Marcus Collins (born 15 May 1988) is an English singer who finished as the runner-up of the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011. Collins finished second to girl band Little Mix. Whilst on The X Factor, he was mentored by Take That frontman Gary Barlow, who has continued to work with Collins since.

His debut album, the self-titled Marcus Collins which featured production by the London-based Metrophonic team of Whitney Houston and Cher fame, became his first top 10 UK album which has his single "Mercy". His debut single from the album was "Seven Nation Army", a cover of The White Stripes hit, which also became his first top 10 UK single.


Eton Road

Prior to his solo audition in 2011 Collins was a member of five-piece boyband Eton Road, who rose to fame on the third series of The X Factor. Collins did not appear on The X Factor that year, but joined the band after original member Anthony Hannah decided to quit the band following their exit from the show.

The X Factor (2011)

In 2011, Collins chose to audition as a solo artist for the eighth series of The X Factor. Despite reaching the grand final, and beating over 200,000 other contestants to earn his place, he came runner-up to four-piece girl band Little Mix, who became the first group ever to win the series. Collins performed the following songs on The X Factor:

ShowSong choiceThemeResult
Auditions"Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours"Free choiceThrough to bootcamp
Bootcamp 1"Born This Way"Bootcamp challengeThrough to bootcamp 2
Bootcamp 2"Kiss from a Rose"Free choiceThrough to judges' houses
Judges' houses"One Big Family"Free choiceThrough to live shows
"Rolling in the Deep"
Live show 1"Moves like Jagger"Britain vs AmericaSaved by Barlow
Live show 2"Russian Roulette"Love and heartbreakSafe (7th)
Live show 3"Are You Gonna Go My Way"RockSafe (4th)
Live show 4"Superstition/Need You Tonight"HalloweenSafe (6th)
Live show 5"Reet Petite"FloorfillersSafe (2nd)
Live show 6"Another One Bites the Dust"Lady Gaga vs. QueenSafe (4th)
Live show 7"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"MoviesSafe (4th)
Live show 8"I'm Your Man"Guilty pleasuresSafe (3rd)
Semi Finals"My Girl"MotownSafe (2nd)
"Can You Feel It"Songs to get you to the final
Final"Hey Ya!"Free choiceSafe (2nd)
"She's Always a Woman" (with Gary Barlow)Mentor duet
"(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher"Favourite performanceRunner-up (2nd)
"Last Christmas"Christmas
"Cannonball"Winner's single

2012: Debut album and Hairspray

In January 2012, Collins signed a record deal with RCA Records and announced that was set to release his debut studio album in March. On 21 January, it was announced that his debut single would be a cover of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army". The single was released on 4 March. It was an exact copy of an arrangement of the song previously recorded by French artist Ben l'Oncle Soul that had been a hit in Europe. The song received a mixed reception, with fans of The White Stripes comparing the song in unfavourable light to the original. The song charted at number nine on the UK Singles Chart and spent three weeks on the chart. Collins then released his self-titled debut album on the 12 March 2012 and debuted and peaked at number seven on the UK Albums Chart. "Mercy" was released as the second single from the album, making it Collins' first self penned single. The music video for "Mercy" was released on 24 April 2012, with the single released on 3 June 2012. It was relatively unsuccessful, reaching only 194 on the UK Singles Chart, due to lack of proper promotion.

On 16 October 2012, it was announced that Collins would star as Seaweed Stubbs in the 2013 UK Tour of Hairspray, from February–September 2013. After completing the tour, Collins, Beth Tweddle, Jazmine Franks, Tom Scurr and Kelly-Marie Stewart took part in a world record-breaking charity skydive.

2013–present: New record deal and second album

He has just finished appearing in Kinky Boots the musical at The Adelphi Theatre in London's West End which stars Matt Henry and Killian Donnelly. Reviews of the show are fantastic and according to fan sources he 'slays the performance' and his vocals are 'off the charts'. On 27 September 2013, after finishing with Hairspray, Collins revealed that he had left RCA and signed with a new record company: "It was all mutually agreed. To be honest, it just didn't feel like we were going in the same direction. I loved working with them but it just got to a point where we both could go either way." Regarding his new album, He announced that he would be back in the recording studio "for the majority of October". Regarding his new album, Collins explained: "We've got about seven or eight songs that we're going to put down. We've got some new tracks and we've got some acoustic ones that are a little bit different. [Acoustic songs are] something that I've done before, but the record label I was with previously had different ideas and that's kind of why we separated." | 194 || — || — || — |- | rowspan="2"| 2014 ! scope="row" | "Fallin" | — || — || — || — | rowspan=2| TBA |}

YearSinglesPeak chart positions
2011"Wishing on a Star"
(as part of The X Factor finalists 2011 featuring JLS and One Direction)

Personal life

Collins is gay and in February 2014, it was announced that he was in a relationship with Strictly Come Dancing dancer Robin Windsor, this ended in 2016. Previously he dated his former bandmate, Eton Road's David Heath, before the couple reportedly broke up after Collins' release of "Seven Nation Army".

Before The X Factor, Collins worked as a salon hairdresser and attended the Hairdresser of the Year Awards while competing on the show. Prior to announcing his homosexuality, Collins stated that his dream date would have been with iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove.