Simon Cowell has unveiled a new format for The X Factor auditions with pop wannabes having to face a live audience for the first time.
The talent show judge said live public support would provide a boost for performers as they appeared on the ITV programme.
In an interview for GMTV, Simon also revealed how Susan Boyle had found it ‘very, very difficult’ to cope with the intense media pressure following her appearance on his other top-rated TV show Britain’s Got Talent.
He said Susan was aware of the pressure of appearing on the programme but had still decided to carry on with the show.
Susan, from Blackburn, West Lothian, became one of the year’s most unlikely stars after a series of knockout singing displays.
But after she failed to win the competition, she sought help at a Priory clinic, and has not been able to perform at every date in the Britain’s Got Talent tour.
Simon said: “Everyone is writing about her, she’s in the spotlight and she found it difficult to cope with and, at that point, even I sat down with her and said ‘Look, if this is getting too much for you, you don’t have to go into the final, no one is going to force you’.”
Simon also lifted the lid on tensions between the X Factor’s female judges, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue.
He explained: “Well, look, girls are girls. They always want to be the centre of attention.
“I don’t think anyone has ended up as best friends, but they don’t hate each other. Actually, no, I think they like each other now.”