Why we shouldn’t give up on X Factor just yet (with evidence in the surprising form of Leon Jackson)

The much-discussed Scottish vote was beaten, the best singer won, and the X Factor warbled its way off our screens for another year.

But whether you were chatting about this weekend’s final with friends, family or some random who you couldn’t stand at school on Facebook, you’ll have detected a shift.

Even stalwart fans of X Factor didn't really care that Sam Bailey won last night [Rex]

People who normally arrange Christmas nights out around this annual event TV were grumbling and bored. There were real life pop-loving people who weren’t putting up a fight when housemates wanted to put Sports Personality Of The Year on the telly. This was big.

It’s easy, when something’s been huge and it takes a downturn, to declare it over, slag it off, and move on to whatever our new obsession may be. And that was my gut instinct as the four-hour build-up to Sam Bailey’s win seemed to take longer than a train to pick up some McDonald family tartan from Scotland.

The X Factor survived despite the flop that was Leon Jackson back in 2007. Copyright [Rex]

But then I remembered something, and that something was Leon Jackson. We’ve been here before, during series that for whatever reason - the mix of people, the judges’ decisions, weird format changes - didn’t work, and resulted in dodgy winners and finals that were as flat as Katy Perry doing Unconditionally on Sunday.

But we came back and if we’d closed the X Factor doors after Leon, we wouldn’t have had One Direction, or Olly Murs, or Little Mix. JLS, or Alex Burke. Ok fine, let’s get to the important bit, we wouldn’t have Jedward.

We wouldn't have had One Direction if we'd have given up on the show. Copyright [Rex]

So despite grumbling my own way through this weekend’s X Factor, and only feeling three waves of emotion (Sam Bailey’s nan, Sharon Osbourne’s tears and the small bit of Harry Styles’ chest we saw during the One Direction performance, SWEET LORD), I’m not pronouncing it done just yet.

Instead, I will be there on my sofa next August exclaiming that it’s come round so fast and pouring myself a wine and giving it one last chance; hoping that 2014 produces a better vintage.

In return for my loyalty though, I will need three things from X Factor:

1. To be A LOT more careful about making sure the the people they choose for the live shows (for me, where this series nose dived) will translate on live TV. D’you remember Paul from Judges’ Houses? I thought about Paul from Judges’ Houses a lot during Sam Callahan’s performance of Faith.

2. To find some judges who dislike each other and feel the need to storm off and throw water over each other, because the “We all like each other” montage this weekend? Good for you guys, but that did not make great TV.

3. To please give Louis a payout, a carriage clock and a leaving do at Wetherspoons, and send him on his way, because I cannot take one more series of him shouting people’s ages at them, pedalling his overused comments and thinking statements of fact (“You’re STILL HERE”/ “You’re in the final” etc) can take the place of the critique he’s paid to give. Though I do rather admire the audacity of a man who comes to the final dressed in M&S pyjama bottoms from the Autograph range and passes it off as supporting his contestant.

Louis and his tartan trousers need to retire. Copyright [Rex]