This year’s X Factor has been full of shake-ups – from returning to the room auditions, to the dreaded chairs challenge at Bootcamp – and as live shows kick off it looks like the next change could be axing the wild card option.
You must remember the wild card, if only for the fact that in 2010 it brought Wagner into our lives.
It involves even more tears, with acts that have already been rejected at Bootcamp given a final chance to make it through to the live shows. Each mentor adds an extra act to their category and the others all pootle off with yet another "no" ringing in their ears. Along with Wagner this has seen previous acts such as Amelia Lily and Christopher Maloney given a second chance to er, not win.
It’s how the X Factor rolls. Build them up, chop them down, tell them they are maybe not not possibly going home and definitely won't not not be on television… it’s why we love the show.
Sources close to the show said of the wild card option happening this year: “As it stands, and as far as we’re aware, no is the answer.” Which sort of sounds like Simon Cowell could swoop in at any minute and make it happen.
After all, ten weeks of just singing and no surprises? What do they do think this is, a singing contest?
There's already been widespread calls for returning contestant Joseph Whelan, who was kicked out at Bootcamp last year, to bag a wild card after he didn’t make it into Sharon Osbourne’s Overs. Cowell could do a bit of a fairy godmother move and earn a standing ovation as he welcomes Whelan back into the X Factor fold. Dermot could dance. It’d be fabulous darling (no, sorry, that's Strictly).
Fans have also taken to the X Factor’s official Facebook page to show their support for Louis Walsh’s axed act Paul Akister, who left Saint-Tropez without a place in the Boys’ category.
Melanie McCabe, who has auditioned four times for the X Factor, is a hot topic among those hoping for a wild card, too, alongside fellow X Factor returnee 22-year-old Jade Richards. Both lost out on a spot in Nicole Scherzinger’s Girls category this year.
Indeed, Nicole hinted at the changeable nature of the show, saying of being given a wild card, “I don’t know. With Simon Cowell you never know.”
The previously rumoured “flash vote” is going to happen, with viewers given under ten minutes to vote for their favourite act, with the least popular act heading straight into Sunday night’s bottom two, with the chance of being voted off by the judges.
And we thought the chairs were tough.
One way or another, this joker-free pack of acts can't be the end. Can we vote for Wagner…?
X Factor continues this Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV.