American Music Awards

'X-Factor' Admits to Auto-Tuning Contestants

'X-Factor' Admits to Auto-Tuning Contestants

The seventh U.K. series of Simon Cowell's music talent show "The X Factor" opened with ratings of 11.1 million on ITV1 on Saturday (Aug. 21), up on the 9.9 million for the first show last year. But today (Aug. 23) all the attention has been on more negative reports about autotuning software used on the show in the U.K.

The admission that producers on the British show have improved contestants' voices followed comments made by viewers on Internet forums about the apparent vocal production. Gamu Nhengu, 18, was praised by judges for her rendition of "Walking on Sunshine" but some viewers easily spotted the production tweaks.

The BBC reports that a spokesman for the show said post-production work was necessary because of the number of microphones used during filming at auditions around the country.

"The judges make their decisions at the auditions stage based on what they hear on the day, live in the arena," the spokesman added. "The footage and sound is then edited and dubbed into a finished program, to deliver the most entertaining experience possible for viewers."

However, when the live studio filmed shows begin in the fall, there will not be any such post-production. "When it gets to the live shows, it will be all live," the spokesman added.