X-Factor 2010: Autotune in a Singing Competition? REALLY?!

Well. This is something I didn’t see coming. Twitter is awash with rumours that ITV bosses have been using autotune effects on X-Factor auditions, to tweak the singers’ voices. This hasn’t been confirmed by the people behind the hit TV show EDIT – X-Factor have since confirmed that they DID in fact alter contestants voices. But I have to say, having experimented with autotune in the past (notably on our track ‘Be a Slut’) Having watched the X Factor this weekend, SB believes they may well be right. Throughout last night’s show there were very audible examples of the ‘roboty’ effect that can be caused by autotune, suggesting that maybe the people complaining on Twitter were spot on. If Simon Cowell and co WERE to use it on the show, I guess it wouldn’t really be shock of the century – we’ve already seen examples of autotune being used on people who can sing already (see earlier article on Michael Buble). The thing that strikes SB as odd about all this is … X-FACTOR IS, ESSENTIALLY, A SINGING COMPETITION!

X Factor and Autotune = A Pointless and Irritating Exercise.

Using autotune on a singing competition like X Factor is one of the most bizarre ideas I’ve ever heard! Why do it?! Using something to disguise inadequacies in someone’s voice in a competition in which you are expected to make a judgement call on someone’s voice?! It’s akin to usingĀ  spell-check in a spelling bee, a sniper rifle in a duck shoot, or Viagra in a shagging contest. It makes it all rather pointless.

xfactor 300x198 X Factor 2010: Autotune in a Singing Competition? REALLY?!

X-Factor Fans Get All Pissy On Twitter

So what excuse could they possibly have if it is proven to be the case? They were protecting our ears? They didn’t want the competitors to feel bad when they hit a bum note?

Or maybe it’s that the industry is completely hell bent on making autotune so much a part of everyday life, that people don’t notice it anymore. Kinda like lift music. Or Ant and Dec. (It would certainly make Cowell’s job easier if people stopped noticing when singers sounded less Diana Ross and more Davros: He could just autotune everything and churn out singles at 20 times the speed.) Whatever the reason, people on twitter seemed mightily fed up about the whole thing, and SB gets the feeling that ITV will have some explaining to do if it continues.

Simon Cowell: Autotune Fail

Here at Spandex Towers, however, the idea of autotune on X-Factor doesn’t really hit a nerve at all. We all know that it’s going to be used on whoever wins the poxy thing anyway, so why not stick it on their bland little voices from the word go? Fact is, we only bother watching it for the audition stages, and then once the morbid curiosity of just HOW mentally ill they’ll go with the “woah, that person’s a nutbar” contestants wears off, we find something more constructive to do with our time. Like sleeping, or crying.

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