If you have a successful format for a programme which runs for part of the year, what do you do when it returns after its break?
How much of it do you keep the same as before – and how much do you alter it? Change it too much and what made it successful in the first place could be lost.
Keep it the same and people might in time get bored by it. The X Factor, that hugely popular singing competition, returns this Saturday and Sunday. It will be shown both nights from eight o’clock on ITV1. How different is the programme this year?
Well we will still meet a number of new contestants of varying abilities. The show will follow its recent pattern - starting with the closed auditions; then the Wembley Arena auditions; ‘boot camp’; Judges’ Houses and ending with the live performances. Dermot O’Leary will once again be the presenter. Where the really noticeable differences this year will be in the Judging Panel.
The only judge from last year who is returning is Louis Walsh, who will be back for the eleventh time.
Mel B, who has appeared as a Guest Judge previously, is now one of the fulltime judges.
Then there are the two returning former fulltime Judges – Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell. So none of the fulltime Judges are completely new to the show. There have also been hints that another former Judge might also make an appearance.
While the quest is, as usual, to find at least one new singing star, some non-finalists from previous years, such as Rylan Clark and Jedward, have also gone on to have successful careers after taking part in this show.