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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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An emulsion-al night ends with glossy finish for painter Matt

Painter Matt Cardle is crowned X Factor champion after beating off competition from Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction.

X Factor winner Matt Cardle signs autographs after appearing on ITV's 'Daybreak' this morning.
X Factor winner Matt Cardle signs autographs after appearing on ITV's 'Daybreak' this morning.
Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

FORMER PAINTER MATT CARDLE beat off stiff competition from student Rebecca Ferguson and boyband One Direction to win this year’s X Factor – and a £1m recording deal.

Cardle (27) scored 44.6% of votes over the final weekend, compared to Ferguson’s 38.6% and the 12.7% earned by the band, which included Mullingar teenager Niall Horan, to be named winner on a live show watched by 19.4 million people in the UK last night.

The show’s viewing figures – which averaged out at 17.2m viewers, the largest audience the show has ever commanded – were likely pushed past the 20 million barrier when Irish viewers watching on TV3 are included.

Speaking on ITV this morning, Cardle said he hadn’t yet gotten to grips with his victory.

“It was so shocking that it made me numb straight away, and I have not got the feeling back yet,” he told the Daybreak programme.

Though Ireland’s entrants – Horan and Tesco checkout worker Mary Byrne – failed to come away as winners, Ireland can still stake some claim over the winner: the singer told the Irish Independent that his family were originally ‘McArdles’ who had left Ireland during the potato famine of the 1840s.

Aside from his £1m deal, Cardle could earn up to £5m (€6m) next year alone through record sales, commercial deals, touring and modelling contracts.

ITV and Simon Cowell’s SyCo TV earned up to £20m in advertising revenue from the weekend’s shows, the Daily Mail says, while the show received over 15 million votes from viewers over the series – netting at least another £5m.

Voting stats also showed that Cardle had topped the public vote at every round of the live televised finals with just one exception – the opening weekend, when Mary Byrne scored 22.3% of votes, easily defeating the other 15 entries.

Surprisingly, unpopular singer Katie Waissel had only come bottom in the week she was ultimately eliminated; each other time she can finished in the bottom two and have only been saved after a sing-off, she had outpolled her rival act.

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Gavan Reilly

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