Simon Cowell has confirmed that there will be fewer live shows on The X Factor this year in a format shake-up designed to avoid the show becoming “boring and predictable”.
The ITV judge said that he planned to have more pre-recorded episodes and fewer live shows after he realised that “the early and middle rounds rate well” among viewers.
This is the 14th year of X Factor, but Cowell said he now expected the show to continue running until at least series 20, explaining that, “I do think it’ll last a little bit longer than I thought”.
“If you’d asked me years ago how many more years I could do, I would have said if we can get to five more years then we’ve done well. Then you get to five years and it becomes ten,” Cowell said.
“What I have noticed over the last two years, which is a good sign, is that I’m seeing younger and younger kids turn up to the show. That’s always the fear, that, like a lot of music shows, you don’t stay relevant.”
Regarding the format changes, Cowell explained the reasoning behind shaking up the show ahead of its launch in September.
“When you’ve done it for 14 years you can’t keep making the same show every year. I think you have to realise what the contestants are in it for, why do so many people enter? I think if you just make the same show each year it becomes boring and predictable,” he said.
“The idea is to do more of the middle shows and less of the live shows. We’ll see if it works or not,” he added.
In other format changes, Cowell has already confirmed that the controversial ‘jukebox’ element of last year would be scrapped, and fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger welcomed the news.
“I’m looking forward to not having that jukebox anymore!” she said. “I don’t want to do it guys. I just want cool, relevant songs that work.”
Singers will also be encouraged to perform their own original songs this year, with Cowell saying, “When they are good song writers you have to encourage that, 100%, otherwise it’s just karaoke.”