The X Factor 2012: finals week eight - as it happened

Our comments, your comments: absolutely all the drama and joy of this Saturday's X Factor, preserved for eternity

The X Factor 2012: finals week eight - as it happened
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7.55 Evenings! I am Jack Seale, and this is my X Factor blog. My perfect X Factor blog, with you. Hello. Everyone sings twice this week, so it's going to be long, arduous and ultimately rewarding, like an Iranian film. Exactly like an Iranian film. Won't you share my popcorn? I promise I haven't done that thing with it this time.

8:03 Here we go then: Take Me Out has finished (if you missed it: Alan, a man with five legs from Carshalton, won a date with Ruth, a woman with gills from Bristol. Find out how they get on next week!) and The X Factor has started! After a doomy montage of last week's atrocity, Dermot emerges. After his weird swing thing, the spin is suitably conservative: slow and insufficiently slippery, with some jacket issues. Bring on the judges!

8:05 Tulisa is bereft. Nicole has had a go at a salmon frock, but it looks sad. Gary's beard is downcast. Come back, Ella!

8:07 First out of the stupid box this week, RYLAN CLARK! Footage of Rylan and James whipping up a Thanksgiving turkey for Nicole and Jahmene. It must be said that the Pigrim bonnet is a look that works for Nicole. Talk among yourselves for a minute.

8:09 Rylan, dressed as the villain in an unauthorised Korean Bond film, is doing Mamma Mia, this being Motown/Abba week. It's a spoken-word version. One eye on that lucrative audiobooks market.

8:12 Rylan has finished. Louis calls him the people's champion, while Tulisa says "you're my kind of cheese". Even Gary says he's been worn down. Could Rylan win? Could he be prime minister? Could he lead the people of Earth to a new home in space? Anything is possible.

8:14 Ad break! Winsome acoustic versions of Our House, The Power of Love, Shaddap Your Face and The Headmaster Ritual. All the best of the 80s.

Alan: He's clever that Rylan. You have to give him that. Pitching for the Ella vote there and appeasing the Gary Barlow fans all in one sentence before anyone else is out of the box.

Miss G: Rylan as prime minister...change the national anthem to Madonna's 'Vogue', three day weekend so we can all get fake tans and vagazzles ready for hitting the clubs on Saturday night...what a very bleak future you paint.

8:19 We're back! It's Josh, Roger, Helen and "Clive the Exterminator" - together they are UNION J!

Jess: Forgot to get drunk so watching X Factor stone cold sober. Appalling

8:22 The Nionj start in plinth formation, but without the plinths. They are simply standing on the floor. The thinking behind this becomes clear when they start roaming the stage. Everyone screams when they come near! I would. They did The Winner Takes It All. I say "they" - it was almost entirely Jaymi and one other guy. George was blatantly just mouthing.

Miss G: I'm sure there's some kind of government health warning about watching this without a good three glasses of wine inside you, Jess

8:25 Louis says: "The next big boy band is OnStage!" I haven't seen OnStage, but I hear their light dance cover of Bachelor Kisses by The Go-Betweens is deeply moving. Now it's JAHMENE DOUGLAS!

8:27 Jahmene this week took his mum to the VOTE FOR JAHMENE, WE WOULD LIKE JAHMENE TO WIN, VOTE JAHMENE JAHMENE JAHMENE LOVE FROM THE X FACTOR PRODUCERS KTHANXBAI awards. Sorry, I mean the Empowering Women awards. That was just about the most positive intro VT of all time. The sainted soul singer is smearing his extra syllables over I Have a Dream by the Abbas.

Tuckin: Who else out there doesn't buy Jack's "I don't know all their names really" act?

8:29 Tuckin: I genuinely do not know. George is one. Jaymi. Tonight I learnt Josh. Honestly no clue what the other one is called. Alan? Barney? Meryl? No idea.

Lisa: Sarcastic comments aside, Jahmene is a really decent human being, isn't he?

8:29 OH ALL RIGHT LISA yes he is.

8:29 Jahmene was pretty boring there. Louis commented on the staging, saying: "He's like Lewis Hamilton, he's always on the podium!" And people say The X Factor is scripted. Gary promised that Jahmene would be able to buy his mum a nice house. His own mum, not Gary's mum. This constitutes an oral contract - trust me, I've got a law degree. Gary owes Jahmene £350,000. Ad break!

Dana: I personally call them Robbie, Gary, Jason and Howard myself. But I do that with most boybands. It works.

jane: JJ! its easy to remember Jack cos they all start with J (or a letter that sounds like J) - hence the name UNION J. #ohjack

8:34 Ha, yes that's why they were called Triple J! I see that now. So I didn't get the meaning behind Triple J and didn't spot the subtle wordplay underpinning Union J[ack], despite it being based on my own name. Always, the Nionj outwit me with their linguistic games.

Delia: I love jahmene - Based on him I have a new idea for a reality show - Contestants have to come up with new religions and the winner gets to be a new messiah

8:35 This week on Surprise Surprise, a surprise duet with Olly Murs. Tune in to find out what the winner got.

8:37 Next, it's JAMES ARTHUR! Massive sympathy bounce for him this week, I reckon, after being in the bottom two last time. He could come on and do Fernando on a Stylophone and still be alright.


8:39 James does the second-best Abba song, SOS. The best one is so obvious I won't even insult you by naming it.

jane: his hair has changed so much.

Katie: Do you know how much I dislike ABBA?!

8:40 Really, Katie? That's like disliking chocolate or children or the sea. Abba just are.

Miss G: Totally unnecessary drum backing track there - I was liking that as a kind of semi-acoustic thing.

Alan: He should have done Chiquitita.

Ruth: Easily the best so far. I also predict he'll be better than Christopher

8:41 That was a bit contrived in the chorus - I'm waiting for someone on the judging panel to inaccurately describe it as "dubstep". Tulisa says he "James Arthured it". He did! Totally.

Katie: Hmmmmmmmm. I like chocolate.... less so the other options!

Dana: By all rights he should win the show outright now.

Pete: He's like a badly drawn Badly Drawn Boy

Tuckin: Tulisa wins the "you made it your own" race tonight! A shock result - Louis and Nicole have made that race their own over the past few weeks.

Dana: If James and Christopher were in the bottom two, who would Gary vote for?

8:43 "Why did Rylan make you stuff that turkey?" asks Dermot. "That's his job!" While I phone Ofcom, let's enjoy CHRISTOPHER MALONEY! God this boy is good.

Tuckin: Dana makes a good point - Gary might well stab Christopher in the back in that scenario. Not that he would have to.

jane: i think he would vote for james to keep his dignity. voting for another mentor's act in the bottom two would be an x factor first!

8:50 Christopher totally Christophers Fernando. If the rumours about producer sabotage are to be taken seriously, we need to question the X Factor stylist first: Chris's suit and tie are very "last-minute job interview". Nicole says it was "a snoozer", while Louis and Tulisa snidely giggle about the dancers, in a way that seems guaranteed to irk Maloney fans into voting. No! Be non-committal!

Delia: Christopher was born to be second lead understudy in 'We Will Rock You'

Dana: Christopher fully clothed in the middle of an orgy. Makes total sense.

8:56 Nearly through the ads. I need a wee AND a beer. Have I got time? Not really, but I'm going for it. Hold the fort chaps.

8:59 I'm back! UNION J are back! They're doing I'll Be There by Union Jackson.

Tuckin: What Abba song would Ella have sung? Or is that like wondering how many of Leo DiCaprio's roles the superb River Phoenix would have nailed?

9:01 This is chugging half-heartedly. Very slow, very dull. George once again seemed not to be singing. Big trubbs here perhaps.

Ruth: Very Westlife = Very boring :(

Alan: That was a bit dull from Junior N there.

Miss G: Very Westlife = Very boring = Very Louis??

9:04 George really looks like his mind is elsewhere. He has a rictus smile. I do hope he isn't going through a divorce or a troublesome house purchase.

9:06 In its way that was the best moment of the series. Jaymi gasses for ages about the Nionj finding themselves, and then says they wanted to take the song and... at which point Dermot whips the mic away and says, "We get it." No, the Nionj! You did NOT make it your own. Derms has spoken.

Lewee: Pick up the fone! Pick up the fone! eye don't want them in the bottom toooo! Bye bye UJ!

9:10 Back again, it's RYLAN CLARK! This time he's speaking the words to a Supremes medley. Baby Love, totes mashed right up innit bruv in the endz with Stop in the Name of Love AND You Keep Me Hangin' On. Rylan has a shiny yellow suit with a pink sleeve, looking like the design that got the original Quality Street designer fired after years of rumours in the factory about drug abuse. But vocally, that was flat in all senses. I think this is the death of Rylan. The aclarkalypse.

Katie: Did they run out of yellow fabric?

9:19 Back from the ads. Having said it was JAMES ARTHUR last time, Nicole correctly identifies the next act as JAMES ARTHUR. It's JAMES ARTHUR! He's following up his classic version of Sexy And I Know It with a reading of Let's Get It On. James! Try not to make it too angry and threatening! K? K.

9:23 Decent effort from James there, systematically touching the female judges before returning to the stage for a whole heap of grunting and screaming. At one point Nicole was moved to stand up and do the much-missed Gary-face grind. Sexual X Factor.

Alan: Shurely James should shwin this by a mile.

Dana: It's a shame Caroline Flack doesn't host X Factor. They could've had sex on the judge's table straight after.

Alan: Murdered it? Like in a good way, right Nicole? Right Nicole? Er ... NICOLE?

Ruth: James has to be safe this week doesn't he??

9:25 I called it at the start, Ruth. Absolutely zero chance of James being in the bottom two. I stake my reputation on it! (What?)

Alan: Beginning to understand why Lewis Hamilton takes off around the world for 8 months of the year to drive round and round in circles every weekend.

9:28 Totally with you there Alan. She'd get nowhere with me. NOWHERE. Not a sniff. Not interested. Not in my league if I'm honest.

9:29 Nicole, who really does look tired this week, nevertheless manages to introduce JAHMENE DOUGLAS! He loves Motown. Loves it. Now to find the slowest ballad Berry Gordy ever signed off on.

9:32 A huge JAHMENE in lights on the stage. Jahmene perches apologetically in the cleft of the M. Tracks of My Tears is the song, with added key change. Smokey is kicking himself.

Miss G: So the trick to getting Jahmene to just sing the damn song instead of torturing each note might be to give him songs he likes and respects too much to mess with.

Delia: His shouty top bits are a bit Pee Wee Herman though...

9:33 "Berry Gordy would sign you," says Louis, wisely not committing himself vis-a-vis whether Gordy is alive.

9:35 Gary: "Get out of your seats, it's CHRISTOPHER MALONEY!" Heh.

Tuckin: Berry Gordy is turning in the grave Louis has dug for him. "Let me out - I'm a healthy 82-year-old! It's my birthday on Thursday!"

9:43 Christopher does "the ultimate party song"! Of course that song is Dancing on the Ceiling by Lionel Richie, which is technically Motown I suppose. Christopher, dressed as a car thief, gives it his all, clapping like a tranqued seal and turning the "Oh!" at the start of each chorus into a dreadful warning. Louis says it's karaoke, Nicole unleashes a complex breakfast cereal metaphor - someone give that woman a sugary snack! - while Gary as ever provides the serious musicology, lauding Chris for "singing in groove". And that's it! Ten performances down, none to go. It's flown by.

9:45 It's over! Your predicted bottom twos? I say Rylan and Union J. I may have said that last week, yes.

Pete: Jahmaine or however its spelled and onion J to go I think

Dana: I'm going out on a limb and saying Jahmene and Rylan.

Ruth: Rylan and Chris if there's any justice

Miss G: Rylan and Union J, with Jahmane as an outside chance to be in danger.

9:48 Hm, I know we're not Jahmene fans on this blog but I can't see him in the bottom two. He and James got a massive push by the producers/judges there I thought. Everyone else was pretty much left to fend for themselves.

jane: what we want: rylan and chris what we'll get: jahmene and union j

9:53 And, as Declan Donnelly openly rips the mickey out of the Dermot spin on I'm A Celebrity, it must be time to call it a night. Thanks, no really, for your comments, and I'll "see you next Saturday" G'bye!