You know what, so much time and energy is thrown at criticising The X Factor for losing momentum, missing the point completely and generally declining in relevance, but credit where it's due, the new season looks GREAT.
The only catch is that it's happening in Australia.
These are the judges.
And you might look at the picture, and you might think a few things. You might think "Adam Lambert isn't the biggest star in the world". You might think "I am not generally keen on the idea of Iggy Azalea". You might think "Guy Sebastian seems nice enough but he's still Guy Sebastian". You might think all those things and more.
(Picture credit: Off the ITV X Factor website. L‑R: Happy To Be There, Paid Large Sum To Be There, Lucky To Be There, Generally Obliged To Be There)
There are probably all sorts of complicated/semi-boring reasons, involving advertising and demographics, for the X Factor Australia panel looking like that while the X Factor UK panel looks like this. But the clip below is so full of excitement and energy and a sense of trying to push things forward a bit that you do rather wonder how all that fell out of the UK version.
Brace yourselves. The Underdog Judge is coming! Who is it? #xfactorau pic.twitter.com/59XYJwx5Sl
— #XFactorAU (@thexfactorau) August 8, 2016
Shows like The X Factor exist in a popcultural window that seems to have been slowly closing for a while now, but you can still feel a decent breeze on a good day and at least the Australian version is attempting to show viewers that it deserves to still be on air in two years' time.
Anyway here's the UK's 2016 panel laughing at a man like it's 2005 or something.