X Factor 2017 wildcards revealed

Those patient enough to wait until Saturday night to see which axed X Factor contestants have been given a lifeline should not read any further.

We have learned which four wannabe singers have got a surprise second chance which gives the first indication of who the nation has really warmed to this series.

After failing at the last hurdle at Judges’ Houses, Leon Mallet, Alisah Bonaobra, Jack and Joel and Talia Dean are the lucky lot who return as the show’s wildcard contestants — thanks to the voting public who have saved their bacon.

A TV source said: “Few things divide fans like previously axed ­contestants being given another shot, but the public have spoken.

"After voting closed on Monday, Leon, ­Alisah, Jack and Joel and Talia were told they’d nabbed the four remaining spots.

"They’ve all been favourites throughout the season, and as we’ve seen in years previously, could well go on to be the show’s most ­memorable acts. They’re all beyond excited and are working tirelessly to prove viewers got it right and that they are worthy of a spot.”

The wildcards will join the 12 finalists when the live shows kicks off in London this weekend.

However, the big reveal will not be the night’s only twist.

ITV bosses are also bringing in two major changes in a bid to shake up the format and boost ratings as it goes head to head with Strictly week in, week out.

In the most controversial format change in X Factor history, the judges’ vote and the ­famous deadlock has been axed completely — meaning the ­decision of who stays sits entirely with the ­public. That means the contestant with  the lowest number of votes will ­automatically leave without singing-off for survival.

Instead, the two singers with the highest percentage of the public vote will ­sing-off to win “money can’t buy” prizes in a brand-new twist.

A source added: “They feel introducing a sing-off between the top two will be a huge hit with viewers who will get to watch their favourites sing again each week, while the aim of winning a money-can’t-buy prize will add that classic Saturday Night entertainment feel that ITV’s most successful shows, such as ANT & DEC’s Saturday Night Takeaway, have.”

More from Showbiz News