X Factor 2014: 5 things we know and 5 we don't

Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell

The X Factor may not be back on our screens for more than six months but we're already excited for the new series.

There's already been plenty of speculation, rumours and gossip about the eleventh series and that's all before the first open auditions kick off next month.

But what do know for sure and what's still up in the air?

What we know...

 

Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole are back

Of course! “There’s only so much begging one can take. It’s not nice to see a grown man cry,” Cheryl joked earlier this month. With Simon revealing it took 2,000 calls to get her back, Cheryl added: “If you’d asked me the previous two years I’d have said, ‘Absolutely not’. This year it just feels right.”

Dermot O'Leary is back too

For the fifth year, Dermot will be back in charge of hosting the main show and it's no real surprise: There is no one else we can even imagine that would be able to do as good a job!

The double-audition format returns

Last year's audition format is set to remain: Hopefuls will first sing for the judges in the small judges' rooms and those that get three or more yeses will progress through to the arena auditions.

'Professional' acts can once again apply

This year The X Factor auditions are open to those acts who already have management teams, much like The Voice UK. Cheryl Cole confirmed in a tweet last week: "Sooo.. Who’s coming to audition for us @TheXFactor? Even if you have representation make sure you apply"

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The bootcamp twist will stay

Last year’s bootcamp format, which saw the acts chosen for judges’ houses on stage with six chairs, will remain. This means that the judges will get their categories as soon as auditions finish.

And what we don't...

 

Is Louis Walsh on The X Factor this year?

Louis Walsh's X Factor future is a bit blurry right now. As of writing there's no official word on whether the Irish music will be back, although sources have claimed Louis is confident about returning for what would be his eleventh series.

The mystery fourth judge

The fourth judge - assuming there actually will be one - appears to be up in the air. Several names have been linked from past stars such as Sharon Osbourne to new faces like Black Eyed Peas' Fergie, Ellie Goulding and LMFAO's Redfoo. Cheryl is reportedly tipping hitmaker Sia while Simon is said to be keen on Rita Ora. It really could be anyone at this point.

Xtra Factor 2014 presenters

The presenters on the Xtra Factor are not yet confirmed. Matt Richardson said: "It’s one of those things that you don’t know until quite late – that’s just how they operate.

“I had loads of fun doing it. It was such a fun six months, so I would do it again, but it’s kind of hard to work out if they want you or if people liked you and stuff. So I’m not sure. It’s their decision – if they ask me, I’ll say yes!”

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Will ratings improve?

The X Factor is still one of the biggest TV shows around but in recent years viewing figures have gone down. X Factor boss Simon admitted he hoped to change that this year and once again beat Strictly Come Dancing in the Saturday night ratings battle.

"Of course ratings are important. If we're second to Strictly, I'm not going to lie, I'll be disappointed," he said.

Will it actually be any good?

The killer question and one we probably won't know the full answer to until Christmas time. For us the series is shaping to be a fun one with the return of Simon and Cheryl but it's going to be the choice of acts that ultimately makes or breaks the show.

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