Where are they now? They all made it through boot camp to the live finals on telly.. but what has happened to the 57 singing wannabes from the past five years?
His first single, Against All Odds, went straight to No.1, but then it all went flat for Steve, 40. He went from attracting 5.5 million votes on the talent show to singing on a P& O ferry to Bilbao. Last year he played 'the father' in musical Our House, and is now producing his wife Eileen Hunter's first album.
The former Happy Mondays backing singer, 43, signed a record deal after the show and released an album. In 2007 she took to the stage in The Best Of Broadway and last year toured with The Songs Of Sister Act. This year she appeared on Living TV's Rehab after admitting to alcoholism.
2 TO GO
Remembered for not being very good, their highlight of 2006 was topping the bill at Mansfield Council's opening of the town's new-look market. Emma and Peter also played at working men's clubs and according to their website they are now 'taking bookings for 2009'.
They lost out to Steve, but the operatic quartet were the real winners of the first X Factor, with five sell-out UK tours and more than pounds 1.5million albums sold before disbanding in 2007. Lead singer Jonathan Ansell went solo, with his debut album Tenor At The Movies nominated for a Classical Brits 2009 'Album of the Year' award.
The little girl with the big voice, Cassie, 22, tried her hand at acting, starring in a touring production of Little Women and appearing in BBC1's Casualty New Year special. She sang in West End shows Les Miserables and Dirty Dancing this year and is currently working on her debut album.
Hailed by Simon Cowell as the next Elaine Page, Verity, 55, was voted out in the second show. But she insists the experience was "fantastic". She says: "Even now when I drive to London someone will recognise me. And I'm still doing more concerts than before." She is set to sing at an X Factor gig in Leicester.
Just a year after getting to the X Factor final, Irish rocker Tabby, 28, complained he'd been left high and dry by the show and was broke.
He went back to gigging with his band the Tsars and, according to his MySpace page, is currently recording his debut album and planning to launch himself Stateside.
VOICES WITH SOUL
They supported G4 on tour, but that's as big as it got for the lasses from Luton. Their debut album Celebration, released last year, only managed to reach a disappointing No.87 and the mum, daughter and auntie are now available for private parties.
After doing gigs around Europe with the Momo Project collective of artists, Roberta, 28, is still making music which can be heard via her MySpace page. Her website profile reads: "Taking her time to develop her skills in writing and performing, she is ready to release her own material back home in Ireland."
SERIES 2 SHAYNE WARD
Debut song That's My Goal went in at No1, followed by No Promises at No.2 and a No.1 album. But his next song, Stand By Me, peaked at No.14. Was due to release an album this summer but it has been delayed until December.
Winner CHICO SLIMANI
The former goat herder's debut single It's Chico Time hit No.1, but his next, Disco, didn't make the top 20 and a third song peaked at 45. His next appearance is at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park in Devon.
After finishing her studies the Bradford lass, 23, signed a record deal last year and shot the video for her debut single Bounce in March with dance act Lockout. She hopes to release it later this year.
Beaten to the X Factor top spot by Shayne by 1.2 per cent of the vote, Andy's debut album went to No.2, his second made 16 and his third just No.67. In 2008 he became the second UK act to come last at Eurovision.
THE CONWAY SISTERS
The Irish girls had three top 20 singles in Ireland before entering the show. A year after being voted off in week seven, the group announced they'd split up for good. However, blonde Laura is now pursuing a solo career.
The Belfast student admits he found the comedown from X Factor stardom agonising. He said: "I got very down, drank a lot and let myself go." Despite his struggles, Phillip's still hoping to release his debut single one day soon.
After their debut album went to No.1, the brothers' journey has headed decidedly south. After splitting with Simon they released a second album and single - the album only made No.43 and the single was ineligible due to a printing error. Now set to tour South Africa.
The baby-faced soul singer was tipped for the top, but failed to live up to the hype. His high point was singing at Butlins. He said: "I've been depressed. People just assume I have been signed up, but I haven't."
The cheesy boy band were kicked out in week two and went on to sing at Pontin's and Legoland before splitting. Brothers Mike and Anthony recently signed a deal with CMC music to write and produce songs.
After elimination in the first week, the four teenage friends put their music plans on hold to do their A-levels. The planned comeback never materialised and they all went their separate ways.
After her shock elimination in the fifth live show, Maria, 36, signed with Sony but her single, Sleepwalking, only reached No.20 and her album flopped. She starred in Thriller - Live in the West End in April.
The big-voiced singer bagged a West End role as Mama Morton in Chicago with Ashlee Simpson, which she played until earlier this year. Brenda is now touring with Queen musical We Will Rock You and making an album.
The most successful reality contestant ever, Leona went from receptionist to global superstar in just a few years. Her debut album, Spirit, was the UK's fourth fastest-selling album. It made Leona, 24, the first British artist to enter the US charts at No.1 with a debut album. It has sold over 6.5 million copies. Her next album is due in November.
After X-Factor the Liverpool boy band saw various line-up changes. Their debut single, Wishing, released in January 2008, reached No5 in the charts - the IndieStore.com charts. In October they announced they had split for good... but not before reuniting to switch on the Crosby Christmas lights.
After losing to Leona in the final, former Brookside actor Ray's debut album went straight to No.1, followed by a sell-out tour - but was then dropped by his record label Sony BMG. Unperturbed, Ray, 20, went on to win this year's Dancing On Ice after getting a perfect score of 60/60. He is currently playing Danny in hit West End musical Grease.
The closest hospital worker Robert, 29, got to pop stardom was headlining at the Redbridge Summer Festival in 2007, supported by the Girls' Brigade Band and the Redbridge Jewish Lads. He also presented awards to young people at a ceremony in Hackney.
He reached No.3 with his debut album - once again being beaten by Ray, who released his at the same time. Since then things haven't turned out quite so well for pianoplaying rocker Ben, 29, who was last seen performing at Pizza Express in Maidstone, Kent. He also tours the country with a Rod Stewart tribute act.
The Scottish singer signed a record contract in October 2007, then appeared in panto for eight weeks in Glasgow. A single and album were planned for 2008, but were then put on ice.
THE MACDONALD BROTHERS
They've faded into obscurity south of the border, but the brothers are still big in their native Scotland, where their first album went to No.1 and their second to No.2 in terms of Scottish sales. They also supported Westlife on the 2008 tour and recorded a song, Runaway, written by Elton John. The duo are, bizarrely, now trying to break Australia and are signed to Australian label Big Jo-Ke.
Dreadlocked Ashley, 22, was tipped to go far, but didn't quite live up to expectations. The last heard of him was in August 2008, when his 6ft boa constrictor escaped from its cage and caused havoc near his home in Chatham, Kent.
Eliminated in the fourth week, wheelchairbound Kerry's dulcet tones were never heard again. Instead, the 33-year-old helped launch the WheelieChix-Chic fashion range, designed specially for disabled women, at London Fashion Week in 2007, and also appeared in an episode of children's drama series Grange Hill in 2008.
We didn't see much of them in the live finals, and we've seen nothing of them since. But the boy band assures us on their MySpace page that they're still around "developing their sound and writing new original material... please continue to support us and we hope to see you soon".
Still chasing the dream, Dionne, 28, has explained the reason for her absence from the charts on her own website. It says that she is "continuing to cement her support base by writing and recording new material and experimenting with different sounds".
Still going strong despite being eliminated after a dismal performance in the first live final. The six singers have supported Westlife, Tom Jones and Beverley Knight in concert. Their debut single, Abstract YoYo, is out on September 14, followed by an album, Flower To The People.
HAILED as the next Michael Buble, but after two singles the public lost interest - his third reached No.94. In March Leon, 20, was dropped by Sony BMG and poor ticket sales saw half his tour dates cancelled.
CREATED from six failed auditionees - later cut to five - the girl band failed to live up to Simon's predictions that they would be Britain's answer to the Pussycat Dolls . In April this year the band's website was taken down.
Another manufactured group made from rejected contestants, so far nothing has been heard of the boy band booted out in week 3. An online petition set up by fans to get them a record contract got just 226 signatures.
His debut album sold 600,000. The flamboyant Welsh singer, who was asked by Prince Charles to be a patron of the Prince's Trust, has just finished a sell-out UK tour. Rhydian, 26, is working on his second album.
The primary school teacher from Luton is now starring in the touring production of Fame - in which the 38-year-old plays a teacher! Mum-of-two Beverley's debut album is due for release later in the year.
Two weeks into the live shows, video footage of 15-year-old Emily apparently attacking another girl in a 'happy slapping" incident and threatening to gouge a young boy's eyes out got her booted off the show.
Sickly sweet siblings Sarah and Sean have appeared on kids' TV. But their first album only reached No.22 and in April they were dropped by Simon Cowell's label Syco. Currently touring holiday camps.
No sign of her on the UK scene, but 25year-old Alisha's agency assures us she is busy "performing live shows to excited fans" in Europe and the Caribbean.
Former model Daniel, 28, showed up on DJ Ironik's album, No Point in Wasting Tears, last year. The ex-ballet dancer's soulful style has almost earned him a record deal which is still being negotiated, he says.
After releasing first single, Love Me No More, by download only, the 37-year-old is currently appearing in West End musical Blood Brothers. A new single - a cover of Donna Summer's I Feel Love - is out in September.
On his MySpace page, Andy, 24, says: "I really want to make my mark on the recording industry... I am currently working on my album - along with gigging to keep my name out there and catch up with you guys!"
Keen-eyed X Factor fans may have spotted her in an episode of TV's Shameless in February. Last year the 21-yearold told her local newspaper she had been signed by the music mogul behind Take That for a new band.
Her debut single, Hallelujah, became the Christmas No.1 and the fastestselling single by a woman in UK chart history. The former club singer, 20, has been working on her first album with producer Jay-Z.
Spanish senorita Ruth, 26, said in April she had a record deal and that Simon was "devastated" she didn't sign with him. Apparently rock legend Carlos Santana has written a song for her debut album - which will be her first single.
Essex lad Austin's legion of female fans couldn't keep him in the show for long. The 21-year-old has been touring holiday camps, but is currently working on his debut album with the producers of N-Sync and The Backstreet Boys.
After missing out on the pounds 1 million prize, the JLS boys signed to Epic Records and their first single, Beat Again, went straight to No.1 on July 19. Their second single, Everybody in Love, will be out in October.
After the X Factor live tour, motherof-five Rachel, 27, said she wanted to sign with Island Records... but so far the only offer she's had is to perform at the Midlands Music Festival alongside fellow contestants Eoghan and Laura.
The third to be voted out, Scott, 20, turned to musical theatre instead and landed the lead role in the West End production of Dreamboats And Petticoats.
Third-placed Eoghan's debut album reached the No.1 spot in Ireland. He was also invited by his boyhood idols Boyzone to perform on their live tour. The 17year-old will host a Jim'll Fix It remake called Quigg'll Fix it on Sky.
Cheesy crooner Daniel, 39, won millions of adoring older fans, but record companies haven't beaten down his door. The highlight of his year has been performing at the Burns An' A' That Festival in Ayr alongside Ruth Lorenzo.
Despite vowing to be bigger than Girls Aloud they split days after their exit when Marisa Billitteri decided to go solo. So far her career has seen her switch on Bristol's Xmas lights - and become the new face of Bristol Asda.
Quirky Diana, 18, has signed to the RCA label and is working on an album. She is also making her acting debut in the title role of a West End production of Jim Cartwright's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice this autumn.
Tipped for the final, Laura's early exit caused outrage and was even mentioned in the House of Commons. Since then the Bolton singer, 22, has turned on Peterborough's Christmas lights and appeared at Butlins in Skegness.
They formed just a week before the X Factor auditions - and it showed. Booted off after one performance, the girls did switch on Newcastle's Xmas lights. Their website says they have signed a management deal.
SUPERSTAR: Leona Lewis
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 20, 2009|
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