The X Factor has now been on our screens for thirteen years and in that time there have been 390 episodes. Since the first episode we have seen many talents come and go but some stuck with us more than others.
We thought it may be fun to take a look back at some of the most popular or memorable acts to see what they are up to today.
Back in 2008, The X Factor saw one of its most memorable acts take to the stage. His name was Rhydian, a platinum blond singer from Wales.
He instantly divided the judges and the audience with his flamboyant appearance and obvious confidence. Some loved him and some couldn’t stand him. One thing that was pretty undeniable is that he did have a fantastic voice.
During the live stages of The X Fator, Rhydian felt that he was portrayed as a “pantomime villain. Throughout the competition he knocked out his competitors by powerful performances of, among others, “You Raise Me Up,” “I Vow to Thee My Country”. and “Bridge over Troubled Water”, the last acclaimed by Simon Cowell as bloody fantastic …”
After his performance of “Somewhere”, a tearful Dannii Minogue declared: “I can’t even speak, that was so beautiful”.His version of “The Impossible Dream” became the keynote track on his first album.
He actually came as runner up on the show but has had a very successful career since then.
Since the X Factor he has had a succesful career in the theatre appearing in a number of shows such as: We Will Rock You, Greaseand Rocky Horror Show . He has played pantomime leads in Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. In 2015, Rhydian toured as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar.
— Rhydian Roberts (@RhydianMusic) April 12, 2016
In 2016 he also played the role of the Dentist in a Little Shop of Horrors.
Oh and he is now built like a brick shit house!
I mean look at those guns!
He has clearly spent a lot of time in the gym.
The last we have heard from him is this Tweet following one of his Little Shop of Horror shows.
— Rhydian Roberts (@RhydianMusic) November 19, 2016
2. Ariel Burdett
We’ve seen some pretty crazy X Factor auditions but I think we all can agree that Ariel Burdett’s audition was one of the craziest we’ve ever seen.
Ariel Burdett auditioned for the 5th series of the X Factor back in 2008. The holistic vocal couch from West Yorkshire, immediately stirred up the judges when she scrunched up and threw her number card at them.
She sang a song of her own creation, in hopes that it would show the judges the ranges her voice could go to. Unfortunately for her, it didn’t go to plan and she didn’t make it into the next round of auditions.
Since her audition Ariel has gone on to slam the show and the judges, saying that a lot of her audition was cut out in order for her to look bad. ‘It was heavily edited and the real version would have been a lot more embarrassing for the judges.’
Ariel is still working in the music industry as a holistic vocal coach, reportedly making £30 for an hour class. On her Facebook page the vocal couch admitted that the Ariel we saw on the X Factor audition was ‘just a character, I wasn’t being serious.’
Ariel Burdett posting photo’s on Facebook
She’s also ditched the old hair style and looks unrecognisable in comparison to the Ariel we saw back in 2008.
3. Leon Jackson
Ok so this all started back in 2007 when a nervous looking Scottish guy called Leon Jackson entered The X Factor.
The judges were pretty impressed with his rendition of Home by Michael Buble.
Leon was then dressed up in skinny ties and suits, was mentored by Dannii Minogue and managed to beat none other than Rhydian Roberts to the become the X Factor champion.
But what has happened to him since then? Well the answer is.. A LOT.
Now 27, the Scottish singer seems to have relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a star.
But, that’s not it.
He has also become mega fit. Just like Ray Quinn – a former X Factor star – Leon is now built to fu*k and boasts some pretty impressive muscles.
Sure, he lost his record deal after the X Factor – and became another victim of the show’s curse – but it looks like he’s winning the hot factor.
After winning the show, Leon taught himself to play guitar and piano and is now performing shows in the US.
On his website, he said: “I’ve needed time to consolidate and make sense of everything I’ve experienced. I needed to fall in love with music again, this process has been slow and wrenching at times but I’m now feeling liberated and fulfilled for the first time with my work.
“Music is a conversation between the singer and the listener, and to that the fans are the foundation of everything I do.”
4. Janet Devlin
If you have been watching X Factor over the years, you may remember this audition from back in 2011 from a quiet Irish girl called Janet Devlin.
At the time, Janet was just 16 years old and had flown over from the depths of Ireland to sing for the judges.
Living in the small village in Northern Ireland, she spends most of her time alone which allowed her to escape with her songwriting and singing. She had not really sang for a live audience before and her performance of “Your Song” by Elton John blew the judges away.
She of course made it through to the live shows where Janet was mentored by Kelly Rowland.
In the end Janet came 5th but her incredible voice was hard to forget.
Thankfully Janet didn’t give up singing after her departure from the show. She has set up an Instagram account where she shares pics and music clips of what she is up to these days.
Now aged 21, Janet still writes and sings and even has a few gigs lined up in the UK over the next few months. She has also dyed her hair and looks like a real star.
Looking so cool.
And thank goodness she is still singing after hearing this voice again.
Keep up the good work Janet. You are a star in the making.
5. Lucy Spraggan
In 2012, Lucy Spraggan wowed the X-Factor judges with her quirky original songs and was a firm favourite after her audition, where she sang her song ‘Last Night’, with relatable lyrics about drinking and its consequences.
Lucy made it all the way to the finals, with Tulisa as her mentor, before she had to drop out of the show due to illness. She was too ill to perform in Week Four, so she was put through to Week Five automatically. However, she then bowed out from the show, saying it wasn’t fair for her to get any more free passes as a result of being unable to perform.
So, while many people loved Lucy Spraggan and have kept tuned into what she’s been up to (I know I have), this is an update on what she’s gotten up to since leaving the X-Factor…
In 2013, Lucy signed a record deal with Columbia Records and released her first studio album.
Lucy has continued to release music and has a new album, ‘I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing’ coming out later this year.
She is also going on a UK & Europe tour in March!
She has also recently spoken out about her battle with depression, and even revealed that she once contemplated suicide…
She said: “I’ve been waiting so long to get this video out to you. This song is called ‘Dear You’ and it holds such a special place in my heart. This song is about the impact mental health can have on us; whether you are the person suffering or you are a friend or family of someone who isn’t well. I think the most vital thing to remember is that if you are in either of those situations or something similar, it’s time to reach out. There are so many people who can help and it’s remembering that in the darkest times that is the most important. Being able to put songs like this out there helps me get along with my own demons, so thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do so ❤️”
In this post we wanted to take a look back at some of the acts from X Factor in years gone by and see how much they have changed since their appearance on the show.