The X Factor 2011 hopefuls to be sent to the countryside to focus on their music

Simon Cowell

This year's X Factor hopefuls won't be living it up in a mansion in London, it has been revealed. Instead, show boss Simon Cowell has ordered the programme's new producers to send the top 16 live finalists into a "countryside exile", in hopes of making them focus on their music.

A property in rural Hertfordshire will this year act as a base for the hopefuls, after arguments last year with groups of fans surrounding the house, leaving neighbours less than impressed.

Simon also "believes moving to the countryside will help them focus on the show," the Daily Star reports.

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In 2009 the Chinese Ambassador made an official complaint to the government over the house, with thousands of fans camping around the clock to catch a glimpse of one of the hopefuls.

"I can confirm there was a complaint. The reason is several times late at night and early in the mornings the teenage fans were noisy and disturbing," a spokesperson confirmed at the time.

And posh London locals were just as annoyed, with one complaining: "It's like putting a bunch of chavs next to the Queen. We want them [the contestants] out. There are some seriously wealthy residents in the street."

Last year police were forced to close the roads around the £6 million house after fans of One Direction flocked to the supposedly secret location.

The X Factor 2011 starts on August 20.

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