The X Factor's back. Well, sort of.


The first live show on Saturday came something of a shock to veteran viewers, who didn't know what to make of the huge format changes and the absence of one very important face...

Here's the six biggest talking points from Saturday night:

1. Simon Cowell was nowhere to be seen

It had been widely speculated that the head honcho was going to miss the first live show after he had a fall at his home and was taken to hospital in the early hours of the morning.

Showing their concern, presenter Dermot O'Leary and judges Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger couldn't stop laughing about the MIA judge.

Joking about which one of them pushed him down the stairs (Nicole said it was a "team effort" between her and Sharon), Dermot then compared the whole scenario to Murder on the Orient Express, citing the fact that each judge had their motive for laying up the boss.

They might have found the whole thing hilarious, but viewers definitely missed him.

2. So, so, SO many format changes

The X Factor live shows
The X Factor live shows (Syco/ITV)

We don't know where to start.

Not only did Dermot eschew his traditional dance in, but there was a new studio, no sing-off between the bottom two singers, no judges' decision and a prize of going to meet Pink in New York was up for grabs for the best singer. Oh, and the vote was only open for a grand total of twelve and a half minutes.

We don't know what you thought, but for us it basically meant the jeopardy levels at the end were at absolute zero, despite Louis and co. having to pretend to dither and deliberate as they were forced into saying who they thought their... favourite singer of the night was. How awful that must be for them.

3. Cheryl's eye guy

Arguably the most exciting thing that happened during two hours of live shows - aside from some dodgy audio at one point while Sharon was talking - was this guy's eyeballs.

He was having a great time larking about in the background as Cheryl tried to sound enthusiastic about being at the studio to lend her support to the Groups. Although really, we all knew the only reason she'd bothered rocking up for a front row seat was to see boyf Liam Payne perform. According to viewers, maybe she needn't have bothered...

4. Liam Payne's performance

Oops. Despite being part of the biggest act ever to come out of The X Factor (that's One Direction, FYI) when Liam Payne returned to perform solo for the first time ever, viewers were left suitably underwhelmed. And that's us being polite.

Ouch. Was it really that bad? We'll let you be the judge:

5. Grace Davies won the night

She's been an early favourite from day one, so it was no surprise that Grace Davies won the most votes on Saturday night.

Dermot rather prematurely asked her how she felt about winning the prize of going to New York to meet Pink, to which Grace had to remind him that she needed to win the sing-off tomorrow night against the act voted top of the Overs and the Groups on Sunday's show.

Don't worry, Derm, all these new rules are bloody confusing.

6. And Spencer Sutherland lost it

Poor Spencer. His parents had flown all the way from America to the UK for the first time ever, but he was voted out in the blink of an eye during the first live show. Well, the blink of twelve and a half minutes to be precise.

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Yet just an hour earlier, his mentor had been saying: "I know how hard you work behind the scenes. You’re one of the most professional contestants I’ve ever worked with on the show."

Although seeing as Spencer had just been voted out, Louis face is arguably not one of total devastation.


The X Factor continues on Sunday at 7pm on ITV.