Simon Cowell is making drastic changes to The X Factor in a last-ditch effort to rescue the struggling series. Will Thorpe Park Resort give the show the boost it needs?
The live weekend shows will be cut from ten to six with acts voted off on both Saturdays and Sundays meaning “tedious” performance-only Saturday episodes, which got low ratings, will be axed.
Star guest artists will perform on both days and auditions will be held at Thorpe Park Resort in the hope that fun theme park footage will win viewers.
He will discourage novelty acts like Honey G, who came fifth last year as audience figures hit an all-time low and the show was trounced by rival Strictly Come Dancing.
The UK’s most talked about series, which is itself an occasional emotional rollercoaster, will head to the nation’s extreme thrill Island this coming Sunday and Monday (July 9th and 10th). This will be the first time judges’ auditions have ever taken place in a theme park.
Judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne, plus host Dermot O’Leary will grace the renowned Surrey venue this coming weekend – holding auditions in a bespoke, especially created marquee.
An X Factor source said: “Ratings plummeted and Simon knew a drastic revamp was needed.
“The Saturday night show became so tedious as there was rarely any drama which an eviction would bring.
“ITV believes transforming it is the right decision. It means all singers will perform on both Saturday and Sunday evenings, with acts being eliminated both nights.
“They are doing the Thorpe Park Resort auditions early on too, because producers think the unconventional location will create some funny footage.
“They want to get shots of the judges on white-knuckle rides.
“Ultimately, show bosses are determined to make another star.
“They don’t want the show to be a laughing stock again like it was with Honey G.”
At its peak in 2010 X Factor was watched by 14.13 million an episode.
But last year even the final, won by Matt Terry, only attracted 7 million.