Welp. We’ve made it to the finale of X Factor Celebrity. And I have to say, the season was even worse than I expected it to be. The contestants were decent at best, Lazaro-like at worst (excluding tonight’s winner Megan McKenna, of course). The judges were useless – Louis Walsh still sucks, and I’ve never hated watching Simon Cowell more than when he’s meowing at Nicole Scherzinger for giving a legitimate critique of an act. On the positive side, I liked the fact that we skipped right to Judges Houses and didn’t have traditional auditions, Dermot was amazing as always, and I liked the new set. And I am invested in Megan – she’s not nearly as good as last year’s top 2 but I could see her making the final in a normal season of X Factor.
If you’re still watching, you’re a trooper, and you deserve to find out how Megan reacts to winning sooner rather than later. So I’m live-blogging the show today. Join me in the comments at 2:10 PM ET and let’s hope we never do a celebrity X Factor again.
Dermot dances onto the stage and brings out the finalists and judges. Then he reveals the order of events. All four acts will perform a Christmas song and then the votes will be frozen and one will be eliminated. Then, the vote reopens, and the remaining three will sing another song. The Pussycat Dolls (Nicole’s group) will be performing too for the first time in over a decade.
V5 are up first. In the VT, they visit fans and perform at Winter Wonderland (whatever that is). Then they perform All I Want For Christmas is You. It’s a good performance from the girls. A few strong solos, great staging. They’re finishing in fourth place probably but I think they deserve second. Nicole thinks they get stronger every week, loves their outfits. Louis says they remind him of Girls Aloud, believes they can be a global pop act. Simon says they define hard work and friendship, asks them why they should be in the next stage of the competition. They say the UK is their second home, and thank everyone for their support. Their families are backstage – happy to see that they are keeping some of the good things from previous X Factor finales.
After the first break, Jenny Ryan is up. She goes onto Good Morning Britain and I’m forced to watch a few seconds of Piers Morgan talking. Then, she goes home to see her family and cries a bit, then switches on the Christmas lights. She sings Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. She starts off a cappella, and while I’m not into Christmas music as a Jew, this is Jenny’s best vocal performance of the competition by a mile. If she was about to go home, this will prevent that from happening. I say this despite her standing on a carousel with weird men holding umbrellas around her. Louis says she can sing anything, talks about the transformation from The Chase again, she’s got something special. Nicole talks about her poise and grace, her vocal control, says she sounded better than ever. Simon says it could have been an absolute disaster, but she’s given herself a real shot to make it to the top 3. Jenny loved the chance to use a different part of her voice. I loved it too. Jenny’s family backstage are so proud, as is the mayor of her hometown. Dermot says “it’s not an X Factor final without a mayor or a nun” and I laugh, but the studio audience remains silent.
After the second break, Max and Harvey are up. They didn’t expect to get this far for some reason – I totally expected it. They go home to their primary school in Guilford, and the kids watch them sing some songs. Then they go to Winter Wonderland and perform there just like V5. Still don’t know what Winter Wonderland is. They perform Last Christmas. It’s a totally “eh” performance. In terms of their performance quality, they remind me of Anthony Russell last year. Always a B, never an A, never a C. Vocally, neither of them are great, both are them are good enough. Nicole says she wouldn’t have chosen that song for them, as it’s dated, but they can sing and sell anything. Louis says they put their own spin on the song, there’s excitement around them, they’re going to have an amazing career in music. Simon says they’re an inspiration to kids their age, everything came from them, personality, perseverance, a sense of fun, thinks it was the perfect song for them, thinks they have a chance of winning the competition. Max and Harvey thank Simon for allowing them to have creative control. Their family say anything that happens after this is a bonus.
After the third break, Megan McKenna is about to steal the show again. In the VT, she goes on Lorraine with Louis Walsh, then does a photoshoot. She goes back to her hometown of Essex to see her family. Then she turns on the Christmas lights in Colchester. Megan performs One More Sleep by Leona Lewis. And it’s not Megan’s strongest performance, but it’s still in a different league from the other acts. She hits a few nice whistle notes. Having listened to iTunes recordings, the second song will be the one to seal the deal for Megan. Louis says she’s dreamt of this moment for her whole life, this is her moment, she can do uptempo and ballads, people need to vote for her. Nicole says she sang an uptempo song and rocked it, hopes we get to hear her sing again. Simon says this show has been a redemption for her, she’s used it in the right way, he comes right out to say that he has a feeling she’s going to win the competition. I think that means she’s so far ahead that Simon isn’t trying to manipulate things anymore, he just wants credit for being right. Megan loves this and wants to do this every day of her life.
After the fourth break, the vote is frozen. The Pussycat Dolls (or Nicole Scherzinger and her four backup singers) perform. Nicole is lip syncing for most of the performance and it’s painfully obvious. When she actually does sing at certain parts, she’s awesome. The other girls don’t sing a single live note for the entire performance. They are touring together in 2020 apparently.
After the fifth break, the first result. In fourth place are V5. We see a goodbye video for them. Just realized we haven’t seen those for anyone else this year. They wish they could have shown us their second song. The vote is reopened.
Round 2! First up is Megan McKenna. She watches videos from her family and friends. She’s proud of herself and she hasn’t been in a long time. She reprises her original song This, the song that put her in the top 2 on iTunes. There is no winners single this year, but This might as well be Megan’s. Megan just delivered the best performance of the series, hands down. Not even close. Louis knows she’s singing from her heart, it’s great to see someone with talent succeed, he wants her to win. Nicole connects with her songs, is grateful that she came on the show, the timing is right for her and her life will never be the same. Simon respects that she did an original song in the final, she could not have done any more other than that to get a shot at winning. Megan struggles to talk to Dermot. Megan’s friends backstage are super proud of her.
Next up is Jenny Ryan. She also watches videos from family and friends. Another X Factor final tradition continues. Jenny reprises Edge of Glory. It’s a very strange performance, mostly because I would have not picked this as Jenny’s reprise song. But I guess this is how they ensure she doesn’t win. Louis didn’t want it to end, she’s a natural treasure, wants her in Eurovision. Nicole says it was one of the best performances of the series, took it from a competition to a celebration of inclusivity and love, she’s officially a gay icon. Simon never expected her in the final doing that performance, Nicole has done a great job with Jenny, perfect song on perfect occasion, couldn’t have done any more than that. Jenny thanks Nicole and kinda sorta disses Louis and Simon – LOL.
Simon says great things will happen for V5 as 1D and 5H didn’t win, and then introduces Max & Harvey. They watch videos of friends and family in the VT, like the other two. They reprise Kiss You by 1D, starting on a bus outside the studio. This is a high energy performance – still not an A for me, but closer than anything else they’ve done. Nicole is here for the Max & Harvey fun-omenon, thinks they’ll be global superstars after this. Louis says they’re destined for stardom regardless of what happens. Simon says his favorite year of X Factor was 2010 because of 1D (same here but for different reasons than Simon), thinks we might have a surprise result (god I hope not).
After the break, the vote is closed! Before the winner is announced, we see a video about the charities benefitting from this year’s X Factor Charity single. And actually, we hear the single in full too behind footage of the kids that are being helped. They all sound great in the studio actually, which makes it a shame that we’re not getting a real single from Megan after she wins. Olivia Olson and Victoria Ekanoye should have made it way further. Simon cries after watching the video.
Dermot announces that the winner of X Factor Celebrity 2019 is…long pause…Megan McKenna! Duh. Megan thanks everyone so much for voting for her, she’s so excited, on the verge of tears. She is going to perform again! What is she performing? Dermot talks with Max & Harvey and Jenny Ryan. We don’t know yet who is in second and who is in third, but if we go by history, that info will be on the website shortly after this ends.
Megan reprises It Must Have Been Love. I wish she was singing an original again, but still, this is a great performance. Her family and fellow finalists join her on stage for the last chorus. I can say a lot of bad things about this year, but one I can’t say is that the wrong act won. On December 9th, X Factor: The Band starts!