In a world of carefully edited statements and reality show cameras ready to catch every glistening tear here’s a deliciously frank statement fromXtra Factor hosts Rylan Clark-Neal and Matt Edmondson.
The X Factor is back at its best because returning duo Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh “couldn’t give a f***”, the pair tell RadioTimes.com.
Louis Walsh “doesn’t need to give a f***”, insists Rylan who is returning to the bosom of X Factor having been a contestant himself in 2012. Walsh is back too, after that one-year absence from the judging panel, which just about everyone decided was a bad idea as soon as it happened.
“I think going away from the show and coming back has given him a renewed sense of power because it’s like ‘Oh, he [Simon Cowell] needs me. He wants me back,” says Edmondson.
“Louis Walsh is Louis Walsh. If he don’t work again, he’s laughing,” adds Rylan. “So are generations of Louis Walsh to come. And it’s like Sharon as well. That’s the best thing about Sharon and Louis mainly. They are, you’ve said it I think…
“…. Sharon’s got f-you money,” Matt picks up. “So she doesn’t have to do anything that she doesn’t want to do. So she’s only there for the fun of it. So if someone says, ‘Oh, Sharon, act like this,’ she’ll say no. What they gonna do about it? She’s not worried about keeping her job, or ‘I need to get paid for this’. She doesn’t care.”
“Couldn’t give a f***,” Rylan repeats.
“It’s gone back to the silly side of it,” adds Edmondson. “And fun. There have been years where it’s maybe taken itself too seriously. Or where all of the judges have had a degree of integrity to maintain, whereas Louis Walsh doesn’t need to maintain any integrity.”
“Louis couldn’t give a f***,” Rylan repeats again – just in case we hadn’t got the message the first few times – adding, “It’s like X Factor. I know that sounds like a stupid thing to say. But the X Factor this year is the X Factor we all loved. And it’s back.”
“So he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And Sharon’s always been a curveball in the kind of acts that she goes for. [She] veers towards slightly more outrageous ones and you need that balance don’t you? You don’t want everyone to be like ‘I need to find the next super cool artist’.”
Despite the bumper crop of familiar faces (Dermot O’Leary and Nicole Scherzinger return alongside Simon Cowell) it’s not, they both insist, a celebratory year before the show has its final curtain call.
“No!” they chorus.
“It doesn’t feel like a step backwards. It just feels like returning home,” adds Matt.
“They’ve played about,” explains Rylan. “They’ve had a f*** about, they’ve had a fiddle and do you know what? Don’t fix something that’s not broken. This year the panel, the new format… the newest thing about the whole format is us and what we’re doing [Xtra Factor Live will now go live every week on ITV2 even while the main show is pre-recorded]. But it’s not a stupid change – it’s actually a change for the better that people will actually prefer. But the whole of this year is X Factor back at its best.”
The Xtra Factor Live returns to ITV2 at 9:30pm on Saturday 27th August and 9pm on Sunday 28th August