I believe what we saw last night was Operation Save Wagner, much as we speculated might be the case in yesterday’s post. It is surely no coincidence that the first four acts to perform were also the four acts around Wagner at the front of the elimination betting: Paije, Aiden, Mary and Katie.
And then, contrary to rumours that seemed much stronger than last week, Dermot announced a single not a double elimination for this evening. This is a big clue for us: producers want to keep full control for an extra week, even at the expense of what will have to be a highly unconventional run-in to the final.
Now our question is: what do they intend to do with that full control in this evening’s show?
I admit that I am feeling slightly less sanguine about my lay on Wagner than I have in all the previous weeks of laying him. Not because his odds shortened after the show – the same happened last week, and the market was wrong. But because yesterday’s performance was substantially less madcap than Elvis the week before.
However, we saw last week that the producers knew exactly what they were doing when Treyc appeared in the bottom two, despite her favourable-seeming slot in the running order. And the booing after Wagner’s performance should motivate the people who wrongly assume they are annoying the show by voting Wagner. So on balance I still expect it to be lucky 7th in the running order for Wagner for the third week in a row.
The bottom line is that I have made plenty of money so far this year by laying Wagner on the principle that producers will know just how much they have to do to keep him clear of the sing-off, and nothing I saw last night substantially changes that line of reasoning.
If that’s the case, who do we think is being lined up to be this week’s Treyc?
My even-money bet on Paije to go in a double elimination this week no longer stands, but I got on Paije in the “next elimination” market at 6.4 on Betfair after yesterday’s show. Not only was he put on first – a much worse draw than Treyc last week – he was given a song that was far too fast for him. He may have benefited from some judge bickering, but may also have blown any sympathy that engendered by appearing somewhat petulant in his response to Dermot.
I’m expecting a Paije-Katie singoff, and while it would be no surprise if – as I wrote yesterday – producers decide that three sing-off saves is enough for Katie, after last night’s show I think they might just do it again. The single elimination does suggest they might be wanting to squeeze an extra week out of not just one but both of their most headline-grabbing acts.
It might not even take both Louis and Simon to pull the trigger again, as it is conceivable to me that Paije could finish below Katie, and thus go in a deadlock situation. Katie’s performance was poor, but she at least interviewed more sympathetically than usual.
As we suspected, the judges hailed a return to form by Mary, but it still wouldn’t be a huge surprise to me if she found herself in the sing-off. If they’d wanted to make sure of saving her, they wouldn’t have put her on so early – and they would have made sure they had a camera trained on her daughter in the audience.
Aiden was thoroughly mediocre, but as Nick has observed he does seem to have a highly enthusiastic fan base. If he survived Thriller, he should survive this. The rest look safe as houses.
What are your thoughts ahead of tonight’s results show? Do let us know in the comments box below.