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Last Updated: Saturday December 13 2008 22:55 GMT

Alexandra crowned X Factor winner

Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Burke has been crowned winner of the TV talent show X Factor.

The 20-year-old beat boy band JLS and Eoghan Quigg to follow in the footsteps of Leona Lewis and Leon Jackson and win the prize of a 1m recording contract.

Afterwards, Alexandra said she was the happiest girl alive: "This is for everyone who voted for me. Thank you."

She will now be hoping to top the Christmas charts with her first solo single, Hallelujah, which she performed during the live final.

Alexandra Burke
The track is a cover version of a song by an artist called Leonard Cohen.

Simon Cowell congratulated Alexandra and praised her mentor Cheryl Cole, saying: "Cheryl, I'm proud of you kid".

After she'd got over the shock of winning, Alexandra Burke described it as "the best feeling ever" and said she didn't expect to beat JLS.

"I said from the beginning I thought JLS would win," she said. "I cannot believe it's happened, but I am so happy. This is the best feeling ever."

Runners-up JLS thanked everyone who voted for them and said they hoped it was just the beginning of their singing careers.

Star duets

Earlier in the night, 16-year-old Eoghan was the first finalist to be voted off after they'd all performed a Christmas song, their favourite track from the competition and a special duet.

Eoghan teamed up with Boyzone, Westlife joined JLS to sing Flying Without Wings and Alexandra teamed up with Beyonce for a powerful version of the American singer's hit, Listen!