Louis Walsh is returning to The X Factor 2016!
The new series of The X Factor will see pop sensation Nicole Scherzinger, rock royalty Sharon Osbourne and The X Factor creator and music mogul Simon Cowell all reunited on the judging panel.
Louis has been revealing why he’s returned and why he’s always wanted Rylan to present The Xtra Factor.
How did Simon convince you to come back?
Simon and I talk all the time, we’re always good friends and even last year during the show I would call him up and he would just laugh at me every night. I have a very honest relationship with him, he’s not going to get anyone to be as honest and as hard working as me, let’s be frank.
Has Simon asked you to tone down how critical you were of last year’s show?
Simon never tells me to tone it down because I can only be myself. Simon’s himself, I’m myself and that’s what makes the show good. You can only be yourself because people can see through it otherwise.
A lot of fans started calling for your return, how did that feel?
I know, but I didn’t start that campaign, it had nothing to do with me, honestly! I am just a small part of a big show. You need the right panel, this year we have the best panel – Simon, Sharon, Nicole and me. We’re all friends and we’re not afraid to say whatever we feel, and that’s what makes the show good. We all have opinions, we’re all egotistical, some more than others!
The panel has an average age of 55, does age matter?
No, that just means we have a lot more experience. You can have young people on the panel but they’ve had no experience. I’ve dealt with record companies, I’ve dealt with artists, tours and all that stuff. So has Sharon, Simon and Nicole, we’ve been around the block and we know what it takes. We know it’s not a nice business so we know when someone has the X Factor or not. That’s experience, you can’t buy that.
Are you and Sharon being naughty again?
We’re not laughing together just yet because everyone’s getting on so well, it’s all four of us, we’re very much a team this year.
Are you pleased Nicole chose The X Factor over other projects she was offered?
Nicole made the right decision. Cats on Broadway or X Factor? The X Factor wins. She can do Cats on Broadway in 20 years time because she will still be gorgeous.
One contestant who’s had a very good career off the back of this show is Rylan, who’s back on The Xtra Factor Live…
He’s back again! I’ve been trying to get him the gig since day one, did you know that? Rylan is back, I think he’s so entertaining, funny and he’s intelligent, and he wears an awful lot of make-up – what’s not to like! Simon doesn’t really know Rylan because he wasn’t on the show when Rylan was on, so I kept telling him he had to hire Rylan.
I think The Xtra Factor this year is going to be the biggest and best it’s ever been. I love the two presenters, Matt and Rylan, and Rylan’s teeth, he’s got bigger teeth than Simon!
How do you rate the talent this year?
What I have seen this year is a handful of great people. I want to see how they are going to progress from now, have they got that determination? You can be the best singer in the world but you’ve got to have the ambition, determination and what I call the live-ability.
Fans can look forward to a group of drag queens, what did you make of them?
We had some drag queens who looked like the Spice Girls or maybe Girls Aloud! They couldn’t sing so they reminded me of those two groups!
What state is the music industry in right now and can you see any gaps in the market for The X Factor winner?
The X Factor is the best launching pad because people watch it all around the world. It’s not just One Direction, there are so many people who have had careers out of The X Factor.
They didn’t have to win but they got record deals, it gives people a chance that they wouldn’t have otherwise, that’s what I love about The X Factor.
The X Factor returns on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August at 8pm on ITV.