The X Factor 2011: Why the new panel may just not be totally awful

The X Factor

As confirmed by ITV earlier this week, The X Factor 2011 panel will consist of Take That singer Gary Barlow, N-Dubz singer Tulisa and US star Kelly Rowland, a line up which has drawn many complaints and criticism. However looking at the our new panellists we think that the line up could, on paper at least, be actually quite good.

First up we have Simon Cowell's replacement in Gary Barlow, who just like Cowell has worked behind the scenes and owns his own label. Gary however goes further than Simon in his expertise because as well as running a label, Gary also writes and performs music. Here we have quite possibly the most talented reality telly judge on UK screens and someone who is sure to give invaluable insight and critique.

The problem? Gary isn't exactly the most exciting person in the world. With labels such as bore, monotone and no personality attached to him it’s perhaps understandable why Gary Barlow's solo career away from Take That faltered. However we think the other, much more vocal, judges will allow Gary to take a more backseat position, whilst still heading up the panel.


Replacing Cheryl Cole was never going to be easy and it's hard to come up with anyone who is talked about as much as the Girls Aloud star. Even after jetting off to the states to work on The X Factor USA, the 'Promise This' singer is still on the front-pages of the tabloids daily. The person who bosses have seemingly chosen to replace her is N-Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos and we think she could be a surprisingly good choice.

Admittedly things don't look too good to Tulisa right now, the reaction to her being a potential X Factor judge hasn't been all that positive, however this criticism is somewhat inevitable. When Simon Cowell first revealed he was putting Cheryl Cole on the panel back in 2008 reaction was similarly mixed, with the chart topper then having a reputation as being rude and loud mouthed, following numerous feuds in the papers.

Tulisa is currently plagued by a similar reputation, with a number of controversies involving both herself and her group N-Dubz. Just like Cheryl before her though, it's possible for Tulisa to win over the public. At the end of the day the 22-year-old has one thing over her predecessor: She can sing, live and actually pretty well. Tulisa also has song writing credits and, perhaps most interestingly, has happened to have previously worked with Gary Barlow on tracks for N-Dubz' records.

X Factor 2011 judges mockup

The third and final new judge is US star Kelly Rowland, expected to take the seat of Dannii Minogue. At the age of 30, Kelly fills the need for an experienced performer in the panel - but unlike Dannii, one thing that she has to her advantage is still being relevant in the charts. Minogue's last top 10 hit was more than 6 years ago back in 2004, while Kelly is still regularly in the charts with her last top 10 hit being last autumn with the brilliant 'Commander'.

One thing this trio bring to the show as a whole, along with Louis Walsh, is a very good mix of music and genres. We have Gary Barlow strongly representing for pop, Tulisa taking care of hip-hop and grime, Kelly Rowland handling R&B and dance whilst Louis Walsh is still able to force the dreary ballads on any boy groups he sees fit.

The decisions on who to cast for reality tv series have always been surprising, who would've thought in 2000 that that casting of an unknown Sony Music Executive for Pop Idol would eventually lead to Simon Cowell becoming the music mogul he is today? Cheryl Cole's similar tale from nightclub brawler to nation's sweetheart also shows just how such a huge show can change people's opinions, and while we're not going to suggest the likes of Tulisa will ever reach the heights of Cole, there's certainly the potential for a good tv show in this line up.

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