Ben Haenow has won this year's X Factor final, beating hot favourite Fleur East at Wembley Stadium.
"I don’t believe it. I don't believe it," the 29-year old van driver from Croydon said following the public vote. "Thank you so much. My dream has come true."
Simon Cowell, who mentored both contestants, told Haenow: "This is what turning into a star feels like. You deserved it, you're a great guy. This is your moment."
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Cowell said he wished the pair could share the prize. "This is the best and closest final I have ever judged," the music mogul said.
Runner up East, who had been the bookies favourite to win, congratulated her rival, saying: "I love Ben so much, I'm so happy for him."
Fans were devastated when Italian Andre Faustini was voted off on Saturday night, leaving Heanow and East to go head to head on Sunday.
Last night, Haenow performed the winner's single One Republic's Something I Need to a 10,000 strong audience. "The track will now be a strong contender for Christmas No 1," The Guardian reports.
During the final show of the 11th series, former X Factor contestant Olly Murs performed a duet with pop sensation Demi Lovato, Grammy nominee Sam Smith sang his smash single Stay with Me and Rolling Stone's Ronnie Wood joined One Direction on stage.
However, social media users were shocked when sister act Blonde Electra, who had been sent off earlier in the show, shared a kiss on stage during their performance in the final. "Well that sibling kiss was weird... I wonder if there will be any more desperate publicity stunts this eve," tweeted Made in Chelsea star Fran Newman-Young.
The ITV singing contest experienced its worst ratings in a decade, with viewers falling by six million over the past four years. However, it "continues to be a dominant force in primetime television", according to the BBC, with the final show still commanding the most expensive advertising space in UK television.
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