Contestant Says ‘X Factor’ Doesn’t Play Fair

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Producers of the “X-Factor” defamed a woman by altering her audition tape to make her sound “screechy” and replacing her enthusiastic audience with footage of a disinterested crowd, she claims in court.
     Sally Hessnice sued Blue Orbit Productions, Syco Television and Fremantlemedia North America on May 22 in Superior Court, alleging defamation, false light, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     Blue Orbit did not respond to a request for comment.
     Hessnice says she auditioned four times for the show between March and May 2013, and that her fourth audition, on May 22, was broadcast nationwide. She says the audience reacted with “applause and cheering.”
     But the defendants altered her “pitch, reverb and vocal legato” to make her sound “screechy and unprofessional,” replaced footage of the actual audience with one that looked “disinterested,” and re-filmed the judges’ original comments to “show a negative response,” according to the complaint.
     She also claims that the stage manager directed her to walk around the stage, which was “pillowy.” She calls that “an intentional effort by defendants to disrupt her performance and pre-arrange the outcome of the audition in violation of 47 U.S. Code § 509 (Prohibited Practices in Contests of Knowledge, Skill or Chance).
     Hessnice says she is a trained professional singer who has performed for decades, and that the altered recording harmed her career and caused her to be “shunned.”
     She wants the defendants enjoined from rebroadcasting her performance, and punitive damages.
     She is represented by Steven Lowe, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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