The X Factor UK (Series 13)
Series 13
Broadcast from 27 August 2016 – 11 December 2016
Judges Simon Cowell
Nicole Scherzinger
Sharon Osbourne
Louis Walsh
Mel B (guest judge)
Presenters Dermot O'Leary
Rylan Clark-Neal
Matt Edmondson
Network ITV
Number of finalists 12
Winner Matt Terry
Runner-up Saara Aalto
Ratings 7.3 (millions)
Previous Series 12
Next Series 14

Series 13 of The X Factor premiered on 27 August 2016 and concluded on 11 December 2016.  

It was won by 23-year old pop singer Matt Terry who was part of the Boys category mentored by Nicole Scherzinger.  It was her second win as a mentor after winning with James Arthur in the same category in 2012.

Prior to the final, it was announced that Honey G had signed a deal with Syco Music and it has also been reported that girl group band 4 Of Diamonds have secured a deal with the label. On December 20, runner-up Gifty Louise confirmed that she had signed a joint deal with Sony Music London and Sony Music UK.

It is the least-watched series in the show's run with an average of 6.5 million viewers tuning in for the final and a total of 7.3 million tuning in for the whole series.


Simon Cowell was the only judge to return from the previous year while Cheryl, Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora have departed to be replaced by returning judges Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh.  The latter is the only judge to be present for all but one series to date.

Rochelle Humes and Melvin Odoom departed as the presenters of The Xtra Factor to be replaced by Series 9 finalist Rylan Clark-Neal and returning presenter Matt Edmondson.

After announcing his departure before the 2015 series and following the critcism that met his replacements Olly Murs and Caroline FlackDermot O'Leary returned as presenter of the main show. It was his ninth time presenting.

This was also the last series to be sponsored by UK telecommunications group TalkTalk.


Arena Auditions: These were completely scrapped in favor of a return to the room auditions only which were last seen in Series 5.

Age Limit: The minimum age was 16 years old.

Bootcamp: The auditionees who reached this stage were faced with a wall of songs and had to fight it out with each other over which song to perform. Afterwards, the judges discovered which categories they would mentor.

Six Chair Challenge: The Six Chair Challenge was implemented once again. It took place from 9 to 12 July, at The SSE Arena, Wembley.

Judges' Houses: Filming for judges' houses took place in late August/early September.

Wildcards: On 21 September 2016, it was revealed that there would be a new wildcard twist. In Series 9 a wildcard twist was previously introduced with the public choosing the thirteenth finalist but this time the Girls wildcard was nominated by Louis, the Overs wildcard was nominated by Nicole, the Groups wildcard was nominated by Sharon and Simon nominated the Boys wildcard, making it 7 acts in each category and 28 in total through to Judges' Houses.

Jukebox: A jukebox was introduced as the live shows got underway and at the end of each show it was brought out and the theme for each week chosen at 'random'. A new theme week called 'Louis Loves' was also included.

Lifeline Vote: As the live shows got under way, a lifeline vote was introduced to save one act who landed in the Bottom 3. Voting was done via the mobile app but on 12 November it was announced that this would be scrapped with the two acts who received the lowest amount of votes facing the sing off.

Winner's Single: For the first time since 2005, the winner's single was an original song. It was composed by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran but in a series first it was only performed on the show by the winner after they had been announced. It is also the first time in the show's history that the single would not be getting a physical release. Proceeds from the sale of the single were shared between two charities: Together for Short Lives and Shooting Star CHASE.


Contestant Category Finish Elimination
]]Brataviomini Bratavio
17-22, various places</span>
Groups 12th
week one
Majority vote

Freddy Parker
18, Bromley</span>

Boys 11th
week two
Majority Vote
Relleycmini Relley C
26, Birmingham
Overs 10th
week three
Majority vote
Giftylouisemini Gifty Louise
20, London
Girls 9th
week 4
Majority vote
X Factor 2017 Live Tour
4odmini Four of Diamonds
23-24, Southampton
Groups 8th
week 5
Majority vote
Samanthalaverymini Sam Lavery
17, Durham
Girls 7th
week six
public vote
Ryanlawriemini Ryan Lawrie
36, Bellshill, Scotland=Bellshill=
 Boys 6th
week seven
Majority vote
Honeygmini Honey G
20, North Lanarkshire
Overs 5th
week eight
Majority vote
Emilymiddlemasmini Emily Middlemas
18, Glasgow
Girls 4th
week nine
public vote
]]5aftermindnightmini 5 After Midnight
20-23, various
Groups 3rd
week ten
least public votes
Saaraaaltomini Saara Aalto
29, Finland </span>
Overs Runner-up
week ten
least public votes
Mattterrymini Matt Terry
23, London
Boys Winner
week ten
Most public votes

Selection process


See: List of The X Factor auditionees (series 13)

The format saw the return of the room auditions with the arena auditions being scrapped.

Notable returning auditionees included: Caitlyn Vanbeck, who was eliminated during the Six Chair Challenge in Series 12; Rebekah Ryan, who reached the final 12 in the Over 25s category in Series 4; Emily Middlemass, who was eliminated at Judges' Houses in Series 11; Janet Grogan, who was eliminated during the Six Chair Challenge in Series 11; Relley C, who reached Judges Houses in Series 10; and Gifty Louise, who made it to bootcamp in Series 12; Ottavio Columbro made it as far as bootcamp in Series 9; Janet Grogan auditioned during Series 11 but was eliminated at the Six Chair Challenge; Niall Sexton reached bootcamp in Series 8; Eddie Lee reached Bootcamp in Series 5; The Brooks, who reached Judges' Houses in Series 11; Aeron Smith, who reached Bootcamp in Series 12, and Faye Horne, who reached Bootcamp in Series 8; Samantha Atkinson who reached Bootcamp in Series 12 and Skarl3tt who reached the Six Chair Challenge as 'PYT' in Series 12.


See: Bootcamp (series 13)

A total of 121 acts made it through to Bootcamp. In a change to previous years, a 'Wall of Songs' was set up and the acts had to run to it and grab a piece of paper bearing a song title, which they would then perform in front of the judges once divided into groups.

After performing several acts were eliminated, leaving just 60 acts to find out who their mentor would be before they faced the Six Chair Challenge.  Simon Cowell was given the Girls, Nicole Scherzinger was given the Boys, Sharon Osbourne was given the Over 25s and Louis Walsh was given the Groups.

Six Chair Challenge

See: Six Chair Challenge (series 13)

The Six Chair Challenge took place from July 9 to 12 at the SSE Arena, Wembley. A total of 15 acts from each category performed in front of the judges and live audience before being narrowed down:

Summary of six chair challenge
Judge Category Chairs
1 2 3 4 5 6
Cowell Girls Sohelia Clifford Kayleigh Marie Morgan Olivia Garcia Emily Middlemas Gifty Louise Agyeman Caitlyn Vanbeck
Scherzinger Boys Nate Simpson James Hughes Niall Sexton Freddy Parker Matt Terry Christian Burrows
Osbourne Overs Samantha Atkinson James Wilson Relley C Christopher Peyton Janet Grogan Ivy Grace Paredes*
Walsh Groups The Brooks Skarl3t Bradley Hunt and Octavio Columbro Four of Diamonds N/A Tom and Laura
  • Although Ivy Grace Paredes made it to Judges' Houses, she was forced to withdraw from the competition due to visa issues. Her replacement was announced on The Xtra Factor as Honey G who was originally eliminated during the Six Chair Challenge.

Judges' Houses

See: Judges' Houses (series 13)

In mid-September it was confirmed that each judge would choose a wildcard for another judge. Walsh chose the Girls wildcard, Scherzinger chose the Overs wildcard, Osbourne selected the Groups wildcard and Cowell chose a wildcard for the Boys category, meaning 28 contestants would go to judges' houses.

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated Wildcard
Cowell Girls Malibu Mel B & Emma Bunton Soheila Clifford, Olivia Garcia, Kayleigh Marie Morgan, Caitlyn Vanbeck Samantha Lavery
Scherzinger Boys Nice Calvin Harris Christian Burrows, Nate Simpson, James Hughes, Niall Sexton Ryan Lawrie
Osbourne Over 25s Beverly Hills Robbie Williams James Wilson, Christopher Peyton, Samantha Atkinson, Janet Grogan Saara Aalto
Walsh Groups Ibiza Alesha Dixon & Fleur East Yes Lad, Tom and Laura, Skarl3t, Four of Diamonds* Yes Lad
  • Four of Diamonds were initially eliminated at Judges Houses, however they came back during the second week of the Live shows in order to replace Brooks Way, who were asked to leave following media reports.

Live Shows

Results Summary

Weekly results per contestant
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eliminated Brataviomini Freddyparkermini Relleycmini Giftylouisemini 4odmini Samanthalaverymini Ryanlawriemini Honeygmini


5aftermidnightmini Saaraaaltomini Mattterrymini
Matt Terry 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 3rd 1st 3rd 3rd 2nd Winner
(week 10)
Saara Aalto 9th 9th 2nd 3rd 6th 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st Runner-up
(week 10)
5 After Midnight 2nd 2nd 4th 4th 2nd 1st 3rd 4th 2nd 3rd Eliminated
(week 10)
Emily Middlemas 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st 3rd 4th 4th 2nd 4th Eliminated
(week 9)
Honey G 4th 4th 5th 6th 5th Safe 6th 5th Eliminated
(week 8)
Ryan Lawrie 8th 10th 8th 7th 4th 6th 5th Eliminated
(week 7)
Sam Lavery 5th 5th 6th 5th 8th 7th Eliminated
(week 6)
4 Of Diamonds N/A 6th 10th 9th 7th Eliminated
(week 5)
Gifty Louise 7th 8th 7th 8th Eliminated
(week 4)
Relley C 6th 7th 9th Eliminated
(week 3)
Freddy Parker 10th 11th Eliminated
(week 2)
Bratavio 11th Eliminated
(week 1)
Lifeline winner Parker Lawrie Lawrie Lawrie Lavery None
Bottom two Aalto,
Relley C,
4 Of Diamonds
4 Of Diamonds,
4 Of Diamonds,
Honey G
Honey G,
5 After Midnight
No final showdown or judges' votes;
results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
Aalto Parker Relley C Louise Aalto Lawrie Lawrie Honey G Middlemas
Osbourne's vote
to eliminate
Bratavio Parker 4 Of Diamonds Louise 4 Of Diamonds Lavery Lawrie 5 After Midnight Middlemas
Scherzinger's vote
to eliminate
Bratavio Aalto Relley C Louise 4 Of Diamonds Lavery Honey G Honey G Middlemas
Cowell's vote
to eliminate
Bratavio Aalto Relley C 4 Of Diamonds 4 Of Diamonds Lawrie Lawrie Honey G Terry


Episode Air date Duration (minutes) Share (%) Official ITV rating Official ITV HD rating Total viewers
Weekly rank
Auditions 1 27 August 90 34.0 6.34 1.55 7.89 2
Auditions 2 28 August 60 31.0 5.95 1.36 7.32 4
Auditions 3 3 September 60 39.0 7.46 2.06 9.52 3
Auditions 4 4 September 60 33.1 6.90 1.76 8.66 4
Auditions 5 10 September 60 35.7 6.59 1.77 8.36
Auditions 6 11 September 60 32.5 6.58 1.57 8.15
Auditions 7 17 September 60 39.3
Bootcamp 18 September 90 31.1
Six Chair Challenge 1 24 September 110 7.1
Six Chair Challenge 2 25 September 120
Judges' Houses 1 1 October 110 6.8
Judges' Houses 2 2 October 90
Live Show 1 8 October 120
Results Show 1 9 October 60
Live show 2 5 October 120 5.22 6.68 7.07 16
Live results 2 16 October 60 5.67 7.07 7.38 11
Live show 3 22 October 110 5.43 6.90 7.21 20
Live results 3 23 October 60 5.48 7.03 7.27 19
Live show 4 29 October 110 5.09 6.74 7.08 15
Live results 4 30 October 60 5.15 6.69 6.99 22
Live show 5 5 November 100 5.00 6.42 6.83 18
Live results 5 6 November 60 5.18 6.87 7.17 14
Live show 6 12 November 90
Live results 6 13 November 60
Live show 7 19 November 85
Live results 7 20 November 60
Live show 8 26 November 110
Live results 8 27 November 60
Live semi final 3 December 90
Live results 9 4 December 60
Live final 10 December 125
Live final results 11 December 125

Criticism and controversies

Brooks Way withdrawal
Just hours before the first live show, duo Brooks Way, consisting of twin brothers Kyle and Josh Brooks, were suspended from the competition, over allegations that Josh had been violent with his ex-girlfriend Amelia Clark, allegedly breaking her nose and kicking her in the face during a New Year Eve party earlier in the year. It was reported throughout the weekend that Josh was regularly beating up Kyle. Kyle and Clark came to Josh's defense, saying respectively that the allegations were false and that they were written by a friend and fan who chose to exploit from the show. During the broadcast, presenter Dermot O'Leary acknowledged the brothers absence stating that it is due to "circumstances that have arisen".

The following Monday, they released a statement saying that they were withdrawing from the competition, from "mutual consent" with the producers, whilst denying the "false allegations" and saying that "truth always wins". They were replaced by girl group, 4 Of Diamonds.

Claims of fixing
The show's producers were forced to deny that the competition was fixed when a nightclub, Kittys & Kandy, in Kirkcaldy, posted on Facebook that Honey G would be performing there on 10 December 2016, the same night as the show's final. The post was deleted and the venue said they had secured the date in case Honey G was eliminated before that date, but a spokesperson for the show said, "This story is not true and there is no foundation to any fix claims. The club was mistaken in their post that she would be there on 10 December and the post has since been removed.

Several viewers suspected that the jukebox wheel was rigged after it selected "Fright Night" for the theme for week 4, two days before Halloween. O'Leary insisted the wheel was not rigged, calling it "the most rudimentary hamster wheel you've ever seen in your life". Scherzinger also said she thought it was not fixed because, "I can't pick my songs until we know what [theme] we're doing—and the producers aren't picking anything as well." Contestant Middlemas said of the wheel: "It's not computerised, it's an old-fashioned wheel. We can see it at the side and there's no-one else around apart from Dermot [O'Leary] pulling the wheel. We do it at rehearsals and it lands on something different each time. All of the producers knew people would say it was fixed. [But] we know how it works".

The show was hit by another fixing claim during the Week 5 results show when viewers found themselves unable to vote via the mobile app to save one of the acts in the Bottom 3. However, the problem was not addressed by Dermot O'Leary who announced that Sam Lavery was safe.

At the start of the third live show, O'Leary announced that the voting lines were open for all contestants before they had performed, instead of after they performed as it had been in the first two live shows. Isobel Mohan from The Daily Telegraph claimed this was unfair and gave an advantage to those performing first and turned it into a popularity contest instead of a talent show.

As the live shows got under way, a lifeline vote was introduced to save one act who landed in the Bottom 3. Voting was done via the mobile app but on November 6 several viewers complained on Twitter after the app crashed. On 12 November it was announced that it would be scrapped with the two acts who received the lowest amount of votes facing the sing off.

Gifty Louise
During the third live results show, when O'Leary was announced who was through to the fourth week, Gifty Louise was heard swearing off screen as fellow contestant Sam Lavery was announced as the first act safe. A spokesperson said: "We've had five complaints about this. We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not." The show was eventually cleared in spite of the violation of one of its broadcasting codes.

Honey G record deal

During the first night of the final, Honey G returned to the stage to perform a mashup and announced that she had been signed to Syco Music.  This was met with controversy since a winner had not yet been crowned.


  • As of the semi final, this is the first series where every finalist appeared in the sing off.
  • This is the first series where the finalist who topped the vote on the first night of the final did not go on to win the series.
  • This is the first series where only the winner performed the winner's single after they had won. In past years, both the winning act and the runner-up performed their potential winner's single.
  • The final was the least-watched to date with only 7 million viewers tuning in.

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