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X Factor Controversy

XXX FACTOR: The seventh U.K. edition of Simon Cowell's The X Factor opened with ratings of 11.1 million, up on the 9.9 million for the first show last year, but has been marred by a controversy over autotuning software. Producers apparently sweetened contestants’ voices, including 18-year-old Gamu Nhengu, whose rendition of “Walking on Sunshine,” praised by judges, was criticized online by viewers who easily spotted the production tweaks. A spokesman for the show said the work was necessary because of the number of different microphones used at auditions around the country, and will not occur during live broadcasts. In other X Factor news, the host of the Australian version of the show, 33-year-old actor Matthew Newton, has been replaced after allegations he violently assaulted his girlfriend, actress Rachael Taylor. The U.S. X Factor debuts in fall 2011. (8/23a)

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