The Judges’ Houses round is one of our favourite bits of The X Factor. Not only do we get to know the contestants more, but the glamourous locations can also provide a little bit of holiday inspiration.
So to prepare for this season’s X Factor Judges’ Houses, here’s a recap of the top locations from the last few years.
1. Loire Valley
Last year, Simon Cowell and his guest judge, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, stayed at the Château de Moh in France’s beautiful Loire Valley.
Just a short ride away from Paris, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has elegant castles, spectacular scenery, and vineyards for wine-tasting.
It’s also where you’ll find the 12th-century Cathedrale St-Etienne at Bourges, one of France’s great gothic cathedrals with its impressive stained glass windows.
Who can resist Rome? Certainly not Cheryl Fernandez-Versini who made it her base to mentor the Groups in 2015, along with singer-songwriter Jess Glynne. Where do you start with all the culture? Maybe the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Vatican Museums, and the Sistine Chapel. Rome is definitely on our must visit list.
When the heat of The X Factor gets too much, it’s time to make a tranquil retreat to the Cotswolds. Nick Grimshaw took his six contestants from the Boys category here in 2015 along with Mark Ronson. The rolling hills, thatched cottages, and stately homes are just some of the highlights you’d see on a rural retreat here, making it the ideal place for rest and reflection, and maybe a bit of alfresco singing too.
Judge Melanie B took the Boys to Cancun in 2014 with former Spice Girl bandmate Emma Bunton. No doubt there was plenty of time in “rehearsal breaks” to enjoy a swim in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, or lounge around in the sunshine on the beach. Ok, maybe not. But at this beach paradise in south-eastern Mexico, everyone else in Cancun could at least enjoy the diving and snorkelling, luxury spas and numerous night clubs.
Louis Walsh and his guest (and former judge) Tulisa Contostavlos chose the sunny beaches of Bermuda to coach the Group category. With blue waters and pink sands, this cluster of islands east of North Carolina are the perfect place to relax and unwind.
6. New York
Back in 2013, Take That’s Gary Barlow took the Groups to New York City to encourage them to dream big. It doesn’t get better than the Big Apple, with its famous music venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Gardens, Radio City Music Hall, and the Bowery Ballroom.
Louis Walsh and his Boys category went to stylish Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera during series 10 of The X Factor. A glamour hot-spot since Brigitte Bardot filmed here in the ’50s, this beautiful village welcomes thousands of visitors every summer – we reckon it’s something to do with the charming cobbled streets, sandy beaches, and exciting nightlife. But we recommend seeing for yourself.
8. Los Angeles
Sharon Osbourne teamed up with Robbie Williams at her Los Angeles mansion to whittle down the three finalists from her Overs category in 2013. The two celebs used to be neighbours in LA, which is a favourite haunt for those in the music industry.
The city is home to legendary music venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Staples Center, the Wiltern, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. And it’s on the famous Sunset Strip that rock bands such as Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, and Guns ‘n’ Roses strutted their stuff there back in the 1980s.
9. Las Vegas
Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne jetted off to Las Vegas in 2012 to look after the Groups, including contestants MK1, Union J and GMD3.
Located in Nevada’s Mojave Desert, this big, bold, brash city is best known for its 24-hour casinos such as Caesar’s Palace, the dancing fountains, and majestic theme hotels.
Paris Las Vegas features its own Eiffel Tower, while the Venetian has canals with gondolas and even a replica of St. Mark’s Square. Who needs Europe?
10. Saint Lucia
Tulisa Contostavlos was joined by rapper Tiny Tempah to look after the Girls in Saint Lucia during series 9. The girls enjoyed jumping in the sea. And we don’t blame them.
This Caribbean beauty spot is famed for its tranquil beaches, reef-diving sites, and lush green rainforests.
If you were a judge, where in the world would your house be? Tweet us @lastminute_com using the hashtag #YourMoment and let us know.