Could this be the last time we get to enjoy Take That star Gary Barlow as a judge on the X Factor?
The current series isn't even out of the way yet, with the live shows about to swing into action. Indeed, Gary told RadioTimes.com at the start of the series: "It's far too early to think about next year."
But he also avoided committing to a future on the show beyond the current series, saying "It's all about this year."
So should we be drinking in our fill of Barlow, just in case? Here's five reasons he may be packing his X Factor trunk...
Chris Evans says so
The radio DJ isn't know for being backwards at coming forwards and came right out and said it. Casually like. As if it wouldn't shatter the hearts of the Team Gary tribe. On his Radio 2 breakfast show Evans said: "By the way, this is Gary's last year on The X Factor... because he told me last week", adding "apparently Gary Barlow is feeling the pressure ahead of the live shows."
Dermot dished the dirt
At the One Direction premiere earlier this year, X Factor host Dermot O’Leary himself suggested this would be Gary Barlow’s final year. Particularly, said Dermot, if Simon Cowell was to return. “If Simon comes back, the dynamic would be very different. Gary wouldn’t be there – he’ll be leaving at the end of this year.”
Gary's going solo
Gary is just about to release his first solo album in 14 years (Since I Saw You Last) and is embarking on a huge solo tour in 2014, with nine dates across the country. Gary also continues to insist that his commitments to Take That always come first. Gary told the Metro: “My job is that I’m a member of Take That. When the band works, the diary clears. Following that is doing my record; below that is being on TV.” Looks like X Factor might just get nudged out of that bulging diary…
Gary could switch to being a guest mentor like former full-time judge Cheryl Cole. Forget the months of hard work – Gary could just join a judge on location somewhere glamorous for a bit of a holiday. It’s what Take That buddy Robbie Williams does. It's what we would do.
Sing for a win
The Take That star hasn’t had a winning act yet and said he “would love to win”. He told the Mirror, “there is a long way to go yet. Sharon really believes she’s got the winner!” Marcus Collins has been the closest Gary’s come to being the winning judge (he was a runner up in 2011). We’re not saying Gary’s a sore loser, but three years and no win could get a bit boring. And if he does bag a win this year, he could leave on a high.
X Factor live shows start this Saturday (8:00pm) and continue on Sunday (8:00pm) on ITV