Simon Cowell welcomes foreign hopefuls to The X Factor 2016 auditions

New series features a few international acts hoping to make it in the UK

Simon Cowell (X Factor 2017 judges)

Simon Cowell has revealed that a few foreign acts auditioned for the judges on The X Factor UK 2016.

The ITV talent contest is known to welcome international talent - notably Italian Andrea Faustini, who came third in the 2014 series, and Filipino girlband 4th Impact, who came fifth last year.

Some new globetrotting wannabes are hoping to follow in their footsteps this year - and Simon has welcomed them with open arms.

"I always say that if you don’t like people then you honestly can’t do this show," he commented. "I like the fact people fly in from everywhere because they want to be on the British show. I take it as a bit of a compliment.

"That makes it, for me, more interesting. People ask why we would have people on from another country, and I say, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’."

Simon's other big show Britain's Got Talent often attracts controversy for featuring acts from other countries, with some arguing it should live up to its name by sticking to British talent.

The issue remains a sticking point after voters said yes to Brexit - but despite the tense political atmosphere, Simon reckons the UK isn't in a state of "doom and gloom".

"What [The X Factor] does stand for is that there are no rules, and what’s important, is we actually welcome anyone on this show," he said. "Literally anyone.

"Do you know what the great thing about the public is? They are fair. Whether you are English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, or from somewhere else in the world, if you’ve got talent they will vote for you."

The new series of The X Factor kicks off on Saturday and Sunday at 8.00pm on ITV.

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