What to expect from the first X Factor live show weekend

Guest performers, news on that elusive fifth judge and this year's first theme - find out exactly what's going on in the X Factor studio this weekend

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It’s officially time to face the music as this year’s X Factor reaches the live shows. From the original auditions, via Boot Camp, that Six Chair Challenge and last week’s ‘hellish’ (in the words of Simon Cowell) live Judges’ Houses result, now it’s time for those all important live studio performances. 

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With just seven weeks to go until we find out who the winner is, here’s what to expect from this weekend’s debut live studio show…

What time is it on?

The final twelve (plus wildcard) will all perform for the first time this Saturday night from 8:00pm on ITV. The results show follows on Sunday at 8:00pm

Who are the finalists?

After the live Judges’ Houses reveal, the mentors chose to take these twelve acts through to this year’s live shows:

Cheryl’s Groups: Alien Uncovered, 4th Impact and Reggie n Bollie

Me & mine 😁 just spent the afternoon with them all!! I 💖 them #xfgroups 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 #squad

A post shared by Cheryl (@cherylofficial) on


Rita’s Girls: Louisa Johnson, Lauren Murray and Kiera Weathers

Simon’s Overs: Bupsi, Anton Stephans and Max Stone

Nick’s Boys: Mason Noise, Ché Chesterman and Seann Miley Moore 

Plus – there’s a wildcard

Rita Ora has another Girl in her category as it was revealed this week Monica Michael would return for the live shows as the only wildcard act. Cowell admitted the show simply “wouldn’t be the same without her” after she was originally let go at Judges’ Houses. Rita had told us it was her “toughest” decision so she’ll be delighted to have her back among her group. 

What’s the theme?

The first show may be on 31st October, but there’s no Halloween theme. That’s because this year the lives are kicking off four weeks later thanks to ITV’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday nights – so instead of donning their spookiest fancy dress, the singers will perform a song they think best showcases the kind of artist they want to be to fit with this week’s ‘This is me’ theme. 

Who are the guest performers?

On Saturday night reigning champion Ben Haenow will take to the stage to perform his single Second Hand Heart. The track features US singer Kelly Clarkson but she won’t appear in the studio. Instead, her part of the track will play via video. 

On Sunday night’s results show it’s over to 2011 winners Little Mix. The only group to ever win the competition, the ladies are excited to return to the X and perform:

PLUS, Ellie Goulding will also take the stage. 

Will there be a fifth judge?

There have been plenty of rumours that a fifth ‘impartial’ judge is going to make an appearance during the live shows, but there’ll be no new face on the panel this weekend. A source tells RadioTimes.com the four main judges will be there, no-one else. 

… So what about Louis Walsh?

Cowell himself has discussed the possibility of Mr Walsh making a return at some point during the live shows, but I’m told he definitely won’t appear on this weekend’s show. Unless he’s in the crowd, of course. Cowell did joke at the launch this year that he’d always ensure there was a seat for him, albeit “with restricted viewing”… 

Who’s singing what?

From David Bowie via Adele and Ariana Grande, check out the full list of song choices right here

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See The X Factor Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV