Credit: Ian Gavan/Getty Images Photo: Rihanna Set to Guest Judge on The X Factor USA

Now, we’ll admit that it was kind of disappointing when Leroy Bell and the others got caught lip-syncing on The X Factor group performance. Yes, granted, it’s not exactly unique for performers to pre-record their singing tracks, as Fox unapologetically made clear when pressed. But it’s sort of like any number of childhood myths — we know they’re not real, but any evidence to prove that they’re not real makes us...well...uncomfortable. Consider the purity of on-stage singing a sort of Santa Claus for adults.

Still, with a little research, it’s pretty clear that Leroy is (a) not the first person to have this problem, and (b), more interestingly, not even close to the most distinguished performer to fudge the vocals on stage. There are some real heavy hitters in this faux pas hall of fame.

Of course, there are some “no kidding” entries, like Britney Spears at the 2007 VMAs and the...well allegedly everywhere always. But did you know that world-famous opera singer Luciano Pavarotti committed the same sin for audiences at the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony? Not only was Pavarotti lip-syncing, but the orchestra backing him was faking it, too! (Granted, Pavarotti got away with it, but still.)

If you want something a little more contemporary, there’s always the infamous Rebecca Black on The Tonight Show (why bother lip-syncing that one? How much worse could it possibly be live?). Or there’s Janet Jackson slipping up (with her voice, this time -- not her wardrobe) at a concert in Jersey earlier this year.

We’ve got to hand it to these performers’ fans for taking this stuff in stride, and we’re similarly not going to hold Leroy Bell’s error against him. Let’s hope the judges feel the same moving forward!

 

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