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X Factor contestants: where are they now?

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With a new series of the X Factor due to hit our screens soon, we at TNS decided to take a look back a past contestant and find out what they are up to now.

Steve Brookstein (Season 1)

After winning the first ever show and signing with Sony BMG, he got dropped by the record label only 8 months later - despite the fact that his debut album charted at number one in the UK album charts. Since then he has publicly bashed the show and its contestants, claiming that the show is fake and comparing his experience on the show to being in the WWF. He also had a public feud with Simon Cowell. Not sure if that’s still going on.

He released a second album called 40,000 Things. It didn’t chart. Now according to his website, he plays “mainly  private events and jazz clubs and has said he plans to record some new music but he doesn't say when.”

Journey South (Season 2)

They were the English Duo that consisted of brothers Andy and Carl Pemberton. After completing the show they signed with Song BMG. Their self-titled debut album was released in March 2006 and reached number one in the UK charts after selling 216,000 copies in the first week.

Their success started to fade when the duo left their record company and started their own. Bad move. Their second album reached 43 in the charts. Today, Carl teaches guitar and Andy used to be an electrician - so I assume that’s what he’s doing now.

Ray Quinn (Season 3)

Quinn was no stranger to the small screen before auditioning for X Factor in 2006. Prior to his appearance on the show he was a series regular in Brookside. Under the mentorship of Simon Cowell, the swing singer came second in the competition, losing the crown to Leona Lewis.

Post X Factor Quinn signed with Sony BMG in January 2007 and released a number one album that went gold in the first week. He was dropped by his label in November of the same year. Since getting dropped, Quinn has appeared in Dancing on Ice and Sing if you can. He has also starred in a number of stage musicals and still performs 1950s swing classics around the country.

Leon Jackson (Season 4)

The former retail sales assistant first auditioned in Glasgow and went on to win the competition. During his time on the show he was the one to watch, with people predicting that he would be the next Michael Bublé. His first single, a cover of When you Believe, shot to the top of the charts - but eventually everyone lost interest in Jackson and he was dropped by his label.

Now he’s working on a second album which he plans on releasing independently. He also co-wrote a song for The Voice UK's contestant Vince Kidd named "Sick Love".

Eoghan Quigg (Season 5)

The Irish pop singer finished third and went on to sign a record deal with RCA Records. His debut album flopped in the UK making 14 and spending only three weeks in the top 100. The album found more success in Ireland but still received overwhelmingly bad reviews, leading to Peter Robinson claiming it to be "the worst album in the history of recorded sound" and that it was "so bad that it would count as a new low for popular culture."

Eoghan was dropped by his label, and has since appeared as a guest in Alan Carr: Chatty Man and Harry Hill's TV Burp.

Danyl Johnson (Season 6)

Simon Cowell said that his first audition was “the best first audition I have ever heard”, but still it wasn’t enough to win the competition as Johnson was eliminated during the semi-finals. Since getting the boot from the show, he has appeared in an episode of Benidorm and according to his website, “is set to release a single and album in early 2012, so watch this space… “. He’s also got a few gigs coming up in Butlins. Tickets are still available.

Aiden Grimshaw (Season 7)

After getting eliminated in the sixth week, Grimshaw signed with RCA Records. His debut single Is this Love, released on the 3rd of June 2012 reached 35 in the UK charts and his debut album Misty Eye will be released on the 20th of August 2012. Only time will tell what will become of his musical career.

Frankie Cocozza (Season 8)

The Brighton born singer was a tabloid favourite, but not for his singing talents. Cocozza got a yes from all four judges during his first audition. He went on to make it to the live show but left the competition under ambiguous circumstances - although many speculated that he was asked to leave due to his alleged frequent drug usage.

He has gone on to appear in Celebrity Big Brother 9 and the Million Pound Drop. As for music, I don’t think that we’ll be hearing anything from him anytime soon.

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