X Factor 2011 Week 8 Elimination: Amelia, you remind me of a young Mary Byrne!

A hat-tip to Dug. Earlier this week he pointed out some similarities between 2010’s last five and the remaining quintet in 2011:

Little Mix, the manufactured group who have come to be Plan A thanks to their charm and some serious help with backing vocals.

Janet and Marcus, the front-running male and female who between them have a scouse fanbase, a guitar, authenticity and the housewives vote.

Misha, the female urban act that producers seem desperate to shoe-horn into the final despite an apparent lack of public support.

That makes Amelia… MARY BYRNE!

Astute punters will also remember that at this stage last year, the polarising urban artist Cher Lloyd was coming off a sympathy bounce, whilst the act producers wanted to ditch, Mary Byrne, was due a sympathy bounce herself. The result? Mary duly bounced above Cher, who finished bottom in the public vote. And the show held a singoff – unprecedented at the semi-final stage – and took Cher to the final.

Now they face a similar situation one week earlier, with Misha playing the role of Cher and Amelia starring as Mary. Will they be as successful getting rid of Amelia as they were with Mary?

First of all, we have to ask ourselves how likely it is that Amelia is in line for a major de-ramp. We do think they will try to dampen her bounce, as they clearly did with Mary last year, rather than take the other approach that would be obvious for this weekend – work with the grain of Amelia’s bounce and accept jettisoning Misha. This is for reasons we have stated before about how we think Amelia’s return in week 6 will damage the franchise more the longer she stays around.

We therefore agree with Dug when he goes on to say:

If we are to pay any attention to this pattern then we should keep our eyes peeled for some serious assassination on Saturday. It’s almost 100% guaranteed that a girl will have to leave, considering the fact that they now make up 60% of the contestants. I reckon they’ll throw the book at Amelia in order to stop her bouncing.

1) Death Slot
2) Red and black
3) One upbeat song that makes her look a bit Kitty
4) One ballad that’s set below her comfortable range
5) Bad camera angles
6) Some congrats on having reclaimed her place BUT
7) A subtle suggestion that she doesn’t quite fit
8) Drastic styling
9) A VT that shows her looking a bit cocky / lifeless / lost

Dug’s list reminds us of the 28 ways we discerned that Wagner had been cut loose in last year’s live shows. We half expect to be talking of 28 ways later in an article about Amelia Lily’s treatment after this Saturday’s show. At just 2/1, however, the seeming likelihood of an assassination attempt is factored into Amelia’s price, and it’s just too short for us to recommend it.

A key question for punters in the elimination market this weekend is obviously whether or not there will be a singoff. Every time we have had a final 5 at the week 8 stage, there has been no singoff (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009), with the act finishing bottom of the public vote instead leaving automatically.

However, we think the most important piece of form is last year’s surprise semi-final singoff, which showed that producers were willing to keep viewers in the dark about whether or not there would be a singoff right up until the Sunday show. Judging by the forums, most viewers had assumed the act with the lowest public vote would leave when Dermot closed the Saturday show with the words “It’s now all in your hands, your votes and your votes alone can get your favourite act safely through to the final” – although in our update post after that show, we pointed out that there was wiggle room in the word “safely”.

It remains to be seen whether the announcement is clearer this Saturday. But our best guess at the moment is there will probably be a singoff, from which we think the show will probably be hoping to be able to save Misha over Amelia.

It does seem that Misha, like Cher before her, will struggle this week. A tabloid story alleging she bullied a blind girl is hardly going to do her cause any good. Meanwhile, Gary set up the idea that she will return to the striking but unpopular performances we witnessed earlier in the live shows. It makes sense for her future career to remind viewers what her USP is before she leaves; quite what the impact will be on the voting public is another matter.

However, whilst a record of three out of seven bottom two placings wouldn’t look pretty for Misha, it would be two out of three for Amelia if the Middlesbrough lass is indeed Misha’s opponent. This is even worse, especially as her one non-appearance will have been the week of her triumphant return. We think that would give reason enough for it to seem acceptable to ditch Amelia.

Producers may also be calculating that Misha would be the less likely of the two to enjoy a bounce in the semi-final – and if they were to accept losing her at that stage in a public vote, that would set up an intriguingly unpredictable boy-girl-group final none of whom had touched the bottom two, which may possibly be their intention.

However, we are getting ahead of ourselves. What chance that one of those other three contestants will fall into the bottom two this week?

Janet is pretty short in the elimination market again, this time at 10/3. However, her performance and treatment last week was the best since ‘Fix You’, and she has had some positive coverage in the press this week: a bullying sob story; switching on the Christmas lights back home in Omagh; talk of her collaborating with Coldplay in the final; and the possibility of her singing a Nirvana song. Even if neither of the latter come to pass, it is useful publicity for the show.

We are still not sure about how producers feel towards Janet, but given her less negative treatment last week and greater share of column inches this week we can’t recommend her in the elimination market.

Marcus Collins is arguably on the big side at 14/1 to be eliminated, given that the Liverpudlian lad seems to have lost some momentum in recent days despite last week’s pimping, with his closing crucifixion pose proving an unfortunately abiding image. And we think producers are unlikely to want him to win the competition, given that his future is looking like it lies more on the West End stage than in the pop charts.

However, we still reckon they would like to see him in the final to give Gary a runner. He had his own tabloid sob story this week and some highly positive press. And we also can’t ignore the fact that with Craig Colton now gone, the Liverpool vote and granny vote can consolidate behind him (the most recent YouGov poll unsurprisingly showed Craig and Marcus were easily the most popular acts with the freedom pass brigade).

Finally, we have Little Mix, who producers look desperate to see in the final. We are confident they would be saved against anyone even if they drop into the bottom two, which we think is unlikely.

What do you think? Will Amelia Lily be the one to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous X Factor fortune, or might they decide to just jettison Misha B instead? Is our assumption that a Janet-Marcus-Little Mix final is the hope producers have settled on a correct one? Let us know in the comments box below.

95 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 8 Elimination: Amelia, you remind me of a young Mary Byrne!

  • Annemarie

    It appears M & S have removed Misha B from the end of their Xmas advert.
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/3959134/X-Factor-fix-fracas-after-telly-ad-swap.html
    She has benn replaced by Amelia Lily. A bit of a disaster all round for M & S!

  • Jack

    In your Final 16 prediction, you made the point that it was easier to guess last year as last year the Alpha-boy, Alpha-girl and Alpha-group were all identified before the live shows began. Now, eight weeks later, it is obvious who the Alpha-boy (Marcus), Alpha-girl (Janet) and Alpha-group (Little Mix) are.

    I think that you are 100% right. If there is a B2, it will be Misha and Amelia and Misha will be saved on the basis of Amelia being in the B2 two weeks in a row.

    If there isn’t a B2, then the producers will do all they can to get Misha to stay ahead of Amelia. I am confident that Amelia will be 4th and Misha 5th in terms of votes this week and think that they will have a B2, with Amelia duly being booted out.

    Janet, Marcus and BixMix (Love The Bitch Factor and The Apprentice!) should be safe this week. It all comes down to which order Misha and Amelia will be dropped off before the final, imo.

    But a girl needs to this week, the show is too top-heavy with them.

    • Curtis

      I think you might be looking at this the wrong way round. It’s quite conceivable that the producers will decide whether there is a bottom 2 based on what the result is (as they did last year at the final 5). If Misha is bottom, they can have a bottom 2 and save her over Amelia. If Amelia is bottom, they may elect to not have a bottom 2. It’s just a question of whether it will be explicitly revealed on Saturday whether there is a bottom 2 or not. If there isn’t, expect that the producers will be following this strategy of choosing on the fly.

  • Sarah

    Is it just me that also thinks that the producers and ITV would absolutely dread the idea of an all female final? Especially with the ratings issue at the moment. I think its actually a bigger issue then the problem of Gary being act-less.

    Considering they have gone all out with a Wembley final, I can’t see them wanting to ruin that with no male contestants (which would alienate a lot of their viewers).

    If they get Marcus to the final (assuming he is struggling) they will obviously try and stop him winning, but I am pretty sure until that point they will be trying to pimp him as much as Little Mix).

  • Kate

    If Misha is in the bottom two and gets saved, would that create enough of a sympathy bounce to get her into the final? Or, would her survival for a third time create a kind of ‘negative bounce’ as viewers react with a weary sense of “how on Earth is she still there?”

    If we buy the idea that the producers can sympathy bounce desired acts into the final at this stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marcus or Little Mix in the B2. It’s quite difficult to see who’s considered the most disposable girl at this point. Misha has, debatably, the least chance of winning but I get the impression (perhaps wrongly) that she’s Kelly’s choice… though not necessarily the show’s.

  • Pete D

    Just caught ‘Wishing on a Star’ video on ITV 2. Sounds fabulous !! Very impressed with MARCUS’s falsetto parts and LITTLE MIX look and sound ‘the bomb’.

    Even JANET was sweet and palatable (and without managing to attract a herd of Mountain Goats around her feet YODE-LAY-HEE-HOOO)

    • Ronnie

      You only really hear Perrie in the song, Pete – it’s quite obvious now that they see her as the lead singer in the band.

      I thought Janet sounded fab – so too Sophie and Misha.

      • Pete D

        Ronnie. Yeah MY BT Vision box is throwing a wobbler so can’t rewind or watch recordings to analyze it again properly. Just caught it whilst on the phone too when my ears pricked up. Will try YouTube.

        BTW, Yes , they ALL seem to record well anyway so all have a chance of some sort of post XF career.

    • Jake

      Little Mix’s segments were a bit disappointing. It was basically Perrie and backing singers (she did sound fantastic though). I agree that Marcus sounded surprisingly good. From watching both the M&S ad (where he now has a lot more screen time) and this new single, I actually think he has a very good recording voice. In fact all the remaining acts do (although Amelia is the most generic).

      • annie

        but sophie is like woooow, on the M&S and here too. So gutted she went that early, brilliant brilliant and instatly recognisable recording voice. why why why was she so neglected during preshow and slaughtered so early on. oh well…. 🙁

        • Jake

          I think Sophie is the biggest (and most underrated) loss on the x factor this year. I reckon she would have been a massive success. Great tone and recording voice, but a strong versatile voice. Really surprised she was neglected by the producers (just look at the negligible audition and boot-camp footage) over the likes of Amelia (generic) and other acts.

  • Ronnie

    Hello Daniel & Andrew,

    I just thought I should point out that the automatic new post Tweet alert didn’t occur for this piece. Slight technical problems?

  • jashala

    I just think with 16 people on one song its hard to work in and spread around parts for groups, Perrie’s voice range was probably more suited for the song. When they are doing there own performances its easier to work around parts, and harmonies, because its just them.

  • Pete D

    Wishing on a Star (YouTube sound only, only decent one I could find and poor quality but gives you an idea until better version is posted).

    So if you like listening to songs through a pillow whilst scraping your fingernails down a blackboard, give it a listen.

    http://youtu.be/giJDGh5s1ag

  • lolhart

    I’m pretty confident we’ll get a singoff this weekend if the “wrong person” is at the bottom of the public vote. They got away with it last year so why not this year. On a different note, the stories in the media about Misha B are getting more outlandish, with this mystery girl claiming she even bullied the blind.

  • tpfkar

    It strikes me that this article is the wrong way round, but probably ends up in the right place. First q should be whether Marcus, Little Mix, or Janet could end up b2. I can only see Marcus, and that’s unlikely as Sarah says above. My bet this week has been laying Janet to go – silly odds as if she’s been comfortably safe so far she’d have to go behind Amelia/Misha to be in trouble.

    So assume it’s a Misha/Amelia B2. Are the producers really as bothered as you imply? I’m not that sure. Lose one this week, lose another next week. Does the order they go really matter? Nah. Is Misha somehow more marketable from 4th than 5th?

    Put on a great show first and foremost, work on re-establishing Misha as urban, work on pushing little mix and reining in Janet/Marcus. Then come Sunday as long as it’s one of those two who is bottom, let them go.

    • malcolm

      good point tpfkar, could any of the 3 unlikely ones – Marcus, Janet, Little Mix end up bottom 3?

      If Marcus or Little Mix strayed there it could really help me if they join Amelia there. This week i pinned my early hopes on Amelia going. I wouldn’t like to see her paired in the bottom 2 with Janet.

      Much more likely to be Misha – Amelia, with Misha saved because the judges think she has more talent and Kelly favours her over Amelia. I’ll be watching more nervously this week.

      • Boki

        If they are scared that one of “top3” would end up in bot2 the simple solution is to discard sing-off and let Misha go, next week Amelia and that’s it. That clashes with the reasoning of keeping Misha one more week so at the end they should treat Amelia with full package of nasty tricks described above…

  • Pete D

    Another ‘WISHING ON A STAR’ video link. YouTube are taking these down quite fast so view it whilst you can.

    A lot on there are really ‘pants’ quality, as obviously rush filmed from the telly with a phone cam. This one is quite a clear enough picture for now, and sound is a bearable but scratchy low quality mp3.

    http://youtu.be/dizSDTXWzhQ

    Any views on how it might influence voting ?

    I was actually very impressed with CRAIG’S cool sounding vocal melody line (whilst he was searching the sky looking for falling snow to eat on his new diet), very nicely done there LA !

    KITTY in there too for a nicely done very short line off the back of one of PERRIE’s.

    Cements MISHA in well throughout and pimps her as a ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ big softie.

    AMELIA looked (as Jake said here) rather ‘generic’ and a ‘hanger on’ in the wings, heard but not feature video’d singing. Time to go this week perhaps ?

    JANET and MARCUS are really great and pro sounding, can’t fault at all. Even SOPHIE was pretty cool sounding.

    Where was JOHNNY though ? Nice popular guy and deserved to be a part of it really.

    No FRANKIE of course (probably off snorting snowflakes somewhere after a dealer suckered him into thinking they were magic and could make him sing)

    Star of the show for me was LITTLE MIX’s PERRIE and it shows her BIG agile voice off fantastically ‘a good few times’ with some very nice Celine Dion-ish Titanic-esque dreamy reverb/echo trails, especially going into the run up to the big finale with the ‘mega successful’ feature bands JLS and 1D.

    (hint hint, 3 Musketeers ‘all for one and one for all’.. with a vote band, vote band, vote band, “you know it makes sense Rodney” subliminal message to end with).
    Luverly Jubbly.

    All in all a great sound and vid and moving enough to bring a tear to a glass eye.

    Would also be nice to think though that if all you ‘high rollers’ out there have made a bundle so far and also have a nice ‘bookie lift’ at the end of this marathon, that you would like to share a little of it (more than just buying a CD) with the charity itself.

    http://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/

    “One reaps as one sows”

    • sam

      nice link pete, thankyou, to the charity itself,i think we can all at times get caught up in the finantial aspect of this show but its humbing at times for us all to remember why they make this record in the first place,food for thought for us all i think.

      • Pete D

        Hi Sam. Cheers and no probs. Tough finding a video that was anywhere near palatable to the senses (quality wise) until we all get the chance to capture it on recorders later.

        Yes, had a health wake up call myself this year as you may have gathered, so it grounds and alters one’s priorities a bit and humbles one’s self to the fact that there are STILL those out there who are much worse off.

        I have at least had a fortunate life thus far and most of these poor brave kids have only a short one to face (and STILL manage a smile….ooouch).

        On the LITTLE MIX front, no offense taken. It’s all down to fair personal taste and I was little disappointed myself that they did not feature the full group a little better (though ‘hey’, PERRIE was is a fantastic flag flying representative for them and has plenty of quality feature).

        BUT, XF had their ‘carefully worked out’ reasons and it is not all about that really as it WAS packed with moving charity goodies (lest we forget) and there was obviously a lot to edit and shoe horn in fairly. Felt like they used LM as a nice repeated anchor point though. Message in there in itself perhaps ?

        • sam

          your welcome pete and i do understand on your personal front situation,some times we as people need to focus on the bigger picture now and again to see what really matters.
          yes i to did find it a little diapointing on the little mix segmant of this record though to,may be if they had droped the jls/1 direction slot in they could have given it to the girls to sing as a group.
          but its a charity record and i guess it matters not how much time is given to your slot in the record but that your on it in the first place.
          any who,back to the issues of who says and who goes in the show tonight,its a hard 1 for me to call,i do think 1 of the girls will go as there to top heavy in that front ,which 1 i cant decide yet, im a bit of a devliner at heart so hoping its not going to be her but to be honest it could be any of them as they all seem to have had some ups and downs this week,and maybe even marcus as he to has had some good and not so good press this week,but i dought it as hes the only guy left in and i think they need that in the show to keep it very open .

  • Boki

    Hi Daniel, I basically agree with the as always spot on article, just don’t understand why is it so important to get Misha 4th instead of 5th. It happened last year so I guess there was a reason but last year it was a 4 act final an this year “only” 3. Can you elaborate more on that fact please?

  • sam

    just caught and listened to this year charity single after trying to find 1 that works but even though i enjoyed this song i so had a few issues flotting round in my head as i watched. 1) why did they feel the need to inclued both 1 direction and jls in THIS years single as they are both PAST contestance of this show,(did they feel this years act were just not strong enough to carry through it without some more well known people init.)2.)i did enjoy this song the stand out artists for me were janet=top girl,marcus=top boy,misha=good,amelia=good,soffia=better than i thought she was,shame shes out of the show really, but i could on really hear 1 of the little mix girls this to me sounded a little poor on the producers side to me ,they should of sung as a group not as the 1?,given they are still in the show and a few other who are not seem to me anyway to have been given bigger slots.3)does anyone know when this single was made .ie how long ago,as to me this could answer a few questions on the above about little-mix as they have really only come into there own over the last 2-3 weeks(sorry pete nothing against the girls,really!)

  • fiveleaves

    I wouldn’t be backing Amelia to go after reading todays Star story.

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/222546/Amelia-Lily-in-sob-factor/

    • Curtis

      I struggle to believe that the producers are lining up Amelia to win. Last week was a clear attempt to stifle her votes (though they probably didn’t mean to push her all the way to the bottom 2. If there is any truth to that story then it’s probably related to contestants’ bitterness about her readmission to the show than any actual concrete evidence the producers want Amelia to win.

      As for the sob story bit…well I guess we’ll have to just wait and see on it. If it’s true then it will undoubtedly help Amelia’s bounce. Maybe they’re ready to drop Misha? Or maybe they’re ready to throw Janet or Marcus to the wolves. I agree that there’s no point backing Amelia to go, but mainly because of the the short odds as opposed to this story. (Marcus to go on the other hand may be worth a little bet)

    • Andrew

      Fiveleaves, the other way to read that story is “Amelia is getting unfair help”, which hardly seems calculated to increase her vote. If it is actually a vote-suppression attempt, it shows some chutzpah! 🙂

      • fiveleaves

        Interesting take on it Andrew.

        Yes the way the Star article is written isn’t helpful, but the vt most certainly will be.
        If it’s anything like they suggest it will be.

        On all these shows, what is seen on the show is what counts.

        The press coverage/spin has very little impact on your average viewer/voter.

        • fiveleaves

          People will vote on the emotional impact of the vt, not the spin any paper puts on it.

        • Andrew

          Hi fiveleaves, I agree with that, but as we haven’t seen the VT yet we can only speculate about the article.

          There was more on this in the Star last week
          http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/221619/AMELIA-S-BLINDNESS-RISK/

          each time Amelia takes to the stage to perform, the extra adrenalin produced in her system could send her into a diabetes-induced coma.

          I’m going to be really interested to see how they play it tonight. On the face of it, sure, it’s a sympathy vote getter. On the other hand, is the sympathy going to translate into votes? “Poor girl, I’d better vote for her so she’s here next week to dice with death again”?

          Maybe I’m overthinking this. Will see tonight!

          • fiveleaves

            Yep, definitely an interesting night.

            My sense is they want Janet out, but as always I could be wrong and TPTB don’t always get their way.

    • Pete D

      fiveleaves. I saw this AMELIA one coming too after reading about it earlier this week and I have been aghast.

      Coincidently my good lady (in her early 50’s) has EXACTLY the same debilitating condition with the same type/level of Diabetes. In fact only this week has she a had one of her regular corrective eye laser treatments for the bleeds to help prevent eventual possible blindness).

      So AMELIA’s story IS true. What beggars my good lady is that WHY is AMELIA actually putting herself through this HUGE RISK and pressure when she will have been CLEARLY warned by Doctors of the health consequences ??

      The condition requires careful measuring and balance over 4 times a day with closely planned eating and advanced preparation for adrenaline boosted moments. Too much/too little Insulin before/after and certain food type can bring on a ‘hypo coma’).

      So there are a few ways to observe this (and XF had better be ‘thoughtfully’ careful here with her VT).

      Will it be done as a gentle ‘Pontius Pilot’ message that she has had her 15 mins of fame now so “bless you and on yer way love because this biz could harm you and we don’t want to be responsible”.

      In fact, WILL XF even want to risk her having a ‘moment’ live on tv or on the grueling tour ?

      OR will folk wrongly see it all as a sympathy bounce to encourage her back and vote for her (only to put her through FURTHER health risk and discomfort) ?

      Personally, we think she is a silly fool for putting herself and her loved ones through it (and they are just as bad if they are encouraging her in the apparent serious circumstances).

  • Ben Cook

    Have been catching up with all your articles on this year’s X Factor and it’s fascinating reading. I wasn’t particularly cynical about producers favouring certain contestants before though you are beginning to convince me they do.

    I’m not totally convinced they are anti-Amelia yet because why bring her back in the first place, and perhaps they don’t necessarily agree that a voted out contestant winning would be bad for the show. It surely wouldn’t be worse than another boy winning. Amelia at least has the popstar package – and if Louis is the one who sticks to the script the most, why was he pimping her so much last week?

    But I will watch out with fascination for those 9 things. Maybe even Louis will turn on her. I’m surprised they aren’t going all out to get Janet out and the only explanation is that she is doing too well in the vote. But to be honest I think they would prefer to see Misha as the final girl so I wouldn’t be surprised if they had another go at getting Janet in the bottom 2. Amelia might still be saved yet.

  • Ben Cook

    fiveleaves – will be interesting to see if she does get that sympathetic VT. Perhaps she will get that but still get the death slot etc, making us more confused than ever.

  • fiveleaves

    Sympathy is the biggest motivator to vote that there is on this show.

    If Amelia does get the full treatment this week then she could sing during the break and still not be B2.

    It looks like get rid of Janet week to me.

    They’ve been softening her up over the last couple of weeks and this is the week they’ll finish her off.
    With kindness obviously 😉 Much like Craig.

  • shoulders

    I think the producers plan is to try and keep Misha in for another week and for this reason I have a bet on for Amelia to go. I think the producers intentions are all too clear. I mentioned before that when Frankies VT showed him going out on the town in different night clubs, boozing, chatting up women and not taking the competition seriously basically making him look bad, that it was a whole lot of effort to go to if the intention was to get rid of him. They could just given him a death slot, a song that he couldn’t sing and told him he was rubbish. I think the effort they put into producing his VT showed they wanted him around longer.
     
    Similarly last week, Mishas styling, great song choice, great running order and great VT showing the bond and connection she has with Kelly (both of them crying, Kelly saying I understand you etc.), also shows they want her around for as long as possible. They didn’t need to go to all the effort to get public sympathy for votes just to get her to this week if that is a far as they want her to go. They could have just let her fall into the bottom two and then saved her and she’d still be here.
     
    Like you say it seems very obvious the show is following the same format as last year in regards to contestants left. I think like Cher, Misha is defiantly one the acts they will want to release records with. (So is Little Mix, so is Janet, Marcus?? If he wins they will!!, Craig can’t see him in the charts, nor Amelia)  Misha is there to earn some cash from the record buying urban supporters and the longer she stays in the competition the more exposure she is getting (and as for the negative press, they always say no publicity is bad publicity). This week with two songs will be a good thing for the show and keeping Misha another week. I guess that the first song will include a rap just has Gary asked for which will show people the type of artist she will be in the charts and the second song will be something softer which will appeal to the wider audience or visa versa.
     
    Amelia came into the competition with quick talk that she could win (Louis and the bookies odds) but after her bottom two appearance she has no chance. I also don’t think she is someone that Syco will get behind to release records (from last year it’s been Matt, One Direction, Cher and Rebecca that the show has pushed 4 acts) with the 5 acts left I don’t think there is room or the time from Syco for her with the other contestants all gearing up for chart releases and for that reason she needs no more exposure and I’m hoping for my bet this turns out to be true.
     
    I think they have set up the show last weekend for any possibility this weekend in regard to a Misha / Amelia bottom two. If they don’t want to look like they are saving Misha for the third time they can use deadlock. This can easily look plausible in their reasons to save Misha. Louis has supported Amelia to win the competition, Tulisa sticks with her urban roots, Kelly has her connection with Misha. Gary has said in his comments to Misha to rap, saying if you go out its going out as who you are, so he could choose Amelia. That would be 2 votes each. In fact Kelly and Gary could even easily find reasons to switch in their vote.
     
    Or they could just vote Amelia out. All this is my thoughts because it looks most likely that Amelia and Misha will be in the bottom two and I believe the effort they have been going to get Misha further in the competition is to get her as close to the final as possible for maximum exposure for her post show career and stopping this week is a week to soon when they can have her on the television again next weekend with another 14 / 15 million people watching her talent, what other artists are their in the charts that can get that kind exposure before they’ve even released their first single.
     
    If they ditch the sing off I think it will only be because they know Amelia will be last, at least this is what I am hoping for my bet!!!
     
    On another topic the M & S advert. It seems clear with the switching round of who sings when and the removing or lowering the amount of peoples solo efforts in the ad as they leave the competition that some idea of the producers intentions of who they want to progress further can be gained. Misha has had her turn singing the closing shot, now Amelia is there now which I believe is so that she also has her turn before been voted out this weekend. Janet, Marcus and Little Mix have not yet had there turn. I have the feeling that when the show finishes the ad will have just the winner singing with the rest of the contestants doing the backing. If this turns out to be right it seems likely that the reason why JD LM & MC have not had there turn to sing last yet is because they are not leaving soon. Who is picked to sing the last bit next out of JD LM & MC could be the person/act who the show believes will finish 3rd????
     

  • Ben Cook

    I reckon you’re reading too much into the M&S advert. Why would M&S allow the X Factor producers to dictate their own advert. I suspect they had already done the Amelia finish cut of the advert before she was bottom 2, because it was starting to look like she had a chance of winning.

    I think it’s definitely one of the three girls going this week but it could be any one of them. I don’t think we should forget that one excellent performance from any of them could keep them out of the bottom 2 whatever the producers do.

  • Annemarie

    I see the Janet haters are out in force again today. Generally, the press coverage has been very positive for Janet this week. However, there are a couple of media articles this morning about her that do not have a lot of substance but appear to be trying to reinstate some negativity about Janet: she is a loner, she does not like the sound of her own voice etc. The headlines of these articles have been twisted and do not exactly match the content of the articles. Particularly ridiculous is the ‘loner’ article on Tellymix. This article has been cobbled together from old press items and given a subjective twist by the author. Watching Janet’s latest VT’s on the official X Factor website the content of these latest articles just does not ring true. It has now become impossible to believe anything certain sections of the media writes about X Factor or indeed any other subject.
    Negativity about Janet only increases her core fan base vote. My bet is still Janet will make the final three. Aside from the ‘bullygate’ allegations Misha is just not that popular. If Amelia gets to the final, people will cry FIX as they have done already with her appearance in the M & S advert. That only leaves Janet, Marcus and Little Mix. If one of these three is in danger of falling in to a shock bottom two this week perhaps it is Marcus: not because he deserves to be there but he has been cruising along in the competition, not too much publicity, good entertainer with a pleasant voice, but nothing to get too excited about. So perhaps one to watch.
    As a previous contributor stated, wouldn’t it be nice if the three most worthy acts reached the final and from then on ‘Let the best act win’, no dirty tricks. We do not need the hate factor that has surrounded this year’s competition. Life is too short!

    • sam

      hi annemarie,have to agree on this one,im bit of a devliner at heart,and see there trying it again with her this week,but like you say its only going to make her hard core fans out there even more determined to get her past the finishing post.some times i think they are trying to use the reverse psychology approch to her to much as it swings both ways.
      Seems they are trying it to with misha/amelia to this week,both have positive but also negative with both of them,this bully issue that flots about on misha is starting to really get to me now,i for one dont know her and so do i think that 95% of the people who write stories about her know her either and now they are pointing the finger at amelia due to the M&S ADVERT and saying the FIX word again about her.think it time to stop all this and start concentrating on the performances and not on the MEDIA RATS out there making up stories about them.
      If only some of them came on here (the sofabet site)and read REAL peoples thoughts then they might rethink their stance on making out that people are a certain way,or may be im just to nieve to think that somewhere in the darkness of the MEDIA RATS heart that they could really care about these performers.

    • Ron

      The producers’ dirty tricks against Janet actually seem to be backfiring on them, as they are making Janet look like she is in real danger every week and are therefore mobilising her fans to vote for her. Janet’s best ally in the competition at the moment is Gary Barlow with his constant criticisms of her.

      • Noisy

        Maybe that’s why they’re doing it. Maybe they figured she’d be safe till the final so are just trying to maximise her loyal local phone vote income by making her appear in danger.

  • Dug

    My assassination theory was very much meant as a reflection of your wonderful Wagner analysis last year. Thought it would be fun to be on the look out for specific stabs. Let us see!

  • Pete D

    Been doing a little facebook homework and although sometimes hard to identify ‘genuine’ sites from fan built ones, the apparent genuine ones all seem to have the ‘proper’ new charity single links in place as a possible clue.

    JANET’s site ‘likes’ numbers are a whopping 260,000 (ish) and appear around 200,000 ‘above’ nearest rivals of still buoyant LITTLE MIX and MARCUS if they are at all anything to go buy to indicate general public support.

    So therefore doubt JANET will even get a sniff at a ‘sing-off’ with her obvious support (unless as a ‘safe’ XF set up).

    AMELIA’s fb isn’t too clever at around a lackluster 29,000 (if I found the right one) and MISHA’s is around 46,000.

    http://www.facebook.com/AmeliaLilyOfficial

    http://www.facebook.com/MishaBryanUK.

    For me tonight, regardless of a due and ‘fair to everyone’ sympathy VT, AMELIA is gone and can only lose in a planned sing-off to a (far too obvious to have to go ‘yet’) MISHA as they WILL want to save her to be 4th next week after going back to her singing/rap roots as part of a tv ‘variety show’ package.

    (OR even in a sing-off against an alternative ‘safely stooged’ solid MARCUS just to create some drama and sharp “how can this be” intakes breath perhaps ?).

  • djr

    New on Sofabet.Great thoughts here.The whole mess with the girls on XF has been done by Janet and her fans.
    The xf obviously is not able to destroy her(but will try at least 2 more times):
    1.MISHA is the one that was choosen by produsers and KELLY! to be at least in final 3 (Thats why after
    :fix you:Janet has problems with jadges etc.
    2.Amilia got to the show as joke(r).If she is in b2 with Janet-Janet is out,if with Misha-Amilia is out.
    3.I am sure the producers will still do everything to make Misha to the final.The game is not over yet.
    (JLS was in b2 and finished as 2-nd)They do not give a d.. wheather Misha was 1,2,3times in b2.When the show end
    it does not matter so much (it metter but not so!-finishing as 1,2,3-is more memorable and marketable than b2’s)
    4.Janet’s soft treatment in last series might be cause by 2 reasons.Ferstly they want to make her fans think she is
    safe now so they wont be so desperate in voting,secondly if they do not succeed with Misha then Janet wont be totally
    wracked by them in the final and they need a really good one.
    5.Little mix will receive all possible support to win this competition (does not metter if it was plan A or B)
    6.Marcus will probably get to the final 3 but I’ll be suprised if they let him win.

  • nugget

    At home tonight (pizza, cola, chocolate cigs and loud TV ) 🙁 ….still trying for tomorrow…..

    Goona be a great show….predict a Misha/Amelia bottom 2 ….but wouldnt like to call the winner of that one.

    Convinved that Janet has enough of a fan base to keep her out of bottom 2 this week even if she sang ba ba black sheep.

    Littlemix, as long as nothing goes wrong, ditto…enough of a fan following (some obsessive 🙂 ) to keep em out of bottom 2.

    Marcus is a funny one, there is a danger he could stray into bottom 2 territory this week, but I doubt they will want an all female final 4, so he would doubtless be saved if he did.

    As I said earlier, I have finished my punting on this series. Would be intrested to know if anyone here will declare their investments on this weeks show?, no after timers please 🙂

    In my mind its all looking very tricky now.
    You have to give the uptmost respect to the producers for turing the decline of show around in last couple of weeks and keeping us all guessing and debating from a punting perspective. All the remaining acts have great talent in some shape or form and its quite a nice final 5 left IMHO.

    Off to have a hot bath now before the big event.

    • tpfkar

      Hi nugget,

      I’ve already declared I’ve a modest punt against Janet to go this week. I am very concerned by Mmmbop as a song choice though and will consider hedging early if it looks like something is up.

  • sam

    death slot pridictions tonight anyone?i know they each get 2 shots at it but soneone still got to go first on stage or does it really matter whos first up at this stage of the game and its more about song choice and vt slot editing.

  • CllrMick

    One thing to bear in mind is as an act gets eliminated, where would that acts votes go to presuming they go anywhere. Did LM benefit from The Risk going out?

    Did MB benefit from Kitty as they are both OTT styles?

    As for Craig’s votes you have to take into account the gay vote IMO so that would be MC, but in style of music JD would be closest and benefit.

    This week I have opted for JD to be saved first at 10/3, just because I think she is due a first call out.

  • shoulders

    Amelia Lily – China In Your Hand & Since You’ve Been Gone

    Janet Devlin – Mmmbop & Under The Bridge

    Little Mix – Baby & Beautiful

    Marcus Collins – I’m Your Man & Lately

    Misha B – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun & Killing Me Softly

  • Nugget

    Thanks Shoulders

    Janet singing mmmm bob……bad choice IMHO

    • R

      All week I’ve been thinking that any song for Janet starting with the letter B would be a subliminal “boring” message to the audience. mmmboring could fit the bill and could be a song she’ll struggle with.

      I have a sneaking feeling that Marcus may not be safe as there have been some negatives about him this week, although all the acts except the Mixers have received some bad press over the last few days

      Guess we’ll all just have to wait for the red and black to let us know what the producers have in mind.

  • Nugget

    Justin Bieber Baby ?? Could work well for LMix…Is that Beautiful by Chrisina Ag ??

    Marcus choices again make him look slightly old fasioned and dated ??

    And shocked by Misha B singing Girls Just wanna have fun (bullying blind girls)

    Amelia singing China in your hand, could expose her limitations

  • CS

    Hmmm ‘Killing Me Softly’ for Misha B – subliminal message to voters? Likewise Marcus doing I’m Your Man?

  • Boki

    Guys, sorry for asking so late (was away whole day), does anyone remember last year Mary Byrne bounce dampening – were she attacked on both songs or maybe only second one? I’ve never witnessed two songs per contestant in a show so don’t know what to expect 🙁

  • sam

    if janet pulls off mmmbop then no one can ever say again shes predicable/borring ,if not could be the worst mistake ever,and at this stage could be a seroius gamble
    marcus=again,im your man=wham.that will either make or break him.these two songs are very cheesy but can work only if they are spot on,and people love it
    by bet its one of these 2 to start the show given the above song choises tonight

  • Jake

    The theme is guilty pleasure so I think they are meant to be cheesy and just some light hearted humour.

  • Nicky

    I totally agree the show has been pushing Misha to get her a respectable finishing position. The comparisons with Cher Lloyd hold up except when it comes to her fanbase. They’ve tried desperately to rehabilitate Misha post bullygate, but if she only just scraped through last week, might they think, ‘this just isn’t working’? It isn’t necessarily enough just to finish in the top four to make signing an act viable. Surely Syco would want to feel there were enough people interested to buy the records? Cher had an enormous youth following despite being unpopular at the same time. However, given that they want something different this year and are trying to muscle in on where it’s at with the kidz, ie, the urban scene, I’m sure their new producer Fazer would want to work with Misha.

    Amelia’s songs this week look a bit blah to me.

    If Marcus actually sounds as good live as he does in the charity single, it could be a good night for him.

    Having subjected myself to US X Factor this week, I would imagine Simon Cowell likes Janet given the way he goes all gooey when Drew sings. She’s more annoying than Janet, yodelling and yelping on practically every word!

  • Nicky

    Just noticed that Strictly finishes at 8.15 tonight.

  • EM

    Amelia’s up Craig Coulton creek based on those songs, neither is particularly popular. Mischas getting the big push on this week.

    You want value? Marcus or Little Mix bottom 2 based on those songs

  • Nugget

    oh dear….LM not good…..

  • Curtis

    2nd in the running order again for Janet?! She’d better have a better slot in the second half or you’d have to say she’s the fall girl this week.

    • Curtis

      So Janet’s gone. I assume they’re going to try and eliminate her without the need for a bottom 2, perhaps that’s why everyone who isn’t Janet is getting massively pimped for terrible performances!

  • sam

    i hate to say what i going to say but janets blow it big time,fogetting the words and getting all the bad comments.not good,if she does not get a better slot and sings better second time around i can see where its going tomorrow night

  • toby

    Wtf is going on with the acts and song choices tonight?

  • sam

    as i said cheese(or guilty pleasures ,not so much pleasure i think!!!) either works or it dont work, so far for me it has failed miserably its like being down my local on a friday night,

  • Amelia: Red and black, on first, negative comments etc etc. How can everyone get it so wrong? Over analysis/assumptions IMO

  • Jack

    This running order has left me completely bewildered. Unless LM smashed the vote last week and producers are convinced they can survive…

    Why put Amelia Lily on last and over-praise both her and Misha? I just don’t know. Janet really seeming like she is the fall girl, but she’s been had worse songs and survived.

    So, in summary, I haven’t got a clue what they are thinking.

    Unless they read Sofabet and are trying to be unpredictable…

    • Noisy

      Maybe they’ve just been scraping by each week with loads of producer help and they’ve decided to try and drop them into bottom 2 this week to bounce them into the final?

  • Nicky

    Is Janet infact the Mary Byrne figure? The Irish vote wasn’t enough at this stage last year.

    • annie

      i have a hunch the voting figures are much lover this year than last, that’s probably why they added 1D and Jls to the charity single, cause they were probably afraid it won’t sell enough.
      so maybe this is janet’s hope, the irish hope counts as more this year as it did last. otherwise they did everyth\ing to slay her, even the newly discovered red and black background 😀

  • annie

    It looks like actually the one who reminds us of a young mary byrne is janet devlin -the act that defied the not very good comments and not very nice treatment from producers week after week and survived again and again (not without the help of the lovely irish), who probably topped the votes in the beginning, and was hard work to be dragged down week after week, but they managed in the end, even if it takes adjusting the rules if necesary. You’ll see, there’ll be a bottom 2 tomorow, cause i’m not sure they managed to drag her down to the bottom, and there she’ll be eliminated against any of the remaining.

  • Kramer

    Seems to me that they are doing everything they can to get rid of Janet hence the pimping of Amelia who is the most likely to be below her based on previous. As things stand, even if little mix finish below Janet they can save them and also bounce them into the final.

    I noticed Louis also said everyone in Ireland was voting for Janet; a subtle claim which discourages voters in both Ireland and the UK from panic support to keep her in.

  • sam

    im seeing now how they (the dodgy producers)are playing tonight i think ?or not? little mix on first v janet on second in bottom 2, and with all the studio getting behind the mixs and public hype for them cant see how i am (sorry i mean the voters)are going to keep J in .But its going to be a long 24hrs to find out

  • tpfkar

    I fear this will be an expensive week.

  • Aquarius

    The song choice killed Janet tonight, while the opposite can be said for the others. I particularly like the first song of Amelia. Anyway, despite being a fan of Janet, she greatly disappointed me this week. Chances are that she will land in bottom two, possibly with Marcus or Little Mix, and will be voted off.

  • AlexK

    So Janets been dumped on then?

    Nice red and black background, mediocre comments, rubbish song choice, crap VT boyfriend!?, 2nd in running order. Unless. She is so far infront they are trying to dampen her?

  • Jake

    Marcus’s ballad was stunning.

    The first part was pitchy (he really needs to work on that lower register) but wow that 2nd half was fantastic. Lovely performance.

  • marinamau

    I watched today for the first time in weeks. I havent missed much I think.
    Micha B is by far the one that is got the X thing, but she is hugely unlikable.
    Marcus performance is good and can sing but his voice is so mediocre, I really can’t see Syco wanting him as a winner.
    Little Mix are teh only ones I could see myself voting for, just because they are decent singers, they are likable and marketable so I think they clearly can have a future as recording artists.

    Amelia lily, too generic. Didn’t she have the Black and red backdrop on her last song?
    Also, did they kept the order of performance for the second half last year? I am confused now regarding the producers intentions.

  • sam

    i think you can read into some of the interviews and press clippings that janet has done over the last week or two (if you can believe any of the media rats)she not really bothered if she stays and goes this week,and really if she does leave this week i cant blame her for thinking that.
    this years show has been nothing short of the ridiculous,its been nothing more than “see who we can screw over this week”from the producers and the judges week after week,i mean just take craig last week,”lamb to the slaughter” and if i were in her or any of the other acts positions right now then i would seriously consider what the future hold on the show.
    i have to agree this was proberly her worst week in the entire show ,but the mixs to did not quite get the reaction i thought they would either,infact the only one i see any positive responces to is marcus.

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