X Factor 2016 AXES the arena auditions completely

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The X Factor 2016 arena auditions are a thing of the past, it has been reported today.

The X Factor began auditioning acts in arenas, similar to sister show Britain's Got Talent, for the first time in 2009.

In 2013, the room auditions returned but included a new 'double audition' format with acts going on to also audition in front of a live audience at an arena.

Last year the room auditions went again and returned to only arenas while this year it's changed one more time.

The Radio Times says that now the arena stages have been axed completely, with budding performers singing at the room auditions before going straight through to bootcamp.

Bootcamp will also be held away from an audience meaning the first time the contestants perform to a crowd will be at the brutal six chair challenge.

As if the pressure at that point wasn't enough already.

"It makes the Six Chairs more of a moment," a source said of the changes.

The six chair challenge has proved controversial, branded 'cruel' by many viewers, while acts who have been through the process compared it to the Hunger Games.

"I never in my life want to see six white chairs again," last year's finalist Lauren Murray said. "Ever. It was just killer. It's so, so intense. I thought at one point I was going to be sick. I really did."

At six chairs the contestants in each category must battle it out for one of six seats at judges' houses, with judges cutting, replacing and inviting eliminated acts back all on a whim.

And it all happens in front of a crowd of thousands who do NOT hold back when it comes to making their feelings clear.

Love it or hate it, The X Factor will be back later this year on ITV.

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