X Factor 2012: 'Overs the strongest category' claims Gary Barlow

Gary Barlow (X Factor 2012)

X Factor 2012 judge Gary Barlow has claimed that the Overs category are the strongest this year.

With the Take That star rumoured to have been put in charge of the group, it's no surprise to hear him singing their praises.

This year will see the Overs category have a change of age limits, with it now including those acts over the age of 28 as opposed to 25 as in last year's series.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Gary also downplayed the groups category, claiming they were the weakest.

"There are two fantastic groups but on the whole the groups are the weakest," he said. “The over-28s are actually very strong this year.

“The talent all round is much stronger but I would ­definitely say the overs and the girls are the stand-out categories.”

New judge [tag]Nicole Scherzinger[/tag] however remains the favourite to win the new series.

The former Pussycat Doll is rumoured to be in charge of the usually successful boys category, and the bookies give her a 6/4 chance of being crowned the winning judge in her full series début.

However, after winning last year Tulisa won't be willing to relinquish her title any time soon and she's breathing down Nicole's neck at 7/4 to win with the girls in 2012.

It's 4/1 that Louis and the groups make it back-to-back victories for a band, but it's not looking good for Gary Barlow as the 5/1 outsider to be the first mentor to win with an over-age contestant since Steve Brookstein back in 2004.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: "Scherzinger's already got her claws on the winner.

"History shows that the boys always do well and we expect this year to be no different with Nicole in charge of them."

> The X Factor 2012 spoilers: Judges' categories revealed!

The X Factor airs on ITV1 later this year.

Get the latest news

Subscribe on YouTube