We were promised an announcement at lunchtime today. Evidently the sandwich boy didn’t turn up till the evening, as it has only just been announced that the four contestants eliminated in the initial first week big twist are to be put to a public vote starting tomorrow (Thursday), with one of Amelia Lily, James Michael, 2 Shoes or Jonjo Kerr returning to the competition to sing alongside the other six acts on Saturday. Which act has been voted back in will be announced on the Saturday show.
The consensus in our comments box yesterday was summed up by nugget: “To allow someone to join that process half way through after the others had gone through 5 gruelling weeks of live shows would make a mockery of the whole competition”.
Dug also put it very well: “I can’t see any possible way of this happening without a public backlash. However manipulated the public are, they are still under the impression that their votes so far have shaped the competition.”
Punters monitoring the Betfair win market were pre-warned, as Amelia Lily’s price came in to 12 in the minutes before the announcement, having been nibbled at in the last few days (whoever laid the £86 that was traded at odds of 1000 must be kicking themselves for assuming they were hoovering up some easy money).
However, the Middlesbrough lass still has to get past the public vote, which is no foregone conclusion. James Michael is a good-looking lad with a regional base, after all. 2 Shoes are very endearing and can sing, and also have a potentially strong regional base behind them.
And Jonjo Kerr is… well, a soldier. Some speculated before the big twist was announced that the military vote might carry Jonjo a long way in this competition. We never bought that idea, given how poor a performer Jonjo is, but now we will get to find out. We would certainly be amazed if producers are hoping for Jonjo to be the returnee.
The fact that the returning act is to be selected before the show, rather than having all four acts sing and then invite the public to vote, adds an unexpected complication. It would seem that which act gets the most media coverage in the next couple of days – and local media could be pivotal in motivating support – will likely count for a lot.
So, we assume, will each act’s capacity to motivate their supporters via social media. With that in mind, we checked Twitter just now and it would seem that Amelia Lily has 90,000 followers, 2 Shoes have 53,000, James Michael has 34,000 and Jonjo Kerr has 300 13,000 (h/t Curtis).
While we will post further on this when the dust has settled and some odds are up, our instant reaction is that we would be very surprised if whoever comes back in were to go on to win. As Dug’s comment continues, they will surely be seen as “a non-deserving contestant in the ongoing competition. Big Brother Favourite Nikki Grahame was placed back in the house toward the final (having been eliminated whilst she was a favourite to win) but came very low in the final vote.”
For now, let’s speculate about how much of this was planned. Could keeping Frankie at the weekend then kicking him out on Tuesday and having this twist have been in the works for a while?
This amusing video of an unprepared Kelly Rowland being informed of Frankie’s departure by a journalist certainly suggests that this particular part of the story was a decision taken on the hoof rather than part of a masterplan (as well as hinting at gross incompetence behind the scenes – how could they have failed to brief her?)
However, we can’t help remembering a comment made by Donald that an alleged insider had advised him to hold his bets until November 19th. Is that what this was about, and it has been brought forward a week? One thing that may give us a clue is whether the US X Factor (on which we posted this morning), which also eliminated contestants in a similar manner, go on to do the same thing.
What do you make of it all? Do let us know in the comments box below.