It’s Judges’ Houses time again this week as The X Factor draws tantalizingly closer to the live shows. History tells us anything goes as the remaining contestants battle for a place in their mentors’ final three.


We’ve seen all sorts in previous years. Chico leaping into a swimming pool – microphone in hand – after singing Livin’ la Vida Loca for Sharon Osborne. Sinitta walking through Simon’s patio door wearing a fine selection of foliage. And a grown man by the name of Rylan Clark bawling into a cushion as Nicole Scherzinger told him he was going to be on her team.

So what do we have in store this year? Here’s a sneak peek at the action…


Before everyone sets off to their destinations, there’s the small matter of this year’s Wildcard picks. Every year each judge nominates one act for one of their fellow judges who they feel missed out on a coveted place at Judges’ Houses.

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Louis nominates the Girls Wildcard, Nicole nominates the Overs Wildcard, Sharon nominates the Groups Wildcard and the Boys Wildcard is nominated by Simon, making it seven acts in each category and 28 in total. But will your favourite act make it through?

Nicole takes her boys out on the water

Having landed the Boys group, it’s safe to say Nicole is feeling pretty confident about her chances of victory this year. “I think that I might have the winner of X Factor 2016 right here,” she tells her chosen seven as they reconvene at her favourite spot in the South of France.

She’s so confident, in fact, that she decides to take her boys out on the water for a spot of Jet Skiing and water sports before the serious business of singing and performing starts.

Louis parties in Ibiza with the groups

Louis Walsh takes his groups to a party at the legendary Ibiza Rocks to give them some much-needed R&R. He even drafts in Craig David to offer them a few words of encouragement before their final performances.

Craig's surprise appearance certainly has the desired effect on Ottavio and Bradley – "He’s so inspirational… and he’s very hot." Focus, Ottavio! Naturally, it’s not long before Louis joins the revelers on the dance floor. Let’s hope he’s in a fit enough state to actually judge the performances come the morning.

Robbie’s back!

Honey G may have caused some controversy after being drafted in to replace Ivy Grace Paredes, but all eyes will be on Robbie Williams when he returns to The X Factor to help Sharon whittle down the Overs to her final three. Yes, it’s the big question: will he do another Sinitta?

Remember 2011? That glorious year when Robbie shocked everyone (mainly Gary Barlow) by appearing at the judge’s house wearing a foliage bikini in the style of Cowell’s long-term pal Sinitta?

Want to see if he wears another eye-popping outfit (oh, and who makes it through to the live shows)? You’ll have to tune in to find out…

So, what time is X Factor on TV?


See all of that and more from 7.30pm this Sunday 2nd October on ITV.