X Factor winners - From Leona Lewis to Steve Brookstein, where are they now?

 | By and Nola Ojomu  |  5 comments

See who is working on a cruise ship, who performs in the West End, and who is doing, well, nothing...

Alexandra Burke's girl meets boy style at Pride of Britain Awards

© Getty - Handbag

Can you name all the X Factor winners in order? Go!

If you are anything like us, you probably just named the more successful runners-up. Oops. So where are the past winners now and how much success did they really have...


Steve Brookstein - 2004

The first ever winner of The X Factor should have been the perfect life changing experience for Steve but then he was dropped by Sony BMG after eight months.

Steve and Simon Cowell had a massive falling out over his refusal to release a second album full of covers and this meant Steve has gone on to be a cruise ship singer instead.

UPDATE: The Brookstein has been in touch. He has only sang on a cruise ship once, don't you know. Instead, he is now asking fans for money to help him release a new album. Who knew hey?

2. Shayne Ward - 2005

Shayne managed to do a bit better than Steve seeing as he released two successful albums inmmediately after winning the show.

But then a three year gap happened which was rumoured to be because Simon Cowell wanted all focus on Leona Lewis and Britain's Got Talent winner Susan Boyle.

Naturally when Shayne did try to comeback to the charts, things did not go well and he got dropped. But it's not all bad news as Shayne has been performing in West End shows instead.

3. Leona Lewis - 2006

X Factor golden girl, Leona Lewis is the most succesful winner to date.

She topped the charts here and - more importantly to Simon - she cracked America.

With two platinum selling albums under belt, we can only hope her talent is never hit by the X Factor winners curse.

4. Leon Jackson - 2007

Leon Jackson surprised the nation when he beat Rhydian to the crown.

Initially he did alright with his single When You Believe was the third best selling single of 2007. But it didn't last long and Leon was dropped by Sony BMG in 2009 (although no one thought to tell Leon this and he found out through the newspapers. Ouch.)

He said at the time he would never sing When You Believe again (come on Leon, don't say that) and called his X Factor success a curse. Last news was that he was trying to put out a second album independently after being unable to sign with another record label and is thought to be moving into writing for other artists.

5. Alexandra Burke - 2008

Being the second female winner, Alexandra Burke started with similar success to Leona. Five consecutive UK top tens including three number ones, and her debut album going platinum.

But then her second album failed to impress and she was made the support act for JLS in their nationwide tour. Which is awkward seeing as she beat them to win the show...

Even though Alexandra still holds the record for most amount of sales over 24 hours with her winner's song, Hallelujah, things just haven't worked out after low sales in her last album and she decided to take a new path away from label RCA last year.

Joe McElderry - 2009

The adorable Joe McElderry just had tough luck after winning the show.

First the public's hate of Simon Cowell meant he didn't get the usual Christmas Number One and instead lost to Rage Against the Machine.

His debut album flopped leading him to be dropped from Syco but winning Popstar to Operastar revived his career a bit, however he's had to watch runner up Olly Murs go from strength to strength while Joe struggled to chart. Gutted.

Matt Cardle - 2010

Matt Cardle was one of the most popular contestants on the X Factor but for some reason his career just did not take off.

After parting ways with Syco after just one album, he's had to watch runners up One Direction take over the world and become the wealthiest Brits under 30.

He is now having a casual relationship with Mel C after that awkward snogging video for Loving You, so you know, all is not lost.

Little Mix - 2011

The first group to win the show and hopefully break the winners curse, Little Mix have been doing very well indeed.

Their winner's single Cannonball became the fastest selling single of 2011 and they well with their debut album, DNA. Since then, the girls have gone on to sell over two million records worldwide. The band are still signed to Syco and are cracking their way into the States as we speak.

James Arthur - 2012

Hailed as the new kind of X Factor winner, we are still waiting to see what becomes of James Arthur after he is relaunched at this year's X Factor after the obligatory year out of the limelight.

Watch this space...

Who was your favourite?



Leave your comments below


Latest in Day Bag

You might like

You'll like these too

daily news