X Factor Overs 'no joke' this year
The X Factor Over-28s contestants have insisted that their category is no longer a joke as they prepared for this year's live shows.
Judge Gary Barlow has picked chimney sweep Kye Sones, 30, mother-of-two Melanie Masson, 44, and country music fan Carolynne Poole, 32, to take through to the next stage of the ITV1 show.
"This is definitely the year when we want to make a big difference. It's not the joke category at all this year. That's our mission to make that clear if we haven't already," Kye said.
Carolynne, who lost out at the judges' houses section of the show last year, said she would like to fill a gap in the market for a British country music star.
"I'm from Leeds, I'm not from Texas. I don't claim to be a cowgirl by any means," she said.
"But I do have an underlying theme of country. I'm hoping that I can show that country music isn't just line-dancing, cowboy hats in the air... it's good songs, story-telling music."
Her mentor Gary added: "I've been a massive country fan for years... I think it's going to be brilliant to have that twist in the show this year."
Melanie, a former backing singer, said she was preparing for her first live show having not had much experience in the last six years.
"I've been a stay-at-home mum for six years... The most recent session I did was six years ago," she said.
"We've been working really hard, working on the music and tracks, getting ourselves ready and prepared."