What to expect from X Factor Judges’ Houses 2015

Locations, guest mentors and a new live element - here's what's going to happen during the next stage of the competition

The Six Chair Challenge has finished and Rita, Simon, Cheryl and Nick have chosen which singers are going with them to Judges’ Houses…

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Oh yes, it’s now time for the glamorous bit where we all get jealous of the sunny locations (well, perhaps not in Nick’s case) and start booking holidays we know we can’t afford. 

Here’s what’s in store:

When is it?

X Factor returns to Saturday nights with Judges’ Houses kicking off at 8:00pm on October 24th. It’s a bumper show – lasting until 10:25pm – with another one on Sunday 25th from 7:30pm until 9:00pm. 

Where are the Judges’ Houses?

Rita Ora is taking the Girls to LA, Cheryl and the Groups are off to Rome and Simon Cowell is heading to the South of France with the Groups. After chopping and changing between Manchester and rumoured Paris, Grimshaw and the Boys instead went to the Cotswolds, which kept Grimshaw close enough to London for his Radio 1 commitments. 

Who are the guest mentors?

Each year the judges have a special guest join them at Judges’ Houses. This year Rita Ora has called on chart-topper Meghan Trainor for help. Nick Grimshaw has drafted in musician and record producer Mark Ronson and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is welcoming Jess Glynne who has Number Ones coming out of her ears. Meanwhile, in perhaps one of the biggest surprises, Simon Cowell has opted not to have Sinitta by his side (although she tweeted she would actually be there behind the scenes) instead calling on One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson to join him. Whether he’ll wear a leaf bikini remains to be seen. 

Is it live?

The original plan for this year’s Judges’ Houses was to broadcast the whole thing live from the four different global locations. Co-hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack were going to anchor the show from the UK, with reports suggesting Myleene Klass was among the presenters being called up to report from location. However, it was eventually decided that the logistics were just too complicated. Instead, the auditions will be pre-recorded and then the categories will head to Fountain Studios in Wembley for a live reveal of who has gone through to the final stage.

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Once done and dusted, the successful singers will kick off the live studio shows, which this year will run for seven weeks rather than the usual ten