The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent. The ninth series began airing on ITV on 18 August 2012 and ended on 9 December 2012. Before the start of the auditions process it was confirmed that Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos would return to the judging panel. Nicole Scherzinger was confirmed as the fourth permanent judge after Geri Halliwell, Leona Lewis, Rita Ora, Mel B, Anastacia and Scherzinger herself stood in as guest judges for the vacant position left by Kelly Rowland. Dermot O'Leary returned as host on ITV, whilst Caroline Flack and Olly Murs returned to host The Xtra Factor on ITV2. After the 8 December show, two of Scherzinger's acts, James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas, became the two finalists, meaning that Scherzinger was guaranteed to win. Arthur was announced as the winner on 9 December, and released a cover of Shontelle's "Impossible" as his winner's song. This has since gone on to become the second best selling winning single of any The X Factor winner, behind only series 5 winner Alexandra Burke's version of "Hallelujah". This series was the final one to feature Contostavlos as judge, as she will not return for series 10, where former judge Sharon Osbourne replaced her.
Theme: Heroes night (songs inspired by the Olympic Games)
The result of the wildcard vote is revealed before the performances as 12 Become 13
Special Guests: Olympians Laura Trott, Lizzie Armitstead, Danielle King, Joanna Rowsell, Nicola Adams, Luke Campbell, Jade Jones, Tom James, Pete Reed, Alex Gregory and Charlotte Dujardin appeared as guests in the audience, and One Direction made a brief guest appearance on Saturday's show, being interviewed by O'Leary after the first performance and giving advice to the contestants.
"Read All About It (Pt. III)"
Leona Lewis ("Trouble") and Ne-Yo ("Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)")
"Somebody That I Used to Know"
Rebecca Ferguson ("Backtrack") and Taylor Swift ("We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together")
Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé ("Beneath Your Beautiful") and JLS ("Hottest Girl in the World")