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Simon Cowell says X Factor 'can't compete' with Strictly Come Dancing's ratings

Simon Cowell X Factor 2017

Simon Cowell says The X Factor "can't compete" with Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings.

Instead, the X Factor boss is keen to focus on launching a successful winner this year.

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Speaking about X Factor and Strictly's annual Saturday night ratings battles, Simon said this weekend: “I’ve learnt to keep my mouth shut about that."

He told The Sun newspaper: “We can’t compete with their overall audience because they’re much older. What’s important for us is to keep the young audience interested in the show.

“I’ve seen a couple of contestants this year who are really, really good. You’re always hoping to find the next star and that’s what I’m focusing on now.”

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X Factor 2017
X Factor 2017

As part of that aim, Simon has "freshened things up" on the ITV series after branding last year's series simply "Okay".

He explained previously "When you’ve done it for 14 years you can’t keep making the same show every year. I think you have to realise what the contestants are in it for, why do so many people enter?

"I think if you just make the same show each year it becomes boring and predictable.

"So you try and make changes for the better, not everything works but some ideas we’ve got for the live shows are going to be good."

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One change will be fewer rounds of live shows. Simon said: "I just think it’s the way things are in all these shows at the moment.

"The early and middle rounds rate well. So, the idea is to do more of the middle shows and less of the live shows.

"We’ll see if it works or not. I think there might be a middle ground."

the x factor auditions 1

Nicole Scherzinger backed the move: "I love all the changes he’s making. You have to in this day and age, things are moving so fast over social media, you have to be changing with the times.

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"You have to evolve. We’re evolving as a show, we want to give the people what they want!"

The X Factor airs on Saturday and Sunday nights on ITV.