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The X Factor

The X Factor

Created by Simon Cowell, The X Factor has been on British screens since 2004, and the reality singing competition has been exported around the globe. Its current judging panel comprises of Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini - both of whom returned to the show in 2014 - Louis Walsh and new judge Mel B.

Aspiring musicians are put through a succession of audition rounds as the field is progressively narrowed down, and the competition culminates each year with a series of large-scale live shows. Previous winners include Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Matt Cardle, Little Mix and James Arthur. However, numerous acts who didn't win the show - including One Direction, Olly Murs, JLS and Rebecca Ferguson - have all gone on to varying degrees of success. The competition's more outrageous and flamboyant acts - from energetic twin brothers Jedward to singer-turned-TV presenter Rylan Clark - have also attracted attention over The X Factor's decade on TV screens.

Over the years, The X Factor has often been the subject of controversy and criticism from musicians and industry executives. However, it has retained mainstream popularity and a strong overnight ratings performance, enjoying a healthy ratings rivalry with the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.
The X Factor Top Story Emma Bunton: 'Mel B and I drank tequila at Judges' Houses' Emma Bunton says that Mel B's decision was "very, very tough".
We sit down with X Factor's new eight-piece boyband to get to know them better. The X Factor: Meet the new boyband Simon Cowell responds to an online petition calling for dolphin scenes to be cut. Cowell axes Xtra Factor dolphin scenes We might have a riot on our hands. Here is our Top 12 acts. 12 acts who must make X Factor's Live Shows Simon Cowell takes his Over-25s to Judges' Houses to meet Sinitta (and, er, sing). X Factor: The Overs hit Judges' Houses Get a sneak peek at what happened when Louis took his groups to Bermuda. X Factor: The Groups hit Judges' Houses Get a sneak peek at the photos of what happened in Nice with the Girls. X Factor: The Girls hit Judges' Houses Get a sneak peek at the photos of what happened in Cancun with the Boys. X Factor: The Boys hit Judges' Houses The Xtra Factor host speaks about the intensity of Sunday's (September 28) show. Sunday's X Factor 'was like Gladiator' Platt says she auditioned for Louise Mitchell but lost out to her best friend. X Factor's Lauren Platt on EastEnders past The call centre worker admits there's been some "friendly flirting". X Factor's Stevi flirting with Helen? The pair battle to stay in The X Factor in a secret sing-off. X Factor: Lizzy, Raign in secret sing-off 24 acts fight for a spot in this year's X Factor live shows. X Factor: Who made it to Judges' Houses? They beat Pow Pow Girls and Overload in sing-off for a place in Judges' Houses. New Girl Group win X Factor sing-off Louis Walsh has FINALLY picked his groups. Who do you want to see in the Lives? X Factor Top 6 Groups: Who would you pick? Simon Cowell has finally picked his top six Overs. Who would you take through? X Factor Top 6 Overs: Who would you pick? Helen makes Mel B cry with her version of Pink's 'Nobody Knows'. Helen Fulthorpe wows The X Factor judges Louis Walsh is unable to make any decisions during the tough Boot Camp round. X Factor: Louis Walsh in Six Chair fiasco Simon Cowell struggles to make decisions on his final six contestants tonight. X Factor: Cheryl campaigns against Raign The judges introduce a five-piece girl band and an eight-piece boy band. X Factor contestants form two new bands Mel B has made the Scary decision of choosing her Top 6 - who should make the lives? X Factor Top 6 Boys: Who would you pick? Joey Essex describes the X Factor hopeful as "proper down to earth". Joey Essex backs X Factor Charlie Brown Strictly Come Dancing is watched by an average audience of 6.53 million. Strictly beats X Factor in Friday's ratings Simon Cowell is left in a difficult position by the pop singer. Scarlett Quinn in shock X Factor slip The former Spice Girl doesn't hold back on the Boys category. Mel B dishes out insults in 6 Chair Challenge The two female judges break down at breathtaking Whitney Houston cover. Which singer makes Mel B and Cheryl cry? The returning singer says that he is scared of letting people down. X Factor: Jake in tears at Boot Camp Ben Haenow, Ben Quinlan and Joe Slater try to get to Judges' Houses on X Factor. Watch new X Factor preview clips Judge made a controversial last-minute switch to Top 6 and sent Orla Keogh home. Cheryl saves Chloe-Jasmine: Twitter reacts Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has a shortlist. It's time for you to decide the Top 3. X Factor Top 6 Girls: Who would you pick? "You say no to sweet girls dreaming of stardom. What's the worst that can happen?" X Factor 6 Chair Challenge is still brutal TV Fans complain about a fix as there is a last-minute switch. X Factor controversy over Cheryl's Top 6 The Boot Camp stage sees the return of the dreaded Six Chair Challenge. Watch Cheryl anger crowd in X Factor preview Digital Spy goes behind the scenes for peanut butter, nerves and sore throats. X Factor: Boot Camp behind the scenes The judge says that he doubts her abilities to perform on the biggest stage. Cowell puts Lola X Factor spot in danger The Boot Camp episode wipes out half the acts before the first ad break. X Factor: 57 acts axed in under 3 minutes "We are going to have a riot on our hands." X Factor anarchy after Cheryl's big mistake Simon, Cheryl, Louis and Mel B meet their acts ahead of the six chair challenge. Watch X Factor acts find out their mentors New study reveals which series provoke the most social media discussion. What's the most tweeted-about UK TV show? Simon Cowell and Cheryl face an audience backlash during Boot Camp. See The X Factor Boot Camp trailer The 2013 finalist will play five winter dates. X Factor's Sam Callahan announces UK tour