Real or rumour? We take a look back at The X Factor romances over the years

Published Wednesday, Sep 28 2016, 16:59 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Real or rumour? We've taken a look back at all those X Factor romances over the years.

Remember when Eoghan Quigg broke our hearts when he hugged Diana Vickers during her exit song? Everyone thought there was something going on there back in 2008. Or what about when Stevi and Chloe had us all talking in 2014. They chose to wait until after the competition to go public, but that romance didn't go without plenty of speculation in its early stages.

Then, of course, there's also the judges. Cheryl is now dating Liam Payne all these years later and Simon - he's been linked to Danni Minogue.

So what really happened?! Reveal recaps...

1. Cheryl and Liam Payne

Cheryl and Liam Payne in a private jet on the way to Cannes
11 May 2016

© Instagram / @fakeliampayne

When: 2016
Real or Rumoured: Real

Cheryl and Liam surprised us all with their romance, and finally went public on the red carpet (after PLENTY of teasing) in Paris back in May. Speaking about their romance, Simon has said the pair are "madly in love", while Liam gushed over Cheryl on Instagram and called the former Girls Aloud star his "favourite person."

It's thought Cheryl and Liam began dating after bumping into each other at The X Factor finale in 2015, following Cheryl's separation from Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini.

Since then their relationship has gone from strength to strength and the couple have found themselves at the centre of rumours Cheryl could be pregnant. Of course, she's said nothing in response, but Liam did add fuel to the fire by updating his Twitter bio to read: "The luckiest man in the world." Of course, that could mean anything though, right?

Funnily enough, Cheryl had been a judge on The X Factor panel back in 2008 when Liam first auditioned for the show and in 2010, where Liam auditioned a second time and was put into a boyband to form One Direction - who then went on to become one of the world's biggest ever boybands. No biggie.

2. Dannii Minogue and Simon Cowell

Dannii Minogue, Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole at the National Television Awards held at the O2 Arena


When: 2007
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

This one gets a little tricky. Dannii and Simon were romantically linked back when she first joined The X Factor in 2007. Simon later claimed that he and Dannii had a "love affair" while working on the show together and details were given in a biography written about him by Tom Bower titled: Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell. Simon admitted to having "a crush" on Dannii and claimed their secret romance occurred following his split with ex Terri Seymour.

Dannii, meanwhile, has neither confirmed or denied the claims. She was asked about her supposed romance with Simon last year, but Dannii told The Mirror in response: "It's not Simon's book - it's Tom Bower's book. It's a biography, not an autobiography. If he says it's the truth then that's what he's saying. But I don't have anything to do with that."

3. Stevi Ritchie and Chloe-Jasmine Whichello

Chloe-Jasmine Whichello and Stevi Ritchie, 2015.

© Instagram / chloejasminecjw

When: 2014
Real or Rumoured: Real

Stevi and Chloe fell for each other while both were starring on The X Factor in 2014 - Chloe was eliminated in week two of the show's live finals, while Stevi went on to reach week seven. Their romance blossomed once the show had wrapped and the following year Stevi and Chloe announced their engagement (July 2015). Stevi proposed over dinner, hiding the ring in a £10 bag with tissue paper and newspaper. He had to point out to Chloe what it was before getting down on one knee and popping the question.

The pair then put their romance onscreen by starring on Celebrity Big Brother's sixteenth series in August 2015.

In April 2016, Chloe and Stevi were rumoured to have split, with Stevi insisting the couple were 'taking a break' and their separation was not permanent. They then rekindled things and went on to have a wedding blessing in July. Chloe explained it was a commitment ceremony to mark a promise that they will get married. However, new reports have now surfaced alleging that Chloe and Stevi have split for a second time.

Neither have confirmed the split. When contacted by Reveal, a rep for Stevi declined to comment.

4. Caroline Flack and Olly Murs

Olly Murs kisses Caroline Flack on 'The X Factor'.
22 November 2015.


When: 2015
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

2015 was the year that Caroline and Olly replaced Dermot O'Leary as hosts of The X Factor and the pair's undeniable chemistry onscreen led to a whole load of rumours that they were romantically linked. Caroline had us all talking when she described her relationship with Olly as not "totally platonic" AND the pair appeared to pucker up to each other in the photo-booth at the Cosmo Awards. They insisted it was just a bit of photo trickery and Olly denied that there was anything more than friendship between himself and Cazza.

He said: "We always get asked the same question, every week, every month, the last three or four years. We're just best mates, simple as that."

5. Eoghan Quigg and Diana Vickers

Diana Vickers and Eoghan Quigg


When: 2008
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Eoghan and Diana were the big romance rumour we all wanted to get to the bottom of back in 2008. The pair had grown close behind-the-scenes at The X Factor and reports started surfacing, suggesting that Eoghan and Diana's relationship was more than friendship. It was all a little awkward, though, as at the time Diana had a boyfriend. Despite all the rumours, neither Diana or Eoghan ever confirmed if there was any romance between them.

6. Zayn Malik and Rebecca Ferguson

Zayn Malik, London
18 September

© Will Alexander/RV/

Rebecca Ferguson at Sexy Fish, London
July 2016

© Tim McLees/

When: 2011
Real or Rumoured: Real

Zayn and Rebecca got together after starring on The X Factor in 2010 - Zayn had finished in third place with One Direction, while Rebecca came second. Their relationship raised a few eyebrows, though, thanks to the six year age gap between them: Zayn had been 18 at the time, while Rebecca was 24.

They went on to date for four months, but things ended on a sour note between them, as Zayn branded their relationship a "mistake" in an interview with Now magazine - leaving Rebecca shocked.

7. Matt Cardle and Katie Waissel

Matt Cardle at West End Live, London
19 June


Katie Waissel at ITV Studios, London
24 August

© Rocky/

When: 2010
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Rumour had it that during their time on The X Factor back in 2010, Katie and Matt had 'been found in bed together', but series winner Matt was quick to deny the claims.

Speaking to Daily Mail at the time, he said: "That stuff about us being in bed together was absolute b*******. I can't say anything more about it because nothing happened."


8. Ella Henderson and George Shelley

Ella Henderson dyes her hair a lighter shade of blonde and shares picture to Instagram 12th October 2015

© Instagram / @official_ellahenderson

George Shelley, Instagram
28 September

© Instagram / @georgeshelley

When: 2012
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Ella and George were linked after being spotted holding hands, and there were all these rumours flying about that she had actually ditched him for his bandmate Josh Cuthbert. But Ella played down the rumours and insisted she and George were just friends. She told Fabulous magazine: "We've got a lot in common, we're in synch with one another. You don't come into this competition or this kind of show to make a friend for life and stuff but with certain people I think I've found that and its really nice." Ella also added to new! that "romance wasn't an option" while she was on The X Factor - even if people were adamant there was a bit of flirting going on.

9. Lauren Platt and Niall Horan

Lauren Platt meets One Direction's Niall Horan, X Factor
11 October

© Twitter / @syco

When: 2014
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Lauren seemed to impress One Direction star Niall during her stint on The X Factor, and after the pair met backstage, they were soon accused of having a secret friendship. Lauren also split with her boyfriend at the time (doing nothing to help the rumours) but she insisted there was nothing going on between her and Niall - even if he did say that she was his favourite X Factor finalist that year.

Lauren also found herself linked to Charlie George, who was part of Only The Young, but again the pair dismissed that there was any romance between them - they were just "really good friends."

10. Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik

Perrie Edwards poses with fiancé Zayn Malik on birthday, 11 July 2015

© Instagram / perrieeele

When: 2011
Real or Rumoured: Real

Perrie and Zayn had initially met back in 2011 - one year after Zayn had appeared on The X Factor and came third with One Direction. Like Zayn, Perrie too auditioned as a soloist in 2012 and was put together in girl group Little Mix, who eventually went on to win the show.

They went on to date for four years and Zayn had even popped the question, with him and Perrie announcing their engagement in 2013. Their relationship, however, started to break down following Zayn's decision to quit One Direction and the couple confirmed their split in August 2015. At the time, it was claimed Zayn had dumped Perrie via text - something he later denied. Setting the record straight, Zayn said in response to the rumours: "I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well."

He has gone on to date supermodel Gigi Hadid, while Perrie has been linked to Our Girl star Luke Pasqualino.

11. Harry Styles and Caroline Flack

Harry Styles out in London
March 2014


Caroline Flack at the BAFTAs 2016
5 August

© Lia Toby/

When: 2011
Real or Rumoured: Real

Caroline had been a presenter on The Xtra Factor when Harry auditioned for The X Factor back in 2010. He, of course, went on to become a part of One Direction and began dating Caroline a year later. They were together for four months. At the time, Caroline received a slew of criticism for dating Harry, as she was fifteen years older than him. Harry had been 17 years old when they got together, while she was 32. Since then, Caroline has said her relationship with Harry was a "strange" one, but she isn't embarrassed about it and won't ever apologise for dating him.

12. Sam Callaghan and Tamera Foster

The X Factor's Sam Callahan and Tamera Foster enjoy a picnic in the woods - 28 April 2014

© Instagram / samcallahanmusic

When: 2013
Real or Rumoured: Real

Sam and Tamera dated for a year and first met while both were competing on The X Factor for series 10. While Sam finished tenth on the show, Tamera finished fifth. The stars kept quiet about their romance at first, but were soon seen dropping the L-word on social media. Sam confirmed their split in November 2014, following reports that Tamera had ended things to focus on her singing career, after being signed by Simon Cowell.

Sam didn't confirm or deny the rumours, he simply said: "As some of you may or may not be aware Tamera and I parted ways a while back. I am looking forward to watching her grow as an artist and go on to have great success. I'm also really glad we've been able to remain close friends."

13. Mason Noise and Louisa Johnson

Mason Noise joins Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1, London
28 October

© Twitter / @itsmasonnoise

X Factor star Louisa Johnson shows off her new lilac hair, Instagram 31 August 2016

© Instagram / @louisa

When: 2015
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

In 2015, there was speculation Mason and Louisa were dating, after they appeared close in pictures and videos on social media. The rumours came after Louisa split with her boyfriend at the time, but Mason was quick to deny there was anything going on. He said the romance rumours were just gossip and that there had never been anything romantic between the pair. They were just friends.

Mason finished in seventh that series while Louisa went on to win the show with her mentor Rita Ora.

14. Louis Tomlinson and Louisa Johnson

Louis Tomlinson, Grand Opening Of Intrigue Nightclub inside Wynn Hotel & Casino, Vegas
29 April

© Judy Eddy/

Louisa Johnson at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017 Topshop show
September 2016

© Lia Toby/

When: 2015
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Louis had been a guest mentor on The X Factor alongside Simon Cowell, and was often spotted hanging around behind-the-scenes. Louisa revealed that One Direction's Louis had been direct messaging her on Twitter while she was on the show, and yep you guessed it, all the romance rumours then followed. Louisa was quick to shut them down, though, telling The Mirror that Louis "isn't her type."

15. Olly Murs and Diana Vickers

Olly Murs, Instagram
28 September

© Instagram / @ollymurs

Diana Vickers posing in tartan skirt at Chiltern Firehouse in London, 30th September 2015

© Instagram / @dianavickersofficial

When: 2015
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Following his split from Francesca Thomas (his ex-girlfriend of three years) in September 2015, Olly found himself being linked to Diana, with reports claiming they had enjoyed secret dates together. FYI, they hadn't. Olly set the record straight and insisted rumours he and Diana were dating were a "load of rubbish" and that the pair had laughed them off together. He told The Mirror: "We've known each other a long time. We're casually dating? No, we're not. We find it funny."

16. Amelia Lily and Frankie Cocozza

Amelia Lily and Frankie Cocozza, London


When: 2011
Real or Rumoured: Rumoured

Amelia and Frankie were rumoured to be a thing back in 2011, during their time together on The X Factor. Although, Amelia rubbished any romance between them following her exit from the competition during an appearance on This Morning. She was asked by Phillip Schofield if she was dating Frankie and Amelia replied: "I am not, no!" She then added: "I think the press just love to have the little romantic stories, don't they? I get on with Frankie, he's a lovely lad, but all of the lads are lovely."

Frankie made it to the live finals on the show but withdrew from the competition in week five. Amelia Lily had been eliminated in week one, but was reinstated after she and the three other nominees were put up to the public vote. Amelia recieved the most votes and replaced Frankie in the competition.

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