X Factor winner Ben Haenow
Ben HaenowBen Haenow, Twitter

Announcement of Ben Haenow winning ITV's "The X Factor" shocked as well as infuriated many on Sunday night, as Fleur East had been the hot favourite for some time now.

The winner was selected by the public with 10 million voting on the night of the finale.

Haenow, 29, is a van driver from South London's Croydon area. "I don't believe it. I don't believe it. Thank you so much. My dream has come true. You can't imagine you are going to get to this point in the competition," The Guardian quoted him as saying after he was declared winner.

It was said that Simon Cowell, who was the mentor to both the finalists, favoured East more. However, when Dermot O'Leary announced Haenow as the winner, Cowell said: "I couldn't be happier for you, Ben. You've deserved it – you are a great guy and I'm so proud of you."

He further said that East was a "fantastic runner up". East exhibited great sportsmanship spirit and said: "I'm so grateful. I love Ben so much, I'm so happy for him."

Both the candidates sang the same winner's song – One Republic's 'Something I Need'.

But when East sang Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Funk', Cowell said: "of all the finalists I've ever head that was the greatest performance I've ever witnessed. I'm torn – I would ideally like to split the prize and give both of you the award for winning."

Critics believe that any sensible person would, in fact, be relieved to hear that Haenow had won the competition instead of East. East, who according to judge Tulisa Contostavlos is "another Beyonce", cannot really sing or even dance that well and her rapping is anything but good. Therefore, Haenow was definitely the deserving one here.

But, the point here is that East looked like a pop star and wanted to be one. Meanwhile, Haenow had earned the reputation of being a very boring contestant who looked older than he really was.

However, Judge Louis Walsh said: "You are here for a reason. You have got the talent, you are an incredibly nice guy."