Some of the suggestions the Russians came up with to sway the results were deemed to be too extreme.
SIMON Cowell sought advice from the Russian government on vote rigging, according to the latest batch of leaked memos from whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
The X Factor supremo is reported to have contacted officials at Russia’s Central Electoral Commission for advice on how to rig a vote in the most blatantly obvious way.
The allegations come following the elimination of morbidly obese X Factor contestant Mary Byrne at the hands of the show’s judging panel, despite viewers previously being told by host Dermot O’Leary that the result would be decided purely by public vote.
Irate viewers complained that the sing-off and judges’ vote were introduced at the last-minute to save recovering crystal meth addict Cher Lloyd from being axed.
Sergey Semenov from the Central Electoral Commission confirmed that he had been approached by individuals from ITV for consultancy on electoral fraud, as the Russians are world-leaders in the field.
He said: “We suggested several techniques ITV could use in the context of a reality television show to manipulate the results in a way that is blatantly obvious to viewers, but not quite blatant enough to result in censure from media regulators.
“We don’t have media regulators in Russia. In post-Soviet Russia, media regulates you.”
The alleged manipulations on the X Factor include: ensuring that Cowell’s favoured contestants dominate media coverage, are given the coveted end slot in the performance running order, and are given the best song choices even if they don’t conform to the week’s theme.
And are also allowed to mime to pre-recorded backing vocals through most of their performances while the rest of the contestants have to sing live.
However, some of the Russians’ suggestions – such as incarcerating opponents on trumped-up charges, or eliminating them – were deemed by Cowell to be too extreme, even by his standards.
“We told Cowell where he can get some polonium at an excellent price.” Semenov added.
The leaked communications include a series of emails sent between Simon Cowell and the X Factor production team.
In an email sent in August, Cowell writes: “Secretly manipulating the results as we have in previous series is potentially just not enough anymore.
“This year I want to make our utter contempt for the viewers at home crystal clear.”
The emails also reveal that after the roaring success of this year’s manipulations, Cowell is already in talks with ITV and the Russians on how they can develop the blatant result rigging in the coming series.
“I’m thinking next year Dermot will have an envelope with the results of the public vote, and instead of reading it out, will rip it up and throw the pieces in the air,” Cowell writes.
“And then I will personally eliminate a contestant of my choice by pulling a giant lever that releases a trap door beneath their feet.
“Then we will show a VT of me exchanging bags of the viewers’ phone vote cash for an obscene amount of cocaine that I then proceed to snort off the bare arse of Katie Waissel’s prostitute grandmother.
“Just so they can see where their money really goes.”
There are also allegations abound that viewers have been intimidated into voting for certain contestants.
74 year-old retired schoolteacher Miriam Salter from Surrey said: “I received a telephone call on Saturday night from a very abusive young lady shouting: ‘Oi bitch, you better vote for Cher Lloyd tonight, yeh, or I’ll set your fucking house on fire.’
“I’m not very good at placing accents, but it sounded like the voice of a 17 year-old girl native to the Malvern area, if I’m not mistaken.”