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Ben Haenow the X-Factor winner as Mel B makes final comeback

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X Factor judges Mel B and Louis Walsh are seen at the live X Factor final in London

X Factor judges Mel B and Louis Walsh are seen at the live X Factor final in London

The X Factor finalists and Take That are seen on stage at the X Factor final in London

The X Factor finalists and Take That are seen on stage at the X Factor final in London

One Direction and Ronnie Wood are seen performing seen at the live X Factor final in London

One Direction and Ronnie Wood are seen performing seen at the live X Factor final in London

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X Factor judges Mel B and Louis Walsh are seen at the live X Factor final in London

Mel B made a brave return to the X Factor final after being released from hospital to watch Ben Haenow storm to victory.

Ben pipped Fleur East at the post to be named the winner for 2014.

Italian Andrea Faustini was booted off the show on Saturday night, leaving Ben and Fleur to battle it out with two performances each in their final bid to grab this year’s title.

Ben clocked up compliments from mentor Simon Cowell after his stirring performance of Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror.

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But it was a close call when Fleur performed Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk, which topped the iTunes chart after last weekend’s show.

X Factor judge Mel B thanked the nurses and doctors who cared for her during the illness that saw her miss Saturday night’s show.

The former Spice Girl returned to the judges’ panel after being released from hospital.

“I really missed being here but thanks to all the doctors and nurses who took care of me and got me here tonight,” she said.

Asked by host Dermot O’Leary if she was feeling better, Mel said: “Yes, ish.”

It emerged that Saturday’s show drew its lowest audience for a decade – and trailed its BBC1 rival Strictly Come Dancing by more than a million viewers. The ITV show had an average audience of 8.4 million.

The only time X Factor has fared worse was in 2004 when it pulled in 8.1 million for the first ever final, won by Steve Brookstein.

Haenow, a 29-year-old van driver from Croydon, south London, was one of the favourites to win.

Judge Louis Walsh said: “You are here for a reason. You have got the talent, you are an incredibly nice guy.” His performance left Mel feeling emotional. “You made me cry a little bit,” she said. “Those lyrics mean so much to you, so much to me. That was a job well done.”

Simon Cowell, mentor to the final two acts, said: “Oh my God. I’ve got to say of all the finalists I’ve ever head that was the greatest performance I’ve ever witnessed”.

hnews@herald.ie


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