OK, I'll keep updating my thoughts on the Final, as it happens, during commercial breaks. It's just about to start. I'll go for Alexandra to win - she's not brilliant but she's easily the best. I've a feeling JLS might win, which would be unfortunate, as they are very ordinary. Eoghan is hopeless but a combination of the granny vote and the 'High School Musical' vote might hand it to him - that would be a travesty.
**That's the first round over - three Christmas songs. Eoghan sleepwalked his way through 'I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday'. JLS sang a fairly tight version of 'Last Christmas'. Alexandra hit the emotional centre with 'Silent Night'. On those performances, Alexandra is just ahead of JLS with Eoghan a poor third. All that talk of fame, adulation and being superstars is worrying though - is that the main reason they want to win? Or does it mean much more than that to them?
**Second round: duets - Eoghan sang with Boyzone and suffered by comparison. Unfortunately Boyzone, despite being a typical boyband, can actually sing. JLS sang with Westlife and, to my ear, sang better than their famous counterparts. Golden rule: in the duets round, alaways pick a band you can outshine. If Alexandra is about to sing with Beyoncé, she's going to have to be very good... Well, she was good, but Beyoncé sang much too well! She did Alexandra no favours there, I'm afraid - unless people vote for someone because they like the co-star. Maybe. Alexandra got very, very emotional, which might pick up votes. Having said all this, she sang very well. However, Beyoncé was something else - she certainly has the 'X Factor'! I still think Alexandra ought to be miles ahead.
**Third round: personal choice - Eoghan sang a High School Musical song. Shrewd choice, of course, and will pick up votes. But he doesn't deserve to. His voice has no energy or passion, which is why they have to fill the stage with dancers every time he sings. Surely Eoghan must go. JLS sang a boyband song (can't even remember which one - Take That?). It was OK. Tight, but ordinary. Alexandra sang a ballad and again cranked up the emotion to just the right degree.
**Really, Alexandra is way out in front. She won every round. Eoghan flopped every round. JLS seemed OK. I predict a final two of Alexandra and JLS. It goes without saying that Alexandra will do a much better version of Hallelujah than JLS. So a foregone conclusion? Not really. After all, the UK public vote the winner. It could go any way. There's an hour's intermission and then we're back.
**What happened to the adverts?! Anyway, a lot has happened. Eoghan got voted out and was gracious in defeat, to his credit. Then both JLS and Alexandra performed Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. In my opinion, to sing that song successfully, you need either Cohen's gravitas or Jeff Buckley's passion. JLS's vocal performance was adequate, but they lacked both those qualities. They were a boyband trying to sing an adult song. I thought Alexandra would sing this well but, I have to admit, she way surpassed my expectations. It was stunning! Really astonishing version. Gravitas and passion in abundance. She sang it as if she was inhabiting the song. She must win after that. If she doesn't, there's something seriously wrong.
**About five minutes from the announcement of the winner now. Can you feel the tension? Before the show began, I wanted Alexandra to win. After her performance of Hallelujah, I need her to win.
**And she did win. It was a storming finish too. My commentary on this year’s X Factor continues and ends in a new post (including two of Alexandra's best performances). It’s been fun.