Los Angeles Simon Cowell has gone from “American Idol” judge to a potential headache for the show.
A furor over whether Cowell’s British talent show “The X Factor” electronically altered contestant voices has prompted “American Idol” to make a pre-emptive strike.
“We have never, nor would we ever, use Auto-Tuning during the ‘American Idol’ competition,” producers of the Fox show said in a statement Thursday, referring to pitch-correcting technology.
“American Idol” viewers can attest that contestants have been regularly scolded for “pitchiness.”
The producers’ statement, issued in response to a query, didn’t address a key “American Idol” issue: the replacements for Cowell and another departing judge, Ellen DeGeneres. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are the reported front-runners for the judge’s panel, which begins its work sometime after Labor Day.
Cowell left the top-rated series at the end of last season and is bringing “The X Factor,” which he created in Britain and is hugely popular there, to the Fox network in 2011.