X Factor fans… we have some HUGE news for you

After months of speculation, X Factor fans can finally rest easy as this year's judges have been confirmed once and for all.

While it may be no surprise to see that Simon Cowell is still on the panel of four, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini must be feeling thankful today as it seems she too is safe for another year.

As had been strongly rumoured in recent weeks, BBC Radio 1 presenter Nick Grimshaw will be replacing Louis Walsh, and in place of Mel B will be singer Rita Ora.

No Niall Horan or Zayn Malik, so… perhaps next year?

This won't be Rita's first time on a reality TV judging panel, but hopefully she'll have better luck with her X Factor acts than she did on The Voice UK back in March, when she became the only judge without an act in the final of the show.

News of the confirmed judging panel was announced this morning via ITV's Twitter page:

The reaction from fans has been mixed so far, with many criticising Simon's choices:

No doubt anticipating some backlash, Simon was quick to take to Twitter himself this morning to defend his choices.

"We met a lot of people. I really believe everyone on the show this year is excited about finding someone who has star potential," he wrote.

"We have always had great judges. And I will always be thankful for their passion and expertise. I have know idea what the show will look like but I feel both excited and nervous. It's going to be very different! Embrace the madness…"

This morning's news follows the confirmation last month that Olly Murs and Caroline Flack would be picking up hosting duties from Dermot O'Leary, who was unceremoniously axed from the show at the beginning of the year.

The pair have already begun work on the new series, having attended first-round auditions across the UK last month.

Lots of changes ahead for this year's show, we're looking forward to checking it out…

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