Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall successfully auditioned as soloists for the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011, but failed to make it past bootcamp's first challenge. However, the judges decided to give them another chance to be part of the Groups category. They were then put into separate ensembles by the judges during the group's bootcamp stage, with Edwards and Nelson in four-member group Faux Pas and Thirlwall and Pinnock in three-member group Orion. However, both groups failed to make it through to the judges' houses. A later decision saw two members from each group being called back to form the four-piece group Rhythmix, this sending them through to the judges' houses.
They eventually reached the live shows and were mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos. On 26 October 2011, Rhythmix announced that they would change their name following a dispute with a Brighton-based children's music charity of the same name, after the programme tried to trademark "Rhythmix". A spokesman for The X Factor said, "At the request of the charity Rhythmix, the members of the girl group Rhythmix have decided to change their name, a decision which has the support of Syco andTalkbackTHAMES. It was reported that the band decided to make the change, despite no legal reason to do so, to avoid any difficulties for the charity. On 28 October 2011, it was announced that the group's new name would be "Little Mix". On 20 November 2011, Little Mix became the first girl group in the show's eight-year history to progress past the seventh live show. The previous longest-surviving girl groups were The Conway Sisters (series 2) and Hope (series 4), who had both lasted until live show 7.]On 11 December, Little Mix were announced as the winners, making them the first ever group to win the show. Their winner's single is a cover of Damien Rice's song "Cannonball", which was released via digital download on 11 December 2011, and on CD on 14 December 2011. The Xtra Factor: The Winner's Story was shown on ITV2 on 17 December 2011. Their debut single topped the UK Singles Chart on 18 December 2011. They made the Christmas number one spot on the Irish Singles Chart, beating novelty songs by The Saw Doctors and Ryan Sheridan.