Here’s exactly how the X Factor 2018 live shows will work

With Prize Fight dumped and the return of deadlock, here's everything you need to know about the format of the competition's final stage


It’s time! To face! The music! Yes, the remaining X Factor 2018 contestants are set to battle it out on live TV, with mentors Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and Ayda Field returning behind the judges’ desk.


However, owing to the show’s habit of introducing new twists – some more popular than others (cough cough jukebox cough) – you might have a few questions about what to expect…

Is “Prize Fight” returning to the X Factor live shows?

No, the “Prize Fight” has been dumped this series (phew). Unlike last year’s competition, which saw the public’s top two performers of the week compete for a prize, the Sunday sing-off between the week’s bottom pair of acts makes a welcome return.

Does that mean deadlock is coming back to The X Factor?

Yes, if the judges can’t agree which of the bottom two acts should go home following their sing-off, the public will be invited to decide who will be eliminated.

Will all the acts perform on a Saturday night?

Yes, unlike last series, all remaining finalists will perform. The bottom two face the dreaded sing-off and judges vote the following night.

Is Sharon Osbourne returning to judge the live shows? 

Although the X Factor stalwart was due to make a comeback to the judging panel, Osbourne who appeared as a judge on the show 2004 to 2007, 2013, and from 2016 to 2017 – announced in early October she wouldn’t be returning.

Making a statement on Facebook, Osbourne said she thought she wasn’t needed and “would honestly feel odd coming in at this point”.

“After watching the new season X Factor unfold, I’ve seen the new judges finding their rhythm and are doing brilliantly,” she said. “Simon was so gracious to find me a spot on the live shows but at this point I really don’t think I’m needed and I would honestly feel odd coming in at this point. So I have decided to pass on the series this year.

“I wish the show continued success and as much as I love to get my face on TV you will have to do without me this season.”

How do I vote?

You can vote by phone or the X Factor app – you can see more information about that here.


Who are the acts in the live shows?

Simon, Louis, Ayda and Robbie have picked their teams – you can find out more about their 16 finalists here.

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