Steve Brookstein
Contestant Profile
Birth Date 10 November 1968
'Age 49
Hometown Camberwell, London, England
Occupation Singer


Category Over 25s
Mentor Simon Cowell
Placement Winner (1/9)
Stephen "Steve" Desmond Brookstein (born 10 November 1968) is an English jazz and soul singer, who enjoyed fleeting success in the United Kingdom after becoming the winner of the Series 1 of The X Factor in 2004. He was part of the Over 25s category mentored by Simon Cowell.

The X Factor

In his first audition he failed to impress two of the judges, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, but the third, Simon Cowell asked Brookstein to return the next day and sing again. This time Brookstein managed to impress the other judges and was put through to the next stage of the competition. He reached Judges' Houses as part of the Over 25s category mentored Simon Cowell, who chose him, Rowetta Satchell and Verity Keays as his Top 3 for the live shows.

When he reached the televised finals, he was subjected to criticism by judges Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh but managed to make it to the grand final alongside G4 and was announced as the show's very first winner and the first winner of the franchise overall. According to Osbourne's autobiography, he topped the vote every single week of the live shows. Until Joe McElderry's win in 2009, he also held the record for the most votes received by a winner of the show, when he won with six million votes.


Episode Theme Song Result
Audition 1 Free choice "Song for You" Told to come back
Audition 2 Free choice "Part Time Love" Advanced
Bootcamp 1 Solo performance "That's Why" Advanced
Bootcamp 2 Group performance " Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Advanced
Judges' houses Free choice "Dance with My Father" Advanced
Week 1 "When a Man Loves a Woman" Safe
Week 2 "If You Don't Know Me by Now" Safe
Week 3 "Smile" Safe
Week 4 "Help Me Make It Through the Night" Safe
Week 5 "Let's Stay Together" Safe
Week 6 "I Get the Sweetest Feeling" Safe
"If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time"
Week 7: Semi final "Have I Told You Lately" Safe
"The Greatest Love of All"
Week 8: Final "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" Winner
Winner's single "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)"

Post The X Factor

His winner's single was released following his win and entered the UK charts at #2, losing out on the Christmas top spot to Band Aid 20's "Do They Know It's Christmas?". However, the single rose to #1 for the new year and stayed there for one week. To date, it has sold over 204,000 copies making it the lowest selling winner's single until 2015 winner Louisa Johnson's single was released.

In May 2005, he released his debut album "Heart and Soul", which reached #1 on the UK charts. However, only eight months after winning the show it was announced that he was no longer signed to Syco Music. Since then, he has been very vocal about this and his treatment on the show. He has also stated that he would never go within "100 miles" of Simon Cowell again.

In June 2007, Brookstein appeared on the P&O Portsmouth to Bilbao car ferry, alongside Series 2 alumni Chico Slimani and Series 3 competitors Journey South. In 2008, he played 'the father' in a touring production of the award-winning musical Our House.

In December 2009, when a Facebook campaign was launched to stop the winner from achieving the coveted Christmas number 1 spot, Brookstein backed the campaign to see Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" reach the top of the chart, blasting Cowell in an online rant. He further attacked Cowell, claiming the latter "ruined Christmas" and that he was dropped from his record label because he "wouldn't play the game". Brookstein also claimed the show was staged and the winner was fixed, and was subsequently removed from the show's official website following those comments.

In 2010, he was voted the biggest reality television flop ahead of Series 4 winner Leon Jackson. The same year he signed up to critique the show, labeling the judges "ridiculous" and questioning the standards of several of the finalists and the vocal coach.

He also released a book on 21 November 2014, called "Getting Over the X",  that describes his journey from winning The X Factor to having the press and industry turn their backs on him. He has also been openly critical about the show on his Twitter account.



2005 "Heart and Soul" 1
2006 "40,000 Things" 165
2014 "Forgotten Man"


2005 "Against All Odds" 1
2006 "Fighting Butterflies" 193
2010 "Don't Give Up"
Series 1 Finalists
Cassie ComptonG4Roberta HowettRowetta SatchellSteve BrooksteinTabby Callaghan2 to GoVerity KeaysVoices with Soul
The X Factor UK Winners
Steve BrooksteinShayne WardLeona LewisLeon JacksonAlexandra BurkeJoe McElderryMatt CardleLittle MixJames ArthurSam BaileyBen HaenowLouisa JohnsonMatt TerryRak-Su