Sam Bailey crowned X Factor winner

Knutsford Guardian: Sam Bailey is the winner of this year's X Factor Sam Bailey is the winner of this year's X Factor

Prison officer Sam Bailey will be launching her bid for Christmas number one after being crowned the UK's 10th X Factor winner.

Bailey, a 36-year-old mother of two, was picked by the public over teenager Nicholas McDonald at the end of the live show in front of 10,000 people at London's Wembley Arena.

Alongside a recording contract, she will support American pop superstar Beyonce on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter world tour in February.

The clear favourite before the announcement, Bailey was lost for words after being told she had received over a million votes.

Bailey was quick to sing her competitor's praises.

"I don't know what to say," she said. "I just want to say that I love that boy to pieces, Nicky McDonald, and he needs to get an album out as well.

"He's got the most amazing voice. I love him to death."

McDonald, 17, returned the compliments. "If I was getting beaten by anybody, it was going to be Sam," he said.

"I just want to say thank you to absolutely every single person who voted for me.

"This is not the end of me - I know I'll have an album out."

Bailey then sang her winner's song, a cover of Demi Lovato's Skyscraper, which has already gone on sale online.

Bookmaker Coral said Bailey's win netted punters more than £1 million after she became the most backed contestant in history.

The Leicestershire mum is now 1-3 favourite to top the charts this Christmas, the bookmaker said.

After being handed a copy of her single cover for the first time, Bailey laughed: "I look thin.

"Oh my god, I just can't believe this. I'm just so grateful. Thank you so much everybody. I really am appreciative."

During the show the pair had one last chance to win over the public by performing their respective winners' singles, with McDonald starting off with his cover of Five For Fighting's Superman while Bailey followed with Skyscraper.

They also repeated their favourite song of the competition, with McDonald choosing his take of Sarah McLachlan's Angel, while Bailey made judge Sharon Osborne cry with her rendition of Celine Dion's The Power Of Love.

The audience was treated to performances from previous X Factor winners One Direction and American pop star Katy Perry.

Judge Gary Barlow, who has announced he will not be returning next series, also took to the stage with Sir Elton John to perform his single Face To Face from his latest album Since I Saw You Last.

The series' eliminated finalists started the two-hour long episode with a cover of Perry's hit Roar.

Beyonce made a video for Saturday's show to announce the winner of the reality show's 10th series would join her on tour, making it the first time a prize of that nature has ever been awarded.

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