Created by Simon Cowell, X-Factor is a hit music competition show originally from the United Kingdom, with many countries having their own version. The show is all about people who come to sing their hearts out to impress the judges and earn the winning title.
Contestants have to undergo all the five stages of the competition; the producers’ auditions, the judges’ audition, the six chair challenge, the judges’ houses, and the live shows. With every competition comes strict rules that should be followed and it is all fun and games until a rule is broken. Here are 20 rules the judges of X-Factor have to follow:
20 Their Job Is To Look For Talent
The Judges’ number one rule is to look for talent. Judges have to be unbiased and ensure that the most deserving contestant wins the show. According to ctlshows, when contestants are auditioning, they assess things like intonation; are they in tune, projection; are they audible, how is their energy? Are they using the stage well?
19 There Should Be Four Judges Present At Every Live Show
The first three seasons started with three judges but thereafter the rules changed to four judges. According to wiki, if a judge is too busy elsewhere and cannot sit for filming; a guest judge has to replace him or her to ensure there are always four judges on the panel.
18 They Have To Mentor
In addition to commenting on the contestants’ performance and participating in judging the contestants, judges have to mentor a group of contestants in every series. After auditions, the producers put the contestants into four groups. The show's producers then choose which judge mentors which category. Mentorship involves aiding them in song selection, vocals, and styling as revealed on wiki.
17 The Golden X Buzzer Is A Big Thing
During the six-chair challenge, judges have to decide which six contestants deserve the six sought-after chairs. The contestant chosen are not entirely safe; their mentors can replace them with other subsequent performers. However, according to The Sun, a new rule now allows judges to use the golden X buzzer to send an act straight to the judges’ houses. That contestant is safe and cannot be swapped out of their seat.
16 They Deal With Contestants With Questionable Pasts
Even though the show urges the contestants to reveal any law-related records before auditioning, some do not. However, when they discover any criminal activity in their past during filming, judges have to ask them to leave the competition and their auditions do not appear on TV.
According to Daily Mail, the show has a strict rule that contestants should not have pending court cases or unspent criminal convictions.
15 They Must Deal With Eliminations Firmly
Another strict rule that Judges have to follow is that they have to eliminate contestants. To find a winner, judges have to keep eliminating acts until they remain with the finalists. As wiki reports, if a judge refuses to eliminate a contestant on his or her team, the other three judges can send one of his or her contestant home on a majority vote.
14 Disqualifying Contestants Who Break The Rules
Contestants get the rules when they join the show. For example, they do not have consent to audition or perform for other shows without permission or have prior recording contracts. When they break such rules, judges have a right to disqualify them out of the competition
13 They Cannot Talk To Contestants Without Consequences
Judges have a lot of power in the competition; however, they cannot talk down to contestants. According to The Guardian, judges Natalie Kills and husband Willy Moon from New Zealand had to leave the show for belittling a contestant during the show. Contestants are already nervous as it is, and Judges should not make them feel uncomfortable, instead they should offer constructive criticism.
12 Sometimes Even The Rules Can Change
X-Factor boss, Simon had to change the show's rules so that they did not eliminate anyone on series 15 finals. According to dailymail, he and the other judges believed that this was the strongest finale yet and all the remaining contestants deserved an opportunity to shine and therefore opted not to eliminate anyone that night.
11 Can Allow Contestants Another Opportunity On The Grounds Of Technical Issues
Judges have a right to cancel a performance or live public votes if the show experiences any technical problems, as The Guardian reveals. In series 15, judges made a prompt cancellation due to sound problems. Contestants can get a second opportunity to perform if they experience technical problems during their performances.
10 Must Enforce Adherence To House Rules
Contestants have strict rules on partying, drinking or doing drugs when living under the accommodations provided by the network. If a participant violates any of the house rules, judges can immediately disqualify him or her from the competition. On the positive side, such rules prevent acts from performing while under the influence.
9 They Can Offer Second Chances
Depending on how the show progresses, Judges can use X-Factor wildcards to give deserving contestants a surprising second chance after facing elimination. Contestants who get wildcards go through to the next stage. According to mirror, the judges can use wildcards to replace a contestant who had to leave the show due to misconduct.
8 They Cannot Gang Up On Each Other
Since judges are also in the competition, they can choose to gang up against one judge to unfairly eliminate their contestants, as wiki reveals. X-factor has a strict rule that judges should not gang up on another judge especially when it leads to unfair elimination. This rule is in place to make sure eliminations happen in a free and fair manner.
7 Welfare Of Contestants Comes First
Judges have a strict rule that the welfare of contestants comes first before anything. Some contestants may make it past the auditions without judges and the show's producers noticing they have any health issues. However, when such issues arise, the judges have to consider the health of the contestant before the contestant can continue participating. They try to do anything they can to help out the contestants.
6 Judges Cannot Save Their Favorites
A new rule is in place that scraps the judges' ability to save their favorite contestants. Judges are not able to save their contestants during the live shows, as metro reports. Now the public votes to immediately eliminate the person with the least number of votes and the two acts that win that night according to public votes compete against each other for a prizefight.
5 Swap Out Six Chair Acts
After listening to acts performs, either through live accompaniment or acapella, judges have to decide which act deserves the six sought-after chairs. However, according to standard, the six acts are still not safe. Judges can swap out any of the chosen singers when they come across a more deserving act, except of course those saved by the Golden X buzzer.
4 Judges Cannot Be Involved With Contestants
Judges cannot have any relations with contestants on the show for obvious reasons. If a judge is in a relationship with a contestant, then he or she will have some preferences towards him or her. Any relations between the two can affect the judges’ ability to make free and fair decisions. According to screenrant, judges are not allowed to let anything other than the act's singing talent influence their decision-making.
3 Judges Cannot Take Their Competition Too Far
Each Judge wants the seasons’ winner to be someone from his or her team and as a result, according to wiki, judges cannot unfairly eliminate acts from other judges teams so that theirs can progress. This rule ensures eliminations are done in a free and fair manner and that the best contestants get a shot at winning.
2 Judges Can Send A Good Contestant Home
Despite it being a competition, as a rule, judges must always act in the best interest of the contestant, whether he or she wants to or not. If a contestant has any health issues that may affect his or her ability to participate in the show, the judges have to discontinue them from the show, as telegraph reveals.
1 Moving On Is Not Always Dependent On Judges
For the better part of the show, judges have the power to save and eliminate acts. However, when the show gets to the live shows, the contestants cannot rely on the judges to get to the next stage. The power now shifts to the voters. According to screenrant, in the later stages, judges cannot intervene unless a controversy springs up.
Sources: ctlshows.com, en.wiki.org, thesun.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, thethings.com, theguardian.com, telegraph.co.uk, metro.co.uk, screenrant.com.