The controversial Six Chair Challenge is set to return for The X Factor 2016

Returning host Dermot O'Leary had advised Simon Cowell to ditch it

x factor six chair challenge spoilers 17

The X Factor may not be going back to basics too much this year, as word is that the Six Chair Challenge will be brought back.

The controversial stage of the competition sees judges whittle down their categories to six contestants by awarding them one of as many chairs if they impress in an arena performance.

However, if a judge fills all six of their chairs and someone better comes along, they can replace one of the acts they've already picked. This hasn't sat well with viewers, who believe it's unfair to dash hopefuls' dreams in such a manner.

And even though returning host Dermot O'Leary advised Simon Cowell to ditch the Six Chair Challenge in a bid to make the show feel warmer (like its arch nemesis Strictly Come Dancing), the Radio Times suggests it's not dead yet.

A source told the TV mag that, although the format for the upcoming thirteenth series has not yet been finalised, the Challenge is very likely to return despite the controversy as it pulled some of the highest ratings of last year's run.

Simon is also thought to be personally fond of the idea, which he first introduced on the American version of The X Factor.

In January Dermot - who this week confirmed he'd return to present the show after a year away - said: "I’d get back to the rooms. For me it was always room [auditions], arena, boot camp.

"I was really uncomfortable about the Six Chair Challenge. I don’t think it’s a particularly nice bit of television."

Although Dermot might not get his way with the Six Chair Challenge, it was also announced this week that the room auditions WILL make a comeback.

Hopefuls who make it to the televised auditions will first meet the judges in the intimate rooms. If they get four yesses, they'll proceed to the "next stage of the competition" - but it's not yet clear what that will be.

Get the latest news

Subscribe on YouTube