The X Factor 2011 London auditions end with a flop - and a half empty arena!

The X Factor in Manchester

The third and final day of The X Factor 2011 auditions in London ended with a bit of a flop today, with thousands of fans abandoning the show leaving O2's massive 20,000 capacity arena half empty. Even an appearance from Simon Cowell at the auditions didn't help, with the show struggling to fill the empty seats.

With rain battling the O2 in London hundreds of music fans still braved the weather for hours in a bid to get a bid to get a seat to what is often the hardest telly show recording to watch. Unfortunately they could’ve stayed in bed for a few more hours, with the arena still half empty come 11am.

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A source said: "Fans just didn't seem to want to come and see the likes of Tulisa [Contostavlos] and Kelly [Rowland] on the show. One audience member said: 'Those seats wouldn't be empty if Cheryl was here', and they were spot on.

"Even when the team offered audience members the chance to stay behind to watch the second showing, almost all got up and left.

"The talent didn't help matters either, at one point a person got out a paper halfway through an audition."

X Factor London empty seats

Even with a whole floor covered up by black curtains and one half of the whole arena sitting idle, there still weren’t enough interested fans to fill the restricted venue.

Despite the vast patches of blue seats around the crowd however the auditions did go ahead, with Tulisa, Kelly, Gary Barlow and Louis Walsh on top form as ever. In the fashion stakes and it seemed to be a case of casual Friday, with even usually smart Gary turning up in a t-shirt for the morning show.

Meanwhile it wasn't only X Factor fans that the crew were in need of but also some acts with any talent. Kicking the day off was a awfully poor rendition of Katy Perry's 'California Gurls' from a male hopeful and - bar just two potential finalists - it went downhill from there.

X Factor London judges

Back again was Michael Lewis, who became a cult hit on last year’s show with his Michael Jackson impersonation during his audition. This time he was himself and he seemed to think it went a lot better, "There's a lot more positivity in this room this year," he said.

We're not sure the judges agreed.

The X Factor returns to ITV later this summer.

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