X Factor judge Louis Walsh has admitted that the show “needs to change” and become “more honest”.
The 61-year-old star promised “a Susan Boyle moment” in the 10th series, which begins on Saturday, with an “amazing” female contestant who works in a prison.
But the Irish judge, who returns to the ITV show judging panel with Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne, told TV Times: “I think people are watching so many talent shows now that they have to be entertained more.
“We need to make it more real and more honest.
“And viewers are looking for people who are either really talented or really deluded. It’s a bit of a soap opera, a bit Jeremy Kyle.”
Walsh said of the show’s future: “I don’t think it’s the end. It will always be a massive show, but it’s just having that sparkle.
“I think it needs to change and Simon Cowell needs to come back. If Simon comes back, The X Factor can go on forever.”
Asked about his decision to leave after this year’s series, he said: “I need to get my life back. I did Popstars: The Rivals before this, so listen, I’ve had a fantastic run. And you have to know when to go as well.”