And the X Factor winner 2014 is… Ben Haenow

Croydon van driver Ben Haenow pipped Fleur East at the X Factor finishing post, winning the final and a recording contract, with his winner’s single, “Something I Need”, being released immediately.

“Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. The first time you sang that song I said we could see you turning into a star. You just killed that song. I could not be more proud of you,”  said Simon Cowell,  after Ben performed Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”, his favourite song of the series. “This is what turning into a star feels like,” Simon told Ben.

Mel B returned to the judging panel for the finale of the final, saying: “I really missed being here. Thanks to doctors and nurses who took care of me and got me here tonight. I’m feeling better…ish.” But gave absolutely no hint as to what was wrong with her.

Of Ben’s performance, Mel said: “You grew on me each week. That was a job well bloody done.”

“I wouldn’t change a thing about you,” Cheryl told Ben.

“Sometimes good things happen to good people,” added  Louis Walsh.

The two-hour show opened with all 16 X Factor finalists from 2014 singing “Flashdance…What A Feeling”.

And what a feeling Simon was enjoying… Fleur, 26, and Ben Haenow, 29, were both his acts so he couldn’t lose on the night.

“I’d actually like to split the prize and give you both the award for winning the X Factor,” Simon said.

But he couldn’t. The public vote gave it to Ben.

“I can’t believe it!” said Ben.

“I’m so happy for him,” Fleur said, smiling.

The Sunday night show also featured a duet from Olly Murs and Demi Lovato, plus a performances from Sam Smith and One Direction, who were joined by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering if there will be an X Factor 2015… The adverts during the final, encouraging people to audition for the next series, answer that question.