Simon Cowell has demanded the age ranges in the 'X Factor' categories be changed.
The music mogul worries people in their late 20s are being overlooked, so the Girls and Boys groups will now feature acts ages 18-28, rather than the previous 18-25, and the Overs will be aged over 28.
A source told The Sun newspaper: "Last year's crop of wannabes was awful, largely because there were too many youngsters.
"Lots of girls and boys in their late twenties auditioned but there was no room for them because the Over-25s category had to have the quirky older ones in it to make it work.
"The show basically snookered itself, so Simon has decided to make the change. And this year there are again loads of amazing performers who are older than 25 but younger than 28.
"There is no way show bosses will make the same mistake again, so the age limits have changed.
"This year's show is now shaping up to be one of the best ever."
Contestants will be given the news of the changes at Boot Camp in Liverpool later this week.
Two years ago, the age limit was increased, with Matt Cardle, then 27, winning the show in the Boys category.