Yes, it’s that time of year again: the Judges’ Houses round in X Factor, when mentors Simon Cowell, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw whisk their groups off to glamorous locations for their final audition.
In a new twist, the singers didn’t find out whether they’d made it through to this year’s live shows while on location. Instead, a live reveal will take place over the two shows this Saturday and Sunday from Fountain Studios in Wembley.
But between those dramatic results, the cameras will cut to those enviable holiday homes. From France to Rome via LA and the Cotswolds, here’s where they went and how you can stay in this year’s judges’ houses…
Simon Cowell – Château de Moh, France
Cowell, the Overs and his guest judge, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, headed to France to stay in the Château de Moh in the heart of the Loire Valley.
This traditional château overlooks the River Loire and dates back to the 15th Century.
Originally the summer residence of the bishops of Tours, the property was uninhabited for years before it was refurbished. Locals are said to tell stories of ghosts seen wandering parts of the property, in particular The Tower, where closed doors are believed to open mysteriously. Apparently Cowell opted not to sleep in The Tower as a result. Mick Jagger and ACDC’s Brian Johnson are among the famous faces who have stayed there in the past.
The château is a 10-bedroom property – with 18 rooms and suites for up to 48 people – and boasts a pool house, spa, vast gardens, underground chambers, orchards, 11 rental apartments, houses and suites in the grounds of the building. A wall and a moat, which dried up in the 15th century, surround the château.
The château is listed by HomeAway.co.uk, and available to rent all year round, although you’ll have to have deep pockets – the average cost is £9,551 for a three-night stay.
Nick Grimshaw – The Barnhouse, Cotswolds
Grimshaw, the Boys and his guest judge Mark Ronson travelled to the Cotswolds for Judges’ Houses. Located 90-minutes from London, its proximity allowed Grimmers to juggle his TV and Radio 1 commitments.
It’s just one of several dozen luxury homes available to rent or own on a 65-acre private estate. The interiors of Grimshaw’s house, The Barnhouse (which we understand to be a private residence) were designed by Kate Moss. There’s also a spa, concierge service and outdoor activities facilities on site for when you need a break from singing.
To see similar properties, visit The Lakes by yoo’s website.
Explore the Cotswolds with Radio Times Travel
Rita Ora – LA
Ms Ora, the Girls and guest mentor Meghan Trainor flew to LA where they stayed in a private house on Mulholland Drive in Beverley Hills. Pictures reveal a stunning view overlooking LA and a swish outdoor pool and jacuzzi area.
Sadly, you won’t be able to stay here unless you know the owner as it’s a private property, although we’re told it’s not owned by a famous face.
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini – Villa Elda, near Rome
Cheryl, the Groups and guest mentor Jess Glynne headed to Rome, staying in Villa Elda which is located in the lake Bracciano area, a 30-minute drive from Rome.
The villa boasts its own private lake shoreline, two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor), a sauna, a Turkish bath and a wonderful landscaped park. Villa Elda is surrounded by golf courses and can accommodate up to eight guests. Weekly rental prices start from around £10,780 (€15,000).
For more information visit myprivatevillas.com
Explore Italy with Radio Times Travel
The X Factor is on Saturday (8:00pm) and Sunday (7:30pm) on ITV