Monday, December 6, 2010

X Factor 2010: New vote fixing row after rule change denies public the chance to decide the finalists

By Emily Sheridan and Georgina Littlejohn

Controversy: Angry viewers are up in arms after Mary Byrne, seen here leaving the X Factor studios last night, was given the axe after the judges had the final say and not the voting public

The X Factor was at the centre of a fresh vote fixing controversy today after judges decided which acts would be going through to the final.

For the first time in the show's history, the panel chose which contestant to axe at the semi-final stage instead of the voting public.

And accusations of a fix were immediately sparked after fans voted for the bottom two, but weren't given a say on who would get the boot.

Saved: Cher Lloyd heads back inside the X Factor studios last night after she was sent through to the finals by the judges

A decision to have a sing-off between Cher Lloyd and Mary Byrne gave judges the deciding vote on which one would go through to next weekend's final.

This was after host Dermot O'Leary told viewers on Saturday night's episode: 'Your votes and your votes alone can get your favourite act safely through to the final.

Last night, after Tesco worker Mary was given the axe, viewers flooded the ITV1 switchboard with complaints and took to websites in their thousands claiming the show was 'more corrupt than Fifa'.

Sharing a joke: Despite seeing his last act voted out under a cloud of controversy, Louis Walsh was seen laughing loudly as he and Simon Cowell left the studios last night

Finalists: Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle can't contain their delight after getting through to the last show

None of the viewers were told there had been a change in the format of the semis and that a sing-off had been introduced, unlike previous years when the public and the public alone have decided which acts should go through to the finals.

Last year Danyl Johnson lost out in the semis after polling the lowest vote and the year before Diana Vickers was evicted after failing to impress fans of the show.

But according to ITV sources, the decision to change the format was 'made weeks ago' and contestants were told yesterday about the change.

American friends: Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas who performed on the show and actor Jack Black who was in the audience, wave as they leave the studios

A spokeswoman said: 'As the show evolves there are always changes to format.'

Fans were also left fuming today after Simon Cowell revealed that he had arranged a duet between Cheryl Cole and Cher on the finalist's debut album.

He confirmed live on the show that the pair would sing together and Cher's £2million record deal will make her the big winner of the series, even if she wins or not.

Angry viewers have threatened to complain to TV watchdog Ofcom, with many also angry that their time and money has been wasted.

Speaking to the Sun, pub owner Vivian Seymour, 55, from Chichester, West Sussex, said: 'I think it's a fix. Cher must have finished bottom of the public vote and they decided to have a sing-off so they could save her. It's not right.'

Reader Gemma Seymour, 30, a student from Fulham, West London, said: 'I think it's diabolical. I feel my vote for Mary this week has been totally wasted. It's very suspicious'

Face off: Mary Byrne (right) was sent home on tonight's X Factor after Simon Cowell chose to save Cher Lloyd following the sing-off

And Jemma, 30, from Fulham, West London, told the Mirror: 'I’ve spent a lot of money voting and this just isn’t fair. Everyone who voted for Mary should get a full refund.'

However, Mary was very diplomatic about the decision and refused to get drawn into the row.

Speaking on Lorraine Kelly's show today, she said: I think the reason for the change was because there was five of us left and there are four in the final.'

And speaking on the show's spin-off, the Xtra Factor last night, she said she didn't think she'd win as it's a 'young persons show'.

She said: 'How many women at the age of 51 can say they made it to the semi finals of the X factor, the biggest show in the UK.

'I didn’t think I’d even get past the audition and to be here is one of the most beautiful feelings and I’m happy where I got to, I really am. It is a young persons show, I’ve said it from the beginning and I didn’t think I’d get here but thank god I did.'

Mary and Cher received the lowest public votes last night and went head-to-head for a place in the final.

Sing off: Mary performed It's A Man's Man's Man's World, while Cher sang Everytime

Presenting the 2010 finalists: (L-R) Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Rebecca Ferguson, Cher and Matt Cardle

Despite her strong performance of It’s A Man’s World, three of the judges voted to send a tearful Cher Lloyd through to the show’s final next week – and sent Miss Byrne home.

Louis Walsh voted for Miss Byrne, his act. But Danni Minogue picked Miss Lloyd to stay in the show, after hearing her sing Britney Spears’s Everytime, saying she was a ‘mix of vulnerable and confident’ and her performance ‘touched her heart’.

But last night Cher, 17, looked tearful as she slowed down her usual uptempo songs to sing Britney Spears's 2004 single Everytime.

Simon's boy band One Direction were the first act to find out they were in the the final, to the delight of their mentor, who hadn't spent much time with them this week after suffering from a cold.

We're through: Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle celebrate after learning they're through to the final

Coming home: X Factor 2008 alumni Alexandra Burke performed her new single The Silence.

Next to discover their fate was Liverpudlian Rebecca Ferguson, then Matt Cardle - despite his shaky second performance on Saturday night after suffering from tonsillitis most of last week.

Last night's episode kicked off with a performance by X Factor 2008 alumni Alexandra Burke, who performed her new single The Silence.

She was followed by members of the cast of Glee, performing the show's stand-out hit
Don't Stop Believin' - but appeared to be having major sound problems as the members of the cast took to the stage.

The last guest performance of the night was from The Black Eyed Peas - who also performed last year- with their newest single The Time (Dirty Bit).

Energetic: The Black Eyed Peas performed their new single The Time (Dirty Bit)

Sound problems: The cast of hit U.S. TV show Glee performed Don't Stop Believin'

Meanwhile, Dannii made another bid to hang onto her X Factor 2010 style queen award in a stunning strapless lace dress with black pumps.

But Girls Aloud singer Cheryl showed a bit more flesh in a asymmetrical leopard-print 'mullet dress' - called so because of its floor-length back and mini-skirted front.

Fashion face-off: Dannii wore a revealing strapless lace number and black pumps, while Cheryl opted for a risky asymmetrical animal print 'mullet' dress and plain black heels


No comments:

Post a Comment