Original X Factor judge Sharon returned for the current tenth season, replacing N-Dubz singer Tulisa who left to work on other projects.
And that's a good thing, according to Gary, who says he prefers the current judging line up of himself, Sharon, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh "100%".
He told Daily Star Sunday: "The panel last year seemed to be more serious, more competitive, but this year we're having so much fun. TV is still relatively new to me but because Sharon's done so much. She's just so relaxed and it's taught me not to be too serious."
Tulisa announced her departure after two years in May, saying at the time: "Just wanted to let you all know that I won't be part of The X Factor panel this year. I've had a great time on the show, but this year it's time to do something different. I'd like to thank everyone on The X Factor."
Sharon was announced as the new judge the following day.
She said: "I couldn't be happier about coming back for the 10th anniversary of X Factor. I can't wait to give Gary Barlow a big hug, sit next to the gorgeous Nicole, and of course throw water on dear Louis. Yay!"
X Factor's tenth series kicked off on ITV last night, with viewers introduced to one of the new twists for the season.
Hopefuls have to complete two auditions in order to get to Boot Camp: first in front of the judges in an intimate audition room, then in front of thousands at Wembley Arena.