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Prison officer Bailey wins X Factor
Prison officer Sam Bailey has been crowned the UK's 10th X Factor winner after the public picked her over teenager Nicholas McDonald in the final show of the series.
Bailey, a 36-year-old mother of two, has won a recording contract and will support American pop superstar Beyonce on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter world tour in February.
The clear favourite before the announcement, Bailey said in front of 10,000 fans at tonight's live final at Wembley Arena that she did not know what to say after being told she had received over a million votes.
Bailey was quick to sing her competitor's praises.
"I don't know what to say," she said. "I just want to say that I love that boy to pieces, Nicky McDonald, and he needs to get an album out as well.
"He's got the most amazing voice. I love him to death."
McDonald, 17, returned the compliments. "If I was getting beaten by anybody, it was going to be Sam," he said.
"I just want to say thank you to absolutely every single person who voted for me.
"This is not the end of me - I know I'll have an album out."
Bailey then sang her winner's song, a cover of Demi Lovato's Skyscraper, which will go on sale as her first song.
"It looks thin," she laughed while looking at the album cover.
"Oh my god, I just can't believe this. I'm just so grateful. Thank you so much everybody. I really am appreciative."
The final pair had one last chance to win over the public tonight by earlier performing their respective winners' singles, with McDonald starting off with his cover of Five For Fighting's Superman while Bailey followed with Skyscrapers.
They each had a chance to perform again their favourite finals song as well.
McDonald went with her take on Sarah McLachlan's Angel, while Bailey made judge Sharon Osborne cry with her rendition of Celine Dion's The Power Of Love, which she first performed way back in week one.
The audience was treated to performances from previous X Factor winners One Direction and American pop star Katy Perry.
Judge Gary Barlow, who has announced he will not be returning next series, also took to the stage with Sir Elton John to perform his single Face To Face from his latest album Since I Saw You Last.
The series' eliminated finalists started the two-hour long episode with a cover of Perry's hit Roar.
Beyonce made a video for yesterday's show to announce the winner of the reality show's 10th series would join her on tour, making it the first time a prize of that nature has ever been awarded.
Bookmaker Coral said Bailey's win netted punters more than £1 million after she became the most backed contestant in history.
The Leicestershire mum is now 1-3 favourite to top the charts this Christmas, the bookmaker said.
"Sam Bailey is the punters' champion tonight after winning this year's X Factor," Coral spokeswoman Nicola McGeady said.
"Faithful fans have backed her every week to land the crown and their loyalty has certainly paid off, taking bookmakers to the cleaners."