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Little Mix make X Factor history as the first girl group to make the final

By Emily Sheridan

They've made it: Little Mix (L-R) Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Ann Pinnock and Perrie Edwards are through to the final

Through the previous seven series of The X Factor, girls groups have sunk without a trace.

But its looks like this year's bookies favourites are finally turning things around as becoming the first girl group to reach the finals.

Jade Thirlwall, 18; Jesy Nelson, 20; Leigh-Anne Pinnock, 19, and Perrie Edwards, 18, were ecstatic after becoming the first to find out they were in next weekend's final tonight.

Having surpassed the longest surviving female bands - Hope and Conway Sisters (do you remember them?) by making it past Week 7, the four-piece are so close to realising their dreams.

Although they started the live shows as rank outsiders to win, Little Mix have turned public opinion by churning out a series of memorable performances over the past few weeks.

Coming from a group herself, their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos has always hoped her own experience and Little Mix's urban edge would make them stand out from previous girl bands in the competition.

All together, S-C-R-E-A-M: The girls can't contain their joy as they celebrate making it to the final with their mentor Tulisa Contostavlos

Group hug: Tulisa throws her arms around her 'little muffins' - who are only a few years younger than the singer

While Little Mix are the first girl group in the final, several boy bands have made it to the same stage - but never actually won.

But in all previous seven series of The X Factor, only solo artists have won the competition.

In 2010, One Direction - another band manufactured by the judges - came third.

Unsure: Little Mix made it through to the final, despite receiving a mixed response to their performance on You Keep Me Hangin' On on Saturday night's show

Lead singer? Some of the judges cited Geordie student Perrie, 18, as the group's stand-out vocalist

One of X Factor's biggest success stories so far have been JLS, who were second to winner Alexandra Burke in 2008, and have ended up out-selling her.

Last year, Belle Amie were eliminated in Week 4, while girl groups Kandy Rain and Miss Frank were both voted off in weeks 1 and 3 respectively in the 2009 series.

In Series 5 in 2008, Girl Band and Bad Lashes left the show in Weeks 1 and 2.

We could get used to this: Little Mix - pictured at the London première of Hugo last week - are sure to become regulars on the red carpet

Five-piece Hope - who were mentored by Simon Cowell - in the 2007 series managed to get to Week 7, as did the Conway Sisters in the 2005 series.

In Series 3, there weren't even any girl groups at all, with Voices With Soul only reaching Week 4 in the first series back in 2004.

Remember us? Girl group Hope - mentored by Simon Cowell - managed to get to Week 7 in the 2007 series of the show

Don't forget us, either: The Conway Sisters only made it to Week 7 too in the 2005 series

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