25 year old Samantha Jade from Western Australia has won The X Factor 2012.
The consummate young singer mentored by Guy Sebastian defeated 18 year old ‘bush hero’ Jason Owen and rabid boyband The Collective.
She becomes the first female to win the talent series in Australia and secures a recording contract and a new car.
Jade had entered the Seven contest as her “last shot” at a music career following thwarted attempts, including former prospects in the US. But her ride to the top wasn’t without challenges, frequently voted in the bottom two by viewers.
“I’m so overwhelmed! I am so delighted to be here and never thought I would win. I’ve had the most amazing experience on The X Factor and loved every minute of it,” she said.
By contrast, runner up Jason Owen mentored by Mel B. was never voted in the bottom two as viewers responded to his transformation from a boy from the bush to a confident young performer. As runner up he also wins a new car.
Popular boyband The Collective, who had turned in dynamic performances mentored by Ronan Keating, were a shock elimination and had to settle for third place.
The Grand Final included performances by Boyz II Men, Owl City, former contestants and a satellite performance by One Direction.
Seven’s series has been a ratings hit, blemished only by the disqualification of a former contestant. It has already announce details of its next Audition Tour.
This post updates.