The Bromley singer was victorious on last year's show in the final at Wembley Arena in 2016.
But twelve months earlier it was a very different story with Matt not even getting as far as seeing the judges.
The 23-year-old has revealed he was turned away at the very first cut in the application process, before singing for the panel on TV.
Matt put the initial rejection down to an illness, telling BANG! Showbiz (via The List): "It was the second time I auditioned for the 'X Factor'.
"I auditioned the year before but I was really ill and didn't do very well. I didn't sing that great. I was kicked out in the producer round where you sit in front of people from the show."
Of course Matt returned for another shot last year when we now know things went a LOT better for him.
Matt went from not getting through the first audition to winning the whole thing, beating Saara Aalto in the final last Christmas.
Despite going into the live shows as rivals, Matt says the pair struck up quite the friendship during the competition.
He explained: "Saara is amazing. Her career is going to fly. She was so happy for me. She was the first person I met on 'X Factor' and I was the first person she met.
"At bootcamp we were sat together on the coach and who knew we'd go all the way through together and be in the finals together. I always say that we were supposed to meet that day."
"It was really hard to go up against her because we really cared for each other and we just wanted each other to succeed and do well," Matt added.
Matt's winner's album Trouble is out now.