If Bailey IS just for Christmas, so what? She’s still an X Factor triumph for the ordinary woman

Prison officer Sam Bailey, the  2013 X Factor winner
Prison officer Sam Bailey, the 2013 X Factor winner
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Already, they are saying she doesn’t have the X Factor. That while Screwbo can sing, becoming a star takes more than that.

Sniggering pop pundits are speculating on whether she can last beyond the show.

Frankly, I don’t care if Sam Bailey IS just for Christmas and goes back to Square One without passing GO like a Boxing Day Monopoly loser. And I am SO glad she looks like the ordinary and therefore invisible women (me included) in the queue at Aldi. Because, fair and a little bit square, Sam is now a winner.

X Factor may have lost its pop credibility, but it earned back its greatest role on Sunday night. That of nation’s dreamweaver.

The crowning of a gappy-toothed prison officer, a mum of two from Leicester whose divine voice seemed destined only to be heard above the rustle of pork scratchings bags in WMCs was a modern day fairytale moment. Disney’s best script-writers couldn’t have re-written Hans Christian Andersen better. The ‘ugly duckling’ became a swan. It made the dreams of everyone with a humdrum life believe that an amazing thing could happen to them.

Four months ago, Sam was probably trying to find room in the freezer to start squirrelling away the occasional Iceland party platter as she fretted about the looming expense of Christmas. Now there are rumours of a £1million recording contract.

The victory of a mother with a decidedly unglamorous job, a midriff bulge, gappy teeth and a reliance on baggy cardigans and saggy leggings, who wupped a 17-year-old to first place for Godsakes, is a smack in the pouty-lipped face of our obsession with image and youth - and the ridiculous notion that you cannot be successful if you don’t have selfie-perfect looks.

Now, I’m wishing upon a Disney star that fame doesn’t go to her head, she diets down to a size six, her marriage breaks up - and she loses that gap in her teeth.