The X Factor (UK series 3)

The X Factor (UK series 3)

The third UK series of "The X Factor" was broadcast on the ITV network in the United Kingdom and TV3 in the Republic of Ireland. The first show aired on 19 August 2006. Twelve million people tuned into the final on 16 December 2006, which saw Leona Lewis declared winner.

Auditions began on 7 June 2006. Simon Cowell said on ITV's "This Morning" that he was looking for the next Boyzone or Spice Girls: "The next international boyband or girlband is what I want to see in this year's show". 100,000 people applied to audition, the most so far. Nearly 20,000 attended an open audition at Old Trafford Football Stadium, Manchester on 18 June 2006.

All three judges, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, returned. Hints by Cowell and the surrounding media that a fourth full-time judge mentoring a fourth category of contestants might be added proved to be false. However, "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul did make an appearance as a guest judge at the London auditions, and further celebrity guests appeared during the live shows. Simon Cowell had also stated that there "could" be a 14-24s category but during the audition process the category was named as 16-24, as in the previous two series. Simon mentored the 16-24 year olds, Sharon had the 25 and overs, and Louis mentored the Groups. (Both rumoured changes – the lowering of the age limit and the addition of a fourth category – were actually implemented in series 4.)

Kate Thornton returned as the host of the main "X Factor" show, with Ben Shephard again presenting "The Xtra Factor" on ITV2. This was both Thornton's and Shephard's last series of "The X Factor", as Thornton announced her departure on 8 March, 2007 and Shephard resigned after being passed over for promotion to main presenter.

Instead of the earlier red and purple colour scheme, this year's theme was red and blue. [ [http://www.itv.com/xfactor ITV Official website] ] A new-look website for the third series was launched on August 11 2006.

Winner Leona Lewis's debut single was as a cover of the Kelly Clarkson song "A Moment Like This", and was released on December 20, 2006. [" [http://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=282;2;-1;-1&sku=591779 HMV.co.uk singles: A Moment Like This (2006)] "] Contestant Ben Mills reportedly claimed that the contest had been fixed for Leona Lewis to win, as the winner's song was more suited to a female vocal. [cite news
title = Ben: X Factor rigged for Leona
url = http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,11050-2006540664,00.html
publisher = The Sun
date = 2006-11-24
accessdate = 2006-11-04
] This rumour subsequently proved to be unfounded [cite news
title = The Ben interview
url= http://www.xfactor.tv/page.asp?partid=508
publisher = The X Factor
date = 2006-12-11
accessdate = 2006-12-20
] and show bosses said that they had made arrangements for the song to fit any singer's voice. [cite news
title = X-Factor winner to record Kelly Clarkson ballad
url = http://www.24dash.com/showbiz_slapdash/13351.htm
publisher = 24dash.com
date = 2006-11-22
accessdate = 2006-11-04
]

After the December 9 show, Simon Cowell became the winning judge even though the series had not finished, as two of his acts, Raymond Quinn and Leona Lewis, became the two finalists.

Bootcamp and visits to judges' houses

It was originally intended that 21 acts (seven for each judge) should remain by the conclusion of the bootcamp stage. However, Simon Cowell decided that he had made a mistake with his seven by failing to include Ray Quinn, and asked the producers to allow one more contestant or act to go through. The other two judges were then allowed to increase their quota to eight as well, giving a total of 24 acts. In the "judges' houses" round this was cut down to 12 to go through to the live finals. Avenue were chosen to go through but were later disqualified, having misled the judges over an existing record contract with a manager who was no longer associated with the show. As a consequence of this disqualification, Eton Road were put through in their place. [" [http://www.rte.ie/arts/2006/1002/xfactor.html Boyband kicked out of The X Factor] "]

The acts in the final 24 who failed to make the final 12 were:

* Groups: Dolly Rockers, Pure Liberty, Brother's One and Avenue
* 16-24s: Shaun Rogerson, Stacey Barnes, Gemma Sampson and Carlo Muscutelli
* 25 and overs: Katie Angus, Jonathan Bremner, Lyn Fairbanks and Tigwa Savage

Finalists

The following artists made it to the live shows. The act in green is the winner, the act in white is the runner-up, and those in pink were eliminated.

;Judges' votes to eliminate:
*Louis: Dionne Mitchell
*Sharon: The Unconventionals
*Simon: The Unconventionals

21 October 2006

*Theme: Rod Stewart songs
*Celebrity guest: Rod Stewart

;Judges' votes to eliminate:
*Sharon: Ashley McKenzie
*Simon: Robert Allen
*Louis: Ashley McKenzie

11 November 2006

*Theme: Love songs
*Celebrity guest: Julio Iglesias;Judges' votes to eliminate
*Louis: Ben Mills
*Sharon: Eton Road
*Simon: Eton Road

2 December 2006

*Themes: Barry Manilow songs; contestant's choice
*Celebrity guest: Barry ManilowThis was the first show of the series without a final showdown. The act with the fewest public votes was automatically eliminated. Each act sang one Manilow song and one song of their own choice.After Ray and Leona sang their first songs, highlights from the series were shown, followed by a performance of "Right Here Waiting" by Shaun Rogerson who failed to make the live shows. After Ray and Leona sang their second songs, some of the more memorable auditions were shown, followed by a performance of "Earth Song" by some of the auditionees. After their third songs, the acts from the final 12 sang "That's What Friends Are For".

References

External links

*itv.com|id=xfactor|title="The X Factor"


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