X Factor Boot Camp challenge will see categories mixed for the first time

The judges’ task gets an update for 2015 as rules are set for who can team up with whom

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X Factor Boot Camp is under way and there’s a new twist this year: the categories are being mixed up for the team challenge.

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You know the bit? The acts join up with each other, bicker over which song they’re going to sing, panic about remembering the lines, blame each other when it all goes wrong… yeah, that bit. But in a brand new twist each group has to have a mix of at least three categories in it, a show insider has told me.

It’s the first time the task has had this stipulation. For example, three singers from the Girls’ category would usually perform together, as would three Overs, three Groups etc. But this year – yep, the year with two new judges and two new presenters – it’s all about mixing things up. So we’re set to see a group perform with an Overs singer and a singer from the Girls’ category. Or an Overs act may choose to join up with both an act from the Boys and Girls categories.

It’s not going to do much to affect the singers, though (apart from that awful school PE lesson moment when they have to pick each other *shudders*). After all, they may be working together, but each act is still in it for themselves at the end of the day. The aim of the game is still to impress Cowell, Grimmers, Ora and Mrs CFV and get to the next stage: the dreaded Six Chair Challenge. 

However, it may add weight to Cheryl’s idea that the categories should be mixed up for the whole series. Insiders say Chezza remains keen to have each judge mentor a combination of acts this year. While I’m told there’s been no particular indication that it will actually happen, given the ongoing changes – from audition formats to this year’s hosts – this year it’s all about expecting the unexpected. 

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The X Factor returns later this year on ITV