Dermot O’Leary tells X Factor contestants not to cover Ed Sheeran

The presenter reckons the inevitable comparisons do pop hopefuls no favours at all

DermotOleary

Ahead of the X Factor’s return this Saturday, Dermot O’Leary has urged contestants to “be original” and avoid blending into a crowd of Ed Sheeran wannabes that he encountered during the X Factor auditions this summer.

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“Every year we have people trying to be Adele, Sam Smith or, this year, Ed Sheeran – we do not need another one of those artists, we have them already”, he said. “It’s incredible how many kids turn up with a guitar and do an Ed song.”

“I always wonder why you would bother doing that because you’re only ever going to get compared to him,” the presenter added.

It’s no surprise X Factor hopefuls were belting out ‘shape of you’ to their hearts content – the popstar has been everywhere for the last few months after dropping a chart-topping album, headlining Glastonbury and even popping up to sing a tune and deliver a couple of shaky lines on Game of Thrones.

On Sunday night, he won Artist of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Simon Cowell’s restructuring of the audition rounds and live performances should steer people away from the problem by encouraging contestants to mix in original songs with classic covers.

“I think that’s a terrific idea,” O’Leary said. “I think that comes from a girl on America’s Got Talent who sang original songs all the way through the competition and won. It just goes to show that it can happen.”

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X Factor returns at 8pm on Saturday 2nd September at 9pm