This weekend The X Factor will go out with a bang as Ben Haenow, Fleur East and Andrea Faustini battle to be crowned the 2014 champion. They’ll be belting out their favourite tracks, performing with a celebrity guest and the eleventh winner’s single will be revealed.
As for this year’s winning mentor, Simon Cowell has two bites at the cherry with Ben and Fleur both in his ‘overs’ category, while newcomer to the panel Mel B could scoop a victory in her first year with Andrea from the ‘boys’.
But which singer gets your backing? We consider the contenders, check out their top moments and invite you to vote in the poll below…
In the pug-loving corner is Italian crooner Andrea Faustini. A diva in the best sense of the word, Andrea melted hearts the second he walked into the judging room with his huge voice, ankle-swinging jeans and pug-print jumper. He loves pugs – if that hasn’t become apparent – and wants two; one named Simon and one named Cowell.
Andrea’s a huge Spice Girls fan and seemingly can’t quite believe he’s being mentored by Scary Spice aka Mel B. “Scary Spice is FaceTiming me,” he’s chuckled, joking with RadioTimes.com that if he ever doesn’t understand anything he just puts his thumbs up and laughs.
He certainly understands how to hit a crowd with a whopping vocal and, although he’s been in the bottom two a couple of times, he’s had an almost faultless run in front of the judges. It’s hard to pick a favourite moment – his semi-final rendition of O Holy Night was spine-tingling – but we’ll stick with his first live performance of Michael Jackson’s Earth Song as an example of his enviable talent:
One of Simon Cowell’s two acts in the final (yes, the boss is most certainly back), Ben Haenow has breezed through to this year’s final thanks to his gravelly, soulful, rock voice. He shouted louder every time he got through – admitting he’d actually given Cowell a shock when he made it into the semi-final.
A bona fide success of the live shows, Ben’s been nowhere near the dreaded sing-off, even if he’s had some tough comments here and there. Mainly from Mel B, who Ben joked just wanted him in her category. He’s got swagger on stage, but backstage Ben’s a caring, down-to-earth guy who just wants to give everyone a cuddle. He’s had some top-notch staging for the live shows – they even had him out in the car park in the semi-final – but his rendition of Hotel California during the Six Chair Challenge is our pick of the bunch:
Also part of Team Cowell, Fleur demanded to be noticed with her judges’ houses performance of Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s Bang Bang. Then she came to live shows and showed off a jaw-dropping set of moves with her rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Fleur’s had her family up on stage with her, performed Bang Bang with a big band and, like Ben, has avoided the sing-off. Then for the semi-final – with a nudge from Cowell – Fleur changed her song 24 hours before she was due on stage, absolutely nailing a performance of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, which then saw her top the iTunes chart. If the judges are looking for a marketable artist, there are plenty of ticks against Fleur’s name. It has to be that semi-final performance that deserves another airing: