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LGBT X factor

By Josh Lee

Though she didn’t snatch the crown and that all-important record deal, openly queer, Finnish songstress Saara Aalto dominated the competition with her peerless pipes – and helped increase LGBT awareness to millions nationwide. Her presence has b. But she’s just one of many LGBT singers who have brought more LGBT visibility to prime-time audiences. To celebrate her success – and the success of LGBT competitors throughout the show’s history, we decided to look back and explore the show’s previous LGBT contestants.


Joe McElderry

X Factor winner Joe McElderry is coming to High Barn this month

Winner, series 6 (2009)

This softly spoken Geordie managed to win series 6, later coming out as gay. His powerful voice was even a match for George Michael, whom he sung with during the live grand finale. He’s gone on to release two albums and star on the West End.

Marcus Collins


2nd Place, series 8 (2011)

Coming second is a bitter pill to swallow, but when you’re pipped to the post by Little Mix, a.k.a one of the most successful acts to have ever come out of the shows, at least you know you lost to stiff competiton. After finishing second place in series 8, Marcus released a number of singles and has since performed in West End shows Hairspray and Kinky Boots. Marcus is an X Factor trailblazer in his own right, as the first LGBT person to be out while competing on the show.


Christoper Maloney


Despite being labelled a “cruise ship entertainer” by Louis Walsh, the Welsh singer continued to the live shows and later came out as gay.

3rd Place, Series 9 (2012)


Rylan Clark


Rylan battled his way to week 8 of X Factor and later went on to win Big Brother 2013. He has since presented Big Brother’s Bit On The Side and X Factor.

5th Place, Series 9 (2012)


George Shelley (Union J)

George left Union J after two successful albums to pursue other ambitions. He is currently working as a presenter on Capital FM.

4th Place, series 9 (2012)

Jaymi Hensley (Union J)


Jaymi revealed his sexuality during the competition and is working on new music with Union J.

4th Place, series 9 (2012)


Lucy Spraggan


2017 holds a lot in store for Lucy Spraggan, with her album “I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing” set for release in January alongside an extensive tour diary throughout the year.

9th Place, series 9 (2012)




The couple who’s emotional “uncooked chicken” breakup became a fast favourite. In recent news, they have adopted two chickens named Sam and Ella.

11th Place, series 13 (2016)


Seann Miley Moore


Flamboyant Seann was unapologetically himself and admitted: “Music has allowed me to be me. If it makes you feel happy and right then do it”.

10th Place, series 12 (2015)


Craig Colton


Craig has been working on a crowd funded album and is ‘hiding in the studio’ until release.

6th Place, series 8 (2011)


Jade Ellis

Jade Ellis was open about her sexuality throughout the series. She recently got engaged to her girlfriend and is performing in pantomimes.

9th Place, series 9 (2012)


Johnny Robinson


Despite losing the title to Little Mix, Johnny Robinson is still releasing music and performing as drag act ‘Sarah Lee’.

7th Place, series 8 (2011)


Diva Fever


This couple from 2010 are still performing together around clubs and events.

12th Place. series 7 (2010)


Danyl Johnson


The 2009 star is still singing and currently works as an ambassador for the People’s Postcode Lottery.

4th Place, series 6 (2009)