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Burke wins 'X-Factor' despite past failure

  |   Dec. 14, 2008 at 12:59 PM
LONDON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Three years after being dropped from "The X-Factor," contestant Alexandra Burke won the British talent competition in its televised finale.

The Sunday Times of London said the 20-year-old singer thanked the ITV series' judges and fans following her Saturday victory in which she inched out the boy band JLS and singer Eoghan Quigg for top honors.

"Thank you so much for making my dream come true," Burke said Saturday. "I'm the happiest girl alive."

The season finale also included a performance by U.S. singer Beyonce Knowles, who paired with Burke for a duet.

Saturday's victory and corresponding record deal for Burke offered the London resident a taste of redemption three years after "X-Factor" judge Louis Walsh booted her before the final rounds.

The Times said singer Leonard Cohen was also a big winner in Saturday's finale as all three finalists sang Cohen's "Hallelujah." Burke's performance of the song will be available as a CD single or music download.

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