As the X Factor UK draws to a close for another series, the speculation and rumours now begin for who’ll be in the judges lineup for 2014?
What we know for sure:
Gary Barlow officially announced early on in the 2013 series that he wouldn’t be returning to the show in 2014, instead choosing to focus on his solo and Take That music careers. This means there’ll definitely be at least one change to the panel.
What we believe:
Before last series even began, the shows longest serving judge Louis Walsh, declared 2013 would be his tenth and last season. However, since then the Irish music mogul has allegedly stated that should Simon Cowell return, so would he. That’s of course assuming Simon would want Louis back.
Similarly, when it was announced that Sharon Osbourne was coming back, it was apparently going to just be for one season. After which Mrs O intended to retire from showbiz.
Nicole Scherzinger meanwhile has said nothing to suggest she intends on quitting her role, consistently appearing very happy and content on the panel. Whether or not she stays may again come down to the bosses decision.
Rumors and speculation:
As we just hinted at, many believe boss Simon Cowell will reclaim his seat in 2014, having spent the last three years focusing on X Factor USA. But with both versions recently struggling in their respective ratings battles, it’s thought ITV are keen to secure Cowell’s return to the UK.
Should Simon re-commit to the British series, it’s expected the 54-year-old will bring one or two new faces with him to the judging lineup. One name currently at the top of this list is the Yugoslavian born pop star, Rita Ora. The ‘How We Do’ singer who’s a possible odds on favorite to sign-up, previously appeared as a guest judge on the show, during the 2012 auditions.
Finally, you can’t really write a list of potential X Factor UK judges without mentioning Cheryl Cole. With her and Simon’s relationship allegedly now all fixed up and little else for her to do, a Cheryl return could well be on the cards. Likewise, fellow ex-judge Dannii Minogue is another strong contender for a come-back.
What odds I wonder of a Simon and three ladies panel, X Factor USA season 3 style: Cowell, Ora, Cole and Minogue?
If however Simon is looking for a new man and a direct replacement for Gary Barlow, how about a transfer for Australian X Factor judge Ronan Keating?