X Factor: James Arthur Crowned Winner

X Factor: James Arthur Crowned Winner

James Arthur is waking up to a new life as a pop star after fighting off strong competition from fellow finalist Jahmene Douglas to win The X Factor.

The singer from Saltburn, near Middlesbrough, took the title in front of a 10,000-strong audience at Manchester Central, with millions more watching the programme live on television.

Arthur 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.

The 24-year-old singer has been awarded a recording contract and will now release his winner's single, a rendition of Impossible by Barbadian singer Shontelle.

After being announced as the champion of the ninth series of the ITV show, a dazed-looking Arthur performed the song for the second time.

He was hugged by judge Nicole Scherzinger, who mentored both him and runner-up Douglas.

The former Pussycat Doll wore a black, fishtail gown for the final and was not shy in showing her delight at his success as she jumped for joy.

Douglas, 24, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was gracious in defeat saying to his rival: "I think it's just a blessing to share the stage with such a talent.

"You're so amazing James, use this platform, use it wisely."

Both finalists performed two songs during the programme, with each showcasing the singles they would release if they won as they made their final bid to win the public's vote.

Douglas was accompanied by a choir as he sang his soulful take on Let It Be by The Beatles before Arthur sang Impossible.

Judge Tulisa Contostavlos, who admitted she was rooting for Arthur to win, told him: "From the second I saw you perform I got you. I get you.

"You've been to the depths in life, the deep, dark depths and you've come out. You're an inspirer."

Fellow judge Gary Barlow said of Douglas: "You are an unbelievable contestant." Scherzinger praised his "honest, beautiful performance".

Arthur's single will be "rush released" and in shops from Wednesday, an X Factor spokesman said. It is already number one in the iTunes chart based on downloads.

All profits from sales of the single will go to the charity Together For Short Lives , which gives support to children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

Arthur said afterwards: "I am absolutely overwhelmed to have won The X Factor. I am lost for words.

"To have been be able to perform my winner's single was just insane. I love the song and am so glad that proceeds of the single will be going to such a great cause."

Bookmaker Coral said it was counting the cost of the result as it would have to pay out a six-figure sum.

It was the biggest loss on an X Factor final the firm has ever had. Arthur was on odds of 20-1 when betting opened four months ago, but became the best backed act of the series as the weeks went on and was 1-3 when betting closed.

Arthur is now 5-1 to be the Christmas number one.