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For the original UK version, see The X Factor

The X Factor is a franchise originating in the United Kingdommarker, where it was devised as a replacement for Pop Idol. The programs are produced by executive producer Simon Cowell and his company Syco TV (which will be merged into Greenwell Entertainment as a result of a recent partnership with Sir Philip Green). The competitions, now held in various countries, pit talented contestants against each other. These contestants are talented aspiring pop singers and performers drawn from public auditions. The "X Factor" of the title refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The prize is usually a recording contract (in addition to the publicity that appearance in the later stages of the show itself generates, not only for the winner but also for other highly ranked contestants). The format creator is Simon Cowell who also judges and mentors on the UK series. The UK version is responsible for the launch of Shayne Ward, Leona Lewis, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, and JLS.

The X Factor series

Region/country Local title Network Series and winners Judges Presenters
Arab World The X Factor, XSeer Al Najah Rotana TV Season 1, 2006: Rajaa Kasbani
Season 2, 2007: Mohammad Al Majthoub
Khaled Al-Shaikh
Michel Elefteriades

Joelle Rahme
Australia The X Factor Network Ten Series 1, 2005: Random

Mark Holden

Kate Ceberano

John Reid

Daniel MacPherson

Belgiummarker X Factor
Official website
VTM Season 1, 2005: Udo Mechels
Season 2, 2008: Dirk De Smet
Season 3, 2010: Upcoming season

Kris Wauters
Jean Blaute (Season 1)
Liliane Saint-Pierre (Season 1)
Do (Season 2)
Maurice Engelen (Season 2)

Koen Wauters (Season 1)
Hadise (Season 2)
Bulgariamarker X Factor PRO.BG Season 1, 2010: Upcoming season
Colombiamarker El Factor X
Official website
RCN TV Season 1, 2005: Julio César Meza

Season 2, 2006: Francisco Villareal

Season 3, 2009: Siam

Marbelle (Season 1-present)
Juan Carlos Coronel (Season 1-present)
José Gaviria (Season 1-present)
Wilfrido Vargas (El Factor Xs 2)

Andrea Serna
El Factor X: Batalla de Estrellas Season 1, 2006: Luz Amparo Alvarez
El Factor Xs Season 1, 2006: Andres Camilo Hurtado
Season 2, 2007: Camilo Echeverry Correa
Season 3, 2010: Upcoming season

Czech Republicmarker X Factor
Official website
TV Nova Season 1, 2008: Jiří Zonyga, "George"

Season 2, ????: Upcoming season
Gábina Osvaldová
Ondřej Soukup
Petr Janda

Leoš Mareš
Denmarkmarker X Factor
Official website
DR Season 1, 2008: Martin Hoberg Hedegaard

Season 2, 2009: Linda

Season 3, 2010: Upcoming season
Remee (Season 1-present)
Lina Rafn (Season 1-Sæson 2)
Thomas Blachman (Season 1-Sæson 2)
Carsten Schack (Season 3-present)
Pernille Rosendahl (Season 3-present)

Lise Rønne (Season 1-Sæson 2)
Signe Muusmann (Season 3-present)
Finlandmarker X Factor
Official website
MTV3 Season 1, 2010 Upcoming season Linda Brava
Renne Korppila
Gugi Kokljuschkin

Heikki Paasonen
Jukka Rossi
Francemarker X Factor
Official website
RTL-TVi (French Community of Belgium)
Season 1, 2009: Current season Marc Cerrone
Julie Zenatti
Alain Lanty

Alexandre Devoise
The X Factor
Official website
ANT1 Season 1, 2008-2009: Loukas Giorkas

Season 2, 2009-2010: Current season
George Levendis
Giorgos Theofanous
Katerina Gagaki
Nikos Mouratidis

Sakis Rouvas
Icelandmarker The X Factor
Official website
Stöð 2 Series 1, 2006: Jógvan Hansen

Series 2, 2010: Upcoming season
Einar Bárðarson
Elínborg Halldórsdóttir
Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson

Halla Vilhjálmsdóttir
Indiamarker Fame X Academy SAB TV Season 1, 2006: Rehaan Khan Sophie Choudhary
Shilpa Saklani
Italymarker X Factor
Official website
Rai Due Season 1, 2008: Aram Quartet

Season 2, 2009: Matteo Becucci

Season 3, 2009: Current season
Mara Maionchi (Season 1-present)
Morgan (Season 1-present)
Simona Ventura (Season 1-2)
Claudia Mori (Season 3-present)

Francesco Facchinetti
Kazakhstanmarker The X Factor Season 1, 2006: Unknown winner
Moroccomarker Le Facteur X 2M TV Season 1, 2006: Unknown winner
Studio 2M Season 1, 2006: Hasnaa Zalarh, Imane Rabya & Yassine Badrate

Season 2, 2007: Imane Karkibou, Leila El Berrak, Marouane El Bekri & Sabrine El Koulali

Season 3, 2008: Unknown

Season 4, 2009: Meriam Chakroune, Sofia Mountassir, Taoufiq El Bouchiti & Zoubida Fennich
Imad Ntifi
Netherlandsmarker X Factor
Official website
RTL 4 Season 1, 2006-07: Sharon Kips

Season 2, 2008-09: Lisa Hordijk

Season 3, 2009-10: Upcoming season
Stacey Rookhuizen (2008–present)

Angela Groothuizen (2008–present)

Gordon Heuckeroth (2008–present)

Eric van Tijn (2008–present)

Henkjan Smits (2006–2007)

Marianne van Wijnkoop (2006–2007)

Henk Temming (2006–2007)
Wendy van Dijk (2006–present)

Martijn Krabbe (2008–present)
Norwaymarker X Factor TV 2 Season 1, 2009: Current season Jan Fredrik Karlsen
Mira Craig
Peter Peters

Charlotte Thorstvedt
Russiamarker Секрет Успеха
Official website
RTR Season 1, 2005: Vladimir Sapovskiy
Season 2, 2007: Nikolai Timohin
Valeriy Meladze (Season 1)
Katerina Von Gechmen-Valdek (Season 1)
Aleksandr Revzin (Season 1)
Valeriya (Season 2)
Valery Garkalin (Season 2)
Tigran Keosayan (Season 2)

Aleksey Chumakov (Season 1)
Elena Vorobey (Season 1)
Tutti Larsen(Season 2)

Spainmarker Factor X
Official website
Cuatro Season 1, 2007: María Villalón
Season 2, 2008: Vocal Tempo
Miqui Puig
Eva Perales
Jorge Flo

Núria Roca
United Kingdommarker
The X Factor
Official website
Channel Television

Series 1, 2004: Steve Brookstein

Series 2, 2005: Shayne Ward

Series 3, 2006: Leona Lewis

Series 4, 2007: Leon Jackson

Series 5, 2008: Alexandra Burke

Series 6, 2009: Current series
Simon Cowell
Dannii Minogue
Louis Walsh
Cheryl Cole
Sharon Osbourne
(Series 1-4)
Brian Friedman
(Series 4 auditions)
Paula Abdul
(Series 3 auditions)

The X Factor
Dermot O'Leary
The Xtra Factor
Holly Willoughby
The X Factor
Kate Thornton
(Series 1-3)
The Xtra Factor
Ben Shephard
(Series 1-3)
Fearne Cotton
(Series 4)

The X Factor: Battle of the Stars Series 1, 2006: Lucy Benjamin

Dispute over rights to format

Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller claimed the format of The X Factor was copied from his own show and through his company 19 TV filed a lawsuit against The X Factor producers FremantleMedia, Simon Cowell, and Cowell's companies Simco and Syco. A high courtmarker hearing began in Londonmarker in November 2005, the outcome awaited with interest by media lawyers for its potential effect on the legal situation regarding the copyrighting of formats. However the hearing was quickly adjourned and a settlement was reached out of court at the end of the month.

American version

In April 2009 reports surfaced that Cowell was attempting to launch The X Factor in Americamarker after his contract ends with American Idol with the ninth season.. Under the current contract Cowell is forbidden from launching The X Factor as a rival show to Idol. In summer 2009 reports surfaced that the American version would launch on NBC, the same broadcaster that airs America's Got Talent. Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole from the British version and former Idol judge Paula Abdul are speculated to become judges of the American version. In September of that year Fox, the broadcaster of American Idol, was reportedly close to signing a deal to launch the American version with the condition Cowell also returns as a judge for the tenth and eleventh seasons of American Idol.

Euro X Factor

On 9 December 2006 the Daily Mirror revealed that Simon Cowell intends to launch a "Euro X Factor" within two years. The show, if launched, would feature European countries staging their own X Factor contests, with a winner announced for each. The individual winners would then take part in the "Euro X Factor". The concept is similar to that of World Idol and the Eurovision Song Contest; however, unlike these shows "Euro X Factor" would progress over a number of weeks, with one act eliminated each week, until an eventual international winner is found. It is anticipated that such a show could attract over 100 million viewers per episode, which would make it the world's biggest talent competition. As of November 2009 this has not happened.


The Danish version of The X Factor has been criticized by Danish music contract expert and consultant for The Danish Musicians' Association (Dansk Musiker Forbund) Mikael Højris.

According to Højris, the contracts for participation in the show are unfair for participants and almost amount to serfdom to DR1 (the channel airing the show) stating that clauses in the contracts forbid the participants - whether they pass the first round or not - from performing or participating in any other musical event for three months.

He also criticises that participants are obliged to travel at their own expense to any location the programme requires them to be present at and that participants are not paid during their participation in the show, even if participating prevents them from attending a regular day job. In the UK, performers' union Equity has referred to the fact that contestants are not paid as "cheap exploitation".

See also


  1. "Factor Xs 2010", PortalMundos, 11 September 2009, .
  2. "Factor Xs", La Fiscalia, 11 September 2009, .
  3. 'X Factor copyright case adjourned' BBC News retrieved 15 May 2007
  4. "X Factor copyright case settled", BBC News, retrieved 15 May 2007
  5. "EURO FACTOR EXCLUSIVE", The Mirror, 9 December 2007.
  6. [1] Berlingske Tidende 18 December 2007
  7. Equity: 'X Factor is cheap exploitation' Digital Spy

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