Simon Cowell orders "X-Factor" overhaul

Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:06pm EDT
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By Mimi Turner

EDINBURGH (Hollywood Reporter) - Simon Cowell has ordered an overhaul of his British "X-Factor" TV talent show, ruling that Auto-Tune technology can no longer be used to correct singer's pitch and pledging to put viewer trust at the top of the priorities.

The new focus comes after the show was accused of using technical wizardry to mask poor performances by contestants.

Producers of the British show -- which began airing last Saturday to record audiences -- will now re-edit the upcoming audition shows, removing all voice modulation technology so that viewers hear the authentic sound of contestants.

"People have got to be able to trust 'The X-Factor' -- we are not faking anything," Cowell told the British press.

"People love this show, millions watch it every week and we absolutely respect that. We never take it for granted."

Cowell's comments come as the producers of "American Idol" said they would never use the technology.

Hundreds of fans flooded message boards after the British show aired last Saturday, complaining that contestants' voices had been altered.

But the furor has not affected ratings: the seventh series of the ITV juggernaut debut peaked at almost 12 million viewers, a million more than last year.

(To read more about our entertainment news, visit our blog "Fan Fare" online at

<p>Judge Simon Cowell arrives for the 9th season finale of 'American Idol' in Los Angeles May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>