All about talent
WINNING X Factor judge Guy Sebastian is confident he'll find the next Reece Mastin.
The Australian Idol winner coached Mastin to victory last year and the teen singer has gone on to have a chart-topping debut album.
Some frontrunners have already been identified from the first three audition shows which aired earlier this week.
"We've got some really great singer songwriters," Sebastian said.
"In previous years we struggled to get some really amazing mature talent, but we've got some incredible talent (this year)."
But Sebastian tells The Guide the audition process was far from smooth.
"After the first lot of auditions in Melbourne I was like 'crap'," he said.
"I thought 'oh my gosh this show is going to struggle'.
"Then we got to the Gold Coast and then Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney and it was ridiculous. The talent was unbelievable and so diverse."
While many of the singers auditioning have touching life stories, they have to back them up with impressive performances to get past the judging panel - Sebastian, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Mel B and Ronan Keating.
"I get very sceptical when it's about stories," Sebastian said.
"I don't want to put someone through just because of a good story.
"We're really trying to find artists and uncover proper gems."
The inaugural Australian Idol winner said reality TV was still a great launch-pad for musicians, despite its pitfalls.
"I just saw today Dean Geyer's on Glee and apparently Jess Mauboy had a meeting with Simon Cowell," he said.
"All these people had their start, including myself, on (reality) TV. I owe that to having a great launch, but you have to be an artist at the end of the day. There have been a lot of winners of these things who lose the plot a little bit, or do it for the wrong reasons."
After the audition round the selected contestants will head for "super boot camp" where the judges will be assigned their categories.
Celebrities signed on to mentor this year include Alicia Keys, Ke$ha, Usher and the UK's chart-topping boy band One Direction
The judges will then make their home visits to the boot camp survivors before the live studio shows.