'American Idol' on offensive over Auto-Tuning

3:15 PM PST 08/26/2010 by Associated Press, AP

Furor over Cowell's 'X Factor' leads to pre-emptive denial

Simon Cowell has gone from "American Idol" judge to a potential headache for the show.

A furor over whether Cowell's British talent show "The X Factor" electronically altered contestant voices has prompted "American Idol" to make a pre-emptive strike.

"We have never, nor would we ever, use Auto-Tuning during the 'American Idol' competition," producers of the Fox show said in a statement Thursday, referring to pitch-correcting technology.

"American Idol" viewers can attest that contestants have been regularly scolded for "pitchiness."

Cowell left the judge's panel on the top-rated Fox series at the end of last season and is bringing "The X Factor," which he created in Britain and is hugely popular there, to the Fox network in 2011. Fox hasn't announced his replacement on "Idol."

Fans of "The X Factor" have alleged online that pitch-correction software was used to alter some performances. The show's producers responded to the outcry by acknowledging that postproduction was used to correct for the interplay of the various microphones used during filming.

The producers vowed to avoid the use of electronic pitch correction.

British media outlets have made hay of the issue, with Cowell a particular target. His photo was featured on the front of Britain's Daily Mirror on Monday, under the caption: "X Faker."
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