However, for one unlucky act, Santa Cowell Claus will be delivering a lump of coal rather than a record contract.
The X Factor: What did the judges say about semi-final week?
The X Factor: All the best reactions to Saturday's semi-final
The X Factor semi-final live blog: Lauren, Andrea and Ben do battle
This evening, we will find out the 2014 Final 3 and who is heading back home for a glum festive season.
Join us from 8pm when we'll be bringing you all the action live as it happens on ITV.
21:02That's all for tonight folks. I'm off to see if I can catch a lift home on Lauren's Battle Bus. There must be plenty of spare seats.
• Girls star Adam Driver set to play Star Wars villain, reports say
If there is one area where Jj Abrams usually gets it right, it is casting. He was on the money when he picked the relatively untried Chris Pine to play the new Captain Kirk in 2009's rebooted Star Trek. He nailed it when he saw the potential of Phillip Seymour Hoffman to portray one of the most sinister villains in recent Hollywood history in 2006's unexpectedly good Mission: Impossible III. And he may yet have come up trumps with the casting of Girls' Adam Driver as a Darth Vader-like nasty in the mega-hyped upcoming Star Wars revival: Episode VII. Even so, from what we think we know about the first Disney-produced film in the long-running space saga,
John Wizards – John Wizards
Disclosure – Settle
Paramore – Paramore
Hebronix – Unreal
Kanye West – Yeezus
Christopher Owens – Lysandre
Julia Holter – Loud City Song
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time
British Sea Power – From The Sea To The Land Beyond
Julia Holter – Hello Stranger
Miguel and Mariah Carey – #Beautiful
Drake – Hold On, We're Going Home
Sky Ferreira – You're Not the One
Justin Timberlake – Suit and Tie
Jeffrey Lewis – Wwprd
Paramore – Still Into You
Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge – White Noise
The 1975 – Chocolate
Stylo G – Soundbwoy
15-60-75 The Numbers Band – Jimmy Bell's Still in Town
Meat Wave – Meat Wave
The Drones – I See Seaweed 4
White Fence – Live in San Francisco
Ooga Boogas – Ooga Boogas
Superchunk – I Hate Music
It should have been cause for celebration for ITV, as the X Factor reaches the end of its 10th season.
But instead, as the talent show limps toward its conclusion this weekend producers, facing falling ratings and a lack of interest in the final contestants, are being forced to ponder whether Simon Cowell's magic touch may be losing some of its power.
"This has been the worst series finale in 10 years," said Peter Robinson, editor of the pop website Popjustice. "The live finalists simply aren't very interesting."
The three contestants who have made it to this final weekend are not necessarily the acts pegged for stardom at the beginning of the series.
More traditionally chart-ready pop acts, such as Tamera Foster or the boy band Kingsland Road,
• More on Star Wars Episode VII
Thousands of hopefuls auditioned this weekend at an open casting call for Star Wars: Episode VII at Twickenham stadium in London.
Casting directors are visiting a number of British cities in their hunt for fresh faces for Jj Abrams's film. Having already stopped off in Bristol earlier this month, they will reportedly also head to Manchester and Glasgow before the process is complete. Auditions were also held at Dublin's Croke Park this weekend and there have been a number of open casting calls in the Us.
UK casting agent Kate Bone told the BBC: "We are doing this to find someone who might not have necessarily gone to drama school. They don't have to have acting experience – just the right look and then we
What did you watch this weekend?
The atmosphere in UK cinemas was full of one thing only: Gravity. The Sandra Bullock/George Clooney thriller exerted such a pull over distributors that few other new releases even bothered competing this week. But is the space saga suck you in or leave your orbiting? Let us know what you watched in the comment thread below, or watch the Guardian Film Show (this week: Gravity, Seduced & Abandoned, How to Survive a Plague) and pitch into the debate there.
In the headlines today
• Saoirse Ronan failed to win Star Wars role, Jj Abrams praised English actors and Star Wars open auditions headed to Chicago
• Lynne Ramsay dismissed the Jane Got a Gun suit
• Zack Snyder: Superman and Batman
Wanted: an athletic, handsome man aged 19-23 and a street-smart and strong girl in her late teens. That was the casting call sent out by Disney as it appealed for unknown actors across Britain to audition for a part in the next instalment of Star Wars.
This seems like as a good opportunity for me to leave behind the bleak world of freelance journalism and head on the road to fame, so I head to the first audition in Bristol. As far as I can tell, there are only two things standing in my way.
First, I've never acted. I was once talked into auditioning for a Talk to Frank anti-cocaine advert, but on the day of the audition I had a terrible cold.
People started paying attention to him as a member of Vince Vaughn’s team in comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Furthermore, Moore made his career of playing either geeks or the main character’s best friend in favorites as Grandma’s Boy and Hatchet. Of course, he didn’t miss the opportunity to lay out the fact he has a major role in the highest grossing film of all time as Norm Spellman, Avatar driver and colleague of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). Moor also portrayed favorite lab technician, permanently sad inside Colin Fisher, on the Fox’s Bones.
Jewtopia is a feature adaptation of the off-Broadway hit play from Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson which stars Ivan Sergei
Author Bryan Fogel is directing from a script he co-wrote with Sam Wolfson. Fogel will also produce.
Described as mix between Wedding Crashers and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, indie film tells of two childhood best friends as they reunite as adults when one asks the other to help him pretend to be Jewish in order to attract woman.
Sergei will play Christian O’Connell, a non-Jewish plumber who poses as a Jewish doctor in order to enrich a Jewish girlfriend who will be making all his own decisions in life. Hewitt will play Alison Marks, the object of Christian’s love,
The popular American stage play Jewtopia will be turned into a feature film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, it has been announced.
Jewtopia, written by Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson, is a comedy about two twentysomething men, one gentile and one Jewish, who both want to date women from each other's religion.
The play originally opened in La in 2003, with Fogel and Wolfson in the two lead roles. It then went on to a successful off-Broadway run, closing in 2007 after three and a half years.
Fogel and Wolfson also published a book, Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People, boasting in the blurb that "owning a copy ensures that Elijah himself will show up at your Passover Seder!"
Hewitt, best known for the TV series Ghost Whisperer and the I Know What You Did Last Summer films,
Jewtopia is described as a little bit Wedding Crashers and a little bit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. That formula sounds like a winner. The indie romance follows two childhood best friends as they reunite as adults. The plot thickens when Sergei’s character asks the female friend “to help him pretend to be Jewish so he can romance a woman,” reported Variety. Ah ha! That also sounds very My Best Friend’s Wedding, which is another winning ingredient. Sergei’s character is a plumber after a certain nice, if not bossy Jewish girl, portrayed by Hewitt.
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