Can it be true? Has a soulless TV show produced the most soulful singer of the decade (other than Amy Winehouse)?
The X Factor is pish. It always has been and always will be pish. Saturday night karaoke churning out endless bland pop stars and regurgitating old classics, with Louis Walsh squeaking his encouragement like an overexcited gerbil.
And yet now there's Rebecca Ferguson - a direct result of that terrible show - gracing us with the kind of raw-edged soul more reminiscent of Joan Armatrading than anyone else. Perhaps just a touch of Marvin Gaye, too.
You'll remember Rebecca was the only one with something unusual in last year's show, so of course didn't win.
Now, after a year of apparently missing her chance to cash in, she's back with some music.
I've not heard much, but just one listen to this: http://youtu.be/uWFpz2ivWRk
...and I was mentally thanking Simon Cowell.
I suppose it's like that monkey theory.
Give a room full of monkeys eternity and a type writer and they will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare. Or just give them a week for a Rihanna album.
Give the X Factor enough years on TV and it will eventually find someone worth listening to and capable of enriching our music scene.
Leona Lewis was leading the field, with her Mariah Carey-esque dolphin notes and pretty melodies. But Rebecca looks capable of going one step further, such is her vocal beauty.
It's like going to McDonald's and somehow, without expecting or ordering it, coming out with the finest haute cuisine meal of your life. I only hope we as an audience haven't had our aural taste buds numbed by too many years of fast food music to really appreciate Rebecca's talent.
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