X Factor 2018: Who are the judges, when does it start, how to audition and everything else you need to know

The X Factor 2018 is already under way, and we’re getting more and more excited for it to hit our screens.

With the judging panel finalised and live auditions happening as we type, here’s everything you need to know about series 15…

1. X Factor 2018 start date: When is it back?

The X Factor is returning to our screens this September, it has been revealed on Twitter.

And we now have confirmation that the first audition show of the series will be airing on September 1 at 8pm.

And here’s a taster of what you can expect:

2. X Factor 2018 changes: Will there be any major reshuffles?

We’re pretty sure there’s never been a year where Simon and his team haven’t had some new tricks up their sleeves.

It’s been reported that The X Factor will introduce a BGT-style ‘Golden X’ for the new series, so that each judge will have the power to send one act straight through to Judges’ Houses. Interesting…

One of the other big changes is that ITV has taken the show abroad. On the show’s official Twitter account, it was announced that open auditions would take place on the sunny shores of Benidorm and Tenerife:

Could this be a sign of things to come?

3. X Factor 2018 judges: Who’s in the hot seat(s)?

Now, it’s finally official – Simon Cowell will be joined at the judges’ desk this year by Robbie Williams, Ayda Field and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson. And Sharon Osbourne will be part of the panel for the live shows too.

Louis Walsh confirmed last month that contrary to earlier reports, he was departing from the show after 13 years as judge, while Nicole Scherzinger is also not returning.

“I’ve had a fantastic 13 years on The X Factor, but the show needs a change and I’m ready to leave,” Louis said at the time.

Dermot O’Leary had previously teased that Simon is looking at bringing in two new judges to the panel this year. “Yep, so that’s five judges,” he told new!. “There could be five judges. I’d like there to be five judges!”

And there were a few names in the mix before the official announcement. At one point, Cheryl was the hot favourite to replace Nicole, with Craig David also in the running.

4. X Factor 2018 presenters: Who is on the mic?

Given he hosted the judges’ announcement, it looks like Dermot O’Leary will be returning as host. Earlier this year, he told Digital Spy that he’s already “had the first X Factor meeting with the producers,” adding: “Hopefully they’re happy for me to carry on and do more of the same.”

5. X Factor 2018 auditions: How do I apply?

Open auditions kicked off in April across the country. To find out where your nearest venue is, click here. Alternatively, anyone hoping to be the next One Direction, Little Mix or Leona Lewis is able to apply online or via WhatsApp.

And arena auditions in front of the judges started on July 18.

6. X Factor 2018: Is the Six Chair Challenge returning?

Short answer? Yes.

It seems that the live auditions reached this stage on August 1, with the official X Factor Twitter page teasing a photo from the arena:

7. X Factor 2018: Will there be guest judges?

Simon and his team have always splashed the cash on huge names to help pick the finalists at Judges’ Houses – and the star-studded line-up never fails to make front page news. So we can’t imagine this year will be any different.

And with Louis Tomlinson on the judging panel, everyone is holding out for a One Direction guest.

8. Who won X Factor 2017?

Come on, it hasn’t been that long has it? Rak-Su were last year’s winners – as if you really needed reminding!

Rak-Su J, Ashley, Pharoahcious and Myles were the clear favourites to be crowned champions from the moment they first auditioned. Since their win, the lads have had a Top Ten hit and are currently working on their debut album – with a little help from the legendary Wyclef Jean, so we hear.

If their success isn’t enough to inspire you to audition for X Factor 2018, we’re not sure what is.

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