Filming for The X Factor 2012 judges' houses has begun this week in Dubai.
The next stage of the competition has kicked off with presenters Caroline Flack and Dermot O'Leary jetting out to the middle east for the first of four rounds of tough decisions.
Each judge, who has now been assigned their category, must whittle down their hopefuls to just three for the live shows.
Nicole is said to be in Dubai filming her judges' houses section first, with US rapper Ne-Yo set to join her and offer his advice.
Tulisa meanwhile confessed that she found judges' houses the hardest stage of the show for both herself and the contestants.
“You’ve got to sit down and say ‘no’ to people. It’s just you on your own breaking their dream and that is just the bit that I dread so much," she said.
The judges' houses will continued to be filming over the next few weeks.
[tag]Gary Barlow[/tag] is set to stay in London and will be joined with Robbie Williams to decide which acts in his category make the live shows.
[tag]Louis Walsh[/tag] will join forces with Sharon Osbourne in Las Vegas while [tag]Tulisa Contostavlos[/tag] will visit St Lucia with UK star Tinie Tempah.
This year twelve acts will make it through to the final live shows, which are due to start in October.
The X Factor continues next Saturday night on ITV1. The judges' houses section will air next month.