X Factor 2011: Audition Show 3

Another week, another audition show stolen by the girls category. Jade Richards is now the new outright favourite in some lists after provoking tears on the judging panel with her rendition of “Someone Like You”, a song which Kelly Rowland – rumoured to become her mentor – conveniently happened to have been dreaming about.

Even Louis Walsh looked like someone next to him was chopping a strong onion. That, and the crowd reaction shot cutaways, and the starring role taken by Jade’s gran in the wings with Dermot, left us in no doubt that this was an edit with “sailing through to the live shows” written all over it. How far is Jade likely to get?

She certainly made an impression on Sofabet commenters Euan and Justin, who rightly point out that her Scottishness should be a solid base to build from – we saw the power of the north-of-the-border vote with Leon Jackson and the MacDonald Bros (although Jade may have some work to do to recover the Fife vote, having come perilously close to labelling the whole county a “dive” when Tulisa somewhat artlessly set her up to establish the classic “got to get out of my hometown” backstory).

Jade also interviews sympathetically, and the angle of vicariously fulfilling her gran’s ambitions is an appealing one. Vocally, however, we are not entirely convinced yet – to our ears she had some issues with diction and tuning in her lower register. There are also suggestions that she had another audition song, cut from the final edit, which didn’t go so well.

Perhaps a more intriguing question is whether it matters how different she is from the girls who typically do well in this competition. All the girls who’ve hit top 3 in the X Factor (Rebecca Ferguson, Stacey Solomon, Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis) have been cut from similar and more stereotypically feminine cloth – demure or ditzy in varying degrees, with endearing self-belief issues. None were hard-drinkingtattooed goths.

On the other hand, Euan rightly points out that Pop Idol’s Michelle McManus provides a precedent for the less-svelte female winner and suggests that “without classic good looks [she] should get a strong female vote”. Maybe. One can certainly imagine there being enough unkind internet comment to form the basis for a sympathy-grabbing VT or two. The hellraising past also suggests an obvious journey for her to go on, as she realises the need to leave her wild child behaviour behind and work hard at the opportunity she’s been given (“I owe it to my gran” etc etc).

Still, though. Janet Devlin is a much more obvious fit for the profile of girl who has tended to do best in this competition – and while Jade seems likely to progress reasonably far, at this stage we’d rather be on Janet if forced to choose between them at similar odds.

If Kelly is facing an embarrassment of riches with the girls, Louis is currently looking at an embarrassment with the overs. Only three from this category have got any meaningful screentime so far – Kitty Brucknell and Goldie Cheung in week one, and now David Wilder, whose bizarre performance of David Bowie’s Life On Mars drew inevitable comparisons with Wagner. As Euan puts it in the comments, he has the potential to become this season’s “joke that isn’t funny anymore”.

At a best price of 250/1 (as short as 50s in places – he has clearly attracted some interest), he’s obviously no winner. You would be betting that he surprisingly survives long enough to prompt “he couldn’t win… could he?” headlines, causing a Wagneresque odds plunge with lay opportunities before the answer to that question is confirmed as “no”.

If we are to have a final 16, it’s just about conceivable that there could be room for both David Wilder and Goldie Cheung (best price 200/1 but also as short as 50s in places). With Kitty Brucknell also looking like a strong contender for the overs, that would leave only one place free in the category for someone (as yet unseen, we assume) who’d be halfway credible as a contender for the win. That would be pushing Louis uncomfortably far into joke-judge territory, so we suspect it will likely end up being either David or Goldie filling the comedy role – but never say never with this show.

The other big talking point of show 3 was Luke Lucas, who has entered the betting at odds ranging from 10/1 to 20/1 after he won a kiss on the cheek from Tulisa and performed Michael Jackson’s “Who’s Loving You”.

Here we have to disagree with Euan’s opinion that Luke has a “great voice” – to our ears it sounded thin and reedy, and youtube footage of him performing other songs does little to change our minds. On the other hand, though, Luke does manage to pull off cute and likeable, and teenage boys with vocal limitations can be highly dangerous in this competition – think Eoghan Quigg.

Counting against Luke, as Euan points out, is a lack of any kind of compelling backstory at this stage (although one can always be furnished later) and a suspicion that he may have just a hint of the stage school about him. Also, coming from Margate means he won’t have much of a regional vote behind him. That may be enough to shift him from Eoghan Quigg territory towards a trajectory more reminiscent of Aiden Grimshaw (who coincidentally also hailed from a fading seaside resort).

While on the subject of the boys, week 2’s Craig Colton has continued to attract support, something which has us scratching our heads even though Sofabet commenter Allan – who proved himself an astute judge last series – tells us he is on at 40/1. With the girls having dominated proceedings so far, surely there must be much more to come from the boys in the remaining audition shows. We’ll reserve judgement on Luke until we have a clearer idea of what he’s up against.

Show 3 brought us little closer to figuring out what the producers have in mind for Tulisa and the groups. The Keys from show 2 remain the only credible group yet shown, and we suspect Euan is right to anticipate some bootcamp manufacturing once again – a reason for caution when backing solo auditionees.

One last note on week 2 – Misha Bryan has drifted to 14/1, presumably on the back of rumours of her messing up at bootcamp. Thanks to James in the comments for pointing that out, along with another article on the usually reliable Digital Spy website which appears to confirm the rumoured judge categories and also that we are in for a final 16 not 12.

That means we are probably looking at three or four double eliminations during the nine weeks of live shows before the final. If anyone from the show is reading this, a plea on behalf of punters: is there any chance you could give us some notice about when the double eliminations will be, rather than leave us guessing until the last moment?

Finally, it is worth noting that, although we are 3/5ths of the way through the audition weeks (the schedule seems to be Sep 24-25 for bootcamp, Oct 1-2 for judges’ houses and Oct 8-9 for the first of the live shows), a double bill was announced for next weekend and we assume the same will be true for the weekend after. That means we’re only 3/7ths of the way through the audition shows. There’s plenty more time for contenders to emerge.

As always, your thoughts are warmly welcomed in the comments box below.

22 comments to X Factor 2011: Audition Show 3

  • EM

    Lovely analysis as usual.

    Do you have any stats which show when you feel the “plan A” act is first shown in the audition shows. My feeling is normally that’s within the first 3 shows or do they hold it back a bit so they’re fresh in the memory come bootcamp/judges houses/live shows?

    Because I’m not feeling I’ve seen it yet. Everyone has something against them.

    PS It’s just a hunch but I think Derry Mensah might be put in an urban style group. It surpresses his not so great back story.

    • Andrew

      Cheers Euan. I don’t have those stats, unfortunately. Off the top of my head, I seem to recall that of the One Direction boys who got audition show screentime last year, Liam Payne was midway through and Harry Styles towards the end. Of course one can debate who the favoured acts were in previous series (in 2009 I thought to start with it was Danyl, who closed the first audition show – which was also the first audition show with a live audience, so perhaps they were unusually desperate to frontload the good acts that year). It would be interesting to analyse further back when time allows, and the archives on this fantastic site would be the way to do it
      http://thebitchfactor.blogspot.com/

      I think you’re spot on with the Derry theory. Just noticed on this link (they were pretty accurate last year iirc)
      http://xfactor-updates.com/x-factor-2011-judges-houses-contestants/
      that he is rumoured as being put in a group with Marlon McKenzie, who missed out at judges’ houses last year. Could this be the Tulisa urban group you’ve been waiting for?

      • EM

        Ah ok – from that site I get

        2005 – Shayne Ward – show 1 Andy Abraham – show 2

        2006 – Leonna Lewis – show 1 Ray Quinn – show 2

        2007 – Leon Jackson – show 3 Rhydian – show 6

        2008 – Alexandra – show 2 JLS – show 1

        2009 – Joe Mcelderry – show 1 Olly Murs – show 4 Stacey Soloman – Show 1

        2010 – Matt – show 2 Rebecca – show 2

        With the exception of 2007 and Oly Murs the top 2 at least have been shown on audition shows 1 and 2. Interesting if nothing else.

        • EM

          Update on 2007 the 3rd and 4th placed acts Same Difference and Nikki Evans came in shows 1 and 2 respectively.

        • Andrew

          How interesting. Hadn’t realised it was historically so frontloaded.

          2007 was the year they sacked and then reinstated Louis, so I suppose they were constrained to start the audition shows with only those auditions that had been filmed in front of Brian Friedman. That could explain the exception there.

          • Boki

            This is very interesting indeed, however this year I didn’t see any serious male candidate in the first 3 auditions. Do we agree on that or someone thinks Frankie, Craig or Luke have the winner potential ?

          • Boki

            Btw, boys from xtra shows looked/sounded better than from main show imo, Ashford is only 101 by the bookies but could we have a surprise there ?

          • Andrew

            Hi Boki – there’s a rumoured leak of the four boys who’ve made it to the live shows (see commments further below for link). Frankie and Craig are supposed to be through from who we’ve seen so far, plus two I don’t think we’ve seen yet.

  • Boki

    If there are 4 more audition shows left (a surprise for me in a negative way) then there is a lot of chance for more Goldies/Davids to show up, it’s almost one per episode. Yes, they are reading this and want to make punters life even harder 🙂

  • mark

    hi this is my first post on the site this year is it 100 percent certain that the judges catergories have been confirmd if so u can get 8-15 on coupled gary barlow and kelly rowland to be winning mentor which is huge not only have they got the girls and boys which i believe have won every show apart from steve brookstein but also thet are the most likeable judges which i believe is worth ten percent ov votes alone this will be my first monster bet ov the series i strongly advise you to lump on i am

    • Panos

      Hello Mark! This is what spy sites say, dunno if 100% confirmed but usually they get it right. where did u find such bets?? they sound too good to be true!!

  • Andrew

    Boki – yup, and then they can surprise us all by putting someone through to the live shows who had very little audition show screentime, Wagner himself being a case in point!

    Mark – welcome back! I think with this show it’s always safest to assume that nothing is 100% certain confirmed until you’ve seen it on screen with your own eyes and ears 😉

  • mark

    hi panos victor chandler is offering 2-1 gary barlow and 9-4 kelly rowland to be winning manager if you spread your stake it pays 8-15 for either manager to win- and yes andrew your probably right would hate to put a monster bet on and then find out uve inherited the groups and overs il prob do the same as last year wait till all the contestants have been confirmed then have a monster bet a large bet and a saver last year i had a monster bet on rebecca a big bet on matt cardle and a saver on 1direction the only contestant ive really liked this year is janet devlin she has all the xfactor credentials to go all the way the voice the likeability factor and a huge regional vote base il be laying jade richards and craig coton on betfair

  • Ronnie

    I though there were only two audition shows left – the double header this weekend?

    A lot of talk at the moment of Markus Collins, apparently was in a band called Eton Road who were on the show years ago – although he joined after. The boys are very week at the moment so I expect one or two strong male contenders to emerge over the weekend.

  • Andrew

    Hi Ronnie – Radio Times listings makes it sound like an audition show for the 17th weekend as well. Last year they also had five weeks of audition shows (though only one double bill, so six shows in total), then bootcamp last weekend in Sep.

    Interesting – this site now has four names of boys rumoured to be in the lives
    http://xfactor-updates.com/x-factor-2011-judges-houses-contestants/
    and they include a Marcus. Also a James (who I guess we haven’t seen yet), Frankie Cocozza and Craig Colton. Can’t vouch for the accuracy of this, of course, though the site proved pretty reliable last time.

  • Thanks for the links to my site & I can say 100% the boys through to the lives are correct on that post mentioned.

    http://xfactor-updates.com/x-factor-2011-judges-houses-contestants/

    The other categories will be updated on that page as soon as I have them confirmed.

  • Should also say that the Judges & their categories are also 100% & I was first to post them, see dates on the posts…
    Anyone here who followed my spoilers over the last 3 years should vouch that I don’t post unless I have confirmation, have been 100% correct and have been the first to post them before other site pick up on them and copy.

  • EM

    Not much to say on show 4, very similar in feel to show 2, lots of auditions that gave good tv but not any potential winners.

    Sammie, the One Moment in Time singer would give the overs some credibility but to my ears she wasn’t actually that good. Loud, with feeling but dodgy tuning. If she gets through to the live show then she’ll be a mid placed runner.

    Vassel (?) gave good tv and a rousing finale but was on the edge of losing it through the song. According to Judge’s list he doesn’t even make Judge’s Houses. If he does make them live shows he’s cannon fodder.

    The others just won’t cut it.

    Roll on tomorrow

  • Henry

    Great work Sofabet and XFUdates as usual. Judge how come no word on the Overs filmed weeks ago? (Not complaining, just curious).

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