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Simon Cowell Reacts To Cheating Scandals

Simon Cowell has dumped the episode of the show that was planned to air tomorrow because it’s not up to his standards, says the Daily Mail. Instead, TV viewers will see the show which was meant to air on September 4. Cowell says that people have to be able to trust The X Factor because of the  cheating scandal. Supposedly, he was up until 3 AM on Thursday morning editing two shows side by side. He then made the decision to swap them round. The show’s producers have been accused of cheating after it emerged that contestant Gamu Nhengu had her vocal Auto-Tuned. More than 300 fans complained to ITV — and regulator Ofcom said it is investigating any accusations of unfair advantage. It has also emerged that show producer Talkback Thames used sound-filtering technology during auditions of another of Cowell’s UK shows, Britain’s Got Talent.

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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 »

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‘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 »

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Will Simon Cowell Bring His Cheating Ways To U.S. Version Of ‘The X Factor’ On Fox?

This past Saturday was the start of the new season of the British version of The X Factor, and it was revealed over the weekend that Simon Cowell’s show has been using Auto-Tune to make the audition contestants sound better by correcting pitch and disguising off-key mistakes. Not surprisingly, fans are outraged. Many pop singers use Auto-Tune on their recordings or in live performance. But no one knew it was being used until Saturday’s season premiere, which featured a performance by 18-year-old contestant Gamu Nhengu who sang Katrina and the Waves’ 1980s hit “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, in part because of her compelling back story. That’s when fans crowded onto Facebook claiming they could clearly hear that vocal enhancements had been employed on Gamu’s voice and accusing the show of perpetrating a massive con. (“When she got going on the second verse, there’s a 10-second chunk where it’s really, really sharp and there’s an Auto-Tune moment.”) In response to the controversy, an X-Factor spokesman admitted that post-production work such as vocal enhancement technology was used because of all the microphones on stage to “deliver the most entertaining experience possible for viewers”. But the spokesman promised that the live shows will indeed “be live”. The use of Auto-Tune is a hot button issue in the music industry with both JayZ and Christina Aguilera protesting its prevalence. … Read More »

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