfairly reflect any singer’s performance. The performance shown on screen is a fair reflection of performance given in the live theatre.  Judges make their decision based on that live performance,” Talkback Thames emailed me. The producers are trying to split hairs; they claim the sound enhancement software is used only in post-production, and that Cowell and fellow panelists Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden do hear and judge only the performers’ raw efforts. But the audience is deprived of making fair comparisons about the contestants’ talent amid allegations that some singers are advancing because of interesting backstories instead of vocal … Read More »

Comments (13)

‘The X Factor’ Rocked By Second Scandal As Simon Cowell Bans Use Of Auto-Tune

The UK show’s bosses are debating whether to drop a contestant from this season’s first episode after it emerged she already has a record contract in the U.S. Katie Waissel, 24, sailed through to the next round after Saturday night’s opening show, not telling producers Syco and Talkback Thames that she already has a two-record deal on a jazz label.

Simon Cowell, meanwhile, has banned performance-enhancing software from edited pre-recorded auditions. The X Factor has become embroiled in what newspapers are gleefully calling “the TV scandal of the year”. Cowell is anxious to shore up the talent show’s reputation before it transfers to the U.S. in Fall 2011. Viewers have complained to UK regulator Ofcom about Zimbabwean-born contestant Gamu Nhengu having her voice tweaked with Auto-Tune. Before this scandal, Nhengu was tipped as a potential winner. Programme-makers have admitted using Auto-Tune to help contestants when they sing sharp. Worse, it has emerged the software is also used to make no-hopers sound worse. “The integrity of the show is very important to him [Cowell] and so he told production that Auto-Tune cannot be used again,” one source told the Daily Mirror.

Syco has stressed that Auto-Tuning is never used in the live editions of the show, where votes are cast. “If anybody could prove that Auto-Tuning is used in the live shows, then they have a real problem,” one … Read More »

Comments (16)