Tired of hearing tone-deaf talent show auditionees warble their way through the same old Adele, Snow Patrol and Amy Winehouse songs? Well, you might just be in luck.
In a move which will either turn out to be ingenious or utter car-crash TV, X-Factor bosses have announced that contestants will now be allowed to perform their own material, presumably as a reaction to criticisms that the show is merely glorified karaoke.
Let’s hope the standard is at least marginally better than the last time anyone was permitted to sing a brand new composition, which of course was Chico with that pop classic, ‘It’s Chico Time,’ back in 2005.
It’s not the only shake-up on the show, whose ninth series will kick off on Saturday. The age limit of the ‘Overs’ category has been raised from 25 to 28, apparently to accommodate an ‘overwhelming amount of amazing singers,’ while both the bootcamp stages and live final will be held outside London for the first time, in Liverpool and Manchester respectively.
Obviously the producers are aiming for a bit more credibility, but it will be interesting to see whether we’ll now get the next Gary Barlow or just the next David Sneddon.