The X Factor UK (Series 8)
Series 8
Broadcast from 20 August 2011 – 11 December 2011
Judges Gary Barlow
Kelly Rowland
Alexandra Burke (guest)
Tulisa Contostavlos
Louis Walsh
Presenters Dermot O'Leary
Caroline Flack
Olly Murs
Network ITV
Number of finalists 16
Winner Little Mix
Runner-up Marcus Collins
Ratings 12.04 (millions)
Previous Series 7
Next Series 9

Series 8 premiered on August 20, 2011 and ended on December 11, 2011.  

It was won by girl group Little Mix, the first and so far only group to win the original version. They were part of the Groups category mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos.  Fellow finalists Marcus Collins and Amelia Lily also secured record deals but eventually moved into musical theater.

It was watched by 12.04 million viewers - over 2 millon less than the previous series.


This series marked the departures of judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue with Louis Walsh the only original judge remaining.  He was accompanied by Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and Gary Barlow.  Dermot O'Leary returned to present the show for the fifth year while spin-off show The Xtra Factor was presented by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.


Auditions: The arena auditions returned and auditions were held in Cardiff, London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. It was the first time auditions took place in Liverpool, and the city replaced Dublin, where auditions were held in 2010.

Wildcards: The wildcard from the previous series was scrapped.

Live Shows: As with the previous series, there were 16 finalists in the live shows. This was the first series to feature the Top 3 acts performing with their mentors rather than a celebrity duet. The live final was also held over two nights.

Charity single: For the fourth year in a row, the finalists released a cover of the 1978 Rose Royce single "Wishing on a Star" with the proceeds going to charity Together for Short Lives. The single also featured appearances from Series 5 runners-up JLS and Series 7 finalists One Direction.


Contestant Category Finish Elimination
Jonjokerrmini Jonjo Kerr
27, Chorley, Lancashire
Over 25s 14-16th
week one
By mentor
Jamesmichaelmini James Michael
20, Widnes, Cheshire
Boys 14-16th
week one
By mentor
2shoesmini 2 Shoes
21-23, Brentwood, Essex
Groups 14-16th
week one
By mentor
Nuvibemini Nu Vibe
16-19, various places
Groups 13th
week two
Majority vote
Samibrookesmini Sami Brookes
31, Rhyl, Denbighshire
Over 25s 12th
week three
Majority vote
Sophiehabibismini Sophie Habibis
20, Tufnel Park, London
Girls 11th
week four
Majority vote
X Factor 2012 Live Tour
Theriskmini The Risk
19-25, various places
Groups 10th
week five
Fewest public votes
Johnnyrobinsonmini Johnny Robinson
45, Harrow, London
Over 25s 9th
week five
Majority vote
Frankiecocozzamini Frankie Cocozza
18, Brighton
Boys 8th
week six
Kittybrucknellmini Kitty Brucknell
27, Cheltenham
Over 25s 7th
week six
Majority vote
Craigcoltonmini Craig Colton
23, Kirkby
Boys 6th
week seven
Janetdevlinmini Janet Devlin
17, Gortin, County Tyrone
Girls 5th
week eight
Majority vote
Mishabmini Misha B
19, Manchester
Girls 4th
week nine
Fewest public votes
Amelialilymini Amelia Lily
17, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough
Girls 3rd
week ten
Fewest public votes
Marcuscollinsmini Marcus Collins
23, Liverpool
Boys Runner-up
week ten
Fewest public votes
Littlemixmini Little Mix
18-20, various places
Groups Winners
week ten
Most public votes

Note: Even though Frankie Cocozza finished in the top 9, thus qualifying for the Live Tour, he was not given a spot due to his ejection from the show, which led to Amelia Lily's return and eventual placement on the tour.

Selection process


See: List of The X Factor auditionees (series 8)


See: Bootcamp (series 8)

Judges' Houses

See: Judges' Houses (series 8)

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated
Barlow Boys Los Angeles Robbie Williams Joe Cox, Luke Lucas, Max Vickers, John Wilding
Rowland Girls Miami Jennifer Hudson Melanie McCabe, Holly Repton, Jade Richards, Sarah Watson
Tulisa Groups Mykonos Jessie J Girl v Boy, The Estrelles, The Keys, The Lovettes
Walsh Over 25s Barcelona Sinitta Sami Brookes, Joseph Gilligan, Carolynne Poole, Terry Winstanley

Live Shows

Results Summary

Weekly results per contestant
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eliminated Jonjokerrmini Jamesmichaelmini 2shoesmini Nuvibemini Samibrookesmini Sophiehabibismini Theriskmini Johnnyrobinsonmini Frankiecocozzamini Kittybrucknellmini Craigcoltonmini Janetdevlinmini Mishabmini Amelialilymini Marcuscollinsmini Littlemixmini
Little Mix Saved 4th 6th 2nd 4th 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st Winner
Marcus Collins Saved 7th 4th 6th 2nd 4th 4th 3rd 2nd 2nd Runner-up
(week 10)
Amelia Lily Eliminated Eliminated
(week 1)
1st 5th 1st 3rd 3rd Eliminated
(week 10)
Misha B Saved 5th 3rd 10th 3rd 7th 2nd 5th 4th Eliminated
(week 9)
Janet Devlin Saved 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Eliminated
(week 8)
Craig Colton Saved 6th 8th 3rd 5th 5th 6th Eliminated
(week 7)
Kitty Brucknell Saved 10th 11th 4th 8th 6th Eliminated
(week 6)
Frankie Cocozza Saved 11th 7th 8th 6th Withdrew
(week 5)
Johnny Robinson Saved 2nd 5th 7th 7th Eliminated
(week 5)
The Risk Saved 8th 2nd 5th 7th Eliminated
(week 5)
Sophie Habibis Saved 3rd 9th 9th Eliminated
(week 4)
Sami Brookes Saved 9th 10th Eliminated
(week 3)
Nu Vibe Saved 12th Eliminated
(week 2)
2 Shoes Eliminated Eliminated
(week 1)
James Michael Eliminated Eliminated
(week 1)
Jonjo Kerr Eliminated Eliminated
(week 1)
Bottom two None Cocozza,
Nu Vibe
Misha B,
Misha B,
Misha B,
No final showdown or judges' votes;
results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
Kerr Nu Vibe Brookes Habibis Robinson Misha B Colton Devlin
Tulisa's vote
to eliminate
2 Shoes Cocozza Brucknell Habibis Robinson Brucknell Lily Devlin
Rowland's vote
to eliminate
Lily Nu Vibe Brookes Habibis Robinson Brucknell Colton None (refused)
Barlow's vote
to eliminate
Michael Nu Vibe Brookes N/A N/A Brucknell Lily N/A




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

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