The definitive ranking of every under-25 girl on The X Factor

The girls category is the best category on The X Factor. Yes, the groups have sold more singles that the girls (which will probably change anyway now that Ella Henderson is a chart force), and yes they forget the lyrics from time to time, but Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke are probably the two most revered winners. But, as is the nature of The X Factor, only one can be the best [spoiler: Abi Alton fans can look away now].

28. Roberta Howett

Poor mentoring aside (and Sharon Osbourne is a terrible mentor), this is just a bit boring. Weak hair and outfit choice too.

27. Kimberley Southwick

Kimberley could have been good with a song that isn’t so wedding disco. But alas, we will never know.

26. Abi Alton

Abi is more The Voice (ie no star quality but a ‘quirky’ voice), let’s be honest.

25. Nikitta Angus

I quite liked Nikitta when she was on (mainly because I had a friend called Nikitta), but in retrospect, she wasn’t really that great. The styling here is very good for series three though.

24. Emily Nakanda

At least she brought the drama to series four when a video of her ‘happy-slapping’ someone leaked and she left the show. I think she even made the 10 o’clock news.

Chennai has also been almost completely removed from YouTube. I seem to remember her murdering ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ at one point too. Shoutout to that headband too.

22. Lucy Spraggan

I have an aversion to acoustic guitars (it’s more of an allergy, tbqh), so I was never going to rank Lucy Spraggan highly. Watching this back, she does seem to get a bit swallowed up by the whole ‘X Factor spectacle’ (ie she hasn’t got the x factor).

21. Alisha Bennett

She was the first (of many) Amy Winehouse-lites to enter the competition. The judges applaud her here for sounding good on the song, but that’s because SHE SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE CORINNE BAILEY RAE.

20. Janet Devlin

Much like Abi Alton, Janet Devlin was there because they (Simon Cowell) wanted a quirky female on his label to rival the likes of Ellie Goulding. She started off well, but people with little voices generally struggle once people with more belty voices leave (see also Jedward, Cher Lloyd, Rylan etc).

19. Sophie Habibis

I love her version of ‘Teenage Dream’. In retrospect, it might have just been because Teenage Dream is an incredible song. Sophie Habibis has an incredible X Factor name though.

18. Treyc Cohen

A classic case of a mentor not really knowing what to do with an artist, so they have to pick from the X Factor songbook. She had to sing ‘Purple Rain’. She had to sing ‘I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ 😦

17. Jade Ellis

Much like Treyc, Jade was given any old shit to sing during show. I know it’s not the point of being a popstar but this sounds much better when you’re not watching it. The arrangement is horrendous though.

16. Hannah Barrett

Imagine if Hannah Barrett had performed ‘Dreamer’ 😦

15. Cassie Compton

Cassie should have won the first series of X Factor. Admittedly there are some appalling notes scattered across this rendition of ‘All By Myself’, but she was better than Steve Brookstein. As a side note, has anyone ever seen Cassie and Charlotte Church at the same time?

14. Katie Waissel

Katie Waissel’s hair cut in Week 7 is one of my favourite X Factor moments ever. Someone seriously thought that a hair cut would somehow get the public back on side. I love The X Factor.

13. Lucie Jones

That is one good wind tunnel. Music wise, Lucie is inoffensive at best, but this performance was actually really good. On another note, has anyone ever seen Lucie and Rosie Webster in the same room?

12. Ella Henderson

Yes, Ella Henderson is fucking incredible now. But she wasn’t singing ‘Ghost’ back on ninth series. I actually found her really boring on the show, but then there wasn’t a single good act on that year (well aside from Rylan).

11. Stacey Solomon

It’s funny watching Stacey Solomon performing on the show now. She’s actually a really good singer, isn’t she? It’s a shame we never got an album, but I suppose the Stacey Solomon album would be the Sam Bailey one with a different cover.

10. Diana Vickers

Pretty much the same as Ella Henderson. But Diana had laryngitis and an on-show relationship, which is (almost) a bingo on the X Factor cliché sheet.

9. Laura White

Did Edith Bowman actually love Laura White? I did. I nearly cried when she got knocked out, but then I don’t think Alexandra Burke would’ve won if she hadn’t been eliminated. Every cloud.

8. Rachel Adedeji

A predecessor to Katie Waissel’s hair cut for votes, Rachel Adedeji also had a makeover during her time on the show. Her getting voted out was the biggest injustice in the show ever. Plus her fall at bootcamp remains hilarious.

7. Misha B

Tulisa is normally right, but she should have never outed Misha B as a bully. Misha probably would’ve won, given that she ‘put her own stamp’ (vom) on songs that were actually interesting and original (unlike the plethora of contestants singing covers of the Debenhams cover song).

6. Tamera Foster

The only exciting contestant from the last series of the show, Tamera Foster had a killer run during the first few weeks. She was too young – she may have walked this series – but she is still a very good singer. It’ll be interesting to see how her album does because she was pretty unlikeable, but I imagine the money is getting poured into her. Also, was she the first X Factor contestant to slut drop? If anyone can find a slut dropping X Factor contestant pre-Tamera, you will win a prize.

5. Rebecca Ferguson

Louis Walsh loved Rebecca Ferguson. Dare I say her performance of ‘Show Me Love’ was the best performance of that series. It was one of the few times the theme that week was stuck to during that series (‘Nothin’ On You’ is not a club classic), and what a performance she gave. Added lols that she had to be subtitled on that video.

4. Amelia Lily

Slightly biased because I saw her last night and she was amazing, but Amelia Lily was brilliant. I do doubt whether she would have made it to the final if she had gone through the live shows properly (she’d be the week four shock elimination), so we have Frankie Cocozza to thank for her getting to the final. Side note: ‘You Bring Me Joy’ is still great.

3. Leona Lewis

Perhaps controversial given that she is the biggest selling X Factor contestant of all time, but Leona Lewis is still incredible. She definitely has the best voice of any contestant ever, but she isn’t as complete a popstar as the next two are. Having said that, we wouldn’t be eleven series with the show if it wasn’t for her, so thanks Leona.

2. Cher Lloyd

It’s no secret that I love Cher Lloyd. She is the most interesting popstar to ever enter the show. Where Leona Lewis was the first turning point in the show, Cher Lloyd managed to get more ‘urban’ and ‘hip’ people to audition for the show. Her performance of ‘Stay’ is the second most iconic, only behind:

1. Alexandra Burke

Yes, she hasn’t had the best career after the show. And yes, her second album wasn’t great. But as a whole popstar, Alexandra Burke is unrivalled. I couldn’t decide which performance was her best (I love ‘Toxic’), which perhaps is what makes her so good. Imagine performing with Beyonce. Most would be a blubbering wreck. This felt like two actual popstars doing a duet. What a woman (plz come back Burko)


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