Entertainment

X Factor ‘AXED’: Former contestants reacting to ‘cancellation’


Former X Factor stars including Jedward and Katie Waissel have reacted to news that the show has been axed after 17 years with glee.

On Wednesday evening, it was reported that Simon Cowell, 61, has pulled the plug on the ITV talent show – which launched in 2004 and last aired in 2018 – because he doesn’t want the programme to ‘become a bit of a joke.’ 

Hot on the heels of the news, the Irish twins, who shot to fame on the show in 2008, penned: ‘Xfactor has been axed Mission Complete’, while Katie, who appeared in 2010, shared the MailOnline’s news alert and wrote: ‘Journey for justice’. 

Katie, earlier this year, claimed she was sexually assaulted by somebody on the X Factor team, years after appearing on the show while Jedward have been open in their criticism of the show and its treatment of stars. 

Backlash: Former X Factor stars including Jedward and Katie Waissel (pictured) have reacted to news that the show has been axed after 17 years with glee

The decision to axe the show comes hot on the heels of former contestants hitting out against the British music industry for ‘exploiting’ and treating them like ‘cattle’ since their overnight rise to fame. 

2010 X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson, 35, has called for an urgent parliamentary inquiry to help protect young and emerging artists and an independent tribunal to hold those responsible for poor treatment within the industry to account. 

Her fellow contestant Cher Lloyd, 27, and double act Jedward, both 29, who appeared on the show the previous year, have also hit out at the industry and claimed they were also poorly treated.

Discussing her alleged assault, Katie, 35, said the incident happened in the US when she met the person to talk about recording work.  

Surprise success: Hot on the heels of the news, the Irish twins, who shot to fame on the show in 2008, penned: 'Xfactor has been axed Mission Complete', while Katie, who appeared in 2010, shared the MailOnline's news alert and wrote: 'Journey for justice'

Surprise success: Hot on the heels of the news, the Irish twins, who shot to fame on the show in 2008, penned: ‘Xfactor has been axed Mission Complete’, while Katie, who appeared in 2010, shared the MailOnline’s news alert and wrote: ‘Journey for justice’

Happy: Jedward delighted in the news and branded the announcement 'Mission Complete'

Happy: Jedward delighted in the news and branded the announcement ‘Mission Complete’

Happy: Katie, who appeared in 2010, shared the MailOnline's news alert and wrote: 'Journey for justice'

Happy: Katie, who appeared in 2010, shared the MailOnline’s news alert and wrote: ‘Journey for justice’

The singer said if she could change the past, she would never have appeared on the singing contest. 

A spokesperson for Syco Entertainment said at the time: ‘We were made aware via the media of Katie’s claims in Autumn 2017 and we immediately contacted her and began an investigation. 

‘We were naturally shocked at the allegations and wanted to do anything we could to help – so we asked her to lodge a complaint with us and detail the allegations for that purpose. In the interim we suspended the accused. 

‘Despite a number of requests to Katie asking her to detail the claims to us, she chose not to make a complaint over his behaviour. As a result, and without other evidence to the contrary, we were obliged to accept his denial of the claims.  

What!? On Wednesday evening, it was reported that Simon Cowell , 61, has pulled the plug on the ITV talent show - which launched in 2004 and last aired in 2018 - because he doesn't want the programme to 'become a bit of a joke' (Simon Cowell, 61, Pictured in 2017)

What!? On Wednesday evening, it was reported that Simon Cowell , 61, has pulled the plug on the ITV talent show – which launched in 2004 and last aired in 2018 – because he doesn’t want the programme to ‘become a bit of a joke’ (Simon Cowell, 61, Pictured in 2017)

‘We, of course, remain ready and keen to investigate her claims if she so chooses to detail them to us and even though the alleged perpetrator no longer works for either Syco or Sony Music.’ 

While around the world the format is still successful, it seems the music mogul has accepted in the UK ‘it has become slightly stale’ and so has reportedly decided to ‘shelve it’ for five years, but sources are claiming it’s now ‘unlikely’ to ever return.

A show insider told The Sun: ‘Globally, it is still a phenomenon and rakes in millions every year. But in the UK, there is no question it has become slightly stale.

Why? Simon is said to have pulled the plug on the ITV talent show because he doesn't want it to 'become a bit of a joke' (Pictured in 2005 with judges Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh)

Why? Simon is said to have pulled the plug on the ITV talent show because he doesn’t want it to ‘become a bit of a joke’ (Pictured in 2005 with judges Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh)

‘Simon remains at the top of his game and knows how to make a hit. He owns the rights to the show, and it’s his call — not ITV’s — whether or not he drops it. 

‘Clearly the last thing he wants is for X Factor to fizzle out with a whimper and become a bit of a joke — especially in contrast to the show in its pomp.’   

The source explained there is the option for Simon to return the talent show in 2023, which would see auditions take place next summer, however the entrepreneur is thought to be focused on his new game show Walk The Line.

MailOnline has contacted Fremantle and ITV for comment. 

Businessman: While around the world the format is still successful, it seems that the music mogul has accepted that in the UK 'it has become slightly stale' (Pictured in 2019)

Businessman: While around the world the format is still successful, it seems that the music mogul has accepted that in the UK ‘it has become slightly stale’ (Pictured in 2019)

In March, Dermot O’Leary, 47, told new! magazine of the X Factor: ‘I can’t see it coming back this year. If it does come back, it’ll be 2022 – maybe 2023.’ 

The presenter admitted he is missing filming the show, which launched in 2004, adding: ‘You do miss it, definitely. You work with people for the best part of 10 years and you become a really tight team.  

‘And you do miss the buzz of a Saturday night show. There’s something great about it.’ 

The father-of-one has hosted the show since 2007, taking over from former host Kate Thornton, who was at the helm from 2004–2006. 

Iconic: Simon launched X Factor in in 2004 and last aired in 2018

Iconic: Simon launched X Factor in in 2004 and last aired in 2018

Dermot has hosted every series since, aside from in 2015 where he was replaced with former contestant Olly Murs and the late Love Island presenter Caroline Flack. 

Its last traditional series of X Factor aired back in 2018, with judges Simon, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field on the judging panel. 

Dalton Harris, mentored by former One Direction star Louis, won the series, with Scarlett finishing in second place and Anthony Russell taking third. 

Original series: Its last traditional series to air on ITV was back in 2018, where Louis Tomlinson (R) won the series with his act Dalton Harris

Original series: Its last traditional series to air on ITV was back in 2018, where Louis Tomlinson (R) won the series with his act Dalton Harris

Winner: Simon brought one-off series The X Factor: Celebrity to screens in 2019, which was won by Megan McKenna who then landed a record contract with Simon's music label Syco

Winner: Simon brought one-off series The X Factor: Celebrity to screens in 2019, which was won by Megan McKenna who then landed a record contract with Simon’s music label Syco 

Simon then brought one-off series The X Factor: Celebrity to screens in 2019, which saw famous faces showcase their vocal talents.

Megan McKenna was crowned the winner of the show and landed a record contract with Simon’s major music label, Syco. 

The X Factor was then halted in 2020 when coronavirus hit, rendering it impossible to produce the show, which involves mass gatherings for open public auditions. 

Farewell for now: In March, Dermot O'Leary, (right), hinted The X Factor may not return until 2023, saying: 'If it does come back, it'll be 2022 - maybe 2023'

Farewell for now: In March, Dermot O’Leary, (right), hinted The X Factor may not return until 2023, saying: ‘If it does come back, it’ll be 2022 – maybe 2023’

Where it all started: Dermot has hosted the show since 2007, taking over from former host Kate Thornton (pictured), who was at the helm from 2004–2006

Where it all started: Dermot has hosted the show since 2007, taking over from former host Kate Thornton (pictured), who was at the helm from 2004–2006

Part of X Factor’s appeal has always been the array of famous faces recruited by Simon to sit with him on the judging panel.  

Louis Walsh sat along Simon for a whopping 13 years, from 2004 to 2018 before stepping away from X Factor. 

Sharon Osbourne took her place as a judge from 2004 to 2007. She rejoined in 2013, though, and once again in 2016.  

Dannii Minogue first appeared on the judging panel in 2007 and remained there for four series, before leaving in 2011. 

Cheryl was an X Factor judge from 2008 to 2011. She then returned for the 2014 and 2015 series.

Star line-ip: Part of X Factor's appeal has always been the array of famous faces recruited to sit on the judging panel (pictured Simon, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh in 2006)

Star line-ip: Part of X Factor’s appeal has always been the array of famous faces recruited to sit on the judging panel (pictured Simon, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh in 2006)

Part of the furniture: Louis Walsh sat alongside Simon for a whopping 13 years, from 2004 to 2018 before stepping away (pictured with Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue in 2010)

Part of the furniture: Louis Walsh sat alongside Simon for a whopping 13 years, from 2004 to 2018 before stepping away (pictured with Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue in 2010)

On the panel: Cheryl has had two stints on the show, being an X Factor judge from 2008 to 2011. She then returned for the 2014 and 2015 series (pictured with Simon in 2010)

On the panel: Cheryl has had two stints on the show, being an X Factor judge from 2008 to 2011. She then returned for the 2014 and 2015 series (pictured with Simon in 2010)

New faces: N-Dubz's Tulisa Contostavlos joined the panel for 2011 and 2012 with Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland also appearing in 2011 (pictured with Louis and Gary Barlow in 2011)

New faces: N-Dubz’s Tulisa Contostavlos joined the panel for 2011 and 2012 with Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland also appearing in 2011 (pictured with Louis and Gary Barlow in 2011)

Tulisa Contostavlos was the youngest X factor judge during her time on the show in 2011 and 2012. 

Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland joined the panel at the same time as Tulisa, in 2011, but only lasted one series. 

From 2011-2013, Take That’s Gary Barlow actually stepped into Simon Cowell’s shoes and replaced him on the judging panel.

Nicole Scherzinger coined the infamous phrase ‘Shermazing’ during her stints on the judging panel from 2012 to 2014, before returning in 2016 and 2017.  

Spice Girl Mel B filled the gap left by Nicole for the 2015 series of X Factor, but Simon decided she was better suited to US audiences and she has since been a judge on America’s Got Talent for five series.  

Big shoes to fill: From 2011-2013, Take That's Gary Barlow stepped into Simon Cowell's shoes and Nicole Scherzinger also joined the show in 2012 (pictured with Sharon and Louis in 2013)

Big shoes to fill: From 2011-2013, Take That’s Gary Barlow stepped into Simon Cowell’s shoes and Nicole Scherzinger also joined the show in 2012 (pictured with Sharon and Louis in 2013) 

Pros: Spice Girl Mel B filled the gap left by Nicole for the 2015 series of X Factor, but was later moved to the US version of the show (pictured with Louis, Cheryl and Simon in a promo snap)

Pros: Spice Girl Mel B filled the gap left by Nicole for the 2015 series of X Factor, but was later moved to the US version of the show (pictured with Louis, Cheryl and Simon in a promo snap)

Experts: The last traditional series of X Factor aired back in 2018, with judges Simon, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field on the judging panel (pictured in 2018)

Experts: The last traditional series of X Factor aired back in 2018, with judges Simon, Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field on the judging panel (pictured in 2018)

The same year, popstar Rita Ora and BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw sat on the judging panel, but both only lasted a single year.  

In 2018 Louis Tomlinson joined the panel along with Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field.

X Factor 2010-2018: Series ratings overview

2010: 14.3million viewers

2011: 12.41million viewers

2012: 10million viewers

2013: 9.45million viewers

2014: 8.65million viewers

2015: 7.85million viewers

2016: 7.71million viewers

2017: 6.52million viewers

2018: 6.19million viewers

While it’s produced huge stars like 1D, Little Mix, Olly Murs and James Arthur, The X Factor has arguably taking a hit in ratings over the last few years. 

X Factor was hit by its lowest ever ratings when the Celebrity series aired its first live show earlier this year.

The ITV series recorded just 2.96 million viewers at one point, and by the last 15 minutes of the Celebrity special, just 2.99 million viewers were left.

Even with a 3.73 million peak, the ratings paled in comparison to the average viewing figures of 14.13 million that the show pulled in at its prime in 2010. 

It marked the lowest ratings since the franchise began in 2004, but sources claim The X Factor still remains the highest watched show for 16 to 34 year olds. 

Huge success: JLS came second in 2008, but went on to make the most money, selling more than 10million records

Huge success: JLS came second in 2008, but went on to make the most money, selling more than 10million records

Biggest winners: One Direction came third on the X-Factor in 2010 but are by far the most successful act to emerge from the show

Biggest winners: One Direction came third on the X-Factor in 2010 but are by far the most successful act to emerge from the show

While some X Factor stars went on to earn millions in the spotlight, many of the show’s winners have failed or been dumped from their record labels as their careers floundered. 

The show’s biggest success was One Direction- made up of Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik- before the band went on an indefinite hiatus at the peak of their success in 2016. 

Louisa Johnson, now 23, became The X Factor’s youngest ever winner when she was crowned champion of the 2015 series of the TV talent show. 

Jesy Nelson has recently quit girl band Little Mix – who won the show in 2011 – to help her mental health after the pressure of being in the group started to take its ‘toll’ on her. 

History makers: Little Mix were crowned the winners of The X Factor in 2011 when they become the first band to ever win the show in its history

History makers: Little Mix were crowned the winners of The X Factor in 2011 when they become the first band to ever win the show in its history

James Arthur shot to fame after competing on the 2012 edition of The X Factor, which he went on to win. 

Olly Murs was runner-up in 2009’s X Factor and has had an incredibly successful career in music since finding fame on the show.  

Shayne Ward won the X-Factor 15 years ago, its second series. After a triumphant music career, he joined ITV soap Coronation Street where he played Aidan Connor until 2018.

Jedward – aka twins John and Edward Grimes – starred on X Factor in 2009, finishing third. Despite being a novelty act, they have gone on to release three albums. 

Alexandra Burke’s big breakthrough came on X Factor in 2008, after she beat JLS in the final and her debut single, Hallelujah, sold 105,000 copies in a day.    

THE X FACTOR: WHERE ARE THE CONTESTANTS NOW?

One Direction: Post-X Factor, the group became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time

One Direction: Post-X Factor, the group became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time

ONE DIRECTION

Ages: 27-29

Year they appeared: 2010

Where did they finish?: Third place

What are they up to now?: 1D went on to worldwide fame and became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time, selling 70 million records worldwide. Zayn Malik left the group in 2015 and the rest of the band parted ways in 2016. All members are now soloists.

Little Mix: They were the first group to ever win the show, tutored by Tulisa, and have since sky-rocketed to fame

Little Mix: They were the first group to ever win the show, tutored by Tulisa, and have since sky-rocketed to fame

 LITTLE MIX

Ages: 28-30

Year they appeared: 2011  

Where did they finish?: Winners 

What are they up to now?: After becoming the first-ever group to win the show, Little Mix sold over 60 million records worldwide, making them one of the biggest selling girl groups of all time. Six albums later, Jesy Nelson left in 2020, with the other three still continuing in the band.

Shayne Ward: The 2005 winner of the X Factor went on to star in Coronation Street

Shayne Ward: The 2005 winner of the X Factor went on to star in Coronation Street 

SHAYNE WARD

Age: 36

Year they appeared: 2005

Where did they finish?: Winner

What are they up to now?: After releasing a hit album and several singers after his The X Factor win, Shayne went on to pursue an acting career and starred as Aidan Connor in Coronation Street from 2015 to 2018. 

Rhydian Roberts: The 2007 X Factor runner-up, losing out to Steve Brookstein

Rhydian Roberts: The 2007 X Factor runner-up, losing out to Steve Brookstein 

 RHYDIAN ROBERTS

Age: 38

Year they appeared: 2007

Where did they finish?: Second place

What are they up to now?: Rhydian has released several albums since The X Factor and has gone on many tours. He has also does a lot of pantomime work.   

Diana Vickers: Diana reached the semi-finals of the singing competition in 2008

Diana Vickers: Diana reached the semi-finals of the singing competition in 2008 

DIANA VICKERS

Age: 29 

Year they appeared: 2008

Where did they finish?: Semi-finalist

What are they up to now?: Diana had a number-one debut single, Once, in 2010. She has also released two albums. The singer has gone on to pursue an acting career – starring in TV show, Give Out Girls, and movie, The Perfect Wave.   

Jedward: The twins with iconic hairstyles forged successful careers in the limelight

Jedward: The twins with iconic hairstyles forged successful careers in the limelight

JEDWARD

Ages: 29 

Year they appeared: 2009

Where did they finish?: Sixth place 

What are they up to now?: The duo have released three albums, including the hit single Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby). They also represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 and 2012. They have gone on to have TV careers, presenting their own children’s television series and appearing on Celebrity Big Brother. 

James Arthur: 2012 X Factor winner James Arthur still regularly appears in the charts

James Arthur: 2012 X Factor winner James Arthur still regularly appears in the charts 

JAMES ARTHUR

Ages: 33

Year they appeared: 2012

Where did they finish?: Winner  

What are they up to now?: He released a number-one single, Impossible, after his win. He has gone on to release a self-titled album as well as several singles. In 2018, he returned to The X Factor to due with Anne-Marie.

Honey G: Honey G came fifth in 2016 with her parody act

Honey G: Honey G came fifth in 2016 with her parody act

HONEY G

Age: 40

Year they appeared: 2016

Where did they finish?: Fifth place

What are they up to now?: In December, Honey G revealed that she had been fired from her estate agent job after just 40 days, because her bosses deemed her ‘too famous.’

 

Christopher Maloney: The scouse crooner came third in the 2012 series

Christopher Maloney: The scouse crooner came third in the 2012 series

CHRISTOPHER MALONEY 

Age: 43

Year they appeared: 2012

Where did they finish?: Third place

What are they up to now?: In 2014 Christopher opened a performing arts school in Liverpool, and went on to appear in Celebrity Big Brother in 2016

Wagner: Brazilian-born English singer Wagner came sixth in the 2012 series

Wagner: Brazilian-born English singer Wagner came sixth in the 2012 series

WAGNER

Age: 64

Year they appeared: 2012

Where did they finish?: Sixth place

What are they up to now?: In 2012, Wagner revealed he was having a baby with his then 20-year-old girlfriend.

  

Katie Waissel: The singer took eight place in the 2010 series of The X Factor

Katie Waissel: The singer took eight place in the 2010 series of The X Factor 

KATIE WAISSEL

Age: 35

Year they appeared: 2010

Where did they finish?: Eighth place

What are they up to now?: In July 2018, Katie gave birth to her son Hudson. She describes herself as a writer and brand strategist, and has since trained to be a fitness instructor. 

Sam Bailey: The mother-of-three regularly performs in pantomimes

Sam Bailey: The mother-of-three regularly performs in pantomimes

SAM BAILEY

Age: 43

Year they appeared: 2013

Where did they finish?: Winner

What are they up to now?: The mother-of-three supported Beyoncé on one of her UK tour dates in 2014. Sam regularly performs in pantomimes

Alexandra Burke: The singer won the show in 2008

Alexandra Burke: The singer won the show in 2008 

ALEXANDRA BURKE 

Age: 32

Year they appeared: 2008

Where did they finish?: Winner

What are they up to now?: Alexandra won the show – famously duetting with Beyoncé in the finale. She has since released three studio albums, has competed on Strictly Come Dancing and is starring in the West End in Joseph.

JLS: The boy band made the finale but lost out to Alexandra Burke

JLS: The boy band made the finale but lost out to Alexandra Burke

 JLS

Ages: 33-36

Year they appeared: 2008  

Where did they finish?: Runners-up

What are they up to now?: The band came in second place yet hit the charts less than a year later with debut single Beat Again. They released four albums and and a Greatest Hits in 2013. They split that year but announced a comeback in 2020.

Mart Byrne: Mary made the semi-final

Mart Byrne: Mary made the semi-final 

MARY BYRNE 

Age: 36

Year they appeared: 2010

Where did they finish?: Fifth place

What are they up to now?: Mary went on to record four albums, the most recent released in 2017. In November 2011, she released an autobiography. She still performs and lost five stone last year.

Stacey Solomon: Stacey is now a TV host

Stacey Solomon: Stacey is now a TV host 

 STACEY SOLOMON

Age: 31

Year they appeared: 2009  

Where did they finish?: Third place 

What are they up to now?: Stacey has appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and went on to join the panel at Loose Women. She has since become engaged to fellow TV presenter Joe Swash. In 2021, the BBC commissioned her own home-decluttering series. 

Leona Lewis: The London-born singer won the 2006 series of The X Factor

Leona Lewis: The London-born singer won the 2006 series of The X Factor 

LEONA LEWIS

Age: 36

Year they appeared: 2006

Where did they finish?: Winner

What are they up to now?: After several best-selling singles and singing the theme for blockbuster movie Avatar in 2009, Leona filmed her first TV role for drama The Oath earlier this year. 

Chico: Welsh singer Chico won over critics with his vibrant performances

Chico: Welsh singer Chico won over critics with his vibrant performances

 CHICO

Age: 50

Year they appeared: 2005  

Where did they finish?: Quarter-finals 

What are they up to now?: Chico had a hit single, It’s Chico Time, in 2006. In September 2019, the singer was rushed to hospital after suffering a life-threatening stroke. 

He is now a fitness guru and devoted dad of two.  

 



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