Simon Cowell admits The X Factor judges have been “caricatures” in the past: “We need to be more honest”

The judge says he thinks the programme and the panel feel "different" this series

The X Factor

Simon Cowell has admitted that both he and the other judges on The X Factor have acted like “caricatures” in the past and that there have been times when he has forgotten quite why he’s doing the show.

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Speaking in a recorded message which was played at the press at the launch of The X Factor, Simon said: “I think we just get to a point sometimes – maybe last year – where you just think… you forget why you’re on the show.

“And what happened this year, I said to the guys [fellow judges Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger] to just go with our gut instinct. I’m always interested in what their real feeling is about a contestant rather than we should or shouldn’t like somebody, and that’s why it felt easier.”

Sharon, who is returning for her seventh overall series of The X Factor, added: “I think too that this year is probably the first year that I feel all of us have been blatantly honest to the contestants. I feel it’s the most honest that we’ve been.”

“I agree with that,” said Simon. “You can see it – when I watched the first episode [of this new series] I could see that it felt different. It was being less aware of being caricatures but just being absolutely honest – what you liked, what you didn’t like, how [the contestants] could improve.”

Talking of honesty, Nicole and Louis revealed that Simon engages in a little bit of plagiarism during the auditions and actually steals Nicole’s best critiques and lines from her and tries to pass them off as his own.

If they’re bickering like this already, we dread to think what it’ll be like come Christmas.

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The X Factor airs on ITV on Saturday September 8th and Sunday September 9th at 8pm