MUSIC RETAILER HMV has denied being part of an elaborate ruse to fix the winner of this year’s X Factor competition – after shoppers spotted the store allowing pre-orders for the winner’s single from one of the contestants.
Users browsing the chain’s online store noticed that the site was accepting pre-orders for the winner’s single, apparently to be performed by 17-year-old Amelia Lily Oliver.
This was despite the live finals of this year’s ITV contest not taking place until this weekend – with the winner expected to be crowned after Sunday’s grand finale.
The development prompted accusations of a fix from many observers – and prompted HMV’s website to crash under the weight of users seeking to verify that the single was still for sale.
The retailer said, however, that it was in the process of adding pre-order facilities for all three finalists – and that the increased traffic to the website meant it didn’t get a chance to add similar singles for the other finalists, Marcus Collins and Little Mix.
In a statement posted to its Twitter account, HMV said:
Hmv.com has been authorised to accept pre-orders for the X Factor winner’s single, recorded by each of the three finalists. However, these have been temporarily removed so that all three finalists details can go up tomorrow morning.
Once up, fans will be able to pre-order the single by their preferred finalist – but only orders for the eventual winner’s CD will be processed.
The Middlesbrough teenager is highly fancied to win the eighth series of ITV’s flagship talent show, priced at 9/4 with most bookmakers – though girl group Little Mix are the bookies’ favourites at 11/10.
Liverpool hairdresser Marcus Collins is the bookies’ outsider, priced at 5/2.