Britain's Got Talent 2016 is set to feature more foreign acts than ever before.
The new series of BGT begins this weekend and acts who have WON Got Talent in other countries are amongst those who will audition this Spring.
Simon Cowell defended the relaxed rules, saying: "I don’t think it does any harm injecting some people who have already won the competition in other countries because I think it makes everyone else work that bit harder."
The BGT boss, who is is back on the panel with Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Waliams, added: "At the end of the day we don’t control it, the public do, it’s their choice. Whatever we do, there will be criticism.
"If we don’t have acts from other countries, why don’t you? If you do, then why are you? If it’s good for the competition then we should encourage it."
Simon went on to tease: "One act, who swallows a sword, is literally the scariest thing I have ever seen on a live stage and for that reason I’m glad he’s there. He deserves it."
In a separate chat with The Sun newspaper, Simon again defended the change.
“I don’t know if there was necessarily a rule change because to be honest with you there aren’t that many rules on this show," he explained. “Our principle has always been, within reason, anyone should be allowed to apply.
“If we find someone who genuinely is fantastic and we think our audience wants to see them, then we’ll put them on.
“Then it’s up to the public to decide the eventual winner.”
The music mogul insisted there was no lack of British talent but added: “I like the mixture of the Brits and the rest of the world because for me it makes it more of a competition.
“I’m going to call it the Talent Olympics this year.”
Britain's Got Talent 2016 starts this Saturday on ITV.