With judges, hosts and audition venues ticked off the list it was time for X Factor to get on with the job of actually finding some singers. So Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger have been back behind the judges’ desk, host Dermot O’Leary has been chatting and hugging while new Xtra Factor co-hosts Matt Edmondson and Rylan Clark-Neal have been figuring out what they’re meant to be doing.
There’s a while to go until their antics make it to screen, so we’ve collected together the gossip being spilled from insider camp XF, to get a taste of what we can expect this year…
There’s been a lot of yelling about Friday night
Our first glimpse of this year’s auditions – which return to the intimate ‘rooms’ – was a hilariously bad performance of ‘Friday Night’. Nope, you’ve not missed this in the charts, this is a made-up track. It basically involves a gym instructor-cum-McDonalds manager leaping around yelling Friday night, with no care for rhythm, tone or the well-being of our eardrums.
But, giving us a taste of how the series will run this year, the judges – and host Dermot O’Leary – take the opportunity to have a bit of a rave, with Nicole evening dancing on the table, rather than moaning about it being crap.
I mean Cowell clearly loves it.
Louis Walsh got a party in Dublin
It’s been a while since X Factor judges’ auditions were held in Dublin. The last time they headed to the Emerald Isle was in 2010 – although that went rather well given that they found Niall Horan of One Direction fame. But with Louis Walsh back on the judging panel it seems apt to have a ruddy good party this year. And put Walsh’s face on a bus. Because, of course.
— Mark Sidaway (@marksidaway) July 1, 2016
Nicole’s been sharing pics of the gang
It’s a blast from X Factor (recent) past on this year’s judging panel as Sharon, Louis and Nicole sat together on the 2013 series. And Scherzy is pleased as punch to be back with the gang. Dubbing them the “motley crue”, Scherzinger says it “feels so good” to be doing all things ‘X’ again as auditions got going.
— Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy) June 15, 2016
… she’s also been learning not to trust Cowell with her phone
When Scherzy and co were together in 2013, they sat alongside head judge Gary Barlow. Now sat next to the boss Simon Cowell, Scherzinger’s learned the hard way not to leave her phone around him after he tweeted from her account.
— Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy) June 14, 2016
The singer will no doubt soon learn that she can do the same back. Amanda Holden swiped Cowell’s phone while on the Britain’s Got Talent panel to tell the world (well, everyone that follows Cowell) that she was definitely signed up for the next series. Savvy.
Apparently there’s a new Rylan
“Prince came all the way from LA to audition. He danced almost as much as he sang but it was his personality that won the crowd, and particularly Nicole, over,” a source told the Mirror.
We’re not entirely sure who this ‘crowd’ is, given the auditions have been in the small rooms. But perhaps there were a lot of production people in that day, or those waiting in the holding room were watching alone?
“She’s been telling everyone he’s a total diva who will be top entertainment – she’s desperate to mentor Prince.”
Just as long as they keep him away from the expensive hotel pillows when he has an emotional turn.
Eurovision hopefuls have been turning up
2016 Eurovision Song Contest hopeful Bianca Claxton is said to have impressed the judges, with insiders going as far as to label it a ‘standout’ audition of the upcoming series.
Bianca, formerly of girlband Parade, was in the running to represent the UK in Sweden this year but the public voted for duo Joe and Jake in the end. Plenty were miffed she didn’t get the Eurovision gig, so she may already have a strong fan base.
But she’s said to have an “enthusiastic” fan in Sharon Osbourne, according to The Express, so her dream of stardom might not be over just yet.
… and Mel B popped by for some auditions
In a year of returning judges, why not add another one into the mix? Yes, former X Factor judge and current America’s Got Talent judge Mel B will also appear during this year’s early room auditions. She dropped by to fill in for an absent Nicole Scherzinger during the London auditions who is said to have had a diary clash.
The show is no stranger to using stand-in judges. Fellow former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell (now Horner) has done the same, as did Rita Ora before becoming a full-time judge last year.
More as we get it…
The X Factor returns to ITV later this year