I am so excited that The X Factor is back! Yes, I”m a massive fan of the show and I have been since the first series. I’ve even been to some of the auditions, the six chair challenge and the X Factor Live Tour. The new series kicked off on Saturday and at the beginning of the show it does a montage of all the acts who have gone onto international success. This got me thinking! Not all of those acts won…but they did come in the top 3! So, looking back on every season to date…who really won? They might have won the title but did they go onto any success or did they just pay off their mortgage? Let’s see….

Pin this for later:



You might not remember Top Trumps (or know what they are, which makes me feel super old!) so let me quickly explain the concept.  This was a card game where you would split the deck of cards between players and try to collect everyone else’s cards. You would do this by each player taking turns picking one of the categories on the cards and whoever got the highest number on the card would win. Get it?

I made these cards myself. Yes, it took me A LOT of man hours on photoshop but it was fun making them and hilarious looking back at all these acts. There’s also enough of them now to make a decent game out of it. Disclaimer: Copy-write is owned by Top Trumps and The X Factor (Try to avoid a lawsuit for comedy purposes).

How does the scoring work? I’ve scored them in 3 categories. Firstly, by their Judge/Mentor. Judges have a hand in them getting the best out of their acts and some can even get you on the right path once the show ends. It’s great to have their number in your phone if you ever needed it? Plus, it was fun to look back on which judges actually do well in the show. I’ve scored the judges based on how many times their act has been in the top 3. 3 points if they won, 2 points if they came 2nd and 1 point if they came 3rd. A lot of maths went into this! I was actually quite shocked by some of the scores! Simon Cowell taking the top spot scoring 19 points (3 winners, 3 runners up and 4 acts in 3rd place). That’s why everyone wants him as their mentor! The next category is by how many UK number 1’s they’ve had in the Top 10. Pretty self explanatory. Only songs were they were the lead singer though and nothing they we’re featured in to help them get back in the charts. Sorry Ben Haenow, I’m definitely talking about you. Lastly, Twitter followers. Yes, I know it’s sort of lame but I wanted to get a number in their which was fact and something to show how many “fans” they still have. Numbers were taken on Saturday 2nd September. Yes, I could go by Vevo, YouTube or Instagram but I am more interested by what people say than what people look like! Saying that, massive shout out to Shayne Ward! Damn, he’s HOT!! OK, everyone understand the rules? Good! Let’s test these out….series by series!



*In the voice of Peter Dickson*



Round 1, we’ve gone all the way back to the beginning! First thoughts….who’s Tabby Callaghan? Yeah I know! I don’t remember him either but he came 3rd place in 2004. Back into the days when there were no Boys and Girls categories! Instead, they had 16-24s and the overs. Apparently, being over 25 is considered OLD! Anyway, As you can see good old first winner Steve Brookstein is the overall winner in all 3 categories (joint 1st in UK number 1s with G4). He has a pretty big Twitter following with his endless trolling of the show. Poor Steve. As the first winner, they didn’t quite know what to do with him and ended up making an album full of covers. No thanks! He let’s us know all about it each season on twitter. 



There his is…the beautiful Shayne Ward! Taking the Top Trumps for UK singles and Twitter followers. He would probably win for top selling sexy calendars too…why didn’t I add that as a category?! Massive error! After his music career ended, he took a career change to acting. You can now see him and his beautiful face on Coronation Street. He even won the Best Newcomer Award at the National Television Awards! Well done Shayne! Not much as a peep from the other 2 in the this round. However, Journey South do win the Judge category. At least that’s something. Think of all the lessons they learn’t about the industry. Obviously, not using that knowledge very well….360 followers? My cat has more followers than that! Andy Abraham has more than that…sorry Andy! 



Now we’re getting to the good stuff! Leona Lewis! One of the most successful artist to come out of the X Factor but can you remember her fellow contestants? Ray Quinn, just about but Ben Mills is a massive question mark in my memory. Poor Ben. Both, Leona and Ray win in the judge category with Simon as their mentor. God Simon must have been jammy that year with two of his acts in the final 2! UK Single…well! Leona has been storming the charts since she left the show and has 10 UK number 1’s under her belt. It also helps when you get invited back on the show every other year to perform them. Leona is also a social media icon! One, she’s beautiful and two she’s just a lovely person! Leona runs away with this one! Yay! Our first successful winner who’s still in the industry! The show worked!



Warning! It’s going a bit downhill. Anyone recognize these people? No? I do….but as I said I’m a massive fan of the show. Same Difference, were the super happy sibling pop duo win the judge category with Simon as their mentor. Shame he couldn’t help them out after the show but what really could he do with that? They were a little old for High School Musical or Glee at the time. They’ve now separated the act (not personally…they are related! That would be an awkward Christmas) and going solo. Poor Rhydian Trumps out all all categories but is still making classical and contemporary music! Which leaves 2007 winner Leon Jackon to win the UK singles and Twitter followers. Have you seen him on Instagram lately? Damn, he’s fit! Wowzars! What’s he up to now? No idea! He does list himself down on Twitter as a singer / songwriter and a hunk! OK, I made up the last one!



Things are getting interesting!!! OK, so we all know that JLS were robbed from being the first group to win the X Factor by diva Alexandra Burke. After she won the show, she went onto a solo career and did pretty well…BUT it was thee boys who stole the limelight! JLS win the UK Singles category with 10 number 1s in the Top 10 with Alexandra only nabbing a decent 6. The boys have now gone their separate ways but they had a decent run and also win the Twitter category with over 1 million followers! They’re not even together anymore!!! Alexandra hasn’t gone anywhere and has been smashing it on Broadway in Sister Act and The Bodyguard. Oh, let’s not forget she’s also been announced she’s going on Strictly Come Dancing! What?! Good Luck Alexandra! Poor little Eoghan (still can’t pronounce it) does swoop up best mentor with Simon though. Man, Simon likes to leave his acts hanging doesn’t he? Eoghan is now a radio presenter and also represented Ireland in the Eurovision in 2014. That’s a pretty decent accomplishment! FYI, he didn’t win.



Here he is! My Olly Murs! One the biggest upsets in my X Factor viewing experience. Seriously, I spent a lot of money voting for Olly to win the X Factor and I even entered a competition once to squeeze his bottom. Not kidding! But as you can see…he won anyway. Olly Murs is the first male solo act to get international success after the X Factor. I knew he could do it. He Trumps all his fellow contestants in all 3 categories. 8 number 1 hits, he had Simon Cowell as his mentor (who finally pulled his finger out to help one of his acts) and has 7.7 million loyal fans/twitter followers…including me! Massive shout out to our Stacey Soloman though for being crowned Queen of the Jungle in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and an all round presenting super star! So proud! Winner Joe McElderry, has gone onto starring in Musicals….we all knew that was going to happen.



Awww…Matt Cardle. He had such a tough road. He was so dedicated to becoming a success he drove himself to becoming addicted to painkillers and admitted himself into rehab. I personally loved Matt Cardle and seriously hope he can make a comeback like James Arthur did! Matt really deserves it. He might have won the show but there was one act that Trumps EVERYONE in this blog…that’s right, it’s One Direction. X Factor’s leading superstars and international phenomenon. Simon Cowell believed in these boys so much, he signed them up straight away and didn’t even wait a full year to release their first song (as per X Factor tradition). The band is currently “on a break” but all the boys are currently pursuing solo careers and for some of them…fatherhood! And we all thought it would be Harry Styles first! Rebecca Furguson landed a slightly better scoring for her judge than Matt Cardle but despite only having 1 single in the top 10, she’s been doing pretty well in the Music industry. Yes, my fellow Merseyside lass! 



I LOVE LITTLE MIX!!! What a group! I love their songs, their humour and they are just so god damn pretty! They were the first group to win the X Factor and they are the most successful girl group to come out of the show with international success. With 12 number 1 hits they win that category hands down and if they release 3 more Top 10 hits  (which I know they will do) then they will take over One Direction! They also win the Twitter followers category with nearly 10 million fans and no problems. Marcus Collins is surrounded by babes in this category with Amelia Lily on his right who took 3rd place. She was a wild card and re entered the competition later on. She’s had more singles out than Marcus but only 1 going in the Top 10 just like Marcus. She recently made an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and came 2nd so maybe she’ll be back hitting the charts again soon? Marcus jointly winning the judges category with Little Mix but with a different mentor Gary Barlow. Slow speaking….Gaaaaary Baaaaarlow. Marcus released a cover which did well but nothing much really after that. He’s gone down the Musical theatre route too and performing in the Westend. 



Look! It’s James Arthur…the X Factor Comeback King. If I did these Trump card a few years ago, he would have been bottom of the deck and an easy rob but look at him now! 3 Top 10 UK Singles and 2.2 Million Twitter followers. What?! Let’s face it, as the winner of X Factor 2012, he was still going to win this round but now he’s proving serious competition with contestants from previous series. Jahmene Douglas ties for 1st with Scherzy as their joint judge, which gave Nicole epic bragging rights that year. Then, we’ve got Christopher Maloney. Still no sign of a record deal (do we still say records?), a short stint on “Celebrity” Big Brother and still doing it for his Nan. Let’s face it….the real winner from this year was RYLAN CLARK! Didn’t finish in the top 3 (rightly – sorry Rylan, I love you but you can’t sing!) but an outright super star! My mum and I love Rylan. We love his banter, his outrageous performances and how much Gary Barlow hated him being in the competition! Who knew he would become a presenting superstar! Me! That’s who! 



Quite possible one of the worst years on X Factor for me. It was just so boring watching Sam Bailey pretty much win every week. She might have won the X Factor but she was dropped by her record label after a while. She wasn’t fussed though. She paid off her mortgage and had another beautiful baby in the meantime. Sounds alright to me! However, she doesn’t win the judges category with Sharon as her mentor. No, Nicolas McDonald and Luke Friend both Trump her with Sharon’s own Lou-Lou aka Louis Walsh. Who knew Louis would do so well this series. Wait, it’s probably because he didn’t have the Groups or the Overs for a change. Twitter following hasn’t got much in it but Sam Bailey takes that one as well as the UK number 1’s. That wasn’t really hard with the other two lucking out on contracts. If your not a group or Irish, Louis won’t sign you lads. 



Can you see the Twitter follower dwindling as we progress through the years? Unfortunately, just like X Factors ratings. Sad Face! However, this was for me one of the BEST X FACTOR FINALS EVER! We really didn’t know who was going to win. We had the Dark Horse Fleur East who came out of nowhere and landed herself in the final 3 using the biggest song of the year before it even hit the shelves! Good move Fleur! Then we had the underdog Ben Haenow and finally the pug loving Andrea Faustini from Italy. The show was LIVE from Wembley too! Simon Cowell came out on top again this year with 2 acts in the top 2. Winning whichever way it went. Ego overload! Therefore, Ben and Fleur would win in the judge category. Same again for Top 10 singles. Sadly, both acts only snapping up one each. Ben with his Winners Song and Fleur with the UK Smash hit “Sax”. Ben wins again with Twitter followers…people love a winner? 



We’re creeping up to the future. It feels like yesterday we were jumping around the Living room watching Reggie ‘n’ Bollie and seeing Louisa Johnson taking the crown as 2015’s X Factor champ. As far as the judging category goes, Reggie ‘n’ Bollie win hands down with Cheryl. The other 2 didn’t stand a chance with first time judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw. Experience conquers all and Cheryl has previous winners under her belt. Louisa only has 1 Top 10 UK Single under her belt but she’s still going and still in the charts. She’s been doing a lot of collabs recently to hang in there. Hence, why collabs are not scored in this game! Louisa also Trumps the boys with Twitter followers and would probably smash the game to pieces if Instagram was included too. Louisa loves her Insta and so do we! Wow! What a girl crush! What happened to Che Chesterman…don’t know? Anyone? Google doesn’t even know….



Finally, it’s last years contestants! It was anyone’s game again this year. However, I should have put some money on Matt Terry to win as I had liked him from the first audition. Then, there was Saara Aalto and no one saw her coming! We didn’t even expect her to go through to the Live Shows. That was a shocker. We were all doubting Sharon’s sanity at that point. Normally, Louis’ the one putting the joke acts through but Sharon proved us all wrong and Saara showed she has real talent, with a lot of sparkle and glitter to go with it! Matt won the show and Trumps the other two finalists in the Twitter Followers and Top 10 UK Singles categories. We can’t really judge his success at this point as in true X Factor tradition, his next single will probably be performed as a guest act on one of the live shows later this year. Good Luck Matt. Considering the current track record over the last few years…you really need it. Saara has released some singles but nothing has been taken seriously since the show ended. 5 After Midnight performed their first proper single on Britain’s Got Talent this year BUT THEY MIMED! What?! Outrageous! However, as far as Trumps go they bagged the judges category with groups mentor extrodinare Louis Walsh. 

…And That’s All Folks!

Right, I’m off to print off my cards and play this game with my housemates this weekend over bottle of wine whilst watching Strictly. Only joking! Of course, we’ll be watching the X Factor and after Top Trumps, we’ll be playing X Factor Bingo! But that’s a game for another blog maybe….

Have you seen my X Factor vlog? No! Then check it out here:

Are you a fan of X Factor? Any favourites so far? What did you think of my Top Trumps cards? Let me know in the comments below!

Natasha Atlas
Natasha Atlas

Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch my Vlogs

Join my e-postcard club