Simon Cowell is reportedly planning some tweaks and changes to the new X Factor format this year because the show is still losing out to Strictly Come Dancing on the weekly ratings war.
The music mogul is said to be livid that despite the new audition procedure, the return of Sharon Osbourne, the new Saturday flash vote, Caroline Flack on the main show and some A list music celebrities on the Sunday results show, the singing competition is still losing overall to it’s BBC rival.
Insiders told The Sun that Cowell rang producers from his LA home on Sunday morning demanding answers and ideas for changes, after the love and heartbreak themed episode attracted just 7.6million viewers, while Strictly brought in more than 9m.
Cowell wants some research done to find out why viewers are tuning out and he wants it fixed, before the end of the series. One insider said:
“Everything is up for grabs.”
It has been claimed that the show boss could do away with the new flash vote, which sees voting lines open for eight minutes at the end of `Saturday’s show. The contestant with the least amount of votes is confirmed for the Sunday sing off, while the second act in danger is revealed on air the next night.
To date, stars such as Katy Perry, Robin Thicke, Cher and Ellie Goulding have all performed on Sundays, but that could be changed, with performances from the celebs split over both weekend shows.
Another idea is apparently shortening the Saturday night extravaganza, after some viewers complained on Twitter about it being too long and insiders say the judges will be told to spice their comments up and make sure there is enough drama and tension at the weekends.
An X Factor source said: “Just because Simon is no longer a judge on the show, it doesn’t mean he is hands-off — on the contrary, he has never been more hands-on.
“With Strictly winning the Saturday ratings battle, we know we’re now in a real dogfight. Simon and the producers will not rest until the Saturday show is performing better.
“We are very pleased with how Sunday nights are going but the Saturday ratings are not as high as we would like them to be.
“We have a battle on our hands but are determined to come out on top.
“It’s a case of rolling up our sleeves and working even harder.”
The X Factor returns this weekend for a movie themed episode and the weekend is sure to be filled with drama, as Sunday night’s show will feature a performance from Lady Gaga, Sharon Osbourne’s long time enemy.
Now if they could only get Girls Aloud on to fight with Louis Walsh on Saturday things would be sorted!
Simon is also said to be working on ideas for next year’s series, when he is going to need to recruit at least three new judges after Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh all confirmed their departure recently.
So far it seems likely that the music mogul could return to the UK version of the show and insiders have suggested that he’s keen to get Dannii Minogue back also.
What do you think of the proposed X Factor changes? Leave your comments below….