Belfast Telegraph

Producer defends X Factor in row

An award-winning record producer has defended The X Factor over claim the TV talent show used technology to make some contestants' voices sound better.

Furious viewers filled internet forums with complaints about the use of "autotuning" during the programme.

But Donal Hodgson, who won a Grammy for his work with Sting, said using it was perfectly acceptable as long as it was not a total "fabrication".

He said: "The issue would be if the X Factor was using it on people that really couldn't sing and making something that was a fabrication. I didn't see the show but I imagine if you have a lot of young people who have never sung live on stage before then they will sing out of tune.

"They won't be used to monitors and hearing their own voices coming back to them so they would be more likely to sing out of tune."

Most of the allegations surrounded teenage contestant Gamu Nhengu, who sang a version of the Katrina And The Waves hit Walking On Sunshine. After hearing her effort, judge Simon Cowell told the 18-year-old, from Clackmannanshire, Scotland, she was "really talented" before she was unanimously voted through to the next round.

But on the show's website, robhayes wrote: "Absolutely disgusting use of... autotune... does X Factor really think we are idiots? I see the idea of making the show more entertaining, but this is taking the mick... really..."

A spokesman for broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received 30 complaints about the issue.

He said: "We do not consider that the complaints received to date raise issues under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code."

The code states broadcasters must "ensure that viewers and listeners are not materially misled about any broadcast competition or voting".

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