If you’re in Manchester today and a whole load of people are crossing their arms and yelling about being the “next big thing”, don’t be alarmed: it’s the first day of this year’s X Factor auditions.
Today’s launch will see all four judges in attendance, with new faces Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw lining up alongside returnees Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell.
New hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack are on hand to get the gossip from the acts, although Olly will fly solo tomorrow while Caroline hotfoots it back to Mallorca to front this week’s live episode of Love Island. Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom also join the crew, as they follow the backstage action on The Xtra Factor.
Auditions were due to start on Monday, but were delayed following the death of Simon Cowell’s beloved mother Julie Brett, 89, who passed away on Sunday. Simon has tweeted to thank friends and fans for their support.
Auditions will now run today and tomorrow in Manchester, before moving to London next week. A timetable clash means Rita Ora will miss tomorrow’s round, so a stand-in judge may be called up, or the panel could run as a three.
Either way, they’re kicking off in the arena again, after the smaller in-room format was scrapped this year, meaning the wannabe pop stars will face a large crowd for their opening performance.
And it seems Radio 1 DJ Grimmers is ready for his close-up revealing the, er, hairy details of his pre-show pampering:
Luckily, he’s found a way to calm his nerves…
Handily, Grimmers does know what show he’s on and won’t be using a paddle with ‘100,000,000% yes’ on it
Meanwhile, new host Olly is ready for action
Mrs Humes has got the X Factor-themed emoticons down
And while Murs is reminiscing…
… Caz Flack is teasing:
There’s almost been a fashion faux pas
But the hosts look like they’re keeping their fashion cool
Making their way out for the first time on the red carpet
We’ll keep you updated with more as it comes in…