Gary Barlow thinks the talent on 'The X Factor' is "unbelievable" this year.
The TV singing contest judge claims this year's crop of hopefuls are better than ever and has promised viewers the best series yet, insisting the standard is a huge improvement on last year.
The Take That frontman told The Sun newspaper: "The talent we have seen this year has been unbelievable.
"I'm so pleased as that was my one complaint of last year. I thought we were missing four or five better singers in our final 12.
"It's been extraordinary this year. Everybody thinks so. I have even heard cameramen saying to each other that it's a massive improvement.
"The standard has definitely gone up a few notches. I think the audience is going to love it."
Barlow - whose daughter Poppy was tragically delivered stillborn on Monday - has the tricky task of mentoring the over 25s category, but has vowed to sit back and enjoy the performances a lot more this time around.
He explained: "I should have enjoyed it more last year.
"It's one of my goals to sit up there and remember to be a member of the audience. It's a brilliant show to watch and I have the best seat in the house."
The 41-year-old singer is joined on the judging panel by Louis Walsh and Tulisa Contostavlos as well as new judge Nicole Scherzinger, who he says has added some extra sparkle to the panel.
Gary gushed: "We're really pleased to have Nicole on the panel with us. She's amazing. She really feels like a Hollywood star.
"I think she'll be quite good with the contestants. She's quite emotional, maternal almost."
The ninth series of 'The X Factor' launches on August 19.