Last week, as rumors began to circulate that Simon Cowell's British talent competition "X Factor" used Auto-Tune to alter contestants' voices, Piers Morgan, who is a judge on both "America's Got Talent" and "Britain's Got Talent," weighed in on the employment of the vocal-altering device on reality singing competitions, insisting they had never been used on his own programs.
Morgan also addressed murmurings that Susan Boyle, who competed on "Britain's Got Talent" last year, had also been Auto-Tuned to improve her vocals. "You've heard Susan [Boyle] sing live here. Sounds the same. Complete baloney," he told MTV News on the red carpet at the "Entertainment Tonight" Emmy afterparty. "They also said we're apparently scripted with our lines as judges. News to me. It would have made life a lot easier if someone had told me what to say!"
The bottom line, as explained by Morgan, is that people are making a big deal out of nothing. "I think it's all been massively exaggerated," he explained. "I think everyone should calm down a bit. Susan sings better actually live than she does in the auditions anywhere. That's what all the fuss is about anyway. I wouldn't worry. It's an entertainment show."
According to reports last week, after Cowell heard about the allegations, he ordered an immediate ban on Auto-Tune use in future shows, while insisting to friends that he was shocked by the claims and plans to launch an investigation. But an unnamed staffer on his show said, "It was an open secret on the show that Auto-Tune was used to both make contestants slightly more on-key or off-key. On some occasions it was used to such extremes that while the contestant may have sounded like they were hitting the right note, the backing band had gone right out of tune. ... It has been used for a long time on the show, both for the auditions and the live shows."
What do you think of the controversy surrounding the use of Auto-Tune in TV talent competitions? Sound off in the comments!