The X Factor (UK series 8)

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The X Factor
Series 8
Broadcast from 20 August 2011 (2011-08-20) – 11 December 2011 (2011-12-11)
Judges Louis Walsh
Tulisa
Gary Barlow
Kelly Rowland
Presenter(s) Dermot O'Leary (ITV1)
Co-presenter(s) Caroline Flack (ITV2)
Olly Murs (ITV2)
Broadcaster ITV
ITV2 (The Xtra Factor)
Finals venue Wembley Arena
Winner:
Little Mix
LittleMix15.jpg
Little Mix on tour.
Origin Northwich
Song "Cannonball"
Genre(s) Pop, R&B, Hip hop
Runner-up
Marcus Collins
Chronology
2011

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The eighth series commenced airing on ITV on 20 August 2011[1] and ended on 11 December 2011. The winner was Little Mix, a four-piece girl group known earlier in the series as Rhythmix, consisting of members Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall. They became the first act in the groups category to win in the UK show's history with new judge Tulisa emerging as their winning mentor. Dermot O'Leary presented the main show on ITV, while Caroline Flack and series 6 runner-up Olly Murs co-presented the spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2, replacing Konnie Huq from the previous year. Louis Walsh returned to the judging panel and was joined by Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa. Barlow, Rowland and Tulisa joined the panel as replacements for former judges, Simon Cowell, Dannii Minogue and Cheryl. Series 5 winner Alexandra Burke served as a guest judge for week 4 of the live shows due to Rowland having a throat infection.

On 4 August 2011, promotional pictures of the judges surfaced across the internet. The next day, an advertisement premiered on itv.com.[2]

The eighth series won the award National Television Award for Best Television Talent Show on 25 January 2012.[3]

Judges and presenters[edit]

On 5 May 2011, it was announced that Simon Cowell and Cheryl would not return as judges for series 8 in order to concentrate on The X Factor USA.[4] On 14 May 2011, Dannii Minogue announced that she would not appear as a judge on the eighth series either, due to a clash with Australia's Got Talent, another show for which she judges. Of her decision, Minogue said, "During discussions for me to return to The X Factor it became clear that unfortunately, this year, The X Factor audition dates in the UK clash with the live shows of Australia's Got Talent during June and July. For this reason I am unable to return".[5]

After Cowell and Cole announced their departures, a number of celebrities were linked to the judging role including Frankie Sandford of The Saturdays[6] and Alesha Dixon, a judge on the rival Strictly Come Dancing.[7] On 9 May 2011, five days before Minogue announced she would not return, news broke that Cowell had offered a seat to Gary Barlow of Take That, though his contract was not finalised.[8] Following Minogue's announcement, it was reported that Tulisa from N-Dubz had been in talks with producers to take on a judging role.[5] It was also suggested that Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny's Child, was in talks to take a seat on the judging panel, which was later confirmed.[9] On 30 May 2011, the judging line-up was confirmed as Louis Walsh, Barlow, Tulisa and Rowland.[10][11] Barlow said that he was "extremely excited" to work on the show, and hoped to find a global superstar. Tulisa hoped to "bring something fresh and new to the panel", promising to speak her mind. Rowland wanted an "opportunity to hear a few diamonds in the rough" and said she would be "sternly honest". In week 4 of the live finals on 29 and 30 October, Rowland was unable to attend due to a throat infection and was replaced for these shows by Alexandra Burke, who won series 5.[12]

In March 2011, Konnie Huq, who presented spin-off series The Xtra Factor for series 7, was told that her contract would not be renewed.[13] Matt Edmondson, Sandford, Kimberley Walsh, and series 6 contestant Stacey Solomon were all rumoured to be in the running,[14] but it was confirmed on 31 May 2011 that Caroline Flack would co-present The Xtra Factor with series 6 runner-up Olly Murs.[15]

Selection process[edit]

Applications and auditions[edit]

Cities that auditions were held in.

The first appeal for applicants for series 8 was broadcast during series 7 on 11 December 2010. For the first time, contestants could upload a video to YouTube.[citation needed] Auditions in front of the judges for series 8 took place in Cardiff, London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. It is the first time auditions have taken place in Liverpool, and the city replaces Dublin, where auditions were held in 2010. A source from the show said, "There are only so many places we can go for auditions. We went to Dublin last year but we haven't been to Liverpool so we thought we should do it this year. Obviously this is a blow to the Irish contestants but it's only a short hop across the Irish Sea to Liverpool".[16]

The auditions started in Birmingham's LG Arena on 1 and 2 June. They then took place in Glasgow's Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre on 6 June and continued in Manchester's Event City on 12, 13 and 14 June. More auditions took place at Cardiff's International Arena on 29 June, and at London's O2 Arena on 6, 7 and 8 July, and finished in Liverpool's Echo Arena on 13 and 14 July.[17] The Manchester auditions were postponed from 18–20 May.[18]

London and Birmingham auditions were broadcast during the first episode on 20 August 2011.[19] More of the London auditions, as well as the Liverpool and Manchester auditions, aired on 27 August 2011.[20] On 3 September, the Glasgow auditions and more from London were shown.[21] More auditions from Manchester, Birmingham and London were broadcast during the 10 September episode. More from London, plus the Manchester and Glasgow auditions were broadcast in the 11 September episode.[22] The 17 September episode showed more auditions from Liverpool, Cardiff, London, Glasgow and Manchester. The final auditions aired on 18 September, and featured auditions from Liverpool, London and Cardiff.

Bootcamp[edit]

Bootcamp started on 18 August 2011.[23] The first episode of bootcamp was broadcast on 24 September 2011. It showed 187 acts attend a pre-bootcamp party[24] at a hotel in Croydon,[25] while the judges reviewed their auditions to see if there were some acts they wanted to cut before bootcamp started.[24] They cut 35 acts, leaving 152. The acts were split into 30 groups in which to perform at Wembley Arena, and each group was given one of six songs by the judges: "You've Got the Love", "Breakeven", "Price Tag", "Born This Way", "Forget You" or "Firework".[24] The judges then went on to cut over 80 acts, but called some soloists back, who were asked if they were interested in forming groups. All agreed and were workshopped to see which singers would work well together.[24] They formed six groups.[26] The 61[26] remaining acts were then given the task of learning one song, making it their own and performing it in front of a live audience,[24] the second time bootcamp was open to an audience (the first was in 2009). The judges then chose the final 32 acts, based on these performances. However, they only chose 31 acts, and the final group was made from four members of two groups previously put together by the judges.[26]

Judges' houses[edit]

Judges' houses, the final part of the selection process, was filmed in September.[27] Judges were given their categories in late August. Barlow mentored the Boys, Rowland the Girls, Walsh the Over 25s, and Tulisa the Groups.[26][28] Robbie Williams joined Barlow in Los Angeles,[29] Jennifer Hudson assisted Rowland in Miami,[30] Walsh was accompanied by Sinitta in Barcelona,[31] and Tulisa received help from Jessie J in Mykonos.[32] 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.

Sian Phillips was originally selected for the judges' houses, but due to visa issues, she was unable to travel to Miami and was thus replaced by Sarah Watson in the Girls category.[33]

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Assistant Contestants eliminated
Barlow Boys Los Angeles Robbie Williams Joe Cox, Luke Lucas, Max Vickers, John Wilding
Rowland Girls Miami Jennifer Hudson Melanie McCabe, Holly Repton, Jade Richards, Sarah Watson
Tulisa Groups Mykonos Jessie J Girl v Boy, The Estrelles, The Keys, The Lovettes
Walsh Over 25s Barcelona Sinitta Sami Brookes, Joseph Gilligan, Carolynne Poole, Terry Winstanley

Goldie Cheung was initially put through to the finals by Walsh, but pulled out of the competition at the end of the judges' houses stage, stating that she did not want to be away from her family.[34] Sami Brookes, who had initially not made it through, took her place in the live shows.

Finalists[edit]

The final 16 finalists were confirmed as follows;

Key:

     – Winner
     – Runner-up
     – Third place
     – Ejected
Category (mentor) Acts
Boys (Barlow) Frankie Cocozza Marcus Collins Craig Colton James Michael
Girls (Rowland) Misha B Janet Devlin Sophie Habibis Amelia Lily
Over 25s (Walsh) Sami Brookes Kitty Brucknell Jonjo Kerr Johnny Robinson
Groups (Tulisa) 2 Shoes Little Mix Nu Vibe The Risk

Live shows[edit]

The live shows began on 8 October. Each week, the contestants' performances took place on Saturday and the results were announced on Sunday. As with previous series, each live show had a different theme. The results show often featured a group performance by the remaining contestants and guest live performances.

The first live results show included live performances from series 7 winner Matt Cardle and Cee Lo Green,[35] while Katy Perry and The Wanted performed on the second results show.[36] On the third results show, Bruno Mars, Professor Green featuring Emeli Sandé and Kelly Clarkson performed.[37] Series 7 contestant Cher Lloyd and The X Factor USA judge Nicole Scherzinger performed on the fourth live result show.[38][unreliable source?] Series 5 runners up JLS and Florence and the Machine performed on the fifth live results show,[39][unreliable source?] while Lady Gaga and series 7 contestants One Direction performed on the sixth.[citation needed] The seventh live show featured performances from Rihanna and series 7 runner-up Rebecca Ferguson,.[40] The eighth live results show included performances from former contestant and The Xtra Factor host Olly Murs featuring The Muppets, and Jessie J.[41][42] JLS and One Direction also appeared alongside the 16 finalists to perform this year's charity single, "Wishing on a Star".[41][42] The semi-final live result show featured performances from Justin Bieber and The X Factor judge Rowland.[43] The live final featured performances from Coldplay, JLS, Leona Lewis, Michael Bublé and One Direction[44]

For the live finals, The X Factor received new graphics and theme music similar to those already introduced on The X Factor USA. Voting by text message, which had been absent since 2007, was reintroduced for this series in addition to the premium rate telephone vote,[45] but was not available during the final.[46]

During the fourth week of the live shows, it was announced that Rowland was unable to travel back from Los Angeles due to a throat infection. During the week, it was announced that Burke would replace her as a judge on the show.[12] After Burke accepted the role as guest judge, she became the first X Factor contestant to return to the show as a judge.[12] It was reported on 28 June 2011 that the final would take place on 10 and 11 December 2011 at Wembley Arena instead of the usual Fountain Studios.[47] ITV later confirmed this on 15 August.[48]

On 26 October 2011, Rhythmix announced that they would change their name due to pressure from a children's music charity of the same name, after the programme tried to trademark "Rhythmix" in Europe. It was reported that the group decided to make the change, despite no legal reason to do so, to avoid any difficulties for the charity.[49] The name was subsequently changed to Little Mix.[50]

On 28 October 2011, Ashley Baptiste decided to leave The Risk. In an interview on the official website, he explained "I don't believe my future lies in a boyband and it's not fair on [the other members] Charlie, Derry and Andy to remain in the band when I am not truly committed to it for the long term. I believe The Risk can win The X Factor and I'm backing them all the way. I count them as my friends so I know we'll stay in touch." He was replaced by Ashford Campbell, who was a member of Nu Vibe, another manufactured boyband who had already previously been eliminated.[51]

On 8 November 2011, Frankie Cocozza was asked to leave the series after breaking a "golden rule" of the show. A spokesperson said, "Frankie is leaving the show today after breaking competition rules. He is going to take some time out before continuing his career as a singer. We wish him all the best for his future."[52] As a result, it was announced that the four contestants eliminated by their mentors in week 1; 2 Shoes, Amelia Lily, James Michael and Jonjo Kerr; would be given the chance to face a public vote, with the winner of the vote being reinstated in the competition.[53] Amelia Lily won the public vote with 48% of the overall total and replaced Cocozza in the competition.

Results summary[edit]

Colour key
     – Contestant did not face the public vote
     – Contestant was eliminated by their mentor (no public vote or final showdown)
     – 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
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
Return vote4 Results Saturday Sunday
Little Mix Saved 4th
8.7%
6th
6.0%
2nd
13.7%
4th
11.9%
N/A 3rd
15.3%
1st
26.1%
2nd
22.4%
1st
34.4%
1st
39.0%
Winner
48.2%5
Marcus Collins Saved 7th
6.8%
4th
11.2%
6th
10.1%
2nd
16.0%
N/A 4th
12.9%
4th
14.4%
3rd
21.0%
2nd
24.0%
2nd
34.5%
Runner-up
42.8%5
Amelia Lily Not saved Eliminated
(week 1)
1st
48.8%
1st
27.4%
5th
11.3%
1st
23.8%
3rd
21.4%
3rd
26.5%
Eliminated
(week 10)
Misha B Saved 5th
7.8%
3rd
11.8%
10th
5.1%
3rd
12.2%
N/A 7th
8.0%
2nd
22.5%
5th
14.5%
4th
20.2%
Eliminated
(week 9)
Janet Devlin Saved 1st
23.6%
1st
17.2%
1st
14.7%
1st
18.0%
N/A 2nd
17.4%
3rd
14.8%
4th
18.3%
Eliminated
(week 8)
Craig Colton Saved 6th
6.9%
8th
6.0%
3rd
13.0%
5th
10.1%
N/A 5th
10.6%
6th
10.9%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Kitty Brucknell Saved 10th
5.9%
11th
5.0%
4th
12.9%
8th
7.6%
N/A 6th
8.4%
Eliminated
(week 6)
Frankie Cocozza Saved 11th
5.2%
7th
6.0%
8th
5.7%
6th
8.7%
Ejected
(week 6)
Johnny Robinson Saved 8th
6.5%
2nd
17.1%
5th
12.2%
7th
8.3%
Eliminated
(week 5)
The Risk Saved 2nd
10.9%
5th
8.3%
7th
7.2%
9th
7.2%
Eliminated
(week 5)
Sophie Habibis Saved 3rd
8.9%
9th
5.8%
9th
5.4%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Sami Brookes Saved 9th
6.2%
10th
5.6%
Eliminated
(week 3)
Nu Vibe Saved 12th
2.6%
Eliminated
(week 2)
2 Shoes Not saved Eliminated
(week 1)
4th
11.3%
Not returned
(week 6)
James Michael Not saved Eliminated
(week 1)
2nd
26.7%
Not returned
(week 6)
Jonjo Kerr Not saved Eliminated
(week 1)
3rd
13.2%
Not returned
(week 6)
Final showdown None1 Cocozza,
Nu Vibe
Brookes,
Brucknell
Misha B,
Habibis
Brucknell,
Robinson
None4 Misha B,
Brucknell
Colton,
Lily
Misha B,
Devlin
No final showdown or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Judges voted to Save Eliminate Eliminate
Walsh's vote Brookes,
Brucknell,
Robinson
Nu Vibe Brookes Habibis Robinson Misha B Colton Devlin
Tulisa's vote Rhythmix,
The Risk,
Nu Vibe
Cocozza Brucknell Habibis Robinson Brucknell Lily Devlin
Rowland's vote Devlin,
Misha B,
Habibis
Nu Vibe Brookes Habibis2 Robinson Brucknell Colton None (refused)
Barlow's vote Collins,
Colton,
Cocozza
Nu Vibe Brookes N/A3 N/A3 Brucknell Lily N/A3
Eliminated Jonjo Kerr
by Walsh
Nu Vibe
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Sami Brookes
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Sophie Habibis
3 of 3 votes
Majority
The Risk
7.2%
to save
Kitty Brucknell
3 of 4 votes
Majority
Craig Colton
2 of 4 votes
Deadlock
Janet Devlin
2 of 2 votes
Majority
Misha B
20.2%
to save
Amelia Lily
26.5%
to win
Marcus Collins
42.8%
to win
James Michael
by Barlow
2 Shoes
by Tulisa
Johnny Robinson
3 of 3 votes
Majority
Amelia Lily
by Rowland
Reference(s) [54][55] [55][56] [55][57] [55][58] [55][59] [55][60] [55][61] [55][62] [63][55] [55][64] [55] [55]
  • ^1 There was no public vote in the first week and therefore no final showdown. Each judge was required to eliminate one of their own acts instead.[65]
  • ^2 Rowland was not present due to illness but voted via telephone link from Los Angeles.
  • ^3 Barlow was not required to vote as there was already a majority. However, he stated that he would have voted against Sophie Habibis in week 4, Johnny Robinson in week 5 and Janet Devlin in week 8.
  • ^4 Following Frankie Cocozza's ejection from the competition, one of the four acts who were eliminated in the first week of the competition by the judges (2 Shoes, Amelia Lily, James Michael, or Jonjo Kerr) returned to the competition following a public vote.[66] The winner of the vote was announced as Amelia Lily with 48%.[60]
  • ^5 The voting percentages in week 10 for Sunday round do not add up to 100%, owing to the freezing of votes. Amelia Lily received 8.9% of the final vote.[55]

Live show details[edit]

Week 1 (8/9 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Order Song[67] Result[54]
Amelia Lily 1 "Billie Jean" Eliminated
Johnny Robinson 2 "Believe" Safe
Rhythmix 3 "Super Bass" Safe
Frankie Cocozza 4 "The A Team" Safe
Sophie Habibis 5 "Teenage Dream" Safe
Jonjo Kerr 6 "You Really Got Me" Eliminated
2 Shoes 7 "Something Kinda Ooooh" Eliminated
James Michael 8 "Ticket to Ride" Eliminated
Misha B 9 "Rolling in the Deep" Safe
Nu Vibe 10 "Beautiful People" Safe
Marcus Collins 11 "Moves Like Jagger" Safe
Sami Brookes 12 "Free" Safe
The Risk 13 "She Said" Safe
Craig Colton 14 "Jar of Hearts" Safe
Kitty Brucknell 15 "Who Wants to Live Forever" Safe
Janet Devlin 16 "Fix You" Safe
  • There was no public vote in the first week. Instead, each of the judges selected one of their own acts to eliminate.[65]
Judges' decisions to eliminate[54]
  • Walsh: Jonjo Kerr – said he was the weakest performer in his category
  • Barlow: James Michael – thought the other three boys had more star quality than Michael
  • Tulisa: 2 Shoes – the decision came down to 2 Shoes and Nu Vibe, and Tulisa decided that Nu Vibe had more potential to improve
  • Rowland: Amelia Lily – the decision came down to Amelia Lily and Sophie Habibis; while Rowland felt that Lily had more of a star quality, she conceded that Habibis had given the better performance

Week 2 (15/16 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Order Song[70] Result[56]
Nu Vibe 1 "With or Without You" Bottom two
Sami Brookes 2 "I Will Always Love You" Safe
Craig Colton 3 "Best Thing I Never Had" Safe
Janet Devlin 4 "Can't Help Falling in Love With You" Safe
Frankie Cocozza 5 "The Scientist" Bottom two
Johnny Robinson 6 "Can't Get You Out of My Head" Safe
Marcus Collins 7 "Russian Roulette" Safe
Rhythmix 8 "I'm Like a Bird" Safe
Misha B 9 "Would I Lie to You?" Safe
The Risk 10 "Just the Way You Are" Safe
Sophie Habibis 11 "Wherever You Will Go" Safe
Kitty Brucknell 12 "It's Oh So Quiet" Safe
Final showdown details[71]
Nu Vibe 1 "Promise This" Eliminated
Frankie Cocozza 2 "Red" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[56]
  • Barlow: Nu Vibe – gave no reason, though effectively backed his own act, Frankie Cocozza
  • Rowland: Nu Vibe – gave no reason
  • Tulisa: Frankie Cocozza – gave no reason, though effectively backed her own act, Nu Vibe
  • Walsh: Nu Vibe – backed the act he believed had more potential

Week 3 (22/23 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Order Song[citation needed] Result[57]
Marcus Collins 1 "Are You Gonna Go My Way" Safe
Janet Devlin 2 "Sweet Child o' Mine" Safe
Sami Brookes 3 "If I Could Turn Back Time" Bottom two
Rhythmix 4 "Tik Tok" / "Push It" Safe
Sophie Habibis 5 "Livin' on a Prayer" Safe
Craig Colton 6 "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" Safe
Kitty Brucknell 7 "Live and Let Die" Bottom two
Frankie Cocozza 8 "Rocks" Safe
The Risk 9 "Crazy" Safe
Johnny Robinson 10 "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" Safe
Misha B 11 "Purple Rain" Safe
Final showdown details[57]
Sami Brookes 1 "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Eliminated
Kitty Brucknell 2 "The Edge of Glory" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[57]
  • Barlow: Sami Brookes – said that both acts were very good, but felt that Brucknell was "more exciting" and Brookes was "dated"
  • Rowland: Sami Brookes – gave no reason
  • Tulisa: Kitty Brucknell – thought Brookes had a better connection with the viewing audience
  • Walsh: Sami Brookes – refused to take the vote to deadlock and chose to go with his heart

Week 4 (29/30 October)[edit]

Rowland did not appear on the judging panel for week 4 due to illness,[75] so series 5 winner Alexandra Burke took her place on the panel.[76] However, Burke did not vote on the results show; instead, Rowland voted via telephone link from Los Angeles. Rhythmix's new name 'Little Mix' took effect from Week 4.[58]

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Order Song[77] Result[58]
The Risk 1 "Thriller" Safe
Johnny Robinson 2 "That Ole Devil Called Love" Safe
Sophie Habibis 3 "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" Bottom two
Marcus Collins 4 "Superstition" / "Need You Tonight" Safe
Misha B 5 "Tainted Love" Bottom two
Janet Devlin 6 "Every Breath You Take" Safe
Frankie Cocozza 7 "Should I Stay or Should I Go" Safe
Kitty Brucknell 8 "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" Safe
Little Mix 9 "E.T." Safe
Craig Colton 10 "Set Fire to the Rain" Safe
Final showdown details[58]
Sophie Habibis 1 "Shelter" Eliminated
Misha B 2 "Use Somebody" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[58]
  • Walsh: Sophie Habibis – said that Misha B was a better performer
  • Tulisa: Sophie Habibis – said she related more to Misha B as an artist
  • Rowland: Sophie Habibis – felt that Misha B wanted it more
  • Barlow was not required to vote since there was already a majority, but confirmed he would have eliminated Habibis

Week 5 (5/6 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
Act Order Song[citation needed] Result[59]
Johnny Robinson 1 "Hung Up" / "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" Bottom three
Janet Devlin 2 "I Want You Back" Safe
Craig Colton 3 "Heaven" Safe
The Risk 4 "A Night to Remember" Eliminated
Marcus Collins 5 "Reet Petite" Safe
Kitty Brucknell 6 "Like a Prayer" Bottom three
Frankie Cocozza 7 "I Gotta Feeling" Safe
Misha B 8 "Proud Mary" Safe
Little Mix 9 "Don't Stop the Music" Safe
Final showdown details[59]
Johnny Robinson 1 "Unchained Melody" Eliminated
Kitty Brucknell 2 "Beautiful Disaster" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[59]
  • Walsh: Johnny Robinson – said that Brucknell was more likely to succeed in the music industry
  • Tulisa: Johnny Robinson – agreed with Walsh
  • Rowland: Johnny Robinson – also agreed with Walsh, and added that she felt Brucknell had more of an "excitement factor"
  • Barlow was not required to vote since there was already a majority, but confirmed he would have eliminated Robinson

Week 6 (12/13 November)[edit]

On 8 November 2011, Frankie Cocozza was removed from the show for breaking one of the rules of the competition and did not perform.[52] The four acts that did not face the public vote in week 1 and were eliminated by their mentors—Amelia Lily, James Michael, Jonjo Kerr, and 2 Shoes—faced the public vote and the act with the most votes would replace Cocozza.[66] The winner of the vote was announced as Amelia Lily with 48% of the public vote.[60] The show was also delayed by fifteen minutes due to a power fault at the BT Tower, the show's main relay device, so footage from the auditions stage was shown instead.[85]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Order Song[86] Result[61]
Kitty Brucknell 1 "Don't Stop Me Now" Bottom two
Craig Colton 2 "Paparazzi" Safe
Little Mix 3 "Radio Ga Ga" / "Telephone" Safe
Janet Devlin 4 "Somebody to Love" Safe
Marcus Collins 5 "Another One Bites the Dust" Safe
Misha B 6 "Born This Way" Bottom two
Amelia Lily 7 "The Show Must Go On" Safe
Final showdown details[61]
Kitty Brucknell 1 "Over the Rainbow" Eliminated
Misha B 2 "Who You Are" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[61]
  • Walsh: Misha B – backed his own act, Kitty Brucknell
  • Tulisa: Kitty Brucknell – said that she related better to Misha B as an artist
  • Rowland: Kitty Brucknell – backed her own act, Misha B, who she felt had more potential in the competition
  • Barlow: Kitty Brucknell – felt that Misha B had more potential, and that Brucknell was not connecting with the audience

Week 7 (19/20 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
Act Order Song[89] Film[89] Result[62]
Craig Colton 1 "Licence to Kill" Licence to Kill Bottom two
Janet Devlin 2 "Kiss Me" How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Safe
Amelia Lily 3 "Think" Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Bottom two
Misha B 4 "I Have Nothing" The Bodyguard Safe
Little Mix 5 "Don't Let Go (Love)" Set It Off Safe
Marcus Collins 6 "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" Ghostbusters II Safe
Final showdown details[62]
Craig Colton 1 "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" Eliminated
Amelia Lily 2 "You and I" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[62]
  • Barlow: Amelia Lily – backed his own act, Craig Colton, and said that Amelia Lily had "shouted her way" through the final showdown
  • Rowland: Craig Colton – backed her own act, Amelia Lily
  • Tulisa: Amelia Lily – said that Colton's performances were more emotionally moving
  • Walsh: Craig Colton – said that Amelia Lily had more potential and was a "ready-made pop star"

With the judges deadlocked, Craig Colton was eliminated as the act with the fewest public votes.[62]

Week 8: Quarter-final (26/27 November)[edit]

Starting in week 8, each act performed two songs with voting lines opening after the first round of performances.[91]

Contestants' performances on the eighth live show
Act Order First song[92] Order Second song[92] Result[63]
Little Mix 1 "Baby" / "Where Did Our Love Go" 6 "Beautiful" Safe
Janet Devlin 2 "MMMBop" 7 "Under the Bridge" Bottom two
Misha B 3 "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" 8 "Killing Me Softly with His Song" Bottom two
Marcus Collins 4 "I'm Your Man" 9 "Lately" Safe
Amelia Lily 5 "China in Your Hand" 10 "Since U Been Gone" Safe
Final showdown details[63]
Janet Devlin 1 "Chasing Cars" Eliminated
Misha B 2 "Out Here on My Own" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate[63]
  • Walsh: Janet Devlin – based on the performances across both of this week's shows
  • Tulisa: Janet Devlin – based on the performances across both of this week's shows, and thought Misha B had more long-term potential
  • Rowland refused to vote, saying she could not pick between her two acts. O'Leary warned her that this would cause Janet Devlin to be eliminated as it would go to a majority vote as Devlin already had two votes, but Rowland still declined to cast a vote.
  • Barlow was not required to vote as there was already a majority, but said he would have eliminated Janet Devlin.

Week 9: Semi-final (3/4 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the ninth live show
Act Order First song[94] Order Second song[94] Result[64]
Misha B 1 "Dancing in the Street" 5 "Perfect" Eliminated
Amelia Lily 2 "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" 6 "I'm with You" Safe
Little Mix 3 "You Keep Me Hangin' On" 8 "If I Were a Boy" Safe
Marcus Collins 4 "My Girl" 7 "Can You Feel It" Safe

The semi-final did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Misha B, was automatically eliminated.[95] After her elimination, Misha B reprised her week 6 final showdown performance of "Who You Are" as her exit song.

Week 10: Final (10/11 December)[edit]

The final was held at Wembley Arena and lasted for over four hours, split over Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December 2011.[96]

10 December

Contestants' performances on the tenth live show
Act Order First song[102] Order Second song (duet)[102] Result[citation needed]
Marcus Collins 1 "Hey Ya!" 4 "She's Always a Woman" (with Gary Barlow) Safe
Little Mix 2 "You Got the Love" 5 "If I Ain't Got You" / "Empire State of Mind" (with Tulisa) Safe
Amelia Lily 3 "Ain't No Other Man" 6 "River Deep – Mountain High" (with Kelly Rowland) Third place

If Amelia Lily had made the final two, her favourite performance would have been, "The Show Must Go On" from week six, and would have sung "All I Want For Christmas Is You" for her Christmas song, as well as performing "Cannonball".

11 December

Contestants' performances on the final live show
Act Order First song[106] Order Second song[106] Order Third song[citation needed] Result[106]
Marcus Collins 1 "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" 3 "Last Christmas" 5 "Cannonball" Runner-up
Little Mix 2 "Don't Let Go (Love)" 4 "Silent Night" 6 "Cannonball" Winner

Charity single[edit]

It was announced on 12 October 2011, that the 16 finalists would record a cover version of "Wishing on a Star", released on 20 November in aid of Together for Short Lives, a charity which Cowell said do "amazing work". It is the fourth time finalists have released a charity single.[107] Series 5 contestants JLS and series 7 contestants One Direction also feature on the single.[83]

Winner's single[edit]

The winner's single was Damien Rice's "Cannonball". It was previously announced that Barlow would write the debut single for the eventual winner of the competition.[108] It would have been the second original winner's song, the first being Shayne Ward's "That's My Goal". For the first time since series 1, the winner's single was not released in the week of the coveted Christmas number one chart battle. The Official Charts Company announced that the 2011 Christmas number-one would be announced on Christmas Day,[109] meaning releases on 18 December would be new entries in the chart that week. Little Mix's winner's single was released on 14 December,[110] which meant it would have to maintain significant sales numbers in its second week to achieve the Christmas number one. It was announced on 17 November that N-Dubz rapper Fazer would be producing the single.[111]

Marks & Spencer deal[edit]

In September 2011, it was announced that Marks & Spencer would be The X Factor '​s official fashion partner. On 2 October 2011, it was revealed that the 16 finalists would star in the retailer's 2011 Christmas advertisement. It is a one minute advertisement that premiered during week 5 of the live shows. The finalists recorded a cover of the song "When You Wish upon a Star" to feature in the advert and modelled clothes from the company. The finalists will be paid for the advertisement.[112] After his ejection from the competition, M&S announced that Frankie Cocozza's face would be edited out of the advert, as it wasn't possible to edit his voice from the advert.[113][114] On 17 November 2011, M&S posted the latest edit of the advert to their official YouTube account, with Cocozza's vocals completely erased.[115]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Initial viewing figures for the first episode were placed at 11.3 million for ITV1, however, the peak audience was 12.6 million, a match for the highest viewing figures for an X Factor series opener, and almost 5 million more than Doctor Who on BBC One, the second-highest rated programme that night.[116][117]

Despite an apparent drop in ratings from the previous series, it was the third most watched series in the show's eight-year history and the most watched show of 2011, beating the Royal Wedding which aired during the spring.[118]

Episode Air date Official ITV1 rating
(millions)[119]
Weekly rank[119] Share (%) Official ITV1 HD rating
(millions)[120]
Total ITV1 viewers
(millions)
Auditions 1 20 August 11.05 1 45.7[121] 1.13 12.18
Auditions 2 27 August 10.63 1 42.8[122] 1.02 11.65
Auditions 3 3 September 10.96 1 43.4[123] 1.00 11.96
Auditions 4 10 September 10.98 1 43.6[124] 1.04 12.04
Auditions 5 11 September 10.52 2 37.8[125] 1.10 11.62
Auditions 6 17 September 11.16 2 44.5[126] 1.17 12.33
Auditions 7 18 September 11.23 1 42.2[127] 1.17 12.40
Bootcamp 1 24 September 10.64 2 43.0[128] 1.05 11.69
Bootcamp 2 25 September 11.11 1 38.7[129] 1.06 12.17
Judges' houses 1 1 October 10.13 2 42.0[130] 1.11 11.24
Judges' houses 2 2 October 11.74 1 42.5[131] 1.18 12.92
Live show 1 8 October 10.89 2 40.3[132] 1.16 12.05
Live results 1 9 October 11.34 1 41.1[133] 1.27 12.61
Live show 2 15 October 9.90 3 39.1[134] 1.24 11.14
Live results 2 16 October 10.84 1 40.5[135] 1.26 12.10
Live show 3 22 October 9.73 3 38.0[136] 1.33 11.06
Live results 3 23 October 10.68 1 39.8[137] 1.21 11.89
Live show 4 29 October 9.74 3 38.8[138] 1.32 11.06
Live results 4 30 October 11.44 1 42.0[139] 1.31 12.75
Live show 5 5 November 9.63 3 40.3[140] 1.38 11.01
Live results 5 6 November 11.58 1 41.8[141] 1.22 12.80
Live show 6 12 November 11.23 2 40.9[142] 1.05 12.28
Live results 6 13 November 11.85 1 41.9[143] 1.40 13.25
Live show 7 19 November 10.48 2 39.0[144] 1.22 11.70
Live results 7 20 November 11.27 1 39.1[145] 1.30 12.57
Live show 8 26 November 10.05 2 38.4[146] 1.25 11.30
Live results 8 27 November 11.30 1 41.8[147] 1.48 12.78
Live show 9 3 December 10.23 2 39.9[148] 1.20 11.43
Live results 9 4 December 11.08 1 40.2[149] 1.38 12.46
Live final 10 December 10.35 2 40.1[150] 1.36 11.71
Live final results 11 December 12.09 1 44.3[151] 1.37 13.46
Series average 2011 10.81 N/A 42.3 1.23 12.04

Controversies[edit]

Allegation of bullying[edit]

Misha B was involved in a controversy during the third live show when Tulisa accused her of making "mean comments" and Walsh accused her of being a "bully" backstage. Both later apologised. The other two judges, Barlow and Rowland, and several contestants defended Misha B during and after the show. Judge Gary Barlow later said he believed the wrongful allegations had ended her chances of winning the competition."[152][153]

Frankie Cocozza's ejection[edit]

On 8 November, Frankie Cocozza was removed from the competition. He released a statement saying "I'd like to apologise to Gary, my fellow contestants and everyone who has voted for me, but, as of today, I will no longer be in The X Factor. My life during the show has gone out of control and my behaviour off stage has overstepped the rules of the competition."[52][154]

The Sun newspaper claimed Cocozza had been overheard boasting about using cocaine.[155][156] The rules of the series strictly prohibit drug use during the show. Cocozza's mentor, Barlow, said that he was "hugely disappointed" by Cocozza's behaviour, but wished him luck with his future.[154][155]

Cocozza's behaviour earlier in the series has led to two Ofcom investigations – he swore during a live show and was also shown drinking heavily with some friends.[156]

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