Seven to launch The X Factor in Australia with Sandilands, Keating, Imbruglia and Sebastian as judges

Sevx factor mumbrellaen is aiming to become the home of the talent contest, relaunching The X Factor into Australia with auditions starting in a fortnight’s time and the show on air later this year.

The program – which will be produced by Fremantle Media – has been a ratings juggernaut with the franchise in more than 20 countries.  

Creator Simon Cowell, who fronts the UK and forthcoming US judging panels, will not be on the Australian jury. Kyle Sandilands, who also judges Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent, will be joined by three singers – Natalie Imbruglia, Guy Sebastian and Ronan Keating – on the panel.

The launch potentially creates a major dilemma for Ten, which has been resting Australian Idol. The network will now have to decide whether there is enough public appetite for three TV talent contests if it is to bring it back.

Seven CEO David Leckie said of The X Factor: “It’s a bloody great show.”

As well as AGT, Sandilands was previously a judge on Australian Idol before losing that role following the scandal over his quizzing a young alleged rape victim over her sex life on his 2Day FM breakfast show.

Guy Sebastian was the first winner of Australian Idol in 2003.

Imbruglia, whose career began on Neighbours before she became a singer, will return from the UK for the contest.

Keating, formerly with boyband Westlife Boyzone is already a regular performer in Australia.

The X Factor is open either to solo performers or groups. After the final audition process, the four judges take on mentoring roles of four groups: Boys under 25, Girls under 25, the over 25s and the Groups.

This will culminate with a weekly live show, with a recording contract with Sony Music Australia for the winner.

FremantleMedia Australia’s CEO Ian Hogg said: “Our creative team are determined to make this show something very special, a program that will resonate deeply with Australian audiences.”

In 2005 Ten ran one series of The X Factor with Daniel MacPherson as the presenter.


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