X Factor 2017 lowers age limit to 14 as auditions kick off

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The age limit for The X Factor 2017 contestants has been lowered to 14.

The recent move is the first time that the age limit has been dropped since 2014.

Now you can apply for this year's series if you are 14 years old or over on the 1st June 2017, when previously you had to be 16.

"The X Factor has had a long history of teenage contestants really shining on the show," a source told The Sun newspaper today. “Look at Liam Payne, who was 14 when he first auditioned and that stood him in good stead when he returned in 2010.

“There are many talented youngsters out there and producers believe it’s time to give youth a chance again.”

However the lower limit has faced criticism in the past, including from former judge Cheryl.

She said when she was on the show in 2014: “I don’t think a 14-year-old needs that pressure on his shoulders. He’s got to do his GCSEs.”

Meanwhile, the news of the lower age limit comes along with a brand new way to audition for the show: via WhatsApp. Budding performers are being asked to start chats with The X Factor team and upload videos of them singing - You can get the details here.

As usual, you can also register to audition either in person at one of a number of cities in the UK or audition online by simply uploading a video.

As always, solo singers, duos and groups can all apply and as long as you're old enough there aren't really any other restrictions.

So if you think you've got what it takes you can apply right this second at application.xfactor.tv.

The deadline for online X Factor 2017 applications is currently set for 1 July 2017 at 23:59 GMT.

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