Who’s on top among the Scouse bedfellows: Craig Colton or Marcus Collins?

It’s almost like the musical Blood Brothers: two young Scousers who grew up 15 minutes apart without knowing each other now fighting head to head for survival. Except of course, you’d never mistake Craig Colton and Marcus Collins for twins; and two more different performers it would be hard to find.

We’ve been asking ourselves which Liverpudlian would finish on top since the auditions. Our preference has always been clear. We’ve believed that Marcus ticked enough boxes to win the whole show before the lives began, and have always been sceptical of the chances of Craig Colton.

The producers? They seemed to be hedging their bets for a long time, with both boys benefiting from unremittingly positive coverage. Until last weekend. Then, just as Marcus seemed likely to be pulling ahead of his rival, they cut him down to size.

And now, just as it appears to have become clear that Craig is the Scouser of choice, he’s drifted in the Betfair win market quicker than a Greek ten-year bond yield.

It’s worth noting the various ways that Marcus was stuffed in last week’s show. His VT started with his response to praise received for ‘Reet Petite’, quickly undermining two of his biggest assets: his versatility (“I know my identity now”) and humility (“I’m starting to feel that I could become a pop star”). There was a return to the clips of his experimental teen days which we warned against re-showing after their airing at the audition stage (subliminal message: “he’s vain”).

The question of identity re-surfaced again and again. Marcus attributed it to watching Bruno Mars perform on the show a few weeks ago. As we’ve stated before, it’s best not to bring up the person you’re trying to imitate as you’ll likely come across as unoriginal and less talented. Producers did the same thing with The Risk and JLS.

As soon as the trombones kicked in for rock anthem ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, the title seemed prophetic for what producers had done. They had given him a carbon copy of the previous week’s performance for a song totally unsuited to it. If you were going to keep it 50s rock ‘n’ roll, there was a perfectly suitable Queen number for it, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’.

Tulisa and Kelly completed the coup de grace, the former saying that he had become “predictable”, the latter explaining “I want you to have more freedom on stage”, suggesting Marcus wasn’t totally at ease with what he was being asked to do. Even Louis’s continued praise contained the classic vote-dampening measure of breeding complacency: “You’re going to be here this week, you have to be.”

The 50s Little Richard vibe is having a bit of a moment right now, but it doesn’t feel like it’s actually good for anything other than, as Dug mentioned, getting the role of Seaweed in the West End production of ‘Hairspray’. That may be the point producers are trying to make: reminding us that Marcus’s not-so-distinctive voice and cheery personality are wonderfully suited to a West End role, rather than a career as a recording artist. As Euan said, “he’s starting to come over a little Ray Quinn right now”.

Meanwhile, producers did the polar opposite in positioning Craig. His VT concentrated on the idea that he’s always had a distinctive identity and that he sounds like a recording artist. Gary told him: “The important thing for you was getting that dance week out of the way. We’ve got to hone in this week and really tell people this is what Craig’s record will sound like… it’s time for him to be a pop star”; Craig responded: “I want to be unique, I want to have my own sound.”

After Craig had gurned his way emotively through another ballad, in a rendition that sounded and looked like most of what he’s done so far, Tulisa said “That was the best performance you have ever done… honestly.” The need for that addition told us all we needed to know about how unconvincing she sounded. Kelly reminded us how humble he is by asking “do you realise how great that was?”, and reinforced how distinctive he is being portrayed as: “you put your own stamp on it, you made that song yours.”

So what the programme did last weekend was to establish the ‘identities’ of Craig and Marcus at polar opposites. One – or so we are told – is distinctive, humble, surprisingly versatile, brings out emotions in the listener and sounds like a recording artist. The other tries on personas like Mr Benn, has been convinced by one well-received performance of a 1957 hit that the core of his being lies in copying Bruno Mars, and does not look totally comfortable while doing so.

Producers had dropped a strong hint that they might be favouring Craig in week 4, when he got the pimp slot, his VT pitched for the Liverpool vote and his comments talked about his recording voice, three favours they have never done for Marcus. Nonetheless, last week was the first time they had gone negative on Marcus. Why this timing?

There’s a simple explanation. All the indications from polls and social media, from our own analysts Toby and tpfkar, the Daily Star leak and the latest Sun poll, are that Marcus may have substantially widened his support over Craig after his week 5 performance of ‘Reet Petite’, and started to look like a serious contender for the win.

As the strong evidence from last weekend is that producers are uncomfortable with the idea of letting Marcus fly too high, we now suggest that those Sofabet readers who have taken double-figure prices about Marcus should at least hedge their bet at his now much shorter price. We recommended him at 14/1 and there is currently money waiting to back him at 4.2 on Betfair, so a hedge would give you a free bet of nearly 11/1.

Marcus may, of course, still overcome such treatment. When we tipped him at 14/1, we wrote that his “middle-of-the-road likeability, down-to-earth normality and manifest talent should also see him well positioned to pick up floating votes in the closing stages against potentially more divisive rivals.” We stand by every word. And, of course, X Factor producers do not always end up with the winner they appear to want.

But producers have been especially ruthless this year in de-ramping acts they don’t want – as Johnny Robinson, Kitty Brucknell, Sophie Habibis and Sami Brookes know only too well (although the later it gets in the competition, the harder it will be as allegiances solidify). Therefore, given Marcus’s treatment last weekend, we think it is only prudent to hedge and enjoy a free bet at what is still a very healthy price.

What of Craig? We must admit, we hadn’t seen it coming that programme-makers appear to see a potential recording artist in him. But that’s where we are, and we see no reason not to take at face value the positioning of him for a post-show album release. He would shift a few downloads of ‘Jar of Hearts’, if nothing else.

The suspicion remains that Craig may be only just surviving, despite the relentlessly positive treatment he has been getting. It’s much harder for producers to persuade viewers to support somebody than it is for them to dampen enthusiasm for a contestant – just ask Misha B, whom they damaged recklessly with Bullygate and have seemingly failed to rehabilitate. Paradoxically, though, we’re at a stage of the competition where this might actually work to Craig’s advantage.

Remember that JLS and Olly Murs both survived the sing-off in Week 7, and their subsequent sympathy bounce took them all the way to second place in the final. There was even a suspicion last year that producers deliberately engineered Cher into the sing-off at this stage, seeing that her support was weakening, in the hope of bouncing her to the final (they managed it, but only with the help of a second singoff save in week 9).

If we’re right to discern that producers would like Craig to be in the final over Marcus, and that he’s currently doing less well in the vote than Marcus, then engineering Craig into and saving him from a sing-off either this weekend or next might just be the best way for them to get him there. There is no reason to think that Craig wouldn’t bounce, and a sing-off save now could be the difference between making the final and dropping out in 4th or 5th.

It’s interesting that the market has started to discount Craig’s chances just at the moment when producers have made it clear that they want him to go as far as possible. We don’t know of any particular reason why he has drifted so much on Betfair in the last 48 hours (out from 5.0 to 7.6 at the time of writing). Perhaps there’s some kind of rumour we’re not aware of? Don’t forget Craig was reported last weekend as having packed his bags and quit, before Gary talked him out of it, and was also said to have had such a bad sore throat he couldn’t rehearse before Saturday’s show.

More likely the explanation is an innocent one, though it may be wise to tread carefully on any bets involving Craig until the reason becomes clear.

What do you think? Do you doubt the signals sent last weekend about programme-makers preferred Liverpudlian? Are we being too pessimistic about the endurance of Marcus’s appeal? Do let us know in the comments section below.

69 comments to Who’s on top among the Scouse bedfellows: Craig Colton or Marcus Collins?

  • dan12

    Nice article Daniel. One quibble though, like Andrew, you quote a daily star leak but link to a sofabet reply thread. The info there takes us to the digital spy forums which themselves provide no evidence of any such story having appeared in the Star or Star Sunday. (No sign of it on the star website either.)

    Unless some viable confirmation appears, I’m discounting all information from said “leak”.

  • tpfkar

    I feared you’d write this. Not what I wanted to hear but as someone who took the initial tip on Marcus and hasn’t touched Craig, probably what I need to hear.

    If any contestant shows the weakness of this year’s series, it’s trying to make a major star out of Craig Colton. There are plenty of negatives for him; he hasn’t really delivered since the excellent Jar of Hearts, he is plain boring (why haven’t we had a weekly weightwatchers update?) and he can’t move on stage. Turning the all new singing candle into a global megastar will stretch his record label!

    As quoted in the article, I also have evidence he is not only badly struggling in the votes, but also going backwards, and pimping Little Mix this week will likely leave him B2. Look out for the number of mentions of ‘Liverpool’ in his segment on Saturday – 11 is the record from last weekend!

    Will sit tight for now, but may well end up taking that hedge.

    • Pete D

      tpfkar.
      GRAIG “the singing candle”, the best one yet. You have no idea how much I belly laughed at that one whilst I was sliding off my computer chair. Made my day. THANKS !

      • fiveleaves

        Take a look at my post in the previous thread Pete.

        Looks good for our girls 🙂

        • Pete D

          fiveleaves.
          Yes indeed I did read it, and chatterbox too is on the ball with it here (link in that comm above).

          All signs pointing to Rome perhaps ?

          Ok, I am a dyed in the wool rock, Beatles, Stones, 60/70’s fan BUT I do have a small studio and sound engineer young new local bans on the road too. So I do keep up with the latest music trends.

          FAZER is young for a producer, BUT he DOES have some pedigree behind him already with 2 x N-DUBZ double Platinum albums, MOBO awards and musical recording connections to Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Tinie Tempah.

          Therefore, he WILL give it that modern catchy (rappy-beatboxy) dance flair to make it a hit (love or hate the style), as the indication this year is toards a complete and modern overhaul ‘away’ from the usual PETER KAY skit WINNER’S ‘BALLAD’ scenario.

          PERFECT for our LITTLE MIX girls (and maybe being already planned ?).

          If indeed he IS then deinitely booked to produce and even with GARY BORELOW writing the winner’s song (as also reported), I can only see the ‘heads together’ powerful combination suiting LM here, or even MARCUS at a pinch…certainly NOT the GINGER WHINGER.

          AMELIA-TICKET SILLY doesn’t even come into it either as I am sure he doesn’t cater for wannabe Karaoke Queens. MISHA too would actually have been a good subject to produce for (for her ‘other’ singing style head that is) but unfortunately she is busy smearing herself with Shark repellent and blowing up her Mae West with here ample lungs as she prepares to walk the plank.

          CRAIG ? (nuff said). I am still reeling back with laughter at tpfkar’s ‘singing candle’ gag.

          I can only see him now sitting in a rocking chair singing ballads whilst (side-gobbingly) smiling and winking at the camera and with a nice knitted jumper on, covering Val Doonican hits in front of an open log fire in his own tv Crimbo Special, (perhaps with JANET guesting and doing a duo with her of ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ and ‘Paddy McGinty’s Goat’).

          And just in case you missed the link on my post in the last thread pertaining to what is happening right now.

  • My portfolio looks quite good. Famously 679/1 Amelia, 16/1 Janet, 14/1 ew Marcus (before your excellent recommendation) and 14/1 ew Little Mix. Plus a few losers of course. I have no money on CC or MB. I will have to consider the 7.6 Craig now but am tempted to let it run a bit longer as he is so weak in the market.

  • Coral went 16/1 very briefly during the auditions’ programme during/after Janet’s performance. One of the reasons I backed her was because there was extensive VT of her home town in that programme, clearly indicating that she was extremely likely to progress. I posted on here shortly after I has the bet and Daniel actually quoted me in his relevant article if you look back to the archives! Seems like I long time ago now!

  • Kev

    Good piece. Big weeks for Marcus and LM backers.

  • Curtis

    Very good article. Insightful. I agree that the producers are pushing Craig more for the final than Marcus. I’m not quite sure they’re going to be successful on this occasion though. Not unless they seriously stifle Marcus in the next few weeks.

  • Whilst on the subject of Coral I have heard from IBAS this morning in connection with the “fireworks” bet. I have been informed that Coral displayed the “live” proviso on the relevant page and has supplied database records to support their position.In the circumstances I have decided to accept this as I have no screen shots myself to counter the argument.

    At least there might be a chance my account remains open which was not the case when I won an IBAS case with Sportingbet (over £20). They closed my account immediately on receipt of the judgement.

  • Kev

    As a Marcus backer I need more than one weeks de-ramp to panic so I’m not laying yet but it’s defo a big week coming up for him though.

    It just makes the last article look even odder though when being crucified for three weeks can be spun into a positive for Janet’s chances.

    I appreciate both articles have different authors but there are constant mentions to “we” and “us” so I presume yesterdays views are that of Sofabet in general?

    • Andrew

      Hi Kev, Yes they are – Daniel and I discuss between us what we want to say and one or other of us writes it up.

      Agree with Tom’s response below – in our view the extent of Janet’s prior pimping demanded that we consider alternative explanations.

  • tom21

    Hi Kev,
    I don’t think the treatment of Janet and Marcus is necessarily comparable. Janet was pimped with a capital P all way through auditions/first show and I think the guys’ view that they’ve tried to pull her back a bit is very convincing. With Marcus it’s different – little coverage at auditions and very little pimping to speak of – everyone on sofabet with 14s (or 16s in my case :)) has been waiting for him to be given a chance, he got one week’s pimping, it looked like that was the turning point, but now it looks like the producers have thought better of it. (Despite this, personally I won’t be laying the Marcus bet off – he’s likeable and very/most popular among the voting demographic and I can’t see any danger of him missing the final.)

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    A very good article again but for me there is a gulf brtween MARCUS and CRAIG and I cannot see CRAIG prevailing no matter what treatment is dished out by the judges and producers. If the program makers could manage their various shennanigans to wipe away MARCUS’s smile I might be tempted to lay some more off but they cannot dampen MARCUS’s attractiveness and appeal.
    CRAIG on the other hand is not final material, he’s not good enough and his limitations will be patently obvious to the vast majority of viewers out there.
    MARCUS all the way for me for top boy at every price under the sun and I dont see CRAIG’s ample frame blocking my way to the pay out till in a couple of weeks time.
    Overconfident? Possibly I am but that’s the fun of gambling. MARCUS will come out on top of CRAIG because he is streets and streets superior in talent and appeal.
    If I’m wrong then I’m wrong.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Does this further strengthen the argument that the producers see LITTLE MIX now as Plan A?

    Tulisa’s apparent boyfriend Fazer will be producing The X Factor 2011′s winners single, it has been claimed. The N-Dubz star joked with The Sun that he’s hoping to get whoever wins the show to Xmas number two – behind his own hit.

    “I’ll be producing for the X Factor winner, it’s been decided,” he explained to the newspaper this morning. “This isn’t just a hook-up with Tulisa, I’m going to work with whichever act wins.

    “I’ve been talking to SyCo about working on a few different things for them. We really want to give a new flavour to the X Factor acts. It’s going to suit me. I have rock influences, hip-hop, pop, whatever.”

    http://xfactor.tellymix.co.uk/news/59358-tulisas-n-dubz-pal-fazer-to-produce-the-x-factor-2011-winners-single.html

  • Matt

    I’ve always had Craig as the producer’s favoured boy. This Sat will be very interesting to see how they treat them both. I’d say a Craig pimping and lacklustre comments for Marcus suggests them going for Craig into the final (if they engineer Marcus into bottom to, say not this week but next, they can ditch him, maybe even over Craig). If they don’t think they can get Craig there they might dump on him this week and watch him go pop on Sunday. I have no idea which they’ll do though, might give us a clue to the voe share though…

  • Simon "le chat"

    MARCUS has not had a ballad yet – this is probably the week where they let the talent in his voice out of the box.
    He’s every bit as good a ballad singer as Craig, I believe better.
    We’ll find out soon enough.
    Big week for all of the acts now, but the good ship MARCUS sails on.

  • Geoff

    I think craig will be the best of the boys and also think he has a chance of taking the crown.
    He has been the most praised out of anyone even though hes not that brilliant I think he good value at 6 and half to one and I just took some of that.
    also the signs are strong I hear the winners single is to be penned by gary barlow and craig keeps gettin comments like u remind me of a young garry barlow + hes heavil plastered over the m+s advert
    Id say the worry though is he is polling very badly

  • dan12

    Looking ahead, I’m thinking that the producers need to avoid an “all girl” final, and it would be better for them if the final had 1 boy, 1 girl, 1 group.

    To that end and feeling that Marcus gets more votes than Craig, I’m expecting the show to angle a strong ramp for Craig again and be neutral/mixed towards Marcus with the intent of keeping them both out of the bottom 2 this week, which is exactly what I think they were mainly doing last week.

    As well as steering votes towards the favoured acts each week, the producers also have to put on a variety show every saturday, which is why I think they’ll be keen to keep both male acts in this week, at least.

  • bob

    2 questions. Why did the show bother giving Marcus any praise 2 weeks ago if they don’t want him to do well? Also, why, if they want Craig in the final over Marcus, have they not all out attacked Marcus? If Marcus goes, surely that strengthens Craig? Personally I think, as I’ve said a few times now, it’s to keep people guessing. We’ve had 4 or 5 favourites since the live shows started and nobody know sho’s going to win. Nobody even knows who’s going to make the final, with LM looking the most likely but far from a certainty. Keeps fans of all acts interested in the show as they think they have a chaance. Big twist next week is Jonjo returning and romping to victory. Only to be disqualified for being Janet Jackson in disguise and Fat Jade being awarded the “crown”. 16/1 that is, looks like a huge price.

  • geoff

    simon
    i kind of agree with what u say a good ballad from marcus could be a game changer
    maybe he could do the seal song like he did at bootcamp
    but saying that isnt russian roulette kind of a ballad he didnt really stand out on that for me

    • Simon "le happy chat"

      Spot on Geoff.
      All we’ve had from CRAIg is ballad, ballad boring boring ballad more of the same – all praised to the skies to the point where (jar apart)even a tone deaf mute would get a bit suspicious as to what was going off.

      There is a simple explaination why CRAIG is being pimped and MARCUS isn’t and that is because CRAIG needs the votes. Consider this, the show “lost” one of its three remaining boys in Frankie leaving only 2 – this after the surprise eviction of “The Risk”. With such a surplus of women in they could not risk CRAIG going an leaving MARCUS as the only bloke left out of six acts.

      They got to work last week dissing Kitty and out she went. It will be MISHA this week which will leave JANET, AMELIA, CRAIG, MARCUS and LITTLE MIX. Time then to get rid of CRAIG and AMELIA.

      MARCUS sails on to the final where anything could happen.

      CRAIG cannot beat him.
      He does not have the ability, likeability or versitility.

  • mark the bookie basher

    ibelieve the reason they got rid ov kitty is to leave louis walsh no acts left in the competition therefore he is now free to champion whichever act he wants or to to put it a better way he is now the producers bitch he has allready said he is now goin to support amelia in the xtra factor i think we,ll see by his comments who the producers have finnaly decided who they want to win if janet is going to win she surely has to be given a decent song and good comments

    • Pete D

      Mark.
      That would be great news for Louis to champion AMELIA as surely it would be the musical kiss of death for her (as tradition shows when he gets his over excitable ham fisted mits on anything other than Pantomime hopefuls).

      Having said that, it would be more obvious for him to rather champion JANET to keep the Irish flags flying and to keep face with his own Countrymen. Otherwise his flight home would be a nervous one if he had to face a barrage of rotten Cabbages and Tomatoes at the Airport.

  • Rob

    been away so quite pleased to come back to an article that doesn’t write off janet’s chances, but not so enamoured of the craig is the favored boy artice (nothing against him – i just have no money on him).

    before i went away i was having a fiddle with the google insights webpage
    http://www.google.com/insights/search/
    it looks to me from this data that janet has the most widespread interest on the internet by quite a margin, but maybe someone with a better grasp of statistics and how this site works can have a look and see what they think?

    just the regional data seems to predict a janet win more than anything else. for instance there is loads of traffic for her on both sides of the irish border whilst the others hardly register. also janet tracks better than any of the others in scotland and appears to have the most diverse number of english regions googling her than the others – tellingly her most popular english region is liverpool (i did say there was a big irish population in liverpool in an earlier post).
    i hasten to add that these statistics don’t forecast a win. e.g. i suspect susan boyle had more google traffic than diversity and still couldn’t win on bgt!!

    • tpfkar

      Hi Rob,

      this is all new to me but a few observations from looking around. As with the twitter work, I’m ignoring the numbers and only looking for trends, but doing a 30 day search on the various contestants shows changes visibly:

      1) Janet Devlin has been GAINING online interest over the past four weeks – so there’s nothing here to support the theory that people might be getting bored of her.

      2) On the other hand Misha B’s has collapsed.

      3) Less interest in Marcus last week, suggesting the producers had some success in reining him in.

      4) There is a contradiction with my Twitter findings on Craig; there was much more online interest in him last week compared to the one before, while I had him well down on twitter.

  • bunnyman

    Great article Daniel. Last week the market took Craig out to 7.0 as he sang, only to bring him back into 5.6(?) when the judges praised him to the rafters, although in fairness the reaction from the crowd was fantastic.

    I can’t claim this thought as mine, but I agree with the poster who said last week that they might be trying to boost Craig to try and get him into the final alongside Marcus and Little Mix to maximise the chances of the girls by splitting the Liverpool vote. By praising him to the rafters it makes it far more believable if/when they have to save him twice in the next three weeks to get him into the final.

  • Pete D

    Daniel.
    Great article once again. However, I am a bit mystified as to why the all important ‘combined’ Liverpool(+) CC/MC vote wasn’t covered here in depth and of the obvious benefit of one added to the other when either one goes.

    My own theory is, that presuming JANET ‘is’ riding highest in votes (with say a MARCUS running at a steady second) as the STAR leak suggests, then this is the reason why CRAIG has been praised so much in order to nurture and ‘bank’ his Liverpool votes until the last minute ‘bank transfer’, (CRAIG out in 4th place in a very timely fashion just before the final). Even divided, it must be pretty strong regional total to keep BOTH in week after week at this stage.

    With LITTLE MIX running up a fair pace now anyway and intending to do a Pacman style gobble up of MISHA and AMELIA’s votes as THEY go, in much the same game-plan, XF can then further afford to preserve ‘useful old’ CRAIG’s for another couple of weeks until needed.

    With JANET’s votes then overshadowed enough by a visible fair ‘public vote’ (and NOT the Judges tired and strained put-downs), this will ensure the top two planned places for MARCUS and LM (either way in a good ‘does it matter to XF who wins’ bun fight).

  • Tea Monkey

    This year I’ve gone down the route of the spread bet for my x-factor fun. Thanks to this excellent site I managed to buy Marcus at 8 for £25. Winner @ 50, second @ 30, third @ 20, fourth @ 10. Therefore I’m looking at £1050 if the boy brings home the bacon (I’m aware that’s chicken feed to lots of you lot but hey hoh it will pay for my Xmas). I could get out now for £375 but I think he is nailed on for second at least
    SI have now produced their finalist spread. 25 points to each finalist and a 50 point bonus if both make it.
    Currently the spread for Marcus/LM is 30 and Marcus/Janet is 32.
    Buy, buy, buy????

  • CS

    Hi, this is the first time I’ve commented, though I’ve enjoyed reading all the articles and comments this series. Just wanted to mention something I had heard in relation to Little Mix. Last week they were filmed giving a talk in a school to teenagers about body image etc. Sounds like this would have made great positive VT stuff…. but it was never used on last weekend’s shows. This has left me puzzling why? Have producers changed their minds about the recent over-hyping and pimping of Little Mix, or perhaps they are saving it to use this weekend? What do you guys think?

    • EM

      From experience they shoot a lot of video during the week but only a tiny proportion of it gets used in the main show. It might be being held for another week.

      Also Syco have first call on signing all the artists in the show, I think as far down as just auditionees. The offer to Janet sounds like a PR stunt from that label or a leaked story to convey her credibility/complete her journey.

  • Rob

    is it me or has amelia lily publicity been conspicuous by its absence this week? if she was the new plan a wouldn’t there be moves to keep up the momentum?

  • EM

    I think you can learn a lot on which boy is favoured by the comments week by week here. Many Marcus backers have said he’s “due” a pimp slot or due a ballad and it’s never happened. Not one similar comment on Craig as he’s getting more love from the powers that be than Kitty gets from her Botox supplier.

    Which way the public will vote is debatable and open to influence but the producers are obviously favouring Craig. If Marcus comes out early doing another Bruno Mars esque performance (translation tribute act) you know where it’s going to end up

  • Roach

    The first thing in any of their contracts, likely signed at auditions, is that Syco get first dibs on them. So as Em says, the Janet record deal offer is just nonsense PR from a small independent record label (interesting back story here though – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/8775108/Dragons-Den-teenagers-sell-79pc-stake-in-RKA-Records.html)

  • Oscar Diggs

    Marcus interviews Craig in transit to Barlow’s Manchester charity do yesterday – skip straight to 2:50 – Marcus suggests who might play Craig in an X-Factor movie. Nice one!

    Good Ship Marcus – we are sailing!

  • Rob

    there still doesn’t seem to be any let up in the dampening of JD. for instance would you really upload this video if she was plan a?

    • Rob

      i’ve had more time to think about this video now and have come to the conclusion that the sofabet article for janet may be wrong. the reason is that the dampening of janet has been a well sustained drip drip and i think the producers are playing a long game to get rid of janet.

      louis and gary looked genuinely surprised when she avoided bottom 2 last weekend which leads me to think they are completely aware of whats going on. so what do you do when all your normal attempts fail to get someone inside the bottom 2? i’d come to the conclusion that the only thing keeping them in the competition is a solid fanbase and therefore the next strategy would be to undermine that fanbase. so releasing a video of janet calling her fans ‘weird’ and refuses to write back to them appears to me a clear attempt to deter some of those fans from voting. discuss…

      • taichou

        yeah its interesting, but you can also see thats she’s saying “I dont believe them” for which you can say she thinks she’s not good enough to recieve them… kinda humble:D

      • Andrew

        I also heard Janet trying to say she finds it freaky when people compliment her and she isn’t sure how she should respond, which sounds like a normal and healthy reaction.

        I can see how it might have sounded like she was saying the people who write her letters are freaks, which is altogether less helpful (though surely true). I suspect people who are already well disposed towards her will incline to the sympathetic explanation.

  • tpfkar

    Having had a night to reflect I’ve reluctantly laid off part of my bet on Marcus.

    I don’t think he’s in danger this weekend, but the risk is that they send him out first singing an acoustic version of YMCA and his odds will never be in single figures again?

    What’s the dream solution for the producers? I actually think it’s having BOTH the boys in the bottom 2, as they can agonize over the Liverpool battle before saving Craig, giving him the mother of all sympathy bounces as the Liverpool vote moves to him the next week. Can’t see it happening, but stranger things have.

  • Rob

    what is sinitta’s function with syco. for instance what was the point of this visit?
    http://www.ulsterherald.com/2011/11/10/sinitta-drops-into-omagh-for-janet-chat/

  • Oscar Diggs

    Please delete that last post – I messed up, here’s what should have displayed:

    Just been studying Rob’s ‘Google Insights’ link and I am surprised at the low level of recent Little Mix search activity. I was really starting to believe that they could win the big prize but I have just had one of those eureka moments – I think when the dust settles on this years competition I’ll look back in hindsight and think “how could I have bought into it so much to actually think this girl group could ever win?”

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s clear that the producers will give them all the backing they possibly can, but once the girls are in the final I think that will very much be job done. I mean, if they couldn’t push 1D into a top 2 position, surely LM don’t stand a chance.

    Judging from the Google stats there are 2 acts that have been consistently popular over the past 30 days – Janet & Marcus. Craig isn’t far behind but this plays right into the hands of the producers as described by Pete D’s excellent point:

    My own theory is, that presuming JANET ‘is’ riding highest in votes (with say a MARCUS running at a steady second) as the STAR leak suggests, then this is the reason why CRAIG has been praised so much in order to nurture and ‘bank’ his Liverpool votes until the last minute ‘bank transfer’, (CRAIG out in 4th place in a very timely fashion just before the final).

    Little Mix will get the push they need but I’m now totally convinced they cannot win – this one is going to be between Janet & Marcus, and that’s a close call.

    Amelia is a wildcard and she’ll be a contributing factor to LM’s push into the final when she’s eliminated probably next week and her votes transfer to the girls.

    Misha B – she gone girlfriend.

    • Kev

      Google searches for the past 30 days are a bit useless though imo. The girls are growing week on week. 7 days would be more useful but I would still expect LM to struggle in this regard.

    • KingKong'sDong

      Totally agree Oscar.

      LM or any other girl band just will not win. Last year the fully preened and hyped 1D had a steady 3rd place all the way, but never got above 18% of the vote. In the final show their percentage crashed to 13% as a presumed higher total vote rewarded the better singers.

      I’m lumping on Misha to go on Sunday, probably by deadlock.

      • Oscar Diggs

        Think the Misha bet is irresistible, she believes it herself (on TV this morning)…

        I’m just taking it as it comes. It is a massive opportunity and even if I go out this week, I still go out having achieved so many things. This has been a dream for me, I don’t want it to end.

        8/15 best I can find for her to be bottom 2 – but I’m looking for value so a bottom 2 combination is the bet for me. But with who?

    • Pete D

      Oscar.
      Thanks for the very kind thumbs up there. I too get ureka moments (usually in the bath whilst my plastic Duck is being torpedoed by my Submarine a la John Lennon style in ‘Hard Days Night’. No puns please folks, they’re all too obvious).

      You still sound a bit torn over LITTLE MIX regardless, so all I can suggest is go with your gut instinct, but don’t chop around too much or you will lose your focus and spread your bets too thin. This site is a brilliant melting pot of ideas and info to corelate your game plan from (as gambling is not an exact science and as we all know ‘desperate money never wins’).

      Still, all we have are our ‘theories’ right now until it is all over.

      I could still be way off mark with my own LITTLE MIX game plan but at least I will have had some great sporting fun whatever the final result. It is givng me a great buzz for the moment as a possible big return for a small affordable outlay.

      All else stripped aside, my ‘game plan’ study is based mainly in the the man himself KING COWBELL and of what HE wants. Love him or hate him he is a very rich manipulating genius in this industry and is in a prime position to get exactly what he wants (and he certainly doesn’t like being beaten).

      His ultimate quest is world domination in chart pop music and reality tv talent shows. Be very sure that he is still VERY ‘hands on’ with UK XF even though he away trying to crack the USA market. He will saunter back into this show (on a walkway of water) to take over, like the omnipotent Saviour he now thiks he is.

      The ‘office junior’ producers that he has left in charge ‘seem’ to have been making a reet(petite) old hash of things (or have they ?). Was it all in fact intended just to make his ‘International Rescue’ smug teethy grin shine even more upon his return (with an added wink at the camera and Tony Curtis tooth glint thrown in .. tiiing !) ?.

      Everyone out here (including mug voters) are just his Chess pieces where he is planning 10 moves ahead all the time.

      THE PANEL just exercise his ‘attack theme’ for the week and they will do his bidding and operate whatever ‘pincer movement’ on whoever he chooses to massage the votes.

      He has a handful with JANET and knows it, which is why he wants her out (or at least completey supressed and manageable before he invests any dosh in her). Hence my ‘banked and manouvered’ Liverpool/AMELIA votes theory.

      AS I covered above here with ‘intended’ music producer FAZER, he also knew EXACTLY what he was doing there by hiring ‘switch-on’ TULISA. He has a ‘buy 1 get 1 free’ team there and they will take this show to the new modern finish he is aiming for, instead of the usual twee and predictable SOLO winner result (and who always seem to go ‘ffffffuuTT’ afterwards like a disappointing damp squib after an excited build up).

      Reward wise, JLS and 1D seem to have done the best out of the lot for him lately and SIMON’s bank balance proves it. This time he has the loveable ‘well XF groomed package’ that is ready to fill the timely HUGE GAP in the market LITTLE MIX; and he will stop at nothing to get them there.

      TULISA is the the most serious and focused mentor of them all this year and she has her finger right on the pulse of the music buying market too.

      LOUIS is just a clueless pratt. Plastic Fantastic KELLY can’t decide which side of the fence to sit on (even with her own acts) and just uses the show as a platform to act out her fancy sounding OTT slang Americanisms for HARRY HILL to take the utter p*ss out of .. “Hello, hello, hello hello hello” (pass the sick bag please).

      BORELOW ? Great TT songwriter THAT he is now, he works for TAKE THAT and THAT is all he really knows and is good at. When they split, it was reckoned that he was gonna be the new ELTON JOHN, but THAT job is already still taken by the master.

      He now wants to emulate COWBELL but THAT job is bettered too by another master. He spends his time showing his ‘side profile’ to the audience and Lording it over the panel with his ‘Head Judge’ coffee mug in hand instead of doing his proper job, judging the acts (other than his own new ‘mirror image’ Alta Ego and protege, CRAIG the SINGING CANDLE).
      Credit again to tpfkar for that little gem.

      In fact, if I had BORELOW’s money, I would get rid of that big scabby looking thing on the ‘audience profile’ side of his head instead of offending thier eyes with it (whilst he nonchalantly massages his ego and pretending it isn’t there). I would definitely have an AUSTIN POWERS MMUH MMUH MOLEY MOLE moment if I ever met him face to face.

      TULISA aside, all about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

      CONCLUSION…What SIMON wants, SIMON usually gets, and this year it’s a DIFFERENT TYPE OF WINNER to flagship the show AND with another guaranteed instant number 1 Crimbo hit to preen himself over. All the ingredients are in place now and THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO !.

      He has learned a lesson with the ‘Rage against the Machine’ stunt and so far (once bitten) has managed to sidestep it again by ousting JOHNNY and FRANKIESTIEN early.

      He is famous for saying “Right on the Money”. Its his God and he knows ‘exactly’ what it takes to make it. Quite simply, COWBELL wants LITTLE MIX to win and therefore my money is ‘really’ on him at the end of the day.

  • Rob

    apparently dan wootton on lorraine says that songs this weekend will come from the bodyguard, ghostbusters and licence to kill (reported on digtalspy forum).

    ‘i will always love you’ has been used already hasn’t it? if so, will have to be something else?

    if it’s the ghostbusters title track then that can only be marcus which will surely be a disaster… for him?

    ‘licence to kill’ will be either amelia lily or misha b… either way i can’t see that track being a vote grabber for anyone.

    other song hints is that janet is doing something romantic and upbeat. if she has any sense it will be ‘Us’ by regina spektor, which she has already shown she can do well, but there is a nasty rumour going round it will be ‘my heart will go on’. if it is that i guess it does have an irish vibe – it will be either a spectacular success or complete pants!

    little mix are doing an upbeat number and i’m sure craig hinted somewhere where he said words to the effect: ‘i’m doing the biggest movie ballad ever’, so perhaps he’s doing the titanic song instead?

    obviously these are just rumours…

    • tpfkar

      Craig singing ‘My Jar of Hearts will go on?’

    • Rob

      further to song choices amelia lily is doing something upbeat and misha b a ballad so i guess she is doing ‘licence to kill’ if dan wootton correct. it sort of fits – she mimicked aretha franklyn, grace jones and tina turner, so why not gladys knight? if correct i predict bottom 2 again.

      marcus has hinted again that he has found his identity and it’s the interaction with the dancers. it suggests no ballad this week, and if it is ghostbusters i fear for him. it seems a set up for a panning.

      • taichou

        Janet is rehearsing her Saturday night song in the green room. “This week, I have got a romantic song from an American rom-com. I like the movie theme, but I can’t remember much of the film my song has come from. All my favourite movies are quite unknown, and so are the soundtracks,” she tells us.

        feels like Regina Spektor?

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    If you need any evidence of MARCUS’s appeal, ask yourself if there is any other entertainer on the show that the average viewer would look forward to seeing more?
    Is there?

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