Saturday 20 January 2018

Take That Simon! Robbie joins Gary to select X Factor finalists

Gary Barlow chose Robbie Williams to help him decide on his final acts. Photo: Getty Images
Gary Barlow chose Robbie Williams to help him decide on his final acts. Photo: Getty Images reporters

Take That fans are in for a treat later this month when Gary Barlow is joined by Robbie Williams in the judges’ houses stage on X Factor.

Barlow has taken on the role of the judge contestants most need to impress, since Simon Cowell moved to the X Factor US. So far he has proved a major draw with viewers, with the series attracting 11 million viewers in its first three weeks in the UK.

The Take That songwriter, who is going to mentor the boys, chose Williams to help him decide his final acts, as Williams has been a fan of the show and has appeared on it several times performing.

Williams admitted: “I love The X Factor and I love the spectacle and being entertained but they haven't got the music right.

“I don't know if that's because of the X Factor people or if the pool of songwriters has dried up. But Gary knows what he is doing.”

Barlow said Williams was the obvious choice to be his adviser, but he was unsure if his band mate would agree.

Barlow explained: “He seemed like the obvious one. I knew he loved the show. He has done since day one. When we were on tour I asked him: 'I need someone for judge’s houses what do you reckon?' thinking he wouldn't be too into it. And he was like "please let me!’”

Filming is taking place this week and next at the judges’ houses, with the shows being shown later this month. Barlow, who is mentoring the boys’ category, makes his selection in LA, where Williams has a home in the Hollywood hills.

Barlow reveals he plans to give his group everything between now and through the live finals, and doesn’t believe judges invested much in their acts in previous years.

“I think you are going to see for the first time real mentoring going on. With time being put into these kids, and we are going to see a better quality of acts this year because of it.”

It is not known yet what groups are being mentored by other judges Louis Walsh, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos. In previous years Walsh was joined by Ronan Keating and Kian Egan at the judges’ house stage.

Last year he brought friend Sharon Osbourne with him to help choose his final group in Adare Manor in Limerick, where they selected Mary Byrne for his final four acts.

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