X Factor twist costs Cowell £200,000

Simon Cowell is reported to lose £200,000 in profits this weekend after the media mogul decided to scrap the public vote in the opening weekend of X Factor live shows as he looks to revitalise the programme's format.

Instead of opening the first round of elimination to a text vote, as has been the case in previous years, the judging panel of Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos will have to axe a contestant from their own category.

Cowell and his X Factor production company Syco TV are reported to have decided that it was worth missing out on the £200,000 of revenue they would have earned from text and phone votes.

All 16 finalists performed last night and the standard ranged from the very good to the awful which was reflected in the comments from the celebrity judging panel.

Gary Barlow called girl group Rhythmix 'the best girl group ever on the X Factor' while teen heartthrob Frankie Cocozza also won praise from the judges for his efforts.

In the girls category Sophie Habibis and Janet Devlin wowed the public and judges alike while Marcus Collins and Craig Colton marked themselves out from the rest of the boys.

Jonjo Kerr and Kitty Brucknell both received mixed reviews for their performances while there were harsh words from this year's pantomime villain Gary Barlow for girl group 2 Shoes and boy band Nu Vibe.

With four acts set to leave the X Factor tonight there's sure to be tears before bedtime.

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