While she first hit the headlines during her stint on The X Factor in 2010, Cher Lloyd has graduated to the status of celebrity gossip column royalty this year. It seems you can’t pick up a newspaper without seeing the 17-year-old’s face scowling out from the pages – and she’s certainly made an impact on the music scene with her banging/unintentionally hilarious debut single Swagger Jagger. With the rap track expected to soundtrack the rest of the summer for music fans of a certain age, we’ve been looking back on the other contestants who have gone from strength to strength since losing out on the ITV 1 talent show.
Finishing as runners-up on the 2008 series of The X Factor didn’t dent the four-piece’s tilt at the top of the charts – they’ve now racked up more number ones than the winner of the series, Alexandra Burke. Meanwhile, their complicated love lives mean they’re also a regular fixture in celebrity gossip columns.
OK, so this bizarre opera singer has not quite reached the same heights as JLS since his appearance as a finalist on the 2007 X Factor, but he has scored platinum and gold albums and touring theatre work – more than can be said for many other former contestants of the show.
After finishing runner-up to Leona Lewis in the third series of The X Factor in 2006, Ray has carved out a pretty successful West End career, appearing in shows such as Grease and Dirty Dancing. His win on the 2009 series of Dancing on Ice also ensured his status as a celebrity news fixture for another couple of years.
Known as a Marmite performer on The X Factor due in part to her infamous claw hand, Diana went on to score a Number One single with Once in 2010 and signed a lucrative tie-in with online fashion retailer Very.co.uk. In contrast, Eoghan Quigg – her rumoured boyfriend on the show – has pretty much disappeared completely.
While winner Joe McElderry has clung onto fame by his fingertips – and struggled to make much of an impact musically after his tilt at the 2009 Christmas number one was ruined by Rage Against The Machine – third-placed Stacey’s career has gone from strength to strength. She returned to the gossip columns with a bang by winning I’m A Celebrity… last year and has since picked up prime time presenting slots, while proving she’s still got a decent set of lungs by belting out the national anthem at the 2011 FA Cup final.