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The X Factor was a little different this year. OK, very different. There was no deadlock, the live shows were revamped and cut in number, there were far fewer sob stories and each week Dermot revealed which act had come top of the public vote as well as bottom. But perhaps the most interesting change was contestants being encouraged to perform their own songs at the live shows, rather than just covers. It resulted in an original song (Dimelo by Rak-Su) being chosen as this year’s winners’ single – a gamble which seemed to pay off this weekend as it entered the chart at number two, beaten only by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce’s Perfect. It gives Rak-Su’s single a higher chart placing than the last two winners’ songs – When Christmas Comes Around by Matt Terry and Louisa Johnson’s Forever Young. “Anyone tuning in this year expecting the old X Factor would have had a short, sharp shock,” says Frances Taylor, TV critic for the Radio Times. “We’ve seen a change in what viewers want from reality TV in recent years, so they moved away from that slightly dated karaoke, panto-style programme that it has been for a long time. “They wanted to get away from Wagner, Jedward, Rylan, Simon being horrible, booing, and they did that by telling contestants they could play their own instruments and write their own songs. “They’re trying to create genuine stars that way, rather than getting people to do more cover versions that might get a Christmas number one but not give them much chance of having a long career.” While the show has occasionally allowed contestants like Lucy Spraggan to audition with their own songs in previous seasons, this year’s acts were actively encouraged to take their original material all the way to the live shows. The public responded extremely well. Interestingly, the two acts who took most advantage of the rule change – Grace Davies and Rak-Su – were the two who made it to last Sunday’s final.
POSTED: 09/12/17 – Source: BBC News Online

Rak-Su have been announced as the winners of The X Factor 2017, with the four-piece group beating Grace Davies. And now that the voting stats have been revealed, and it looks like they were always going to be crowned the victors of this year’s competition. The group gained 22.2% of the vote on week 1 (Sunday), while Grace scored 21.9% (Saturday). However, after week 1’s Prize Fight, Grace came out on top with 53.5% to Rak-Su’s 46.5%. On week 2, Rak-Su received 32.3% of the votes, and Grace had an 18.5% share. Rak-Su had 25.7% on week 3, while Grace had 20.1%. This was followed by Rak-Su’s 36.7% on week 4, when Grace gained just 26.1%. In week 4’s Prize Fight, Rak-Su won with a 61.5% share, leaving Grace with 38.5%. And on week 5, the first time all acts performed on one show for the semi-finals, Rak-Su had a 26.1% share of the vote, while Grace had 17.2%. It was closer on week 5’s Sunday show, though, when Rak-Su received 27.3%, and Grace got 26.0%. Finally, up to the week 6 Freeze, Rak-Su nabbed 41.7%, while Grace gained 35.4%, which was followed by the week 6 Final vote, in which Rak-Su scored the victory with 51.7%, leaving Grace with 40.1%. (Kevin Davy White’s 8.2% of votes made up the rest of the numbers.) Following Rak-Su’s victory, the group will now release their winner’s single ‘Dimelo’, a duet with Naughty Boy and Wyclef Jean which they performed again last night after their win was confirmed. Profits from the song’s sale will be donated to children’s hospice charities Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star Chase.
POSTED: 04/12/17 – Source: digitalspy.co.uk

The Grand Final
After the arrival of Dermot and the judges, this years grand final was opened by, former X Factor winners, Little Mix who performed with CNCO. Then Grace and Rak-Su had to sing tracks that they think could win them the show. True to form, both acts performed original songs. Next up Pink performed her new single and then the finalists sang their songs of the series, in their last competitive performances. Then, as the final votes were tallied up, Sam Smith performed his new single. Then it was finally time to reveal this year’s winner. And the winners were Rak-Su. Their debut single is out on Monday.
POSTED: 03/12/17

The Final – Saturday
Another final weekend began from Wembley as Dermot introduced the judges to the stage and then the finalists sang with Becky Hill with Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra. Then after a chat with the finalists Dermot opened the vote lines. Next each finalist performed in turn. Then Simon introduced us to a new American boyband called Prettymuch as they performed their new single. It was then time for the infamous final duets and this year the acts’ duet will be their winners single if they win. Kevin teamed up with Tokio Myers for a reworking of George Michael’s FastLove. Grace sang a song she wrote herself, Roots, with Paloma Faith. Rak-Su was joined on stage by Naughty Boy and Wyclef Jean for their original song Dimelo. Next the vote lines were frozen as Louis Tomlinson performed his new single Miss You. Finally it was time to eliminate the act with the least votes tonight which was Kevin and he left the competition. On Sunday Rak-Su or Grace will win this year’s series.
POSTED: 02/12/17

Semi-Finals – Sunday
Tonight saw part two of the semi-final and, once again, all categories competed on the same night and two acts had to leave. Tonight’s theme was songs that the acts have picked that they think will see them into the final. After all the acts performed the vote lines were opened for 15 minutes while Ed Sheeran performed his new single. Next it was the results and the two acts with the least votes were LLoyd and The Cutkelvins and they had to leave the show. Next week Kevin, Grace and Rak-Su compete in the final, and they were given their battle buses for the week, but who will be crowned this year’s winner?
POSTED: 26/11/17

Semi-Finals – Saturday
Tonight saw part one of the semi-final already and for the first time this series all categories competed on the same night. Tonight’s theme was Cool Britannia where the acts sung the best music Britain has to offer. After all of the acts performed the vote lines opened for 14 minutes as James Arthur took to the stage to perform his new single. Next it was time for the results and the act with the least votes was Matt and he had to leave the competition. Sunday will see part two of the semi-final and two acts will be eliminated and will lose out on making next weekends final.
POSTED: 25/11/17

Quarter Finals – Sunday
Tonight saw the second part of the Quarter Finals weekend. The theme this weekend is Crazy In Love and it was The Girls V The Overs categories. After the acts all sang the vote lines opened for four minutes. Then we found out the act with the most votes and the winner of Sundays show was Grace. She then had to go into a sing-off with Saturday’s winners Rak-Su to find out the overall winner of the weekend and the winner of the star prize. This week’s prize was to be flown to LA to record a song produced by famous singer-songwriter Ali Tamposi. After the sing-off the vote lines opened, to decide the winner, while Fergie performed her new single. We then found out the weekend winner was Rak-Su. Next it was revealed that the acts with the fewest votes tonight were, two of Sharon’s acts, Rai-Elle and Holly and they left the competition. Next weekend the theme is Cool Britannia for the semi-final.
POSTED: 19/11/17

Quarter Finals – Saturday
Tonight saw the start of the Quarter Finals weekend. The theme this weekend is Crazy In Love and on Saturday it was The Boys V Groups categories. Dermot opened the show by confirming the there will be a double elimination on both nights this weekend. After all the acts performed the vote lines opened for just over eleven minutes as, last year’s winner, Matt Terry performed his new single. We then found out the act with the most votes and winner of Saturdays show was Rak-Su. Then we found out the two acts with the least votes were Sean & Conor and Sam and they had to leave the competition. On Sunday The Girls will take on The Overs.
POSTED: 18/11/17

Live Week Three – Sunday
Tonight saw the second George Michael themed show and The Boys went head to head with The Girls. After the performances the lines were opened for 4 minutes for the public to choose Sunday’s winner. Next Dermot revealed Sunday’s winner with the most votes was Lloyd. He then had to have a sing-off with Saturday’s winner Kevin to determine the overall weekend winner. After the sing-off the vote lines opened again for 9 minutes while Paloma Faith performed her new single. Then Dermot revealed the weekend winner was Lloyd, his prize is to support Little Mix on the Manchester leg of their tour. Finally we found out the act with the least votes this tonight was Alisah and she had to leave the competition. Next weekend is the Quarter Final already and the theme is Crazy In Love.
POSTED: 12/11/17

Live Week Three – Saturday
This week’s show opened to the news that the planned quadruple elimination this weekend is off and there will only be two acts leaving, as in previous weekends. The reason for this was apparently because Simon had had a change of heart thinking it was too early in the competition for such a large amount of acts to leave. The categories going head to head tonight were The Overs and The Groups. This week’s theme was George Michael and the acts had to sing some of the music legends greatest hits. After the performances the vote lines opened for 12 minutes while Harry Styles performed his new single. Next we found out who was the winner of Saturday’s show, the act with the most votes was Kevin. The act with the least votes was Jack and Joel and they left the competition. Sundays show will see The Boys and The Girls categories going head to head.
POSTED: 11/11/17

Simon Cowell has two years to turn around The X Factor’s fortunes or it will be axed for good. The talent show suffered its lowest-ever ratings on Sunday while rival Strictly triumphed. The X Factor drew an average audience of 4.3million, the poorest viewing figures since the ITV series launched in 2004. Cowell gave the latest X Factor series a major shake-up, vowing to ban gimmicks and joke acts at auditions and focus more on “talent”. But all the changes do not appear to be working. Strictly Come Dancing is now getting more than double its ratings. On Saturday the BBC dance hit averaged 10.5m and on Sunday 10.8m. In its heyday, Cowell’s show attracted peaks of 10m plus and The 2010 final with One Direction drew 17m. Last year Cowell signed a £150m three-year deal with ITV to carry on making it. If the ratings have not improved by then, channel chiefs will consider axing it for good after 2019. A source said: “The show’s latest ratings are embarrassing. “ “It used to be one of the real jewels in the crown for ITV.” Last month Cowell admitted it would take a miracle to beat Strictly. He said: “I don’t know if you will ever get back to that stage. Maybe one year we will give them a run for their money.” Last night a spokesman for Cowell said: “This series is consolidating at an average of 7m viewers per episode based on the current ratings system. “This does not include repeats or viewing via computer or mobile phone.” And a spokeswoman for ITV added: “The ratings rise when consolidated viewing is factored in. “The show performs well for younger audiences and it is an important part of ITV’s autumn schedule.”
POSTED: 07/11/17 – Source: dailystar.co.uk

Live Week Two – Sunday
Sundays show saw part two of Viva Latino week as the Overs competed against the Girls. Many of the acts sang in Spanish once again due to the weekend’s theme. After all the acts performed the voting opened for just five minutes and then the result was delivered. Tonight’s winner with the most public votes was Kevin. He then had to have a sing-off with Saturday’s winners Rak-Su to find out the overall winner of the weekend. The vote lines reopened while, former judge, Rita Ora performed her new single. We then found out the weekend winner was Kevin and his prize is to record a record with a top music producer. Finally we found out the act with the least votes tonight was Tracy Leanne and the visibly upset act had to leave the competition. Next weekend will see a double elimination on both nights.
POSTED: 05/11/17

Live Week Two – Saturday
The second live show weekend kicked off with the Groups and the Boys categories going head-to-head. We also had a full compliment of judges as Simon was well enough to return to the panel. The theme this week was Viva Latino and many of the acts sang part of their songs in Spanish. Then the phone lines opened for 14 minutes while, this years Britain’s Got Talent winner, Tokio Myers took to the stage. Next the contestants returned to the stage to find out who was through to next week. The act with the most votes and winners of Saturdays show were Rak-Su. The act with the least votes was Leon and he had to leave the competition. On Sundays show the Overs will go head-to-head with the Girls.
POSTED: 04/11/17

Live Week One – Sunday
The second live show of the weekend saw the Overs and the Groups perform for the first time. Simon was still missing as he was still resting on doctors orders. Standing in for him as a judge was Alisha Dixon. The theme this weekend is Express Yourself where the acts get to show off what sort of artists they are. After all of the acts performed the vote lines opened for a mere five minutes and then it was time for Dermot to reveal the acts that were through. The act with the least votes was Talia and she had to leave the competition. Then the winner of tonight’s show was announced as Rak-Su. They then had to compete with Saturday’s winner Grace in order to win a prize. After the sing-off the vote lines opened again for viewers to decide the overall winner of the weekend. While the votes were cast Stormzy performed on stage with Labrinth. Finally the weekend winner was announced as Grace. She won a prize to go and meet Pink in New York.
POSTED: 29/10/17

Live Week One – Saturday
The first live show took place tonight from a brand new studio with a brand new set. Dermot introduced the judges to the stage with one missing. Due to an accident where he fell down the stairs, Simon was resting at home. Next up Dermot revealed this years Wildcard acts as voted for by the public. For the Girls Alisah Bonaobra returned, for The Overs Talia Dean returned, for the Boys Leon Mallet returned and for the Groups Jack And Joel were back. Next Dermot revealed the big changes to this years show. Each night the acts in just two categories will perform with someone going home each night. For the first time ever the act with the most public votes will be revealed and the top act from each night will have a sing-off on Sunday to decide the overall winning act of the weekend. This year the judges will have no say in who goes home as that will solely be decided by the public, so there will be no dreaded Deadlock this year. This weekend the theme is Express Yourself where the acts get to show off what sort of artists they are. The two categories performing on Saturday night were The Boys and The Girls. After all of the eight acts performed the lines were opened for the public vote while Liam Payne sang his new single, being watched adoringly by Cheryl who was in the audience. Next it was time to reveal who was through to next week. All of the girls got through but sadly Spencer was the first act to be eliminated from The Boys category and was sent home. Finally we found out the overall winning act tonight was Grace and she will take part in a sing-off with Sundays winner. On Sunday the Overs and Groups will perform for the first time.
POSTED: 28/10/17

The X Factor has scrapped the sing off, as it makes major changes to the show’s format. The shake-up means voters at home will be in control of which contestants leave the show – not the judges. In previous series, the two performers who got the fewest public votes would have to perform their song again to try to stay in the competition. Now the contestant with the fewest numbers will leave immediately, which means an end to deadlock as well. There are going to be more contestants being voted off the show too. In the past it was Saturday’s show that would see performances and public votes, while Sunday’s show was all about the sing off and eviction. Now one contestant will leave each night, voted for by the viewers. The judges will be there to provide critiques, but won’t be able to vote. The idea is to make sure the most popular acts with the public are the ones who make it through to the final stages of the competition. Presenter Dermot O’Leary explained some of the changes to the Radio 1 Breakfast Show, including a new prize element. For the first time ever, The X Factor will reveal the winner of each live show. The winner of Saturday’s show and the winner of Sunday’s show will then battle it out in a sing off to win a “money can’t buy prize”. He said: “It’s just a bit of fun on a Sunday, and whoever wins, wins a prize for that week. There are no other consequences though. Some of the prizes are fantastic.”
POSTED: 27/10/17 – Source: BBC Newsbeat

Simon Cowell has been rushed to hospital on a stretcher after an accident at his London home. The Sun reports that the 58-year-old X Factor judge fainted and fell on his stairs after heading downstairs to fetch some hot milk. He was then stretchered out of his home in a neck brace at around 8am. Cowell is still in hospital undergoing tests, though he is thought to be in a stable condition. The fall occurs a day before the first live X Factor show, set to take place on Saturday night.
POSTED: 27/10/17 – Source: nme.com

We’re getting to the business end of The X Factor 2017, with the all-important live shows looming. This is when the show hots up, as the acts who made it through judges’ houses (plus a few lucky wildcards) vie to become a musical superstar. Here’s who has made the cut.
Girls: These are the acts who will be representing their mentor Sharon at the live shows:
Holly Tandy
Grace Davies

Overs: These are the acts flying the flag for Nicole Scherzinger:
Matt Linnen
Tracey Leanne Jefford
Kevin Davey White

Groups: Simon’s groups for the live shows are as follows:
Sean and Conor Price
The Cutkelvins

Boys: The boys who will be guided through the live shows by Louis Walsh are:
Sam Black
Spencer Sutherland
Lloyd Macey

Wildcards: Dermot O’Leary confirmed that Wildcards will work slightly differently in this year’s show – and the twist was revealed at the end of second judges’ houses episode. Four Wildcard acts will be given a chance to go through to the Live Shows, with the public voting to save one act in each category from the dozen who failed to make it. Fans will have to be quick to save their favourite, though – voting closes at 1.00pm on Monday October 23.
POSTED: 22/10/17 – Source: thesun.co.uk

The X Factor’s Six Chair Challenge is over and the final 24 acts are through to Judges’ Houses. Simon will be joined by Cheryl at his luxury £10million mansion in the South of France, while Nicole will be heading to South Africa with Stormzy. Meanwhile, Sharon is flying out her girls to San Francisco, and will be joined by her children Jack and Kelly Osbourne. Lastly, Louis will be joined by Grace Kelly singer Mika.

Here are the final 24 acts who will be heading off to various places around the world…
Simon’s Groups- Jack & Joel, Rak-Su, The Cutkelvins, Sean & Conor Price, Lemonade and New Girl Band
Sharon’s Girls- Rai-Elle, Holly Tandy, Deanna, Grace Davies, Georgina Panton and Alisah Bonaobra
Nicole’s Overs- Talia Dean, Slavko, Kevin Davy White, Berget Lewis, Matt Linnen and Tracy Leanne Jefford
Louis’ Boys- Lloyd Macey, Aidan Martin, Spencer Sutherland, Jack Mason, Leon Mallett and Anthony Russell
POSTED: 15/10/17 – Source: mirror.co.uk

It’s official! Cheryl is making her return to The X Factor this year. After a two-year hiatus away from the show, and after much speculation from fans, the former judge will be assisting Simon Cowell at the Judges’ Houses stage of the competition. It’s official! Cheryl is making her return to The X Factor this year. After a two-year hiatus away from the show, and after much speculation from fans, the former judge will be assisting Simon Cowell at the Judges’ Houses stage of the competition.
POSTED: 07/10/17 – Source: digitalspy.com

Strictly Come Dancing continues to outpace ITV rival The X Factor in the competition for Saturday night views. An average of 9.3 million people saw Saturday’s episode, making it the day’s most watched show with a 45% viewing share. The X Factor attracted 4.9 million viewers, slightly up on last week but its peak fell from 6m to 5.8m. The BBC and ITV shows, which overlap for 50 minutes, have long competed for viewers during one of TV’s prime slots.
POSTED: 01/10/17 – Source: BBC News Online

The first live episode of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing beat ITV rival The X Factor in the TV ratings battle. An average audience of 9.3m watched on BBC One on Saturday night as 15 new celebrities hit the dance floor. That compared with an average of 4.8m for The X Factor, which overlapped with Strictly for 45 minutes. The X Factor’s audience fell by 1.5m on last week. This series’ launch show had the lowest opening viewership – about six million – since 2004. The figures for both shows will rise once those watching them on catch-up services are added.
POSTED: 24/09/17 – Source: BBC News Online

Stormzy is going to be on this year’s X Factor helping at judges’ houses. It’s thought the rapper, who is having an amazing year, will head to South Africa as Nicole Scherzinger’s guest to assist her in choosing who to take to the live shows. A source told Newsbeat: “Stormzy is the man of the moment and he’ll be great.” He has already worked with Simon Cowell on the charity single for Grenfell Tower earlier this year. The judges’ houses is the part of the show where contestants are whittled down and flown out to various locations around the world to compete for their place in the show’s live finals.
POSTED: 16/09/17 – Source: BBC Newsbeat

The date of this series’ X Factor grand final has been revealed. And it’s much earlier than previous years – with the climax set for the weekend starting Saturday, December 2. Over the weekend, The X Factor confirmed the date while announcing the competition, in which entrants could – among other prizes – win tickets to the grand final. The early date perhaps shouldn’t be too surprising, given that we already knew there would be fewer live shows this time around. Simon Cowell teased the change, as the ITV reality show is undergoing a slight format change to focus more on the audition and Boot Camp rounds. “I just think it’s the way things are in all these shows at the moment,” he said. “The early and middle rounds rate well. So, the idea is to do more of the middle shows and less of the live shows. We’ll see if it works or not. I think there might be a middle ground.”
POSTED: 04/09/17 – Source: digitalspy.com

The X Factor returned with an average audience of six million viewers on Saturday night – the lowest launch show ratings since the show began in 2004. Last year’s first episode had an average of 6.8 million viewers. It was still the most watched show of the night with a 32% audience share. Numbers are also likely to rise once consolidated figures are released. Sunday night’s episode had a slight rise in its audience – 6.5 million viewers, up from 6.3 million in 2016. It was again the most watched show of the night, with a 29% share of the audience.
POSTED: 04/09/17 – Source: BBC News Online

Remember that big X-Factor-less hole currently occupying your Saturday nights? Well it’s about to be filled, as the 2017 series finally has a start date. Yes, ITV have officially confirmed that the new series of the show will kick off on Saturday September 2 at 8pm, as auditions to find this year’s winning act get underway. That gives it a whole week’s headstart over its ratings rival Strictly Come Dancing, which is set to debut on September 9 with its 2017 launch edition. News of the date came courtesy of Dermot O’Leary, who promised: ‘We have singing, we have dancing, we have me…singing and dancing.’ The new series will see Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh all returning to the panel – with Nicole back to defend her title after mentoring last year’s winning act Matt Terry. It’s also thought that there may well be a few changes in store for the show this year.
POSTED: 23/08/17 – Source: metro.co.uk

The X Factor 2017 is set to see some major changes when it hits TV screens this autumn. The hit talent show is now in its fourteenth year and nothing is set to be the same again. According to The Sun newspaper, show bosses headed by Simon Cowell have planned a total revamp of the show. The biggest change will see the ten weeks of live shows cut to six, but with acts performing and leaving on both the Saturday and Sunday night each weekend. Both nights will also see guest artists perform in a bid to attract back viewers following one of the least watched series in 2016. A source told the tabloid another move will see novelty acts like Honey G “discouraged” in a bid to “make another star”. “They don’t want the show to be a laughing stock again like it was with Honey G,” the source said. Further changes are rumoured to include introducing a live studio audience to parts of the bootcamp process and holding auditions at Thorpe Park. “They want to get shots of the judges on white-knuckle rides,” the source added.
POSTED: 03/07/17 – Source: tellymix.co.uk

The endless speculation is over: Simon Cowell has finally revealed who will be judging The X Factor 2017. Returning to the ITV talent competition alongside Simon will be three of its all-time most popular judges: Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne. In the exact same line-up as last year, Simon confirmed that 2016’s foursome will be back ahead of the judge’s auditions, which start later this year. Speaking to The Sun, Simon said: “I don’t think for the moment we’d want to make any changes. “It worked on X Factor last year and the Britain’s Got Talent panel works really well.” He added: “There’s always room to come up with new ideas for shows but you’ve got to look at the whole landscape. “It’s a crowded market but there’s always room for something new if it’s a good idea.”
POSTED: 13/04/17 – Source: digitalspy.com

X Factor winner Matt Terry has revealed that he still hasn’t spoken to Simon Cowell since winning the series. Matt, who beat out Saara Alto to take the crown during December’s live final, is busy recording his first studio album and rehearsing for the X Factor live tour, which hits arenas this month. And it seems he’s so busy that he simply hasn’t had time to talk to show boss Cowell since the final. Like, at all. “We haven’t spoken at all,” Matt told Reveal. “He always said if I ever needed him, I could speak to him. “He’s a lovely guy. He gave me this amazing opportunity so I’ll always be grateful to him.” While the news may shock some fans of the show, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Matt and Simon haven’t spoken, since – technically – Simon is no longer his boss. Previous winners of The X Factor have all signed with Simon’s record label Syco, but Matt bucked the trend last series when it was revealed he would be signing with RCA Records instead.
POSTED: 17/02/17 – Source: digitalspy.com

Xtra Factor will no longer be broadcast on ITV2, instead moving to an online-only programme. The spin-off X Factor show has aired on ITV’s sister channel since 2004. In a statement, ITV said it made the decision “to focus efforts on digital platforms” and to move away “from a linear switchover show”. ITV says the decision is not related to its most recent presenters Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson, Rylan Clark-Neal, and Roman Kemp. Matt tweeted it was his “dream job” and he had an “absolute blast” working on it. Rylan posted that it was an “honour” to host the show.
POSTED: 19/01/17 – Source: BBC Newsbeat


Follow Rak-Su’s progress, from audition to winning.


Left to right:
Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger & Louis Walsh


Dermot O’Leary