CHAMPAGNE, popcorn and tears at today’s press launch for The X Factor 2007.
It was standing room only at the cinema inside London’s Mayfair Hotel for a preview screening of this Saturday’s first show.
That was followed by a press conference and chats with judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue.
New presenter Dermot O’Leary was also on parade, along with ITV2’s The Xtra Factor host Fearne Cotton.
Although Sharon Osbourne was otherwise detained in Los Angeles, she sent a filmed message for the media.
“We’re all kicking off on this show,” she purred.
“I don’t think it’s what any of you are going to expect it to be.”
The online version of the MEN report is here.
And below are just some of the extras we couldn’t squeeze into the feature:
*Simon is on top form, telling one bunch of no-hopers: “I think you are probably the worst group I have ever heard in my life.”
*Things go downhill when Emily, 70, walks in to face the judges with a scarf around her mouth “because I urgently need dentistry”.
Simon: “This is ridiculous. You’re standing there like something out of a horror movie, the Invisible Man or whatever it is.”
Emily: “I’m standing here like someone who actually has the X Factor.”
Simon: “Yes, but not on planet Earth, darling.”
Emily is still a Cowell fan: “You’re a warm, charismatic, handsome person, with great dentistry.”
*Brother and sister Sarah and Sean – duo Same Difference – bounce in like two over-excited Tiggers. They are far too happy for Simon’s liking.
His verdict? “I think you need to watch lots of depressing documentaries. You are possibly two of the most annoying people I have ever met.”
*Several people were in tears at the launch after watching the story of Nicki Evans, who has her dad to thank for her appearance on The X Factor. “He died seven months ago and he got me the forms before he died,” she explained. Even more poignant because Nicki only found them in his belongings after he passed away.
*Dannii was asked all too predictably if she had discussed her new role with sister Kylie. “My whole family are backing me,” she replied wearily.
*After a “bumpy” first week, an initially “scared” Dannii settles in to her new role. “I’ve been performing since the age of seven and I got my start on a talent show. So I know what it takes to be a success in this industry.”
*The very first 14-year-old to face the judges is Emily, from London. Simon then hails her performance as justification for lowering the minimum age limit.
*Asked if there were any actors among the contestants, Simon replied: “Only one I can say was not from this planet. That was the lady in the scarf. I’m very careful that the people who come on to the auditions aren’t the people who dress up as a banana because they want to be on TV. Every single person is genuine about wanting or believing, more importantly, that they can win this competition.”
*The X Factor returns on ITV1 at 7.40pm on Saturday.
Louis Gives Us X Factor
The X Factor 2007
Other X Factor Blogs
The X Factor Official Site