Louis Walsh: 'I always said to Simon if you want to find talent on X Factor you have to come to Ireland'
Louis Walsh has said he expects to find the next big thing at Dublin's X Factor auditions as Ireland has the most talented people.
Aspiring pop stars and legions of music fans turned out in their droves at Croke Park for the Irish round of the talent show auditions.
Music mogul Walsh (63) is joined by Simon Cowell and fellow returning judges Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger.
The last time Cowell and co came to the capital in 2010, One Direction's Niall Horan was discovered, and Mayo man Louis reckons that this year's batch of Irish hopefuls were "superb".
"I always say to Simon, if you want talent, then come to Ireland," Walsh told the Herald.
"We are a small island and we have the most talented people here. This is the second-last audition. There is another day in London, but the talent here has been superb."
The judging panel has suffered several line-up changes in recent years.
This year's series marks his return to the show after a dramatic exit from the series in 2014 after being reportedly sacked by boss Cowell.
However, many fans felt the show was not the same without Louis and he has returned, replacing radio DJ Nick Grimshaw.
Back in business with Osbourne and Scherzinger, the pop manager reckons this is the best line-up of all. FAVOURITE "I love them. They are my favourite judges in the whole world," he said. "It is the dream team. It's Simon, Sharon, Nicole and me and obviously Dermot O'Leary. We are looking brilliant."
When asked if he's looking for a solo star or the next big boyband, Walsh said all he wants to find is talent.
"I don't care as long as they are really good and are prepared to work hard."
Despite criticism from some who say the show has not produced enough successful winners, Louis said it all comes down to the exposure that being on The X Factor provides.
"We are looking for someone who can represent Ireland. This is a huge platform if you want to get a record deal. It's the best year yet for me."
Close pal Osbourne (63) said she was thrilled to be back on the panel.
"It is good to be back, it really is," she said.
"Working with your good friend, there is nothing like it, is there? I felt the timing was right to come back.
The TV veteran was looking forward to seeing what talent Dublin had to offer.
She and Walsh have been making the most of their time in each other's company again, with Osbourne joking they enjoyed a wild night before the auditions.
"You should have seen us last night," she said.
Scherzinger said she was looking forward to seeing the talent here.
"It is so exciting to be here. I can't wait to see the talent Ireland has," she said.