The X Factor (UK series 1)

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The X Factor
Series 1
Broadcast from 4 September – 11 December 2004
Presenter(s) Kate Thornton (ITV)
Co-presenter(s) Ben Shephard (ITV2)
Steve Brookstein
Origin Camberwell, London, England
Song "Against All Odds"
Genre(s) Blue-eyed soul, jazz
Mentor Simon Cowell

The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent; the winner of which receives a £1 million recording contract with the Syco Music record label. The first series was broadcast from 4 September to 11 December 2004. The competition was split into several stages: auditions, bootcamp and live shows, with Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell as judges. Kate Thornton presented the show on ITV, whilst Ben Shephard presented spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.

Auditions were held in Dublin, Newcastle, London, Leeds, Birmingham and Glasgow.

The series was won by Steve Brookstein,[1] with Cowell as the winning mentor. Brookstein went on to have some chart success, with runners-up G4 achieving two platinum albums before splitting up in 2007. This series was sponsored by Nokia.

Selection process[edit]

Applications and auditions[edit]

Prior to the audition phase, advertisements appeared on ITV, in newspapers, and trade magazines, promising that the new show would encourage groups, and while the emphasis was on singing, would welcome those who played instruments and wrote their own songs. Thus the show would differentiate itself from its predecessor, Pop Idol.

For the first episode of auditions, which aired on 4 September 2004, the judges visited Leeds and London. For the second episode, which aired on 11 September 2004, the judges visited Newcastle. The third episode aired on 18 September 2004, the fourth on 25 September 2004 and the fifth on 2 October 2004.


After the initial auditions, each judge was randomly allocated a category:

  • Simon Cowell: 25 and Overs
  • Sharon Osbourne: 16-24s
  • Louis Walsh: Groups

Each judge chose twelve acts from their category to go through to round two — bootcamp. After bootcamp, each judge selected five acts to progress to round three — "judges' homes". The bootcamp episodes aired on 9 and 16 October 2004.

In this round, the 15 acts (five for each judge) went to the "homes" of their respective judges, where they were interviewed and performed again. Each judge then chose three acts to go through to the finals (making a total of nine finalists, unlike later series, which would feature 12/16). Unlike future series of the show, in series one the judges actually took their contestants to their real houses. In future, the locations that the contestants were sent to were mostly abroad and considered more 'glamorous'. Also, in earlier series of the show the judges were assisted at this stage by a whole supporting panel compared to later series where to have just one assistant has become the norm. Additionally, the supporting panels mainly consisted of people who had credentials such as vocal coaches and record producers as opposed to later series where helpers at this stage were most world-famous singers.

Summary of judges' homes
Judge Category Location Assistants Contestants eliminated
Cowell 25 and Overs London Annie Skates, Sinitta Odis Palmer, Lloyd Wade
Osbourne 16-24s Buckinghamshire Mark Hudson, Terry Longden, Jack Osbourne Megan Ramsay, Andy Steed
Walsh Groups Dublin Linda Martin, Faye Sawyer, David Laudat 4Tune, Advance



     – Winner
     – Runner-up
     – Third place
Category (mentor) Acts
Girls (Osbourne) Jessica Lewis Cassie Compton Roberta Howett
25 and overs (Cowell) Steve Brookstein Verity Keays Rowetta Satchell
Groups (Walsh) 2 to Go G4 Voices with Soul
Boys (Bunton) Andrew Jones[disambiguation needed] Tabby Callaghan Jack Ray

Live shows[edit]


The finals consisted of two live shows each Saturday evening. For the first five weeks each act performed once in the first show, after which the public voted for the act that they wanted to remain in the show. In the later results show, the two acts with the fewest votes were revealed. These two acts then had to sing again before the three judges decided who was eliminated.

The format changed in the sixth week: each act performed twice in the first show (with the judges offering their opinions after the second songs), and reprised one of their songs in the results show. The act with the fewest public votes was eliminated at the end of the second show, with the judges no longer having a say in who left.

The live shows started on 23 October 2004 and ended on 11 December 2004.

Results summary[edit]

Colour key
     – Contestant was in the bottom two and had to sing again in the final showdown
     – Contestant received the fewest public votes and was immediately eliminated (no final showdown)
Weekly results per contestant
Contestant Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Steve Brookstein Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Winner
(week 8)
G4 Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Safe Safe Safe Runner-up
(week 8)
Tabby Callaghan Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Safe 3rd Eliminated
(week 7)
Rowetta Satchell Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe 4th Eliminated
(week 6)
Cassie Compton Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 5)
Voices with Soul Bottom two Safe Bottom two Bottom two Eliminated
(week 4)
2 to Go Safe Bottom two Bottom two Eliminated
(week 3)
Verity Keays Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 2)
Roberta Howett Bottom two Eliminated
(week 1)
Final showdown Howett,
Voices with Soul
2 to Go,
2 to Go,
Voices with Soul
Voices with Soul
No final showdown or judges' votes; results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote to eliminate Howett Keays 2 to Go Voices with Soul Compton
Osbourne's vote to eliminate Voices with Soul Keays 2 to Go Voices with Soul None (refused)
Cowell's vote to eliminate Howett 2 to Go N/A1 G4 Compton
Eliminated Roberta Howett
2 of 3 votes
Verity Keays
2 of 3 votes
2 to Go
2 of 2 votes
Voices with Soul
2 of 3 votes
Cassie Compton
2 of 2 votes
Rowetta Satchell
Public vote
to save
Tabby Callaghan
Public vote
to save
Public vote
to win

^1 Cowell was not required to vote as there was already a majority.

Live show details[edit]

Week 1 (23 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the first live show
Act Order Song Result
Voices with Soul 1 "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Bottom two
Verity Keays 2 "I Will Always Love You" Safe
Roberta Howett 3 "Superstar" Eliminated
2 to Go 4 "Don't Know Much" Safe
Steve Brookstein 5 "When a Man Loves a Woman" Safe
Cassie Compton 6 "Alfie" Safe
G4 7 "Everybody Hurts" Safe
Rowetta Satchell 8 "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" Safe
Tabby Callaghan 9 "You Really Got Me" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Osbourne: Voices with Soul
  • Walsh: Roberta Howett
  • Cowell: Roberta Howett

Week 2 (30 October)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the second live show
Act Order Song Result
Rowetta Satchell 1 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" Safe
2 to Go 2 "Always" Bottom two
Cassie Compton 3 "Without You" Safe
Verity Keays 4 "Wind Beneath My Wings" Eliminated
G4 5 "Don't Look Back in Anger" Safe
Tabby Callaghan 6 "My Oh My" Safe
Steve Brookstein 7 "If You Don't Know Me by Now" Safe
Voices with Soul 8 "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Walsh: Verity Keays
  • Cowell: 2 to Go
  • Osbourne: Verity Keays

Week 3 (6 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the third live show
Act Order Song Result
Tabby Callaghan 1 "Addicted to Love" Safe
Voices with Soul 2 "Bridge Over Troubled Water" Bottom two
Steve Brookstein 3 "Smile" Safe
2 to Go 4 "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" Eliminated
Cassie Compton 5 "I Say a Little Prayer" Safe
Rowetta Satchell 6 "Over the Rainbow" Safe
G4 7 "...Baby One More Time" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Walsh: 2 to Go
  • Osbourne: 2 to Go
  • Cowell was not required to vote as there was already a majority

Week 4 (13 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fourth live show
Act Order Song Result
G4 1 "Circle of Life" Bottom two
Rowetta Satchell 2 "MacArthur Park" Safe
Tabby Callaghan 3 "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" Safe
Voices With Soul 4 "Lady Marmalade" Eliminated
Cassie Compton 5 "Hero" Safe
Steve Brookstein 6 "Help Me Make It Through The Night" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Cowell: G4
  • Osbourne: Voices with Soul
  • Walsh: Voices with Soul

Week 5 (20 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the fifth live show
Act Order Song Result
Steve Brookstein 1 "Let's Stay Together" Safe
Cassie Compton 2 "All by Myself" Eliminated
G4 3 "My Way" Safe
Tabby Callaghan 4 "Sweet Child o' Mine" Bottom two
Rowetta Satchell 5 "Somewhere" Safe
Judges' votes to eliminate
  • Osbourne refused to send home either of her acts
  • Walsh: Cassie Compton
  • Cowell: Cassie Compton

Week 6: Quarter-final (27 November)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the sixth live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
Rowetta Satchell 1 "River Deep - Mountain High" 5 "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" Eliminated
G4 2 "You'll Never Walk Alone" 6 "Somebody to Love" Safe
Steve Brookstein 3 "I Get the Sweetest Feeling" 7 "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" Safe
Tabby Callaghan 4 "More Than Words" 8 "Livin' on a Prayer" Safe

This week did not feature a final showdown and instead the act with the fewest public votes, Rowetta Satchell, was automatically eliminated.

Week 7: Semi-final (4 December)[edit]

Contestants' performances on the seventh live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Result
Tabby Callaghan 1 "Pride (In the Name of Love)" 4 "Sailing" Eliminated
Steve Brookstein 2 "Have I Told You Lately" 5 "Greatest Love of All" Safe
G4 3 "O Holy Night" 6 "Bohemian Rhapsody" Safe

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

Week 8: Final (11 December)[edit]

  • Themes: No theme; song of the series; winner's single
Contestants' performances on the final live show
Act Order First song Order Second song Order Third song Result
Steve Brookstein 1 "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" 3 "Smile" 5 "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" Winner
G4 2 "Nessun Dorma" 4 "Bohemian Rhapsody" 6 "Creep" Runner-up



This series achieved an average of 7.4 million viewers per episode.

Episode Air date Official ITV1 rating[2]
Weekly rank[2]
Auditions 1 4 September 5.25 21
Auditions 2 11 September 6.53 17
Auditions 3 18 September 7.08 14
Auditions 4 25 September 7.24 16
Auditions 5 2 October 6.71 18
Bootcamp 1 9 October 6.69 21
Bootcamp 2 7.89 17
Judges' houses 16 October 7.32 17
Live show 1 23 October 7.18 17
Live results 1 7.83 15
Live show 2 30 October 6.53 20
Live results 2 7.26 17
Live show 3 6 November 6.89 19
Live results 3 7.02 18
Live show 4 13 November 7.42 15
Live results 4 6.88 18
Live show 5 20 November 7.91 16
Live results 5 7.98 14
Live show 6 27 November 8.06 22
Live results 6 8.01 23
Live semi-final 4 December 7.79 20
Live results 7 7.52 23
Final 11 December 8.62 15
Final results 9.96 8



It was reported in tabloid newspapers that the show's audition process was unfair after Walsh was accused of cheating. He was thought to have advised the group Co-Ed on things such as song choices, which caused controversy after it was revealed that he had actually previously managed Co-Ed after they appeared on the Irish version of Popstars in 2001. Around the same time, footage of Cowell and Osbourne coaching contestants to argue back to the judges was being auctioned over the Internet.[3]

Claims of Rigging[edit]

Prior to the first live show, Osbourne accused Cowell of "rigging" the show by editing footage to make the contestants in his category more appealing to viewers.[4] Osbourne attracted criticism again following the final in December 2004 when she was forced to make an apology after attracting what Cowell referred to as "record complaints" over an outburst by Osbourne in which she criticised eventual winner Steve Brookstein. This left her place on the show uncertain,[5] although she returned for the second series in 2005.


Despite finishing as runners-up, G4 have since referred to The X Factor as "just panto".[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Weekly Viewing Summary (see relevant week)". BARB. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (4 September 2004). "'X Factor' judge accused of cheating". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Wilkes, Neil (22 October 2004). "Osbourne brands Cowell "fucking wanker". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (19 December 2004). "Sharon Osbourne facing 'X Factor' axe?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Mendoza, Nadia (1 August 2007). "G4: X Factor is just panto". The Sun. News UK. Retrieved 25 September 2013.