THE appointment of Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw and singer Rita Ora to this year’s X Factor judging panel has met with mixed reactions to say the least.
From accusing boss Simon Cowell of “trying to kill off the show” to the news making others “suddenly an X Factor fan again”, Twitter has been on fire with opinion since the announcement.
But what do those “in the know” make of the new line-up? RU Breaking News spoke to two former contestants of the ITV talent show to hear their thoughts.
Stephanie Nala, 21, who won over fans and made it into the live shows of the contest last year with mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, said she thought the new line-up was going to make things “interesting”, but said she would have liked to have seen ex-Spice Girl Mel B back on the panel.
Steph said: “I’m looking forward to seeing Cheryl on the show again, obviously!
“I was quite surprised that Cheryl’s doing it again to be honest – no reason in particular, I just thought maybe she wouldn’t, like maybe she’d want to do something different this year.
“I’m glad though – she’s a great mentor to have. She’s very understanding and supportive.
“I’m a bit sad that Mel B’s not back. Mel and Cheryl had a really good relationship – like the female version of a bromance. Mel was also quite tough and said what she thought. I’m not sure who’s going to be the “nasty one” this year.
I love Cheryl and Rita Ora, but they’re quite similar. They’re both really nice.”
And Steph, of Hertfordshire, said she was most looking forward to finding out how Nick “Grimmers” Grimshaw will fit into the mix.
She added: “It’s sad to see Louis go after so many years on the show. He’s so lovely – a bit ditzy but I like that! It’s going to be weird not having him on there. Some people won’t like that – the British public don’t like change!
“But I think it’s going to be really good. I think the new line-up will really give the show a fresh feel this year.
“I’m really interested to see where Nick Grimshaw will come in. What Radio One play is usually so different to what X Factor does. I think it will be really interesting to watch.”
Fellow ex-hopeful Kerrianne Covell, 24, of Stockton-on-Tees, who was also mentored by Cheryl when she got through to the judges’ houses stage last year, welcomed the news, saying she thought “changing it up” would be good for the show’s ratings.
She said: “They’re not going to be able to please everybody, but they do need to change it up sometimes to make it more exciting and to draw in new viewers.
“I think it’s amazing. Rita Ora is one of my favourite artists. I love both Rita Ora and Cheryl and I think they’re perfect judges because they’re both young and current, but are two totally different artists.
“With Nick Grimshaw, I don’t know a lot about him, but he’s again very current and he knows his up-and-coming music. There’s never been somebody on the panel before who’s been in that side of the industry. He might think completely out of the box as a mentor. I think it’s a really positive thing to bring something totally fresh to the show.
“I’ve watched it every single year since it started and I can’t wait to see this year’s now.”
The X Factor’s live auditions kick off on July 6th, with the show, now in its 12th year, expected to be on TV screens from around the end of August.