X Factor 2014: Why the fourth judge has to be Mel B

Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and the former Spice Girl would add bite to this year’s series, says Emma Daly

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X Factor 2014: Why the fourth judge has to be Mel B
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Emma Daly

The X Factor judging panel is almost complete. Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole have been confirmed for several months now, with Louis Walsh revealing he’d signed his contract at the end of last week.

That leaves just one empty chair.

Reports that it’s a toss up between former Spice Girl Mel B and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon continue, with Louis Walsh also name-checking Sharon Osbourne as his preferred choice.

Walsh also mentioned Rita Ora, but the I Will Never Let You Down singer has herself confirmed she won’t be involved this year. “I would love to do it when the time is right, so basically a few albums on,” Ora told Capital FM.

In terms of Mrs O, Walsh is unlikely to get his wish given the music manager recently told US chat show host Conan O’Brien she’s “had it with people singing” at her. “Too contrived, boring, boring, boring,” Osbourne added. So that’ll be the no then.

If it’s coming down to Mel B or Alesha (Cheryl after all said she wants another female on the panel) Mel B’s got to be the right choice, hasn’t she?

I mean, she was part of the Spice Girls. That’s oodles of experience to bring to the table right there. Sure it was years ago. Sure Alesha was part of her own girl band Mis-Teeq, but which songs still get you up at a wedding, busting out all the old moves? Exactly. Don’t pretend you don’t.

While both ladies have experience of working on Cowell’s shows, Alesha’s current stint on Britian’s Got Talent makes it feel like it could be too much of a good thing. After all, do we want two of our biggest reality TV shows with half of the panel the same?

Mel B has been busy judging in Australia on the X Factor, as well as Got Talent in the US, so comes armed with experience as both a mentor and a judge. By all accounts, Mel’s not afraid to tell people when it’s all a bit dull as dishwater, either. Scary Spice for a reason, eh?

Alesha has certainly had her moments – chucking water over David Walliams for suggesting she made a career out of miming – but Mel B comes with a reputation for stirring things up on a panel. “There’s got to be one b**** on the show, so I might as well take that bloody crown,” she told Aussie’s Kyle and Jackie O radio show.

With the backdrop of Cheryl and Simon’s drama - the hangover from Cheryl’s early exit from the X Factor US that they’ve apparently put behind them - we’ll need someone else to rile up the audience and the acts. It’s good to have Louis in place, but he’s not going to cause much action telling everyone they’re going to be the next big pop star, is he?

Come on Simon, let’s have Mel B and make this year the one to beat.

X Factor returns to ITV later this year

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