Here's a picture Dermot O'Leary tweeted earlier today. It's a picture of four of this year's X Factor judges. But we all know that nothing about The X Factor is ever released without having gone through a million layers of scrutiny from the show's publicists, and that nothing 'accidental' really ever is an accident. So what's going on in this photo — and what does it really mean?
LOTS OF APPLES. This is the year of apples on The X Factor. What does it mean? Will there be an 'apple week' in the live finals? Think of the running order!
Or maybe it's a bluff, like Big Brother's recent 'Eye Lie'. Perhaps there will be no apples at all. But why exclude apples, when they now accept managed artists and contestants who play guitar? Are apples the last taboo?
Sharon's hair is both REDDISH and UP — as opposed to BLONDEISH and DOWN — signifying that she is starting the series as that 'no-nonsense straight-talking opinionated' (rude) hellraiser that we all know and, well, that we all know. Naturally this haircut will dramatically change during the live shows following a vote-off in which Sharon is required to make a difficult decision that goes down extremely badly with viewers. By the following Saturday, she'll be soft and lovely.
3. Taking sides
It's Louis and Sharon vs Gary and Nicole, as Dermot watches on…
4. Red carpets
During the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson insisted that the decks of HMS Victory were painted red, so that the crew wouldn't notice all the blood that was being shed. We'd expect that something similar has happened here.
5. TV fakery
There's nothing in those mugs, they're just props. The undiluted gin in Nicole's glass is real, though.
6. That's it