Mean Betty: Lip Syncing on ‘The X Factor’? SCANDAL!… Or Is It?
Contestants have been discovered lip syncing on ‘The X Factor’! SCANDAL!… Or, Mean Betty wonders, is it? My how the times do change…
There is, kittens, a blunder that one must take pains never, ever to fall prey to. It is a slip-up of such magnitude that should one commit it, it would thence become necessary to hide one’s face from the public eye not merely for day, or a week, or even a year. One would be required to go undercover for the rest of all eternity, should one perpetrate this most grievous of errors. Meanie is speaking, of course, of that most dreaded of vocal faux pas known… as lip syncing.
You see, kittens, last Thursday night, there came a moment during the opening group number of The X Factor wherein the sounds allegedly coming out of one contestant’s mouth most definitely did not match up with what his mouth was actually doing. For a second, Meanie wasn’t quite sure she believed what was going on, so naturally, she rewound her beloved TiVo and called the butler into the room for a second opinion. But there could be no mistaking it: As contestant Leroy Bell took his turn during the performance of David Guetta and Usher’s song “Without You,” it became painfully clear that he—and, for that matter, the entire X Factor cast—was not, in fact, performing live.
The butler, to put it mildly, was crushed. To put it less mildly, he ran screaming out of the room, and it was some time before he was fit for duty again. Meanie actually had to mix her own cocktails for the rest of the night.
But why take Meanie’s word for it? Witness the flub for yourselves, kittens; remember to pay special attention around the 26-second mark:
Gasp! Scandal! Is Meanie right, kittens?
Actually… as much as it pains Meanie to admit it, perhaps not. Because here, you see, is the interesting part: No one seems to be trying to hide it. According to the good people at Entertainment Weekly, the higher-ups at Fox later admitted to the lip syncing. Indeed, it seems that all the numbers that not expressly judged by The Terror That Is Simon Cowell and Friends are lip synced performances to pre-recorded tracks. Furthermore, The X Factor isn’t the only offender here: American Idol engages in this somewhat bizarre practice as well.
Fox’s reasoning is this: “Due to the finalists’ extensive preparation for their Wednesday night performances, the opening ensemble number on the results show (Meanie’s note: Here, they mean the Thursday night show) is pre-recorded, the same way as on other shows.” In other words, it’s no big deal.
The funny thing, kittens, is that it used to be an absolutely enormous deal. Why, Meanie remembers not too long ago when little (well, not so little anymore) Ashlee Simpson was revealed to be lip syncing on Saturday Night Live in 2004—an event that became a scandal of epic proportions! A mere seven years later, have we really become so used to the manipulation of live performance as to blithely accept it as utterly and mundanely normal? And if so, does this strike anyone else as a little… well… odd?
Meanie asks this: What, pray tell, is the point of having a talent competition if the talent is going to be so severely tampered with? Lip syncing, auto-tune… these singers’ voices are being so altered that they can hardly be considered their own anymore. At this rate, one may as well simply launch the pool boy onto the stage and shove a microphone into his face!
…Although come to think of it, that may not be such a bad idea after all. Meanie has overheard the pool boy humming to himself as he goes about his work. Perhaps he may be a star in the making? Which Meanie would of course get the credit for discovering! Ta, kittens—Meanie has business to attend to. Now when was the pool boy due in today again?…