Just over 5 months ago, X Factor crowned Little Mix as the winners of the 2011 show... On May 23rd in Liverpool the search started once again for the next act to take the 2012 crown.
Yes, I know the search has already been underway at the open auditions at Arena's across the county and for the first time, singers had the opportunity to perform in the X Factor van, but the REAL stuff starts now, with the televised rounds in front of the judges.
Who are the judges this year then I hear you cry?? Well, three of last years judges have returned, Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and reigning champ Tulisa. Sadly Kelly Rowland left the show and as yet a new permanent judge has not been announced. We will enjoy the antics of guest judges throughout the early rounds with Geri Halliwell (Spice Girls) starting in Liverpool.
It is still however touch and go for one of these slots to be filled by a most talented person. Did I mention that I am currently just 25/1 for a judging role on the show. It won't happen in a million years but what a huge honour to even be in the running and if any of the X Factor producers are reading this, please note that I am free on June 18th for the Newcastle auditions. I will even bring my own flask of coffee and biccies.
Back to the show, the rest of the audition dates are as follows:
London: Monday 28th May, Tuesday 29th May and Wednesday 30th May
Manchester: Tuesday 5th June, Wednesday 6th June and Thursday 7th June
Glasgow: Monday 11th June
Newcastle: Monday 18th June
Cardiff: Monday 25th June
Please note: These are not open auditions. The acts performing will have been selected via the open days, van audition or online application.
So what can we expect ahead of the show starting in August. Well, rumours are that the bootcamp stage will either be scrapped or stripped back completely and we are in for a rollercoaster of more shocks and surprises. I can't wait.
I am approaching this series in a very confident frame of mind after picking the winner of Britain's Got Talent and I personally think a female artist will win. Yes I am putting my next on the block in May 2012, a good three months before the show even starts. Her name will be...well, we will see.
I also think the groups will shine again this year after Little Mix became the first group to ever win the show.
So, as the auditions start all over again, the excitement is already starting to build in the Maynard household. Yes it is four months hard work of reviews, radio and media interviews. Also add to that, the pressure, as people wait for me to name my 'Midas' act but I have to be honest, I wouldn't change it for the world. I for one will be saddened the day the X Factor is no longer on our screens, but until then, let's get ready to face the music.