5 surprisingly good songs by X Factor contestants

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After weeks of ear-piercing warbling and out-of-tune crooning, we’ve finally reached the business end of The X Factor: the live shows. In just a couple of months (stay strong, X Factor haters…) one act will take home The X Factor crown, and all the prestige that goes with it.

Well, we say prestige…in actual fact, most songs released by X Factor contestants are either a) considered to be a bit rubbish or b) completely forgotten after a few months.

There are a couple of honourable exceptions, however, some genuinely decent songs that we’re not (that) ashamed to say we enjoy spinning every now and again.

Check them out (and remember: you can sell any X Factor CDs – no matter how embarassing – with musicMagpie!):


Ghost – Ella Henderson

Despite not actually winning The X Factor (or even reaching the final – she left in week 7), Ella Henderson has emerged as one of the show’s biggest successes – big name fans include Adele, Stephen Fry, Chloe Moretz, Cher and X Factor host Dermot O’Leary (he even called her the most talented performer to ever appear on the show) . Ghost, the lead single off her new album which comes out today, hit number one earlier this year (and it’s co-written by Henderson too).


Troublemaker – Olly Murs

Here’s a piece of advice for the current crop of X Factor hopefuls: don’t win. Olly Murs came 2nd to Joe McElderry (who went on to be beaten to the Christmas #1 by Rage Against The Machine) yet has managed to carve a pretty successful career as a singer and a TV presenter. He even sells out the odd arena.


Beat Again – JLS


Hang about: another act that didn’t actually win?! Yep, JLS came 2nd but outshone eventual winner Alexandra Burke with this top-notch slice of moody RNB goodness. They went on to have a successful career before splitting last year to focus on other things (such as enjoying all the money they made). Like we said, X Factor contestants – don’t win!


Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis


Ah, finally, a winner! Bleeding Love needs no introduction: it was nominated for 2 Grammy’s, sold over 9 million copies worldwide (making it one of the top 5 bestselling songs of the decade)  and hit number one in no less than 35 different countries. It’s the gold standard by which all future X Factor winners (and losers) will be measured.


Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby) – Jedward

Oh yes, you knew it was coming. Lovable oiks John and Edward (later rechristened Jedward) caused chaos in series 9 of The X Factor, where they knocked out various ‘better’ singers with their unique take on pop hits (including a great version of Ghostbusters). They were eventually voted out in favour of Olly Murs, but the best was yet to come: a cover of Queen and Bowie’s Under Pressure, for which they brought in Vanilla Ice from the cold (pun fully intended) to help them do the rap bits. It hit #1 in Ireland but didn’t quite give the boys the #1 they richly deserved in the UK, hitting #2.


Share your favourite X Factor tunes with us in the comments!

And, if you’ve got a spare moment, why not see how much cash you could make for your CDs with musicMagpie? You can see what other people have been selling by clicking here!