Leon v. Rhydian on The X Factor: Most Contested Vote Since
Gore v. Bush.

In a stunning upset, Leon Jackson won X Factor on Saturday, prevailing over season-long favorites Rhydian Roberts and brother-sister duo Same Difference.

Watch on YouTube:

Leon performs “White Christmas” on the finale
Rhydian sings “O Holy Night” on the finale
Leon sings “When You Believe”
Rhydian sings “When You Believe”
Leon talks about winning

Rhydian’s fans are already angrily demanding a recount. Rhydian may be vindicated, however: Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber are reportedly already vying to sign him. The Sun tries to soften Rhydian’s blow by listing all the reality runners-up who have had successful careers.

And at least girls won’t get in the way of his career. He tells The Mirror:

“I’ve had bras thrown at me and the pants and it’s really flattering. I’ve been on MySpace and seen things saying, ‘you are hot’ or ‘you are fit’ and I am just not used to it.

“But just now I need to focus on music. I’ve done a lot of hard work to get here but it’s just the beginning.

“I don’t think I’m going to get distracted with a lady companion at this moment. There’s no time for nothing like that. Any time you get off you just need to sleep.”

Leon, who hails from Scotland, says the only girl for him is his mother. And like a good son, he’s going to buy his mum a house with his winnings. What a lovely lad he is.

The Guardian‘s Kathryn Flett couldn’t be more pleased that Leon won:

Leon and Rhydian were left to slug it out with very different versions of the big ballad (what’s it called: Believe? True? Honestly? Absolutely? Fantastic? Wow, Now That’s What I Call A Christmas Number One? Whatever…no, it definitely wasn’t called Whatever), we (and Rhydian) suddenly knew it was all over thanks to Simon Cowell’s inadvertent slip – addressing Rhydian as Leon – because, somewhat against the odds, Leon had suddenly and rather spectacularly delivered the best performance of the night just when it mattered most. And, whatever you felt about the young Michael Bublé-lite it would take a harder heart than mine to begrudge the spectacularly shell-shocked Leon the Christmas of a lifetime.

Popjustice, of course, is less optimistic about Leon’s future options:

He could be the Woolworths Michael Bublé, but Michael Bublé already is the Woolworths Michael Bublé, and as anybody who witnessed the confusion and boredom in the audience during the ‘big band’ segment of the first Pop Idol tour will tell you, that route would musically alienate a large proportion [of] Leon’s potential fanbase. There’s only so far being slightly more good looking than averagely good looking will get you with The Girls And The Gays, and an album of light jazz snooze anthems may not help things. Maybe he could be R&B and be the British Justin Timberlake, but that’s what Shayne Ward’s supposed to be doing. Er..

In other words, Leon, you’re well-f***ed.

Last year’s X Factor winner, Leona Lewis, finds herself ousted from the No. 1 spot this week. As expected, Katie Melua‘s “Unforgettable”-esque duet with the late Eva Cassidy, a remake of Louis Armstrong‘s “What a Wonderful World,” scored the top spot. It was sold in Tesco supermarkets and all proceeds go to charity. Next week, expect Leon Jackson to be the Christmas No. 1.

1. Katie Melua and Eva Cassidy – Whata Wonderful World
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2. Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
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3. Soulja Boy Tell ‘em – Crank That(Soulja Boy)
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4. Mariah Carey – All I Want ForChristmas Is You
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5. Girls Aloud – Call the Shots
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6. Timbaland ft. One Republic -Apologize
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7. Take That – Rule the World
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8. The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
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9. T2 ft. Jodie Aysha – Heartbroken
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10. Cascada – What Hurts the Most
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In other news:

  • Simon Cowell is not happy about Sharon Osbourne‘s public, bitchy comments about X Factor. “You see a grown-up Sharon behaving like this in public. I think it’s wrong. Certain things should be done behind closed doors – the limelight shouldn’t be taken from the contestants. I wish Sharon would ask my advice before she does things instead of trying to deal with it herself.”
  • Could Billie Piper replace Sharon? She reckons she could be a judge.
    (The Sun)
  • Dannii Minogue would love to work out, but her big breasts get in the way.(The Sun)
  • Amy Winehouse may face police interrogation about her husband’s alleged crimes.(Daily Mail)
  • The Spice Girls were just “OK” at their big London show, according to the BBC‘s roundup of reviews.
  • Gordon Ramsay and his family turned up at the Spice Girls show.(The Sun)
  • Gary Barlow says Robbie Williams will never be a part of Take That again, a total 180 on his previous comments.(BBC)
  • Robbie Williams may announce his departure from EMI.(BBC)
  • M.I.A. is pissed that MTV censored the gunshot sound effects from her video for “Paper Planes.” Drowned in Sound has her MySpace rant.
  • Pitchfork has released their Top 100 tracks of 2007. Some great choices. Said the Gramophone will have its list out later today.
  • British singer Jay Sean talks to the BBC about being an R&B artist of Indian descent. “People say ‘Jay Sean the Asian R&B [singer]‘, but in reality I just happen to be an Asian who sings R&B. They don’t call Eminem ‘white hip-hop’. I think the time will come when more Asians will come through, but it will take some time.” Check out his website, his MySpace page, and his video for “Ride It.” He’s not bad to look at. Not at all.
  • Chris “Magic Hands” De Burgh will be “the first Western artist to play a concert in Iran since the country’s 1979 revolution.”(BBC)
  • Wait, Shirley Bassey celebrated her 70th birthday just last night – even though she turns 71 on January 8th?!(Mirror)
  • Has Alex Turner made a habit of crashing pubs? The Mirror‘s “spy” at Manchester University alleges he turned up at the student bar in disguise.
  • Joss Stone will become the face of Cadbury Flake bars, which are quite yummy.(Daily Mail)
  • How will the next Bloc Party record sound? More like “Banquet,” less like “Flux,” the boys say.(BBC)
  • No Rock and Roll Fun highlights Paul Weller‘s Desert Island Discs choices. His list includes The Small Faces, James Brown, and Charles Mingus.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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