A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 of X-Factor 2014 finalist Marlisa Punzalan.
A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 of X-Factor 2014 finalist Marlisa Punzalan. AAP Image - Seven Network

Marlisa Punzalan has won the 2014 X Factor

SYDNEY teenager Marlisa Punzalan has won The X Factor, taking home a coveted contract with Sony Music.

The 15-year-old was stunned with her victory, telling the judges and audience she was blown away.

"I just can't believe it, I feel like I'm floating on a cloud right now. Thank you so much Australia, I couldn't have done it without you."

Earlier host Luke Jacobz revealed it was the closest margin in The X Factor history, with just 0.01 per cent separating Marlisa and Dean.

Marlisa then performed her new debut single for the roaring crowd, Stand By You, which is now available on iTunes.

It was a night of high emotion and superb performances where Melbourne singer and guitarist Dean Ray took second place, while Brothers 3 from Mudgee in the central west of NSW came in third.

A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 of X-Factor 2014 finalist Dean Ray.
A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 of X-Factor 2014 finalist Dean Ray. AAP Image - Seven Network

The night started off with a bang - literally - with a performance of Katy Perry's Dark Horse including fireworks from the Top 13.

They were all back... Reigan, Caitlyn, Rochelle, Jason, Tee, Sydnee, the girl group with the one with the afro, that guy I can't quite remember his name, the boy band I forgot even existed... anyway, there were 13 of them.

Singing their hearts out - a few with a little more 'I should be in the grand final' attitude than they had before their X Factor stint ended.

Olly Murs performed next, trying his hardest to avoid any controversy like he'd already caused on his Aussie visit (when he apparently made a 'sexist' remark about Taylor Swift writing songs about her ex-boyfriends).

He reminded Luke he came runner up on his season of X Factor, a little nod that you don't necessarily have to win the show to become more famous than the official winner.

I mean, let's look at the past winners: Random (what? who?), Altiyan Childs (wasn't he the guy who lived in a cave?), Reece Mastin, Samantha Jade and Dami Im.

Reece and Samantha Jade are the only two winners who are still seeing any kind of constant success, with the runners-up or third placed more of a household name.

Taylor Henderson, Johnny Ruffo and Nathaniel Willemse have all had roaring success since their series ended, and they didn't take out first place.

Jessica Mauboy brought the house to its feet during a super energised performance - and we all know she's the queen of "runners up do even better than winners of reality TV shows".

She's certainly come a long way since dodging douchebag Mark Holden's comments on Australian Idol.

Now for the first announcement of the night. Three contestants are slashed to just two.

It's Dannii Minogue's birthday tonight, but something tells me her celebrations are about to be cut short right now.

She's looking pretty coy, grinning from ear to ear with the knowledge Brothers Three have never been in the bottom two before.

The first contestant safe is 15-year-old Marlisa, so her and Ronan jump off the stage.

The next safe is... Dean Ray! Which sadly means it's the end for Brothers Three, and Dannii's grin is wiped off her face and hugs all 'round.

Cue sad 'trip down memory lane' time to watch their time on the show. Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny the loveable larrikins are an entertaining trio.

The most successful reality show winner Australia's produced thus far was next to perform, with Guy Sebastian singing his new tune, Mama Ain't Proud.

The duet with American rapper 2 Chainz on two giant TV screens was slightly odd, but other than that it looks like Guy's got another hit on his hands.

But the most hyped performance of the night went to Taylor Swift, who performed her smash hit Shake it Off.

When the screams of the fans died down, Luke asked Taylor how she comes up with inspiration for her song writing.

"It's my life! Why I think my fans and I have such a great connection is that they've essentially been reading my diary for years, and that hasn't changed."

"Never assume that you're entitled to anything" and treating others properly were a couple of pieces of advice

Taylor passed on to the emerging X Factor artists.

When we return from the ad break, Marlisa emerges onto the stage in her Elizabethan-type outfit, we take a trip down memory lane from her audition right through her boot camp and live performances including singing in front of John Legend, where of course she stumbled on a few notes.

Ronan was worried that at 14 years old, mistakes and missed notes would happen all the time.

Battling through illness and belting out Lady GaGa's Paparazzi was another shining moment for Marlisa - the package really showed why she has earned her spot in the Top 2 of the grand final.

She sings her knockout performance of the season yet again - Titanium by Sia and David Guetta.

She finishes and the judges get to give their final critiques - will we get one last judge bitch fight?

Though she's still three years off from legally being able to drink, Redfoo compares her to wine, getting better with age.

Dannii gives some nice comments for a change. Probably so the producers invite her back to judge next year.

Natalie gets overexcited for a change.

Ronan - "Mar, we did it," he says, like a proud dad at his daughter's graduation. Cue tears.

Now it's Dean's turn for a trip down memory lane - drinking out of puddles on the side of the road, Foo calling him

"Rock and Roll" if he saw him on the street, singing Bette Davis Eyes at audition and performing ABBA for J-Lo.

Dean performs his best song of the season, Budapest. There's something mysterious about this guy from Meandarra. Judges' earlier comments that he has the same presence as the late Michael Hutchence I kind of baulked at... but now, I see it.

He's definitely got something. Whether it's the X Factor, or whether it's the next 'runner up being more successful than the winner' I don't think we'll see the last of Dean Ray when Channel 7 is done with him.

The judges agree - and I get the sense if no other record label snaps him up Redfoo will gladly take him under his wing.

Dean does a poor Irish accent and Ronan gets a bit offended. I was expecting the next thing out of his mouth to be "Diddly-dee potato"... luckily Nat saves the day by getting a bit emotional.

The announcement finally arrives, and schoolgirl Marlisa wins the X Factor for 2014.



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