The X Factor returns to our screens this Saturday evening and in advance of its 2010 series, we bring you an interview with oldest judge, Louis Walsh.
Read on to see what Louis would sing for his audition, how he found working with Katy Perry and what annoys him most about the auditionees.
How are you feeling to be embarking on the seventh series of The X Factor?
I am really excited because this show just gets bigger and better every year. It is so unpredictable and you never know what is going to happen, unlike on some other shows! The X Factor is definitely one of the best shows on TV.
How have you found working with the guest judges this year?
It was great, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive to start with as I didn’t know them all but, Geri was very professional and it was great to be back on a panel with her after our days on Pop Stars The Rivals. Pixie was like the new girl at school and very enthusiastic. Katy Perry was fun and Simon couldn’t control her which really made me laugh. She reminded me of Sharon Osbourne so I loved her! Natalie was great and really got it and had a great experience of music, she was a real all rounder. My favourite though was Nicole who I had never met before. This girl has the X Factor in every way. She just got it, was incredibly impressive and ticked every box.
Have you been pleased with Jedward’s progress since last year’s show ended?
I’ve been delighted at the response the twins have had. They haven’t stopped working since they left the show and in less than a year they have had two sell out Irish tours a No.1 album in Ireland and top 20 in UK, they have their own reality show coming up and they have been signed up by a modelling agency. Not bad for two kids who we took a chance on and it’s worked for them. They are growing up and learning their craft in public eye and have grown a lot from it.
What has been the most memorable audition for you this year and why?
I don’t want to give too much away but there are two people who really stood out for me, a woman who reminds me of Sinitta – I won’t say any more but they are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
What was it like returning to Dublin for the first time in a few years?
It was great that the show returned to Ireland, for a small island there is some great talent. Dublin never lets me down and there was some great characters there this year.
Which city came up with the most talented singers this year?
Birmingham really surprised us this year and London, as always delivered.
Which category would you like to mentor this year and why?
I’d like to get the groups or the boys, because they are always easier to work with.
What do you look for in an audition?
We look for that someone who walks onto the stage and makes you feel excited. Someone that makes you think ‘yes, this person could have a career in music’. And that is the best thing about the job – discovering and unearthing new talent.
In your view, what is The X Factor?
The X Factor is when someone walks into a room sings and they have something unique, the attitude, personality and presentation all rolled into one and you watch them perform and think immediately you could sell records. David Bowie, Elton – people like that have the X Factor.
Are there any things that auditionees do/say/sing which really annoy you?
Yes! There are about 10 predictable songs that I hate,any thing by Alicia Keys or Mariah as no one is ever going to be able to do any of their songs justice. I hate cliché’s too “this is all I ever wanted to do” etc. Artists have to learn their craft, you have to be different and
stand out from the crowd. We see people with great voices but you forget about them, so they need to be able to stand out and be memorable.
The audition days are long. How do you maintain your energy throughout the day?
We are really well looked after, we have lots of breaks, and Cheryl, Simon and I would always have a good banter in between filming which makes the day go quicker, as does a supply of coffee and the odd Red Bull. But if the talent is good then you don’t need the caffeine to stay awake.
What would you sing if you were to audition for The X Factor?
I would sing something very easy like Patsy Cline’s Crazy as it’s an easy one to sing and a great country song, one of my all time favourites.
Do you have any pets?
No I don’t have any as I think it is cruel to keep animals inside!