No tears shed as McElderry wins ‘X Factor'

Performing arts student, 18, maintains composure as he is crowned king of ITV show

Move over Kevin Keegan – Tyneside has a new messiah, at least for the time being. In front of a television audience of 20 million, Joe McElderry, from South Shields was last night named the winner of the talent contest The X Factor . As the host Dermot O'Leary announced the result, McElderry, an 18-year-old performing arts student, was embraced by his mentor, fellow Geordie Cheryl Cole, and demonstrated what must be an X Factor first: no tears ... not one.

"I can't even speak, thank you so much everyone," McElderry said. "I can't actually speak and I just want to say thank you to Cheryl. She has been an amazing mentor."

Cole told him: "I feel over the moon, I'm absolutely delighted. The right person won. I'm so proud of you. The North-East are going to be going mad."

The runner-up, Olly Murs, 25, from Witham, Essex, was magnanimous in defeat, saying: "Joe has been amazing every week."

Cole's fellow judge Simon Cowell, who owns the X Factor format, thanked everyone, but particularly the 10 million people who gave him their money by phoning in to vote in the final.

McElderry, who beat 200,000 entrants to win the competition, then performed his debut single, a cover version of Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" from Hannah Montana: The Movie, as the first CDs were being pressed to go on sale this morning. Barring a miracle, or the success of an online anti-X Factor campaign urging music fans to instead buy Rage Against The Machine's "Killing In The Name", McElderry will almost certainly have Christmas No 1.

His victory was the second in a row for Cole as a mentor; she also coached last year's winner Alexandra Burke.

Sir Paul McCartney sang with all 12 finalists before the phone voting lines finally closed. Cowell jokingly told the former Beatle: "On behalf of everyone, you're though to the next round."

To its critics, The X Factor represents the triumph of the hype and celebrity culture which has taken over popular television. But there are two facts that are not hype. It has brought families together in front of their television sets in a way in most commentators said was impossible in our fragmented digital age. It has also provided a financial lifeline to ITV, allowing it to invest in programmes which are perhaps more worthy but would get a fraction of the audience. The broadcaster was able to charge up to £250,000 for each 30- second advertising slot.

Overall, the series is expected to earn £100m, with £20m generated from the weekend's two shows. Nigel Robinson, of MediaCom, an agency which buys advertising space for clients, said the programme was a vital part of ITV's attempts to improve its revenues and viewing figures.

"It is incredibly important to ITV. It is one of those big anchors in the schedule," he added. "Without X Factor this autumn, things would be much more difficult for ITV. It is hugely important.

"The X Factor will have given ITV a good percentage viewer share. That's what they are battling to win. It has been incredibly successful for them in the way Big Brother has been in the past for Channel 4."

The two finals were expected to provide the broadcaster with the most lucrative weekend in its history. The series appeals to advertisers because it attracts large numbers of viewers in a way that is usually limited to major sporting events, and this means ITV can charge advertisers premium rates. They are willing to bear the inflated costs because they can reach so many people at once, especially in the vital pre-Christmas trading period, and because being associated with the show gives them a certain amount of kudos.

Mr Robinson added: "People's viewing habits are quite fragmented in this age of digital and satellite TV. The X Factor is one of the few programmes which have got the pull and can attract a really, really big audience."

Where are they now? Previous talent show stars

*Girls Aloud won Popstars: The Rivals (2002). Reality TV's biggest success, with six platinum albums and 20 consecutive UK Top 10 singles. Cheryl Cole is now a judge on The X Factor.

* Steve Brookstein won the inaugural The X Factor in 2004. But he rowed with Simon Cowell and his record label, Sony BMG, dropped him in 2005. He has since gigged in pubs, ferries and Butlins.

* Michelle McManus won Pop Idol in 2003. But after one number one, failed to set the charts alight. Her second single flopped, reaching a mere number 16 in the charts.

* Will Young beat favourite Gareth Gates in the first Pop Idol (2002). He has sold 8million albums, won an Ivor Novello award, and was featured in an episode of ITV1's The South Bank Show.

What was the most memorable arts event of 2009? In the comments form below (or via email to nominate your favourite - in film, music, theatre, comedy, dance or visual arts - with a brief explanation as to why it tops your list and we'll print a selection in The Independent Readers' Review of 2009.

Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Arts and Entertainment
U2's Songs of Innocence album sleeve

tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men

Arts and Entertainment
Alison Steadman in Inside No.9
tvReview: Alison Steadman stars in Inside No.9's brilliant series finale Spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk