After all the weeks of crying, carousing and even the odd rehearsal, it was time for the six bands - AND Blue - to take to the Hammersmith stage for their final concert.
There were some very minor disasters along the way. The ongoing threat of 911 Spike's dodgy ankle added a frisson to their performance, and 5ive's Scott went missing when makeup was required. Was he wrecking a hotel room somewhere? Gone AWOL in a club? Not quite, instead he was stealing five extra minutes with wife and children. We're all a little older this time around, folks.
The only person to have a real meltdown was Michelle Heaton, who gave herself a particularly hard time after slipping on the way to the stage. It was hardly a malfunction of Superbowl proportions, but her anguished reaction was a giveaway of how much she had invested in the show and this, after her health tribulations, was actually quite moving, as was the support she got from everyone, not just bandmates.
But, really, the finale was never going to go that wrong, relying as it did on unambitious choreography, slick makeup and a lot of collective audience goodwill, all in plentiful supply.
Each of the band members were moved and grateful by their reception. Of course, the enormous hole that they described in such detail following their initial fall-out from fame, will no doubt have to be addressed now they've had another taste of attention and glamour, but that's probably for another series.
"Same songs, same people, different completely," was how Atomic Kitten's Liz described the night of solidarity. And there we have this week's life lesson - that, just as youth is wasted on the young, so perhaps was the money, fame and general licence to implode that was delivered to this particular group of very normal human beings.
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