For most people, it was when Dannii "decided" to save Cher. But as soon as I heard Simon say during the opening sequence of Saturday's X Factor "I just cannot predict what's going to happen," I knew Mary was going. He then said something about everyone is going to perform brilliantly cause if they don't they're gone. Well, he was lying there too.

Last night, for the first time in the show's history, it was decided that the show's finalists would be decided by the judges, not by the public vote alone. The Star reports: "Usually the finalists are picked solely by the public vote, meaning the judges don't have a chance to save any act... last night the show's official website was still wrongly informing fans the 'act with the lowest vote will leave.' It is believed the traditional format was changed shortly before the show went to air."

Should we be surprised? No. Should we be outraged? Perhaps, if you were among those enthused enough to spend money voting on this sham. As it happens, many are outraged. Take 30-year-old Gemma from Fulham for example: "I've spend a lot of money voting and this just isn't fair. Everyone who voted for Mary should get a full refund." Yeah, but they won't, cause Cowell's a nazi, and he knows we'll all tune in next week too so what's the point.

Even Louis (who's continuing his gradual metamorphosis into Larry Gogan) seemed a bit surprised, reportedly saying (well after the show had finished broadcasting, I might add): "I would love to have seen the public votes." Why? That would be pointless. Mary and Cher's futures have already been mapped out for them. Mary will release a couple of albums and spend the rest of her days touring around Ireland to rapturous applause. Cher will have her debut album produced by and will therefore include a mandatory duet with Cheryl. She will also be something of a style icon, as most emaciates are propelled to be, will come off the rails on several occasions and will therefore keep several tabloids afloat. In short, Cher was always going through, much like France was always going to through to the World Cup. At the risk of rabbiting the starkly obvious - it usually comes down to how much money can be made.

Simon might want to keep his messianic tendencies in check, however, for he could start alienating his precious American audience. One online rant monger posted the following after last night's show: "OMG! I can't believe this! They didn't get the result they wanted so they're going to try and get rid of Mary. This is absolutely ridiculous. If this is how the X Factor is going to be here in the States then I am not watching." Although, who am I kidding. As much as I loathe to admit it, I find myself tuning in on the sly most weekends. Familiarity does bring considerable contempt, but on a cold dark Sunday it also brings a comfort, not to mention a conversational topic deviating from the weather and our ****wit politicians.

Yeah, so don't blame Dannii Minogue for "choosing" Cher - she can't be the voice of reason all the time, and she was clearly malfunctioning last night; of One Direction she actually said: "We've never ever had such a good band on the X Factor." Eh, I can't see One Direction recruiting Denise off EastEnders to do back flips while sporting Dorothy Zbornak's wardrobe, can you? No, blame Mary for the fact that she's over 30, and couldn't possibly be hoisted from a height along with a load of upside down fiddling fillies and scantily clad airborne cherubs squatting by the lighting runs just to clutch a swatch of chiffon. Blame Mary for being too talented and full of soul to be suckered in by the Black Eyed Peas' latest call and response bastardised Dirty Dancing nursery rhyme complete with Daft Punk inspired box heads from well over a decade ago (you're going to have to go to YouTube for the video footage; the embed code has been disabled...) - which is, incidentally, the last time The Black Eyed Peas made anything resembling proper music - check out Behind The Front and you'll see what I mean.

Good Christ, I sound old. Given I'm female and fast straddling my alleged sell by date, I'd better watch my back. Some 17-year-old malcontent will no doubt be thrust into my shoes before long.

Last Night's Highlights: Dermot saying to Louis and Dannii when they were slowly taking their seats after the ad break: "Where have you been? It's the biggest show in the country?!"... Konnie Huq mewling: "We've lost Maryyyy (eh, she's not bleedin' dead yet), followed by a stratospheric Mary requesting "some champagne, some strawberries and a handsome lookin' man!"... The crowd chanting something resembling "SHERRY" while the judges were trying to "deliberate"... Cheryl wiping her nose and then looking at her hand at the beginning of the Xtra Factor... Cheryl continually insisting Cher's unique, without referencing Lady Sovereign at all...

Last Night's Lowlights: No one making reference to Chris Colfer's glaring absence from the Glee line up. Instead he was replaced with what looked like Ollie Murs in a Lloyd Daniels wig... The Black Eyed Peas' plastic orgy.

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