Ben Haenow wins The X Factor 2014

Dermot O’Leary crowns Simon Cowell’s gravelly-voiced superstar Ben Haenow this year’s X Factor winner after a head-to-head battle with fellow Overs act Fleur East

Ben Haenow has been crowned The X Factor champion 2014.

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With a good old-fashioned reality show pause, it was eventually Ben Haenow’s name that host Dermot O’Leary called, making him the eleventh winner of the UK’s X Factor.

“I can’t believe it, thank you so much for making my dreams come true. Thank you so much,” Ben said of his win, as his cover of OneRepublic’s Something I Need enters the charts tonight in a bid for this year’s Christmas Number One.

Cowell said, “I could not be happier Ben for you, you deserved it, you’re a great guy, this is your moment, I’m so proud of you.”

It’s been a jam-packed finals weekend live from Wembley Arena, not least for judge and mentor Simon Cowell who, after Mel B’s act Andrea Faustini took home third place last night, saw his own two acts Fleur East and Ben Haenow go head-to-head for the title.

But it was Ben’s night, hitting the stage once more with his version of Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror, which he performed earlier in the series.

It followed last night’s knock-out performances, with included a stunning duet with Ed ‘so good they book him twice’ Sheeran, as well as a group performance with Take That.

Ben’s been a hot contender for the title throughout the live shows, never once having to take on the weekly sing-off. His rock style caught the judges’ attention from his very first audition and eventual mentor Simon Cowell admitted he was keen to give Ben the break he so obviously deserved. Ben saw off competition from popular contestants including Jay James and Paul Akister to make it all the way to the Wembley finals.

Haenow took on hits from huge artists including Aerosmith, The Beatles and AC/DC and put his own spin on this classic John Lennon track.

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Now, as O’Leary always says, the hard work starts here, as contracts are signed and Ben starts his year as the reigning X Factor champion. After a good bit of celebrating with his family, friends and now winning mentor Simon Cowell of course, who’ll never bring up just how well he’s done on returning to the panel this series….