X Factor live shows face changes
The 'X Factor' live shows are to be overhauled, with the judges each taking just three contestants into the finals
The 'X Factor' live shows are to be overhauled.
Programme bosses are planning big changes to the final stages of the competition, most notably axing last year's sudden-death twist, which saw the four judges forced to drop one of their acts without a public vote, as fans felt it was too harsh.
Instead, the judges - Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger - will take just three contestants to the live shows, which begin on October 6.
A source said: "The sudden death elimination stunt won't happen this year after viewers complained it was too harsh.
"Having fewer finalists from the start also means viewers will get to know those who are left much better and hopefully build bonds with them. Other twists haven't been ruled out, though."
Brian Friedman is returning to the show as creative director and will fly to the UK next week to begin putting his ideas into place.
The source added to The Sun newspaper: "Producers know they are under pressure to make the live shows even better than last year.
"Brian is taking personal control of things and is determined to pull everything out of the bag."
Programme bosses are also looking to source big name acts to perform on the show, with former winner Leona Lewis and 'So Sick' hitmaker Ne-Yo already confirmed to appear.