Haenow clinches shock X Factor win

Published: Monday 15th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Van driver Ben Haenow is on the road to music stardom after he was named winner of The X Factor.

The 29-year-old’s victory came as a shock after his rival Fleur East, 26, was installed as hot favourite.

After the result was announced, Haenow said: “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. Thank you so much.

“My dream has come true. You can’t imagine you are going to get to this point in the competition.”

Simon Cowell, who was mentor to both of the final two acts, said: “I couldn’t be happier for you, Ben. You’ve deserved it – you are a great guy and I’m so proud of you.”

He hailed East as a “fantastic runner up”.

Official figures released after the show revealed that Haenow secured more than half of the public vote in the final, with 57.2%. East polled 34.3% with third placed Andrea Faustini getting the remaining 8.5%.

The data showed that Haenow was the most popular act in every vote after the third week. In the first three shows Faustini received the most votes.

East, who was the bookmaker’s favourite before the weekend, was not the most popular contestant in any of the votes.

But the Londoner won rave reviews from the judges for her performance of Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk.Ronson topped the singles charts this week with the song, which was rushed out after East covered it for the first time earlier in the series.

She was gracious in defeat, saying: “I’m so grateful. I love Ben so much, I’m so happy for him.”

Haenow, from Croydon, south London, performed the winner’s single – a cover of OneRepublic’s Something I Need – at the close of the 11th series of the ITV show.

The track will now be a strong contender for Christmas number one.

Haenow was previously in a band with his brother called The Lost Audio.

Earlier Mel B thanked the nurses and doctors who cared for her during the illness that saw her miss the X Factor on Saturday night.

The former Spice Girl returned to the judges’ panel after being released from hospital.

She said: “I really missed being here but thanks to all the doctors and nurses who took care of me and got me here tonight.”

Asked by host Dermot O’Leary if she was feeling better, Mel said: “Yes – ish.”

The show also featured Olly Murs and Demi Lovato performing a duet, Sam Smith singing Stay With Me and One Direction being joined on stage by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.

O’Leary said this year’s show has attracted more than 40 million votes from viewers – the highest number of any series so far.

For the first time this season, fans have been able to vote for free using an app for smartphones and tablets.

It emerged yesterday that the show drew its lowest audience for a decade – and trailed its BBC1 rival Strictly Come Dancing by more than a million viewers.

The ITV show had an average audience of 8.4 million, including those watching on the catch-up +1 channel, which was down 100,000 on the Saturday stage of last year’s finale.

The only time it has fared worse was in 2004 when it pulled in 8.1 million for the first ever final, won by Steve Brookstein. Without the +1 figures this year, the audiences would be on a par.

The Strictly semi-final drew 9.9 million which was also down 100,000 on the equivalent show last year.

The singing contest has seen a marked decline in its audience over recent years. In 2010 – when Matt Cardle was the winner – the equivalent show drew 14.1 million viewers.

There had been hopes that the return of Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini would lift the viewing figures this year but their appearances have not translated into a ratings boost.

Published: Monday 15th December 2014 by The News Editor

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