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The X Factor's winners and losers
Winning is not everything - as many X Factor finalists could tell you.
This is a look at just who the winners and losers from the long-running talent show are.
:: The Winners:
One Direction (Third in 2010)- The five-piece boyband are the biggest act to ever emerge from the show.
They have topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic - becoming the first British act to top the Billboard chart with their debut album.
Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson made chart history again after scoring the fastest-selling track by a non-US artist ever when Live While We're Young sold 341,000 copies in a week.
Next year will see them star in their own biopic and record sales, live shows and merchandise have seen them build a fortune estimated to be worth around £26 million.
Olly Murs (Runner-up in 2009)- The singer, who came second to Joe McElderry, is still a big part of the show - presenting the spin-off Xtra Factor with Caroline Flack.
The music is not going badly either - with a stint supporting One Direction in the US and number one albums and singles including his recent release Troublemaker, which is currently at number one.
He will be supporting Robbie Williams on his stadium tour next summer.
JLS (Runner-up in 2008) - The foursome were runners-up to Alexandra Burke but soon picked up a couple of number ones and two Brit Awards - the first X Factor act to be recognised at the event.
The band - Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams and JB Gill - tried to crack the United States without much success, but have gone from strength to strength at home with more hits, a film, books and even their own branded range of condoms.
JB is soon to appear as a contestant on the Christmas edition of X Factor rival Strictly Come Dancing.
Leona Lewis (Winner in 2006) - The north Londoner started on a high when her debut - a cover of Kelly Clarkson's A Moment Like This - broke a world record for digital downloads after it was downloaded 50,000 times in 30 minutes.
But it was her second single, Bleeding Love, which really saw her break through - it stayed at number one in the UK for seven weeks and was top of the charts in countries including Australia, France, Germany, Canada and the United States. Months later she was appearing at the closing ceremony for the Beijing Olympics.
Authors of the Sunday Times Rich List estimated her wealth to be around £12 million.
:: The Losers:
Matt Cardle (Winner in 2010) - Despite beating One Direction to win the show, Cardle was soon eclipsed by the boyband.
He parted company with Syco Music two years after his victory, saying he would "just have been left to get on with it while One Direction ruled the planet". It had been no secret that he and Cowell did not necessarily see eye to eye.
His first two singles hit the top 10, but since then he has struggled to get into the top 150 and his last gigs were at medium-sized venues in London, Brighton and Birmingham.
Joe McElderry (Winner in 2009) - The Geordie singer's career started on the wrong foot when his solo debut single, The Climb, missed out on the Christmas number one after losing out to an anti-X Factor campaign which pushed Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name to the top spot.
He managed to top the charts the following week but the damage had been done and when the second single from his debut album only made it to number 68, he was soon dropped by Syco.
His faltering career received a boost when he appeared on - and won - the 2011 series of Popstar To Operastar, landing a new record deal with Decca. Buoyed by the show, his next album, Classic, sold nearly a quarter of a million copies but most recent release Here's What I Believe has sold only a fraction of that.
Steve Brookstein (Winner in 2004) - The south Londoner who became the first ever winner of the show has become one of its biggest critics.
He scored a number one with his first release but ended up being dropped from his record deal less than a year later.
He accused the show of "killing music to make light entertainment" and by 2007 was singing on ferries.
:: The Real Winner?
Show supremo Simon Cowell was a little-known record industry insider when the X-Factor started, working behind the scenes with Westlife, Mr Blobby and Robson & Jerome. He is now one of the most famous men on the planet, and a media mogul.
His rapid rise, including launching a US version of the show, has seen him become one of the most powerful men in showbusiness in the UK and the US. Many of the biggest acts discovered on the show have signed up to his Syco label and he is reported to have a fortune of more than £200 million.
He now divides his time between homes in London and Los Angeles and has also seen other shows, including Britain's Got Talent and Red Or Black, increase his fortune and his influence in the entertainment industry.