A Winner Is Born: Watch Joe McElderry Deliver Winning X Factor Performance With George Michael

Talent shows all over the world offer incredible opportunities, and mostly amazing prizes, to those fortunate enough to attend, let alone win these highly competitive showdowns. One of the most popular UK talent shows of the 2000s was The X Factor, which created some of the nation’s biggest contemporary acts through its rigorous competition process, with Joe McElderry being one of the most memorable.

This shy, loveable character quickly stole the hearts of audiences all across the UK (and even beyond), before eventually winning the 2009 edition with his powerful performance of Elton John’s “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”. Not only did he perform an Elton classic which won him the competition, but he got to do it with the legendary English singer-songwriter of Wham! fame, George Michael. Watch their dazzling performance here:

Most people would crumble into a bundle of nerves at the thought of performing live on national television, with thousands of people watching and ready to vote you as a loser or a winner, AND then to perform a true classic with none other than George Michael. Yet, despite his off-stage shyness, McElderry is a vocal powerhouse in this performance and matches Michael’s passion and impressive vocal range with ease.

George Michael was a British pop icon for several reasons. Most notably, he was one half of the British pop duo Wham!, in which he was joined by Andrew Ridgeley. The group was immensely popular in the United Kingdom, and continues to be appreciated by many thanks to their golden hits such as “Careless Whisper” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. Watch a young George Michael make shockwaves in Wham!’s heartbreaking and inescapably catchy classic, “Careless Whisper”:

Even though Wham! ended in 1986, George Michael continued to be a successful British pop icon for years until his untimely death at the age of 53 on Christmas Day, 2016. He was known to many as a true supporter of the LGBT community and developed many fundraisers for HIV and AIDs charities through his philanthropic work. Outside of his personal music projects, he was also best known for his work with Band-Aid, which sought to provide famine relief in Ethiopia.

After a successful stint on The X Factor, Joe McElderry continued to experience opportunity and success in his life. His debut, “The Climb”, became a contender for the UK Christmas Number 1 in 2009, and sold 450,000 copies worldwide. The next year, however, McElderry released his first full-length album, Wide Awake, which debuted at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and sold over 39,000 copies.

McElderry has not just been successful in his original releases, however. He has also been a regular performer on the theatre circuit since his X Factor win and played the lead role of Joseph in Andrew Loyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2015. We wish McElderry all the success in the world and hope to see him in theatres and onstage again soon. If you would like to see more from Joe McElderry, you can follow him on Instagram.

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