Singer Robbie Williams is to join Sharon Osbourne in LA for this year’s X Factor Judges’ Houses.
Sources close to the show tell RadioTimes.com that Robbie, usually to be found helping out Take That buddy Gary Barlow, will swap teams and join Sharon and the 'overs' as a guest mentor.
This could dash hopes of Ozzy Osbourne making it a ‘team Osbourne’ affair. Although, according to the Sun, filming will actually take place in Sharon’s home, so perhaps Ozzy will drop in if the mood takes him?
But while Robbie’s return is welcome (it probably means we’ll get to see him perform a track from his new album Swings Both Ways once we get to the lives) is it a little too predictable?
Familiar X Factor faces have already been called up by the other judges, with Gary to have former contestant and Xtra Factor host Olly Murs with him in New York choosing the groups, while Simon Cowell’s former guest judge Sinitta has joined Louis and the boys in Saint-Tropez.
Louis has pushed the boat a little further out by adding former All Saints star Nicole Appleton to his team. Westlife’s Shane Filan completes Louis’s line-up.
Yet isn’t this, the tenth year for the series, supposed to be the big one? The year it throws out the rulebook and jazzes everything up a bit?
Arguably this message has got a bit confused.
On the one hand there are enough format changes to make you wonder if you’re watching the same show – there are two lots of auditions, Bootcamp will see acts put through before being pulled back out and replaced, and we’re getting to hear snippets of the Wembley crowd’s conversations, almost like a mini fifth judge.
On the other hand, former judge Sharon is back on the panel, there’s been a return to the room auditions and Dermot O’Leary remains in place as shoulder-to-cry-on-cum-host.
So perhaps new locations – Nicole Scherzinger taking the girls to Antigua certainly spices things up – with familiar celebrity guests, is fitting for a show that’s changing and staying the same all at once?
Or maybe someone like Eminem will turn up and prove me completely wrong.