The Conway Sisters were a semi-professional singing group from County Sligo, Ireland, who achieved a measure of fame through their appearance in the final stages of the second UK series of television talent show The X Factor in 2005.
Laura, Marie, Sharon and Sinead Conway were born and raised in Sligo, Ireland. The four sisters grew up with a love of music and performing, and in 2002 they formed The Conway Sisters. Throughout that year they wrote, produced, and recorded music, and played locally. In 2003, they released their first single, "What Do You Do?", which debuted in the Top 20 in Ireland, and launched a tour of Ireland. A second Top 20 single, "Now That It's Over", followed, and in 2005 their third single "Miss You", was released, which also entered the Top 20 in Ireland. Their self-financed debut album, Waiting for You, was released in May 2005.
In May 2005 the sisters auditioned for the UK television programme The X Factor in the hope that they would crack the UK market. Along with eleven other acts, they made it through to the final live stages of the competition in which viewers vote for their favourite acts.
In week 5 of The X Factor knockout stages, The Conways found themselves in the final showdown for the first time, facing the judges' expulsion vote together with crowd favourite Maria Lawson. Lawson was voted off on the casting vote of Louis Walsh, prompting booing from the studio audience and fellow judge Sharon Osbourne to claim that "he voted with his passport" (referring to the fact that both Walsh and the Conway Sisters are Irish). The decision provoked controversy in the UK media, especially when it was revealed that Walsh had known the Conways personally prior to the competition.
Following their nomination for expulsion and the generally negative comments of their mentor, Simon Cowell, the Conways worked for the next episode of the show without Cowell's guidance, an action which the judge said earned the group more respect from him. Despite this, Cowell persisted with negative comments when he considered them appropriate. They were eliminated in week 7, their third consecutive week in the bottom two, after Cowell voted against them – the first and so far only time that an X Factor judge had voted off their own act despite not needing to as they only had one act in the bottom two. Upon their dismissal from the competition, the group claimed that Louis Walsh had been their true mentor.
Following the final of The X Factor, they performed with the other Top 7 finalists from the live shows on The X Factor Live tour at venues throughout the UK.
In August 2006 on the ITV show The X Factor – One Year On, Laura Conway announced that the Conways had split up for good. On their official website they said: "We will be finishing up as the Conway Sisters for now, we've come to a place where we want to pursue individual career paths and now we feel ready to do that! For the record there have been no fall outs or fights, it's all been very amicable and as sisters we're closer now than ever!"
Their official website and forum have now closed, but their MySpace profile can still be accessed.
Following the split, Laura Conway announced that she intended to pursue a solo music career and had her own website and forum, but these have now closed. However, she does have an active MySpace profile and YouTube channel.
Sinead Conway currently[ when? ] performs with Dublin-based dance, disco and funk band, Red Shoes.[ citation needed ]
Westlife are an Irish boy band, which was formed 1998 in Sligo, Ireland. They disbanded in 2012 and reunited in 2018. They were originally signed by Simon Cowell in the UK, Clive Davis in the US and managed by Louis Walsh and Sonny Takhar. The group currently consists of Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne. Brian McFadden left in 2004 to pursue a solo career.
Michael Louis Vincent Walsh is an Irish music manager and television personality. Born in Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Walsh moved to Dublin to start his career in the music industry. He has managed Johnny Logan, Boyzone and Westlife, three of Ireland's most successful pop acts in the 1990s and 2000s. In later life, Walsh began a career as a talent show judge and television personality in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He has judged on Popstars (2001–2002), You're a Star (2003–2004), The X Factor, and Ireland's Got Talent (2018–2019).
Tabby Callaghan is an Irish musician. He finished third on the first series of The X Factor in 2004.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The second series ran from 20 August to 17 December 2005. Shayne Ward became the winner and Louis Walsh emerged was the winning mentor. The second series was longer than the first, with seven acts in each of the three categories going to the judges' homes, and 12 acts in the finals instead of 9. Kate Thornton returned as presenter of the main show on ITV and Ben Shepherd presented the spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, while Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Walsh returned as judges. 75,000 people auditioned for the series.
Maria Lawson is an English singer. She recorded several singles with Ti.Pi.Cal.. Lawson finished in eighth place in the second UK series of television talent show The X Factor in 2005. She released her debut self-titled album in 2006. Her self-help/autobiography entitled Life Starts Now was released in November 2008. Lawson appeared in the female lead role in the West End production of Thriller – Live from 14 April 2009 to March 2010. She released her second studio album, Emotional Rollercoaster in 2014. Lawson lives in London with her husband Lawrence and their two children.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The third series was broadcast on ITV from 19 August 2006 until 16 December 2006. Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell all returned for their third series on the judging panel. Kate Thornton returned to present the main show on ITV, while Ben Shephard returned to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2. After the semi-final on 9 December, Cowell became the winning judge even though the series had not yet finished, as two of his acts, Ray Quinn and Leona Lewis, became the two finalists. Lewis won the series on 16 December, with Quinn finishing as runner-up.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The fourth series was broadcast on ITV from 18 August 2007 and was won by Leon Jackson on 15 December 2007, with Rhydian Roberts finishing as the runner-up and Dannii Minogue emerging as the winning mentor. Dermot O'Leary presented for the first time, replacing Kate Thornton, who had been presenting the show since series 1 in 2004. Fearne Cotton replaced Ben Shephard as presenter on the spin-off show The Xtra Factor. The original judging panel consisted of Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Brian Friedman and Minogue. Friedman left the panel halfway through the first audition episode and was replaced by former judge Louis Walsh.
Leon Jackson is a Scottish singer. He won the fourth series of British talent show The X Factor in 2007. Following his win, Jackson was the main star of his on-web series entitled Leon's Life, which ran from 2007 until 2008. Jackson's début album, Right Now (2008) finished the year as the 75th best-selling album in the UK, and included the singles, "Don't Call This Love", "Creative" and "Stargazing".
The X Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talent. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began broadcasting on 4 September 2004 with 445 episodes broadcast over fifteen series as of 2 December 2018. The show is produced by Fremantle's Thames and Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment. It is broadcast on ITV in the UK and simulcast on Virgin Media One in Ireland. "X Factor" refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The first three series were presented by Kate Thornton. Since series four, with the exception of series twelve, the show has been presented by Dermot O'Leary. The X Factor previously had a spin-off behind-the-scenes show called The Xtra Factor. This aired until 2016. It was replaced by an online spin-off show Xtra Bites exclusively on the ITV Hub. The main show was rested in 2019, with Cowell and ITV opting to broadcast The X Factor: Celebrity and The X Factor: The Band as mini-series instead. On 7 February 2020, it was announced that the show would be placed on hiatus during 2020. On 27 August 2020, it was suggested by ITV bosses that the show's hiatus may be indefinite; pending Cowell's decision on when to recommence the competition.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The fifth series was broadcast on ITV from 16 August 2008 until 13 December 2008. Dermot O'Leary returned to present the main show on ITV, while Fearne Cotton was replaced by Holly Willoughby as presenter of spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2. Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and Dannii Minogue returned to the judging panel. Sharon Osbourne left after four series and was replaced by Cheryl Cole. The series was won by Alexandra Burke, with Cole emerging as the winning mentor. Auditions in front of producers were held in April and May, with callbacks in front of the judges in June. The number of applicants for series 5 reached an all-time high with a reported 182,000 people auditioning. A number of well-established music acts from around the world, such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Girls Aloud, Take That, Il Divo, and series 3 winner Leona Lewis, performed during the live stages of the show.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The sixth series started on ITV on 22 August 2009 and was won by Joe McElderry on 13 December 2009. Cheryl Cole emerged as the winning mentor for the second consecutive year, the first time in the show's history that a mentor has won back-to-back series. The show was presented by Dermot O'Leary, with spin-off show The Xtra Factor presented by Holly Willoughby on ITV2. McElderry's winner's single was a cover version of Miley Cyrus's "The Climb". Public auditions by aspiring singers began in June 2009 and were held in five cities across the UK. Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Dannii Minogue and Cole returned as judges. This season was the first to be sponsored by TalkTalk after they took over the sponsorship from The Carphone Warehouse. For the first time, auditions were held in front of a live audience. Following initial auditions, the "bootcamp" stage took place in August 2009, where the number of contestants was narrowed down to 24. The 24 contestants were split into their categories, Boys, Girls, Over 25s and Groups, and given a judge to mentor them at the "judges' houses" stage and throughout the finals.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The seventh series started on ITV on 21 August 2010 and ended on 12 December 2010. The series saw the creation of the boy band One Direction, from boys who entered the competition as individuals. The winner of the competition was Matt Cardle. Cardle was mentored throughout the show by Dannii Minogue. After the victory, he released his debut single "When We Collide". A total of 15,448,019 votes were cast throughout the series. It was presented by Dermot O'Leary, with spin-off show The Xtra Factor presented by Konnie Huq on ITV2, who took over from Holly Willoughby.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The eighth series commenced airing on ITV on 20 August 2011 and ended on 11 December 2011. The winner was Little Mix, a four-piece girl group known earlier in the series as Rhythmix, consisting of members Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall. They became the first act in the groups category to win in the UK show's history with new judge Tulisa emerging as their winning mentor. Dermot O'Leary presented the main show on ITV, while Caroline Flack and series 6 runner-up Olly Murs co-presented the spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, replacing Konnie Huq from the previous year. Louis Walsh returned to the judging panel and was joined by Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa. Barlow, Rowland and Tulisa joined the panel as replacements for former judges, Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole. Series 5 winner Alexandra Burke served as a guest judge for week 4 of the live shows due to Rowland having a throat infection.
The X Factor in the UK has been subject to much controversy and criticism since its launch in 2004. This has included allegations of conflict of interest, voting irregularities and overcharging, product placement for sponsors, staging scenes, use of pitch correction technology, and exploiting vulnerable contestants. The series has also been criticised for developing singers as marketable products rather than creative individuals. As of April 2020, there have been a total of fifteen completed series of the show broadcast on the ITV network, as well as spin-offs The X Factor: Celebrity (2019) and The X Factor: The Band (2019).
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The eleventh series began airing on ITV on 30 August 2014 and finished on 14 December 2014. Dermot O'Leary presented his eighth series of the main show on ITV and Sarah-Jane Crawford presented spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, replacing Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson. Louis Walsh was the only judge from series 10 to return and was joined by former judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Simon Cowell, and new judge Mel B, who replaced Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger. Former judge Tulisa returned as a guest judge for the final on 13 December due to Mel B being ill. The series also saw the lower age limit decreased from 16 to 14, as it was in series 4 and 5. This was Walsh's final series as a judge before returning in series 13. It was also the only series in which Mel B was a main judge. It was O'Leary's final series as presenter on the main show, as he announced on 27 March 2015 that he was leaving to pursue other projects, before returning in series 13. On 11 May, Crawford also confirmed via Twitter that she would leave her position as The Xtra Factor presenter.
Andrea Faustini is an Italian singer. He is best known for his role as a contestant on the eleventh series of The X Factor in 2014. In 2015, Faustini released his debut studio album, Kelly, which peaked at number 14 on the UK Albums Chart.
Stereo Kicks were an English-Irish boy band who were formed and finished fifth place on the eleventh series of The X Factor in 2014. Stereo Kicks consisted of; James Graham, Jake Sims, Chris Leonard, Charlie Jones, Casey Johnson, Barclay Beales, Reece Bibby, and Tom Mann. Their debut single "Love Me So" was released on 21 June 2015 and charted at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart. Just a month later, however, having been together under a year, they announced they were disbanding due to their failure to land a record deal.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The thirteenth series began airing on ITV on Saturday 27 August 2016 and ended on Sunday 11 December 2016. Dermot O'Leary returned to present the main show on ITV for the ninth time to replace Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, who left after series 12. Simon Cowell was the only judge from the 12th series to return; Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh all returned, replacing Rita Ora, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw. Matt Edmondson and Rylan Clark-Neal replaced Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom as hosts of The Xtra Factor, which was rebranded as The Xtra Factor Live and was broadcast live twice every week, with Roman Kemp making appearances as a digital presenter and social media reporter. Matt Terry was announced the winner on 11 December 2016, making Scherzinger the winning mentor for the second time. Saara Aalto came second.
The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The fifteenth series began airing on ITV on 1 September 2018, presented by Dermot O'Leary. Simon Cowell returned alongside new judges Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Field and Robbie Williams who replace departing judges Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh. Nile Rodgers filled in for Williams while he was away on his tour for weeks 3–5 of the live shows. On 2 December, Jamaican-born singer Dalton Harris won the series making him the first foreign contender to win the UK show. This was the only series that featured Tomlinson, Field and Williams as judges.
The X Factor: Celebrity is a British celebrity special edition of The X Factor which premiered on 12 October 2019 on ITV. It is a revamped version of the 2006 celebrity format The X Factor: Battle of the Stars. Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh judged this series, with Dermot O'Leary presenting the series and Vick Hope hosting Xtra Bites on YouTube.