The X Factor 2018 Six Chair Challenge – everything you need to know

When is it on TV? How does it work? And what exactly is the new Golden X? Your complete guide

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It’s back: the cruellest/most entertaining round (depending on your perspective) in The X Factor is returning to wreak havoc again this year. But there’s a new twist in store…


Here’s everything you need to know…

When is the Six Chair Challenge on TV?

Unlike in previous series, there will be no Bootcamp stage on this year’s X Factor, meaning the Six Chair Challenge will immediately follow the audition rounds and will start on Saturday 29th September.

How does the Six Chair Challenge work?

The Six Chair Challenge whittles down the contestants to six acts per category (Boys, Girls, Groups and Overs). And it’s brutal.

Each act takes to the stage and performs their heart out, with the judge in charge of their category deciding whether the act has ‘won’ one of the six available seats. If they’re not good enough, they’re immediately sent home.

But if they’ve won a seat? Well, they’re still not necessarily safe. That’s because if the relevant judge deems a new singer or group more worthy of a chair, they’ll kick off a seated act to make room.

And this is usually followed by plenty of booing from the audience and tears from the acts (and occasionally the judges). Just imagine one huge dystopian game of musical chairs and you’re basically there.

But there’s a twist…

What is the Golden X?

Remember when we said an act won’t be safe until everyone has performed? That doesn’t apply to an act on the Golden X, a safe seat the relevant judge can offer to an outstanding performer.

If gifted a spot on the Golden X, that act can’t be swapped for another, effectively ensuring they’re through to the next stage.


It’s quite similar to how the Golden Buzzer works in Britain’s Got Talent, with a Golden X act earning an instant place in the Judges’ Houses.

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