It was once the juggernaut of Saturday night TV but X Factor is now facing the axe after being given just two week to improve its ailing rating figures.
According to the Daily Star, the ITV singing competition has failed to win over viewers following its lowest ratings for a launch show in ten years and continues to be beaten by BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings war. An average of 7.6 million tuned in to watch the 12th series launch, with new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.
"Strictly has so far trounced The X Factor in the war for viewers. While it's off air for a two week break, bosses know this is their chance to boost popularity for X Factor," a source told the paper. "So they've keen to ensure all eyes are on the X Factor when Strictly returns. It's a total image overhaul, they all want to impress."
Despite a new format, new hosts, a new look judging panel and Simon Cowell's constant declarations that this year's contest is the best yet, the reality show is still trailing behind its rival which has cha-cha-cha'd from strength to strength.
All the judges and hosts are said to be doing their part to save the show. The Daily Star reports that Caroline Flack – who has taken over from Dermot O'Leary alongside Olly Murs – had embarked on a seven day detox in Portugal so she looks her best for when the show goes live.
New judge Nick Grimshaw has freshened up his look by toning down his big hair and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is a said to have realised that her flirty playfulness with Cowell wasn't enough and now plans to add some sexy outfits to her wardrobe.
Music mogul Cowell is also hoping that taking the helm for the second year running will also help to set ratings alight. Fans may recall that in the wake of his departure from the show 2010, ratings steadily declined from an all-time peak average of 14.13 million in 2010 to 12.41 million in 2011, 9.63 million in 2012 and 9.45 million in 2013 to 9.1 million last year.