X Factor hopefuls allowed to sing own songs

Simon Cowell will allow 'X Factor' singers to perform their own songs in a bid to encourage new kinds of talent onto the show

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Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell is allowing 'X Factor' hopefuls to perform their own songs this year.

The 52-year-old music mogul - who left the British version of the show to head up the judging panel on the US series last year - has said wannabe stars can sing compositions which have not previously been recorded in an effort to encourage new talent onto the show.

A source told The Sun: "The idea might be to allow for more original music throughout the competition. Whether this means they will be writing their own songs isn't confirmed, but it's looking like it's going that way."

Meanwhile, it is believed themed weeks - which have previously included shows dedicated to artists including Lady Gaga and Queen - may also be dropped in a move which is aimed at bringing viewers back to the show after more than four million deserted the final last year compared to 2010.

Simon recently confirmed he may axe 'The X Factor' in 2013 if even fewer viewers tune in.

He said: "I'd rather fall off the cliff on numbers than deteriorate slowly. That is like death from a thousand cuts. Now maybe that might mean with The 'X Factor' we'd say in a year's time, 'Right, that's the end of it. Let's start something new.' "

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