X Factor 2011 Week 6 Elimination: Can Kitty bounce again?

This week’s twist has been a head-scratcher for win market punters. It poses plenty of questions for the tenth elimination market too. If you reckon the returning act will be gone again by Sunday, you can get 8/1 about “any other act”. Although this may look like great value if it turns out to be Jonjo and he performs on a par with his ‘You Really Got Me’, we’re not tempted.

This is because, as mentioned in our last article, given the announcement that the phone vote closes an hour into Saturday’s show -and the fact that it would make sense to keep viewers on tenterhooks about the returning act’s identity until the end of the show – it seems reasonable to assume that the returnee will be given the pimp slot. This, and all the attention they’ll receive, should probably be enough to see them safe.

Despite the fact that we don’t know the full list of runners, there’s a solid favourite to go in Kitty Brucknell. Having survived her second sing-off last week, she is a currently top priced at 6/5 to be eliminated this time, and it’s 13/2 bar. Can she enjoy a sympathy bounce for the second time?

I think there’s a decent case for saying she won’t, but with all the uncertainty surrounding Saturday’s show, can’t recommend backing her at such a short price beforehand.

Last year we wrote an article analysing the ability of contestants to bounce a second time when Katie Waissel found herself in that situation. As a polarising figure who wasn’t generally well liked, Katie fit the profile of those who failed to bounce second time around. And she duly didn’t, not helped by a poor slot in the running order. (She didn’t bounce after her third sing-off, either. She eventually enjoyed her second bounce only after her unprecedented fourth sing-off save).

Kitty has been oft-compared to Katie. Indeed, when we were compiling our 1-16 prediction before the live shows, we allotted Kitty the Katie Waissel Memorial Spot of seventh place. It seemed to represent the moment when unlikeable headline-grabbers are finally jettisoned. And how many acts remain this week? Seven, albeit two weeks earlier in the competition than Katie’s week 8 exit.

More importantly, however, producers indicated last week that they had had enough of Kitty. She was again in the second half of the running order, as she has been each time so far – but her routine was easily her dullest yet and the judges were damning. She was also immediately followed in the running order by the only contestant to elicit more controversy than her, Frankie Cocozza.

Considering that she had already been in the bottom two when given a much bigger production of ‘Live and Let Die’, we felt that her performance last week indicated that producers would have been happy to see her finish last and be automatically eliminated. The Risk 3.0 saved her from that outcome, and she was saved against the even-less-favoured Johnny Robinson in the sing-off.

If producers were indeed happy with the thought of losing her last week, then that would usually suggest to us that Kitty will be cut loose this week. However, there is a nagging doubt about this theory. Was this week’s ‘twist’ already in the mind of producers, in which case Kitty was a sacrifice they were looking to make to ensure Frankie survived?

If so, then without the imperative to keep Frankie safe, programme makers may be happier to treat Kitty better this week. The Lady Gaga vs Queen theme is up her street, as she’s a Lady Gaga impersonator. It would be a surprise if she isn’t allowed to play up this persona, especially as she’s already done one Queen number (‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ in week one).

However, Kitty’s also been paid to impersonate Madonna, and that didn’t work out so well last week with ‘Like A Prayer’. The problem about attempting to copy the artist whose song you are singing is that it sets the bar high – as a result, she may come across as a pale imitator. In retrospect, it may be that one of the things that did for The Risk last week was that JLS featured so heavily in their VT – it may have had the effect of reminding people that the real thing already exists, so there’s no need to vote for the wannabe.

Could Kitty face the same problem, with Dermot reminding us that Lady Gaga will be performing on the Sunday show? And if she does land up in the bottom two, what does the programme want with a Lady Gaga impersonator once Lady Gaga week is done and dusted?

Suggestions that Kitty would ‘strip back’ her performances during the week do not bode well. (It was the first sign that Johnny’s time was running out when the same was said of him.) Bring her out first to perform with a low-key production, and the writing will be on the wall for her. In which case, any kind of odds against would look generous. Put her on near the end and go the full monty with a Lady Gaga-esque production, and evens will look stingy. Probably best to wait and see.

But if not Kitty, then who?

13/2 bar brings in Little Mix. They have developed quite a bit of momentum in forums over the last few weeks, following their week 4 rendition of ‘ET’. But as their second-favourite status suggests, there is a reasonable case for thinking they might still drop into the dangerzone.

Their pimp slot performance of ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’ last week was disappointing. There is also the suggestion that if Amelia Lily returns, as seems likely, she will be fishing for votes in the same waters. However, if Little Mix drop into the bottom two, I would expect them to be saved against most.

Next up at 15/2 in bookies lists is Misha B. There’s a clear argument for saying she could be in trouble. She benefited from the sympathy bounce last week, and as we have written many times before, the sympathy bounce more often than not lasts for only one week. Also, while the much softer image she was given last week probably helped to maximise her bounce, as Dug commented it looked like “a short term fix rather than a long term reform”.

We can’t tip Misha B, though, because she was one of the few performers to impress last week and (with the notable exception of inflicting possibly irreparable damage on her reputation in week 3) programme-makers have generally been very kind to her and given the impression they would like to see her get near the end.

Janet Devlin finds herself relatively short in the elimination lists this week at 8/1. There are two big questions about the longtime favourite, which have been debated in the Sofabet comments box over the course of the week. First, will the patience of her initial fans and regional supporters be wearing thin after a series of poor performances? Second, do last week’s damning judges’ comments indicate that producers have had enough?

Earlier this week in the comments Rob posted an in-depth analysis of YouTube rankings for the series so far which is well worth reading in full if you missed it. In short, Janet is storming YouTube, as she is last.fm. It is therefore quite possible that Janet is very safe in the vote and her poor treatment by producers in recent weeks may indicate merely that they want to bring her back to the pack, rather than they actually want rid.

It’s also, as taichou told us, Janet’s 17th birthday. Could this finally be the long-awaited feelgood ‘turnaround’ week for the Ulster lass? If not, one does have to wonder how many weeks of indifferent performances it will take to see her drop into the bottom two.

The two outsiders for elimination are the two boys. Those itching for a bit of pre-show value in this week’s elimination market could do worse than eye up the sizeable-looking 10-1 about Craig Colton. We have long been of the opinion that Craig has only one way of performing, and there does now seem to be a growing recognition of his limitations.

We should also mention at this point that Sofabet commenter Toby has discovered a bug in the code he’s been using to analyse Twitter; as he outlines in a post on his anlytk blog, re-analysing the Twitter traffic for the first four public votes using the debugged code suggests a somewhat closer fit with who landed up in the sing-offs. What’s interesting to us about Toby’s reworked data is that it suggests the biscuit boy was significantly less interesting to the Twitterati last week than any of his remaining rivals.

The problem with backing Craig to be eliminated this week is the lingering feeling that the judges continue to push him as far as they can, having pimped him in week 4 and given him high praise in week 5. There is also the fact that – as Tim has commented – The Risk’s exit means there is now a serious lack of boys left in the competition (assuming neither James nor Jonjo return). Will producers really want only one male in the last four weeks of the competition?

The same reasoning applies to Marcus, who is the 25/1 outsider for elimination. We will be hoping for a suitable song choice to build on his momentum from ‘Reet Petite’ last week; ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ (given to Olly Murs in Queen week in 2009) would be an obvious possibility.

All of this makes me feel that if Kitty lands in the bottom two, she’s likely to be gone – unless producers really have decided to cut Janet Devlin loose, or unless there is a shock and the returning act is Jonjo or 2 Shoes, neither of whom they would be likely to want hanging around in the competition.

So, questions galore, and only Saturday’s show will provide at least some of the answers. I’m waiting till then. How about you? Let us know if you’re betting on anyone to be eliminated this weekend and your reasons why.

81 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 6 Elimination: Can Kitty bounce again?

  • Tim

    Your analysis as usual is good fun with at least some of it being true I’m sure. I assume the actual votes cast are those used by the show. We don’t know how popular those acts are that have so far avoided the bottom 2. I do think Janet needs a solid next performance though whether or not her past votes have been high or highest. This week’s theme is going to be (yet) more glamour which isn’t her natural forte.

  • Malcolm

    Before coccoza-gate happened I’d bet on Craig going, not the first week that I’d later regretted an early bet, as it’s all changed again with the re -introduction of an earlier rejected act. Craig’s spot in previous running orders made me think he was on the fringe of elimination and may be dragged in. My biggest doubt now is the point that several have made on here about the lack of boys left, surely they will want to keep them both for a bit longer?… something I’d not even thought about.
    I think the bottom 2 this week could be perfectly set up for ‘deadlock’ -whoever ends up there. We’ve not seen it yet and the judges can spin it to give the show back to the public
    Finally I cannot see Amelia failing to make it back in to the x factor fold.

  • taichou

    hmm i think that in bottom 2 will be Kitty and new act, and the new act will be eliminated, i dont think that Brit public will vote for new act and judges will save Kitty as this is her theme…

  • Rob

    i can’t get excited about this week despite the twist. i think it’s because quite frankly i’m clueless as you can make a case for everyone. it’s like watching the olympic 10,000 metre final – just waiting to see who makes a break and who goes with them. fwiw i’ve had a small flutter on the ‘any other act’ as i’m not convinced the public is buying it this time around. going out for a meal tomorrow so will not see it live.

  • Dan

    I don’t reckon that anyone will have the option to vote for Amelia Lily, er…I mean the newcomer this week as they’ll have a bye into next week. My reasoning behind that is that if they went bottom two the day after returning, there’s no way the judges could justify saving them as it would look incredibly unfair to the other contestant who’d been in the competition for several weeks.

    I’ve said before that this is Kitty’s week, given the theme. She’s a great singer (think Sweet Dreams from week 4) but annoying and unlikable and that’ll mean bottom two. Despite a birthday, this isn’t Janet’s week either and I’ve got £20 at 9/1 for her to go. I’m don’t fancy Misha’s chances much so a free bet of £20 at 7/1 was placed in case my Janet theory is wrong.

    • Chatterbox5200

      I also agree that the producers may decide to give the new act/returnee (let’s call them Amelia for now) a bye into the next round. They are most likely to be given the Pimp slot, as the voting will still be open for the first hour of the live show, so the announcement of who returns is likely to take place just before the final act performs.

      If this is the case, would those people that have already voted to get them back into the show, vote again to keep them in? If not, and they end up in the bottom two, I also agree that it would be a bit difficult for the judges to save them based on one performance. This would see them leave less than 24hrs after re-joining the competition and redicule the whole “twist”. That’s why I think that they would be tempted to make them exempt from elimination this week.

      If this is the case, I wonder if the whole bottom two approach will be scrapped, and the act with the lowest public vote sent home?

    • mark (mapps)

      Agree with the above, if new act was b2 would be very hard to save them without people crying it’s a fix, what a joke etc

      I backed Misha at 16s and Craig at 25s earlier in the week (before Frankies exit) only for a few quid eahc-wanted a tenner on each but limits wouldn’t let me

      There’s been a few rumours about a double elimination? Although I personally dont think it’s likely

      Also agree that the new act is likely to have a pass into next weeks show

      Chatterbox – you say will the people who voted to get them back in vote to keep them in..maybe , who knows – but I wonder what the numbers are for total votes to get an act to return compared to total votes for a live shows elimination?

      The numbers who voted to get an act to return overall may be much lower than votes to eliminate, and as such the support the returning act got to return could be low – so even if those who voted to get them back in voted to keep them in and safe.,might not be enough. By this stage in the competition most people will have made up their mind who or which acts they like and would vote for – would they switch to a new act this far in the competition?

      • Mark

        I have to disagree on the thoughts that the new act may get a bye to the next show. Surely the public will perceive that being allowed back and having a bye through the first few shows has been more than generous. I think it would make their performance tonight seem pointless also if the viewers are unable to vote for it. However, I agree with the reasoning it would be very difficult for the judges to save the returnee act against any other. As in my post below, for this reason if the new act does land in the B2 I think we would see the vote go to deadlock “letting the public decide”.

    • Andrew

      Okay, definitely no bye, according to the Mirror –
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/tv/x-factor/2011/11/11/x-factor-2011-amelia-lily-jonjo-kerr-2-shoes-and-james-michael-look-nervous-at-final-rehearsals-115875-23554121/

      “That person will then join the rest of the finalists and perform a Lady Gaga/Queen song and compete for a place in the following week’s show. They will not have immunity and are at risk of being voted off on Sunday night.”

      • Dan

        I called wrong on this but I’m surprised given that it could backfire spectacularly if the new entrant ended up in the bottom two and an established contestant on a bad week gets voted out by the judges. This could come from a public backlash like I suspect happened with The Risk and their multiple line-up changes – the voters just lost interest.
        Prepare then for the pimping of a lifetime for Amelia Lily the newcomer – final slot in the line-up, great song, huge production, and great judges comments.

        • Andrew

          Yup. “You DESERVE to be back on that stage” all round, as Dug put it in an earlier thread. I would love to see them have to do that for Jonjo.

          I suppose there might be a silver lining to losing Amelia Lily the returning contestant straight away – the whole thing might quickly start to seem like a bad dream, a la Bobby Ewing in the shower.

  • What you dont mention is, the fact that if Little mix or Kitty leave, then that will leave Louis/Tulisa with no act with 5/6weeks left. Surely this is very unlikely, would make for bad TV and pointless actually having that 4th judge.

    So with that said, have to assume Janet/Craig go, Janet could be sacrificed, I think she has been setup, Told 2 weeks ago by tulisa to do something fresh and not as predictable, The following week janet tries something new and fails, only to be again critised by Tulisa, could be a case that they are setting it up for a Kitty v Janet bottom with Tulisa being the one that either secures Janets fate by deadlock or being the 3rd vote!

    The fact that its likely that amelia will return also gives this a big negative to the girls category.

  • With above said, I can not have any other act at the prices would want 16s plus, Pimp slot, and would make embarrass the producers if their “twist” of this week, turns out to go on Sunday making the whole week pointless for Xfactor. Very unlikely.

    • mark (mapps)

      Im with you on that I wouldn’t touch any other at those prices, daylight robbery – what a total waste of time and money (people who voted) if the returning act is there for ~ 24 hrs?

  • Rob

    why close the voting lines in the first hour if the chosen one is not performing?

    • Andrew

      Hi Rob, this is interesting – I had the impression we’d been told for sure that the returning act would perform, but looking again at the XF website it does seem to be a bit ambiguous – “you can choose who has the chance to sing once more and return to the competition on Saturday’s Live Show”. Does it mean they’re going to return on the show, or we are going to choose on the show? And could they “return” on the show but “sing once more” in week 7? Hmm.

      Surely, though, it would be an anti-climax to announce “and Amelia’s back on the show as of next week” without her actually singing something? I suppose they could sing and then be given a bye, but that would stink of unfairness even more than the return already does.

      I would assume it’s going to be a case of four acts on the stage, Dermot announces who’s back, they go off to prepare, quick interview with the other three, ad break, performance. No?

      • Dan

        Hi Andrew – I’ve always assumed that the newcomer would sing and get a bye so that the audience gets to see what they voted for but the producers don’t run the risk of them being booted out the following day.

        • Andrew

          Hi Dan – I’ve always assumed they would be put to the vote along with the others. But the more I think about it, the more I think you might be right.

          Which would make “any other act” quite the lay on Betfair, wouldn’t it? Interesting that people are currently willing to lay at 13.0 on Betfair (albeit to small stakes) while no bookie is bigger than 8/1.

          • Mark

            Not sure if this is clear or not but this is a quote from the first news piece on the X Factor site announcing a return for one of the acts:

            “And to find out who will be returning, tune in at 8.15pm on Saturday night on ITV1 to see who performs either a Queen classic or Lady Gaga hit on our famous X Factor stage. Only one will get a second chance. Who will it be?”

            To me this suggest they will be performing on the show?

          • Andrew

            That’s much clearer, Mark, thanks for that – I thought I’d read something like that but couldn’t find it.

            Edit – as mentioned above, per the Mirror today, there is no bye for the returning act.

  • Kate

    The disqualification of Frankie and the return of an as yet unknown act seem to throw all calculations into doubt. The big questions are: where is Frankie’s dedicated vote going to go?; where is the anti-Syco vote going now?; and which current acts will suffer from vote-drain to the returnee? (The last question is surely relevant even if the returnee gets a bye into next week – e.g. if someone’s backing Janet purely because Amelia was gone, Amelia’s return would be a big incentive not to vote for Janet this week.)

    Too many hypotheticals at the moment.

  • tpfkar

    I don’t expect Kitty to go this weekend. The two front-page news stars were Frankie and Kitty; they can’t afford to lose both with a month to go.

    As said above, Kitty going would knock Louis out, the theme suits her this week, possibly a second sympathy bounce, and with producer favour she could sail through.

    I expect a GIRL to go. Not sure which one -whoever is least favoured of Misha, Janet or Amelia. With most contestants there’s been a week of softening up, then going in for the kill; my sense is that a long range operation is in progress on Janet, as she is too strong to take down in 2 weeks. If they can get her this week I think they will, but she may not be in range.

    Misha was put back on the right path last week, but if she didn’t bounce much, they may sacrifice her this week. If neither are vulnerable it’s probably a toss up between Craig and Amelia, neither of whom they’d really want to lose.

  • Chatterbox5200

    This might be a week where taking the early odds of between 20/1 and 25/1 on Craig, Janet and Misha being the next elimination proves very beneficial.

  • Noisy

    I think Misha’s in danger of going this week (assuming Amelia wins place back).

    Only one group and one over left in with 7 acts remaining. Only once (2007) in 7 series has a category been eliminated at the last 7 stage (though the first 3 series 04-06 only had 3 categories). This suggests Kitty (surely strongest week and possible sympathy bounce) and Little Mix (most pimped act) would be safe (though may need saving by judges).

    Only 2 boys remaining so they’d be reluctant to lose either of those. Plus Marcus is favourite to win and Craig’s always overly bigged up so look safe to stay.

    One of girls likely to go. Amelia should be safe with the pimp slot, plus if people have just voted her in, they’ll be likely to vote to keep her there. Janet is/was plan A – and Misha has been bottom 2 once, isn’t overly likeable (scary), and is on her way down from a sympathy bounce.

    I’d back Misha to go (15/2 with Totesport/BetFred) with a saver bet on Janet (8/1 Skybet) in case they’ve had enough of her.

    • mark (mapps)

      I was thinking similar, providing something doesnt go wrong, this should be a strong week for Kitty with the theme, then add the possibility of a 2nd sympathy bounce and she should be safe as houses!!

      Craig/Janet/Misha at risk for this week imo

      I had been thinking that myself re leaving a judge with no acts for the rest of the competition – surely they wouldn’t want to do this? Not to save Louis blushes, as Andrew says, but just to avoid the show looking like even more of a joke than it already does? Having a 4th judge just sitting there, no one to mentor making snidey comments? Doesn’t look to good on top of everything else that’s gone on

  • Curtis

    I’ve got a bad feeling for Misha B. I really don’t think she did enough with her late slot in the show last week, and with all these girls fighting over the vote and coming down from a sympathy bounce, I just feel she’s going to drop into the bottom 2, with Kitty.

  • nugget

    I agree, as there is no value in betting Kitty to go this week and there is a need to keep the sexes balanced purely for a bit of interest, I am having a small wager on Misha to go this week and a tenner on Janet as well.
    With all the chaos thought I do not think it is a week to get heavily involved in.

  • Andrew

    Noisy, jscouser, tpfkar – agreed they will want to keep Tulisa in the game, but will they really be bothered about leaving Louis without an act for the last four weeks? If the show were at all concerned about embarrassing Louis, they’ve done a good job of hiding it over the years. I reckon he’d quite happily go into “I’m free to say what I really think” mode and take up cudgels on behalf of the favoured acts.

    There may be other reasons they’d want to keep Kitty, but I’d be surprised if sparing Louis’s blushes is one of them.

    • tpfkar

      If it was Johnny as the last over standing, they’d cast him off without a second thought for poor old Louis.

      But Kitty offers them headlines, glamour, controversy, and more chance of a stand-out performance. The fact that saving her would keep all the judges in won’t be enough to save her by itself, but it can’t hurt.

  • Pete D

    What is it with Biscuit Boy Craig, I just don’t get it ? He just DOESN’T look like a popstar, his voice is average, he is overweight, he looks awkward and can’t dance (and is therefore no good for the West End).

    YET, he has been here for soooo long (and is now over due to go). He has a favoured 2 bites of the M&S advert pie with high profile close-ups (and is first seen in it too). Granted he is a nice guy with apparently no skeletons in his ‘uneventful’ closet (just like his ‘uneventful’ act).

    Just WHO is voting for him ?? He is like one of those weighted joke inflatable punchbags with a big daft face that keeps coming back upright again when you hit it, only to grin at you again. It’s starting to get spooky.

    I actually think that his ‘Biscuit Barrel’ is now empty, so that now he can fit inside it and take his last final trip over Niagra falls. Therefore a small punt on him to go for me this week as the new excitment of Amelia joining will help to give him that final shove over the edge.

    Methinks this will then leave a massive catfight behind MARCUS and LITTLE MIX all then battling for 3rd place downwards.

    • Pete D

      In other words (and as I have covered here before), I think that it is now time that CRAIG’S ‘so far saved’ (XF nurtured) regional Liverpool vote be nicely moved over to MARCUS to give him more guaranteed bouyancy for the future against the ‘new kid on the block’ threat of Amelia.

      Bottom 2 prediction this week being CRAIG and MISHA (who has now been stripped bare of her ‘self chosen’ hard Grace Jones stage image in exchange for a softer more uncomforable XF forced one…and now therefore harder to revert back to).

      It’s possible that she may go instead but she WILL also smash a GA GA song (along with KITTY) with her powerful voice, which I reckon will sway the vote over GRAIG to keep her on for another week.

      LITTLE MIX will be easily safe again because of XF’s constant investment in them, BUT JANET is on her ‘last chance saloon’ to bury her recent steaming turds in her Cat litter tray, correct her ‘I’m better than thou’ attitide in order to prove that she could still be worthy enough to keep in to do battle with Amelia with their opposite styles.

  • Chatterbox5200

    I would assume that Craig is still in the competition, and promoted so much, because he is Gary Barlow’s favourite. It appears to me that Gary sees himself in Craig, and therefore wants him to do well, possibly even at the expense of the better performer in his own category (namely Marcus). All the accusations that are levied towards Craig – overweight, can’t dance, voice suited to ballids (as Tulisa would say) – are the same that have been previously been used against Gary himself – especially in the earlier days of Take That.

    If I was to be completely cynical, and I may very well be reading more into this than there is and therefore doing Mr Barlow an injustice, I believe that is why he put both Craig and Frankie to the live shows. If he saw his younger self in Craig, then Frankie could have represented a younger Robbie Williams (cocky, self-assured, more interested in women and fame than music, etc), and by allowing them both to perform on National TV, he would be able to show that “Gary is a better/more popular than Robbie”. This could also explain the slight change in image of Frankie, from the cheeky young lad at the audition stage, to the drinking, partying, womaniser that he was portrayed before being kicked out for (allegedly) taking drugs. I even believe some reference was made to the similarity to Robbie, during the Judge’s House section, but can’t be definite of this.

    It would definitely explain why:
    a) Craig appears to be the prefered boy even though he is less marketable or talented, than Marcus
    b) Frankie was praised for his singing at an early stage by Gary, before admitting that he lied, and stating that his singing was not his strong point
    c) Craig was shown in the first few weeks being put on a diet, and given a fitness regime with Gary’s own personal trainer, to lose weight (an example to the public of what Gary had to go through to be seen as a pop star)
    d) Frankie was eventually jettisoned from the show, for reasons not directly related to his singing, when he proved too popular with the public/anti-Syco voters
    e) Craig’s sexuality was originally kept private whereas Marcus’ was actively stated at an early stage
    f) Craig hss been given such a prominent position in the first version of the M&S advert (I know M&S will not want to show any favouritism, but I am sure they will have been advised by Syco who the acts are that they expect to progress the furthest, as they wouldn’t want those to have been kicked out early to feature too heavily)

    It may also be worth considering that as the winners song has already been (or will be) written by Gary Barlow. This may be best suited to someone in his own mould.

    I will be interested to see, if now that Frankie has left the show, the support for Craig from Gary continues to be so prominent. He will have proved the point that he may have been trying to make, and having seen the perfomances of (and notable public backing for) Marcus, will want to be the winning mentor.

    I am sure I’m not the only one that has noticed this…

    • Pete D

      Chatterbox
      (Burning the midnight oil like me too I see, LOL).
      All good food for thought there, BUT one can’t fool/influence anyone or disguise personal (shadow) preferences any more at this ‘hot point’ of the show, where the least best of cream ones are to be knocked off each week for sure now with only a Gnat’s chuff between them in the voting now.

      Gary only has the ‘honorary’ title of ‘head judge’ on a coffee mug, it’s the producers who run the format and dish out the orders (to him too).

      There will have to be shocks for everyone’s favourite every week from now on as SOMEONE good has to go.

      One more point (as I am a musician myself), Gary COULD indeed right a great song for a solo winner BUT his forte is in big production 4/5 piece harmony. I am now split between MARCUS and the fast improving LITTLE MIX who are on his tale and Gary will no doubt be writing with them in mind too now (LM being a great high profile and lucrative platform for him to reflect his ability to ‘SHINE’ at what he is best at…excuse pun there).

      They are also by far the most instantly marketable post show act who will also need a great regular writer (who would LOVE to cash in on them too).

      • Pete D

        I meant ‘write’ not ‘right’. Its late now and my eyes are batting and urging me to my pit.

        • Chatterbox5200

          My points mainly referred to why Craig has got this far, rather than trying to explain why he should win, as I also believe that his days are numbered. I actually hope he goes this week, as I managed to back him straight after last week’s performance, at a very healthy 25/1.

          I agree that Little Mix are probably the marketable act in the show, and would fill the void left by Girls Aloud for the younger female audience, that The Saturdays haven’t quite managed to do. I actively promoted backing them to be top group a few weeks ago, when they were 3/1, with only The Risk (or SugaBlokes as THe Bitch Factor calls them due to their frequent line up changes) to beat.

          With regard to post-show potential, I think that given last week’s styling (and possibly even song choice), that Marcus could be promoted as the British Bruno Mars. He has publicly stated that he would like to sing a ballad at some stage, but this may be kept until they each sing two songs, so as to showcase his versatility.

          • Pete D

            Chatterbox. Yeah I wish I had done that 3/1 on LM (being such a faithful supporter form the off). I spotted it too but funds are short now with a serious change in my finacial circumstances due to a heart attack a few months back (nicely survived though).

            All my bets are already on for wins now for MARCUS at 9’s or LM at 66’s from weeks ago (with 66’s on reverse forcasts too for the two acts).

            Which is why I am blazing about this new twist with the threat of Amelia (who HASN’T earned her way there unlike like the rest who have already faced all the long hard work and flack).

            Did a nice but smallish 7/1 punt on LM being ‘fist safe’ last week though. So looking for a similar small one each week as I never bet more than I can afford to lose.

            BTW, I hear and digested all your points and also agreed with most but too knackered right now to cover all of them and we both seem to have have the same hopes there anyway. Just waiting for Skybet odds for Craig to go to come up now.

          • Chatterbox5200

            He’s 9/1 to be the next elimination on PaddyPower.

    • Pete D

      Thanks Chatterbox. What I meant to say was ‘bottom 2 combo’ odds as nowt up yet (maybe because of the new entry farce).
      Having second thoughts too on Misha with Craig in ‘bot combo’ as Yahoo news today reports ‘poor little spoilt me’ Janet has been all stressed and in bed for 2 days this week over the judges ‘corrective’ (smack down) advice last week.

      She is clearly not built for the knocks in this tough fickle biz having been brought up wrapped in fluffy cotton wool and tucked into bed every night by Mummy and Daddy with a fairy story about handsome Princes and told how great she is.
      She is cracking under the ‘real world’ pressure methinks. I can smell it.

      • Chatterbox5200

        PaddyPower also haven’t released odds on “to be in the bottom 2” yet either. Probably, as you say, waiting until they know who will be re-joining the competition. Betfair currently have odds of 18/1 available for Craig/Misha as the bottom 2, and only 4/1 for “any other combo”, which would be the new act/returnee + any other.

  • Chatterbox5200

    I just saw this acoustic version of Poker Face by Lady gaga and immediately thought that it had “Kitty” stamped all over it. As Daniel stated in the main article above, this should be her week, but she will want to make sure that she is not seen as an impersonator. This would be an ideal way to play on her strengths without appearing as a direct copy.

    There were some hints on DigitalSpy about her song choice. One statement was that…
    “I’ve got a lot more to give. I really want to strip it back one week. I really, really do,”

    Could this week be her opportunity?

    I read that Craig will be singing Paparazzi (presumably another slow version), Misha B will perform Telephone and Marcus will do a Queen track. I also agree with Daniel that “Don’t Stop Me Now” seems an ideal choice. It also has the subliminal message for people to keep voting, with the lyrics “Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball”.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Try again… Sorry, it’s late/early!

  • Boki

    I would love to see Craig in bottom 2 but since only he and Marcus are left there is a strong argument that both will get enough votes to be safe this week. Misha is most vulnerable imo but no bet for me before the show.

    • Noisy

      I agree Boki. There have always been 2 male acts making the last 3 so far so losing the penulitmate one in 7th place seems early this year. Though James Michael/Jonjo could always return…

  • Mark

    I agree with the comment Malcom has made above that it may be the first week that we see the judges put the vote to deadlock. My thoughts for B2 this week are for the act that has been brought back (probably Amelia) and either Misha or Kitty. If the act brought back does land in the B2 the judges won’t want to appear to be favouring an act who has had effectively had buy through the first weeks. If this situation occurs I can see them putting the vote to deadlock “letting the public decide”. I’ll put my prediction out there – Misha and new act (Amelia) for B2 and the new act to be saved by deadlock.

  • Rob

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/editors-picks/2011/11/12/x-factor-finals-2011-louis-walsh-says-he-s-ready-to-quit-115875-23555435/?google_editors_picks=true

    ouch! show is heading for meltdown. looks like janet is determined to burn her bridges. good for her! i guess if i lose my money at least the person i’m backing will win the moral victory.

    • Andrew

      Indeed Rob. Interesting news day today. From that article you linked to –

      A show source said: “Most contestants have been crying, others want to leave, it is absolute chaos backstage, the worst it’s ever been.”

      Also: Janet bed-ridden by stress, Kitty in tears all week, both are quoted dissing the twist
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/tv/x-factor/2011/11/11/x-factor-finals-2011-janet-devlin-bed-ridden-by-stress-115875-23555262/

      And the first (?) bad piece of press for Marcus, along with Misha
      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/3931486/X-Factor-rejects-icy-welcome.html

      TWO X Factor reject acts have refused to move back in to the contestants’ house…

      A source said: “Marcus and Misha have both thrown tantrums and their behaviour has been unsportsmanlike.”

      Not helpful.

      How do we decode this? Are they back into the mode of chucking negativity around and calculating that more viewers will tune in if they’re expecting a trainwreck? Or have they simply lost control of the news agenda and their own “sources”?

      • tpfkar

        Tough call. Sticking with Dug’s thinking, these stories are more interesting than headlines of ‘NEW ACTS QUIETLY GET DOWN TO WORK’ shockers. I’d expect a sentimental VT of the reunion tonight.

        But saying that they expect an under-par show tonight can’t be smart.

        If the public reject the twist and put the new act bottom 2, Marcus might come out of this quite well.

        • Andrew

          I guess what’s surprising is that four of the six acts are being reported to be less than happy about the twist – and of the other two, Craig is reported to have packed his bags and said he was quitting. You’d think it would make more sense to make one act the fall guy/gal for being ungracious about the twist – whoever they want to lose this weekend.

          Or is it an attempt to depress the vote of everyone except Little Mix?!

          • Chatterbox5200

            Little Mix do seem to be the only act that are not reported to be suffering under the stress/pressure of the competition, or complaining about the returning acts. Intentional??

          • Pete D

            Andrew
            I am right there with you on that one. LM are very quiet and staying ‘mum’ and just knuckling down I reockon. Very wise (and well advised) young ladies !

            I don’t beleive ALL the BS and hype in papers but there is a ring of truth to all this as I couldn’t see ANY contestant being happy with the ‘twist’ and the attempt to usurp their already hard earned positions in the comp. It will be amusing to try to read all their minds as they sing tonight.

            I also see MASSIVE unrest especially from Johnny fans in all XF ‘twist’ news blogs. Maybe they WILL all do some tactical voting against it.

            An interesting week where I may just keep my money in my pocket whilst this Sunami settles.

      • Rob

        janet is reported as saying she’s going back to the janet of old saying something like ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. therefore expecting something solid for her fans and not tempted by the 9.0 which has to be the worst value of this series!

        • Pete D

          Whatever her plan (and whatever XF’s ultimate ones were for her) I wish JANET luck by playing King Kanute against their tide of instructions.
          I can hear the death knell toll of the bell already.

        • mark (mapps)

          Janet of old, so boring and dull/? not sure id say its the worst value of the series i have craig/misha at big prices and a small saver at 8s on Janet..wouldnt be a shock to me if she was in the b2

  • Rob

    marcus collins out to 52.0 betfair next elimination.

  • geoff

    think a lot depends if kitty can stay out of the bottom 2 this week ?
    but at the odds the 7-1 misha elimination looks very nice,
    misha has already been down in bottom 2 and bounced now this is a harder week and with reports in paper today about her and marcus not being sporting towards the four from week1
    i think it might be time we see the fans desert her again also with the iminant return of amelia the producers might not need mishas strong vocals as much anymore

    ive also done a small elimination bet on janet becuase the producers just seem to be up to there tricks with her. ever since i heard louis walsh say she was boring ive worried for janet since shes my main bet to win it would louis normally say this about an irish act? no chance.

    so my elimination bets misha
    with a cover on janet

  • geoff

    another thing to consider is this to early for louis to be without any acts if kitty gets eliminated? i know he does sometimes get all of his acts gone quite early but i think its usually maybe a week or 2 later then this before he is actless

  • geoff

    hmmm just checked
    the weeks louis was ko.d form the competition last 2 years was week 7 with jedward and week 8 with wagner both times levaing five acts left in the competition so maybe kitty could have one more week left in?

    • Pete D

      Good work Geoff. It makes sense to keep some sort of fair balance on the panel till later on (and there always seems to be some sort of pattern too to help us with our ‘educated guesses’).

    • Curtis

      Louis was actually knocked out week 9 last year with Mary leaving the competition, leaving 4 acts.

  • Rob

    i still think that kitty and/or misha (the acts i believe can’t win) will be used to eliminate stronger contestants who are not wanted when the opportunity arises (a la lucie jones). of course if they both end in the bottom 2 one has to go…

  • geoff

    yeah you could be right rob
    i get the feeling if it was a misha janet bottom 2 they might prefer to keep misha but i think janet has a much stronger fanbase to maybe keep her out of trouble

  • Nicky

    As has already been said, Janet needs to up her game tonight. Having survived two car crashes, a third might be pushing her luck. If she does put in a good performance, she could revert to being favourite, and her current price might be the longest it’s likely to be from here on in. I’m expecting her to do a slow version of a Queen song, hoping to get the same response she got with the Aerosmith number at boot camp. Something like ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’, or, ‘The Show Must Go On’ might work well if her confidence isn’t shot to pieces and she minimises the yodelling thing.

  • Rob

    just saw the rumour that misha b is doing a mash-up. that could be fatal… i really don’t think the public like them – it’s hard enough for them to get into these songs anyway as they are so cut down, imo asking them to appreciate two songs in a short space produces a dislocating effect.

  • JackB

    IMO with all the reports of Janet being bedridden (plus with her string of bad performances) it’s fairly obvious she ain’t going to be doing a great job this week – however, would I be the only one who could see sympathtic judges comments, along with a VT about how she’s been ill and unable to focus on her performance for the week and is really worried, giving her a few extra votes and keeping her out of the bottom 2?
    In which case, methinks Misha could fall into bottom 2 and probably out – don’t think the judges would want Tulisa or Louis out with no acts left yet, while Kelly could have 3 (assuming that Amelia Lily does return)?

  • Rob

    some guy on twitter apparently says has a sore throat and missed dress rehearsal. if it’s true missing dress rehearsal can mean 2 things: he’s either getting a bye or he’s protecting his throat for tonight.

  • Nicky

    I agree. If I were the producer, I’d probably throw Misha overboard at this point. Kitty would be another possible choice. I don’t think they’re worried about Louis’s status, in fact I think they like it once he’s ‘out’, so they can use him to steer things in the direction they want. But with Johnny and Frankie gone, Kitty does provide some drama. Personally, I look forward to seeing what she comes up with each week.

    Presumably, they’ll want to keep the new person out of the bottom two, to avoid the whole twist thing seeming even more pointless and farcical come Sunday night.

    Marcus and Craig are safe, imo, and Janet’s fanbase might be enough to see her through if she has another indifferent night. I agree, they’ll want to keep Little Mix, although according to Tellymix, Tulisa changed their song just yesterday.

    Misha’s definitely worth a small punt at good odds.

  • Jim Dickinson

    Songs are up on the ITV site

    Marcus Collins – Another One Bites The Dust
    Misha B – Born This Way
    Kitty Brucknell – Don’t Stop Me Now
    Craig Colton – Paparazzi
    Janet Devlin – Somebody To Love
    Little Mix – Telephone/Radio Gaga
    Comeback Contestant – The Show Must Go On

    • tpfkar

      So professional Lady Gaga impersonator Kitty sings….the perfect Queen song? If we buy Andrew/Daniel’s theory about not wanting to seem a cheap imitation, this could be good news.

  • Nicky

    Song list from X Factor site:

    Marcus Collins – Another One Bites The Dust

    Misha B – Born This Way

    Kitty Brucknell – Don’t Stop Me Now

    Craig Colton – Paparazzi

    Janet Devlin – Somebody To Love

    Little Mix – Telephone/Radio Gaga

    Comeback Contestant – The Show Must Go On

  • geoff

    yes you are right curtis, i completely forgot mary was louis

  • Nicky

    Janet second favourite in elimination market on Betfair, who’d have thought! Difficult to imagine her singing ‘somebody to love’, unless slowed right down with irish fiddle and penny whistle accompaniament.

    Not impressed with Marcus’s song, not really a vocal showcase.

    Misha, Kitty and Amelia (presuming it’s her) have stonkers, though.

  • Gav

    Hope Misha goes! Can’t stand her! Had a dabble at 13/2.

  • Boki

    Wtf is this? Memorable moments called “Janet & bunch of comedians”?

    • Matt

      Decided not to bet this week thus far as things are too unpredictable in the competition. Technical difficulties? This takes the biscuit. Bring on the conspiracy theories…

  • mark (mapps)

    well when it didn’t start people were saying it’s because craig has gone etc

    i bet Kitty when it was announced she was up first..ABSOLUTE rubbish imo..but she got ok comments?

    so atm im on kitty at evens, Craig 25s ./ Misha 16s

  • Mark

    Louis sounded very happy/confident Amelia was going to be coming back. Would not be surprised if he ends up mentoring her if Kitty goes this week (which is not looking that unlikely!).

  • Kate

    Misha and Janet worst of the night, and I can’t help but think that one or the other will be in the bottom 2. Misha got the pimp treatment, which might be seen as trying to keep her in at the expense of Janet. Then again, having Amelia at the end made Misha seem even more ordinary by comparison.

    Maybe I’m crediting the producers with too much cunning. The trainwreck quality of the current seems increasingly authentic.

  • taichou

    gosh they are trying to kill Devlin:))) i mean its gonna be so interesting to see b2 tomorrow:)) real test for Devlin fans

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