18 X Factor Performances That Will Give You Goosebumps

The X Factor returns on 31st August.

18. One Direction “The Way You Look Tonight” (Series 7)

You can actually see the moment that One Direction move from being a group of singers who were thrown together into an actual swoonsome boyband.

17. Diana Vickers “Man In The Mirror” (Series 5)

Though a controversial candidate (many viewers disliked her unusual singing style), Vickers’ version of ‘Man in the Mirror’ was sweet, young and fresh.

16. JLS “Umbrella” (Series 5)

This group do not look like they are competing - they look like they’re celebrating their win already.

15. Rowetta “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” (Series 1)

A classy, classy performance.

14. Aiden Grimshaw “Mad World” (Series 7)

Aiden, paired with a song as intense as he was. It was always going to be magic.

13. Ray Quinn and Westlife “That’s Life” (Series 3)

No bells and whistles - only good timing, charisma and showmanship.

12. Craig Colton “Set Fire To The Rain” (Series 8)

It’s a slow build, but from 1.00 onwards it’s worth the wait.

11. Little Mix “Don’t Let Go” (Series 7)

The first girl group to win the X Factor, and you can see why.

10. Amelia Lily “The Show Must Go On” (Series 8)

Eliminated in the first show, but brought back six weeks later, this was the 16 year old’s first live performance upon returning. And she smashes it.

9. Rhydian “The Phantom of the Opera” (Season 4)

Bombastic, melodramatic and operatic in the best possible way.

8. Mary Byrne “It’s A Man’s World” (Series 7)

A standing ovation, and the longest round of applause of the series. It’s not hard to see why.

7. Misha B “Rolling in the Deep” (Series 8)

So exciting, and so fresh. Wonderful.

6. Cher Lloyd “Stay” (Series 7)

After accusations that she was more of a rapper than a singer, Cher pulled it out of the bag.

5. Rebecca Ferguson - “To Make You Feel My Love” (Series 7)

The epitome of class.

4. Joe McElderry and George Michael “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (Series 6)

Two perfectly matched voices, one delighted Geordie.

3. Ruth Lorenzo “Purple Rain” (Series 5)

Flawless. Especially from 1.18.

2. Alexandra Burke and Beyoncé “Listen” (Series 5)

There is nothing about this that is not perfect.

1. Leona Lewis “Summertime” (Series 3)


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Ailbhe Malone is the UK lifestyle editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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