LONDON, United Kingdom, Monday December 3, 2018 – Jamaican Dalton Harris has won British reality television music competition X Factor UK.
He emerged victorious last night after performing a duet, The Power of Love, with James Arthur in the finale at The Wembley Arena in London, walking away with a £1 million (US$1.3 million) recording contract with Sony-owned Syco Music.
After being announced winner, the 24-year-old bent over with emotion before being congratulated by judge and mentor Louis Tomlinson, second placed winner Scarlett Lee and her mentor, judge Simon Cowell, even as the audience screamed and applauded.
“Ohhhh!” he shouted before crouching, after the show’s host Dermot O’Leary asked him how he was feeling.
— Unreal Dalton Harris ☆ (@daltonharrisfan) December 2, 2018
This morning, in his first official television interview after winning the competition, Harris said the victory had not yet sunk in.
— Lorraine (@lorraine) December 3, 2018
Back in Jamaica, Harris, who won Digicel Rising Stars in 2010, was congratulated by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips on social media.
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) December 2, 2018
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 pic.twitter.com/GVNInmG9XO
— Peter D Phillips (@PDPhillipsJa) December 2, 2018
Holness later said in a statement: “Dalton is a phenomenal talent who underscores the fact that Jamaica, though a small island developing state, produces some of the world’s best talent in entertainment and culture. Dalton’s victory, the first by a Jamaican on ‘The X Factor’ competition, and his history-making performances have placed him in a league of excellent entertainers.”
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange also acknowledged Harris’ win as a “well-deserved victory for a young man with immense talent who works very hard”.
Harris is the second Jamaican to win an international talent competition, following Tessanne Chin’s victory in The Voice in 2013.