X Factor, who were the real winners

X Factor past winners, where are they now and who were the real winners

If you are as “psyched” about x factor as we are here in coolbaby.ie (not really!!!!) you will be getting excited as we get towards the end of the 2014 edition. Despite claiming the coveted title of X Factor winner, not all of the ten named made it big, but some of those who missed out on the top spot have seen real success, so who were the real winners in the X Factor?

Series 1 – 2004

Steve Brookstein was the first winner of the competition in 2004 and his debut single went straight to number one in the charts.However Brookstein was dropped by his record label just eight months later and now performs aboard P&O cruise ships and in pubs.

Series 2 – 2005

Shayne Ward won the competition in 2005 and released two relatively successful albums. After his third album failed to take off, Ward was dropped by Syco. Shayne continues to write songs and gig and recently recorded a version of Galway Girl with Irish folk duo Foster and Allen.

The real winner – Welsh-born Chico Slimani became a hit after reaching the quarter finals but despite not making to the end of the competition Chico has had a successful singing and presenting career.

Series 3 – 2006

Leona Lewis has sold over 20 million records worldwide and has been nominated for seven Brit Awards and three time Grammys. Her first two albums reached number one in the UK charts, with her third reaching number 3. She is still signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco label and has just released her fourth album Christmas, “With Love” which is at number 13 in the UK charts.

Series 4 – 2007

Leon Jackson – Scottish-born Jackson beat Welsh singer Rhydian to the title in 2007 but was swiftly dropped by the record company after just one album.

Series 5 – 2008

Alexandra Burke first auditioned for the second series of The X Factor in 2005 (which was eventually won by Shayne Ward). She made it through to the final seven in Louis Walsh’s 16–24 category, but Louis did not choose her for his final four as he felt that she was too young for the competition. Over the following three years Alexandra worked on her singing before returning to the X Factor. Her version of Leonard Cohen’s Halleujah was the Christmas number one of 2008. She is now working on her third album and is still signed to Syco.

The real winners – After making it to the final in 2008 “JLS” lost out to Alexandra Burke, but were signed to Epic Records. As well as winning BRIT Awards for Best British Breakthrough and British Single in 2010 they have won a total of five MOBO Awards. In April it was announced that the band were to split after their fifth album and tour

Series 6 – 2009

Joe McElderry – In a similar journey to Alexandra Burke before him Joe McElderry took two runs to make it on the X Factor. He made it to Boot Camp in 2007, but felt he was too young opted to walk away. He returned in 2009 and was mentored by Cheryl Cole and made it to the final beating Olly Murs to the title. His duet with Carrie Underwood was nominated for a Golden Globe after it featured on the film The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. He parted ways with Syco in 2011. He continues to write and release music and toured the UK in the summer and is planning a 50 date UK tour in 2014.

The real winners – Olly Murs made it to the final but lost the title to Joe McElderry in 2009, however he signed a joint deal with Syco and Epic Records. He has released three albums, the first reached number two, while his latest two both got the top spot.

Stacey Solomon was just behind Olly Murs in third place and has also managed to carve out a showbiz career. She was crowned queen of the jungle the year after her X Factor appearance and has been a presenter and talk show guest since her rise to fame.Stacey is currently appearing in panto in London and is due to release her debut album next year.

Series 7 – 2010

Matt Cardle beat off competition from Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction.

The real winners – While Cardle’s career has stalled, One Direction have done ok!!!!! Rebecca Ferguson signed a record deal after coming second, her debut album Heaven went platinum in the UK, Ireland and the US. Rebecca has just released her latest album Freedom. Cher Lloyd came fourth in 2010, having already auditioned for the X Factor singing ballads, when she returned she had an edgier look and sound. Since the X Factor Cher has been concentrating her career in the US and is working on her second album. So a lot of talent in 2010????????

Series 8 – 2011

Little Mix became the first ever band to win the show. Their winner’s single Cannonball became the fastest selling single of 2011. In June 2013 the band’s album, DNA, became the highest debut ever for a British female group’s first album, entering at Number 4 and eclipsing a sixteen-year-old record previously held by the Spice Girls Spice album. In 2014 they embark on their biggest UK tour, with dates including London’s O2 Arena.

Series 9 – 2012

James Arthur – Last month James Arthur was diagnosed with “acute exhaustion” and cancelled all engagements while he recovers – just days after being embroiled in a homophobia row. The singer ended up apologising for his language after he used the word “queer” in rap which drew criticism from figures such as Matt Lucas. He was also involved in a row with fellow X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan after she posted text messages online which he had sent to her. His self-titled first album was released on 1st November.

The real winner was Rylan Clark, who despite placing fifth place has become a successful television personality, appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Juice and This Morning.

Series 10 – 2013


Sam Bailey triumphed over teenager Nicholas McDonald to be named the 2013 X Factor winner.Bailey, a 36-year-old mother of two, has won a recording contract and will support American pop superstar Beyonce on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter world tour in February. The clear favourite before the announcement, Bailey said in front of 10,000 fans at the live final at Wembley Arena that she did not know what to say after being told she had received over a million votes.

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