According to The Sun, each judge will only take three finalists each to the live shows after last year's first week elimination round flopped with viewers.
The twist resulted in four acts - Amelia Lily, 2 Shoes, Jonjo Kerr and James Michael - being booted out by their mentors, although Amelia was later voted back to replace disgraced contestant Frankie Cocozza.
Meanwhile, Brian Friedman - who returns as creative director this year - is said to have 'big ideas', with plans also afoot to 'spice up' the big-name guest performances. Ne-Yo and former show winner Leona Lewis are apparently the first stars to have been booked to appear.
The paper's insider commented: "Producers know they are under pressure to make the live shows even better than last year.
“Brian is taking personal control of things and is determined to pull everything out of the bag. The sudden death elimination stunt won’t happen this year after viewers complained it was too harsh.
“Having fewer finalists from the start also means viewers will get to know those who are left much better and hopefully build bonds with them. Other twists haven’t been ruled out, though."
Both The X Factor and Strictly are set to begin their live shows on October 6th. They both secured victories in the ratings war last weekend, with X Factor attracting a higher average audience while Strictly won a bigger peak.
The singing contest has suffered its lowest figures since 2007 in recent weeks, although Sunday's edition rebounded to 9.3million viewers.