X Factor auditions begin

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • N-Dubz star Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland have been confirmed as judges on The X Factor.

    The two girls will compete in the fashion stakes as Cheryl Cole, 27, and Dannii Minogue, 39, have done in previous years.

    Tulisa, 22, and Kelly, 30, joined Louis Walsh, 58, and Gary Barlow, 40, for the auditions which started in Birmingham on Wednesday.

    ‘The X Factor (UK) judges will be: Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland & Louis Walsh,’ ITV’s press centre Tweeted.

    Cheryl – who is being managed by Will.i.am – was reported to be in last minute talks with Simon Cowell to get her old job back on the show after being dropped from The X Factor US, but negotiations came to nothing.

    ‘People have been trying to speak to her and persuade her this would be a good idea, but she’s been uncontactable,’ a source tells the Daily Mail.

    ‘She hasn’t returned phone calls. And you can’t exactly negotiate with someone who won’t even speak to you.’

    Simon Cowell appeared at the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final on Monday and was booed by Cheryl fans.

    The media mogul’s friendship with the Geordie star appears to have completely disintegrated. He does not mention her in his statement about Tulisa and Kelly joining The UK X Factor 2011.

    ‘These four are totally up for it, each of them bring a different attitude,’ he says. ‘ They have had a ton of hits between them and they are all committed to finding a star.

    ‘I have a feeling Louis and Tulisa will have slightly different points of view as to what the next star should look and sound like!’

    Tulisa has previously been a critic of series but has obviously had a change of heart.

    ‘It’s annoying watching X Factor contestants just come up there and become worldwide acts selling millions of records after just standing in a queue for an hour,’ Tulisa told RTE Ten.

    ‘It happens overnight to them. It’s very frustrating for all the other acts and artists, but, at the end of the day, it is what it is.’

    Now she says: ‘I’m so excited to be the joining The X Factor and want to bring something fresh and new to the panel. I’m not going to be afraid to speak my mind and mix things up a little.

    ‘I am hoping to find some hot new talent and mentor a winning category. It is also going to be great to get to know and work alongside the other Judges. Let the fireworks begin!’

    Where to next?

    Cheryl Cole’s life in pictures

    Britain’s Got Talent 2011

    The Apprentice 2011