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X Factor accused of doctoring voice

The X Factor show is embroiled in another production row after fans accused editors of using technology to make some contestants' voices sound better.

As the seventh series of the ITV1 ratings smash kicked off with more than 11 million viewers, people took to internet forums to rail against the use of "autotuning" during the programme.

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. Similar accusations were made about another contestant, G and S singer Caroline, who also made it through to round two.

But some viewers went online to accuse the producers of using autotune - used in studios to improve performances by correcting pitch and disguising off-key mistakes.

A spokesman for The X Factor said post-production work was necessary due to the number of microphones used during filming.

Meanwhile, eccentric X Factor hopeful Shirlena Johnson has been thrown out of this year's Miss Great Britain contest after organisers discovered her real age when they watched her TV audition.

Millions of viewers saw Johnson, a single mother, get through to the boot camp stage of the X Factor on Saturday night after she performed, in leopard skin leggings, a bizarre rendition of the Duffy track Mercy.

Johnson told the X Factor judges that she was 30, but the age on her online Miss Great Britain form was 28, said a spokeswoman for the contest, which is for those aged 29 and under.

A spokesperson for The X Factor said: "It is important to stress that we do not use, and never have used, audio technology that would unfairly reflect any singer's original performance on The X Factor. In line with standard television practice, sound processing filters are used to remove background noise on our pre-recorded shows. Quite simply, you can't make a bad singer a good singer."

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