The X Factor UK is gearing up for a return to ITV later this year with Season 13 judges now confirmed. Sharon Osbourne, who previously appeared from 2004 to 2007 and then again in 2013, is back. So is Nicole Scherzinger who was on the panel in 2012 and 2013. Also returning to sit alongside Simon Cowell is music manager Louis Walsh who took a break last year.
The news comes one day after Cowell returned to America’s Got Talent in the U.S., “newly made over as a guy who decides with his heart and not his head,” according to Deadline’s Lisa de Moraes. It also comes as there has been speculation about the show’s future with ITV having acquired The Voice which previously aired on BBC One, meaning the network is heavy with competition series. Contracts for both The X Factor and Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent are up for renewal this year. ITV said earlier this year, “We fully intend to continue with both shows into 2017 and beyond.”
The new/old X Factor judges roster follows the exits after Season 12 of Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw. (Cowell had returned for the 11th cycle after a three-year abscence while he toiled on the now defunct Fox version in the U.S.) Last year’s run, which concluded in December, averaged 8.2M viewers, a big dip from previous seasons.
Of the new season, Cowell said, “Be careful what you wish for!” Judges’ auditions for Season 13 begin June 10 in Leicester. Host Dermot O’Leary is also returning. A fan favorite aspect, the room auditions, has been revived while The Xtra Factor will air on ITV2. No airdate has been set. Season 12 ran from August 29 to December 13.