When Amelia Lily returned to X-Factor a strange thing occurred. News of her selection to replace the disgraced Frankie Cocozza appeared on the STV website before the public vote had ended. The X Factor PR machine claimed that site had prepared four stories to cover each of the contenders being voted back in by the public – but I looked at the time and I could only find Amelia’s. No-one on twitter appeared to find the others at first either.
Earlier today Amelia’s winners’ single appeared on the HMV website, five days before viewers are asked to part with cash in order to take part in the big final public vote. I can state categorically that as of 18.19 on Tuesday 6 December the other finalists don’t have winners’ singles for sale at hmv.com.
Ten days ago the X Factor M&S advert also appeared with a newly edited version giving Amelia the starring role in place of Misha B. So what is going on?
Accusations of fixing are rife, but if the outcome is fixed it would be difficult to keep under wraps. My best guess is that this is a cynical publicity stunt aimed at boosting the volume of column inches and pixels devoted to Amelia Lily because more interest=more votes and Cowell and his company think she’s the act that they can make the most money from. Here are my reasons.
- The Amelia Lily PR machine has been in overdrive in recent days
- The title of the song doesn’t appear on the website – that’s a big reveal kept for the final
- The single was removed from the hmv site at around 18.30 – but only after the Mirror published the story and the leak started to trend on twitter
Fix or not the X Factor bosses seem to have as much regard for a fair and free vote as the Russian prime minister.