Rita Ora 'could be fifth X Factor judge'

Rita Ora is being considered to join 'The X Factor' as a fifth judge.

The 'I Will Never Let You Down' singer could join Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh on the talent show panel as a surprise addition to mentor four wildcard acts.

Rita, 23, is a strong contender to land the role, but bosses are also said to be considering US singer Mary J. Blige, 43, according to The Sun newspaper.

A fifth judge would mean there is always a unanimous decision in the live shows, putting an end to the deadlock feature.

An 'X Factor' spokesperson said: "No decisions have been made regarding the live shows at this stage."

Auditions for the new series of the singing competition are already under way and show boss Simon is keen to restore the show to its former glory following a ratings decline since he left in 2010.

Former judge Sharon Osbourne recently criticised the show and urged serious musicians not to audition for it if they want credibility in the music industry.

She said: "Always my mentality when I was on 'X Factor' was, if you were a singer-songwriter you have a definition of who you are, writing songs you love and that suit your voice and who you are.

"For me, if you were a singer-songwriter, do not go on a talent show. It's not going to work.

"Could you imagine them doing ABBA week, or '80s week? It's just not for you - because you know who you are.

"Talent shows are fantastic and they change people's lives. But they are not for people who are singer-songwriters. It's not the thing to do."

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