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Sunday, 14 December 2008

The X Factor, ITV1


Did we like it?
The good role models, dripping in likability factor, dreaming their fucking dreams, covering those corporate pop songs as best as they could rolled up for one last time. Most of the show was vile rubbish; but there were few little gems along the way – and the correct, no-brainer of a result.

What was good about it?
• The best performance of the night – and in the history of The X Factor (and quite possibly the world): Alexandra's duet with BeyoncĂ© on Listen. Despite sobbing hysterically due to being in proximity to her hero (like we once were upon seeing Jonny Lee Miller in the deli), Alexandra gave as good as she got in a few electric moments that were quite, quite magical. She made it her own, she nailed it and, like our postman, she delivered after noon.
• Alexandra's Silent Night, a welcome moment of calm on an ear-shattering evening. You Are So Beautiful was exquisitely sung, too, and she wiped the floor with JLS in the battle of the Hallelujahs. She deserved to win and we like her a lot more than the insipid Leona Lewis – but, to be honest, if we never saw her or any of the X Factorites again, a slight shrug is probably the wildest reaction you'd get out of us.
• JLS's stripped down Last Christmas was almost lovely.
• The rejects' rendition of I Have A Dream was a bit of a laugh but only when we tried very, very hard to forget that this was purely designed as humiliation and turned off the Feeling Guilty switch in our brains.
• Laughing at Ashley Cole when his missus thanked Alexandra for making it the "most special night of my life".
• Sister Hannah going bonkers.
• The producers ditched one of the staple moments of F Factor finale night: there was no Andi Peters in a white hat pushing a symbolic button at a CD factory. Hooray.

What was bad about it?
• Eoghan's tuneless performances: I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday was abysmal; his Picture of You duet with Boyzone was a tiny bit better but if he can be outsung by Ronan Kearing he hasn't got much of a chance as a recording artist; and he managed to make the High School Musical stand-out song, We're All In This Together, sound lacklustre.
• Eoghan's obvious embarrassment being with his father who wouldn't look quite right in the red carpet/VIPs only world that his son is about to enter, albeit temporarily
• After starting so strongly, JLS really went off the boil. The blandest black boys on the planet struggled during Flying Without Wings with Westlife and they bored us rigid with the sickly sweet Already There when they should have reprised their Umbrella triumph.
• The going home videos were well made but rendered unwatchable due to schoolkids screaming.
• The outside broadcasts where desperate-for-a-few quid Michael Underwood, Jeff Brazier and Kym Marsh surrounded themselves with screaming fans.
• Too much noise, too much over-excitement, too much "carnage in here"
• The X Factor rejects doing a muddy Aint No Mountain High Enough. We didn't appreciate being made to glimpse those slaggy girl groups again.
• The stupid things people say eg "He's a legend in this country" – a mad mayor about Eoghan; "The best thing since The Beatles" – a mad JLS fan; "I literally can't believe it" and "I literally feel like I can touch my dreams" – Alexandra.
• Eoghan winking.
• Aston winking.
• Stephen Gately trying to steal the show.
• Lousy Louis's "I can't believe you're only 16" catchphrase.
• The JLS boys being reluctant to touch Westlife's Mark. Is it coz he is gay?
• Dannii. Not needed next year.

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