Regardless of whether you've been living in a cave for the past few months, it's probably not escaped your attention that last night, James Arthur was crowned the winner of the X Factor 2012. Hurrah! After waving goodbye to the joke acts in the competition (sorry Rylan) an incredibly talented guy with quite frankly, some of the best eyelashes we've ever seen beat off stiff competition from his fellow category member Jahmene Douglas to take the top spot. His win has brought about very mixed emotions as while nobody wants to deny a talented singer the opportunity of a record deal, many people were speculating on Twitter last night that perhaps he might have been better off recording and releasing material under his own steam. Why? Let's take a look at the success of previous winners and see just how well their careers have fared...
1. Leona Lewis
We're giving Miss Lewis the top spot as the most successful winner of the X Factor. While her success stateside has now been eclipsed by the loveable lads from One Direction, she scored three number one singles in the UK and signed a five-album deal in the US just two months after winning the competition. Her recently released third album Glassheart debuted at number three in the charts and six years on from her initial win, she's about to embark on a tour early next year...
2. Alexandra Burke
In at number two is Alexandra Burke, most famous for blubbing all the way through her finale duet with Beyonce. Well, you would, wouldn't you? Proving that it really is all about girl power, Alexandra has also scored three number one singles and a series of lucrative sponsorship deals with Sure and Nintendo DS. With a third album set for release next year and plans to break the US, Alexandra is making sure to follow as closely as she can in Leona's footsteps...
3. Little Mix
Proving yet again that female winners have the most success, last years champions Little Mix have bagged themselves two number one hits with their third single DNA landing at number three. They've just released their debut album and Tulisa's 'little muffins' are still very much in demand. It's only been a year but being the first group in the show's history to claim the title stands them in good stead for the future...
4. Shayne Ward
Unfortunately, the guys haven't got quite as much to write home about so in no particular order, as Dermot would say, let's jump next to 2005 winner Shayne Ward. His winner's single That's My Goal remained at number one for four weeks and Gary Barlow revealed in his autobiography that Shayne was a serious contender to replace Jason Orange in Take That after he threatened to quit. He didn't, so after releasing three albums, Shayne went on to star in the west end musical Rock Of Ages.
5. Joe McElderry
Cheryl's Geordie boy Joe won the competition in 2009 beating Olly Murs with his rendition of Miley Cyrus's The Climb. Joe was robbed of the honour of Christmas number one after a facebook campaign against the dominance of the reality show propelled Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name to the top spot but he later reclaimed it a week later. Joe recorded There's A Place For Us which is on the soundtrack to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Nice going!
6. Matt Cardle
As seems to be a given with X Factor winners, Matt scored number one with his winning single When We Collide although surprisingly, his follow up written by Gary Barlow only managed number six. He released a second album under a new label after parting ways with Sony as he felt he was not a priority for them while they were promiting One Direction.
7. Steve Brookstein
Sneaking in at number seven is the winner of the very first X Factor in 2004, Steve Brookstein. His cover version of Against All Odds hit the charts in the number two spot, eventually climbing to number one. Poor old Steve was dropped from his record label just eight months after winning the competition.
8. Leon Jackson
Yes, we know you've probably all forgotten that Leon Jackson won in 2007 but he did, we're not making it up. He bravely took on Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey's hit When You Believe which earnt him the accolade of being the first Scottish artist to reach number one in the UK charts.