Follow Reality Bite on Facebook

Where Are They Now? | What Happened to X Factor Contestants

Each year of X Factor has unquestionably produced acts that should have gone on to super stardom either lighting up the charts or drawing in the punters to shows in the West End. Now that the show has been running since 2004 we take a look back at past winners and those acts that stood out but have not managed to hold the publics interest.

X Factor 2004 (Series 1)

Steve Brookstein

Steve Brookstein

The first X Factor winner was won by Steve Brookstein and although his debut single and album managed to hit the number one spots he was dumped by his mentor Simon Cowell.

He managed to get a record contract but his second album failed to hit the top 100 selling somewhere in the region of 7,000 copies. He since has gone on to performing in venues likes Pizza Express and playing in his local pub for £2.50 (refunded if you buy a pie and a pint).

Voices With Soul

Consisting of Corene, Hildia and Grace Campbel amazed viewers with their soulful melodies in X Factor 2004 andl the trio released their debut album in 2008 but it only managed to reach number 87 in the charts and the family are now available for private bookings!

X Factor 2005 (Series 2)



The 2005 X Factor was won by Shayne Ward who is still active and successful (however much like most past X Factor winners he is no longer signed to Simon's record label anymore) but one of the most endearing/annoying aspects of this series was Chico Slimani.

Chico reached the quarter finals of the show and made the words “It’s Chico Time” a national catchphrase. He managed to record a number one song but his music career did not last long.

He has entered other reality TV shows including CelebAir where he finished in third place and Dancing on Ice in 2012 replacing Chesney Hawkes who had to bow out due to an ankle injury, Chico made it to the finals and finished in a credible third place. 

Brenda Edwards

The talented soulful singer managed to reach the semi finals of X Factor 2005 and afterwards she landed the role of Mama Morton in Chicago during its West End Run, from here she earned a role in Carmen Jones and in 2010 she took on the role of Killer Queen in the West End production of the Ben Elton show We Will Rock You.

X Factor 2006 (Series 3)

The 2006 series of the show produced the most successful reality contestant to date in Leona Lewis has gone on to have number one singles in the UK and USA, but what of her fellow contestants?

Eton Road

Boyband Eton Road looked as if they had all the requirements for chart stardom and had Louis Walsh as their manager but line up changes and in fighting saw the band disperse but not before switching on the Christmas Lights in Corby in 2008.

Kerry McGregor

Kerry Mcgregor

Wheelchair bound  Kerry was eliminated in the fourth week of X Factor 2006, but instead of pursing her musical career l she instead went into the business world and launched the WheelieChix-Chic fashion range which was targeted at disabled women.

She also achieved a childhood dream by appearing in an episode of Grange Hill in 2008.

Sadly on 4 January 2012 Kerry passed away due to complications from bladder cancer, a disease she had suffered from for years.

Ashley McKenzie

He had the looks and voice of a young Lenny Gravitz and success seemed to be written in stone for the twenty something singer however his ambitions were never reached and the last we heard from the singer was when his pet snake, a boa constrictor, escaped from its cage.

X Factor 2007 (Series 4)

Winner of the shows fourth run was 20 year old Leon Jackson who was often referred to during the show as having the potential to become the UK’s answer to Michael Buble. Unfortunately after his third single he only managed to dent the charts at number 94 and was quickly dumped by his record label.

Rhydian Roberts

Rhydian Roberts

Coming across as conceited and ambitious at first, viewers were on the most put off instantly by Roberts, however when they heard his voice opinions soon changed but he was pipped to the post by Leon Jackson, who was altogether more affable.

He was signed up by Simon Cowell, went into the recording studio and his debut album went on to sell over 600,000 copies. Subsequently he has performed at the Albert Hall,  joined the cast for the UK tour of  We Will Rock You and even asked by Prince Charles to become a patron for the Princes Trust.

X Factor 2008 (Series 5)

The 5th series of the X Factor was won by Alexandra Burke who is still releasing records, the compeition was tough this year, some of the favourites to win not faring as well as they had hoped in the live finals.

Ruth Lorenzo

Ruth Lorenzo

Although she only managed to finish in fifth place in the competition Lorenzo’s voice and natural talents were enough to impress record company executivess to give her a contract and record an album.

She is currently writing songs with the likes of Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, Carlos Santana and former Guns and Roses axeman Slash and she has also been writing songs with her former mentor Dannii Minogue for Minogues next album. So far though she has only released a single in Spain called Burn which went to number 16 in the charts.

Daniel Evans

Daniel Evans

Despite a valiant campaign organised by BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles for people to vote for Evans to win X Factor 2008 he was voted out in the 6th round of the live finals following a sing off with Rachel Hylton where 3 judges, Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole and Simon Cowell all voted for Hylton.

He has since released an album that has been critically acclaimied entitled "No Easy Way" which is available through his website http://www.danielevansofficial.com or from Amazon. He now spends most of his touring in Spain.

X Factor 2009 (Series 6)

Joe McElderry was crowned the winner but he was soon dropped like a hot potato by Simon Cowell’s record label as the singers album sales stalled, with Simon much preferring Olly Murs, whose success is well recorded.

Danyl Johnson

The school teacher got the Yummy Mummy parade all hot and bothered and he had a decent voice as well but rumours of backstage fall outs with the other acts and judges saying he was conceited soon led the singer exiting the show, he was last seen singing at Butlins (to an appreciative 2000 strong crowd of his fans).



What else can we say about the identical twin brothers John and Edward who merged into the beast that is Jedward.

Since surprising the UK with how far they managed to stay on with the show seeing as they could not even sing or dance they managed to release a top 5 single with Vanilla Ice.

The brothers appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and represented Ireland in 2010 and 2011 at the Eurovision Song Contest.

X Factor 2010 (Series 10)

This was won by Matt Cardle, if looking at the history of previous acts that have managed to win the coveted unfortunately Matt has disappeared into obscurity. 



Wagner Fiuza-Carrilo the retired Brazilian born PE teacher from Dudley who so painfully could not by any definition of the word sing a tune was kept in the competition by legions of fans intent on upsetting Simon Cowell who would have had to have given the singer a £1 million record contract.

Luckily for Simon the rest of the public were fed with his interpretations of the classics and Wagner was shown the stage door much to the joy of the nation.

Cher Lloyd

The songstress have just gone on to release her first solo single which is entitled “Swagger Jagger” and Cher Lloyd has had the somewhat dubious honour of being one of the most hated videos so far seen on the YouTube website, it has received over 3 million views and had over 68,000 dislikes opposed to just under 29,000 likes.

New posts have just been added
Dalton Harris heads for Christmas number one after winning the X Factor 2018
Monday 3rd December 2018

Dalton Harris has been crowned winner of the X Factor. The bookies’ favourite beat Scarlett Lee and Anthony Russell to win a recording deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco Music. The Jamaican-born singer was so stunned when he was…

The X Factor 2018: One of the acts doesn't deserve to be the final... but which one?
Wednesday 28th November 2018

Hello fabulous people, Just me, your resident 'motor mouth' (according to some readers!). I'm writing this while sunning it in Orlando, Florida, on a well earned holiday. Despite this I was still glued to the TV screen over the…

The X Factor: Winner, runner up and third place predictions ahead of final
Tuesday 27th November 2018

It’s finally here... The X Factor 2018 final showdown. All the tears and cheers throughout the last seven weeks have led up to this point but who will walk away with the Christmas single and the recording contract? Who will be going…

The X Factor 2018: Winner predictions and big band losers
Monday 19th November 2018

Hello guys and gals, Hope you are all well. What a week it’s been. It seems my column last week rubbed some people up the wrong way and I got a bit of backlash from some of you. But I guess if I am allowed to give my opinion, you are…

The X Factor here to stay until 'at least 2022' despite record low ratings
Wednesday 14th November 2018

It looks like the X Factor has far from had its day. According to reports the ITV singing show is here to stay until at least 2022 after the channel offered boss Simon Cowell an extension despite dwindling ratings. Recent data by Barb (Broadcasters…

The X Factor 2018: Winner predictions, tips and final date revealed
Monday 12th November 2018

Hello everyone. How are you all? I cannot believe how quickly this X Factor series is going. We’re already at the quarter finals! The top three are at it again for me. Firstly Dalton, that was one hell of a stellar performance. I sing…

X Factor's Tracyleanne Jefford: ‘Nicole Scherzinger made me the woman I am today’
Friday 9th November 2018

If you could make up the ideal contestant for The X Factor, chances are they would end up something like Tracyleanne Jefford. The 36-year-old has a little bit of everything the show craves—a great voice, upbeat personality and a touching…

The X Factor: Why United Vibe and Molly Scott deserved to be eliminated
Monday 5th November 2018

Hello my gorgeous peeps. How was everyone’s Halloween? Mine was great, I went all out and got dressed up for the occasion in spooky make-up. I may have looked scary but it's not as hair-raising as X Factor was…

Best alternative X Factor auditions from around the world
Tuesday 30th October 2018

The X Factor usually is home to chart-topping covers and mainstream genres. However, from time to time we are treated to a gem of an alternative song. They may not be as common as we would like, but we can still enjoy some of the…

The X Factor 2018: New favourite emerges as two more acts crash out of live shows
Monday 29th October 2018

Hello reality TV lovers, just me again, Britain’s biggest drama queen. Got to say a massive congratulations to Channel 4 and Stand Up to Cancer for a wonderful evening of entertainment while raising all those millions of pounds.…

The X Factor: Top 5 auditions from around the world
Tuesday 23rd October 2018

With more than 50 versions of the popular talent show broadcasting across the world, The X Factor is one of TV’s biggest music platforms allowing people from all walks of life to try out their vocal abilities in front of judges that are…

The X Factor 2018: Highs and lows as 2 acts exit first live show
Monday 22nd October 2018

Well there you have it my gorgeous peeps, the first live show of The X Factor 2018—and what a first show it was. I mean, even Peter Dickson (the show's voiceover guy) was so excited he got a contestant's name wrong. I have…

The X Factor 2018: Predictions and tips for the top ahead of live shows
Tuesday 16th October 2018

Hi X Factor fans, It's Liam back with my round up of everyone's favourite TV talent show. And here we have it—we have our finalist for the live shows. Firstly, Louis, your boys category surprised me, but the knock-out performance…

The X Factor 2018: 'Scarlett Lee can go all the way'
Monday 8th October 2018

All I can say is... WOW. Oh, and hello gorgeous people! It's Liam Halewood, back with all the X Factor gossip. First of all Robbie Williams, your groups category smashed it at the Six Chair Challenge. Misunderstood—that is talent…

Missing Louis Walsh — his best moments from The X Factor
Friday 5th October 2018

The new X Factor judges' panel may have done well with many viewers, but we can’t help but miss all of the fun and games that the panel’s longest-serving member Louis Walsh would bring to proceedings in each year prior to this…