Simon Cowell, the well known vertically-challenged personality-vacuum who wears his trousers up under his chin and his sister's v-neck jumpers, today appeared outside his Surrey mansion to announce that for 2011 there would be a few changes to X-FACTOR, the show that has replaced religion as the opium of the people for the scrofulent demographic which makes up it's audience.
Having analysed the audience figures and taken several opinion polls amongst the 3% of the viewers who can speak without dribbling down the side of their chin, Mr Cowell said it has emerged that the viewers want to see more savage treatment of the contestants, especially in the early televised stages of talent selection. Accordingly, Mr Cowell, ever keen to give the baying mob what it wants regardless of any moral considerations and the law relating to discrimination on grounds of mental health, has confirmed that whereas in the past there would only be brief clips of mentally ill wannabes with no talent making fools of themselves, they will in future be treated differently.
For the new series, which will run indefinitely round the clock on more than 56 channels, every "hopeful" will be given a thorough mental health check before being admitted for audition. Those who are clearly mental cases will then have their desire for fame and celebrity at any cost satisfied by having the rest of their short and miserable lives televised for the viewing pleasure of the sad slack-jawed gits who watch this drivel.
During this televisual feast, the newly famous wannabees will be locked in cages, mentally and physically abused, and forced to learn songs by the likes of the Wombles and Cliff Richard.
There will then follow a fifteen hour telethon during which they will perform their songs in front of a panel of new judges including Rose West, Dennis Nielson, Hannibal Lechter and assorted people who like to pull the wings off flies. They will then be wired to the mains and depending on votes cast by the public on premium rate phone lines, they will be subjected to increasing electrical charges until they soil themselves and eventually die in a cloud of scorched hair and burning flesh.
The last mental case standing will be stoned to death live on TV by a group of viewers drawn by lot. Tickets for this lottery will cost £1000 each and the winning numbers will be drawn by Nobel Laureate David Beckham who will subsequently be interviewed by Connie Huq about who cuts his hair and what he thinks about Eastenders.
Mr Cowell said that the more conventional show featuring the clinically sane wannabees trying to rise above the level of a Benidorm Karaoke bar will continue for now, but he nonetheless expects "X-FACTOR; THE SPAZZES" to produce viewing figures in the billions globally and to lead the way for a new wave of "life and death" mass market telly.
As Mr Cowell so succinctly put it whilst wrapping up the press conference; "The Romans threw people to the lions for public entertainment, and we were hanging children for stealing as recently as 150 years ago. The fact is people like to see others suffer and if they can point, throw things, take the piss and ultimately have a say in who lives or dies just based purely on whether they like the look of them or not, all the better. You can't stand in the way of progress, especially the progress of immoral sums of money into my offshore bank accounts".