None of the judges thought Ben Haenow and Fleur East would make it to the X Factor final

Stereo Kicks were the most popular choice among Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh in their early predictions

X Factor’s judges are asked every year to give early predictions as to who they think will win the series. But this year, their powers of foresight failed them, with none of the panel choosing to back eventual winner Ben Haenow or runner-up Fleur East.


Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Louis Walsh, Mel B and Simon Cowell were asked to name the act they thought could take the 2014 title during this year’s Boot Camp stage of the competition, along with hosts Dermot O’Leary and Sarah-Jane Crawford. 

Now, Boot Camp is pretty early on in the competition, so the judges and hosts had yet to see the acts in the live stages, but had watched them face the dreaded Six Chair Challenge, as well as their early auditions. 

Mel B came the closest, backing her own act ‘Italian diva’ Andrea Faustini, who went on to place third over the weekend. Cheryl wasn’t too far off, naming her singer Lauren Platt, who was voted out during the semi-finals, also giving the nod to the then-unnamed eight-piece boy band Stereo Kicks, who were sent home the week before.

Stereo Kicks proved to be a popular choice with Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh who also listed them among their choices. In addition, Cowell backed Jay James (who was voted out in favour of Stevi Ritchie), while Louis singled out Kerrianne Covell, who didn’t even make it through Judges’ Houses. 

Xtra Factor host Sarah-Jane also joined the list of Stereo Kicks supporters, while Dermot’s prediction was Lola Saunders, who left the competition during this year’s Halloween double elimination.

While the judges may not have named this year’s champ Ben, the British public were certain of their choice, with the former van driver from Croydon topping the vote from the fourth week of the competition


The X Factor returns next year on ITV