X Factor 2015 Week 4 Review: Laur-en Order

It was the push seen around the world. A brief, minor moment during the Sunday results show became a viral sensation, after Lauren Murray was seen rejecting a group hug by pushing away the arm of a member of 4th Impact. Soon there were parodies on YouTube, and Twitter vitriol had gone global – though seemingly focused on 4th Impact’s home country, The Philippines.

In realtime, Lauren is seen to take the arm away from her shoulder as her attention is focused on the names called safe for another week. Just before she does it, the group coming to join her, including Louisa, start to turn to hear the latest announcement. And as she removes the arm, she mouthed a few short words which were misconstrued by early lip readers.


A slowed down replay showed that the words coming out of Lauren’s mouth were “Come On Ché”, rather than anything aimed at 4th Impact. But that didn’t stop some of the group’s more militant supporters and others taking to social media to accuse her of racism amongst other ridiculous notions. The general charge seemed to be that she had “shown her true colours”.

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Louisa Johnson: An Anatomy Of A Pimping

It’s been incredibly obvious since the audition stages that Louisa Johnson is the act producers want to win this year – we ran through all the evidence why in a post before the six-chair challenge, as well as the reasons to think that Louisa might not be an easy sell to the voting public. We’ve felt after the first, second and third weeks of live shows that producers haven’t quite known how to sell her, but goodness did they throw the kitchen sink at her this week.


Louisa’s staging on Saturday is the most inspired we can remember on this show. It was so shameless you couldn’t help but admiringly chuckle – a moment right up there with Dermot banging the “Vote Fleur East” bus at the end of last year’s semi-final, or getting Labrinth to introduce Fleur in the final duet rather than the other way round. So let’s doff our caps to producers and admire a job well done this week.

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X Factor 2015 Week 4 Post Mortem: Anton Decked

The recap that starts the Sunday show is always worth keeping an eye on for what producers want you to remember. It was telling tonight that the main talking point of the night, Anton’s flash of anger at Nick implying he was fake, was not referenced at all. It was clear they didn’t want Anton getting any kind of sympathy vote.

Later in the show, Olly turned to Anton on the “someone’s going home tonight” line, and Simon cryptically told Caroline that having watched back last night’s show, “one or two weren’t as good as I thought”. Caroline asked: “But you don’t want to name him?” Simon replied: “Did I say ‘him’?”


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X Factor 2015 Week 4: Noise Reduction

A puzzling X Factor journey came to an end tonight. A meagre 47 seconds of audition screentime; a strop at the six-chair challenge, referencing the meagre 47 seconds of screentime; a controversial return; a neutering; an abject apology; cheese; a return to “cocky” and “arrogant”; and a clinically-executed hatchet job. What was that all about?

They could have made him a popstar. They could have made him a pantomime villain in the show. Instead they just seemed to mess around with him, changing tack from one week to the next. Mason himself seems to have been bemused by the whole experience and glad to be out of it. Before the show, he’d cryptically tweeted “One more show. I’m ready”; after his elimination, he hilariously said “thank you to everyone who didn’t vote, so I can go back to doing my thing”.


Now the tricky task of guessing who’s in the singoff tomorrow. As ever, a Sunday rewatch will tell us more. These are our first impressions.

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X Factor 2015 Week 4 Elimination: A Change is Ghana Come?

We still don’t have official confirmation of whether it’s a single or double elimination this week. In week 1, we only found out for sure at the start of the Sunday results show. That was a contravention of the programme’s own rules, as Sofabet commenter EM pointed out at the time. Those rules state: “The elimination format, and any specific terms relating to that week’s elimination, will be announced in the applicable on-air interaction information before voting opens.”


Therefore, I’m expecting the situation to be made clear at the start of tonight’s show, as it has been for the past two weeks. We’ve been told that the acts will each perform two songs next week, and that usually happens when there are five acts left, but not always – 2011 was an exception. Similar programme length this week and next would make a double elimination this weekend seem more likely. Either way, the current uncertainty adds another layer of intrigue to a hotly-anticipated show. With the deadwood and unwanted gone, the remaining seven all have a decent reason to be there.

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X Factor 2015 Week 3 Review: Blue Man Anton

Anton Stephans was the latest brought down quickly from a strong week 1 performance, if we trust the Daily Star leak. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that the traditionally reliable source got it wrong in last year’s final, with one suggestion that it only had the phone vote figures to hand, and not the app votes. For all we know, the same could apply to its reporting that Anton received 23% in that first week poll.


It’s also worth remembering that with double elimination piling on top of double elimination, the show is eating its young (and not so young) far more rapidly this year. Still, like Seann in week 2, we hadn’t anticipated Anton in the singoff, and it’s worth looking at his treatment with a huge dollop of hindsight to understand how it happened.

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X Factor 2015 Week 3 Post Mortem: Stone Sunk

The biggest moves today in the elimination betting were Anton shortening from big prices, with Mason coming in while Max drifted. The markets got it only partly right, with Max finishing last of all and Mason being the first act announced safe. That made it clear we were in for one surprise in the bottom three, and Anton duly provided it.

Monica traded at around 1.3 on Betfair during the singoff, and I was happy to take some of that. I felt all logic pointed to Anton staying: the way they’d treated Monica last week; originally giving her ‘Bang Bang’ this week; doubts about whether they would want Monica bouncing, when she’s a category rival of Louisa and with Lauren also looking strong; and a feeling that Cowell wouldn’t want to lose both acts four weeks before the final.


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X Factor 2015 Week 3: Stone Sinking

With two songs having to be changed at short notice, much about tonight’s show may have been improvised, so it should be treated with some caution. That said, with the three elimination favourites in the first four slots – alongside outright favourite Louisa Johnson – producers seemed to make their intentions at the bottom of the pile pretty clear.


Up first, in the 15 minutes while Strictly was still on the other side, was Mason Noise. He got a sympathetic enough VT, as we saw him feeling down about his singoff appearance and returning home to be cheered up by his dad – although that scene may also have created a sense that Mason will have plenty of emotional support when he exits the show, so no need to feel too bad about not voting for him.

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