'X Factor': Fans slam Simon Cowell for rule change and dropping Georgia Burgess

Simon Cowell shook things up on tonight’s X Factor – but not everyone is happy about it (ITV Pictures).
Simon Cowell shook things up on tonight’s X Factor – but not everyone is happy about it (ITV Pictures).

It was the first ‘Judges Houses’ episode of this season’s X Factor tonight and it all kicked off at Simon Cowell’s palatial Beverly Hills, Los Angeles home.

The judge of this year’s Girls category, Cowell mixed things up by not only reuniting the original American Idol judge line-up – himself, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest – but also inviting over fifty music executives and professionals to watch each of his Six Chair Challenge winners perform.

The star-studded crowd included songwriting legend Diane Warren, Sinitta and former X Factor winner Leona Lewis.

Only five out of the six girls were able to perform in front of the undeniably intimidating crowd, as 19-year-old Pilipino Maria Laroco was forced to sing via video message after having a visa issue.

Simon Cowell invited a star-studded guest list to watch each of his Six Chair Challenge winners perform. (ITV Pictures)
Simon Cowell invited a star-studded guest list to watch each of his Six Chair Challenge winners perform. (ITV Pictures)

While each were applauded for their strong performances by the crowd, Cowell had to whittle down the competition down from six to three.

As the eliminations took place, Laroco was the first to be turned down by Cowell via phone. “I’m sorry, you’re a great person,” Cowell told her. He also encouraged her to return to the show to return next year.

And after putting Scarlett Lee, Molly Scott, Shan Smile through, it was time to say goodbye to 20-year-old Georgia Burgess.

And many X Factor fans were none too happy about this.

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Indeed, Burgess had given an exceptionally strong performance at Cowell’s mansion of Jocelyn Brown’s ‘Somebody Else’s Guy.”

So much so that she’d won over Paula Abdul who gave a standing ovation and said Georgia reminded her of former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Ryan Seacrest even said “She has got it! And she is so likeable!”

Cowell told an understandably disappointed Burgess that his ‘gut instinct’ was that it ‘just wasn’t your year’ and sent her packing.

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And veteran songwriter Diane Warren said Burgess reminded her of Adele because she was ‘so fun’ and she wanted to ‘hang out with her.’

But this wasn’t the only thing some X Factor fans appeared to get cross at Simon Cowell tonight.

As instead of following the traditional X Factor rules of eliminating three contestants at the Judges House stage – Cowell decided to keep four. This huge rule change led many viewers to express their confusion and even disappointment on Twitter.

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This means that Molly Scott, Shan Smile, Bella Penfold and Scarlett Lee will go through to the live X Factor segment of the competition.

It remains unconfirmed whether the remaining three categories – Boys, Overs and Groups will also be putting through four out of their six acts through to the next round.

X Factor continues Saturday at 8.30pm.


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