Sam Bailey, showed that dreams can come true at the X Factor final last night where the former Gartree Prison officer took the coveted crown.
She won a whopping 53.4 per cent of the total votes. More than one million people picked up the phone to vote for the woman who has warmed the hearts of people in Leicestersire and around the whole of the UK.
Even the power of the Scottish vote failed to beat Sam with runner up Nicholas McDonald taking only 36.3 per cent leaving Sam as the clear winner of the contest.
Along with the plaudits, prize-money and inevitable fame that being the X Factor champion will bring, it was unveiled at the weekend that the winner of the contest would also be joining Beyonce on tour next year.
Her song, Skyscraper will now vie for the highly desirable position of the Number 1 slot in the Christmas chart on Sunday evening.
On Saturday evening Sam performed with Nicole Schwerzinger who has a fantastic vocal range. The two performers on stage singing And I Am Telling You looked a force to be reckoned with as they belted out note after perfect note of the powerful ballad.
She also performed Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga in a performance which saw her shimmy down a pole while keeping up her class act vocals that left even the celebrity judges looking star struck.
After winning through to the Sunday night show, after Luke Friend lagged behind the two finalists on votes, Sam went on to perform two songs at the final episode of the show at Wembley Arena in front of an audience of 10,000 which included supporters from her family and players from her football team, Leicester Tigers.
Sam performed what she felt to be her strongest performance of the series, The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush on the Sunday show.
The judges as ever heaped praise on the 36-year-old following the song and gave her a standing ovation.
Gary Barlow said: I know this is your song of the series but I’ve got to be honest, for me, you could have sung anything from this series because every single performance has been amazing.”
Nicole Scherzinger said: “You make it look too easy. You were born to do two things: To be a sch-mazing mum and to be a star on that stage.
“Having known you and having worked with you, you are a beacon of light and so inspiring and enpowering to all the other mums out there.” Louis Walsh said: “You are what this show is all about. Giving somebody a chance; a chance to someone who deserves it. You’ve got it all.”
Her second song of the night was her version of the winner’s single Skyscraper, which was originally sung by Demi Lovato. Sam’s performance left judges Nicole and Sharon in tears, with Sharon, Sam’s mentor, left so emotional from the performance that she was unable to speak.
Gary said: “You’ve stolen the hearts of the nation...you sung that as if on behalf of all those people whose dreams have never died.”
Between tears, Nicole said: “That voice is a gift from God...this time is your time.”
The show finished with Sam giving an emotional performance of what will be her first single Skyscraper which came out today. She was surrounded half way through the performance by the finalists who had nothing but hugs and praise for the overall winner of the show.
Although Sam has maintained the odds as the favourite to win the last prediction came from her son Tommy who was in the audience with the rest of her family.
He said: “Mummy’s going to win. She’s got the X Factor.”
Sam will be singing at half-time during the Leicester City-Manchester City Capital One Cup clash at the King Power Stadium in Leicester on Tuesday. She has previously spoken on the show about her love of football.
Following the show people took to Twitter and Facebook to praise Sam including a number of celebrities.
Leona Lewis tweeted: ‘My girl @SamBaileyREAL did it! Congratulations on winning @TheXFactor lady your talent is immense x’.
Former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson also tweeted a message of congratulations and Sharon Osbourne, Sam’s mentor took to twitter to thank everyone who had backed Sam.
After her name was called Sam took the time to thank all those who had backed her and Sharon for all her support in helping her throughout the whole of the process. She told the judge that she had wanted her as her mentor from the moment she stepped out of her car in the early stages of the contest.
Speaking after the show, Sam said: “It honestly means everything to me. I wanted to reach the Final and I’m so lucky the public have liked me. Thank you so much!”
Aside from her performance at the Leicester City match, Sam has other plans following the final other than her tour with Beyonce, fighting for the number one slot in the charts this week and signing her first ever record deal.
She said: “After the next few incredible days are over, I will be going home and booking a holiday to France. I promised my daughter I would.
“She was really worried about me entering this competition - how she wouldn’t see me much and it has been hard being away from the kids.
“She’s really interested in the Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre and France generally so we’ll go over there together and my son can enjoy Disneyland Paris too.
“They’ve been so good and patient over the whole process, I want to treat them.”
So, the show may over for another year, but one thing is for certain, this is by no means the final curtain for the Gartree Prison officer who has proven that not is it only in Disneyland where dreams come true.