X Factor 2011 Week 6 Review: Making Amelia of it

“Never ascribe to conspiracy that which can adequately be explained by incompetence”; Napoleon Bonaparte could have been speculating about season 8 of the X Factor. By this stage, it’s usually pretty clear what producers are hoping for. This time, you can legitimately debate what they’re up to with all six remaining contestants.

In the comments, BoomBoom notes “continuing confusion” about the overall plan. Matt reckons “I’m not sure the producers even have a firmed up game plan for the win”. Euan says “I don’t think they’ve a bloody clue what they’re doing”. While we got yet another singoff that was in the Spot Goes For A Walk league of easy reading, programme-makers’ intentions in the win market are harder to decipher than a James Joyce novel.

The treatment of Misha B this week is a case in point.

Misha again got a sympathetic VT featuring her family, helpful comments from the judges – significantly, Gary praised her attitude – and a late slot in the running order. We saw a continuation of the markedly softer styling of week 5, which strongly suggested that programme makers were again thinking primarily in terms of getting votes rather than positioning her with an eye to a post-show career niche, as they had appeared to be with the edgier and more urban feel of weeks 1-4.

On the other hand, they gave Misha B a cameo in Kitty’s VT which created the impression that she’d stolen Kitty’s song and made her cry. Were they intending to remind people of bullygate, or did it not occur to them how this would come across?

We might also have suspected an intention to remind people of bullygate from the story in The Sun on Saturday reporting that both she and Marcus had thrown a tantrum and been “unsportsmanlike” about the returning contestants. While we can only speculate about the nature of the mechanisms through which stories from the show reach the press, we have generally worked on the assumption that negative stories – such as the one about Johnny Robinson’s benefits claims that preceded his week 4 softening up – probably don’t appear by accident.

And while the obvious way to read the Manchester-centric VT was as an attempt to bolster her regional support, there was also a suspicion that it might have fed the impression of Misha as a niche act with a core appeal to Manchester’s urban black community and thereby risked alienating the broader, middle-England voting public.

But if this was intentional, why then carry on with the unthreatening styling of week 5 which seemed precisely calculated to move her out of that niche and broaden her appeal to middle-England? It seems to make little sense in terms of post-show positioning. As Dug explains, “I now question whether her marketability has dwindled. She’s seen as too hard for a winner but may now equally appear too self-compromising and apologetic to hold up her fierce signature style in the real world.”

While we struggle to discern any consistent thinking behind Misha’s treatment this week, it at least seemed clear that in the case of her fellow victim in The Sun story – Marcus – there was a concerted effort to slow his momentum from ‘Reet Petite’. He was shown finding his musical identity, then given a laughably unsuitable Queen song for a 1950s makeover (‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ would have worked much better) and criticised for becoming predictable.

Indeed, he was one of three acts – the others being Little Mix and Janet – to be labelled as boring or predictable. (A fourth, Craig, actually was). The reasons were likely different – we strongly suspect Gary was setting up Little Mix to shine next week by demanding a “game-changer”. But did it not occur to programme makers that telling viewers how boring and predictable so many acts are might make them wonder, as tpfkar asks, “so why should we watch the show”?

The treatment of Janet Devlin is so curious it merits an article of its own later in the week addressing it in more depth; we also plan a separate article this week addressing the continuing head-scratcher of who is in line to be Top Liverpudlian Boy. But the night belonged to Amelia Lily, so let’s focus on the conspiracy vs incompetence question as it concerns the big-voiced Smoggie lass.

Here we must start by wondering whether Amelia Lily’s return was, as Boki jokingly suggests, the fruition of a plan hatched long ago by a cat-stroking producer in a hollowed-out volcano, or a botched response to the considerable cock-up of having held a double elimination just before losing Frankie Cocozza. Or, probably most likely, something in between.

There is suggestive evidence either way. In the Sofabet comments box, Euan observes: “I bet her to win with Betfair before the live shows and noticed that the others kicked out all went to 1000-1 but hers never lengthened that much. I always looked at that and thought that someone somewhere must feel she’ll come back in a twist and go on to win it.”

Meanwhile nugget offers this nugget: “I can’t speak for the other acts involved but I have it from a very good source that Amelia Lily was warned some time ago that in the event of anyone dropping out there was a possibility she may be asked back to the show”.

On the other hand, if this was all part of a master plan then someone presumably forgot to brief Amelia about it before she told the Star after her week 1 elimination:

“I can be me and make it on my own – that’s what I’d prefer to do anyway.

“I’m not going to be made into a manufactured X Factor star now.”

Oops. Meanwhile, Amelia Lily’s mum was busy telling the Daily Mail that the show was “cruel” and “disgusting”. Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Oliver.

Despite her pimp slot pimping, we thought the longer-term signals on producers’ intentions for Amelia were intriguingly mixed. For example, Dermot made sure we knew she had 48% of the vote. Was this simply intended to confer greater legitimacy on her return? Because we suspect it might also (as AlexK points out) have had the effect of depressing her vote by making her supporters think she must surely be safe as houses.

Similarly, while Gary’s comment of “take it from me, the Great British public love a comeback” could have been intended straightforwardly as a Take That-themed self-congratulation, it also looked like the kind of classic vote-depression tactic used to good effect last year on Wagner and this year on Johnny Robinson – that is, informing the public that they love an act, rather than actually asking the public to vote for that act.

Was this deliberate? We would usually suspect so, but our presumption of competence has taken a battering this season.

The possibility that judges’ comments after Amelia’s performance may not have been well thought through is suggested by the amusing way in which Tulisa appeared to be dissing the show as much as praising Amelia when she said “all these other acts have had weeks to progress… you come in at the same level”.

A final suggestion that producers may not have been going all out to help Amelia is the stylists’ choice to send her out again with her Pink Hair of Doom, thereby reminding viewers of the below-par ‘Billie Jean’ that led to her week 1 elimination, rather than with the peroxide locks that would have called to mind her considerably more impressive pre-lives persona.

If we were the show’s producers, we would certainly have been hoping to prevent Amelia from building up too much of a head of steam on her return. It is still just about possible that the X Factor franchise can drag itself out of the Big Brother-esque downward spiral it has embarked upon with a back-to-basics year next year, but it seems to us that having Amelia go on to win the show would cause irreparable damage to the format’s credibility.

But then, this line of reasoning counts for little because if we were the show’s producers we wouldn’t have brought a contestant back in the first place.

A more convincing reason to think it may have been deliberate to attempt to inflict a couple of slow punctures on Amelia is the sense that her continued presence in the competition may not be conducive to the apparent desire to push Little Mix as far as they can go – which does seem to be the one thing we can be extremely confident producers are trying to do.

If producers do now try to deflate Amelia, will the voting public play ball? We reckon it’s likely. Amelia has a pair of lungs, but there is something about her that we find hard to warm to. As Rob points out, there’s “a hardness and neediness about her”. Or maybe Dug has it right? “Whilst she’s a seriously pretty girl, she has small eyes and nobody trusts a woman with tiny eyes. That’s why they love Devlin.”

In the comments immediately after Sunday’s show, Chris O made the case for 14/1 Amelia looking like value in this week’s elimination market (her best price is now 12/1 with Stan James). Double-figure odds do look tempting, though we reckon it’s probably more likely to take a week or two to soften up Amelia if that is indeed the show’s aim.

The closest analogue to Amelia’s situation is that of Diana Vickers, the only X Factor contestant so far to have been given a bye, albeit only one and in very different circumstances (in week 5 in 2009 due to laryngitis). On her return – coincidentally, like Amelia’s, in week 6 – she topped the vote. Then began a rapid decline – by week 8 she was a mere percentage point away from going home instead of Ruth Lorenzo, and she was comfortably last of the four semi-finalists in week 9.

There were many other factors in play, of course, but there was a sense at the time that Diana’s bye may have left a sour aftertaste following the initial rush of sympathetic goodwill. As has been pointed out, the example of Nikki Grahame’s return to Big Brother – an early favourite parachuted back in after a shock eviction – does not bode well for Amelia, either.

Ultimately, we’re into largely uncharted waters with Amelia, but our best guess is that while the Great British public may love a comeback, we’ll see soon enough that they also hate a queue-jumper.

What do you reckon the plan is now for Amelia, and will it succeed? Do let us know below.

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50 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 6 Review: Making Amelia of it

  • Kate

    If “boring” is a problem, why kick off Kitty? Or Johnny? Even Frankie livened things up in a “how bad can he be this week” sort of way.

    Previous X Factor winners have generally had the whiff of Human Mogadon about them, so I wonder if “boring” isn’t so much a criticism as a coded warning that an act is in the frame to win, but might struggle thereafter.

  • tpfkar

    I hadn’t even realised all the contradictions in the producers’ actions till you listed them – think Napoleon had it right 🙂

    Going off my twitter analysis, I’ll try to answer a couple of your questions:

    we also plan a separate article this week addressing the continuing head-scratcher of who is in line to be Top Liverpudlian Boy

    I believe Marcus is well ahead of Craig in the votes; his are increasing week on week while Craig’s are going down.

    Double-figure odds do look tempting, though we reckon it’s probably more likely to take a week or two to soften up Amelia if that is indeed the show’s aim.

    Less confident here, but I think it would take an almighty reverse for Amelia to be in trouble next week.

  • fiveleaves

    I’ve confident that bringing back Amelia was something cobbled together at the last minute rather than some cunning plan from the start.

    The announcement was meant to be at lunchtime but didn’t come out til early eveing and I’ve heard this was due to the TPTB not having a clue what to do when Frankie left.

  • Allan

    I reckon the 12-1 on next elimination is more than fair on Amelia, as is the 9-2 on bottom 2 (only skybet priced up so far).

    Surely the voters won’t go for her in any big numbers after that first week and surely (!) the producers won’t want her to win, although as the article says, who knows with them these days. Interesting to see if there’s any drip-drip of stories in the press this week. Also, what effect will Amelia’s supposed liaison with Cocozza in a carpark have?

  • Matt

    I doubt Amelia’s return was masterplanning from an early stage, just the best of a bad job in dealing with the Frankie situation.

    I hadn’t spotted all the inconsistencies in signals being sent about her, kudos for that.

    Now that they’ve got her back in I doubt the producers will want her out the week following her return (it would make a shambolic show seem even less in control than it currently does). They also won’t want her to win (which would mean firstly Kelly chose badly week one and secondly the producers aren’t in control barring the unlikely fiendish masterplan).

    My bet is she goes not next week but the week after (so fifth spot). If they do manage to unseat Janet she might just make the finals.

  • alsy

    misha pretty well gone now you have to think,shame really as she has a good voice but still isnt connecting with the voters. If kitty wasnt bottom vote why didnt it go to deadlock? Is it just me or was Kitty much better this week and more normal looking/appearing ?

  • JackB

    Methinks Amelia went initially as the producers Plan A would seem to have been Janet – Amelia was the closest threat to Janet at that point.
    However, considering Janet’s considerable bad performances, parachuting Amelia in would mean that Kelly would stand more chance of having an act in the top 3 (one would think producers wouldn’t want her out with no acts in the final considering she appeared to have the best category in the early stages).
    Maybe their plan is either to get Amelia into top 3, but drop in 3rd, or potentially to be there in order to ensure Janet makes a place in the final (because it’s obvious Misha won’t be) when Amelia goes out later on ensuring Janet makes it into the final?
    Personally, I think they won’t drop Amelia next week – Misha would seem a more likely candidate for elimination – then Amelia in either week 8 or week 9 if they’re still hoping for Janet to make the final?

  • Tpfjkar interested to read what you say about Marcus/Craig votes.. It would suit me if you are right but what evidence if any do you have, given neither has been in the bottom two?

    • tpfkar

      Hi Mike,

      the Daily Star claimed that Marcus was second behind Janet in the fourth week of voting, and this is all I have to go on. If true this positions him tightly, and gives a strong indication of how he’s done on other weeks. Craig NOT coming 2nd in the first week of voting (Star says the risk – I have Biscuit Boy a close 3rd) also positions him across the weeks.

  • Oscar Diggs

    The intrigue for me now revolves around Marcus and Craig:

    Marcus
    One of the most meaningful comments I have read here relates to Marcus seemingly drifting into Ray Quinn territory, something that occurred to me last week and was reinforced this Saturday. Is this good or bad, after all the Quinnster finished second – well I don’t mind admitting I’m getting concerned for Marcus because his performances are becoming over-complicated and distracting which ultimately means little emotional impact. If Marcus continues this path into Saturday’s show, it will surely see him fall perilously close to the bottom 2 because the comments would be predictably negative.

    However, Marcus has tweeted that this week he is ‘taking it to the church’ and I’m hoping to see him in a long-deserved late/pimp slot with a stripped back song that connects well on an emotional level (yes, like most of you I have invested in Marcus, top 3 at 4/1, top boy 7/4).

    Craig
    He is the ONLY contestant yet to receive ANY negative comments from the judges – why? If social stats are any indicator then we have to see Craig’s vote level hovering above bottom 2, but Craig’s appeal isn’t to the Tweetbookers – it’s to X Factor’s majority audience, the mum’s and grannies who warm to Craig’s wholesome image and emotionally connecting voice – they feel safe with biscuit boy, remember people like to feel ‘good’ about their vote and here’s where I can see the key difference between the boys – Craig is a better feeling vote than Marcus, to the tea cosy masses anyway. How else can you explain why this poor social performance doesn’t translate into a similarly poor vote count?

    I’m quite confident that the ‘getting a bit predictable’ Marcus comments are setting up a bit of a game-changer for next week – and the same goes for Little Mix, although that scenario is more obvious (cue pimp slot for them with beatbox, tight harmonies and vomit-inducing comments).

    Saturday’s show should finally provide a couple of tells in the great Marcus/Craig poker hand – I’m just crossing my fingers that Craig finally gets a long overdue knockback and we see Marcus being Marcus at his shining best.

    Keep a look out for ‘last to perform markets’ because anything 4/1 or better would be sensational value for the Little Mixers!

  • Ronnie

    Can anyone provide a link to these leaked Daily Star voting figures?

  • EM

    It’s pretty much clear now how the producers are lining up their favours.

    Little Mix – given more help each week than the Greek economy

    Craig – never given a bad comment, never given a less than positive vt. He’s the Bruce Forsyth of the X Factor. Everyone must know he’s not the best possible choice but no one dares voice a negative opinion in public.

    Anyone else they’ve got mixed messages on therefore they really can’t be fussed.

    So there’s two of your top 3 and … eh… that’s it. Too many mixed messages on everyone else to be sure.

  • Simon "le chat"

    MARCUS is in a different class to CRAIG – he is a few leagues above and the judges are being very quiet how they play him, keeping him on the slow burner in the first three weeks and then turning it down a bit after his stock glowed like magnesium after “Reet Petite”. Anyone can see he is the most versitile all round performer in the competition, never mind of the boys – and there is no way the judges would put CRAIG through to the final before him.
    Sometimes there is a tendency on SOFABET to over analyse and look for various conspiracy theories and hidden meanings as to how the competition will pan out- it’s a very healthy tendency too because we dont have the weekly statistics- however the cream of the talent will always come to the top and regardless of the recent winners of this competition, there has not been a final yet that had someone as bad as acutely talented as CRAIG is.
    The reason CRAIG is being kept in is because apart from MARCUS, all the other acts are girls and they need his sizeable bulk taking up the screen to adjust the balance. CRAIG will be jettisoned as soon as it suits the producers so to do, I cannot see it otherwise because he is limited. MARCUS is going to prevail because the gulf between them is enormous as the public will appreciate when the former is given the overdue opportunity to sing a ballad and reveal the extent of his vocal talents.
    A smiling face will always prevail over a gurner. Harsh but true and I will take an enormous amount of persuading that whe it comes to the winner of “top boy” it is not a question of whether the good ship MARCUS will deliver, it is a matter of when.

    • Henry VIII

      They could produce an album with Craig that many would buy but not with Marcus.

      Marcus will be good for the tour, they’ll make good use of him then.

      • Simon "le happy chat"

        Hi Henry VIII
        I disagree about album sales- MARCUS has not been given the chance to show his vocal range- he is every bit as good a ballad singer as CRAIG as we shall see very soon.

        Bisuit boy has nothing new up his sleeve and will be biscuits soon enough

    • EM

      Simon I’ve been reading your pro Marcus posts for weeks with a smile as your enthusiasm for your boy is infectious.

      However it is plain to see that Craig is the preferred boy now. He’s had the great running order spots, the pro-Liverpool VTs and not one bad comment.

      I totally agree with you that Marcus is more talented and entertaining than Craig but the Christmas light switch ons are littered with rejects that are more talented than the winners.

      My guess is the producers see them moulding a male Adele out of Craig. Not classically good looking, not threatening in anyway. Able to do the ballads and the slightly up tempo feel good songs and full of confidence in their performance.

      Now I think they’re barking up the wrong tree cos it really wont work for him but with this years rambling shambling series I think that is very much the plan.

      However, like you I have a sum on Marcus to win, starting to hedge it now though.

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    Hi EM
    My loyalty to MARCUS is founded on my assessment of his talent and only his talent at the beginning of the show before the prices were out. I supported him at his opening 14/1 and carried on doing so when he went out to 25/1 and some were saying he wasn’t good enough to win it. I still supported him because I knew he was good enough to prevail, if he was finally given a chance. We then had Reet Petite week which showed the unbelievers that here in MARCUS was a performer of substance and the secret is out.
    Yes CRAIG (so far) has been much the favoured boy but the public are not stupid- at least most of them are not- and it will be plain to many that the judges lack integrity in their comments and will not influence the way many vote.
    They may want to turn CRAIG into a COLTRANE looking ADELE but they never will because he cannot sing like ADELE – he never could -and he aint going to win this competition or trump MARCUS because he plainly aint good enough.
    The producers might well prefer him as top boy (goodness knows why!) but the public will not.
    Solid.

    • EM

      I respect your opinion but raise the Olly Murs defence. Didn’t win but is much more appreciated by the public than whoever beat him.

    • Dug

      The public are not necessarily stupid per se but they do act like sheep en masse. Why else the regional vote? People vote with their baser instincts (sex, maternity, self-idenification) above talent (which is half subjective anyway – as debates about the ‘stronger’ singers have shown).

      I may be in a minority but I see a broader recording appeal for Craig because he emotes, as they say, through his music. Marcus is incredibly talented but I don’t think the producers would view him as a profitable winner. Sad fact is, people WANT to know what to expect from an artist. I’d be very impressed, and slightly pleased, if it were possible for a post-career niche to be carved for Marcus but at the moment I’m scratching my head to imagine what he could release other than a Bruno Mars knockoff.

      I’m sure he has a better chance of winning because he’s the housewives favourite and has a broad, inoffensive appeal. Craig comes off a little too cocky to be the main heart-stealer and he’s not going to get the geriatrics fumbling with their elasticated waistbands in the same way that ‘suave’ and ‘charming’ Marcus will.

  • Chatterbox5200

    There is no doubt that the “Sing Off” is the best way for the producers to lose the act that they don’t want, and keep the one that they do, even if they are not the most popular with the public. This could explain why we have yet to go to Deadlock this series – as the act the producers want to keep may have been bottom of the pile.

    Daniel/Andrew – Can you clarify, based on previous years, when it will be that the elimination is based solely on the public vote?

    Although she may very well benefit from a sympathy bounce, having already been in the bottom two twice, this bounce may not be big enough to stop her returning for a third visit. I can not see one act left that she would possibly be saved against, and will therefore be eliminated, based on the fact that she is “obviously not connecting with the public” (a statement used already against Kitty and Sophie).

    Reading all the very well thought out arguments above, and elsewhere on the site, I have reached that conclusion based on who she might face in a sing off (in order of their current odds to be eliminated next week):

    JANET (currently 2nd favourite to be eliminated next week) – She might be who the producers would favour to lose over MISHA in a sing off, but if The Star’s leaked information is to be believed, stands very little chance of being there.

    LITTLE MIX – They appear to be favoured by the producers, and are therefore highly likely to be saved, should the public not take to any change in style that they adopt this week.

    CRAIG – Having never received any negative comments (although, like everyone else, I struggle to understand why no mentioned has ever been made that he does the same thing every week), is also likely to be saved by the judges, as they seem to have invested heavily in him.

    MARCUS – Although Saturday’s comments tried to focus on the “predictable” performance*, he will obviously do something a little different this week, as has already been reported. He would need a giant fall from grace to make the bottom two, and even then, would the producers want just one male left in the competition at this stage?

    Only AMELIA remains, and although she may suffer a bit of a backlash for “queue jumping” into this late stage of the competition, with the positive comments she received on Saturday it is hard to believe they would let her go so soon. She is currently rivaling Marcus as favourite to win the whole competition.

    Therefore, I can only see one possible outcome this week, the end of MISHA B and the current 15/8 available may be as good as it gets.

    *Why do the X Factor contestants have to show versatility, and adapt to various styles, to prove they are good enough to win? There are many acts – in fact most acts – who do not re-invent themselves every week, sticking to what they do best, and delivering at a consistently high standard. I haven’t yet heard anyone tell Adele that she has not got what it takes to make it, as she hasn’t done a dance track, or tell Michael Buble that he needs to learn to rap! If Marcus has round his musical direction, and wants to promote himself as “The British Bruno Mars”, why should that count against him?

    • EM

      Excellent point. Lady Gaga is the biggest popstar in the world (apparently) yet all her songs and performances are the exact same. In fact it’s this consistency that keeps her at the top. Her fans have come to expect things fom her records and shows. When she delivers that something they love it. Expectation fulfilled.

      Which could explain why the X Factor winners are the ones that stick in solid performances each week rather than reinvent themselves week by week. Fan base expects, act delivers, fan base delighted, act gets votes.

      • Chatterbox5200

        Just to back up that point EM. Of the 11 singles that Lady Gaga has release in the UK (as the primary artist), only two have failed to make the Top 10, namely Love Game and < You and I, which are both deviations from her usual style. In fact, You and I which had a country feel to it (and could have possibly been performed by Shania Twain) failed to even break the UK Top 20, peaking at #23.

    • Andrew

      Hi Chatterbox, In the past they’ve left it to the public vote at the 5 act stage in seasons 2, 4, 5 and 6 and at the 4 act stage in 1, 3 and 7.

  • Curtis

    My thoughts on what the producers are doing with each of the 6 remaining contestants

    Marcus
    This week they made a clear effort to depress his vote, with lukewarm comments and not a particularly good song choice. This tells me they didn’t want him to gather any momentum after last week and they don’t want him to win.

    Little Mix
    Now this is an act that the producers love! Pimped to the max every single week, and they’ve been set up for more of the same next week. Constantly being bigged up for being normal, nice people who “wouldn’t steal your boyfriend”, the producers have gone out of their way to break the curse of the girlband this year and if there’s one thing they’ve done well, it’s that. Little Mix are the one success story for the producers in a otherwise horrendous year.

    Craig
    I’ve given my opinion on Craig before, and it hasn’t changed. I have no idea why he getting consistently pimped on average performances in the way he is. I was impressed with him after “Jar of Hearts”, but he’s just past it now. Every week I watch him all I can think is that yes, that’s a nice cosy performance, inoffensive to the ears, but not particularly special. But the produces will insist on pimping him to the max. He seems to be the chosen boy of the two, though I’m sure they wouldn’t want him to win…then again, what do I know, I don’t get the producers this year?

    Mancunian Misha B
    Another confusing one. Bullygate made it seem like the producers did not go much on Misha. However, every single other piece of evidence we see would suggest they do. They’ve saved her twice in the sing-offs, she’s received fantastic comments from the judges consistently (outside of Bullygate), she’s receiving flattering VTs that do more than just give an casual mention to Manchester. Also, I believe she is yet to feature in the first half of the show – the running order has been incredibly favourable to her. So on balance, I think they want to keep her as long as they can. It’s possible that they ditch her next week though as a lost cause.

    Amelia
    Whether bringing her back was part of some master plan or not, I’m sure they don’t want her to win. If she won, it could potentially be the worst thing to happen to X Factor’s public credibility ever. Then again, these producers are so incompetant I wouldn’t put anything past them. I’d imagine that next week she will be received well, but not ‘pimped’ per se, and then the following weeks she’ll simply be damped until she goes. Ratings stunt, controversy, tabloid space, but the show’s credibility remains intact at the end of it. I assume that’s the plan.

    Janet
    Janet is my pet topic to post about, mainly because she is my favourite contestant this year. She was Plan A, but she has been damped dramatically the last 4 weeks, so much so that I was mighty surprised to see her survive this week’s voting. Obviously she has the Northern Irish vote like Eoghan, but Eoghan also had the cute teenage boy vote, combined with pimping from the show’s producers to get to his 3rd place. If it’s true that Janet topped the votes the first 5 weeks, then I suppose that means there’s still the off chance that the producers are saving her up for a big finish, safe in the knowledge that she will survive each week’s vote. Personally though, after all these weeks of playing her down, and some of the unhelpful news stories that are starting to come out, I think the show just wants rid of her. Still don’t know why.

    • Curtis

      I forgot to conclude my comment. If you notice, I say that the producers don’t want or don’t think each act is going to win except for one act. Little Mix. But surely Little Mix can’t win! So this leaves me with the dilemma that I think everyone has. Who do the producers want to win this thing?

  • tpfkar

    I’ve put up a page with my graph and comments, it’s all at http://tpfkar.tripod.com/xfactor.html

    Hope it’s useful & very grateful for any thoughts.

    • Pete D

      tpfkar.
      That’s excellent work and a thank you from me for that ! Very useful.
      Quite accurate figures to what XF extra stated as well, but shows a welcome drop on JANETS support (which conveniently they didn’t actually mention).

      They gave us the impression too that BISCUIT BOY and MISHA were above LITTLE MIX. The big LM push and song next week should balance things up nicely though as they get more high profile and recognised as a ‘real’ serious threat for pole position.

    • Matt

      Very interesting. It may be key data once we get the actual voting figures and is a useful guide for now.

    • taichou

      so basically if Devlin gets in to the final, she just needs to sing “Your song” and she has it in a bag…

      • malcolm

        thanks tpfkar, i like a graph, and that is great.
        In a generally weak show this year it was easier for Johnny to be pushed by the producers when it suited them and manipulated out when it suited them. The figures i kept track of on Twitter followers and You Tube hits always had him pretty much bottom of the pile.

        For all the talk and week by week interpretation, its true (i think) that very few people vote before the final, so the demographic of the ‘pick up the phone and vote’ type viewer is much more impulsive and easily led than maybe the rest of us.

        sorry getting off the point now ….
        Other than week one with no public vote Janet has had some pretty poor treatment, no decent running order slots and harsh words from the judges, last week despite all the bad comments and her general body language which read as ‘well p*ssed off throughout’ she still didn’t drop into the bottom 2. I think based on that she’s safe again this week.

        If Janet is immovable, then i think Misha will very likely be bottom 2 again. Despite all the pimping she must have a very low level of support, despite the 1970’s makeover.

        Favourable treatment of Craig last week was just a bluff to try and focus on Janet, and of the remainder he is my other choice for bottom 2 this week.

        So far the judges have voted on musical talent when it comes to it. Can they save Misha over Craig this week ? I keep changing my mind over this. but have settled on the following. They won’t want Craig on a sympathy bounce, so he goes this week, Misha would be a dead cert for the next week, leaving Janet, Amelia, Marcus and Little Mix ….
        ….If Misha went this week, the following week they might have to lose one of Amelia, Marcus or Little Mix (if Janet is as safe as i think) That doesn’t look such a good plan on paper.

        • tpfkar

          Thanks everyone – although the real test will come when it’s used to model next week’s vote and make some predictions.

          I didn’t see the Xtra Factor on Sunday night – does anyone have a copy of the twitter figures they released? It would be interesting to see if any of the same weightings apply.

  • mark the bookie basher

    great post cutis i avnt got a scooby doo what the producers are playing at this year for the first time in seven years i didnt have a bet on sunday nights elim i just cant get a angle on the show at the moment i won big on the risk laying them till the cows come home but lost big on betting jonny 2 get in the final 3 i still dont understand why they ditched him so quick why let wagner get to the final 5 and ditch jonny so early just doesnt make sence and what the hell are they doin with janet i have a big bet on her but its like slow torture at the moment 1 more point louis walsh said on the xtra factor that he was gona champion amelia now he has no acts left i have a gut feeling she is now the producers plan a

    • Curtis

      I think because Johnny built up more popularity than Wagner during the early stages, the producers felt the need to dispose of him before he had built up too much popularity. Unfortunate for your bet of course.

  • Maybe Little Mix is plan A after all. Quite a bit of money for them last 48 hours. Top price 13/2 now and only 11/2 with Wll Hill.

  • nugget

    Message for Pete D…let me know if you want to do Saturday live show, place is still open, but its not priority so it WILL mean queueing from 9am 🙁 to guarantee entry

  • nugget

    Daniel…are you doing any “I’m a celeb get me out of here” punting??

    • Daniel

      Hi Nugget, I tend to stick to what I know and feel comfortable betting on. I’m a Celebrity… is not one of those shows, so it won’t be covered by me this time around. Do feel free to post your thoughts if you feel like there’s something worth mentioning, however.

  • Oscar Diggs

    This might be something or nothing – but remember on Saturday when we all got suspicious about the delayed start to the show – check it out…

    20:15 when the show begins – this frame appears for a split second before we are shown highlights from the auditions – did anyone else notice this? It’s the Little Mix set, with the girls on stage – no judges in sight – and production crew visible front stage giving some kind of direction – the audience are there too (in case that’s not immediately obvious from the picture quality).

    51 minutes later Little Mix take to the stage with judges seated and the show in full flow.

    The VT did show us a problematic rehearsal, we know there was a last minute song change – could it really be that a primetime Saturday TV schedule was delayed to give the girls last minute preparation to ensure they got it right on the night – this would certainly support the theory that they are Plan A, in fact if this is the case then all bets are off – they must be Plan A++++

    Go figure.

  • Chris O

    The big mover of the last couple of days appears to be Little Mix.

    7/1 a couple of days ago, now available to LAY at 11/2 (6.6) on Betfair. For those of you who have the bankrolls to do it, some easy arbitrage available in laying the 6.6, 6.8 and 7.0 and backing the 13/2 (7.5) with Bluesq and 888Sport.

    On other X Factor betting news, Boylesport made a bold move and lay 7/2 for a lumper on Amelia Lily when available to lay at 4.2 earlier in the day on Betfair. The strength of that Boyles move has forces Lily out to 4.4/4.5.

    Devlin also appears weak, out to 6.4 (11/2) from a general 4/1 – 9/2 on Monday

  • Simon "le chat"

    There is certainly plenty of money for LITTLE MIX which reflects a combination of their growing support and the perception that the judges and producers will try to pimp them into the final. However there is unlikely to be room for both them and AMELIA in the final and there will be pressure for one to go.
    An ideal final for the kingmakers would be one girl, one boy and one band which to me looks like JANET, MARCUS and LITTLE MIX.

    MISHA to go on Sunday unless CRAIG is really dire or gets his overdue negative comments but I think the show want to keep CRAIG in for now to balance the scales.
    There is not room for 3 single girls in the last 5 so one of them is going.
    AMELIA has only just come back so it isnt going to be her. JANET appears to have a huge following so it probably aint her. that leaves MISHA looking very vulnerable indeed for B2 – however the capacity of this show to surprise remains unabated so who knows?
    I’ll wait for the running order and song choice before deciding.

  • Dave T

    I’m fascinated by what’s gonna happen this week….

    IF Misha is in the bottom 2 then surely she has to be put out of her misery? It’s easily done as well with comments such as “I don’t know what it is but you’re not connecting with the audience” blah blah. Whoever she’s up against has to be given a 2nd chance over Misha being given a 4th don’t they? Asking her to come back again after a 3rd time in the bottom 2 could actually prove detrimental to any sort of career she might try and forge after the show (which she could because she can actually sing).

    Also, if the report of large support for Janet is spot on then in my view this leaves Little Mix, Misha and Amelia fishing for similar votes. And if that’s the case then surely Misha WILL be in the bottom two. But who joins her? If little mix are gonna be pimped even more then perhaps Amelia will come down after her lift last week? Amelia/Misha bottom 2 is available at a good price right now and could be seen as value?

    Great site by the way so thanks guys.

  • Curtis

    The one thing I’d say about Misha is to me she fits the category of people who get a second bounce, unlike Kitty who looked like the sort of person that wouldn’t. Misha has a fanbase.

  • Pete D

    I must admit, I AM actually getting a little twitchy now about the PINK WITCH’s threatening hex on my ‘steamrolling’ early hot tip LITTLE MIX babes and there are still some great 20/1 (to 28/1 Paddy Power..coming in as I write) either way straight forecast ‘hedge bet’ prices out there (just in case) imho.

    The GINGER WHINGER also seems to be losing street cred now judging by her fast dwindling Twitter support (thanks again tpfkar !).

    SO unless the fabulous MARCUS can summon up the miraculous powers of his mighty Moses Staff to raise his game to ‘part the PINK SEA’ away from LITTLE MIX, OR ‘create a great plague of Locusts’ to come and eat SHAM-ELIA’s tarty cheap looking Barnett, it could well be a ‘straight fight’ between the 2 acts instead; and therefore worth a small punt to protect our other win stakes (whoever you choose that they are on with).
    Too good to pass up for just a few quid of insurance methinks !

    I hope Harry Hill does a feature on them on TV BURP…….FIIIIIIIIIIIGHT !!

    Just how DOES the make-up plastered bimbo manage to see out of those sneaky looking eyes ? She must have ‘letter box’ vision.

    Anyway, judging by the usual forum buzz’s and newspaper polls, there is a new growing tide of excited ‘new kid on the block’ support happening for AMELIA SILLY from gullible, easily impressed, muggins teenies who have no taste and ‘painted-on ears’, and who are taking up the floating votes from the other XF waste rejects.

    Its clear that MISHA will be getting the ‘Schmeichel’ treatment this week and put out of her misery (at long last). One good hypodermic jab in her generously proportioned Butt and a gentle fingertip shove should sort her out now, seeing as she is teetering on the edge of the abyss.

    Meanwhile the old burning tyres are being well wafted (Fred Dibnah style) to topple BISCUIT BOY’s solid Victorian built brick chimney (y’know, the one that he has been chained to for sooooo long…zzzzzzzzzzzzz)

    My clothes have even gone out of fashion waiting for this literal ‘pillar’ (or was that ‘pillock’ ?) of the community to go and I am on the 7th draft of my Last Will and Testament already.

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