Simon Cowell explains X Factor sing-off

Simon Cowell has claimed he introduced a controversial sing-off to last week's 'X Factor' to stop the show from becoming ''boring''

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BGT judge Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell introduced a semi-final sing-off to last week's 'X Factor' to stop the show from becoming "boring".

The 51-year-old music mogul - who has been at the centre of "fixing" claims after controversial Cher Lloyd was kept in the competition on Sunday night (05.12.10) instead of popular Mary Byrne - pleaded with fans of the ITV1 show to rest assured that the series hasn't been skewed.

He said: "We decided for the first time some weeks ago to put four people into the final and this meant having five semi-finalists. We also felt that it would be fairer that there would be a sing-off rather than an automatic elimination as there were more contestants.

"I understand new decisions are seen as controversial by our viewers but it stops the show from becoming boring."

The 'X Factor' mentor - who is joined on the show's judging panel by Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh - thinks the recent changes to the show's format have made the series the most "exciting" yet.

Simon added in an open letter to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I feel it's been a better series as it hasn't followed the same pattern as before. As the excitement heats up, debates begin but I do want to assure people that the show is definitely not fixed.

"It's always our sole intention to try and make the show as entertaining and hopefully exciting every week."

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