The music sounded as dramatic as ever, the contestants were as deeply grateful as last year, and, if anything, Simon Cowell revealed, even more, chest hair than usual. Yet, despite all the smoke and mirrors, the X Factor final seemed to fall on deaf ears.

I wonder how Rak-Su, the latest X Factor winners, are feeling now. The first group to win the contest since Little Mix. Will the boys have the same bright future ahead of them? The girls' singing careers have skyrocketed since their 2011 win, and they don't look like they'll be slowing down anytime soon.

But how many forgotten winners have been churned out of the X Factor machine since then? Do names like Sam Bailey (2013), Ben Haenow (2014) or Matt Terry (2016) mean anything to the average UK household just a few years on?

As ITV's major money spinner struggles to compete with the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, surely it won't be long until the whole operation judders to a halt.

One great big joke

Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a little exaggeration on TV. As a die-hard Strictly fan, the more sequins you can get in the shot, the better I like it.

Yet, while Strictly contestants are all in on the fun, with the show even managing to bring out the softer side of Ed Balls last year, X Factor hopefuls find themselves the butt of the joke.

As the three semi-finalists battled it out head to head on Saturday night in an increasingly desperate rendition of 'You've Got the Love', any enjoyment seemed sapped from the show in favour of pure survival instinct. That famed Harry Potter prophecy 'neither can live while the other survives' springs to mind.

Such is the fate that awaits you if you're lucky enough to make it to the final, but for many, the humiliation starts and ends well before this point.

In fact, the main popularity of X Factor comes from those excruciating first auditions, where deluded hopefuls are routinely mocked by a derisive Simon Cowell, the laughable Walsh-Osbourne partnership and the token 'nice' person, Nicole Scherzinger.

All aboard a sinking ship

Those among the puny 4.4 million who did tune into the final this weekend may have been underwhelmed by what they saw.

Dermot O'Leary does a passable job of running the show following the disastrous Olly Murs and Caroline Flack partnership, but the rest is a bit of a car crash from start to finish.

With Simon Cowell forgetting the name of his band's new single, Louis Walsh telling anyone who'll listen that they deserve to be there (multiple times in most cases) and Sharon dressed as Maleficent on a Valentines Day night out, it was the carry-on the world just wanted to stop.

A bleak future for ITV

Looking at the prospects of recent X Factor winners, I'm not sure I agree with Louis that the acts deserve to be here. Having chased their dreams so ferociously and jumped through so many X Factor hoops over the last few months, don't Rak Su deserve something a little better than this?