List of The X Factor finalists (British series 15)

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The fifteenth UK series of The X Factor began on ITV on Saturday 1 September 2018. The live shows started on Saturday 20 October. The sixteen finalists were Dalton Harris, Armstrong Martins, Brendan Murray, Anthony Russell, Shan Ako, Scarlett Lee, Bella Penfold, Molly Scott, Janice Robinson, Giovanni Spano, Danny Tetley, Olatunji Yearwood, Acacia & Aaliyah, LMA Choir, Misunderstood and United Vibe.

Louis Tomlinson mentors the boys (Dalton, Armstrong, Brendan and Anthony), Simon Cowell mentors the girls (Shan, Scarlett, Bella and Molly), Ayda Field mentors the over 30s (Janice, Giovanni, Danny and Olatunji) and Robbie Williams mentors the groups (Acacia & Aaliyah, LMA Choir, Misunderstood and United Vibe).

Boys[edit]

The boys were mentored by Louis Tomlinson.

Louis Tomlinson mentored the boys category of male soloists aged 14 to 28. The six candidates at judges' houses were: Dalton Harris, J-Sol, Armstrong Martins, Brendan Murray, Thomas Pound, and Anthony Russell. Tomlinson chose Harris, Martins, Murray and Russell to progress to the live shows.

Dalton Harris[edit]

Dalton Harris (born 29 December 1993), age 24, is a singer from Jamaica. He studied in Edwin Allen High and Kingston College.[1] In 2010, he won a Jamaican nationally televised contest called Digicel Rising Stars airing on Television Jamaica ending as the programme's youngest winner. After the win, he was signed to Penthouse Records, released singles but never an album as he never got a record dealdue to lack of support from the industry.[2][which?] He was managed by producer Donovan Germain. He topped the Jamaican dance hall charts in 2014 with his single "Pauper". He has released a number of singles, such as: "I'm Numb", "Watch Over Me" and "That Wonderful Sound" in 2015; "All I Need", "Whisper in the Wind", "Unfaithful Chronicles" and "Dem Kinda Woman" in 2016; and "Perilous Time" in 2017. In 2018, he released the joint album Unintentional Astronaut with Mike Needler.

At his audition for X Factor, he sang "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" by Elton John, receiving four yeses from the judges. Owing to the success and increasing popularity of the Jamaican act, the British X Factor is being broadcast live in Jamaica after the local Television Jamaica (TVJ) bought the broadcasting rights of the programme.[3] Harris has reached the final of the contest on 1 December 2018.

On 2 December, Harris was announced as the winner of the 2018 edition, becoming the first foreign act to win the UK version of The X Factor. With Louis Tomlinson being his mentor it made Tomlinson the sixth mentor who won in his first year.

Armstrong Martins[edit]

Armstrong Martins (born 18 September 1995), age 23, is a Nigerian musician, youth worker and a church singer from London. He left home at the age of thirteen and has been looked after by his church pastor ever since.[4] He also appeared on the second series of The Voice Nigeria in 2017, reaching to the live shows.[5]

In his audition he sang "Breaking Free" from High School Musical, receiving four yeses from the judges.

He was eliminated in week one after landing in the sing-off with Janice Robinson and only Louis Tomlinson voting to save him. He finished in 15th place.

Brendan Murray[edit]

Brendan Murray (born 16 November 1996), age 22, is a plumber from Tuam, Co. Galway, Ireland. Between 2014 and 2016, he was a member of the boyband Hometown who have achieved two #1 singles in their homeland and were managed by Louis Walsh

Following the band's split, he went solo with Louis Walsh as his manager and was selected to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song "Dying to Try" but failed to qualify for the finals.

In his first audition, Brendan Murray performed a cover of Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" which earned him four yeses from the judges.

In week two's Sunday results, Brendan was in the bottom three for the sing-off against The LMA Choir. He was saved by deadlock for having the most votes and continued to the next week. He was automatically eliminated on the Saturday episode in the semi-final after receiving the fewest public votes, coming in 5th place.

Anthony Russell[edit]

Anthony Russell, (born (1989-12-11) 11 December 1989 (age 29)) is a labourer, from Bootle, Merseyside.

Russell originally auditioned for the show in 2007 but did not progress past bootcamp. He reauditioned again ten years later in 2017 and was originally put through to the judges' houses round by his mentor Louis Walsh. However, he later withdrew from the show after it was revealed that he had been taking drugs during his participation. After his exit, Louis Tomlinson contacted Russell and offered him help, eventually supporting him as he went to rehab over the course of the year.

In his first audition, he performed a cover of Avicii's "Wake Me Up" which reduced Louis to tears and earned him four yeses from the judges.

On the week three live shows, Russell's performance was messed up due to a technical fault from ITV. The vote had to be canceled and rescheduled to Sunday's results show. Russell however got through to week four's live shows.

Russell finished the competition in 3rd place. He and Dalton Harris were the only two acts during the season to never be in the sing-off.

Girls[edit]

The girls were mentored by Simon Cowell.

Simon Cowell mentored the girls category of female soloists aged 14 to 28. The six candidates at judges' houses were: Shan Ako, Georgia Burgess, Maria Laroco, Scarlett Lee, Bella Penfold, and Molly Scott. Cowell chose Ako, Lee, Penfold, and Scott to progress to the live shows.

Shan Ako[edit]

Shan Ako (born 17 January 1993), aged 25, is a session singer from Croydon.

In her first audition, Ako performed a cover of Loren Allred's "Never Enough" which earned her four yeses from the judges. She was eliminated in the quarter-final after the result went to deadlock by receiving the fewest public votes and after ending up in the sing-off with Acacia & Aaliyah, finishing in 7th place. As Ako was a favorite to win, the results was a shock to the public.

Scarlett Lee[edit]

Scarlett Lee (born 20 September 1997), aged 21, is a make-up artist from Surrey. Lee originally auditioned for The X Factor in 2017 when aged 19, where she reached six-chair challenge. She was briefly given a seat by her mentor Sharon Osbourne after her performance of "Without You" by David Guetta feat. Usher, but was later sent home after a dramatic sing-off between her and eventual finalists Rai-Elle Williams and Alisah Bonaobra, during which she sang "The Power of Love" by Jennifer Rush.

In her first audition this series, Lee performed her own original song "Survival", but was stopped by Simon Cowell, who was unimpressed with the song. As Cowell urged her to use her performance to convince the audience to root for her, she performed a cover of Loren Allred's "Never Enough" which earned her four yes votes from the judges.

In the quarter-final results, after the elimination of Bella Penfold and Shan Ako, she became the last act in the Girls' category. She finished the competition as the runner-up. Her winners song would've been One More Sleep performed with Leona Lewis, which she performed in the final.[6]

Bella Penfold[edit]

Bella Penfold (born 30 December 1998), aged 19, is a hotel singer from Essex.

In her first audition, Penfold performed a cover of Joss Stone's "Fell in Love with a Boy" which earned her four yes votes from the judges. She was automatically eliminated in the quarter-final after receiving the fewest public votes, finishing in 8th place.

Molly Scott[edit]

Molly Scott (born 28 November 2001), aged 17, is a student from County Durham.

In her first audition, she performed a cover of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" which earned her four yes votes from the judges. She was eliminated in week 3 after landing in the sing-off with Acacia & Aaliyah and only Cowell voting to save her, finishing in 11th place.

Over 28s[edit]

The over 28s were mentored by Ayda Field.

Ayda Field mentored the over 28s category of male and female soloists over the age of 28. The six candidates at judges' houses were: Ricky John, Janice Robinson, Louise Setara, Giovanni Spano, Danny Tetley, and Olatunji Yearwood. Field chose Robinson, Spano, Tetley and Yearwood to progress to the live shows.

Janice Robinson[edit]

Janice Robinson (born 8 December 1967) is an American singer from Galveston, New Jersey. She is best known as the one-time lead vocalist for Italian dance act Livin' Joy who had a worldwide hit in 1995 with the single "Dreamer".

She performed the song during her audition for the judges and received four yeses. She was automatically eliminated in week 2 after receiving the fewest public votes, coming in 14th place.

Giovanni Spano[edit]

Giovanni Spano (born 8 February 1985),[7] age 33, is an English singer and West End performer from Ruislip, West London.

In his audition he performed "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls, earning three yeses from the judges. He was eliminated in week 4 after landing in the sing-off with Acacia & Aaliyah and only Field voting to save him, finishing in 9th place.

Danny Tetley[edit]

Danny Tetley (born 21 September 1981)[8] is a singer and actor from Bradford who performs in bars in Benidorm. He previously auditioned for Simon Cowell during the first series of Pop Idol in 2001 as well as for Louis Walsh during the 2002 series. Popstars: The Rivals.[9]

In his audition he performed the Jennifer Hudson version of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", receiving four yeses from the judges.

In week 3's Saturday live shows, Tetley's performance was messed up due to a technical fault from the TV. The votes were cancelled and rearranged to Sunday's results show. However, Tetley managed to go through to the next round.

In week 4's results, after the elimination of Giovanni Spano, he became the last act in the Over 28s' category. He was automatically eliminated on the Saturday episode in the semi-final after receiving the fewest public votes, finishing in 6th place.

Olatunji Yearwood[edit]

Olatunji Yearwood (born 3 September 1985) is a Trinidadian Soca artist and songwriter, now lives in Blackpool, Lancashire.

In his first audition he performed an original song called "Bodyline", receiving four yeses from the judges. He was eliminated in week 1 after receiving the fewest public votes, coming in 16th place.

Groups[edit]

The groups were mentored by Robbie Williams.

Robbie Williams mentored the groups category of duos or vocal harmony groups, all aged 14 and over. The six candidates at judges' houses were: Acacia & Aaliyah, LMA Choir, Misunderstood, Panda and Burgandy, Sweet Sense, and United Vibe. Williams chose Acacia & Aaliyah, LMA Choir, Misunderstood and United Vibe to progress to the live shows.

Acacia & Aaliyah[edit]

Acacia & Aaliyah (previously A Star) is a duo consisting of singers/rappers Acacia K (born 29 April 2003), who won Teen Star in 2018, and Aaliyah Robinson (born 30 September 2003).

The pair both auditioned as soloists, but the judges were unimpressed with their song choices. After Robinson sang "Sail" by Awolnation, Robbie Williams asked her to go backstage and prepare a second audition song for them, before Acacia sang "Bed of Lies" by Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey. Simon Cowell, who enjoyed Acacia's rapping but little else about her audition, then took Acacia aside and asked her to sing with Robinson for a better audition. The two met and quickly rehearsed, and they performed "Bang Bang" by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj, receiving four yeses from the judges.

In week 4's results, after the elimination of Misunderstood, they became the last act in the Groups' category.

In the third week, fourth week and quarter-final, they were in the bottom three, and therefore faced the sing-off three times, all of which they survived. In the quarter-final, they were saved by deadlock and advanced to the semi-final by receiving the most public votes. They were eliminated in the semi-final after ending up in the sing-off for the fourth time in a row with Scarlett Lee. They finished in 4th place. They signed a record deal with syco.

LMA Choir[edit]

LMA Choir are a 15 piece choir from Liverpool Media Academy They made the final on the first episode of the BBC singing show Pitch Battle in 2017 and finished as runner-up.

In their first audition, LMA performed a cover of Keala Settle's "This is Me" which earned then four yeses from the judges.

They were eliminated in week 2 after landing in the sing-off with Brendan Murray. The result went to deadlock as only mentor Williams and Cowell wanted to save them, they finished in 13th place.

Misunderstood[edit]

Misunderstood are a duo made up of friends Stephan Benson (born 28 November 1992, 25) and Jeffery Okyere (born 2 August 1991, 27), both from London. Previously they reached the semi-finals of fourth UK series of Britain's Got Talent as part of a dancing group called Myztikal.

In their first audition, they performed an original song called "Juicy Fruit", and received four yeses from the judges. They were eliminated in week 4 after receiving the fewest public votes, coming in 10th place. The results was a shock to the public as they were one of the favorites to win.

United Vibe[edit]

United Vibe are a five-piece boy band consisting of Blaise Duncan, Kieran Harrison, Jack Tisdall, Jon Guelas and Elliot Horne. They were rejected during the deliberations stage but were formed into a group. Their fans are called the Vibers.

For their first performance they performed Justin Timberlake’s "Can't Stop the Feeling!" which earned them a place at Williams’s judges house. They were eliminated in week 3 after receiving the fewest public votes, coming in 12th place. They have since gone on to do their own UK and Ireland Tour and are currently working on original material. On May 2, 2019, they released their debut single "Ain't it Funny".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jamaican Observer: Dalton Harris eyes int'l market
  2. ^ "Who is X Factor's Dalton Harris? The Jamaican act who won a singing show and landed a record deal". Radio Times. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  3. ^ Jamaica Star: J'cans get to follow Dalton on X Factor.. TVJ gets rights to air talent show
  4. ^ "Who is Armstrong Martins? X Factor 2018 star and youth worker from London". The Sun. 14 October 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Everything you need to know about X Factor contestant Armstrong Martins". Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Scarlett sings with Leona Lewis". Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Giovanni Spano on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Danny Tetley on Instagram". 21 September 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  9. ^ "The X Factor 2018: Everything you need to know about Former Pop Idol star Danny Tetley". Retrieved 15 October 2018.