Ten years in and The X Factor is still managing to pull in the punters.
Simon Cowell's greatest love child attracted 9.5 million viewers on Saturday night, its biggest series debut in three years. That was largely thanks to the return of favourites Cowell and Cheryl Cole (aka Fernandez-Versini).
Part of the allure of The X Factor in its early weeks is the comforting familiarity of the auditions.
Every episode you tune into you know you're going to get a mixture of goosebumps, tears, laughter, confusion, exasperation, family-meltdowns, judge bust-ups, judge indecision and the ultimate in cringe TV, all set to soundtrack of Mariah Carey hits.
It is this annual familiarity that allows us to present a video round-up of the best and worst auditions from the first week of The X Factor 2014:
Thirty-year-old Jay James is a navy man who discovered his musical talents while on sick leave due to a damaged knee. Cowell summed up his emotionally-powerful performance perfectly: “You first started, I thought ‘Good.’ Then you got better, and better.”
It's hard to tell whether 42-year-old Jale Antor is really a Cheryl fan. Yes, she wore the perfect Cheryl costume to perform "Fight For This Love," but she also needed the sing with lyrics in front of her.
You know it’s going to be bad when the singers scream as they enter the room, manically shake the judges' hands and ramble on about themselves after simply being asked for their names. Cowell said these “Single Pringles” could be the “biggest mistake he’s ever made”. There’s a lot to choose from, Simon.
If you're asked to describe yourself and you reply, "I love animals and I love Cheryl Cole," something is just plain wrong. Ben Quinlan sang "That's My Goal" for an unsurprisingly creeped-out Cole. Her next goal should be a restraining order.
After the success of Alexandra Burke, you always expect a former failure to have a chance. Linzi Martin was part of Girl Thing, a pop group from the nineties managed by none other than Simon Cowell. However, his honesty causes her downfall and brings on the tears.
When Chloe Jasmine responded to Mel B’s comment on her posh voice with “I got a scholarship to a boarding school,” you feared for the worst. Yet she dazzled with her version of Black Coffee.
The young one
Is she this year's Ella Henderson? Cowell thinks he's found someone special in Lauren Platt and she's only 16.
The old one
63-year-old Carol Trevarthen is simply the best Bo' Selecta! impersonator out there.