The X Factor 2018 looks set to be the most competitive series yet among the judges – with Louis Tomlinson predicting a “dog eat dog” rivalry.
Over the years, the ITV show’s ever-changing panel has clashed on everything from staging to song choices to voting results.
And it seems the tension will build further during the latest run – as its three new judges vow to do whatever it takes to triumph.
One Direction star Louis says he’s “in it to win it”, and will draw on the “resources and experience” he’s gained to make it happen.
“I’m really competitive, I really am,” he revealed. “I hadn’t really thought about it until the last couple of days of auditions.
“It was only then that it dawned on me that this is a competition and I’d like to win it!
“I’ve been all nice and friendly with the other judges until now. Now I reckon it’s on and I’ve got a good chance of winning. It’s dog eat dog out there.”
Meanwhile, Ayda Williams has warned the panel to beware the “underdog” as she fights to prove herself to viewers questioning her place on the show.
“My message to the other judges is watch out! I’m coming for you like a hungry wolf, don’t underestimate me,” she vowed.
“It’s the year of the woman, dude. I’m going to give these boys the biggest surprise of their lives.
“They think they’ve got it because they were in Take That or One Direction or have been running the show for 20 years. No, the underdog is coming to take the prize!”
As for her husband, pop superstar Robbie Williams, his message is simple.
“Am I confident I can win? Give me any category and I’m confident I can win!” he exclaimed.
Presenter Dermot O’Leary, an impartial observer, is also expecting a close contest, noting that all three newbies will “really want to win on their first year”.
“I’d say right now no one’s that worried, but I think when it kicks in Robbie’s ego will,” he said.
“Louis is not going to just want to be a slouch, is he? Then the boss [Simon Cowell] always wants to win everything.”
The drama begins this weekend with the first two helpings of arena auditions.
The X Factor 2018 kicks off tomorrow and Sunday at 8.00pm on ITV.