As Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and X Factor winners know, Simon Cowell isn’t afraid to wield the axe if something’s not working.
Now Simon has decided to scrap all the live show twists that were introduced during last year’s underwhelming series in a bid to boost ratings.
Instead, the live rounds — which begin this weekend — will see the return of the traditional Sunday night sing-off, judges’ vote and deadlock, all of which were axed after 13 years for the 2017 contest.
The prize fight twist, where the most popular acts each week fought to win a luxury reward, has also been dropped.
A TV insider said: “Simon and the producers took a big gamble last year when they overhauled the live shows.
“They hoped the new format would intrigue viewers but, instead, they rejected the changes in a big way.
It was felt the live shows lacked drama without the judges’ vote and deadlock, which kept more entertaining acts in the competition and produced some of the most controversial moments in the show’s history.
“The prize fight didn’t take off either — perhaps because viewers felt being on the show was reward enough.
“Simon hopes going back to the old format will recapture the magic of classic X Factor.”
Last year, the viewers’ least favourite acts on the Saturday and Sunday shows were instantly sent home — and only half the categories performed each episode.
But this series, all acts will perform on the Saturday before those with the least support from viewers face the sing-off and judges’ vote the following night.
I personally preferred it last series, but Simon knows best.