Every year, Judges’ Houses always proves to be one of the best bits of The X Factor.
With amazing guest stars, plenty of tears and lots of property porn to be oogled, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh will soon be back in sunglasses, perched near a pool and making and breaking dreams.
Here’s what we can expect from Judges’ Houses this year:
Category: Groups. Simon’s six final acts are The Cutkelvins, Jack and Joel, Rak-Su, Sean and Conor Price, Lemonade and New Girl Band
Location: Despite what the picture above might suggest, Simon hasn’t jetted off to Ancient Rome. Instead he’s in Nice, France for Judges’ Houses this year.
Guest judge: Cheryl
Yep, she’s back on The X Factor. After rumours going round and round (and round) about the former judge never wanting to return to the programme, she’s very much in attendance this year! Cheryl was originally a judge on The X Factor between 2008 and 2010 and won the show two years running with Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry. She again returned to the judging panel in 2014 and 2015.
Category: Girls. Sharon’s six final acts are Grace Davies, Georgina Panton, Alisah Bonaobra, Rai-Elle Williams, Holly Tandy and Deanna Mussington
Location: San Francisco.
Guest judge: In the past, she’s always had either Nicole Scherzinger or long-time friend of the show Robbie Williams by her side for Judges’ Houses. Although the safe money for 2017 would’ve been on Robbie making (another) return, Sharon is instead making it a family affair and is going to be joined by her kids Kelly Osbourne and Jack Osbourne.
Category: Overs. Nicole’s final six acts are Talia Dean, Slavko, Kevin Davy White, Berget Lewis, Matt Linnen and Tracy Leanne Jefford
Location: South Africa.
Guest judge: Stormzy has been confirmed as the guest musician who will be joining Scherzy at Judges’ Houses – presumably not just because their nicknames are so similar, but because the grime artist is one of the hottest properties in music at the moment.
Category: Boys. Louis’s final six boys are Lloyd Macey, Aidan Martin, Sam Black, Spencer Sutherland, Jack Mason and Leon Mallett.
Anthony Russell originally made it to this stage of the competition, but pulled out due to personal reasons. He was replaced by Sam Black – aka the guy who proposed to his girlfriend during Bootcamp…
Location: Although we had our fingers crossed for Dublin (he did tell us it was his favourite city after all), Louis is headed to Istanbul.
Guest judge: Normally it’s one of Westlife, a Boyzone or someone else equally associated with Ireland or the early noughties. However, recent years have seen Alesha Dixon, Fleur East, Tulisa and Sinitta assist the music manager. And although we thought that perhaps Alesha Dixon would make a return (she did stand in for both Scherzy and Sharon Osbourne at the auditions, after all) it’s actually Mika – the most in-demand singer of 2007 – who is the guest judge joining Lou Lou.
The X Factor continues Saturday and Sunday on ITV.