Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Is the X Factor chasing ratings instead of talent?

Show under fire over choices for live finals

THIS IMAGE IS STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 MONDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2010.FROM TALKBACK THAMES TV FOR ITVTHE X FACTOR on Sunday 3rd October 2010 on ITV1Picture Shows: Rachel, Katie and Cher with CherylPicture Caption: The multi-award winning entertainment show returns to our screens for an explosive seventh series, following on from the ratings smash of last season, as the search for the next singing superstar reaches new levels.With new mum Dannii Minogue returning for Judgesâ Houses, this year will see a series of celebrity guest judges take their seats at the auditions. They are Geri Halliwell, Katy Perry, Natalie Imbruglia, Nicole Scherzinger and Pixie Lott. They will join regular judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole as they travel across Britain and over to Ireland for the auditions, with the hopefuls trying to impress the judges and audiences of thousands.Dermot O'Leary returns to host the proceedings on ITV1 and will be on hand to celebrate with the successful acts and mop up the tears of those that aren't, whilst new to the team is Konnie Huq who will be fronting ITV2âs The Xtra Factor.Source: DigitalPicture Contact: Emily Page on emily.page@itv.com/020 715 73034 and Shane Chapman on shane.chapman@itv.com/020 715 73043COPYRIGHT: TALKBACK THAMES

It’s a decision that has sparked fury among X Factor fans and embroiled the prime-time entertainment show in yet another headline-grabbing controversy.



On Sunday night Madonna wannabe Katie Waissel was put through to the live finals of the show by her mentor Cheryl despite fluffing her audition — and not for the first time.

What has angered fans is that her ticket to the finals came at the expense of Gamu Nhengu, whose performances have been faultless.

Outraged viewers set up a Facebook group called ‘Gamu should have got through’, which over 25,000 people had joined within hours of Sunday night’s show.

Of course, the X Factor is no stranger to controversy — we’ve previously witnessed feuds between judges, the use of auto-tuning and Simon Cowell’s shock lifeline to the talentless Jedward during last year’s series, when poor Lucie Jones was sent home instead.

So, has the show lost its way as a singing competition?

Is Cowell more interested in tabloid column inches than real talent?

Cole seemed to suggest this was the case when she admitted Waissel would divide the nation. “They’ll either love her or hate her,” she told The Black Eyed Peas Will.I.Am.

She also called Waissel a “drama queen” — but still put her through and sent the talented Gamu home.

Waissel forgot her words at her first audition and begged an unconvinced Simon Cowell to give her a second chance. But she managed to make it through the Bootcamp stage with a decent performance of Etta James’s At Last.

On Sunday night, however, she seemed overcome with |emotion as she performed, and Cole looked on in horror as she messed up again.

Cole’s decision to also put through 16-year-old Cher Lloyd — her own personal favourite from the early stage auditions — has also proved contentious, with many fans saying the teen is too fragile.

It is understood Ofcom has received numerous complaints from viewers over Cole’s selection.

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