One Direction should start sporting capes and tights (hey-o!), because they're being enlisted to save the day. The U.S. version of 'X Factor,' despite an A-list new panel, has sinking ratings -- and Simon Cowell thinks that 1D are just the boy band to remedy that.

“He’s risked everything on ­making the U.S. 'X Factor' a big hit and it now faces the axe,” a source close to Cowell said. “Simon knows One Direction wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the 'X Factor' and he now wants to use their success story to save and promote the show. He has ordered producers on both sides of the Atlantic to book in the best guest performers for the live shows.” Other rumored performers include Pink and U.K. 'X Factor' victor Leona Lewis.

Indeed, with Britney Spears making the most money of any reality show judge in history, Cowell put a lot of bank into his baby, and he'd hate to see it go to waste. And so would we, because we adore BritBrit on the panel and want her to keep coming back!

One Direction shot to fame following their third place finish on 'X Factor U.K.,' so they're a natural fit in terms of live performers for the show ... and we bet Demi Lovato won't mind having some extra time to canoodle with Niall Horan, either. Depending on when they appear on the show, it will also serve well to promote their new single, 'Live While We're Young,' and their upcoming record, 'Take Me Home.'

C'mon, 1D! We'll be your damsels in distress any day of the week.

Watch the One Direction 'Live While We're Young' Video