The X Factor (British series 15)

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The X Factor
Series 15
Presented by Dermot O'Leary (ITV)
Coaches
Winner Dalton Harris
Winning mentor Louis Tomlinson
Runner-up Scarlett Lee
Finals venue The SSE Arena, Wembley
Release
Original network
Original release1 September (2018-09-01) 
2 December 2018 (2018-12-02)
Series chronology
 Previous
Series 14
List of The X Factor episodes

The fifteenth and final series of the British television music competition The X Factor began airing on ITV on 1 September 2018, presented by Dermot O'Leary. Simon Cowell returned alongside new judges Louis Tomlinson, Ayda Field (credited as Ayda Williams), 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 and only foreign contender to win the UK show. [1] [2] This was the only series that featured Tomlinson, Field, and Williams as judges.

Contents

Judges and presenters

On 6 June 2018, it was announced that Sharon Osbourne would return to judge the fifteenth series, but only for the live shows, due to her ongoing work commitments in the United States. The next day, long-serving judge Louis Walsh announced that after thirteen years on the show, he would leave to focus on other projects. [3] Earlier in the year, it was reported that Nicole Scherzinger would not return as a judge for the fifteenth series. [4]

On 30 September 2018, Osbourne announced her decision to no longer appear as a judge during the live shows, stating that she had "seen the new judges finding their rhythm and are doing brilliantly". [5]

Simon Cowell confirmed his return as head judge and Dermot O'Leary’s return as presenter. After much speculation, it was announced on 16 July 2018 that Ayda Field (credited as Ayda Williams), Louis Tomlinson, and Robbie Williams would join Cowell on the series' judging panel to replace Osbourne, Scherzinger, and Walsh. [6]

On 23 August 2018, it was announced that Xtra Bites would return after a first series, presented by Becca Dudley again, and she would be joined by a co-host named Tinea Taylor. [7]

On 2 November 2018, it was revealed that Nile Rodgers would fill in for Williams on the panel during some of the live shows, due to Williams' touring commitments. Rodgers sat alongside Williams on 3 November, before fully substituting for him on 4, 10, 11 & 17 November. In a statement, Rodgers stated: "I had such a great time with Louis at the Judge's House in Ibiza a couple of weeks ago that when the opportunity came to step in for Robbie I could not say ('no')", "From Chic and Sister Sledge to Duran Duran and Daft Punk, I've had great experiences with Groups in my career, so I look forward to giving them as much support as I can while Rob is away!". Williams returned to the panel on 24 November. [8]

Selection process

Auditions

Auditions for performers took place only at London's SSE Arena, Wembley, on 18–20, 22–24 and 26–28 July 2018.

Deliberations

Instead of the traditional bootcamp stages, a deliberation stage (similar to that employed by Britain's Got Talent ) was introduced to cut down the number of performers at the six-chair challenge. This took place on 30 July 2018 at the Tobacco Dock in London.[ citation needed ] It was broadcast on a single episode on 23 September 2018 after the final auditions show.

After the "deliberation" and "reveal" stages, but before the start of the "six-chair challenge", the judges found out the categories they are mentoring: Cowell mentored the "Girls", Field mentored the "Over 28s", Williams mentored the "Groups", and Tomlinson mentored the "Boys". [9]

Six Chair Challenge

The Six Chair Challenge took place over the course of three days, from 1–3 August 2018, at the SSE Arena in Wembley.[ citation needed ] A new twist was added with the introduction of a golden button, similar to Britain's Got Talent 's Golden Buzzer. When this was pressed, the act in question was guaranteed a 'Safe Seat', and would go straight through to Judges' Houses. The Six Chair Challenge was aired over 3 episodes starting on 29 September 2018 and finished on 6 October 2018. [10]

Judges' Houses

It was announced by O'Leary during an appearance on This Morning that the Judges' Houses would be filmed in late September 2018, and that three of the judges' houses would be in Los Angeles (Cowell, Field and Williams); Tomlinson's houses would be hosted in Ibiza. Cowell judged from Malibu, while Field and Williams each judged their categories separately from their home in Beverley Hills. The guest judges were announced to be: Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis in assisting Field, David Walliams with Williams, and Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, Diane Warren, Babyface, Lewis and Sinitta to assist Cowell, who hosted a house party consisting of various singers, songwriters and record producers for the Girls to perform in front of. Liam Payne and Nile Rodgers were announced to assist Tomlinson. [11]

Maria Laroco was not able to secure the correct visa in time to travel to Malibu with the remaining Girls for this stage of the competition. Unlike similar instances where the affected contestants withdrew from the competition, Laroco sang to Cowell via video link from a London studio.

16 finalists were put through to the live shows at this stage, four from each category. This last-minute change was lobbied by Cowell who was unable to narrow his Girls down to just three; the other judges were then allowed one more act each for their own categories as well.

Summary of Judges' Houses
JudgeCategoryLocationAssistantsActs eliminated
CowellGirls Malibu Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, Diane Warren, Babyface, Michelle Visage, Adam Lambert, Leona Lewis, Sinitta, Paul Anka, Tricky Stewart and Dallas Austin.Georgia Burgess, Maria Laroco
FieldOver 28s Beverly Hills Adam Lambert and Leona LewisRicky John, Louise Setara
TomlinsonBoys Ibiza Liam Payne and Nile Rodgers J-Sol, Thomas Pound
WilliamsGroups Beverly Hills David Walliams Panda and Burgandy, Sweet Sense

Finalists

Key:

  – Winner
  – Runner-up
  – Third place
Yellow ffff00 pog.svg – Golden Buzzer/Safe Seat (Six-chair challenge)
ActAge(s)HometownCategory (Mentor)Result
Dalton Harris 24 Clarendon, Jamaica Boys (Tomlinson)Winner
Scarlett Lee 21 Surrey Girls (Cowell)Runner-up
Anthony Russell28 Bootle Boys (Tomlinson)3rd place
Acacia & Aaliyah Yellow ffff00 pog.svg 15 & 14 Leyland Groups (Williams)4th place
Brendan Murray Yellow ffff00 pog.svg 21 Tuam, Republic of IrelandBoys (Tomlinson)5th place
Danny Tetley36 Wigan Over 28s (Field)6th place
Shan Ako25 Croydon Girls (Cowell)7th place
Bella Penfold Yellow ffff00 pog.svg 19 Essex Girls (Cowell)8th place
Giovanni Spano33 West London Over 28s (Field)9th place
Misunderstood25 & 27 London Groups (Williams)10th place
Molly Scott16 County Durham Girls (Cowell)11th place
United Vibe17–20VariousGroups (Williams)12th place
LMA Choir19–40 Liverpool Groups (Williams)13th place
Janice Robinson 50 Galveston, United StatesOver 28s (Field)14th place
Armstrong Martins23 Lagos, Nigeria/London Boys (Tomlinson)15th place
Olatunji Yearwood 32 Port of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoOver 28s (Field)16th place

Live shows

The finalists were announced after each category performed at Judges' Houses. There will be 16 finalists (4 from each category) this year. The Live Shows will be broadcast for 7 weeks from 20 October to 2 December. [12] [13] This year the live shows reverts to the previous format of all performances on the Saturday night and the results show on the Sunday night. [14] However, there are 16 finalists and a reduced number of live shows, so almost all of the live result shows had double eliminations. [15] [16]

Nile Rodgers temporarily replaced Williams on the panel, due to touring commitments. Rodgers appeared in Williams's place from 4–18 November. [8]

For the first time since 2008, there was no elimination on the Saturday (1 December 2018). Instead, all 3 finalists progressed the Sunday (2 December 2018) live final results show. [17]

Musical guests

Keala Settle and Rak-Su, the winners of the previous series, performed on the first live results show. Little Mix and Kylie Minogue performed on the second live results show. James Arthur and Jonas Blue, Liam Payne and Lennon Stella performed on the third live results show. Michael Bublé, Olly Murs and Lady Leshurr performed on the fourth live results show. Cheryl and Tom Walker performed on the fifth live results show. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus appeared on the sixth live show (Andersson doing a Masterclass with the semi-finalists and Ulvaeus appearing on the judging panel alongside Williams, Field, Tomlinson and Cowell to judge the performances). Zara Larsson performed on the sixth live results show. The live final featured a performance from Robbie Williams (with Take That) on the live final results show. [18]

Final venue

Unlike the previous series where the live final was held at The ExCeL Center in London, instead this year's final was held at the normal venue which is The SSE Arena, Wembley in London. [19]

Winners single

The winners single will be the winning contestant's duet from the Sunday (2 December 2018) result show with all proceeds going to the children's charities Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase. It is the eighth year running that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has waived any VAT on The X Factor's winners single. [20] The winner was announced to be Dalton Harris who performed a duet with James Arthur on "The Power of Love".

Results summary

Colour key

  Act in team Simon

  Act in team Robbie

  Act in team Ayda

  Act in team Louis

  Act was in the bottom two/three and had to perform again in the sing-off
 Act was in the bottom three but received the fewest votes and was immediately eliminated
 Act received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no sing-off)
 Act received the most public votes
Weekly results per act [21]
Act Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final
First VoteSecond VoteFirst VoteSecond VoteFirst VoteSecond VoteSaturday VoteSunday Vote
Dalton Harris3rd
9.3%
1st
15.5%
2nd
15.2%
1st
15.9%
2nd
17.3%
2nd
17.8%
1st
23.8%
1st
22.8%
1st
26.9%
1st
31.4%
Winner
41.3%
Scarlett Lee6th
7.4%
5th
6.8%
4th
7.2%
3rd
9.5%
4th
8.9%
4th
9.3%
5th
9.4%
4th
11.3%
2nd
19.1%
3rd
22.3%
Runner-up
31.3%
Anthony Russell1st
11.5%
2nd
15.4%
1st
15.6%
2nd
14.8%
1st
18.6%
1st
18.8%
2nd
19.0%
2nd
19.9%
3rd
18.9%
2nd
23.5%
3rd
27.4%
Acacia & Aaliyah9th
6.2%
6th
6.6%
7th
6.8%
10th
6.5%
9th
7.0%
8th
8.0%
6th
8.9%
6th
9.8%
4th
12.3%
4th
14.7%
Eliminated
(semi-final)
Brendan Murray10th
4.9%
12th
4.7%
12th
4.8%
9th
6.6%
5th
8.6%
5th
8.8%
4th
9.5%
5th
10.5%
5th
11.9%
Eliminated
(semi-final)
Danny Tetley8th
6.8%
7th
6.3%
6th
6.8%
7th
7.2%
7th
7.8%
7th
8.1%
3rd
12.8%
3rd
12.6%
6th
10.9%
Shan Ako2nd
10.0%
3rd
7.9%
3rd
7.9%
4th
9.2%
3rd
9.6%
3rd
9.8%
7th
8.5%
7th
8.9%
Eliminated
(quarter-final)
Bella Penfold4th
8.5%
9th
5.3%
9th
5.6%
6th
7.2%
6th
8.1%
6th
8.5%
8th
8.1%
Eliminated
(quarter-final)
Giovanni Spano13th
3.4%
10th
4.9%
10th
5.0%
5th
7.8%
8th
7.2%
9th
7.3%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Misunderstood5th
8.0%
4th
6.8%
5th
7.2%
8th
7.0%
10th
6.9%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Molly Scott7th
7.2%
8th
5.6%
8th
5.9%
11th
4.5%
Eliminated
(week 3)
United Vibe12th
4.5%
11th
4.9%
11th
4.8%
12th
3.8%
LMA Choir11th
4.8%
13th
4.7%
13th
4.5%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Janice Robinson14th
3.2%
14th
4.6%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Armstrong Martins15th
2.4%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Olatunji Yearwood16th
1.9%
Final ShowdownMartins,
Robinson
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes aloneLMA Choir,
Murray
Acacia & Aaliyah,
Scott
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes aloneAcacia & Aaliyah,
Spano
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes aloneAcacia & Aaliyah,
Ako
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes aloneAcacia & Aaliyah,
Lee
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Judges voted toEliminateEliminateEliminateEliminateSend Through
Rodgers' vote (Groups)N/AN/AScottSpanoAkoN/A
Williams' vote (Groups)MartinsMurrayN/AN/AN/AAcacia & Aaliyah
Field's vote (Over 28s)MartinsLMA ChoirScottAcacia & AaliyahAkoLee
Tomlinson's vote (Boys)RobinsonLMA ChoirScottSpanoAcacia & AaliyahLee
Cowell's vote (Girls)MartinsMurrayAcacia & AaliyahSpanoAcacia & AaliyahLee
EliminatedOlatunji Yearwood
1.9%
to save
Janice Robinson
4.6%
to save
LMA Choir
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
United Vibe
3.8%
to save
Misunderstood
6.9%
to save
Giovanni Spano
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Bella Penfold
8.1%
to save
Shan Ako
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Danny Tetley
10.9%
to save
Acacia & Aaliyah
1 of 4 votes
Minority
Anthony Russell
27.4%
to win
Armstrong Martins
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Molly Scott
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Brendan Murray
11.9%
to save
Scarlett Lee
31.3%
to win

Live show details

Week 1 (20/21 October)

This week's results show featured a double elimination. The three acts with the fewest votes were announced as the bottom three, and the act out of the three with the fewest public votes was then automatically eliminated. The remaining two acts then performed in the final showdown for the judges' votes.

Contestants' performances on the first live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [23] Result
MisunderstoodGroups (Williams)1"Chewing Gum" (original song)Safe
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)2"Issues"Safe (Highest Votes)
Danny TetleyOver 28s (Field)3"Hero"Safe
Molly ScottGirls (Cowell)4"Fake Love"Safe
Janice RobinsonOver 28s (Field)5"Clarity"Bottom three
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)6"Break Free"Safe
Bella PenfoldGirls (Cowell)7"Beneath Your Beautiful"Safe
Armstrong MartinsBoys (Tomlinson)8"Story of My Life"Bottom three
Giovanni SpanoOver 28s (Field)9"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"Safe
United VibeGroups (Williams)10"Slow Hands"Safe
Shan AkoGirls (Cowell)11"Imagine"Safe
Olatunji YearwoodOver 28s (Field)12"Jiggle It" (original song)Eliminated
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)13"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"Safe
LMA ChoirGroups (Williams)14"Circle of Life"Safe
Acacia & Aaliyah15"Finesse"Safe
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)16"Life On Mars?"Safe
Sing-off details
Janice RobinsonOver 28s (Field)1"The Climb"Saved
Armstrong MartinsBoys (Tomlinson)2"True Colors"Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Field: Armstrong Martins – backed her own act, Janice Robinson, saying she deserves to be in the competition.
  • Tomlinson: Janice Robinson – backed his own act, Armstrong Martins.
  • Williams: Armstrong Martins – gave no reason.
  • Cowell: Armstrong Martins – said that despite Martins being more interesting, Robinson was the better singer.

Week 2 (27/28 October)

This week's results show featured a double elimination. Lines were frozen on Sunday at 7:30 pm, 30 minutes before the results show, and Janice Robinson was eliminated after the special guest performance from Little Mix after receiving the fewest votes. Lines then reopened and the two acts with the next fewest votes then performed in the sing-off.

Contestants' performances on the second live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [25] Guilty PleasureResult
LMA ChoirGroups (Williams)1"Proud Mary" Tina Turner Bottom three
Shan AkoGirls (Cowell)2"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Elton John Safe
Danny TetleyOver 28s (Field)3"Crazy for You" Madonna Safe
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)4"Believe" Cher Bottom three
MisunderstoodGroups (Williams)5"Close to You" Maxi Priest Safe
Molly ScottGirls (Cowell)6"Little Do You Know" Alex & Sierra Safe
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)7"I Have Nothing" Whitney Houston Safe (Highest Votes-1st Vote)
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)8"Always on My Mind" Elvis Presley Safe
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)9"All My Life"/"Shutdown" K-Ci & JoJo / Skepta Safe
Giovanni SpanoOver 28s (Field)10"...Baby One More Time" Britney Spears Safe
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)11"I Want to Know What Love Is" Foreigner Safe (Highest Votes-2nd Vote)
United VibeGroups (Williams)12"Party in the U.S.A." Miley Cyrus Safe
Bella PenfoldGirls (Cowell)13"Diamonds Are Forever"/"Diamonds from Sierra Leone" Shirley Bassey / Kanye West Safe
Janice RobinsonOver 28s (Field)14"Show Me Love" Robin S. Eliminated
Sing-off details
LMA ChoirGroups (Williams)1"A Change Is Gonna Come"Eliminated
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)2"High and Dry"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Williams: Brendan Murray – backed his own act, LMA Choir.
  • Tomlinson: LMA Choir – backed his own act, Brendan Murray.
  • Cowell: Brendan Murray – gave no reason.
  • Field: LMA Choir – could not decide so chose to take it to deadlock.

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result went to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. LMA Choir were eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

Week 3 (3/4 November)

The live show was pre-recorded during Saturday afternoon to allow Williams to be present before flying to South America for touring commitments. Nile Rodgers appeared as a guest judge, filling in for Williams during the third results show and the fourth & fifth live shows and results shows.

This week's results show featured a double elimination. Lines were originally scheduled to be frozen on Sunday at 7:30 pm, 60 minutes before the results show, the act receiving the fewest votes leaving the competition at the beginning of the show before lines would reopen and the two acts with the next fewest votes would then perform in the sing-off. However, due to a technical issue that affected the sound during Danny Tetley and Anthony Russell's performances, Saturday's public vote was cancelled and lines instead opened in the results show on Sunday. [28] At the start of the live results show, all of the performances were shown in full before the public vote opened for 14 minutes. [29]

Contestants' performances on the third live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [30] Result
Molly ScottGirls (Cowell)1"Toxic"Bottom three
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)2"Creep"Safe (Highest Votes)
United VibeGroups (Williams)3"Bleeding Love"Eliminated
Shan AkoGirls (Cowell)4"The Sound of Silence"Safe
Danny TetleyOver 28s (Field)5"Who Wants to Live Forever"Safe
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)6"Demons"Safe
MisunderstoodGroups (Williams)7"Thriller"Safe
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)8"I Put a Spell on You"Safe
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)9"Jump"Bottom three
Bella PenfoldGirls (Cowell)10"In My Blood"Safe
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)11"Youngblood"Safe
Giovanni SpanoOver 28s (Field)12"Live and Let Die"Safe
Sing-off details
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)1"Big for Your Boots"Saved
Molly ScottGirls (Cowell)2"Human"Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Rodgers: Molly Scott – based on the sing-off performances, effectively backing Williams' own act, Acacia & Aaliyah.
  • Cowell: Acacia & Aaliyah – backed his own act, Molly Scott.
  • Field: Molly Scott – based on the sing-off performances.
  • Tomlinson: Molly Scott – said both acts have potential but he was not sure Scott was "quite there yet".

Week 4 (10/11 November)

This week's results show featured a double elimination. Lines were frozen on Sunday at 7:30 pm, 60 minutes before the results show, and Misunderstood were eliminated after the special guest performance from Bublé after receiving the fewest votes. Lines then reopened and the two acts with the next fewest votes then performed in the sing-off.

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [31] MovieResult
Giovanni SpanoOver 28s (Field)1"The Greatest Show" The Greatest Showman Bottom three
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)2"California Dreamin'" San Andreas Safe
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)3"I'll Never Love Again" A Star is Born Safe
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)4"Everybody Hurts" Bewitched Safe
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)5"Survivor" Tomb Raider Bottom three
Bella PenfoldGirls (Cowell)6"A Million Dreams" The Greatest Showman Safe
MisunderstoodGroups (Williams)7"Maniac" Flashdance Eliminated
Danny TetleyOver 28s (Field)8"My Heart Will Go On" Titanic Safe
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)9"Eye of the Tiger" Rocky III Safe (Highest Votes-Both Votes)
Shan AkoGirls (Cowell)10"Never Enough" The Greatest Showman Safe
Sing-off details
Giovanni SpanoOver 28s (Field)1"Let Me Entertain You"Eliminated
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)2"All My Life"/ "Shutdown"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Rodgers: Giovanni Spano – backed Williams' own act, Acacia & Aaliyah.
  • Field: Acacia & Aaliyah – backed her own act, Giovanni Spano, saying he brought fun and vital entertainment to the competition.
  • Tomlinson: Giovanni Spano – believed Acacia & Aaliyah had a future as recording artists while Spano had more of a future in musical theatre.
  • Cowell: Giovanni Spano – gave no specific reason but praised both acts' sing-off performances.

Week 5: Quarter-Final (17/18 November)

This week's results show featured a double elimination. Lines were frozen on Sunday at 7:30 pm, 30 minutes before the results show, and Bella Penfold was eliminated immediately at the beginning of the show. Once that occurred, lines reopened for a few more minutes and the two acts with the next fewest votes performed in the sing off.

During the results show, Cowell originally told the acts that the final six would go on The X Factor Live Tour in 2019. After the elimination of Shan Ako, Cowell stated that he would allow both her and Penfold to join the final six on tour as well. His statement meant that the final eight would perform on the tour rather than the final six.

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [34] Big Band ArtistResult
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)1"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" Andy Williams Safe
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)2"Say Something" A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera Safe
Shan AkoGirls (Cowell)3"Summertime" George Gershwin Bottom three
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)4"Beyond the Sea" Bobby Darin Safe
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)5"Act Our Age" (original song)OriginalBottom three
Bella PenfoldGirls (Cowell)6"Strong" London Grammar Eliminated
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)7"Listen" Beyoncé Safe (Highest Votes- both votes)
Danny TetleyOver 28s (Field)8"My Way" Frank Sinatra Safe
Sing-off details
Shan AkoGirls (Cowell)1"Rise Up"Eliminated
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)2"Bang Bang"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Cowell: Acacia & Aaliyah – backed his own act, Shan Ako.
  • Rodgers: Shan Ako – backed Williams' own act, Acacia & Aaliyah.
  • Tomlinson: Acacia & Aaliyah – based on "vocal ability" without being led by his emotions.
  • Field: Shan Ako – praised both acts' sing-off performances but could not decide so chose to take it to deadlock.

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result went to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. Shan Ako was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

Week 6: Semi-Final (24/25 November)

24 November
  • Theme: Get Me to the Final (Part I) & Mamma Mia [35]

This week's semi-final featured a triple elimination. During Saturday's show, the lines froze where the two acts with the fewest votes were immediately eliminated. They then re-opened and closed during Sunday's results show ahead of the final sing-off of the series.

In addition, following all of the act's first performance during Saturday's show, each act performed a segment from an ABBA song where Björn Ulvaeus joined the judging panel for the performances.

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst songOrderSecond songResult
Brendan MurrayBoys (Tomlinson)1"Run"11"I Have a Dream"Eliminated
Danny TetleyOver 28s (Field)2"This Is My Life"12"Thank You for the Music"Eliminated
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)3"Feeling Good"7"SOS"Safe (Highest Votes)
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)4"Blinded by Your Grace, Pt. 2"/"I Win"10"Money, Money, Money"Safe
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)5"Livin' on a Prayer"8"The Name of the Game"Safe
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)6"This Is Me"9"The Winner Takes It All"Safe
25 November
Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongResult
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)1"Clown"Safe (Highest Votes)
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)2"Big for Your Boots"/"Shutdown"Bottom two
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)3"Don't Look Back in Anger"Safe
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)4"I Didn't Know My Own Strength"Bottom two
Sing-off details
Acacia & AaliyahGroups (Williams)1"Blinded by Your Grace, Pt. 2"/"I Win"Eliminated
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)2"This Is Me"Saved
Judges' votes to send through to the final
  • Cowell: Scarlett Lee – based on the sing-off performances, and said he would have made the same choice even if Scarlett Lee was not his own act; he said without her, the final would not be the same.
  • Williams: Acacia & Aaliyah – backed his own act, Acacia & Aaliyah.
  • Field: Scarlett Lee – based on the sing-off performances.
  • Tomlinson: Scarlett Lee – based on the vocals only in the sing-off performances.

Week 7: Final (1/2 December)

1 December [18]
Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst songOrderSecond song
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)1"Let It Be"4"Leave a Light On" with Tom Walker
Dalton Harris2"A Song for You"5"Beneath Your Beautiful" with Emeli Sandé
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)3"Your Song"6"Angels" with Robbie Williams
2 December [18]
Contestants' performances on the final live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongResults
Anthony RussellBoys (Tomlinson)1"I Predict a Riot" with Kaiser Chiefs Third Place
Scarlett LeeGirls (Cowell)2"One More Sleep" with Leona Lewis Runner-up
Dalton HarrisBoys (Tomlinson)3"The Power of Love" with James Arthur Winner

Reception

Ratings

As of September 2018, all official ratings include those who watched on demand via the ITV Hub.

EpisodeAir dateOfficial rating
(millions) [36] ,1
Weekly rank [36] ,2
Auditions 11 September7.591
Auditions 22 September6.438
Auditions 38 September6.579
Auditions 49 September6.3813
Auditions 515 September7.087
Auditions 616 September6.0815
Auditions 722 September6.5911
Auditions 823 September6.3415
Six-chair challenge 129 September6.2715
Six-chair challenge 230 September6.3812
Six-chair challenge 36 October6.3811
Judges Houses 17 October6.1913
Judges Houses 213 October6.8811
Judges Houses 314 October6.2614
Live show 120 October5.5515
Live results 121 OctoberN/AOutside top 15
Live show 227 October5.2915
Live results 228 OctoberN/AOutside top 15
Live show 33 NovemberN/AOutside top 15
Live results 34 NovemberN/AOutside top 15
Live show 410 November5.0315
Live results 411 NovemberN/AOutside top 15
Live show 517 November4.9915
Live results 518 November5.4213
Live show 624 NovemberN/AOutside top 15
Live results 625 NovemberN/AOutside top 15
Live final 11 DecemberN/AOutside top 15
Live final 22 DecemberN/AOutside top 15
^1 The ratings over a 28-day period, including the broadcasts on ITV and streaming through ITV Hub using BARB's four-screen dashboard system (includes viewers watching on tablets/smartphones).
^2 The ITV rank for the programme compared to other ITV broadcasts for the week.

Controversies

Accusations of transphobia

During the audition stage, 20-year-old transgender man Felix Shepherd impressed the judges with his rendition of "All I Want" by Kodaline, and received a standing ovation from the crowd. Before singing, Williams asked him about his background; Shepherd said he was there to prove to people that he was "more than just a transgender guy." Williams responded by asking him: "So when you were born, what was your name?", thus misgendering him. Although many fans of the show were supportive of the representation, many were outraged by Williams' question, though Shepherd stated that he was not offended by Williams. [37] [38]

Sharon Osbourne

On 5 September 2018, whilst on Howard Stern's radio show, Osbourne accused Cowell of underpaying her for the new series. She used some offensive language to criticise Cowell and the show's auditionees, which led to a backlash from fans who suggested that Osbourne should be replaced. [39] Osbourne subsequently announced her decision to not participate during the live shows. [5] Various sources reported that Osbourne had been fired over the interview and Stern stated that he believed she had been tipped off to keep quiet. Osbourne later refuted Stern's allegations and stated that her comments were only made in jest and were not to be taken literally, but that they were misappropriated by other people including The X Factor’s production company due to Stern wanting to give Cowell a bad reputation by using his radio show. She added that although the company wanted to fire her, Cowell was not upset with the comments and wanted her to remain on the show, but that it was ultimately her decision to step down out of fear of awkwardness between her and fellow judges Williams and Field, with whom she is close friends, though she did not rule out a return to the show in the future.

Sound problems

During the third week of live shows, sound issues caused the judges, O'Leary and contestants to sound distorted. As the show was not live, O'Leary did not address the sound problems until the following night's live results show, but at the end of the programme, another message said: "Due to a technical issue, tonight's vote has been cancelled. It will open in tomorrow night's show." During the results show all the performances of the night were replayed before the lines opened to make the vote as fair possible for the contestants. [28]

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