X factor: The best losers

Rachael Hogg
30 August 2012

While winning 'The X Factor' may be the ultimate dream: the fame, the million pound recording contract and an almost guaranteed Christmas number one, some of the past winners have already faded from memory. However, other acts have risen from 'The X Factor' ashes and gone on to have more successful careers than their same season winners. Sometimes it seems that losing is the real winning.

JLS, second, series five (2008)

Not only are JLS one of the most successful UK groups of the last few years, they are the most successful group from 'X Factor' who actually auditioned as a group and weren't formed on the show. After a cupboard full of awards and success around the world, the group are set to release their fourth album later this year.

Olly Murs, second, series six (2009)

He may have fallen down stairs on stage at Guilfest, but he got right back up again, managing to keep on singing and not hurting his cheeky face. Olly Murs is currently working on his third studio album, due for release in November, supported One Direction on the North American leg of their tour and is still presenting 'The Xtra Factor' with Caroline Flack. Not bad for second place, losing out to Joe McElderry in 2009.

Rebecca Ferguson, second, series seven (2010)

The quiet and unassuming Rebecca Ferguson has gone from strength to strength after finishing as runner up in 2010. She has had a sell-out solo tour and co-written her debut album 'Heaven' which gained commercial and critical success.

One Direction, third, series seven (2010)

With millions of teenage fans across the world, One Direction are currently one of the biggest boy bands on the planet, but came third in 2010's 'X Factor', behind Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. The group formed on the show after auditioning as solo singers.

Cher Lloyd, fourth, series seven (2010)

Despite getting booed and bottled off-stage recently at V Festival, the 'Swagger Jagger' singer is a pretty popular popstar. She's been mobbed by fans in the US and currently has way more fans than bottles of wee thrown at her.

Aiden Grimshaw, ninth, series seven (2010)

Having kept himself very quiet since coming ninth (ninth!) in series seven, the gorgeous and brooding Aiden Grimshaw has finally launched his own music career. Remembered for his haunting performance of 'Mad World', losing out on the public vote to Katie Waissel and finishing behind Wagner, Mr Grimshaw has stepped away from his awkward image and released great, dance-pop and a debut album full of original songs.

Amelia Lily, third, series eight (2011)

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Amelia Lily in 2011's 'X Factor'. After being axed on the first week in a cruel twist, Amelia Lily won her place back as the Wildcard after Frankie Cocozza's shock exit following drug allegations. She eventually came third behind Marcus Collins and Little Mix. Her debut single 'You Bring Me Joy' will be released on September 9 before releasing her debut album later this year.

Whether waiting for the 'X Factor' hype to die down (Aiden Grimshaw), finding your own unique style and nonsensical language (Cher Lloyd), or finding a gap in the market (One Direction), these 'X Factor' losers have all found their own way into the industry from a show often criticised for ruining careers before they've started.

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