Matthew Raymond Barker, a student from Mitcham in Surrey, has won the French version of The X Factor, despite having failed to make it past the boot camp stage of last year’s British show.
“I can’t believe this. It’s amazing,” said the 22-year-old, after bursting into tears when he was announced as the winner of the French series.
The title lands him a recording contract with Sony Music, with his first single soon to be released in France.
Last night’s final was watched by millions of viewers across the country, and featured appearances from Beyoncé Knowles – fresh from her Glastonbury triumph – and Bruno Mars, who sang with Matthew.
Raymond Barker entered the show while studying in Toulouse as part of his languages degree at Bath University.
He has over 14,000 Facebook followers and regularly stays in touch with French fans via his Twitter account.
Last year, French twins Twem entered the British version of The X Factor, getting as far as the judge’s houses stage.
What do you think of Matthew’s performance? Did Simon Cowell make a mistake, or are French audiences – how do you say? – a little less demanding than the British? Post a comment below.