X Factor Week 9 Sunday Update

Before Saturday’s show it was a case of ‘Every little helps’ for Tesco worker Mary and she didn’t get it.

She needed a better slot in the running order than second, always in the same segment as favourite Matt Cardle. She needed more interesting VTs. She needed not to get her timing wrong at the end of her first song. She needed to be more consistent in the delivery of the second song. And she needed the judges to drum up the Irish regional vote for her – but they didn’t mention Ireland at all, Louis instead appealing for votes from more generic groups: “women” and “people”.

The judges bickered about Louis’s first song choice, which is a diversionary tactic that takes attention away from the act itself. From after the second song, Simon’s comments are telling and worth quoting at length:

‘I think whatever happens, and I genuinely mean this, you’re going to sell records, you’re going to have concerts. Let me tell you, Mary, you are not going back to the Tesco checkout.’

In other words: Mary fans, you don’t really need to vote tonight. If she leaves, she’ll be just fine.

I’m afraid that producers did all they could to dampen her vote and minimise the sympathy bounce she will be in line for after last week’s singoff, and it almost seemed that her tears at the end of ‘The Way We Were’ were all Mary could do to try and save herself. Those tears, incidentally, felt slightly awkward – whereas they could have felt touching and uplifting if producers had chosen to give us the backstory about Mary’s mother in advance of the song, in her VT.

Mary had a raw deal and deserves to be the hot favourite to be eliminated (currently top-priced 4/9).

On the other hand they did plenty for the second-favourite to be eliminated, Cher. She had been accused on Twitter of being cocky last week and producers took on this perception directly, in the VT, with the judges comments and in her post-performance interview. Simon virtually pleaded for people to get her into the final.

Whether it’s enough is still open to some debate – it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction Nick says she is getting on the internet, when he makes his regular Sunday comment below. I think the bookmakers have again got her odds right at about 5/2. I think Mark was right in his comment before yesterday’s show – it’s a straight scrap for survival between her and Mary.

They sent Rebecca out first for a pretty uninspired version of ‘Show Me Love’, but Louis and Dannii did ask Liverpool to vote for her. She raised her game for the second number, and it has to be said that ‘Amazing Grace’ was a shrewd song choice that should see safely her into the final. The judges’ comments were as heart-warming as possible.

As we suspected, One Direction got the pimp slot, and their song choices were strong – which should put them into the final too. Matt Cardle wasn’t at his best having had a bout of flu, but it should still be enough.

One last thing. Customarily, at the final five stage, the judges lose their power to save acts in a sing-off, with the lowest in the public vote going automatically. But has this been definitively confirmed? All we heard Dermot say last night when lines opened was “It’s now all in your hands, your votes and your votes alone can get your favourite act safely through to the final”. That sounds to us like it technically leaves some wiggle room to have a bottom two sing-off (only the top three would go “safely” through), which would surely seal Mary’s fate. Or did we miss a clearer announcement?

13 comments to X Factor Week 9 Sunday Update

  • alex

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Qw5A79NoA

    3.37min Miming…stops singing into the mike but you can still hear his weak little voice!!

  • i hope u all took my advice on mary next out at 4-5 the S A S couldnt av done a better job then getting her out ov the competition 2nd on singing in between the 2 best and most liked contestants matt and rebecca cleary 1 big stitch up also yet again they had 2 give 1 direction pimp spot 2 make sure they get through 2 the final as they cleary no they are not getting as many votes as people think i see matt 1st and rebecca 2nd a rock solid bet and 5-2 is a great price lump on i am

  • geoff

    i love reading the comments on here
    you guys are so in depth with everything you say.
    i agree mary should be gone tonight but i do worry for cher after reading the forums seems to be getting loads of hate.
    i think ill pass on the elimination market tonight ive got chunky ews on one direction and cher.
    who do you guys think will win the show now?

  • geoff matts a absolute stone wall certainty im a poetman and get loads ov feedback i reckon about 80 percent ov my customers say they want matt 2 win hes best price 4-5 christmas come early trust me

  • Andrew

    Hey Geoff! Daniel and I reckon the big debate now is whether Matt is already out of sight or the One Direction boys could still pip him at the post. On that subject, watch out for some “the big debate” posts on Sofabet later in the week! Assuming, of course, that they both make it through this evening.

  • geoff

    i dont think many can argue with matt being the best vocalist left in the competition.
    but as you was saying the other day the producers could really go all out for a top duet for one direction i really dont know if that could win them the show but its got to help.again last night like you were saying they mentioned 1ds work ethic just like you was saying before saying about them being in the studio at 8 in the morning
    its becoming obvious the producers want a 1d win but can they pull it off?

  • Andrew

    That is, indeed, the question…

    Meanwhile, an Abigail88 update for those who are into such things. Her latest alleged leak has Rebecca well clear (that’ll please you, Mark!) of One Direction, with Matt in third, Mary fourth and Cher last. Full details here. Usual disclaimers – extreme caution advised, no idea if this is accurate, even if it is who knows if Cher voters will hit the phones in their droves as result, etc etc.

  • You gotta say that Cher going makes some sense. Sympathy bounce from last week for Mary, sympathy for the tears.

    Add to that Cher’s second song (therefore most memorable and done while the voting was on) was mostly an album track which hasn’t been released which is suicide in semi final week.

    Based on the performances last night there’s no musical reason to vote for Mary or Cher, they both turned in awful performances so it’s only their constituent fanbases that will vote. As laid out by the judges last night that is “women” for Mary and “every teenager with a dream” for Cher. I know which is bigger!

    So there’s a decent value bet in Cher

  • Nick

    I’ve had a look at Twitter performance, iTunes comments and ratings and You Tube views and there is certainly a lot more activity around the final 5 than there has been in previous weeks. One Direction are certainly dominating Twitter with the level of comments far exceeding any of the other 4. The surprise is Mary Byrne, who has never really registered on Twitter before but is ahead of Rebecca Ferguson in terms of Tweets in the last hour.

    However, I’ve realised over the last few weeks that a straight comparison doesn’t work. Each act has a different fan base so the indicators of potential voting are harder to predict.

    One Direction and Cher are very much dependent on the Twitter young fan base so One Direction’s domination of Twitter makes me believe that they are 100% safe. Cher is third in terms of Tweets which is a worry but she is doing very well with You Tube, with the highest number of views of the 5 finalists. I think that must mean that Cher is also safe.

    Matt Cardle has had a terrible week on You Tube. He is normally top in terms of number of views but he is currently 4th. However, he is 2nd on Twitter and 1st on iTunes so I think that must mean he is safe too.

    So that leaves Mary Byrne and Rebecca Ferguson who have both proved so tricky in the past as their fan bases don’t seem to be users of these types of media. Mary Byrne has registered a high number of Tweets for the first time since I’ve been looking at these figures which should be promising. However, Rebecca has thrashed her on You Tube and iTunes. I think Mary’s Twitter performance might be based on many Tweets stating ‘Mary is the next to go’.

    So I don’t think that Mary is going to make it to the final week.

    However, one thing to note is that Rebecca has shot up in terms of iTunes comments and You Tube views from previous weeks and Matt has slipped quite a lot which does fit in with the mysterious Abigail88’s leak!

  • Thanks for that Nick. I noticed Cher’s massive youtube views but wondered if part of them come from the Cheryl pouting shot which is within them.

    Also worth nothing Show Me Love by Robin S back in the top 100 iTunes sales. Cher’s been a bottom 2 act and hasn’t shown anything that would improve her support.

    Mind you I’ve been wrong before!

  • OK so I was wrong but I predict when the figures are released you’ll find Cher had lower votes than Mary

  • Niall

    @Euan

    “Add to that Cher’s second song (therefore most memorable and done while the voting was on) was mostly an album track which hasn’t been released which is suicide in semi final week.”

    Both “Nothin’ On You” and “Love The Way You Lie” have been released as singles this year, reaching numbers one and two on the UK charts respectively. Nothing suicidal about those song choices I feel.

  • @Naill

    The version of Love The Way you lie she sang is on Rihanna’s album and not the single version. In retrospect yeah the chorus is well known but in the semi I’d have gone for a banker that everyone knows all the words to.

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