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Next year's X Factor UK is going back to basics

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Arena auditions will be axed, and mentoring might be no more.

Bosses want Simon to star again but his US diary makes that tricky. A source said that could be fixed by dropping the mentoring aspect— leaving Cowell with just a judging role and allowing him to fly back and forth.

They said it would also make evictions more tense, adding: “Judges always vote to save their own acts.”

Further changes already flagged up include changing the judges, with Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow in the firing line— and Sharon Osbourne waiting in the wings for a sensational return.

And it is understood arena auditions will be axed — with the return of try-outs in nondescript rooms underlining the eventual finalists’ rags-to-riches stories.


A senior source said: “It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the show is not in the best health. We have had some very strong singers this year but the show is feeling in need of a reboot.”

The start of next year’s show — the last in the current ITV deal — is set to be moved back to the weekend after kids return to school to make it more talked-about by young fans.

Saturday shows will start earlier as ratings dwindle after 10pm.

ITV bosses have booked crisis talks with show guru Simon Cowell for next month when he returns from the US version to start filming Britain’s Got Talent.

Latest viewing figures show the audience for this Saturday night’s crucial show plunged to a seven-year low of 9.7 million.

SIMON Cowell is expected to be the star witness in Cheryl Cole’s £1.4million case against the US X Factor over her sacking.

Her lawyers plan to use evidence from show creator Simon, 53, who admits he sent Cole a text stating he took “full responsibility” for the 2011 axing fiasco.

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