Despite only becoming a prominent front runner in the competition at week eight, James Arthur took the x factor UK crown last night, beating out Jahmene Douglas and Christopher Maloney in the final held over two nights (December 9 and 10).
The Daily Mirror published the week-by-week votes from throughout the 10 weeks of live competition, and as recently as week seven Arthur was in the bottom two, having only taken 13.7% that week. What a difference a week makes, though, and sure enough the next weekend he was on top of the polls with 51.7% after two stunning renditions of Abba’s ‘SOS’ and Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’. He was never bested again, and so although last night’s final was undoubtedly tense, the result was perhaps a lot less in doubt than it might have appeared.
In the final held in Manchester, Arthur was comfortably clear of Maloney on the first night, singing ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone and ‘Make You Feel My Love’ by Bob Dylan with mentor Nicole Scherzinger. Indeed, it was a busy night for Scherzinger given that Douglas was also her protégé, and so she teamed up with him for ‘The Greatest Love Of All’, made famous by Whitney Houston. With Thomas putting in a strong performance on the first night, it was no surprise that Liverpudlian Maloney was the first of the three to go, bowing out on the Saturday night. Last night, though, Arthur was victorious, 53.7% to 38.9%; he returned to ‘Let’s Get It On’ and ‘Impossible’ by Shontelle to step it up a notch and take the win.
The bad news for Arthur may be that this isn’t quite the springboard to success he was hoping for; many have criticized this year’s competition for being the worst in its history, and with recent reports that judge Tulisa’s new album The Female Boss has barely scraped the UK Top 40 albums chart this weekend, it’s clear that sustained exposure on the show isn’t necessarily the path to success it might once have been.