The rumours were true: Christopher Maloney, who was eliminated from The X Factor 2012 on Saturday in third place overall, was winning the vote for several weeks at the start of the competition.
A voting breakdown released by The X Factor last night confirmed that the Liverpudlian balladeer won every weekly vote – often by a significant margin – up to and including week 7, when Ella Henderson was eliminated and James Arthur made a surprise appearance in the bottom two.
The following week, Arthur – who had beaten Henderson by less than 2% of the vote – was the most popular contestant. He remained so every week until his victory over Jahmene Douglas in the final last night, which he achieved with 54% to Douglas’s 39%.
The stats will be of interest to those who thought Rylan Clark should have been eliminated earlier in the competition: the lowest-polling contestant left the contest every week, so the system under which the judges choose between the bottom two either worked perfectly or made itself redundant, depending on your point of view.
The full voting figures also reveal that the unfancied Union J were very close to taking third place in the competition ahead of the fading Maloney, and that Jahmene Douglas, who came second in the final, also came second in every other vote except week 8.
Maloney was not part of the original group of 12 acts chosen to go through to the live shows, but won a public vote to choose a “wild card”. The new statistics reveal that Maloney’s extraordinary popularity began here: he was an astonishing 44 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, Amy Mottram.
ITV2’s The Xtra Factor also revealed the predictions made by the show’s four judges at the boot camp stage. Louis Walsh thought Ella Henderson would win and Nicole Scherzinger agreed, although she also wrote down a second prediction: James Arthur. Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos were both way off, backing Kye Sones and Lucy Spraggan respectively.
The full week-by-week voting breakdown was as follows:
Wild card vote Christopher Maloney 63.5% Amy Mottram 17.8% Times Red 12.5% Adam Burridge 6.2%
Week 1 Christopher Maloney 28.8% Jahmene Douglas 13.2% Ella Henderson 13.1% Union J 7.3% Lucy Spraggan 7.3% James Arthur 5.6% Kye Sones 4.1% District3 4.0% Jade Ellis 4.0% MK1 3.4% Melanie Masson 3.2% Rylan Clark 3.1% Carolynne Poole 2.9% (eliminated)
Week 2 Christopher Maloney 21.9% Jahmene Douglas 11.4% Rylan Clark 10.2% Ella Henderson 9.5% Lucy Spraggan 7.6% James Arthur 7.4% Union J 7.1% Kye Sones 5.3% Jade Ellis 5.2% MK1 5.1% District3 4.7% Melanie Masson 4.6% (eliminated)
Week 3 Christopher Maloney 22.6% Jahmene Douglas 15.6% Ella Henderson 10.2% Rylan Clark 8.8% District3 8.4% James Arthur 7.4% Lucy Spraggan 6.5% Union J 5.9% Jade Ellis 5.1% Kye Sones 4.9% MK1 4.6% (eliminated)
Week 4 Christopher Maloney 24.7% Jahmene Douglas 15.4% James Arthur 12.0% District3 10.0% Kye Sones 10.0% Ella Henderson 8.2% Rylan Clark 7.2% Union J 6.3% Jade Ellis 6.2% (eliminated)
Week 5 Christopher Maloney 27.6% Jahmene Douglas 16.9% District3 14.7% Union J 10.4% Ella Henderson 8.8% James Arthur 7.7% Rylan Clark 7.2% Kye Sones 6.7% (eliminated)
Week 6 Christopher Maloney 23.6% Jahmene Douglas 14.9% James Arthur 14.0% Ella Henderson 13.0% Rylan Clark 12.4% Union J 11.7% District3 10.4% (eliminated)
Week 7 Christopher Maloney 26.4% Jahmene Douglas 17.4% Rylan Clark 15.7% Union J 14.7% James Arthur 13.7% Ella Henderson 12.1% (eliminated)
Week 8 James Arthur 40.7% Christopher Maloney 21.0% Jahmene Douglas 18.1% Union J 11.8% Rylan Clark 8.4% (eliminated)
Week 9 (semi-final) James Arthur 41.2% Jahmene Douglas 22.0% Christopher Maloney 18.7% Union J 18.1%
Week 10 (final part one – vote freeze) James Arthur 51.7% Jahmene Douglas 31.5% Christopher Maloney 16.8% (eliminated)
Week 10 final result (inc votes carried over from part one) James Arthur 53.7% Jahmene Douglas 38.9% Christopher Maloney 7.4%