Simon Cowell hints X Factor judging panel will stay the same next year

The head judge says “things have to change” but he’s “not talking about the people on the show”

Simon Cowell has hinted that next year’s X Factor judging panel will stay the same with Mel B, Louis Walsh and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini by his side.

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“Going into next year, like we do with anything, things have to change,” Cowell said at yesterday’s X Factor press conference, but added, “I’m not talking about the people on the show, but the way the show is” – suggesting the panel isn’t in the running for a shake up.

Indeed, when asked if he has a wish list of X Factor judges, he said: “I’ve got my wish list. I wished for these three last year and we got them.”

Referring to the famous faces who have said ‘no’ to a spot on the panel in the past, Cowell said, “They’ve not so much turned me down. Sometimes we just won’t pay them what they want.

“I think they may have regretted it afterwards.”

Even if the judging panel does stay the same, Cowell says the team behind the show have “got some ideas” that he’s excited about to mix up the format, but he wouldn’t give anything away until next year.

“What it really comes down to is that you’ve got to find really, really talented people and that’s what makes this show exciting. This country, they love all the craziness, but deep down they want to see a star emerge and that’s what I’ve learnt.”

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The X Factor final takes place Saturday on at 8:30pm and on Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV