Alex tipped for Christmas No1

Fame Academy winner Alex Parks had little time to celebrate today as she was whisked into the recording studio.

After celebrating her win in the live showdown on BBC1 with family and friends, the 19-year-old was recording a single for new record company Polydor, with whom she has earned a £1 million contract.

But it has emerged that a record deal was already lined up for the spiky-haired tomboy, whether she had won or not.

And William Hill have been knocked over in a rush for punters to back Alex to be Christmas No1.

Hills have slashed her odds to 7-1 fourth favourite to hit the festive top spot since her Saturday night success.

A Polydor source said today: "We were not too worried who won it to be honest. This girl is such a huge talent that we were always going to sign her."

Alex thrilled audiences last night and won high praise from the judges after performing John Lennon's classic Imagine, I Am Beautiful by Christina Aguilera and her own work.

"That was up there with just about everyone I have ever seen," said guest judge Jonathan Ross after one of her renditions.

Fellow panel member, the hard-to-please Fame Academy head Richard Park, said the song Alex wrote herself and sang - Maybe That's What It takes - was "extraordinarily moving".

"Your talent is outstanding, outrageous," he said.

The tomboy, who has received the keys to the London flat she gets to live in for a year, will travel to her home in Cornwall tomorrow for a flying visit.

She will then spend the next few days promoting the new Fame Academy album, a BBC spokeswoman said.

The elf-like singer was reunited with her family and friends and fellow contestants and "did a lot of celebrating," the spokeswoman said.

"Alex got up and sung Imagine and had a fair few glasses of champagne, I think. She would have be feeling pretty 'minging' today!"

Speaking last night, Alex said she had not anticipated her victory.

"It was amazing to win, I really didn't expect it. I always thought Paris would win," she said.

"I know it will be really hard to keep grounded but I don't want to change and hopefully it won't go to my head.

"Fame scares me. It's completely new to me."

"I want to do well in the industry and try and keep to my own path.

When asked about her sexuality, Alex, who is gay, said: "That's just me. I didn't come in here trying to hide it or shout about it.

"Concentrating on writing and singing is what I'm looking forward to now."

Runner-up Alistair, 25, from Whitby, north Yorkshire, chose If You Come Back, by Blue, for his first song in the final.

Earlier, Leeds-born Carolynne, 22, sang Shania Twain's Man I Feel Like A Woman, before being eliminated in the first part of the final by viewers, who registered 4.5 million votes by the end of the night.

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