Sunday 11 December 2016

X Factor in disarray as Simon Cowell cancels plans for live judges’ houses

Albertina Lloyd

Published 16/09/2015 | 09:40

X Factor judges (left to right) Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell for the ITV1 talent show. Picture: SYCO/THAMES TV
X Factor judges (left to right) Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell for the ITV1 talent show. Picture: SYCO/THAMES TV
Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini
Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw, Caroline Flack and Olly Murs arrive for the X Factor auditions at the SSE Arena, Wembley

The X Factor bosses have had to abandon plans to broadcast the judges' houses round live, after realising it would be a technical nightmare.

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The contestants who compete at the judges' houses stage will still find out if they have got through to the finals of the ITV show during a live broadcast from Wembley, but their performances in front of the judges at various luxurious locations around the world will now be pre-recorded.

An X Factor source told the Press Association: "We've always planned to have a live element to judges' houses, to give it more tension and drama. The biggest part of the show is the contestants' reactions.

"Now that we are finalising our plans this will all happen live from the studio in Wembley with all the judges and the contestants together, along with their friends and family.

"For the rest of the show we are going to pre-record the contestants performing on location, as logistically and technically this will give us the best show for viewers."

Bosses backtracked on their original plan to broadcast the entire judges' houses stage live after realising all the logistical and technical issues that could have gone wrong.

The contestants often perform outside in the exotic locations, and in the past the weather has delayed filming.

Last year Louis Walsh's Bermuda location was hit by storms, while heavy wind disrupted performances at the house in France used by Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. Two years ago filming for Gary Barlow's round in New York was disrupted by traffic noise.

Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini
Cheryl Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini

Satellite link-up delays could also have caused a problem on the night.

And if the 12 finalists had performed live at the judges' houses stage, they would have been returning to the UK the same week as the first live show, meaning those at long haul destinations would have had less rehearsal time.

Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw, Caroline Flack and Olly Murs arrive for the X Factor auditions at the SSE Arena, Wembley
Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Rita Ora, Nick Grimshaw, Caroline Flack and Olly Murs arrive for the X Factor auditions at the SSE Arena, Wembley

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