Long before Louis Tomlinson got his judge gig on X Factor 2018, he was part of One Direction, the boyband put together as a group during X Factor 2010. The boys - Louis, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik - had made it through to bootcamp, but didn't make it through to the next round as soloists. Instead, the five were combined into a group that we now know as One Direction.
Louis spoke to the Guardian about how he wasn't given solos during X Factor so this video above of Louis singing a solo in Grenade during the X Factor Live Tour 2011 (around 1:43) was a big deal at the time. For many, it was their first time really hearing Louis singing alone since his initial audition.
Louis went on to write on 37 of One Direction's songs and his role in the band increased, especially after the departure of Zayn Malik when the band became a four-piece. No longer known as "the kid wearing espadrilles, stood in’t back", Louis' vocals became an integral part of the One Direction sound and Louis spoke of being "the most confident I ever was" before One Direction went on hiatus.
As a solo act, Louis' vocals are known for their raspy, emotional quality on songs like Just Like You. Fans also rave about being able to actually hear Louis' accent on songs like Miss You. MTV UK called Miss You "irresistible pop-rock perfection." Rolling Stone said of Just Like You, "The song has a snappy beat with synths that swell to a wobbling instrumental hook. The production complements Tomlinson's polished vocals and lyrics about how he grapples with everyday highs and lows."
Louis is currently preparing for the Six Chair Challenge on X Factor 2018. The Six Chair Challenge, which starts taping August 1. Louis will be assigned his category, which may be announced prior to August 1. During the Six Chair Challenge, Louis will fill his six chairs with contestants he likes best as they perform. But, contestants winning seats can be bumped from their seat if Louis likes a subsequent performer better. From there, contestants will progress to the live shows (bootcamp has apparently been dropped for this year). The rumored start date for X Factor to begin airing is Saturday, September 1 on ITV, with the live shows starting in late October and running through early December.
We'll be bringing the same coverage for the Six Chair Challenge days so stay tuned for that!
Fans are hoping for more news about Louis' debut album, tour, and merchandise. Louis has said X Factor tapings will not affect his album release date. Given the X Factor schedule, it's likely Louis' tour won't be until sometime in 2019. Louis was spotted in what appeared to be his own merchandise and fans can't wait to get their hands on it!
Louis is currently battling Ariana Grande's Arianators in Billboard's 2018 Fan Army Face-Off. The Louies beat out Miley Cyrus' Smilers in the first round and are hoping to be victorious against the Arianators as well.
Fans can vote multiple times daily by going to the Fan Army Face-Off webpage, scrolling down to the bottom right corner, and selecting Louis' name. Scroll back up to the top and click the "vote again" button to cast another vote for Louis. The site will prompt you to enter an email address prior to voting.
This round closes on July 31, 2018, so be sure to vote every day!