Autumn is on the horizon, which means one thing: the return of Saturday night talent shows. Whilst Strictly will be returning with the usual structure (and sequins of course), The X Factor has reportedly decided to shake things up a bit.
It's no secret that the singing show has struggled in the ratings battle against its BBC rival, and after 15 years the format is looking a little tired. But instead of cancelling the show all together, Simon Cowell has decided to introduce two new formats, both allegedly set to air this year.
Instead of hosting auditions for members of the general public as they've previously done, we'll be seeing a celebrity version of the show, and a champions battle. The former will invite well-known stars from our telly to try out their singing chops (and maybe secure a new record deal in the process?), whilst the latter will invite back some of most memorable acts from the past seasons to face off to become the champion of champions.
What will the celebrity version of The X Factor be like?
Mega fans of The X Factor out there will remember that way back in 2006, X Factor: Battle of the Stars was released for a one-off season. This was won by Eastenders star Lucy Benjamin, but also featured the likes of Chris Moyles and Gillian McKeith (oh how we miss the 2000s).
However, after reportedly injecting £3 million into this new venture, we may see some more in-demand celebs in this year's lineup. Simon Cowell also has plans to help the contestants launch a new singing career, stating in an interview: "In the same way Pete Waterman made Kylie and Jason musical stars, and what I did with Robson and Jerome, I’d like to think through the process we’ll find someone who can sell records rather than just doing the show as a stunt".
So who knows? Perhaps we could see a celeb gunning for the Christmas number one this year. No names are confirmed yet - again, we'll let you know as soon as we hear.
What will the champions version of The X Factor be like?
The word 'champions' might be a little bit misleading, as according to rumours bosses have approached a number of past contestants, not exclusively previous winners. For example, series seven fan favourite Wagner is in the running, as is rap artist Honey G. Otherwise, we'll probably see artists such as Leona Lewis and Shane Ward returning to their roots.
We think it's good that they're going for a mixed bag. After all, the public do love a bit of fun, and who knows? Maybe viewers are tired of the same old ballads and want something a bit more fun this time - seeing as nobody's future career is on the line.
When is The X Factor coming back?
iTV hasn't yet confirmed dates for the return of The X Factor. Typically we've seen it return at the end of August, however as we're getting effectively two brand new shows, things may be delayed slightly. As soon as we get any more information, we'll let you know.
How to watch The X Factor online
Since The X Factor is on ITV 1 you can watch online with the ITV Hub on a wide range of devices including your phone.
Who are the judges?
According to whispers around the internet, the show will be returning to the three judge format, as it was in the good old days. Cowell will most likely be staying, but Robbie Williams and Adya Field have both walked, and it appears Louis Tomlinson has also moved on. Accordingly to the Mail Online, it appears that Louis Walsh is coming back to reprise his role, despite being axed last year for the millionth time (that man is like a yo-yo).
Sharon Osbourne's name is also being thrown around, but people are unsure after a firing had been rumoured last year following an explosive interview with Howard Stern in which she called Cowell "a 'f*****g pain in the a***". Ouch.
Dermot O’Leary has also confirmed with the Metro that he will be back to his presenting duties, so we can be sure to see him telling us how our Saturday night will "start right here" as he spins on the spot.
Who won previous X Factor series?
Let's take a trip back through time and remember who was crowned in every series of the show (and who may make an appearance in the champions version of The X Factor). This list doesn't include memorable runners-up like JLS, One Direction and Jedward.
- 2018 – Dalton Harris
- 2017 – Rak-Su
- 2016 – Matt Terry
- 2015 – Louisa Johnson
- 2014 – Ben Haenow
- 2013 – Sam Bailey
- 2012 – James Arthur
- 2011 – Little Mix
- 2010 – Matt Cardle
- 2009 – Joe McElderry
- 2008 – Alexandra Burke
- 2007 – Leon Jackson
- 2006 – Leona Lewis
- 2005 – Shayne Ward
- 2004 – Steve Brookstein (remember him?)