The X Factor (UK series 11)

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The X Factor
Series 11
Broadcast from 30 August 2014 – 14 December 2014
Judges
Presenter(s) Dermot O'Leary (ITV)
Co-presenter(s) Sarah-Jane Crawford (ITV2)
Broadcaster
Finals venue The SSE Arena, Wembley
Winner:
Ben Haenow
Origin Croydon
Song "Something I Need"
Genre(s) Pop rock
Mentor Simon Cowell
Runner-up
Fleur East
Chronology
2014

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The eleventh series began airing on ITV on 30 August 2014.[1] Dermot O'Leary presents his eighth and final series of the main show on ITV and Sarah-Jane Crawford presents spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, replacing Caroline Flack and Matt Richardson. Louis Walsh was the only judge from series 10 to return and was joined by former judges Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, and new judge Mel B. Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger left after series 10. Former judge Tulisa Contostavlos returned as a guest judge for the final on 13 December due to Mel B being ill.[2] The series also saw the lower age limit decreased from 16 to 14, as it was in series 4 and 5. This was Walsh's final series as a judge as he announced on 14 May 2015 and O'Leary's final series as presenter, as he announced on 27 March 2015 that he was leaving to pursue other projects.

Room auditions took place in Manchester, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh from 16 June to 1 July, followed by arena auditions in London, that were held between 1–4 August. Bootcamp was held in London in August and judges' houses around the globe in September. The live shows began on 11 October. Mel B mentored the Boys, Fernandez-Versini mentored the Girls, Cowell mentored the Over 25s and Walsh mentored the Groups. Ben Haenow won the series against Fleur East on 14 December 2014 with 57.2% of the votes.

Judges, presenters and other personnel[edit]

On 22 May 2013, it was announced that Sharon Osbourne, who was on The X Factor judging panel from its inception in 2004 before departing in 2008 prior to its fifth series, would return to the show for the tenth series as Tulisa's replacement.[3] Later, however, Osbourne stated that she was only back for one series, to "go out on a high".[4] Also, during the first live show of series 10, Gary Barlow revealed that it would be his last series on the show.[5] Louis Walsh, who has also been on the show from its first series, announced his intention to quit as well, stating that he wanted his "life back",[6] although he later backtracked and said that he "might come back" if Simon Cowell returned.[7] Midway throughout the live shows, Walsh said "I'm having so much fun this year, I might stay".[8]

On 7 February 2014, Cowell, who left the UK show after series 7 to launch and judge the U.S. version, announced his return.[9][10] He said, "I'm absolutely thrilled to be returning to The X Factor UK. It's been three years since I last judged the competition and I'm excited to find a global superstar again."[9][10] On 13 February, it was reported that Nicole Scherzinger had quit the show,[11] but her spokesman reported later that day that she was "still in discussions with bosses".[12] On 14 February, Cowell announced that Scherzinger would not be returning by tweeting, "Nicole will always be a part of the X factor family. Now signed to Sony as an artist. Thank you Nicole for everything."[13] On 10 March, former judge Cheryl announced on her Instagram that she will be returning for the eleventh series, posting an image of herself and Cowell, accompanied by the caption: "GUESS WHAT!!.. I'm baaaacccckkkkk!!!!"[14] On 30 May, Walsh confirmed he would be returning as a judge for his eleventh series.[15] On 11 June, it was confirmed that series 9 guest judge Mel B, who has also previously judged the Australian version, would join the panel as the fourth permanent judge.[16] Following Cole's wedding to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini on July 7, it was announced by producers that she would be known throughout the series as her new married name, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. On 13 December 2014, it was announced that Contostavlos would return as a guest judge for the final due to Mel B being ill.[17]

Dermot O'Leary confirmed his return for his eighth series as presenter of the main show on ITV.[18] On 3 February 2014, it was reported that Matt Richardson would not return as co-presenter on The Xtra Factor on ITV2.[19] This was later denied,[20] but it was confirmed on 4 June that Richardson would not return.[21] On 11 June, Caroline Flack confirmed on Twitter that she will not be returning as presenter of The Xtra Factor.[22] The next day, it was confirmed that Sarah-Jane Crawford will be the new presenter.[23] Following her departure, Flack began competing as a contestant in the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One. Brian Friedman, who served as creative director from series 4-7 before returning to work on the first three live shows of series 9, returned to replace Jerry Reeve and Mark "Swany" Swanhart.[24]

Series 11 was O'Leary's final series hosting The X Factor, announced in March 2015 his decision to exit the series. He was later replaced by Caroline Flack and Olly Murs, the latter of whom was a contestant during the competition's sixth series.[25]

Promotion[edit]

On 12 March 2014, Cowell and Cole, the only confirmed judges at the time, appeared in a Daybreak interview together to promote the eleventh series for the first time. They discussed the upcoming series, their individual returns, Cole's departure from The X Factor USA and their subsequent feud; with Cowell admitting, "I made a mistake" (in relation to Cole's sudden departure). Two advertisements subsequently began to air on ITV featuring Fernandez-Versini and Cowell separately, to encourage potential contestants to audition.[26] Previous contestants Olly Murs, Shayne Ward, One Direction, Jahméne Douglas and Little Mix also appeared in videos encouraging potential applicants to audition.[27]

On 12 June, during ITV's coverage of the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a teaser trailer with the caption "Things Are About to Get Loud" first aired. The full trailer, featuring all four of the judges, was unveiled on ITV's YouTube channel on 1 August, and received its first TV airing the following evening.[28]

Selection process[edit]

Eligibility[edit]

On 11 March 2014, Cowell confirmed at a press conference in London that closed room auditions would return for series 11, as well as the six-seat challenge at bootcamp.[18] It was also revealed that the minimum age was being lowered from 16 to 14, as it was in series 4 and 5.[29]

Auditions[edit]

Mobile auditions[edit]

In addition to the producers' auditions, the "Mobile Audition Tour" took place up and down the UK and Ireland throughout March and April. Auditions began to open on 24 March, and visited Cork, Belfast, Newquay, Exeter, Bournemouth, Southampton, Bristol, Newport, Barry, Swansea, Romford, Leicester, Brighton, Norwich, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, South Shields, Durham, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Ayr, Solihull, Dudley, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Warrington, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bolton and Widnes by 28 April.[26]

Open auditions[edit]

Cities where auditions were held.

Producers auditions commenced on 5 April in Dublin and ended on 5 May in Liverpool.[26] For the first time, nine open auditions were held, instead of the usual six, and the five in series 6 and 10. This series marked the first time that auditions had visited Ireland since series 7. It was also the first time open auditions were held in Plymouth and Edinburgh.

Audition city Open audition date[26] Open audition venue[26]
Dublin 5 April 2014 Convention Centre Dublin
Plymouth 8 April 2014 Holiday Inn Plymouth
Cardiff 10 April 2014 Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa
London 13 April 2014 Emirates Stadium
Birmingham 23 April 2014 St. Andrew's
Edinburgh 27 April 2014 Murrayfield Stadium
Gateshead 30 April 2014 Sage Gateshead
Manchester 3 May 2014 Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Liverpool 5 May 2014 Liverpool Convention Centre

Judges auditions[edit]

In this series there were just four locations for the judges auditions, the fewest in the history of the show.[30] The auditions started in Manchester (Emirates Old Trafford) on 16 and 17 June.[31] The London auditions (Emirates Stadium) took place on 20 June and from 22–24 June,[32] and were followed by Newcastle (St. James' Park) on 26 June,[33] before concluding in Edinburgh (Assembly Rooms) on 1 July.[34]

The first room audition episode aired on 30 August, and featured Manchester, London and Edinburgh. More room auditions from London, Edinburgh and Manchester, along with those from Newcastle, were shown in the 31 August episode.

Notable returning auditionees included Fleur East who reached the live shows in series 2 in the girl group Addictiv Ladies; Chloe Jasmine, who was rejected by the judges at her audition in series 3; Amy Connelly, who reached judges' houses in series 5; Jake Quickenden, who reached judges' houses in series 9; Lydia Lucy, who reached bootcamp in series 10; Tom Mann, who reached bootcamp in series 10; Barclay Beales, who reached bootcamp in series 10; and Paul Akister, who reached judges houses in series 10.[35] Mann and Beales were both eventually put into the eight-piece boy band Stereo Kicks.

City Room auditions Arena auditions
Date(s) Venue Date(s) Venue
Manchester 16–17 June 2014 Old Trafford Cricket Ground N/A
London 20 June 2014 Emirates Stadium 1–4 August 2014[36] The SSE Arena, Wembley
22–24 June 2014
Newcastle 26 June 2014 St James' Park N/A
Edinburgh 1 July 2014 Assembly Rooms

Bootcamp[edit]

It was reported in March 2014 that Cowell was considering axing the bootcamp stage in favour of the "six-seat challenge" from series 10, whereby judges were assigned their categories at the start of bootcamp and contestants took it in turns to perform for their judge.[37] The six-seat challenge involves successful contestants being offered one of "six seats", representing places at the judges' houses stage of the competition. However, if a judge had already chosen six acts for their category, they could replace them if they preferred a later act.[38] This was a controversial input to the series as many were disappointed to see acts sent home in such a harsh way.

Despite the reports, both bootcamp and the six-seat challenge took place. Walsh was given the Groups category, Mel B was given the Boys, Fernandez-Versini was given the Girls and Cowell was given the Over 25s.[39] The six-seat challenge took place at The SSE Arena, Wembley[40] on 9 and 10 August. A total of 114 acts successfully reached the bootcamp this year. They were put into groups and took part in a sing-off, where the judges cut half of the acts, leaving only 57 acts to compete for the "six-seat challenge".[41] Any contestant under 16 could not be swapped out if they were given a seat.[42]

Judges' houses[edit]

For judges' houses, Walsh took the Groups to Bermuda and was assisted by former judge Tulisa Contostavlos; Mel B took the Boys to Cancún, with assistance from fellow Spice Girls member Emma Bunton; Fernandez-Versini took the Girls to Nice and was assisted by Tinie Tempah;[43] and Cowell took the Over 25s to Los Angeles, where he was assisted by Sinitta.[44]

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated Wildcard[45]
Cowell Over 25s Los Angeles Sinitta Helen Fulthorpe, Lizzy Pattinson Stevi Ritchie
Fernandez-Versini Girls Nice Tinie Tempah Kerrianne Covell, Emily Middlemas Lola Saunders
Mel B Boys Cancún Emma Bunton Danny Dearden, Jordan Morris Jack Walton
Walsh Groups Bermuda Tulisa Contostavlos Concept, New Girl Group, The Brooks Overload Generation*

Overload Generation were originally eliminated during Boot Camp after being switched out in the six chair challenge. Despite this, Mel B chose them as Walsh's Wildcard act over the three groups that had been eliminated during the Judges Houses round.

Finalists[edit]

Key:

     – Winner
     – Runner-up
     – Third place
Category (mentor) Acts
Boys (Mel B) Paul Akister Andrea Faustini Jake Quickenden Jack Walton
Girls (Fernandez-Versini) Chloe Jasmine Stephanie Nala Lauren Platt Lola Saunders
Over 25s (Cowell) Fleur East Ben Haenow Jay James Stevi Ritchie
Groups (Walsh) Blonde Electra Only The Young Overload Generation Stereo Kicks

Live shows[edit]

It was announced on 24 September 2014 that there would be a wildcard twist on the live show. However, in a change to previous years, the judges selected the wildcard acts for each other's categories.[46] Fernandez-Versini chose Stevi Ritchie for the Over 25s; Mel B chose Overload Generation for the Groups; Cowell chose Jack Walton for the Boys; and Walsh chose Lola Saunders for the Girls. This meant that there would be 16 finalists, and there would be double elimations like in series 7 and 8.[47]

For the first time in the show's history, all votes via the official app will be free of charge. Mark Brittain, Global Head of Commercial at Syco Entertainment, announced, "We are constantly looking to innovate around the show. Giving the viewers the ability to vote free through the app will allow viewers, we believe, an even greater opportunity to interact with their favourite show and, of course, play the hugely important role in deciding the ultimate winner of the series."[48]

The live shows began on 11 October 2014. Pharrell Williams and Taylor Swift performed on the first live results show,[49] whilst Jessie J and Maroon 5 performed on the second live results show.[50] The third live results show featured performances from OneRepublic and Ed Sheeran.[51] The Script performed on the fourth live show,[52] whilst John Legend and Fernandez-Versini performed on the following results show.[53] The fifth live results show featured performances from Sam Smith and One Direction,[54] and the sixth live results show featured performances from former judge Nicole Scherzinger and Olly Murs.[55] In addition, this results show had the world premiere of the official music video for Band Aid 30.[56] The seventh live show featured a performance from David Guetta featuring Emeli Sandé, while Labrinth and Take That performed on the following results show.[57] Queen + Adam Lambert, Union J and Ella Henderson performed on the eighth live results show on 30 November.[58] Fifth Harmony,Sam Bailey, and Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé performed on the semi-final live results show on 7 December 2014.[59] Take That, Meghan Trainor and Ed Sheeran performed on the live final on Saturday 13 December 2014, while Olly Murs, One Direction featuring Ronnie Wood and Sam Smith performed on the live final results show on Sunday 14 December 2014.[60]

Results summary[edit]

Colour key
     – Contestant was in the bottom two/three and had to perform again in the sing-off
     – 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 sing-off)
     – Contestant received the most public votes
Weekly results per contestant[61]
Contestant Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10
Saturday Sunday
Ben Haenow 4th
8.7%
4th
9.1%
3rd
10.1%
1st
12.2%
1st
14.8%
1st
16.4%
1st
19.4%
1st
26.4%
1st
36.5%
1st
45.1%
Winner
57.2%
Fleur East 5th
6.0%
7th
6.0%
5th
9.3%
7th
9.4%
5th
10.8%
2nd
14.0%
2nd
16.1%
3rd
17.9%
2nd
24.3%
2nd
32.7%
Runner-up
34.3%
Andrea Faustini 1st
19.2%
1st
14.5%
1st
14.4%
2nd
11.9%
2nd
14.0%
4th
12.7%
6th
13.2%
2nd
21.0%
4th
19.1%
3rd
22.2%
Eliminated
(week 10)
Lauren Platt 2nd
10.4%
2nd
12.7%
2nd
11.8%
4th
11.1%
3rd
13.1%
3rd
13.2%
3rd
16.0%
4th
17.9%
3rd
20.1%
Eliminated
(week 9)
Stereo Kicks 11th
4.6%
12th
4.4%
6th
8.9%
9th
8.2%
4th
12.4%
5th
12.2%
4th
15.3%
5th
16.8%
Eliminated
(week 8)
Stevi Ritchie 10th
4.9%
8th
5.9%
7th
7.4%
3rd
11.5%
6th
10.3%
7th
10.8%
5th
14.7%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Only The Young 13th
4.0%
9th
5.6%
11th
5.2%
5th
9.8%
7th
8.5%
6th
12.2%
7th
5.3%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Jay James 7th
5.5%
5th
7.6%
8th
7.1%
8th
8.3%
8th
8.1%
8th
8.5%
Eliminated
(week 6)
Paul Akister 3rd
10.0%
3rd
9.9%
4th
9.4%
6th
9.5%
9th
8.0%
Eliminated
(week 5)
Lola Saunders 6th
5.7%
6th
7.6%
9th
6.9%
10th
6.3%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Jack Walton 9th
5.0%
10th
5.3%
10th
5.3%
11th
2.6%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Jake Quickenden 8th
5.1%
11th
4.8%
12th
4.2%
Eliminated
(week 3)
Chloe Jasmine 12th
4.3%
13th
4.0%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Stephanie Nala 14th
2.9%
14th
2.6%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Overload Generation 15th
2.7%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Blonde Electra 16th
1.0%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Sing-off Nala,
Overload Generation
Jasmine,
Stereo Kicks
Quickenden,
Only The Young
Stereo Kicks,
Saunders
Akister,
James
James, Ritchie Faustini, Ritchie Platt,
Stereo Kicks
Faustini,
Platt
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
Nala Jasmine Quickenden Saunders Akister Ritchie Ritchie Platt Platt
Brown's vote
to eliminate
Nala Jasmine Only The Young Saunders James James Ritchie Platt Platt
Fernandez-Versini's vote
to eliminate
Overload Generation Stereo Kicks Quickenden Stereo Kicks James James Ritchie Stereo Kicks Faustini
Cowell's vote
to eliminate
Overload Generation Jasmine Quickenden Stereo Kicks Akister Ritchie Faustini Stereo Kicks Platt
Eliminated Blonde Electra
1.0%
to save
Stephanie Nala
2.6%
to save
Jake Quickenden
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Jack Walton
2.6%
to save
Paul Akister
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Jay James
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Only The Young
5.3%
to save
Stereo Kicks
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Lauren Platt
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Andrea Faustini
22.2%
to win
Fleur East
34.3%
to win
Overload Generation
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Chloe Jasmine
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Lola Saunders
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Stevi Ritchie
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Reference(s) [62] [63] [64] [65][66] [67] [68] [69][70] [71] [72] [73]

Live show details[edit]

Week 1 (11/12 October)[edit]

The wildcard acts were announced at the beginning of the show with Jack Walton chosen by Cowell for the Boys, Lola Saunders was chosen by Walsh for the Girls, Stevi Ritchie was chosen by Fernandez-Versini for the Over 25s, and Overload Generation were chosen by Mel B for the groups.[75]

Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Order Song[76] Result[62]
Paul Akister 1 "Ghost" Safe
Lola Saunders 2 "Stay with Me" Safe
Overload Generation 3 "I Kissed a Girl" Bottom three
Jay James 4 "Changing" Safe
Stephanie Nala 5 "Everything I Own" Bottom three
Jack Walton 6 "Only Girl (In the World)" Safe
Chloe Jasmine 7 "Toxic" Safe
Stereo Kicks 8 "Roar" Safe
Stevi Ritchie 9 "Livin' la Vida Loca" Safe
Lauren Platt 10 "Happy" Safe
Blonde Electra 11 "Kids in America" Eliminated
Ben Haenow 12 "Bridge over Troubled Water" Safe
Jake Quickenden 13 "She's the One" Safe
Fleur East 14 "All About That Bass" Safe
Only The Young 15 "Jailhouse Rock" / "Twist and Shout" Safe
Andrea Faustini 16 "Earth Song" Safe
Sing-off details[62]
Overload Generation 1 "A Thousand Years" Eliminated
Stephanie Nala 2 "Have You Ever?" Safe
  • Owing to the addition of four wildcard contestants, two acts were eliminated from the series' first results show. The three acts with the fewest public votes were announced as the bottom three and then the act with the fewest votes was automatically eliminated. The remaining two acts then performed in the sing-off for the judges' votes.
Judges' vote to eliminate[62]
  • Cowell: Overload Generation – stated that he thought Nala's showdown performance was better than Overload Generation's "shockingly bad" performance, and that he had more belief in Nala as someone he could work with; he reiterated his statement on The Xtra Factor, saying he wasn't surprised about Overload Generation ending up in the bottom three and that Nala's saving was a "lucky escape" on his doing
  • Fernandez-Versini: Overload Generation – backed her own act, Stephanie Nala
  • Mel B: Stephanie Nala – stated that she had to stay true to whom she picked as Walsh's wildcard act
  • Walsh: Stephanie Nala – backed his own act, Overload Generation, although he called Nala's performance in the sing-off "amazing"

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Overload Generation were eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.[62]

Week 2 (18/19 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Order Song[77] Result[63]
Jack Walton 1 "Straight Up" Safe
Stephanie Nala 2 "Call Me" Eliminated
Andrea Faustini 3 "One Moment in Time" Safe
Lauren Platt 4 "Flashdance... What a Feeling" Safe
Ben Haenow 5 "Jealous Guy" Safe
Fleur East 6 "It's a Shame (My Sister)" Safe
Stereo Kicks 7 "The Boys of Summer" Bottom three
Lola Saunders 8 "Imagine" Safe
Jake Quickenden 9 "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Safe
Chloe Jasmine 10 "Fame" Bottom three
Paul Akister 11 "If You Don't Know Me by Now" Safe
Stevi Ritchie 12 "Never Gonna Give You Up" Safe
Only The Young 13 "Come On Eileen" Safe
Jay James 14 "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" Safe
Sing-off details[63]
Chloe Jasmine 1 "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" Eliminated
Stereo Kicks 2 "I'll Stand by You" Safe
  • Owing to the addition of four wildcard contestants, two acts were eliminated from the series' second results show. The three acts with the fewest public votes were announced as the bottom three and then the act with the fewest votes was automatically eliminated. The remaining two acts then performed in the sing-off for the judges' votes.[63]
Judges' vote to eliminate[63]
  • Fernandez-Versini: Stereo Kicks - backed her own act, Chloe Jasmine
  • Walsh: Chloe Jasmine - backed his own act, Stereo Kicks
  • Mel B: Chloe Jasmine - based on the final showdown performance
  • Cowell: Chloe Jasmine - stated that he thought Walsh didn't know what to do with Stereo Kicks, but that they had more potential; on The Xtra Factor, he stated that he felt they wanted their place in the competition more

Week 3 (25/26 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Order Song[78] Film Result[64]
Jake Quickenden 1 "She's Like the Wind" Dirty Dancing Bottom two
Only The Young 2 "Boom Clap" The Fault in Our Stars Bottom two
Jay James 3 "Skyfall" Skyfall Safe
Andrea Faustini 4 "Listen" Dreamgirls Safe
Lola Saunders 5 "When You Believe" The Prince of Egypt Safe
Paul Akister 6 "Try a Little Tenderness" The Commitments Safe
Lauren Platt 7 "Let It Go" Frozen Safe
Jack Walton 8 "Eye of the Tiger" Rocky III Safe
Fleur East 9 "Lady Marmalade" Moulin Rouge! Safe
Stevi Ritchie 10 "Footloose" Footloose Safe
Stereo Kicks 11 "Let It Be" / "Hey Jude" Across the Universe Safe
Ben Haenow 12 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Armageddon Safe
Sing-off details[64]
Jake Quickenden 1 "Red" Eliminated
Only The Young 2 "The Winner Takes It All" Safe
Judges' vote to eliminate[64]
  • Mel B: Only The Young - backed her own act, Jake Quickenden
  • Walsh: Jake Quickenden - backed his own act, Only The Young
  • Cowell: Jake Quickenden - criticised both acts' sing-off performances but felt that Only The Young had more potential
  • Fernandez-Versini: Jake Quickenden - felt that Only The Young had not yet had their moment and wanted to give them another chance

Week 4 (1/2 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Order Song[79] Result[65]
Ben Haenow 1 "Highway to Hell" Safe
Lola Saunders 2 "Crazy" Bottom two
Fleur East 3 "Thriller" Safe
Jack Walton 4 "Bleeding Love" Eliminated
Jay James 5 "Mad World" Safe
Andrea Faustini 6 "Relight My Fire" Safe
Lauren Platt 7 "Dark Horse" Safe
Paul Akister 8 "Bat Out of Hell" Safe
Only The Young 9 "Monster Mash" Safe
Stereo Kicks 10 "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" Bottom two
Stevi Ritchie 11 "The Music of the Night" Safe
Sing-off details[66]
Lola Saunders 1 "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Eliminated
Stereo Kicks 2 "Perfect" Safe
Notes
  • On 31 October, it was revealed that, due to warnings by Cowell to the contestants, the act with the fewest votes on Saturday's live show would be eliminated immediately.[80] Walton was eliminated after receiving the fewest votes.[65] The two acts with the next fewest votes on Sunday's results show then performed in the sing-off.[66]
Judges' vote to eliminate[66]
  • Walsh: Lola Saunders - backed his own act, Stereo Kicks, although he later stated on The Xtra Factor that he didn't want to send Saunders home as he chose her as Fernandez-Versini's wildcard
  • Fernandez-Versini: Stereo Kicks - backed her own act, Lola Saunders
  • Mel B: Lola Saunders - based on the sing-off performances, but complained about Stereo Kicks' lack of consistency.
  • Cowell: Stereo Kicks - said that Saunders was the "clear better singer" and had more potential

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Saunders was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.[66]

Week 5 (8/9 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
Act Order Song[82] Result[67]
Paul Akister 1 "Don't Stop Me Now" Bottom two
Jay James 2 "The Show Must Go On" Bottom two
Lauren Platt 3 "I'll Be There" Safe
Only The Young 4 "Blame It on the Boogie" Safe
Ben Haenow 5 "Man in the Mirror" Safe
Stevi Ritchie 6 "Bohemian Rhapsody" Safe
Stereo Kicks 7 "You Are Not Alone" Safe
Fleur East 8 "Will You Be There" Safe
Andrea Faustini 9 "Somebody to Love" Safe
Sing-off details[67]
Paul Akister 1 "Clown" Eliminated
Jay James 2 "Tears in Heaven" Safe
Judges vote to eliminate[67]
  • Cowell: Paul Akister - backed his own act, Jay James, stating that he "needs this"
  • Mel B: Jay James - based on the sing-off performances, effectively backing her own act, Paul Akister
  • Fernandez-Versini: Jay James - based on the sing-off performances
  • Walsh: Paul Akister - could not decide so chose to take it to deadlock; he was hesitant to say who he wanted to eliminate, as he had previously eliminated Akister at judges' houses in series 10

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Akister was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.[67]

Week 6 (15/16 November)[edit]

The world premiere play and official video of the Band Aid 30 track "Do They Know It's Christmas?" were aired during the results show.[56] Bob Geldof appeared on the results show to talk about the recording and promote the single.[68]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Order Song[84] Result[68]
Andrea Faustini 1 "Summertime" Safe
Lauren Platt 2 "Smile" Safe
Jay James 3 "Empire State of Mind" / "Theme from New York, New York" Bottom two
Stereo Kicks 4 "Mack the Knife" Safe
Ben Haenow 5 "Cry Me a River" Safe
Only The Young 6 "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" Safe
Stevi Ritchie 7 "Mambo No. 5" / "She Bangs" Bottom two
Fleur East 8 "Bang Bang" Safe
Sing-off details[68]
Jay James 1 "Somewhere Only We Know" Eliminated
Stevi Ritchie 2 "Somebody to Love" Safe
Judges vote to eliminate[68]
  • Cowell: Stevi Ritchie - conflicted about both his acts in the bottom two; said although Ritchie was the better performer, James was the better singer
  • Walsh: Stevi Ritchie - said James was the better singer
  • Mel B: Jay James - said James did amazing in the sing off but Ritchie surprised her by singing.
  • Fernandez-Versini: Jay James - stated that the decision was too hard for her and chose to take it to deadlock, also said she was looking forward to seeing Ritchie more as she picked him as Cowell's wildcard

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. James was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.[68]

Week 7 (22/23 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
Act Order Song[86] Result[69]
Lauren Platt 1 "How Will I Know" Safe
Ben Haenow 2 "I Will Always Love You" Safe
Only The Young 3 "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" Eliminated
Andrea Faustini 4 "I Have Nothing" Bottom two
Fleur East 5 "I'm Every Woman" Safe
Stevi Ritchie 6 "I'm Still Standing" Bottom two
Stereo Kicks 7 "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Safe
Sing-off details[70]
Andrea Faustini 1 "Stop!" Safe
Stevi Ritchie 2 "This Is the Moment" Eliminated
Notes
  • This week featured a double elimination. The first of the eliminations happened on Saturday night after the special guest performance from Guetta.[87] Only The Young were eliminated after receiving the fewest votes.[69] The two acts with the next fewest votes on Sunday's results show then performed in the sing-off.[70]
Judges' votes to eliminate[70]
  • Mel B: Stevi Ritchie - Based on the sing-off performances, effectively backing her own act, Andrea Faustini
  • Fernandez-Versini: Stevi Ritchie - Based on the sing-off performances and the fact that she saved Ritchie the previous week
  • Cowell: Andrea Faustini - Backed his own act, Stevi Ritchie, and also said Ritchie had more passion in the sing-off
  • Walsh: Stevi Ritchie - Stated that he had preferred Faustini from day one

Week 8 (29/30 November)[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.[58] The second song was chosen by various music artists.[88]

Choices for jukebox week
Act Song choices[90] Result[89]
Fleur East
"If I Ain't Got You" Chosen
"Family Portrait" Not chosen
"If You Love Me" Not chosen
Andrea Faustini "Respect" Not chosen
"Heartless" Not chosen
"Hero" Chosen
Ben Haenow
"Thinking Out Loud" Chosen
"You Are So Beautiful" Not chosen
"With a Little Help from My Friends" Not chosen
Lauren Platt "Ain't Nobody" Not chosen
"Don't You Worry Child" Chosen
"Story of My Life" Not chosen
Stereo Kicks
"Run" Chosen
"Fix You" Not chosen
"Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" Not chosen
Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
Act Order First song[88] Chosen by[91] Order Second song[89] Chosen by[89] Result[71]
Ben Haenow 1 "Come Together" One Direction 7 "Thinking Out Loud" Public vote Safe
Lauren Platt 2 "Clarity" Little Mix 6 "Don't You Worry Child" Public vote Bottom two
Stereo Kicks 3 "Just the Way You Are" Tulisa 8 "Run" Public vote Bottom two
Fleur East 4 "A Fool in Love" Emeli Sandé 9 "If I Ain't Got You" Public vote Safe
Andrea Faustini 5 "Chandelier" Sam Smith 10 "Hero" Public vote Safe
Sing-off details[71]
Lauren Platt 1 "I Know Where I've Been" Safe
Stereo Kicks 2 "I Won't Give Up" Eliminated
Judges' vote to eliminate[71]
  • Walsh: Lauren Platt - Backed his own act, Stereo Kicks
  • Mel B: Lauren Platt - Based on the sing-off performances, although expressed regret at being chosen to vote before Fernandez-Versini
  • Fernandez-Versini: Stereo Kicks - Backed her own act, Lauren Platt
  • Cowell: Stereo Kicks - Based on the sing-off performances

With the acts in the sing-off receiving two votes each, the result was deadlocked and reverted to the earlier public vote. Stereo Kicks were eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.[71]

Week 9: Semi-final (6/7 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the ninth live show
Act Order First song[92] Order Second song[92] Result[72]
Fleur East 1 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" 6 "Uptown Funk" Safe
Lauren Platt 2 "Stay Another Day" 5 "Story of My Life" Bottom two
Ben Haenow 3 "Please Come Home for Christmas" 8 "Hallelujah" Safe
Andrea Faustini 4 "O Holy Night" 7 "Wrecking Ball" Bottom two
Sing-off details[72]
Lauren Platt 1 "There You'll Be" Eliminated
Andrea Faustini 2 "Who You Are" Safe
Judges vote to eliminate[72]
  • Fernandez-Versini: Andrea Faustini - Backed her own act, Lauren Platt
  • Mel B: Lauren Platt - Backed her own act, Andrea Faustini, although called Platt's performances one of her best
  • Walsh: Lauren Platt - Based on the sing-off performances, although stated that his decision was difficult. However, many people think that Walsh sent Platt home simply because Platt had knocked out Walsh's last remaining act Stereo Kicks the week before, as his decision to send Platt home during week 9's sing-off came very suddenly after stating that his decision was difficult.
  • Cowell: Lauren Platt - Noted that this was both contestants' second time in the bottom two, and despite sticking by his decision to save Platt the previous week and criticising Faustini's oversinging, decided that Faustini had earned his overall place in the final more

Week 10: Final (13/14 December)[edit]

Mel B did not appear on the judging panel on Saturday's show due to illness and was replaced by former judge Contostavlos.[17]

13 December
Contestants' performances on the tenth live show
Act Order New song[93] Order Duet[73] Result[73]
Ben Haenow 1 "Demons" 4 "Thinking Out Loud" (with Ed Sheeran) Safe
Andrea Faustini 2 "Feeling Good" 5 "Ghost" (with Ella Henderson) Eliminated
Fleur East 3 "Can't Hold Us" 6 "Beneath Your Beautiful" (with Labrinth) Safe

Andrea Faustini received the fewest public votes and was automatically eliminated.[73]

14 December
Contestants' performances on the final live show
Act Order Favourite song[93] Order Winner's song[96] Result
Ben Haenow 1 "Man in the Mirror" 3 "Something I Need" Winner
Fleur East 2 "Uptown Funk" 4 "Something I Need" Runner-up

Ratings[edit]

Episode Air date Duration (minutes)1 Share (%) Official ITV rating
(millions)[97]2
Official ITV HD rating
(millions)[98]
Total viewers
(millions) 2
Weekly rank[97] 3
Auditions 1 30 August 85 40.9[99] 8.33 1.76 10.09 2
Auditions 2 31 August 60 32.2[100] 7.48 1.36 8.84 3
Auditions 3 6 September 80 39.4[101] 8.08 1.52 9.60 2
Auditions 4 7 September 65 28.4[102] 7.03 1.46 8.49 4
Auditions 5 13 September 80 38.9[103] 8.09 1.62 9.71 2
Auditions 6 14 September 60 32.9[104] 7.61 1.47 9.08 3
Auditions 7 20 September 80 39.2[105] 8.13 1.57 9.70 3
Auditions 8 21 September 60 35.2[106] 7.72 1.63 9.35 4
Bootcamp 1 26 September 60 23.3[107] 5.62 1.19 6.81 17
Bootcamp 2 27 September 80 32.3[108] 7.16 1.31 8.47 5
Bootcamp 3 28 September 60 35.4[109] 8.16 1.42 9.58 2
Judges' houses 1 3 October 60 27.7[110] 6.08 1.20 7.28 17
Judges' houses 2 4 October 80 30.4[111] 6.76 1.40 8.16 7
Judges' houses 3 5 October 60 33.9[112] 7.78 1.80 9.58 4
Live show 1 11 October 150 31.3[113] 6.74 1.57 8.31 8
Live results 1 12 October 60 33.7[114] 7.57 1.75 9.32 4
Live show 2 18 October 140 33.2[115] 6.74 1.65 8.39 8
Live results 2 19 October 60 33.6[116] 7.45 1.52 8.97 4
Live show 3 25 October 130 31.6[117] 6.49 1.53 8.02 9
Live results 3 26 October 60 31.1[118] 6.82 1.39 8.21 8
Live show 4 1 November 135 31.7[119] 6.83 1.34 8.17 8
Live results 4 2 November 60 28.9[120] 6.69 1.42 8.11 9
Live show 5 8 November 105 33.2[121] 7.01 1.57 8.58 7
Live results 5 9 November 60 27.6[122] 6.54 1.31 7.85 10
Live show 6 15 November 100 32.6[123] 6.74 1.54 8.28 9
Live results 6 16 November 60 31.9[124] 7.22 1.64 8.86 6
Live show 7 22 November 100 32.4[125] 6.84 1.39 8.23 9
Live results 7 23 November 60 30.4[126] 6.84 1.43 8.27 8
Live show 8 29 November 105 33.1[127] 6.96 1.42 8.38 11
Live results 8 30 November 60 30.4[128] 6.84 1.46 8.30 12
Live show 9 6 December 90 31.0[129] 6.25 1.48 7.73 15
Live results 9 7 December 60 31.4[130] 7.12 1.53 8.65 11
Live final 13 December 125 35.8[131] 7.34 1.59 8.93 4
Live final results 14 December 125 35.2[132] 8.03 1.85 9.88 3
Series average 8675 32.7 7.11 1.49 8.61 N/A

^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.

Controversies[edit]

Contestants[edit]

Adam Miller[edit]

In July 2014, it was reported that auditionee Adam Miller was suing producers of the show for "cruel" treatment, claiming that they urged him to audition and persuaded him that he "wouldn't be embarrassing" himself, but he was then laughed at by Cowell during his audition which caused much controversy. Miller reportedly required counselling, and said, "I've been lied to, manipulated and used by the show and I can't be the only one. It might be Simon Cowell and it might be The X Factor, but that's wrong and I'm not going to let them get away with it. They approached me. They gave me a bit of self-confidence, then cruelly and deliberately stripped it away to make good TV." A spokesperson confirmed that Miller's audition would not be broadcast.[133]

Chloe Jasmine[edit]

There were allegations of favouritism after Chloe Jasmine was allowed to audition twice. She apparently fluffed her arena audition by forgetting her words and bursting into tears, but none of this was shown on television. Instead, viewers saw Jasmine sail through to bootcamp after wowing the judges on a different night and singing the song "Why Don't You Do Right", tricking them into thinking that that had been her only audition. However, a show insider claimed that Chloe was given a second chance because she was going through a rough time: "Chloe was given a second chance as she was upset during her first performance. She had recently split up with her boyfriend so she wasn't in a fit state to perform. We gave her the chance to go away and compose herself. This does happen and the only reason it wasn't seen on the show was that there wasn't enough time to fit all of this into one episode."[134]

Stereo Kicks[edit]

During The Xtra Factor after the second results show, in which Stereo Kicks took part in the sing-off, Crawford asked Walsh, their mentor, about them. He said, live on television, that he "never wanted eight [boys in the band]", "Simon put them together" and generally insinuated that he wanted to cut several members from the band.[135] During several interviews between the week 2 results and the week 3 performance, Stereo Kicks mentioned how disappointed they were that their mentor didn't seem to want them, and there were rumours that the band would be split up during the week 3 live performances.[136] These rumours turned out to be false, and Cowell made Walsh apologise to the band after their week 3 performance.[137] Cowell also offered Stereo Kicks the opportunity to be mentored by him, although it is not certain whether he was serious.[138]

Stereo Kicks member Jake Sims faced controversy for tweeting about drug use whilst on the show, leaving his place in the band uncertain. Jake Sims is still a member, and Stereo Kicks are 'most likely' to get a Syco Records Record deal.[139]

Fleur East[edit]

After Fleur East completed her performance in week 2, Mel B commented that East had allowed the backing vocals of the track to drown out her own, and accused her of "cheating." This caused a massive uproar backstage after the live show had ended, especially between Mel B and Cowell, East's mentor.[140] The following week, after East's performance, Mel B commented that East had proven her wrong all along, praised her for her performance and retracted her cheating allegations from the previous week.[141]

Also, as the semi-finals approached, the other semi-finalists, Andrea Faustini, Ben Haenow and Lauren Platt, were reported to have complained about the judges apparently setting East up to win, with a source saying "It's beginning to look obvious the judges want her to win. It may as well be called The F Factor – it's very unfair."[142] Haenow later stated in an interview that the rumours were false, and that their mentor Cowell is not biased towards any of his acts.[143]

Live Shows[edit]

Judges comments[edit]

During the fourth live show, Fernandez-Versini said that her act Lola Saunders kept the theme of Halloween by having mentally unstable people dancing behind in straitjackets while performing the Gnarls Barkley song Crazy, this caused problems to charities that help mental health suffers and no public apology has been issued since.[144]

Results show performances[edit]

During the results show of the semi finals, Idina Menzel and Michael Buble performed the holiday classic Baby, It's Cold Outside, afterwards judges Brown and Fernandez-Versini refused to stand claiming it was because of nerves as their artists when the bottom two and were unable to move in their dresses. Many outlets reported this as false as they were both seen dancing to Fifth Harmony and were lip synching through the track.[145]

International broadcasts[edit]

Country Channel Timeslot
United Kingdom ITV, STV, UTV Saturdays and Sundays
Ireland TV3
United States AXS TV Sundays and Mondays
Canada (Ontario and Alberta) Yes TV Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Canada (British Columbia) CHEK-DT Wednesdays and Thursdays
Denmark DR3 Tuesdays
Norway TV 2 Bliss Saturdays and Sundays
Singapore MediaCorp Channel 5 Thursdays and Fridays
South East Asia RTL CBS Entertainment
Brazil Sony Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Poland Fox Life Thursdays
Malta TVM Sundays
Israel Hot3 Friday
South Africa M-Net Weekdays
India VH1 India Mondays and Tuesdays
Iceland Channel 3 Thursdays and Fridays
Finland Sub Saturdays and Sundays
Portugal SIC Mulher everyday

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