List of The X Factor finalists (British series 7)

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The seventh UK series of The X Factor was broadcast on ITV between 21 August and 12 December 2010. The final 12 were declared on 3 October 2010. Four wildcards were announced on the first live show of the finals on 9 October 2010, bringing the number of finalists up to 16.[1]


The boys were mentored by Dannii Minogue.

The Boys category was mentored by Dannii Minogue. Contestants in this category are males aged 16 to 27. The eight candidates were Karl Brown, Matt Cardle, Nicolo Festa, Aiden Grimshaw, Marlon McKenzie, Tom Richards, Paije Richardson and John Wilding. Minogue chose:

Matt Cardle[edit]

Matt Cardle (born 15 April 1983)[2] is a former painter and decorator from Little Maplestead, Essex.[3] Born to parents David and Jennifer Cardle, he was diagnosed with Wilms' tumour, a form of cancer, when he was a toddler. He recovered after one of his kidneys was removed at age 2.[4] Before applying to The X Factor, he was the frontman and acoustic guitar player of the band Seven Summers,[5] alongside Alex Baker (drums), Jon Holland (bass), and Neillo (guitars). The band had alternative rock, pop, urban, and folk influences and released a debut album[6] on 22 January 2010 with their debut single being "Picture of You".[7]

Cardle auditioned for The X Factor with "You Know I'm No Good".[3] He sang "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" at bootcamp[8] and "If I Were a Boy" at judges' houses.[9] In the first week, Cardle sang "When Love Takes Over". Show bosses asked him to perform a "secret gig" at the Five Bells pub, in Colne Engaine, providing footage for the Saturday ITV show.[10] In week two, he sang "Just the Way You Are" and in week 3, "...Baby One More Time". After reaching the final two singers, it was revealed that his winning single would be a cover of Biffy Clyro's "Many of Horror", retitled as "When We Collide". He was announced overall winner of the competition during the final held on 12 December 2010. His debut album, Letters, was released in the UK on 17 October 2011.[11]

Nicolo Festa[edit]

Nicolò Festa is a 21-year-old student from Treviso, Italy.[12][13] He is the son of Michele Festa, deputy commissioner of the police flying squad in Verona, who apprehended notorious Mafia boss Felice Maniero after his 1994 escape from prison.[12][13][14] He studied Languages at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and then moved to London a few months before applying for The X Factor. His father said his son's dream is to remain living there.[12] He auditioned with "A Song for You", after which Louis Walsh called him "a diva in the making".[15] At bootcamp, he sang "Life on Mars?", and made it through to the next round.[16] He said that his fame was "inevitable" before performing "New York" in the judges' houses stage and was picked for the live shows by Minogue.[17] For the first live show, he sang "Just Dance" and was eliminated in the series' first double elimination, after receiving the fewest public votes. In answer to host Dermot O'Leary's question regarding how he felt being the first one to exit, he replied: "I feel like crap".[18] In April 2011, he began collaborating with independent label Aztec Records writing and recording new songs.[19]

Aiden Grimshaw[edit]

Aiden Grimshaw (born 4 December 1991) is a student from North Shore, Blackpool.[20] He attended the Michael Hall Theatre School.[20] Before auditioning for The X Factor, he played Tom Holmes in an episode of CBBC show Half Moon Investigations.[21] He auditioned with "Gold Digger",[22] prompting Cowell to say "Now that's what I call a pop star!".[22] He then auditioned with "This Year's Love" during Bootcamp[16] and "Cannonball" at judges' houses.[23] His mentor Dannii Minogue selected Grimshaw as one of her three contestants to continue in the competition for the live shows. For the first live show, he sang "Mad World", which the judges praised. In the second live show, he sang "Jealous Guy". In the third live show, his performance of "Diamonds Are Forever" was praised by the judges. In live show 4, he sang a slower rendition of Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Grimshaw sang "Nothing Compares 2 U" in week 5 and in week 6, Grimshaw sang "Rocket Man". Grimshaw was in the bottom two that week, along with Katie Waissel. Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole voted to eliminate Grimshaw while Minogue and Louis Walsh voted to save him. This meant the result went to deadlock, and he was eliminated.[24] His debut album, Misty Eye, was released on 13 August 2012 via RCA Records. It was preceded by his debut single, Is This Love, which was released on 3 June 2012 and entered the UK Singles Chart at number 35. A second single from the album, "Curtain Call", features Labrinth's sister ShezAr and charted at number 49 in the UK. Grimshaw has since worked on his second album, and released a free EP titled Aiden on 26 November 2013. In 2013, he dropped his surname from his stage name, now becoming simply Aiden.

Paije Richardson[edit]

Paije Richardson (born 15 November 1990) is a cinema usher and former fashion student from Islington, London.[25] He finished a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design (Fashion and Clothing) at City and Islington College.[25] Richardson also had a cameo appearance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He appeared again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, playing an extra in the Battle of Hogwarts.[26] He first auditioned with "Fly Me to the Moon", but Walsh was the only judge to enthuse over his performance, Cowell compared him to a wedding singer and joined Cole in giving him a no.[27] Walsh went backstage to ask him to come back at the end of the day with another song.[27] When Richardson returned, he performed "It's a Man's Man's Man's World",[27] to which he received a yes from all three judges, with Cowell complimenting his taste in music.[27]

At judges' houses, he performed "True Colors"[23] but failed to make it into the initial top 12.[9] He was then chosen by Minogue as her wildcard.[1] For the first live show, he sang "Killing Me Softly with His Song", in the second live show, he sang "If I Ain't Got You" in the third live show, he sang "Ain't Nobody", and in week 4, he sang "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse. After performing "Let It Be" in week 7, Richardson was in the final showdown with Cher Lloyd. Only Minogue voted to send Richardson through to the quarter-final, while Cowell, Cole and Walsh voted to send Lloyd through to the quarter-final, and he was eliminated.[28] After the series finished, voting statistics confirmed that Richardson had actually received more public votes than Lloyd meaning if Walsh sent the result to deadlock, Richardson would have advanced to the quarter-final and Lloyd would have been eliminated.

On 25 April 2012, Richardson unveiled his debut single, "Bang Bang", which was released on 16 July 2012. His debut album was funded via donations made through PledgeMusic and was released during September 2012.[29]


The girls were mentored by Cheryl Cole.

The Girls category was mentored by Cheryl Cole. Contestants in this category are females aged 16 to 27. The eight candidates were Keri Arrindell, Annastasia Baker, Treyc Cohen, Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd, Gamu Nhengu, Raquel Thomas and Katie Waissel. Cole chose:

Treyc Cohen[edit]

Treyc Cohen, (born 11 October 1983) is from Stonydelph in Tamworth,[30] is a call-centre worker[31] and former music student, who quit studying at the University of Wolverhampton in the summer.[30] In Series 6, Cohen was in the over 25s category, getting through to the final twenty-four, but was eliminated at the judges' houses stage.[32] This series, Cohen was placed in the girls' category (after the age limit was changed to 28) and she once again was through to the judges' houses, where she sang "Ave Maria".[30] She was not picked to be in the initial top 12 acts,[9] but Cole chose her as a wildcard for the live finals.[1]

Cohen faced controversy after it was revealed that she signed a management deal with Artimis Music Management Ltd[33] that landed her a contract in October 2009 with Birmingham-based Ajoupa Records, that released her debut single entitled "A Time to Be Heard",[34] which was also the debut single of Ajoupa Records itself. It was released on 14 December 2009, featuring the a cappella group The Black Voices.[35] The rules of The X Factor strictly forbid record deals while a contestant is on the show and the show's legal team worked to free her from her contract.[34]

Her rendition of "One" in the first live show brought her rave comments, including Cowell saying: "I am amazed that we overlooked you in this competition. I didn't like what you're wearing, but honestly that's not an issue, because by a far mile, that was the best vocal for the entire competition thus far".[36] Cohen went on to sing "Purple Rain" in the second week, progressing on to the third week, when she sang "Whole Lotta Love". Cohen landed in the final showdown with John Adeleye, but was able to progress onto the fourth week after her performance of "One Night Only" convinced the judges to keep her in the competition. However, voting statistics revealed that Adeleye received more votes than Cohen meaning if the result went to deadlock, Adeleye would’ve been saved. Cohen then went on to sing "Relight My Fire" and got through to the fifth week. On week 5, Cohen sang "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing". Cohen was once again in the bottom two, against Katie Waissel, and sang "Un-Break My Heart". Cowell voted first and voted to save Waissel. Cheryl Cole who was asked to vote second, refused to send home either act because she mentored both Cohen and Waissel. However after she decided to abstain, she later asked to vote last to send the result to deadlock, the majority of votes was used. Only Minogue was in Cohen’s favour but Walsh voted to save Waissel and finished tenth overall.[37][38] After the series ended, it was revealed that Cohen received more votes than Waissel, meaning if Cole had been allowed to send the result to deadlock, Cohen would have been saved.

From 24 June 2011, Cohen starred as Dorothy Gale in a West Yorkshire Playhouse production of The Wiz; a re-telling of the 1978 film The Wiz.[39]

Rebecca Ferguson[edit]

Rebecca Ferguson (born 21 July 1986)[40] is a student and single mother to Lillie May and Karl (aged 5 and 4, at the time) from Anfield, Liverpool.[41] She is a qualified legal secretary, having studied at Hugh Baird College, Bootle.[42] She had previously unsuccessfully auditioned for The X Factor and for P. Diddy's Starmaker in New York.[41] She sang "A Change Is Gonna Come" during her audition in front of judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and guest judge Nicole Scherzinger.[41] At her bootcamp audition, she sang "Like a Star", to which Cowell said "That is a recording voice!". Scherzinger said, "I told you first time I saw her, she is our generation's songbird."[43] She sang "Fireflies" at judges' houses and was sent through to the live shows by mentor Cheryl Cole and assistant,[9] For the first live show, she sang "Teardrops" and in the second live show, she sang "Feeling Good". In the third live show, she sang "Why Don't You Do Right?" and in the fourth live show, she sang "Wicked Game". In the fifth live show, Rebecca received a standing ovation from Cowell and Cole, following her performance of "Make You Feel My Love". In the following week, Ferguson received another standing ovation from Dannii Minogue and Cole after singing "Candle in the Wind". In the final, she performed a duet with Christina Aguilera, performing Aguilera's hit single "Beautiful". Ferguson's winner's song was a cover of Duffy's "Distant Dreamer", but she finished as the runner-up to Matt Cardle, making her the first female runner-up on The X Factor. After the final, it was announced that Ferguson had been signed by Syco Music.[44]

In January 2011, it was reported by The Sun that she had signed a joint record deal between Syco and Epic Records.[45] Her debut album has been confirmed and is due for release on 5 December 2011.[46]

She is the new face of Walkers crisps Sunbites as of June 2011.[47]

On 20 November 2011, Ferguson released her debut single "Nothing's Real But Love", which debuted at number 10 on the UK Singles Chart. Nothing's Real But Love also charted at no.23 in Ireland, 16 in Italy and 24 in Switzerland. On 5 December 2011, Rebecca released her debut album, "Heaven", and it debuted at number 3 in the United Kingdom, Heaven also charted at number 7 in Switzerland, 9 in Ireland, and 30 in Italy. Her second single, "Too Good to Lose", was released on 4 March 2012 and charted at 186 on the UK Singles Chart. "Glitter & Gold" was released as her third single on 29 April 2012 and charted at 152 on the UK Singles Chart.[citation needed]

Cher Lloyd[edit]

Cher Lloyd, (born 28 July 1993), is from Malvern, where she lives with her parents Darren and Dina, brother Josh, and sisters, Sophie and Rosie (aged 15, 14, and 12 at the time).[48] She is of gypsy ancestry through her mother.[49][50] She studied performing arts at Dyson Perrins CE Sports College in 2009.[48] She auditioned for The X Factor twice before (when the minimum age was lower) singing ballads but it was only after reinventing herself that she got through to see the judges.[51] Lloyd has previously performed at holiday camps and said she gets a mixed reaction to her music.[52] She auditioned singing the Soulja Boy version of "Turn My Swag On".[52] At bootcamp, she sang a rap version of "Viva La Vida",[8] adding lyrics she claimed to have written herself, but this was disputed and reports claimed she took them from a song by rapper Swizz Beatz.[53][54] At the judges' houses, she performed "Cooler Than Me",[23] but was unable to complete her song after suffering from tonsillitis.[9] She was given a second chance, but broke down sobbing and could not complete the song. She was still picked, however, as one of the final three girls by mentor Cheryl Cole.

Lloyd sang a rendition of "Just Be Good to Me" in the first of the live shows. In the second live show, she sang "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)". In the third live show, she sang a mashup of "No Diggity" and "Shout", and in the fourth live show, she sang "Stay". This was the first time Lloyd did not rap in her performance, and Cowell said, "I think it was the performance of the entire season". In week five, Lloyd sang "Empire State of Mind", but judges stated that after last week they were disappointed and Cowell said it was copycat. In the seventh week, Lloyd was in the final showdown for the first time against Paije Richardson after her rendition of "Imagine", but Simon Cowell, Cole, and Louis Walsh all voted to send Lloyd through to the quarter-final with only Dannii Minogue voting to send Richardson through to the quarter-final. However voting statistics showed that Richardson received more votes than Lloyd meaning if Walsh sent the vote to deadlock, Richardson would have advanced to the quarter-final and Lloyd would have been eliminated. In the quarter-final, Cher performed "Girlfriend", followed by "Walk This Way". Both performances were credited by the judges and she was saved by the public vote the following night, securing her a place in the semi final.[28] In the semi-final, Lloyd performed "Nothin' on You" and "Love the Way You Lie" and was in the final showdown with Mary Byrne. She was saved again when Minogue, Cole and Cowell voted to send Lloyd through to the final, with only Walsh voting to send Byrne through to the final. However once again, voting statistics revealed that Lloyd received the fewest public votes meaning if there was not a Final Showdown or if Cowell sent the result to deadlock, Byrne would have advanced to the final and Lloyd would have been eliminated.[55] In the final, she performed a mash-up of "The Clapping Song" and "Get Ur Freak On", followed by a duet with, which was a mashup of "Where Is the Love?" and "I Gotta Feeling". Lloyd was then eliminated in fourth place, having received the fewest public votes.[56]

After the final, it was announced that Lloyd had been signed by Syco Music.[44] Her debut album was released 7 November 2011.[57] She has worked with songwriter Autumn Rowe and producer RedOne.[58][59] Her debut single, "Swagger Jagger", received its first airplay on 20 June. The single was leaked onto the internet on 15 June[60] but this version was later confirmed as only the demo of the track on Lloyd's Twitter account.[61] Lloyd performed at T4 on the Beach in 2011.[62]

Katie Waissel[edit]

Katie Waissel, (born 27 January 1986), is a recording artist from Harefield, Middlesex.[63] She is a former receptionist, waitress and once worked at OK! magazine.[64] She has previously performed under the name Katie Vogel on the series Green Eyed World[65] and had a recording contract under the name Lola Fontaine.[66][67] Waissel has been on tour with East 17 and Andy Abraham[68] and has performed in Hollywood for Paris Hilton, together with friend and fellow contestant Storm Lee.[69]

At her audition, she sang Queen's "We Are the Champions", but forgot some of the words.[67] She then sang "At Last" by Etta James, and was put through to bootcamp by Cole and Cowell. At bootcamp, she sang "Make You Feel My Love" and reacted with shock when she was the first girl put through to the judges' houses.[16] She fell to pieces when performing the song "Smile" in front of Cole and at the judges' houses stage[67] and had to stop to compose herself after crying, stating that "it's an emotional song for me".[70] Despite stumbling through her song for the second time, Cole picked her as one of her final three girls. This was a very controversial decision as many viewers did not feel that Waissel deserved her place in the live shows over girls who did not forget their words or break down during their performance.

In week 1 of the live shows, she sang "We Are the Champions". She was put in the bottom three as a result of the public vote, but because Nicolo Festa polled the fewest votes, Waissel had to sing in the final showdown with F.Y.D., the other bottom three acts from week 1. She sang "Don't Let Me Down" in the final showdown and was saved from elimination by the judges by a majority vote, with only Cowell (F.Y.D.'s mentor) voting against her and Cole, Minogue and Walsh voted to save Waissel. Voting statistics revealed that that F.Y.D. received more votes than Waissel meaning if Walsh sent the result to deadlock, F.Y.D. would’ve been saved. In the second week of the live shows, Katie sang "I'd Rather Go Blind". She managed to avoid the bottom three this week and secured a place to the third week, where she sang "I Wan'na Be Like You". In the fourth week, she sang "Bewitched" and was in the final showdown with Belle Amie. Waissel was saved after the result went to deadlock and Belle Amie were eliminated.[71] She was in the final showdown again the next week after performing "Don't Speak", but was saved by a majority vote over Treyc Cohen when Cole refused to vote against either acts of hers but wanted to vote last to send the result to deadlock but wasn’t allowed to. Cowell and Walsh voted to eliminate Cohen and only Minogue voted to eliminate Waissel. Voting statistics revealed that Cohen received more votes than Waissel meaning if Cole was allowed to send the result to deadlock, Cohen would’ve been saved.[37]

Waissel was in the final showdown for a third successive week when she sang "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", and this had been the fourth time Waissel had been in the final showdown. The result once again went to deadlock but was saved when Aiden Grimshaw received fewer votes and was eliminated.[24] This was the first time in the show's history that a contestant was put into the final showdown four times and survived. In the quarter-final, she performed "Sex on Fire" and "Everybody Hurts". In the series' third double elimination, Waissel received the fewest votes and was automatically eliminated.[72]

In March 2011, Waissel released her self-titled debut album, which she stated was recorded before X Factor. In June 2011, Waissel announced she was currently working on her debut album, and promised it would be a "dirty, sexy, rock 'n' roll" album.[73] In July, she revealed her new band, called "Red Velvet Lovers", who, according to Waissel are a "proper band".[74] In 2016, she joined Celebrity Big Brother 18, where she was later evicted 3 days before the final with Samantha Fox, and finished in eighth place.

Over 28s[edit]

The over 28s were mentored by Louis Walsh.

The Over 28s category was mentored by Louis Walsh. Contestants in this category are of either sex, aged 28 or over. There is no upper age limit. The eight candidates were John Adeleye, Mary Byrne, Wagner, Stephen Hunter, Justin Vanderhyde, Storm Lee, Yuli Minguel, and Elesha Moses. Walsh chose:

John Adeleye[edit]

John Adeleye, 30–31, is a care worker and award-winning songwriter from Harlesden, London[75] and had an artistic career under the stage name J'Nay. He was a founding member of the band Nu-park, with fellow musician Shad. The band was further expanded to become a 5-piece band by including Mylz (Tyga), Raheem and Anton Gordon.[76] and a solo artist after the break-up of the group. In 2008, J'Nay released his EP Merry Go Round containing 5 tracks.[76]

Adeleye was working as an activity co-ordinator at Forrester Court care home in Westminster helping people with early onset dementia for two years,[75] where he says he was inspired to enter The X Factor by the residents and his distinctive singing means they always remember him. He said one resident said to him, "'When you sing, I feel a lot better'. That's when I decided to enter."[77] Adeleye, under the name J'Nay, won the MOBO Unsung Award at the 2003 MOBO Awards.[78] He has appeared on GMTV[79] and Newsround,[80] was signed by record company Universal-Island, and has toured with Jamelia.[81] At his first audition, he sang "You Are So Beautiful",[81] at the judges' house stage, he sang "Billionaire".[23] In week 1 of the live shows, Adeleye sang "One Sweet Day" and in week 2, "A Song for You". After performing "Zoom" in week 3, he was voted in final showdown by the public and was up against Treyc Cohen. In the final showdown, he sang "Because of You", but was eliminated when Dannii Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell voted to save Cohen while his mentor Louis Walsh voted to save him. However, at the end of the series, it was revealed that Adeleye had received more votes than Cohen, meaning if Cowell sent the vote to deadlock, Adeleye would have been saved. On 17 July 2011, Adeleye released a single called "Coming Home" under the name "Jnay (John Adeleye)"; it was a charity single that he released independently.

Mary Byrne[edit]

Mary Byrne (born 3 November 1959) is a supermarket worker from Ballyfermot, Dublin, Ireland.[82] She says she wanted to be a singer all her life but never had the confidence until now. She is a single mother to her (then 23-year-old) daughter Deborah.[83][84] She has performed with her brother Tommy under the name The Tommy Lee Experience.[85] In 2008, she won the Irish television singing contest Nollaig No. 1 using the name Mary Lee, releasing the single "Siúil Leat".[82][86]

At her first audition, she sang "I (Who Have Nothing)"[9] and at the judges' houses, she performed "Fix You",[9] though she forgot the words to the song.[87] Her employer, Tesco Ireland, started a campaign for all staff to support her.[88] Before the first live show, Byrne suffered a throat infection and the show's bosses asked her to quit smoking to avoid making the infection worse.[87] She performed "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" in the first week, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" in week 2, and "I Who Have Nothing" in week 3 – the song she had sung in her audition. In the quarter-final, she performed "All I Want Is You" and "Brass in Pocket" and was in the bottom three with Katie Waissel and Wagner. After Waissel received the fewest public votes and was eliminated, Byrne was in the Final Showdown with Wagner. She was sent through to the semi-final by judges, Louis Walsh, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole. This meant Simon Cowell did not have to vote but confirmed that he would have also sent Byrne through to the semi-final.[72] In the semi-final, she performed "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "The Way We Were" and was in the bottom two with Cher Lloyd. She sang "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" as her sing-off song but was eliminated with only her mentor, Walsh voting to send Byrne through to the final, finishing in fifth place. However Byrne had received more votes than Lloyd meaning if there wasn't a final showdown or if Minogue or Cowell voted to send Byrne through to the final or if the result went to deadlock, Byrne would have advanced to the final and Lloyd would have been eliminated.[55]

Byrne's debut album, Mine & Yours, was released on 28 March 2011.[89] The album charted at number-one on the Irish Album Charts[90] The album also charted at no.6 in the UK Album Chart[91]

Storm Lee[edit]

Storm Lee Gardner (born 1973) is a singer songwriter born in Edinburgh,[92] who later moved to the United States when he was 17.[93] Lee's mother, Arras Robertson, left the family home when he was four years old, after her marriage with his father Robert Gardner collapsed in 1977. Lee and his mother only speak through Facebook. He has a half-sister Susan and older brother Gary.[94] He came out as gay in the Edinburgh Evening News in 2007, saying it's not a "huge part of my life, it's just part of my personality".[95] His previous jobs include make-up artist, furniture re-upholster, and a cleaner at KFC.[96] Lee has performed in Hollywood for Paris Hilton, together with friend and fellow contestant Katie Waissel[69] and at the 2009 NewNowNext Awards.[97] Lee appeared on US show The Singing Bee as part of the house band.[92][98] and has a credit for original music on Bridezillas.[99]

Lee released his own album Soulfillapopkilla in January 2007.[98][100] He collaborated with Andy Caldwell on the track, "Black Diamond Sky", on Caldwell's Obsession album[101] and with Ricky Martin on four tracks for Martin's album.[102] Lee has recorded backing vocals for many artists, including Meat Loaf, Ozzy Osbourne, and Carrie Underwood.[92][96] He can be heard on backing vocals on Meat Loaf albums Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose[103] and It's All Coming Back to Me Now,[104] Glee: The Music, Volume 3 Showstoppers,[105] and Naked Truth[106] by Sarah Hudson. Lee co-wrote a track on the album Confessional[107] by Bryan Rice and he was nominated for a Latin Grammy for the composition on the Lipstick album by Alejandra Guzmán.[98][108] He also played tenor saxophone on Utopía[109] by Belinda.

Lee's first audition was with "Every Breath You Take" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".[92] At the bootcamp, he sang "Sweet Child O'Mine"[8] and at the judges' houses stage, sang "Without You".[9] He was eliminated from the live shows on 17 October, after singing "Born to Run" and receiving the fewest public votes for week 2. He finished 14th overall. His album Soulfillapopkilla was re-released on 1 March 2011.[110]


Wagner Fiuza-Carrilho (/ˈvɑːɡnər/; born 13 December 1956), the oldest of the finalists, is a Brazilian born retired PE teacher and karate enthusiast now living in Colley Gate, Cradley, West Midlands.[111] Fiuza-Carrilho previously owned a martial arts and dance gym in Cradley Heath before becoming a P.E. teacher for a year at Leasowes Community College; he has also worked for a conservatory fitting company.[112][113] He said he entered the contest to get a "new start" and to be able to provide for his son.[111] At the judges houses Fiuza-Carrilho performed "You Got The Love",[23] to which Walsh joked to his assistant judge Sharon Osbourne that "He fancies you".[114] Although he was not picked to be one the initial top 12 acts,[9] mentor Walsh chose him as his wildcard for the live finals.[1] Wagner moved out of The X Factor house after the second live show after complaining about his fellow contestants' behaviour.[115] It has been speculated that he been regularly sniffing "Raid" aerosol cans, attributed not to an addiction, but a severe bout of psychosis that made him believe there were ants in his skull.

In the quarter-final, Wagner performed "Creep" and "Addicted to Love" and was in the bottom three. Katie Waissel was automatically eliminated and then Wagner and Mary Byrne performed in the final showdown. Wagner received three votes from the judges to be eliminated and left the competition.[72]

During his time on the show, it was revealed that Wagner was presently a UK incapacity benefit claimant, based on his frozen shoulder. After his elimination, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith commented on Sky News to Adam Boulton: "One of the people who was working on his case, I understand this, I don't know precisely, noticed [Wagner] was managing to leap in the air with his arms held above him when I am told that he had a frozen shoulder and frozen shoulders tend to mean that you can't have your arm in the air; it's impossible and therefore he was off work. I suspect he will find he will be asked to come in and explain himself as to why he was on benefits in the first place. If you don't mind me saying so, [Wagner's case] illustrates the biggest problem we have got, which is incapacity benefit has grown like mad."[116] However, it was revealed that Wagner was telling the truth and kept the DWP informed as he appeared on the show only 6 months after his second shoulder surgery – he is no longer on incapacity benefit.[citation needed]


The groups were mentored by Simon Cowell.

The Groups category was mentored by Simon Cowell. Acts in this category are duos or vocal groups. All members must be aged 16 or over. The eight candidates were Belle Amie, Diva Fever, F.Y.D., Husstle, One Direction, Princes & Rogues, The Reason (since 2011 named The Reason 4), and Twem. Cowell chose:

Belle Amie[edit]

Belle Amie are a four-member girl band made up of Rebecca Creighton,(born 19 May 1989) 21, an unemployed hairdresser from Tallaght,[117] Esther Campbell, (born 16 August 1992) 17, a student from London,[118] Geneva Lane, (born 28 November 1989) 20, a student from Guildford[118] and Sophia Wardman, (born 17 July 1987) 23, a student from Scarborough.[119] Lane has previously won 2008 Spanish singing contest The WOW Factor,[120] while Wardman was a contestant on reality TV show Shipwrecked: Battle of the Islands 2007.[121]

They all applied as solo candidates to the competition, but failed to qualify in the Girls category. The judges, after a suggestion by Cowell, put them together in a band, qualifying them for the Groups category. Their qualifying song, as well as their first song ever as a group, was an acoustic version of "Faith".[9] In the first week of live shows, they sang "Airplanes" by B.o.B and were safe. On the second week of live shows, they sang "You Really Got Me". As a result of the public vote, they were put in bottom three and had to sing in the final showdown on 17 October, after Storm Lee polled the fewest votes and was eliminated. They sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" and were saved by all other three judges. Walsh, Minogue, and Cole voted to save them and eliminate Diva Fever, leaving no need for their mentor Cowell to vote. Voting statistics revealed that Diva Fever received more votes than Belle Amie which meant that if the result went to deadlock, Diva Fever would’ve been saved. In the third week, they sang "I'll Stand by You", in which they progressed to the fourth week, where they performed "Venus". However, they ended up in the bottom two with Katie Waissel, and sang "Breakaway" in the final showdown. After the vote went to deadlock, Belle Amie had the fewest public votes and were eliminated.[122]

In January 2011, Geneva Lane left the group to continue her musical career as a solo artist. Lane has recorded a new song, titled "Karma", which was released in 2012. The video for the single premiered in September 2011. In March 2011, Belle Amie released a snippet of their debut single, titled "Girls Up". They signed a record deal with Dodient Records, and their single "Girls Up" was released in June 2011; it failed to make the Top 200, though it peaked at 25 on the indie chart. In September 2011, they released a snippet of their new song, titled "Shine", which was slated for release in 2012. However, in April 2012, Rebecca left the group to pursue a solo career, leaving original members Sophia and Esther to form a Duo and re-record material for their debut album.

In July 2013, Campbell and Wardman found two members: Jessica Batist and Clarissa "Risa" White. The new formed girl group are in thoughts[when?] of maybe adding a fifth member. Dodient Records have since taken Belle Amie off the label. The girls are now looking to find a new firm that can take the newly formed Belle Amie to success. "Girls Up" was re-recorded with Batist and White's voices, and their debut album as a new group will be entitled Fresh Girl.

Diva Fever[edit]

Diva Fever is a duo consisting of Craig Saggers, 21, and Josef Al-Smadi, 26.[123] Saggers, from Longthorpe, Peterborough,[123] is studying English Language and has recently completed his second year.[124] Al-Smadi, from Wigston, Leicestershire[124] is studying English through the Open University while working for British Gas in Leicester.[124] Saggers has previously performed in his home town of Peterborough at Fireworks and Christmas Lights events[123] and won an X Factor style contest called the Top Notch Factor.[125] Josef was in a Leicester four piece boy band called "Horizon". They initially auditioned with "Let It Be" until Simon asked them to change it after expecting them to be "more interesting".[126] Saggers said "I’m singing for my life, because I ain't having a 'no'." and they then performed "Proud Mary" and received three yeses.[126] At bootcamp, they decided to apply facepaint to stand out and sang "Bad Romance".[16] At the judges' house, they performed "Love Machine"[8] but weren't picked to be in the initial top 12 acts.[9] However, a wildcard option was introduced for this year's show and Simon Cowell chose them as his wildcard act for the live shows.[1]

In week 1 of the live shows, they performed "Sunny". However, Josef was stuck down with Laryngitis and lost his voice, so Craig was forced to sing the entire song. They made it through and were safe. In week 2, they sang "Gotta Go Home" / "Barbra Streisand". In the song, they made tributes not only to Barbra Streisand, as in the original, but also to Judy Garland and to judge Louis Walsh, in addition to shouting their own name as well. As a result of the public vote, they were put in Bottom Three and had to sing in a showdown with another of Cowell's acts, girl group Belle Amie. After singing "I Will Survive", they were eliminated by the judges vote 3–0, with Walsh, Dannii Minogue, and Cheryl Cole voting to eliminating Diva Fever. Cowell, didn't have to vote after all the independent judges eliminated Diva Fever in favour of saving Belle Amie. Minogue based her vote on the performance of both bands on the final showdown, whereas Walsh said he based his vote on who he thought had the greater potential to grow in the coming weeks. Cole decided to eliminate Diva Fever without giving her reason,[127] and Diva Fever finished 13th overall. Simon Cowell apologised to the boys for letting them down and Josef retaliated by saying, "You need to make it up to us Cowell". When the voting statistics were released after the show, it revealed that Belle Amie received fewer votes than Diva Fever meaning if the result went to deadlock, Diva Fever would have been saved.

Since leaving the show, the vibrant duo have performed all over the UK. They even had a couple of gigs in China. They appeared on Celebrity Juice, "Most shocking reality TV moments" alongside fellow contestant Treyc Cohen on The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Their mix of cheesy camp and live vocals make them a great live act to watch and they have been very busy gigging. On 6 December 2011, the duo were signed by Chicago Town Pizza to create a video advertisement to promote Chicago Town's X-Factor Pizza. They recorded a parody version of 'Don't Stop Believin' but changed the lyrics to sing about Chicago Town Pizza's. The duo have been in the studio recording songs and posted previews of both songs on YouTube and promise a song in the near future.[citation needed]

Since their appearance on season seven of the X Factor, Diva Fever have been invited back twice to perform live at Wembley alongside other memorable acts. In 2013, they returned for the live final performing mashup of memorable songs alongside Jedward, Wagner, Rylan, Kitty Brucknell, Johnny Robinson, and Two Shoes. In the 2014 final, they also returned as part of the X Factor 10 year celebration performing alongside Wagner, Chico, Stevie Ritchie, Chloe Jasmine and Katie Waissell; they performed The Black Eyed Peas' hit The Time "Dirty Bit". Diva Fever entered dressed all in silver accompanied by four dancers on dog leashes in a very S&M inspired entrance.[citation needed]


F.Y.D were a five-member boy band made up of Matthew Newtion,[128] 26 (a dancer and barman from London), Kalvin Lamey, 25 (a dance teacher from London), Alex Murdoch, 22 (a dance teacher from Sussex), Ryan-Lee Seager, 22 (a dance teacher from London), and Jordan Gabriel, 22 (a customer support co-ordinator from London).[118] F.Y.D stands for "Follow Your Destiny".[129] The group met while taking dance classes at Pineapple Studios.[130] The band was originally called F.Y.E, which stands for For Your Entertainment, and auditioned as such at The X Factor, but they changed it to F.Y.D upon the insistence of The X Factor management, when it was discovered another band already had the name.[129]

All F.Y.D members have dancing, singing and acting experience.[129] Newtion played in 2008 the role of Jimmy in a production of Ché Walker's musical The Frontline[131][132] that played at the Globe Theatre in London. In 2009, Newtion toured the United States with the musical The Harder They Come.[133] Seager has performed with Only One Direction and sang backing vocals for Paolo Nutini and Alphabeat. Murdoch was a contestant on the second series of Living TV show Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life[134] and danced and sang on occasions for JLS. Both Newtion and Lamey have performed on several occasions as backing singers for previous winners of The X Factor, Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry.[135] Lamey has additionally worked with singer Duffy and rappers DJ Ironik and Chipmunk. In 2007, Kalvin Lamey was a contestant on BBC show Dance X but was chosen to leave in show six and didn't make the final.[136] The Sun newspaper website posted a video with Lamey performing with cross dressing cabaret artists The Globe Act at a number of events and venues.[137][138]

For their qualifying song in the judges' houses, they sang "Beggin'".[9] In week 1, they sang "Billionaire", adding a reference to Cowell in the lyrics.[139] As a result of the public vote, they were classified as Bottom Three and had to have a sing-off showdown with Katie Waissel, also a bottom three contestant. They sang "Don't Stop the Music". After the judges' votes, they were eliminated by a vote of 3–1 with all three judges Cole, Minogue and Walsh voting them out. Only F.Y.D's own mentor Cowell voted in their favour. They finished 15th place overall. After the series ended, voting statistics revealed that they had received more votes than Waissel meaning if Walsh sent the vote to deadlock, F.Y.D. would have been saved.

One Direction[edit]

One Direction was a five-piece, boy band consisting of Liam James Payne (born 29 August 1993 in Wolverhampton), a music technology student at City of Wolverhampton College;[140] Louis William Tomlinson (born 24 December 1991[141] in Doncaster), a student at Hall Cross School;[142] Niall James Horan (born 13 September 1993 in Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland), a student at Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar;,[143] Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994 from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire), a student at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School;..[144] and Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik,[145][146][147] from West Lane Baildon, Bradford,[148] a student at Tong High School.[147]

Horan, Malik, Payne, Styles, and Tomlinson all applied as solo contestants, but failed to qualify for the Boys category. After a suggestion by guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, they were put together to form the band One Direction, thus qualifying for the Groups category.[149]

Payne had auditioned in 2008 to The X Factor's fifth series when he was 14 and reached judges' houses, but Cowell thought he was not ready for the competition and asked him to come back in two years.[140] This time, Cowell chose him to be part of One Direction. Harry Styles was the frontman for the band White Eskimo with lead guitarist Haydn Morris, bass guitarist Nick Clough and drummer Will Sweeny.[144] Malik was noted for becoming nervous in bootcamp, and when he was told he had to dance, he decided to remain backstage, effectively running the risk of elimination. Cowell noticed Malik missing from the dance routine and went backstage and convinced him to return.[8]

For their qualifying song, and their first as a group, at judges' houses, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn".[9] In week 1 of the live shows, they performed "Viva la Vida" and were safe for the week. Week 2 was "Musical Heroes" and One Direction sang "My Life Would Suck Without You", which received positive comments from the judges; Minogue called them "five heartthrobs"[150] and praised their performance, Cole called them "cute",[citation needed] and Cowell said "You are the most exciting pop band in the country right now."[151] They sang "Nobody Knows" in week 3 and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" in week 4. In week 4, girl band Belle Amie were eliminated, leaving One Direction as Cowell's last remaining act. They sang "Kids in America" in week 5, "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" in week 6, and "All You Need Is Love" in week 7. They were safe each week, never once being in the bottom two. For the quarter-final and semi-final, they performed "Summer of 69" and "You Are So Beautiful" in the quarter-final and "Only Girl (in the World)" and "Chasing Cars" in the semi-final. They were safe both times, making it to the final live show, being the first ever manufactured group to do so. In the final, they performed "Your Song". After performing "Torn" in the final, One Direction finished in third place behind runner-up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle.


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External links[edit]