- Associated Press - Thursday, August 26, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Simon Cowell has gone from “American Idol” judge to a potential headache for the show.

A furor over whether Cowell’s British talent show “The X Factor” electronically altered contestant voices has prompted “American Idol” to make a pre-emptive strike.

“We have never, nor would we ever, use Auto-Tuning during the `American Idol’ competition,” producers of the Fox show said in a statement Thursday, referring to pitch-correcting technology.

“American Idol” viewers can attest that contestants have been regularly scolded for “pitchiness.”

Cowell left the judge’s panel on the top-rated Fox series at the end of last season and is bringing “The X Factor,” which he created in Britain and is hugely popular there, to Fox in 2011.