Another year and yet another claim that X Factor is fixed. This time the controversy centres around finalist Amelia Lily whose ‘winning single’ was uploaded to the HMV website – before the final takes place at the weekend.
It’s far from the first time X Factor has been embroiled in a ‘was it fixed’ row. Shortly before the first ever live show then judge Sharon Osbourne claimed Simon Cowell had rigged the show by editing footage to make contestants more attractive to viewers.
Last year viewers were in uproar after Zimbabwean singer Gamu Nhengu was not picked for the live shows – meanwhile Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd did go through despite not finishing their songs. It was then revealed Katie already had a recording contract in the US.
Last year the show was also accused of using voice technology to make singers sound ‘better’ than they were. In fact ITV later admitted this was true but said contestants did not know their voices had been changed.
And there have been many reports of voting irregularities. In October 2007 – won by Leon Jackson – many viewers claimed they were unable to vote for Rhydian Roberts. Some people said they’d tried ringing ten times and were still unable to get through.
The following year fans voting for Ruth Lorenzo blamed an incorrect telephone number being displayed on the screen as the reason she ended up in the bottom two – this was denied by ITV.
And a few weeks later controversy erupted again when voters claimed they could not get through to vote for contestant Laura White.
This series too has at times hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps the most shocking was judge Tulisa’s outburst on live TV that Misha B was ‘bullying’ other contestants backstage. Many say after this, it was no surprise Misha B did not make the final.
But could X Factor really have stooped to a new low of making viewers phone in to vote in the Final when they have already secretly decided Amelia Lily is the winner?
It might be she is the favourite – last year following the show ITV released data showing how viewers had voted for contestants every week. It was pretty much unchanged with viewers consistently voting for winner Matt Cardle. However, although it’s widely known Cowell does ‘control’ much of the show and the way judges and contestants are portrayed, it is hard to believe ITV would knowingly break strict broadcasting laws over phone-ins. This latest controversy is therefore most likely to someone at HMV inadvertently uploading Amelia Lily’s ‘winning song’ before the recordings made by fellow finalists Little Mix and Marcus.
Winning X Factor
Who wins anyway doesn’t mean much in terms of future success. There have been countless stories of X Factor winners sinking into obscurity. Indeed last year’s winner Matt Cardle’s album has failed to be as popular as hoped while runners-up One Direction have become huge stars.
And Misha B, who says she has already forgiven judges Tulisa and Louis Walsh for ‘Bully-Gate’, is already rumoured to be in talks with rap star Missy Elliott after the two started chatting on Twitter.