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The fifth UK series of The X Factor was broadcast on ITV during 2008. It premiered on 16 August and continued through to 13 December 2008. Auditions in front of producers were held in April/May, with callbacks in front of the judges in June. Listed are the 12 finalists who participated in the live finals. Out of the final twelve, Bad Lashes, Girlband, Scott Bruton, Austin Drage, Laura White, Daniel Evans, Rachel Hylton, Ruth Lorenzo and Diana Vickers were the nine acts to be eliminated before the grand finale. Alexandra Burke, Eoghan Quigg and JLS were the contestants who made it to the last show. Eoghan Quigg, coming third, was eliminated first on the night of the grand finale on December 13 and then Alexandra Burke was declared the winner with JLS being the runners-up.

Contents

Boys

The "Boys" category was mentored by Simon Cowell. In series 5, contestants in this category were males aged between 14 and 24.

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Austin Drage

Black and White image of Austin Drage singing
Austin Drage performing on New Year's Eve 2008 at Butlin's, Skegness

Austin Leigh Drage (born 29 June 1986[1]) is a singer from Grays, Thurrock. Drage first started singing when he was very young and, whilst still at school, took part in musical theatre and amateur dramatics. Having signed up with an agent, Drage made acting appearances in the 2000 movie Snatch as well as a number of TV shows including The Bill and Casualty. After a spell in boy band 5Boyz, who supported Girls Aloud and Blazing Squad and took part in the Soccer 6 competitions, he auditioned and won a place in E4's gender-swap reality show Boys will be Girls, aired in 2006. Drage has also been lead singer in a glam rock band called The Revamps. Simon Cowell commented that Drage is "just what this competition needs".

On the first live show, Drage sang "Every Breath You Take" by The Police and got positive comments from the judges, with Simon Cowell stating that he believed that the public had seen only 60% of Austin's ability. He was eliminated on the fourth live show on 1 November 2008 after being in the bottom two with Rachel Hylton. In the sing-off he performed "Wishing On a Star" and then "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow". Drage's mentor, Simon Cowell, voted to keep him, but the other judges — Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Rachel Hylton's mentor Dannii Minogue — voted in Hylton's favour.

He has since appeared on many TV programmes and turned on Stevenage town Christmas lights on 20 November 2008 where he performed four songs, three of which he had performed on the live shows.

Drage made a brief appearance at Butlin's Holiday Park in Skegness on New Year's Eve 2008 to sing two solo songs and a duet with Laura White.

He recently appeared as an X Factor expert on Five's magazine show Live from Studio Five.

Since then Drage has appeared in multiple magazines either naked or partially clothed. He appeared in Attitude magazine's naked edition 2009 and Now magazine's Sexy Santa edition.

Eoghan Quigg

Eoghan Karl Christopher Quigg (pronounced "Owen", born 12 July 1992[2]) is from County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He has two younger brothers, and a baby sister, born during Quigg's participation on the show.He is the youngest contestant out of the 12.

In the first live show he sang "Imagine" by John Lennon. In week two he sang Michael Jackson's "Ben". Week three's song choice was Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E". In week four he sang Donna Summer's "Could It Be Magic". Following Scott's elimination in week three and Austin's in week four, he was Simon's only remaining act in the competition.

He then in week five sang "Anytime You Need A Friend" by Mariah Carey. Week six saw Eoghan sing "One More Try" by George Michael. In week seven he sang the Take That song "Never Forget". During Britney Spears week, he sang "Sometimes" and, for his second song, High School Musical's "We're All In This Together". These performances carried him through to the semi-finals of the competition.

In week 9 Quigg's first song was Busted's "Year 3000". He got excellent praise for this song. His second song of the evening was ABBA's "Does Your Mother Know". Judges Walsh, Cowell and Cole all enjoyed the song, though Minogue thought that the song choice "tended towards cheesy".[citation needed] He achieved third place overall.

On the last edition of spin-off show The Xtra Factor, presenter Holly Willoughby announced that out of the finalists Quigg had placed first in viewers' votes in six episodes of the series, while Alexandra Burke had won two (including the final), and Diana Vickers and JLS had each won one. Quigg was, along with finalists Burke, JLS and fourth-placed Diana Vickers, signed to Simon Cowell's label Syco after the series ended.[3] Cowell withdrew his offer and Quigg was instead signed to RCA Records.[4]

Scott Bruton

Scott Paul Bruton (born 14 December 1988[5]) is a former Pontins Bluecoat from Manchester. Bruton initially wanted to be an actor but decided on a career in music after taking part in karaoke. In the first live show Bruton received harsh criticism for his performance of "Yeh Yeh". His mentor Simon Cowell accepted responsibility for the bad song choice. In week 3, on 25 October, he sang "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra but was eliminated after a bottom-two showdown against Daniel Evans. Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Evans' mentor Dannii Minogue voted in Daniel's favour. Bruton's mentor, Simon Cowell, voted to keep him in the competition. He is currently playing the role of Bobby in Dreamboats and Petticoats. His album is due out in February 2010.

Girls

The "Girls" category was this year mentored by Cheryl Cole. In series 5, contestants in this category were females aged between 14 and 24. The eventual winner, Alexandra Burke, came from this category.

Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Imelda Cecelia Ewan Burke (born 25 August 1988[6]) is a singer from London. In 2005 Burke auditioned for The X Factor and got through to the "Judges' Houses" stage. However, her then mentor Louis Walsh decided she was too young and did not put her through to the live shows. Burke is the daughter of ex-Soul II Soul singer Melissa Bell.

On the first live show, Burke performed the Whitney Houston classic, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", in which she was compared to her. For the second live show, Burke covered "I'll Be There" by The Jackson Five for which she was again criticised by Simon Cowell, who called her a copycat. In week three, Big Band week, Burke performed "Candyman", a Christina Aguilera song, for which she received her first standing ovation. For the disco-themed fourth live show, Burke performed the Donna Summer song, "On the Radio". During Mariah Carey week on 8 November, Burke and the other finalists met for an individual masterclass. Mariah Carey complimented Burke on her voice. Burke performed "Without You" and received a standing ovation from the judges. All the judges gave her positive comments following her performance; Simon Cowell commented that "by any standard, that was just outstanding". Following the show Burke's performance was praised by Mariah Carey who commented that her rendition of "Without You" was "absolutely amazing".

In weeks 6 and 7, Burke received positive comments from the judging panel for her performances of Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful" and Take That's "Relight My Fire". Week 8 was Burke's best week so far,[citation needed] seeing her replace Diana Vickers as the bookies' favourite after performing Britney Spears' "Toxic" and Beyoncé's "Listen", for which she received yet another standing ovation. In week 9, Burke performed Rihanna's hit song "Don't Stop The Music" and again received positive comments, with Louis Walsh calling her "the English Beyoncé" and Cowell commenting "...We may be seeing the birth of a star here [...] you've got it all, that was a great performance". Diana Vickers was eliminated in the semi-final, meaning Burke was the last remaining girl and Cheryl Cole's last hope of winning The X Factor.

In the final show, Burke's Christmas song was "Silent Night". For her duet, Burke sang with internationally renowned artist Beyoncé, performing "Listen" for the third time in the series (previous performances were in the "Judges' Houses" round and the eighth live show). Burke's favourite performance was "You Are So Beautiful". Burke was the eventual winner of the competition, defeating JLS in the final two.

Diana Vickers

Diana Mae Vickers (born 30 July 1991) is from Accrington, Lancashire. She had taken singing lessons and participated in local competitions, but had never sung professionally.

Vickers began her X Factor journey by singing Damien Rice's "The Blower's Daughter" at audition. She went on to sing "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol at the first stage of bootcamp and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at the second stage, receiving positive reviews from all four judges. In the sing-offs for the three final places in Cheryl Cole's group, Vickers sang "Nothing Compares To You" by Sinéad O'Connor and "Carry You Home" by James Blunt. After the first song, Cole noticed Vickers' disappointment, thinking this could be her downfall. However, she chose Vickers for her final three.

On her first live show Vickers sang U2's "With or Without You". On the second live show she covered Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror", for which she received nothing but praise with Dannii Minogue describing it as "box fresh" and Simon Cowell remarking she is "the one to beat". The following week she performed "Smile" which again received much praise, and the judges were even more impressed with her version of Blondie's "Call Me".

In week five, Vickers was excused from performing due to a severe case of laryngitis. She had wanted to perform the Mariah Carey song "Always Be My Baby" up until a few hours before the show, but her doctor advised her not to, saying she could do permanent damage to her vocal chords. This was the first time the producers had excused any act from performing. She was said to be devastated not to meet Mariah Carey, who guested on that week's show. However on The Xtra Factor show afterwards, footage was shown of Diana at a bonfire night party earlier that week, screaming and cheering with the other contestants. This created some speculation as to the legitimacy of her illness. However, Vickers released a statement to contest the claim: "I felt under the weather all last week but didn’t want to miss out on the fireworks display. On Thursday I saw the doctor and was given antibiotics and the following day was diagnosed with laryngitis by a Harley Street specialist. Up until Saturday afternoon, I was still hoping and praying that I would be well enough to perform but the producers spoke to the doctor who made it clear that I could risk long-term damage to my voice. I was absolutely devastated to be told I couldn’t perform on Saturday night and disappointed not to be able to meet Mariah Carey. I am due to see the doctor again on Friday so fingers crossed I will be able to take part in this Saturday’s show".

Vickers returned in week six and performed the Coldplay song "Yellow", prompting Cowell to remark that he believed she was still unwell because she had so many "off-notes". In week seven she sang Take That's "Patience" commenting that she felt 100% once again and hoped to deliver her best performance to date. During the show, guest Gary Barlow offered to sign her if Simon Cowell didn't, to which Cowell responded "We will not be accepting Gary Barlow's kind offer for a recording contract. Leona has done fine with me, thank you Gary".

In week eight, she performed Britney Spears' "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman", which received a muted reaction from the judges, with Simon Cowell telling her it was the first week where she was in danger. She returned for the second half of the show with a version of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts", which kept her in the competition at the expense of Ruth Lorenzo.

In the week 9 semi-finals, Vickers performed Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" as her first song and received excellent comments from all the judges, Cheryl Cole saying that "she had got that sparkle back". She followed this with Dido's "White Flag" but was subsequently voted out of the competition, to the shock and upset of her fellow semi-finalists Eoghan Quigg.

It was originally announced that Vickers would be signed up by Sony BMG under the Syco label but this plan was later dropped.[3] Vickers has since been signed to the RCA label.[7]

Vickers made her professional acting debut in the title role of a new West End production of Jim Cartwright's The Rise and Fall of Little Voice in the autumn of 2009.[8] Vickers' first single, Once, will be released on 19th April 2010 with her album, Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree released 2 weeks later on 3rd May 2010.

Laura White

Black and White image of Laura White singing
Laura White performing on New Year's Eve 2008 at Butlin's, Skegness

Laura Jane White (born 30 August 1987[9]), is a student from Atherton, Wigan. She had been singing and playing the piano since she was a young girl. Despite never having had a professional singing lesson, White began singing in jazz bars at the age of 15. She attended Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, the same school as actors Anthony Quinlan, Leah Hackett and Oliver Lee, and went on to study creative writing at The University of Bolton.

On the first live show, White was the final act to take the stage, performing Alicia Keys' "Fallin'." White was the only act to receive a standing ovation from the judging panel for her dramatic and original rendition of the song. She received high praise from the judges, especially Simon Cowell, who said: "... that was outstanding. You have something very, very special. This is why I still like doing this show, in this country, so that you can discover people like you. You have a fantastic future, potentially, ahead of you young lady."

White progressed through to the next live show, Michael Jackson week, taking on "You Are Not Alone" with her powerhouse vocals, again distinguished by her jazzy and groovy style. In Big Band week, she displayed a more mature and soulful side with her performance of "God Bless the Child", for which she received another standing ovation. Judge Louis Walsh praised White's performance as "world class" and "better than Diana Ross's" version. The final word was from judge Cowell, who claimed "by any standard that I've ever heard, that was incredible." In the fourth live show, Disco week, she delivered her version of "Somebody Else's Guy." Judge Danni Minogue commented, "You shouldn't be able to do that at your age... That was a really hard song... you made it effortless." In her final performance on the show, she was again praised by the judges. Despite those accolades and being one of the favourites to win the competition, Laura was voted off the show in week five, November 8, after a performance in which she accompanied herself on the piano (or mimed an accompaniment).[10] Her elimination caused some controversy.Also Laura performed in CHICAGO ROCK CAFE, England

Over 25s

The "Over 25s" were mentored by Dannii Minogue. Contestants in this category are, as the name suggests, people aged 25 or over. There is no upper age limit.

Daniel Evans

Daniel James Evans (born 30 November 1969[11]),the oldest of the 12 finalists a pool cleaner from Leyton, London, had applied for most of the five series of The X Factor, but this was the first year that he had actually auditioned. Evans decided to participate this year following the death of his wife after she gave birth to his daughter. Throughout the live finals, he repeatedly received criticism from both Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. He was in the bottom two with Scott Bruton in week three but won through to the next round by virtue of a passionate performance in memory of his wife. Along with Ruth Lorenzo, he did not appear when the finalists sang "Hero" in week three because of a technical problem. In week five a campaign started by Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles urging his listeners to vote for Evans seemed to have saved his skin. Moyles described Evans as looking like "Rick Astley's dad" saying "he's never going to win, so vote for him to annoy Simon and Louis". Evans was voted out in the sixth round, after a sing-off with Rachel Hylton. Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell all voted for Hylton, and with that his departure from the competition was confirmed. Daniel releases his debut single a cover of Open Arms.

Rachel Hylton

Rachel Shavon Hylton (born 26 November 1981[12]) is a mother-of-five from London. She had the first of her five children at the age of 13. Problems with drugs led to a spell in prison and eventually three of her children were taken into care. Hylton was hoping to win The X Factor to make a better life for herself and her two youngest children, whom she still looks after.

In weeks one and two, she received harsh criticism from many of the show's judges, but in week three, Simon Cowell described her rendition of 'Feeling Good' as 'the best performance of the night.' Week four Hylton was in the bottom two with Austin Drage after a disco themed show, in which her performance was described by Louis Walsh as 'very average.' Only Drage's mentor, Simon Cowell, chose to save him, whilst the remaining judges kept Hylton in the competition, progressing her to week five. During the week five show Hylton performed "Against All Odds" and survived the public vote, progressing to week six. In week six Hylton was once again in the bottom two with Daniel Evans but was saved by Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell. In week seven Hylton was in the bottom two for a third time, this time with JLS. Despite drawing praise from the judges for her sing-off performance, she was voted out by a majority of the judges because they believed JLS would progress further in the competition.

Hylton revealed to Digital Spy that she had been offered a recording contract, but, like the other contestants, could not sign it until her contract with The X Factor expired. Hylton was also rumoured to have been working with US singer John Legend and his record label but this later turned out to be false. On 4 May 2009, she appeared alongside US stars Mary Mary, CeCe Winans and Kirk Franklin at the Oraclez Gospel Festival at Wembley Arena.

Ruth Lorenzo

Ruth Lorenzo Pascual (born 10 November 1982[13]) originally from Murcia, South East Spain, now living in Ashtead, Surrey, was working a PR Consultant at the time of the show. In week two, Lorenzo fell into the bottom two, along with Girlband. Her choice of sing-off song was "Purple Rain". Lorenzo's mentor Dannii Minogue and Cheryl Cole voted for her to stay, with Simon Cowell and Girlband's mentor Louis Walsh voting the other way. The result thus went to "Deadlock", and the public vote was consulted. Lorenzo had received more votes from the public than Girlband and therefore survived. It was announced after the show that the telephone number that appeared on screen for fans to call and vote to keep her in the competition had a digit missing. Many people complained saying that when they called to vote for Lorenzo the number had a "busy" tone and their votes did not count. Lorenzo was in the bottom two again in week five (November 8), this time in a sing-off against Laura White. Her rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" saw her survive by three votes to one, with White eliminated from the competition. In week 6 Lorenzo sang Robbie Williams' "Angels" and got through to the next week. In week 7 she sang Take That's "Love Ain't Here Anymore" which thoroughly impressed the judges, especially Cowell, who described it as 'sensational'.

Lorenzo, by this stage Minogue's last remaining act, was eliminated by public vote on November 29, despite receiving excellent feedback from the judges for her performances of Britney Spears' "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" and Bon Jovi's "Always". With Lorenzo's departure, Minogue had lost all three of her acts in successive shows.

According to a report in The Sun newspaper,[14] Lorenzo has been offered several record contracts. However, she cannot sign up to any of them until her X Factor contract expires.

Reported on April 23 2009 Lorenzo had signed a 1.5 million pound recording contract with EMI.

Groups

The "Groups" were mentored by Louis Walsh. Acts in this category are vocal duos or groups. In series 5, each member had to be aged 14 or over to be eligible to enter the show.

Bad Lashes

Bad Lashes are a four-piece girl band from North East England, made up of Emily McNamee (born 30 June 1989) from Newcastle upon Tyne, Sophie Wilson (born 21 November 1984) from Hartlepool, Samantha Bennett (born 26 April 1987) from Durham, and Stacey Lincoln (born 24 October 1987),[15] also from Durham. In the first live show, they received mixed reviews from the judges, attracting praise from Cheryl Cole, but harsh criticism from Simon Cowell, who compared watching their performance to 'eating water.' They were the first act to be eliminated in the live shows when, on 11 October, they found themselves in the bottom two with other girl group Girlband: the judges' votes were split at 2-2, so the result of the public vote was revealed and Bad Lashes were announced to have polled the least votes from the viewers and were sent home. In the judges' vote, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue voted in their favour, with Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh voting against them. Bad Lashes have since released their cover version of Wonderwall in November 2009 as a single.

Girlband

Girlband were a four-piece girl band from South-West England. The group comprised sisters Tita Lau (born 30 July 1988) and Phoebe Jay Lau (born 2 June 1990), along with their friends Marisa Billitteri (born 20 May 1989) and Layla Manoochehri (born 1 May 1986).[16] In the first live show, they received harsh comments from Simon Cowell, who called them a 'Girls Aloud bunch of rejects.' They were placed in the bottom two by the public vote and the decision was given to the judges, whose votes were split, with Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue voting against them, and Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh opting to save them. The result was then referred to the public vote and Girlband survived, having polled higher than other bottom two act Bad Lashes. They were in the bottom two again in the second show, and the judges' votes were once again split. With the result referred to the public vote, Girlband were revealed to have polled the lowest and were duly eliminated. They split up days after their elimination.[17]

It was revealed on ITV1 television programme I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! that Layla is dating Blue member Simon Webbe.[18]

JLS

JLS (Jack the Lad Swing) are a four-piece boy band[19] consisting of Aston Merrygold (born 13 February 1988) who is from Peterborough, and Marvin Humes (born 18 March 1985), Jonathan "JB" Gill (born 7 December 1986) and Oritse Williams (born 27 November 1986) who are all from London [20]. Aston previously played "Cookie" in CITV's Fun Song Factory and Marvin used to be in the group VS, which was created by Simon Webbe of Blue.

Following Bad Lashes' elimination in week one and Girlband's in week two, they were Louis Walsh's last remaining act in the competition. In week seven JLS were in the bottom two along with Rachel Hylton. However, they survived thanks to the votes from Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell. In week 8 JLS performed "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears. They received negative comments from the judges, with Simon Cowell saying "At the moment you're out". After their second performance, Whitney Houston's You Light Up My Life however, Cowell commented that they were "back in the race, narena cassan duré".

In week 9, JLS performed the second Rihanna song of the evening, "Umbrella" (the first being Alexandra Burke's performance of "Don't Stop The Music") and received positive comments from the judges. Walsh said "All I can say is, I'm so proud of you". Their second song was "I'm already there" by Lonestar and Walsh had tears in his eyes.

JLS made it to the final show, becoming the fourth group to do so, the others being G4 in the first series, Journey South in the second series and Same Difference in the fourth. After surviving the first public vote of the night, in which Eoghan Quigg was voted off, they were able to perform their own version of the winner's song, "Hallelujah", which the other remaining finalist Alexandra Burke also performed. The public voted for the second time that night and JLS ended up coming second.

All the judges said that JLS were the best band that had ever been on the show, and it was widely predicted that they would be offered a contract by a record company shortly after the show's end. It was announced on 20 January 2009, just one month after the final, that JLS had signed with record company Epic Records.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.phpid=M2&mcosp=2043001989376143872
  2. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=M3
  3. ^ a b c http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1094768/The-Cash-Factor-Dont-fooled-real-winner-Simon-Cowell.html
  4. ^ http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article2142267.ece
  5. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=M1
  6. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=F1
  7. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a145009/vickers-quigg-sign-to-rca.html
  8. ^ "Vickers' article on Broadwayworld". www.broadwayworld.com. http://broadwayworld.com/article/X_Factors_Diana_Vickers_to_Star_in_WestEnd_Revival_of_Jim_Cartwrights_THE_RISE_AND_FALL_OF_LITTLE_VOICE_20090709. 
  9. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=F3
  10. ^ "Laura White is voted off X Factor". BBC News. 2008-11-08. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7718192.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  11. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=O3
  12. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=O1
  13. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=O2
  14. ^ X Factor Ruth's bagged record offers, The Sun, 9 December 2008
  15. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=G1
  16. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=G3
  17. ^ "Where are they now? What happened to the 57 X Factor finalists?". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). 20 August 2009. http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv-entertainment/x-factor/2009/08/20/where-are-they-now-what-happened-to-the-57-x-factor-finalists-115875-21609052/. Retrieved 6 October 2009. 
  18. ^ Robertson, Colin (2008-12-05). "I'll marry Layla, she is the one". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/im_a__celebrity/article2006463.ece. Retrieved 7 December 2008. 
  19. ^ Peterborough Evening Telegraph
  20. ^ http://www.russellgrant.com/articles/xfactor2008.php?id=G2

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