X Factor 2017 contestants encouraged to perform original songs

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The X Factor 2017 hopefuls are being encouraged to perform original songs this year.

The auditions for the new series start this weekend and it sounds as though we could be seeing an end to the Adele covers.

“I think people want the most authentic experience possible and with that in mind this year Simon and the judges have been encouraging contestants to come with their original tracks,” host Dermot O’Leary says. “I think that comes from a girl on America’s Got Talent who sang original songs all the way through the competition and won.

“It just goes to show that it can happen. So I’m all for it, I think it’s a really good idea. I think it’s important that the acts pick their own songs and then stand by whether they made the right decision.”

He explained: “That’s such a gamble to use an original track, especially in the early stage of the competition because you’re performing for an audience that have never heard the song before.

X Factor 2017 judges
X Factor 2017 judges

“It can go well. Or it can go really badly. If the song doesn’t connect, you’re in trouble. But what it does is encourage more originality. That’s something I have seen evolve on the show.”

One of those singing for the judges came with a self-penned track all about Dermot himself.

“Oh my god, that was a totally awkward moment for me, stood with his mum just watching him sing a song about how much she (his mum) likes me,” he recalls. “It was flattering but a little bit odd. I guess that’s the evolution of my career though, listen, as long as someone likes you! It might not be the daughters anymore but it’s nice to be liked by the mums!”

Meanwhile, Simon Cowell himself said of encouraging original material: “When they are good song writers you have to encourage that, 100%, otherwise it’s just karaoke.

“I have to be careful what I say because I have learnt through the years that whatever you do, other people copy you. You hope that whatever we do other people don’t copy; we try not to copy what other people are doing. If we’re doing original material then you’re going to see it turn up on other shows. It’s one of those things.”

And Nicole Scherzinger added: “If someone’s written a hit that’s going to blow everyone away then even though it’s a risk to take, sometimes that’s what it takes to stand apart from the rest. I feel like if we do make
that decision then we will utilise it in the right way and we can make some really magical moments.

X Factor 2017: Nicole Scherzinger.
X Factor 2017: Nicole Scherzinger.

“I think that it could take the show to the next level; we can even have some viral moments on the show because of that. The other day a contestant, sang an original song that made me cry like a baby and I wanted to buy it right then, I wanted to download it right then and listen to it on repeat. That’s talent.”

Sharon Osbourne agreed: “There’s really nothing like it when you’ve got someone coming in and they have the courage to sing a song of their own that you’ve never heard. All they know is that they’ve put their heart and soul into but they don’t know whether it’s a hit or not.

“They have the courage to come on this show with a brand new song and that’s so exciting for me. It’s opened up the doors for so many more people who don’t want to sing other people’s songs.”

The X Factor returns to ITV on Saturday 2nd September and Sunday 3rd September at 8pm.

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