Dalton Harris has become the first-ever Jamaican and 15th overall winner of the X Factor UK. This after a nearly predictable trajectory of greatness and humble dominance culminated with a star-studded finale at the SSE Arena in London’s Wembley, Sunday night, December 2.
The Jamaican vocalist was favoured to win over fellow contestants Anthony Russel and Scarlett Lee, who placed third and second respectively, for a recording deal with Simon Cowell’s Syco Music – worth £1,000,000 (the equivalent of J$160 Million).
It’s been a tense but largely fulfilling several weeks in London as Dalton sought to reinvent himself and rejuvenate a career in music, choosing the widely popular and most viewed British reality competition.
“I just won the X Factor…” Harris said, out of breath and beside himself in disbelief before thanking fans across the world, especially from his home country in Jamaica.
Hours later, as at 6 pm Sunday, Dalton Harris and the X Factor are still the two most trending topics on Twitter and Jamaicans at home and abroad have been beating their collective chests – some brought to joyous tears in light of Dalton’s historic win.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness was arguably first out of the blocks with his congratulations, when he tweeted, “Congratulations to our Dalton Harris @harrisdalton. Winner of the X Factor. The entire Jamaica is proud of you. Your phenomenal talent is now unleashed on the world.”
Opposition Leader Peter Phillips also chimed in saying, “Well done Dalton Harris! @harrisdalton Your talent, your humility and commitment to excellence inspired us throughout your @TheXFactor journey to victory. You are a great example of perseverance and determination overcoming adversity. You have made your country proud! #Jamaica.”
Former winner of the X Factor and hit-making recording artiste, James Arthur also congratulated his fellow performer in his tweet, “You are the real deal man. Honoured to be a part of your winners single. #PowerOfLove.”
Dalton’s Saturday duet with Emile Sandé remains the 4th trending video on all of YouTube and it is expected that he will grace newspaper covers here in Jamaica, parts of the Caribbean, the US, UK and Australia.
It seems a lifetime ago, when Dalton Harris became the youngest-ever winner of Digicel Rising Stars back in 2008 – but now, with this massive win under his belt, Dalton is surely poised for a musical career as bright as his passion and as powerful as his voice.
It took several attempts of reinforcing “you are the X Factor winner” by Dermot O’Leary for the charismatic swooner to snap out of his daze.
To say Dalton’s win was not unexpected or undeserved would be grossly malicious as for each week, the Sanguinetti native belted out hit after massive hit and his performances left the judges dumbfounded and the audience enraptured and ravenous for more.
In Saturday’s finals, Harris performed A Song For You by Donna Hathaway and judging for the furor of the reception – his fate was sealed as the 15th winner of the X Factor.