Jamaican music got a major boost in the arm when singer Dalton Harris emerged the victor over his fellow contestants Anthony Russell and Scarlett Lee to be crowned the winner of this year’s X Factor UK this evening.
This was the second major victory by a Jamaican in an international reality TV talent contest following on the heels of Tessanne Chin’s win during Season 5 of NBC’s reality TV singing competition The Voice as part of Adam Levine’s team.
Minister of Culture and Entertainment Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange congratulated Harris on his “massive X Factor win”. She also praised the quality of the judges “that have decided that this Jamaican talent could rise to the top of the X Factor UK”.
“Dalton’s victory is testament to the quality of the talent that we have been pushing out of Jamaica. There is no question about how we feel about him as a Jamaican artiste. We are thankful and grateful to his manager Donovan Germain for his stewardship and impressed at Dalton’s ability to hold his composure in the heat of competition and deliver impeccable and flawless performances throughout the entire contest. Overall, Jamaica came out on top,” Minister Grange said.
After Dalton performed ‘Power of Love’ – a duet with James Arthur – the writing appeared to be on the wall as the venue was filled with a cacophony of screams, whistles, cheers and applause.
“Can you hear this? That is your future,” judge Ayda Field said, struggling to speak above the rapturous screams.
Judge Robbie Williams said: “We are looking at a future recording artiste that is about to change the world.”
The acerbic Simon Cowell said that Dalton’s performance “was up there, it was spectacular.”
Dalton’s mentor Louis Tomlinson gushed “that was a winner’s performance. you absolutely killed it!”.
Dalton thanked the judges for the opportunity to perform and be a part of X Factor UK and also expressed his gratitude towards the fans.
The tension was palpable as millions of TV viewers waited for the announcement. When it was announced that he had won, Dalton Harris stared incredulously and said-asked: “I just won X Factor?”.
Dalton’s mom Sylvia Campbell told Jamaica Today that she was overjoyed and that “mi speechless, mi nervous, mi no eat from morning. Mi feel good so till, jeezam piece, the bwoy win again!”.
“Mi friend, mi son, Ronald, and mi friend daughter, all of we up ah Sheryl bar ah watch the TV. Mi knock pot cover and ting, everybody happy. Mi proud of him, ah my belly blessed!” Ms. Campbell said.
“I am a proud mother, mi no care wah dem waan say. Dalton is good to go!”.
The winner of The X Factor is awarded a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music, in association with Sony Music. In series 5, this deal consisted of a £150,000 cash advance with the balance covering the costs of recording and marketing.
By: Claude Mills