For years, "The X Factor" has been accused of being a fixed contest. Those accusations were glaringly obvious at "X Factor" U.K. auditions at Wembley Arena in London on Aug. 1, 2014, when a large percentage of the audience walked out in protest after talented contestants were eliminated while much less talented, "novelty" contestants were put through to the next round, according to a report published by The Sun on Aug. 12, 2014. Admission to the auditions was free and open to the public.
The Sun reports that "X Factor" U.K. judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (also known as Cheryl Cole) and Louis Walsh were the judges who got the most booing, because they appeared to consult with producers on which contestants to eliminate.
An unnamed source told The Sun: "When Cheryl got rid of [a female contestant], producers could be seen shaking their heads at the decision and ran up to her. Later she was brought back. As soon as Cheryl announced the girl was out, the booing started."
Walsh got similar negative reactions from audience members when he chose a comedy duo called Blonde Electric instead of more talented contestants. Walsh was also seen talking with producers before he made the decision.
An "X Factor" U.K. spokesperson commented on the controversy by telling The Sun: "As part of the Six Chair Challenge the judges have to decide who they take through to Judges Houses. Until all acts in their category have sung and the judge has declared that they have chosen their final six, each judge is able to change their minds and bring back anyone they have removed from a seat at any stage.
"The judges make the final decision on who they take through to their judges houses. With such strong talent across the categories and with decisions having to be made on the spot after acts have performed it’s not unexpected that the judges on occasion changed their minds. The judges don't wear earpieces so producers do talk to the judges at the desk throughout filming and in these instances the judges spoke to production about the fact they wanted to change their minds."
Meanwhile, someone identified as Cathy Nash from Romford, England, wrote this comment on the Daily Mail website about the aforementioned auditions: "I was there ... They gave us the final 17 females to watch perform,whilst Cheryl had to pick her 6 to go to judges homes. Well, out of those 17 females there was maybe 5 that could actually sing. It followed the same pattern as last year; 6 seats and 17 singers, so not all would keep their seat.
"However, there was a fiasco when Cheryl booted off the one person that could actually sing extremely well. The WHOLE audience were outraged and chanted for her to be brought back and to be saved. So what does Cheryl do? She brings back one she has already got rid of and saves her instead. However this was the worst decision possible as this singer COULD NOT sing and the whole stadium goes into uproar. Cheryl then tells us to stick it. It was then that large amounts of the audience started to leave!
"I bet most of it is cut out of the show and probably the singer will be auto tuned to sound good. But those of us who were there will know the truth!! Also at the beginning of the filming we had to practice clapping and cheering and the compere told us they would use it in the show if they did not think our reactions were good enough. Has the winner already been chosen? As I cannot see why out of thousands of female applicants they came up with naff singers. There was one one left in Cheryl's 6 who is any good. And I think she could potentially be the winner(although she is only 16/17yrs old)."