And now the end is near… Even I can hardly wait for tonight.
And the magic moment when an enthralled nation finally finds out who has won the extraordinary phenomenon we call The X Factor.
This was a series like no other.
For three miraculous months, more than a quarter of the population was mesmerised as our Dark Lord and TV master Simon Cowell’s unstoppable juggernaut ruthlessly crushed the BBC’s feeble Strictly Come Dancing like an impertinent minnow.
Game, set and match to the guy with the square hair wearing high-waisted trousers. And his cliché-spewing Girls Aloud sidekick, the inexplicable queen of the screen. Whose uninspiring Cheryl Cole’s Night In was a good reason to have a night out.
But back to the point… and the semi-final results show delivered a thrilling hour of television. Culminating in the uplifting rejection of overrated bug-eyed crooner Danyl Johnson and his excruciating fake American accent.
“He’s a graceful loser,” sighed desperate Danyl’s sour-faced mentor Simon. Correct. Apart from the graceful bit.
And then there were three. With only little Joe, karaoke Olly and super Stacey still standing, last night’s nail-biting spectacular was a seething cauldron of tension. The atmosphere continues to be electric.
But why was this year’s talent search so much more gripping than ever before?
It certainly wasn’t the singing – as the competition’s stand-out stars Jedward comprehensively proved.
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The tone-deaf twinsufferables never hit a note. But everybody except naïve musical
purist Dannii loved them. Including the manipulative Mr Cowell, who pretended to hate the brothers Grimes until his shameless façade was exposed when he had the chance to vote them into oblivion… but didn’t.
Even the wannabes who could hold a tune were hardly in the Leona Lewis league.
Forget about the mercifully few sob stories. The mawkish era of tragic relatives and near-death experiences seems to have bitten the dust. Thank God!
Meanwhile, the imagination-free judges kept churning out the same old claptrap: you nailed that song… you made it your own… you look like a pop star… etc etc...
And curiously uninvolved screeching host Dermot O’Leary brought nothing to the party.
Sure, the new superstar studded Saturday/Sunday format stretched out the excite- ment.
But the real secret behind this soaring saga of unprecedented success was down to the one and only… you! Interactive power-to-the-people telly has come of age. Who will triumph? You decide.
And for reasons that escape me it looks like you’re gonna go for Geordie Joe and his many teeth.