The X Factor (British series 4)

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The X Factor
Series 4
Leon Jackson at the premiere of The Golden Compass.jpg
Jackson at the premiere of The Golden Compass
Hosted by Dermot O'Leary (ITV)
Judges
Winner Leon Jackson
Winning mentor Dannii Minogue
Runner-up Rhydian Roberts
Release
Original network
Original release18 August 
15 December 2007
Series chronology
 Previous
Series 3
Next 
Series 5
List of The X Factor episodes

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. [1] 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.

Contents

This series saw a number of changes to the format, most notably the lowering of the minimum age for participants from 16 to 14 and the increase in the number of categories from three to four, resulting from the division of the 16-24s category into separate male and female categories.

Jackson's prize as winner was a £1 million recording contract. [2] His first single release was "When You Believe", arranged for the finalists by composer Stephen Schwartz and released to download on 16 December 2007, with the physical format following on 19 December. The single became that year's Christmas number one on the UK Singles Chart and was also the fourth best selling single of 2007.This series was the first to be sponsored by The Carphone Warehouse after being sponsored by Nokia since the first series.

Judges and presenters

On 8 March 2007, it was announced that judge Louis Walsh, who had appeared in all three previous series, had been sacked. [3] This, along with the additional category, created vacancies for two new judges to join the original panel of Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell. Walsh was replaced by American choreographer Brian Friedman, who was hired after impressing Cowell on his show Grease Is the Word . A fourth judge was also brought in: Australian singer, actress and Australia's Got Talent judge Dannii Minogue. Cowell hired Minogue after viewing tapes of her judging on Australia's Got Talent, and because of her 30 years experience as a singer and performer. [4] [5]

On 22 June, it was announced that Friedman had stepped down as a judge and would be replaced by Walsh. [6] Friedman remained on the show as a performance coach and choreographer, billed on screen as "Creative Director". [7] [8] [9] Suggestions that Walsh's firing and rehiring was concocted to generate publicity were denied. [10] [11] Commenting on Friedman's replacement by Walsh, Osbourne said that there was no "chemistry" within the original judging line-up, and that the atmosphere was "very uncomfortable". Cowell stated that the atmosphere was "very weird". For his part, Friedman said he felt "incredibly let down with the British talent". [12]

Following the departure of series 1–3 presenter Kate Thornton, Dermot O'Leary took over as presenter for series 4. [13] In an interview with ITV Head of Entertainment and Comedy, Paul Jackson, O'Leary said he was still getting used to handling the rejected at the auditions: "I'm still trying to work it out. It's an emotionally exhausting show to do."[ citation needed ] On 2 May 2007, it was announced that Ben Shephard had quit his role as presenter of spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2. An X Factor insider said: "Ben had a big chance of being the main presenter on X Factor until he did Soapstar Superstar last year on ITV1. He didn't impress some of the X Factor bosses on that live show and moved down the pecking order." Cowell said: "I wish Ben good luck. He has done a great job on The Xtra Factor." [14] Shephard later signed up to front DanceX , a BBC One series hunting for a modern-day version of '70s dance outfit Hot Gossip. [15] He was replaced by Top of the Pops presenter and BBC Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton. [16] Osbourne left after this series and Cheryl Cole replaced her in series 5.

Selection process

United Kingdom adm location map.svg
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London
Cities that auditions were held in.

Auditions

Initial auditions with producers took place in April and May 2007, with callbacks in front of the judges in June. The number of applicants reached an all-time high with 150,000 people auditioning [17] [18] in the cities of London (Wembley Stadium, 4–7 June), Manchester (25–28 June), Belfast (6 July), Cardiff (Angel Hotel, Cardiff, 10–11 July), Sheffield (Sheffield City Hall, 15 July), Birmingham (The ICC, 18–20 July) and Glasgow (Crowne Plaza Glasgow). Eight thousand people attended an open audition at Emirates Stadium (home of Arsenal F.C.), London, on 9 June 2007. [19] Due to the record number of applications an additional open audition was held at Birmingham Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on 21 July 2007. [19]

Auditionees needed a minimum of three "yes" votes (previously two) from the judges to proceed to the next round. [20] Walsh missed the London auditions due to being sacked at the time, but returned to the judging panel from the Manchester auditions onwards after Friedman stepped down. Osbourne was absent from some of the auditions in Birmingham due to filming commitments with America's Got Talent , so the auditions went ahead with just Cowell, Walsh and Minogue as judges.

The first episode aired on 18 August, and featured auditions from London, Manchester and Birmingham. 25 August episode featured auditions from Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff. The third episode premiered on 1 September, and featured auditions from Glasgow, Birmingham and Cardiff. The Belfast auditions, along with those from Birmingham and Manchester, were featured on 8 September. The fifth episode aired on 15 September, and featured auditions from Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester. The final audition episode aired on 22 September, and featured auditions from Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Summary of auditions
CityDate(s)VenuePermanent Judges
London4–7 June 2007 Wembley Stadium Brian Friedman
Sharon Osbourne
Dannii Minogue
Simon Cowell
Manchester 25–28 June 2007 Louis Walsh
Sharon Osbourne
Dannii Minogue
Simon Cowell
Belfast 6 July 2007
Cardiff 10–11 July 2007 Angel Hotel, Cardiff
Sheffield 15 July 2007 Sheffield City Hall
Birmingham 18 July 2007 The ICC Louis Walsh
Dannii Minogue
Simon Cowell
19–21 July 2007Louis Walsh
Sharon Osbourne
Dannii Minogue
Simon Cowell

Bootcamp

This series saw all four judges work together at the bootcamp, rather than disband to manage their own categories as happened in previous series. Bootcamp was broadcast over a two-part show on Saturday 29 September. Episode 7 showed the first round at the Heythrop Park Hotel in Oxfordshire, where the acts were whittled down to 12 in each category (48 acts in total). The next episode, showing the second round at the Apollo Theatre in London, was screened a few hours later. Here the acts were further reduced to six in each category – a total of 24 acts. After this, the judges were told which category they were to mentor. Cowell was given the Groups, Minogue was given the Boys, Osbourne was given the Girls and Walsh was given the Over 25s.

Bootcamp Themes for the first task
Second Task Songs per Category

Boys:

Girls:

Groups:

Over 25s

Judges' houses

In the "judges' houses" round, each judge chose three of their remaining six acts to go forward and represent them on the live shows. [20] The locations for the round were confirmed during episode 8 on 29 September; they were later revealed by Louis Walsh not to be the judges' real homes. [21] Cowell took his six acts to Marbella; Osbourne to Los Angeles; Walsh to Dublin; and Minogue to Ibiza. [22] [23] As in previous series, the judges were joined by an assistant to help them make their decisions: Cowell was joined by former pop star Sinitta; Osbourne by The Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger; Walsh by Westlife singer Kian Egan; and Minogue by songwriter and producer Terry Ronald.

The judges' houses stage was broadcast over a two-part weekend special. Episode 9 was shown on Saturday 6 October where all 24 acts performed for a place in their mentor's top three and, subsequently, the live shows. The final twelve were revealed the day after on Sunday 7 October in a special Sunday episode. This is notable because at that time it was known as the first Sunday episode to be aired in X Factor history (excluding The X Factor: Battle of the Stars which aired over eight consecutive nights over a week)

Judges Houses Performances

Boys:

Groups:

Over 25s:

Girls:

Summary of judges' houses
JudgeCategoryLocationAssistantActs eliminated
CowellGroups Marbella Sinitta Ghostt, I Sette Cantanti, W4
MinogueBoys Ibiza Terry Ronald Luke Bayer, Charlie Finn, Dom Hartley Harris
OsbourneGirlsLos Angeles Nicole Scherzinger Victoria Closs, Kimberley Howlett, Stephanie Woods
WalshOver 25s Dublin Kian Egan Daniel Boulle, Icaro Taborda, Zyta Zebihi

Finalists

Key:

  – Winner
  – Runner-up
  – Third place
  Withdrew
ActAge(s)HometownCategory (Mentor)Result
Leon Jackson 18 Whitburn, West Lothian Boys (Minogue)Winner
Rhydian Roberts 24 Powys Boys (Minogue)Runner-up
Same Difference 19–22 Portsmouth Groups (Cowell)3rd place
Niki Evans34 Polesworth Over 25s (Walsh)4th place
Hope 16–23VariousGroups (Cowell)5th place
Beverley Trotman38 Luton Over 25s (Walsh)6th place
Alisha Bennett22 Wembley Girls (Osbourne)7th place
Andy Williams23 Newport, WalesBoys (Minogue)8th place
Futureproof17–23VariousGroups (Cowell)9th place
Emily Nakanda15LondonGirls (Osbourne)10th place
Daniel de Bourg 31 Chelmsford Over 25s (Walsh)11th place
Kimberley Southwick19 Tamworth, Staffordshire Girls (Osbourne)12th place

Live shows

The live shows commenced on 20 October 2007, a week later than in previous series. This was because of ITV's coverage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Ironically, 20 October 2007 also saw the final of the tournament take place in Paris, France. Dermot O'Leary mentioned ITV's broadcast of the game at the end of Live Show 1.

Series 4 saw the continuation of the themed live show format, in which the acts sing songs according to a different musical theme or genre each week. This format was introduced in series 3. Each week a celebrity guest connected to the theme performed in the results show, and some of the guests – Céline Dion, Boyz II Men, Girls Aloud and Michael Bublé – also coached the acts in rehearsal. [24] Series 3 winner, Leona Lewis, appeared as a guest on the first live show on 20 October. During the results show she performed a premiere of her new single, "Bleeding Love", from her debut album, Spirit . Series 2 winner, Shayne Ward, also appeared as a guest on the fourth live show. He performed his latest single, "Breathless", from his second album of the same name during the results show on 10 November. Westlife appeared on the sixth live show on 24 November singing "I'm Already There" from their 2007 album Back Home . Duran Duran sang "Notorious" and "Nite-Runner" during the seventh live show results on 1 December.

The rules relating to judges' votes in the results show changed from previous series. In the past, the decision as to which act was sent home each week was made by the three judges (from which there would always be a majority). Now, with four judges, if there was a two-way tie (billed on the show as "deadlock") the act with the fewest votes from the public would be eliminated, otherwise the judges' decision would stand.

With the appointment of Friedman as choreographer, finalists used dance routines more frequently during their live performances in comparison to previous series.

Three acts (previously two for series 1 and 3) competed in the final for the £1 million recording contract. [22]

Contrary to reports about a change of venue, the live shows for this series continued to be broadcast from The Fountain Studios. Unlike past series there was no dramatic change in the set, only minor alterations and space created for a larger audience.

It was reported that the producers of the show hired a counsellor to help the contestants deal with the pressure of appearing in the live shows each week. [25]

Results summary

Colour key

  Act in team Simon

  Act in team Sharon

  Act in team Louis

  Act in team Dannii

  Act was in the bottom two and had to sing again in the final showdown
  Act received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)
  Act won the competition
Weekly results per act
Act Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final
First VoteSecond Vote
Leon JacksonSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeWinner
Rhydian RobertsSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeRunner-up
Same DifferenceSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafe3rdEliminated
(final)
Niki EvansSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafeSafe4thEliminated
(semi-final)
HopeSafeSafeBottom TwoSafeBottom Two5th5thEliminated
(quarter-final)
Beverley TrotmanSafeSafeSafeBottom TwoSafe6thEliminated
(week 6)
Alisha BennettBottom TwoBottom TwoSafeSafeBottom TwoEliminated
(week 5)
Andy WilliamsSafeSafeSafeBottom TwoEliminated
(week 4)
FutureproofSafeSafeBottom TwoEliminated
(week 3).
Emily NakandaSafeSafeWithdrew
(week 3)
Daniel DeBourgSafeBottom TwoEliminated
(week 2)
Kimberley SouthwickBottom TwoEliminated
(week 1)
Final ShowdownBennett,
Southwick
Bennett,
DeBourg
Futureproof,
Hope
Trotman,
Willams
Bennett,
Hope
Hope,
Trotman
No final showdown or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote to eliminate (Over 25s)SouthwickBennettFutureproofWilliamsBennettHope
Osbourne's vote to eliminate (Girls)None (abstained)DeBourgFutureproofWillamsHopeTrotman
Minogue's vote to eliminate (Boys)BennettDeBourgHopeTrotmanBennettHope
Cowell's vote to eliminate (Groups)SouthwickDeBourgFutureproofWilliamsBennettTrotman
EliminatedKimberley Southwick
2 of 3 votes
Majority
Daniel DeBourg
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Futureproof
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Andy Williams
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Alisha Bennett
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Beverley Trotman
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Hope
Public vote
to save
Niki Evans
Public vote
to save
Same Difference
Public vote
to save
Rhydian Roberts
Public vote
to win

Live show details

Week 1 (20 October)

Contestants' performances on the first live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongResult [26]
Kimberley SouthwickGirls (Osbourne)1"It's Raining Men"Eliminated
Andy WilliamsBoys (Minogue)2"I Don't Want to Talk About It"Safe
FutureproofGroups (Cowell)3"She's the One"Safe
Beverley TrotmanOver 25s (Walsh)4"I Will Survive"Safe
Emily NakandaGirls (Osbourne)5"I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"Safe
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)6"Can't Buy Me Love"Safe
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)7"Tragedy"Safe
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)8"Nothing Compares 2 U"Safe
Alisha BennettGirls (Osbourne)9"Dreams"Bottom two
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)10"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"Safe
Daniel DeBourgOver 25s (Walsh)11"Heaven"Safe
HopeGroups (Cowell)12"Umbrella"Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate [26]
  • Osbourne abstained from voting as both acts were in her category. In fact, she refused to sit at the judging panel during the final showdown performances.
  • Cowell: Kimberley Southwick – based on the premise that the show is a singing competition.
  • Minogue: Alisha Bennett – gave no reason.
  • Walsh: Kimberley Southwick – stated that Bennett had the "talent factor" and had much more to give to the competition.

Week 2 (27 October)

Contestants' performances on the second live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongFilmResult [27]
HopeGroups (Cowell)1"Lady Marmalade" Moulin Rouge! Safe
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)2"Home" The Wedding Date Safe
Beverley TrotmanOver 25s (Walsh)3"I Have Nothing" The Bodyguard Safe
Alisha BennettGirls (Osbourne)4"I Say a Little Prayer" My Best Friend's Wedding Bottom two
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)5"Breaking Free" High School Musical Safe
Daniel DeBourgOver 25s (Walsh)6"Build Me Up Buttercup" There's Something About Mary Eliminated
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)7"The Phantom of the Opera" The Phantom of the Opera Safe
Emily NakandaGirls (Osbourne)8"I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" Crossroads Safe
FutureproofGroups (Cowell)9"If You Don't Know Me by Now" My Girl Safe
Andy WilliamsBoys (Minogue)10"Stayin' Alive" Saturday Night Fever Safe
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)11"My Heart Will Go On" Titanic Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate [27]
  • Walsh: Alisha Bennett – backed his own act, Daniel DeBourg.
  • Osbourne: Daniel DeBourg – backed her own act, Alisha Bennett.
  • Minogue: Daniel DeBourg – gave no reason.
  • Cowell: Daniel DeBourg – stated that Bennett had more potential to improve.

Week 3 (3 November)

Contestants' performances on the third live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongBig Band ArtistResult [28]
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)1"Fly Me to the Moon" Frank Sinatra Safe
FutureproofGroups (Cowell)2"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" Andy Williams Eliminated
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)3"All That Jazz" Liza Minnelli Safe
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)4"Get the Party Started" Pink Safe
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)5"Reach" S Club 7 Safe
Alisha BennettGirls (Osbourne)6"Valerie" Amy Winehouse Safe
HopeGroups (Cowell)7"Hanky Panky" Madonna Bottom two
Andy WilliamsBoys (Minogue)8"This Guy's in Love with You" Herb Alpert Safe
Beverley TrotmanOver 25s (Walsh)9"Feeling Good" Nina Simone Safe
Emily NakandaGirls (Osbourne)Did not perform 1 "It's Oh So Quiet" Björk Withdrew

^1 During the week leading up to the third live show, it was announced that Emily Nakanda had withdrawn from the competition due to a "happy slapping" video involving her that had emerged. She was not replaced and the elimination went ahead as normal. She was due to perform "It's Oh So Quiet" by Björk [29]

Judges' votes to eliminate [28]
  • Walsh: Futureproof – stated that Hope's performance on the night was "slick and energetic" and Futureproof's was "sloppy".
  • Osbourne: Futureproof – stated that she loved Hope.
  • Minogue: Hope – stated that neither act had performed well this week, but that Futureproof had delivered better performances in the previous two weeks.
  • Cowell: Futureproof – stated that Hope had greater long-term potential.

Week 4 (10 November)

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongYearResult [30]
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)1"Because of You"2005Safe
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)2"I Don't Feel Like Dancin'"2006Safe
Andy WilliamsBoys (Minogue)3"Chasing Cars"2006Eliminated
Beverley TrotmanOver 25s (Walsh)4"You're Beautiful"2005Bottom two
HopeGroups (Cowell)5"Back to Black 2007Safe
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)6"Dancing in the Moonlight"2000Safe
Alisha BennettGirls (Osbourne)7"Put Your Records On"2006Safe
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)8"You Raise Me Up"2002Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate [30]
  • Walsh: Andy Williams – backed his own act, Beverley Trotman.
  • Osbourne: Andy Williams – gave no reason.
  • Minogue: Beverley Trotman – backed her own act, Andy Williams.
  • Cowell: Andy Williams – stated that he believed the public would prefer to see Trotman saved.

Week 5 (17 November)

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongResult [31]
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)1"Relight My Fire"Safe
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)2"Hot Stuff"Safe
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)3"Go West"Safe
HopeGroups (Cowell)4"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"/"Hung Up"Bottom two
Beverley TrotmanOver 25s (Walsh)5"I'm Every Woman"Safe
Alisha BennettGirls (Osbourne)6"Young Hearts Run Free"Eliminated
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)7"Blame It on the Boogie"Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate [31]
  • Cowell: Alisha Bennett – backed his own act, Hope.
  • Minogue: Alisha Bennett – gave no reason.
  • Osbourne: Hope – backed her own act, Alisha Bennett.
  • Walsh: Alisha Bennett – gave no reason but stated that neither act deserved to be in the bottom two.

Week 6 (24 November)

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongResult [32]
Beverley TrotmanOver 25s (Walsh)1"Without You"Eliminated
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)2"Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now"Safe
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)3"The Power of Love"Safe
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)4"Somewhere"Safe
HopeGroups (Cowell)5"Hurt"Bottom two
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)6"You Don't Know Me"Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate [32]
  • Walsh: Hope – backed his own act, Beverley Trotman.
  • Cowell: Beverley Trotman – backed his own act, Hope.
  • Minogue: Hope – stated that Trotman was more consistent.
  • Osbourne: Beverley Trotman – stated "I'm doing this for a reason, and you'll realise the reason when I say it. I'm sending home Beverley", implying that she wanted to cause a deadlock.

With the acts in the bottom two receiving two votes each, the result went to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. Trotman was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.

Week 7: Quarter-Final (1 December)

Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst songBritish ArtistOrderSecond songBritish ArtistResult [33]
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)1"Somebody to Love" Queen 10"I Vow to Thee, My Country"/"World in Union"TraditionalSafe
HopeGroups (Cowell)2"2 Become 1" Spice Girls 6"We Will Rock You" Queen Eliminated
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)3"Total Eclipse of the Heart" Bonnie Tyler 9"Fields of Gold" Sting Safe
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)4"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Queen 7"The Long and Winding Road" The Beatles Safe
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)5"Any Dream Will Do" Andrew Lloyd Webber 8"Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" Wham! Safe

The quarter-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Hope, were automatically eliminated. [33]

Week 8: Semi-Final (8 December)

Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst songOrderSecond songResult [34]
Niki EvansOver 25s (Walsh)1"Songbird"5"One Moment in Time"Eliminated
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)2"The Very Thought of You"6"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)"Safe
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)3"Bridge over Troubled Water"7"You'll Never Walk Alone"Safe
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)4"Chain Reaction"8"Never Had a Dream Come True"Safe

The semi-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Niki Evans, was automatically eliminated. [34]

Week 9: Final (15 December)

Contestants' performances on the final live show [35]
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst song [35] OrderSecond song [35] Duet PartnerOrderThird song [35] OrderFourth song [36] Result [36]
Same DifferenceGroups (Cowell)1"All I Want for Christmas Is You"4"Any Dream Will Do" Jason Donovan 7"Breaking Free"N/AN/A (already eliminated)3rd place
Leon JacksonBoys (Minogue)2"White Christmas"5"Better the Devil You Know" Kylie Minogue 8"You Don't Know Me"10"When You Believe"Winner
Rhydian RobertsBoys (Minogue)3"O Holy Night"6"You Raise Me Up" Katherine Jenkins 9"Somewhere"11"When You Believe"Runner-up

Reception

Ratings

The fourth series proved yet again to be a ratings winner. The first episode peaked at 10.7 million viewers, with an average of 9.5 million viewers (45% share), according to unofficial overnight ratings.[ citation needed ] This was 2.5 million viewers higher than last year's launch, and higher than the series finale of both series 1 and series 2.[ citation needed ] Moreover, 60% of 16- to 34-year-olds tuned in that night. The Xtra Factor on ITV2 also performed well on its launch night, with an overnight figure of 1.2 million viewers watching the episode – 500,000 more than for the 2006 launch. [37] [38]

The second episode was another ratings success and attracted more viewers than all of the other terrestrial channels combined. The show peaked at 10 million viewers with an average of 8.5 million, beating its rival DanceX (the finale) on BBC One which attracted 3.6 million.[ citation needed ]

The third episode attracted 8.7 million viewers, which was considerably more than BBC One's Eurovision Dance Contest which achieved an audience of 3.8 million viewers. [39] Viewing figures remained strong in the fourth episode, averaging 8.2 million viewers. [40] The fifth episode featuring auditions generated 7 million viewers and a 43% share of audience. [41] The sixth and final episode featuring auditions attracted another strong audience which peaked at 9.2 million and averaged with 8 million and an audience share of 45%. [42]

The seventh and eighth episodes in the series featured the successful candidates auditioning at boot-camp. Despite competition from BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing , The X Factor received the highest viewing figures, beating Strictly Come Dancing by 2.1 million viewers and receiving 6.8 million in total. The second part of the show attracted 7.2 million viewers. [43] The ninth instalment won 7.5 million viewers, narrowly beating the live launch of Strictly Come Dancing, which had 7.2 million. [44]

The final of The X Factor on 15 December scored highly in the ratings with a peak audience of 12.1 million. The first part of the show attracted an average of 11.4 million viewers, whilst the second half averaged with 11.7 million viewers. [45] This was the highest rating, in terms of total viewership, for all four series of the show.

EpisodeAir dateOfficial ITV1 rating [46] Weekly rank [46]
Auditions 118 August9.781
Auditions 225 August8.883
Auditions 31 September9.231
Auditions 48 September8.764
Auditions 515 September7.235
Auditions 622 September8.345
Bootcamp 129 September6.4214
Bootcamp 27.1210
Judges' houses 16 October8.087
Judges' houses 27 October7.928
Live show 120 October6.6017
Live results 17.0214
Live show 227 October7.5113
Live results 27.5112
Live show 33 November8.478
Live results 36.9913
Live show 410 November9.187
Live results 48.598
Live show 517 November9.157
Live results 58.059
Live show 624 November9.306
Live results 68.887
Live show 71 December9.566
Live results 77.8213
Live semi-final8 December9.836
Live semi-final results9.627
Live final15 December11.782
Live final results12.231

Controversies

Osbourne's walkout

During the results of the first live show on 20 October, Osbourne walked away from the panel after it was revealed that both the bottom two acts came from her category. This left the three remaining judges, Cowell, Minogue and Walsh, to decide which of the bottom two would be sent home. When O'Leary asked Osbourne for her vote, she claimed to have left the show, saying, "I'm out—gone". [47] [48] It later emerged that Osbourne was dissatisfied with the last-minute rescheduling of the programme from 17:45 to 17:30, claiming that fewer people saw the performance of her act, Kimberley Southwick, as she was first on stage. After a considerable amount of media coverage, including Paul O'Grady apparently convincing Osbourne live on his chat show to return to The X Factor, Osbourne's spokesman confirmed on 23 October that she would return to the show. [49] [50]

Alleged feuds and alliances

During the filming of The X Factor, there was much media speculation about rumoured feuds between the judges, most notably between Osbourne and Minogue. In an interview published on 2 December 2007, Minogue stated "As for Sharon, you don't click with everybody. But it's her choice not to be friends. Apparently she's envious because I'm younger and prettier." [51] Cowell admitted that Osbourne did not feel comfortable about having a new judge and that Osbourne and Minogue would never be "the best of buddies," adding that if Osbourne wanted to leave the show, he would let her (in fact, Osbourne left after series 4). [52] The apparent flirting between Cowell and Minogue also generated comment in the popular media. [53]

Impartiality

Series 4 presented a change in the panellists' judging style. Simon Cowell said at the ITV Autumn Launch: "We tried to be bit more impartial as judges, and that, you'll see a lot more of on X Factor. There's still competition within the judges but our job essentially is to find a star." [54] This ethic was put into practice with the judges working together at the bootcamp. During the live shows, the acts were no longer introduced with their mentors at the start of the show. Only the judges were introduced, after which the individual performances began.

Standard of talent

At ITV's Autumn launch on 12 July 2007, Cowell discussed the upcoming series. He said that in previous years the programme had been more like a "popularity contest" than a talent show. When asked about the standard of talent, Cowell said: "It's in a different league this year... we're going to have the best 12 [finalists] we've ever seen". This came with comments that the series 4 auditions had gone "brilliantly". [54] [55] [56] [57] [58]

Series 4 also saw more emphasis placed on the international standing of The X Factor, with Cowell calling it "the biggest show in Europe" [12] with around 150,000 auditioning for the series. [17] [18] Referring to the impact that the international success of series 3 winner Leona Lewis had had on the show, Dannii Minogue said at the Sheffield auditions: "I think that Leona has completely upped the ante now on this show, and there's no turning back. We're looking for an international standard of acts that can sell millions of albums". [59] In response to the expectation of a raised standard of talent on the show, producers tried with series 4 to assemble what O'Leary called an "international panel of judges"; [12] this was particularly the case with the original judging line-up that included Friedman. There were also more international contestants in series 4, with two acts from the United States, [60] [61] numerous acts from Japan [62] [63] and a Brazilian act [64] auditioning.

Nevertheless, Cowell said before the first live show that "I think we could be heading for a train wreck," referring to the fact that the public did not believe any of the final 12 this year were as good as Lewis, but he added, "But if you take Leona out of the equation, they weren't that good last year. As a whole, we've probably got the most talented 12 we've had. We just haven't had the chance to showcase them properly yet." [65]

Alleged voting irregularities

It was reported that Ofcom received at least 1,900 complaints from would-be voters for eventual runner-up Rhydian Roberts, saying that despite calling numerous times they were unable to get through to vote for Roberts. The programme said the high number of calls meant some people were greeted by engaged tones. ITV denied the allegations, commenting that "As all numbers go through to the same lines and vote platform it is impossible for there to be any bias in favour or against a particular contestant." [66] ITV confirmed that Jackson performed strongly throughout the series and won on the night of the final by around 10% of the popular vote. [67] A subsequent Ofcom investigation found that Roberts had not been unfairly disadvantaged. [68]

Related Research Articles

Dannii Minogue Australian pop singer, songwriter, actress

Danielle Jane Minogue is an Australian singer, songwriter, actress, television personality, and fashion designer. She rose to prominence for her roles on the Australian television talent show Young Talent Time (1982–1988) and on the soap opera Home and Away (1989–1990), before beginning her career as a pop singer in the early 1990s. Minogue achieved early success with her debut studio album, Love and Kisses (1991), which included the hits "Love and Kisses", "Baby Love", "Jump to the Beat", and "Success". Following the release of her second album, Get into You (1993), Minogue's popularity as a singer had declined, only producing one hit single "This Is It". This led her to make a name for herself with award-winning performances in the musical stage shows Grease (1997) and Notre-Dame de Paris (1999), and other acting credits The Vagina Monologues and Lady Macbeth.

Louis Walsh Irish manager in the music industry

Michael Louis Vincent Walsh is an Irish music manager and television personality. He has managed Johnny Logan, Boyzone, and Westlife, three of Ireland's most successful pop acts in the 1990s and 2000s. He later began a career as a talent judge on shows such as Popstars (2001–2002), You're a Star (2003–2004), The X Factor, Ireland's Got Talent (2018–2019) and Junk Kouture (2014-present).

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent; the winner of which receives a £1 million recording contract with the Syco Music record label. The first series was broadcast from 4 September to 11 December 2004. The competition was split into several stages: auditions, bootcamp, judges' homes and live shows, with Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell as judges. Kate Thornton presented the show on ITV, whilst Ben Shephard presented the spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 2) British TV competition

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 as 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.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 3) British TV series

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.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British TV series) British reality television music competition

The X Factor is a British reality television music competition, created by Simon Cowell. Premiering on 4 September 2004, it was produced by Fremantle's Thames and Cowell's production company Syco Entertainment for ITV, as well as simulcast on Virgin Media One in Ireland. The programme ran for around 445 episodes across fifteen series, and with each series broadcast each year primarily from late summer to early winter, until its final episode in December 2018. All episodes were presented by Dermot O'Leary, with some exceptions: the first three series were originally hosted by Kate Thornton; while Caroline Flack and Olly Murs hosted the show for the twelfth series.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 5) British TV series

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.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 6) British TV series

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.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 7) Season of television series

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.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 8) British TV competition

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 girlband known earlier in the series as Rhythmix, consisting of members Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall are the series saw the creation entered the competition as individuals. 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 fifteen completed series broadcast on the ITV network, as well as spin-offs The X Factor: Celebrity (2019) and The X Factor: The Band (2019).

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 9) British TV competition

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The ninth series began airing on ITV on 18 August 2012 and ended on 9 December 2012. Dermot O'Leary returned as presenter of the main show on ITV, whilst Caroline Flack and Olly Murs returned to co-present The Xtra Factor on ITV2. Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Tulisa returned as judges. Nicole Scherzinger was confirmed as the fourth permanent judge after Geri Halliwell, Leona Lewis, Rita Ora, Mel B, Anastacia and Scherzinger herself stood in as guest judges for the vacant position left by Kelly Rowland. After the show of 8 December, two of Scherzinger's acts, James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas, became the top two, meaning that Scherzinger was guaranteed to win. Arthur was announced as the winner on 9 December, and released a cover of Shontelle's "Impossible" as his winner's song. As of 2016, it is the most successful winner's single in the show's history.

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The tenth series began airing on ITV on 31 August, and finished on 15 December 2013. Dermot O'Leary returned to present the main show on ITV and Caroline Flack was back to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, along with comedian Matt Richardson, who replaced Olly Murs. Flack also presented backstage segments during the live shows. Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger returned as judges for their respective tenth, third and second series, with Sharon Osbourne returning to replace Tulisa after five series away. This was Barlow's final series as a judge. Osbourne and Scherzinger also departed the series, but reprised their roles as judges with Walsh again in series 13 and series 14.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 11) British TV competition

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 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.

<i>The X Factor</i> (British series 12) British TV competition

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The twelfth series began airing on ITV on 29 August 2015 and ended on 13 December 2015. The judges were Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who returned for their respective ninth and fifth series as judges, series 9 guest judge and former The Voice UK coach Rita Ora, and BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, with Grimshaw and Ora replacing Louis Walsh, the only judge who had been on the show from its inception in 2004, and Mel B. It was presented by the late Caroline Flack and Olly Murs, who had both previously co-presented spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2 and replaced Dermot O'Leary, who left after eight series. Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom presented The Xtra Factor, replacing Sarah-Jane Crawford. Louisa Johnson was announced as the winner on 13 December 2015, making Ora the winning mentor.

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 finished second.

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The fourteenth series began airing on ITV on 2 September 2017, presented by Dermot O'Leary. For the first time in seven years, the judging panel remained the same as the previous series, with Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh returning. This is the first series not to include companion show The Xtra Factor, after it was cancelled in January 2017. Its replacement is a programme called Xtra Bites presented by Becca Dudley on the ITV Hub. This is also the first series to be sponsored by Just Eat, with the show having been sponsored by TalkTalk since 2009, as well as the second time the show has premiered in September, rather than August, since the first series in 2004. Rak-Su won the competition on 3 December 2017 and they became the second group to win the competition and Simon Cowell became the winning mentor for the fourth time.

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, 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. This was the only series that featured Tomlinson, Field, and Williams as judges.

<i>The X Factor: Celebrity</i> Celebrity edition of The X Factor

The X Factor: Celebrity was 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.

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