Sharon Osbourne has said that Sam Bailey needs to win X Factor in order to further her singing career – as she would be too old to get a record deal otherwise.

Sam, who has been mentored through the series by Sharon – is the hot favourite to win this weekend’s final ahead of Nicholas McDonald and Luke Friend.

However Sharon has expressed doubts on her succeeding without the backing of the show.

“You’ve got to tick all the boxes: young, good-looking, single, fake boobs, get the lips done, be sexy,” she pointed out.

“This is the last chance saloon. If she doesn’t win this then she won’t get a record deal.”

Sharon added: “Once you are away from here you are yesterday’s news. That’s the reality of the music industry. There are many people who are ageist. There are a lot of people who can’t look outside the box.”

However she did insist that the former prison officer was a ‘worthy winner’.

Saturday’s show will see Sam duet with fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger as she makes her bid for the series title.