And with those 6 words mums and girlfriends nationwide will settle down for a night in with a takeaway, a bottle of Blossom Hill and Louis’ Walsh’s maniacal porcelain face. Not that we blame them. Over the years X Factor has become something of a guilty pleasure and, if we’re not slumped over a bar this weekend or sitting in our underpants watching El Clasico, we’re likely to order a chow me in and join them.
So as the winner of X Factor 2012 is just days away from being announced, what should we expect (and definitely not expect) from the judges and contestants?
EXPECT: The judges to say that all contestants have “a great future” ahead of them.
Joe McElderry. Steve Brookstein. Leon Jackson. What do these three all have in common? They now work in their local chippie. Oh, and they were also all winners of previous X Factors, but have now fallen off the face of the earth as quick as it takes Cowell to brush his veneers. That still won’t stop the judges from reassuring this year’s runners-up that they will have a long and prosperous career in the music industry, though. If you listen closely enough you can almost hear the sound of the redhead from Little Mix filling in a Primark job application form.
DON’T EXPECT: Louis Walsh to sit still and behave himself.
“You look like a pop star, you’ve got a great recording voice and you’re gonna be huge!” Louis Walsh’s opinions are as hollow as the look in Gary Barlow’s eyes every time he glances toward the Irish judge, and that’s why he’s our favourite on the panel. Just look at him. He’s like a child who has managed to break free from his 8pm curfew and has sat in his tree house all night, giggling to himself while eating Smarties.
EXPECT: Kelly Rowland to try and puncture the zeitgeist with one of her catchphrases.
We all love a good catchphrase - “D’oh!”, “Ayyy”, “Holy Matrimony, Batman” etc. – but “put it down” reeks of desperation. Nevertheless, at least one contestant in the final will have been informed by Kelly that they have indeed “put it down”. So what have the contestants put down, exactly? As the redhead from Little Mix finally completes her Primark application form, I can only assume their dignity.
DON’T EXPECT: Gary Barlow to look like he’s enjoying himself.
Gary Barlow on the X Factor judging panel is the equivalent of a clinically depressed geography teacher being forced to sit through staff karaoke night down the pub; melancholic and holding everyone in utter contempt. Seeing as how this could be his last time on the talent show, don’t be surprised if he uses this opportunity to sneak a sedative into Louis’ water, before stripping to a loin cloth and performing a ritualistic killing live on national television; all done without smiling, of course.
EXPECT: Simon Cowell to make an appearance
There was a time when we disliked Simon Cowell. Not in the way that music aficionado’s dislike Simon Cowell (“he’s ruining the industry!”), but in the way that whenever his smarmy face graced our television screens ourfingers began to force their way down our throats like America’s Next Top Model contestants. But this year we’ve been treated to a Cowell-less X Factor and have suddenly realised that without his penchant for power ballads and shit-eating grin the whole show has been a bit… meh. Hopefully he himself has realised this and will appear in the final for one last hurrah, before disappearing into the great glitzy abyss of America for the rest of eternity.
DON’T EXPECT: Celebrity sing-alongs.
Over the years we’ve witnessed Alexandra Burke fangirling whilst onstage with Beyonce, Matt Cardle and Rihanna dry-humping each other, and Robbie Williams singing “Angels” with Olly Murs whilst looking like he was being given a prostate examination by the elephant man. However, we’ve been told this year that the contestants will be joined by their mentors in the annual celebrity sing-along, meaning Little Mix will duet with Tulisa, Amelia Lily with Kelly and Marcus with Gary Barlow. This only makes us sadder that none of Louis’ acts remain in the competition, as we would have paid good money to see him warble his best rendition of Born This Way alongside Kitty.