Never has X Factor been a more apt name, with this year’s line-up of presenters and judges full of former X Factor stars. Ex-Factor, if you will.
But how did it all come to be? After all, last year’s line-up was meant to be the ‘hot new thing’.
Well, here’s a very quick summary.
First the main show:
Then Xtra Factor:
Yes, after 2015 it was all about the exit, with judges and presenters announcing their departures one after the other. Only Simon Cowell and his ‘I didn’t like it, I loved it’ was left.
Nick Grimshaw went first:
The Radio 1 DJ revealed the decision was made at Christmas. His reason is most simple it seems; he basically would rather sit at home watching with a takeaway curry.
“This is not a diss to the show – this is not me storming out of X Factor going ‘Screw you Cheryl!’ – it’s a great show and I loved it,” Grimshaw said. “But it’s definitely a once in a lifetime style thing.”
Olly Murs came next:
He got in there first with the ‘wanting to 100% focus on my music’ thing. A lot of that follows.
“This was an incredibly hard decision to make and one I didn’t take lightly as I’ve really enjoyed co-hosting the X Factor with Caroline Flack,” said Murs.
“It’s been one big adventure and I loved every minute of it. But my heart belongs to music and I want to concentrate 100 per cent on making my next album and getting back to performing.”
… Flack soon went, too:
“I have had a brilliant time working on The X Factor over the last few years, and hosting the main show was just fantastic, I made some amazing friends. I’m looking forward to carrying on working with the team over at ITV,” Flack said in a statement.
Cheryl was the second to use the music thing:
“I have had such an amazing experience being a judge on The X Factor. I have learnt so much and enjoyed nurturing talent but I’ve missed making music and am excited to be recording again,” she said in a statement. “I want to thank everybody I have worked with along the way, especially Simon who I love to bits. I hope the show continues to produce stars and I wish them all the best.”
That just left Rita Ora:
… and off she went.
“I had a ball on last year and will miss the team,” she wrote on Twitter, telling Simon Cowell she’d be round for dinner soon.
Finally, with the announcement of the new-look Xtra Factor, came the departure of Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom.
“We thank Melvin and Rochelle for all their hard work on the Xtra Factor and look forward to working with them both again soon,” an ITV spokesperson said.
So who’s in? Welcome to one heck of an X Factor throwback:
Dermot O’Leary is back as host:
“I’m very flattered to be asked back to The X Factor, and am currently dusting off my dancing shoes. There is nothing more exciting than hosting live TV on a Saturday night,” O’Leary said in an official statement.
“The show is naturally very close to my heart, after having hosted it for 8 years. I’m really looking forward to it, and excited to be back”.
And… Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger are ALL back as judges:
It’s almost a return to X Factor 2013 when Scherzinger, Osbourne and Walsh lined-up together for what was the tenth series alongside then head judge Gary Barlow. It didn’t last long: only Walsh remained the following year with Cowell making his long-awaited return along with Mel B and Cheryl.
2013 was Osbourne’s first comeback and she won with Sam Bailey, Cowell’s 2014 return then saw him win with Ben Haenow – perhaps it’s Scherzinger or Walsh’s turn to enjoy their own comeback and win?
Speaking of her return this year, Osbourne said: “I’m overjoyed about going back to The X Factor, sitting with Lou, Lou, gorgeous Nicole and naughty Simon. But most of all, I can’t wait to meet baby Eric.”
“I can’t wait to be back in the UK and on the show with the best judges sitting alongside me on the panel,” Scherzinger added. “I’m excited about discovering, mentoring and winning with an exciting new act this year. And having had winning contestants in the past, Simon knows I will do it.”
Walsh, not one to miss a chance to have a dig at Cowell, continued: “He’d say otherwise, but I knew Simon missed me last year! I’m delighted to be back on the panel especially beside my two favourite female judges Sharon and Nicole.”
Cowell sums it up: “The good thing about having a Twitter account is they [viewers] tell you what they think, it’s a bit like your mum and dad when they go, ‘Simon, you have screwed up’. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, I just didn’t realise how much the viewers missed everyone. In a strange way, that’s what I learnt, so this line-up was the easiest decision we have ever made, there was no speculation, it was just this is who’s going to be on the show.”
As for Xtra Factor, it’s former contestant Rylan Clark-Neal (now Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and This Morning presenter) and former X Factor vlogger and columnist Matt Edmondson (now a Radio 1 DJ) leading the charge.
The whole show is going live from the very first episode (even though the main show is pre-recorded) and the presenters – who also include Capital FM DJ Roman Kemp – can’t wait.
“We’re like Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood at the Brits, it’s the total odd couple but that’s why it works. We get on so well, I’d like to think we each bring something totally different to the show, but at the same time we click. It’s weird how it works.”
Although, they’ve already been joking they’ll be sacked next year (read more on that here).
Hey, it could even become the ex ‘ex-Factor’ next year…
The X Factor returns Saturday and Sunday at 8:00pm on ITV