16 August 2012 (released)
16 August 2012
With the clock ticking ever closer to the start of the X Factor, Music News' Reality King, Dean 'Midas' Maynard got the insight from the judges, about what to watch out for this year...
What is the talent like this year?
Gary Barlow: I think it’s been extraordinary this year. Everybody thinks so. I have even heard cameramen saying to each other that it’s such a massive improvement on last year. The standard has definitely gone up a few notches. I think the audience is going to love it.
Nicole Scherzinger: We have found some real gems, artists that I believe could cut it in the international market. All the categories have strong talent so whoever I get to work with, I hope they will benefit from my help, support, knowledge and experience. I worked hard to get where I am today and they will need to as well.
Tulisa: It’s been fantastic. I can’t wait for all the viewers to see all the great auditions.
Louis Walsh: The talent has been great this year, every year I am surprised by the talent the UK has to offer.
Who are the ‘ones to watch’ this year?
Gary: The category to watch is the Overs. The Overs category hasn’t been taken that seriously in the last few years but it has turned into the biggest contender this year. The standard is superb.
Tulisa: The Groups this year are great. I think after Little Mix winning last year it’s made the Groups who have auditioned really up their game. There are also some great solo singers, but at this stage you can never tell who is going to go all the way to the Live Shows.
Louis: There are a number that I have my eye on but I’m not going to give away anything just yet!
Do you feel more pressure now from other shows who are finding new talent?
Gary: No I don’t and I think if there was any pressure it’s been dealt with as the talent we have seen this year has been unbelievable. I‘m so pleased as that was my one complaint of last year - I thought we were missing four or five better singers in our final 12. But this year is going to be amazing and the first live show is going to be unbelievable. We have all different types of singers as well so it’s going to be hard for viewers to choose who to vote for.
Nicole: No, I think it’s wonderful all these other shows are successful. It just shows that the UK has an appetite for these talent competition shows. The X Factor is different as we’re not just about finding a great voice, but that special Sparkle Factor too.
Tulisa: Not at all. There’s room for everyone on Saturday nights
What’s your golden rule that you’ll be telling each of your contestants?
Nicole: I just ask that their performances are honest and real. For that one song, to sing for their lives and to tell their story. And to have some fun while they’re doing it. Otherwise, why do it?
Tulisa: Work hard and rehearse constantly.
Louis: To always be professional and listen to all the advice you are given.
So that was the judges, but what are presenter, Dermot O'Leary's thoughts on the new series?
What has the talent been like so far this year?
Dermot: The talent this year has been incredibly good – there’s almost too much talent, if I can say such a thing! It’s going to be really difficult for the Judges.
What are your highlights from the past five years presenting The X Factor?
Dermot: Too many to list! Sharon Osbourne walking out in my first ever live show, that was one. The phenomenal Jedward. Wagner holding a picture of a lion. The moment you realise someone can be a star after a great performance. The Arena auditions, Olly Murs and Joe McElderry, and of course hosting the final at Wembley Arena – that was amazing. There are so many highlights for me.
Thank you to the team and everyone at The X Factor.
The X Factor starts Saturday at 8pm on ITV1.