The X Factor Australia is back, and it’s not apologising for anything. Nor should it, following fresh off the back of the success that was Australia’s Got Talent it’s going to push the reality singing envelope and deliver some pretty serious talent – even if only in the special guest mentoring talent the contestants get exposed to. The inclusion of Natalie Bassingthwaite was one of the worst kept secrets in Australian TV (even I knew about it when I interviewed Luke Jacobz earlier this year) though the addition of Mel B is a… puzzling one. Meh, what do I know about these things? From the press release:

The national search to find who has THE X FACTOR kicks off Monday, August 29 for four massive nights a week!

The new judging line-up of Mel B, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Ronan Keating and Guy Sebastian have toured the country to find Australia’s brightest new singers and it all kicks off Monday with the amazing, inspiring and sometimes hilarious audition process.

This year’s series of THE X FACTOR sees not only an all-new judging panel but some of the world’s biggest music stars helping guest judge and mentor the contestants. Joining the show are music superstars Leona Lewis, Good Charlotte, Jason Derulo, The Veronicas, Darren Hayes, Sporty Spice Mel C, Wynter Gordon and a special appearance by the one and only – Beyonce!

This year the rules have changed and THE X FACTOR is open to singers 14 years and above – either solo performers or groups. Once through the final audition process, the four judges take on mentoring roles and performers are split into categories – Boys under 25, Girls under 25, the over 25s and the Groups.

During the audition stage, all four judges work together to unearth Australia’s incredible new talent. Then comes Boot Camp where the judges are given their category to mentor and the contestants are put through their paces. From there, the top 24 contestants are off around the world for the Home Visits where they are whittled down to the 12 best performers ready for the Live Shows.

THE X FACTOR – hosted by Luke Jacobz – begins 7.30pm Monday, August 29
THE X FACTOR is a Fremantle production for Channel Seven

Follow Mel B on twitter @officialmelb
Follow Natalie on twitter @nataliebassing
Follow Ronan on twitter @ronanofficial
Follow Guy on twitter @guysebastian