On Dec. 13, 2015, “The X Factor” U.K. announced Louisa Johnson as the show’s 12th winner. It was perhaps the least surprising victory in “X Factor” history. Johnson, 17, is a powerhouse singer who got nearly flawless, glowing reviews from the judges throughout the entire season. She was also never in the bottom two, and therefore was never in danger of being eliminated. The show’s judges are Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora. Coming in second place was hip-hop male duo Reggie ‘N’ Bollie. Despite their off-key vocals, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie charmed enough voters with their on-stage energy to make it to the final two without ever having to do an elimination “sing-off.”
As part of the grand prize, Johnson won a record contract with Syco Music/Sony Music, which has released her first single, a cover version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”
This Season 12 finale show had Johnson and Reggie ‘N’ Bollie each performing the “Song of the Series,” which was the song that they previously performed that they felt defined them the most throughout the competition. Johnson performed James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” while Reggie ‘N’ Bollie performed a mash-up of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and OMI’s “Cheerleader”
(Click here to watch Louisa Johnson perform James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”)
Johnson and Reggie ‘N’ Bollie then each performed their version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” which was pre-selected as the winner’s single.
(Click here to watch Louisa Johnson perform Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”)
(Click here to watch Reggie ‘N’ Bollie perform Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.”)
There were also an appearance from former “X Factor” U.K. finalists One Direction (the boy band that came in third place in 2010), which performed “History.” Even though One Direction, the world’s biggest-selling act from “The X Factor,” is going on hiatus as of March 2016, One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson is widely expected to become a judge on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2016. He will likely replace Grimshaw, who has been getting slammed by critics for being a bland and useless judge. Also performing in the show’s 12th season finale were Adele (who sang “Hello”) and Coldplay, which performed “Adventure of a Lifetime.”
(Click here to watch One Direction perform “History.”)
At the end of the episode, it was revealed that Johnson was the winner. Ora, who was Johnson’s “X Factor” mentor, exclaimed on stage, “Thank you to everybody who voted! And thank you to Louisa for being the cutest, most generous, most hard-working, gorgeous, gorgeous winner of ‘X Factor’ 2015!” Johnson broke down in tears after she was announced as the winner, and Johnson sobbed as she commented, “I’ve imagined this day for so many years. You really have no idea how much this means. Thank you so much.” Ora then added, “Can we just say thank you to everybody, honestly. And thank you to Simon for this amazing experience for me as a judge and her [Johnson] as the winner of the show. It’s truly been incredible.”
Reggie ‘N’ Bollie’s Reggie commented on their second-place finish: “We are never devastated that we lost. We came here empty-handed, and we’re leaving fully loaded for the music industry.” Fernandez-Versini, who was Reggie ‘N’ Bollie’s “X Factor” mentor added, “They’ve been absolutely incredible. Actually, the whole season has been incredible. Everyone’s so talented. And Louisa, thoroughly deserved. Well done, my sweetheart. But [for] these two [Reggie ‘N’ Bollie], it’s just the beginning. Thank you, everyone who voted and kept them here.”
(Click here to watch Louisa Johnson named as the 12th winner of “The X Factor” U.K.)
(Click here to watch Louisa Johnson perform Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” after winning.)
If Johnson is lucky, she’ll get to record more than one album with Syco/Sony Music, because most “X Factor” winners get dropped from Syco/Sony after just one album with the record company. As for Reggie ‘N’ Bollie, they are clearly a novelty act that will fade back into obscurity. In the meantime, as previously reported, the Top 7 “X Factor” U.K. acts of 2015 can be seen on tour of the U.K. and Dublin in February and March 2016.