Dermot O’Leary saddened by cut to his ‘favourite’ live shows

Dermot O’Leary saddened by cut to his ‘favourite’ live shows

Dermot O’Leary saddened by cut to his ‘favourite’ live shows

The X Factor host Dermot O’Leary has said he is disappointed the upcoming series will have fewer live shows than past outings but understands “people watch TV in a different way” now.

The ITV singing show will return to screens on Saturday night with the first footage of the auditions, but there will be fewer live broadcasts in the run-up to the final.

O’Leary told the Press Association: “I get it. Live shows are my favourite part of the show so the selfish part of me goes (cries).

“I love the live shows but we are making a show the same way we made a show 14 years ago and people watch TV in a very different way so I completely understand why we are doing it.”

The new series will also see contestants allowed to perform their own original material and O’Leary said: “The encouragement of people to send their own songs is a big deal in that it gives them the power but at the same time give them a lot of responsibility.

“People can come on and do a great song at the first audition with one of their own songs but the second and third song that they try, you get to an arena with 5,000 people, it may not resonate as well as you want it to.

“Especially our audience, they love hearing some old school hits and reinvention of classics, so that’s a gamble but that’s quite empowering.

“It’s all about putting the responsibility and those decisions back on the contestants.”

The new series will also see the demise of the controversial jukebox, which determined which genre of song the contestants would sing the following week.

The spinning wheel was at the centre of fix allegations and will not feature on the show this year.

O’Leary said: “I’m not happy about it. Halloween did us, that was the problem, I was gutted.

“Me and Sid, the executive producer, were the only two people who loved the jukebox. I want to find out where it is.

“It is enormous though, it’s the biggest hamster wheel on Earth so if I do somehow get it I’m not sure where I will put it. My wife won’t let it in the house, that’s for sure.

The X Factor is on ITV at 8pm on Saturday.

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