'Grimmy didn't work, let's be honest' - Louis Walsh on his return, with Sharon Osbourne, to X Factor
After months of speculation, Louis Walsh has finally confirmed he's gearing up for an X Factor comeback.
Speaking on the Late Late Show on RTE One on Friday he said, "I might be [back] and I should be and I probably will be but I actually haven't signed my contract yet."
Louis revealed he had met with Simon in LA last week while Simon filmed America's Got Talent with Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum.
The Mayo music man had a year off from the show after being axed ahead of last year's disastrous series which instead featured Nick Grimshaw on the judging panel with Cheryl Fernandez Versini, Rita Ora, and Cowell.
On Cheryl's recent announcement that she won't return this year, he said, "I didn't say I'm delighted but she's gone. Grimmy's gone - he didn't really work out."
Louis revealed that neither he nor Sharon Osbourne have signed their contracts yet for the upcoming series although he says the reality show star and wife of Ozzy Osbourne will be back.
Sharon judged on four series of the show until 2008 when she was replaced by Cheryl.
"I had a good year off," said Louis. "I think the best year was to not be there and be missed. It was a really good move. Grimmy didn't work, let's be honest.
"I think they want the fun back and I think Sharon and I bring a lot of fun. She's not afraid of Simon. There's always tension between those two. He cannot control her because she doesn't know what she's going to say herself until she's on it."
Auditions for X Factor take place at the 3Arena in Dublin next Sunday and Louis says he's hoping to find Irish talent to take through to the live shows.
"I want to get somebody great from Ireland this year. I want to find somebody great from Ireland and get them on the show."
- X Factor 2016 auditions taking place at 3Arena Dublin next month as Dermot O'Leary and room auditions return
Louis speculated that Rita Ora may return to the judging panel or she should be replaced by Nicole Sherzinger who previously judged on the panel alongside Louis and Sharon.
With Nick, Olly, Caroline, and now Cheryl Fernandez Versini all bowing out after what was deemed a hugely disappointing series last year, it looks like Cowell is getting back to basics.
The room auditions will also return this year, saving auditionees the trauma of having their first audition in front of a baying arena audience. However, it is expected that the controversial Six Chair Challenge will remain.