The X Factor returns for its 12th year this coming Saturday and it feels like there has never been so much scandal or anticipation around an upcoming series in a long time, mainly because Simon Cowell has been pretty vocal about shaking things up this season, so much so that we are pretty convinced he may just have thrown the baby out with the bath water. (The baby being Dermot O'Leary... or maybe Louis would be more fitting in this analogy).
So will this series hook us in and be the game-changer Simon hopes it will be? Well let's take a look at some of the biggest changes in store.
1. New Judges.
Have to start here really, don't we? After a staggering eleven years on the show, Louis Walsh has hung up his judge's boots. Or else they were thrown after him out the door, who knows. This doesn't bode well for our Irish acts as we all know he was pretty loyal to us no matter how crap we were.
He is being replaced by BBC radio DJ Nick Grimshaw, who we are pretty confident is going to annoy us more than 'Schermazing Nicole' but sure we will give him a chance.
Mel B has also been shown the X Factor door with her replacement being chart-topping singer Rita Ora, who jumped ship from The Voice UK so we can already guess what we can expect there.
2. New Hosts
Alas, this season we have bid farewell to the heart of X Factor in our opinion, as Dermot O'Leary left the show after 8 years. What are we going to do without that little spin of his as he tells us 'Our Saturday night starts here!'??
However we do think that Olly Murs and Caroline Flack are worthy replacements, they seem to have good craic together and they already know the ropes from their Xtra Factor days.
3. New Xtra Factor Hosts
Speaking of Xtra Factor, the spin-off show also has two new hosts. Sarah-Jane Crawford left the show earlier in the year and has been replaced by Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom.
For those that don't recognise the names, Rochelle Humes is formerly of The Saturdays and has had a few TV presenting stints in the last few years including co-hosting the BBC's Children in Need telethon with Terry Wogan, and most recently presenting ITV series Ninja Warrior UK. She's also married to Marvin Humes of JLS. While Melvin Odoom is a British comedian, radio host and TV presenter.
4. No More Closed-Room Auditions
Previously in X Factor world, the opening weeks were given to closed-room auditions, before they moved onto the arena, which was brought in a few years back on the show. Now however they are scrapping the room auditions altogether, with Simon saying recently; “There’s a different energy this year. I can’t explain it. I have felt relaxed and I think getting out of those small rooms made a big difference: I don’t like those little auditions, they drive me nuts."
5. Acts Can Now Have Backing Dancers, Even dogs and Cats in Auditions
It could get pretty hectic on stage this year as Simon announced that acts can basically bring whoever the hell they want up on stage with them in the audition process.
Cowell said: "We basically said to ourselves that we shouldn't apply any rules to the auditions. If they want dancers, this or that, dogs, cats – well, I don't care about cats – but you can do what you want. A couple of auditions I have sat there and thought how I have never seen anything like it on this show. They have really put the effort in; I think it's made the show better."
We'll be the judges of that, Simon!
6. Boot Camp is Moving to a Mansion in the Country
It seems Simon also has plans to spice things up this year as he moves Boot Camp to some mansion in the country, reportedly in the hope that it will bring a bit of drunken debauchery and scandal into the mix with the contestants. The divil.
7. The Judges Houses Will Be Live
This is a very interesting development... while also sounding like a technical nightmare. Previously the judges houses part of the show had been pre-recorded but now it looks like this nail-biting climax to the show will be coming to us live in our sitting room. Pretty huge risk to take but if they pull it off it will make for great TV. Imagine Rylan's meltdown live?? Exactly.
8. Viewers Will Choose What Groups the Judges Get
This is the most recent change as it's emerged that us lot at home can vote for who will be mentoring what group as opposed to Simon Cowell deciding. Apparently it's set to involve a lot of emojis and hashtags too. What a time to be alive.
9. The Rugby World Cup is Going to Mess with Scheduling
While we have all become accustomed to the format of recent years of having the performances on a Saturday night and the results show on a Sunday, it seems the Rugby World Cup will disrupt that.
ITV have secured the rights to show the matches which means once the World Cup starts on 18 September - all the way up to 31 October - there will be some weeks where we will get a bumper Sunday night show with the performances and results airing on the same day. That sounds pretty good to us but no doubt Simon probably tried to have the World Cup cancelled when he heard.
10. Epic Voice-Over Guy Peter Dickson Has Gone
This one cut us deep. The literal voice of X Factor has upped sticks and left the show. Peter Dickson announced earlier in the summer that he was leaving the show after eleven years, which means we will no longer hear his famous voice when introducing the acts. (Ollllly Muuuurssss!!) Devastating altogether. No word yet as to who will replace him, but we already don't like them.