Surpassing the achievements of One Direction and JLS by becoming the first group to win The X Factor in the U.K., four-piece girl band Little Mix were one of the few success stories to emerge from the underperforming and controversial eighth season. Jade Thirlwall (who had auditioned for two previous series) and Perrie Edwards (both from South Shields), Jesy Nelson (from Romford, East London), and Leigh-Anne Pinnock (from High Wycombe) had all originally auditioned as solo artists, but like fellow acts Nu Vibe and the Risk, were put together as a group at the boot-camp stages. After impressing Jessie J and mentor N-Dubz's Tulisa Contostavlos at Judges' House, they made it to the live finals, where their engaging personalities, girl-next-door image, and contemporary song choices saw them outgrow their initial underdog status. Originally known as Rhythmix, the girls were forced to change their moniker in week four after it was revealed that there was already a Brighton-based children's charity of the same name. But following stellar performances of En Vogue's "Don't Let Go," Katy Perry's "E.T.," and Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music," they beat the Conway Sisters and Hope's previous record to become the first girl band in the show's history to make it past week seven. After contributing to the high-profile M&S TV ad campaign and the finalists' charity cover version of Rose Royce's "Wishing on a Star," they eventually went on to triumph over Marcus Collins in the final. Their debut single, a rendition of Damien Rice's 2003 hit "Cannonball," went on to top the charts but scored the lowest first-week sales by an X Factor winner since Steve Brookstein's "Against All Odds" in 2004, and was later beaten to the coveted Christmas number one spot by the Military Wives Choir. Their debut album, which is expected to feature several songs written by Take That's Gary Barlow, is scheduled for release at the end of 2012. ~ Jon O'BrienPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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