So the first episode of the new X Factor has come and gone. Did you see it? And what did you think of it?
It has been hyped up for months, what with Cheryl's American adventure going flat, then will she/won't she come back to the UK version, then all the drama about who would be in the line up and whether they would gel.
Well guess what - they did! I think the first show was refreshing and took the format back to the roots - focusing on the contestants and finding REAL talent.
Previously it was all about Simon and Cheryl's relationship and banter and what they thought, and their own egos and how they wanted to beat each other. The same phrases were used again and again and it had just got too tiresome.
But tonight I didn't give them a second thought while I watched the show. Gary was fab in his self-appointed role as head judge. He was honest and frank. Although he has been dubbed as the Mr Nasty of the show he wasn't out to be mean - just truthful and focused on finding real talent. He didn't make the show about him, he was looking for a stand-out contestant. Something the show has lacked in the last couple of years as it has been more about the banter and feuds between the judges.
Tulisa came across well. She has got the edge without being too brash. She knows she is still in Cheryl's shadow and has to prove herself and show why she is on the show.
After mouthy George Gerismou launched an attack on her saying she didn't compare to Cheryl, she put him in his place telling him he was embarrassing himself in front of everyone and she said 'I worked my way up from Camden Town and that's why I am here.'
The surprise for me was Kelly Rowland. Now she was always been my favourite out of Destiny's Child and when she went solo I was willing her to do well. I was hoping she would shine on the show and not be overshadowed by the others - and you know what - she did!
She came across as playful and able to have a laugh and joke with both the contestants and the judges. She didn't look like she was trying too hard, and when she gave criticism it was constructive. She voiced what viewers were thinking when Kitty Brucknell went from sweet and demure to crazy and arrogant after being given the nod by judges. She picked up that she seemed to be putting on an act for the judges and added 'don't lose sight of who you are.' But Gary added that the industry was made up of all kinds of personalities who had complexes and issues but were still great artists.
A refreshing find was Janet Devlin from Northern Ireland. She was sweet and shy, which was endearing. She had a voice like a cross between Ellie Goulding and Diana Vickers. Looking forward to hearing more from her.
Stand out quotes:
Gary Barlow to the duo who kept saying 'Braaap braaap' - ' now listen to my lingo - you are craaap craaap.'
Kelly to George 'the industry is made up of all sorts of opinions and if you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen.'
So are you looking forward to next week's show? And what did you think?