X Factor contestants have gone turbo this year, bringing their own backing dancers and even VT packages for their very first auditions.
The show has gone back into the arena for this year’s opening round, ditching the old in-room format, and some acts have really taken to filling the stage.
It seems to have gone down well with the judges. A source close to the show told me that returning judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has been notably impressed.
“It’s gone down really well with all the judges, particularly Cheryl, as a way of standing out from the crowd and proving that they can entertain the audience.”
I’m told there aren’t really any hard and fast rules about what the acts can do during their performance, in terms of bringing extra dancers. They’ve always been allowed to do this, but this year more have decided to add that extra bit of punchiness to their act.
It seems to have helped the judges compare the acts. Cheryl told one group that they just weren’t cutting it compared to another who had done a whole load of staging, including bringing their own video footage to spice things up.
Not that a good vocal wouldn’t be enough. In fact, they haven’t even really needed to go that fancy: one act pulled confetti out of his pockets to shower himself with as he strutted his stuff across the Wembley stage, which was met with tumultuous applause from the crowd.
The first round of auditions has now come to a close, with just a matter of days before those with the yeses are packed off to Bootcamp. And, according to Cheryl, it’s the groups we need to be watching out for this year: “We’ve had killer groups this year. It’s probably the strongest category this year.”