Sam Bailey crowned X-Factor 2013 winner

So the weekend had arrived. After weeks of auditions, boot camps, judges’ houses and nine live shows where one by one the contestants bit the bullet it was finally the X-Factor grand final weekend at Wembley Arena. The three contestants to have made it all the way were Sam Bailey, Luke Friend and Nicholas McDonald. We were treated to four hours of X-Factor split between Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s show kicked off with the three finalists singing, initially on video before they appeared on stage to continue the song live. In standard X-Factor final formula each act was to sing once on their own, but only after a VT of them heading home to rapturous applause and family hugs and tears. Once all that was over they were to sing as part of a duet with some big named celebrity.

First up was Nicholas McDonald. His VT showed him heading home to Scotland to his family and friends and performing for local screaming fans. Back in the Arena and he sang Robbie Williams "Candy" in a huge production involving a hot air balloon and lots of dancers. The song didn’t suit him and Gary didn’t hesitate in saying it. Gary being harsh to the bitter end.

Sam Bailey was next up. Back to Leicester to see her husband and kids with a special message from her Gran. She was singing "Edge of Glory" from Lady Gaga as her live song. She must have been hoping to be on the edge of glory herself.

Last of the three to perform was Luke Friend. After viewing his VT, where he was whisked back to his Devon home to see his family and friends, Luke performed the Fun song “We are young”.

We got to view more VT, this time highlights from the series as Tom Odell performed on stage.

Duets next. Luke was teamed up with Welsh songstress Ellie Goulding. A good pairing and they sang “Anything could happen”. Nicholas McDonald was paired with Shane Filan, who had in fact been involved in picking him for the finals back at Judges’ houses. They sang classic Westlife “Flying without wings”. Finally Sam Bailey was paired with X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger. It turned out to be battle of the divas. They sang with Nicole taking the final big line from Sam and with what seemed to be Jedward talking over them in another microphone malfunction for Nicole. Last year a microphone failed during her duet with Jahmene.

Producers obviously decided to go and find all the quirkiest contestants from the last number of years and ask them back to perform. The result a medley of songs from the likes of Wagner, Jedward, Ryan, Two shoes, Diva Fever and Johnny Robinson. The Killers got to perform too.

Saturday finished with the news one contestant would be going home and that contestant was Luke Friend. The first contestant to appear on the first show of the series walked away with third place.

The Sunday night final was to be Sam Bailey and Nicholas McDonald. Sunday’s show kicked off with a song from all the finalists. We got to see the likes of Kingsland Road, Hannah Barrett, Shelley Smith and Miss Dynamix return. There were two songs left for each contestant and a lot of show in between.

Once we got over seeing all the previous contestants of this year it was over to one of the most successful X-Factor acts ever – One Direction with their new single Midnight Memories, which sounds a lot like Pour some sugar on it from Def Leppard.

Finally to an X-Factor finalist and Nicholas was up with Angel by Sarah McLachlan. It’s the final night so none of the judges are going to be very critical. Sam Bailey followed an ad break with her best from the series – Power of Love.

As if there weren’t enough celebrity performances Katy Perry was back on stage (in a cage) before we got a chance to hear the winner’s singles. Nicholas McDonald was up with Superman by Five for Fighting and Sam Bailey went for Skyscraper.

Before we got to hear who won there was one final performance this time from Gary Barlow who had managed to convince Sir Elton John to perform for the first time ever on X-Factor.

VIDEO:X-Factor 2013 final: Sam Bailey sings 'Edge Of Glory' by Lady Gaga

The moment had arrived – who was to win X-Factor 2013. Of course all the bets were on Sam Bailey and the bookies will be paying out as the favourite took the winners crown. She was up again to perform her winner’s single. Emotions were high but she belted out another performance of Skyscraper, mobbed by previous contestants from X-Factor 2013.

And that is it. X-Factor is over for another year. Sam Bailey will attempt to be Christmas number 1. There will be a tour and we will have to wait and see if Season 11 will materialise. Thanks for sharing the Excite UK X-Factor round ups! Time to lie down for a rest.

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