X Factor’s Sam Bailey: Expect a “few surprises” on the judging panel this year

Last year’s champ hints that we’ll see some familiar faces as she talks about who is “coming back”


X Factor 2013 champ Sam Bailey has added to the chatter about which judges will be joining Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell on this year’s panel.


“I think there’s going to be a few surprises on who’s going to be coming back, they do need somebody in who’s going to set it off and make it a great team this year,” Bailey tells Magic FM this Sunday.

This is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, the Skyscraper singer is talking about someone “coming back”. We’ve already got Cheryl and Simon returning – will the panel be rounded off with more familiar X Factor faces?

Could we see Sharon Osbourne, fresh from her victory last year, ready to hunt out more talent? Sharon did say that extra year was enough for her. But we know Cheryl wants another woman and Simon has worked with Mrs O on the panel on numerous occasions and may be keen to keep her too.

Or will the new judges come from the wider X Factor pool? Is Robbie Williams ready to make the move from guest judge to full time mentor? He used to help out Gary Barlow, then he moved to team Osbourne so he certainly has a foot in the X Factor door.

Maybe it will be fresh-faced Rita Ora who makes the leap from guest to judging star? Or will I get my own personal wish and see Olly Murs do the full circle from contestant to Xtra Factor host to guest judge to judge…?

Secondly, Bailey is talking about “somebody”. There are technically two seats spare on the judging panel. So perhaps Louis’ seat is already secured? The long-time judge claimed he was leaving, before back-tracking somewhat, saying he was having a great time and “might stay”. Simon himself has said he wants Mr Walsh back, so Lou Lou’s seat may already be being prepared for another batch of “you remind me of a young…” action.  

Bailey said the judges on her series – Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon and Louis – were “fantastic”, adding that they need to be replaced with “strong characters” to make the team and that “I genuinely do feel that Simon is needed this year to ramp it up a bit.”

Hear Magic FM’s full interview with Sam Bailey this Sunday on The Green Room show from 7 – 8pm