Louisa Johnson breaks down in tears as she becomes the youngest EVER contestant to win The X Factor at age 17
She’s been the bookies’ favourite since the beginning of the competition.
And 17-year-old student Louisa Johnson sailed to victory on Sunday night’s live finale at London’s Wembley Arena, beating double act Reggie ‘N’ Bollie to the title as the eleventh series of the ITV show came to a dramatic conclusion.
The vocal powerhouse was crowned the public’s favourite after putting on an absolutely jaw-dropping performance, earning unprecedented praise from show boss Simon Cowell.
Scroll down for video
Victorious! 17-year-old student Louisa Johnson was crowned the winner of The X Factor 2015 during Sunday night’s dramatic live finale at London’s Wembley Arena
Mentor Rita Ora couldn’t contain her glee, while Louisa sobbed helplessly after hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack declared, ‘The winner of The X Factor 2015 is… Louisa Johnson!’
Rita enthused: ‘Thank you to everyone who voted! And thank you to Louisa for being the most talented, hardworking and gorgeous winner!’
Fighting back her tears, Essex schoolgirl Louisa wailed: ‘I’ve imagined this day for so many years, it’s incredible. You have no idea how much this means to me.'
The teen made history as the youngest ever contestant to win the show, while also securing a first win for Rita, who jumped ship from BBC show The Voice this year.
Overcome with emotion: Louisa and her mentor Rita Ora couldn't believe it when her name was called, wailing in disbelief
Stunned: The talented teen was amazed when she was told she'd earned the lion's share of the 8million votes cast by the British public
Thrilled: The singing sensation, who has been the bookies' favourite since the beginning of the series, beat Reggie 'N' Bollie to the win
Gracious in defeat: Reggie 'N' Bollie, joined by mentor Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, were visibly pleased for their fellow finalist Louisa
Ghanaian duo Reggie ‘N’ Bollie, who have consistently surprised the judges by dominating the public vote, just couldn't triumph against Louisa's amazing vocals and took their defeat graciously, saying, ‘We are not devastated, we’re just happy to be here! '
Her win came as little surprise since she blew the audience away with her amazing vocals earlier in the show, exuding confidence far beyond her young years as she belted out James Brown’s It`s A Man's World.
A flabbergasted Cowell exclaimed: ‘That is called The X Factor. No exaggeration. In all the years I have done the show, I have never ever heard anything like that. You are not human!’
‘That was absolutely fantastic!’ Cheryl Fernandez-Versini raved, while Nick enthused, ‘You forget how incredible you are until you perform. It’s like a slap in the face.’
Awestruck: Simon Cowell hailed the 17-year-old singer as the best thing to come out of the ITV show, so it came as little surprise when she was crowned the winner
Confidence: Louisa exuded confidence far beyond her young years as she belted out James Brown’s It`s A Man's Man's World
Celebrating: Her mentor Rita, 25, wrapped the singing sensation up in a big bear hug after her strong solo
Owning the stage: Rita looked sensational in a glittering grey gown during The X Factor live final
‘Louisa, to see how you’ve evolved as an artist, an individual. You’re just 17 – it blows my mind’, her proud mentor Rita said, as the humble teen fought back tears.
The grand finale was packed with stellar performances from both the finalists and A-list musical guests Adele, One Direction and Coldplay, as well as an array of sensational sartorial statements.
Rita, 25, looked absolutely incredible in her glittering grey gown, making the most of her ample cleavage thanks to the feathered number's low-cut neckline.
Meanwhile, Cheryl had clearly saved the best til last, looking equally fantastic in a billowing red princess gown with a full tulle skirt.
Princess gown: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was the picture of elegance in a dramatic scarlet dress
Grand finale: The eleventh series of Simon Cowell's flagship singing competition came to a dramatic conclusion, complete with A-list musical guests
Sealed with a kiss: Rita commanded attention in her jaw-dropping gown with gauze detailing
Impressed: Show boss Simon Cowell was no longer Mr. Nasty as he heaped heavy praise on Louisa
The 32-year-old Girls Aloud singer surpassed herself in her dramatic satin dress, styling her brunette locks in voluminous curls and accessorising with dazzling drop earrings.
While it seemed like it could be anyone's game early on in the show, it soon became apparent that Louisa was the clear winner from both the audience and the judge's reaction.
The finale kicked off with a live performance from the finalists, including Seann Miley Moore and 4th Impact, as they belted out a mash-up of Petula Clark's Downtown.
Next up were eight-time BRIT Award winners and regular X Factor guest vocalists, Coldplay, who performed new single Adventure Of A Lifetime from album A Head Full Of Dreams.
Double trouble: Olly Murs and Caroline Flack were on top form as they introduced the entertainment
Back onstage: The X Factor finalists all reunited for a mash-up of Petula Clark's Downtown
Fan favourites: Sisters 4th Impact drew large cheers from the studio audience
Surprise guest: Mariah Carey said in a special video message to the finalists, 'Good luck to everybody on the final tonight. One thing you shouldn’t do, is listen to anything Simon says!'
Frontman Chris Martin, who worked up a visible sweat as he danced around with a troupe of gorillas, enthused how excited he was to be on the show and said he didn't have a favourite for the win.
Reggie ‘N’ Bollie then performed their song of the series, a mash-up of 1D’s What Makes You Beautiful and OMI's Cheerleader, earning just as much praise as Louisa.
The pair mixed things up by launching into a version of I Like To Move It, which had both the audience and the judges on their feet dancing along.
Show boss Simon Cowell enthused: 'Yesterday you were good... tonight was a whole new level. Your energy, your enthusiasm - after that, we may be in for a surprise!'
Setting the bar high: Coldplay performed single Adventure Of A Lifetime from their new album A Head Full Of Dreams
Monkey business: Frontman Chris Martin danced with a troupe of gorillas
Living it up: Reggie ‘N’ Bollie performed their song of the series, a mash-up of 1D’s What Makes You Beautiful and OMI's Cheerleader
Nick Grimshaw agreed, saying, 'You guys could win, I've never seen a reaction like that in here.'
The finalists both had a second chance to sway the vote, each performing the winner's single, Forever Young, a soulful Bob Dylan cover that could see Louisa scoring the coveted Christmas number one.
Reggie 'N' Bollie brought the judges to tears as they praised the dynamic double act and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as their families shared their messages of support for them.
It seemed the win was already in the bag for Louisa since Simon enthused after her winner's single performance, 'I feel like we're witnessing the birth of a star', while Grimmy said she was giving him 'Whitney and Mariah vibes'.
Positive reaction: The Ghanaian rap duo were given a standing ovation from both the judges and the audience
Popular choice: Nick Grimshaw enthused, 'You guys could win, I've never seen a reaction like that in here'
The action-packed live final also boasted a host of A-list artists and surprise celebrity video messages.
One Direction, who were formed on the show in 2010, returned to perform for the last time before the band take a break from March 2016 onwards.
Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan - minus original member Zayn Malik - set their fans wild in the emotional set.
Mentor Simon looked overwhelmed as he told them: 'Well, this takes me back five years ago when I met five guys, singing as solo artists, then I never could have predicted what happened next. I know you're gonna take a break, you deserve it.
Emotional performance: One Direction - who placed third on the show in 2010 - returned to where it all began
Final hurrah: The four-piece were given a video tribute message from their mentor Cowell
Touching tribute: A host of A-list names including James Corden and David Beckham offered them congratulations on their success
Joker: Comedian Jack Whitehall pretended to be overcome with emotion at the thought of 1D taking a break
'I want to take a chance now to say, thank you, you've been an absolute pleasure to work with. Five of the nicest guys I ever met. Enjoy the time off, have a fantastic time.'
Messages were then shown on a video tape from James Corden, Robbie Williams, Wayne Rooney, Danny DeVito (who told them to 'spend some of that money' they earn), Jack Whitehall, Little Mix, 5 Seconds Of Summer and David Beckham.
Not bowing out quietly, One Direction then performed for a second time, giving a rather jazzy rendition of another song from their new album Made In The A.M, History.
Liam said: 'We've had the most amazing five years. We're sad we're going away for a little while but we need it. You can see how happy we are, it's genuine happiness.'
Welling up: The judges couldn't hold back their tears as the finalists sung for the last time
Show of support: Reggie 'N' Bollie's families were jumping for joy as the duo took to the stage
Sobbing: It was plain to see how much Cheryl cares about her act, who described her as a 'big sister'
Will Ferrell also made a surprise appearance in a video message, recalling some of the show’s most memorable contestants from years past, including eccentric singer Chico.
Discussing bongo-banging Wagner, the American comedian joked: ‘He’s one of the greats! The way he plays those drums, he could teach Phil Collins a thing or two!’
The grand final saved the best for last thanks to a performance from Adele, who took to the show's stage to sing record-breaking hit Hello.
She cackled: 'That was amazing! I feel like I've been waiting half my life to be here!... I feel like I'm in East 17 being at Wembley!' The superstar backed Louisa for the win, but cited Lauren Murray as her favourite.
Adorable: The pair were joined on stage by their cute kids as they explained what winning would mean to them
Tugging at the heartstrings: Louisa also drummed up support by being joined by her little sister
Hello from the other side! Adele completely stole the show as she belted out hit single Hello
'That was amazing!': The superstar couldn't contain her excitement about playing to Wembley
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3358503/Rita-Ora-puts-busty-display-Cheryl-wows-X-Factor-final.html#ixzz3uF8UMUAD
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook