Louis Walsh has hinted that Nicole Scherzinger will not be returning to the X Factor next year.
He explained that he and Sharon had already signed on for the 2018 series - but Nicole hasn't yet.
Speaking to the Mirror, Louis said: "I'm signed for next year, so is Sharon. Let's see about Nicole."
He was then asked who else he'd bring in as a judge, he said: "I would bring in Mel B, I love her, she's a survivor. I love Nicole a little bit more.
"Nicole is my favourite female judge ever, she brings so much. I adore her, I love her more than she loves me. Seriously, she's just the best, she's amazing. She wants to win this year."
Nicole has hinted in the past that she's looking to leave the show soon, and explained that she wants to go back into singing herself.
She said: "I'm telling all these people on the show what they should be doing when I should be doing it myself.
"I really care and it's always a huge decision for me whether I come back or not because I know it's 100 per cent or nothing."
Simon is reportedly keen to get Cheryl Tweedy back on the panel, but apparently Louis and her have had a rocky relationship in the past. Louis has insisted that everything's fine, but Cheryl has not been as cute about him.
Speaking about the current X Factor panel, she said: "You've got some people that have experience everything in there, from being on stage to being the manager. And then you've got Louis."
This comes after X Factor fans were outraged during Saturday night's episode when Nicole Scherzinger booted one of the most popular contestants off the show in the six chair challenge.
Viewers were wowed with Talia Dean's performance, but the Overs mentor decided to replace her with Loverine Fermino, a 31-year-old singer from the Philippines, and was promptly booed by the audience.
Credit: The X Factor/ITV
Even Simon Cowell remarked: "That is crazy. That is madness."
"X Factor gets me so raging. Who does Nicole think she is choosing to swap talia like that I don't fucking think so," blasted one fan.
A second slammed: "The X Factor must be having a laugh. Talia canny be out [sic]?!"
However, the former Pussycat Dolls star was forced to bring back Talia following the constant booing and backlash from viewers.
Credit: The X Factor/ITV
Bringing her back hasn't stopped the critcism from fans though, as they have yet again been branding the show a "fix" following the brutal six chair challenge.
They took to social media to slam Nicole and the long standing talent show, and one fan posted: "X factor is a fix this year wtf is Nicole doing [sic]."
Another added: "Nicole no hun WYD how are u about to keep that guy w the ugly plait but get rid of that lil gem. cba ik x factor is a fix but cmon now [sic]."
"#SixChairChallenge @TheXFactor is so set up! As if that seat number 2 ain't as good as seat number 4 - Seriously," commented a third outraged viewer.
A fourth tweeted: "Biggest set up this programme. Talia was never going. F*cking with people's emotions though. Don't like that."
"This 6 chair challenge is f*cking ruthless! Why mess with people's emotions so much? #XFactor Just horrible," added a final fan of the show.
We usually have months of speculation as to who will be on The X Factor judging panel, but before this year's show has even got to the live stages, it looks like a decision for 2018 has already been made.
Louis Walsh has confirmed he and Sharon Osbourne have already signed up for next year.
Louis and Sharon are coming back next year (Credit: Wenn)
Speaking to The Mirror about retiring, Louis said: "I'll give up when she [Sharon] does. I love it, it's not like work. This is not like work, it's great fun.
"I'm getting paid to do something I love. I'm signed for next year already, so is Sharon. Let's see about Nicole."
This adds fuel to the rumour mill that Cheryl Tweedy is set for a permanent return to the ITV show next year.
Louis backs Nicole, but who does Simon want? (Credit: ITV)
Talking about who he would like to see replace Nicole, Louis explained:
I'm signed for next year already, so is Sharon.
"I would bring in Mel B, I love her, she's a survivor.
"I love Nicole a little bit more. Nicole is my favourite female judge ever, she brings so much. I adore her, I love her more than she loves me.
"Seriously, she's just the best, she's amazing."
But the decision isn't Louis' and Cheryl's other half Liam Payne has today told The Sun that Simon has already spoken to Cheryl about next year.
Cheryl will appear as Simon's guest judge in upcoming episodes (Credit: ITV)
“Cheryl and Simon spoke about her going back next year," he told The Sun.
"Obviously, Simon is desperate to get her back. Cheryl and Simon have such a lovely relationship."
If Cheryl does make a return to the judging panel, it'll mean being away from home – and Bear – a lot. But Liam insisted that he wouldn't mind.
“She’s got to do what she’s got to do," said the One Direction singer, 24, who himself rose to stardom on the singing show. "Honestly, she’s been so supportive of everything I’ve done so far.
“We’re all edging for her to get back to work, it’s just finding the right time and the right way to do things."
Of course, Cheryl getting her old job back will mean one of the current panel – Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne or Nicole Scherzinger – having to make way.
Someone on the current panel would have to make way (Credit: ITV)
That's not likely to go down well, especially since the chemistry between them has been pretty good over the past couple of years.
But as we all know, Simon's not shy when it comes to giving people the boot.
Liam himself rose to fame on The X Factor (Credit: ITV)
Tulisa, Caroline Flack and even Mr X Factor himself, Dermot O'Leary, can all vouch for that (though, of course, Dermy was soon welcomed back).
Cheryl may be flavour of the month with Simon Cowell, but one person who doesn't appear to be a fan of the Geordie star is Bruno Tonioli.
Earlier this week, the outspoken Strictly judge appeared on Celebrity Juice, where he was tasked with guessing which star Keith Lemon was impersonating.
Bruno spat: "Who's that [expletive, expletive]? Oh God, Cheryl Cole?" (It was actually Holly Willoughby, but that's unlikely to be of any comfort for poor Cheryl.Watch today's video round-up Latest News
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It’s getting a bit much when X Factor judges are almost as unrecognisable as the contestants they are judging.
I’m not sure many fans would know Nick Grimshaw if they fell over him in a cinema queue and the Radio 1 DJ has not exactly brought a much-need boost to Simon Cowell‘s ailing flagship, indeed there is already talk that his contract won’t be extended beyond the current season. It shows how much trouble a show is in when it’s actually weaker without Dermot O’Leary!
But audience figures aren’t bad, though I’d like to think a lot of that is down to the fact that word has got out about Louisa Johnson. Even former winners are now saying that the X Factor has run its course – established acts have long since said that winning a talent show doesn’t prepare you for the ups and downs of stardom – but maybe Louisa can save Simon’s bacon.
On all the evidence I’ve seen so far, the 17-year-old is already operating on an entirely different level to her wannabe rivals. She has power and confidence way beyond her years and it would already need a massive reversal in fortunes not to be involved in the season finale. The general 5/2 is reflective of her superiority as none of the female acts ensconced within Rita Ora‘s house are within screaming distance.
Of course, there could be a boy or band emerge in the coming weeks to capture the limelight. Che Chesterman (6/1 with Ladbrokes, bwin and Skybet) had Cheryl on her feet with his rendition of ‘ It’s A Man’s World’ but I can’t see how spending time at Grimshaw’s gaff is going to improve the Essex boy as a performer and there are still an awful lot of rough edges. 4th Impact (9/1 with Unibet, 888sport and bwin) undoubtedly have the ‘X-factor’ but that isn’t enough for talent shows nowadays and there doesn’t appear to be a lot left when you strip away their novelty.
Seann Miley Moore is 6/1 with bwin and his name couldn’t be any more ‘showbizzy’ – but, I ask you, who really spells Seann with a double ‘n’ and doesn’t anticipate some serious ribbing? And, on that theme, I also give you Keira Weathers (7/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power).
If they just gave the prize to Ms Johnson now, just think of all the Saturday nights we could have back to actually do something worthwhile!
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The X Factor 2017 judges kicked off this year's auditions in Liverpool this week.
Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger are all back on the panel this year after finalising deals.
Speaking at the try outs, Sharon said she was hoping for "loads and loads of talent".
“I’m looking for a great girl… a fabulous girl that’s got a great voice, no tits and ass, just somebody that’s really talented," Sharon explained.
She told the Press Association: I’d like to find somebody yes who is young, but very grounded and actually knows what they are doing and knows how hard this business is and has a great work ethic.
“Somebody that’s grounded but young.”
This year is the first time since between 2008 and 2010 that the panel has remained the same between series.
A source told The Sun newspaper: The chemistry was perfect last year, so it’s only natural to want to bring the same line-up together again.
“It’s usually hard to get people’s schedules to align but for the first year it has worked out."
The insider added: "The judges can’t wait to get started and have already been gossiping behind the scenes.”
It was previously confirmed that Dermot O'Leary will be back to host the show whil eITV2 spin-off Xtra Factor has been axed in favour of more online content instead.
Meanwhile, there's still time to audition for this year's series.
The age limit for The X Factor 2017 contestants has been lowered to 14 for this year's auditions. The recent move is the first time that the age limit has been dropped since 2014.
The news of the lower age limit comes along with a brand new way to audition for the show: via WhatsApp. Budding performers are being asked to start chats with The X Factor team and upload videos of them singing - You can get the details here.
Alternatively, you can audition online by simply uploading a video via the official X Factor applications website at application.xfactor.tv.
The deadline for online X Factor 2017 applications is currently set for 1 July 2017 at 23:59 GMT.
The X Factor 2017 will start on ITV later this year.Get the latest X Factor news Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Subscribe on YouTube Like on Facebook
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By Alice Vincent , Entertainment Writer
4:53PM BST 19 Aug 2015
You may think you know what to expect from Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, but the entire X Factor judging panel is getting a revamp this year. Here's what you need to know about the new judges shaping the destinies of ambitious hopefuls countrywide.Nick Grimshaw
Nick Grimshaw, 2015 X Factor judge Photo: 2015 Rex Features
BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show host, celebrity friend magnet, pal of other new judge Rita Ora.
Grimshaw, better known as "Grimmy", has his ear close to the ground of "the yoof" - he's brought down Radio 1's average listener age with his energetic morning patter and finger-on-the-pulse references. If he brings the same crowd to X Factor, it's likely Grimmy will be on the panel to stay. In contrast to the simpering calm his predecessor, Louis Walsh, brought to proceedings, Grimshaw will be a lively, energetic, and most likely funny addition to the panel.
He's not exactly a musician. Or, in fact, anywhere near being a musician. Nor is he a music manager. Grimmy certainly knows a lot about pop music, as his choices of what to play on Radio 1 demonstrate, but as for the business of making it, he doesn't have the most experience.
Who shall he be paired with?
Grimshaw and the Over-25s may seem odd bedfellows, but if anyone can make the older contestants - usually the reserve of Walsh or Sharon Osbourne - cool, Grimmy can.
Not all bad: odds at 9/4 to be the judge who loses all of his acts first.
"We're going to go and find a really good pop star and we'll be able to play them on the radio I guess."
Rita Ora, 2015 X Factor judge Photo: 2015 Rex Features
Kosovan/British pop star, actress of Fifty Shades of Grey fame, pal of Nick Grimshaw
If the judges were being hired based on their CVs, Ora would be a shoo-in: she's been recording music since 2012, experienced the industry's cruel rollercoaster and worked as a coach on X Factor's rival show, The Voice, last year. She's even had prior experience on X Factor, guest-judging the auditions three years ago.
As for what she'll bring to the panel, Ora isn't known for being shy, and is a proclaimed feminist. Perhaps she will team up with Cheryl, and put on a united front, rather than allowing comparisons to creep in. What is likely is some friendly chatter between her and Grimshaw - the pair are friends off-screen.
Awkwardly, Ora has never come in first place in the pop popularity contest. Despite releasing chart-topping hits and collaborating with pop princesses Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, the 24-year-old continues to attract a lukewarm reaction from the industry and media. One frequently cited example of this is the fact her plea to get 100,000 retweets to release new music resulted in a mere 2,000, a deleted tweet and then an explanation from Ora that she was "hacked". It's unlikely that this will impact on our viewing experience of X Factor, but may hold implications for the acts she manages.
Who should she be paired with?
Ora would know best how to guide the girls group.
Her chances of being the first judge to lose all of her acts are 11/4.
"I have as much right to be on that panel as everyone does"Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
Cheryl Cole, 2015 X Factor judge Photo: 2015 Getty Images
Former member of reality TV creation Girls Aloud, former WAG, tiny, wise Geordie X Factor judging veteran.
With Sharon Osbourne's return cut short (she only came back to the judging panel for one, glorious season), and Mel B kicked off after her stint in 2014, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has graduated to become the grande dame of the X Factor judges. She has the adoration of her public, a seemingly endless well of stylish outfits and a school of hard knocks background which shields her against Cowell.
Fernandez-Versini's fourth solo record, Only Human, paled in comparison to the success of her previous albums - although it still made the UK Top 10 - and she's possibly better known for her love life than her latest release, Almost Human. The tabloid media continue to pit her against Ora, which is probably fairly tedious for them both, too.
Who should she be paired with?
The groups, as someone who used to be in one. She successfully led Little Mix to victory in 2011. However, she has also had winning acts among the boys, too, with Joe McElderry.
There's a 5/2 chance she'll be the first to lose her contestants.Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell, 2015 X Factor judge Photo: 2015 Rex Features
Media magnate, pantomime villain of reality TV, white T-shirt fan
Simon Cowell owns X Factor, quite literally: his production company Syco Entertainment creates the show, and so he's laughing all the way to the bank. On top of that, the winner signs a deal with his record company, Syco Music afterwards. His eye for talent and strong connections mean he has launched the likes of One Direction and Olly Murs (who will co-present the new series) off the back of the show.
Is Cowell's Midas touch fading? X Factor's continually ailing ratings have led to increasingly desperate attempts to enliven the long-running show. Cowell hasn't applied this concept to his own brand, and has seemingly stuck with the same wardrobe and mean feedback shtick for the past decade.
Who should he be paired with?
Now a father to a little boy, it would be interesting to see how Cowell's paternal side plays out to the boys.
Cowell's the most likely to lose his acts first, with odds of 3/1.
"I feel both excited and nervous. It's going to be very different! Embrace the madness."
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