Simon Cowell's UK Singing Contest Winner: Auto-Tune!

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 favorite 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]

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