Exclusive: Jake Quickenden talks X Factor: "Simon has mixed it right up, I can't wait"

Published Wednesday, Jun 17 2015, 14:54 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Jake Quickenden may not see his former mentor Mel B sitting on The X Factor judging panel this year, but that won't stop him tuning in to watch new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.

Earlier this week, The X Factor finally confirmed Rita and Nick will be joining Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in the search for the ITV talent show's next star and while many seem divided on the new additions, last year's hopeful Jake is pretty pleased with Simon's decision.

"I think Rita and Nick will be great," he told Reveal. "They're young and fresh."

Jake Quickenden, Instagram

© Instagram / @jakequickenden14

With Rita and Nick joining the X Factor panel, the show has waved goodbye to two of its former judges Louis Walsh and Mel B. But despite his old mentor, Spice Girl Mel, not making the cut this year, Jake insists he'll still be watching this year's hopefuls.

Speaking at the showcase for his new EP in London, Jake said: "Simon has mixed it right up, I can't wait to watch."

And while he is a fan of Rita and Grimmy, Jake did add that he would liked to have seen Mark Ronson as the show's new judge.

"He's unbelievable," Jake gushed. "I think he's be good. He's had so many good songs and he knows talent when he sees it."

Nick Grimshaw, Rita Ora and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini: X Factor judges picture 2015

© Twitter / @thexfactor

Since the beginning of this year, speculation has been rife as to who will be joining Simon in the remaining judges' seats. Fans were surprised to hear music mogul Louis had finally been shown the door after judging on the show since it launched 11 years ago.

We asked Jake if he thinks the X Factor will miss having Louis on the show, but he isn't convinced the Irish music mogul is definitely going...

He joked: "He is part of the furniture, I'm sure he'll be there somewhere. Maybe in the crowd, shouting his opinions!"

Having been through the process himself not too long ago, Jake knows all too well how this year's hopefuls will be feeling now the competition is preparing to kick off.

Last series, Jake made it the live shows, finishing in eighth place. Offering some words of wisdom to the contestants this time round, he advised: "Just stay true to yourself even though it can be hard sometimes. Enjoy it, ride it and enjoy the platform it gives you and have fun."

Mel B cries as Jake Quickenden is sent home from The X Factor - 27 Oct 2014


Speaking about his own experience on the show, Jake admits he is so thankful for the stepping stone X Factor brings.

He has since been busy in the studio working on his own music material, setting his sights on his very own chart success.

Before penning his new tracks though, Jake won over the public with his appearance on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!. Lasting it out in the jungle, he was pipped to the post by his now girlfriend's dad Carl Fogarty (Jake is dating his daughter Danielle), just missing out on being crowned King.

Recalling his time in the jungle, Jake said it was an "amazing experience" that pushed him to test himself, even if it did brand him with a "reality tag". And while he wouldn't rule out more reality shows in the future, Jake is now keen for people to see him as a serious artist.

"I think because I did two reality shows so quickly I kind of got a reality tag," he said. "I wouldn't say I'd never do reality again and I want to present, but music is my focus."

And while he's come up with a slew of original songs he is pretty chuffed with, Jake admitted he won't be trying to impress his old critique Simon Cowell.

"I don't think he'd be interested," he told us. "I'd love for him to hear it, but I'm not [making music] to rub salt in Simon's wounds!"

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