This weekend, M-Net brings viewers a brand new instalment of the popular X-Factor franchise, titled The X Factor: The Band. The spin-off series follows up-and-coming girl and boy bands who compete to be crowned Britain’s new pop sensation, with Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger returning as judges. The international music reality show will kick-off on channel 101 on Friday 13 December at 19:00, followed by episode 2 on Saturday 14 December at the same time.
No other music show in the world has such an enviable track record of creating globally successful bands including One Direction, Little Mix, and Fifth Harmony. In total, acts discovered by The X Factor have sold more than 400 million records globally to date. Now with The X Factor: The Band, the show is bidding to create the next big girl or boy band, in just a matter of weeks!
Simon and Nicole’s expertise when it comes to successful pop groups is second to none – with Simon famously guiding the careers of a host of world-beating groups during his illustrious career and Nicole first finding fame in globally successful girl group Pussycat Dolls, who have just reunited after a decade apart.
The pair will be joined by a host of music industry stars - including artists Leona Lewis and Ella Eyre as well as super-producer Naughty Boy. The nation’s favourite host Dermot O’Leary also returns to oversee proceedings - and give his legendary hugs to those auditioning.
The X Factor: The Band goes back to basics in the music business, starting with hopefuls auditioning in Simon’s office at Sony HQ in London where they try out in front of the music mogul and Nicole, as well as a panel of advisers who include Naughty Boy - who has worked with stars including Beyonce; multi-platinum selling song-writer Carla Williams and Grammy-winning producers Lil’ Eddie and Fred Ball.
Those who make it through this stage then face the next big challenge – arena auditions in front of thousands in Birmingham. Simon and Nicole are joined for this stage by guest judge Leona Lewis, who returns to the show she won in 2006 albeit more than 30 million record sales later!
The judges will also again be joined by the music industry experts, who – as well as Carla, Naughty, Eddie and Fred also include Ella Eyre, who won a Brit award with Rudimental in 2014 for single Waiting All Night.
It will be here that both the boy and girl band will be created by the judges – before the two groups go head-to-head in a live final to battle to win the prize of a life-changing and coveted record contract.
Dermot says he can’t wait for viewers to see The X Factor: The Band. He said: “Simon and the show have discovered some of the biggest pop groups in recent music history, One Direction, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix – they’re all stars and have sold millions of records."
In previous years, you've seen the judges put individual singers in a group - usually with their decision making and reasoning off camera, but this time people will get to see the process take place. The judges will select girls and boys to form new bands just like they did with One Direction and Little Mix and then both will go head to head to be crowned the winning group with a live arena finale in Birmingham.
Watch The X Factor: The Band every Friday and Saturday at 19:00 on M-Net channel 101, starting 13 December.