The X Factor (British series 10)

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The X Factor
Series 10
Broadcast from31 August (2013-08-31) –
15 December 2013 (2013-12-15)
Presenter(s)Dermot O'Leary (ITV)
Co-presenter(s)Caroline Flack (ITV2/ITV Live Shows Backstage)
Matt Richardson (ITV2)
ITV2 (The Xtra Factor)
Finals venueWembley Arena
Sam Bailey
Genre(s)Pop, soul
MentorSharon Osbourne
Nicholas McDonald

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

Auditions for the series started in March 2013 with mobile auditions taking place in 23 towns and cities. After this, open auditions in front of producers took place in April and May in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow. Auditions in front of the judges occurred in June and July in the same five cities, with two types of audition: auditionees who were successful in a first audition in an audition room, used for the first time since series 5, went on to attend an audition in an arena, which replaced the rooms in series 6. After bootcamp and judges' houses, the live shows began on 12 October 2013, and ran until the final on 15 December 2013, which was won by over 25s contestant Sam Bailey. This marked the first time someone from the over 25s category had won the show since Steve Brookstein won series 1 in 2004.[1][2] It also marked the first time that Osbourne had been the winning mentor, having failed during her first stint on the show.[1] As the winner, Bailey received a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music, and also supported Beyoncé at one of her shows during the UK leg of her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in 2014.

This was the final series of the three-year deal signed by Simon Cowell in 2010,[3] before it was announced by ITV on 15 November that the show's contract was extended by a further three years, keeping it on air until 2016.[4]

Judges, presenters and other personnel[edit]

It was reported on 22 February 2013 that Tulisa would not return for series 10, after being a judge for two series.[5] She initially denied this and said she wanted to return,[6] However, Tulisa confirmed on 21 May after months of speculation that she would not return to the judging panel. The following day, it was confirmed that former judge Sharon Osbourne, who had been on the panel from series 1 to series 4 would join the remaining three judges from series 9, Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger, ending rumours that Scherzinger may leave to focus on her second studio album and be replaced by series 9 guest judge Mel B.[7][8]

Osbourne stated in July that she was back for just one series, "to go out on a high",[9] and during the first live show, Barlow revealed that this would be his last series on the show.[10] Walsh, who had appeared on the show since its inception, announced he would be leaving the show after this series as well, stating that he wanted his "life back",[11] although he later said he "might come back" if Simon Cowell returned,[12] and later still he said he would most likely continue, claiming "I'm having so much fun this year, I might stay".[13] Walsh eventually confirmed his return for series 11, following the returns of both Cowell and Cheryl Cole.

Dermot O'Leary returned to present the main show on ITV for his seventh series,[14][15] whilst Caroline Flack came back to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.[16] Olly Murs, Flack's co-presenter for series 8 and 9, wanted to focus on his music career and therefore did not come back.[17] On 29 May, it was announced that comedian Matt Richardson would co-present The Xtra Factor with Flack,[18] after reports that Nick Grimshaw, Dave Berry or Rylan Clark may replace Murs.[19] Flack also presented backstage on the main X Factor programme, during the live shows on Saturdays.[20] Yvie Burnett returned as vocal coach. Brian Burke left as creative director and was replaced by Jerry Reeve and Mark "Swany" Hart.

Selection process[edit]


Mobile auditions[edit]

Between 25 March and 1 April 2013, mobile auditions took place in Inverness,[21]Great Yarmouth,[22] Warrington,[23] Aberdeen,[24] Colchester,[25] Hull,[26] Dumfries,[27] Grimsby,[28] Romford,[29] Belfast,[30] Newport on the Isle of Wight,[31] Sunderland,[32] Wakefield,[33] Bangor,[34] Middlesbrough, Yeovil, Aberystwyth, Blackburn, Dublin, Blackpool, Cork, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport in Wales.[28] It was reported that around 20 people attended Colchester auditions on 26 March and producers tried to convince passers-by to audition. A spokesperson for the show commented: "The X Factor mobile auditions are taking place across the UK this week, allowing budding artists to try out in towns and cities where the auditions tour doesn't reach. The numbers attending vary from location to location and are on a par with last year when we found our winner James Arthur. Overall applications are strong for this series and are in line with last year. We've had strong turnouts at other locations for the mobile auditions with more than 250 people turning up at Hull and over 100 in Great Yarmouth."[35]

Open auditions[edit]

Cities where auditions were held.

For the first time since series 6, auditions took place in five cities instead of six. Open auditions in front of the show's producers began in London (ExCeL London) on 6 April[36] and continued in Birmingham (International Convention Centre) on 13 April, Cardiff (Millennium Stadium) on 20 April, and Manchester (Old Trafford) on 27 April, before concluding in Glasgow (SECC) on 1 May.[37] Auditions were not held in Liverpool this year, after it was one of the locations in the past two series.[38] Producers said that they were "mixing it up", although reports claim that they were unimpressed with talent in Liverpool, despite three consecutive finalists—Rebecca Ferguson (series 7), Marcus Collins (series 8) and Christopher Maloney (series 9)—coming from Liverpool.[38] Additionally, auditions returned to Birmingham after being replaced by Newcastle in series 9. Producers previously held auditions in Newcastle instead of Birmingham because they thought that Birmingham provided "no memorable talent", but reportedly decided to return there after "disappointing" results in Newcastle.[39] Almost 8,000 auditionees attended in London,[36] whilst Cardiff attracted at least 3,000,[40] Birmingham produced around 5,000,[41] over 4,000 auditioned in Manchester[42] and over 2,000 in Glasgow.[43]

Judges' auditions[edit]

This series saw the return of the original auditions format last used in series 5, where auditionees performed in a room in front of the judges. Those who were successful in the room auditions then faced a second audition in an arena—the format used since series 6—to prove they can impress an audience. If they were successful in this audition, they entered the bootcamp stage of the competition. Cowell hoped the "intimate" room auditions would increase ratings.[14][44] The room auditions in front of the judges began in Glasgow on 4 June at the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel[45] and continued in Birmingham on 10 June[46] at the International Convention Centre.[47] Manchester auditions took place over three days from 13 to 15 June at Old Trafford,[48][49] followed by London auditions which also took place over three days, from 19 to 21 June at ExCeL London.[50][51] Due to a lack of successful groups, extra auditions specifically for groups took place on 1 July at Price Studios in Battersea, London.[52] Auditions then concluded in Cardiff on 3 July at the Motorpoint Arena.[53] The arena auditions took place at a single venue, Wembley Arena, over four days, from 15 to 18 July.[54] The broadcast of auditions started on 31 August 2013, with room auditions being shown on Saturday nights and arena auditions on Sundays.[55]

The first room audition episode aired on 31 August, and featured auditions from Cardiff, Manchester, London and Birmingham. The second room audition episode featured auditions from Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow. The third room audition episode showcased auditions from London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Numerous contestants from previous series returned to audition again for this series, including: Amy Mottram, who was Tulisa's wildcard contestant in series 9 and failed to be chosen ahead of Maloney as the 13th finalist;[56] Terry Winstanley, who made it to judges' houses in series 8;[57] Johnny Rocco, whose audition in series 4 ended with him "cursing" Walsh after getting a "no" from all four judges;[58] John Adams, who reached bootcamp in series 8;[57] Curtis Golden, Joseph Whelan and Gathan Cheema, all of whom got to bootcamp in series 9;[57][59][60] Stephanie Woods, who got to judges' houses in series 4;[61] Jade Richards, who got to judges' houses in series 8 and bootcamp in series 9;[62] and Melanie McCabe, who got to bootcamp in series 5 and 9 and to judges' houses in series 8.[57][62] Also auditioning again were groups Rough Copy, who were initially to through to judges' houses in series 9 but had to back out due to visa problems, and The Dolly Rockers, who made it to judges' houses in series 3.[62] Another notable group to audition were 1990s pop rock band Next of Kin, who were once labelled "the British Hanson".[63]

Summary of judges' auditions
City Room auditions Arena auditions
Date(s) Venue Date(s) Venue
Glasgow 4 June 2013[14] Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor Hotel[45] N/A
Birmingham 10 June 2013[46] International Convention Centre[47]
Manchester 13–15 June 2013[48][49] Old Trafford[48]
London 19–21 June 2013[50][51] ExCeL London[50] 15–18 July 2013[54] Wembley Arena[54]
1 July 2013[52] Price Studios[52]
Cardiff 3 July 2013[53] Motorpoint Arena[53] N/A


On 17 April 2013, it was reported that this series' bootcamp could be changed and be conducted abroad like judges' houses,[64][65] however, it was later confirmed that bootcamp would take place at Wembley Arena[66] over four days, across three sessions between 9 and 12 August.[67] It was reported that Cowell was planning to give advice on which acts should progress through this stage, meeting with the judges on his yacht to give opinions on the acts,[68][69] but further reports claimed that due to a pregnancy scandal, Cowell would instead speak to the judges by telephone, as he did in series 9.[69] However, this did not happen.

In a change to the usual format, the judges were allocated their categories before bootcamp,[69] via a phonecall from executive producer Richard Holloway.[70] Walsh has the Boys, Scherzinger had the Girls, Osbourne has the Over 25s and Barlow has the Groups.[67] On the first day of bootcamp, soloists were put into groups of three within their category, and groups were put into pairs. They had to perform within that pair or group, and the category judge would then decide who would continue.[70] There was then a change in the format, that saw the judges choose the acts to advance to judges' houses immediately after their bootcamp performance, instead of waiting until everyone had performed. Each judge had six places to their judges house, and they granted a 'seat' to the performers they wanted to advance in their category. However, if a judge already chose six acts for their category, they could replace them if they preferred a later performer, therefore causing bootcamp to be branded the 'ultimate game of musical chairs'.[71] Bootcamp was broadcast over two episodes, each of 90 minutes, on 28 and 29 September.[72][73]

Judges' houses[edit]

Judges' houses took place in September. Each judge took the remaining members of their category to an overseas location, and had guests to assist them in their decisions. Walsh was assisted by Nicole Appleton, Sinitta and Shane Filan when he mentored the Boys in Saint-Tropez, France, in a property worth £10.5 million, next door to a property owned by Nicolas Sarkozy, whose gardeners interrupted filming.[74] Osbourne took the Over 25s to her own home in Beverly Hills, California,[74] assisted by Robbie Williams; Barlow was assisted by series 6 runner-up and former The Xtra Factor co-presenter Olly Murs to mentor the Groups in New York City; and Scherzinger took the Girls to Antigua with Mary J. Blige,[75] staying at the St James Club resort.[74] Groups Code 4 and Rough Copy were forced to lose a member each during judges' houses because of visa problems.[76] 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 (although only the acts who made it to the live shows had their second songs shown). Judges' houses was broadcast over two programmes, on 5 and 6 October.[77][78]

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location[75] Assistant(s)[75] Contestants eliminated
Barlow Groups New York City Olly Murs Brick City, Code 4, Xyra[79]
Osbourne Over 25s Beverly Hills Robbie Williams Zoe Devlin, Andrea Magee, Joseph Whelan[80]
Scherzinger Girls Antigua Mary J. Blige Relley C, Melanie McCabe, Jade Richards[81]
Walsh Boys Saint-Tropez Nicole Appleton, Shane Filan and Sinitta Paul Akister, Ryan Mathie, Giles Potter[82]



     – Winner
     – Runner-up
     – Third place
Contestant Age(s) Hometown Category (Mentor) Result
Sam Bailey 36 Leicester Over 25s (Osbourne) Winner
Nicholas McDonald 17 North Lanarkshire Boys (Walsh) Runner-up
Luke Friend 17 Teignmouth Boys (Walsh) 3rd place
Rough Copy 24–27 Various Groups (Barlow) 4th place
Tamera Foster 16 Gravesend Girls (Scherzinger) 5th place
Hannah Barrett 17 South Norwood Girls (Scherzinger) 6th place
Sam Callahan 19 Essex Boys (Walsh) 7th place
Abi Alton 19 Guisborough Girls (Scherzinger) 8th place
Kingsland Road 19–25 East London Groups (Barlow) 9th place
Miss Dynamix 16–22 Various Groups (Barlow) 10th place
Shelley Smith 35 Farringdon Over 25s (Osbourne) 11th place
Lorna Simpson 26 South Norwood Over 25s (Osbourne) 12th place

Live shows[edit]

The live shows started on 12 October.[83] As in previous series, each week's song choices followed a particular theme. Each contestant performed on Saturday, while eliminations and guest performances took place on Sunday. For the first three weeks, a new "flash vote" took place at the end of each Saturday night show, where the voting lines opened for about eight minutes, and the act with the fewest votes faced the "sing-off" (formerly called the "final showdown") on Sunday. Voting lines for the remaining contestants then reopened, and stayed open until the Sunday shows,[84] where the second contestant to face the "sing-off" was revealed.[85] "Deadlock", where the act with the fewest public votes is eliminated after the judges' votes are tied, was eliminated while there was a flash vote,[86] and instead, in the event that judges' votes were tied, the contestant that lost the flash vote was eliminated. However, in week 4 the flash vote was rested because of Nile Rodgers and Chic's performance, meaning there was not enough time at the end of the show for the flash vote, and "deadlock" would have returned if the judges' votes had been tied,[87] and the flash vote did not return after this. Deadlock was used in weeks 8 and 9 due to tie votes from the judges.[88][89]

The final took place at Wembley Arena[90] on 14 and 15 December 2013.[91]

Musical guests[edit]

Each results show featured musical performances from at least two artists, while occasionally, artists performed on the main performances show. Ellie Goulding and Cher performed on the first results show,[92] Robin Thicke and Katy Perry performed on the second,[93] and The Wanted and Lady Gaga performed on the third.[94] Nile Rodgers and Chic performed a medley of three songs on the fourth live show, in what was billed as a "special edition" of The X Factor.[95] Little Mix performed on the fourth live results show, followed by Taylor Swift with Gary Lightbody.[96] Robbie Williams and Celine Dion appeared on the fifth results show,[97] though Dion's performance was pre-recorded.[98] The sixth live results show featured performances from judge Gary Barlow,[99] who was relaunching his solo career,[100] and Miley Cyrus.[99] Olly Murs performed on the seventh live show,[101] then JLS, Mary J. Blige with Jessie J, and One Direction performed on the seventh live results show.[101] Rebecca Ferguson and James Arthur performed on the eighth results show,[88] Leona Lewis and Michael Bublé performed on the semi-final live results show,[89] Tom Odell and The Killers performed in the first show of the final,[102] and One Direction, Perry, Elton John and Barlow performed in the second show of the final.[103]

Results summary[edit]

Colour key
     – Contestant did not face the public vote
     – Contestant received the fewest public votes or was in the bottom two and had to sing again in the sing-off
     – Contestant received the fewest public votes and was eliminated immediately
     – Contestant was given a "Bye Week" and automatically advanced to the following week
     – Contestant received the most public votes
Weekly results per contestant[104]
Contestant Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10
Saturday Sunday1 Saturday Sunday1 Saturday Sunday1 Saturday Sunday1
Sam Bailey 1st
Nicholas McDonald 2nd
Luke Friend 9th
(week 10)
Rough Copy 3rd
(week 9)
Tamera Foster 6th
(week 8)
Hannah Barrett 5th
(week 7)
Sam Callahan 8th
(week 6)
Abi Alton 4th
(week 5)
Kingsland Road 7th
N/A 6th
(week 4)
Miss Dynamix 10th
Bye Week2 10th
N/A Eliminated
(week 3)
Shelley Smith 12th
N/A 9th
(week 2)
Lorna Simpson 11th
(week 1)
Final showdown Simpson,
Kingsland Road,
Miss Dynamix
Kingsland Road
Rough Copy
Rough Copy
No sing-off or judges' votes: results based on public votes alone
Judges voted to Eliminate Send Through
Walsh's vote Simpson Smith N/A3 Kingsland Road N/A4 None (abstained) Barrett Foster Friend
Osbourne's vote None (abstained) Kingsland Road Miss Dynamix Kingsland Road Alton N/A5 Barrett Foster Friend
Barlow's vote Smith Smith Barrett Foster Alton Callahan Barrett Friend Rough Copy
Scherzinger's vote Simpson Smith Miss Dynamix Kingsland Road None (abstained) Callahan Rough Copy Friend Rough Copy
Eliminated Lorna Simpson
2 of 3 votes
Shelley Smith
3 of 4 votes
Miss Dynamix
2 of 3 votes
Flash Vote
Kingsland Road
3 of 4 votes
Abi Alton
2 of 2 votes
Sam Callahan
2 of 2 votes
Hannah Barrett
3 of 4 votes
Tamera Foster
2 of 4 votes
Rough Copy
2 of 4 votes
Luke Friend
to win
Nicholas McDonald
to win
Reference(s) [92] [105] [94] [106] [97] [99] [101] [88] [89] [107] [1]
  • ^1 Owing to the freezing of votes, the voting percentages in weeks 1, 2, 3 and 10 (the final) for Sundays do not add up to 100%. Shelley Smith received 0.9% of the Sunday vote in week 1, Kingsland Road received 1.9% of the Sunday vote in week 2, Miss Dynamix received 1.1% of the Sunday vote in week 3 and Luke Friend received 10.3% of the final vote in the final (week 10).[104]
  • ^2 Miss Dynamix were given a bye in week 2 as band member SeSe Foster was too ill to perform. Miss Dynamix automatically advanced to week 3.[108]
  • ^3 Walsh did not need to vote as Scherzinger and Osbourne had already voted to eliminate Miss Dynamix; having lost the flash vote, they would have been eliminated regardless of Walsh's decision. Walsh said he would have voted to eliminate Miss Dynamix.
  • ^4 Walsh did not need to vote as there was already a majority. He said he would have voted to eliminate Abi Alton.
  • ^5 Osbourne did not need to vote as there was already a majority. She said she would have voted to eliminate Sam Callahan.

Live show details[edit]

Week 1 (12/13 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[110] Result[92]
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "What's Love Got to Do with It" Safe
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 2 "True" Safe
Miss Dynamix Groups (Barlow) 3 "Jump (for My Love)" Safe
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 4 "The Power of Love" Safe
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 5 "Summer of '69" Safe
Kingsland Road Groups (Barlow) 6 "I'm Your Man" Safe
Shelley Smith Over 25s (Osbourne) 7 "Alone" Lost flash vote
Abi Alton Girls (Scherzinger) 8 "Livin' on a Prayer" Safe
Lorna Simpson Over 25s (Osbourne) 9 "So Emotional" Lost public vote
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 10 "Ain't Nobody" Safe
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 11 "Every Breath You Take" Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 12 "In the Air Tonight" Safe
Sing-off details[92]
Shelley Smith Over 25s (Osbourne) 1 "One Night Only" Safe
Lorna Simpson Over 25s (Osbourne) 2 "There You'll Be" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate[92]
  • Osbourne abstained from voting as both acts were in her category.
  • Walsh: Lorna Simpson – gave no reason.
  • Barlow: Shelley Smith – said that Smith was only in the bottom two through a poor song choice, but felt that Simpson would go further in the competition.
  • Scherzinger: Lorna Simpson – thought that Smith had more potential.

Week 2 (19/20 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[112] Result[105]
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 1 "Make You Feel My Love" Safe
Kingsland Road Groups (Barlow) 2 "Marry You" Lost flash vote
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 3 "She's the One" Safe
Abi Alton Girls (Scherzinger) 4 "Can't Get You Out of My Head" Safe
Shelley Smith Over 25s (Osbourne) 5 "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" Lost public vote
Miss Dynamix Groups (Barlow) 6 Bye Week2 Automatically Advanced
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 7 "I Won't Give Up" Safe
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 8 "Beneath Your Beautiful" Safe
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 9 "Let Her Go" Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 10 "I Want It That Way" Safe
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 11 "Beautiful" Safe
Sing-off details[105]
Kingsland Road Groups (Barlow) 1 "Try" Safe
Shelley Smith Over 25s (Osbourne) 2 "Stop!" Eliminated

^1 Due to band member SeSe Foster being in the hospital, Miss Dynamix did not perform and were given a bye week which automatically advanced them to the following week.[108] They would have performed "Dreams",[112] but actually performed the song the following week.[113]

Judges' votes to eliminate[105]
  • Barlow: Shelley Smith – backed his own act, Kingsland Road.
  • Osbourne: Kingsland Road – gave no comment, but effectively backed her own act, Shelley Smith.
  • Scherzinger: Shelley Smith – based on the fact that she saved Smith the previous week.
  • Walsh: Shelley Smith – said he thought Kingsland Road had more potential.

Week 3 (26/27 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[113] Film Result[94]
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 1 "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Safe
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 2 "All I Want Is You" Reality Bites Safe
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 3 "Skyfall" Skyfall Lost public vote
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 4 "Angel" City of Angels Safe
Abi Alton Girls (Scherzinger) 5 "Moon River" Breakfast at Tiffany's Safe
Miss Dynamix Groups (Barlow) 6 "Dreams" Magnolia Lost flash vote
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 7 "My Heart Will Go On" Titanic Safe
Kingsland Road Groups (Barlow) 8 "Oh, Pretty Woman" Pretty Woman Safe
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 9 "Kiss from a Rose" Batman Forever Safe
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 10 "Listen" Dreamgirls Safe
Sing-off details[94]
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "Read All About It, Pt. III" Safe
Miss Dynamix Groups (Barlow) 2 "Don't You Worry Child" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate[94]
  • Scherzinger: Miss Dynamix – backed her own act, Hannah Barrett.
  • Barlow: Hannah Barrett – backed his own act, Miss Dynamix.
  • Osbourne: Miss Dynamix – gave no reason.
  • Walsh was not required to vote, but stated he would have eliminated Miss Dynamix.

Week 4 (2/3 November)[edit]

The flash vote was "rested" this week because of lack of time, due to Rodgers and Chic's performance, and the two acts receiving the fewest votes were announced during Sunday's results show.[87]

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[116] Result[106]
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 1 "Play That Funky Music" Safe
Kingsland Road Groups (Barlow) 2 "Blame It on the Boogie" Bottom Two
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 3 "Wishing on a Star" Bottom Two
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 4 "Relight My Fire" Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 5 "September" Safe
Abi Alton Girls (Scherzinger) 6 "I Will Survive" Safe
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 7 "Rock with You" Safe
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 8 "Somebody Else's Guy" Safe
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 9 "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" Safe
Sing-off details[106]
Kingsland Road Groups (Barlow) 1 "I Won't Let You Go" Eliminated
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 2 "I Have Nothing" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[106]
  • Scherzinger: Kingsland Road – backed her own act, Tamera Foster.
  • Barlow: Tamera Foster – backed his own act, Kingsland Road.
  • Osbourne: Kingsland Road – gave no comment.
  • Walsh: Kingsland Road – gave no reason.

Week 5 (9/10 November)[edit]

The acts performed with a 36-piece live band, instead of a backing track.[97] The flash vote did not return this week, and a show source said there were no plans for it to return.[117] Cowell made an appearance during rehearsals via VT this week and told the final 8 they would be taking part in the 2014 live tour.[118]

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[119] Result[97]
Abi Alton Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "That's Life" Bottom Two
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 2 "Theme from New York, New York" Safe
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 3 "Dream a Little Dream of Me" Safe
Luke Friend 4 "Moondance" Safe
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 5 "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" Bottom Two
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 6 "Hit the Road Jack" Safe
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 7 "Cry Me a River" Safe
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 8 "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" Safe
Sing-off details[97]
Abi Alton Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "Lego House" Eliminated
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 2 "Wrecking Ball" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[97]
  • Scherzinger abstained from voting as both acts were in her category.
  • Barlow: Abi Alton – based on the performances in the sing-off.
  • Osbourne: Abi Alton – gave no reason.
  • Walsh was not required to vote but stated he would have eliminated Alton.

Week 6 (16/17 November)[edit]

A minimum of 15p from every contestant vote cast, plus a minimum of 50p from every track downloaded from this weekend's live performances, will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee's relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan.[122]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[123] British artist Result[99]
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" The Rolling Stones Safe
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 2 "Your Song" Elton John Bottom two
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 3 "Something" The Beatles Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 4 "Viva la Vida" Coldplay Safe
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 5 "Faith" George Michael Bottom two
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 6 "Diamonds Are Forever" Shirley Bassey Safe
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 7 "Someone like You" Adele Safe
Sing-off details[99]
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 1 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" Safe
Sam Callahan Boys (Walsh) 2 "Iris" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate[99]
  • Walsh abstained from voting as both acts were in his category.
  • Scherzinger: Sam Callahan – said Friend was the better singer.
  • Barlow: Sam Callahan – gave no reason.
  • Osbourne was not required to vote, but stated she would have eliminated Callahan.

Week 7 (23/24 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Song[125] Previous finalist Result
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 1 "The Climb" Joe McElderry Safe
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 2 "Hallelujah" Alexandra Burke Bottom two
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 3 "What Makes You Beautiful" One Direction Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 4 "Don't Let Go (Love)" Little Mix Bottom two
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 5 "Impossible" James Arthur Safe
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 6 "Bleeding Love" Leona Lewis Safe
Sing-off details[101]
Hannah Barrett Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "I'd Rather Go Blind" Eliminated
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 2 "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[101]
  • Scherzinger: Rough Copy – backed her own act, Hannah Barrett.
  • Barlow: Hannah Barrett – gave no reason, but effectively backed his own act, Rough Copy.
  • Osbourne: Hannah Barrett – because it was Barrett's third time in the bottom two.
  • Walsh: Hannah Barrett – gave no reason, but on The Xtra Factor he said that it was because Barrett had been in the sing-off three times and Rough Copy had more to give.[126]

Week 8: Quarter-Final (30 November/1 December)[edit]

For the first time this series, contestants performed two songs each. One song was chosen by a public vote via the official The X Factor app.[127] On 24 November, the song choices for the public were revealed.[131]

Choices for jukebox week
Act Song choices[131] Result[132] Percentage[133]
Luke Friend "Bridge over Troubled Water" Not chosen 33.0%
"Skinny Love" Chosen 42.0%
"One Day Like This" Not chosen 25.0%
Nicholas McDonald "The Prayer" Not chosen 11.0%
"Amazed" Not chosen 20.2%
"Just the Way You Are" Chosen 68.8%
Rough Copy "End of the Road" Not chosen 38.4%
"I Believe I Can Fly" Chosen 46.5%
"If You Ever" Not chosen 15.1%
Sam Bailey "The Living Years" Not chosen 10.3%
"Clown" Chosen 54.4%
"Without You" Not chosen 35.3%
Tamera Foster "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" Chosen 46.0%
"This Woman's Work" Not chosen 20.9%
"Emotion" Not chosen 33.1%
Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order First song[132] Theme[132] Order Second song[132] Theme[132] Result[88]
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 1 "Just the Way You Are" Viewers' choice 6 "Greatest Day" Musical hero Safe
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 2 "How Will I Know" Musical hero 7 "Clown" Viewers' choice Safe
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 3 "We Found Love" Musical hero 9 "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" Viewers' choice Bottom two
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 4 "Skinny Love" Viewers' choice 8 "I Will Wait" Musical hero Bottom two
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 5 "Every Little Step"/"She's Got That Vibe" Musical hero 10 "I Believe I Can Fly" Viewers' choice Safe
Sing-off details[88]
Tamera Foster Girls (Scherzinger) 1 "The Voice Within" Eliminated
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 2 "Run" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[88]
  • Scherzinger: Luke Friend – backed her own act, Tamera Foster.
  • Walsh: Tamera Foster – backed his own act, Luke Friend, whom he said was better in the sing-off.
  • Osbourne: Tamera Foster – said that Friend delivered a natural performance in the sing-off.
  • Barlow: Luke Friend – could not decide so chose to take it to deadlock; he further explained his statement by saying that Friend had one of his best nights but Foster came back strong that week and that she was going to be one of the biggest stars after the series.

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

Week 9: Semi-Final (7/8 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the ninth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Beyoncé song[135] Order Elton John song[135] Result[89]
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 1 "Best Thing I Never Had" 6 "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" Bottom two
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 2 "Halo" 5 "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Safe
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 3 "If I Were a Boy" 8 "Candle in the Wind" Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 4 "Survivor" 7 "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Bottom two
Sing-off details[89]
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 1 "Somewhere Only We Know" Safe
Rough Copy Groups (Barlow) 2 "End of the Road" Eliminated
Judges' votes to send through to the final[89]
  • Barlow: Rough Copy – gave no reason but essentially backed his own act, Rough Copy.
  • Walsh: Luke Friend – gave no reason but essentially backed his own act, Luke Friend.
  • Scherzinger: Rough Copy – gave no reason.
  • Osbourne: Luke Friend – could not decide so chose to take it to deadlock.

With the acts in the bottom two receiving two votes each, the result went to deadlock and reverted to the earlier public vote. Friend advanced to the final as the act with the most public votes.[89]

Week 10: Final (14/15 December)[edit]

14 December
Contestants' performances on the tenth live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order New song[102] Order Duet[102] Result[107]
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 1 "Candy" 5 "Flying Without Wings" (with Shane Filan) Safe
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 2 "The Edge of Glory" 6 "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" (with Nicole Scherzinger) Safe
Luke Friend Boys (Walsh) 3 "We Are Young" 4 "Anything Could Happen" (with Ellie Goulding) Eliminated

Luke Friend received the fewest public votes and was automatically eliminated.[107]

15 December
Contestants' performances on the final live show
Act Category (Mentor) Order Favourite song[137] Order Winner's song[139] Result[1]
Nicholas McDonald Boys (Walsh) 1 "Angel" 3 "Superman (It's Not Easy)" Runner-up
Sam Bailey Over 25s (Osbourne) 2 "The Power of Love" 4 "Skyscraper" Winner


As the winner, Sam Bailey received a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music, she went on to join Beyoncé Knowles for one night in Birmingham, on the UK leg of her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in 2014.[140] Bailey's winner's single "Skyscraper" was released on 16 December, the day after she won,[139][141] and sold over 100,000 copies to become the Christmas number one on 22 December. This made Bailey the first X Factor winner since Matt Cardle in 2010 to gain the Christmas number one (series 8 winners Little Mix and series 9 winner James Arthur both released their winners' singles two weeks before the Christmas chart, thus avoiding the Christmas number-one battle, although they both charted in the top three of the Christmas chart regardless).[141] On 24 November, it was revealed that the winner's single, like Arthur's, would be a charity release to raise money for Together for Short Lives, and also the Great Ormond Street Hospital.[142] If Nicholas McDonald had won, he would have released "Superman (It's Not Easy)" as his winner's single.[139]



The series launch on 31 August 2013 received average overnight ratings of 8.78 million, a 40% share of the viewing audience at that time, and peaked at 9.08 million. The average rating was 680,000 more viewers than the series 9 launch, but still 2.5 million fewer than the series 8 launch.[143] The first Sunday show the following night attracted average overnight ratings of 9.21 million, a 36.2% audience share.[144] This was officially the highest rated episode of the series.[145] The following Saturday, on 7 September, the ratings dropped to 840,000 fewer than the launch, an overnight rating of 7.94 million.[146] The second Sunday show saw viewers fall by 300,000 viewers compared to the previous Sunday, but it was up by more than 1 million on the fourth auditions episode of series 9.[147][148] The ratings for the third Saturday show were up on the second by 710,000, with an average overnight rating of 8.65 million.[149] The next day, the average overnight ratings reached 9.08 million[150] and peaked at 10.7 million.[151] The final weekend of auditions saw viewers decrease by around 200,000 on the Saturday,[152] though the next day saw the show reach a new peak audience of 9.42 million, according to overnight figures.[153]

Summary of episode ratings
Episode Air date Duration (minutes)1 Share (%) Official ITV rating
Official ITV HD rating
Total viewers
Weekly rank[145]3
Auditions 1 31 August 80 40.0[143] 8.69 1.30 9.99 3
Auditions 2 1 September 60 36.2[144] 9.21 1.20 10.41 1
Auditions 3 7 September 60 36.3[146] 7.94 1.30 9.24 8
Auditions 4 8 September 60 35.5[147] 8.89 1.38 10.27 2
Auditions 5 14 September 60 40.0[149] 8.33 1.44 9.77 7
Auditions 6 15 September 60 34.7[150] 8.86 1.34 10.20 2
Auditions 7 21 September 60 38.2[152] 8.30 1.37 9.67 5
Auditions 8 22 September 60 37.3[153] 9.14 1.47 10.61 2
Bootcamp 1 28 September 90 34.6[155] 7.75 1.21 8.96 11
Bootcamp 2 29 September 90 37.3[156] 9.12 1.38 10.50 4
Judges' houses 1 5 October 110 34.8[157] 8.14 1.46 9.60 8
Judges' houses 2 6 October 110 32.8[158] 7.85 1.28 9.13 12
Live show 1 12 October 135 33.3[159] 7.72 1.30 9.02 11
Live results 1 13 October 60 35.8[160] 8.79 1.28 10.07 5
Live show 2 19 October 125 32.9[161] 7.50 1.10 8.60 14
Live results 2 20 October 60 32.9[162] 8.12 1.25 9.37 10
Live show 3 26 October 120 33.7[163] 7.40 1.32 8.72 16
Live results 3 27 October 60 33.5[164] 8.29 1.40 9.69 8
Live show 4 2 November 110 33.2[165] 7.53 1.15 8.68 14
Live results 4 3 November 60 31.7[166] 7.90 1.10 9.00 11
Live show 5 9 November 95 34.5[167] 8.14 1.19 9.33 11
Live results 5 10 November 60 34.1[168] 8.38 1.36 9.74 9
Live show 6 16 November 90 34.9[169] 7.74 1.39 9.13 12
Live results 6 17 November 60 33.0[170] 8.59 1.29 9.88 6
Live show 7 23 November 90 27.2[171] 7.26 1.24 8.50 21
Live results 7 24 November 60 33.3[172] 8.34 1.21 9.55 16
Live show 8 30 November 90 32.2[173] 7.29 1.20 8.49 19
Live results 8 1 December 60 29.4[174] 6.86 1.31 8.17 24
Live show 9 7 December 90 35.5[175] 7.84 1.23 9.07 15
Live results 9 8 December 60 34.3[176] 8.34 1.23 9.57 11
Live final 14 December 125 34.9[177] 7.79 1.32 9.11 7
Live final results 15 December 120 36.3[178] 8.92 1.28 10.20 3
Series average N/A 34.5 8.16 1.29 9.45 10

1 Includes advert breaks
2 Excludes ITV+1
3 The rank for the ITV broadcast, compared with all channels for that week, from Monday to Sunday.

Controversy and criticism[edit]


The mash-up video trailer promoting the tenth series was published as a "mash up of all the best a decade of X Factor has to offer" on 25 July 2013. The trailer consists of various music videos from 13 past contestants: winners Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, Little Mix and James Arthur, and finalists One Direction, JLS, Olly Murs, Union J, Amelia Lily, Cher Lloyd and Misha B.[179] However, fans questioned the absence of successful contestants Diana Vickers and Rebecca Ferguson, and winners Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson and Matt Cardle were also not included.[180] Cardle's manager Will Talbot said that he believed the show was "attempting to erase Matt from the history books. [...] In truth, it pretty much sums up Syco's attitude to him during the months after he inconveniently (for them) won the show. Unfortunately there is a misconception that Matt has slagged off the show and fallen out with Sony but this is not true."[181] Cardle later described being omitted from the advert as "disappointing", especially for fans who would have liked to have seen him in it.[182] Melanie C, who has collaborated with Cardle, was more critical, saying: "I think it's really f**king rude the way they have left him out."[183]

Format changes[edit]

The change to the format of the auditions was criticised by Alex Fletcher from entertainment news website Digital Spy, who said he could not see the logic in having auditions broadcast on both Saturdays and Sundays, as complaints from series 9 were not about needing extra auditions, but about "dour judges" and "underwhelming finalists".[184] He praised the return of the audition room but felt that "the producers and [Simon] Cowell evidently weren't confident in the format change and have kept the arena auditions as an extra second round," stating that the Bootcamp stage of the competition could have been used to show "how the acts cope under pressure with a live audience," adding that "the Sunday show feels like a bit of a formality"[184] and "generally the singers who stun us on Saturday will impress again on Sunday."[184] He said that "the extra Sunday helping of The X Factor will still rate much higher than anything else that was going to air in that slot for ITV. So for the bean counters and X Factor PR machine it will probably be labelled a hit. In the long-term, however, I fear this 'Supersized X Factor' may lead some viewers to reach for their remotes suffering from reality TV fatigue."[184]

Additionally, Fletcher was critical of the format change to bootcamp, saying "The show can be cruel for those taking part, brutal for those who don't make the grade, and its fickleness is nothing compared to the harsh realities of the music industry. However, the argument that 'the music industry is meaner' fell apart this week. [...] I refuse to believe that anyone in the music industry has even been given a contract, told they're brilliant and then forced to watch 15 other people sing and have that contract ripped up in front of their faces. And even if they have, I bet they didn't have an audience of 4,000 people chanting at them to be on their way. This was reality TV at its most cruel."[185] He wondered if the change was a "desperate attempt to create interest in a series that has performed solidly in the ratings, but without creating any real talking points or memorable moments",[185] and said that "watching Karen Harding, Lydia Lucy and Sheena McHugh get put into the Top 6 and then have the dream of a spot at Judges' Houses snatched away from them felt needlessly mean. Whether the trio deserved to make Judges' Houses or not felt irrelevant. The audience finger-pointing and the chanting of 'Swap! Swap! Swap!' made the whole process terribly ugly."[185] He questioned the show's producers' "need to make it even more vicious", opined that the new twist "definitely undermines the credibility of the show's judges", and said, "The whole twist felt contrived and unpleasant, and I hope it won't be returning in 2014."[185]

Fans and viewers of the show also criticised the bootcamp format, with some viewers said to be fearing for the contestants' wellbeing, with one calling it "blood sport". Singer Lily Allen, who watched the show, said, "When did become alright to f*** with people's minds. X Factor has got fully mean."[186] Contestant Lydia Lucy, who was initially chosen to be in Scherzinger's final six but was replaced by Abi Alton, said, "It still hasn't sunk in. I've been absolutely devastated. [...] If Simon Cowell was in front of me now I'd tell him to change the format back to how it was. This way is like dangling a carrot in front of someone and then taking it away."[187]

The new "flash vote" twist during the live shows was met negatively by Lorna Simpson, who was the first contestant to be eliminated. Simpson said it was unfair that she had far less time to prepare than fellow sing-off contestant Shelley Smith, claiming "They set me up to go out in the first week".[188] It was reported that Cowell was planning to axe the flash vote after The X Factor was heavily beaten by Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings for the second live show.[189] The flash vote was not used in week 4 due to a performance at the start of the show by Nile Rodgers and Chic,[87] and was not used again in week 5. A source from the show said, "at the moment it is not scheduled to return".[117] The flash vote was not used again after week 3.


Before judges' houses, urban act Code 4 had to drop one of their members, Mark Wyman, after it emerged that he had a criminal record, and a spokesman for The X Factor said, "Unfortunately due to problems in getting a visa Mark was unable to travel to Judges' Houses in America, meaning that he ended up having to leave the band to carry on in the competition as a three piece."[76] Code 4 did not make it to the live shows. Three-piece band Rough Copy also had to lose member Kazeem "Kaz" Ajobe before the six-chair challenge due to visa problems. The same had happened to the group in series 9, but this year the other two members, Sterling Ramsay and Joey James, continued without Ajobe and advanced to judges' houses as a duo.[76] Fans questioned the events, and the extent to which ITV wanted to resolve them, saying they had a year to get a visa,[190] and Barlow could have stayed in the United Kingdom, the latter sentiment to which Barlow admitted to Ajobe he should've done during the judges' houses episodes.[191] Barlow put Rough Copy through to the live shows and Ajobe was allowed to rejoin the band.[192][193] Furthermore, just after Ajobe was reinstated, controversy was caused when his criminal past was publicised. Ajobe responded by stating: "I've done things I am not proud of. I haven't been an angel but I am a changed man now."[194]

There was criticism over SeSe Foster of Miss Dynamix being allowed to compete in the show, because she was five months pregnant when the live shows began. Some viewers also thought it was unfair that Miss Dynamix got an automatic bye to the next week when Foster collapsed before the second live show. Foster dismissed this, saying that she "deserve[s] a shot at a better life" and insisted her collapse was not related to her pregnancy.[195] The following week, Miss Dynamix were eliminated after losing the flash-vote and the sing-off to Hannah Barrett. Following this, Barlow stated that he felt that all public hopes of the group continuing in the competition had ended with their absence in week 2, despite him previously hoping that Foster's collapse would've gained more sympathy for them from the public.[196]

Judges' comments[edit]

Some viewers were shocked by a comment made by Osbourne following 16-year-old Nicholas McDonald's performance of "She's the One" during the second live show. As McDonald got to the end of the song, a female backing dancer walked towards him and he kissed her cheek after the song finished. Despite the minimum age of sexual consent in the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies standing at 16, Osbourne then said to McDonald, who was 16 and therefore legal, "Who on earth was that piece of whatever next to you? That paedophile. You're only 16. You can't be doing that. That's a disgrace ITV."[197] She was later spoken to by producers, but Walsh defended her, saying "She meant nothing wrong by it. We all say things we shouldn't and X Factor is not scripted."[198] The dancer declined to comment, but a source close to her said that she was embarrassed by Osbourne's comment.[197]

Guest performances[edit]

Ofcom received around 200 complaints about Lady Gaga's performance, including her costume and lyrics, during the third results show on 27 October 2013. ITV received 60 complaints directly.[199] Lady Gaga wore nude-coloured underwear and her lyrics included "do what you want with my body".[200] A spokeswoman for ITV said, "We do not believe Lady Gaga's performance was inappropriate for the family audience of The X Factor results show, which has an established tradition of featuring performances from the biggest music stars. Lady Gaga is well known for her highly individual performance style."[199] Ofcom said, "We will assess all the complaints received on this issue before deciding whether to investigate."[199]

Robin Thicke's performance, which featured a large number of scantily-clad female dancers, also received a total of 317 complaints.[201] On 16 December, both Gaga and Thicke were cleared of any wrongdoing, with an Ofcom spokesman stating, "We assessed the complaints and concluded there were no grounds to investigate."[201]


There were technical problems during Sam Bailey's duet performance with Scherzinger,[202] when Jedward's voices could be heard as they completed a microphone test.[203] The duet was panned by viewers who accused Scherzinger of being "selfish" by singing the "best" lines and notes of the song.[204]


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External links[edit]