A SEVERE case of amnesia, from the boss, to begin ITV’s four-month karaoke festival.
Faced with putting through a squawking two-headed beast, named Blonde Electric, Simon Cowell announced: “This could be the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.”
“It’s not,” said head number two, who wasn’t wrong.
He’d clean forgotten putting his name to Grease Is The Word, Food Glorious Food and catastrophic West End musical I Can’t Sing.
But this is The X Factor.
“A job so important I had to come home,” with his tail between his legs, after three years failing to crack America with the US version.
Give the guy a break, though.
It’s missed him. Possibly irretrievably.
The Gary Barlow/Tulisa/Scherzinger years were a stain on this once great show.
So it’s with enormous relief that some of the old fun returned last night...
A bloke giving Coldplay’s Clocks the electrodes-to-the-testicles treatment.
That old Chinese woman attempting to mask her daughter’s vocals, with crispy seaweed.
And Carol, the 63-year-old Tina Turner stripper, who got down to stockings and suspenders before Cowell pleaded: “Don’t ask for a second song.”
The spotlight was always going to be on one individual, though – the artist formerly known as Cheryl Cole. TAFKACC, for short.
It was a grovelling coronation of Dame Cheryl by all concerned, from the procession of probable stalkers to the airbrushing Mel B took in the editing.
Strip it all back, however, and we’re left with the same incredibly average judge she’s always been.
Starting with her savage takedown of Blonde Electric, who required TAFKACC as the only dissenting voice in the room, to slap everyone to see sense...
“It wasn’t my cup of tea.”
Whoa there, Cheryl. Taking no prisoners.
She was even the focus of the recycled sob story, Amy Connolly, and wept on tap during her rendition of the last thing Saturday night TV needs. Musical theatre.
X Factor just can’t help itself. It trades on tears.
And it’s all just the same old shizzle...
Simon Cowell’s “100 per cent yes”. Louis Walsh’s “a million per cent yes”. (Twice.)
And the stupidity with which it regards us lot.
So I’m throwing it back in its face, first with that posh lass who introduced herself as Chloe Jasmine.
Because if she’d added her surname, Whichello, Google would’ve told us she was headhunted from Naomi Campbell’s Sky Living model contest The Face.
In complete contrast to Rylan Clark, who was headhunted from Sky Living model contest Signed By Katie Price.
And last night’s finale, Jay James. Or Jay James Picton, as he was billed supporting Rebecca Ferguson on tour.
Where he said instant fame afforded by X Factor “saddens me”.
Enough to cry? It wouldn’t bloody surprise me.
An astonishing Celeb Big Bro week saw Leslie Jordan (Woody Allen meets Barney Rubble) evicted, James Jordan boast he’s “the Brad Pitt of the dance world”.
And Gary Busey claim he’s shared 32 past lifetimes with his fiancée: “We were the parents of Constantine, the Roman Emperor. We were together at Mayan temples,” but, “We weren’t together when I fought for the freedom of Texas at the Alamo in 1836.”
No, because that would be ridiculous.
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
TV’s sudden obsession with deathly dull school-leavers’ proms.
Newsnight’s dimmm-witted spelling of “NATO Commmander”.
Simon Cowell rewriting history by claiming on ITV2’s X Factor: The Boss Is Back that showing the auditions was his brainwave, when Popstars was doing it years before he was on the scene.
And the abysmal-looking Strictly Come Dancing line-up with Andy Murray’s mum, Michelle Keegan’s fiancé, Harry Styles’s ex, Mrs Brown’s missus, a Casualty medic and This Morning’s prize competition announcer. So may I be the first to say congratulations, X Factor, on winning 2014’s Saturday night TV showdown.
A heavily bearded Northern Irishman chucks his melting ice cream in the trash, on BBC1’s fairy cakes contest, and the world goes mad.
Hundreds of complaints, allegations of sabotage and stitch-ups, interviews on Newsnight and Radio 4’s Today, Barack Obama demanding an inquiry, Vladimir Putin denying the West access to its oil pipelines, troops deployed to protect Diana Beard...
Only some of which I’ve made up.
Conclusion? Iain Watters’ mega-strop and presenting a bin as his showstopper on Great British Bake Off was a great TV moment.
End of. Now let’s all move on with our lives.
This week’s TV Introduction of the Week award goes to...
Tumble’s Alex Jones announcing The Saturdays: “Now, a girlband with a rather apt name for tonight...”
The Cack Cartwheeling C-Listers?
The Daleks were back last night. As were Doctor Who’s blatant movie rip-offs.
We had Innerspace, Aliens’ motion detectors and 70s horror Phantasm, with the deadly flying orbs, mashed into one.
Sacrificing herself, soldier Gretchen asked: “Is this worth it?”
Forty-five minutes of my life every Saturday night?
A drenched nation owes thanks to This Morning fashion expert Darren Kennedy for these vital tips on staying dry...
Wear a hat (“It saves you hunting around for an umbrella if you get stuck out in the rain”) and a coat, but: “Whip it off if the sun comes out.”
And this health advice from resident GP Dr Ranj: “It’s important to get your blood pressure checked if you’re passing out or falling over a lot.”
Especially if it’s raining. And you haven’t got a hat.
Somewhere a naff Britpop band is missing its overrated rhythm guitarist.
Step forward cliché-spewing Tumble judge Craig Heap who tempted fate by quoting The Clash lyrics while assessing John Partridge’s 90-second failure to throw and catch a drumstick: “Should I stay or should I go?”
You really want an answer?
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
Dogs: Their Secret Lives’ Mark Evans describing a Great Dane, named Thor, as: “The canine equivalent of a small Viking horse.”
CBB host Emma Willis telling vain muscleman David McIntosh: “You’re a man who likes to show off his body. The weather really changed when you went in there. You could have totally covered up.”
Mrs Brown’s Boys’ Brendan O’Carroll coming face-to-face with a photo of his grandad’s assassin on Who Do You Think You Are: “Jesus, that’s some bastard.”
And Alex Jones’s look of horror as The One Show guest Keith Lemon snooped around her home without her permission. Turns out he can be funny after all.