The bootcamp stages of The X Factor 2011 will feature a live audience, it has been revealed. The audience were ditched on from this stage on last year's show, but will return for this summer when the acts who have got past the judges travel to London to battle it out for a place at judges' houses.
Last year's bootcamp saw Nicole Scherzinger step in to replace an pregnant Dannii Minogue and a very poorly Cheryl Cole, who was suffering from malaria. ITV said at the time: "Due to the unusual circumstances, we are changing the format of bootcamp slightly this year and we will not be inviting an audience to watch the contestants being put through their paces."
This year's bootcamp, which will take place later this month, will be held at Wembley Arena in London and will see the 150-200 remaining acts in the four categories go through a grueling 'second audition' process with a fifth judge back to have their say.
Last year's contestants were asked to perform songs as groups, sing a song as chosen by the judges and show off their dancing skills with the show's creative director Brian Friedman offering the panel his advice.
What exactly is in store for this year's hopefuls, who'll face new panel Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Louis Walsh again, remains to be seen. A source said: "“There will be some big, exciting changes happening to this part of the new series."
We predict we'll once again be seeing some new groups formed.
But however the successful acts - 6-8 from each of the four categories - are picked, they will be assigned their mentors and jet off around the world (and to Ireland) to compete for a place in the live finals in front of some world class super stars.
Tulisa is said to be taking Cheryl Cole to Ibiza, Gary Barlow will be jetting his hopefuls off to LA with Robbie Williams, Beyoncé will be hooking up with Kelly Rowland in New York and Louis reportedly wants Sharon Osbourne back again!
Unfortunately for whoever ends up with Louis, tuneless twins Jedward are also rumoured to be helping him out. Let's hope those Celebrity Big Brother rumours are true, for the contestants' sake!
Of course, all this assumes Gary Barlow is still on the show. We reportedly earlier this week how the Take That star was close to quitting the show. “Gary is like a man on the edge,” a source revealed. “He seems overworked and tired and is increasingly snappy. He’s missing family and has been really short with Tulisa and Kelly at times.”