20/09/2012 07:19 BST

'X Factor' Live Shows To See 'Radical' Shake-Up By Simon Cowell, According To Reports

Changes to the X Factor live shows are being made, including ditching the 'sudden-death' elimination round which was introduced last year, The Sun reports.

The newspaper claims the judges will take only three contestants each into the live shows, which kick off on 6 October.

There will also reportedly be more live performances this year, from the likes of Leona Lewis and Neyo, in a bid to beat the BBC's rival show Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings battle.

X Factor viewing figures have seen a slump with only 7.9m watching on 9 September - the show's lowest audience in five years.

Strictly, with its new judging line-up including ballet star Darcey Bussell, beat X Factor's best ratings of the series so far (9.7m on Sunday) when its launch show aired on Saturday with peak ratings of 9.8m.

Both series launch their live shows on the same night.

These new reported changes are in addition to X Factor's earlier shake-up before the series began, when judge Kelly Rowland was replaced with Nicole Scherzinger and it was announced that producers will allow wannabes to write and perform their own original music.

The Overs category has been raised from 25 to 28 years old, and this year's final has been moved from London to Manchester.

The Boot Camp phase will also be moved from the capital for the first time, with contestants facing their second auditions in Liverpool.

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