Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

“X Factor” hits wrong note

October 4, 2010

Cheryl1Britain’s “The X Factor” has struck a bum chord, even before the main knock-out phase of the hugely popular TV show begins. Judge Cheryl Cole has incensed thousands of viewers with her selection of three finalists from a shortlist of eight contestants. Hopeful Gamu Nhengu, 18, was rejected by Cole, despite impressing with her audition and being among the early favourites to win the show.

One reason for the strength of the reaction — nearly 90,000 people have already leant their support to a Facebook page supporting Zimbabwe-born Nhengu — is that Cher Lloyd went through to the finals, despite being able to sing barely a note due to a sore throat. Katie Waissel also succeeded, despite failing to impress many who watched the show at the weekend. Only Cole’s choice of the accomplished Rebecca Ferguson was universally popular.

One fan summed up the mood with a blog post on the ITV show’s official website: “Oh well, no more X-factor for me then! My husband agrees. To put through Katie and Cher, and send Gamu home was confirmation that the show is rigged. What a complete farce. Did Cheryl take instructions from Simon Cowell on who she should pick so that none of the girls would win? Gamu was far and away the best of all the girls. I will never watch the x-factor again.”

Of course, the controversy and headlines it generates are likely to boost ratings when the competition proper gets underway, so suspicions of a set-up are rife. Bookmakers are already offering odds on Gamu being allowed back on to the show as a “surprise” wild card, and she is among the favourites to win. If that does come to pass, doubts about the show’s integrity are bound to grow.

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