Belfast Telegraph

Barlow: X Factor keeps labels going

Gary Barlow has defended The X Factor, saying the success of some of its acts has helped record companies support "credible artists".

The singer-songwriter and new judge said he had faced some "pretty unpredictable" performances during the auditions and had tried to be honest with people.

Speaking at a press preview of the new ITV1 series at the O2 in Greenwich, south London, he said: "You know what? I'm pretty serious about music so I'm fair but I'm direct and really honest so if someone's not cutting it I try to tell them but I try not to be as cruel.

"That's the piece of this show I never liked."

Take That star Gary said he had "never had an issue" with the show, which has been criticised for creating manufactured stars. He said: "I'll tell you why. It's because the acts on it sometimes keep the record labels afloat so we're able to see credible artists funded."

The new X Factor judges - Gary, former Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland and N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos - have given the show "a whole new energy" according to veteran Louis Walsh. `

Louis said: "It's like having a brand new car with a whole new engine. It's bigger and better.

"I can't explain, yes I miss Simon (Cowell) and Dannii (Minogue) and Cheryl (Cole) but these guys have brought something new."

Tulisa said her new role was not the end for N-Dubz but admitted she was still getting used to being a judge.

The singer said: "I know there are lots of rumours circulating but it's hearsay and not the case at all but I do want to take the time out to find myself musically and do a solo album."

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