X Factor 2016 six chair challenge: How it works and all you need to know

x factor 2017 six chair challenge - 11

With the auditions and bootcamp over it's onto the next stage of The X Factor 2016... the cruel six chair challenge.

When is The X Factor on next?

The X Factor six chair challenge will air in a double weekend special this Saturday and Sunday night on ITV.

The first episode begins on Saturday at 8PM and runs until 9:30PM while on Sunday we've got a two hour show from 7PM.

Don't forget there's Xtra Factor live straight after both shows on ITV2.

What are the judges' categories?

This year Louis Walsh has the Groups (gasp), Sharon the Overs and Simon the Girls, leaving Nicole with the Boys.

They got their categories just before the six chair challenge began filming and will be in sole charge of deciding who makes judges' houses with them.

How does it work?

Performances will take place at Wembley Arena with six chairs on the stage representing the spots at judges' houses.

The acts in each category will perform once, one after the other, for all the judges and a live audience having picked what they hoe is a killer song to get them through.

All the judges will comment - and you can be sure the audience will make their opinion known - but it'll be the mentor of that category who alone decides whether to give an act a seat or to send them home there and then.

However, even those given seats aren't necessarily safe. The mentors can chose to swap those in a seat out for another act if they feel others performed better.

Only once all the acts in the category have performed are the six in the seats finalised, with those lucky acts left sitting down through to the next round.

What's all this about a wild card twist?

There is reported to have been an extra twist this year with each judge being given the power to pick a wildcard act for judges' houses from those that didn't get a chair... for another category.

According to the Daily Mirror, Nicole will pick a wild card act for Sharon's Overs, Simon will choose one for Nicole's Boys, Louis will select one for Simon's Girls and Sharon will pick an act for Louis' Groups.

That means that each judge will end up flying seven acts out to judges' houses....

x factor spoilers six chairs

What happens next?

Each category will now go their separate ways with their mentor for judges' houses.

Nicole will be taking the Boys to France, Simon will fly the Girls to America, where Sharon and the Overs will also be going and finally Louis will host the Groups in Ibiza.

At judges' houses the acts in each category will be whittled down even further to give the finalists for the live shows.

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