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Everything you need to know about the new series of The X Factor

Tuesday 29th August 2017
The_X_Factor_2017_slide

We’re rapidly coming to the end of summer which can only mean one thing… The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing are back on our screens.

While the latter has been the ratings winner in recent years, there have been all sorts of rumours surrounding the fate of Simon Cowell’s ITV talent show, which is in its 14th year (how did that happen?).

This is what we know so far...

When does the series start?

The X Factor 2017 starts on Saturday, September 2 – a week earlier than Strictly.

Auditions have been held across the UK, in Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Manchester, and for the first time, Thorpe Park. So expect another rollercoaster of emotions (see what we did there?) as the judges whittle down to the winning act.

The_X_Factor_judges

So what do we know?

Speculation about changes to the format of the new series has been in overdrive due to the ratings beating that the show has taken over the last couple of years thanks to Strictly.

Simon’s already moved the final of the series to early December, but he refuses to blame the ratings as the reason for the changes.

Speaking at judging panel's official show interviews, Simon said: “When you’ve done it for 14 years you can’t keep making the same show every year.

“I think if you just make the same show each year it becomes boring and predictable.”

The auditions, which are arguably the best part of the series, aren’t going anywhere but it looks like there will be fewer live audience episodes.

Simon said: “There are less live shows, which has come as surprise to many and some have said that it’s a reaction to ratings.

“What was the thinking behind that decision? I just think it’s the way things are in all these shows at the moment. The early and middle rounds rate well.

“So, the idea is to do more of the middle shows and less of the live shows. We’ll see if it works.”

Judges Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne (pictured) are back with Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell
Judges Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne (pictured) are back with Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell

Are there any major changes to the format?

It is believed that novelty acts like Honey G – who came fifth last year – will be overlooked in favour of actual vocal talent (imagine that?) and songwriting abilities.

A source told the Mirror: "Simon knows he can’t change the format too much but one thing he and the contestants can change is what’s sung.

"If there’s lots of new material it could attract a new audience."

The brutal six chair challenge will be back, however, so expect plenty of nail-biting chop and changes from the judges as they pick their top six acts.

Who are the judges and who’s hosting?

In short, it’s exactly the same as last year. Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh reunited with Simon on the judging panel.

Dermot O’Leary will once again be the master of ceremonies, supporting the contestants after their auditions and also hosting the live shows.

Anything else we need to know?

Simon has confirmed that the unpopular jukebox is being scrapped for this year.

Speaking at the auditions in July, he said: "All these crazy things we used to do with themes have gone, no more jukeboxes, none of that rubbish this year.

“The public are smart enough to know what’s real, that’s what we are focusing on this year.”

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