“Is it really that time of the year?” I hear you ask, as you peak out from under your duvet. The time when summer becomes autumn, the leaves change colour and Twitter comes ablaze every Saturday night with observations from The X Factor.

Yes, my friends, yes it is.

Here are a list of things we can expect from the new series

1)Judges reduced to a series of nervous tics and different ways of saying “sod off”

Throughout the course of the series Kelly, Tulisa and Gary will become their most base selves. Reduced through the ‘bad photoshop’ of televisual editing and having to wave off potential sad sack singers week after week, they will become caricatures of themselves, as if their lives were pencil sketched by one of those tourist-hassling “portrait artists” who hang out in Leceister Square.

X Factor 1

2)”Wacky” auditionees

Apparently the “day release” form from Broadmoor and the X Factor audition application look similar enough that people mix them up ALL THE TIME. 3,012 views on YouTube later, Crazy Christine From Cheam Destroying “California Girls” maybe someone will recognize the heavily medicated look in Christine’s eyes but, oh, it’s all a bit of fun isn’t it?!

3)”Fashion Offs”

“What the hell is a fashion off?” I hear you ask. Well remember that week last year when Dannii Minogue’s shoulder pads were maybe about an inch higher than Cheryl Cole’s? No? Well us neither, TBH, but when it happened various fashionistas claimed it was a victory for Dannii. Well done! 24- 22 to Team Minogue. On and on it went for the entire run of the series. Expect the same thing this year when Tulisa sports a yellow tie-dye horses leg-hat and Kelly shocks everyone by wearing a mask of Beyonce made entirely of ice cubes on Week 34. 23-16 to Team Kelly….

X Factor 2
4)Crying. Lots Of It.

Audition sob stories are part of the show’s DNA. Although Cowell had reportedly outlawed them last year, we still had plenty of crafty editing, soft focus close ups and slow building Westlife-like music in the show to the moment they ‘fessed up about their dead goldfish/ wooden leg/ massive criminal record for hate crimes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwvuKaHygmw

5) Ineffectual judgement

Louis and Cheryl: both terrible, terrible judges. Dannii was good but no-one really listened to her. Simon was Simon, but now he’s gone. So who, we wonder, will make a good fist of it this year? “None of them,” we fear you saying.

6) An odd atmosphere for the “guest judges”

Scoring a “10” on the “Awkward”-ometer, this year’s guest judges will be like walking into a roomful of hopeful drama students after a first night performance of The Seagull. The “look at meeeeeee!” factor will be rather large as Tulisa, Kelly and Gary invite their attention seeking band-mates to their fake houses (Dappy, Beyonce, Robbie respectively).

X Factor 3

7) A disappointing winner’s song

Matt Cardle’s gentle slaughter of the Biffy track was, at least, an attempt to do something different. This year though with the way Syco have been getting rid of their acts (oh bai Shayne and Joe), it seems like they will be sticking to ballads. Gloopy, Robson-And-Jerome-would-balk-at-the-cheesiness type ballads. You’ll be gagging for a ‘Mr Blobby’-style novelty hit of yore come December.

Joe M

8)Awkward duets

Last year we had Christina Aguilera shoot dagger eyes at Rebecca Ferguson, the year before we got Robbie man-handling Olly Murs. So what can we expect in 2011? Well Michael Buble for one (he’s ALWAYS on the show), Pixie bloody Lott and one of the assorted X Factor alumni; Leona, JLS, Cher Lloyd gurning through ‘(I’ve Had The) Time Of My Life’.

9)’Neon Rainbow’

Get ready for the track to live in your head like a sonic worm, for the next three months.

10) Advert overload
You’ll have a growing sense of awareness that you’ve probably watched more adverts in one evening than is heathly or necessary.

The X Factor begins on August 20th at 8pm on ITV