'Working class hero' James Arthur wins ITV1 talent show the X Factor 2012


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The Independent Culture

James Arthur, the 24-year-old singer songwriter from Middlesbrough, has won The X Factor 2012.

The ‘working class hero’ who has overcome homelessness said on first discovering he had won: “Thank you, thank you so much. Have I really won? Wow. I don’t know what to say.”

Runner up and bookies' favourite Jahmene Douglas said “It's such a blessing to even share a stage with such a talent, he's my idol.”

Arthur opened the final with a cover of ‘Let’s get it on’ by Marvin Gaye, and in the second half put his own pained spin on Shontelle’s ‘Impossible’.

Most gushing judge’s comment

From Tulisa, not even his own mentor: “James, the second I saw you perform I got you. We’re the same people, do you know what I mean. I get everything about you, you have been to the depths in life, the deep dark depths and you came back out with heart. You are an inspirer, you deserve to win this competition.”

Surprise endorsement

Rio Ferdinand just casually hanging out in the Manchester crowd, who told Dermot he was behind Arthur.

Shermazing-est line

Nicole, mentor to both finalists: “My X Factor experience has been fantastic, ja-jazzles, shermaze-balls, all over the place in your face.”

Best performance

Rihanna, obv. Working the 60s look with short hair and a white shift dress, Ri-Ri started with surprise slow ballad ‘Stay’, evolving into an all guns blazing rendition of ‘We Found Love’.

One Direction sang ‘Kiss You’, appearing on a huge red plastic slide in a set that looked vaguely like a Japanese video game.

Emile Sandé sang her new song ‘Clown’. For the last line she stood up to sing ‘I’m selling out tonight.’ Some might say she was…


The most unexpected and awkward package during the two hour and ten minute final involved David Cameron standing in No 10 telling the two finalists and parents of children with terminal illnesses: “The good news is the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to take the VAT off your single.”

Now Arthur might have something to smile about.