Gary Barlow was understandably absent from yesterday’s X Factor press launch in London. Which meant he missed out on watching the first episode with his co-judge’s Nicole Scherzinger, Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh (more on that later).
Instead, Gary will see the show for the first time at 8pm on Saturday night,
“Thanks for all the support,” the Take That front man has said. “I'll be watching the show at home on Saturday with my family and I know you're going to love it.
“The talent is amazing this year,” Gary added, “and I'm looking forward to working with and mentoring my acts at judges homes and on the live shows.”
The launch – the judges watch the show
While Gary is spending time with his family, the rest of the judges (plus Dermot O’Leary, Caroline Flack and, er, Sinitta) all watched the first episode of the ninth series together yesterday morning.
Seeiing the judges’ reactions to the antics on screen (we were just two rows behind them) was almost as entertaining as watching the actual episode.
They laughed, they whispered to each other (too quietly for us to hear – drat), hid behind their hands, and responded to the shows’ high and low points like any other audience member. It was almost like they were seeing the auditions for the first time.
Tulisa, who was by far the chattiest judge during the post-screening Q&A also defended the decision to allow acts with managers to audition on the show for the first time, insisting that it meant more talent could be seen.
“There has been a change in the rawness of the musicians – people bringing out guitars and writing their own songs,” the singer explained.
“Just because somebody's had a manager or had experience in the music business doesn’t mean that they are any less deserving to be on the show than a normal person who hasn’t had any experience.
“I had a manager for seven years of my career before I got anywhere,” Tulisa added. “I think its just about kind of being fair and the competitions opened the door to that and we’ve got some home grown talent more than ever.”
Are you going to take to your sofa at 8pm tomorrow night at tune into The X Factor just like Gary?