The new X Factor judging panel has received a largely positive response from critics after being seen in action for the first time on Saturday’s show.

Among the first to pass judgment on the newcomers Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow was The Sun, who gave the N-Dubz singer the thumbs-up for standing up to contestant George Gerasimou.

“Tulisa showed us just what she was made of when she made short work of the angry teen,” said the paper’s Jen Blackburn, who also hinted that Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole would not be missed by audiences.

“Without them series eight won’t be the same,” she said, “but it might just be better.”

The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan also gave Tulisa his seal of approval, saying she was “full of attitude and a good addition” – and also praised Kelly Rowland, calling her “toothy, glossy-haired and amusingly American.”

However it was Gary Barlow who appeared to receive the lion’s share of the good reviews.

In The Mirror Kevin O’Sullivan gave the two ladies the thumbs down, calling Tulisa was “about as street as a garden party”, but he said that Gary was “a revelation”.

“Sitting in the Dark Lord’s extreme left chair, Take That’s second biggest star slipped into the Mr Nasty head honcho role with surprising ease,” he said.

And Mail Online said, “Gary certainly seemed to live up to his promise – there’s no more Mr Nice Guy from the Take That veteran.

“Interestingly, the show seemed to focus more on the talent than on the judges,” the website added, “arguably taking the show back to its roots.”