X FACTOR judge Louis Walsh has splashed out a cool €10,000 on designer clothes to outshine rival judge Gary Barlow on the show.
The Herald can reveal that the Mayo pop mogul is determined to trounce rival Gary in the style stakes as tension heats up between them.
Last weekend saw Louis' act District 3 survive the tense deadlock after going up against the Take That star's contestant Melanie Masson.
The pair are barely talking after falling out over the first results show when Gary's act Carolynne Poole got the boot.
And Louis is taking no chances when it comes to letting the boy band singer steal a march on him when it comes to staying ahead on the show.
He has now ditched his trademark black suits in favour of bright Etro shirts and bespoke Gucci suits, with another shopping spree planned in London this Friday.
"I buy new clothes all the time as Gary's always got new outfits on. But he has this whole team of stylists helping him and picking out his clothes for him," he explained.
"I do it all myself. I'm low maintenance and I'm the only judge that turns up and just gets everything done without any fuss."
He's looking better than ever, thanks to his long-term make-up artist Anna Cash and his new fashion advisor Caroline who have helped him freshen up his look.
And Louis has insisted that it's all to play for over the coming eight weeks, given that he still has all three of his bands still in the contest, with Union J especially popular among viewers.
But in an interview with the Herald, he has pinpointed a few stand-out stars who appear to be leading the race from the start.
This weekend will see the 11 remaining acts taking on 'club classics', with producers hoping they'll pull in more than 10 million viewers again.
"I love Jahmene, he is just amazing for me. And James Arthur, I think he is brilliant, the real deal and I think he will be big no matter what happens in the competition," Louis continued.
"But Ella is the stand out favourite for me. She is brilliant. But then again The X Factor is a long road and anything can happen.
"It is rare that the favourite at the start wins the show. If you asked me in week two if Little Mix would win the show last year I would have laughed at you.
"Union J or District 3 will give any solo act a run for their money because we are going to get all the young girls voting. And they don't vote for other girls and they will vote loads of times."
He added: "I am the only Irish act on the show this year and I really want to get to the final. So I want Herald readers to get behind my groups and help me."