And as night turns to day, Olly Murs is once again being rumoured for a spot on the X Factor judging panel.
There’s whispers he’ll replace Louis (if he ever actually leaves), and others that he’ll do a stint as a presenter or even make real that long-held rumour of a fifth judge alongside SiCo, Chezza et al. In fact, you name it… Olly’s been linked with it.
Speculation around Murs returning often crops up – and with good reason. After all, as a contestant he was adored, he made an excellent – and rather cheeky – ITV2 Xtra Factor host alongside Caroline Flack and he even popped back as a guest mentor to help Gary Barlow pick his acts in 2013. He’s retained close relations with X Factor since becoming runner-up in 2009 – you could say he’s part of Mr Cowell’s furniture.
But is he actually joining the show?
“We really like Olly, we’d be keen to have him involved in the show,” a source close to the show told RadioTimes.com. But, they added, “Equally, Dermot’s incredibly popular as a host and we love him, too.” Whether that’s a hint he’s more likely being considered for a presenting spot, rather than a judge, remains to be seen.
It’s all as clear as auto-tune then!
It is true that a phone call has recently taken place between Murs and show bosses, but an X Factor spokesperson confirmed, “There will be changes to this year’s X Factor, but it’s far too early to say what. Discussions are currently taking place, but it’s far too early to say what those changes might look like.” Olly’s people remain tight-lipped about speculation on “rumours”.
Dermot himself told me that conversations about his own role usually happen in February, but there’s been no word yet from camp O’Leary. Time, as they say, is ticking on. Perhaps all his dancing action for Comic Relief has stalled things…
I for one would be at the front of the line of campaigners if Dermot was to leave. He’s dancing again, he has no problem standing up to Mr Cowell and knows the judges well enough to poke fun. And yell at Louis, of course. The man never makes a timely decision, does he? Yes, the show is all the better for Mr O’Leary.
Yet, Olly would certainly make an excellent addition. Addition, the word I stress; I’d rather see him on the panel than anywhere near Dermot’s dancing shoes.
Some may argue Murs doesn’t have the experience to judge other wannabe singers. A contestant judging other contestants, all a bit meta, right? But Cheryl comes from the same background (remember Popstars: The Rivals?) and is one of the show’s most successful judges, an impressive batch of winners and finalists to her name – and part of the golden 2010 season which SyCo and ITV would dearly like to recreate.
And if another artist working in the industry right now wants to give advice, what could be better for up and comers? It seems to work for Rita Ora and company on The Voice…
Come on Simon – isn’t it time to give Olly a go in the hot seat?