James Arthur wins X Factor final

Media caption, The finalists await the verdict - X Factor courtesy of THAMES and Syco for ITV

James Arthur has won the X Factor final, beating Jahmene Douglas to win a recording contract.

Arthur, 24, said: "I don't believe it... I've just got to say thank you to the people who voted for me."

He sang a rendition of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On on Sunday's show, as well as his choice of winner's single, Shontelle's Impossible.

Douglas, 21, said it was "a blessing to share the stage with such a talent" and advised him to "use it wisely".

Arthur hails from Saltburn by the Sea in north Yorkshire.

He has been gigging with his guitar in his local area for the last few years, writing his own songs and rapping.

Arthur only auditioned for this year's show at the last minute after his friend told him he had nothing to lose.

Judge Nicole Scherzinger, who mentored both Arthur and Douglas, described Arthur as "a fighter".

"He wanted this, he willed this to happen. He deserves this so much.

"And Jahmene - I'm so proud of both my boys."

Arthur's single can be downloaded from the internet and is available in shops from Wednesday, an X Factor spokesman said.

All profits from sales of the single will go to the charity Together for Short Lives, which supports children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

Arthur said in a statement after the show: "I am absolutely overwhelmed to have won The X Factor. I am lost for words.

"I love the song and am so glad that proceeds of the single will be going to such a great cause."

Image caption, Arthur only decided to audition at the last minute

Earlier this week, Scherzinger told the BBC's Newsbeat website she plans to work with both her acts when they bring out their own music.

The former Pussycat Doll said Douglas and Arthur had helped make this year's competition.

"They've been a huge blessing," she told Newsbeat.

"I think it brings so much more credibility and integrity to the show."

Fellow judge Louis Walsh told Scherzinger: "You've been the best mentor ever on the X Factor. You've got two acts in the final and you've worked so hard."

For the first time in the X Factor's nine-year history, the live finals were staged outside London.

The two final shows - the first of which aired on Saturday night - were held at Manchester Central.

Chris Maloney, mentored by Gary Barlow, bowed out at the end of Saturday's show.

Famous faces in the audience on Sunday included Manchester United and Manchester City players following United's 3-2 victory over their neighbours in Sunday's derby match.

United's Rio Ferdinand spoke briefly to host Dermot O'Leary after suffering a cut eye as he appeared to be struck by an object thrown during the celebrations at the end of the match.

One Direction, Rihanna and Emeli Sande performed on Sunday night.

The X-Factor has struggled in the ratings this year, often being beaten by its BBC One rival Strictly Come Dancing.

However, last night an average of 9.8m watched the quarter-final of the dance show, compared with 11.1m tuning in to the results final of X Factor.

In its ninth series, the singing competition's 2012 final peaked at 12.5m viewers on ITV1, totalling 12.8m including viewers watching on ITV1+1, a service which launched in January 2011.

At Strictly's peak, 10.9m viewers tuned in on BBC 1 as Westlife star Nicky Byrne was voted off, leaving Denise Van Outen, Olympian Louis Smith, actresses Dani Harmer and Lisa Riley and Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh to dance in the semi-final.

Since 2010's X Factor final, which saw Matt Cardle triumph over Rebecca Ferguson, records show a loss of 4.91m viewers, down from 17.7m.

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