- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
LONDON — ITV’s weekend episodes of Simon Cowell singing competition The X Factor drew a slew of complaints with a format tweak that some viewers compared to the battle to death the protagonists of the Hunger Games book and film franchise must endure.
The Guardian reported that regulator Ofcom and ITV had received a total of 80 complaints as of early this week.
PHOTOS: From Gwyneth Paltrow to Simon Cowell: How 8 Stars Are Trying to Halt the Aging Process
In the new “musical chairs” round of the show, contestants hope to secure a seat on stage to confirm that they can advance to the “boot camp” stage of the competition.
Members of the live audience chanted “seat, seat, seat” for performers they liked or “swap, swap, swap” if they wanted them replaced by one of the four judges, including Gary Barlow and Sharon Osbourne.
The format change meant that some contestants looked to have made it through to the “boot camp” stage of the show — only to be dropped at the last minute. One singer who was affected was left in tears as she was replaced by another contestant, the Guardian said.
The weekend shows aired live from Wembley Arena.
PHOTOS: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Cast Heats Up Cannes
Singer Lily Allen was among viewers who complained on Twitter that the tweak meant the show had turned “fully mean.” Some viewers compared the show’s feel to that of The Hunger Games and a “blood sport,” according to the paper.
“The new boot-camp twist brings genuine jeopardy to the competition and is just one of the ways the series has evolved this year,” an ITV spokeswoman said. “All contestants were briefed in advance on the new format, and as with all stages of the competition, support was available for everyone before and after their performances.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Rachel Brosnahan on the Legacy ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Leaves Behind: “Stories Being Told About Women, by Women”
The Kelly Clarkson Show
Kelly Clarkson Says Daytime Show Move to New York Was “100 Percent” Her Decision
Next Big Thing
Next Big Thing: Sadie Stanley Digs Into Y2K Murder Mystery in ‘Cruel Summer’ Season 2