Operation Save Wagner succeeded – but not in the way we had expected. Fortunately, my losses on Paije were recovered with a little bit extra thanks to the producers’ skilful manipulation of the naïve “vote Wagner” campaigners. Laying Wagner has been a goldmine for me this series, and the great man survives for another week.
I said yesterday that the surprise announcement of a single elimination at the end of Saturday’s show suggested producers might just be wanting to squeeze another week out of both of their headline-grabbing acts, and so it proved. Aiden surprisingly finishing below Katie in the public vote gave them their opening, and they grasped it with both hands. I didn’t bet during the sing-off – I believed Katie was more likely to go, but not strongly enough to wade in at long odds-on.
It seems that Aiden‘s enthusiastic fanbase in the social media got complacent about voting for him. As well as another week of Katie headlines, producers will no doubt be calculating (as Andrew noted in the comments to Saturday’s post) that such a shock departure will boost the show’s finances by frightening fans of other seemingly-safe acts into voting more next week.
So what next for the coming week? There are two big questions.
First, with only four weeks to go, at what point does the show give up on Wagner? When Dannii remarked that Wagner’s performance seemed like the reception after his stage wedding of the previous week, Louis off-handedly commented that next weekend would see the “divorce”. Was that just a joke, or an inadvertent insight into producers’ plans?
The running order next week will tell us a lot. Last year, Jedward were given six consecutive second-half slots in the running order, before their first appearance in the earlier half of the draw saw them finally eliminated in Week 7.
Wagner has followed a similar route so far. An early draw next week would indicate they want to follow the same pattern; the pimp slot would show they want the vote Wagner campaign to continue one more week. Having claimed a high-profile scalp in Aiden, the vote Wagner campaigners should be fired up if producers decide to milk them by bigging up the Wagner vote one more time.
The second question is, how many acts will depart? More than a single elimination will be required very soon to slim the contenders down ahead of the final weekend on December 11. The element of surprise over this aspect of the show has been a real pain for punters, as we have pointed out before.
A possible clue is provided by the TV listings on the Radio Times website, which tell us the X Factor is now scheduled to be on for 1 hour 55 minutes on Saturday November 27th. That seems to hint that we might be losing two acts this coming weekend, leaving us with six acts who will sing twice in week 8.
A word of warning here, though. There was confusion this week right up until the end of the Saturday show about whether this would be a single or double elimination. We heard on Sunday of one bookmaker which was initially resistant to refund bets in the double elimination market, claiming it was instead a “to go” bet regardless of how many were to be eliminated.
That was clearly nonsense and thankfully that bookmaker saw sense after an exchange of emails with the punter concerned. But our advice now must be to double-check the rules before playing in a “double elimination – to go” market. This market should clearly become void if Dermot announces that only one act will be going home.
We invite you to check back on Sofabet for two articles coming up later this week. After Andrew’s regular Wednesday look at the fortunes of the front-runners, on Thursday we will be picking up on Aiden’s comment in the interview immediately following his elimination that he had heard a leak on Twitter that he was third last in the voting on Sunday morning (which is “uncorroborated”, as Dermot was quick to add).
This was something we had heard as well. (The same leak had Paije coming last, which may explain his look of disbelief on being called safe). We will be considering the reliability of such leaks and other aspects of the impact of social media such as Twitter and Facebook campaigns in an article on Thursday. We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, as well as last night’s events and next week’s elimination possibilities, in the comments box below.