Hands up who's excited about the return of The X Factor live shows this Saturday!
It's been a rollercoaster of a series so far, from Joseph Whelan's departure, to Rylan Clark's crying face. And we get the feeling it's only going to get more exciting as the weeks go on.
Let's have another quick look at Rylan's tear-stained face, shall we?
To get an idea of how the contestants are feeling about their upcoming performance on Saturday's show, we headed down to ITV studios to have a chat with Gary Barlow (swoon) and his category - The Over 28s.
Here's what Kye Sones, Carolynne Poole and Melanie Masson had to say about their fears of falling over on stage, contestant romances and getting their boy Christopher Maloney back.
What’s scares you most about the live shows?
Carolynne: I’m pretty scared of falling down the stairs when the doors open – I can see myself falling down them in heels!
Gary: You’d probably get voted in if you fell over though, because everyone would feel sorry for you. Actually, we’ll use that technique later on in the competition.
How are rehearsals going for Saturday?
Melanie: Good – we’ve been doing a lot of work this week, and we’ve been put through our paces. I think we’re all just ready to go.
Carolynne: Rehearsals have only just started – I mean, we’ve known for three weeks that we were through and we’ve not been able to tell anybody, which has been horrendous! We’ve had messages on our phone and we’ve had to ignore them so we don’t have to fib! So the rehearsals have only just started and we’re just getting into it now.
Who do you think is your biggest competition?
Kye: I think that’s really hard to say actually because everyone’s so different. And even from the first auditions, everything I’ve tried to call I’ve got completely wrong. So when we got down to the final 12 I decided I wasn’t even going to get into that conversation, because everyone could be an artist, and hopefully will be going forward in their own right. Everyone is so different and there’s something for everyone.
Carolynne: It’s good for everyone that we’re so different, because we’re able to support each other without feeling like we’re in direct competition. It’s been more like we’re a team than competing against each other.
What do you think about Christopher Maloney potentially coming back as the wildcard?
Melanie: Arrrrr, we love Christopher.
Gary: We love him, he’s brilliant. He’s mega! Whenever I’ve seen him do auditions, the crowd love him. He deserves a place definitely. We’ve left him out haven’t we? We’ll go back and get him.
Melanie: It’s difficult because obviously there’s some great wildcards – there’s Amy [Mottram], Times Red, Adam [Burridge], but Chris is one of us. We’ve come through this journey with him, every step of the way: boot camp, judges’ houses; we’re very close to him, he’s a friend a great talent.
Gary: The categories spend a lot of time with them, so everyone bonds. It’s hard.
How do you guys feel about missing out on a big makeover?
Melanie: I think we’ve been given an upgrade rather than a makeover.
Carolynne: Bit of a polish.
Gary: We've given them a bath! It’s worked a treat!
Carolynne: I think there will just be a natural progression if we are lucky enough to carry on through the weeks. Because they will probably just pile more and more make-up on us I guess.
Kye: Speak for yourself!
Gary: That’s what they do for me.
Carolynne: Because we’re older; if we had too much it would completely change us.
Kye: I think as well though, things with like cutting your hair, I know I’ve had every dodgy haircut under the sun. And you know what works for you and then to have them say ‘how about we do this?’ you can say ‘well I’ve done that before and it didn’t really work’. So you know who you are as a person - you know who you are musically.
Melanie: I think there is an amazing team of professionals from everywhere in the industry that can take our ideas and what we want and enhance it, which has been absolutely brilliant.
Gary: It’s all about support.
Carolynne: There are so many people that have got an input. Ultimately it’s us that are stood on that stage, so we need to feel comfortable, and your image has to represent yourself as an artist musically and we all know where we are going. So as far as our image we don’t really want to change it, maybe just tweak it.
So you spend a lot of time with the people in your category, but do you get to hang out with the other guys as well?
Kye: Yeah definitely. We are all on the same floor in the hotel together. So we spend a lot of time together. Going through boot camp I spent a lot of time with the other boys like Adam and a few of the other boys. And all the girls – yesterday I was with little Amy.
Carolynne: I’m quite close with Lucy Spraggan – we hang out quite a lot because we are both from Yorkshire.
Are there any special bonds developing then? Any romances?
Carolynne: I’ve not seen any romances.
Melanie: There hasn’t been time for that.
Kye: Everyone’s really focused. It’s such a unique experience that we do form a massive bond because it happens so quickly but it feels like a lifetime. So these are the only people that experience it and understand what you go through so you quickly strike up really strong friendships.
Carolynne: I think compared to different years, a lot of the acts that have been picked this year are writers and very creative. So it’s not like ‘yeah I’ve decided to sing today’ and ‘ain’t this great, I don’t work at Tesco anymore’ so everybody at the hotel is very focused doing what they would do in their down time at home.
Melanie: I think all of the finalists have been singing for years, even the very young artists have wanted to do this all their life and have been working towards this. It’s not just people saying ‘yeah I wanna give this a go’, we are all artists in the final.
Gary how important is it to win this year? Have you got any new tactics?
Gary: Oooo, tactics! No. It’s a tricky question that, because obviously it would be brilliant to win. But there’s a side of me which thinks the judges should be competitive but as long as it’s not the cost of the artists on the stage. If I were to send someone home because of something I said, it would really upset me. Ultimately what we want are people who are going to sell lots and lots of records within a year they’ve forgotten who their judge was anyway. I mean the main aim of the show is to get superstars at the end of it; people who are going to sell records all over the world. And I wouldn’t ever stand in anyone’s way if they weren’t in my category. I wouldn’t do that.
Are there any categories you’re particularly worried about because they're strong?
Gary: It’s all strong this year. In particular the boys and girls – they’ve always been strong throughout the history of this competition. I think the groups are strong as well. I think it’s going to be a really tough year. We won’t be able to call it.
Head back to heatworld tomorrow for our exclusive chat with Tulisa and The Girls - Lucy Spraggan, Ella Henderson and Jade Ellis.