Get ready to say goodbye to your Saturday nights up until Christmas as the show that everyone talks about starts again this weekend. Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue are back to find the next singing sensation and give them their big break.
This year’s shows differ from the past few years as judge Dannii Minogue is absent during the audition stages after becoming a mummy to baby Ethan with boyfriend Kris Smith. Instead, a series of guest judges kept her seat warm and entertained audiences with their no holes barred opinions.
Joining Simon, Louis and Cheryl at the auditions were Geri Halliwell in Glasgow, Natalie Imbruglia in Birmingham, Pixie Lott in Cardiff, Katy Perry in Dublin and Nicole Scherzinger in Manchester and at Bootcamp.
And it seems that Simon Cowell likes the new dynamic that the guest judges have created. “They have been great,” said Simon. “Each of them have been different in their own way and bought different perspectives to the auditions.”
Cheryl also enjoyed having another woman on the panel to dilute the fiery personalities of Simon and Louis.
“It’s actually hard work with those two because once they get on one, or they back each other up, I’ve pretty much had it,” Cheryl said. “I’m in the middle of Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee.”
The audition stage of the X Factor is renowned for its odd balls and this year is no exception. In an effort to stand out from the crowd, contestants are trying a number of tactics including dressing up is silly costumes – step forward Lode who comes dressed in a tiger suit and Fiona whose Wicked approach is to dress up as a witch. Stacey, 35, also surprised judges at the London auditions with her huge baby bump. The singer didn’t think her pregnancy would get in the way but since she was due to give birth any day, Simon thought differently!
But sob stories are out this year as Simon warned they would not help this year’s wannabes.
“If you’ve entered because you want to get rich and famous then that’s great – just don’t pretend you’re doing it in memory of your dead dog. No one is going to believe you.”
X Factor, Saturday 21st August, 7.30pm, ITV1
[picture credits: ITV]