The 24-year-old sang Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On on yesterday’s show, as well as his choice of winner’s single, Shontelle’s Impossible, to win the title at the Manchester Arena.
Judge Gary Barlow said of his performance: “You’re already ready now to record and play shows, and I can tell you for now, mate, I’m ready to download your albums right now, I really am.”
James beat Jahmene Douglas, who sang the Robbie Williams’ song Angels and the Beatles anthem Let It Be.
James, from Middlesborough, who had been mentored by Nicole Scherzinger, looked stunned as host Dermot O’Leary announced the result and could only say “wow” when asked how he felt.
“I don’t know what to say,” he added.
He walks away from the talent show with a recording contract and will now release his single of Impossible in a bid to top the charts with a Christmas number one.
The final also featured performances by One Direction and Rihanna.