Simon Cowell has reportedly ordered fellow X Factor judges Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue to be tougher on the show’s contestants this year.
According to the News of the World, Cowell has warned the pair to stop treating the show like a beauty contest and focus on their acts rather than their so-called ‘style war’.
A source said: “Simon felt that last year Cheryl and Dannii went too easy on their own acts. He believes they are nervous to say what they really think in case fans think they are being too mean. They hate being booed but Simon reckons they need to grow thicker skins.
“He’s never scared to criticise his own acts. He wants the other judges to do the same and stop holding back. The music industry is unforgiving and he wants the panel to reflect that this year – even if that’s brutal.
“Cheryl can be feisty so Simon’s told her to let go and say what she’s thinking and Dannii can be sharp-tongued. Simon’s advice is if people don’t like what they say, it’s tough.”
The X Factor returns to ITV1 on Saturday August 21.