With the show down 400,000 viewers from last week and 1.4 million on heated BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor bosses are worried that the continued hostility between judges Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow is leaving fans unimpressed.
Although there have been attempts at reconciliation, most recently when the two shook hands at the beginning of Saturday’s episode, after the two didnât speak all week when Louis helped get rid of Gary’s act Carolynne Poole last weekend. Then this weekend with Melanie Masson losing out to Louisâ band District 3, insiders fear things can only get worse.
According to an insider, quoted in The Sun: âThe fact ratings are actually down after all the publicity the row drew shows a lot of people werenât happy. The fear is that they canât be won back.â?
If matters continue to escalate, it is believed that Simon Cowell may have to intervene before it sets the tone for the series or gets totally out of hand.