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Following last years ratings disaster, The X Factor is hoping some old favorites can boost the flagging singing competition. Already announced as returning is former host Dermot O’Leary, who is to be joined by three ex-judges alongside Simon Cowell.

ITV, along with production companies Syco and Thames Television, have confirmed the return of Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh. In addition, to fend off the ratings draining away to rival Strictly Come Dancing, one of the fans’ favourite aspects of the show has been revived with the reintroduction of room auditions.

“I’m overjoyed about going back to The X Factor, sitting with Lou, Lou, gorgeous Nicole and naughty Simon. But most of all, I can’t wait to meet baby Eric.” – Sharon Osbourne

The judges’ auditions will begin on Friday June 10th at the home of the Premier League Champions, Leicester City’s King Power Stadium in Leicester. Renowned for her straight-talking, Sharon Osbourne was one of the original X Factor judges, appearing on the panel from 2004 to 2007 and then again in 2013. Of course, Sharon also has more than 30 years experience in the music industry, managing some of the biggest bands in rock.

Simon Cowell

Nicole Scherzinger was a judge on The X Factor in 2012 and 2013, securing victory in her first series with James Arthur. As a singer, Nicole has achieved global success, selling millions of records both as one of The Pussycat Dolls and then as a solo artist. Music manager Louis Walsh reprises his role on the panel, returning for a record-breaking 12th series as judge who just loves novelty act tat.

“He’d say otherwise but I knew Simon missed me last year! I’m delighted to be back on the panel especially beside my two favourite female judges Sharon and Nicole, and I’m looking forward to taking them all back to Dublin this year when we head there for auditions.” – Louis Walsh

The X Factor will return to ITV later this year alongside sister show, The Xtra Factor on ITV2. Artists discovered by The X Factor have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 200 No. 1s, making it the most successful show in history for finding chart superstars. This includes One Direction, who have sold 70 million records worldwide; Olly Murs who has achieved success with four multi-platinum albums and total sales of more than 16 million and Little Mix who have sold 15 million records globally.

Bookies William Hill however are not surprised by the return of former judges. Significant gambles had taken place on all three of Louis, Sharon and Nicole and their odds at the close of play last Thursday were 1/3, Evens and 2/1 respectively, joining Simon at 1/100. Given that Louis Walsh is known for his indecisive nature on the panel, it is 4/1 that a fifth judge is brought in for the live shows to prevent deadlock.

“There have been gambles on Louis, Nicole and Sharon at various intervals during the last couple of weeks and by the time we suspended betting at the tail end of last week, we had a pretty good idea who was going to be on the judging panel. 1D fans will be upset though given that Louis Tomlinson had been well backed when betting first opened although he appears to have missed the cut this time around.” – William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly

ITV will also be introducing former BBC One singing contest The Voice to its schedules in 2017.

Strictly Come Dancing V The X Factor (Failure)

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