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As you may already know, the eighth series of the X Factor premiered on ITV1 Saturday 20th August! Yes, and if somehow this is new news to you, then where on earth have you been?! Hang your head in shame, but catch up below!

As a UK citizen it is impossible to avoid the madness and hype that the highly popular talent show conjures up. Whether you’re watching it at home with a takeout or driving past a huge billboard with X blazoned across it – you cannot escape it…and why would you want to?!

I got the chance to head over to the O2 in Greenwich, for the X Factor Press Launch, and my god was it a day to remember. The weather held up, which was good for Louis Walsh especially, who would have had to deal with Jedward on the red carpet with him as mobile umbrella assistants. As the paparazzi and fans waited, the X Factor gang started to arrive one by one. First to grace the carpet was the very dapper host Dermot O’Leary who looked the part in a navy suit with green tie. He seemed very positive about the new judge’s line-up and had many positive things to say regarding the transformation.

Xtra Factor presenters Olly Murs and Caroline Flack received a very warm welcome and we all know whose eye the ladies were trying to catch! Every female’s dream, Olly Murs, was quick to reflect on Simon Cowell’s visit during the audition stages ‘If I was there, I would have been so nervous’. And that’s someone who had Simon as a mentor! The Flack who was displaying her perfect pins, stuck by her co-presenter, who incidentally was mentored by Cowell, by expressing how much of a sensation Simon stirs up when he’s in the building, “He was really nice about our show and as soon as he walks into the room he’s got that Cowell presence. You know he’s there even if you don’t see him”.

The first judge to step onto the red carpet was once our least favourite Take That member but now, cue everyone’s favourite member…Gary Barlow! He was determined not to reveal who he thought was the best judge but he did give us an exclusive by sharing, ‘My daughter absolutely loves Tulisa’. Gary admitted he was definitely feeling affected in the battle of the heels between Kelly and Tulisa, overshadowed by the girls in their sky-high footwear he warned, “If Kelly puts her hand on my shoulder one more time there’s going to be trouble”. He certainly means business!

Kelly Rowland, the “commander” herself was greeted with a rendition of ‘Dilemma’ by her devoted fans. Arriving in a black Versace number with green trim, she certainly sexed up the carpet. When asked whether she and Tulisa were chatted up last week, after visiting a restaurant in Mayfair together, she said, “No, not really”. Per-lease!’ Kelly admitted to having only talked about the contestants whilst dining with fellow judge Tulisa… loosen up judges! Although, at least they seem to be spending time together outside work hours unlike Cheryl and Dannii, who claimed they were best buds yet we never saw them out together! Kelly has been rushing backwards and forwards from the States to London to promote her third studio album ‘Here I Am’ but during her travels, Kelly confessed to enjoying the swagger of “pants and booties.” With her swag on point, we think that Kelly has a great chance of landing herself an Englishman. So if you’re a bad boy, a little rough around the edges and you would like Kelly as your motivation… then please come forward!

Glowing N-Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos donned an elegant Vivienne Westwood dress (a long way off from her velour tracksuits) which showed off her cleavage with a plunging neckline. Her new white teeth sparkled as she moved along, addressing the press and fans all the way. Her newly blonde streaked hair, added to that Xtra Factor to her X Factor makeover.

Tulisa fessed up to checking with Kelly on outfit choices before every audition: “Just so we know not to both turn up in red!” Whoever said that the X Factor wasn’t about the style wars was wrong! We’re looking forward to hairdos, the dress and all the gorgeous accessories to match. Whilst Tulisa wasn’t too sure whether her N-Dubz counterparts would be performing, Kelly excitedly screamed a ‘freaking yeah!” to the possibility of her getting up on stage.

Last but not least, last man standing Louis Walsh describes himself as ‘the whole package’ and requires much less analysis than the newbies. He had all the insider gossip for this year’s series: ‘The girls are at a different level. The boys are amazing too, the groups are not as great, and the ‘overs’ are good too’.

After the red carpet, we moved along the auditorium, everyone was treated to complimentary popcorn and drinks, we were finally treated to the showcase of the first episode we had all been waiting for.

Here at Flavour we’ve decided to join in with the X-essive disorder by giving our readers a weekly account of the live shows. You can count me, Melek, to be your X Factor guru from the start of bootcamp, through to judge’s houses, and the live shows up until the grand final. I’ll be bigging up, dissing, and putting my opinion across on the week’s song choices, styling, and even debating about the decision on props. If you remember Cher Lloyd and “that” staircase then you’ll understand how vital props really are whilst performing on the show. Tough choices are always made when it comes to the show, we wouldn’t be surprised if they even settled with a diet of green tea for the contestants!

Make sure you glue yourselves to your seats every Saturday at 8pm for a jam packed show full of outstanding auditions, peculiar auditonees who think they can sing better than the experts, and rather intimate encounters. There may even be an eighth tattoo on the way for a certain auditionees buttocks, you don’t wanna miss it!

Words by Melek Derebeyli

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A freelance journalist and graduate in Writing for Media Arts. A researcher, interviewer and writer with a passion to deliver a countless read and a brain mass in all things music, celebrity and entertainment. She is your daily supplement to fill your head with cutting-edge content in both print and online journalism.

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