The format is the same as last year, except contestant must audition in front of a live audience as in the "Got Talent" format. I have to say I'm not a fan of the addition of backing music at this stage; I don't think you get the same impact you get with a capella auditions.
Perhaps it's not surprising then that one of my favorites is Duane Lamonte, who sang a capella. he made it through the 1st rounds last year, but not to the live shows.
I haven't watched the X-tra Factor yet, but all in all I wasn't that impressed with the 1st episode. I feel like I barely saw any auditions and where were the groups? the over 25s? Hopefully it will get better as the season goes on.