Dannii Axed: Can X Factor Survive Judges Panel Over-Haul?

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ITV are facing a massive backlash from fans after ditching Dannii Minogue and leaving Louis Walsh as the only remaining judge from last year’s show.

Fans across the internet have lamented the loss of the three ‘most popular’ judges, after Minogue followed Simon Cowell and Chreyl Cole out of the door to be replaced ex-Destiny’s Child singer by Kelly Rowland.

Dannii was reportedly furious about being dumped by Cowell – who is thought to be pulling the strings on the UK version despite decamping to Amercia – and rushed to make a statement which suggested that she had left the show due to a diary clash. But a show insider told how “Dannii was axed, pure and simple.”

“Simon is a huge admirer of Dannii and loved working with her but the fact is he wanted new people this year,” the source told The Sun.

“It’s true that during discussions there was an issue with dates as she was supposed to filming in Australia when we were due to record. But if we wanted her on the show we would have been able to work round it.

“We have already changed the auditions for another judge (Gary Barlow) so he can fulfil his tour dates. It’s our show – we can do what we like.”

“Simon has been telling producers he wants Kelly Rowland and Tulisa from N-Dubz and the simple fact is there wasn’t room for everyone. Something had to give – and that something was Dannii.”

But fans have reacted strongly to the news on the internet, with many claiming that they will boycott the show when it starts this autumn.

Louis Walsh and Kelly Rowland will now be joined by Take That’s Gary Barlow and N-Dubz singer Tulisa (who is expected to finalise her contract this week) in the autumn, but the Irish judge told reporters that he was shocked by Dannii’s departure.

“I’m shocked. I genuinely thought she was coming back. I thought they’d done a deal, I really did,” said Louis. “It’s a big show and an amazing opportunity. I’m sad for Dannii that it didn’t work out.”

Meanwhile Dannii is thought to be livid at her treatment and a friend told the press that she had worked hard to make herself available for producers.

“She’s angry that she was told to keep dates free and that they kept talking to her about it as though she was coming back,” said her friend. “They left things too long so she faced having to make some very difficult decisions.” The pal added: “Ultimately she was the one that called an end to the talks – but the writing was on the wall.”

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