More than 20 million tuned in to ITV last night to see Matt Cardle secure the £1million recording deal, Rebecca Ferguson in second place and One Direction in third place.
Cardle broke down in tears as the other finalists ran on to the stage to congratulate him.
He said: “Thanks from the bottom of my heart to everyone who voted for me. It feels really good to be putting a record out soon. To be the last man standing is just mind blowing.”
Rumors say that Cher Lloyd, who was eliminated in part 1 of the final on Saturday night, went through some hard moments during rehearsals this week, screaming at production staff and claiming that judges Dannii and Louis hated her from the start.
During the ITV2 spin-off show the Xtra Factor last night, Simon Cowel commented: “Everyone [the contestants] was happy for Matt, apart from one.”
Cardle, 27, has been favourite to win during most of the competition and has impressed judges and fans with his edgy style, delivering his own take on songs by stars as varied as Britney Spears to Elton John.