Entertainment & Arts

Sam Bailey wins X Factor final

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Media captionDermot O'Leary congratulated Sam Bailey (Footage: Thames/Syco for ITV)

Sam Bailey has beaten Nicholas McDonald in this year's X Factor final on ITV.

Host Dermot O'Leary told the 36-year-old prison officer from Leicestershire she received more than a million votes.

Bailey's single Skyscraper, originally a hit for Demi Lovato in 2012, is now the hot favourite to be the UK's Christmas number one.

An average of 9.7 million people watched Sunday's finale, according to overnight figures - the lowest ratings for a final results show since 2005.

The audience for Sunday's finale on ITV peaked at 11.5 million at 21:20 GMT, when the result was announced.

It beat BBC One's Sports Personality of the Year, which averaged 5.6 million viewers and peaked at 8.4 million when tennis player Andy Murray was named the winner at 21:55.

Figures from X Factor showed Bailey received 53.4% of the votes in the final, compared with 36.3% for McDonald and 10.3% for Luke Friend, who came third after being voted out on Saturday.

Image caption Seventeen-year-old Nicholas McDonald came second

The figures showed Bailey and 17-year-old McDonald were in the top two positions in the voting every week during the talent contest's 10th series.

When Bailey was announced as the winner and was shown her new CD single by O'Leary, she told the audience of 10,000 people at Wembley Arena: "I don't know what to say.

"I just want to say that I love that boy to pieces, Nicky McDonald. He's got the most amazing voice. I love him to death."

She added she was "just so grateful", saying: "Thank you so much everybody. I really am appreciative."

McDonald added: "If I was getting beaten by anybody it would be Sam. I just want to say thank you to absolutely every single person who voted for me. I love you all."

Image caption Sam Bailey was the bookmakers' favourite to win

Bailey has won a recording contract and will also support Beyonce on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter tour in February.

Bookmaker Coral said on Sunday night Bailey had cost UK bookmakers more than £1m after being the "most backed contestant in the history of the show".

Bailey said on Saturday: "I'm just so overwhelmed by the support. This has been last chance saloon for me for the whole process.

"It's been 20 years. It's been a long time coming and I've finally got here so thank you so much."

Sunday's show included a duet between X Factor judge and singer Gary Barlow and Sir Elton John, with the pair performing on adjoining grand pianos.

Sir Elton described both finalists as "humble people" and said he agreed to perform because "Gary's been a real friend for 20 years and when he picks up the phone you say yes, because I love him".

Katy Perry and One Direction also performed earlier in the show.

The finalists each performed a duet with established singers on Saturday. Bailey was joined on stage by Nicole Scherzinger as they performed And I Am Telling You from the musical Dreamgirls.

McDonald duetted with former Westlife singer Shane Filan, singing the Irish boy band's hit Flying Without Wings, while Friend and Ellie Goulding performing the singer's hit Anything Could Happen.

To celebrate the show's 10th anniversary, some of the show's most renowned past contestants including Jedward, Kitty Brucknell, Rylan Clark and Wagner performed a medley of songs.

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