'X Factor' Live Shows Are Back Soon But A Major Shake-Up Could Upend The Format

by Emma Madden
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The big stage, the sob stories, and the slow cover songs have hardly changed, but The X Factor's judging panel has. This year sees a major shake-up to the usual line-up as Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger have been replaced by former One Directioner Louis Tomlinson, Loose Women's Ayda Field, and singer Robbie Williams. The show's 15th season arrives Sept. 1 kicking off with the traditional opening auditions phase, which is when fans will first seem them in action. But everyone knows the judges don't really come into their own until the live shows stage where they get to mentor the hopefuls in their groups. So when do X Factor live shows tickets go on sale?

The X Factor has been serving up Saturday-night entertainment since 2004, but while ratings have taken a bit of a dip in recent years, there's hope that'll change with the revitalised judging panel. The husband-wife dynamic between Robbie Williams and Ayda Field should at least bring something new to the show. Better yet, Louis Walsh won't be there to complain about everyone else's song choices. If you ask me, the overhaul was definitely needed to ensure the show's survival, since last year's major ratings dip had many speculating that the show had run its course. But Cowell's confident that the extreme makeover will give the show a new lease of life. "The three new judges bring a whole new energy and I’m excited," he said at a recent press conference, according to ITV.

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He added that he "had more fun during auditions than I have had in years", as the show brought back the audience setting for the open auditions as opposed to the small private rooms of previous years. Things are set to change even more further down the line, with a Britain's Got Talent style "Golden X" buzzer reportedly making an appearance during The Six Chair Challenge round. While you'll have missed the chance to see that live, since filming of the Six Chair Challenge took place in early August, there's plenty of time left to make sure you'll be there for the live shows.

You can start applying to be a part of the audience on Applause Store, giving you the chance to get up close to the judges and acts. The shows will be presented by Dermot O'Leary and will take place in Acton, West London. At the time of writing, it's yet to be confirmed when the live shows will take place. That might be down to Cowell and how "last minute" he is with filming plans, as Scherzinger previously told The Mirror.

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It's still up in the air as to whether there'll even be a Sunday night show anymore. That slot time was usually dedicated to live performances from musical guest acts, as well as the weekly elimination. However, a source close to the show told The Mirror that" ITV believes the programme may work better by returning to a single show on a Saturday," as it had originally done in the first season. The decision to axe the Sunday slot would mean that it "would allow ITV to put all its focus and resources into making Saturday night’s X Factor even more spectacular." Either way, it'll be interesting to see whether all these shake ups can revitalise what was once Britain's favourite TV show.