The X Factor UK (Series 3)
Series 3
Broadcast from 19 August 2006 – 16 December 2006
Judges Simon Cowell
Sharon Osbourne
Louis Walsh
Presenters Kate Thornton
Ben Shephard
Network ITV
Number of finalists 12
Winner Leona Lewis
Runner-up Ray Quinn
Notable returnees Nikitta Angus (2)
Ratings 8.27 millions
Previous Series 2
Next Series 4
Series 3 of The X Factor premiered on August 19, 2006 and concluded on December 16, 2006 on ITV.

It was won by 21-year old R&B singer Leona Lewis who was part of the 16-24s category mentored by Simon Cowell.  She was the first female to win the show and this was Cowell's second win as a mentor in three years.

This series was watched by an average of 8.27 million viewers - nearly half a million less than the previous year.


Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Simon Cowell all returned for their third series on the judging panel. Kate Thornton returned to present the main show on ITV, while Ben Shephard returned to present spin-off show The Xtra Factor on ITV2.

Auditions were held in cities around the UK and Republic of Ireland – London, Manchester, Dublin, Leeds and Glasgow.

This was the last series to feature three judges on the judging panel.


Live Shows: After changing to a Top 3 final for Series 2, it reverted to a Top 2 final as with Series 1 and was the first series where the Top 2 finalists duetted with celebrity performers.


Contestant Category Finish Elimination
Theunconventionalsmini The Unconventionals
25-41, various places
Groups 12th
week one
Majority vote
4suremini 4Sure
23-38, various places
Groups 11th
week two
Majority vote
Dionnemitchellmini Dionne Mitchell
26, London
Over 25s 10th
week three
Fewest public votes
Kerrymcgregormini Kerry McGregor
32, West Lothian
Over 25s 9th
week three
Majority vote
The X Factor 2007 Live Tour
Ashleymckenziemini Ashley McKenzie
20, Croydon, South London
16-24s 8th
week four
Majority vote
Nikittaangusmini Nikitta Angus
18, Manchester
16-24s 7th
week five
Majority vote
Robertallenmini Robert Allen
27, Essex
Over 25s 6th
week six
Majority vote
Etonroadmini Eton Road
17-20, various places
Groups 5th
week seven
Majority vote
Themacdonaldbrothersmini The MacDonald Brothers
20-21, Ayrshire
Groups 4th
week eight
Fewest public votes
Benmillsmini Ben Mills
26, Chatham, Kent
Over 25s 3rd
week nine
Fewest public votes
Rayquinnmini Ray Quinn
18, Liverpool
16-24s Runner-up
week ten
Fewest public votes
Leonalewismini Leona Lewis
21, North London
16-24s Winner
week ten
Most public votes

Selection process


See: List of The X Factor UK auditionees (series 3)

Eventual finalist Nikitta Angus first applied for the show the previous year but was knocked down by a car on the way to her audition. Max George who was part of boyband Avenue, who were originally selected for the live shows and eventually eliminated after it was discovered they already had a contract, would go on to be part of English/Irish boyband The Wanted.

This series saw the return of Mollie King as part of the girl group Fallen Angelz. In Series 2 she was criticized in her audition for her outfit by Sharon Osbourne and failed to advance. The group was eliminated at bootcamp but she went on to find fame as part of the British-Irish girl group The Saturdays.


See: Bootcamp (UK series 3)

Judges' Houses

See: Judges' Houses (UK series 3)

Summary of judges' houses
Judge Category Location Guest mentor(s) Contestants eliminated
Cowell 16-24s Miami Sinitta Carlo Muscutelli, Gemma Sampson, Shaun Rogerson, Stacey Barnes
Osbourne Over 25s London Mark Hudson, Adrian Williams Jonathan Bremner, Katie Angus, Lyn Fairbanks, Tiwa Savage
Walsh Groups Dublin Kian Egan, Yvie Burnett [Avenue, Brother's One, The Dolly Rockers, Pure Liberty

Live Shows

Results Summary

Weekly results per contestant
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eliminated Theunconventionalsmini 4suremini Dionnemitchellmini Kerrymcgregormini Ashleymckenziemini Nikittaangusmini Robertallenmini Etonroadmini Themacdonaldbrothersmini Benmillsmini Rayquinnmini Leonalewismini
Leona Lewis Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Winner
(week 10)
Ray Quinn Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Safe Safe Safe Safe Runner-up
(week 10)
Ben Mills Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Safe 3rd Eliminated
(week 9)
The MacDonald Brothers Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe 4th Eliminated
(week 8)
Eton Road Safe Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Bottom two Eliminated
(week 7)
Robert Allen Safe Bottom two Safe Bottom two Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 6)
Nikitta Angus Safe Safe Safe Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 5)
Ashley McKenzie Safe Safe Bottom three Bottom two Eliminated
(week 4)
Kerry McGregor Safe Safe Bottom three Eliminated
(week 3)
Dionne Mitchell Bottom two Safe 10th Eliminated
(week 3)
4Sure Safe Bottom two Eliminated
(week 2)
The Unconventionals Bottom two Eliminated
(week 1)
Bottom two Mitchell,
The Unconventionals
N/A McGregor,
Eton Road
Eton Road,
No final showdown or judges' votes;
results were based on public votes alone
Walsh's vote
to eliminate
Mitchell Allen N/A McGregor McKenzie Quinn Allen Mills
Osbourne's vote
to eliminate
The Unconventionals 4Sure N/A McKenzie McKenzie Angus Eton Road Eton Road
Cowell's vote
to eliminate
The Unconventionals 4Sure N/A McGregor Allen Angus Allen Eton Road
Eliminated The Unconventionals
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Dionne Mitchell
Fewest public votes
Kerry McGregor
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Ashley McKenzie
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Nikitta Angus
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Robert Allen
(2 of 3)
Majority vote
Eton Road
(2 of 3)
Majority vote




  • This was the first series where the winning mentor had two acts as the winner and runner-up