Can you say...busted?!
After eagle-eyed viewers caught contestant LeRoy Bell lip-syncing to his performance on last night's episode of The X Factor, Fox has acknowledged that the reality series does in fact utilize prerecorded tracks to assist its performers.
But don't think they're marketing the next Milli Vanilli.
Unlike the disgraced '80s pop duo (who had to give back their Grammy over a lip-syncing controversy and didn't even sing their own tunes), the network noted in a statement that the artists still perform their songs live, despite the technical that which is standard practice in the business.
"All survival songs are performed live, with just a backing track. For the group ensemble performance, the vocals are prerecorded to allow acts to concentrate on preparing for their own live competitive performances on Wednesdays—this is also no different to what other competition shows do for ensemble performances," said Fox.
From the network mouth to our ears.
But Bell's gaffe—in which he was caught grinning at the camera while his voice played over the PA—and others like it do little to make a good impression on TV audiences eager for authenticity in the aspiring singers the X Factor likes to tout as the next big sensation.
And it doesn't help that the show has already been dogged by other controversies, including accusations that producers rigged crooner Dexter Haygood's exit last week.