The 8 Most Popular X Factor Contestants Ever (With Videos!)

October 7, 2020


Many people who compete in The X Factor expect to skyrocket to stardom if and when they win the singing competition. But, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the runner-up or third-place finisher becomes more popular than the winner. Sometimes, none of the top three reaches international stardom. The fame that comes with a reality show is fickle if you don’t have the X-factor, so to speak.

If you want to improve your singing ability and dream of being a pop sensation, it might be time to hire a singing tutor. You can find a trusted, local teacher on Bidvine to help you grow as a musician. Submit a request for singing lessons today and receive custom, detailed bids within your budget.

Of course, a lot of the popularity that comes with taking part in The X Factor is tied to an artist’s mentor. The winner of each series is awarded a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music, Simon Cowell’s record label. As we all know, Simon Cowell is a huge force in the entertainment industry and has created many competition shows. He’s launched many stars’ careers, in the UK and abroad.

In this article, we’ll go through the most 8 popular performers in The X Factor’s history. Since it’s inception in 2004, the show has expanded to many European countries, as well as areas in Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and North and South America. It’s a cultural phenomenon and is one of the most popular shows across the world. Now, the show’s thirteenth series is taking place on ITV, with live shows beginning on 8 October.

Let’s get into the 9 most popular X Factor contestants in the show’s UK run. Read on to find musical inspiration and listen to some fun music.


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Popular X Factor Performers

Here are the 8 most popular X Factor contestants that have appeared on the UK version of the show. Some have gone on to international stardom in pop music, and some have dissolved since appearing on the show. One now appears on stage and has a successful career in touring musical theatre productions.

We’ve ordered the following list in terms of commercial success, taking chart performance and record sales into consideration. The video shown will be the performer’s music video with the highest view count on YouTube or Vevo.


8. Cher Lloyd

Cher Lloyd finished in fourth place during her series of the show and was signed to Syco Music by Simon Cowell. She released two albums, and her first album Sticks + Stones was certified Gold in the UK and Ireland. She plans on releasing a third album in 2016.



Her video for “Want U Back” has almost 200 million views on YouTube.


7. Ella Henderson

Ella Henderson came in sixth place in her series and was signed to Syco Music following the series. She has released one album, Chapter One, which was certified Platinum in the UK.



Henderson’s lead single from Chapter One, “Ghost,” was certified 2x Platinum in the UK and 3x Platinum in Australia. The video for “Ghost” has 79 million views on YouTube.


6. Little Mix

Little Mix was the first ever group to win The X Factor, and they did so during its eighth series. Their debut album, DNA, released in 2013, beat the Spice Girls’ record of highest debut position on US charts from a British girl group. Their third album, Get Weird, sold 600,000 copies in the UK, earning it a 2x Platinum certification.



Their video for “Black Magic,” released in 2015, has over 200 million views. 


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5. Olly Murs

Olly Murrs is one of the few X Factor contestants to grow in popularity since his appearance on the show. His record sales increased from album to album, peaking with his third album Right Place Right Time. The album sold almost 1.3 million copies in the UK, earning a 4x Platinum certification from the British Phonographic Institute.

Murs appeared alongside Caroline Flack to co-present the show during its twelfth series.



His most popular video on YouTube, for his single “Troublemaker,” has over 100 million views.


4. Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Burke won the fifth series of the popular show and has since gone on to build a successful career in musical theatre. She released two studio albums after winning, with her first album Overcome reaching 2x Platinum in the UK. She now appears in Sister Act The Musical, which is touring the UK and Ireland. Burke plans to release a new album in 2017.



Her final performance of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen has almost 50 million views on YouTube.


3. JLS

The runner-up of the fifth series, JLS has sold over 6 million records in the UK. Their debut self-titled album went 4x Platinum in the UK.



Their video for “She Makes Me Wanna” (featuring Dev) has 18 million views on YouTube. The group disbanded in 2013.


2. One Direction

One Direction may be a cultural sensation, and they may have a documentary film and five albums, but they came in third on their season of the show. Luckily, their mentor Simon Cowell had faith in them and signed them to Syco Music anyway. The rest, as they say, is history.

Their debut album, Up All Night, sold over 1 million records in the UK, earning a 3x Platinum certification from the British Phonographic Industry.



One Direction’s video for “What Makes You Beautiful” has 801 million views on YouTube. The group disbanded in 2015 and have continued onto individual projects since.


1. Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis won The X Factor’s third series in 2006. Her first album, Spirit, sold over 3 million copies in the UK, earning it a 10x Platinum certification. Worldwide, it sold over 8 million copies.

In 2013, Lewis set the record for the most Top Five hits for any British female solo artist.



“Bleeding Love,” the lead single off of her debut album, was written by Jesse McCartney and Ryan Tedder. It was the best-selling single in the UK of 2007 and has almost 150 million views on YouTube.

So we have you feeling inspired to learn how to sing and compete on The X Factor? Hire a singing tutor on Bidvine and make your dreams a reality. When you submit a request on Bidvine, you’ll receive bespoke bids from trusted, local teachers in your budget and area.


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