Kate Thornton returns to present the new series of X Factor. The auditions start in Manchester where Tim's performance leaves all the judges speechless. When 16 year old Shaun enters the audition room he is over come by nerves and Sharon asks him to come back and try again later. When the auditions hit London, Simon shocks Sharon and Louis by introducing guest judge Paula Abdul to them. Pure Liberty, Leona and Jonathan all manage to impress the judges and make it through. Donna and Francesco are not as lucky and receive bad reviews. When the auditions return to Manchester, Shaun overcomes his nerves and makes it through to the next stage.
Kate returns to present more highlights from the auditions. This week the auditions start in Bristol where Ashley manages to impress all the judges with his unique voice. When the audition move onto Manchester, Warren's performance leaves the judges speechless. Paris manages to wow all the judges with her operatic voice and they all want her to go through until she admits that she is just 14. The judges ears are forced to listen to more awful performances before Raymond manages to impress them and make it through. When the auditions move onto Birmingham the groups manage to impress. Vicky who runs a Louis Walsh fan site makes it through. Richard and Sarah also impress the judges.
Kate presents the third of the audition shows. This week the auditions start in Glasgow where Allan manages to impress the judges. Not everybody though is nearly as successful and they are cruelly rejected by the judges. 44 year old Katie is successful though when Simon loves her voice and she makes it through. The auditions move to Newcastle where punk rocker Laura and boyfriend and girlfriend Gemma and Joe make it through. More hopes are dashed by the judges before Samantha makes it through. Back in Glasgow, Richard who made it through to boot camp last year makes it though again. Nikita manages to impress all the judges and Simon predicts that she could go far in the competition.
It's the fourth of the audition shows and the judges are forced to listen to yet more awful performances. When the auditions move back to London things improve. Linda, Ben and Robert both manage to impress the judges. The over sixty year old performers also manage to impress. Trevor is not to lucky though as he gives an awful audition. When the auditions move onto Manchester, Eskimo Blonde from last year return to try again without lead singer Hari. Hari is also back though as a solo singer. Hari manages to get through but Eskimo Blonde without her don't.
The auditions continue and this week the they start in Dublin. The day doesn't start well and the judges are forced to listen to many awful performances. Things improve though when Morgan makes it through. Sharon is forced to return home when there is a fire at her house. Rudi isn't happy when Louis wants to put him through and Simon doesn't. Wayne fairs better though and makes it through when both judges agree it was good performance. When the auditions move onto Birmingham, Sharon returns and 38 year old Ian impresses her and Louis and makes it though. The auditions then move onto Glasgow where Rudi returns to give it another go. Louis wants to put him through but once again Simon doesn't. Sharon agrees with Louis and Rudi finally makes it through. The McDonald Brothers also impress as does Kerry who is in a wheelchair.
It's the final chance for anybody to impress the judges. The auditions start in Birmingham this week where Leona manages to make it through. Others manage to impress the judges too but not everybody is as lucky. Jamie is disappointed when he doesn't make it through. When the auditions return to London, Jemma manages to impress all the judges. Others to impress and make it through include 47 year old Deborah and Roxanne. Eaton Road manage to impress all the judges and make it through. Debbie isn't happy when Louis doesn't like her and they end throwing a glass of water over one another. With the auditions over the judges learn which section of the competition they will be mentoring this year. Simon is happy when he learns that he has the under 25's as is Sharon with over 25's. Louis is not happy though when he learns that he has the groups.
The lucky competitors who made it through the auditions attend the boot camp where they learn for the first time who will be their mentor this year. Simon is not overly impressed with everybody in his section. The Brothers who just missed out on a place in the live finals last year split up and form two separate groups. A the end of the first day many are sent home leaving the lucky hopefuls to battle it out on day two.
The second day of boot camp opens with Simon and the under 25's. When Simon isn't happy he sends home more people leaving him with just fourteen. After he has seen each of the fourteen perform again he decides on his final seven. After Simon has made his decision he isn't happy and demands to be allowed to have an eight person. Richard is relieved when he gets a reprieve and makes it through. Next up is Louis and the groups. After hearing everybody perform Louis chooses his final eight instead of seven. Finally it's Sharon and the over 25's. Kate becomes overcome when it's her turn to sing but she just about manages to pull it off. Sharon reveals her final eight and it includes Kate.
Simon Cowell takes his remaining hopefuls off to Miami and gives them one last chance to impress. Sharon's hopefuls have one last chance to impress at the Dorchester hotel in London whilst Louis takes his hopefuls to Ireland.
Sharon's performers are the first to learn their fate with Robert, Dionne, Kerry and Ben making it through. Next up is Louis who puts through, 4Sure, The McDonald Brothers, Avenue and The Unconventionals. When Louis later discovers that Avenue already have an agent he replaces them in the competition with Eton Road. Finally Simon decides to put Leona, Ashley, Nikitta and Raymond through. All the successful and unsuccessful singers return home to tell their family and friends their fate.
Kate Thornton introduces the first of the live finals. The twelve finalists have to perform Motown songs tonight. The artists who stand out tonight are Dionne, Ashley, 4Sure and Leona. After everyone has finished performing the phone lines are opened for the public vote.
Kate returns with the results of the public vote. Before the results are announced Lionel Richie performs his latest song live on stage. When Kate announces the results The Unconventionals and Dionne find themselves in the bottom two and have to sing again in the final showdown. Both Louis and Sharon elect to save their own acts leaving Simon with the casting vote. Simon saves Dionne leaving The Unconventions eliminated from the competition.
Tonight the remaining eleven finalists have to perform Rod Stewart hits. Everyone shines tonight and it's difficult to call for the judges who they thing will be going home.
Whilst the public vote Rod Stewart sings on stage. Once the votes have been counted Kate announces that 4Sure and Robert are in the bottom two. After both acts have performed once again in the final showdown Louis and Sharon elect to save their own acts. Simon decides to save Robert leaving 4Sure the second act eliminated from the competition.
Tonight the remaining ten acts have to sing swing music and are joined by Tony Bennett. Kate announces that tonight two acts will be sent home. Tonight's best performers are Ben, Robert and Leona. Once everybody has finished performing the phone lines are opened for tonight's vote.
Whilst the public vote Tony Bennett sings live on stage. After the phone lines close Kate announces that the act with the least amount of public votes will be definitely going home whilst the next two acts with the least amount of votes will sing again in the final showdown. Dionne finds out that she is the first person eliminated whilst Kerry and Ashley have to sing again in the final showdown. After both of them have sang again Simon and Sharon elect to save their own acts leaving Louis with the casting vote. Louis decides to save Ashley leaving Kerry eliminated from the competition.
Tonight the remaining acts left in the competition have to sing Abba songs. Once again Leona and Ben stand out as the night's best performers and this week Eton Road shine too.
Whilst the public vote the cast of the Westend hit Mamma Mia perform live on stage. When Kate announces this week's vote Robert and Ashley find themselves in the bottom two and have to perform again in the final showdown. After Simon and Sharon elect to save their own acts Louis decides to save Robert leaving Ashley eliminated from the competition.
The remaining acts have to perform live on stage once again. Leona and Robert stand out as tonight's best performers. It's a difficult night to call who will be going home as there are no bad performances.
Whilst the public vote Julio Iglesias performs live on stage. When Kate announces the result of tonight's vote Simon finds two of his acts in the bottom two. Raymond and Nikitta both have to sing again in the final showdown. Sharon elects to save Raymond whilst Louis elects to save Nikitta. Simon has the casting vote and decides to save Raymond leaving Nikitta eliminated from the competition.
The six remaining acts return to sing live once again. Everybody gives great performances tonight and it's impossible to tell who will be going home.
Whilst the public votes Westlife perform their latest number one hit live on stage. When Kate returns with the all important votes Robert and Eton Road find themselves in the bottom two. After they both have performed again in the final showdown Sharon and Louis both decide to save their own acts leaving Simon with the casting vote. After much deliberation Simon decides to save Eton Road leaving Robert eliminated from the competition.
Tonight the remaining five acts have to sing live twice. Once again Leona manages to impress all the judges. With all five acts giving good performances it's impossible to tell who will be going home tonight. Everybody faces an anxious wait whilst the public votes.
Whilst the public votes Il Divo perform live on stage. When Kate announces the results Ben and Eton Road find themselves in the bottom two and have to sing again in the final showdown. Sharon and Louis both elect to save their own acts leaving Simon with the casting vote. Simon elects to save Ben leaving Eton Road eliminated from the competition.
The four remaining acts each have to perform twice again tonight and the public will now decide who goes home. Barry Manilow is tonight's special guests and all of the acts sing one of his hits as their first song. Next all four perform a song of their choice. Once again Leona stands out as tonight's best performer.
Whilst the public votes Barry Manilow sings live on stage. Raymond and Leona are the first two acts to find out that they have made it through. Kate then announces that Ben is the final act through leaving The MacDonald Brothers eliminated from the competition.
Kate returns to introduce the three remaining performers. Each of them has to sing twice tonight and all three give great performances.
Whilst the public votes Gloria Estefan sings live on stage. When Kate announces the result Leona is the first person to find out that she is in the final. Kate then announces that Ray is also through leaving Ben eliminated from the competition.
Kate returns to host the 2006 final of The X Factor. Both Ray and Leona open the show with their favourite songs they have performed in the series so far. Next Shaun Rogerson who narrowly missed out on a place in the final twelve performs live on stage. Ray then performs a song with Westlife whilst Leona performs with Take That. Next the two finalists perform a new song of their own choice.
Whilst the public votes Take That performs their latest hit on stage. Ray and Leona both have one last chance to impress the viewers when they both perform the single the winner will release. When the votes have been counted Kate announces that Leona is the winner. Leona performs live on stage one last time and is joined by all the other finalists.