X Factor winners and losers: Where are they now?

After Sam Bailey became the 10th winner of the X Factor, we look at how previous winners of the competition have fared in the industry.

Despite claiming the coveted title of X Factor winner, not all of the ten named made it big, but some of those who missed out on the top spot have seen real success since their appearances on the reality show, so who were the real winners in the X Factor?

Series 1 - 2004

  • Steve Brookstein
Steve Brookstein  was the first winner of the competition in 2004.
Steve Brookstein was the first winner of the competition in 2004. Credit: PA Wire

Steve Brookstein was the first winner of the competition in 2004 and his debut single went straight to number one in the charts.

However Brookstein was dropped by his record label just eight months later and now performs aboard P&O cruise ships and in pubs.

Series 2 - 2005

  • Shayne Ward
Shayne Ward.
Shayne Ward. Credit: PA Wire

Shayne Ward won the competition in 2005 and released two relatively successful albums.

After his third album failed to take off, Ward was dropped by Syco.

Shayne continues to write songs and gig and recently recorded a version of Galway Girl with Irish folk duo Foster and Allen.

The real winner

  • Chico

Welsh-born Chico Slimani became a hit after reaching the quarter finals but despite not making to the end of the competition Chico has had a successful singing and presenting career.

Chico Slimani.
Chico Slimani. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Series 3 - 2006

  • Leona Lewis
Leona Lewis.
Leona Lewis. Credit: PA Wire

Leona Lewis has sold over 20 million records worldwide and has been nominated for seven Brit Awards and three time Grammys.

Her first two albums reached number one in the UK charts, with her third reaching number 3.

She is still signed to Simon Cowell's Syco label and has just released her fourth album Christmas, With Love which is at number 13 in the UK charts.

Series 4 - 2007

  • Leon Jackson
Leon Jackson.
Leon Jackson. Credit: PA Wire

Scottish-born Jackson beat Welsh singer Rhydian to the title in 2007 but was swiftly dropped by the record company after just one album.

Series 5 - 2008

  • Alexandra Burke
Alexandra Burke.
Alexandra Burke. Credit: PA Wire

Alexandra Burke first auditioned for the second series of The X Factor in 2005 (which was eventually won by Shayne Ward). She made it through to the final seven in Louis Walsh's 16–24 category, but Louis did not choose her for his final four as he felt that she was too young for the competition.

Over the following three years Alexandra worked on her singing before returning to the X Factor. Her version of Leonard Cohen's Halleujah was the Christmas number one of 2008.

She is now working on her third album and is still signed to Syco.

The real winners

  • JLS

After making it to the final in 2008 JLS lost out to Alexandra Burke, but were signed to Epic Records.

As well as winning BRIT Awards for Best British Breakthrough and British Single in 2010 they have won a total of five MOBO Awards.

In April it was announced that the band were to split after their fifth album and tour

Series 6 - 2009

  • Joe McElderry
X Factor contestant Joe McElderry.
X Factor contestant Joe McElderry. Credit: PA Wire

In a similar journey to Alexandra Burke before him Joe McElderry took two runs to make it on the X Factor. He made it to Boot Camp in 2007, but felt he was too young opted to walk away.

He returned in 2009 and was mentored by Cheryl Cole and made it to the final beating Olly Murs to the title.

His duet with Carrie Underwood was nominated for a Golden Globe after it featured on the film The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.

He parted ways with Syco in 2011. He continues to write and release music and toured the UK in the summer and is planning a 50 date UK tour in 2014.

The real winners

  • Olly Murs

Olly made it to the final but lost the title to Joe McElderry in 2009, however he signed a joint deal with Syco and Epic Records.

He has released three albums, the first reached number two, while his latest two both got the top spot.

Olly Murs performing on stage during the 2013 Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball at the O2 Arena.
Olly Murs performing on stage during the 2013 Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball at the O2 Arena. Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
  • Stacey Solomon

Just behind Olly Murs in third place Stacey Solomon has also managed to carve out a showbiz career.

Stacey was crowned queen of the jungle the year after her X Factor appearance and has been a presenter and talk show guest since her rise to fame.

Stacey is currently appearing in panto in London and is due to release her debut album next year.

Stacey Solomon.
Stacey Solomon. Credit: Suzan/Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

Series 7 - 2010

  • Matt Cardle
Matt Cardle won the series in 2010.
Matt Cardle won the series in 2010. Credit: PA Wire

Matt Cardle beat off competition from Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction.

While Cardle's career has stalled, One Direction have gone on to achieve global success with selling millions of records.

The real winners

  • Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson signed a record deal after coming second, her debut album Heaven went platinum in the UK, Ireland and the US.

Rebecca has just released her latest album Freedom.

Rebecca Ferguson.
Rebecca Ferguson. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire
  • Cher Lloyd

Cher Lloyd came fourth in 2010, having already auditioned for the X Factor singing ballads, when she returned she had an edgier look and sound.

Since the X Factor Cher has been concentrating her career in the US and is working on her second album.

Cher Lloyd performing live at day 2 of the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas
Cher Lloyd performing live at day 2 of the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas Credit: Tammie Arroyo/AFF/EMPICS Entertainment

Series 8 - 2011

  • Little Mix
Little Mix.
Little Mix. Credit: PA Wire

Little Mix became the first ever band to win the show

Their winner's single Cannonball became the fastest selling single of 2011. In June 2013 the band's album, DNA, became the highest debut ever for a British female group's first album, entering at Number 4 and eclipsing a sixteen-year-old record previously held by the Spice Girls Spice album.

In 2014 they embark on their biggest UK tour, with dates including London's O2 Arena.

The real winners

  • One Direction

One of the biggest success stories of the X Factor are boy band One Direction. Despite finishing third in 2010 they were signed to Syco and have broken records for sales and have a huge and loyal following on social media and have even had their own movie.

Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles perfom in New York.
Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles perfom in New York. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Geisler-Fotopres/DPA/Press Association Images

Series 9 - 2012

  • James Arthur
James Arthur.
James Arthur. Credit: PA Wire

Last month James Arthur was diagnosed with "acute exhaustion" and cancelled all engagements while he recovers - just days after being embroiled in a homophobia row.

The singer ended up apologising for his language after he used the word "queer" in rap which drew criticism from figures such as Matt Lucas.

He was also involved in a row with fellow X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan after she posted text messages online which he had sent to her.

His self-titled first album was released on 1st November.

The real winner

  • Rylan Clark

Despite placing fifth place Rylan has become a successful television personality, appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Juice and This Morning.

Rylan with his trademark smile.
Rylan with his trademark smile. Credit: Sophie Duval/EMPICS Entertainment

Series 10 - 2013

  • Sam Bailey
Sam Bailey became the 10th winner of the competition.
Sam Bailey became the 10th winner of the competition. Credit: X Factor

Prison officer Sam Bailey triumphed over teenager Nicholas McDonald to be named the 2013 X Factor winner.

Bailey, a 36-year-old mother of two, has won a recording contract and will support American pop superstar Beyonce on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter world tour in February.

The clear favourite before the announcement, Bailey said in front of 10,000 fans at tonight's live final at Wembley Arena that she did not know what to say after being told she had received over a million votes.

After the next few incredible days are over, I will be going home and booking a holiday to France.

I promised my daughter I would. She was really worried about me entering this competition - how she wouldn’t see me much and it has been hard being away from the kids.

They’ve been so good and patient over the whole process, I want to treat them.

– Sam Bailey

Applications for 2014 have already opened.