7:39 Jahmazello! It’s me, Jack. Remember? From last night? Oh. I thought… never mind. I’m here now. Mind if I watch The X Factor with you? Triffic. Tonight’s finale is two solid hours of Jahmene v James action, with only brief pauses for several celebrity guests, recaps of everything since the Big Bang and perhaps the odd unobtrusive advert here and there. Let’s go! It’s started!
7:42 “BRITAIN! TONIGHT, YOU CHOOSE YOUR X FACTOR WINNER!” says Peter Dickson, twice in a row. Now here’s Dermot, a whole beat early with his weird swing thing, followed by a spin we don’t even see because the director cuts to a wide shot of the crowd. So far this is a technical fiasco.
7:42 The judges emerge to Live and Let Die, exactly as they did last night. Got it on a 24-hour licence maybe. Recession bites. Louis has his tux on like a child at a wedding, as he usually does at this stage; Tulisa’s strapless gown is incredibly demure by her standards; Nicole favours a space-queen frock with a platinum tea tray down the front and a second set of knees built in; Gary wears the suit and disinterested stare of a provincial bouncer.
7:45 The final 12 or 13 or however many there were return with a Christmas medley. Carolynne Poole really gives it a country and western flavour. Jaymi’s wig hits a lot of the high notes. Now here’s Rylan doing an a cappella Once In Royal David’s City. Not really, it’s a disco version of Last Christmas.
7:47 Here are Jahmene and JahJames! James has, of course, got his coat on, although that might be to do with the snowy theme.
Miss G: My inner grinch is emerging and it has teeth.
7:48 Sorry to hear that Miss G. Have you called NHS Direct?
7:49 Recap of last night, when we all thought Jahmene had Jahblown it and JahJames had Jahclinched it. Christopher has already been cruelly edited out of X Factor history. He never existed. Didn’t happen. Chris who? Nurse, sedate this man.
Jamie: i voted for Jahmene last night, and i think i was right in doing so!
Miss G: They’ve prescribed one Terry’s Chocolate Orange segment three times a day. Lady on the phone sounded strangely like Dawn French though…
Michaela: I just realised MK1 are missing (and yes, I had to google their name)
Laura: Don’t know if it’s just me or has anyone else just realised how little impact MK1 had on the competition? Only just noticed they didn’t return with everyone else either last night or today…
7:51 Nope, nobody here noticed last night when MK1 didn’t show. In fairness they are probably doing something far too dangerous and urban for them to be able to make it. DJing an illegal underground death-rave in Bogota, I expect.
Jamie: Michaela: That is because MK1 are performing in Milton Keynes tonight.
7:53 Ooh! Close. I was close.
Jude: Was Christopher there tonight?
7:54 I didn’t see him, Jude. Chris who? No but there are rumours that he may have had some sort of [checks with lawyers]… disagreement with the producers.
7:56 Jahnow Jahit’s JAHJAHMENE JAHDOUGLAS! The contestants are re-singing their favourite song of the series, which for Jahmene is Angels. Jahmene on a plinth, a gospel choir standing below him in creepily neat rows, like Cybermen.
Miss G: Oh look, Jahmene has angel wings, I think it’s a metaphor.
8:01 Big finish from Jahmene there, carrying on with the last note long after the backing track had finished and the crowd had started cheering. Louis Walsh urges the nation to vote for Jahmene, despite being the only judge not to stand and applaud. Listen out for Louis saying he also wants James to win later. Gary, who sounds full of a terrible cold, praises Jahmene’s “dignity”, and Nicole has lost it already, crying and calling Jahmene “a beacon of light”. Jahmene is pretty much unmoved, although at least Nicole got his attention. For everyone else, he didn’t even seem to be listening.
Delia: If Jahmene loses does he get buried in a cave & then come out 3 days later joined by the winners of the Jesus Christ Superstar reality show just in time for the Mayan end of the world thing?
8:05 We’re back from the ads. I am back from the fridge. Dermot tries to do a bonus spin but the director cuts away again. JAMES ARTHUR is on. He’s getting it on. He’s singing Let’s Get It On. Last time this led to Nicole sexually harassing Gary in an actionable manner. This time James prowls out of the crowd, snugs up to Nicole, kisses Tulisa on the head and generally slinks about like a geezer who thinks he’s got this one right in the bag. In the bagging AREA.
Dana: Lucy Spraggan just said on Twitter that she and James were set to sing “Fairytale of New York” in the medley but were pulled at the last minute. That would’ve been terrific.
jane: this should be on the album he releases.
Delia: I want to join Jahmenes choir and get to wear a purple robe…or do I want to hang out with James and get chucked out of dodgy bars?
Katie: Is this James walking away with it…. feels in a different league…?
Dana: James and Nicole were about 10 seconds from getting it on right there on the judges’ desk. Hopefully Gary would’ve moved over for that.
jane: i really don’t think james should get his teeth sorted out when he’s earnt himself the money to do so. they’re just part of his quirky little nature. wouldn’t be the same without, somehow.
8:14 Massive, throbbing triumph from James there. Jahmene really needs to do something extraordinary now. Says the man who confidently said he wouldn’t beat Christopher last night.
jane: was nicole just polishing her tea tray?(not a euphemism)
8:17 We’re recapping the judges’ journeys this year. Louis being Louis, Nicole storming it, Gary arguing with people and walking off, and of course Tulisa… er, Tulisa… I dunno if Tulisa will be on this show next year if I’m honest. Spare wheel.
8:19 Time now to look back at some original auditions by The X Factor’s big success stories, building up to a special live performance by Rachel Adedeji.
Dana: It’s a good question – which judges will be back? I figure only Louis and Nicole (they’ll throw money at her.) Gary will have an album out during XF next fall, and Tulisa’s kinda fallen apart this year.
8:22 It’s One Direction! Singing that one off the advert for whatever it is, on a square neon tongue-slope. God this is good. Great music.
jane: 1D are playing at Capital FM’s Jingle Bell Ball in London tonight, so how is it that they can also be here?
8:25 Don’t tell me this isn’t live Jane! Although that would explain why none of the judges moved a muscle, apart from when Louis slowly fell face first into the desk and was hastily re-inflated by a member of the production team. Oh hang on, Dermot’s made a James v Jahmene reference. Another conspiracy theory blown.
8:27 Time for an ad break! We’re only 47 minutes into the show but I’ve a feeling James and Jahmene might sing again soon. Unless it’s Emeli Sande instead.
8:28 We’re back! It’s time now for a second performance by JA- ah. No, it is indeed Emeli Sande.
Jude: Oh good- I’ve written all my Christmas cards while watching this.
Tal, Naomi & James!: 1D did that radio station gig last night, not tonight. That was live.
Dana: Emile needs to change her name to “I’m Not Adele”.
8:37 Emeli does absolutely nothing for me. I’d find someone quietly removing the raisins from a bowl of muesli more interesting. Could just be me. Oh she’s finished.
jane: tal, naomi and james – but my friends are there tonight and 1D are there.
Pete: Well done Jude..I’ve decorated the tree
Katie: Her name is actually Adele though isn’t it?
Michaela: Amazingly her middle name is Adele.
8:40 Several factual conundrums there for someone to check as we go to ANOTHER BLEEDING AD BREAK.
jane: x factor is just ad breaks with a bit of singing inbetween.
8:44 AD BREAK FACT CHECK RESULTS: Adele is Emeli Sandé’s first name. Emeli is her middle name. One Direction played the Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball last night, although the event continues tonight with Pink and Girls Aloud. Thank you.
8:45 It’s possible Jahmene is about to sing. There’s some old videos of him playing at the moment. No confirmation of any live performance as yet though.
8:46 Great slo-mo of Nicole blubbing there. That’s an animated gif I wanna see. Get to it, Tumblr!
8:47 Good god, with virtually no warning at all JAHMENE DOUGLAS is actually on the stage singing! He’s doing the Paije Richardson classic, Let It Be.
JB: I was genuinely more excited to find out the answers to those questions than I am about finding out who wins X Factor.
Jude: It means everything to me that I wrote my Christmas cards. I nailed them. I made them my own.
Dana: According to certain TV gossip editors on Twitter, Christopher has shown up at the venue and is trying to get in. This is better drama than Eastenders.
8:49 Jahmene again goes for the “boring, but with a gospel choir” approach. Lots of emotive eye-closing and eye-opening-again. Jah-Jah Blinks.
8:50 I am sorry to say I laughed out loud at that massively slidey last note. By the end of it he was an octave higher up, having smeared himself across all the intervening notes.
8:52 Wait, is that the winner’s single? I missed them telling us that before. I knew inviting this gospel choir to my house was a mistake. Guys! Keep it down!
8:54 Devastating video messages from Jahmene’s family. Jahmene has been pretty neutral throughout tonight, but his mum’s new Milli Vanilli look has broken him. He is in tears.
Ruth: Jahmene may get the Chris’ voters doing that song
8:55 Ah yes, you could be onto something there Ruth. I’m calling it now: it’s too close to call.
jane: but then i think james has got union j’s voters
8:56 Oh I keep meaning to mention this: when I spoke to shock boot-camp reject Joseph Whelan, he said everyone at boot camp thought, from the way the producers were behaving, that they had JAMES ARTHUR (who is singing and that as we speak) down as the winner from the start. In-ter-est-ing.
Corinne: Should I know this song?
8:59 How embarrassing, Corinne. Of course this is [googles the lyrics frantically] Impossible by Shontelle. Tsk.
Tal, Naomi & James!: FACT FANS: This was going to be Cher Lloyd’s winners single.
9:00 Ah, so they’ve each got their own song, of course. Well, this sums up the choice the voters have: this is a lot more current than Jahmene and a lot better for my money. Then again, this is a world where Christopher Maloney came third.
9:01 Aaaaand there it is from Louis: “You’re both winners with me.” What a hedger. In a deeply moving moment, Tulisa says James is “an inspirer”. Totally. Gary says James is “a true artist” and Nicole and her tea tray say James’s life will never be the same. The big news for me there though is Dermot addressing James as “Jimmy”. Jimmy Arthur! The banjo-toting star of the hit films Window Cleaning Blues (1946), Powdered Egg (1947) and Oops, Mrs Hitler! (1948).
Matthew: Oh no….so Jahmene’s version of Let It Be could be a single? James you HAVE to win
9:07 Ad break! The Brad Pitt perfume one. What was that Fight Club quote again?
Adam: WHERE CAN WE BUY CHRISTOPHER MALONEY’S SINGLE FROM? I’M SO EXCITED.
9:09 Just a doubtless uneventful performance from Rihanna before the final result – what do we think? I’m taking it as read that nearly all of you want James to win. Has he done enough? I reckon so. I’ve been wrong before.
Dana: Supposedly Christopher’s winner’s song was Hoobastank. I’m not joking.
Katie: There’s just not enough razzle dazzle for me. Gone are the old school finals where it was a bit more party-like. Far too serious, and, well, dull!
Jude: Done my nails now.
9:12 There’s still JUST time for a mega-recap of all the final two’s final weekend performances. Basically it’s two minutes of constant screaming. Jahmene screams with a choir. James screams alone. A lone screamer.
Dana: I almost want Jahmene to win because then James can do an Olly Murs and be a bigger star than the winner, without the restrictive contract.
9:14 I think they’re all under restrictive contracts. Even Carolynne Poole is, technically, under contract to Syco I think. Although obviously Simon Cowell has long since used that one to line his hamster cage. But the option was there as far as I know.
9:16 Good grief, even Rihanna is just standing there politely and singing. There must be some sort of dull-inducing nerve gas being pumped out from the wings this weekend.
9:20 Ah that’s a bit more like, she’s segued into We Found Love. Disco! Groovy.
Ruth: Doing it Rylan style
Michaela: Rihanna looks petrified as Derm breaks the contract and attempts an interview.
Delia: Let her say something Dermot you pompous man!
9:22 There’s only 17 minutes left! It might almost be time for the result! Matchsticks in eyes, people: after this quick and long overdue ad break, they’re going to put us out of our misery.
9:28 We’re back! Caroline Flack has chatted with the families – both of them said their boys suck and haven’t got a hope and they hate them – and now it’s time for the final, final, final result. The winner is…
9:31 JAMES ARTHUR!
Pete: Justice at the last
Tal, Naomi & James!: YESSSSSSSS! First winner ever to have come in the bottom two.
Jude: That was a 23 second pause.
Michaela: I thought I’d care more
Lisa: This seriously makes me very happy. Yes.
9:32 Jahmene says it was a “blessing” to share the stage with James. Jahmene is now off to count his blessings, which will take him until February 2014. James is speechless but must now perform his version of the James Arthur classic, Impossible. What a moment.
Pete: Back to Asda for you my son
Dana: Very very happy with the result. Beyond all the drama, this was the best XF finals lineup in years.
9:37 That strangely lovely moment where the other finalists run on and mob the winner as he sings, and it’s over! James won! We ALL won! Well done everyone.
9:38 That’s it. As the continuity announcer says, what an amazing 17 weeks it’s been. Well, there were 14 or 15 weeks that weren’t that amazing on the show itself, but it didn’t stop us. Thanks a million for joining me, all of you, and for your blizzard of comments every week. It literally wouldn’t have been the same without you. I’ll be back for The Voice, if you can stand the sheer excitement of that. Merry Christmas to the lot of you!