THIS year’s X Factor will see a return of the show’s most nail-biting round. The Six Chair Challenge – and it’s got even more intense for 2017.
So what do we know about this round which Dermot O’Leary criticised so harshly last year? Here’s all the info you need.
What is the Six Chair Challenge and how does it work?
The Six Chair Challenge is the first big singing round with a live audience on The X Factor.
After hopefuls are split into four different categories and assigned a mentor for the show, the Six Chair Challenge sees the contestants whittled down mercilessly to just six per group.
Contestants have to sing individually in front of judges and a live audience at Wembley Arena – the first time they perform for a live audience in the series.
Each act’s mentor then decides if they deserve one of six coveted seats – but they could be knocked out if their mentor decides to replace them with a subsequent performer.
There have been plenty of upsets over the years, including Janet Grogan – who was booted off by Simon Cowell in 2014 but returned to the show in 2016.
The lucky six left in the chairs win a spot at judges’ houses, the last stage before the live finals.
Who has made it through to the Six Chair Challenge?
It’s already been an emotional rollercoaster for these singers and it’s not going to get any easier.
Here’s who has made it through to the Six Chair Challenge and who has been selected to go to the judges’ houses stage:
GIRLS (through to judges’ houses)
- Jack Mason
- Benji Matthews
- Spencer Sutherland
- Aidan Martin
- Anthony Russell
- Gregor Coleman
- Russell Jones
- Gary Barker
- Matt Linnen
- Berget Lewis
- Slavko Kalezic
- Kevin Davy White
- Brad Howard
- Gary Barker
- Tracey Leanne Jefford
- Danny Lambo
- Talia Dean
- Sean and Conor Price
- The Cutkelvins
- Jack and Joel
- New Dynamixx
Why is this year’s Six Chair Challenge controversial?
This year, a major change has been made to this notoriously tough round which ought to make it just as tough for the judges as it is the singers.
The controversial change sees the category judge sitting in a far-off seat, away from their fellow judges, so they cannot confer or receive support when making their cruel choices about who to take forward in the competition.
However it seems this has also encouraged the live crowd to gang up on the isolated judge.
When is The X Factor 2017 on ITV and who are the judges?
After launching on September 2, X Factor 2017 will continue every Saturday and Sunday on ITV.
The show begins, as always, with auditions as the nationwide hunt to find this year’s winning act begins.
Despite heavy speculation of a judging shake up, the panel will be remaining exactly the same as last year.
Alisha Dixon is also appearing for certain audition shows, having stepped in as a guest judge when Sharon and Nicole were unable to attend.
It’s the first time in seven years that X Factor bosses have kept the same judging panel as the year before.
A source said: “The chemistry was perfect last year, so it’s only natural to want to bring the same line-up together again.”
Dermot O’Leary will be returning to hosting duties after making his big comeback to the show last year.