Marcus Collins gracious in defeat

Marcus Collins is gracious in defeat as he loses X Factor final

Marcus Collins saw his X Factor dream come to an end tonight as he came runner-up to Little Mix in the show’s final.

Though clearly shaken, Marcus was gracious in defeat, saying: ‘I’m really proud of myself, these girls really deserve it, they’re amazing.’

‘I thought tonight really went well, I enjoyed myself.’

His mentor Gary added: ‘I’m so proud of him, he’s been a brilliant contestant, well done.’

Speaking later on the Xtra Factor, Marcus said: I’m proud of myself. I’ve worked so hard and I’ve achieved something. I’m so proud.

It had been an emotional evening for the 23-year-old, as he said before the show: ‘A couple more performances now and one of us is going to be crowned the winner. It’s amazing.

Marcus kicked off the solo performances of the night, singing his favourite track of the series, Higher and Higher.

‘Performing higher and higher was a real moment for me on the show, it was one of my favourite performances on the whole series,’ he explained.

Full of energy: Marcus was on form as he hit the Wembley arena stage for the last time ‘It’s such an important song to me, it gives me such a boost every time I hear it.’

‘I always knew I wanted to be a singer, even when I was younger. It would mean so much to me if I could win The X Factor – I don’t want my dreams dashed at the last minute,’ he added.

After his performance, Louis said: ‘Marcus, you are a born little pop star. soulful, likeable, amazing – you’ve got it all.’

‘That is your best song of the series and I predict a very bright future for you, well done,’ commented Tulisa.

A clearly excitable Kelly added: ‘First of all, you lifted this crowd this evening higher and higher. And I hope you have enjoyed every minute of the time you were here and I hope you know how bright and big your future is. I’m so in love with you and I’m so happy you got this far.’

And mentor Gary said:  ‘Once again well done and congrats on another amazing performance. In the history of The X Factor I can’t remember a finalist or a winner who takes hold of the stage like you do and shines even amongst 40 people.’

Simon Cowell dealt a devastating blow to Marcus’s hopes last night, as he announced via Skype that he was a big fan of Little Mix.

The music mogul said on the Xtra Factor: ‘If I had to pick a group, I’ve given it away haven’t I? No question or doubt, Little Mix won the night.’

The strong words of support didn’t end there for the girls as Simon continued: ‘Little Mix were a revelation and if a girl group could win this show, it kind of makes history and maybe something special is going to happen.’