Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh have revealed they think The X Factor could be won by a group this year, for the first time in the eight year history of the show. Speaking on the red carpet of Wednesday's launch event, Tulisa said that groups in previous years had struggled to reach a large audience.
This year's new look panel all have years of experience with bands. Louis Walsh has managed two of the biggest boy groups in UK history, as well as managing the early years of Girls Aloud and former X Factor judge Cheryl Cole.
Gary Barlow meanwhile is the front man of the world's biggest man band, while Kelly Rowland achieved worldwide fame as part of trio Destiny's Child before breaking out as solo star.
Finally, 23-year-old Tulisa has been a part of hip hop group N-Dubz since the age of 11. She said: I think the problem is you need that group who reach out to everyone, young and old. But I think it's possible."
Louis Walsh added: "There's always been great groups, but I think the groups this year are going to be better than ever. I think a group could win this year."
Kelly Rowland meanwhile revealed the panel were "shaping" up the category to make sure the best talent made it through to the judges' houses stage.
She said: "The overs are phenomenal! The females category are phenomenal! The guys… phenomenal!” a somewhat hyperactive Kelly revealed ahead of the first screening.
“The groups… we’re still shaping it up…” she continued, quickly adding: “But it’s looking phenomenal!”
The X Factor 2011 starts tonight at 8PM on ITV1.
PIC: Copyright ITV/Syco/Talkback Thames