After Justin Guarini said he thought the group singers were using pre-recorded backing tracks, “Idol” producers have grudgingly admitted that this is the case to the New York Times.
Manfred Westphal, a spokesman for FremantleMedia North America, which produces “American Idol” for Fox, at first denied the charge, saying on Tuesday: “The Idols don’t lip-sync, period.” But on Wednesday, in an e-mail message, Mr. Westphal said: “Due to extensive choreography and to balance their voices with open mikes against a screaming audience, the Idols do sing along to their own prerecorded vocal track during the group performances only.”
Personally, I don’t really care one way or another but it’s another excuse to hate on the show.
The reporter also provided visual/audio proof of lip syncing:
The visual evidence in recent weeks has indicated that the group vocals are recorded. Two weeks ago, as the Top 13 contestants performed a medley of Jackson 5 hits, Jasmine Murray seemed to be at least a half-beat behind the music during the song “ABC.” During last week’s performance of “Trouble,” Megan Joy held the microphone well away from her face as she appeared to struggle to remember the choreography. Several contestants dropped their microphones to their sides last week at the song’s end, even as their final note continued to soar through the speakers
-Ratings, compared to the Tuesday top 10 episode a year ago, were actually up, only the second time this season that has happened. Early estimates are around 25.3 million viewers vs. 24 million a year ago. This is an unfair comparison in one sense since “Idol” had to move back a day after Obama’s speech. This season, “Idol’ ratings have tended to be better this year on Wednesdays than Tuesdays, when the competition has been tougher (e.g. “NCIS” and “Biggest Loser”). Thursday ratings tend to be less so far but at least tonight, the competition isn’t quite a tough with no “Survivor.” Then again, the NCAA might pull away some viewers anyway.