X Factor UK: 2011 Winner and Best Moments

Little Mix has made UK X Factor history as the first group to ever snatch the crown. Better yet, they are arguably the most exciting pop act to win the competition since Alexandra Burke three years ago.

The four-piece girl band – cheekily dubbed “Pick N Mix” by Twitter pal Greg – was formed on the show after each girl failed to qualify as solo acts in the under 25 females category.

Rookie X Factor judge Tulisa saw potential in Jesy Nelson (age 20), Leigh-Ann Pinnock (age 19), Perrie Edwards (age 18) and Jade Thirlwall (age 18), and decided to pitch them as a feisty new generation girl band that’s part early-Girls Aloud and part Parade in flavour and styling.

After a short run under the moniker Rhythmix, the group redubbed themselves as Little Mix to avoid run-ins with an established UK charity that’s shares the same name. It’s probably for the best anyway, because “Little Mix” is a lot easier for text voters to spell than “Rhythmix”.

Watch Little Mix celebrate their win with an emotional warble of Damien Rice‘s ‘Cannonball’ – their incredibly redundant and beige winner’s single. Shit, if I had known that this was what Syco had up their sleeves, I would’ve petitioned for these girls to cover Kate DeRaugo‘s stunning ‘Maybe Tonight’.


 
For those who have followed my UK X Factor posts, y’all know I stan hard for these bitches. Little Mix has been on-point from the very first live shows, effortlessly capturing our attention with their infectious energy and solid harmonies.

They were also most consistent in sticking with their artistic angle and brand. Regardless of the shifting weekly themes, these ladies always deliver a pop performance that doesn’t betray their style.

Little Mix‘s consistency was rewarded with consistent voting love so, they’ve thankfully never found themselves pegged as a Power Bottom Two act. Mind you, no act that has ever been in the bottom two had gone on to win the UK X Factor.

Who run the show? Girls.

There’s been an overwhelming amount of girls “puttin’ it down” in this year’s series – probably thanks in no small part to the independent woman energy Kelly Rowland and Tulisa‘s injecting into the game.

Now that the series has wrapped, it’s been revealed that Janet Devlin won the first four live show episodes where the public was allowed to vote. The waify-voiced singer reigned the hardest when she covered Elvis‘ ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ (Love & Heartache week), Guns ‘N’ Roses‘ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ (Rock week), The Police‘s ‘Every Breath You Take’ (Halloween week) and Jackson 5‘s ‘I Want You Back’ (Club Classics week).

Amelia Lily‘s comeback performance in week six earned her the most votes and she did it again in week eight (Guilty Pleasures & Heroes week) with her dual cover of T’Pau‘s ‘China In Your Hand’ and Kelly Clarkson‘s ‘Since U Been Gone’.

Misha B, although incredibly notorious and well-talked about, never won the most votes in any given week. The best she ever managed was coming second in week seven (Movies week) when she had her epic sob story and cover of Whitney‘s ‘I Have Nothing’.

Little Mix might’ve won the competition but the only week where they came out with the most public votes was in week seven (Movies week) when they did En Vogue‘s ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’, which will forever be known as their series defining moment.

Speaking of series defining moments, check out this year’s finalists (and one very special guest) performing a medley of 2011 dance/pop hits:


 
And of course, here are Feed Limmy‘s highlights of the 2011 UK X Factor series:

1) Misha B ‘Rolling In The Deep’


 
Queen Misha‘s reign was short lived but her fierce urban reinvention of Adele‘s ‘Rolling In The Deep’ will carry on beyond her own shelf life. Everything about this just slayed – her immaculate styling, soaring soulful vocals and of course, that muhfuggin’ self-styled rap. All you lesser beings can sit back down, this is without question the most important performance of the series.

2) Kelendriaism: The Greatest Hits

Fuck yeah, Kelly Rowland. Would you like a little souvenir, a little token of Feed Limmy‘s most loved Kelendriaisms?

I really don’t know what I would’ve done with myself if Kelly Rowland didn’t bring the charisma, grace and grown woman sass to the X Factor this year. The sexy goddess had exceeded expectations in her first major TV gig. She did what every great reality star would: conjuring a trademark saying and consistently throw it at the audience until it sticks [Exhibit A: “Puttin’ it down”]. Kelly also impressed viewers with her elegance, natural charm and ability to give proper constructive criticism.

Her incessant flirting with Gary Barlow in the early episodes was very cute and even though Gazza Bear shaded her contestants on more than one occasion, Kelendria never turned on Gary. They got on more like a nesting couple towards the end, barely ever leaning close to each other and sharing a subtle touch of a hand no more. Guess that’s what happens when you start having kids contestants to mentor.

3) ‘You Got The Love (Bootcamp Version)’ by Jade Richards, The Keys, Nicole Simpson and Joe Cox. 


 
This technically shouldn’t work but it just did. There is no denying the magic these four incredibly diverse acts created with this boot camp cover of ‘You Got The Love’.

There’s early season fave Jade Richards owning the big soulful notes, The Keys – in their original line up – holding down very polished boy band harmonies, Nicole Simpson – the non-factor with surprisingly good vocals, and even the odd, shaky Joe Cox had his place.

Snaps must be given for how well distributed and blended everyone’s parts are. At no point do you feel like one act’s been overshadowed by another. Everyone had a place to shine and it all just fits.

4) Little Mix ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’


 
This was a show defining moment for Little Mix who, up to this point, had only ever delivered girly pop tunes. Their cover of En Vogue‘s ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’ showed a new depth to their performance, drawing out some grown womanly tones for the first time.

5) Janet Devlin ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’


 
Janet Devlin has one of the most instantly recognisable voices in this series. Her ethereal tones breathed incredible life into this classic deep-toned Elvis song and it was just spellbinding from the first note to the last.

6) Kelly Rowland and Amelia Lily ‘River Deep, Mountain High’
 

Here I was about to have a prayer and intercession meeting with Saint Michelle Williams, out of concern for Kelendria‘s well being because I thought she was gonna make a fool of herself singing with Amelia Lily.

The teen vocal lioness could’ve sung her mentor out of a career in something as epic as ‘River Deep, Mountain High’. You all saw the hot mess Kelly was foisting when she did her X Factor performance! This bitch’s live vocals can be very painfully hit and miss.

Thankfully, this was one of the rare occasions where Kelendria came correct. You could say that being a support vocalist is something she’s had plenty of practice at.

7) Marcus Collins ‘Another One Bites The Dust’


 
It was a spectacular moment when Marcus Collins finally found his artistic angle. The funk, Motown and modern soul combo was tailored so well to his energetic style and voice. He’s cute, completely charming and never dull to watch. I’m so glad he stuck with this sound for the rest of the series because that gave him an opportunity to grow a fan base on a solid reputation. I would totally lap up an album of this shit.

8) Craig Colton ‘Jar of Hearts’


 
Sista mista Craig Colton didn’t get very many snaps from me during the competition but looking back now, the serial balladeer really did have some decent moments. The man never fails to emotionally up-sell every fucking note – even when he’s not belting.

He’s known for throwing them textbook-variety performances we’ve seen done to death on talent shows but this aching rendition of ‘Jar of Hearts’ stands out as something I’d like to listen to on a rainy night in.

9) Kitty Brucknell.

She was such a class act: complex and marvelously cray cray. You gotta love her commitment to popstardom and that dramatic flair for turning out everything with a Gaga-cross-Madonna twist, of course, all the while claiming to be completely authentic. Believability was sadly never on Kitty‘s side. But hats off to the woman because she sure as fuck is entertaining.

10) Goldie Cheung.


 
Queens, I have clearly saved the best for the last. This will go down in the history books as one of the greatest auditions ever. Charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent by the truck loads. Hand on my heart, I can honestly say I have never loved a novelty act as much as I love my “auntie” Goldie Cheung.

Footnotes (gif courtesy of the amazing Miss Rowland Gifs):

So this is the part where we roll credits.

Thank you so much friends and readers for graciously playing along with me for another spectacular year of Feed Limmy X Factor recaps. I’m glad to hear that y’all have enjoyed the commentary, screen caps and such because frankly, it completes me.

Look back on past weeks’ recaps.

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4 Comments

  1. One big Thank you on choosing Another One bites the dust. It seems forgettable tho, but that was because the judges panicked when they saw Marcus so strong in this style and of course, looked at him as a menace for their acts, trying to bring him down. Apart from Kitty’s It’s oh so quiet, my favourite performance of the season.
    Good list.

    • Thank you! I totally would listen to Marcus’ version of that song any day. I hope he gets signed!

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