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The X-Factor is a long-running talent show created by Simon Cowell. It made its debut on ITV in 2004 following the success of previous shows such as 'Pop Idol.' It usually airs on ITV from August until just before Christmas, often ensuring a Christmas Number One hit single for its winner. This year the series is due to finish in early Dcember so that Christmas Number One looks a distant dream now. This series saw three new judges join Simon Cowell namely Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field.

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X Factor 2018 - Latest News

Dalton Harris Wins the X-Factor

The final took place on Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2 and it was Dalton Harris who was voted the winner giving mentor Louis Tomlinson a win in his first series. The Jamaican sang a duet with former winner James Arthur during the final After his winning performance, Ayda Field told Harris: “I feel like I’m at your concert and everyone else is supporting you. I feel you are a future artist and you will change the world.”

Voting statistics revealed the day after the final showed that the winner received 43.1% of the final vote with Scarlett Lee on 31.3% and Anthony Russell 24.7%. The winner will now release the Frankie Goes to Hollywood hit 'The Power of Love' as his first single. He's 9/1 at Betfair to have the Christmas Number One.

Viewing figures for the final were over the five million mark, slightly up from 2017. The show has been renewed until 2022 with more younger viewers watching the show this season.

Acts Who Made it Through to the Live Shows

Boys (mentored by Louis Tomlinson)

  • Dalton Harris - Comes from Jamaica and won a televised singing contest there in 2010. Has already released three albums in his home country.
  • Armstrong Martins - Nigerian who now lives in London. Previously reached live shows in 'The Voice Nigeria.'
  • Brendan Murray - Louis Walsh may have left the show but he used to manage this Irish singer who used to be in a boy band called 'Hometown' and had two number one hits in Ireland. Was also managed by Walsh as a solo artist and represented Ireland in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.
  • Anthony Russell - Previously got to judges house but had to withdraw after a drugs scandal. Received help from Louis Tomlinson, went into rehab and now he's on the live shows, how surprising.

Girls (mentored by Simon Cowell)

  • Shan Ako - Session singer from Croydon
  • Scarlett Lee - Previous competitor being knocked out at the six chairs stage. More orange than scarlett after plenty of jokes made about her alleged use of fake tan, though she claims it was just her make-up.
  • Bella Penfold - Not related to the Dangermouse character but a hotel singer from Essex.
  • Molly Scott - 16 year-old student from County Durham.

Over 28s (mentored by Ayda Field)

  • Janice Robinson - American singer who had worldwide hit while in the group 'Livin' Joy.'
  • Giovanni Spano - Comes from London and has appeared in West End musicals.
  • Danny Tetley - Singer and actor from Bradford who sings in Benidorm bars.
  • Olatunji Yearwood - Comes from Trinidad, now lives in Blackpool.

Groups (mentored by Robbie Williams)

  • Acacia & Aaliyah - Initially auditioned as solo artists then Simon Cowell advised them to become a duo.
  • LMA Choir - 15 piece choir from Liverpool who must have though they were entering Britain's Got Talent. Previously finished second in the BBC's Pitch Perfect series.
  • Misunderstood - two male singers from London who were previously part of a dance group on Britain's Got Talent.
  • United Vibe - Five piece boyband created by the show.

Order of Elimination

Week 1 - Armstong Martins and Olatunji Yearwood

Week 2 - Janice Robinson and LMA Choir

Week 3 - United Vibe and Molly Scott

Week 4 - Misunderstood and Giovanni Spano

Week 5 - Bella Penfold and Shan Ako

Week 6 - Danny Tetley, Acacia & Aaliyah and Brendan Murray

Week 7 - Anthony Russell (3rd) Scarlett Lee (2nd)

Betting on the X Factor

For decades there had been talent shows on television with 'Opportunity Knocks' producing a host of stars. The same can be said of 'New Faces' which introduced us to stars such as the late, great Victoria Wood and Marti Caine and Sir Lenny Henry and Jim Davidson. That show included a judging panel and the Simon Cowell of his day was Tony Hatch. Where 'The X-Factor' differs though is the fact that we now get to see the auditions and this is where the fun begins. There's the moment when you see a really talented singer and the comedy from the really appalling ones. Older contestants are able to take part which wasn't the case with shows such as 'Pop Idol' which was geared to the younger singers.

The winner of each series of the show wins a recording contract. Many of the previous winners didn't manage to keep that contract too long though especially the first winner of the show Steve Brookstein, who the show conveniently tends to ignore when looking back at its past.

The show has four judges who are also mentors, each has their own category to look after so it becomes a battle between the judges as well as a quest to find a new star.

The series has several stages beginning with the auditions. Then they go onto boot camp. Once the contestants have been narrowed down the judges find out which category they will be managing. There are four of them:

  • Groups
  • Boys
  • Girls
  • Over 25's

The next stage is the six chair section. Each judge has to choose six contestants from their category to go forward to the next stage of the competition. Each contestant auditions again and then if selected they get to sit in one of the chairs. When the chairs get full it gets really scary. If any of the remaining contestants are judged good enough to be in the top six then they get a chair and one of those already selected has to vacate theirs.

The final six in each category now go into the Judge's House stage which is often set in luxurious surroundings. The judges have to decide which three of their acts will go through to the live shows. Wildcards can also be decided on to complete the final round-up.

Now it's onto the live shows where each act perform and be judged often leading to spectacular arguments. Viewers can then vote for their favourites. This year there will be eliminations on both Saturday and Sunday. Again acts will have to sing-off to stay on the show with the judges making the final decision. Sometimes there are two eliminations with the act with the least number of votes automatically leaving and the next two with the lowest amount of votes going into the sing-off.

When is it on?

Weekly on Saturday nights on ITV 1 from September, dates are yet to be confirmed. After each show there's the companion show 'The Xtra Factor' on ITV2 with new presenters Rylan Clark-Neal and Matt Edmondson. This includes interviews with the judges and contestants and phone-ins.

What can you bet on?

Using your free bet you can back anything from a range of markets including the most popular: the overall winner.

Markets are also available for the respective categories with bets available on each category, the winning judge and who will be eliminated each week. you can also bet on whether the competition will be won by a male or female contestant.

Previous X-Factor Winners

2017: Rak-Su

2016: Matt Terry

2015: Louisa Johnson

2014: Ben Haenow

2013: Sam Bailey

2012: James Arthur

2011: Little Mix

2010: Matt Cardle

2009: Joe McElderry

2008: Alexandra Burke

2007: Leon Jackson

2006: Leona Lewis

2005: Shayne Ward

2004: Steve Brookstein

You don't have to be a winner to go on and launch a successful career. JLS only finished second in 2008 with Stacey Solomon third and Olly Murs was runner-up in 2009. Rylan Clark-Neal didn't even make the final but has forged a hugely successful presenting career particularly following events in the most famous reality TV house in Britain.

Simon Cowell has mentored the winning act on three occasions (2004, 2006 and 2014), Cheryl Cole has 2 wins and is the only judge to mentor the victors act two series in a row. Also on two wins are Nicole Scherzinger and Dannii Minogue with Sharon Osbourne, Tulisa Contostavios and Rita Ora on one. Despite being the only act to appear in every series, Louis Walsh only has one win and that was with Shayne Ward back in 2005.

Using your X Factor Free Bet

X Factor free bets and offers are credited in the same way as a sporting free bet. Once you have opened a new account with your choosing online bookmaker and adhered to their sign-up terms and conditions, the X Factor bonus will usually be added to your betting account balance.

In order to use the token or bonus you simply need to make your betting selection in the normal manner, but before placing the bet tick the box that indicates you wish to use your free bet amount.

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