ITV called 'money hungry' by angry X Factor fans after voting lines open before acts even perform
09:14 GMT, 8 October 2012
ITV producers were branded 'money hungry' after angry X Factor fans hit back over the decision to open phone lines at the start of the show.
The millions of viewers were left in shock when Dermot O'Leary kicked off the show and told viewers the phone lines were open before the first act had sung.
The new ruling meant fans could vote for their favourite act rather than the best performer, a move that helped Rylan Clark avoid elimination on Sunday night.
Money makers: Viewers reacted angrily to the decision to open phone lines before a single act had even sung
As the first live show of the new series kicked off, irate viewers took to twitter to blast ITV for making the show a popularity contest.
One user said: 'The voting line is on now! Bulls***. Whoever goes first gets the lead! X Factor is so money hungry.'
However, despite the public backlash ITV defended their actions and told The Daily Mirror it would 'allow viewers to interact immediately with their favourite acts.'
Ready to go: Fans were shocked when Dermot announced that the phone lines were open and branded ITV money hungry
They added: 'This is a hugely positive change to The X Factor voting format to meet the changing needs and behaviour of our highly engaged viewers.'
With phone voting costing 35p on a BT line, some of the money raised goes to charity while ITV and SyCo, Simon Cowell's company, also get a share.
Sunday night saw yet more controversy for the show as allegations of a fix were made after Rylan was saved from elimination and Carolynne Poole was sent home.
Pick a line: Each telephone vote from a BT line costs 35p, of which some money goes to charity and some to SyCo
Former X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza led the claims when he tweeted: 'I'm pretty sure the X Factor just showed the whole country how set up it is.
'Not that we didn't know that anyway. The producers f***** it.'
With Rylan and Carolynne in the bottom two, it was down to Louis Walsh to give the final vote and he controversially sent the decision to deadlock.
One more chance: Rylan Clark gets consoled by his mentor as he awaits to find out his fate
Shock horror: Louis Walsh was accused of fixing of the show by Frankie Cocozza after taking the vote to deadlock
Some fans accused producers of telling Louis what to do after he spent a good while deliberating over the decision.
An audience member claimed to have been in the studio and said he saw Louis getting told what to say.
The person wrote on Twitter: 'Live from the audience at #xfactor Louis saying to Tulisa he was told to take it to DEADLOCK.'
Speaking backstage, Gary called the outcome an 'absolute joke', telling his act that 'two years running you've lost out to joke acts', a sentiment pointing to the fact that she narrowly missed getting to the live rounds last year when she originally applied for the show.