Sam Bailey has been crowned winner of The X Factor 2013, following Sunday night’s final against Nicholas McDonald.

The 36-year-old mother of two – who had been the hot favourite to win – lived up to her promise, scoring over one million votes to take the title.

She now wins a life-changing record deal, with her debut single – a cover of the Demi Lovato track Skyscraper – due for release tomorrow.

Bookies have now made her the 2-5 favourite to score the 2013 Christmas No 1 when the festive chart is unveiled next week.

Sunday night’s show saw her perform the track as well as reprise the 80s ballad The Power Of Love – as her favourite song from the series.

Her victory was the culmination of a weekend-long final which saw Luke Friend finish in third place on Saturday night.

Afterwards Sam was rendered speechless by her win – eventually paying tribute to Nicholas McDonald when she did regain her composure.

“I don’t know what to say, I just want to say I love Nicky McDonald to pieces and he needs to get an album out as well,” she said.

“He has got the most amazing voice and I love him to death.”

Nicholas, appearing gracious in defeat, added: “If I was getting beaten by anybody it was going to be Sam. Sam was a hard one to beat. I just want to thank absolutely every single person who has voted for me week in, week out.”

He added: “This is not the end of me. I know I’ll have an album out and I’ll see everyone on the tour.”

Sunday night’s show also featured performances from One Direction, Katy Perry and Elton John – who gave Gary Barlow a ‘leaving present’ from the series by teaming up with him for a duet.