Simon Cowell has defended the new live format on X Factor saying that he can see who ‘really shines’ and that it makes his job easier.

The judge said: “I think it’s easier now, you see when someone really shines and I’ve seen auditions through this process which may not have worked in the old way of doing it.

“[There are] people who, when you put them in front of an audience, they just change, and the atmosphere and the [backing] track, they turn into somebody else and that’s why this is a better process.”

Simon explained that sometimes the audience influences his decision on whether to give an auditionee a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.

He said: “The audience reaction will sway you at times, particularly when you’re 50-50 and sometimes the crowd will get very very passionate about somebody who usually, under normal circumstances you would say ‘I can’t be bothered to hear you again’, they’re much more about giving people a second or third chance. You can’t control an audience, in a way, it controls you.”

The star, who turns 50 next month, added that he has high hopes that this series will produce a hit act.

Simon explained: “I’ve seen a lot of potential winners, we struggled last year in most of the categories, probably apart from the girls, to actually find three people in each category, I’d say we’re in a better position this year, there’s better talent this year.”