James Arthur is crowned X Factor champion

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter (South Durham)

JAMES Arthur is celebrating after being crowned this year's X Factor winner.

The 24-year-old former pub singer from Saltburn, east Cleveland, beat off tough competition from soul singer Jahmene Douglas in tonight's final to secure a million pound recording deal.

He looked stunned as host Dermot O'Leary announced the result and could only say “wow” when asked how he felt.

“I don't what to say,” he added.

A dazed-looking James then performed his winner's song, which is now predicted to top the charts at Christmas, for the second time.

Asked what was going through his mind, he added: “I don't know. Thank you, thank you so much.”

Liverpool's Christopher Maloney said goodbye to the competition on Saturday in the first part of the final.

James sang his favourite song of the series Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On and his winner's single Impossible by Shontelle to clinch the title against Jahmene, of Swindon.

On Saturday he wowed the judges with a stunning rendition of the Nina Simone classic Feeling Good before duetting with mentor Nicole Scherzinger on Adele's Feel My Love.

He said the idea of applying for the X Factor came about when he was at a low point in his life living in a bedsit in Saltburn.

He said: “The X Factor has without a doubt changed my life.”

During tonight's programme the singing star was brought to tears after watching footage of his sisters speaking of their pride over what he has achieved over the last few months.

Take That singer and X Factor judge Gary Barlow, who has always been a fan of the North-East star, promised he would download his first album.

He said of James' opening number: "When you come on the stage I become an audience member for a second and I thoroughly enjoy every single performance you do."

Miss Scherzinger, who has been his mentor throughout the live shows, said her highlight was performing on stage with both finalists.

She told James: "It's a new dawn, it's a new day and a whole new life for you my friend and I hope you are feeling good."

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