Cheryl Cole judges X Factor auditions in Gateshead

Geordie star Cheryl Cole is at the Baltic art gallery in Gateshead with the other three X Factor judges, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and new judge Mel B, as auditions arrive in the North East.

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Stripped-back auditions bring X Factor back to its roots

Just 37 acts will perform in front of the X Factor's celebrity judging panel in Gateshead, without an audience, in a stripped-back audition process.

Cheryl Cole superfans wait for the judges' arrival on the red carpet

Open auditions held already across the UK - including Gateshead and South Shields - have whittled down the number of contestants.

Those remaining will audition in a room at the Baltic art gallery in front of a returning Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, veteran Louis Walsh, and new judge Mel B.

In previous years, auditions have been in front of a large theatre audience, but this time, they will start in a small room, similar to the initial years of the show.

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