Take That frontman Gary Barlow has rather candidly admitted that last year’s X Factor contestants were rather complacent.
Speaking to Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine, Gary claimed he was surprised by how arrogant some of the contestants became.
“One of the biggest shocks for me last year was how quickly people become lazy once they get into this competition.”
“I found myself thinking, ‘Hold on, this is just the start. You haven’t made it yet. Even if you win it is just the start.’”
When quizzed about troublesome contestant Frankie Cocozza, who was kicked out of the competition for taking drugs, Gary said: “It is weird. You take people off the street and put them in this bubble and they start to act like they have arrived.”
“You can see them thinking, ‘I was born to do this, I don’t have to work at it’.”
Speaking of this years series: “The standard has definitely gone up a few notches. I think the audience is going to love it!”
Gary also gave his views on new X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger, who jumped from the US series to the UK, following her shock axe and replacement in Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.
“We’re really pleased to have Nicole on the panel with us. She’s amazing. She really feels like a Hollywood star.
“She got the job because she clicked… With all her experience in the industry and as a judge on the US X Factor, she has definitely earned her place.
“I think she’ll be quite good with the contestants. She’s quite emotional, maternal almost. To be honest, I think you could have the same four judges every year [as] I think it’s more about the contestants. If they’re no good, no-one will watch.”
Gary is set to perform at the closing ceremony of the Olympics tonight, where he’ll be joined by The Spice Girls.