JAMES Arthur last night sung his way to victory on ITV’s X Factor, beating Jahmene Douglas to take the title.
The 24-year-old from Saltburn, Tees-side, who sang a rendition of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, looked stunned as host Dermot O’Leary announced the result. “I don’t what to say,” he said.
Afterwards, O’Leary said Douglas had been a “terrific runner up” and told the shy singer he thought he had “blossomed” during the competition.
The 24-year-old from Swindon, Wiltshire, was magnanimous in defeat, saying: “I think it’s just a blessing to share the stage with such a talent”.
Arthur walks away from the talent show with a recording contract and will now release his winner’s single, a rendition of Impossible by Bajan singer Shontelle, in a bid to top the charts with a Christmas No 1.
After being announced as the champion of the ninth series of the show, a dazed-looking Arthur performed the song for the second time.
Asked by O’Leary what was going through his mind, he said: “I don’t know. Thank you, thank you so much.”
He was hugged by judge Nicole Scherzinger, who mentored both him and runner-up Douglas.
The former Pussycat Doll, who looked glamorous in a black fishtail gown, jumped up and down in excitement at his success.
The show kicked off with a Christmas medley by former contestants from the series.
But Liverpudlian Christopher Maloney, who was voted out of the competition in Saturday’s show, was missing from the line-up.
He wrote on Twitter: “Thank u @TheXFactor had a wonderful Time. an amazing experience. love u all. sorry I had a sore throat an doctor signed me off. good luck.”
It was reported that he did not appear as he had stormed out of rehearsals and had another with fellow contestant,
But Maloney later tweeted: “It’s just a final stretch of sensational headlines lol. whatever xx we know the truth xx” followed by “this is a witch hunt” and claimed that he was being bullied.
Arthur’s single is ready to download from the internet and will be “rush released” and 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 conditions.