Gary Flockhart: Cowell back but show lacks X Factor

Cheryl Cole. Pic: Comp

Cheryl Cole. Pic: Comp

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GUESS who’s back? No, not the Real Slim Shady. It’s the Real High Trews – old Simon Cowell himself.

The Botox-loving music mogul returns to our screens tomorrow night for a brand new season of X Factor after the US version of the show was axed after just three years due to catastrophic ratings.

If we are to believe the show’s head honcho, it’s all change on the UK version this year, with Cowell saying he’s not interested in contestants’ sob stories or second-rate versions of existing acts.

Speaking ahead of the series, Cowell said he’s looking for “somebody different from anyone else in the charts at the moment”.

Also back on the judging panel is Cheryl whatever her name is now, who is returning for the first time since SiCo axed her from the US panel in 2011.

Sans Gary Barlow, Mel B joins as a new member of the panel, although we’ve already experienced Scary Spice when she appeared as a guest judge a couple of years back.

Completing the line-up is mainstay Louis Walsh, who, despite previously announcing that 2013 would be his last X Factor year, has returned, presumably in search of Jedward Mark II.

Regular readers of this column will know I’m no fan of X Factor – do I really have to say again how much it’s ruined the music industry? – but I do agree with many that the reunited Simon and Cheryl will make for fairly entertaining viewing – well, for all of five minutes, anyway.

Will I be tuning in? No sir, I’ll be in local music venues where genuinely talented young artists are out paying their dues.

Besides, we already know what the X Factor finalists will be: an ‘edgy’ urban act, an Ed Sheeran wannabe, and a boy or girl group (probably made up of entrants who previously auditioned solo but failed to get through) – all of whom, it goes without saying, have no discernible talent but get voted to stay in each week because folk fancy them.