After 15 series, The X Factor needs a refresh, and what better way to do it than by catching up with some of its biggest stars from previous years?
X Factor All Stars will bring back the famous - and infamous - contestants from past series to compete against each other in the search for the champion of champions.
It’s one of two new spin-offs taking place instead of the normal show for 2019, alongside a celebrity special. Here’s all you need to know.
When is X Factor All Stars on TV?
As yet, there’s no definite air date for the All Stars series.
The X Factor usually begins at the end of August or start of September, but this time there will be two spin-off series (All Stars and celebrities) which are expected to run back-to-back.
However, at the moment it doesn’t look as though it has been decided which will go first, although they are expected to stick to their traditional autumn timeframe.
How does it work?
Very few details have been released about the new versions of the X Factor.
In fact, at the beginning of the year, public auditions had already begun for what was expected to be the usual series in 2019, until show boss Simon Cowell had a change of heart and the remaining auditions were cancelled.
He decided to go with the two different versions instead, but they were only announced in February.
Simon told The Sun: “The time feels right and it will be a huge change.
"We haven’t exactly confirmed the dates or the order of the shows, but essentially there are going to be two versions of X Factor running this year. I think it’s going to be huge, it’s the best I’ve felt about this show in years."
The X Factor isn’t the only of Simon’s shows to get an all-stars series, as America’s Got Talent: The Champions, which aired earlier in the year, saw favourite acts from the global Got Talent franchises compete against each other.
The series featured acts such as Susan Boyle and Paul Potts from the UK. Each week saw a Golden Buzzer act and a public vote winner advance through to the final, when viewers chose the champion.
Are One Direction coming back?
Sadly, it seems very unlikely that the All Stars version will feature any of the show’s most successful acts from down the years.
In fact, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson even appears to be ruling himself out of coming back as a judge.
In a podcast interview, he told The Sun’s Dan Wootton: “To be honest, I don't really know what the tail end of my year looks like anyway, but personally, I think it's about the public, you know what I mean? I think it should be about the public."
It seems equally unlikely that superstar alumni Little Mix, Leona Lewis or Olly Murs would need to make a return, either.
And we’ll eat our hats if X Factor series one winner and long-time critic of the show Steve Brookstein is seen anywhere near the studio.
Who will it star?
It’s unclear at the moment whether the series will feature novelty acts who drew in the viewers at their first appearance, or talented singers who just needed a bit of time to hone their craft before taking a second crack at stardom.
We’d imagine it will be a mix of the two to really get that X Factor feel, and of course there’s always the possibility of some former solo acts being lumped together into a group.
Likely candidates would seem to be Jedward, who have featured in a few reality shows; Honey G, the novelty act who came dangerously close to winning the 2016 series; Scarlett Lee, who has taken part twice and most recently finished as a runner-up in 2018; and Jake Quickenden, who has also had two chances at X Factor success and stayed on the reality scene.
We look forward to being surprised and hopefully delighted by the line-up later in the year.
Who are the judges?
Back when it looked like the normal series of the X Factor would go ahead, Simon Cowell seemed pretty confident that his 2018 crew would all be back for more.
However, since then Louis Tomlinson has made negative comments about the show’s new direction (see above) and Robbie and Ayda Williams have cried scheduling conflicts.
A quick update from Team Williams… it’s been a very busy year so far. Vegas has been incredible and we cannot wait for June and July to do it all again. I’ve got the massive @BSTHydePark show on July 14 and I’ve written the lyrics and music for the #RSCBoyInDress show with @guyachambers - opening on November 8. As well as all this we’ve got some very big announcements coming soon - but we can’t reveal all yet. Sadly though it’s impossible to do everything … and we’re gutted to tell you we won’t be able to return to The X Factor this year. We will, however, be working on projects with Simon going forward - and as huge fans of the show, we will still be tuning into The X Factor, voting and winding Simon up…x
It’s highly likely that Simon will still be on the panel, but as for the judges – could he extend the all-star theme and bring back some former mentors?
Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and maybe even Tulisa and Gary Barlow are all faces we’d like to see.
Never miss an episode of The X Factor with BT TV – catch up via the ITV Hub app.
Images: Rex, ITV