‘American Idol’ Defends Use Of Backing Tracks During Group Performances

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Marissa Carter

"American Idol" producers have admitted that there is some degree of lip-synching on the hit FOX reality show.

Manfred Westphal, a rep for FremantleMedia North America, which produces the show, told the New York Times in an e-mail that occasionally the contenders sing to a track — but not when they're vying for votes.

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"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," the spokesperson told the newspaper.

He did insist, however, that during their solos, the contestants absolutely do not employ the use of a backing track, according to the paper.

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The controversy over whether the "Idol" contenders sang to tracks came up when former Season 1 finalist Justin Guarini bashed the group performances during his show, "Idol Wrap," last week.

"Every single year, we can't stand the group performances," Guarini said on his post-"Idol" show, according to the NY Times. "I know they can't stand it either. And I think what makes them even worse now is that they're lip-synched. They're really prerecorded now."

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