The primaries were over, the weaker candidates had gone to the wall and the experts were agreed - Kerry was the front-runner. She was always the democratic candidate, a self-styled "volumptuous woman" who had proved that she could belch and puke for the electorate.
Peter Andre was trailing a bad third but psephologists couldn't rule out a late surge by Jennie Bond.
A career of wind-blown live feeds from royal tours had given her a maquillage that could withstand a typhoon and it didn't seem inconceivable that a monarchical cringe might play into her favour. "If you want me to be Queen then I'd be delighted," she said in her final appeal for votes.
And then she blew it. In the middle of a five-course meal of invertebrates she said she'd much rather have a salad with balsamic dressing - and her support in the crucial constituencies began to soften.
At 8.06am Australian time Kerry McFadden was declared to have taken the majority of the three million votes cast.
Bond had gone down fighting. Earlier in the evening ITV's ancillary programmes had primed the audience pump with judicious leaks about one of the celebrities flunking their bushtucker trial.
It turned out to be the ex-Atomic Kitten McFadden - who declined not to lie back and think of England as 60,000 cockroaches had their way with her.
Bond on the other hand went at her ordeal like a royal correspondent hitting the ambassador's buffet. The leaf mimic and the crayfish died in interests of ITV's ratings. Bond slowed a little to savour a stick insect, nearly came a cropper on a witchetty grub and then recovered to down a large fish eye. Years of unidentifiable canapés in the remoter parts of the Commonwealth had clearly given her the gag control of a waste disposal unit.
Peter Andre had tried hard too - crawling into a vivarium full of spiders before being drenched with the cockroaches McFadden had jilted. "You stay there you little shit," he hissed as he edged in past a spider the size of a dinner plate. "I'm not going anywhere," said a slightly startled Dec from behind him.
Andre said he was looking forward to a long talk with Jordan "and a game of Scrabble, of course".
Salacious insinuation was beneath the very first Queen of the Jungle ever to be elected.
McFadden responded to her triumph with the regal sophistication we've learnt to expect of her: "I think I need a bedpan," she said.Reuse content