X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has put a line in the sand: she wants rid of the Six Chair Challenge.
“I officially hate the Six Chair challenge,” Mrs CFV told RadioTimes.com of the dreaded round which sees singers swapped in and out of the competition in front of a live Wembley Arena crowd.
Now an executive producer on the show, Cheryl admitted she’s campaigned to get it axed from the audition stages. “I’ve tried. I have tried,” she said, but – despite her best efforts – it’s back to rear its ugly head for a third series.
For those unfamiliar, the Six Chair Challenge sees the expert panel work on their own for the first time, choosing the six acts they’ll take through to their Judges’ Houses. A singer can be given a chair, only to have it taken away if a better singer comes along. In some cases, a contestant that was swapped out earlier can be brought back in. Only those left sitting on the chairs at the end are safe. With a roaring crowd making their presence known, it’s nail biting stuff.
Cheryl had her first experience of it last year and wasn’t too impressed, describing it as “hell”. Fellow judge Simon Cowell had to leap to her defence as the crowd reacted to a surprising u-turn from the former Girls Aloud singer.
But this year, as well as disliking it herself, it’s new judges Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora that Cheryl’s concerned about.
“I know what I’m looking at this year. Last year was a completely new experience, I’d only heard about it, I hadn’t experienced it. So to experience it is a real advantage.
“I do worry a little bit for Nick and Rita. I feel like I need to put them under my wing a little bit. It’s intense,” she explained.
Indeed, “intense” was certainly the word on Nick’s mind as he watched pal Rita go through her challenge yesterday.
Woah 6 chair challenge was INTENSE tonight. My turn tomorrow with the boys – we have some stars in that category ??
— nick grimshaw (@grimmers) September 2, 2015
Meanwhile, co-host and former contestant Olly Murs is just pleased it was never around in his day…
6 chair challengeeeee madness @ssearena Wembley today!!! I'm so happy we never did this in 2009…
— Olly Murs (@ollyofficial) September 1, 2015
The X Factor Six Chair Challenge starts Sunday 4th October at 7:00pm on ITV