5 December 2012 4:39 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

It's been a terrible series, and the incredibly long final is likely to be equally bad. But someone has to win X Factor, so who's the least undeserving?

Whoever is crowned X Factor winner on Sunday night, this weekend's final is likely to be a disappointment of monumental proportions. After the comprehensive week-on-week drubbing it's received at the hands of Strictly, X Factor now has the unmistakable air of a show that just wants to run away and lick its wounds.

As evidenced by the terrible, audience-ignoring cabaret car crash of the recent Abba v Motown theme night, the programme barely has the energy to put up a fight any more. A return to form in 2013 is the best it can hope for: this year is a write-off. Far from any intended bang, it'll be an achievement of considerable willpower if X Factor manages to go out with a soggy fart this series. »

- Stuart Heritage

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