We’ve heard that members of the production team read Sofabet, and every time we publish a new post it amuses us to wonder what they’ll make of it. We’d like to believe there are at least occasional moments when they think “you worked that out”. But we’re sure there are many other occasions when they think “you have no idea what’s really been going on”.
We reckon producers changed their minds about Sam Bailey after week 3. Up till then, we think they hadn’t been intending for her to win; after week 3, we think they decided to run with her as their best viable option. That’s the part of this article where we suspect producers will be thinking “you worked that out”.
And yet, and yet – something funny has been going on, with manifestations in weeks 6, 8 and arguably 9. But we’re not sure what. This is the part of the article were we imagine them thinking “you have no idea what’s really been going on”.
Here’s our take on Sam’s journey.
Continue reading Sam Bailey’s Journey: Jam Tart Wednesdays to Final Sunday
Nicholas’s journey has been remarkably static. In week 1 of the live shows, we were told that Nicholas was 16 and had never heard of Spandau Ballet; in week 2, we were told he was 16 and had never fallen in love; in week 3, we were told he was 16 and had never used a washing machine. I could go on.
You wouldn’t exactly call it a twist, but the wee lad turned 17 in week 7. We were reminded of this in weeks 8 and 9 - no doubt we’ll get further confirmation in this weekend’s final. The most interesting moment in Nick’s personal story has thus been…. a birthday. As plot developments go, it isn’t much.
A more interestingly debatable storyline is just how much producers have been out to get him. Stoney suggested in our comments section that Nick has been treated worse than Christopher Maloney from week 7; Fudd disagreed. What does rewatching his footage tell us?
Continue reading Nicholas’s Journey – He Was Sixteen, Going On Seventeen
Luke Friend has been a bit of a Sofabet nemesis this series, and not just because we were mildly surprised when he survived week 8′s singoff against Tamera and blindsided when he survived week 9′s against Rough Copy.
It goes back to our pre-lives 1-12 prediction, in compiling which we always try to envisage which fancied act might be a shock early exit and which outsider might do well. Luke, then a 25/1 shot, was the one we seriously considered putting a lot higher than we did, on the basis of one simple fact: he was the first auditionee shown in the first audition show.
Why is that significant? Producers do like to frontload the audition shows with their favoured acts. Two of the three finalists – Sam and Luke – were in the first audition show. So were another two of the last six, Hannah and Tamera.
But, against that, we felt we couldn’t ignore that Luke had been given a gamma boy edit since. He had to wait a week for his arena audition to be screened, and at both bootcamp and judges’ houses he was barely granted any screentime.
Continue reading Luke’s Journey – The Pendulum Between Dark Horse and Busker From Devon
This post seems somewhat redundant, in that the point of these staging and lighting reviews is to look for clues about who’s favoured and who’s not – and at this stage, does anyone doubt that producers would happily cut off Scotland’s phone network if they could? Still, though, we’ve done the first eight weeks, let’s not give up now.
In the comments, Fudd wondered if the backdrop behind the “little boy from Devon” was gold and sunny (good connotations) or a fiery explosion (bad connotations). I suppose the point is that if we can’t figure it out then it probably isn’t having much subliminal effect. After watching twice, I’m tempted just to file it under “Windows 95 screensaver”.
And any ideas on what those lights were supposed to represent? In close-up they looked like slow-motion flashing lights on emergency response vehicles, in long shot they resembled pelican crossing poles:
Continue reading X Factor 2013 Week 9 Staging and Lighting Watch
I hope you’ll forgive me writing only a brief post-mortem tonight, as I’m nursing a five-figure loss after Rough Copy were announced as bottom of the public vote. As I explained before the show and immediately after, it appeared to me that instituting a singoff at this stage of proceedings seemed like it could only be good news for an act who producers had given every indication of wanting in the final.
In the immediate aftermath, I can think of two explanations, both suggested by our commenters. One is that they’ve decided to keep Luke around because they really, really don’t want Nick to win, and are hoping that he will split Nick’s vote in the final. Still, though – if they’d wanted to keep Luke around, it would have been easy enough to do so without going to all the trouble of holding an unprecedented final-four singoff. That would indicate to me that Nick must have done better in this weekend’s vote than producers were expecting.
The other is that Sharon wasn’t supposed to have done that. She’s disappeared from the Xtra Factor at the time of writing.
Knockbacks are an occupational hazard in this game – it’s not my first five-figure loss, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. Still, I’ll need some time to process this result. Please help me to do so by adding your reflections on tonight’s events in the comments.
Before the show the big question was whether producers had instituted an unprecedented singoff at the final four stage in the hope of getting Nicholas into their sights, or to ensure they could get Rough Copy into the final if they finish bottom of the pile. There’s something to be said for both of those views after tonight’s show.
Our reading is that producers would ideally like to see the two boys in the singoff, which we imagine would go something like Louis abstaining, Nicole saving Nicky Blue Eyes and both Gary and Sharon saving Luke on the grounds of his greater musicality and individuality.
But will they manage it? If Nick holds on to what we assume will be second place in the voting behind Sam, then surely Luke is in line for the chop against Rough Copy. Here’s how we saw the night unfold.
Continue reading X Factor 2013 Week 9 Live Show: Scotland vs Devon
The X Factor betting fraternity has been wondering all week if there would be an unprecedented singoff among the last four this weekend. I was sceptical on yesterday’s Betsfactor podcast, but later in the day Luke Friend indicated in a tweet that there would be one. I won’t completely believe it until the words come out of Dermot O’Leary’s mouth.
If it happens, it’s probably good news for Rough Copy. Consistently pimped throughout the live shows, and namechecked as finalists for a month now, it seems more likely than not that they would be saved in a singoff against either Nicholas or Luke. It was no surprise to see them drift for elimination once Luke’s tweet had sunk in: at the time of going to press, there’s little opportunity to lay them on Betfair.
This leads to the question: is Nick within range or will it be Luke that is the semi-final sacrifice?
Continue reading X Factor 2013 Week 9 Elimination: To singoff or not to singoff?
X Factor is coming to the end of the series, which means there are only a few more opportunities to listen to Richard Betsfactor tell it like it is. Usual instructions: iTunes and Stitcher Radio users search “Betsfactor” and subscribe, other podcast app subscriptions use http://betsfactor.libsyn.com/rss. Otherwise, here’s a direct download link if you want to listen without subscribing. And in case you haven’t seen them, here’s a reminder of this week’s song choices.
Sam Bailey: If I Were A Boy & Candle In The Wind
Rough Copy: Survivor & Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Luke Friend: Best Thing I Never Had & Something About The Way You Look Tonight
Nicholas McDonald: Halo & Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me