On 11 March 2014, Cowell confirmed at a press conference in London that closed room auditions would be the preliminary round, as well as the eight-seat challenge at bootcamp.
In addition to the producers' auditions, the "Mobile Audition Tour" took place up and down the UK and Ireland throughout March and April. Auditions began to open on 24 March, and visited Cork, Belfast, Newquay, Exeter, Bournemouth, Southampton, Bristol, Newport, Barry, Swansea, Romford, Leicester, Brighton, Norwich, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, South Shields, Durham, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Ayr, Solihull, Dudley, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Warrington, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bolton and Widnes by 28 April.
Producers auditions commenced on 5 April in Dublin and ended on 5 May in Liverpool. For the first time, nine open auditions were held, instead of the usual six, and the five in series 6 and 10. This series marked the first time that auditions had visited Ireland since series 7. It was also the first time open auditions were held in Plymouth and Edinburgh.
|Audition city||Open audition date||Open audition venue|
|Dublin||5 April 2014||Convention Centre Dublin|
|Plymouth||8 April 2014||Holiday Inn Plymouth|
|Cardiff||10 April 2014||Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa|
|London||13 April 2014||Emirates Stadium|
|Birmingham||23 April 2014||St. Andrew's|
|Edinburgh||27 April 2014||Murrayfield Stadium|
|Gateshead||30 April 2014||Sage Gateshead|
|Manchester||3 May 2014||Old Trafford Cricket Ground|
|Liverpool||5 May 2014||Liverpool Convention Centre|
In this series there were just four locations for the judges auditions, the fewest in the history of the show. The auditions started in Manchester (Emirates Old Trafford) on 16 and 17 June. The London auditions (Emirates Stadium) took place on 20 June and from 22–24 June, and were followed by Newcastle (St. James' Park) on 26 June, before concluding in Edinburgh (Assembly Rooms) on 1 July.
The first room audition episode aired on 30 August, and featured Manchester, London and Edinburgh. More room auditions from London, Edinburgh and Manchester, along with those from Newcastle, were shown in the 31 August episode.
It was reported in March 2014 that Cowell was considering axing the bootcamp stage in favour of the "eight-seat challenge", whereby judges were assigned their categories at the start of bootcamp and contestants took it in turns to perform for their judge.The six-seat challenge involves successful contestants being offered one of "six seats", representing places at the judges' houses stage of the competition. However, if a judge had already chosen eight acts for their category, they could replace them if they preferred a later act. This was a controversial input to the series as many were disappointed to see acts sent home in such a harsh way.
Despite the reports, both bootcamp and the six-seat challenge took place. Walsh was given the Groups category, Mel B was given the Boys, Fernandez-Versini was given the Girls and Cowell was given the Over 25s. The eight-seat challenge took place at The SSE Arena on 9 and 10 August. A total of 175 acts successfully reached the bootcamp this year. They were put into groups and took part in a sing-off, followed by a solo song in front of the other finalists where the judges cut 115 acts, leaving only 60 acts to compete for the "eight-seat challenge". Any contestant under 16 could not be swapped out if they were given a seat.
For judges' houses, Walsh took the Groups to Bermuda and was assisted by former judge Tulisa Contostavlos; Mel B took the Boys to Cancún, with assistance from fellow Spice Girls member Emma Bunton; Fernandez-Versini took the Girls to Nice and was assisted by Tinie Tempah; and Cowell took the Over 25s to Los Angeles, where he was assisted by Sinitta.
|Judge||Category||Location||Guest mentor(s)||Contestants eliminated||Wildcard|
|Cowell||Over 25s||Los Angeles||Sinitta||Coleman Coles, George Dyer, Kyle Johnes||Drew Dean|
|Fernandez-Versini||Groups||Nice||Tinie Tempah||Mountain Sounds, Valentine's Day, Walton & Miles||Matt & Collin|
|Mel B||Girls||Cancún||Emma Bunton||Chelsey Moss, Elise Nicholson, Maddi Weston||Aaliyah Ryan|
|Walsh||Boys||Bermuda||Tulisa Contostavlos||Ellis Patterson, Reese Rowley, Taylor Fleming||Noah Briggs|
|Boys (Walsh)||Benji Bell||Noah Briggs||Declan Clements||Logan Craig||Jake Richards|
|Girls (Mel B)||Aimee Andrews||Imogen Buckley||Maddison Davey||Aaliyah Ryan||Kayleigh Turner|
|Over 25s (Cowell)||Tegan Davidson||Drew Dean||Spence Hawkins||Jay James||Katie O'Sullivan|
|Groups (Fernandez-Versini)||Blue Avenue||Chasing Owls||Duo107||Matt & Collin||TRXTR|
|Boys (Cowell)||Jordy Conroy||Dominic Johnston||Hayden Leonard||Adam McDonald||Kieran Wallace|
|Girls (Fernandez-Versini)||Maisie Kelly||Harriet Simmons||Elise Thornton||Alexandra Watson||Lauren Williamson|
|Over 25s (Walsh)||Amber Allen||Coleman Coles||Josh Davison||Jude Parkes||Jade Taylor|
|Groups (Mel B)||Aidan & Elise||IIV||The Isley Brothers||Steelstreet||The System|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 1)
|Boys (Abdul)||TT Johnson||Daniel Mangano||Carter Jack Manning||Chad Rivera|
|Girls (Lovato)||Jessi Elliott||Davina McNicholas||Audrey Mettler||Ilse Ungar|
|Over 25s (Reid)||Andrea Alexandre||Drew DiStefano||Anita Reynolds||Josh Robertson|
|Groups (Cowell)||Black Moon Band||The Ex-Girlfriends||The Jamaican Brothers||The Uptown|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 2)
|Boys (Spears)||K.J. Bartley||Sam Callahan||Ry Kamitani||Todd Sebastian Myers|
|Girls (Cowell)||Jessa Janicki||Arielle Lakes||Nikia Nava||Rebekah Samarin|
|Over 25s (Lovato)||Will Champlin||Cassie Collins||Chris Cruz||Alina Redmond|
|Groups (Reid)||The Butler Twins||Emeline & Rosella||Saravia & Knox||Street Corner Symphony|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 3)
|Boys (Reid)||Oliver Justice||Tanner Lawton||Scott Smith||Brandon Wright|
|Girls (Spears)||Maggie Armstrong||Cass Manning||Kelsey McCoy||Kara Westgate|
|Over 25s (Cowell)||Colleen Dahlquist||Rich Ray||Julia Richardson||Giuseppe Sergio Trevisani|
|Groups (Lovato)||Bass Cannon||Border Patrol||Meghan & Jean-Paul||MK2|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 4)
|Boys (Rowland)||Jeremiah Dempsey||Matt Johnson||Mike McVay||Neil Wendland|
|Girls (Tedder)||Beth Drennan||Jessica Edwards||Ashton Samuels||Chelsey Vaughn|
|Over 25s (Blige)||Phil Dalton||Christa Durbin||Justina Gillian||Vance Kyle|
|Groups (Timberlake)||Diva Fever||Jacqui & Madi||Third Degree||The Weekend|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 5)
|Boys (Tedder)||Taylor Jared Cloyd||James Levine||Jamie McKeehan||Matt Tatum|
|Girls (Blige)||Amanda Lawson||Audra Marten||Lauren McLaughlin||Kelley Whitley|
|Over 25s (Timberlake)||Janae Clarke||Constantine||Matthew James Dorsey||Grant Randolph|
|Groups (Rowland)||The Irish Tenors||The Nightbox||The Sisters||The Uniques|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 6)
|Boys (Timberlake)||Brent Berman||Josh Cameron||Ryan McGee||Drew Michalec|
|Girls (Rowland)||Aliza Alkire||Kina Burke||Madison McDaniel||Mara Taylor|
|Over 25s (Tedder)||Mallory Charles||Mitch Ellington||Julee Jorgenson||Lucas Edward Roesler|
|Groups (Blige)||Ghost Syndrome||Josephine & David||Royal Ensemble||Velvet Quartet|
The X Factor (U.S. Season 7)
|Boys (Lavigne)||John Wesley James||Ryan Matney||Brett Stephenson||Chris Young|
|Girls (Bareilles)||Alli Davison||Meghann Francis||Isela Christine Klos||Jill Turner|
|Over 25s (Levine)||Ryan Madison||Lauren Platt||Blake David Steele||Hannah Sussman|