The X Factor auditions are set to take an unexpected turn after contestant Tom Bleasby dropped out of the competition last night.
The 19-year-old Leeds-born singer revealed that he’d chosen to withdraw ‘due to personal reasons’.
He told ITV: ‘I just don’t know if I felt vocally ready to take on the competition and the pressure.
‘I’m just going to be exploring different avenues, seeing where I want to take myself musically, maybe try writing a few songs – see what happens.
‘This isn’t the end, it’s just a new beginning. It just wasn’t right for me at this time.’
Viewers saw mentor Nick Grimshaw choose Tom as one of his final six boys during the super-tense Six Chair Challenge on Sunday night.
Tom initially lost his seat to Ben Clark but Nick changed his mind and swapped him with Nathanael Landskroner.
Nick’s since been supportive of Tom’s decision, Tweeting: ‘well done Tom for handling the pressure of the circus that is 6chair! and best of luck for the future x.’
After the Six Chair Challenge we’ll be off to Judges’ Houses. And THIS is where Cheryl Fernandez-Versini will be taking her X Factor contestants this year.
She recently captioned an Instagram photo of a stunning view from her window: ‘Rome. Room with a view #xfactor #judgeshomes #luckygirl.’
Lucky contestants, more like…!
Cheryl also uploaded images of a beautiful Italian sunrise and a silly-looking game she’d been playing with Xtra Factor host Melvin Odoom.
We can’t WAIT to see it all in action.
It’s interesting that Cheryl’s given us a glimpse of this house, considering recent reports that Judges’ Houses had been totally scrapped this series.
The X Factor has been all about switching things up in 2015. We’ve seen surprise backing dancers, live-tweeting to secure the judge’s categories, two new judges and even new hosts.
But, we have to say, we were completely shocked to hear about this supposed change.
A source told the Mirror: ‘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 – finding out whether they have made it to the live shows and learning who the final 12 are.
‘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.’
But it seems at least parts ARE being filmed abroad. Phew.
This year, viewers were able to assign the Girls, Boys, Groups and Overs categories to each individual judge, choosing between Cheryl, Rita Ora, Simon Cowell and Nick Grimshaw.
When we last saw Cheryl looking beautiful in Balmain at the official press launch, she hinted that she had one particular category she was hoping to get.
‘I have the girls all the time so likelihood is that the public aren’t going to give me the girls again. But they are killing it…’, she said coyly.
And now, the results have been announced.
Cheryl will mentor the groups for the first time, with Rita Ora overseeing the Girls, Nick Grimshaw the Boys and Simon the Overs. And let’s just say Cowell didn’t seem too enthused…
‘Wasn’t the category I was expecting. I did win last year with the Overs so I’m sure we will do great things this year,’ he tweeted.
The shows have now kicked off, but we were excited for the new series long before that due to the epic trailer that was released last month.
The clip has a really cool futuristic vibe, showing hosts Caroline Flack and Olly Murs preparing for work in a high-tech laboratory (while wearing lab coats, natch).
They’re heard saying that they can ‘finally reveal the secret formula of the new show’ before it cuts to new judge Nick Grimshaw, who’s, er, getting a chip implanted into his neck. As Cazza says: ‘He needs to be set up’.
These guys obviously have a sense of humour as Nick then starts talking in Louis Walsh’s voice, reciting the memorable words: ‘You look like a pop star, you sound like a pop star.’ Lolz.
But he isn’t too impressed, retorting: ‘This is last year’s chip, it’s the wrong chip.’
We then see Rita Ora entering Contestant Training Camp (?!) before we’re taken to undoubtedly the best part of the ‘lab’… the Chez-Bot holding lounge.
Yep. It turns out Cheryl is actually a highly-functioning robot with hundreds of clones. Unfortunately, one of them ends up malfunctioning while repeating her catchphrase: ‘I know exactly what you’re going through pet’. Oops.
Simon Cowell is also part of the commercial. He can be seen in something called the Superstar Scanner, although he ends up getting confused between the contestants on The X Factor and his other show Britain’s Got Talent.
All in all, it’s pretty cool.
One thing’s for sure when the programme does return – Simon and Cheryl will be a little kinder to each other.
While they’re still bickering, Cheryl has admitted that she’s toned things down a bit following the sad news that Simon’s mum recently Julie passed away.
‘Me and Simon are still rowing, but it’s playful. He knows which buttons to press,’ Cheryl tells The Sun.
‘We’d had a bit of a spat. But with everything that’s gone on with Simon [and his mum] I thought: ‘It’s not worth it’.’
We agree, Cheryl.
Watch The X Factor trailer below…