'X Factor' 2017: Simon Cowell Admits He Hopes Format Changes Will Boost Ratings

He's also predicting a long future for the ITV talent show.

Simon Cowell has been under pressure to increase ratings for ‘The X Factor’ after a slump in recent years, but he’s hoping the latest raft of changes will help win back viewers.

The ITV talent show returns for its 14th series this weekend, and viewers will notice some differences on this year’s series, including holding auditions at Thorpe Park and a reduction in the number of live shows.

And while there will be less of a focus on the final stages of the competition, it seems Simon has also tinkered with the usual format there too.

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell

He said: “If you just make the same show each year it becomes boring and predictable. So you try and make changes for the better, not everything works but some ideas we’ve got for the live shows are going to be good.”

On why he chose to focus more on the early rounds of the competition, he continued: “I just think it’s the way things are in all these shows at the moment. The early and middle rounds rate well. So, the idea is to do more of the middle shows and less of the live shows.

“We’ll see if it works or not. I think there might be a middle ground.”

And despite ratings declining in recent years, Simon has still predicted a long future for the show, hoping it will make it to its 20th series in 2023.

Simon is returning alongside Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh
Simon is returning alongside Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh

He said: “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.

“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. That’s why outside of the show, what I do with my label, is still important because I couldn’t sit on this panel if my label wasn’t having success outside of the show. I just couldn’t do it.

“So as long as you’re having hits, and in the label we’re finding artists, there’s no feeling like it. So, that’s a long winded way of saying yes, I do think it’ll last a little bit longer than I thought,” he added.

‘The X Factor’ airs on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on ITV.

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