Waiter Matt Terry thanks fans after winning X Factor 2016
WAITER Matt Terry has thanked his fans after being crowned the winner of the X Factor 2016.
The 23-year-old beat Sharon Osbourne's finalist, Finnish singer Saara Aalto, to clinch the title at a star-studded show held at Wembley Arena.
"I can't believe it! Thank you to every single one of you that voted for me," the singer, from Bromley, tweeted.
Host Dermot O'Leary said around 6.4 million votes were cast and revealed Ed Sheeran penned this year's winner's single, When Christmas Comes Around.
Before taking to the stage to perform the single, a tearful Terry said: "Thank you so much."
Bookmakers William Hill have said Terry is now favourite to clinch the coveted Christmas number one single - ahead of big hitters like Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift and the charity single recorded in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.
"Penned by Ed Sheeran and belted out by the current X Factor winner, When Christmas Comes Around has everything needed to hit the festive top spot," said William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly.
The live final of the ITV show saw both singers perform twice, with Terry picking Sam Smith's Bond theme tune, Writing's On The Wall, as his favourite song of the show.
His second song was a rendition of Randy Crawford's 1980 hit One Day I'll Fly Away, after which his mentor, Nicole Scherzinger, told him: "This is yours for the taking, you just did it right now and I'm so proud of you."
This is the second win for Scherzinger, who also mentored James Arthur, the winner of the 2012 series.
Other highlights from the final weekend included Terry teaming up with the former Pussycat Dolls singer for a rendition of the Prince hit Purple Rain on Saturday night.
The newly-crowned winner, who many dubbed the doppelganger of One Direction star Louis Tomlinson when they first saw him, performed Ben E King's Stand By Me during his first audition for the show.
At the time, X Factor boss Simon Cowell said he reminded him of Olly Murs, who was the show's runner-up in 2009.
Following Terry's win, Cowell promised him "we'll give you 100%".
The music mogul congratulated both of the finalists, saying they were "great artists".
He said: "The thing I'm most proud about, about this show, is seeing Little Mix and some of these other artists tonight, what they've done with their lives and this is why we make this show. You are now part of that chapter."
Runner-up Aalto thanked everyone for their support and told O'Leary: "This has been an amazing journey. I'm just so happy for Matt, congratulations, I love you."
The final of the show was opened by Kylie Minogue and included performances from the 2011 X Factor champions, Little Mix, and Madness, who are back with a new album titled Can't Touch Us Now.
Some of the series' most quirky contestants also returned to the stage, among them Sada Vidoo, or the "Living Doll" as she calls herself, for a group performance.
Singer Tomlinson, who performed his new single on Saturday night just days after his mother's death, congratulated Terry, tweeting: "Congratulations MattTerry93 ! Well deserved. £XFactorFinal"
Coronation Street star Shayne Ward, who won the X Factor in 2005, also tweeted his congratulations.