X Factor acts who trounced the winners in the charts

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

The X Factor's impact used to be so huge that the show would create multiple stars every year.

Even more surprisingly, it wasn't always the eventual winner who went on to achieve the biggest success.

In fact in later series, the overall champ appeared to be struck with a 'winner's curse' that left them flopping on the sidelines, while their less popular co-stars went on to make bonafide hits.

Here's a look back at all the winners who lost out to runner-ups:

7. Saara Alto [Series winner: Matt Terry]

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Loser sales: < 1 million

Winner sales: < 1 million

Whilst these two are pretty even sales-wise, there's no denying that Saara has gone onto bigger success.

Matt was quietly dropped following a flop album, yet Saara scored a place on the judging panel of The X Factor Finland and represented her country in this year's Eurovision song contest.

6. Fleur East [Series winner: Ben Haenow]

Photo credit: Syco / Thames / Corbis - Splash News
Photo credit: Syco / Thames / Corbis - Splash News

Loser sales: 1.5 million

Winner sales: 800,000

It really says a lot when a one-hit wonder is considered a relative success doesn't it?

While Ben Haenow enlisted the help of Kelly Clarkson (and still couldn't save himself), Fleur managed to score a viral smash hit with 'Sax'.

However, they have both ended up on the X Factor scrapheap of dreams, alas.

5. G4 [Series winner: Steve Brookstein]

Loser sales: 2 million +

Winner sales: 500,000

Steve's time on the show was marred by controversy due to his supposedly "fake" image –remember how riled up Sharon Osbourne used to get? One of the most iconic reality TV feuds ever.

Sadly things got worse for the star after he won, eventually parting ways with Simon's label a mere eight months after his debut single. Yes, it hit number one, but the pair reportedly fell out over the direction of his second.

It was musical group G4 that proved popular with the public after the show ended, with two platinum albums under their belt.

While G4 released an album last year, Steve went on to become an internet troll. Choices.

4. JLS [Series winner: Alexandra Burke]

Photo credit: Ken McKay
Photo credit: Ken McKay

Loser sales: 7 million

Winner sales: 5 million

Alexandra Burke did manage to go on to become a huge star in her own right, but while she stumbled when it came to nailing her second record, JLS went from strength to strength.

While Alexandra turned to the West End, JLS continued to release chart smashes that raced into the Top Ten for a good few years.

3. Olly Murs [Series winner: Joe McElderry]

Photo credit: Brian Rasic/WireImage - Getty Images
Photo credit: Brian Rasic/WireImage - Getty Images

Loser sales: 10 million +

Winner sales: 1 million

While Joe McElderry beat the winner's curse at least somewhat, going on to release a further five albums, he was outshone by fellow series star Olly Murs.

Olly may not have won, but he went on to become one of the biggest UK male pop stars in decades, and is currently working on his sixth album which is set to be released later this year. Oh, and let's not forget all that presenting work too...

2. Fifth Harmony [Series winner: Tate Stevens]

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Loser sales: 10 million [including streams]

Winner sales: Under 50,000

The X Factor USA was doomed from the get-go, but the one saving grace turned out to be Fifth Harmony. Scraping their way into the Top 3, the girls managed to become the first girl group to properly achieve success in the US (and worldwide) since the Pussycat Dolls.

While they may have since gone their separate ways – in one of the most bitterX Factor splits of all time – each of the girls has gone on to varying degrees of solo success.

Their former rival, on the other hand, failed to achieve a single hit.

1. One Direction [Series winner: Matt Cardle]

Loser sales: 50 million [including streams]

Winner sales: 1.5 million

Matt Cardle never really stood a chance against these guys. One Direction had every single teenager up and down the country screaming for them.

While the boys didn't manage to score the win, the band went on to become the modern-day equivalent of The Beatles in terms of popularity around the world.

The X Factor returns to ITV later this year.

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