X Factor reject Zoe Alexander's complaint against ITV not upheld by watchdog
Monday 04 March 2013
A Pink tribute act who lashed out after she failed to get through to the next round of the X Factor has lost her complaint against the show.
TV watchdog Ofcom said that judge Gary Barlow appeared to tell a member of the production team "we needed one of those" in untransmitted footage after Zoe Alexander's outburst.
The production team member, who had approached the judges to talk about what had happened, replied "we got one".
The TV regulator said that the "exchange suggested to Ofcom that it was possible that some of those involved with the production may have thought it was useful to the narrative and drama of the programme to have an incident of this nature."
But it rejected Miss Alexander's complaints about the way she was presented in the ITV show, adding: "In Ofcom's view the programme showed a slightly edited, but accurate, version of what happened."
Miss Alexander was stopped by judges as she sang the Pink track "So What" after saying that she wanted to find her own identity.
She was asked to sing another song, not by Pink, but her rendition of an Emeli Sande track failed to get her through.
After her rejection, she told judges: "You told me to sing a Pink song, I didn't want to sing a Pink song. You guys told me to sing a Pink song."
The judges - Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger - denied telling her what to sing and Miss Alexander was then seen throwing her microphone as she left the stage.
Her father was shown accompanying Miss Alexander back on to the stage, where she shouted and appeared to swear at the judges.
Viewers then saw Miss Alexander leave the stage, swearing and pushing people and stage equipment as she went.
ITV said that untransmitted footage showed her physically attacking a cameraman, and alleged that she slapped the series producer in the face after they stopped filming.
The singer, from Caerphilly, South Wales, complained that she had been forced to sing a Pink song on the show last year and that X Factor staff had dictated her outfit and hairstyle.
She claimed that her performance was sabotaged, that footage of her was unfairly edited, that judges' comments were "doctored" so that their more sneering remarks were omitted, and that she was unfairly portrayed as a "mixed up idiot and laughing stock" when she went on stage.
Ofcom found that programme makers had not been unfair, saying that although "it appeared to Ofcom that Miss Alexander had preferred not to perform as Pink, but had been advised strongly by the programme researcher to include a Pink song in her choices", she was given an opportunity to sing a second song in her audition.
It said that footage of her was not unfairly edited, and that she was not unfairly portrayed in the show.
It "did not consider that she was portrayed as a 'laughing stock', but rather as someone who was working as a tribute artist, but aspired to making a success of performing in her own right," it added.
Ofcom also rejected a complaint by the contestant's father, Glenn Smith, that he was unfairly edited and portrayed in the show.
One of his complaints was that programme makers manipulated footage to show him in a false light.
ITV said that footage included in the broadcast was an edited but fair summary of events.
Ofcom stated: "ITV said that CGI effects and auto-tuning were not used in the editing of the programme and that none of the allegations of 'manipulation' of the images and sound recorded during the audition and its aftermath had any basis in reality. For example, the bizarre suggestion that Mr Smith's finger was altered to resemble a penis is without foundation."
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