Club years helped Sam win X Factor

Salisbury Journal: Sam Bailey was crowned winner of The X Factor 2013 (Tom Dymond/Thames/Rex) Sam Bailey was crowned winner of The X Factor 2013 (Tom Dymond/Thames/Rex)

X Factor winner Sam Bailey has said her victory in the show is down to her years on stage as a club singer.

The mother of two was picked by the public over teenager Nicholas McDonald at the end of the live show in front of 10,000 people at London's Wembley Arena.

She won a recording contract and will also support American pop superstar Beyonce on the UK leg of her Mrs Carter world tour in February.

The former prison officer told ITV's Daybreak she was " totally, totally overwhelmed" by her success, but said her years on the club circuit had helped her put on a series of barnstorming performances.

She said: "I think what people don't realise is when you're singing in social clubs you're not just singing for two minutes, you're singing for sometimes two and a half hours. You're singing non-stop and I think when you do that you get so used to it you learn how to save your voice."

Sam, who received more than a million votes on the show, will now bid for the Christmas number one with a cover of Demi Lovato's Skyscraper.

She said she was looking forward to spending some time at home with her family during the festive season and still had to go back to work one more time to see her boss.

She said: " I'm going to officially go in and speak to the governor of the prison and thank him and thank everyone in the Prison Service for their support because I wouldn't have been able to do this if they hadn't given me the days off when I needed to audition."

Sam led the voting from the start of the live shows on this year's X Factor, newly released figures reveal.

The 36-year-old was the favourite with viewers in the very first week and went on to finish in the top two every week over the past three months.

Of the 14 public votes which have been detailed, she triumphed in 10, with the other four dominated by 17-year-old Nicholas McDonald, who finished runner-up in the contest last night.

The breakdown of voting - listed on the X Factor website - shows that the other finalist, Luke Friend, also 17, regularly struggled to muster support from the public and, until the semi-final stage, he only figured in the top three on three occasions.

In the first vote of the series, Luke drew only 3.4 per cent of the votes, while Sam took 23.4 per cent and Nicholas had only marginally less on 23.3 per cent.

In last night's climax to the series, Sam took more than half of the votes (53.4 per cent), while Nicholas pulled in 36.3 per cent and Luke trailed on 10.3 per cent.

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