The Student Pocket Guide | James Arthur and the X Factor
By Stuart Robinson

It’s all over for another year – James Arthur has won the X Factor, and the country waits to see what will happen next. Perhaps a controversial winner, James isn’t quite the gran-pleasing ballad singer that we have seen on the X Factor in the past, but could he prove to be as big as some of the X Factor alumni, or simply vanish from the public eye like others? We’ve taken a look at the last few X Factor winners to see how the new boy might compare.

Little Mix

Reaching number 3 in the UK album chart earlier this year, Little Mix are still riding high after their success on The X Factor in 2011. Despite the group being completely manufactured for the show, their voices work well together, and the girls have shown they are capable at a variety of styles. The group is still in its X Factor honeymoon period and a lot could still change for them, but popular opinion seems to currently be in Little Mix’s favour, and it doesn’t look like it’s set to change any time soon.

Matt Cardle

Considering he was up against teenage superstars, One Direction, it feels strange to think that Matt Cardle won the show back in 2010. His winners single ‘When We Collide’, a crooning cover of Biffy Clyro’s ‘Many of Horror’, received mixed reactions, with Biffy fans taking an instant dislike to the singer. Still, he reached the number one spot for Christmas. But that was two years ago. His latest single, ‘It’s Only Love’ peaked at 175 in the UK singles chart in October.

Joe McElderry

Facing competition from the likes of Olly Murs and Jedward, Joe went on to win the 2009 edition of The X Factor, and released his debut single ‘The Climb’, but famously lost out on the Christmas number one spot after a closely-fought battle with 90’s protest rockers Rage Against The Machine. McElderry has released 4 albums since his triumph in 2009 (including an LP of Christmas covers), all of which would look pretty at-home in your mum’s CD collection. Joe’s non-festive album releases have all entered the top ten, but his latest singles haven’t had as much success; his last record to chart was 2010’s ‘Someone Wake Me Up’ which peaked at number 68.

Alexandra Burke

Initially beating the likes of JLS and Diana Vickers to win the show in 2008, Alexandra has maintained popularity fairly well, and has had several chart successes since her X Factor triumph, not to mention her advertising campaigns with Dolce and Gabbana, Nintendo and Sure. As if this wasn’t enough, Alexandra has also won stacks of awards, including a MOBO for Best UK Act and three BRIT Best British Single awards.