If you’re not familiar with the UK talent show The X Factor, think of it as American Idol with adorable British accents. And also contestants – like Gamu Nhengu here – who never miss note, thanks to glorious Auto-Tuning. Hit it, Gamu!
Nhengu’s recent supplemented audition created a row in the UK, where fans and critics of the show alike were shocked – shocked – to find out that their favourite performers weren’t coming through au naturel. The timing’s also particularly inconvenient for Cowell, who plans to bring X Factor to the US next year.
A few things here. First, yeah, that’s pretty blatant. And heaven forbid the sanctity of a puffed up talent show be violated by some audio wizardry. But in some ways, isn’t this just preparing the contestants for what life’s really like as a singing celebrity? Auto-tune isn’t just for T-Pain – you’d be hard-pressed to find a professional singer who hasn’t employed it in some capacity, at some point or another.
Yes, they should have disclosed they were using Auto-Tune. And yes, the validity of past winners comes into question (except Leona Lewis!). But at least it’s out in the open what the X-Factor is that helps you get and stay famous: technology. [Wired]