Shortly after Matt’s win, the X Factor website published a pdf with the week-by-week breakdown of the voting percentages. Here they are.
What useful things can we learn from these statistics to help us from a punting or predictive perspective when next year’s series comes around? That’s a question that deserves some reflection and study, so Daniel and I will be posting some in-depth thoughts on them in a few weeks time, when the dust has settled (and when Daniel has got back from spending his Wagner and Matt Cardle winnings on a well-deserved holiday).
But in the meantime, we’d like to ask for your thoughts. To our great pleasure, Sofabet’s X Factor analysis has become very much a collaborative exercise in the last few weeks, as we have been blessed to find such insightful commenters. We’d love to have your help in picking out the interesting lessons from this trove of stats.
Here are five quick, initial thoughts to get us started:
1. Matt sealed the deal with ‘Nights in White Satin’ in week 8. He topped the vote every single week from the second week onwards, and his ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ in week 5 saw him garner almost three times as many votes as any other act. The wins in weeks six and seven were narrower, and those weeks were the window of opportunity for another act to reel him back in. But none took the chance, and after week 8 Matt was down to odds-on and never looked back.
2. Rebecca still came surprisingly close on Sunday, though, narrowing the gap to Matt with every freeze of the vote. Could she have overhauled him if she hadn’t been too busy gazing adoringly at Christina Aguilera to notice when she should have started singing?
3. One Direction were never in the hunt. They were consistent, give them that, finishing with form figures of 4-3-3-4-3-4-4-3-3-3. But they had as much of a ceiling as a floor, never coming close to threatening to top the vote.
4. Cher got fewer votes than Mary in their surprise week 9 sing-off, as many had suspected. And Treyc Cohen got more than Katie in the shambolic week 5 sing-off. Other acts that needed to be saved by the judges were Belle Amie (lower than Diva Fever in week 2), Treyc herself (lower than John Adeleye in week 3), and Cher again (lower than Paije in week 7).
5. Wagner needed all that help from producers. The big man came within 0.2% of the singoff in the first week, then cleared it by a whisker every week (0.42%, 0.72%, 2.04%, 0.68%, 1.01% and 0.53%). But equally, when the producers went out to get rid of him in week 8, they needed all that firepower – he was only 1.42% off safety.
As I said above, Daniel and I will certainly be looking at these statistics much more closely in the coming weeks, and if you’d like to be notified when we post further analysis, please do sign up for notifications of new posts by one of the means at the top of this page (Twitter, email, RSS). In the meantime, please tell us – what have you noticed from these figures? What has surprised you?
[Update, 13/12: Here’s another way of slicing and dicing the figures – I’ve pdfed an excel sheet which calculates how each act performed each week relative to the mean percentage vote that week. So, for instance, in week 1, with 16 acts, the average vote was 6.25%. Matt got 15.14%, so this translates to 242% of the mean.
This may arguably make for better comparisons. For instance, at first glance it looks like Mary enjoyed a decent sympathy bounce from week 8 (11.29%) to week 9 (14.99%). But because week 8 had seven acts and week 9 had five acts, in fact she went from getting 79% of the mean vote percentage in week 8 to only 75% in week 9.]