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The X Factor UK (Series 9)
XFactorTitles-1-
Series 9
Broadcast from 18 August 2012 – 9 December 2012
Judges Gary Barlow
Tulisa Contostavlos
Nicole Scherzinger
Louis Walsh
Leona Lewis (guest)
Geri Halliwell (guest)
Rita Ora (guest)
Mel B (guest)
Anastacia (guest)
Presenters Dermot O'Leary
Caroline Flack
Olly Murs
Network ITV
ITV2
Number of finalists 13
Winner James Arthur
Runner-up Jahméne Douglas
Ratings 9.63 (millions)
Chronology
Previous Series 8
Next Series 10

Series 9 of The X Factor began airing on ITV on 18 August 2012 and ended on 9 December 2012.

This series was won by 24-year-old singer-songwriter James Arthur who was mentored by Nicole Scherzinger.  He made history as the first-ever winner of the original series to have previously been in the Bottom 2.

Fellow finalists Jahméne Douglas, Christopher MaloneyUnion J, Ella Henderson and Lucy Spraggan also secured record deals with varying levels of success post-series while Rylan Clark moved into television presenting.

It was watched by a total of 9.63 million viewers - over 3 million viewers less than the previous series.

Production

On 17 April 2012, Gary Barlow was confirmed to be returning to the judging panel, and on 3 May it was announced that Louis Walsh would also return for his ninth year as a judge. Tulisa Contostavlos also confirmed her return but Kelly Rowland did not return with Nicole Scherzinger being confirmed as her replacement.

Dermot O'Leary returned to present for the sixth year in a row while Olly Murs and Caroline Flack returned to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor. However, Murs was absent during the audition stages due to touring commitments in the US with One Direction so Flack was assisted by Jedward, JLS and Westlife.

Twists/Changes

Auditions: This series, for the first time, applicants were able to audition online via Facebook. The show's producers also sent a "mobile audition van" to 18 locations throughout the UK and Ireland in order to audition singers who could not make the arena auditions.

There were several rule changes in relation to the auditions: acts with current management deals were allowed to audition for the first time, in a bid to "[broaden] the net and [open] it up so that everybody gets an opportunity." Also, singers could perform their own compositions and play instruments.

Auditions took place in Liverpool, London, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle and Cardiff.

Age Limit: The minimum age was 16 years old.

Bootcamp: Bootcamp was held outside London for the first time in the show's history, due to London hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics. It took place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool over three days, starting on Thursday 19 July.

The age ranges of the categories were changed for this series during bootcamp; the over 25s became the over 28s (as in Series 7), so the boys and girls categories contain contestants aged 16–27, rather than 16-24. It was reported that the reason for this was because the Series 8 finalists were considered too young, and contestants in their late 20s did not make it into the over 25s category because of "quirky older" contestants.

The judges learned which category they would mentor on the second day of bootcamp via a phone call from Simon Cowell.

Judges' Houses: The judges' houses round was broadcast on 29 and 30 September 2012.

Wildcards: At the end of judges' houses, it was announced that each judge could bring back one further act back as a wildcard as they had done in Series 7. However, the public were given the chance to vote for which of the four wildcards would become the thirteenth finalist.

Mentor Duets: As with the previous series, the Top 3 finalists duetted with their mentor. The live final was also held over two nights.

Winner's Single: In a change to previous years, the finalists did not release a charity single. Instead, proceeds from the winner's single were donated to UK charity Together for Short Lives.

Finalists

Contestant Category Finish Elimination
Carolynnepoolemini Carolynne Poole
32, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Over 28s 13th
week one
Deadlock
Melaniemassonmini Melanie Masson
44, Cathcart, Glasgow
Over 28s 12th
week two
Deadlock
Mk1mini MK1
20-25, Hackney, London
Groups 11th
week three
Deadlock
Jadeellismini Jade Ellis
25, Charlton, London
Girls 10th
week four
Majority vote
Lucyspragganmini Lucy Spraggan
21, Buxton, Derbyshire
Girls 9th
week five
Withdrew
Kyesonesmini Kye Sones
30, Pinner, London
Over 28s 8th
week five
Deadlock
X Factor 2013 Live Tour
District3mini District 3
18-19, various places
Groups 7th
week six
Majority vote
Ellahendersonmini Ella Henderson
16, Grimsby, Lincolnshire
Girls 6th
week seven
Deadlock
Rylanclarkmini Rylan Clark
24, Corringham, Essex
Boys 5th
week eight
Majority vote
Unionjmini Union J
19-24, various places
Groups 4th
week nine
Fewest public votes
Christophermaloneymini Christopher Maloney
35, Liverpool, Merseyside
Over 28s 3rd
week ten
Fewest public votes
Jahmenedouglasmini Jahméne Douglas
21, Swindon, Wiltshire
Boys Runner-up
week ten
Fewest public votes
Jamesarthurmini James Arthur
24, Saltburn, Teesside
Boys Winner
week ten
Most public votes

Selection process

Auditions

See: List of The X Factor auditionees (series 9)

The judges' auditions, originally supposed to start in Cardiff on 15 May 2012 but postponed due to delays in signing up a new permanent fourth judge, began on 23 May in Liverpool and continued from 26–30 May in London. From 5–7 June, auditions moved to Manchester, and on 11 June, they took place in Glasgow. Further auditions took place on 18 June in Newcastle (Metro Radio Arena) and concluded on 25 June in Cardiff.

Returning auditionees included Joe Cox, Jade Richards, Melanie McCabe and Carolynne Poole, who all reached judges' houses the previous year.

Bootcamp

See: Bootcamp (series 9)

Held outside London for the first time ever due to the 2012 Olympics, 211 acts reached bootcamp. On the first day, judges reviewed the audition tapes and sent home 60 acts before they had a chance to sing. The remaining contestants were then put into groups and they took part in a sing-off. The number of acts was reduced to 70: 21 girls, 22 boys, 12 over-28s and 15 groups.

The following day, the remaining acts each performed one song for the judges in front of a live audience, and the day after, the judges decided which acts to put through to judges' houses. They could not decide between groups Union J and District3, so they had them each perform again before making a final decision. However, both ended up going through when Rough Copy were eliminated.

Judges Houses

See: Judges' Houses (series 9)

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated Wildcard
Barlow Over 28s Boughton House, Northamptonshire Cheryl Cole Nicola Marie, Brad Shackleton Christopher Maloney
Scherzinger Boys Dubai Ne-Yo Nathan Fagan-Gayle, Jake Quickenden Adam Burridge
Contostavlos Girls Saint Lucia Tinie Tempah Jade Collins, Leanne Robinson Amy Mottram
Walsh Groups Las Vegas Sharon Osbourne Duke, Mitsotu, Poisonous Twin Times Red

Live Shows

Results Summary

Weekly results per contestant
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eliminated Carolynnepoolemini Melaniemassonmini Mk1mini Jadeellismini Lucyspragganmini Kyesonesmini District3mini Ellahendersonmini Rylanclarkmini Unionjmini Christophermaloneymini Jahmenedouglasmini Jamesarthurmini
James Arthur 6th
5.6%
6th
7.4%
6th
7.4%
3rd
12.0%
6th
7.7%
3rd
14.0%
5th
13.7%
1st
40.7%
1st
41.2%
1st
51.7%
Winner
(week 10)
53.7%*
Jahméne Douglas 2nd
13.2%
2nd
11.4%
2nd
15.6%
2nd
15.4%
2nd
16.9%
2nd
14.9%
2nd
17.4%
3rd
18.1&
2nd
22.0%
2nd
31.5%
Runner-up
(week 10)
38.9%*
Christopher Maloney 1st
28.8%
1st
21.9%
1st
22.6%
1st
24.7%
1st
27.6%
1st
23.6%
1st
26.4%
2nd
21.0%
3rd
18.7%
3rd
16.8%
Eliminated
(week 10)
Union J 4th
7.3%
7th
7.1%
8th
5.9%
8th
6.3%
4th
10.4%
6th
11.7%
4th
14.7%
4th
11.8%
4th
18.1%
Eliminated
(week 9)
Rylan Clark 12th
3.1%
3rd
10.2%
4th
8.8%
7th
7.2%
7th
7.2%
5th
12.4%
3rd
15.7%
5th
8.4%
Eliminated
(week 8)
Ella Henderson 3rd
13.1%
4th
9.5%
3rd
10.2%
6th
8.2%
5th
8.8%
4th
13.0%
6th
12.1%
Eliminated
(week 7)
District3 8th
4.0%
11th
4.7%
5th
8.4%
4th
10.0%
3rd
14.7%
7th
10.4%
Eliminated
(week 6)
Kye Sones 7th
4.1%
8th
5.3%
10th
4.9%
5th
10.0%
8th
6.7%
Eliminated
(week 5)
Lucy Spraggan 5th
7.3%
5th
7.6%
7th
6.5%
N/A Withdrew
(week 5)
Jade Ellis 9th
4.0%
9th
5.2%
9th
5.1%
9th
6.2%
Eliminated
(week 4)
MK1 10th
3.4%
10th
5.1%
11th
4.6%
Eliminated
(week 3)
Melanie Masson 11th
3.2%
12th
4.6%
Eliminated
(week 2)
Carolynne Poole 13th
2.9%
Eliminated
(week 1)
Bottom two None Clark,
Poole
District3,
Masson
MK1,
Sones
Ellis,
Union J
Clark,
Sones
District3,
Union J
Arthur,
Henderson
Clark,
Union J
No final showdown or judges' votes;
results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
N/A Poole Masson Sones Ellis Clark None (refused) Arthur Clark
Tulisa's vote
to eliminate
N/A Clark Masson Sones Union J Sones Union J Arthur Clark
Barlow's vote
to eliminate
N/A Clark District3 MK1 Ellis Clark District3 Henderson Clark
Scherzinger's vote
to eliminate
N/A Poole District3 MK1 Ellis Sones District3 Henderson Union J
  • Although Christopher Maloney finished in 3rd place, he gained 7.4% of the total vote on the second night of the final.

Ratings

Summary of episode ratings
Episode Air date Official ITV1 rating Weekly rank Share (%) Official ITV1 HD rating Official ITV1+1 rating Total ITV1 viewers
(millions)
Auditions 1 18 August 8.08 6 39.4 1.02 0.67 9.77
Auditions 2 25 August 8.57 1 36.1 1.05 0.51 10.13
Auditions 3 1 September 8.39 3 35.0 0.97 0.43 9.79
Auditions 4 8 September 8.03 4 33.9 0.95 0.52 9.50
Auditions 5 9 September 7.50 9 30.2 1.06 0.51 9.07
Auditions 6 15 September 8.70 4 39.5 1.03 0.58 10.31
Auditions 7 16 September 9.07 2 36.4 1.10 0.43 10.60
Bootcamp 1 22 September 9.52 3 34.9 0.94 0.44 10.90
Bootcamp 2 23 September 9.76 2 33.6 1.21 0.50 11.47
Judges' houses 1 29 September 8.44 6 35.9 1.28 0.49 10.21
Judges' houses 2 30 September 9.35 2 35.4 1.21 0.41 10.97
Live show 1 6 October 8.61 5 33.9 1.19 0.39 10.19
Live results 1 7 October 9.09 3 31.9 1.10 N/A N/A
Live show 2 13 October 8.47 8 36.2 1.34 0.34 10.15
Live results 2 14 October 8.83 3 35.3 1.20 N/A N/A
Live show 3 20 October 8.25 11 34.8 1.05 0.40 9.70
Live results 3 21 October 8.83 5 34.7 1.02 0.31 10.16
Live show 4 27 October 8.23 11 34.8 1.11 0.33 9.67
Live results 4 28 October 8.51 6 33.6 1.03 0.34 9.88
Live show 5 3 November 7.63 16 32.3 1.12 0.38 9.13
Live results 5 4 November 8.29 9 33.2 1.20 0.27 9.76
Live show 6 10 November 7.97 11 33.7 1.22 0.31 9.50
Live results 6 11 November 8.25 7 33.3 1.06 N/A N/A
Live show 7 17 November 7.89 15 33.8 1.06 N/A N/A
Live results 7 18 November 8.91 5 33.3 1.03 N/A N/A
Live show 8 24 November 7.65 20 33.1 1.04 N/A N/A
Live results 8 25 November 8.37 14 34.0 1.20 N/A N/A
Live show 9 1 December 7.40 20 32.3 1.06 N/A N/A
Live results 9 2 December 8.22 14 32.0 1.06 0.29 9.57
Live final 8 December 8.78 4 38.4 1.41 0.22 10.41
Live final results 9 December 10.04 3 39.1 1.46 N/A N/A
Series average 8.51 N/A N/A 1.19 0.41 10.00

Controversies

Trailer
On 30 July 2012, the trailer for the series premiered. Entitled "Whose Time Is Now?", it features six former contestants— winners Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke and Little Mix, and runners-up JLS, Olly Murs and One Direction — talking about their time on the show and how it changed their lives. Male winners Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward, Leon Jackson, Joe McElderry and Matt Cardle were not included. Ward blasted this, calling the show "pathetic" for leaving him out and saying it was like he was "being erased slowly from their history." McElderry, who won in 2009, said "I'm just gonna keep doing my thing", which many fans believed to be prompted by the trailer. McElderry later admitted that he was not angry about not being included in the trailer. In an interview with the Daily Star Sunday, he said: "I'm not on Simon [Cowell]'s label so I wouldn't expect him to promote me. If they want to erase the fact I won [The] X Factor or try to hide it, I don't care. Personally I am proud I came from The X Factor. If [Cowell] doesn't feel the same then you'll have to ask him why."

Auditions
During the first auditions episode, broadcast on 18 August, one of the auditionees in Cardiff, Zoe Alexander, a Pink tribute singer, tried to "smash" equipment after arguing with the judges about her claim that she was told to sing a Pink song after she sang "So What". Barlow asked her to sing a second song, which was "Next to Me" by Emeli Sandé. After being criticised and given a "no", Alexander threw down her microphone as she left the stage. Her father brought her back to the stage where she swore at the judges. She then stormed backstage, hit a camera operator, continued swearing and, when the cameras were turned off, hit a female producer of the show. Alexander was later cautioned by the police. She later claimed that her voice had been Auto-Tuned for the broadcast. Executive producer Richard Holloway said that every auditionee had a choice of five songs, adding: "All the contestants that go in front of the judges, they're all spoken to by the production team as they have to get all the tracks to play so the conversation takes place between them and us about what they want to sing and they go through their choices and the final decision about what they are going to sing when they walk on the stage is theirs, 100% theirs." Alexander complained to Ofcom; her complaint was not upheld.

Ofcom received 35 complaints about Alison Brunton's audition, in which she performed "The Edge of Glory", from people concerned about the impact on her two children, aged 14 and 16, who were watching from backstage. The broadcasting code states that under-18s must not be "caused unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in programmes". O'Leary asked the children if they would be teased at school, to which Brunton's son said, "I'm never going to hear the end of this," though smiling at the time. An ITV spokeswoman said: "The X Factor does not include child contestants but takes the welfare of any children featured in the show very seriously. It is a well-established format and contestants regularly bring along their family to support them, as Alison did. Footage of family members is only used when appropriate consent has been obtained." Ofcom also received 34 complaints about the audition of Lorna Bliss, a Britney Spears impersonator who wore a body stocking, saying the programme may have broken guidelines on taste and decency. Bliss gave Walsh a lapdance and chased Barlow through the studio during her performance. The spokeswoman stated: "Lorna's performance and its editing was carefully considered by the producers and ITV. We do not believe her routine exceeded generally accepted standards or the expectations of the vast majority of the audience."

Lucy Spraggan
In week 4, Lucy Spraggan, who had previously been one of the favourites to win, was given a bye through to the following week due to illness. Some viewers felt it was unfair that she had been given "special treatment", especially as she had been on a string of "boozy nights" with fellow contestant Rylan Clark. Additionally, Jade Ellis, who was sent home that week, sang for survival despite a sore throat. A show source insisted that Spraggan had been in a far worse condition that any of the other contestants. The following week, Spraggan withdrew from the show.

Christopher Maloney's absence
Maloney was allegedly excluded from the final group performance at the start of the live final results show on 9 December, due to being late for rehearsals, the fact that he "smelt of alcohol" and a fight that occurred between him and Carolynne Poole, during which he reportedly called her a "cunt". A spokesperson for The X Factor said: "Chris decided he longer wanted to be part of the X Factor Final and has gone back to Liverpool." Writing on Twitter, Poole hinted at the dismay backstage, saying The X Factor "can also create monsters". Maloney responded by saying Poole was "disgraceful" and would "do anything to get a headline". He later tweeted the show and Barlow, saying, "[I] can't believe all the bulls*** yet again! [T]his is a witch hunt for [definite]. [T]he show is over", and claimed: "I am being bullied! [B]ig time." Maloney claimed he missed the group performance due to illness.

Judges' comments
During the second live show on 13 October, O'Leary apologised after Tulisa used the term MILF, referring to Melanie Masson's performance. The apology was criticised as Tulisa's comments came at the end of the episode at 10.30pm, 90 minutes after the 9pm watershed, and she had not actually sworn.

After Maloney's performance during the fourth live show on 27 October, Barlow insulted Tulisa. She had criticised Barlow, Maloney's mentor, for "[doing] the same thing over and over again with him", to which Barlow replied, "Tulisa, I don't know what's offended me more—what you've said or the fag ash breath." Tulisa responded by telling Barlow to "lay off the red wine because I can really smell that as well." Barlow later apologised for his comment, and agreed that he had previous enjoyed the smell of cigarettes as he is a former smoker.

The seventh results show on 18 November attracted controversy when Scherzinger introduced Arthur by saying "This is James effing Arthur!". As "effing" is an alternative way of saying the explicit word "fucking" and the show was broadcast before the watershed, Scherzinger later apologised on the following episode of The Xtra Factor: "I'm so sorry. You spend every day with these people, you spend so much time with them. Ella was the last female in the competition. I was passionate about her as well as James Arthur, who is one of the greatest human talents ever. I'm so sorry for my effing."

Voting
In the first live show, the voting lines opened before the contestants had performed, the first time this had happened in the history of the show. This was branded "money grabbing" by some viewers, and it was reported that the change to the rules could have affected the voting results, as the acts who performed first would get a "head start" in the votes. The two acts in the bottom two, Clark and Poole, had performed 9th and 12th respectively out of 13 acts. The acts performing 11th and 13th, Ella Henderson and Jahméne Douglas, were already among the favourites to win. ITV defended the change, stating it would allow viewers "to interact immediately with their favourite acts".

On 7 October, the first results show sparked major controversy when Poole was eliminated over Clark in the final showdown. With Scherzinger having voted against Poole and Barlow and Tulisa having voted against Clark, Walsh had the casting vote, but he appeared to change his mind while making his decision. When O'Leary asked him who he wanted to send home, Walsh deliberated for some time, before stating that he wanted to "keep Carolynne". O'Leary then asked if that meant he was sending home Clark, to which Walsh said he wanted to save both Clark and Poole. O'Leary then reiterated that he needed Walsh to say who he was sending home, and then Walsh announced that he wanted to take the vote to deadlock. O'Leary then announced that Poole had received the fewest public votes and she was eliminated; after hearing this, Barlow, Poole's mentor, stood up and walked off stage, saying "this is a joke". During Poole's final showdown performance, members of the public were also outraged when Holloway was seen approaching Walsh and speaking to him. This sparked rumours that Holloway told Walsh not to send Clark home, and that Walsh may have been unsure whether to go with his own feelings or follow Holloway's instructions. On the episode of The Xtra Factor that followed, Barlow stated that he thought it was "disgusting" that a talented singer had been eliminated over a "joke act" that had "little talent". Several celebrities also vented their fury about the result on Twitter: Barlow's Take That bandmate Howard Donald said: "Joke decision on xfactor tonight kids. Based on the singing the wrong person was dropped from a great height. That's xfactor for you!", whilst Coleen Nolan stated: "I'm horrified!! What a joke and a total fix!!" Ofcom and ITV received more than 2,500 complaints over the events, and Ofcom said they may launch an inquiry. Holloway said in a statement: "We regularly chat to the judges during the show, they don't wear earpieces like Dermot so we have to speak to them on anything from timings to running order changes. On Sunday I was telling Louis the order the judges would vote in. We don't tell judges how to vote."

On 6 November, it emerged that Maloney had been voting for himself throughout the live shows, something which he openly admitted. This raised anger with fellow Over 28s contestant Kye Sones, who was eliminated the week before. Sones called Maloney "very tactical" and said "he must have an expensive phone bill". Maloney stated: "I have voted for myself a few times. So has everyone else—I doubt my calls have made much of a difference... If I had more credit on my phone I'd vote more." A member of production crew stated he had seen Maloney "dialling and redialling his own number over and over again." A member of production said, "You can't outlaw this sort of behaviour but it leaves a very sour taste. It's against the spirit of the show." During the VT before Maloney's performance in the live show following the reports, Maloney denied that he had been voting for himself.

The seventh results show on 18 November attracted controversy when Henderson and Arthur received fewer votes from the public than any other act, especially Clark and Maloney, because both Henderson and Arthur had been favourites to reach the final. The judges scalded the decision made by the public when it came to deciding that night's elimination, in which Henderson was eliminated when the result went to deadlock. Cowell expressed his shock over the result on Twitter, whilst bookmakers Ladbrokes announced that odds for both Maloney to win outright and for the show to be axed by ITV were slashed.

Performances
Part of Clark's performance during the second live show was cut from repeats on ITV1+1 and recaps on ITV2, and the entire performance was removed from itv.com and YouTube for legal reasons, believed to be because he renamed the song "Gangnam Style" to "Rylan Style". An edited version of the performance was later put back on itv.com and YouTube.

After his performance of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" on the third live show on 20 October, Arthur was accused of plagiarism. His rendition was very similar to that of YouTube star only1Noah, which was uploaded on 9 May 2012 and has since gathered over 19 million views. However, Arthur later tweeted: "Btw doesn't everyone know I was putting a spin on Noah's version? It had 13 something million hits! Was I supposed to state the obvious?"

Excessive promotion
In January 2013, Ofcom ruled that The X Factor had breached broadcasting rules by excessively promoting the hotel where the finalists stayed, saying it was mentioned in eight out of the 13 pre-recorded introduction videos for the finalists, including shots of them arriving featuring close-up shots of the hotel's sign. Ofcom found "the overall number of references to be excessive" and "therefore judged that there was insufficient editorial justification for the repeated references to the hotel during the programme." They concluded that "the cumulative effect of these references resulted in the programme as a whole giving undue prominence to the hotel."

Trivia

  • This was the third series where the winning mentor had an act as the winner and runner-up. This previously happened in 2006 and again the following year.
  • This was the first series where a judge had all their acts still in the competition at the quarter final stage.
  • The final had the lowest ratings since 2005 when Shayne Ward won and Andy Abraham finished as runner-up.
  • This was the only series where a wildcard was chosen by the public. Future series would introduce the wildcard twist but with the mentors selecting them instead.
  • As with Series 1 and Series 7, the winning act and runner-up performed different potential winner's singles.


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