I promptly put a tenner on Same Difference at 4-1. Leon was on offer on at 7-1 but I saw that as too much of a long shot. Then someone else pointed out to me that Britain's army of semi-literate teenagers might mistake the name of Leon with that of Leona and vote in their tens of thousands.
Note to self: get less cynical friends.
The show opened with The Stepford Kids performing All I Want for Christmas in perhaps the most cheesy of Brian Friedman's spectaculars yet. As they were hoisted above the stage on wires, it was hard to tell whether they were trying to win a talent show or auditioning for Heroes.
Whatever they were doing, The Chuckle Brothers should watch out because they've definitely got competition.
Their duet with Jason Donovan was odd, with the star guest looking quite uncomfortable. "Wouldn't you if you were stuck between those two?" commented my girlfriend. Good point well made.
By the time they got round to their final number, I feared for my tenner. There was nothing wrong with what they were doing at all. They've come across as very professional and have made a good fist of every overly elaborate routine that Friedman has thrown at them.
They were nice though, nice as sugar and spice. I like honey but I wouldn't eat a jar of it in one sitting. To sum it up, it's impossible not to like them a little bit – even if you can't quite bring yourself to admit it – but it's certainly easy not to love them.
As for Rhydian he sounded as good as ever and barely if at all put a foot wrong, quite an achievement when singing four songs on live telly.
It was during his duet when the assembled Hogan Towers throng accused me of almost heresy. I like Rhydian's voice, I absolutely love Katherine Jenkins too but I just felt they didn't work that well together. I received hoots of derision for this comment but having watched the performance through again, I stand by it.
His chances were greatly enhanced by the fact that his duet partner was none other than Kylie Minogue. Regular readers of this column will be aware that I've become irrationally obsessed with Kylie's eyebrows in recent weeks. I had sought professional help about this but apparently my health insurance doesn't cover it. Ho-hum.
At one point during the routine, Leon's hand got dangerously near to Kylie's most famous asset. "Did he just do that!" we cried in unison before using the rewind feature on the Sky+ to have our fears confirmed. Pure Carry On coda and dangerously near to not being family telly.
Leon's reaction to winning was pretty similar to the reaction you'd expect if someone had told him his dog had died. Perhaps he had a right to be concerned. As all of this year's finalists gathered behind him, Rhyd was at the back giving the sort of icy stare that could get him a part as baddie in Doctor Who. My girlfriend pointed out at this point that if Rhyd shaved his head he'd be a dead ringer for Lex Luthor out of Smallville.
Would you pay to watch Leon sing live though? Even in the final he actually won, there were bum notes a plenty and even though the judges kept saying he had grown in confidence, he looked like he was shaking like a leaf to me.
Big surprise of the final was how quiet Louis and Sharon were. Sharon was on fire when appearing on The Graham Norton Show when she might well have delivered the funniest resignation note in the history as all the hostility towards Dannii came flooding gloriously out.
The highlight of several minutes of harsh mickey-taking came as fellow guest David Boreanaz asked what Dannii looked like and Mrs. O. promptly bent over and pointed to her bottom. Very funny indeed. If only she'd been like that on the actual show this year, it might not have been the let down that it was.
If we're really that short of talented finalists, why not give previous contestants another shot. Some of them would have wiped the floor with this year's intake.
So it's all over for another year and by next Christmas most of this year's hopefuls will probably be appearing in a pub or day care centre near you. Watch out for them.
No punch without Judy
Richard Madeley seems to have an ego the size of a planet. The key to being guest host on Have I Got News for You seems to be to get in, read the gags off the autocue and get out quick. That way you might just end up unscathed.
What you should never do is step on the toes of the show's stars Paul Merton and Ian Hislop and try to be funny, not even if you actually are funny. If you are painfully lacking in comedy skill, definitely don't attempt to get the audience laughing.
Richard's performance was pure watch-through-the-fingers telly that could have come straight from an episode of Extras or Lead Balloon. As things got more and more desperate, we became quite anxious that there was no Judy there to rescue to him. It really was like watching a drowning man and there was no chance of any life belt being thrown from Paul and Ian.
Time for a regular host to be appointed methinks. Sandi Toksvig would get my vote.
If you thought some of the vocals on Simon Cowell's little talent show were bad, that was nothing to the performance of the Waterloo Road school musical, an event that has been so long in the planning that they've even had time to change head teachers while rehearsals have been going on.
Odd that if the thing was supposed to be for benefit of the pupils that the staff got far more stage time but at least it was an amusing diversion in a show that is very quickly beginning to feel like drama by numbers.
It's bad enough having to put up with Kerry Katona in those Iceland ads, they are enough to make you want to switch to Farmfoods, but watching her flounder so badly on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross was even worse.
Ross had already mentioned Parkinson earlier in his show but while everyone else got the usual cheeky chappie light frothy treatment, he turned into inquisitor general when tackling Kerry and I don't think she was expecting it. It seemed very cruel.
Best value of the night was Will Smith who managed to remain witty, interesting and entertaining throughout even though clearly taken aback by some of Ross's fatuous comments.
Is that a canoe in your pocket?
A British canoeist walks into a bar in Panama.
"It's dead in here isn't it?" says he.
"You should feel at home then" replies the barman.
Yes I know it's not funny but neither has been littering the news with tales of this Reggie Perrin case day after day after day. I wish our telly news editors could get just a tad of perspective. Having reporters hanging around airports to report the arrival of planes is not only very boring for us viewers but stops those reporters doing what we expect them to do – gather news.
Bits 'n' Bobs
No massive surprise that Journeyman is being axed. I've really tried to like it but I keep nodding off during the show.
Jim's return to Corrie has finally given Ian Reddington a decent storyline to get his teeth into as hapless Vernon. Ian is far too good an actor to merely be used as light comic relief and it's great to see him taking the opportunity with both hands.
Perry Fenwick is playing an absolute blinder in EastEnders at the moment as Billy Mitchell's life begins to come crashing round his ears. Let's hope the judges of the soap awards remember just how good he is when it comes to dishing out awards.
Talking of awards, I'll be dishing out The Dekkies during the festive period. These "virtual" awards are entirely undemocratic and are in no way just a lazy way for me to come up with a column over Christmas. Honest. There's no learned panel of media experts and no public vote, just me. However if you'd like to suggest a worthy recipient or even a category, drop me an email.
To get you thinking one example might be: Best use of a stock cube: Nominees: Marco Pierre White and Shilpa Shetty.
It's Christmas so I've stopped referring to Brian Friedman as Squidbrain. Season of goodwill and all that. I'll need to think up something more offensive if he's back next year.