The X Factor

Series 8 - Episode 1



Here we go, then: crunch time for ITV’s cash cow. Simon Cowell’s American dream means we have no fewer than three new judges to get accustomed to – they’re the personalities who shape the show every week, so if they don’t work, the programme itself might not work, and the four-month run will seem even longer than it does normally.

Will Gary Barlow be as ruthless as Cowell, or is he too nice to follow it through? Will Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland be assertive enough – and who exactly are they anyway? And is there really any point in Louis Walsh still turning up now that Simon Cowell’s no longer there to bully him?

Rumours of a lack of zip, started on the net by people who were in the audience at the live audition shows around the country, are rife. But all that matters is how the new line-up looks on screen, and by now they will have benefited from The X Factor’s terrifyingly good editing. And you never know, there might be some half-decent singing as well. Dermot O’Leary, as ever, is waiting in the wings with a pressed shirt and a straight face.


The talent show returns, but with a few big changes as Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue are no longer on the judging panel. In their place - Take That's Gary Barlow, former Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos from N-Dubz, who join Louis Walsh each week to put this year's contestants through their paces. Dermot O'Leary hosts the auditions in London and Birmingham, as a line-up of solo singers and groups competes to win places at boot camp, designed by Cowell to be tougher than ever. Highlights in the first edition include a student who reveals more than just his voice, and a hopeful who dares to confront Tulisa.
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