Simon Cowell to axe flash vote X Factor 2013 loses to Strictly Come Dancing again?

simon cowell

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:

simon cowell 2

“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.

X Factor judges 2013

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.

simon cowell dannii minogue

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….

Lisa McGarry

Lisa has been watching reality TV for too long now. She won't do any housework unless 'Big Brother' announces it over the tannoy and everything she does has to be put to a public vote!


  1. cherise on October 23, 2013 at 10:22 am

    For this year Simon could tweet some comments at the end of the Saturday show..apart from that the format is fine,strictly is a totally different show cos it has celebrity performing so I think he should stop worrying about beating them cos he stills gets masses of viewers.

  2. Jade on October 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    What he needs to do is come back — we need Simon back on the show. Viewers went when he left for America and lets face it. The US one is fairing no better

  3. Anthony on October 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    The average Saturday viewing figures are 7.6 million, almost a million up on last series. I don’t know what Simon Cowell is complaining about. If he ever thinks he’s going to overtake Strictly Come Dancing, he’s living on Cloud Cuckooland.

  4. SimonLover on October 24, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I’m surprised the X Factor was renewed over here in the US for a third season. Dust off a chair for him over there.

  5. MARK1972 on October 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Probably the main reason ITV and the X factor is losing the war with strictly is the fact that each advert break lasts for 5 or more minutes and there are 4 or 5 of them meaning the show is 20-25 mins longer than it needs to be. Who wants to watch so many adverts as this spoils the show. it is much better to record it then you can forward wide the adverts

  6. welshfan on October 25, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Brighten the show up a bit – strictly entertains with glitz / colour – its harder for a singing contest so it needs a lift – agreed judges comments need to sound a little more spontaneous but its not always about the judges. Really enjoyed the segments of mentoring by successful artists in previous series & the vocal coaching / learning the performance side of things. Early episodes public need to get to know the artists but midway the mentoring is about seeing them challenged

  7. Aidan on October 27, 2013 at 8:05 am

    The show is just a combination of the Gong Show Opportunity Knocks and New Faces allthree of these shows had their day same with the XFactor it is old hat especially as the show is more about the judges than the contestants.The fact that none of the contestants are able to sing properly does not help either, at this stage I think they deliberately pick bad singers to give the egotistical judges more ammunition for their barbed and sarcastic comments. R.I.P XFactor wake up and smell the coffee Simon,or as Anne Robinson would say XFactor you are the weakest link goodbye..

  8. Colin on October 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

    We have a Yorksire saying “You cannot polish a turd!”
    I’m afraid that X Factor has run it’s course and it is too late to save. Here’s to Sir Bruce n Tess!

  9. Sally on November 3, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I think what happens isn’t anything to do with people not watching it anymore. What I always do is sky+ xfactor, watch strictly live and then I’m able to watch xfactor straight afterwards and fast forward through the breaks!
    I don’t know why ITV and BBC clash the timings of these two very popular programmes as they would both getso many more ratings if they worked together and, say, start strictly at 6pm and xfactor at 8!?!
    More and more people have the facilities to record programmes easily at the touch of a button.
    It’s a shame that you don’t have the facility to count ratings of the number of people that record the programme to watch back later

    1. Anthony on November 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Sally, I think you’ve probably just given a good explanation of why the ratings appear to be falling for X Factor. With it being on a commercial channel, if people are interested in both Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor, they’ll watch Strictly live so they don’t have to sit through the adverts. We do the same with a lot of programmes. Downton Abbey is one example. Because of the painfully long advert breaks we record it on sky +, then start playing it about 20 minutes after the start so we can skip the adverts.
      Maybe the real answer for X Factor is to switch to the BBC.
      But yes, if they had the facility to tell how many people were recording programmes, and then to add that to the live viewers, the 2 programmes would probably not be very far apart.

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