Monday, December 12, 2011

They've done it! Little Mix make X Factor history as they become first group EVER to take home the crown

By Sarah Bull

They've done it! Little Mix beat Marcus Collins to take home the X Factor crown

Little Mix tonight made X Factor history as they became the first group ever to win the ITV talent show.

Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall beat finalist Marcus Collins at the final hurdle to take home the crown after a series of stunning performances on the final show.

Screaming with delight as they were told they had won the show, the girls burst into tears before speaking to host Dermot O'Leary.

Stunned: The girls, and their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos, struggled to contain their emotions as the result was announced

The quartet struggled to control their emotions as they were crowned the winners, with Leigh-Anne telling Dermot: 'Oh my gosh, wow!'

Jesy added: 'This is never going to sink in. We can never thank the public enough for voting for us.'

Tulisa, who burst into tears when the news was announced, added later: 'I think I wanted them to win more than they did.'

Nerves: The girls and their fellow finalist Marcus Collins awaited the news of the result

Overcome: Jade and Tulisa started screaming when the results were announced

Congratulations: The girls hugged runner-up Marcus as his mentor Gary applauded them

Simon Cowell, who has been absent from this year's panel, was also quick to congratulate the girls, writing on his Twitter page: 'Congratulations to @LIttleMixOffic . And Paula as you can see, groups can win this show! I was really hoping a group would win this year. @OfficialTulisa has done a great job. These girls could be stars.'

Little Mix have now released their cover of Damien Rice's Cannonball as their winner's single, and are hoping to clinch the coveted Christmas number one spot with the track.

Irish singer Rice reached number 32 on the UK Singles Chart back in 2003 with Cannonball, the second single from his debut album O. Rice then re-released the track in 2004, hitting number 19 in the UK and 21 in Ireland.

However, many fans took to Twitter before the results were announced to speculate that the decision had already been made, after the Marks and Spencer Christmas advert featured Little Mix at the end instead of Amelia Lily, who had featured at the end before.

One fan tweeted: 'Well its obvious little mix were gonna win , they were the ones at the end of the marks and spencer advert.'

While another added: 'How can Marks and Spencer's know that little mix have won before we do?'

The show began with the two finalists trying to overcome their nerves about who would be named the winner, with Marcus saying: 'A couple more performances now and one of us is going to be crowned the winner. It's amazing.'

Little Mix added: 'We really want to do well, we really want to win!'

Teary: Little Mix pose up with Tulisa after they were announced as the winners

Fix factor? Fans took to Twitter to speculate that the decision had been made before the results were announced after the Marks and Spencer advert featured Little Mix on the end

Host Dermot O'Leary looked dapper in his black tuxedo as he made his way to the stage to introduce the evening's show, although he decided to leave the dance moves after last night's opening medley.

Dermot then introduced the X Factor judges, Kelly Rowland, Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow.

Making a grand entrance on an elevated platform, Gary and Louis had to help Tulsa off the platform as her fitted fishtail dress made it incredibly difficult for her to walk.

Judgement day: The judges make their way to the stage for the final time

Finalists: Little Mix and Marcus Collins fought it out for the X Factor crown

Kelly, meanwhile, looked stunning in a pretty gold dress with a short from and long train back.

Marcus and Little Mix then kicked off the finalists' performance of Rihanna and Calvin Harris' We Found Love, before they were joined on stage by some other familiar faces.

They then mashed-up We Found Love with Sweat, Shuffling, Jennifer Lopez' On The Floor as The Risk, Nu Vibe, Two Shoes, Misha B, Janet Devlin, Sophie Habibis and Goldie Cheung strutted their stuff.

Blondes have more fun: Amelia Lily and Kitty Brucknell seemed to be enjoying the performance

Familiar faces: Craig Colton, 2 Shoes and Sophie Habibis returned for another performance

Johnny Robinson and Sami Brookes then kicked off Moves Like Jagger, joined by Craig Colton, before Kitty Brucknell stood o the judges table as she belted out Lady Gaga's The Edge Of Glory, joined by Amelia Lily, who narrowly missed out on a place in the final show.

Noticeably absent, however, was Frankie Cocozza, who dropped out of the show following allegations of drug taking.

The solo performances were kicked off by Marcus, who decided to sing his favourite track of the series, Higher and Higher.

Powerful in pink: Marcus donned his favourite pink shirt and jacket to once again perform Higher and Higher

So proud: Marcus' mentor Gary said he couldn't be more proud of the Liverpudlian

Explaining his decision, Marcus said: 'Performing higher and higher was a real moment for me on the show, it was one of my favourite performances on the whole series.

'It's such an important song to me, it gives me such a boost every time I hear it.'

Marcus added: 'I always knew I wanted to be a singer, even when I was younger. It would mean so much to me if I could win The X Factor - I don't want my dreams dashed at the last minute.'

Scenic: Marcus was accompanied by a full gospel choir for his performance

Standing ovation: Gary was quick to stand up and applaud Marcus after his song

After his performance, Louis said: 'Marcus, you are a born little pop star. soulful, likeable, amazing - you've got it all.'

Tulisa said: 'That is your best song of the series and I predict a very bright future for you, well done.'

A clearly excitable Kelly added: 'First of all, you lifted this crowd this evening higher and higher. And I hope you have enjoyed every minute of the time you were here and I hope you know how bright and big your future is. I'm so in love with you and I'm so happy you got this far.'

Giving it their all: Little Mix chose to perform Don't Let Go again

Songbirds: Jesy and Jade couldn't control their excitement as they belted out the track for fans

And mentor Gary said: 'Once again well done and congrats on another amazing performance. In the history of The X Factor I can't remember a finalist or a winner who takes hold of the stage like you do and shines even amongst 40 people.'

Next up was Little Mix, who sang Don't Let Go.

Talking about why they had chosen to sing that song, Leigh-Anne said: 'When we performed that for the first time, we felt like we came together as a group.'

Unbelievable: The girls looked overwhelmed by the comments from the X Factor judges after the performance

Mixed emotions: Tulisa couldn't stop smiling after their rendition of the track, while Kelly was reduced to tears

Jesy added: 'It was so fun but it still felt powerful at the same time. We are so excited to be given the chance to sing this song again.'

And Leigh-Anne said: 'To do it in front of thousands of people at Wembley, the adrenaline is going to make us sing it even better.'

Wearing sexy monochrome outfits, the girls burst out of the stage on springboards before going straight into the powerful track.

Following their performance, Louis said: 'I'm going to predict Tulisa that this time next year, this is going to be the biggest girl group in the UK by a mile. Girls, amazing, but you need the votes!'

Feeling festive? Marcus Collins started the Christmas songs with a rendition of Wham!'s Last Christmas

Delighted: Marcus said he thoroughly enjoyed the performance

An emotional Kelly said: 'I'm sorry I'm crying but I'm just so happy for y'all because I remember where you started. I love you guys, congratulations.'

Gary added: 'I'm so happy tonight that you came back with that song, great performance, well done.'

And Tulisa said: 'Girls, amazing. I want to thank everyone at home who picked up the phone and kpet you in each week. You picked up the phone because you wanted them to win so those votes meant nothing unless you pick up the phone right now. Vote for Little Mix!'

Next up, Marcus and Little Mix took to the stage once more to perform their choice of festive classics.

Marcus was first with a cover of Wham!'s Last Christmas, encouraging the audience to sing along as he worked the stage in his checked three-piece suit.

Breaking it down: Little Mix kept it simple with their performance of Silent Night

Personalised: Little Mix wore jumpers printed with their names for the festive track

Afterwards, Louis said: 'Every week you bring something new and you are always happy, you're always smiling and you're always grateful - you're work ethic is amazing.'

Tulisa said: 'This has been such a long journey for the contestants, for the judges. I think we've been so caught up in it that we forgot It's Christmas! But you reminded us.'

Kelly added: 'What a great early Christmas gift, ho ho ho. Marcus, I just love you and I'm so happy for you once again. Congratulations.'

And Gary said: 'I'm going to do something I haven't done all series and I'm going to ask the whole nation to vote for you tonight. I can't tell you what a pleasure it has been to work with you, it has made the series for me.'

Next up was Little Mix, performing Silent Night, showcasing their amazing vocal talents with the stunning track.

Following their performance, Louis said: 'Girls, after that performance, we know we've got something special. We have four lead singers ina girl band and that hasn't happened for a long time before. It's almost like you were meant to be together - it just works. Little Mix, big future!'

And Kelly said: 'You girls sounded so great on that record. Merry fricking Christmas. And I love your sweaters!'

Gary said: 'Simple, beautiful, emotional and very Christmassy.'

And Tulisa said: 'Girls, i have pretty much said all I can say but I just want to say again how proud of you I am from the bottom of my heart. You have done so well and who says that a girl group can't win the X Factor - I believe you can do it.'

Farewell performance: Westlife performed for the last time on television as a band

Dermot then asked the judges what their personal highlights of the series were.

Louis said: 'Working with these three judges has been amazing. But Johnny and Kitty every week brought something new so I have to say my highlight was Johny and Kitty.'

Tulisa said: 'My highlight was every single week, the results show seeing Little Mix get through.'

And Kelly said: 'Being a mentor to such incredible talent is amazing.'

Gary concluded: 'I wanted to put a musical stamp on this show and then a Chinese lady called Goldie Cheung put her leg around my neck and I thought, what am I doing here?'

Is this the winners' single? Marcus performs Damien Rice's Cannonball

Emotional: Marcus gets a hug from presenter Dermot O'Leary after the performance

The first guest performance came from Westlife, who were performing for the final time on television as the group after announcing earlier this year that they would be splitting following a farewell tour.

Then it was time for both acts to perform Cannonball, the winner's single.

Marcus was up first, with Louis saying afterwards: 'Another powerful vocal performance. If I was looking for the perfect pop star I would get you. All you need now is votes.'

Support: Robbie Williams and Marcus's mum Tracy sent video messages of support to the Liverpudlian ahead of the results announcement

Tulisa said: 'You really do have everything - the voice, the star quality, the personality and one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen.'

Kelly said: 'That was such a beautiful, emotional performance tonight and I can tell how bad you want this and I want this for you.'

And Gary said: 'Congratulations, what a performance that was. I would never have picked that song for you but you sing it so beautifully.'

Getting some support in video messages from his family, Robbie Williams said: 'Marcus, you are amazing and you are going to be an awesome artist.'

Stripping it back: Little Mix kept it simple with their more acoustic approach to Cannonball

Emotional: Tulisa was reduced to tears by Little Mix's final performance

His mother Tracy was also seen saying: 'I just wanted to say how very proud of you I am. Who would have believed you would be standing here in the final. You're my little boy and I do hope that that little boy goes on to become a really big star because you deserve it.'

Then it was the turn of Little Mix to perform Cannonball, going for a more acoustic approach with the track.

With all the girls struggling to control their emotions, Louis said: 'Well girls, we're all getting emotional is because four little pop princesses have been born. We need some girl power, you deserve the votes.'

Stunned: The girls watch as they get messages of support from family and friends

Famous faces: This Morning's Holly Willoughby said she was backing Little Mix to win

Kelly said: 'Ladies, congratulations. Thinking about how far you have come, look at how dynamic you are collectively.'

Gary said: 'Well done, you twisted this song and made into a Little Mix song which is hard to do.'

And Tulisa said: 'Jade, you are the most adorable person I have ever known, Jesy, you are inspiring, Leigh-Anne, you remind me of myself years ago and Perrie, you were born a star.'

Tears all around: The girls struggled to control their emotions after seeing the messages

The girls were then shown messages of support from their family and friends, as well as celebrity fans including Holly Willoughby and Jessie J.

The next guest performance came from Coldplay, who performed their single Charlie Brown, before going into Paradise.

Frontman Chris Martin wore a casual blue T-shirt as the group belted out their songs to a psychedelic backdrop, much to the delight of the fans.

Asked if they were fans of the show, Martin said: 'We love the show, we're so happy to be on it, it's great.'

Psychedelic: Coldplay performed to a backdrop of bright colours as they belted out their songs

Sweaty: Martin said his advice to contestants was not to get as sweaty as he did



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