This year’s X Factor may have to come with a set of instructions as a source close to the show tells RadioTimes.com that an extra 200-second viewer vote could be added to the Saturday night show.
If the new voting format goes ahead, it will mean that once all of the acts have performed on Saturday viewers will have just 200 seconds to vote for their favourite.
Dermot O’Leary will then immediately reveal which act has received the lowest number of votes and they will automatically be one of Sunday night’s bottom two.
On Sunday, viewers can vote again and the act with the fewest votes will join the 200-second victim.
Votes on the Sunday cannot undo the Saturday decision – that act’s place in the bottom two is confirmed.
As usual, these two acts will then face the judges – Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne – who each cast a vote to decide which act should be saved and which should go home.
If the judges can’t decide out of the two and the vote goes to deadlock, the act placed in the bottom two from the 200-second Saturday night vote will automatically go home.
So, what does this all mean (assuming your head's stopped spining)?
Well, for one thing it means you need to be pretty fast with a telephone if you want to keep your favourite out of the 200-second danger zone.
It also means judges know which act in the bottom two the public preferred on the Saturday, which may influence who they choose to save.
Deadlock also becomes a new game, because although judges are technically returning the vote to the viewers, given that they know which act this will boot out, they are still ultimately making the final decision.
A source close to the show told RadioTimes.com, “This new voting format would put emphasis on both night's votes. A Saturday night shock result could spur people on on Sunday to vote to keep their favourite out of the bottom two. It shows that every performance counts and no acts are safe.”
We’re not sure we’ll even find our phone in 200 seconds, but let’s see how it goes, eh?
The X Factor returns 31 August