X Factor 2014: Who is joining the judging panel?

Kesha, Paloma Faith, Olly Murs and Mel B are among the stars rumoured to be in the judging line-up for UK X Factor 2014

Simon Cowell has confirmed that the X Factor UK will go on for at least another three years. And as the hunt for new singing talent continues, the show is also on the lookout for at least some new judges.


Now that Simon Cowell has confirmed he’s coming back alongside Cheryl Cole, who else will join them?

Gary Barlow announced live on air that he was leaving, bowing out after a three-year stint. 

Louis Walsh quit, then said he might go back one day, then said he’d go back if Simon went back, then said he might actually just stay after all

Sharon Osbourne’s victorious return to the panel with Overs star Sam Bailey seemed more of a final hurrah for the star than a permanent fixture.

And as for Nicole Scherzinger, Cowell’s tweets about her always being part of the “X Factor family” basically sounded the klaxon that she was out too.  

Either way, there’s room for many a star to make their interest known to Mr Cowell.

Here are some of the celebrities rumoured to be signing up:

Louis Walsh

Louis has basically put himself in the rumour mill by not being entirely sure whether he’s intending to leave or not. At last year’s press conference for the 2013 series host Dermot O’Leary joked that Walsh was probably only leaving in order to return and get the same fuss as Mrs Osbourne. Walsh has since said: “I’m having so much fun, I might stay.” Cowell is said to be keen to have Walsh on the panel, having been a mentor on all ten series.

Cheryl Cole 

Cheryl Cole confirmed at the beginning of March that she will be back on the judging panel.

“It’s official. Cheryl is back” Cowell tweeted. 

Cole herself wrote on her Instagram, “GUESS WHAT!! I’m baaaaaccccckkkk!!!”. The former Girls Aloud star added a cheeky picture of her with her hands around Cowell’s neck joking with the hashtags, #IMayActuallyWringHisNeck #XFactor2014.

It’s been a bumpy ride for Cheryl Cole with the X Factor brand. The former Girls Aloud star appeared on three series of the UK show, between 2008 and 2010, originally replacing Sharon Osbourne. She was a huge hit with fans and was a successful judge, counting Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry as winners under her mentorship.

In 2011, Cole moved to the US version of the show, but was removed after appearing in only one episode. Cole won a settlement claiming loss of earnings in November 2013

Cole is now helping Cowell choose the remaining judges on the panel.

Olly Murs

Olly Murs started out as a contestant on the X Factor, finishing in second place in 2009. He then went on to co-present the Xtra Factor with Caroline flack before popping up last year as guest judge on Team Gary Barlow. He clearly loves The X Factor. On whether he’d like to make the final switch to being a judge, Murs told Jonathan Ross at the end of last year, “I could be the new Louis Walsh”. 

So does that mean judging is on the cards? “I’d have to wait for Mr Cowell to make that decision,” Murs coyly responds.

Robbie Williams

Robbie is usually to be found helping Gary Barlow at judges’ houses, but last year swapped to Sharon Osbourne’s team helping to choose eventual winner Sam Bailey. Could Mr Williams also be swapping his way into Gary’s seat? According to reports, Cowell’s camp says he won’t be. But it’d be fun to have Olly and Robbie for a bit of a panel ‘bromance’ given they’ve been busy working on music together.

Dannii Minogue

X Factor has already taken a couple of steps down memory lane and since Dannii’s UK role on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model is no more there’s a judging gap in her diary.

Minogue’s time with the buzzers on Australia’s Got Talent ended in 2012 and while her run as a judge on X Factor Australia seems to be going well, perhaps a spot on the UK version, which she left in 2010, will be all too tempting.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor

After success on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing and guest judging on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model it looks like Sophie Ellis-Bextor has the reality TV bug.

She told Blink Box: “I would be up for it. Like everyone else who watches things like the X Factor and The Voice at home, I have an opinion.” Let’s hope Cowell wants it to be heard, eh Sophie?

Rita Ora

Rita Ora was a guest judge on the show in 2012, and seemed to hit the right notes with Cowell.  

The music mogul told the Metro: “I met with Rita at my house recently and I was really, really impressed with her and you just know she’s a future star.”

Although, with a casting in upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey filming, and rumours Ora could be in the running to replace Kylie Minogue on The Voice, it’s seems this idea is out of the window.


Tik Tok singer Kesha is said to be in the mix for a spot on this year’s panel, too.

“Simon has held numerous conversations and is keen on Kesha. He thinks she’s edgy and would appeal to a different audience to the other three,” a source tells the Sunday People.

“He is keen to get an American in, just for a bit of variety. Nothing is signed but she’s a front-runner.”

Mel B

Former Spice Girl Mel B is no stranger to the X Factor, being a full time judge on the Australian version of the show, as well as appearing as a guest judge on the British version of the show. The singer also joined the judging panel of dance show Stepping Out, which was hosted by Davina McCall and is a judge on America’s Got Talent, too.

Cowell is thought to be rather fond of Scary Spice and with her experience with the format she could be an easy addition to the show.

Paloma Faith

The latest name in the mix is Can’t Rely On You singer Paloma Faith.

“She’d balance nicely with Cheryl and is being talked about seriously, but no final decisions have been made yet. Simon wants to make sure the best judge is hired,” a source tells the Sun. 

Faith would certainly come out with some cracking lines and her wardrobe would be stunning. But is the X Factor the right fit for the hitmaker? Watch this space…

The X Factor returns later this year on ITV