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Selection process

Eligibility

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.

Auditions

Mobile auditions

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.

Open auditions

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

Judges auditions

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.

Bootcamp

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.

Judges' houses

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.

Summary of judges' houses
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

Finalists

Key:

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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

Series 2

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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)

     Winner
     Runner Up
     Third place

Category (mentor) Acts
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
Groups (Redfoo) 7Teen Gl'Amour Margate Stereo6

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