The X Factor 2012 auditions are attracting a much larger range of talent this year, with song-writers and musicians trying out for the judges.
This year bosses have relaxed the rules, not only are acts who already have or have previously had management deals allowed to enter, but singers are being encouraged to perform their own music.
And in a first for the show, they’re also being allowed to play their own instruments.
Up until now, acts have only been allowed to play their own music at the live shows, and even then it’s been rather limited.
It’s opened the door to a whole new range of acts, although we couldn’t help but feel auditions in London earlier this week were indistinguishable from Britain’s Got Talent.
Indeed, a lot of the young male singers could easily have been either Sam Kelly or Ryan O’Shaughnessy from where we were sitting!
None the less, it’s clear that this year’s X Factor will be different, no doubt as a result of pressure from The Voice.
But in true X Factor fashion, don’t expect anything understated.
One of the original songs performed for judges Gary Barlow, Tulisa and Louis Walsh this week included ‘Last Week’, a track a hopeful performer had written about a girl he had met last week.
And the old favourites – such as Stevie Wonder’s Superstition – are still being belted out too.
The show will air on ITV1 this summer.