October 21, 2013

IconX Factor – most memorable LGBT finalists

Last year the X Factor excelled itself. There were three women in the final 10 who self-defined as lesbian or bisexual – quite a staggering statistic by previous standards. We were used to seeing gay men in the live shows – Louis Walsh made sure of that – but to see obviously gay women like Lucy Spraggan performing on a Saturday night put the show up a notch in our estimations.

Looking back over the years of X Factor, it is impressive how many LGBT artists have found a platform. Here is our top 6:

6 Joe McElderry

Young Joe won the X Factor in 2009. Joe was mentored by Cheryl Cole and his story coincided with the peak of the Cheryl-love that was taking hold of the nation. Joe is relatively unheard of these days, but Olly Murs, who came runner up to Joe has gone on to have a great career as a celebrity. McElderry is another example of how winning the X Factor can be more of a curse than a blessing.

5 Charlie Rundle from MK1

Charlie and partner-in-crime Sim were kicked out of X Faxtor in week 3 of series 9 (2013). After leaving the show, Charlie told The Sun that she is bisexual: “It’s weird because all the girls think I’m a gay and all the guys think I’m straight. But I actually like boys and girls, so I get the best of both worlds.”

4 Marcus Collins

Liverpool hairdresser Marcus Collins was openly gay and reached the live final in 2011. His interesting cover of Seven Nation Army has proved popular on YouTube but who knows where he is now.

3 Sam Bailey

X Factor’s Sam Bailey is a possible winner for 2013 – we aren’t gamblers but if we were it would be Sam that we put a bet on. She doesn’t define as LGB or T as far as we know, but she is a prison guard and that is worth approximately 363 lesbian points in the Lesbilicious books. Nicole Scherzi-me-bob said that Sam is the UK’s answer to Celine Dion. We loved her cover of Clowns by Emeli Sande.

2 Jade Ellis

Also a 2012 finalist, Jade Ellis was open about raising her daughter with her female partner. Jade told the Mirror that she came out to her mum at 18. She was one of the lucky ones and got an ‘oh, okay’ in response. The live shows didn’t do Jade any justice and she was voted off in week 4 of the show. Her earlier auditions were the ones to remember her by.

1 Lucy Spraggan

She has already had a mention and is our definite number one. As well as being a talented singer songwriter, Spraggers looked like a lesbian and didn’t compromise herself. She left the show early (allegedly due to ill health) but has gone on to make an album and headline her own tour.

We spoke to Lucy at Brighton Pride this year – too lovely for words.

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Georgia Rooney


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