Joe McElderry wins The X Factor

South Shields teen Joe McElderry will release winner's single The Climb after beating Olly Murs in The X Factor final

Teenager Joe McElderry has been crowned the winner of The X Factor 2009.

Drama student Joe, who is from South Shields, triumphed in Sunday night’s final netting almost twice as many votes as runner-up Olly Murs. The head-to-head came after the third-placed contestant, Stacey Solomon, ended her X Factor journey on Saturday night.

SEE ALL THE X FACTOR FINAL PICS HERE

It was an emotional moment for the 18 year-old, who was lost for words when Dermot O’Leary presented him with a CD of his winner’s single, which went on sale as the programme ended.

His track The Climb, a cover of a Miley Cyrus hit from Hannah Montana: The Movie, is odds-on to keep with the X Factor tradition of becoming Britain’s Christmas number one.

Joe hugged his mentor, fellow Geordie Cheryl Cole, as the announcement was made.  He eventually said, ‘Thank you so much to everyone – I can’t actually speak.’

‘I want to say thank you to my mentor Cheryl and all the judges and to everyone who voted.’

Meanwhile, Cheryl beamed, ‘I feel over the moon. I’m so proud of you’.

And a gracious Olly said, ‘I’m massively proud. Joe deserves this, he has been phenomenal every week‘.

Of the 10 million phone votes cast in the final, the nation’s verdict was clear with Joe scooping a massive 61.3% in his favour. He also won the public vote in each of the last four weeks’ shows.

While other contestants’ off-stage antics hit the headlines, Joe didn’t gain many newspaper gossip column inches. However, his ability to deliver note-perfect performances week after week soon made him favourite to win.

Joe shone in Sunday night’s song choices: he performed his version of the winner’s single, as well as favourite track Don’t Stop Believin’ (originally a hit for 70s band Journey).

Olly also delivered his version of the winner’s track – plus the lively Beatles hit Twist and Shout. It wasn’t enough, however to stop Joe from walking away the winner.

Show creator and judge Simon Cowell told his new protegé, who wins a £1 million record contract, ‘I have to give it to you’.

‘Whatever is thrown at you, you just rise up to the challenge.’

And the winner’s quest for new challenges must begin straight away. He now faces a whirlwind week of media interviews to promote his solo debut.

Sunday’s singles chart will reveal whether Joe McElderry will has beaten off competition including Rage Against The Machine and The Muppets to be the UK’s Christmas number one.

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