By Jamie Spoor
Young girl band Little Mix made history on Sunday night by becoming the first group to be crowned X Factor champions at Wembley.
Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, both 18, Jesy Nelson, 20 and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 19, pipped lovable Scouser Marcus Collins to the title and are being tipped for superstardom.
The group will now be appearing in Brighton as part of the X Factor Live Tour next year, along with several acts from the latest series including Marcus and third-placed Teessider Amelia Lily.
The beaten finalists will be the latest to sing at Revenge Nightclub in Brighton next Friday night to mark the end of the 2011 show.
Jade, from South Shields said: “We’re just so grateful for everybody who voted for us, all our fans and the X Factor team who have been brilliant.
“We couldn’t believe it when it was announced we’d won, Marcus was great but Tulisa Is a fantastic mentor and we couldn’t have done without her.”
17-year-old Amelia was eliminated from the first part of the final on Saturday after controversies over her winner’s single.
It was alleged that HMV had been selling her CD, but none of the other finalists’, before the announcement of the winner, leading to fans of the show crying “fix”.
It was this, perhaps, what swayed viewers to vote Marcus through to the second stage with his rendition of Hey Ya!, ahead of Amelia’s Ain’t No Other Man!.
Sunday night’s final saw the two acts sing a favourite song chosen by their respective mentors, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow, along with a Christmas classic and Damien Rice’s Cannonball.
Marcus said: “I’m proud of myself, I did all I could but the girls were deserve it, they’re brilliant.
“I can’t thank Gary (Barlow) enough for getting me this far, hopefully I’ll do OK and it’s been an amazing experience.”
Marcus started the second stage of the final as marginal favourite, but his scratchy version of Wham’s classic Last Christmas appeared to tip the balance in the girls favour.
They appeared the stronger contenders with their rousing rendition of Don’t Let Go and Christmas hit Holy Night, after which they were announced as the winners.
Little Mix’s debut album, named Cannonball after their performance on the show, was released on Monday following their win.
The X Factor tour starts in February next year, with the Brighton Centre hosting the live acts on 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th March 2012.
Click here for ticket details.