Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Ousted X Factor group Union J warn Christopher Maloney win would damage talent show's reputation


An X Factor win for Christopher Maloney could damage the show's reputation, axed boyband Union J have warned.

The Liverpudlian crooner, who honed his singing skills on a cruise ship, has reached the grand final of the ITV show despite being accused of having an outdated style.

Four-piece Union J, who missed out on a place in the finale after coming fourth in last night's public vote, said they would be cheering for singer-songwriter James Arthur and former Asda worker Jahmene Douglas instead.

"I don't think it would do amazingly well for the show if Chris won. But then again, it is the public vote, so they're keeping him in," Jamie "JJ" Hamblett said.

Bandmate Jaymi Hensley claimed third finalist Arthur and schoolgirl Ella Henderson, who was voted off a fortnight ago, had set high standards in this year's competition.

He added: "I don't think Chris would be a bad winner, but this year's been a massive year for talent, incredible, and, not saying he's not credible, but I think there's been a difference this year to other years.

"A lot of years the show gets people saying it's a karaoke competition, it's just people singing covers.

"I think the Ellas and the Jameses have really made this show. It's about the music this year and I think it would be a shame if James didn't nail it or if Jahmene, because of his voice, doesn't smash it."

The band, who were mentored by music mogul Louis Walsh, admitted they were disappointed not to make the final in Manchester.

"Our X Factor experience has been amazing, it's been the best experience we've ever had. We never expected to get to the live finals and we've met some amazing friends and hopefully it's the platform we need to go on and be successful," Josh Cuthbert said.

George Shelley - who joined the band at the judges' houses stage of the contest - described the experience as "an emotional rollercoaster".

"There have been so many ups and downs, it's just been overwhelming," he added.

"We're like the best of friends, we're like family, we're four brothers. We are going to stay together for a long, long time."