Who Has The X Factor: Leona Lewis

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Leona Lewis

Resident X Factor expert Josh Ridgway will be blogging about the US version of The X Factor on FOX this season.  You can also follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshFactor.

Each week, I will present an artist or group who has found success after appearing on ‘The X Factor,’ just so you know all of the people you see on the show probably won’t be flashes in the pan.

Leona Lewis is arguably the most famous of all the contestants to appear on any version of ‘The X Factor’ in any country.  She has topped singles charts around the world and has sold millions of albums.  She has become the singer most synonymous with ‘The X Factor,’ and she’s likely the only contestant you have heard of.

What you probably don’t know about Leona is how shy she was when she started auditioning on the show and what little confidence she had in herself.  Despite the judges heralding her as the next Mariah Carey, Leona didn’t start pulling away as a front runner until the third week of competition when she tore into a big band classic:

I remember sitting in my apartment in Fayetteville, Arkansas, watching this video over and over again, thinking to myself, “Good grief, that girl can sing.”  I didn’t actually say “Good grief,” but you get the idea.  In fact, I watched the video so many times that my roommate ended up knowing all the words to “Summertime.”  She swore up and down she had never seen Porgy and Bess before, but now she knows one of the most memorable songs from it.  You’re welcome, Miranda!

Leona continued trucking along in the competition in her category, which was mentored by Simon Cowell.  Amazing how he was her mentor and ended up creating the biggest star to come from the show thus far.  Interesting how that works, isn’t it?  Anyway, Leona kept trucking week to week, never landing in the bottom two.  In the semi-finals, she pretty much cemented her ‘X Factor’ winner status when she took on a Whitney Houston classic:

Let’s hope Bobby Brown never runs into Leona.  We don’t want him confused, thinking she’s Whitney, circa 1993.  Please note: during Leona’s performance, she shows her Mariah Carey diva likeness with a run of high notes and a Mariah-esque hand trill to go with it.

So, Leona blew everyone else out of the water and still has a successful recording career today.  In fact, the first single from her third album just peaked inside the top five of the British singles charts.  She’s truly what ‘The X Factor’ is all about.  Let’s hope America can churn out its own Leona.  Otherwise, we’ll be stuck “Bleeding Love” until we can find someone as successful.

What do you think?  Does Leona Lewis have ‘The X Factor?’  Can the American version of the show find a similar talent?

The X Factor auditions show begins Wednesday and Thursday night at 8ET/7CT only on FOX 4.

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