It’s back and just as successful as ever it seems, even without its maestro. The X-Factor made a triumphant return to ITV1 with 12.6 million viewers tuning in on Saturday night (20.08.11). With new judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland joining Louis Walsh on the panel, the talent show smashed all previous records for the highestever ratings for an opening episode.
TV bosses are now confident the series won’t be damaged by the departure of former judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue, and have hailed the new panel as a “resounding success”. An ITV executive told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “We were worried how people would take to the new panel but it’s been nothing but a resounding success.
“They are fantastic figures. Simon’s absence hasn’t hurt us.”
However, The X Factor has already seen its first controversy of the series, with pizza waitress Roxy Yarnold reportedly having “strong links” to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco and having already supported Westlife, Shayne Ward and G4 on tour.
An insider explained: “She’s portrayed as a struggling pizza waitress but in actual fact she’s been singing alongside the crop of Syco talent since an early age. She’s supported not one, but three Syco acts.”
However, show bosses insist the aspiring star has been out of the limelight since she was 14.
An X Factor spokesperson said: “Throughout the history of X Factor, there has been auditionees who have been involved with the music industry before. 19-year-old Roxy was touring at the age of 14 but has been out of the industry since then.
“She was eligible to enter as she has no record or management deal in place.”