Top 6 Most Successful X Factor UK Runners-Up

The X Factor has had 10 years of success, searching the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to find the next singing sensation. It originated in the UK and was created by Simon Cowell who was a judge up until 2011. He was well known for his harsh critic and brutally honest comments. In 2012, he let Gary Barlow take his seat whilst he took his show to the USA. However, this year, Simon will be back on the UK panel.

The show provides a unique opportunity for anyone dreaming of a singing career. After the initial auditions, contestants are whittled down as they audition through boot camp and judges houses, until finally 12 contestants over 4 categories, compete for viewers votes on the live shows. With every winner of each show, 11 others are considered the losers, however, some of these ‘losers’ have been more successful than the winners, which begs the question, is it better to win or lose when it comes to being given the ‘X Factor’ crown.

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6 Rebecca Ferguson – 2nd in 2010

As soon as this beautiful well-dressed mom of two entered the audition room and started to sing, it was obvious that this lady would be making it big some day. Rebecca not only had a fantastic voice, but she sang in a romantic elegant manner. The judges were impressed and by boot camp, it was obvious that they felt she had the ‘X Factor’.

Rebecca was chosen as one of the final acts to perform on the live shows. Every week she arrived on stage and gave flawless performances, receiving standing ovations from judges and huge cheers from the audience. Rebecca made it to the final and came in 2nd making her the first ever female to come runner up on the show. Soon after the show ended, Rebecca was signed with Syco and Epic Records. Rebecca is always heavily involved in the song writing of her singles and albums. Rebecca has also found fame in the USA when Columbia records signed her.

5 Cher Lloyd – 4th in 2010

Like many of the hopefuls on the X Factor, 16-year-old Cher had auditioned in previous years at the minimum age of 14. When Cher came to the X Factor in 2010, she decided to take a risk and sing songs in her own unique edgy rap style. This risk got her through to boot camp, where even after not even making it through her song, she managed to secure a place on the live shows.

When contestants make the live shows, they live in a mansion together. It was here that the controversy with Cher began. She was accused of being rude and mean to some of the other contestants whilst living in the house. Cher also hit the headlines with regards to her aggressive and arrogant manner on the show. However, Cher still made it through to the Final, where she came in 4th. After the show, she signed with Syco Music and in 2011, Cher signed a deal with L.A. Reid. She has found worldwide fame and in a recent interview, Cher talked about her attitude whilst on the show, admitting that she was embarrassed of her behavior and has grown up a lot since appearing on the X Factor.

4 Union J – 4th in 2012

Blair Dreelan met Josh Cuthbert during an earlier series of the X Factor. When Blair heard Josh auditioning at the age of 14, he was impressed and approached him about working together. Whilst Josh Cuthbert attended the coveted Sylvia Young Theatre School in Westminster, he met Jaymi Hensley. Along with Blair, the 3 became a band and named themselves Triple J.

As the X Factor entered its 9th season in 2012, Josh found himself back at auditions but this time, he was joined by his 2 band mates. They auditioned and got through to boot camp. Whilst they were on their X Factor journey, George Shelley was following a similar one as a soloist. Triple J and George Shelley’s journeys came to an end when they were sent home during the judges houses selection. However, Triple J were invited back to the show when one of the bands who had been chosen to go to the live shows had to pull out. The X Factor informed Triple J that the offer was on the proviso that the soloist George Shelley would be added to the band and that they would need to change their name. Union J came 4th in the competition but were signed by Sony Music Entertainment soon after the show and have had phenomenal success in the UK.

3 JLS – 2nd in 2008

Oritse Williams had a dream of starting his own band and after meeting Marvin Humes, Aston Merrygold and JB Gill, his dream came true with the birth of UFO. The band developed their own unique sound, which they named ‘Jack the Lad Swing’. This was a mixture of Jack the Lad and the music New Jack Swing. In 2008, UFO auditioned for the X Factor and got through to boot camp but had to change their name as there was already a group called UFO. They decided on JLS, abreviating their sound named ‘Jack the Lad Swing’.

JLS competed throughout the live shows and made it to the final of the X Factor. Their competition was a female solo artist, Alexandra Burke. Alexandra was victorious in the battle, however JLS became a worldwide name after Epic Records signed them in January 2009. JLS also started the JLS Foundation which raises money to support many great charities including, MS Society and Cancer Research. Although JLS decided to split recently even after their huge success, the Foundation is still going strong.

2 Olly Murs – 2nd in 2009

The X Factor show begins on TV with contestants auditioning in front of the 4 famous judges, however the audition process actually starts a lot earlier. All contestants sing in-front of the shows producers first, who then make the decision whether to put the act through to audition in front of the judges. Acts are put through if they are great singers or if the producers feel that they would make great viewing.

1 One Direction – 3rd in 2010

Without a doubt, the biggest name to come out of the X Factor has been 5 boys who actually entered the competition as solo artists. Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson all walked into the audition room as individuals. They each impressed the judges and got through to the boot camp stage. Once at boot camp, the judges felt that each of these boys were not good enough to compete against the other solo artists in the ‘boys’ category. However, they did feel that they would make a great boys band, so they put them together and gave them 2 weeks to bond as a band. At the judges houses, they impressed Simon Cowell who took them through to the live shows and One Direction was born. These 5 boys, who had never met each other until X Factor, came 3rd in the show. Even as non-winners, Simon Cowell saw the potential and signed them after the show. Since then, they have become one of the most successful boys bands since The Beatles. One Direction has worldwide success and continue to dominate the music industry with their presence.

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