The X Factor (British series 8)

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The X Factor
Series 8
LittleMix15.jpg
Little Mix on tour.
Hosted by Dermot O'Leary (ITV)
Judges
Winner Little Mix
Winning mentor Tulisa
Runner-up Marcus Collins
Finals venue Wembley Arena
Release
Original network
Original release20 August (2011-08-20) 
11 December 2011 (2011-12-11)
Series chronology
 Previous
Series 7
Next 
Series 9
List of The X Factor episodes

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 [1] 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.

Contents

On 4 August 2011, promotional pictures of the judges surfaced across the internet. The next day, an advertisement premiered on itv.com. [2] The show's opening titles were replaced with a completely revamped title sequence during the live shows to match those of its then-recently launched American counterpart.

The final night episode of the show was marked as the Irish pop group Westlife's last live television performance together before the band split on 23 June 2012 until 2018.

The eighth series won Most Popular Talent Show at the 17th National Television Awards on 25 January 2012. [3]

Judges, presenters and other personnel

On 5 May 2011, it was announced that Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole would not return for the eighth series to work on the first season of The X Factor USA . [4] On 14 May 2011, Dannii Minogue announced that she would not be returning either, due to a clash with Australia's Got Talent , another show for which she judges. Of her decision, Minogue said, "During discussions for me to return to The X Factor it became clear that unfortunately, this year, The X Factor audition dates in the UK clash with the live shows of Australia's Got Talent during June and July. For this reason I am unable to return". [5]

After Cowell and Cole announced their departures, a number of celebrities were linked to the judging role including Frankie Sandford, [6] Alesha Dixon, [7] Lily Allen, [8] and Noel Gallagher. On 9 May 2011, five days before Minogue announced her departure, news broke that Cowell had offered a seat to Gary Barlow of Take That, though his contract was not finalised.[ citation needed ] Following Minogue's announcement, it was reported that Tulisa Contostavlos from N-Dubz had been in talks with producers to take on a judging role to replace Cole. [5] It was also suggested that Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny's Child, was in discussions to take a seat on the judging panel for Minogue's replacement. Although Cole briefly served as a judge on the American panel, she was dropped from the American panel and Cowell gave her the option to return to the 2011 UK series judging panel. However, she later rejected his offer as Tulisa already replaced her. [9] On 30 May 2011, the judging line-up was confirmed as Louis Walsh, Barlow, Tulisa and Rowland. [10] [11] Barlow said that he was "extremely excited" to work on the show, and hoped to find a global superstar. Tulisa hoped to "bring something fresh and new to the panel", promising to speak her mind. Rowland wanted an "opportunity to hear a few diamonds in the rough" and said she would be "sternly honest". In week 4 of the live finals on 29 and 30 October, Rowland was unable to attend due to a throat infection and was replaced for these shows by Alexandra Burke, who won series 5. [12]

In February 2011, Konnie Huq, who presented spin-off series The Xtra Factor for series 7, was told that her contract would not be renewed. [13] Matt Edmondson, Sandford, Kimberley Walsh, and series 6 contestant Stacey Solomon were all rumoured to be in the running, [14] but it was confirmed on 31 May 2011 that Caroline Flack would co-present The Xtra Factor with series 6 runner-up Olly Murs. [15]

Selection process

Applications and auditions

United Kingdom adm location map.svg
Red pog.svg

London
Cities that auditions were held in.

The first appeal for applicants for series 8 was broadcast during series 7 on 11 December 2010. For the first time, contestants could upload a video to YouTube.[ citation needed ] Auditions in front of the judges for series 8 took place in Cardiff, London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. It was the first time auditions had taken place in Liverpool, and the city replaced Dublin, where auditions were held in 2010.

The auditions started in Birmingham's LG Arena on 1 and 2 June. They then took place in Glasgow's Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on 6 June and continued in Manchester's Event City on 12, 13 and 14 June. More auditions took place at Cardiff's International Arena on 29 June, and at London's O2 on 6, 7 and 8 July, and finished in Liverpool's Echo Arena on 13 and 14 July. [16] The Manchester auditions were postponed from 18 to 20 May. [17]

London and Birmingham auditions were broadcast during the first episode on 20 August 2011. [18] More of the London auditions, as well as the Liverpool and Manchester auditions, aired on 27 August 2011. [19] On 3 September, the Glasgow auditions and more from London were shown. [20] More auditions from Manchester, Birmingham and London were broadcast during the 10 September episode. More from London, plus the Manchester and Glasgow auditions were broadcast in the 11 September episode. [21] The 17 September episode showed more auditions from Liverpool, Cardiff, London, Glasgow and Manchester. The final auditions aired on 18 September, and featured auditions from Liverpool, London and Cardiff.

Summary of judges' auditions
CityDate(s)VenueChanges to the judging line-up
Birmingham 1–2 June 2011 LG Arena N/A
Glasgow 6 June 2011 SECC
Manchester 12–14 June 2011 EventCity
Cardiff 29 June 2011 International Arena
London6–8 July 2011 The O2 Arena Gary Barlow absent (some auditions)
Liverpool 13–14 July 2011 Echo Arena N/A

Bootcamp

Bootcamp started on 18 August 2011. [22] The first episode of bootcamp was broadcast on 24 September 2011. It showed 191 acts attending a pre-bootcamp party [23] at a hotel in Croydon, [24] while the judges reviewed their auditions to see if there were some acts they wanted to cut before bootcamp started. [23] They cut 39 acts, leaving 152. The acts were split into 30 groups in which to perform at Wembley Arena, and each group was given one of six songs by the judges: "You've Got the Love", "Breakeven", "Price Tag", "Born This Way", "Forget You" or "Firework". [23] The judges then went on to cut over 80 acts, but called back some soloists, who were asked if they were interested in forming groups. All agreed and were workshopped to see which singers would work well together. [23] They formed six groups. [25] The 61 [25] remaining acts were then given the task of learning one song, 'making it their own' and performing it in front of a live audience, [23] the second time bootcamp was open to an audience (the first was in 2009). The judges then chose the final 32 acts, based on these performances. However, they chose only 32 acts, and the final group was made from four members of two groups previously put together by the judges. [25]

Judges' houses

Judges' houses, the final part of the selection process, was filmed in September.[ citation needed ] Judges were given their categories in late August. Barlow mentored the Boys, Rowland the Girls, Walsh the Over 25s, and Tulisa the Groups. [25] [26] Robbie Williams joined Barlow in Los Angeles,[ citation needed ] Jennifer Hudson assisted Rowland in Miami, [27] Walsh was accompanied by Sinitta in Barcelona, [28] and Tulisa received help from Jessie J in Mykonos. [29] At judges' houses each act performed two songs for their mentor and his/her guest judge, although only one song was mentioned and shown on the main show, with the other song shown on The Xtra Factor instead.

Sian Phillips was originally selected for the judges' houses, but due to visa issues, she was unable to travel to Miami and was thus replaced by Sarah Watson in the Girls category. [30]

Judges Houses Performances

Groups:

Girls:

Boys:

Over 25s


Summary of judges' houses
JudgeCategoryLocationAssistantActs eliminated
Gary BarlowBoysLos Angeles Robbie Williams Joe Cox, Luke Lucas, Max Vickers, John Wilding
TulisaGroups Mykonos Jessie J Girl v Boy, The Estrelles, The Keys, The Lovettes
Kelly RowlandGirlsMiami Jennifer Hudson Melanie McCabe, Holly Repton, Jade Richards, Sarah Watson
Louis WalshOver 25s Barcelona Sinitta Sami Brookes, Joseph Gilligan, Carolynne Poole, Terry Winstanley

Goldie Cheung was initially put through to the finals by Walsh, but pulled out of the competition at the end of the judges' houses stage, stating that she did not want to be away from her family. [31] Sami Brookes, who had initially not made it through, took her place in the live shows.

Finalists

Key:

  – Winner
  – Runner-up
  – Third place
  – Ejected
ActAge(s)HometownCategory (Mentor)Result
Little Mix 18–20VariousGroups (Tulisa)Winner
Marcus Collins 23 Liverpool Boys (Barlow)Runner-up
Amelia Lily 17 Nunthorpe Girls (Rowland)3rd place
Misha B 19 Manchester Girls (Rowland)4th place
Janet Devlin 17 Gortin, Northern Ireland5th place
Craig Colton23 Kirkby Boys (Barlow)6th place
Kitty Brucknell 27 Cheltenham Over 25s (Walsh)7th place
Frankie Cocozza 18 Brighton Boys (Barlow)8th place
Johnny Robinson46 Harrow Over 25s (Walsh)9th place
The Risk19–25VariousGroups (Tulisa)10th place
Sophie Habibis20 Manchester Girls (Rowland)11th place
Sami Brookes31 Rhyl Over 25s (Walsh)12th place
Nu Vibe16–19VariousGroups (Tulisa)13th place
2 Shoes21–23 Brentwood, Essex 14th place
James Michael20 Widnes Boys (Barlow)15th place
Jonjo Kerr27 Chorley Over 25s (Walsh)16th place

Live shows

The live shows began on 8 October. Each week, the contestants' performances took place on Saturday and the results were announced on Sunday. As with previous series, each live show had a different theme. The results show often featured a group performance by the remaining contestants and guest live performances.

The first live results show included live performances from series 7 winner Matt Cardle and Cee Lo Green, [32] while Katy Perry and The Wanted performed on the second results show. [33] On the third results show, Bruno Mars, Professor Green featuring Emeli Sandé and Kelly Clarkson performed. [34] Series 7 contestant Cher Lloyd and The X Factor USA judge Nicole Scherzinger performed on the fourth live result show. [35] [ unreliable source? ] Series 5 runners up JLS and Florence and the Machine performed on the fifth live results show, [36] [ unreliable source? ] while Lady Gaga and series 7 contestants One Direction performed on the sixth.[ citation needed ] The seventh live show featured performances from Rihanna and series 7 runner-up Rebecca Ferguson,. [37] The eighth live results show included performances from former contestant and The Xtra Factor host Olly Murs featuring The Muppets, and Jessie J. [38] [39] JLS and One Direction also appeared alongside the 16 finalists to perform this year's charity single, "Wishing on a Star". [38] [39] The semi-final live result show featured performances from Justin Bieber and The X Factor judge Rowland. [40] The live final featured performances from Coldplay, JLS, Leona Lewis, Michael Bublé and One Direction [41]

For the live finals, The X Factor received new graphics and theme music similar to those already introduced on The X Factor USA . Voting by text message, which had been absent since 2007, was reintroduced for this series in addition to the premium rate telephone vote, [42] but was not available during the final. [43]

During the fourth week of the live shows, it was announced that Rowland was unable to travel back from Los Angeles due to a throat infection. During the week, it was announced that Burke would replace her as a judge on the show. [12] After Burke accepted the role as guest judge, she became the first X Factor contestant to return to the show as a judge. [12] It was reported on 28 June 2011 that the final would take place on 10 and 11 December 2011 at Wembley Arena instead of the usual Fountain Studios.[ citation needed ]

On 26 October 2011, Rhythmix announced that they would change their name due to pressure from a children's music charity of the same name, after the programme tried to trademark "Rhythmix" in Europe. It was reported that the group decided to make the change, despite no legal reason to do so, to avoid any difficulties for the charity. [44] The name was subsequently changed to Little Mix. [45]

On 28 October 2011, Ashley Baptiste decided to leave The Risk. In an interview on the official website, he explained "I don't believe my future lies in a boyband and it's not fair on [the other members] Charlie, Derry and Andy to remain in the band when I am not truly committed to it for the long term. I believe The Risk can win The X Factor and I'm backing them all the way. I count them as my friends so I know we'll stay in touch." He was replaced by Ashford Campbell, who was a member of Nu Vibe, another manufactured boyband who had already previously been eliminated. [46]

On 8 November 2011, Frankie Cocozza was ejected from the competition, saying he "no longer [deserved his] place in the show", having broken competition rules. [47] As a result, it was announced that the four contestants eliminated by their mentors in week 1; 2 Shoes, Amelia Lily, James Michael and Jonjo Kerr; would be given the chance to face a public vote, with the winner of the vote being reinstated in the competition. [48] Amelia Lily won the public vote with 48% of the overall total and replaced Cocozza in the competition.

Results summary

Colour key

  Act in team Gary

  Act in team Tulisa

  Act in team Louis

  Act in team Kelly

  Act did not face the public vote
  Act did not face the public vote but was eliminated by their mentor
  Act was in the bottom two/three and had to sing again in the final showdown
  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 final showdown)
  Act received the most public votes
  Act was ejected from the competition without singing or facing the public vote
Weekly results per act [49]
Act Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Quarter-Final Semi-Final Final
Return Vote 4 Elimination VoteSaturday VoteSunday Vote
Little MixSaved4th
8.7%
6th
6.0%
2nd
13.7%
4th
11.9%
N/A 4 3rd
15.3%
1st
26.1%
2nd
22.4%
1st
34.4%
1st
39.0%
Winner
48.3% 5
Marcus Collins7th
6.8%
4th
11.2%
6th
10.1%
2nd
16.0%
4th
12.9%
4th
14.4%
3rd
21.0%
2nd
24.0%
2nd
34.5%
Runner-up
42.8% 5
Amelia LilyEliminatedEliminated
(week 1)
1st
48.8%
1st
27.4%
5th
11.3%
1st
23.8%
3rd
21.4%
3rd
26.5%
Eliminated
(final)
Misha BSaved5th
7.8%
3rd
11.8%
10th
5.1%
3rd
12.2%
N/A 4 7th
8.0%
2nd
22.5%
5th
14.5%
4th
20.2%
Eliminated
(semi-final)
Janet Devlin1st
23.6%
1st
17.2%
1st
14.7%
1st
18.0%
2nd
17.4%
3rd
14.8%
4th
18.3%
Eliminated
(quarter-final)
Craig Colton6th
6.9%
8th
6.0%
3rd
13.0%
5th
10.1%
5th
10.6%
6th
10.9%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Kitty Brucknell10th
5.9%
11th
5.0%
4th
12.9%
8th
7.6%
6th
8.4%
Eliminated
(week 6)
Frankie Cocozza11th
5.2%
7th
6.0%
8th
5.7%
6th
8.7%
Ejected
(week 6)
Johnny Robinson8th
6.5%
2nd
17.1%
5th
12.2%
7th
8.3%
Eliminated
(week 5)
The Risk2nd
10.9%
5th
8.3%
7th
7.2%
9th
7.2%
Sophie Habibis3rd
8.9%
9th
5.8%
9th
5.4%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Sami Brookes9th
6.2%
10th
5.6%
Eliminated
(week 3)
Nu Vibe12th
2.6%
Eliminated
(week 2)
2 ShoesEliminatedEliminated
(week 1)
4th
11.3%
Not Returned
(week 6)
James Michael2nd
26.7%
Jonjo Kerr3rd
13.2%
Final ShowdownNone 1 Cocozza,
Nu Vibe
Brookes,
Brucknell
Habibis,
Misha B
Brucknell,
Robinson
N/A 4 Brucknell,
Misha B
Colton,
Lily
Devlin,
Misha B
No final showdown or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Judges voted toSend ThroughEliminateEliminate
Walsh's vote (Over 25s)Brookes,
Brucknell,
Robinson
Nu VibeBrookesHabibisRobinsonMisha BColtonDevlin
Tulisa's vote (Groups)Little Mix,
The Risk,
Nu Vibe
CocozzaBrucknellHabibisRobinsonBrucknellLilyDevlin
Rowland's vote (Girls)Devlin,
Misha B,
Habibis
Nu VibeBrookesHabibis 2 RobinsonBrucknellColtonNone (abstained)
Barlow's vote (Boys)Collins,
Colton,
Cocozza
Nu VibeBrookesN/A 3 N/A 3 BrucknellLilyN/A 3
EliminatedJonjo Kerr
by Walsh
Nu Vibe
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Sami Brookes
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Sophie Habibis
3 of 3 votes
Majority
The Risk
7.2%
to save
Kitty Brucknell
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Craig Colton
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Janet Devlin
2 of 2 votes
Majority
Misha B
20.2%
to save
Amelia Lily
26.5%
to save
Marcus Collins
42.8%
to win
James Michael
by Barlow
2 Shoes
by Tulisa
Johnny Robinson
3 of 3 votes
Majority
Amelia Lily
by Rowland
Reference(s) [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [58] [59]

Live show details

Week 1 (8/9 October)

Contestants' performances on the first live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [65] CountryResult [50]
Amelia LilyGirls (Rowland)1"Billie Jean"Flag of the United States.svg  US Eliminated
Johnny RobinsonOver 25s (Walsh)2"Believe"Flag of the United States.svg  US Saved
RhythmixGroups (Tulisa)3"Super Bass"Saved
Frankie CocozzaBoys (Barlow)4"The A Team"Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Saved
Sophie HabibisGirls (Rowland)5"Teenage Dream"Flag of the United States.svg  US Saved
Jonjo KerrOver 25s (Walsh)6"You Really Got Me"Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Eliminated
2 ShoesGroups (Tulisa)7"Something Kinda Ooooh"Eliminated
James MichaelBoys (Barlow)8"Ticket to Ride"Eliminated
Misha BGirls (Rowland)9"Rolling in the Deep"Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Saved
Nu VibeGroups (Tulisa)10"Beautiful People"Flag of the United States.svg  US Saved
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)11"Moves like Jagger"Saved
Sami BrookesOver 25s (Walsh)12"Free"Saved
The RiskGroups (Tulisa)13"She Said"Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Saved
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)14"Jar of Hearts"Flag of the United States.svg  US Saved
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)15"Who Wants to Live Forever"Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  UK Saved
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)16"Fix You"Saved
  • There was no public vote in the first week. Instead, each of the judges selected one of their own acts to eliminate. [60]
Judges' decisions to eliminate [50]
  • Walsh: Jonjo Kerr – said he was the weakest performer in his category.
  • Barlow: James Michael – thought the other three boys had more star quality than Michael.
  • Tulisa: 2 Shoes – the decision came down to 2 Shoes and Nu Vibe, and Tulisa decided that Nu Vibe had more potential to improve.
  • Rowland: Amelia Lily – the decision came down to Amelia Lily and Sophie Habibis; while Rowland felt that Lily had more of a star quality, she conceded that Habibis had given the better performance.

Week 2 (15/16 October)

Contestants' performances on the second live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [67] Result [51]
Nu VibeGroups (Tulisa)1"With or Without You"Bottom two
Sami BrookesOver 25s (Walsh)2"I Will Always Love You"Safe
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)3"Best Thing I Never Had"Safe
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)4"Can't Help Falling in Love"Safe (Highest Votes)
Frankie CocozzaBoys (Barlow)5"The Scientist"Bottom two
Johnny RobinsonOver 25s (Walsh)6"Can't Get You Out of My Head"Safe
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)7"Russian Roulette"Safe
RhythmixGroups (Tulisa)8"I'm Like a Bird"Safe
Misha BGirls (Rowland)9"Would I Lie to You?"Safe
The RiskGroups (Tulisa)10"Just the Way You Are"Safe
Sophie HabibisGirls (Rowland)11"Wherever You Will Go"Safe
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)12"It's Oh So Quiet"Safe
Final showdown details [68]
Nu VibeGroups (Tulisa)1"Promise This"Eliminated
Frankie CocozzaBoys (Barlow)2"Red"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [51]
  • Barlow: Nu Vibe – gave no reason, though effectively backed his own act, Frankie Cocozza.
  • Rowland: Nu Vibe – gave no reason.
  • Tulisa: Frankie Cocozza – gave no reason, though effectively backed her own act, Nu Vibe.
  • Walsh: Nu Vibe – backed the act he believed had more potential.

Week 3 (22/23 October)

Contestants' performances on the third live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongRock ArtistResult [52]
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)1"Are You Gonna Go My Way" Lenny Kravitz Safe
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)2"Sweet Child o' Mine" Guns N' Roses Safe (Highest Votes)
Sami BrookesOver 25s (Walsh)3"If I Could Turn Back Time" Cher Bottom two
RhythmixGroups (Tulisa)4"Tik Tok"/"Push It" Kesha / Salt-N-Pepa Safe
Sophie HabibisGirls (Rowland)5"Livin' on a Prayer" Bon Jovi Safe
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)6"Stop Crying Your Heart Out" Oasis Safe
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)7"Live and Let Die" Wings Bottom two
Frankie CocozzaBoys (Barlow)8"Rocks" Primal Scream Safe
The RiskGroups (Tulisa)9"Crazy" Gnarls Barkley Safe
Johnny RobinsonOver 25s (Walsh)10"I Believe in a Thing Called Love" The Darkness Safe
Misha BGirls (Rowland)11"Purple Rain" Prince Safe
Final showdown details [52]
Sami BrookesOver 25s (Walsh)1"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"Eliminated
Kitty Brucknell2"The Edge of Glory"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [52]
  • Barlow: Sami Brookes – said that both acts were unbelievable, but felt that Brucknell was "more exciting" and Brookes was "dated".
  • Rowland: Sami Brookes – gave no reason.
  • Tulisa: Kitty Brucknell – thought Brookes had a better connection with her.
  • Walsh: Sami Brookes – did not want to take it to deadlock and chose to go with his heart.

Week 4 (29/30 October)

Rowland did not appear on the judging panel for week 4 due to illness, [72] so series 5 winner Alexandra Burke took her place on the panel. [73] However, Burke did not vote on the results show; instead, Rowland voted via telephone link from Los Angeles. Rhythmix's new name 'Little Mix' took effect from Week 4. [53] Ashley Baptiste from The Risk quit the group and Ashford Campbell who was originally in Nu Vibe (eliminated Week 2) joined The Risk.

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [74] Result [53]
The RiskGroups (Tulisa)1"Thriller"Safe
Johnny RobinsonOver 25s (Walsh)2"That Ole Devil Called Love"Safe
Sophie HabibisGirls (Rowland)3"Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"Bottom two
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)4"Superstition"/"Need You Tonight"Safe
Misha BGirls (Rowland)5"Tainted Love"Bottom two
Janet Devlin6"Every Breath You Take"Safe (Highest Votes)
Frankie CocozzaBoys (Barlow)7"Should I Stay or Should I Go"Safe
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)8"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"Safe
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)9"ET"Safe
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)10"Set Fire to the Rain"Safe
Final showdown details [53]
Sophie HabibisGirls (Rowland)1"Shelter"Eliminated
Misha B2"Use Somebody"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [53]
  • Walsh: Sophie Habibis – said that Misha B was a better performer.
  • Tulisa: Sophie Habibis – said she related more to Misha B as an artist.
  • Rowland: Sophie Habibis – felt that Misha B wanted it more.
  • Barlow was not required to vote since there was already a majority, but confirmed he would have eliminated Habibis.

Week 5 (5/6 November)

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSongResult [54]
Johnny RobinsonOver 25s (Walsh)1"Hung Up"/"You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"Bottom three
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)2"I Want You Back"Safe (Highest Votes)
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)3"Heaven"Safe
The RiskGroups (Tulisa)4"A Night to Remember"Eliminated
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)5"Reet Petite"Safe
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)6"Like a Prayer"Bottom three
Frankie CocozzaBoys (Barlow)7"I Gotta Feeling"Safe
Misha BGirls (Rowland)8"Proud Mary"Safe
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)9"Don't Stop the Music"Safe
Final showdown details [54]
Johnny RobinsonOver 25s (Walsh)1"Unchained Melody"Eliminated
Kitty Brucknell2"Beautiful Disaster"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [54]
  • Walsh: Johnny Robinson – said that Brucknell was more likely to succeed in the music industry.
  • Tulisa: Johnny Robinson – agreed with Walsh.
  • Rowland: Johnny Robinson – also agreed with Walsh, and added that she felt Brucknell had more of an "excitement factor".
  • Barlow was not required to vote since there was already a majority, but confirmed he would have eliminated Robinson.

Week 6 (12/13 November)

On 8 November 2011, Frankie Cocozza was ejected from the competition. [61] [62] The four acts that did not face the public vote in week 1 and were eliminated by their mentors—Amelia Lily, James Michael, Jonjo Kerr, and 2 Shoes—faced the public vote and the act with the most votes would replace Cocozza. [63] The winner of the vote was announced as Amelia Lily with 48% of the public vote. [55]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [82] MusicianResult [56]
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)1"Don't Stop Me Now" Queen Bottom two
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)2"Paparazzi" Lady Gaga Safe
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)3"Radio Ga Ga"/"Telephone" Queen/Lady Gaga Safe
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)4"Somebody to Love" Queen Safe
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)5"Another One Bites the Dust"Safe
Misha BGirls (Rowland)6"Born This Way" Lady Gaga Bottom two
Amelia Lily7"The Show Must Go On" Queen Safe (Highest Votes)
Final showdown details [56]
Kitty BrucknellOver 25s (Walsh)1"Over the Rainbow"Eliminated
Misha BGirls (Rowland)2"Who You Are"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [56]
  • Walsh: Misha Bryan – backed his own act, Kitty Brucknell.
  • Tulisa: Kitty Brucknell – said that after the show she would buy Misha B's album.
  • Rowland: Kitty Brucknell – backed her own act, Misha B, who she felt had more potential in the competition.
  • Barlow: Kitty Brucknell – said that Misha B had more potential and he thought that Brucknell was not connecting with the audience since this was her third time in the bottom two.

Week 7 (19/20 November)

Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderSong [85] Film [85] Result [57]
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)1"Licence to Kill" Licence to Kill Bottom two
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)2"Kiss Me" How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Safe
Amelia Lily3"Think" Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Bottom two
Misha B4"I Have Nothing" The Bodyguard Safe
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)5"Don't Let Go (Love)" Set It Off Safe (Highest Votes)
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)6"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" Ghostbusters II Safe
Final showdown details [57]
Craig ColtonBoys (Barlow)1"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"Eliminated
Amelia LilyGirls (Rowland)2"You and I"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [57]
  • Barlow: Amelia Lily – backed his own act, Craig Colton, and said that Lily had "shouted her way" through the final showdown.
  • Rowland: Craig Colton – backed her own act, Amelia Lily, who she said properly sang her survival song.
  • Tulisa: Amelia Lily – said that Colton sang better in the sing off.
  • Walsh: Craig Colton – said Lily was a ready made pop star and had so much potential.

With both acts receiving two votes each, the result went to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. Craig Colton was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes. [57]

Week 8: Quarter-Final (26/27 November)

Starting in the quarter-final, each act performed two songs with voting lines opening after the first round of performances. [87]

Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst song [88] Guilty PleasureOrderSecond song [88] Musical heroResult [58]
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)1"Baby"/"Where Did Our Love Go" Justin Bieber / The Supremes 6"Beautiful" Christina Aguilera Safe
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)2"MMMBop" Hanson 7"Under the Bridge" Red Hot Chili Peppers Bottom two
Misha B3"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" Cyndi Lauper 8"Killing Me Softly with His Song" Fugees Bottom two
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)4"I'm Your Man" Wham! 9"Lately" Stevie Wonder Safe
Amelia LilyGirls (Rowland)5"China in Your Hand" T'Pau 10"Since U Been Gone" Kelly Clarkson Safe (Highest Votes)
Final showdown details [58]
Janet DevlinGirls (Rowland)1"Chasing Cars"Eliminated
Misha B2"Out Here on My Own"Saved
Judges' votes to eliminate [58]
  • Walsh: Janet Devlin – based on the performances across the quarter-final.
  • Tulisa: Janet Devlin – based on the performances across the quarter-final, and thought Misha B had more long-term potential.
  • Rowland abstained from voting as both her acts were in the bottom two, O'Leary warned Rowland this would mean Devlin would be eliminated as Walsh and Tulisa voted against her, but Rowland still declined to vote.
  • Barlow was not required to vote since there was already a majority, but confirmed he would have voted to send home Devlin.

Week 9: Semi-Final (3/4 December)

Contestants' performances on the ninth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst song [90] Motown ArtistOrderSecond song [90] Result [59]
Misha BGirls (Rowland)1"Dancing in the Street" Martha and the Vandellas 5"Perfect"Eliminated
Amelia Lily2"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 6"I'm with You"Safe
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)3"You Keep Me Hangin' On" The Supremes 8"If I Were a Boy"Safe (Highest Votes)
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)4"My Girl" The Temptations 7"Can You Feel It"Safe

The semi-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Misha B, was automatically eliminated. [91] After her elimination, Misha B reprised her week 6 final showdown performance of "Who You Are" as her exit song.

Week 10: Final (10/11 December)

The final was held at Wembley Arena and lasted for over four hours, split over Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December 2011. [92]

10 December

Contestants' performances on the tenth live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFirst song [97] OrderSecond song (duet) [97] Result
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)1"Hey Ya!"4"She's Always a Woman" (with Gary Barlow)Safe
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)2"You Got the Love"5"If I Ain't Got You"/"Empire State of Mind" (with Tulisa)Safe
Amelia LilyGirls (Rowland)3"Ain't No Other Man"6"River Deep – Mountain High" (with Kelly Rowland)Eliminated

If Amelia Lily had made the final two, her favourite performance would have been, "The Show Must Go On" from week six, and would have sung "All I Want For Christmas Is You" for her Christmas song, as well as performing "Cannonball".

11 December

Contestants' performances on the final live show
ActCategory (Mentor)OrderFavourite song [100] OrderChristmas song [100] OrderThird songResult [100]
Marcus CollinsBoys (Barlow)1"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"3"Last Christmas"5"Cannonball"Runner-up
Little MixGroups (Tulisa)2"Don't Let Go (Love)"4"Silent Night"6"Cannonball"Winner

Charity single

It was announced on 12 October 2011, that the 16 finalists would record a cover version of "Wishing on a Star", released on 20 November in aid of Together for Short Lives, a charity which Cowell said do "amazing work". It is the fourth time finalists have released a charity single. [101] Series 5 contestants JLS and series 7 contestants One Direction also feature on the single. [80]

Winner's single

The winner's single was Damien Rice's "Cannonball". For the first time since series 1, the winner's single was not released in the week of the coveted Christmas number one chart battle. The Official Charts Company announced that the 2011 Christmas number-one would be announced on Christmas Day, [102] meaning releases on 18 December would be new entries in the chart that week. Little Mix's winner's single was released on 14 December, [103] which meant it would have to maintain significant sales numbers in its second week to achieve the Christmas number one. It was announced on 17 November that N-Dubz rapper Fazer would be producing the single. [104]

Marks and Spencer deal

In September 2011, it was announced that Marks & Spencer would be The X Factor's official fashion partner. On 2 October 2011, it was revealed that the 16 finalists would star in the retailer's 2011 Christmas advertisement. It is a one-minute advertisement that premiered during week 5 of the live shows. The finalists recorded a cover of the song "When You Wish upon a Star" to feature in the advert and modelled clothes from the company. The finalists will be paid for the advertisement. [105] After his ejection from the competition, M&S announced that Frankie Cocozza's face would be edited out of the advert, as it wasn't possible to edit his voice from the advert. [106] [107] On 17 November 2011, M&S posted the latest edit of the advert to their official YouTube account, with Cocozza's vocals completely erased. [108]

Reception

Ratings

Initial viewing figures for the first episode were placed at 11.3 million for ITV1, however, the peak audience was 12.6 million, a match for the highest viewing figures for an X Factor series opener, and almost 5 million more than Doctor Who on BBC One, the second-highest rated programme that night. [109] [110]

Despite a drop in ratings from the previous series, it was the third most watched series in the show's eight-year history

EpisodeAir dateOfficial ITV1 rating
(millions) [111]
Weekly rank [111] Share (%)Official ITV1 HD rating
(millions) [112]
Official ITV1+1 rating
(millions) [112]
Total ITV1 viewers
(millions)
Auditions 120 August11.05145.7 [113] 1.130.5212.70
Auditions 227 August10.63142.8 [114] 1.020.4712.12
Auditions 33 September10.96143.4 [115] 1.000.6012.56
Auditions 410 September10.98143.6 [116] 1.040.5212.56
Auditions 511 September10.52237.8 [117] 1.100.5212.14
Auditions 617 September11.16244.5 [118] 1.170.3312.66
Auditions 718 September11.23142.2 [119] 1.170.3412.74
Bootcamp 124 September10.64243.0 [120] 1.050.3812.07
Bootcamp 225 September11.11138.7 [121] 1.060.5712.74
Judges' houses 11 October10.13242.0 [122] 1.110.6611.90
Judges' houses 22 October11.74142.5 [123] 1.180.4513.37
Live show 18 October10.89240.3 [124] 1.160.5312.58
Live results 19 October11.34141.1 [125] 1.270.3312.94
Live show 215 October9.90339.1 [126] 1.240.4711.61
Live results 216 October10.84140.5 [127] 1.260.3012.40
Live show 322 October9.73338.0 [128] 1.330.3811.44
Live results 323 October10.68139.8 [129] 1.21Unknown ^1 Unknown ^1
Live show 429 October9.74338.8 [130] 1.320.3311.39
Live results 430 October11.44142.0 [131] 1.310.2713.02
Live show 55 November9.63340.3 [132] 1.380.4411.45
Live results 56 November11.58141.8 [133] 1.220.2413.04
Live show 612 November11.23240.9 [134] 1.050.3012.68
Live results 613 November11.85141.9 [135] 1.40Unknown ^2 Unknown ^2
Live show 719 November10.48239.0 [136] 1.220.3012.00
Live results 720 November11.27139.1 [137] 1.300.2412.81
Live show 826 November10.05238.4 [138] 1.250.2411.54
Live results 827 November11.30141.8 [139] 1.480.2213.00
Live show 93 December10.23239.9 [140] 1.200.3711.80
Live results 94 December11.08140.2 [141] 1.380.3412.80
Live final10 December10.35240.1 [142] 1.360.3412.05
Live final results11 December12.09144.3 [143] 1.370.2313.69
Series average201110.81N/A42.31.230.3812.40

^1 The ITV+1 rating for the Live Results show that was broadcast on 23 October 2011 is unavailable as it is outside the Top 10 ratings recorded on the BARB website. It had fewer than 0.20 million viewers.

^2 The ITV+1 rating for the Live Results show that was broadcast on 13 November 2011 is unavailable as it is outside the Top 10 ratings recorded on the BARB website. It had fewer than 0.19 million viewers.

Controversies

Allegation of bullying

Misha B was involved in a controversy during the third live show when Tulisa accused her of making "mean comments" and Walsh accused her of being a "bully" backstage. Both later apologised. The other two judges, Barlow and Rowland, and several contestants defended Misha B during and after the show. Barlow later said he believed the wrongful allegations had ended her chances of winning the competition. [144] [145]

Frankie Cocozza's ejection

On 8 November, Frankie Cocozza was ejected from the competition. [61] [62] He released a statement saying "I'd like to apologise to Gary, my fellow contestants and everyone who has voted for me, but, as of today, I will no longer be in The X Factor. My life during the show has gone out of control and my behaviour off stage has overstepped the rules of the competition." [47]

The Sun newspaper claimed Cocozza had been overheard boasting about using cocaine. [146]

Cocozza's behaviour earlier in the series has led to two Ofcom investigations – he swore during a live show and was also shown drinking heavily with some friends. [146]

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