Gary Barlow has admitted that there is competition in "every category" this year.
The Take That star has been put in charge of the Overs for this year,'s series, and declared today: “There is no question about it, this year this category is being taken seriously."
In a swipe at a certain Irish X Factor judge, Gary added: "In past years when I’ve seen talented people be put aside for the characters it always upset me, so this year is going to be the word for the overs.”
Gary claimed that he was nervous about contestant sin all of the rival categories, but the groups in particular worried him.
“I was watching judges houses and I seem to remember from the auditions there was no groups this year but all the groups were great," he said. "I couldn’t pick last year, I can’t pick this year.”
And Gary refused to comment on Rylan Clark when quizzed on This Morning earlier today, instead campaigning for viewers to vote back his wild card entry Christopher Maloney back into the competition.
[cat c="the x factor"]The X Factor UK[/cat] live shows start this Saturday night on ITV1, with the results show following on Sunday night with guest performances from Ne-Yo and Leona Lewis.