Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 12:14 UK

In Profile: X Factor finalists

X Factor judges
The final 12 contestants were selected by judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh

Twelve acts have been selected for the live shows in this year's X Factor, which began on Saturday.

They range from a Welsh A-Level student to a girl group comprised of former strippers.

Find out more about the finalists below.

RACHEL ADEDEJI
Rachel Adedeji

Seventeen-year-old student Rachel Adedeji attended stage school from the age of two and whilst there performed in many musical productions. She was also a singer in the musical Mamma Mia!

She made it through to the boot camp stage of X Factor last year, but did not make the cut.

"Singing is what I want to do. If I don't make it, I will be crushed," she said during this year's audition process.

A clip of her falling over as she ran to hug mentor Dannii Minogue has already become an internet sensation.

Category: Girls under 25

Mentor: Dannii Minogue

Audition songs: Last Request (Paolo Nutini), Nobody Knows (Pink)

Bookmakers' odds: 16/1

JAMIE ARCHER
Jamie Archer

Musician Jamie Archer - known throughout the audition process as Jamie Afro - has been playing pubs and clubs for years without finding his big break.

His vocals are more rock'n'roll than the usual X Factor fare, and he got the audition audience on its feet with a throaty performance of Kings Of Leon's Sex On Fire.

Cheryl Cole called him a "natural-born entertainer" while Simon Cowell said "you know how to perform - you got this lot on your side within 10 seconds".

At 34, the multi-instrumentalist is this year's oldest contestant. He dropped to his knees in shock when Cowell put him through to the live shows.

Category: Over 25s

Mentor: Simon Cowell

Audition songs: Sex On Fire (Kings Of Leon), Stop Crying Your Heart Out (Oasis)

Bookmakers' odds: 7/1

LLOYD DANIELS
Lloyd Daniels

Sixteen-year-old Lloyd Daniels, from South Wales, started singing when he was five by entering a karaoke competition while on holiday at a caravan park in Newquay.

Before the X Factor he had only ever sung at school plays and karaoke bars.

He was put through to the live shows by Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole, who expressed concerns about his age.

"There is a lot of hard work and pressure coming. I need you to become a little man," she told him.

"I think Cheryl understands that this is my passion," Daniels said.

Category: Boys under 25

Mentor: Cheryl Cole

Audition songs: I'm Yours (Jason Mraz), You Are Not Alone (Michael Jackson)

Bookmakers' odds: 14/1

JOHN AND EDWARD
John and Edward

The spiky-haired Grimes twins, John and Edward, hail from Dublin. They are both 17 and both students.

The duo split the judges during the audition process, with Simon Cowell calling them "vile little creatures who would step on their mother's head" to get ahead.

Louis Walsh, who is now their mentor, believed they were more like "Wham or Bros".

Speaking of their ambitions, the pair said: "We could be up there with an album to show for who we are and we could meet the greats like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and maybe go out with one of them."

Category: Groups

Mentor: Louis Walsh

Audition songs: I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys), Apologize (Timbaland and One Republic)

Bookmakers' odds: 40/1

DANYL JOHNSON
Danyl Johnson

Dance teacher Danyl Johnson works at a boys prep school, and used to work as a performer at Pacha nightclub.

The 27-year-old, from Reading, wowed judges with his opening audition - an incendiary rendition of Joe Cocker's Beatles cover With A Little Help From My Friends.

"That was the best first audition I have ever heard," said Simon Cowell.

Johnson said his spectacular beginning had put added pressure onto his shoulders during later auditions and he faltered at the boot camp stage.

He still managed to make it through to the judges' houses, where he wrestled with Alicia Keys' classic ballad Fallin.

Cowell said the performance was "a little bit over the top" and that Johnson had "over-thought it" - but decided to put him through anyway.

Category: Over 25s

Mentor: Simon Cowell

Audition songs: With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker), Fallin' (Alicia Keys)

Bookmakers' odds: 3/1

LUCIE JONES
Lucie Jones

Eighteen-year-old Lucie Jones, from Pentyrch in Wales, has just finished her A-Levels.

She still lives at home with her family "on top of a hill with the farmers and the sheep", and says her dream is to perform at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Judge Dannii Minogue praised her "beautiful looks and beautiful voice".

Upon being put through to the live shows, Jones ran and leapt into the arms of X Factor host Dermot O'Leary, who called her "a force of nature".

Category: Girls under 25

Mentor: Dannii Minogue

Audition songs: I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton), Anything For You (Gloria Estefan)

Bookmakers' odds: 4/1

KANDY RAIN
Kandy Rain

Like their competitors Miss Frank, Kandy Rain are a London-based girl group.

Chemmane Applewhite, CoCo Lloyd, Azi Jegbefume and Khatereh Dovani met at an audition 12 months ago when they were chosen to be in a seven-piece band. Nothing ever came of the project, but the four remained friends and decided to form their own group.

Since passing early auditions, the group have made headlines over revelations that they used to work in a lap dancing club.

"Everyone does have a past," said Lloyd on a recent X Factor show.

Dovani added: "People need to stop concentrating on what we used to do and say: 'You know what, these girls can sing, these girls can actually perform, they're taking this competition very seriously.'"

Category: Groups

Mentor: Louis Walsh

Audition songs: Stop Crying Your Heart Out (Oasis), Paparazzi (Lady GaGa)

Bookmakers' odds: 33/1

RIKKY LONEY
Rikky Loney

Twenty-one-year-old Rikky Loney previously auditioned for series one, two and five of X Factor.

Having taken so long to fight his way through the show's selection process, the frequently be-hatted singer sobbed in disbelief when Cole put him through to the live shows.

"I promise I'll win this for you," he told her through the tears.

Cole had previously told the 21-year-old Glaswegian she had concerns about his confidence.

"The thing that worries me the most about you is that I feel like you pretend to believe in yourself, but somewhere inside there you don't really believe," she said.

"But I believe."

Category: Boys under 25

Mentor: Cheryl Cole

Audition songs: You've Got A Friend (Carole King), Chasing Pavements (Adele)

Bookmakers' odds: 20/1

JOSEPH McELDERRY
Joseph McElderry

Joseph McElderry set hearts aflutter when he sang Luther Vandross' Dance With My Father at his first audition.

Judge Danni Minogue fell in love with his dimples, while Newcastle-born Cole said the singer, from South Shields, had "done our city proud".

The 18-year-old student previously entered X Factor in 2007 and reached the boot camp round, but decided to leave the competition as he felt he was too young and wanted more experience.

Category: Boys under 25

Mentor: Cheryl Cole

Audition songs: Dance With My Father (Luther Vandross), Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (Elton John)

Bookmakers' odds: 12/1

MISS FRANK
Miss Frank

Singers Graziella Affinita, Shaniece Davis and Shar Alexandra all auditioned as solo acts for this year's show. But, after they performed together at the boot camp stage, the judges suggested the trio should form a band.

Barmaid and student Affinita, 25, started singing aged six in church choirs but also performs raps amid the group's intricately arranged gospel harmonies.

Hairdresser Davis, 21, has performed in local churches, theatres, college productions and open mic poetry nights.

Recruitment consultant Alexandra, 25, was previously in a short-lived girl group, which split in 2005.

Category: Groups

Mentor: Louis Walsh

Audition songs: Wishing On A Star (Rose Royce), Respect (Aretha Franklin)

Bookmakers' odds: 16/1

OLLY MURS
Olly Murs

Customer adviser Olly Murs lives with his parents in Essex and also has a twin brother who lives just outside London with his fiance.

The self-confessed "normal geezer" applied for X Factor last year but did not make it past the first round, and has since been gigging in a duo called Small Town Blaggers.

"I wanna be in music," said the 25-year-old at his first audition. "You don't want to be sitting there picking up a phone, you want to have one of them mics on having a sing."

Putting him through to the live show, Cowell said: "You are a risk. It is as simple as that. But sometimes I have to take risks - you're in".

Category: Over 25s

Mentor: Simon Cowell

Audition songs: Superstition (Stevie Wonder), A Song For You (Donny Hathaway)

Bookmakers' odds: 11/2

STACEY SOLOMAN
Stacey Soloman

Essex girl Stacey Solomon impressed judges with her first audition - a soulful rendition of What A Wonderful World.

"That completely took me by surprise," said Simon Cowell, taken aback by the contrast between her chatty, goofy personality and smooth vocal style.

Kylie Minogue, who helped sister Dannii put Soloman through to the live finals, said Solomon had a "lovely tone to her voice".

The 19-year-old single mum wants to launch a singing career to provide a better future for her son, Zach.

"Wouldn't it be nice to just be good at something and make everyone proud of you and be in a position to make everyone happy around you?" she said.

Category: Girls under 25

Mentor: Dannii Minogue

Audition songs: What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong), Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland)

Bookmakers' odds: 9/2



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SEE ALSO
X Factor's live final 12 revealed
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X Factor judges given categories
27 Sep 09 |  Entertainment
X Factor wins head-to-head battle
21 Sep 09 |  Entertainment
Cowell urges ITV to avoid clash
19 Sep 09 |  Entertainment
X Factor opener watched by 9.9m
23 Aug 09 |  Entertainment
What happens at an X Factor audition?
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