Simon Cowell has lowered the entry age this year for The X Factor to 14 in the hope of finding another, even younger, One Direction.
According to The Sun newspaper he is convinced that the next big thing could be a young star, or a young group.
The last time that The X Factor allowed such young contestants on the show was in 2008 when Liam Payne from One Direction made it all the way to the judge's house in Barbados before he exited the show. After that year the show's limit went up to 16 where it has remained until now.
A show source told the paper: 'Simon knows that young people make the best pop stars. (???????????????)
'He desperately wants another One Direction or Cher Lloyd and they were very young when they appeared on the show.'
There are some though who disagree with the age limit being lowered on the show and who would prefer if it was actually increased to 18 from the current 16.
Simon might indeed have a fight on his hands though with former judge Gary Barlow only one who has been highly critical of 16 as as an age that is still too young to be on the talent show.
'Sixteen is just too young to be in this competition with this kind of pressure,' he told contestant Luke Lucas back in 2011 at the judges' houses stage.
One of last year's contestants, then 16-year-old Tamera Foster, battled nerves throughout the show and ultimately was eliminated, but has subsequently been picked up and signed to Simon's record label at age 17.
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