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X Factor fans furious as they accuse show of using autotune

The X Factor was embroiled in another production row today after fans accused editors of using technology to make some contestants' voices sound better.

As the seventh series of the ITV ratings smash kicked off with more than 11 million viewers, people took to internet forums to rail against the use of "autotuning" during the programme.

Most of the allegations surrounded teenage contestant Gamu Nhengu, who sang a version of the Katrina and the Waves' hit Walking On Sunshine.

Disguising

After hearing her effort, judge Simon Cowell told the 18-year-old from Clackmannanshire, Scotland, she was "really talented" before she was unanimously voted through to the next round.

But some viewers went online to accuse the producers of using autotune -- used in studios to improve performances by correcting pitch and disguising off-key mistakes.

On the show's website, robhayes wrote: "Absolutely disgusting use of..autotune...does X-Factor really think we are idiots ? I see the idea of making the show more entertaining, but this is taking the mick .. really .."

Smstrat91 added: "Cannot believe they autotuned her, listen to the words 'door' and 'telephone' and its very clear. She's so good as well, but obviously the producers of X Factor didn't think she was good enough."

Similar accusations were made about another contestant, G and S singer Caroline, who also made it through to round two.

A spokesman for The X Factor said post-production work was necessary due to the number of microphones used during filming.

"The judges make their decisions at the auditions stage based on what they hear on the day, live in the arena.

"The footage and sound is then edited and dubbed into a finished programme, to deliver the most entertaining experience possible for viewers."

Saturday's first episode, which also saw Glasgow house husband Stephen Hunter go through after a soulful version of Disco Inferno, was watched by 11.1 million people, a big increase on last year's figure of 9.9 million.

Miming

The audience peaked at 12.6 million, nearly half of the total Saturday night TV audience. Over on BBC1, variety show Tonight's The Night pulled in 3.3 million viewers.

Last year's show was hit by a miming row after judge Cheryl Cole partly mimed her debut solo single.

hnews@herald.ie