With the premiere of the 12th series of the popular british television show TheX Factor looming, it begs the question: Where are previous The X Factor winners now? Television talent shows are notorious for designating winners that nobody hears of again. In fact, oftentimes, it’s the losers that people hear more about than the winners. Is that the case for The X Factor? Let’s look at where the 11 previous winners of the favorite talent series are now.
2004 Season 1: Steve Brookstein
The first ever winner of the series, Steve Brookstein isn’t what you’d call a superstar today, but he has managed to bag a few hits. He was number one on the charts with his debut album Heart and Soul. However, that was his one claim to fame. He’s now most famous for his performances on cruise ships.
2005 Season 2: Shayne Ward
Shayne holds the title for the fastest selling single of all time in the United Kingdom with his debut single “That’s My Goal,” which came up just ahead of Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind.” He has produced a few albums here and there, but he’s much lesser known than Andy Abraham, the runner-up who topped the charts with his debut album The Impossible Dream.
2006 Season 3: Leona Lewis
Here’s a name you might better recognize. Leona Lewis‘s first single release, a cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” won a U.K. record for having more than 50,000 downloads in just 30 minutes. She produced several best-selling albums and has sold 20 million records worldwide. She’s currently the most successful and best-selling act from The X Factor series, and is scheduled to release a brand new album entitled I Am on September 11.
2007 Season 4: Leon Jackson
Although Leon had an impressive moment when his first single “When You Believe” garnered 40 downloads per minute on the first day, his career pretty much disappeared after that. He managed another hit single and a decently performing debut album entitled Right Now, and that’s the last we’ve heard of Leon Jackson.
2008 Season 5: Alexandra Burke
Another successful winner of The X Factor, Alexandra Burke has released several best-selling singles, breaking a record for the most singles sold in Europe in a 24-hour period with her first winner’s single “Hallelujah.” She has since continued to produce songs and is an active singer and songwriter today with a net worth of more than $8 million.
2009 Season 6: Joe McElderry
Joseph “Joe” McElderry has released four albums all in the top 20, an impressive feat at just 24-years-old. Though he was the first X Factor winner to release a fourth album, he is more famous for winning the second series of Popstar to Operastar in 2011, and the first series of The Jump in 2014.
2010 Season 7: Matt Cardle
Matt managed to keep the top spot on the charts with his very first single “Many of Horror” for three full weeks. He also managed to stay in the top 10 with his first album Letters for 16 weeks, but after that, his career dropped off. He is now more famous for his theater performances than his music. You’ve probably heard a lot more about One Direction, the boy band that formed during the seventh season of the series.
2011 Season 8: Little Mix
Little Mix, originally known as Rhythmix, was the first group to win to the competition. It consists of members Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson. They have been fairly successful from the beginning. Their debut album DNA was in the top five in eight countries, the first girl group album since The Pussycat Dolls to be at the top of the charts for a debut album.
2012 Season 9: James Arthur
James managed to bag himself a hit single “Impossible,” a single album that reached number two, and not much else. However, his runner up, Jahmene Douglas, got a record deal with Sony Music, released a debut album, Love Never Fails, that claimed the number one spot on the United Kingdom charts, and is slated to release his second album later this year.
2013 Season 10: Sam Bailey
It’s a little early to tell where Bailey’s career will take her, but she did manage to release an album, The Power of Love, in 2014 that held the number one spot in the United Kingdom. She also went on her first tour in January of this year.
2014 Season 11: Ben Haenow
Ben is the freshest winner of The X Factor series and his first single released in December, 2014, a cover of OneRepublic’s “Something I Need,” was the 2014 Christmas number one in the United Kingdom. Shortly after, he signed a record deal with Syco Music and has been working on his debut album ever since.
The 12th series of The X Factor will air on ITV on Saturday, August 29, and we’ll have a brand new batch of talented singers vying for their spot as the winner of The X Factor.
[Image via TBIVision.com]