That was a fright night, alright. With Paije available this morning at 12/1, my speculative bets at single-figure odds before Saturday’s show now look less than wise and I am glad I kept them to relatively small stakes.
I haven’t given up hope entirely. Last year Rikki Loney was eliminated after singing 9th in the show with 11 acts, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Paije will go after singing in 8th. But I would have been much happier if he’d been sent out in 3rd in place of Belle Amie, who I would now be astonished to see escape the bottom two.
Their song choice, Venus, was a boring one and they sang it poorly. Not even the coffin doors opened on time. The producers clearly want them in the bottom two tonight, but do they also want rid of them? And who on earth will they be up against?
I can only hope that the voting audience were still so stunned by the Wagner madness in 7th slot that they failed to notice Paije appearing on the stage at all. Out of time and barely comprehensible in parts, Wagner certainly outcrazed the rest of them and after all the headlines of the last week I’m actually expecting him to escape the bottom two.
It’s worth noting that the show was careful to include not one but two allusions to the internet campaigns to vote Wagner to annoy Simon – one in the VTs in which Simon said it didn’t bother him “…yet”, and in the comments when he jokingly promised to leave the country. These were no doubt calculated to provide maximum encouragement.
If it is Belle Amie vs Wagner, though, it will give the producers a real dilemma as Simon will not (surely?) be able to use his vote to keep the headline-generating act, as he did with Jedward against Lucie last year. Cheryl and/or Dannii would have to pull the trigger. Could they credibly do so?
They might say they’re giving Wagner another chance as it’d be his first time in the bottom two and Belle Amie’s second; or perhaps they could say Louis hasn’t given Wagner a chance with his song choices. It would be controversial, and it would also be fascinating to see how the show decide to play it if that’s the hand they’re dealt.
As she created little impact with her performance, the big question regarding Treyc is how the spat between Simon and Cheryl will play out. On the one hand, Simon’s accusation that Cheryl has no bond with Treyc could increase her sympathy bounce, as Louis’s similar accusation to Simon did last week.
On the other hand, Cheryl’s denial was less than convincing, especially coming immediately after she had gushed about how much she loves Rebecca. If viewers conclude that Cheryl really does have no bond with Treyc, that could depress her vote. There was also nothing about Treyc’s slot in the running order (5th, between two big hitters in Rebecca and Matt) or her uninspiring song choice that would suggest the show is in any way keen to keep her.
I would have said yesterday that Belle Amie would stay in a sing-off against Treyc, and I still think that’s likely, but after the way Belle Amie were stitched up in yesterday’s show I am far from certain.
The surprise package of the evening, and not in a good way, was Aiden, whose murdering of Thriller was possibly the most excruciating X Factor performance I have seen. I hope our commenter Allan who picked him out at 35 on Betfair last week got on at those odds as he can now be laid at 13.
Aiden looked crushed after judges’ comments, so it’s entirely possible that voter pity will rescue him from the bottom two. If not, there are a couple of speculative reasons to think he might be axed over Belle Amie. First, if he were saved he’d get a much bigger sympathy bounce next week than Belle Amie would, so they might prefer to keep Belle Amie as a cushion to help keep Wagner safe again. And second, the producers like a surprise at around this stage of the series (‘X Factor Shock For Scary Aiden’?) to keep the supporters of other acts phoning in.
I’d be looking to get some value on Aiden if he’s in the sing-off. He looked extraordinarily uncomfortable on stage both during and after his song yesterday, and I wouldn’t count on his composure in a sing-off situation.
I certainly wouldn’t discount Katie from the danger zone, as I am far from convinced that the “fun” image the show is creating for her is succeeding in making her come across as either sincere or likeable. Also I commented in week 1 that Nicolo Festa’s sunglasses didn’t help him connect with the audience, and I just wonder if the same might have been true with Katie’s eye make-up. However her 18/1 odds make little appeal as I think she would be saved over Belle Amie.
In short, it’s a bit of a Halloween nightmare from a punting perspective. I would be astonished if Belle Amie aren’t facing a trick-or-treat scenario, and I will be following Nick’s advice from last week and looking at the iTunes stats before the show for clues as to who might join them.
Who do you think it will be?