List of The X Factor finalists (British series 13)

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The thirteenth UK series of The X Factor began on ITV on 27 August 2016. The live shows started on 8 October 2016. The twelve chosen finalists were Ryan Lawrie, Freddy Parker, Matt Terry, Sam Lavery, Gifty Louise, Emily Middlemas, Saara Aalto, Relley C, Honey G, 5 After Midnight, Bratavio and Brooks Way. Following their absence on the first live show, Brooks Way withdrew from the competition and was replaced by Four of Diamonds.

Nicole Scherzinger mentored the boys (Ryan, Freddy and Matt), Simon Cowell mentored the girls (Sam, Gifty and Emily), Sharon Osbourne mentored the over 25s (Saara, Relley and Honey) and Louis Walsh mentored the groups (5 After Midnight, Bratavio, Brooks Way and Four of Diamonds). Matt Terry won the show on 11 December, with Saara Aalto in second place, and 5 After Midnight in third.

Boys[edit]

The boys were mentored by Nicole Scherzinger.

Nicole Scherzinger mentored the boys category of male soloists aged 16 to 24. The seven candidates at judges' houses were: Christian Burrows, James Hughes, Ryan Lawrie, Freddy Parker, Niall Sexton, Nate Simpson, and Matt Terry. Scherzinger chose Lawrie, Parker and Terry to advance to the live shows.

Ryan Lawrie[edit]

Ryan Lawrie (born 28 May 1996), aged 22, is a singer-songwriter from Coatbridge in Scotland. Lawrie started his musical career posting covers on YouTube before being signed to Tutrax Records, releasing his first single "You're Free" in 2013, which reached No. 39 in the UK iTunes Top Charts. Lawrie briefly joined UK boy band Exposure, completing two UK tours with the band before leaving to pursue a solo career in 2015. In 2016, prior to auditioning for The X Factor, Lawrie won the Vodafone Future Breaker competition and earned the right to perform as the opening act at Capital's Summertime Ball, where he performed his cover of "Stitches" by Shawn Mendes.[1][relevant? ]

Lawrie auditioned with "Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart)" by The Vamps featuring Shawn Mendes,[2] and progressed with three yes votes (Osbourne was absent). The audition was aired on ITV on Saturday 27 August 2016, during episode 1. During bootcamp, Lawrie was put into a group to sing "Little Things" alongside Melissa Pedro and Freddy Parker, and while they all progressed through the first round,[3] Lawrie would not progress through to the third round.

Lawrie was later put together as part of a boy band alongside Ed Goacher, Jamie Miller, Josh Marshfield and Talis Eros,[4] and took part in the six-chair challenge stage of The X Factor. They performed "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" by Elton John, but they did not progress as Cowell felt that he and the other judges had made a mistake by not sending Lawrie through as a solo artist. He was announced as the wildcard act for the boys category chosen by Cowell, and progressed to the judges' houses. There, Lawrie performed "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates for Scherzinger and guest judge Calvin Harris,[5] and advanced to the live shows.[6] During weeks 2, 3 and 4, he placed in the bottom two and was saved by a lifeline vote all three weeks. However voting statistics revealed that in week 2, Saara Aalto received more votes than Lawrie and Freddy Parker in the main vote. This meant if there wasn't a lifeline vote or if Aalto won the lifeline vote, Aalto wouldn't have been in the final showdown and Lawrie would've faced Parker in the final showdown but would've been saved if the result went to deadlock in that scenario. Lawrie still wouldn't have been in the final showdown in weeks 3 and 4 if there wasn't a lifeline vote. In week 6, he faced Sam Lavery in the sing-off. Cowell and Walsh voted to eliminate Lawrie while Scherzinger and Osbourne, who had the casting vote, voted to eliminate Lavery. This meant Osbourne sent the result to deadlock and Lavery was eliminated. The following week, he was again in the bottom two, this time with Honey G. After the sing-off, only Scherzinger voted to in his favour, and Lawrie was eliminated in sixth place. However voting statistics revealed that Lawrie received more votes than Honey G meaning if Walsh sent the result to deadlock, Lawrie would've advanced to the quarter-final and Honey G would've been eliminated.

Freddy Parker[edit]

Freddy Parker (born 3 March 1998), aged 20, is a kennel worker from Ashford, Kent.[7]

In his first audition, Parker performed a cover of Amy Winehouse's "Love Is a Losing Game" which earned him four yes votes from the judges.[8] On week 1 of the live shows, he was in the bottom three of the public votes after performing The Fugees' "Killing Me Softly with His Song", but he was saved by the lifeline vote on The X Factor App. However voting statistics revealed that Aalto received more votes than Parker and Bratavio in the main vote meaning if there wasn't a lifeline vote or if Aalto won the lifeline vote, Aalto wouldn't have been in the final showdown and Parker would've faced Bratavio in the final showdown but still would've been saved if the result went to deadlock in that scenario.[9] In week 2, Parker was in the bottom three again after performing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and he was sent to the sing-off against Saara Aalto. Walsh and Osbourne voted to eliminate Parker while Scherzinger and Cowell, who had the casting vote, voted to eliminate Aalto. This meant Cowell sent the result to deadlock and Parker was eliminated. He finished in 11th place. However voting statistics revealed that if there wasn't a lifeline vote or if Aalto won the lifeline vote, Aalto wouldn't have been in the final showdown and would've faced Ryan Lawrie in the final showdown but still would've been eliminated if the result went to deadlock in that scenario.

Matt Terry[edit]

Matt Terry (born 20 May 1993), aged 25, is a waiter from Bromley.[10] At his first audition, he sang a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me", which earned him four yes votes.[11] Following the eliminations of Freddie Parker in week 2 and Ryan Lawrie in week 7, Terry became Scherzinger's last remaining act in the competition.[12] He was in the bottom two for the first time on week 9. He faced Emily Middlemas in the sing-off and remained when only Cowell voted to send Middlemas through to the final. Terry was crowned the winner of The X Factor 2016 on 11 December 2016, beating Saara Aalto to the title.

Girls[edit]

The girls were mentored by Simon Cowell.

Simon Cowell mentored the girls category of female soloists aged 16 to 24. The seven candidates at judges' houses were: Soheila Clifford, Olivia Garcia, Samantha Lavery, Gifty Louise, Emily Middlemas, Kayleigh Marie Morgan, and Caitlyn Vanbeck. Cowell chose Lavery, Louise and Middlemas to advance to the live shows.

Sam Lavery[edit]

Samantha Lavery (born 3 September 1999), aged 19, is a college student from Durham. In her first audition, she sang a cover of Ellie Goulding's "Explosions" which earned her four yes votes.[13] At the six-chair challenge, she covered "Mamma Knows Best" by Jessie J and was given chair number 5, though Cowell criticized her for being "over-styled" and "not knowing who she was".[14] She was later swapped with Gifty Louise and therefore was eliminated. Lavery was brought back by Walsh as Cowell's wildcard.[15] At judges' houses, Cowell told her to "peel the mask" which prompted her to remove her makeup; she then sang "Make It Rain" by Ed Sheeran, which won her a place on the live shows.[16] In week 5, Lavery was in the bottom three with Saara Aalto and Four of Diamonds, but was saved by the lifeline vote. However voting statistics revealed that Aalto and Four of Diamonds had received more votes than Lavery in the main vote. This meant if there wasn't a lifeline vote or if Aalto won the lifeline vote, Lavery would've faced Four of Diamonds in the final showdown and also in that scenario if the result went to deadlock, Four of Diamonds would've been saved and Lavery would've been eliminated. Additionally, if Four of Diamonds won the Lifeline Vote instead, Lavery would’ve faced Aalto in the final showdown and in that scenario as well if the result went to deadlock, Aalto would've been saved and Lavery would’ve been eliminated. The following week, she was in the bottom two with Ryan Lawrie. The result went to deadlock as Cowell and Walsh voted to eliminate Lawrie, while Scherzinger and Osbourne, who had the casting vote, voted to eliminate Lavery. Osbourne sent the result to deadlock and Lavery was eliminated in seventh place.

On 19 May 2017, Lavery released her debut single, "Walk Away".[17] On 13 October 2017, she released her second single "Beat of You", followed by "For the Night" and "Bad Boys" in 2018. In 2019, she released her new single "What You Do".

Gifty Louise[edit]

Gifty Louise Agyeman (born 11 February 1996), aged 23, is an events manager originally from Ghana but now lives in London.

She initially auditioned for The X Factor in 2015, where she reached boot camp but failed to make it to the six-chair challenge after losing her voice. Louise performed Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" at boot camp 2015. She came back for this series and sang "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige in her first audition, which earned her four yes votes. On Week 4, after performing "I'm in Love with a Monster" by Fifth Harmony, she ended up in the bottom two against Four of Diamonds and was eliminated from the show by judges Walsh, Osbourne and Scherzinger. However voting statistics revealed that Louise received more votes than Four of Diamonds, meaning if Osbourne sent the result went to deadlock, Louise would've been saved.

In November 2018, she released her first EP "Have It All".

Emily Middlemas[edit]

Emily Middlemas (born 26 September 1998), aged 21, is a student from Glasgow. Middlemas originally auditioned for The X Factor in 2014, at the age of 15, where she reached the judges' houses. However, she was eliminated by mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini after her performance of One Direction's "Story of My Life".

She came back for this series, and performed "Master Blaster (Jammin')" by Stevie Wonder which earned her 3 yes votes from the attending judges. Following the eliminations of Gifty Louise in week 4 and Sam Lavery in week 6, Middlemas became Cowell's last remaining act in the competition. She was in the bottom two in the semi-final, against Matt Terry, and was eliminated in fourth place after only Cowell voted to send Middlemas through to the final.

In 2017, Middlemas released her first single "Lost & Found", followed by her second single "Layla" in 2018, a tribute to a young girl who died from neuroblastoma cancer.[18] Later that year, Middlemas released two further singles, titled "Habit" and “Broken Record”.[19][20] In 2019, she began using the stage name ili, and released a single titled "A Little Bit."[21] She has since released the singles "Changes" and "Plastic Knife".[22] On 1 November 2019, she released her debut EP, Changes.

Over 25s[edit]

The over 25s were mentored by Sharon Osbourne.

Sharon Osbourne mentored the over 25s category of male and female soloists over the age of 25. The seven candidates at judges' houses were: Saara Aalto, Samantha Atkinson, Relley C, Honey G, Janet Grogan, Christopher Peyton and James Wilson. Osbourne chose Aalto, Relley C and Honey G to advance to the live shows.

Saara Aalto[edit]

Saara Aalto (born 2 May 1987), aged 31, is a singer-songwriter and voice actress from Finland. She was the runner-up of The Voice of Finland's first season, and the runner-up of Finland's national selection for Eurovision in 2011 and 2016. Aalto also voiced Princess Anna in the Finnish version of the 2013 animated movie Frozen.

In her first audition, Aalto performed a cover of Sia's "Chandelier" which earned her three yes votes from the attending judges. At the six-chair challenge, she performed "I See Fire" by Ed Sheeran and was sent home by mentor Osbourne who stated a lack of connection. However, after the crowd chanted to bring her back, Aalto was given a chance to perform Serge Lama's "Je Suis Malade", which caused the crowd to turn on her, while Scherzinger criticized her song choice stating "we ain't in France". Aalto was therefore asked to leave by Osbourne.

Aalto was brought back as Scherzinger's wildcard pick for the over-25 category and therefore went to judges' houses.[15] She was chosen to proceed to the live shows after performing ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All". She was in the bottom three after performing "Let It Go" from Frozen in week 1, and faced a sing-off with Bratavio while Ryan Lawrie was saved by the lifeline vote where she performed "Alive" by Sia. Aalto was saved with only Walsh voting to save Bratavio, though praising her performance. The following week, she was in the bottom three with Freddy Parker and Ryan Lawrie, and performed "Run" by Snow Patrol. She was saved after Cowell sent the vote to deadlock and Parker was eliminated as the contestant with the fewest public votes. However In week 5, she was in the bottom three for the third time and had to sing against Four of Diamonds; Osbourne, Scherzinger and Cowell voted to save Aalto and only Walsh voting to save Four of Diamonds. However voting statistics revealed that Aalto received more votes than Parker and Bratavio in the main vote in week 1, Lawrie and Parker in the main vote in week 2 and Four of Diamonds and Sam Lavery in the main vote in week 5 meaning if there wasn't a lifeline vote or if Aalto won the Lifeline Vote all three weeks, Aalto would've been the only contestant to never compete in the final showdown all season. Following the eliminations of Relley C in week 3 and Honey G in the quarter-final, Aalto became Osbourne's last remaining act in the competition. On 11 December Saara became runner-up of The X Factor 2016.

She was later selected to represent her home country of Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal with the song "Monsters" and qualified for the grand final.

Relley C[edit]

Relley C (real name, Sherelle Clarke; born 6 October 1989),[23] aged 29, is a housekeeper from Birmingham. Relley originally auditioned for The X Factor in 2013 when aged 23, where she reached judges' houses. However, she was eliminated by mentor Scherzinger after her performance of "Many Rivers to Cross" by Jimmy Cliff.[24]

For this series, Relley auditioned with a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" which earned her a place at bootcamp. Her first televised appearance was at bootcamp where she performed "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus alongside duo Bradley & Ottavio, and Jack Booth and was sent through as part of the over-25s category with Osbourne as her mentor.[25] During the six-chair challenge, she sang "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong and was chosen as part of Osbourne's top 6, allowing her to reach judges' houses. Osbourne picked Relley as one of her 3 finalists after her rendition of "Up to the Mountain" by Kelly Clarkson. On week 3, she had to face the sing-off against Four of Diamonds and only Osbourne opted to save her, resulting in her elimination. She finished in tenth place. However voting statistics revealed that, Relley C received more votes than Four of Diamonds meaning if the result went to deadlock, Relley C would've been saved.

Following the competition, Relley C released a single in June 2017 called "Unruly".[26] In November 2017, she released her second single called "Tell Me That".[27] This led to her releasing a debut EP, titled "Square One" in June 2018.[28] She dropped a music video for "Priceless" featuring Lady Sanity in September 2018.[29] Relley C released another single in July 2019, titled "Complicated".[30]

Honey G[edit]

Honey G (born Anna Georgette Gilford;[31] 12 March 1981), aged 37, is a rapper from Harrow, West London (called "North Weezy" by her character).[32] Honey G is Jewish and has claimed she has been bullied with antisemitism all her life.[33][34]

In her first audition, she sang "Work It" by Missy Elliott, which earned her three yes votes. At the six-chair challenge, she sang "WTF (Where They From)" by Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams, and was eliminated by mentor Sharon Osbourne; however, Osbourne brought her back as a replacement for Ivy-Grace Parades, who was unable to travel to Los Angeles due to visa issues.[35] Osbourne later picked Honey G to advance after her performance of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise". She ended up in the bottom two for the first time against Ryan Lawrie on week 7. Cowell, Osbourne and Walsh voted to save her. However voting statistics revealed that Lawrie received more votes than Honey G meaning if Walsh sent the result to deadlock, Lawrie would've advanced to the quarter-final and Honey G would've been eliminated. Honey G was in the bottom two in the quarter-final against 5 After Midnight. After the sing-off, only Osbourne voted to keep Honey G, who was eliminated in fifth place.

During her time in the competition, Honey G faced criticism for being a novelty act, branded such by judge Scherzinger.[36] Isabel Mohan of The Telegraph gave her the title of "the biggest joke in X Factor history."[37] Each one of her progressions in the competition was met with constant negative responses from social media; a petition that was created by a cousin of fellow contestant Samantha Atkinson to remove her from the show and replace her with Atkinson garnered thousands of signatures.[38]

After the first live show, an Internet movement of mothers and grandmothers dressing up as Honey G emerged, with the pictures and videos shared via the hashtag #MummyG.[39]

She performed at the X Factor Final at Wembley Arena as a guest performer where she officially announced that she had signed a record deal with Cowell's record label, Syco Music,[40] and would be releasing her debut single, "The Honey G Show", on 23 December. This was met with controversy, as she had landed a record deal with Syco before a winner of the series had even been crowned.[citation needed] The single received little promotion[41] and reached No. 149 on its first week of release.[42]

Like the other finalists of the series, Honey G performed on The X Factor Live Tour, which visited many cities across the United Kingdom.

In May 2017, she announced she was launching an independent record label after being dropped by Syco Music, and that a new single was to be expected soon.[citation needed] The label was revealed in June to be called "H To The O Music".

On 30 June 2017, she released her second single "Hit You With The Honey G" alongside a music video. On 26 July, she came out as gay and posed for a nude photoshoot.[43]

In December 2017, she released her third single "Riding Hot". The music video for the track was released on 12 January 2018, on the rapper's Vevo page.

Groups[edit]

The groups were mentored by Louis Walsh.

Louis Walsh mentored the groups category of duos or vocal harmony groups, all aged 16 and over. The seven candidates at judges' houses were: Four of Diamonds, 5 After Midnight, Bratavio, Brooks Way, Skarl3t, Tom and Laura, and YESLAD. Walsh chose 5 After Midnight, Bratavio and Brooks Way to advance to the live shows. After their absence on the first live show, Brooks Way withdrew from the competition and was replaced by Four of Diamonds.

5 After Midnight[edit]

5 After Midnight (formerly 5AM) are a three-piece boy band consisting of Kieran Alleyne (born 11 April 1995, aged 23), Jordan Lee (born 8 October 1995, aged 23) and Nathan Lewis (born 4 September 1993, aged 25). The trio formed five weeks prior their first audition, in which they covered Drake's "One Dance", earning them four yes votes.[44]

Before The X Factor, Kieran Alleyne had released a single, starred in two West End plays, appeared for three years in CBBC's Dani's Castle as a main character, and was signed by Artistry Entertainment.[45] Following the withdrawal of Brooks Way and elimination of Bratavio in week 1, and the week 5 elimination of Four of Diamonds, 5 After Midnight became Walsh's last remaining group in the competition. They were in the bottom two in the quarter-final with Honey G. Following the sing-off, Walsh, Scherzinger and Cowell voted to send them through to the semi-final, and they advanced to the Grand Finale where they placed third.

On 18 January 2017, it was announced that the band had been signed to Syco Music, Cowell's record label.[46] They performed their debut single "Up in Here", which samples "Party Up (Up in Here)" by DMX, on Britain's Got Talent on 2 June 2017.[47] Subsequently, the trio released their first EP, "The Sauce", featuring a total of 4 tracks.[48]

With the limited success that the band had, they were dropped by Simon Cowell's record label Syco,[49] and on 21 January 2018, it was confirmed that Kieran Alleyne left the group to pursue a solo music career.

Bratavio[edit]

Bratavio (formerly Bradley & Ottavio) are a duo consisting of Bradley Hunt (born 26 July 1993, aged 25) from Leamington Spa and Octavia Donata Columbro (born Ottavio Donato Columbro, 13 October 1991, aged 27) from Southampton. Columbro previously auditioned for The X Factor in 2012, where she reached bootcamp but failed to make it to judges' houses.[50] Hunt and Columbro originally planned to audition as a duo, but briefly split after an argument caused by Hunt allegedly giving raw chicken to Columbro.[51] Therefore, they auditioned separately as soloists but were rejected by the judges who advised them to rekindle their relationship; they later came back as a duo and sang "Buttons" by The Pussycat Dolls, which earned them three yes votes.

Their progression through the competition was met with a negative response from social media as they were branded as a 'novelty act', especially when they were qualified by mentor Walsh as part of his top three, as many thought they were less talented than the other competitors.[52]

In week 1 of the live shows, Bratavio were in the bottom three of the public votes, having performed a mash-up of "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!" by Vengaboys and "Barbie Girl" by Aqua, and had to perform a sing-off against Saara Aalto. They performed "The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz, and were eliminated with only Walsh voting to keep them. However voting statistics revealed that Aalto received more votes than Freddy Parker and Bratavio meaning if there wasn't a lifeline vote Parker would've faced Bratavio in the final showdown but still would've been eliminated if the result went to deadlock in that scenario.[53] After their exit, they complained about Walsh's apparent lack of faith in them, as Walsh reportedly told them they would be in the sing-off minutes before the reveal of the results. Despite expressing hope on The Xtra Factor that they would meet again with Walsh, they later said that they won't be keeping in touch with Walsh and expressed their desire to enter the next series of Celebrity Big Brother.[54]

On 29 May 2019, Columbro came out as a trans woman in an interview with The Sun, revealing that she suffered from gender dysphoria and depression after the show to the point she considered suicide, along with confirming that she would undergo testosterone blockers and hormone replacement therapy for her transition and legally changing her name to Octavia Donata Columbro.[55]

Brooks Way[edit]

Brooks Way (formerly The Brooks), is a duo composed of twin brothers Joshua Brooks and Kyle Brooks (born 28 May 1999, aged 19), both from Cardiff.[56] The brothers originally entered the competition in 2014, at the age of 15. They reached judges' houses, but were eliminated by mentor Louis Walsh after their performance of "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri.

In 2016, they came back and performed a cover of Naughty Boy's "Runnin' (Lose It All)" in their first audition, which earned them 4 yes votes. They progressed to judges' houses, where Walsh put them in his top three after their performance of "Just a Dream" by Nelly.

On 10 October 2016, it was confirmed that Brooks Way would be withdrawing after being absent from the first live show. In a statement released by the official website to confirm their exit, Josh Brooks said, "Due to events in my personal life I've decided that it's best not to be on the show at this time. While not everything that has been claimed is true I would like to apologize to everyone involved."[57] A spokesperson for the show added, "Following the allegations relating to Josh Brooks, we have decided by mutual consent that Brooks Way should leave the competition."[57]

They were replaced by girl group Four of Diamonds.[58] In 2017, they released their debut single "This Ain't Love" (feat. J-Sol).

Four of Diamonds[edit]

Four of Diamonds are a four-piece girl group, made up of Caroline Alvares (born 14 August 1996, age 22), Lauren Rammell (born 18 June 1994, age 24), Yasmin Lauryn (born 25 November 1998, 20) and Sophia Saffarian (born 25 November 1996, 22). They auditioned for The X Factor in the third set of room auditions, then progressed to bootcamp and the six-chair challenge, gaining a seat and making it through to judges' house. They were eventually sent home by Walsh. However, on 10 October 2016, it was announced that Four of Diamonds would take Brooks Way's place for the remainder of the live shows, starting in week 2.

In week 3, Four of Diamonds were in the bottom two against Relley C. They sang "Who Are You" by Fifth Harmony and were saved by Walsh, Scherzinger and Cowell. However voting statistics revealed that, Relley C received more votes than Four of Diamonds meaning if the result went to deadlock, Relley C would've been saved. The following week, they were in the bottom two against Gifty Louise; they sang "The Voice Within" by Christina Aguilera and were saved by Walsh, Scherzinger and Osbourne. However once again, voting statistics revealed that Louise received more votes than Four of Diamonds meaning if the result went to deadlock, Louise would've been saved. They were sent home on week 5, after a sing-off against Saara Aalto, when only Walsh voted for saving them. In this sing-off, they sang "When You Believe" by Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey. However voting statistics revealed that Four of Diamonds and Aalto received more votes than Sam Lavery in the public main vote meaning if there wasn't a lifeline vote or if Aalto won the lifeline vote Four of Diamonds would've competed against Lavery in the final showdown. Additionally in that scenario, if the result went to deadlock, Four of Diamonds would've been saved and Lavery would've been eliminated.

In 2018, the group signed a record deal with Virgin EMI Records,[60] the first girl group to be signed to the label since Spice Girls. On 14 June 2018, Four of Diamonds released their debut single, "Name on It", which features Burna Boy.[61] On 28 September 2018, they released their second single "Stupid Things" featuring Saweetie.[62] On 30 November 2018, their third single, "Blind" was released. The song samples "Too Blind to See It" by Kym Sims, and was produced by Jonas Blue. Blue is also confirmed as executive producer of their debut album.[63] In May 2019, they released their fourth single, titled "Walk Away".[64][65] Later that month, they supported Rita Ora on the Phoenix World Tour.[66]

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