Simon Cowell called a crisis meeting following last week's X Factor results show, in which he pulled up the hopeful stars for their "horrendous" performances.
The music mogul also warned the remaining contestants that an additional act will be eliminated on Saturday evening, as well as the usual Sunday eviction.
Simon, 55, called an emergency get-together at his London offices on Wednesday after the show's ratings continued to slide.
Simon called a crisis X Factor meeting on Wednesday
The X Factor judge told the group: "There's going to be another double elimination again this weekend, and the difference is this week is there is going to be a twist.
"And the twist is, on the Saturday, the person with the lowest vote is going to leave the show. No sing off, just whoever is in the bottom is out. And there's a sing off on Sunday.
"So there are no second chances," he continued. "This is how important the conversation is now and how important the performance is on Saturday and Sunday. We decided to do this because I think you all need a bit of a wake up call."
Simon warned the acts: "You've got to be the best you've ever been as this is what the music business is like."
He also said that each of the remaining acts are "genuinely all capable of winning this competition".
An additional act will be eliminated on Saturday's show following the recent poor performances
The contestants are understood to have been left "shell-shocked" following the talk.
A source told The Sun: "Viewing figures haven't been great recently and Simon is desperate to do something about it.
"It's safe to say the contestants got the message loud and clear."
X Factor hopefuls await the results last week
Last Sunday's X Factor sing-off took place between Jake Quickenden and Only The Young. It saw Jake eventually be voted off.
He sang an emotional performance of Daniel Merriweather's Red, while his mentor Mel B broke down into tears at seeing her act fight to stay in the competition.