The judges have been filming the Six Chair Challenge round this week (no, sadly they haven’t axed it), and in a move from previous years, the judge picking the contestants for their category have been separated from the rest of the panel.
The Sun has reported Sharon was left in tears during the process, which saw her sat on one side of Wembley Arena, with the rest of the judges on the other.
The changes mean the picking judge will not be able to get advice from the panel on who to choose, although they will still be able to offer the contestants feedback.
The paper claimed Sharon filled all of her seats immediately, then was forced to play a game of musical chairs as she kept swapping hopefuls out.
Members of the production team had to intervene as the crowd turned on Sharon, who was struggling to contain her emotions.
She also told them: “It’s been a cruel night, it’s unbelievable how much talent there is. Come on guys, be nice.”
Viewers have long called for bosses to axe the Six Chair Challenge round, claiming it is too brutal, and the latest changes will do nothing to silence critics.
Even host Dermot O’Leary has spoken of his dislike of the round in the past, calling it a not “particularly nice bit of television”.
Other changes to this year’s series will see the amount of live shows reduced from 10 to six, with eliminations and guest performers on both Saturday and Sunday nights.
It’s been claimed novelty acts will also not be allowed to progress to the final rounds of the competition, after the furore rapper Honey G’s popularity caused last year.
Producers also held auditions at Thorpe Park earlier this month, in an attempt to get some lighter footage for the series.
‘The X Factor’ is expected to return to ITV in the autumn.