Tonight, there's an extra panellist on the teachers' bench - the legendary Jonathan Ross! Oh, this should be entertaining.
Watson is phoning in his first vote for Alex of the night. I'm trying to persuade him to vote for Carolynne as well. Tonight's audience is most likely going to include thousands of viewers who've never seen the show before, and their votes could go any which way, but I think Alex will benefit the most, since she's the one with the most natural and instantaneous appeal.
We begin with Carolynne singing Man, I Feel Like A Woman. Wheee! And it's hardcore. Well, not really, but it's a great bellowing, stomping rendition that's like Shania on fi-yah. I love Carolynne. She's not rated as a future recording artist by many people who know of such things, but I'd buy her album. I think she has a terrific voice, plus she's real purty.
Next is Alistair singing If You Come Back. Yes, the Blue song. Excuse me, I have to go turn over my sausages. Here's a sausage tip for you, since Alistair isn't holding anyone's interest with a banal rendition of what I consider a low grade ballad even by the standards of Blue's ouvre. Instead of cooking your sausages on a moderate to high heat for fifteen minutes, as the cooking instructions generally insist, cook them on a moderate to low heat for an hour or so. You get a meatier flavour and more of that deliciously sinful black 'tar' on the skin. Yum num. My sausages should be ready in time for Claudia Winkleman.
Jonathan Ross is being nice to Alistair. I'm pretty sure Ross isn't a fan of Alistair, so this may be a tactical decision not to hand him the sympathy vote. Richard Park, on the other hand, is being 'honest' as ever.
Next up is Alex, who has had the time of her life in the Academy, hence they're playing I Had The Time Of My Life over her video clip. I don't like Alex's top tonight. Blue thing. Torn. Daft. She's doing Baby Can I Hold You. It's not her most emotive performance, and actually, Tracy Chapman's voice is one I certainly wouldn't want to compare her to. So, a bad choice of song, to be brutally honest. The backing track is also horribly intrusive and plinkety-plonk. Oh, she just kicked it up a gear, that was good. Much more passion. I hope her second song is better, though. Richard said it was a weak first 30 seconds, and he's right, damn it. I hate it when Richard's right.
Watson and I agree that Carolynne is the best so far tonight. He's voting again. Only 25p per call. Phone often! But not for Alistair.
The ex-students are here. Peter is still hell-raising, we're told. Louise has been given a song by Robbie Williams to record, which is old news, but hasn't been mentioned on BBC One yet. Makes a nice little testament to hold up in front of tonight's audience, though, don't it? Hrm. And James has forgiven Alistair for stabbing him in the back. How disappointing. He should have taken the opportunity to publicly condemn the little shit.
Back to Carolynne. Rehashing the Peter/Carolynne snogfest. Rehashing the B'Dingfield duet. I think we're due a bit more B'Dingfield tonight. Ah, and now we're rehashing Underneath Your Clothes as Carolynne's second song. Her favourite of the series, Cat tells us. The backing track sounds like a recording of a man in workboots walking down an echoing hospital corridor.
Every time the camera cuts to Alistair, he's scowling and looking like a weasel. You'd think the audience might be able to tell he's evil from that, but Sneddon always scowled when his competitors were performing too, and it didn't hurt his vote.
We're straight in to Alistair's film segment, so no teacher comments here. Alistair is wacky, remember. He does an impression of Richard Park that sounds like a random Scotsman, and he does the David Brent dance from The Office at the drop of a hat. Oh, that never gets old. Like people quoting Monty Python. Hilarious.
He's doing... I forget what it's called. I'll Go Wherever You Will Go, or something equally toady. He starts flat. He drones. He's nasal. Let's see how my sausages are doing, shall we?
Mm. Doing quite nicely. Turned up the heat a little. They're probably cooked through by now, so it's all just cooking for flavour now.
Alex! Doon McKichan is a fan. I like Doon, she was the second best thing in Celebrity Fame Academy. She's doing Beautiful again, which I think was one of her best performances. I know the 'better than the original' thing has become a bit of a cliche, but much as I like the Aguilera version, Alex's version has a lot more sincerity. While Alex sings, play Spot The Celebrities In The Audience. Lenny Henry! Johnny Vegas! Will Mellor! Dawn French! John Thompson! Hrm.
That was a much better Alex performance. All the big-eyes-at-the-camera stuff, bucketloads of pathos. Wonderful stuff. Best of these three performances. Alistair is such a talent also-ran in this contest. Not that the public have noticed.
Ah, here's the teachers' comments. David seems to favour Alex. Robin explicitly favours Alex's performance. Carrie also plumps for Alex. Jonathan refuses to say who he thinks is going home at the end of the show. Richard praises Carolynne, calls Alistair adenoidal, and says Alex could "sell the 100,000" to get Beautiful to the top of the charts. Bit of back-handed comment on the state of the charts today, there. Oh, and a slapdown to Pop Idol from David, there. "Any one of these guys would win any other television talent show out there." Well, I almost agree. Alex is easily going to be miles ahead of anyone on Pop Idol. Carolynne is better than anyone I've seen on Pop Idol so far. Alistair would be right at home on Pop Idol.
Over to Claudia for a taste of the students' final week. They visit the London flat that one of them is going to win. Looks perfectly nice. It isn't the same flat that Sneddon got, which is a shame. That would have been hilarious. Sneddon's year is up, isn't it? Next, the students perform at Birmingham NEC. Big crowd, or just a very dark room? You decide! Alistair - get this - does his Richard Park impression for the audience. Oh, my aching sides.
And... it's results time! The final two are... drum roll please... Alex! And... Alistair. Damn. No surprises, but there was a chance, there was a remote, tiny chance, that Alistair wouldn't go through. No such luck. Carolynne seems unfazed. God bless 'er.
Be back later for the final final, and a full report on my sausages.