10:02 13 December 2010
Bookies' favourite Matt Cardle has been crowned winner of the X Factor, it was announced last night.
The painter and decorator from Essex, who was mentored by Dannii Minogue, fought off competition from Rebecca Ferguson, One Direction and Cher Lloyd to win the final of the talent show.
It must have come as no surprise to the team behind the show, as it was also revealed that Cardle had won the public vote every week, with the exception of the first live show.
The final, which began on Saturday, saw all four finalists duet with stars including Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Robbie Williams and will.i.am.
Despite a rousing performance, Cher Lloyd was the first of the finalists to leave the competition on Saturday night.
She was followed on Sunday night by teen band One Direction, who Louis Walsh described as the next big boyband.
For many, the winner was too close to call, as Matt and Rebecca went head-to-head to sing their version of the winners single.
For the first time in the shows history, each were given separate songs to sing Rebecca with Duffys Distant Dreamer and Matt with Biffy Clyros Many of Horror (When We Collide).
The public held true to their previous voting form, crowning Matt Cardle as the winner, much to the delight of his mentor Dannii and previous contestants of the show.
Half-way through his performance of the winners single, his former colleagues on the show ran on to congratulate him; Aiden Grimshaw being one of the first to hug his friend.
The singer and self-proclaimed songwriter now faces the challenge of making it to Number One, after various Internet campaigns have once again attempted to thwart the X Factor single from reaching the Christmas top spot.
He will also be under added pressure due to recent revelations that previous X Factor winners have not necessarily had the success they were promised.
The winner of the first series of the show, Steve Brookstein, was spotted performing to just 20 people in a coffee shop over the weekend, Shayne Wards comeback album has failed to relight the publics interest and last years winner, Joe McElderry, only managed to reach 63 in this week's chart with his newest single.
Matt Cardles first single, When We Collide, is available now.
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