ITV has confirmed that Sharon Osbourne is returning to The X Factor.
Sharon was one of the original judges alongside Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell (pictured below) from 2004 – 2007. Cowell’s decision to bring in Dannii Minogue saw the pair clash forcing Osbourne to quit. The confirmation comes following weeks of press speculation that she had signed a multi-million pound deal to re-join the judging panel for 2013.
“Three words I never thought I’d say…. Welcome back Sharon!” – Simon Cowell
Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and last year’s winning judge Nicole Scherzinger will also be returning along with host of the show, Dermot O’Leary. Louis Walsh revealed to RTE this week that he and Gary were returning, but was unsure who would be joining him.
This year hopefuls will first audition in a room with the judges. If they receive three or more yeses then they move into the arena to perform in front of an audience.
The changes come after ratings for the X Factor have continued to decline over recent years, being beaten by BBC One rival Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.
“We’re delighted to confirm our fantastic panel, who will bring an incredible combined wealth of experience to our 10th series of The X Factor. I know I speak for all of us when I say we’re looking forward to bringing viewers a brilliant series this autumn.” – Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television
James Arthur won the competition last year with his winning single ‘Impossible’ reaching number one in the singles chart and selling over 1 million copies. The final, held in Manchester for the first time, was the lowest watched X Factor final in several years with an average of just over 11 million viewers.
Simon Cowell announced on Monday the new line-up for the American version of the X Factor which airs on FOX. He will be joined by Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio.