TV3'S 2015 season of X Factor NZ 2015 will start screening on Sunday, February 15, setting up a local reality TV head-to-head with TVNZ's new DIY show Our First Home, which goes to air for the first time this Sunday.
TV3 will also be simultaneously live-streaming the singing competition.
The show will screen on Sunday nights from 7pm, then Mondays and Tuesdays from 7.30pm - the same nights Our First Home will be hoping to grab viewers to its new home renovation format.
After the audition rounds, boot camp and the judges' retreats (being filmed now), the show's top 12 will be revealed in early March. The 10 weeks of live shows, where the public get to vote, will start mid-March with the final screening during the last week of May.
This year's competition has also allowed instrument-playing bands to audition to be in the groups category, competing against under-25 males, under-25 females, and over-25s.
Other than who will succeed among the thousands who auditioned, the big question over this second X Factor NZ is how viewers will take to new judges, imported husband and wife duo Willy Moon and Natalia Kills and their seemingly precocious personalities - and how the pair's coupledom will affect the judging and mentoring.
"We've never had an argument," Kills told nzherald.co.nz. "The only thing we disagree on is music. [Willy] has a very broad palate. I come from more of a pop perspective. It's going to be really interesting discussing on camera the only thing we avoid discussing at home."
"The new energy from Willy and Natalia is amazing and it's going to take the shows in a completely different direction," says show host Dominic Bowden.
Moon and Kills replace first series judges Daniel Bedingfield and Ruby Frost, who mentored contestants to the top three spots. This year's 32 episodes have received $800,000 of NZ On Air funding and sponsorship from McDonalds, among others.
The most popular tunes sung during The X Factor 2015 auditions:
1. Sam Smith - Stay With Me
2. Ed Sheeran - I See Fire
3. Taylor Swift - Shake It Off
4. Sia - Chandelier
5. Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass
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