All you need to know about The X Factor.

Aired annually from August/September to December, this widely popular TV show aims to find new vocal talent that could be star potential. The final winner will win a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music (in association with Sony music). Originally created by Simon Cowell, the show consists of three other judges. This year ; Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. August 29th marked the first airing of the show’s twelfth series.

This year's judges. Left to right : Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell.
This year’s judges.
Left to right : Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell.

In essence, the show kicks off with the live auditions in different cities in the UK. This year, producers visited Dublin, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Cardiff, Manchester and of course, the renowned Wembley Arena in London. At the live auditions, participants perform a chosen song in front of the four judges and if they’re lucky and good enough to get four yeses, they can continue on into the competition and follow up to the next stage which is bootcamp.

During the phase of bootcamp, all candidates are put into groups of different categories (There are four categories; Over 25s, Girls, Boys and Groups) and asked to perform a song together in front of the judges. After having heard all the groups, the judges then decide who, out of those groups, will be granted a chance to the second phase of bootcamp (the Solo performances) and who will be eliminated from the show. Once a number of participants have been eliminated from the first phase of bootcamp, the rest have to perform as solo acts in front the judges anew. This is the second phase of bootcamp which will decide who goes on to face the next stage : the six-seat challenge.

In this challenge, participants from each category perform a song to the judges and the corresponding judge to the performing category (Cheryl: Groups, Rita: Girls, Simon: Over 25s and Nick: Boys) has to decide whether or not to provide a seat for that person. If all six seats have been taken and the judge wants to provide a seat for another high-potential participant, the judge needs to choose a participant that already has a seat to give it up for the other participant.

The final stage before the live shows is the Judges Houses. All the acts that have succeeded through bootcamp and the six chair challenge now have to present the best they can do within their category at their judge’s house. Each judge will have to choose a restricted number of contestants that they will bring through to the live shows.

Lastly, the live shows take place each week as every contestant competes against one another in order for a place in the finale. The theme for the song choices vary weekly and the mentors and their contestants work together to piece a performance. Public votes decide who stays in the show and who is to be eliminated based on these performances. The live performances usually take place on Saturdays and the Results show on Sundays. Once the show has two final competitors left, it’s time for the grande finale.

Normally, the live grande finale consists of a number of celebrity performances and the final showdown. The winner is revealed, live, the next day based on the public voting.

One Direction at the Live shows - 2010
One Direction at the Live shows – 2010

Many popular artists’ have the X Factor as their roots. You might have heard of One Direction, Little Mix, Cher Lloyd, Leona Lewis and Olly Murs. They were all contestants on this show. Not all of them won the show but they’ve used the show as a platform and starting point for their careers. Proving that sometimes in life you have to take chances,  put yourself out there and expect the unexpected, the show is a great source of TV show addiction and resourceful wisdom.

You can watch it Saturdays and Sundays at 8/9 PM on ITV.

For more information:

the x factor website

the x factor instagram page

the x factor Facebook page

the x factor’s youtube


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