We posted last week about why the “vote Wagner” campaigners are useful idiots, from the show’s perspective – they wrongly assume they’re annoying the show, when the show wants to keep Wagner in.
However, Simon Cowell certainly won’t want Wagner to win – he’ll be good for one novelty single at most (a la Cheeky Girls or Chico) and he doesn’t need to be in the final for that to happen – although quite how calamitous it would be for the show is open to question, as Steph noted in the comments to last week’s post.
At some point – possibly this week, probably next week – the show will cut Wagner adrift. But will it be that easy? Is it conceivable, as the vote Wagner campaigners are banking on, that the show has unwittingly unleashed a monster they will then discover they can’t control? Can Wagner win the X Factor?
No. Wagner can’t win the X Factor. Here are five reasons why.
1. Credible leaks have him near the bottom
The Twitter voting leak which Aiden referred to during last Sunday’s show had Wagner not far above the danger zone, and nowhere near the leaders – as did leaks from the same source in previous weeks.
2. The same thing happened with Jedward last year
When last year’s joke act Jedward kept surviving, people started to wonder if they were popular enough to win. Their odds came down to about 12/1 at one stage, less than half of Wagner’s current odds. And when the show published the voting percentages after the final, it turned out Jedward were only barely escaping the danger zone week after week. They only once managed even to squeak into the top half, and that was when they enjoyed their post-bottom two sympathy bounce in week 6.
3. Many more X Factor fans will vote in the final
It’s a safe bet that many more people vote in the final than at this stage of the competition. Admittedly we don’t know this for sure, but we can guess from the fact that the show has been known to mention how many millions of votes it has had in the final, but not before. If Wagner is struggling now, that means he will have to attract a disproportionately high share of those who have yet to start voting. And are casual, final-only X Factor voters really the kind of people who’ll want to devastate Matt or Rebecca or One Direction just to see the look on Cowell’s face?
4. Not that many X Factor haters care enough
It seems highly unlikely that there are many more people out there who care enough about annoying the show. Rage Against The Machine caught fire last year, but that was different: anecdotally, people I know who gleefully downloaded RATM don’t watch X Factor, don’t care who wins it, and would never vote in it. They were much more concerned with reclaiming the nostalgic institution of a Christmas Number 1 that isn’t a foregone conclusion.
5. Many who appreciate Wagner won’t vote
We count ourselves in this number. Here at Sofabet we love Wagner and would be highly amused to see him in the final – it would be a bigger televisual event than the royal wedding (and a bonanza of advertising revenue for ITV). But we wouldn’t dream of picking up the phone to vote him there, because we realise it would have a statistically tiny probability of affecting the outcome, and anyway we have no particular desire to enrich the show.
That’s our case. If you agree or disagree, please feel free to let us know in the comments box below.