Why we think Little Mix will not win the X Factor

One of the difficulties of betting on the X Factor is deciding if the market is over-reacting to a performance that causes a hitherto less-heralded act to plummet in price, or if punters are latching onto a genuine shift in the underlying landscape.

After week 1, for example, we wrote a series of articles explaining why we thought it was market over-reaction in the case of each of the three acts who crashed from double-figure to low single-figure odds (The Risk, Craig Colton and Misha B). After week 3, we did the same thing for Johnny Robinson as his ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ caused his win odds to plummet.

And after last week’s show, it was the turn of Little Mix – the band formerly known as Rhythmix – to catch fire in the win market, as their odds shortened from 40-1 to 12-1. The girls have certainly had debate raging in the Sofabet comment section. Pete D likened them to an advancing “steamroller”, Simon sees them as the “dark horse”, and fiveleaves reckons they can go all the way: “A group are plan A… not another boyband in an already flooded market, but a girlband.” Rob reckons “not saying they will win, but a top three finish will serve very nicely for both them and the producers”.

Our view is closer to that of KingKong’sDong: “There is no way a girl band will win. Absolutely no chance of LM doing better than JLS or 1-D”. Here’s why we find it hard to imagine Little Mix quite getting to the final, let alone winning it.

Just as we argued last week in relation to Johnny, the idea that Little Mix are genuine contenders revolves too much around the evidence of one week in which the big hitters underperformed. Little Mix’s rendition of ‘ET’ was one of the better performances on a night when market leaders Janet Devlin and The Risk did terribly.

Significantly, the renamed girlband also got a very helpful running order slot (9/10) and what fiveleaves rightly called “one of the best ‘vote getting’ vt I’ve ever seen on this show”, focusing on Jesy’s insecurity over her weight. As Pete D mentioned, this has had an incredibly positive online reaction.

The question is, does this help from producers indicate that Little Mix have usurped The Risk as the favoured group to win the show? Or does it merely indicate that producers were keen to keep them around for another week, and thought the girls needed all the help they could get to clear the bottom two?

Our instinct is the latter. The Risk had had three great positions in the running order before last week’s death slot, and the simple explanation for sending them out first in week 4 seems to be that this was the best way for the show to bury the ridiculous fact that they had been forced into replacing one of their members with the lead singer of the previously rejected Nu Vibe.

The Risk will quite probably prove to be a better band now that Ashford has replaced Ashley, so there is reason to think the show will resume its favourable stance towards them. We must also consider that their ability to survive the week 4 death slot without falling into the bottom two suggests a reasonable level of support – something which is backed up by the YouGov poll conducted for The Sun last week (see page 3 of the linked pdf), which showed The Risk doing really rather well.

That poll, conducted in the run-up to last week’s show though published after, also suggested Little Mix were doing rather badly. If this had been reflected in the first two public votes, then producers may well have felt a need to boost Little Mix with the penultimate slot and great VT to try to keep them clear of the bottom two.

And why might producers have been especially keen to avoid a week 4 exit for Little Mix? Our theory is that they will not have wanted the exit interviews to focus too much on the name change, because the saga of legal wrangling with a charity over the original Rhythmix name casts the show in such an unflattering light.

Now that Little Mix have survived at least a week under their revised moniker, this should be less of a concern. Producers may thus become more relaxed about the prospect of them dropping into the dangerzone – something which seemed to be the case in week 3, as suggested by the relatively poor slot in the running order (4/11), and judges’ comments which ignored the performance to indulge in a pantomime spat over the definition of rock.

Having said that, I do think producers will be keen to keep the girls around for as long as the public are willing to play ball. Apart from not seeming to care much for them in week 3, programme makers have generally done their best for Little Mix, astutely positioning them as normal girls who other girls can relate to and who, in Tulisa’s phrase, won’t “steal your boyfriend”. They’re not so much a girlband as the girlnextdoorband.

This has helped them to achieve already the best early results in recent girlband history on the show. 2010’s Belle Amie had been in the singoff in week 2 before going in week 4, 2009’s Kandy Rain were gone in week 1 and Miss Frank in week 3, while 2008’s Bad Lashes and Girlband were eliminated in the first two weeks.

Arguably the only time programme-makers have seriously got behind a girlband before is 2007’s Hope. And they had already been saved from the bottom two by this stage in the competition, going on to survive another singoff in week 5 before exiting in week 6.

Producers seem to have learned a couple of lessons from Hope. They haven’t allowed Little Mix to become unbalanced by having one obviously better singer (Hope infamously became known as “Phoebe and the Woo-Woo Girls”). And they haven’t made them seem threateningly sexual (Hope’s vampish Raquel came across very much as though she might be the boyfriend-stealing type).

The trouble is, while their portrayal as normal girls may have been what’s helped Little Mix to the halfway stage, isn’t it going to be a problem when it comes to winning the show? If they’re going to become contenders, then sooner or later they will need some serious judge pimping of their talents. And as soon as that happens, it undermines their USP of being unremarkable. The more they start to look like potential winners rather than against-the-odds survivors, the easier it will be to imagine them stealing your boyfriend.

Perhaps (in answer to Boki’s question on the subject) this is how we should interpret the fact that Gary chose to turn to Louis during his comments on Little Mix and remark “I can’t call the top three this year”, rather than simply stating “you girls could make the final”, which would be a more obvious and traditional way of motivating support.

Another possible explanation for this curiously roundabout way of communicating the idea that “your vote for Little Mix is not a wasted vote” could be that the show were worried about Little Mix landing in the bottom two despite their best efforts, and they wanted to save Gary’s blushes if that happened.

There is also the question of whether Little Mix have it in them to deliver the kind of performance that would justify the judges raving about their specialness rather than their normality. ‘ET’ was decent but fell a long way short of feeling like the kind of game-changing magic moment that would win over the larger section of the public beyond their core demographic. Before then, their best number was ‘I’m Like A Bird’ in week 2, which was heavily reliant on the backing track.

One Direction’s inability to create such a game-changing magic moment was one of the main reasons for their failure, as we stated in one of our review of 2010 articles. And this was a band that felt much more meticulously planned than Little Mix – as tpfkar rightly observes of this year’s bootcamp reject manufacturing process: “We saw them standing in a room putting lots of contestants into groups, it looked almost random”. One even wonders whether Little Mix might have been tossed together simply because they are all the same height.

Along with The Wanted and JLS, One Direction’s current chart success justifies Dug‘s comment that: “The current girlband market is not half as saturated as its male counterpart… The Saturdays haven’t neared the chart successes of the Sugababes and Girls Aloud.” But don’t forget there’s a reason for that – boybands generally sell more records. Girls Aloud and the Spice Girls show what’s possible, but can we really mention Little Mix in the same breath?

Ultimately, perhaps the new name tells us all we need to know. As Euan says: “If you have big plans for anything in a “contest” you don’t give it a name with LITTLE in it. Concious or not it’s not really a name to inspire confidence.” Hitting buttons marked with words like “ordinary”, “normal” and “little” has avoided the cannon fodder fate that traditionally befalls X Factor girl bands, but equally it makes us think their journey will not get them to the final.

Agree? Disagree? As always, please let us know in the comments box below.

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86 comments to Why we think Little Mix will not win the X Factor

  • Rob

    i sort of agree and disagree. if you are analysing previous trends then clearly LM don’t have a chance and i agree with all the points put forward on that basis.

    i would disagree with using the yougov poll as evidence to support the theories though. the poll is across all demographics and ages and doesn’t include anyone under 18 – surely little mix’s biggest supporters? given there were only 8 percentage points between the 2 bands (i’d suggest it would be less than 8% if you conducted the poll now), it seems that this would be easily changed if the producers want to change it. the reasoning also assumes the risk is plan a for the groups, but are they really wanted to win – a group with 2 personnel changes and a convicted mugger? why did they get such rotten VT with the creepy womanising?

    lol you have me half convinced but not totally.

  • Rob

    also spotted another anomaly that gives a false impression of risk support in the yougov poll. 25% of people in scotland voted for the risk (only 11% janet devlin – nearest rival) – really? is scotland that far out of step with the rest of the country? or were the pollsters standing outside the risk fanclub on the orkney islands 😉

    • Daniel

      Don’t forget Rob, that one of the members from The Risk is Scottish – Andrew Merry. He’s the one candidate left from the region. I do see what you mean about Derry, however, who remains their biggest liability given that damaging VT and his criminal record.

      • Rob

        i’d forgotten about that. at ‘the risk’ of upsetting all the scots, i find it a bit sad that they’d vote for one quarter of a rubbish boyband… roll on independence so all jai macdowell supporters can enjoy listening to him when they have their FREEDOM!!!

        Its.a.joke! before anyone starts calling me a mel gibsonist… er… i mean racist.

      • mark

        I agree, The Risk have th worry about the whole mugging/armed robbery..seriously not nice words and just the mention of it is bound to make some people think badly/go off the risk

        Daniel – while one of the members is Scottish, how much importance does this have? The regional vote is often talked up..but do we actually know how much use it is? will Scotland get behind the risk just because of one member being scottish ?

        • Allan

          MArk – not sure how the votes work out as I don’t think country/regional breakdown is published. BUT I do know that Scotland loves getting behind one of its own, even if he’s in a rubbish boyband with a bunch of cockney sparras! The press up here has been full of him this year, especially with the “terrible KBing” of Jade!

  • Donald

    More than the law of averages says you are right.

    They are endearing and likeable and a bit of a breath of fresh air especially with Janet not really delivering so far.

    A few more good song choices delivered reasonably well hopefully.

    They worth some few quid for top group for a “little” fun. If they don’t beat The Risk going nowhere anyway. Nice price in a two horse race with the opposition not exactly Sea The Stars!

    I think the name works, and appeals to a younger market who do not have much to latch onto on the show.

    The next few weeks will tell allot, it is still wide open really, depends what the show wants.

    Waiting for the song choices then will have look at bottom 2.

  • EM

    You know what? I think as usual you’re dead right around the reasons Little Mix won’t win but I’m still not sure of producers intentions.

    Cher Loyd will likely be number one this weekend. Little Mix ain’t no Cher Loyd but in the increasingly fragmented music scene both acts score mega passion in a tight demographic so perhaps they are seen as marketable.

    The running order spot last week can be taken both ways but the vt could very easily be seen as a journey starter, the classic X Factor awkward duckling story which has worked so well for females on the show in the past.

    Haven’t looked at the YouGov poll but if it does show big regional differences the producers will no doubt pick these up in the phone voting too. So that suggests the pushing of Craig’s Scouseness may well be significant. Sorry Marcus fans!

  • Boki

    Agree totally, as I said before – don’t get the hype. People put Johnny to top3 week before and nobody mentions him anymore, LMix is now suddenly top3. There is a chance but this is clearly an overreaction. It would be nice though if we can predict such significant odd drops of certain acts.

    Btw, on tellymix: Janet told us she would be doing something upbeat (finally!) this week, teasing: “I have a trick up my sleeve”.

    I guess this is the week we were waiting for, maybe a pimp slot for Janet (projected winners week 5)? Now maybe the time to back her and lay-off after breathtaking standing ovation from all judges 🙂

    • Donald

      Boki, I’m going to join you on the standing ovation bet. At 7/1 worth a punt.

      Some of the elimation odds are juicy enough if Frankie not going ?

      Waiting for Daniel though and song choice going to be very important this week me thinks.

      • Pete D

        Donald. I might join in too even if might only be because FRANKIE might get one for going at long last, LOL

        • Boki

          Guys, I didn’t plan to bet on standing ovation, only to back Janet to win. It might happen but I have just imagined how it might look like without intention to reference to actual bet.

          • Donald

            Boki, don’t worry, will a go anyway.

            Now much more important info. I have a reasonably decent source of info. (a top pap) Likes a bet also.

            Heard rumour Frankie is doing his best to get kicked out instead of being voted out.

            Bear in mind, might account for some of the behaviour??

      • mark

        Can’t help but think 7/1 doesn’t offer any vlaue at all – now i sya that it’s going to happen 🙂 still best of luck everyone playing it

        I can’t remember many standing ovations though besides Matt Cardle – anyone know of any others?!

        Boki – I was wondering how Janet would cope with club classics, has to be upbeat for sure, which will be a nice change

        I’ve been trying to ‘guess’ the songs they could do, but well it’s so vague..no idea

        Johnny some kind of disco classic? Misha B Diana Ross – upside down or is that too old/before her time?!

        • nugget

          I had heard that Johnny was doing “don’t leave me this way”….not sure how true this is though.

        • bunnyman

          In Big Band night about 2 years ago probably 75% of the acts got a SO. It used to be a regular thing, but somehow they used to have far more real stand out performances. Not sure where they have gone wrong.

          • mark

            Thanks, I could only remember one from last year — anyone know how many we had last year?

            I can imagine for how well they manage with a ;club classic ‘ song

            Does well:
            ______________
            Marcus
            Johnny
            Kitty
            THE RISK
            little mix

            Murders the song choice:
            ______________________
            Frankie
            Craig

            Not sure
            _________
            Janet (cant see her doing anything faster/upbeat than normal) but we will see

            Misha B – if she tries to add rap in, then it’ll be awful

  • Tim

    JANET has already had a pimp slot. It would be kind of unfair to give her one again so soon. As I said in the other thread, I think THE RISK are due to be the first group to have the pimp slot this year, as they are overdue one. We shall see.

    • Boki

      She had a pimp slot in wk1 when there was no public vote, if she is really plan A should be treated like one, unfair or not. On the other hand, giving it to Risk might be a good indication of producers plans since wk5 was so indicative in the past.

    • EM

      Tim if you’re betting on X Factor I’d urge you never to assume the show or the judges are going to be fair

  • lolhart

    I agree it’s better not to get carried away with the positive treatment of Little Mix by the programme makers. I think it’s possible they just want a girl group to do well on the show for once. After all it was getting to the stage where even putting a girl band through to the live shows was a waste of time. I’m more inclined to believe that last week’s VT and performance was an attempt to keep them in for a while after struggling in the vote.

    Personally, I would also air on the side of caution when it comes to backing The Risk. I have a feeling that bringing Ashford into the will be a bad decision. There’s video online of The Risk being invited on stage at a Jessie J concert and they reportedly looked very awkward together. I feel that no amount of bromancing in their VTs will convince the public to back them as a cohesive group in the end.

    Daniel, the mention of Hope from Series 4 in your article was interesting. I remember how Simon and the programme makers pimped them relentlessly at first, but the viewers were having none of it. A good example of how the show can’t force the public to take to an act.

  • nugget

    With regards to Donalds comment above, if FRANKIE did get kicked out of the show rather then voted out, how would that effect the way 8th elimination bets are settled??

    Is he a winner, is he a loser??
    Do bets on 8th elimintion stand??
    Would there be a rule 4??

    I can see lots of IBAS complaints if this happens. Maybe Daniel or Andrew could advise on this??

  • EM

    The YouGov poll is very interesting. Decent sample size but no resemblance to Sunday’s result with Sophie and Micha far from bottom two.

    From this you can infer that performance, song choice, place in the running order and judges comments can hugely influence the vote. By place in the running order I’m suggesting both the later you’re on the more memorable you are and perform next to a good performance you may suffer in comparison. Also it’s not enough to have a favourite act, you need to have a favourite act and feel compelled to vote for them. That compulsion could be driven by sex appeal, sympathy, local sentiment, anti judge sentiment, pro judge sentiment, your age, your income, are you watching live, do you trust ITV and so on

    It’s also fair to suggest that the more the series goes on the more passionate people will become about acts.

    I’ve also had my mind focussed on regional votes. There is some evidence that regionality comes into people’s choices if you look at Craig and The Risk. However there are more people in London than Scotland. More people in Ireland than Liverpool etc. Yes the Celts might be more passionate and loyal to their own but it will never be enough on their own.

    It’s the compulsion to vote

    • EM

      (cont) that really interests me. It’s the key to predicting the bottom two and outright winner

    • Andrew

      Hi Euan, I think you’re spot on about the compulsion to vote thing. That poll was taken before last week and you would never have predicted a Misha-Sophie bottom two from it, which suggests the importance of motivation levels of an act’s supporters from week to week (and tactics to affect them).

      Or it might of course suggest that the poll is useless, but I dug around and found another one conducted before the start of the 2010 series
      http://cdn.yougov.com/today_uk_import/YG-Archives-Life-YouGov-XFactor-221010.pdf
      Proved to be pretty accurate, I think, when you factor in everything that was subsequnetly done to inflate 1D and deflate Mary Byrne.

  • Pata17

    If you don’t mind me saying,an awful lot of assumptions and guesswork to back-up your article.
    The things we can be certain of at the momment for Little Mix are positive judges comments,positive VT and a shrinking price.How they are polling,and what TPTB’s plans are can only be educated guesswork.
    The one thing I agree on is the name change is poor at best.

  • Pata17

    Also when you mention Gary saying about how close it could be this year,Louis’s response is to virtually ignore the question and shout how good the girls are again!

  • bunnyman

    Thanks for another thought provoking article Daniel. For the first time perhaps I find myself disagreeing with most of the points you make, so lets get the debate going! (apologies for the length of my reply) The difficulty with any gambling related article which starts with ‘why I don’t think x will win’ is it gives no consideration to the price and whether it offers value. Do I think Little Mix will win? Maybe, maybe not. Do I think they win at least 1 time in 12 to create value at the current odds? Absolutely.

    Anyway – here are my observations on some of the points made in the article. Interested to hear what others think.

    Point 1 – The Risk were the favoured group and now they have cleared up the Ashes mess normal service can be resumed:

    I felt they were Plan A, but that doesn’t mean they still are. There is little question in my mind that the girls outpolled them this weekend. If I were a producer I’d be thinking, ‘flipping eck, we’ve finally got a girl band we can do something with here’. For years they have been trying to push hopeless girlgroups on us and trying to deal with the embarrassment of repeated early exits. Now they have a girl group with a chance of progressing on their own merits surely they will make the most of this opportunity?

    Point 2 – their treatment in week 3 suggested that they weren’t bothered about them being b2:

    Firstly they would have been more than happy to get them in the b2 with Sami. But the other interpretation is that they were confident that they could survive bottom 2. Whatever happens, no other girl group in the history of X Factor without the benefit of bounceback would have survived that draw and those non comments. The fact that they did should have been a big eye opener to the public and the producers should they need it.

    Point 3 – why might producers have been especially keen to avoid a week 4 exit for Little Mix? Our theory is that they will not have wanted the exit interviews to focus too much on the name change, because the saga of legal wrangling with a charity over the original Rhythmix name casts the show in such an unflattering light.

    See point 1. Surely they are keen to avoid a week 4 exit because the girls offer the show something new, nothing more sinister than that. They are filling a void here, they are fresh, lively and positive. Compare this with Janet who is 16 going on 56.

    Point 4 – They’re not so much a girlband as the girlnextdoorband.

    Classic quote, I think we should try and get girlnextdoorband trending! This is the key to why they have a chance of winning, they are enormously appealing. In a show which is full of negativity and bad news they are a little ray of sunshine, a bubble of joy and positivity.

    Point 5 The trouble is, while their portrayal as normal girls may have been what’s helped Little Mix to the halfway stage, isn’t it going to be a problem when it comes to winning the show? If they’re going to become contenders, then sooner or later they will need some serious judge pimping of their talents. And as soon as that happens, it undermines their USP of being unremarkable. The more they start to look like potential winners rather than against-the-odds survivors, the easier it will be to imagine them stealing your boyfriend:

    Couldn’t disagree with this more. Serious pimping will not be a problem. Gary loves em, Louis will do what he’s told – sorted. Becoming winners won’t transform them into boyfriend stealers, they will be grateful humble and excited girls who have had a classic and highly improbable reality tv journey that we have bestowed upon them. It will be a great story that with the producers help we will all buy into.

    Point 5 Perhaps (in answer to Boki’s question on the subject) this is how we should interpret the fact that Gary chose to turn to Louis during his comments on Little Mix and remark “I can’t call the top three this year”, rather than simply stating “you girls could make the final”, which would be a more obvious and traditional way of motivating support:

    This seems to be a speculative and subjective interpretation of what was intended as a positive comment. Another interpretation is that Gary for the first time this series (I believe) has talked about an act as a potential finalist, and not even one of his own acts. Don’t forget in week 1 he also said that they were already the best girl group ever in the history of XF.

    Point 6 ‘ET’ was decent but fell a long way short of feeling like the kind of game-changing magic moment that would win over the larger section of the public beyond their core demographic:

    The impact on the polls from this one performance was significant, and it is possibly a game changer. The moment the group stopped being an act that people didn’t mind to one that got noticed. It is always gonna be difficult for a group to do a ‘Knights in White Satin’ type show stopper, but I don’t recall Leon Jackson or Steve Brookstein doing one either. I’m not sure about their core demographic. What demographic wouldn’t they appeal to?

    Point 7 “We saw them standing in a room putting lots of contestants into groups, it looked almost random”. One even wonders whether Little Mix might have been tossed together simply because they are all the same height.

    Don’t think this matters. It’s a possible sign at the time that they didn’t have enormous aspirations for them then. But there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, and somehow the XF match making has for once produced something rather good.

    Point 8 Ultimately, perhaps the new name tells us all we need to know. As Euan says: “If you have big plans for anything in a “contest” you don’t give it a name with LITTLE in it. Concious or not it’s not really a name to inspire confidence.”

    Little is cute, vulnerable, unthreatening. Isn’t that what a girl group needs to be to win this?

  • nugget

    I agree with a lot of the above bunnyman.

    Littlemix may not have been plan A and are not really my cup of tea but there is undoubtably a huge gap in the market for a spice girl like girlband to appeal to young/teenage girls. If SYCO see a following building and think they can make this work then beleive me they will be quite willing to tear up old plans and rewrite the script.

    Having a group win, particularly a girlband would be a refreshing change from the string of single male winners, most of whom don’t seem to have a great deal of success after the show.

    Would I bet littlemix outright at lower single figure prices, probably not, but the current 12/1 ew1/5 123 might look remarkably good value in a few weeks time.

    • nugget

      Reading Daniels article and the comments has actually now steered me into betting littlemix to be top group at 11/4 with Paddy Power.

      I guess that was never the intention of article 🙂

      I would honestly price this match bet much closer than this myself. Not a cert but good value at 11/4, in my opinion.

      • Donald

        Hi Nugget,

        I did the same earlier as said The Risk no Sea The Stars!

        • nugget

          For me its all about value, in a two horse race with one of ther runners hitting form and doubts about the others fitness, both untried over the distance then 11/4 seems a great bet.

          I don’t expect to be right all the time, just in the long term to get an adequate percentage of decent priced winners to beat the odds.

          My own betting style does not really suit betting long odds on, the shortest I ever really bet is 1.5 and even then rarely. Anyway I find it much more enjoyable finding a 10/1 winner 15% of the time than picking a 1/10 winner 99% of the time and the rewards are much the same 🙂

        • Chatterbox5200

          I also have been backing Little Mix to be top group for the past few weeks and even offered this up as a good bet on earlier posts. I don’t have enough confidence to state that they will win the competition, but with odds of 11/4 in a two horse race, it’s an enouraging offer.

          With Nu Vibe voted out early on, and The Risk appearing a little older than One Direction and JLS, Little Mix could pick up the younger demographic (most with mobile phones and not unfamiliar with voting for their favourites), the age range which as stated by others were the initial followers of the Spice Girls.

  • tpfkar

    Agree? Disagree? As always, please let us know in the comments box below.

    Disagree. Although I should declare an interest at 41-1.

    The problem with all the ‘why XX can’t win the X Factor’ articles is that the same points come up again and again, and there is far too much uncertainty to be so confident it’s Janet/Marcus.

    In particular everything here has been said about the Risk – you were sure they needed help then after being put out early and avoiding bottom 2 it’s now a sign of strength. Rhythmix week 3 can be seen the same way.

    They have a journey to go on, the classic female one from insecurity to confidence, with Jesy the obvious person to lead on this. They are the only act I can think of who haven’t turned in a duff performance yet. And although I wasn’t sold on the name change, it actually feeds into this journey.

    I believe producer favour for the groups is up in the air after The Risk started as the chosen group, however they are unlikely to be fishing in the same area for votes, so the success of The Risk won’t impact Little Mix much.

    I do see one major obstacle for the girls though: Janet Devlin. The other girl who is not about to steal your boyfriend. If Janet goes early, I can see plenty of votes transferring to Little Mix. If not, then it’s easy to imagine them being squeezed out. A final with both of them would seem unbalanced. So I would advise anyone wondering whether Little Mix could win to look carefully for any signs of the producers giving up support for Janet. I am relieved to be on both.

    P.S. I’m on YouGov’s panel (but wasn’t consulted on this poll) and you should be aware that YouGov’s weighting methodology for political polls has repeatedly been questioned; there is no attempt to weight opinions by how often they vote here so the poll should have warning lights attached.

  • mark

    ‘In weeks 4, 5, 6 and 7, over three series, a remarkable 8 out of the 12 acts who were last to be called safe found themselves being eliminated the very next week. ‘

    So has anyone got any thoughts on this last week being week 4, although week 1 had no bottom 2- so are we saying this coming week is week4 for the purposes above or do we treat this coming week as week5 and see if the above applies?

    Frankie called last so Frankie stands are chance of being eliminated – 8/12 seems quite a strong trend

    add that to the fact he’s absolutely awful, bad slot and a bad song choice and is his time finally up?

    He had his sympathy bounce in week 3 and stayed in week4, time for him to depart? looking at that wks4,5,6,7 8/12 makes me think could be..but as I say not sure how to treat this week for that stat

    • nugget

      All the above maybe true, but can you really bring yourself to bet on this at the current odds.
      He has been short priced favourite to go for last two weeks now, yet managed to avoid the bottom two both times.
      My view is that he will be gone the moment he reaches a sing off, but even thats not certain in an extrodinary series and there is every chance he could again be declared safe on public votes alone and not even reach that stage.
      I agree he is the most likely candidate to go this week but surely no value.

      • mark

        Yea Im not sure I would back him at the current price to be honest – if he does go though will be interesting making the above stat 9/13 if we assume this as wk5

  • nugget

    Sorry for using this for a non betting question, but in previous years when they get down to seven acts left do they all perform 2 songs each??
    I only ask because I am going to live show in a couple of weeks and hope this is the case.

  • fiveleaves

    As for Little Mix I have to declare an interest.
    Have been backing from 110 downwards.

    Needless to say I lean much more towards Bunnyman’s views than Dan’s.

    Interesting that both the groups were at Jessie J’s concert last night.

    Jessie J and Little Mix doing Price Tag in the final is my dream scenario.

    Here they are from last night.

  • fiveleaves

    Just to add to bunnymans excellent post, I think what hasn’t been taken in to account is the weakness of the competition compared with last year.

    I reckon Cowell would be able to get the very limited 1D to win this year. Last year they were up against a good looking male singer who put in 3 or 4 top notch performances and for me one of the best, if not the best female voice they’ve ever had on the show.

    Both were miles ahead of any act that is taking part this year, in terms of talent x likeability.

    Only Misha comes close in terms of talent and we saw last week she lacks the likeability.

  • nugget

    Corals special cliche bets are back this week, after pretty much all of the ones they had last week actually happened :-). I love having a couple of little bets on some of these just for fun.

    words to be used in show

    “KARAOKE” NO 4/7 YES 5/4
    “PICK UP THE PHONE AND VOTE” YES 6/4
    “YOU OWNED THAT SONG” NO 8/13 YES 6/5

    Any opinions??

  • nugget

    Any judge to use the words “FIREWORKS OR BONFIRE NIGHT” 2/1 with CORALS!!!!!

    On a November the 5th show!!!

    This is massive price and is now my bet of the week.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Just watched MARCUS, CRAIG and FRANKIEon ITV’s this morning – all being interviewed on the sofa there. MARCUS was the best media handler by a mile and answered most of the questions in his usual likeable style. FRANKIE said he expected to be in the bottom 2 every week and I suspect on Sunday with there being a double eviction he will not be dissapointed.
    The weatherman in a lonk was talking about X Factor and suggesting this was the week Frankie would leave seemingly setting the guy up for another fall – I know it is up to the public but Frankie is a worthy favourite for the chop.
    I remain quite happy about MARCUS and will let him escape the blood on the streets this week before laying any of the 33’s and 25’s and 14’s and every other price between off!
    I will have a small wager on CRAIG to be in bottom 2 at 8’s.
    Reserve right to changemind after performances…

    • Pete D

      Hi Simon. Shame, I missed that MARCUS chatshow thing on THIS MORNING as I was at the emergency Dentist. Having said that, seeing the TATARSE FRANKIE on tv would have had much the same effect as what I went through today (suffering toothache being my preference), LOL.

  • bob

    Fireworks/bonfire night. Got to be a great bet. I’m on Misha to be first announced safe too. 6/1 seems crazy. More or less puts everyone as joint fav to be called first (price differences mainly down to acts being less likely to safe at all).

  • Kieran

    Craig at 18/1 to be saved is huge if you like him to make the bottom two. I think he’s saved vs all except for Janet and Marcus.

  • Kieran

    sorry, that’s with Skybet

  • Kieran

    All the rumours are for a double elimination Sunday. If it follows the usual routine, the lowest votes automatically gets eliminated and the next two go to a sing off. Who do we like for these?

    Can’t see Frankie surviving this week. Can he seriosuly avoid the bottom third in the votes?

    • Nugget

      Double elimination was announced on Radio this morning as an official exclusive….so its certainly looking that way

      • Nugget

        How will my bottom 2 bet stand, if they only announce bottom 3 on the night…..will I have to wait till end of series until voting is revealed to see if Craig was in bottom 2 ??

      • fiveleaves

        Confirmed by Louis on This Morning now.

        I suspect betfair will void the B2 markets Nugget.

        • Nugget

          Just checked customer services….see chat below…i am happy with this 🙂

          for x factor…now a double elimination is announced how will you be settling to be in bottom 2 bets??

          The bets will be settled as a dead heat.

          so when bottom 3 are announced …it is settled as a 3 way dead heat for bottom 2

          Yes it will be settled as dead heat between the amount of people called.

          • Noisy

            Good to hear Nugget. I’m on Craig for bottom two too but couldn’t get an answer when I queried it.

          • Noisy

            Hi Nugget,
            I’ve had an email through from SkyBet saying they’re honouring next elimination market but voiding all bets on Bottom 2 market.

  • Rob

    double elimination means no one is safe imho as there is very little between this lot. would strongly recommend that punters keep their money in their pockets… at least until after the show.

    • Donald

      Hi Rob,

      you are right I think, song choice and running order going to be more vital than ever.

      Hard to see Frankie surviving this unless they change his name to Hudini but it not worth the risk that he bottom two and saved.

      With voting the show the way it is I reckon very tight also at the bottom.

      Wonder if this double elimation is to get rid of Frankie instead of having to kick him out?

  • Boki

    This is confusing, so many new markets. Bottom 2 currently suspended on Betfair. Bwin put Craig as 3rd favorite to be eliminated!

  • Boki

    Is there a special reason they have chosen for double elimination this week?

    • Andrew

      Hi Boki, you could read all sorts of things into it in terms of contestants they might be looking to get rid of, but the simplest explanation would be that they’re still in a panic about low ratings and this is something quick and easy they can do to shake things up, grab some headlines and try to draw the viewers back in.

      It’s a strangely short-term decision in the sense that it means we’re heading for the traditional three-act final rather than the four-act final we had last year. I thought they might have stuck with the four-act final given it worked out well for them with Cher.

    • Donald

      Hi Boki,

      well I heard rumour yesterday that Frankie was doing his best to be thrown off the show instead of voted off.

      Maybe this is their plan to make sure he is voted off?

      Could also be to get viewing figures up and generate more spin as they have been doing on TV and radio all morning.

      • Rob

        that rumour of course could be reversed as an attempt to keep frankie in… as it seems that bad publicity is his raison d’etre. anything could happen… it might even negate misha b’s sympathy bounce if she comes 3rd bottom.

    • Boki

      Ok, thanks. Waiting for betfair and their markets. I presume 8th elimination is wrong thing to do since anyone can land to bottom public vote.

  • Rob

    one thing that i think this will reveal is just who the producers are wanting to get rid of, as a poor song choice, running order and comments have a much better chance of getting them into the bottom 3. it should, ahem, be easy money after the show, even at short odds.

  • Boki

    Guys, pay attention for crazy odds from Bwin in “To be eliminated this week” market. They have Frankie & Kitty as most likely, Craig 3rd and the rest very high comparing to the other bookies. Good for making combos, I’m now targeting Craig who can elswhere be found @11 to go.

  • Curtis

    I find the double elimination interesting. They’re basically throwing Frankie to the sharks with it. Kitty’s in significant trouble as well. Surprising that they would be happy to give up one of these acts (or potentially both!) so soon in the competition. I assume this is a desperate attempt to improve the ratings.

  • Tim

    Kitty’s doing Like A Prayer by Madonna. Doesn’t seem to be very challenging for her. But will she get help from producers? I feel they would save her against most if she appears in the sing off.

    Frankie, Johnny + Craig is my current choice for bottom 3.

  • Simon "le chat"

    One of the boys, or maybe even two have to be on their way. It could be the end of the road for Frankie if he gets anywhere near the bottom three but MISHA is not safe, neither I suspect are CRAIG or THE RISK.

    I just looked again at his version of “Jar of hearts” and it isn’t THAT good- the song takes the plaudits more than the performace. I just cannot see CRAIG as a finalist, he is not good enough or marketable enough, he will never sell records because he doesnt look the part and his voice is not good enough to compensate for thsi eg Paul Potts.
    I’m just glad I got on MARCUs when I did and am pretty cool with my selection sailing into this week’s show because he is the best all rounder by a mile and apart from being due a decent song and spot hasn’t put a foot wrong so far.
    Joint favourite with Janet by Monday.
    You’ll see!

  • Mark

    Maybe I am way of the mark as I appear to be in the minority but I think Craig as so far been given preferential treatment over Marcus in almost all respects so far – running order, judges comments, VT’s, Liverpool regional vote.. Gary has now twice said he has had the “performance of the night” and Louis called him a contender last week. In comparison I think Marcus’ comments have been a lot more normal. With 2 people going and Gary still with a full compliment of acts if Frankie manages to survive B3 then I believe Marcus could be in trouble to leave..

    • nugget

      Hi Mark

      My own feeling is that being so heavily pimped from this early stage is not good sign for Craig. I will continue to oppose. He is not polling well, is due an early slot and there is nothing that suggests to me that he is good enough to come even close to winning this.

  • Boki

    Wow, record amount of comments here.
    I’m curious about one thing: are they willing to keep/save Kitty this week? According this they will: “There was no mention of Kitty Brucknell’s supposed argument with Derry Mensah when the X Factor judges spoke to Radio 1 this morning, but the Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Kelly Rowland did call on fans of the show to back the kooky performer this weekend.”
    If she ends up in sing off she will be saved – anyone disagree ?

  • Mark

    Hi Nugget, take that point on board – heavy pimping at an early stage could suggest Craig lagging in the voting and producers wanting to keep him around for longer. However I am not entirely convinced as what would be the purpose of this – it is not as if he’s a novelty act or producing headlines etc. Either way I see the preferable treatment compared to Marcus as a negative for Marcus.

    • Noisy

      I agree Mark. As a Marcus backer my biggest concern is that the producers seem to favour Craig. When they feel it’s time to ditch one of them I could see Marcus going first. I think they’ve bigged up Craig so it’s not such a shock if they keep him longer though I think Marcus would be a bigger threat to their plan A (Janet/Group?) and they’ve happily ditched threats like Jade (judges houses) and Amelia (1st live show) before voters could save them.

  • Pete D

    Considering all the controversy over the past couple of weeks (and to raise the selection drama of who stays this week) especially after the internet bulling of Jesy, I have a hunch that XF will announce LITTLE MIX ‘first as safe’ just to reassure them of their support and backing.
    If my hunch is right, they will be going all out to push them towards the final now by high profiling them.

  • nugget

    Just sat and watched through the full series so far again, without a doubt Littlemix are the most improved act in the show so far…..they really are starting to look like a posished, established girl and have huge potential beyond the show.
    At risk of looking stupid, I am now CONVINCED they will make final 3 and possibly even win this. I am now going to have a decent sized (for me anyway) bet at 13/8 to finish in top 3 with Boylesports.

  • miche

    Nevermind, good analysis despite being wrong this time.

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