It’s been a Saturday night staple for the last four months but this weekend sees the final of what has to be one of the most explosive series of the X Factor to date. With Gamu-gate, Wagner-mania, and Katie Waissel’s badly-behaved grandmother, the show has grabbed so many headlines and caused such a stir, that an estimated 88% of Britons are expected to tune in on Saturday night.
So plan your ‘factor-themed parties (we’ve already made One Direction cupcakes), cancel all prior social arrangements and get ready to take the phone off the hook. But as Matt, Cher, Rebecca and One Direction battle it out for the X Factor crown, what will we really be keeping an eye out for?
Awkward duet watch
Who will break down in tears, gaze in stupefied awe or start pawing embarrassingly at their celebrity partner a la Alexandra Burke? We know Matt’s got Rihanna, Rebecca’s with Christina Aguilera and One Direction are teaming up with Robbie, but our money’s on a previously teary Cher who will duet with Chezza’s pal, Will.I.Am.
Key change watch
At least one key change per contestant per song, naturally.
Flames shooting out of every conceivable place on the stage: behind the stage, around the judges, as often as possible (especially when there's a key change).
Brian Friedman watch
Camera cuts to Brian Friedman looking orgasmic during the world's most OTT number, featuring 50 dancers doing back flips, a 100-strong choir of angelic children, 20 tigers and a band made up of Paul McCartney, Slash from Guns'n'Roses and Phil Collins.
Fond farewell watch
Simon thanks everyone who made the show possible, including the press - Cheryl looks disgusted.
Power nostril watch
See how Simon involuntarily flares his nostrils every time the audience goes wild (he's thinking about money) or a hot female guest flirts with him (he's thinking about sex)
All four judges give every performer a standing ovation, then come up with the most incredible compliments for each of them, even if they sang out of tune and fell over (because this is the final). Simon says: "I like you Cher/Rebecca/Matt/One Direction*, and here's why: you're current, you're modern, you're relevant."
*delete as appropriate
What on earth is going on with Simon's phantom disappearing/reappearing parting? And Louis' chameleon bouffant - first grey, then dark blonde, then brown, then black - will he "do a Storm Lee" for the final?
What will the future hold for the ‘factor contestants who’ve fallen by the wayside? Will Maz-B return to the checkouts? Maybe she’ll be upgraded to Waitrose. Is Wagner heading for a Butlins 18-30s weekend near you? And will we see Diva Fever performing at next year’s Royal Variety Performance? Somehow we think not, but there’s always panto…
by Hannah Marriott & Lizzie Pook