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The X Factor UK (Series 11)
XFactorTitles-1-
Series 11
Broadcast from 30 August 2014 – 14 December 2014
Judges Simon Cowell
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
Mel B
Louis Walsh
Presenters Dermot O'Leary
Sarah-Jane Crawford
Network ITV
ITV2
Number of finalists 16
Winner Ben Haenow
Runner-up Fleur East
Notable returnees Monica Michael (12)
Rumour Has It (12)
Ratings 8.61 (millions)
Chronology
Previous Series 10
Next Series 12

Series 11 of The X Factor premiered on August 30, 2014 and ended on December 14, 2014. This series is the first to be broadcast on American television with the first episode being aired on AXS TV the day after the UK premiere.

This series was won by 29-year pop-rock singer Ben Haenow, who was mentored by Simon Cowell in the Over 25s category.  This was his first win as a mentor since Leona Lewis in Series 3 and his third overall.  Fellow finalists Stereo KicksFleur East and Andrea Faustini also secured record deals after the show with minor success.

It was watched by an average of 8.6 million viewers - around 800,000 less than the previous series.

Production

After three years on the US version, Simon Cowell returned to the judging panel alongside and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who was judging on the show for the first time since 2010 and newcomer Mel B. They replaced former judges Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger. Louis Walsh remained as the only judge to have been on all eleven seasons.  Dermot O'Leary returned as the host for the eighth time.

Matt Richardson and Caroline Flack were replaced by DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford as the presenter of The Xtra Factor.

Brian Friedman, who served as creative director from series 4-7 before returning to work on the first three live shows of Series 9, returned to replace Jerry Reeve and Mark "Swany" Swanhart.

Twists/Changes

Two Auditions: Repeating Series 10's format, there would be a room audition and an arena audition for each contestant to make it to bootcamp.  Room auditions took place in Manchester, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh followed by arena auditions in London.

Age Limit: The minimum age was lowered from 16 to 14, like in Series 4 and 5.

Six Chair Challenge: The Six Chair Challenge was implemented once again.

Wildcard: There were four Wildcards this season, raising the number of finalists from 12 to 16. The twist was that the judges would choose another category's wildcard, and not their own. This was a change to Series 9 where the wildcard was voted for by the public.

Double Elimination: Because of the bigger number of finalists, double eliminations were required to narrow down the competition.

Winner's Single: Proceeds from the winner's single were donated to UK charity Together for Short Lives.

Finalists

Contestant Category Finish Elimination
Blondeelectramini Blonde Electra
22-24, Düsseldorf, Germany
Groups 16th
week one
Fewest public votes
Overloadgenmini Overload Generation
18-20, various places
Groups 15th
week one
Deadlock
Stephnalamini Stephanie Nala
20, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
Girls 14th
week two
Fewest public votes
Chloejasminemini Chloe Jasmine
24, Surrey
Girls 13th
week two
Majority vote
Jakequickendenmini Jake Quickenden
26, Scunthorpe
Boys 12th
week three
Majority vote
Jackwaltonmini Jack Walton
18, Castleford
Boys 11th
week four
Flash vote
Lolasaundersmini Lola Saunders
20, East Boldon, South Tyneside
Girls 10th
week four
Deadlock
Paulakistermini Paul Akister
25, Lancaster, Lancashire
Boys 9th
week five
Deadlock
X Factor 2015 Live Tour
Jayjamesmini Jay James
31, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire
Over 25s 8th
week six
Deadlock
Otymini Only The Young
17-21, London
Groups 7th
week seven
Flash vote
Steviritchiemini Stevi Ritchie
34, Colchester
Over 25s 6th
week seven
Majority vote
Stereokicksmini Stereo Kicks
15-21, various places
Groups 5th
week eight
Deadlock
Laurenplattmini Lauren Platt
17, Essex
Girls 4th
week nine
Majority vote
Andreafausitinimini Andrea Faustini
20, Rome, Italy
Boys 3rd
week ten
Fewest public votes
Fleureastmini Fleur East
27, Walthamstow
Over 25s Runner-up
week ten
Fewest public votes
Benhaenowmini Ben Haenow
29, Croydon
Over 25s Winner
week ten
Most public votes

Selection process

Auditions

See: List of The X Factor auditionees (series 11)

Continuing from the format from the last series, both room auditions and arena auditions were held for the judges. Locations for the auditions included: Machester, London, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Notable returning auditionees included: Fleur East, who reached the live shows in Series 2 in the girl group Addictiv Ladies; Chloe Jasmine, who was rejected by the judges at her audition in Series 3; Amy Connelly, who reached judges' houses in Series 5; Jake Quickenden, who reached judges' houses in Series 9; Lydia Lucy, who reached bootcamp in Series 10; Tom Mann, who reached bootcamp in series 10; Barclay Beales, who reached bootcamp in series 10; and Paul Akister, who reached judges houses in series 10.

Bootcamp

A total of 114 acts successfully reached the bootcamp this year. They were put into groups and took part in a sing-off, where the judges cut half of the acts, leaving only 57 acts to compete for the six chair challenge.

Six Chair Challenge

See: Six Chair Challenge (series 11)

Summary of six chair challenge
Judge Category Chairs
1 2 3 4 5 6
Fernandez-Versini Girls Lola Saunders Lauren Platt Kerrianne Covell Stephanie Nala Chloe Jasmine Emily Middlemas
Brown Boys Jake Quickenden Jordan Morris Danny Dearden Paul Akister Jack Walton Andrea Faustini
Cowell Over 25s Jay James Ben Haenow Fleur East Stevi Ritchie Helen Fulthorpe Lizzy Pattinson
Walsh Groups The Brooks Stereo Kicks Blonde Electra Rumour Has It Only The Young Concept

Judges' Houses

See: Judges' Houses (series 11)

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated Wildcard
Walsh Groups Bermuda Tulisa Contostavlos Concept, New Girl Group,The Brooks Overload Generation*
Brown Boys Cancún Emma Bunton Danny Dearden, Jordan Morris Jack Walton
Cowell Over 25s Los Angeles Sinitta Helen Fulthorpe, Lizzy Pattinson Stevi Ritchie
Fernandez-Versini Girls Nice Tinie Tempah Kerrianne Covell, Emily Middlemas Lola Saunders

*Overload Generation were originally eliminated during Boot Camp after being switched out in the six chair challenge. Despite this, Mel B chose them as Walsh's Wildcard act over the three groups that had been eliminated during the Judges Houses round.

Live Shows

There were ten weeks of live shows. Four wildcards were chosen with a twist: judges would choose each other's returning act. There would also be, because of the last twist, double eliminations to narrow down the 16 finalists.

Results Summary

Weekly results per contestant
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eliminated Blondeelectramini Overloadgenmini Stephnalamini Chloejasminemini Jakequickendenmini Jackwaltonmini Lolasaundersmini Paulakistermini Jayjamesmini Otymini Steviritchiemini Stereokicksmini Laurenplattmini Andreafausitinimini Fleureastmini Benhaenowmini
Ben Haenow 4th
8.7%
4th
9.1%
3rd
10.1%
1st
12.2%
1st
14.8%
1st
16.4%
1st
19.4%
1st
26.4%
1st
36.5%
1st
45.1%
Winner
57.2%
Fleur East 5th
6.0%
7th
6.0%
5th
9.3%
6th
9.4%
5th
10.8%
2nd
14.0%
2nd
16.1%
3rd
17.9%
2nd
24.3%
2nd
32.7%
Runner-up
34.3%
Andrea Faustini 1st
19.2%
1st
14.5%
1st
14.4%
2nd
11.9%
2nd
14.0%
4th
12.7%
6th
13.2%
2nd
21.0%
4th
19.1%
3rd
(week 10)
22.2%
Lauren Platt 2nd
10.4%
2nd
12.7%
2nd
11.8%
4th
11.0%
3rd
13.1%
3rd
13.2%
3rd
16.0%
4th
17.8%
3rd
20.1%
Eliminated
(week 9)
Stereo Kicks 11th
4.6%
12th
4.4%
6th
8.9%
9th
8.3%
4th
12.4%
5th
12.2%
4th
15.3%
5th
16.8%
Eliminated
(week 8)
Stevi Ritchie 10th
4.9%
8th
5.9%
7th
7.4%
3rd
11.5%
6th
10.3%
7th
10.8%
5th
14.7%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Only The Young 13th
4.0%
9th
5.6%
11th
5.2%
7th
9.0%
7th
8.5%
6th
12.2%
7th
5.3%
Eliminated
(week 7)
Jay James 7th
5.5%
5th
7.6%
8th
7.1%
8th
8.3%
8th
8.1%
8th
8.5%
Eliminated
(week 6)
Paul Akister 3rd
10.0%
3rd
9.9%
4th
9.4%
6th
9.5%
9th
8.0%
Eliminated
(week 5)
Lola Saunders 6th
5.7%
6th
7.6%
9th
6.9%
10th
6.3%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Jack Walton 9th
5.0%
10th
5.3%
10th
5.3%
11th
2.6%
Eliminated
(week 4)
Jake Quickenden 8th
5.1%
11th
4.8%
12th
4.2%
Eliminated
(week 3)
Chloe Jasmine 12th
4.3%
13th
4.0%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Stephanie Nala 14th
2.9%
14th
2.6%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Overload Generation 15th
2.7%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Blonde Electra 16th
1.0%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Sing-off Nala,
Overload Generation
Jasmine,
Stereo Kicks
Only The Young,
Quickenden
Saunders,
Stereo Kicks
Akister,
James
James, Ritchie Faustini, Ritchie Platt,
Stereo Kicks
Faustini,
Platt
No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
Nala Jasmine Quickenden Saunders Akister Ritchie Ritchie Platt Platt
Brown's vote
to eliminate
Nala Jasmine Only The Young Saunders James James Ritchie Platt Platt
Fernandez-Versini's vote
to eliminate
Overload Generation Stereo Kicks Quickenden Stereo Kicks James James Ritchie Stereo KicksFaustini
Cowell's vote
to eliminate
Overload Generation Jasmine Quickenden Stereo Kicks Akister Ritchie Faustini Stereo KicksPlatt

Ratings

Episode Air date Duration (minutes) Share (%) Official ITV rating
(millions)
Official ITV HD rating
(millions)
Total viewers
(millions)
Weekly rank
Auditions 1 August 30,
2014
85 40.9 8.33 1.76 10.09 2
Auditions 2 August 31,
2014
60 32.2 7.48 1.36 8.84 3
Auditions 3 September 6,
2014
80 39.4 8.08 1.52 9.60 2
Auditions 4 September 7,
2014
65 28.4 7.03 1.46 8.49 4
Auditions 5 September 13,
2014
80 38.9 8.09 1.62 9.71 2
Auditions 6 September 14,
2014
60 32.9 7.61 1.47 9.08 3
Auditions 7 September 20,
2014
80 39.2 8.13 1.57 9.70 3
Auditions 8 September 21,
2014
60 35.2 7.72 1.63 9.35 4
Bootcamp 1 September 26,
2014
60 23.3 5.62 1.19 6.81 17
Bootcamp 2 September 27,
2014
80 32.3 7.16 1.31 8.47 5
Bootcamp 3 September 28,
2014
60 35.4 8.16 1.42 9.58 2
Judges' houses 1 October 3,
2014
60 27.7 6.08 1.20 7.28 17
Judges' houses 2 October 4,
2014
80 30.4 6.76 1.40 8.16 7
Judges' houses 3 October 5,
2014
60 33.9 7.78 1.80 9.58 4
Live show 1 October 11,
2014
150 31.3 6.74 1.57 8.31 8
Live results 1 October 12,
2014
60 33.7 7.57 1.75 9.32 4
Live show 2 October 18,
2014
140 33.2 6.74 1.65 8.39 8
Live results 2 October 19,
2014
60 33.6 7.45 1.52 8.97 4
Live show 3 October 25,
2014
130 31.6 6.49 1.53 8.02 9
Live results 3 October 26,
2014
60 31.1 6.82 1.39 8.21 8
Live show 4 November 1,
2014
135 31.7 6.83 1.34 8.17 8
Live results 4 November 2,
2014
60 28.9 6.69 1.42 8.11 9
Live show 5 November 8,
2014
105 33.2 7.01 1.57 8.58 7
Live results 5 November 9,
2014
60 27.6 6.54 1.31 7.85 10
Live show 6 November 15,
2014
100 32.6 6.74 1.54 8.28 9
Live results 6 November 16,
2014
60 31.9 7.22 1.64 8.86 6
Live show 7 November 22,
2014
100 32.4 6.84 1.39 8.23 9
Live results 7 November 23,
2014
60 30.4 6.84 1.43 8.27 8
Live show 8 November 29,
2014
105 33.1 6.96 1.42 8.38 11
Live results 8 November 30,
2014
60 30.4 6.84 1.46 8.30 12
Live show 9 December 6,
2014
90 31.0 6.25 1.48 7.73 15
Live results 9 December 7,
2014
60 31.4 7.12 1.53 8.65 11
Live final December 13,
2014
125 35.8 7.34 1.59 8.93 4
Live final results December 14,
2014
125 35.2 8.03 1.85 9.88 3
Series average N/A 32.7 7.11 1.49 8.61 N/A

Controversies

Adam Miller

In July 2014, it was reported that auditionee Adam Miller was suing producers of the show for "cruel" treatment, claiming that they urged him to audition and persuaded him that he "wouldn't be embarrassing" himself, but he was then laughed at by Cowell during his audition which caused much controversy. Miller reportedly required counselling, and said, "I've been lied to, manipulated and used by the show and I can't be the only one. It might be Simon Cowell and it might be The X Factor, but that's wrong and I'm not going to let them get away with it. They approached me. They gave me a bit of self-confidence, then cruelly and deliberately stripped it away to make good TV." A spokesperson confirmed that Miller's audition would not be broadcast.

Chloe Jasmine

There were allegations of favouritism after Chloe Jasmine was allowed to audition twice. She apparently fluffed her arena audition by forgetting her words and bursting into tears, but none of this was shown on television. Instead, viewers saw Jasmine sail through to bootcamp after wowing the judges on a different night and singing the song "Why Don't You Do Right", tricking them into thinking that that had been her only audition. However, a show insider claimed that Chloe was given a second chance because she was going through a rough time: "Chloe was given a second chance as she was upset during her first performance. She had recently split up with her boyfriend so she wasn't in a fit state to perform. We gave her the chance to go away and compose herself. This does happen and the only reason it wasn't seen on the show was that there wasn't enough time to fit all of this into one episode."

Stereo Kicks

During The Xtra Factor after the second results show, in which Stereo Kicks took part in the sing-off, Crawford asked Walsh, their mentor, about them. He said, live on television, that he "never wanted eight [boys in the band]", "Simon put them together" and generally insinuated that he wanted to cut several members from the band. During several interviews between the week 2 results and the week 3 performance, Stereo Kicks mentioned how disappointed they were that their mentor didn't seem to want them, and there were rumours that the band would be split up during the week 3 live performances. These rumours turned out to be false, and Cowell made Walsh apologise to the band after their week 3 performance.

Stereo Kicks member Jake Sims faced controversy for tweeting about drug use whilst on the show, leaving his place in the band uncertain, yet he ended up staying. Stereo Kicks announced they had split up on 18 July 2015.

Fleur East

After Fleur East completed her performance in week 2, Mel B commented that East had allowed the backing vocals of the track to drown out her own, and accused her of "cheating." This caused a massive uproar backstage after the live show had ended, especially between Mel B and Cowell, East's mentor. The following week, after East's performance, Mel B commented that East had proven her wrong all along, praised her for her performance and retracted her cheating allegations from the previous week.

Also, as the semi-finals approached, the other semi-finalists, Andrea Faustini, Ben Haenow and Lauren Platt, were reported to have complained about the judges apparently setting East up to win, with a source saying "It's beginning to look obvious the judges want her to win. It may as well be called The F Factor – it's very unfair." Haenow later stated in an interview that the rumours were false, and that their mentor Cowell is not biased towards any of his acts.

Judges comments

During the fourth live show, Fernandez-Versini said that her act Lola Saunders kept the theme of Halloween by having mentally unstable people dancing behind in straitjackets while performing the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy", this caused problems to charities that help mental health suffers and no public apology has been issued since.

Results show performances

During the results show of the semi-finals, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé performed the holiday classic "Baby, It's Cold Outside", afterwards Mel B and Fernandez-Versini refused to stand, claiming it was because of nerves as their artists were in the bottom two and were unable to move in their dresses. Many outlets reported this as false as they were both seen dancing to Fifth Harmony and were lip synching through the track.

Trivia

  • As with Series 2 to Series 6 and Series 8, the winning act and the runner-up performed the same potential winner's singles.


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