THE X FACTOR UK “Judges Houses 1” Review

THE X FACTOR UK “Judges Houses 1” Series 8 Episode – Auditions are over, bootcamp is over, the vast majority of joke contestants have been squeezed out of the mix. Now the judges are assigned their category in a segment I’d like to rename “how much sway do the judges have over the producers?” With four groups and 32 acts, the judges (or rather, the producers) have their work kind of cut out for them.

Tulisa may have replaced Cheryl Cole on the panel, but it’s clear she has not gotten to pick the best category like Cheryl did every year she was on the show. Tulisa gets the Groups, an accursed category known for never winning, barely scraping past week six, joke contestants and Jedward. This year the crop doesn’t seem to be much different, though with 2 Shoes, the duo from Essex whose main ambition is to win enough money to buy a mini pig, she has at least one good act. The songstress from N-Dubz has brought in Jessie J to help her out with the choices.

Kelly Rowland on the other hand, a bone fide superstar in her day, gets the best category: the girls. Here there’re no room for joke contestants. Everyone here is super driven, highly emotional, talented wrecks. They’re all good singers and Kelly and her guest judge miss Jennifer Hudson seem to have their work cut out for them – or at least the producers do. It’s obvious that Janet Devlin is going to go through. She’s still the favorite to win the entire competition after episode one. Jade Richards and Mischa Barton are quite likely to be joining her on the flight back to the X Factor studios from Miami in high spirits.

Gary Barlow brought in Robbie Williams, who arrived in a outfit fashioned out of palm trees, a tribute to Sinitta. Their segment was surprisingly hilarious and the boys category is actually quite strong this year and could indeed prove to give Kelly a run for her money.

Louis, alas, got the over 25s and Sinitta. The overs are notorious for joke contestants and, much like the groups, never (almost) winning. Goldie Cheung and uncharming eyebrows Kitty headlined the group and provided much confusion and little hope for a big win.

Results will be handed out tomorrow. Who do you think will be headed back home to the X Factor studios?

Follow me on Twitter @CiaraMoyna