The X Factor 2011 auditions 'biggest ever', says Dermot O'Leary

Dermot O'Leary

It seems as though this year's new X Factor judging panel isn't putting off X Factor wannabes, with host Dermot O'Leary saying this year the auditions have been the biggest yet. Speaking to Closer magazine, the telly presenter said the auditions had attracted the largest crowds ever and seen a range of characters!

Auditions have been held across the country in large arenas over the past month, with the show making its first ever stop in Liverpool two weeks ago.

Thousands of singers - some shockingly brilliant and others just plain shocking - went in front of the new judges: Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland, as they joined Louis Walsh on this year's panel.

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"We’ve already started filming the auditions for the latest series and so far they’ve been really good," Dermot told the magazine earlier this year.

“There’s already a huge range of characters and we’ve had our biggest ever crowds turning up to be in the audience. I can see there being more boy bands, like One Direction, but also loads of girl bands.”

Despite many fears over this year's big changes, including how well it will hold up with the departure of some of the judges, Dermot was convinced the programme was safe for now. “I think it’ll keep going, at least for the moment," he said.

The X Factor host previously praised the new panel, describing Take That star Gary Barlow as "extraordinary".

"We had a situation. There was one line where we couldn’t believe he said it where a woman came on and she finished singing and she wasn’t even that bad and Gary says, ‘I’ve just got one question to ask. Have you always been a woman?’ It was genius,” Dermot explained.

He added: “I thought, ‘I can’t believe you’ve said that’. It was brilliant. The thing about Gary is there is no way you can turn around and say, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about’ because he’s Gary Barlow.”

The X Factor 2011 is expected to start on 20 August.

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