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'The X Factor' 2012 best moments: 5-1
To celebrate the end of the show's ninth run, we've put together a list of its best moments this year. Keep reading to find out what we've placed at No.1!
> 'The X Factor' 2012 Best moments: 10-6
> 'The X Factor' 2012 Best moments: 15-11
5. Ella and James slump to the bottom
Ella Henderson was one of the strongest ever favourites to win The X Factor. When we drew up our Digital Spy sweepstake, we gave the chap who pulled out Ella the kitty before we'd even heard a note in the Live Shows. We, like the judges, just presumed she'd walk all the way to the final.
So when the 16-year-old found herself in the sing-off in week seven, we needed some help getting our collective jaw off the floor. Ella may have lacked a bit of sizzle in the personality department, but in a weak year for vocalists, she was a shining beacon of correct notes and decent pitching. To crown it all, she was in the bottom two with judges' favourite James Arthur, which meant that she had to go home.
4. Jahmene makes us 'Listen'
Jahmene doesn't really understand the concepts of 'less is more' and 'understated' when it comes to vocal performances. Frequently reaching for a higher note and cat-strangling crescendo when he really doesn't need to, his biggest flaw is often his vocal ambition.
However, when he tackled Beyoncé's barnstorming gigantic power-balllad 'Listen', Jahmene's diva-style vocals were right at home. An emotional, enormous performance that booked him a spot in Manchester. If he pulls off something like this on Saturday and Sunday, he could find himself crowned the champ.
3. James Arthur shows us the 'Power of Love'
James just nudged out Jahmene for the performance of the series with this semi-final rendition of 'Power of Love'. Arthur's gloomy growl certainly isn't to everyone's taste, but the combination of song choice and bang-on vocals all came together at the right time here.
Perhaps it was the added pressure of the semi-final, but Arthur managed to get a grasp of the dark undertones of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood classic and delivered it with some style. He's still a bit too grumpy and moody to win the granny vote and become the series winner, but this performance may just have landed him a hefty deal with Syco, regardless of the result.
2. Gary Barlow storms off/Louis has a meltdown/Rylan survives/Fix-gate
Shock eliminations on X Factor are ten a penny. However, the week-one axing of Carolynne Poole pretty much took the biscuit. The survival of Rylan, Gary's panto-esque walkout and Louis Walsh's ludicrous play-acting and meltdown as he switched his vote were all pretty standard X Factor Live Show behaviour.
However, the fact that a producer was busy chatting to Louis Walsh during Carolynne's Song for Survival really took the biscuit. Whether he was chatting about final votes or the colour of Walsh's hair, viewers were rightfully enraged by the actions. The fact that the judges offered to give Rylan a lifeline over the infinitely more talented and likeable Carolynne also served to bang some final nails in the show's mirage of credibility. It really wasn't a talent competition anymore.
1. Rylan's tears
It should come as no surprise that this year's X Factor's most memorable moment isn't a vocal performance. Instead, we chose a moment that the producers deemed hilarious and milked for all it was worth. When Rylan Clark discovered that he had made the Live Shows, he managed to top even Kitty and Chico's pool-jumping antics by wailing like a newborn baby, hysterically screaming in Nicole Scherzinger's face and wiping his snotty face on an expensive Dubai-hotel cushion.
Rylan's ridiculous attention-seeking antics, affected behaviour and utter lack of talent were irrelevant. The producers thought he made good TV and were happy to go for cheap laughs. It turned out that Rylan was actually a lovely bloke - and we expect he'll have a successful TV career - but it may be at a cost to The X Factor. As ratings dwindled, it became clear that viewers did value talent over novelty and decent vocals over a desire for fame at any cost.
Reality TV fanatics will probably look back at this moment as the one where X Factor jumped the shark. It morphed from a simple light entertainment Saturday night TV show into something more tacky and trashy. If Simon Cowell wants the show to recover in 2013, he'll have to make sure it's the performances on the stage and not off it that stick in our minds next year.
What's been your favourite X Factor moment this year? Let us know below!