The new format of The X Factor – in which auditions take place in front of a live audience – has been given the thumbs down by viewers, say reports.

According to The Mirror fans of the show have been hitting the Internet to express their opinions – and many of them are not happy.

“He’s fiddled with the wrong part of the show,” one fan raged, “this auditions idea is just illogical. Whatever happened to the ‘journey'”?

Another viewer described the new format as “more stunted than Simon Cowell’s growth chart”, while another complained that it was “impersonal”.

There were also comparisons to the format of Britain’s Got Talent, in which hopefuls perform in front of an audience in an effort to beat the judges’ buzzers.

As one viewer pointed out, “This format works for Britain’s Got Talent because the judges can buzz people and the crowd can join in and
influence that, by booing etc.

“X Factor auditions should be all about the auditionee and having a crowd there just detracts from it. Having them in a room with just the four judges is much better.”

Meanwhile show bosses blamed the warm weather on a slight drop in viewing figures from last year’s opening show.

The 2008 series opener was watched by 12.1m. Early figures released on Sunday suggested that 9.9m tuned in to the start of series six on Saturday but the final figure is estimated at 11.7m.

Despite the slight dip from last year however ITV said that the viewing figures were still a triumph.

“The volume was down a bit,” a spokesman said, “probably because of the lovely weather we had on Saturday.”

And a programme insider told the paper, “We got over 11 million viewers and thrashed the Beeb. That’s good enough for us.”