An insider told the tabloid: "Simon is furious. This would never have happened on his watch and he wants the team to know this and sort it out."
"He knows there is great talent on the show, but he thinks the attention to detail has been shocking. The acts are not being showcased at their best."
They continued: "Say what you like about Simon, but he spends ages dithering over the tiny details to make sure everything is perfect. There's no way he would have sanctioned some of those song outfits or choices."
"The figures are hugely disappointing for The X Factor because the whole point of the live shows is that they are supposed to build momentum."
The source added: "Last year there were nearly 14million watching the second live show. Where have all those viewers gone? It's no wonder Cowell has gone ballistic. Losing viewers is the last thing he wanted to happen."
Kelly Rowland is being blamed for causing trouble on the show, with The Sun claiming she's been "bossing about" fellow panelist Louis Walsh's acts to scrap his ideas.
The insider revealed: "Kelly is trying to turn this into The Kelly Show with her meddling — and it's really putting people's noses out of joint. The contestants love it as they're in awe of her but the judges hate it."
"Tulisa has properly fallen out with her after Kelly went to speak to her about the styling and songs and vocals for N-Dubzstar Tulisa has also been blasted for turning up "exhausted" hours before her groupNu Vibe were booted off the show, after she was spotted partying until 4am.