Last night! After seven weeks of storming the votes and two more bonus weeks, Christopher Maloney was finally slain, leaving Jahmene and James and proving once and for all that it’s a Sherzinger world, we’re just allowed to live in it.
My PVR doesn’t even permit me to see Giant X one last time. Goodbye Giant X! It was good while it lasted!
Tonight! We will spend a pointless two hours acting as if it matters in the slightest who wins! And we’ll see some very ‘special’ guests, all of whom we’ve become heartily sick of in 2012 and all of whom have already been on The X Factor this series! I can’t wait!
Fashion update: Dermot/Louis/Gary – boring black tuxes although Louis’ is a but velour and Funsponge’s looks like the kind of fabric Christopher Maloney would wear. Nicole – some metallic mermaid thing I don’t know. Tulisa: silvery, glittery, nondescript but non-offensive. Dermot reminds us to vote although seeing as Nicole has already won, who cares?
Dermot welcomes back ‘the X Factor finalists’ miming to what is, essentially, their version of Jive Bunny’s Let's Party, except one of those revisionist versions that pretend Gary Glitter never made a Christmas song and replace it with ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ instead. (It’s a very Jive Bunny year on the reality shows, isn’t it? Most unlikely revival of 2012, anyone?). MK1 are still conspicuous by their absence, as is Christopher Maloney for “reasons”, the nature of which vary according to whether you are Christopher Maloney or the tabloids. His nemesis Carolynne (so much for overs solidarity) is paired with Melanie, Jade with ZombiElla, and Kye with two women in sweet wrappers. The boy bands get separated for a bit. Lucy is also missing – on the Twitters she said she and James were meant to be duetting to ‘Fairytale of New York’ but it got pulled at the last minute. I would speculate over it being a permissions issue, but then The Pogues apparently let this happen, so who knows? Rylan then appears, all by himself on a sleigh, pulled by bare-chested men, to do a tribute to the best X Factor Christmas performance of all time. MERRY CHRISTMAS! (Also: Look! They had a tree and everything that year! Such halcyon days!). Everyone is dressed in greys and silvers, by the way – mostly they look very nice, except poor Jade who’s come as a 1960s sci-fi futureminx as usual. James and Jahmene then enter, James in a big grey coat and Jahmene in a bacofoil suit, but it’s clearly only Jahmene’s vocal for the aforementioned reasons. Neither get to do much.
Recap of last night. I lived through two hours of that shit, not to mention revisiting this when I watched the Sunday show first time around, so nope. FAST FORWARD (Futurama. RIP Jo Dunne).
The acts then have to do their best song of the series. Or the song that will hobble them the most, if they’re the Marcus Collins of this year. Via the HANDY AND FUNCTIONAL means of a SAMSUNG TABLET, Jahmene decides ‘the audience’ loved his performance of ‘Angels’ best.
His staging is interesting – a huge plinth (naturally), a gospel choir (of course) and some giant angel wings made out of nails, which is an interesting way to mix your religious metaphors. Is Jahmene an angel, or about to get crucified? For a Jahmene performance, it’s almost understated vocally, apart from the screechy last note. Or maybe I’ve just become accustomed to him these days.
Louis reminds us that he was stacking shelves at ASDA and he MADE THE SONG HIS OWN. He says he wants Jahmene to win. Tulisa phones in a monotone happy that he did that song, it sounded amazing, yada yada, is this shit over yet? Funsponge says the competition has been quite tough for Jahmene and milks the poor boy’s difficult past some more. Nicole wipes away a tear (after a swift check that the camera’s on. Hee) and does her Nicolebabble about him being an angel and her role model. Dermot says it’s the first time Louis has endorsed someone who wasn’t in his category. I presume he means this series. So Funsponge endorses James, Louis Jahmene, Nicole both and Tulisa an early night with a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and a packet of Rothman’s.
Ads! I’m so glad Gossip are still getting royalties from adverts seeing as I was probably the only person on earth who bought Music For Men.
We return to Nicole imploring us to get it on as it’s James. So basically, this will go on for ages so you have plenty of time to get a quick shag in in the meantime. Via the STYLISH BUT USEFUL medium of a Samsung tablet, they decide James’ ‘Let’s Get it On’ may as well be his repeat performance because it doesn’t matter what they choose, he’s storming the vote anyway.
He sits atop the judges’ table and sings the song right to Nicole, then gives Tulisa a token kiss on the head as well as chucking a sly wink to Louis. The vocal on this feels stronger than the first time he did it, with a strong Shayne Ward/Matt Cardle style falsetto, although the Robert Palmer-esque backing band/dancers aren’t exactly necessary.
Louis calls him Jah-mazing. Oh, Louis. He then declares Nicole the best mentor this show has ever had. WORD, Louis. OK, stats-wise it might be Dannii. Can you imagine if all four mentors were as invested as Dannii and Nicole have been in their acts? This show might actually be good. Sadly, a Nicole/Dannii pairing, as epic as it should be, would just get drowned out by pointless tabloid bitchwarz. See people, this is why we can't have nice things. Tulisa's face at Louis' comment is priceless - but not as priceless as I imagine Sharon Osbourne (AKA second-worst-mentor ever after Gary)'s to be.
Tulisa says he deserves to win and he’s an artist. Funsponge says he’s going to have his own label and is ready to download his album right away. So James already has both his own label and album? Remind me why he needs this show then? Nicole says she’s humbled and blessed to work with him. Dermot reminds us of his HUMBLE ROOTS.
Dermot then reminds us about the series we’ve had and shows us a recap of the whole series. Funsponge being boring! Leona Lewis turning up! Mel being Mardy! Tulisa phoning it in! Geri and Gary WARZ! Nicole owning this place! (Rita Ora and Anastasia are but footnotes) Robbie lap-dancing Louis! Funsponge losing boring Carolynne to Rylan! Nicole owning him! SIXTEEN! SHAMAZING! JAH-JAZZLES! WELL-JELL! Rylan owning Gary! Nicole domination!
Dermot asks them their highlights of the series: Nicole sharing the stage with James and Jahmene on Saturdays; Gary: Rylan (in the most condescending voice ever); Tulisa: Lucy’s ‘Tea and Toast’; Louis: working with Union J and wearing a onesie. Oh, Louis, stop trying to make Union J happen.
Dermot lies that the show started nine years ago. (No, Dermot, it’s its ninth year. Not the same thing) and lies that the odd contestant from this show has proper worldwide success – trying to do a ‘we’re ever so ‘umble us’ bit with a ‘fair dos, it doesn’t happen to everyone’ qualifier. However, which acts from this show are genuinely worldwide successes? One Direction, maybe. Leona was for a bit but less so recently, and every single one of them – except Olly, sadly – is doing less well in the UK than they once were. (And Matt Cardle and Joe McElderry are actually doing better since leaving Syco than the show would ever admit. Rum old world, this one). We see clips of Leona, Olly, Alexandra, JLS (and oh, how beautiful those old auditions in the hotels were without the stupid crowds), Wand Erection, BixMix, Cher Lloyd all lying about how exciting the X Factor is. Cher Lloyd looks like she wants to die when she says it’s been the best thing ever, and the boy bands call their dolls ‘action figures’. Olly says it was PUKKA and reminds me in one single word how much I hate him. The overall message of it is PLEASE AUDITION PLEASE PLEASE DON’T LET US HAVE ANOTHER SHIT YEAR LIKE THIS ONE WE BEG OF YOU. LOOK, THE ONLY SUCCESSFUL SOLO MALE WE’VE EVER HAD IS OLLY MURS. HE SAYS PUKKA. PLEASE, SOLO GIRLS AND FRANKENBANDS, SAVE US.
Wand Erection are back for a third time this series, and they’re performing their very weird new single. Resentful has a very ugly chevron tattoo on his arm, but looks as grumpy as ever, the Zaynwreck seems to have been given Nicole’s broken microphone from last night, Niall is continuing his transformation from the most anonymous one to the best-looking one, and they get to skip around in front of the best plinth of the series: a red travelator. They have a video game backdrop which bears no resemblance to their rubbish new single. Mercifully, it’s a short song. Dermot is WELL JELL of their travelator. He reminds them that they were the Maloneys of their series and asks them how they feel. Resentful monotones that they’re pleased for them. Like all the pop stars this series, they like James the best. Although they add the ‘we like Jahmene as well’ caveat. Then Dermot slips down the travelator plinth, which is hilarious.
In case you hadn’t got the message from that whole segment, they’d really like you to audition for the 2013 series. Please? No-one will be watching anyway so it won’t matter if you make a fool of yourself.
Ads! Why are ITV1 using clockwork, THE MOST SINISTER OF ALL THINGS, as their Christmas idents? And TalkTalk sarcastically congratulating us for watching this pile of shite.
There’s a plug for the charity, but that smug fuckface David Cameron turns up and ruins it all so I have to fastforward that bit. The charity is here if you want to donate. Having had friends lose a child to a terminal illness, any charity helping families in that situation is worthwhile. But not worth buying an X Factor single for.
Next up! The joint most ubiquitous celebrity of 2012, Emily Sunday, singing another tedious piano ballid. I quite liked Emily Sunday at the start of 2012. My, how things change. She doesn’t even say that she likes James Arthur the best. What kind of special guest is that?
Ads! That Morrisons advert of bleak misogynist despair!
Jahmene is up next and reminds us of his journey: being annoying, being less annoying, caterwauling, having a really sweet relationship with Nicole, Rylan, James and the other contestants, taking his mum to the BixMix awards or whatever they were. Incidentally, the weirdest thing about this series for me is that, for the first time, I’ve felt like there was a camaraderie between many of the contestants. I don’t know if it’s a kind of strength during adversity thing that’s brought them together, or what, but even though I’ve liked very few of the performances, I’ve liked many more of the personalities than usual.
Jahmene’s single? ‘Let it Be’ – surely designed as an act of Maloney-baiting? It’s a standard Jahmene performance, replete with Stacy Solomon memorial fireworks displays, multiple key changes, a gospel choir, and a nice big plinth. It’s in no way my kind of thing but I’m sure it will keep some folk happy and I feel mean criticising Jahmene these days.
Louis wants to change Jahmene’s life. Tulisa says she’s ‘so happy’ he’s in the final in the least happy voice imaginable and says he and James both deserve it. Funsponge says he has an unbelievable talent and all he has to do is sing a song and make people feel something. Nicole thanks him and says he seems relaxed and calls it a Jahmazing Shamoment and makes him laugh. Nicole and Jahmene are so cute – I never, ever would have thought that she’d bring out such a likeable side to him – as she’s done to all of her category for that matter.
Caroline, who is totally what would happen if Cat Deeley was spliced with Denise Van Outen, is with some bloke from ASDA with a giant cheque like it’s ITV Telethon 1990 or something. Jahmene’s mum and siblings then send him video messages telling him how much they love him. D’aww. Even I found that kind of sweet.
James next and we’re reminded of his journey: being miserable, singing miserable songs, being supported by all the pop stars (including Emily Sunday despite her lack of endorsement earlier), living in a SMALL FLAT, singing the John Lewis advert which probably should have been Ella’s destiny were she not tragically ripped from us at a young age, RIP.
His single is an odd choice, a version of Shontelle’s ‘Impossible’ – although, perhaps no less odd than ‘Many of Horror’ in 2010. (Does anyone know why some years they make them all do the same song and other years they get to do different ones, by the way? It’s one of the very odd things about this show.) It’s a bit overwrought, but then it’s a James Arthur song. It’s got more to it than ‘Let it Be’, but then that was ‘Let it Be’ so, obviously it does. He has a plinth, by the way, but no gospel singers or fireworks. I guess he’s too edgy for that. Nicole dances a lot as is her wont.
Louis calls it a powerful performance and thanks him for bringing something new every week. He says he’ll get a big record deal and be a great artist. Tulisa says she gets him because they’re the same. Someone check one of James’ tattoos and see if it says ‘the male boss’ please. Tulisa implores us to vote for him. Funsponge says he’s a true artist and was worried he’d lose his dignity on this show. I think that’s just for the judges. He tells him to never let anyone tell him what to do. Because that attitude worked so well for Steve Brookstein and Matt Cardle. Nicole tells him his life will never be the same. Dermot calls him ‘Jimmy’ and asks him how he feels. He mutters something that sounds like tremendous.
Caroline is with James’ mum who says she’s his star and says she always did believe he could get this far. His mates are all dressed as him. James looks like he might be on the lookout for some new mates soon. His little sisters, mum and friends send him a VT saying how proud they are of him. James is so pleased he can inspire his sisters and thanks everyone.
Dermot implores us to vote. I would LOVE to know how many people voted each week this series.
Ads! Downton Abbey is the only thing on ITV1 this Christmas yet again.
Dermot tells us we’re going to get a recap of ‘all this weekend’s performances’ but sadly for Maloney fans it’s just the ones from James and Jahmene.
Next up! It’s the other joint most-ubiquitous celebrity of 2012, Rihanna! She was only on this show five minutes ago. She stares death glares at us and performs a megamix of her greatest hits to keep in with the general Jive Bunny revival theme. Her vocal is better than it usually is when she’s on this show. But like everyone else, I’m so bored of Rihanna now.
Ads! This year’s M&S ad is most disappointing. Oh for the halcyon harpy days of yore.
Time to welcome back the finalists and Queen Nicole. The winner is [insert epic pause] James. Bland-anoni-white-brunette-bloke victory 6/9! I called that one way back in the audition stages.
He and Jahmene have a big hug, then Nicole hugs him and takes care of Jahmene. Dermot implores him not to swear, although James hasn’t been particularly unprofessional this series. James thanks us. Jahmene smiles and says it was a blessing to share the stage with James because he’s a huge talent. A runner comes on to mic James up or something. Dermot gives James his CD. Are CD singles still a thing if Andi Peters is no longer there to see them made? James says he’s grateful the proceeds are going to a good cause.
He performs again and gets mobbed by the others as is standard. Creepy Puppet George doesn’t seem to mime about him getting a cat though, which is a bit disappointing. The camera focuses on Nicole and Rylan for much of it. Poor James.
So that’s it for another year! I don’t know about you, but I need a good lie down after all of that! This show will be back next year (perhaps for the last time??) and so, no doubt, will we. Join us then! (And don’t forget we’re still blogging Strictly in the meantime) MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!