The Biggest Success Stories from The X-Factor UK…So Far

Posted October 27, 2016 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

X marks the spot: The top five biggest stars to come from UK’s hit reality-TV show are revealed

xfactor-logoBy Natalie Stanton
Contributing writer

All it takes is one night on a hit TV show and a single song to launch the next big thing in music into the spotlight. There’s so much undiscovered talent around the world, but thanks to reality-TV shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice and The X Factor, ordinary people can show the world what amazing talents they have.

With most of our focus being on American Idol and the other Idol franchises worldwide, it’s probably safe to say that UK’s The X-Factor, Simon Cowell’s creative spin-off of UK’s Pop Idol, deserves just as much press time. Let’s take a closer look at five individuals who turned into global superstars from the hit UK show.

One Direction

Did you know that today’s most popular boy band, One Direction, started on the 2010’s season of The X Factor? If it weren’t for the show, the five members of the band wouldn’t have met up. Despite not winning the contest and only finishing third, One Direction has had more success than the crowned winners of the show, thanks to Simon Cowell’s tutelage. Today, the best-selling pop band continues to travel all over the world, garnering more fans than any other boy band of their generation.

Olly Murs

Olly Murs appeared on the 2009 season of The X Factor and at that time, he was just an ordinary guy working a dead-end job. Like One Direction, he didn’t win the show but his talent and charisma helped him find fame outside the UK and in the US, thanks to the popularity and success of his 2012 single “Troublemaker.”

Cher Lloyd

When Cher Lloyd first auditioned for The X Factor she wowed Simon Cowell with her rendition of Keri Hilson’s “Turn my Swag On” and the world went crazy for her from then on. She was eliminated from the competition but her success continued outside of the show. Apart from singing alongside Demi Lovato and Becky G, she was able to release hit singles including “With Ur Love,” “Want U Back” and “Sorry I’m Late.”

Bea Miller

Bea Miller’s success in the punk rock scene started when she was just a little girl on the second season of X Factor US version. Like the others on the list, she didn’t win but she was able to launch songs that hit the Top Ten of the Billboard 100. Hitting the Top Ten is a feat not every singer manages, and it is especially impressive given Miller’s young age. Her most popular songs include “Not An Apology,” “Fire N Gold,” and “Young Blood.”

Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis was the first champion of the The X Factor UK. She won the competition with her very own rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This”. Lewis’ version was so popular that it set a new world record in terms of downloads, when it was downloaded more than 50,000 times in just thirty minutes. Her next single, “Bleeding Love,” soared to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the music charts in over eleven countries, becoming an international success. Today, Lewis still hits the road touring and released I Am after departing from Syco Music and signing with Island Records.

The X Factor has been the springboard for numerous talents over the years and it is mainly down to the show’s unique format that it was able to transform itself into a national favorite.

Apart from being the TV show, The X Factor franchise branched out into many different forms including spin-offs and specials. The Xtra Factor: Xcess All Areas is a live show where interviews, games, and trips around the contestants’ homes take place. There’s also The Winner’s Story. a sixty-minute special that centers on the life of the past X Factor winners.

Apart from the aforementioned spin-offs and specials, The X Factor also has its own video games. There’s The X Factor – Karaoke Console Game for those who want to see if they have what it takes to win the competition. The X Factor Games also exist, which targets the more mature demographic with its own slots and slingo games. More games are reported to be released this year in homage to the show’s most recent season.

The X Factor officially returned to ITV this year on August 27, and will host its season finale at the end of 2017.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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