Watchdog to probe X Factor voting complaints

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The Independent Culture

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom was today investigating complaints following Simon Cowell's decision to let the public decide who was to be voted off the latest episode of The X Factor.

Welsh teenager Lucie Jones was kicked off the talent show after the public chose twins John and Edward Grimes to go through to the next round.



The Irish twins have become firm favourites with the public despite some erratic performances.



Cowell's vote for them on Sunday led to the public vote deciding who would have to leave the hit show.



More than 3,000 viewers complained to ITV, according to reports.



An Ofcom spokeswoman confirmed that complaints had been made but would not confirm how many had been received.



She said: "We will assess the complaints against the Broadcasting Code."



Jones' grandmother Jean Davies, 74, told said Cowell "chickened out".

She told the Daily Mirror: "I said all along if it came down to Lucie and anyone else he would get rid of her because he is afraid of her. He is afraid of her voice.



"He said all along he wanted a male singer to win this year. He is protecting his own acts."



The twins said they were racked with guilt after knocking Jones out of the show.



The 18-year-old joined the boys, nicknamed "Jedward", in the bottom two in front of the biggest audience the ITV talent show has ever received.



She said the twins, who have been criticised for their lack of singing talent, felt guilty about staying in the competition.



On Saturday the twins managed to gain praise from their harshest critic for a performance of the theme from Ghostbusters.



Cowell said: "It was possibly more entertaining than anything you have done before. Well done."



As it came to the crunch, the pop mogul said he would prefer to see the boys again rather than Jones, but left the final decision to viewers.



His admission will fuel speculation that the record company boss in fact likes the siblings and has plans for them.



The show, which reeled in a record peak audience of 16.6 million viewers, saw the two acts fight it out in a sing-off, in which Jones sang Whitney Houston's One Moment In Time, and John and Edward sang Robbie Williams' Rock DJ.



Cowell, who has criticised John and Edward for their lack of talent in the past, voted to keep them on the show as did their mentor Louis Walsh, while Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole voted for Jones.



The decision went to "deadlock", meaning the matter was decided by the public vote.

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