Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

At-a-glance: X Factor finalists

JLS, Alexandra Burke, Eoghan Quigg (pic: ITV)
Clockwise from top left: JLS, Alexandra Burke, Eoghan Quigg

By Mark Savage
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Three acts have made it through to the final round of this year's X Factor - Alexandra Burke, Eoghan Quigg and boyband JLS.

Eoghan Quigg said the final would be stressful for everyone

The winner, to be decided by public vote on Saturday night, is a sure bet to score the Christmas number one.

All three acts have already recorded the song - a cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah - so it can be on shop shelves as soon as possible.

According to Simon Cowell, 500,000 pre-orders have already been placed for the single.

Here is a guide to the contenders, and how they got to the final.


Alexandra Burke (pic: ITV)
Stevie Wonder offered Alexandra a record deal when she was 12
Age: 20.

Location: North London.

Category: Girls 14-24.

Mentor: Cheryl Cole.

Audition song: Saving All My Love For You - Whitney Houston.

Recognisable feature: Big smile, even bigger voice.

Which successful act is she most like: Whitney Houston.

Best performance so far: Listen - Beyonce.
[Watch on the X Factor website]

Judge's pearl of wisdom: "This is a British competition and you make me very proud to be British. You've really got to me" - Simon Cowell.

Superstar advice: "I think Alexandra can belt her voice too much. I noticed she was getting a bit raspy. She really needs to have lots of lessons and make sure she doesn't lose that voice" - Will Young.

Alexandra Burke (pic: ITV)
Alexandra has sung songs by divas like Christina Aguilera and Donna Summer
Has she ever been in the bottom two: No.

Trivia: Alexandra nearly made it through to the competitive stages of X Factor in 2005, but Louis Walsh turned her down, saying she was too young.

Tabloid "scandal": Ex-boyfriend D'Andre West is trying to sell a "graphic 10-minute video" which will "shatter beautiful Alex's dreams of superstardom". [News Of The World]

Favourite X Factor moment: Meeting Take That - "When I was younger I was such a big fan! I had Take That pillow cases, Take That bed sheets, Take That wallpaper - everything!"

On the final: "Whatever way the voting goes on Saturday night, I'm going to leave with my head held high knowing: 'Oh my God, I've actually made it to the finals' and that's an achievement in itself."

Bookmakers' odds: 8/13


JLS (pic: ITV)
Singer Marvin Humes was in boyband VS, who toured with Blue
Members: Marvin Humes, 23; Jonathan "JB" Gill, 21; Ortise Williams, 21; Aston Merrygold, 20.

Location: London and Peterborough.

Category: Groups.

Mentor: Louis Walsh.

Audition song: If You Ever - Shai, made famous by East 17 and Gabrielle.

Recognisable feature: Each member has a "signature colour". Marvin is green; JB is yellow; Ortise is red; Aston is blue.

Which successful act are they most like: 3T, the briefly-successful 1990s boyband formed by Michael Jackson's nephews.

Best performance so far: Umbrella - Rihanna
[Watch on the X Factor website]

Judge's pearl of wisdom: "It's official: I am in the JLS fan club. I will join tomorrow" - Cheryl Cole.

Superstar advice: "You must always keep the friendship. That's the bond with us, and that's what's kept us together... And you've got to work your butts off" - Howard Donald from Take That.

JLS (pic: ITV)
The band have covered Frankie Vali, The Beatles and Take That
Have they ever been in the bottom two: Yes, against Rachel Hylton in week seven.

Trivia: JLS is also the brand name of a Chinese gas bolt action sniper rifle.

Tabloid "scandal": Louis Walsh has ordered JLS to hit on the female competitors to put them off. "He told us to do our worst," said lead singer Aston. [Daily Star]

Favourite X Factor moment: When Ortise got the chance to tell Mariah Carey he'd had a crush on her since he "was a little kid". The diva said she "thought it was cute".

On the final: "It's the biggest moment of our lives. We would like to, hopefully, make X Factor history and be the first group to ever win the show" - Ortise.

Bookmakers' odds: 5/2


Eoghan Quigg (pic: ITV)
Eoghan discovered his voice while singing in the school choir.
Age: 16.

Location: Dungiven, Northern Ireland.

Category: Boys 14-24.

Mentor: Simon Cowell.

Audition song: Home - Michael Buble.

Recognisable feature: Surplus hair.

Which successful act is he most like: Little Jimmy Osmond.

Best performance so far: Ben - Michael Jackson.
[Watch on the X Factor website]

Judge's pearl of wisdom: "Eoghan Quigg - the Quiggler! To me, you're like FedEx. You always deliver" - Louis Walsh.

Superstar thoughts: "You have such a pretty voice on the high breathy stuff. That's your gem" - Mariah Carey.

Eoghan Quigg (pic: ITV)
The teenager's songs have included Never Forget and Year 3000
Has he ever been in the bottom two: No.

Trivia: Eoghan's name is worth 26 points in Scrabble, and uses up all three "g" tiles.

Tabloid "scandal": Eoghan is dating fellow X Factor contestant Diana Vickers and, at the same tame, "cosying up to Kate Moss" (borrowing her coat). [The Sun]

Favourite X Factor moment: The moment when, after he performed Take That's Never Forget, Cheryl Cole said: "I think I'm a little bit in love with you after that performance".

On the final: "I'm not nervous for the final, singing-wise, but the results are always going to be nervous. All three acts want to win. And who know what's going to happen."

Bookmakers' odds: 4/1

The X Factor Final is on ITV1 this Saturday at 1910 GMT.

The X Factor Final Results Show follows on ITV1 at 2140 GMT.

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