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X Factor judges spill backstage secrets from the new Celebrity series

The X Factor’s new Celebrity series begins tonight on ITV and it promises a lot of surprises.


A selection of the biggest names from the world of music, film, sport, television and social media will be leaving their comfort zones as they compete to win a life changing record deal.

It all begins with performances in LA as contestants battle to make it through the first stage and all the way to the live shows in London.

The Celebrity series sees Simon Cowell head up the judging panel alongside returning judges Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger.

Simon said of inviting Louis to come back (again): “We’re genuinely friends and that was part of the decision to have him on the show again this year.

“It wasn’t just the fact that he’s been on the show, it’s just that it reminded me, unlike other people, that managers can be great friends as well.

“Louis is a great guy. He’s a great friend. He’s gone away and has taken that time to remember what makes him tick, and that’s music.”


He added: “I think Nicole is great because the funny thing is everyone thinks that she’s super confident, but she’s not. She’s an incredibly dignified person.

“The thing with her as well is she’ll speak directly to the team rather than going through the press. It’s so rare to find that now, a million percent, she’s special.”

Nicole Scherzinger teased what we can expect from the series, revealing: “This one doesn’t have boot camp and all that jazz, and I loved that we just cut straight to the chase. I was really excited to see who the celebrities were going to be.”

She said of the first round of performances: “It was unlike anything I’ve ever done before, and I don’t think Simon’s ever done anything like that before, at least not on that scale. I know he did judges’ houses there last year but that was small compared to this!

“It was amazing, because here we are in his beautiful home, right there in Malibu, the setting couldn’t be any more divine.

“We had tables filled with people, most of them were my peers and my mentors. These were the biggest heavy hitters in the industry.

“And so when I was there, I felt even more at home, because I saw them and realised, ‘My friends are here!’ But at the same time, I felt a little bit of pressure as next I thought, ‘Wow, my mentors are here as well.’ It made us up our game. I just thought it was a brilliant idea.”


Nicole vowed she’d be as competitive as always, commenting: “You can’t take that out of me! I’m just going to be very supportive. This year I think the way Simon has done it is that we help them and support them. In the past when I did it, I was quite hands-on and did a lot. But I’m ready to see what they are going to bring to this show.”

Meanwhile, Louis said of his latest return to the show: “I am so glad to be back. I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had on The X Factor. It’s just different because it’s not the normal contestants, we have celebrities.

“Simon’s like a new person. He’s funny, he’s looking great, and I love Nicole. The three of us just sit there, we have fun.”

He continued: “Everyone’s going to be surprised. We were surprised. I mean, we had so many people to pick from. You know?

“We honestly thought that we might struggle to even like enough acts to take the right number to the live shows when in actual fact we struggled to decide who we weren’t going to take. I wanted to take them all! It was a fantastic problem to have!”


The X Factor 2019 launches Saturday night at 8:35PM on ITV.

Episodes will be available to watch online via the ITV Hub.