|The X Factor UK (Series 12)|
|Broadcast from||29 August 2015 – 13 December 2015|
|Judges|| Simon Cowell|
|Presenters|| Caroline Flack|
|Number of finalists||13|
|Runner-up||Reggie 'N' Bollie|
|Notable returnees|| Havva Rebke (9)|
Monica Michael (11)
Rumour Has It (11)
This series was won by 17-year old soul singer Louisa Johnson who was mentored by Rita Ora. She overtook Joe McElderry to become the youngest winner in the show's history. Fellow finalists Reggie 'N' Bollie also secured a deal with minor success.
It was watched by an average of 7.8 million viewers - 800,000 viewers less than the previous year.
Dermot O'Leary, who had presented the main show on ITV for eight series, announced his departure in March 2015 and was replaced by Caroline Flack and Olly Murs, who had both previously co-presented spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2. Sarah-Jane Crawford, who was the presenter of said spin-off in Series 11, also left and was replaced by Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom.
Louis Walsh, the only judge who had been on the show from its inception in 2004, quit and was replaced by BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw. Mel B was also replaced by Series 9 guest judge and former The Voice UK coach, Rita Ora. Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini both returned for their ninth and fifth series as judges, respectively.
The show's announcer, Peter Dickson, left the show during the pre-live stage of the competition, but later returned
In a change to previous series, judges' auditions were only held in Manchester and London.
Age Limit: The minimum age returned to 16, after being 14 on the last series.
Public chosen mentors: Fans were able to vote via hashtags on Twitter to determine which of the judges was allocated each of the four categories (for example, #SimonBoys or #RitaGroups). The judges learnt the result during the six chair challenge.
Judges' Houses: For the first time ever, the results of the Judges' Houses were revealed live after having all acts and their respective mentors watch the pre-recorded performances.
Wildcard: There was one wildcard this season, chosen by all four judges.
Shortened Live Shows: Because of ITV being contractually obliged to broadcast the 2015 Rugby World Cup during October, production decided to make the live shows happen through seven weeks instead of the regular ten. A rejected option was to air a bumper show on Sunday nights on these weekends.
Third Xtra Factor: The Xtra Factor ran a third weekly show on Thursday nights during the live stage, previewing what viewers would see on the main show.
|Fewest public votes|
17-24, various places
18, St. Helens
|Fewest public votes|
|Seann Miley Moore|
25, Sydney, Australia
|Fewest public votes|
26, North London
|X Factor 2016 Live Tour|
19-28, Santiago City, Philippines
25, North London
19, Langdon, Essex
|Fewest public votes|
|Reggie 'N' Bollie|
|Fewest public votes|
|Most public votes|
Note: Even though Seann Miley Moore did not finish in the top 7, thus not qualifying for the Live Tour, he was chosen to be part of it as an eighth act by the judges.
The room auditions were scrapped and therefore, the format saw the return of the arena auditions. Locations for the auditions included only Machester and London.
Notable returning auditionees included: Havva Rebke, who reached bootcamp in series 9; Monica Michael, who was controversially eliminated during the six chair challenge in series 11; and Rumour Has It, who reached judges' houses in series 11 as an unnamed girl group created by the judges.
See: Bootcamp (series 12)
A total of 180 acts successfully reached the bootcamp this year. The first challenge of bootcamp was to perform in groups of five acts, with a mix of at least three categories in each group, and perform a song from a list. The judges would decide immediately after each performance which of the 180 acts would pass the challenge and which would be eliminated. For the second challenge of bootcamp, the 93 successful acts were to perform a solo performance to the judges, who gave little or no feedback to them. At the end of the challenge, the judges decided on who would be successful and who would be eliminated. Grimshaw was absent from the second day of the challenge due to his commitments with BBC Radio 1, although partially assisted Cowell, Fernandez-Versini and Ora with their decisions via Skype video link. The 64 acts that passed through this stage went on to face the six-chair challenge. It was reported that the standard of auditions were so high that acts who got a "yes" from all four judges were not necessarily guaranteed a place at bootcamp.
Six Chair Challenge
|Ora||Girls||Kiera Weathers||Louisa Johnson||Monica Michael||Lauren Murray||Chloe Paige||Havva Rebke|
|Grimshaw||Boys||Ben Clark||Ché Chesterman||Josh Daniel||Simon Lynch||Tom Bleasby*||Seann Miley Moore|
|Fernandez-Versini||Groups||Menn on Poinnt||Alien||BEKLN Mile||4th Power||Melody Stone||New Kings Order|
|Cowell||Overs||Max Stone||Ebru||Jennifer Phillips||Bupsi||Kerrie-Anne Phillips||Anton Stephans|
*Tom Bleasby was originally put through, but it was reported on 12 October that he had withdrawn for personal reasons. On 15 October, it was announced that Mason Noise would replace Bleasby at Judges' Houses.
|Judge||Category||Location||Guest mentor(s)||Contestants eliminated||Wildcard|
|Fernandez-Versini||Groups||Rome||Jess Glynne||BEKLN Mile, Melody Stone, New Kings Order||N/A|
|Cowell||Overs||Loire Valley, France||Louis Tomlinson||Ebru Ellis, Jennifer Phillips, Kerrie-Anne Phillips||N/A|
|Grimshaw||Boys||The Cotswolds||Mark Ronson||Ben Clark, Josh Daniel, Simon Lynch||N/A|
|Ora||Girls||Los Angeles||Meghan Trainor||Chloe Paige, Havva Rebke||Monica Michael|
There were seven weeks of live shows, a series first. This happened because ITV was obliged by contract to broadcast the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which took the show's Saturday spot throughout October. One wildcard was elected by all four judges after the live Judges' Houses results. There would also be, because of the short number of weeks, double eliminations to narrow down the 13 finalists.
|Weekly results per contestant|
|Reggie 'N' Bollie||7th|
|Seann Miley Moore||8th|
|Sing-off|| Alien Uncovered,|
| 4th Impact,|
|No sing-off or judges' votes: results were based on public votes alone|
| Grimshaw's vote|
|Alien Uncovered||Moore||Michael||Stephans||4th Impact||Murray|
| Ora's vote|
|Alien Uncovered||Moore||Stephans||Stephans||4th Impact||Chesterman|
| Fernandez-Versini's vote |
| Cowell's vote|
|Episode||Air date||Duration (minutes)||Share (%)|| Official ITV rating|
| Official ITV HD rating|
| Total viewers|
|Auditions 1|| August 29,|
|Auditions 2|| August 30,|
|Auditions 3|| September 5,|
|Auditions 4|| September 6,|
|Auditions 5|| September 12,|
|Auditions 6|| September 13,|
|Auditions 7|| September 19,|
|Bootcamp 1|| September 20,|
|Bootcamp 2|| September 27,|
|Six Chair Challenge 1|| October 4,|
|Six Chair Challenge 2|| October 11,|
|Six Chair Challenge 3|| October 18,|
|Judges' houses 1|| October 24,|
|Judges' houses 2|| October 25,|
|Live show 1|| October 31,|
|Live results 1|| November 1,|
|Live show 2|| November 7,|
|Live results 2|| November 8,|
|Live show 3|| November 14,|
|Live results 3|| November 15,|
It was reported that before bootcamp, some contestants who were given three or four "yes" votes from the judges were sent emails from the producers of the show saying that they would not be attending bootcamp due to limited places and a higher standard of auditions. One contestant who received such an email said, "I feel X Factor needs to be shamed for this shocking incident. They are playing with people's lives." A spokesperson for the show said this was "kinder and fairer than an immediate 'cull' of singers on arrival at bootcamp, which has happened in previous series."
During the six chair challenge, after performing for his mentor Nick Grimshaw, 22-year-old singer Mason Noise complained that his audition was only broadcast for 47 seconds while other contestants were featured for up to 10 minutes. Head judge Simon Cowell responded by saying "You should feel lucky to be on this show. Why don't you shut up?" and called Noise an "arsehole". Noise was booed by the crowd before walking off the stage. Noise later told the Daily Mirror: "[Simon] lost control and it was uncalled for. Especially as all I was doing was saying an opinion. I think that no one has ever questioned him before and no one has questioned the format of the show. Something needs to change on that show. Listen to the kids, at the end of the day I have a lot of support on Twitter."
On 12 October, Tom Bleasby had withdrawn from the show and consequently, there was a spare place at judges' houses. On 15 October, Grimshaw announced that Noise would replace Bleasby at judges' houses.
Monica Michael issued an apology when, after being eliminted in week 3, she appeared to make a gun gesture with her hand and shouted "bang, bang, bang". Viewers called her "inconsiderate" and "offensive", as it was not long after the November 2015 Paris attacks. Michael took to Twitter to say, "I want to apologies [sic] for any offence caused on the @TheXFactor tongiht. I wasn't thinking beyond the moment & it was insensitive, sorry."
Caroline Flack and Olly Murs
Presenters Flack and Murs were criticised throught the series. Flack's absense from several auditions caused confusion and their lack of chemistry was criticised, with a source from the show saying, "Bosses have been aware of the criticism aimed at Olly and Caroline over their lack of chemistry. They were expected to inject some fun and energy but that has yet to be seen. We've seen this year's line-up undertake a big shake-up and Olly and Caroline were considered to be a safe bet." It was also stated that Flack's other commitments were discussed beforehand. A spokesperson said: "Olly and Caroline have been great additions to the show, We're very happy with them and look forward to them being centre stage when presenting on the live shows at the end of the month."
However, when the live shows started, viewers called for the return of Dermot O'Leary and called the pair's presenting "awkward" and "cringe-worthy". They were criticised for "awkward glances, long pauses and over-enthusiastic shouting" and the hashtag "#bringbackdermot" appeared on Twitter. In week 3, when Monica Michael was in the bottom two, Murs told her she had been eliminated when in fact the judges' vote had gone to deadlock and the result was yet to be announced. Murs later issued an apology saying: "I apologise to everyone tonight I made a massive f--k up at the end. It was so tense!! I'm still learning & hope that never happens again!" Isabel Mohan from The Daily Telegraph said, "We were always dreading Flack and Murs taking over from Dermot O'Leary—we knew they wouldn't be able to hack it live on primetime telly. Dermot could build up tension. Dermot could read autocues. Dermot could speak properly with no lazy talk of 'the bottom free'. And, most of all, DERMOT DIDN'T TELL PEOPLE THEY'D BEEN VOTED OFF BEFORE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO! [...] What an absolute shambles."
- As with Series 2 to Series 6, Series 8 and the previous year the winning act and the runner-up performed the same potential winner's singles.
|The X Factor UK|