X Factor’s Rita Ora is reportedly hoping to pay tribute to her roots by hosting her judges’ houses segment in Albania. According to the Sunday Mirror, the ‘Poison’ singer has approached boss Simon Cowell with a suggestion that her contestants travel to Albania to complete their judges’ houses at a former royal mansion.
An insider said Rita’s already got permission from country officials but still needs to convince Simon about her plan, especially as the judges’ houses will be broadcast live this year for the first time. That means all judges need to host their contestants in destinations where live broadcasts can be set up and the time differences aren’t too challenging for producers.
A source said: “Rita is very proud of her Kosovan-Albanian heritage and has done work with both countries… at the moment, no decisions have been made and Simon Cowell is yet to be convinced – but it’s something Rita has suggested.”
This year’s X Factor judging panel consists of newbies Rita and Nick Grimshaw, and returning judges Simon and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. No details about judges’ houses have been released yet, other than speculation they will be broadcast live, with new hosts Caroline Flack and Olly Murs anchoring the coverage from a studio in London.
The judges’ houses part of X Factor is always a fan favourite, with the judges flying their contestants to glamorous locations around the world to choose who will go through to live shows and who will go home. Previous destinations have included Dubai, Bermuda, Los Angeles, Mexico and the South of France.