Ellie Goulding backs Dalton Harris to win X Factor final

Ellie Goulding attending the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards 2018, held at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
Ellie Goulding attending the Nordoff Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards 2018, held at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Ellie Goulding has backed Dalton Harris to win tonight’s tense X Factor finale.

Appearing as the programme’s first celebrity performer, the singer-songwriter said Harris deserved to take home the prize, a record deal with Simon Cowell’s Syco Music label.

Asked by host Dermot O’Leary who she thought would triumph, the Love Me Like You Do hitmaker replied: “I’m going to have to say, just because he is the most incredible singer, Dalton.”

X Factor 2018
Ellie Goulding has backed Dalton Harris to win the X Factor (Syco/Thames TV)

Goulding appeared against a backdrop of pink roses, performing Close To Me, the original of which featured Diplo and Swae Lee.

O’Leary introduced her, saying: “Our first performer of the night is William and Kate’s favourite singer-songwriter.”

Afterwards she said of Harris: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. His story is amazing. He’s the perfect contestant.”

Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, the second guest performer of the night, also put his money behind Harris, adding: “Every performance of Dalton’s has been flawless, and that’s almost impossible to achieve.”

Anthony Russell had been the first to take to the stage, singing the indie rock anthem I Predict A Riot by The Kaiser Chiefs.

Pogo-ing around the stage to cheers from the crowd, Russell was joined by The Kaiser Chief’s frontman Ricky Wilson – a former host on The Voice UK. The judges stayed seated throughout his performance but leapt up at the end.

Robbie Williams said: “What an absolute tune that is. Absolutely incredible. What a way to start the show. I want you to go into the studio and write 80 songs and at least one will be like that.”

Ayda Williams added: “You are a complete inspiration to anyone who has struggled in life and thinks they can’t change it. You have come on so much in this competition. Anyway Anthony, I love you. What a way to open.”

Simon Cowell said: “Anthony, both of you, that was bloody fantastic. What a step forward. It was absolute magic chemistry. Great choice. This is going to give you a shot.”

Russell replied: “I grew up listening to The Kaiser Chiefs. I thought let’s go out in style tonight and rock the house.”

The X Factor final continues on ITV.

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