|The X Factor UK (Series 4)|
|Broadcast from||18 August 2007 – 15 December 2007|
|Judges|| Simon Cowell|
Brian Friedman (only auditions)
|Presenters|| Dermot O'Leary|
|Number of finalists||12|
This series was watched by an average of 8.57 million viewers - an increase of 300,000 viewers from the previous series.
Dermot O'Leary presented for the first time, replacing Kate Thornton, who had been presenting the show since 2004. Fearne Cotton replaced Ben Shephard as presenter on the spin-off show The Xtra Factor.
Auditions: As with the previous three series, the room auditions returned. Auditions were held in London, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Age Limit: The minimum age was lowered to 14 for the first time.
Bootcamp: Bootcamp was held in London and was screened on 29 September 2007.
Category Changes: Due to the addition of a fourth judge, the categories were divided into Over 25s, Boys, Girls and Groups.
Judges' Houses: In a change to previous series, the judges' houses round was broadcast over a whole weekend.
Live Shows: In a change to the previous series, the Top 3 finalists duetted with celebrity performers.
19, Tamworth, Staffordshire
|Over 25s|| 11th|
17-23, various places
|X Factor 2008 Live Tour|
|Over 25s|| 6th|
16-23, various places
|Fewest public votes|
|Over 25s|| 4th|
|Fewest public votes|
|Fewest public votes|
|Fewest public votes|
18, Whitburn, West Lothian
|Most public votes|
Notable returnees included Mollie King as part of the girl group Fallen Angelz. She previously auditioned for the show in Series 2 and was criticized for her outfit by Sharon Osbourne. She would later go on to find fame as a member of English/Irish girl group The Saturdays.
|Judge||Category||Location||Guest mentor(s)||Contestants eliminated|
|Cowell||Groups||Miami||Sinitta||Ghostt, I Sette Cantanti, W4|
|Minogue||Boys||Ibiza||Terry Ronald||Luke Bayer, Charlie Finn, Dominic Harris|
|Osbourne||Girls||Los Angeles||Nicole Scherzinger||Victoria Closs, Kimberley Howlett, Stephanie Woods|
|Walsh||Over 25s||Dublin||Kian Egan||Daniel Boulle, Icaro Taborda, Zyta Zebihi|
|Weekly results per contestant|
|Hope||Safe||Safe||Bottom two||Safe||Bottom two||5th||5th||Eliminated|
|Beverley Trotman||Safe||Safe||Safe||Bottom two||Safe||6th||Eliminated|
|Alisha Benett||Bottom two||Bottom two||Safe||Safe||Bottom two||Eliminated|
|Andy Williams||Safe||Safe||Safe||Bottom two||Eliminated|
|Daniel DeBourg||Safe||Bottom two||Eliminated|
|Kimberley Southwick||Bottom two||Eliminated|
|Bottom two|| Bennett,|
| No final showdown or judges' votes;|
results were based on public votes alone
| Walsh's vote|
| Osbourne's vote|
| Minogue's vote|
| Cowell's vote|
During the results of the first live show on 20 October, Osbourne walked away from the panel after it was revealed that both the bottom two acts came from her category. This left the three remaining judges, Cowell, Minogue and Walsh, to decide which of the bottom two would be sent home. When O'Leary asked Osbourne for her vote, she claimed to have left the show, saying, "I'm out—gone".
It later emerged that Osbourne was dissatisfied with the last-minute rescheduling of the programme from 17:45 to 17:30, claiming that fewer people saw the performance of her act, Kimberley Southwick, as she was first on stage. After a considerable amount of media coverage, including Paul O'Grady apparently convincing Osbourne live on his chat show to return to The X Factor, Osbourne's spokesman confirmed on 23 October that she would return to the show. A newspaper source explained that leaving prematurely would have been breach of contract and the legal repercussions would have made it in Osbourne's interests to return to the panel.
Alleged feuds and alliances
During the filming of The X Factor, there was much media speculation about rumoured feuds between the judges, most notably between Osbourne and Minogue. One report emerged of a backstage argument just 15 minutes before they were due to go live on television. On one show, Minogue criticised contestant Niki Evans's tuning, which prompted Niki's mentor, Louis Walsh, to suggest live on television that Minogue herself could not sing. Minogue then reportedly missed part of the results show as she was crying.
In an interview published on 2 December 2007, Minogue stated "As for Sharon, you don't click with everybody. But it's her choice not to be friends. Apparently she's envious because I'm younger and prettier.", and in another that she felt "younger and prettier" compared with the other judges.
During Osbourne's appearance on The Graham Norton Show, she stated, in reference to Minogue, "She knows she's there because of her looks, not because of her contribution to the music industry." In a press conference held on 12 December 2007, when asked why she had been publicly talking about Minogue, Osbourne said "It's an even playing field, Dannii speaks about me, I speak about her." Minogue said in turn "I've looked up to Sharon and Louis for years and I wanted to be part of that gang. But when they're slating you, you think: 'Please don't, I really like you.'" Cowell admitted that Osbourne did not feel comfortable about having a new judge and that Osbourne and Minogue would never be "the best of buddies," adding that if Osbourne wanted to leave the show, he would let her. It was also reported that Cowell was forced to sit the judges down, asking them to maintain a civil relationship with each other behind the scenes. The apparent flirting between Cowell and Minogue also generated comment in the popular media.
Series 4 presented a change in the panellists' judging style. Simon Cowell said at the ITV Autumn Launch: "We tried to be bit more impartial as judges, and that, you'll see a lot more of on X Factor. There's still competition within the judges but our job essentially is to find a star." This ethic was put into practice with the judges working together at the bootcamp. During the live shows, the acts were no longer introduced with their mentors at the start of the show. Only the judges were introduced, after which the individual performances began.
Standard of talent
At ITV's Autumn launch on 12 July 2007, Cowell discussed the upcoming series. He said that in previous years the programme had been more like a "popularity contest" than a talent show. When asked about the standard of talent, Cowell said: "It's in a different league this year... we're going to have the best 12 [finalists] we've ever seen". This came with comments that the series 4 auditions had gone "brilliantly".
Series 4 also saw more emphasis placed on the international standing of The X Factor, with Cowell calling it "the biggest show in Europe" with around 150,000 auditioning for the series. Referring to the impact that the international success of Series 3 winner Leona Lewis had had on the show, Dannii Minogue said at the Sheffield auditions: "I think that Leona has completely upped the ante now on this show, and there's no turning back. We're looking for an international standard of acts that can sell millions of albums". In response to the expectation of a raised standard of talent on the show, producers tried with series 4 to assemble what O'Leary called an "international panel of judges"; this was particularly the case with the original judging lineup that included Friedman. There were also more international contestants in series 4, with two acts from the United States, numerous acts from Japan and a Brazilian act auditioning.
Nevertheless, Cowell said before the first live show that "I think we could be heading for a train wreck," referring to the fact that the public did not believe any of the final 12 this year were as good as Lewis, But he added, "But if you take Leona out of the equation, they weren't that good last year. As a whole, we've probably got the most talented 12 we've had. We just haven't had the chance to showcase them properly yet."
Alleged voting irregularities
It was reported that Ofcom received at least 1,900 complaints from would-be voters for eventual runner-up Rhydian Roberts, saying that despite calling numerous times they were unable to get through to vote for Roberts. The programme said the high number of calls meant some people were greeted by engaged tones. Roberts, who refused to attend the wrap party afterwards, had been the odds-on favourite to win and bookmakers described Leon Jackson's victory as "the biggest shock in reality show history". ITV denied the allegations, commenting that "As all numbers go through to the same lines and vote platform it is impossible for there to be any bias in favour or against a particular contestant." They confirmed that Jackson performed strongly throughout the series and won on the night of the final by around 10% of the popular vote. A subsequent Ofcom investigation found that Roberts had not been unfairly disadvantaged.
- This was the second series in a row where the winning mentor had two acts as the winner and runner-up.
- This was the first series to have Deadlock votes
|The X Factor UK|