'X Factor' fans have slammed the show for "killing" it with extended back stories.
Viewers are said to be unhappy with the new format, which sees performers featured in lengthy slots discussing their everyday lives - with tonight's (01.09.12) episode containing just five full auditions and just eight minutes in total of people singing.
One fan posted online: "The problem is the one audition part. It's all the c****y filler and 'TOWIE'-style rubbish that's making the show drag.
"It's the X Factor's own editing team that's killing off the show, not ITV."
Andrew Duncan added: "The back stories are beyond ridiculous now. ITV need to tell the editors to get it together.
"The talent can't be that bad that we don't have enough to show in an episode."
Show chief Simon Cowell - who slammed 2011's series as "sub-standard" - is said to be unhappy with the quality of the hopefuls this year.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "He always wants the singers to be bigger and better than the previous year.
"But that's simply not happening. It's almost as if the well of talent has dried up."
Despite the criticisms, a show spokesperson insisted as many auditionees as ever are being showcased on screen.
The representative said: "We're featuring the same amount of singers in the audition shows as we did last year, but we believe the standard of talent is higher in 2012."
Tonight's auditionees include 51-year-old Alison Bruton, who fails to impress with her Lady Gaga-inspired performance.
Louis Walsh tells her: "Alison, it was a bit like somebody drunk at a wedding."
However, Melanie Masson - who gave up her musical dream to have a family - thrills the panel with her rendition of Janis Joplin's 'Cry Baby'.
Head judge Gary Barlow exclaims: "Melanie that was insane, oh my god, that voice. It was amazing, it really was."