Simon Cowell forced to defend this year's X Factor judging panel 3 years ago

Simon Cowell forced to defend this year's X Factor judging panel

Lol.

Are you excited for the X Factor? 

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Probably not to be honest seeing as the show's ratings have been dropping considerably during recent years, nobody of note has been 'discovered' on it recently, and everyone seems to be watching Strictly Come Dancing over it anyway.

Add the questionable judging panel to this year's list of complaints and you'll have a fairly good idea as to why things have been going downhill.

There's Simon Cowell, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams, and Ayda Field - the last of whom is a Loose Women panelist and Robbie's wife, so you know, they clearly weren't stuck for a hire or anything.

Turns out though that Cowell has rejected any of the above, stating that this year's judging panel are very connected to the show in their own ways and that Ayda, in particular, has been a "revelation."

The Press Association reports that Cowell defended his panel this week, stating: "You don't have to be a music manager or an artist to be on this show. You have to have taste, good instincts, you have got to like people.

He went on:

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"What I love about Louis, Robbie and Ayda is that they are all fans of the show in their own way and, of course, Louis started out on the show.

"Robbie's been a huge part of the show over the years - it's how we became friends - and Ayda has been a revelation. I mean, seriously, she's been brilliant."

Ayda also said that her relationship with Robbie has given her enough experience in the music business.

She added that she thinks she will be able to "make a difference" in the competition.

"I know that I've helped Rob for 12 years now," she said. "I've had to pick him up off the ground and lift him up.

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"I've been part of every song choice for, like, five albums, every creative for his live shows, his tours, music videos.

"I feel like I've had enough experience with his career and my own career to make a difference with these contestants."

The X Factor returns Saturday, September 1 on Virgin Media One (TV3).