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The X Factor 2017: Dermot O'Leary is "gutted" that the jukebox has been axed

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The X Factor 2017 host Dermot O'Leary has defended the show's much-derided 'jukebox', claiming he's "gutted" the twist has been axed from the new series.

Introduced last year, the jukebox was a giant wheel Dermot spun after each elimination to decide the theme for the next live show.

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But although the selection was supposedly random, it happened to land on 'Fright Night' for the week Halloween fell.

Viewers instantly became suspicious of the contraption, even though the show vehemently denied that it was rigged.

Now it's been revealed that theme weeks have been scrapped for this year's series - meaning the jukebox is no more.

And while most people will be glad to see the back of it, Dermot's still a fan - and he wants to keep it for himself.

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Speaking to the Press Association about the jukebox's demise, he commented: "I’m not happy about it. Halloween did us, that was the problem. I was gutted.

"Me and Sid, the executive producer, were the only two people who loved the jukebox. I want to find out where it is.

"It is enormous though, it’s the biggest hamster wheel on Earth, so if I do somehow get it I’m not sure where I will put it. My wife won’t let it in the house, that’s for sure."

Judge Nicole Scherzinger has praised the decision to ditch the themes.

"I’m looking forward to not having that jukebox anymore!" she said. "I just want cool, relevant songs that work.

"I just don’t want the same things over and over. I’m looking forward to the performances."

The X Factor 2017 kicks off this Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on ITV, with the live shows expected to begin in November.