The X Factor (UK series 3)

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The X Factor
Series 3
Broadcast from 19 August 2006 – 16 December 2006
Judges Simon Cowell
Sharon Osbourne
Louis Walsh
Paula Abdul (London auditions)
Presenter(s) Kate Thornton (ITV1)
Co-presenter(s) Ben Shephard (ITV2)
Broadcaster ITV
ITV2 (The Xtra Factor)
Winner:
Leona Lewis
Leonalewis.jpg
Lewis performing in 2009
Origin Islington, London, England
Song "A Moment Like This"
Genre(s) Pop, R&B
Runner-up
Ray Quinn
Chronology
2006

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The third series was broadcast on ITV from 19 August 2006 until 16 December 2006. Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh all returned for their third series on the judging panel. Kate Thornton returned to present the main show on ITV, while Ben Shephard returned to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2. After the semi-final on 9 December, Cowell became the winning judge even though the series had not yet finished, as two of his acts, Ray Quinn and Leona Lewis, became the two finalists. Lewis won the series on 16 December, with Quinn finishing as runner-up.

Instead of the earlier red and purple colour scheme, this year's theme was red and blue. A new-look website for the third series was launched on 11 August 2006. The final on 16 December brought in the show's then-highest ever audience, with 12.6 million people tuning in (a 56% audience share), and 8 million votes were cast, with Lewis receiving 60%.[1] Lewis released a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" as her winner's single, and it went on the become the Christmas number one on 24 December[2] despite only going on sale four days before on 20 December.[3] It was reported that 1 million copies of the winner's single were pre-ordered by stores and that it was downloaded 50,000 times within 30 minutes of being available online.[4] It ended as the United Kingdom's second best selling single of the year.[5] In January 2007, the single was awarded platinum status by the British Phonographic Industry.[6] According to the Official Charts Company, the song has sold 895,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of December 2012.[7]

This was the last series with only three judges (excluding times when a judge was absent).

Judges and personnel[edit]

Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh all returned for their third series on the judging panel. Kate Thornton returned to present the main show on ITV, while Ben Shephard returned to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.

This was both Thornton and Shephard's last series of The X Factor, as Thornton announced her departure on 8 March 2007 and was replaced for the fourth series by Dermot O'Leary. Shephard also quit the show after being passed over for promotion to main presenter. He was replaced by Fearne Cotton.

Selection process[edit]

Auditions[edit]

Cities that auditions were held in.

Auditions began on 7 June 2006. Simon Cowell said on ITV's This Morning "The next international boyband or girlband is what I want to see in this year's show". 100,000 people applied to audition, the most so far. Nearly 20,000 attended an open audition at Old Trafford, Manchester on 18 June 2006.

All three judges, Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, returned. Hints by Cowell and the surrounding media that a fourth full-time judge mentoring a fourth category of contestants might be added proved to be false. However, American Idol judge Paula Abdul did make an appearance as a guest judge at the London auditions, and further celebrity guests appeared during the live shows. Auditions were held in cities around the UK and Republic of Ireland – London, Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin, Leeds and Glasgow. Cowell had also stated that there could be a 14–24s category but during the audition process the category was named as 16–24s, as in the previous two series. Cowell was given the 16–24s, Osbourne had the Over 25s, and Walsh mentored the Groups. (Both rumoured changes – the lowering of the age limit and the addition of a fourth category – were actually implemented in series 4.)

Bootcamp[edit]

It was originally intended that 21 acts (seven for each judge) should remain by the conclusion of the bootcamp stage. However, Cowell decided that he had made a mistake with his seven by failing to include Ray Quinn, and asked the producers to allow one more contestant or act to go through. The other two judges were then allowed to increase their quota to eight as well, giving a total of 24 acts.

Judges' houses[edit]

In the "judges' houses" round this was cut down to 12 to go through to the live finals. Avenue were chosen to go through but were later disqualified, having misled the judges over an existing record contract with a manager who was no longer associated with the show. As a consequence of this disqualification, Eton Road were put through in their place.[8]

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Assistant Contestants eliminated
Cowell 16–24s Miami Sinitta Shaun Rogerson, Stacey Barnes, Gemma Sampson and Carlo Muscutelli
Osbourne Over 25s London Ozzy Osbourne & Family Katie Angus, Jonathan Bremner, Lyn Fairbanks and Tigwa Savage
Walsh Groups Dublin Shane Filan The Dolly Rockers, Pure Liberty, Brother's One and Avenue

Finalists[edit]

The following artists made it to the live shows.

Key:

     – Winner
     – Runner-up
     – Third place
Category (mentor) Acts
16–24s (Cowell) Nikitta Angus Leona Lewis Ashley McKenzie Ray Quinn
Over 25s (Osbourne) Robert Allen Kerry McGregor Ben Mills Dionne Mitchell
Groups (Walsh) 4Sure Eton Road The MacDonald Brothers The Unconventionals

Live shows[edit]

Results summary[edit]

Colour key
     – Contestant was in the bottom two/three and had to sing again in the final showdown
     – Contestant was in the bottom three but received the fewest votes and was immediately eliminated
     – Contestant received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)
     – Contestant received the most public votes
     – Contestant received the second most public votes
Weekly results per contestant
Contestant Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10
Leona Lewis 3rd
12.1%
4th
10.9%
1st
51.1%
4th
12.3%
2nd
24.9%
1st
28.7%
2nd
25.53%
1st
28.0%
2nd
33.6%
Winner
60.0%
Ray Quinn 8th
4.5%
9th
3.1%
7th
4.8%
6th
8.0%
7th
3.7%
3rd
17.1%
3rd
19.3%
2nd
26.5%
1st
38.0%
Runner-up
40.0%
Ben Mills 5th
7.2%
1st
22.7%
3rd
6.0%
3rd
13.8%
5th
9.3%
4th
13.9%
5th
14.2%
3rd
24.9%
3rd
29.2%
Eliminated
(week 9)
The MacDonald Brothers 1st
20.2%
3rd
11.1%
5th
4.8%
5th
10.4%
1st
25.9%
2nd
22.9%
1st
25.5%
4th
23.4%
Eliminated
(week 8)
Eton Road 7th
4.7%
6th
6.2%
2nd
9.0%
1st
24.3%
4th
13.3%
5th
10.8%
4th
15.3%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Robert Allen 10th
4.4%
10th
2.8%
6th
4.8%
7th
7.9%
3rd
14.2%
6th
6.4%
Eliminated
(week 6)
Nikitta Angus 6th
4.8%
7th
6.1%
4th
5.0%
2nd
19.3%
6th
8.3%
Eliminated
(week 5)
Ashley McKenzie 4th
11.3%
8th
6.0%
9th
4.7%
8th
6.9%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Kerry McGregor 2nd
17.5%
5th
10.9%
8th
4.7%
Eliminated
(week 3)
Dionne Mitchell 11th
4.4%
2nd
17.3%
10th
4.7%
Eliminated
(week 3)
4Sure 9th
4.5%
11th
2.3%
Eliminated
(week 2)
The Unconventionals 12th
3.9%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Final showdown Mitchell,
The Unconventionals
4Sure,
Allen
McGregor,
McKenzie
Allen,
McKenzie
Angus,
Quinn
Allen,
Eton Road
Eton Road,
Mills
No final showdown or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote to eliminate Mitchell Allen McGregor McKenzie Quinn Allen Mills
Osbourne's vote to eliminate The Unconventionals 4Sure McKenzie McKenzie Angus Eton Road Eton Road
Cowell's vote to eliminate The Unconventionals 4Sure McGregor Allen Angus Allen Eton Road
Eliminated The Unconventionals
2 of 3 votes
Majority
4Sure
2 of 3 votes
Majority
Dionne Mitchell
Public vote
to save
Ashley McKenzie
2 of 3 votes
Majority
Nikitta Angus
2 of 3 votes
Majority
Robert Allen
2 of 3 votes
Majority
Eton Road
2 of 3 votes
Majority
The MacDonald Brothers
Public vote
to save
Ben Mills
Public vote
to save
Ray Quinn
Public vote
to win
Kerry McGregor
2 of 3 votes
Majority

Live show details[edit]

Week 1 (14 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Order Song Result
Robert Allen 1 "All Night Long (All Night)" Safe
Eton Road 2 "My Girl" Safe
Nikitta Angus 3 "Heaven Must Have Sent You" Safe
Ben Mills 4 "The Tracks of My Tears" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 5 "Three Times a Lady" Safe
Ray Quinn 6 "Ben" Safe
Dionne Mitchell 7 "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" Bottom two
The Unconventionals 8 "Dancing in the Street" Eliminated
Ashley McKenzie 9 "Easy" Safe
Kerry McGregor 10 "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" Safe
4Sure 11 "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" Safe
Leona Lewis 12 "I'll Be There" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Walsh: Dionne Mitchell – backed his own act, The Unconventionals
  • Osbourne: The Unconventionals – backed her own act, Dionne Mitchell
  • Cowell: The Unconventionals – stated that Mitchell had better vocals than The Unconventionals

Week 2 (21 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Order Song Result
Leona Lewis 1 "The First Cut Is the Deepest" Safe
Kerry McGregor 2 "I Don't Want to Talk About It" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 3 "Sailing" Safe
Ashley McKenzie 4 "I'd Rather Go Blind" Safe
Dionne Mitchell 5 "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)" Safe
4Sure 6 "You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" Eliminated
Nikitta Angus 7 "Bring It On Home to Me" Safe
Robert Allen 8 "Try a Little Tenderness" Bottom two
Eton Road 9 "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" Safe
Ray Quinn 10 "What a Wonderful World" Safe
Ben Mills 11 "Maggie May" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Walsh: Robert Allen – backed his own act, 4Sure
  • Osbourne: 4Sure – backed her own act, Robert Allen
  • Cowell: 4Sure – stated that Allen had taken the panel's advice and improved his vocals

Week 3 (28 October)[edit]

Cowell appeared on GMTV on the morning of Wednesday 25 October and said that "something big is going to happen this week that none of the contestants know about – a change that will shake some of them up."[9] It was revealed on the show that this surprise was to be a double elimination.

Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Order Song Result
Ray Quinn 1 "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" Safe
Dionne Mitchell 2 "For Once in My Life" Eliminated
Nikitta Angus 3 "Sway" Safe
Ben Mills 4 "Smile" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 5 "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" Safe
Leona Lewis 6 "Summertime" Safe
Kerry McGregor 7 "They Can't Take That Away from Me" Eliminated
Ashley McKenzie 8 "Moondance" Bottom three
Robert Allen 9 "Mr. Bojangles" Safe
Eton Road 10 "Mack the Knife" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Osbourne: Ashley McKenzie – backed her own act, Kerry McGregor
  • Cowell: Kerry McGregor – backed his own act, Ashley McKenzie
  • Walsh: Kerry McGregor – stated that McGregor had reached the limit of her abilities, whereas McKenzie still had potential to improve

Week 4 (4 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Order Song Result
Nikitta Angus 1 "Dancing Queen" Safe
Eton Road 2 "Does Your Mother Know" Safe
Robert Allen 3 "Take a Chance on Me" Bottom two
Leona Lewis 4 "Chiquitita" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 5 "Fernando" Safe
Ray Quinn 6 "Waterloo" Safe
Ben Mills 7 "SOS" Safe
Ashley McKenzie 8 "The Winner Takes It All" Eliminated
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Osbourne: Ashley McKenzie – backed her own act, Robert Allen
  • Cowell: Robert Allen – backed his own act, Ashley McKenzie
  • Walsh: Ashley McKenzie – stated that Allen delivered a more polished performance on the night

Week 5 (11 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
Act Order Song Result
Ben Mills 1 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 2 "She's the One" Safe
Ray Quinn 3 "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" Bottom two
Nikitta Angus 4 "Last Dance" Eliminated
Eton Road 5 "From Me to You" Safe
Leona Lewis 6 "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Safe
Robert Allen 7 "Always and Forever" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Osbourne: Nikitta Angus – gave no reason
  • Walsh: Ray Quinn – stated that Quinn didn't have a strong enough voice to be a recording artist
  • Cowell: Nikitta Angus – gave no reason but stated that neither act deserved to be in the bottom two

Week 6 (18 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Order Song Result
Ray Quinn 1 "Livin' la Vida Loca" Safe
Robert Allen 2 "You Are Not Alone" Eliminated
Eton Road 3 "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" Bottom two
Leona Lewis 4 "Bridge over Troubled Water" Safe
Ben Mills 5 "With a Little Help from My Friends" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 6 "Love Is All Around" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Osbourne: Eton Road – backed her own act, Robert Allen
  • Walsh: Robert Allen – backed his own act, Eton Road
  • Cowell: Robert Allen – stated that Eton Road could progress further in the competition than Allen

Week 7 (25 November)[edit]

  • Theme: Songs from the movies
  • Musical guest: Il Divo ("Desde El Dia Que Te Fuiste (Without You)")
Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
Leona Lewis 1 "Lady Marmalade" 6 "I Will Always Love You" Safe
The MacDonald Brothers 2 "When You Say Nothing at All" 7 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" Safe
Ben Mills 3 "Live and Let Die" 8 "Your Song" Bottom two
Eton Road 4 "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" 9 "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" Eliminated
Ray Quinn 5 "The Way You Look Tonight" 10 "Jailhouse Rock" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Walsh: Ben Mills – backed his own act, Eton Road
  • Osbourne: Eton Road – backed her own act, Ben Mills
  • Cowell: Eton Road – stated that Mills was more talented than Eton Road

Week 8 (2 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
The MacDonald Brothers 1 "Can't Smile Without You" 5 "Shang-a-lang" Eliminated
Ray Quinn 2 "Mandy" 6 "My Way" Safe
Ben Mills 3 "I Made It Through the Rain" 7 "Somebody to Love" Safe
Leona Lewis 4 "Could It Be Magic" 8 "Without You" Safe

This week did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, The MacDonald Brothers, were automatically eliminated.

Week 9: Semi-final (9 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the ninth live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
Ray Quinn 1 "Smile" 4 "You'll Never Walk Alone" Safe
Leona Lewis 2 "I Have Nothing" 5 "Over the Rainbow" Safe
Ben Mills 3 "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" 6 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" Eliminated

The semi-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Ben Mills, was automatically eliminated.

Week 10: Final (16 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the final live show
Act Order First song Order Second song (duet) Order Third song Order Fourth song Result
Ray Quinn 1 "My Way" 3 "That's Life" (with Westlife) 5 "Fly Me to the Moon" 7 "A Moment Like This" Runner-up
Leona Lewis 2 "I Will Always Love You" 4 "A Million Love Songs" (with Take That) 6 "All by Myself" 8 "A Moment Like This" Winner

Winner's single[edit]

Winner Leona Lewis's debut single was "A Moment Like This", and was released on 20 December 2006.[11] Contestant Ben Mills reportedly claimed that the contest had been fixed for Lewis to win, as the winner's song was more suited to a female vocal.[12] This rumour subsequently proved to be unfounded[13] and show bosses said that they had made arrangements for the song to fit any singer's voice.[14]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Episode Air date Official ITV1 rating[15] Weekly rank[15]
Auditions 1 19 August 7.45 7
Auditions 2 26 August 7.36 10
Auditions 3 2 September 9.08 5
Auditions 4 9 September 7.96 7
Auditions 5 16 September 7.53 8
Auditions 6 23 September 9.17 6
Bootcamp 1 30 September 6.39 16
Bootcamp 2 8.76 7
Judges' houses 1 7 October 6.77 14
Judges' houses 2 8.95 6
Live show 1 14 October 7.52 12
Results 1 7.38 13
Live show 2 21 October 7.54 14
Results 2 7.70 13
Live show 3 28 October 7.10 14
Results 3 7.52 12
Live show 4 4 November 7.30 14
Results 4 7.91 13
Live show 5 11 November 9.83 6
Results 5 8.24 12
Live show 6 18 November 9.22 7
Results 6 8.80 9
Live show 7 25 November 8.46 11
Results 7 8.69 9
Live show 8 2 December 9.31 8
Results 8 8.24 13
Live show 9 9 December 8.39 7
Results 9 8.25 10
Live final 16 December 10.52 4
Live final results 10.78 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ "X Factor winner dreaming of Christmas number one". Evening Standard (Daily Mail and General Trust). 17 December 2006. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Chris (24 December 2006). "X Factor's Leona Lewis Christmas Number One". EntertainmentWise. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "X Factor's Leona has festive No 1". BBC News. 25 December 2006. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Blackburn, Jen (17 December 2006). "Leona breaks world record". The Sun (News UK). Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Top 40 Singles of 2006". BBC Radio 1. Archived from the original on 28 December 2008. 
  6. ^ ""British single certifications – Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This"". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  7. ^ Lane, Dan (20 December 2012). "The Top 10 biggest selling X Factor debut singles and albums revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  8. ^ McGarry, Lisa (9 October 2006). "X Factor Rule Breaking….Again!". UnrealityTV. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Prepare for X Factor with a Surprise Twist This Weekend". The X Factor Blog. Retrieved 28 October 2006. 
  10. ^ "This week's theme is"
  11. ^ "HMV.co.uk singles: A Moment Like This (2006)"
  12. ^ Newton, Victoria (24 November 2006). "Ben: X Factor rigged for Leona". The Sun (London). Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  13. ^ "The Ben interview". The X Factor. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  14. ^ "X-Factor winner to record Kelly Clarkson ballad". 24dash.com. 22 November 2006. Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  15. ^ a b "Weekly Viewing Summary (see relevant week)". BARB.