This years X Factor saw the return of two popular judges, Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, a new edition to the panel, Mel B, and the longest standing judge, Louis Walsh, join forces for 2014. They all had the same thing in mind which was to find a whole bunch of brand new raw UK talent.
With Cheryl mentoring the girls, Mel B the boys, Louis the groups and Simon the overs this years X Factor really has been a big one! The nation has been hooked to their TV screens every weekend for the last few months and this weekend the show finished with a shock winner. Fleur East was a strong favourite to win but Ben Haenow took the crown and became the winner of X Factor 2014! It’s obvious that Ben has huge talent and is a deserved winner but they do say the runner ups always do better. On that note….introducing Fleur East!
Fleur East is a 27 year old singer and fitness model from Walthamstow who was definitely a massive under dog from the start. However she went on to wow the British public and her mentor, Simon Cowell, at the judges houses stage of the competition. Fleur knew that she hadn’t had her stand out performance and that she really needed to up her game if she wanted to make the live shows and up her game she most certainly did. She burst into a performance of Jessie J’s hit single “Bang Bang” where she showed off her rap skills and vocal ability and massively impressed Simon and his guest judge Sinitta. Since that stand out performance the singer has gone on to create huge buzz for herself with exceptional performances every week. Not only does she sing but she can rap and dance too! Something that no other contestant could bring to the table this year which really helped Fleur become that stand out act.
Fleurs most popular performance come in the semi final week when she performed Mark Ronson’s and Bruno Mars’ basically unknown track “Uptown Funk”! The 27 year old killed the performance and finished with a standing ovation from all judges and all members of the audience. After the show the audio track of the performance went on to reach the number 1 spot on the UK iTunes chart and the You Tube clip has received over 1 million views and counting. This is something that has never been achieved before by a contestant which resulted in Fleur East making history! This is not the only performance from Fleur that has received great feedback though, so has her performances of tracks by Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. This chick fast became the one to watch in the competition and even all the judges expressed their appreciation by delivering fantastic comments each week and expressing to her just how good she really was!
The final this weekend saw Fleur hook up with multi talented artist, song-writer and producer Labrinth for her celebrity duet at Wembley arena! The 27 year old made the final and competed against Ben Haenow and Andrea Faustini on Saturday nights show. Saturday night also saw the return of ex judge Tulisa as she took over from an ill Mel B to represent her last remaining boy, Andrea Faustini. At the end of the show Fleur East and Ben Haenow were announced as the final two when Andrea left the competition with the least public votes on the night. Sunday night was the final show of the series and we watched Fleur battle it out for the 2014 X Factor crown against Ben. Delivering yet again more on point performances which only helped showcase that she really was a well deserving contestant. They both took to the stage with a second performance of the track that they felt was their best performance of the series with Fleur taking on Uptown Funk once again. This was very risky as the first performance of the track gained such huge feedback and really put Miss East on the map. With that said, she went on to kill it yet again! They also both did their own live emotional versions of the winners single, One Republic – Something I Need. The proceeds of the winners single will go towards children’s charity Together for Short Lives. Bens winners single is available for download now!
This wasn’t East’s first time on the X Factor as she entered with girl group Addictiv Ladies in 2005 for series two of the show. However they only made it to week one of the live shows and was quickly eliminated after ending up in the bottom two. Fleur had her mind set on the prize though and was not ready to give up on music so easily. She was introduced to Drum & Bass producer DJ Fresh through her manager in 2011, and Fresh subsequently hired her as a vocalist for a BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge session, giving Fleur another taste of the music business. In 2012, she featured on Fresh’s song “Turn It Up” and toured extensively with him, including performances at huge festivals across the UK. She signed to the record label Strictly Rhythm in January 2012, released a couple of unsuccessful singles and then was released from contract shortly after. Fleur also released a free independant EP in 2013 for download. East’s musical influences include Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Bob Marley, Rihanna and Simply Red with Keys being her dream duet.
As you can see it hasn’t been an easy ride for our girl and she has most certainly grinded to get where she is today! Well done Fleur, you truely deserved all the highs that the show gave you. It’s clearly obvious that, dispite the outcome, Simon has no plans to let Fleur go anywhere and we are sure it’s only a matter of minutes before she signs that Syco contract. Here at Flavourmag we have been fans since that “Bang Bang” performance and we can’t wait to she what you bring to the table from here on out! Good luck!
What do you think? Should Fleur East have taken the crown or is Ben Haenow a deserving winner? Let us know your thoughts below and hit the follow button on Twitter at @Flavourmag and @FleurEast.
Words by Joe Waller