X Factor 2011 Week 8 Review: Janet Devlin – the Princess Diana of the X Factor

They thought she was naive and pliable. They assumed she’d be so grateful at having been chosen to join them, she would uncomplainingly play the role they had mapped out for her. By the time they discovered she had a strong will and a mind of her own, they were stuck with her. Then they found she was infuriatingly popular with the public.

The fact and manner of Janet Devlin’s departure leave little room for doubt that since week 3’s live show, part of our Saturday night entertainment has been The X Factor versus Janet Devlin. In the red corner, a money-making corporate juggernaut. In the blue corner, a seventeen year old from Gortin. They knocked her out in the end, but it took them six whole weeks. Six weeks!

When the royals had finally cut Princess Diana adrift, they found that the saga had exposed rather too much of their inner workings for comfort. Could the bosses of the X Factor find the same? Because we can learn some very interesting, and rather disquieting, things about the show now that we can review Janet’s journey with knowledge of its ending.

First of all let’s quickly recap how the show has been stuffing Janet these last few weeks, as Ben in the comments to yesterday’s post queries it: “why do you say it’s the producers that make her come across as boring, when all along it was Janet doing it herself. She picked most of her songs herself. It’s not their fault she isn’t very good. They might have given her early slots a lot but apart from that…?”

Let’s get those early running order slots out of the way with. After getting the week one pimp slot, Janet hasn’t been let near the favoured end of the show, singing 4/12, 2/11, 6/10, 2/9, 4/7, 2/6, 2/5. Compare the help for Misha B: 9/12, 11/11, 5/10, 8/9, 6/7, 4/6, 3/5.

To answer Ben’s question, you must remember that the purpose of judges’ comments is to create perceptions in the viewers’ minds. Seasoned observers of this show are well used to smiling a wry smile as mediocre performances from favoured acts are hailed as incredible. With Janet, it worked the other way. While some of her performances were dire, notably ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’, others were much better than the judges’ comments made them out to be. If any of ‘Under The Bridge’, ‘Kiss Me’ or even ‘Somebody To Love’ had been stuck in the pimp slot and praised highly, nobody would have batted an eyelid.

More to the point, whether Janet’s style is to your personal taste or not, in assessing the show’s treatment of her we have to compare apples with apples. Janet’s audition ‘Your Song’ had all four judges looking rapt; her bootcamp ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ appeared to bring Kelly to orgasm. Were these two early performances in such a different league to the aforementioned three later ones? Surely not.

The show also uses VTs to shape viewers’ perceptions of an act. In her last few VTs, we have learned that Janet is boring, has odd tastes in music, is boring, is weird, is boring, doesn’t like Christmas or pop music or guilty pleasures, is boring, is a nightmare for the stylists to work with, is boring, demands control over every aspect of her performance, and is boring.

It is safe to assume that this was not in the original script. Janet’s introduction to the viewing public was as far removed from what we’ve since learned about her as it’s possible to imagine. On the X Factor’s official website, the blurb under Janet’s audition video says: “She’s not sung in public before due to a lack of confidence”. Whoever wrote that evidently hadn’t youtubed her; Janet herself presumably remembered having sung in public before, so it’s interesting to see how she cleverly avoided an outright lie in her audition VT: “The reason why I haven’t really been out singing is probably the lack of confidence”.

Watching this back now, it becomes possible to imagine what might have been going on here: Janet being questioned in such a way as to elicit answers that fit the role the show has in mind for her, as a shy girl who rarely ventures outside of her bedroom, and searching for forms of words (“really”, “probably”) that don’t make her feel uncomfortable.

After week 6, we wrote an article noting how the show’s treatment of Janet changed in week 3 – the week her VT showed Louis saying she’s “boring”, and tabloid journalists looking for a polite way to tell her the same thing to her face. We speculated that the reason for this switch might have been that Janet had done so well in the first public vote, the show had decided it needed to take her off the boil to avoid a walkover, before turning up the heat again in time for the final. We now know this theory was wrong – they really have been trying to get rid of her, all that time. So the question we asked then still remains: What changed around the time of live show 2? There was some interesting debate around this issue in the Sofabet comments box yesterday.

Jack writes: “Was it Week 2 when she picked her own song? If so, maybe then producers realised just how difficult she was to work with?” We do now need to reassess Janet’s week 2 VT, which you could read either way: apart from the reference to her grandfather’s death, there was a segment about how she’d been an unpopular loner at school. At the time it seemed to be feeding a “look how far she’s come” narrative; now we wonder if the intention was to start planting the “unpopular loner” thought in viewers’ minds.

Meanwhile, abs reckons: “I think she tried to play along at first (like changing the colour of her hair) then just got more and more uncomfortable until she started saying no (probably starting around week 3)”.

What is so hard to understand in all of this is how the show’s producers could apparently fail to have realised that Janet was feisty and self-possessed when they set about packaging her as a meek little mouse. This is 17 weeks of ITV weekend primetime we’re talking about. Wouldn’t you want to be fairly confident that you’d pegged somebody’s personality right before you cast them in a starring role?

Lolhart speculates: “Maybe because Janet has quite an awkward almost introverted personality TPTB misinterpreted it as being passive. We know most of the regular team went to the US this year and so maybe their replacements were not as skilled at figuring out who would make the “right” finalists. Or maybe Janet was actually quite clever and knew how to or was willing to play the game in the beginning”.

An alternative explanation is offered by annie: “Do you think that Drew from across the pond may be to blame for the dropping and slaughtering of Janet Devlin as soon as the live shows kicked in? … If Janet would have made it to the final, would Simon have really wanted to sign 2 similar sounding artist”. Maybe – but the show could have ditched Janet at judges’ houses (filmed the second week in September), or even at the twist instead of Amelia Lily. It seems likely that Drew would have been on the radar by then.

What intrigues us more about the Janet-Drew comparisons is the sense that both US and UK production teams appear to have been working off the same cribsheet when casting their respective series: “Shy young girl with vocal affectations”. That they decided to cast Janet in this role either tells us that they hadn’t done their homework on her, or lays bare how willing they are to portray their acts in a way that bears little resemblance to reality.

Of course, it’s hardly a shock that the way acts are presented on the X Factor may not be the way they are in real life – though it is a surprise to see the show itself effectively acknowledge this by presenting us with two such different Janets in the space of four months. What is a shock to us, however, is perceiving quite how spooked the show appears to have been by discovering it had an opinionated 16 year old on its hands.

Sofabet commenter abs puts it well: “I think they wanted her out as soon as they realised Janet just wanted to do it all her way… from song choices, to singing, to styling… don’t think that goes down very well in a show were every move is calculated.”

They could, after all, have chosen to take the view that Gary expressed in his comments after ‘Under The Bridge’: “In the past I’ve sat here and called you boring, you’re not versatile, and you’ve completely ignored me and come back every week and been yourself, and that’s ultimately what we’re looking for, someone who is their own person”.

Apart from the amusing implication that ultimately the show is looking for someone who completely ignores Gary Barlow, this is of course the exact opposite of the conclusion we can draw from Janet’s treatment – the show is, by all appearances, utterly incapable of coping with someone who is their own person.

And this – even more than the unpleasantness of bullygate, even more than the silliness of the returning contestant – is what makes us fear now for the health of the franchise: the sense that the only way they knew how to respond to a 16 year old with an unexpectedly well-developed sense of self was, apparently, to set out to destroy her.

This time last year, after Wagner’s week 8 exit, we found ourselves wondering: “why did Simon feel the need to be so classlessly smug about the failure of the “vote Wagner” campaign in his closing comments? Wagner has served the show well, and it left a sour taste.” It seems there is something about the X Factor, week 8 and classlessness. In the singoff decision, Louis twisted the knife thus: “I am going to pick the person who I think is going to give the most to the competition, and the person that wants this the most”. Tulisa decanted salt into the wound by saving “the person that I think has potential when it comes to a career after the show”. Would it have hurt to be gracious?

This is feelgood TV gone bad, and a franchise in dire need of a 2012 reboot.

Later this week, further thoughts on the shape of the win market. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Janet’s death of a thousand cuts the morning after? Please do keep the conversation going in the comments box below.

90 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 8 Review: Janet Devlin – the Princess Diana of the X Factor

  • tpfkar

    Really, really good article. I totally agree that Janet’s treatment is the worst indictment of the show this year, and there is a decent selection to choose from.

    Others have noticed that an act performing next to Janet is almost always in the bottom 2 – even in her death throes Janet still managed this.

    The comparison on my mind this morning has been Matt Cardle. The favourite from the start who the show didn’t want to win. What would they have had to do last year to stop him? Probably most of what they’ve done with Janet, although he was at least prepared to wear yellow trousers, and was better at remembering song lines (although as I posted Saturday night, my fear is that the producers messed with Janet by changing the arrangements of her songs to throw her off – this is beyond any presentation issue which is where I can’t agree with last night’s post.)

    However they made the decision last year that the damage inflicted on the show by bringing Matt down was greater than the damage of him winning; this year’s producers clearly saw it the other way round.

  • Boki

    Nice recapitulation, would also be interesting to see the voting figures to realize how wrong we all were about her chances. You forgot one thing though, didn’t mention she was really boring 🙂

    If I was only the viewer of the show (so no punter) I would be deeply dissatisfied with treatmant of not only Janet but also Craig, Sophie and some others. It’s no wonder they are losing viewers with this blatant pushing/assasionation techinques. What I don’t know is if this year was especially bad in that respect or was it always so obviously bad tasted.

  • Highlighted

    The death of a thousand cuts was so bad and painful to watch, I am surprised there are not more complaints to Ofcom. Sadly, there are people out there who are still led like sheep.

  • Boki

    I’ve just did a quick scan of bottom 2 in first 7 series.

    Only Katie Waissel survived 4 sing-offs while two of them were on deadlock (2nd and 4th).
    Only 1 act (group called Hope) survived 3 sing-offs while one on deadlock.
    This year we have Misha surviving 3 of them without deadlock. The 4th save would be utterly stupid by them but what do I know…

    • Andrew

      Hi Boki, Hope were the first time they had a serious go at getting a girl group some traction and it did start to feel like flogging a dead horse. There is also an intriguing question mark over whether the Katie save vs Treyc was planned at all or a serendipitous outcome of a Dermot cockup – find it on youtube and see what you think. Could easily have been a cunning plan, but nonetheless it remains the only recent exception to the first-on-goes-home rule.

      Don’t forget how high Katie bounced after that fourth singoff save. Maybe they’re thinking the same might happen with Misha?

      • Boki

        Hi Andrew,
        That Katie’s jump after 3 times in a row on bottom 2 is really amazing, while based on the bad slot in week 5 it seems like they gave up on her at that point and saved by mistake.
        Misha has at least some regular up and down positioning, maybe it is time to bounce again and maybe it will be sufficient to treat Amelia with known bag of tricks.

        Btw, I almost missed your reply due to the fact you have to scan the whole page all over again sometimes because “latest comments” field is not so big. This is actually my first minor criticism to this site, I guess you guys were not prepared to such high amount of comments so it would be nice to see a change in the overview or something else (the other option is that we the commentators write only relevant things – that includes me so often).

  • lolhart

    A really good analysis and interesting read. The funny thing about Tulisa sticking the knife in is she also said she was saving the person who would sell albums and tours. But she said the same thing to Janet the night before. She’s definitely proved not to be the upstart that some predicted she’d be.

    I can’t help but think the treatment of Janet is partly a reaction to Matt Cardle winning. TPTB didn’t want him as the victor and he’s proved to be the loose cannon they probably feared he would be. The difference is Matt was consistent in his performances and unlike Janet didn’t give them as much to use against him. And although I feel Janet was treated terribly, the contestants must know by now that you’ll have minimal say on your career or how you’re presented once you sign up for the show.

  • Nugget

    Whilst I agree with much of what is written, I fall short of feeling sorry for JD.

    Ultimatley she has raised her profile, built on her already substantial fanbase and looks destined to earn a handsome living out of her distict, quirky voice.

    This is a business, it is not like the XF is new to anyone, and people entering know what is involved and the pressures they face. JD, CC, Sophie etc all make the decision to play the game in the beleif that the financial rewards make it worthwhile. All are on the tour and all will probably earn more in the next 12 months than you and I (Daniel excluded 🙂 ) are likely to in the next 12 years.

  • Kev

    Like Matt Cardle she knowingly went on a show that just wasn’t her.

    A 16/17 year old Matt would have kicked off regarding song choices, styling etc too and he would have had to have been killed off. Fortunately for Matt he was much more mature and knew how to play the game, although he had to cringe his way through a lot of the nonsense.

    I don’t have any sympathy for Janet. Six months ago, her chances of breaking into the music industry were pretty much nil. Now she has an excellent platform to build from.

    I’ll look forward to laying her for Eurovision in 2013 when there is talk that she is getting her guitar out………

    • Curtis

      I think it was far more mature of Janet to realise that X Factor and to abstain from the game than to simply compromise yourself for the show as Matt did (and then worse, moan about it). I disagree with how Misha is playing the game as well. That said, I don’t feel sorry for Janet. This is a great springboard for her. I just believe thatthe show severely mishandled her and by the end it left a bit of a bad taste in the mouth.

      Superb article. I’ll give a more detailed response later when I’m not using my iPod

  • Highlighted

    Btw, a bit off topic, but what of Misha then? It’s clear since gunning down Janet, they also made no secret of preparing Misha as top girl and hoping for the final. If this is the case though, why in week 3 did Tulisa and Louis accuse her of bullying, thus planting this idea into viewers minds (she was already not exactly likeable either and I doubt was topping votes at that stage). Was this just a production error thinking the reaction may have been different or the tension between Tulisa and Kelly already showing at that point so Tulisa wanted to get one at Kelly?

    Whatever it is, I think it’s stupid that backstage circumstances affect the winner of a singing/talent contest. Like the Janet boring VTs. Her backstage persona was made to look awful and it cost her alot of fans over the weeks.

    • lolhart

      The bullygate accusations still make no sense. At first I thought that Misha was causing trouble behind the scenes for the producers and it was a deliberate attempt to damage her. Alternatively, she was seen as competition for Janet or Sophie who were the real favourite in Kelly’s category. Of course, neither of these theories are plausible now as Misha is clearly the favoured girl.

      The only alternatives I can think of are that firstly this was a rare incidence of the judges not following the script. Tulisa seems very protective of her acts and when she confronted Misha about her behaviour, it was the perfect opportunity for her pal Louis to chip in. More disturbing is that it was possibly an ill-advised attempt to create some controversy in an otherwise dull series.

      • Curtis

        My opinion is that the producers simply wanted to create controversy with bullygate, and potentially even sympathy for Misha. I think they didn’t expect it to backfire as it did which is why Misha has been given the softer styling in later weeks.

      • Andrew

        It really is hard to make sense of, so I’d also reckon it was some kind of controversy-grab that went badly wrong. As Kate says below it’s hard to believe that Tulisa’s opening salvo wasn’t carefully planned, although Louis’s unleashing of the “b” word felt like it might not have been. I wonder how differently it might have played out if Louis had avoided saying that? Still hard to see what they were hoping to achieve, though.

        • Nugget

          It was fatal for Misha though Andrew, are we all in agreement that there is NO WAY she can recover enough public support to win this?

          Remember she is up against the squeaky clean Lil Mix girls and the equally likeable Marcus. Surely Misha should be 66/1 to win this now?? The amount of public votes she would have to recover must be enorm
          ous?

    • Kate

      My (entirely speculative) take on Bullygate is that maybe there was some tension behind the scenes, it hadn’t been resolved through normal channels, and Tulisa took it on herself to issue a coded warning on the live show.

      Ill-advised though this was I don’t think Tulisa would have said it without producers’ approval. Possibly they were hoping that Misha would respond with a kind of Maybe I Have Been Too Aggressive/But I Just Want This So Much/I Will Learn and Grow response designed to set up the latest step of her narrative. But she didn’t rise to this, leaving Tulisa flailing and – ultimately – Louis chipping in with the B-word.

      Or maybe Misha simply wasn’t Plan A. At this stage the producers may have thought that Janet or even Frankie were salvageable, Bullygate happened spontaneously and is now a bit of an elephant in the room where they’re plotting her victory party.

      • Chloe

        One possibility that occured to me was that there may have been a rift between Syco and ITV, as the ratings have been an issue. I can’t imagine that ITV were happy that Syco took the more experienced producers with them to the States along with Simon Cowell and originally Cheryl, and would not rule out that they decided to create controversies and buzz against the label wishes.
        Following this, there was reports that SC was threatening to ditch the UK show, although it was reportsed ‘because of the ratings’, but it doesn’t make sense because the ratings are still very high. It could have been a threat to ITV, leading to another u-turn and full on Misha support again…
        Just a thought of course…

  • Nick D

    X Factor isn’t home turf for me, but a few thoughts…

    Assume for a second that the producers have been on top of this situation since before the TV shows began. Your complete picture might then be:

    Auditions 1: Put Janet on a very high pedestal from Day 1, the big threat to every other contestant’s winning chances. Every trick in the book, and an audition that’ll do a Susan Boyle.

    Boot Camp/Judges’ Houses: Continue painting her as Plan A, but sow some slight seeds of doubt (which jaded cynics will conclude is just setting up her journey 😉 ), and also portray her as the one who takes away popular Jade’s place in the lives.

    Lives 1: Pedestal treatment again. Pimp slot (when it doesn’t matter) to skew the series statistics, first save, and an overwhelming impression that this lady isn’t going to be needing public support any time soon because she’s so *obviously* the Producers’ Choice and getting preferential treatment all the way.

    Lives 2: Commence the assassination proper. Whilst biding time, perform a sequence of clean kills on all contestants *except for Team Kelly* where saving them against Janet wouldn’t look good.

    Meanwhile, Team Kelly gets some extra-special treatment so that it survives weak (hello Sophie-at-Amelia’s-Expense, hello Bullygate, hello Amelia’s Parachute). Weak enough that when Janet hits bottom 2 and the chance comes, it’s against one of her teammates – at which point Louis and Tulisa will vote against Janet, and Kelly can tearfully and theatrically refuse to strike the final death blow.

    Thereby striking the final death blow.

    It’s either really quite brilliant or I’ve grown a bit TOO cynical in my old age.

  • CllrMick

    In this interview here she says she knew by Wednesday she was going to go. Why Wednesday? It’s the same feeling al the outgoing contestants get by Wednesday.

    http://tv.uk.msn.com/reality-tv/x-factor/x-factor-2011-janet-devlin-id-have-felt-guilty-if-id-won

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    I was very surprised to see Janet go. I had thought her fan base was so immense that she was unstoppable. Clearly she hasn’t been topping the poll every week, but she deserved to go because she was unprofessional in forgetting her words, and always looked miserable which in view of her treatment on the show is hardly a surprise.

    I think AMELIA LILLEY must be a genuine threat – her performance on Satruday was excellent, it really was. I just dont believe her vocals are quite good enough to clinch the title.

    My teenage daughter and her friends are all huge fans of LITTLE MIX but it isn’t the kids who are the kingmakers in these shows, it is the crinklees like me and the missus.

    Sail on the good ship!

  • malcolm

    I thought the elimination on Sunday was very poor, the final moment of long assassination. I did think the judges were probably squirming as they stuck the knife in. To her credit Janet for a girl of 17 took it very well, considering the treatment she has had.

    Don’t get me wrong, she probably deserved to go at that point on her performance, though i wonder how much they had tried to unsettle her? The treatment of her wasn’t very subtle, I was surprised she even came out for the 2nd song. The transparency of the workings of the show have been revealed too much this year. Janet first in the sing-off, they couldn’t even mix that round.

    I wonder each week how gutted the contestants are when they find out they are on first? or how much jealousy and ill-feeling it must create between the contestants. When they get called first in the sing-off they must be gutted. They know the formula.

    I’m sure the last minute switch to opening the show must have unsettled Craig the other week.

    The difficulty now is next weekend, one of the incredible acts they all raved about this week has to be made to look poor.

  • CllrMick

    Tweet from RKA Records UK (a Duncan Bannatyne Co.) We can confirm ‘Janet Devlin’ has been offered a recording deal with us

  • R

    Sorry to be a little rude but I can’t believe there are still people who read this excellent site and fall into the same old X-Factor laid traps. We should all be viewing the show with extreme caution. Any bad performance is usually down to several key predetermined factors, unsuitable song choice, bad staging, switching positions at the last minute, etc maybe even giving the contestant a bad veggie curry the night before can be added to the list. My reading of the crucial artery bursting stab to the jugular was forgetting the lyrics not once but twice. Her explanation for the first time was that they changed the structure of the song twenty minutes before she went on (People seem to forget this). Maybe this was planned or maybe it was her mistake and a godsend to TPTB, planting the idea of how they could ultimately get rid.
    Have to say, she did handle the elimination very well.
    Did I hear right on Sunday? Dermot: “What are you most looking forward to?”
    JD: “Getting out of here.”

    Maybe not much sympathy but an awful lot of respect from me.
    Janet Devlin – the standard by which all future annihilations will be measured – I salute you.

    • Highlighted

      If you watch Lorraine aswell, R, they also asked her a few questions and she said she is glad she has gone as TXF is like a karaoke competition and she wants to do her own stuff. She hasn’t said much bad about the show or its producers as they deserve, simply the format of it and kept her identity in tact all the way through the competition. For that, I hope she is the most successful act to come from this show, though I feel LittleMix eventually will be.

    • sam

      R,i totally respect you.well done.
      never has a more true word been spoken.
      watch some of janets tv interviews shes done today and read between the lines,she cant say the”F” word(thats FIX not some other F word)cus shes still under contract to the show in some way but i read it very well,she did say though she did not want to be a PUPIT.
      ALL HAIL MISS DEVLIN FOR STANDING UP TO THE MIGHTY EVIL COWELL EMPIRE.
      for all the other acts left i say wach out cus your all going to be screwed over if you dont play by the rules and let the show pull your strings on this pupit(or is that muppit show after seeing olli mars on sunday)show

  • Colin

    Janet used the show as much as they used her. I believe that she is smart enough not to burn any bridges.

  • Nugget

    Apologies in advance as this is completely off topic…I know I am in the presence of much more knowledgable people than me here (Fiveleaves, Dan, Andrew, HenryVII, Shoulders etc)

    I need some help…..I am totally involved with a lil mix top 3 bet at a combined average of just over 5/4. Its pretty much all of my bank roll betting wise, and though its small fry to some here, it is a lot for me.

    By betting on Lmix to be next elimination at 12/1 I can effectively lock in all my winnings now for a payout of around even money.

    Do I take the money and enjoy the rest of the series OR is this just throwing some of my winnings away for no reason??

    Please advise, what would you do??

    Thanks

    • Andrew

      Hi Nugget, personally I would lock in because I’m a loss-averse wuss. If I had Daniel’s balls I’d let it run 😉

      Think of it this way – you’re being offered an annoyingly expensive insurance policy against an unlikely calamity. Is it worth paying to have the peace of mind? There is no shame in buying peace of mind…

      • Nugget

        Thanks Andrew, I suppose another way of looking at it is would I be happy to place £1000+ at 1/12 Littlemix to be in the top 3 today??

        I think you have convinced me and as they would say on Dragons Den “I’m out” !!

    • Pete D

      Nugget. Not being a regular punter I’m unashamedly a bit thick when it comes to all the mathematics of what position you are in (‘locking in’ etc).
      What is the advantage of doing any more betting like that on a highly risky and unlikely outcome ?
      On the surface, taking and running sounds best option to me to enjoy what you have built up thus far.
      There are still some straight forecast bets out there if you just want to have a dabble for fun to still feel part of the final outcome (and for that bit an adrenaline rush to wash down a glass of Scotland’s finest with).

      • Nugget

        I was nervous enough Saturday and Sunday PeteD, I cannot face the thought this week of hanging on every note Perry and the girls sing, worrying about song choices, forgetting lyrics etc, and then relying on the dirty masses to, as Louis would say “Pick up the phone and vote!!”, all for just a little greed (an extra 10%) on my part when the profit is there for the taking.

        Call me a wuss but I am getting out :-)….I got the final to look forward to

  • Tim38x

    A superbly written article.

    Yes, the final wound on Janet was self-inflicted with that first (disasterous) performance on Saturday night, but even had that performance been completed without error, the target had clearly been painted on Janet’s back by the producers and her mistake just made it a lot easier for them.

  • abs

    One other theory is that Janet was Plan B … and got dumped as soon as producers realised Plan A was working….

    Believe Little Mix were Plan A all along, and this is why …

    One question that has constantly been dwelling in my head is ‘When did Little Mix become favourites with producers? And what is different to previous year’s group, making them such as a success?

    My initial thought was that this act’s popularity surprised even the producers themselves, saw the potential in them during the live shows and took the opportunity to continue showing them support to get a group to the final.

    At the same time, thinking back to a year ago and the reason why One Direction did not win the X factor makes me think the producers have known all along this was an act they wanted to push to the final and to a potential win, having learnt a lot of lessons from last year’s attempt to push One Direction.

    Reading back through the Sofabet article ‘Will a group ever win?’ it seems what’s gone wrong with OD has been carefully planned with LM.

    1. Unlike One Direction, these girls were never featured during the auditions. This makes it easier for the audience not to think of them as ‘rejected soloists’, a problem which One Direction, specifically Harry and Liam had as people always remembered their first audition as soloists.
    2. This has also made it easier to make them credible as a group, rather than 4 separate individuals – again Liam and Harry were the standout vocalists in OD, making the others come across as pretty faces who do not add much to the band. On the other hand, no girl in LM has come across a lot stronger than the rest, all musically talented.
    3. A common problem with groups in the past was the inability to get the audience to identify with them (unlike a solo artist with a particular story). Producers were careful not to tell us a lot about these girls in the initial stages of the competition until they threw in Jes receiving nasty comments and insecurities. This has been the one major story line of the series people can easily identify with.
    4. Last year, producers picked the concept of ‘young handsome male contender’ that had worked well in the past and multiplied it by 5 to get OD. In my opinion, this year they picked the ‘Ugly Duckling’ idea (which has given 2 previous winners, whereas young and handsome male such as Daniel Lloyds has not done so well in the past) and incorporated this in a group – Jesie – with three pretty girls around her which even though the support and friendship has been more than once underlined, they are the same reason why Jesie feels so conscious about her size.
    5. Another mistake that happened last year was not giving OD members an identity – like JLS wearing different colours had. Producers achieved this very subtly with LM at the start of the live shows – who needs the girls to wear specific colours when they could be easily identified by their new hairstyles? This was part of their Week 1 VT.
    6. OD’s hype was evident from the very start of last year’s series, a factor which I think worked against them last year. Being immediately branded as the ‘next big boy band’ created huge expectations for them, which they never lived up to and never created the momentum they needed. On the other hand, LM did not seem to be hyped up at the start of the series, despite having really good comments from judges. It is interesting to note though that through the live shows they’ve moved from being ‘The best girlband on the X factor (not a lot of competition there) in Week 1 to recently being ‘The best girlband to come out of the UK – giving the perception they have made huge progress throughout the series.
    7. In week 1, Tulisa was so desperate to pitch them as ‘the girl group to represent girls in this country’ she didn’t even wait for her turn to speak.
    8. Even in Week 1, the judges avoided comments like ‘you’ve only been a month together and you’ve come so far’ to stop reminding viewers these are an X factor made group, rather than a group of friends / siblings which historically has done well in the x factor.
    9. LM is not only made up of rejected soloists, but also rejected groups. Reviewing the female groups from auditions, it seems to me the producers were clear on what they were looking for – pretty girls who do not come across as threatening, ie not in your face sexy. This trait was definitely important in how they have been branding the group (girl next door, represent women, will not steal your bf, etc)
    10. During the big twist in week 1, Tulisa called Rhytmix as the first act she would save after saying how hard this decision has been. Can this be to give the perception these girls were her very first preference, an easy decision?
    11. The regional vote is also an interesting one : two out of four girls come from the same town. The split Essex vote (with 2 shoes) was eliminated from the start. As soon as the girls started building momentum, they had a VT highlighting where they’re from – all a coincidence?
    12. At the start of the series I never understood why Nu Vibe were sacrificed so early in the competition, especially after being hyped up during boot camp. Out of the boy bands, Nu Vibe was the one who would appeal to young teenage girls most. Coincidentally, the same can be said of James Michael and Amelia, all gone so quickly. That leaves us with no young, straight male heartthrob in the competition (unless you count Frankie) to pick up these female teenage votes. On the other hand, the ‘Ugly Ducklings’ were also all eliminated – Mischa branded as a bully, Sophie gone by Week 4 and Janet being the producers target since Week 3. Could this all have been a plan? Maybe Janet was Plan B?
    13. Week 2 – once again, girls are introduced as ‘the best girlband on X factor’ and ‘ the girls next door’, followed by a VT about failed girl bands (reinforces first tag) and Perrie letting a burp slip and talking about how much chocolate she eats (definitely not I want to steal your bf characteristics). Interesting Jesie commenting at the same time that Perrie eats without putting on weight while she sniffs something and puts on weight …. Interesting considering what will follow a couple of weeks after.
    14. Initial weeks producers were careful not to be seen giving too much attention to these girls, building up the momentum rather than start on a high to drop week on week ( One Direction). Week 4 is when things got serious, pimp slot together with an excellent song choice and production – ET. Believe they never looked back after that, and by this time most of the competition for female votes had gone.

    Could go on and on forever ….

    Thoughts?

    • abs

      Also – I believe the last thing the producers wanted this year was another male winner, hence a female Plan B. Janet’s treatment on the show might have been very different if Plan A (Little Mix) wasn’t working.

    • lolhart

      Abs you make a lot of interesting and valid points. I’m still more inclined to believe that Little Mix have been fortunate to become serious contenders rather than it being a long-term strategy. I think a lot of the evidence for them being Plan A could also be interpreted as the producers trying to ensure that a girlband actually managed to stay in the competition for a good few weeks, rather than ending up like Belle Amie, Miss Frank etc. Also, I think they really wanted to push the idea of Tulisa being a successful mentor and a saviour for the groups in her debut series.

    • tpfkar

      That’s really interesting; lots of good points that had passed me by. However given the history of girl bands, and the deliberate strategy not to over-pimp in the first couple of weeks, there must have been a risk of them going the same way as previous girl groups early dooors.

      Perhaps once it became clear that they were viable, a couple of weeks into the lives, they could then ease off on the B-Plans. The Risk self-imploded but Janet took all their efforts to dislodge. No idea if this is true, but you’ve made it sound very possible.

    • Andrew

      Hi abs,

      Really intriguing. Lots of great points.

      How do you account for week 3, though? Poor slot of 4th in the running order and diversionary judges argument. To me that suggests either that producers were happy for them to be at risk of the singoff, or were confident that they weren’t at risk of the singoff. But for them not to be at risk they’d have had to have done very well in the first public vote, which seems hard to believe given the record of girlbands and – as you say – the relative lack of early attention.

      • abs

        That 4th slot followed Sami, producers had already decided she was the one to leave that week, and accomplished exactly that. Big contrast between Sami moaning about her song choice, and the fun the girls were having.

        Their VT is positive, girls almost come across as a ‘family’ (one actually describes herself as the mum). Jesie is also described as emotional – definitely something the producers will utilise later on (suggesting the longer term plans they were possibly making).

        I believe at this stage, the aim was to keep them away from bottom two until the serious pimping started in Week 4. Agree week 3 seemed to take a lot of attention away from the girls, but in my opinion this made their pimping in Week 4 a lot stronger, as they virtually came from no threat to serious contender.

        I struggle to find any other reason why from such poor treatment in one week, they were given so many favours one week later.

        I think the producers knew all along this was a big risk (ironically another group was named The Risk!) and were unsure whether it would all work, hence why a very strong Plan B (Janet) was needed.

    • Probably best post ive seen on here for a while, by abs

  • sam

    iv said it before but ill say again ITS A FIX.
    This show could not be anymore obvious if it tried,ok i know some of you guys out there who have read some of my posts over the last few days may think im slightly bitter as i was a JD follower but im not,ive just seen the light,and now im free… i just read this show for what it really is A SCAM . ive seen 2 interviews today from janet saying she knew she was leaving wednesday,but how did she know this if this show is not FIXED in some way ??????,its simple they wanted her out weeks ago but could not seen to do it,FOR WHAT EVER REASON I DONT KNOW but it could not of been that hard with all there powers, so they sent her to the gallows on saturday night to prove once and for all there the ones who control the strings on these pupits,but they proberly told her that they wanted her gone so she would not make a sceen on live tv like kitty did or katty waisell last year,,it gave her 3 days to get us to it,why else would they have let her go home to turn on some petty chrimbo lights and to prepare her frieds and family for her home comming and not make her practice for the show.
    my advise to all who are backing your acts,watch out cus nowbody will be spared on this show,some how they will be sacrafised but proberly much less obvios now janets gone.
    next act for the slaughter house=4times bottom runner .. MISHA..even a fixed show cant push her in the final as cowell will be slated so much ofcom may investergate,and the GBP aint nieve either to believe its not a set up, after being down there so much she has squatters rights i think!
    Final 3=the sugar plum fairy “AMILA” third place as any higher will scream the “F” word again.”see above” enough said.
    2 place= Botoxboy MARCUS,great voice,i have to agree but not suitable for main stream people and i think they know that all a abit dated to me but people lv him and thats enough for the show i guess,just not the winner they want which is drum roll please…..
    1 place=the little-fixups,the girl group of choice for the show exec from week 3 onwards could not be pimped up anymore if they tried even though saturdays show was a bit of a let down for them, this makes the shows producers and show itself look “COOL AND DOWN WITH THE MAN,WORD UP TO YOU MOTHER”urbun style.not my taste but who cares im not backing them,but if you were to ask , we dont really need another girl group just yet,we got enough bads ones out there allready,let these ones fade away before you replace them with another.
    A very synical overview of it all i know but now my chits are burnt and my wallits been emptyed from miss D leaving “ITS TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC”

    • Nugget

      Sam , you say and I quote “This show could not be anymore obvious if it tried”

      Surely that is why we are all here, because as such it makes a perfect betting and money making medium, beleive me this is much easier than ESC 🙂

      • sam

        Nugget ,im like most on hear i to have a flutter,nothing heavy though just some fun money,i come hear to this medium because its 1 of the best around and has great insights into peoples pridictions,tips,thoughts,etc but surely by being way to “obvious” in its format and how thing are going to turn out then surley thats going the put the odds on any decent windfall lower if you cant keep the punters guessing on the outcome of the show.

        • Nugget

          I agree Sam, I would love to see a much fairer show, contestants OWN song choices, random draws for running order, more honest comments from judges,less blatnet press manipulation and VTs etc

          But the show is what it is, a Saturday night entertainment show, sometimes more of a popularity than a talent contest.

          I am not a massive punter either, but things being so obvious means some of the guys here are making a killing betting on prices like 1/4 and 1/5 when in all reality they should be 1/33 and 1/40

          • sam

            your right on all counts nugget,but now my horse(janet )has fallen i think ive become a little synical in my judgement and old age, of the show and how its run ,think what ill do now is leave my money in my pocket untill i see the final 3 then see what you guys can come up with as good winning odds then might go do something with it as they do seem to be very good at it,which is more than can be said for me.haha

    • Pete D

      Sam. I read your XF gripes well there and agree. But I think we really all ought to firmly adopt the idea in our heads though that we are NOT actually betting on the X-Factor, it’s singing performances and our preferences any more.

      The XF name and the contestants are just the fodder for them to torture manipulate (or highly favour and pimp to high Heaven).

      We are basically JUST betting on the ‘plans and manipulations of the producers’ and what route they take to eventually get to their goal, with a few ‘Chris Angel’ magic tricks thrown in.

      It’s still all as fair as betting on 2 Snails racing as no outcome is ever certain and you takes yer choice on whether to participate or not.

      I worked out what I did with LITTLE MIX (not either right or wrong ‘yet’) by just listening to ‘The Man’s’ message'(Mr Cowell) right at the very start, and of HIS ultimate goal this year (to get a girlband to win for a change and fill that Spice Girl ‘girl power’ vacancy).

      Cowell will now dominate the chart No1 spot for the next 3 years across the world with them 1D and JLS (and will likely show them all off as guests on the back of USA XF and AGT as their launch pad for there too).

      It’s just the ‘target colour’ that changes year by year. I just decided that ‘targeted outcome’ very early on and worked backwards.

      Seems ‘generally’ like the same ‘snakes and ladders’ board is used each year though, where this site brilliantly records and tracks the patterns and rather successfully and intelligently predicts the journey’s somewhat twisty route almost spot on every time.

      I’m very optimistic on LM/MC outcome, BUT I am STILL a little on pins though as “it ain’t over till it’s over”, as the old saying goes.

      • sam

        pete im just a synical old git at times with way to much time on my hands ,i must stop studying this show so hard,all in all though i make very little if anything money wise from this show i enjoy thought sites like this where can get good info and prodictions from to make my judgments and have some good old banter,shame not all sites could be as good as this.
        ive seen janets interviews both tv and in press over the last day or so and although i not saying she is perfect ,knowone ever is,and she was using the show in some way as well to put her voice out there, as are they all, as whats the point of being on it if not to make a bit of fame and fortune but she been honest enough to admit things and stand true to her beliefs even if that ment sacrifiseing her place on the show for them which to me regardless of winning or loseing is way more important than anything else,she may only be 17 years old but has the head of a 30 yr old.
        she hinted though and i know your like this that your girl may well be in the final 2,i would love to know how she knows this though??…no wait.. im being synical again,..but if they are and they win i do hope they will stand up to cowells company who will make there music as if they truely want to be something different to any over girl band that theres been in the last 2 decades they need to be them selves and not just the sameold sameold,janet refused to be the shows pupit ,shes even said this in her interviews ,and i do hope little-mix,and the others do as well.

  • Ron

    I can see similarities between what happened with Janet and with Mary Byrne last year. I get the impression Mary was never intended to be particularly popular with the public, but the producers must have have panicked when they saw she topped the poll in Week 1 and finished second for the next three weeks.

    Normally, this shouldn’t have been a big problem for the show, but this was the year when the producers were hell bent on getting One Direction and Cher Lloyd through to the final, and they realised Mary was a major obstacle. From Week 3 onwards, Cowell started criticising Mary, saying her song choices were boring and predictable and at Week 6 or so he delivered the coup de grace by calling her a “pub singer”. So you can see they are quite ruthless and shameless in how they go about getting rid of an act they don’t like. They even had to resort to extreme measures in the semi final last year, risking the ire of both Ofcom and the voting public, in the utterly cynical way they eliminated Mary by way of an unannounced sing off.

  • jashala

    http://community.betfair.com/specials/go/thread/view/94178/28319273/the-rhythmix-red-london-bus-to-victory?origpost_id=512886685&pg=15

    Perrie’s step-dad often post on this site, his name is The Goose, he hasn’t posted recently but the things he posted before are quite interesting.

    • Nugget

      Thanks for that Jashala

      I stopped looking at the Betfair forums sometime ago, largely due to the shameless ramping and BS thats generally on there. You don’t seem to get that here at Sofabet.

      This guy does seem the real deal though and it was a great read.

    • Pete D

      Thank you Jashala, will go take a peek.

    • Pete D

      ‘R’. Oh nice one (and well worth a watch). Seems like JANET also had a good ‘spliff-tastic’ reason for forgetting the words and nearly producing a ‘pavement pizza’ (well she DID nervously say a “yes/erm no” whilst smiling ‘knowingly’ at the camera and she didn’t exactly vehemently deny it ???).

      Way to go lassy ! (not that I partake of course when I have Tesco’s finest blend to relax me)

      She now has some redeeming qualities for me too in predicting an LM/MC forecast outcome and even wanting to lay some ‘spondoolicks’ on it. Nice girl really, I’m starting to warm to her.

    • Nugget

      I actually like Janet TEN times more than i did previous after watching that video, why didn’t they make her XF VT’s like that??

      • tpfkar

        I guess they didn’t want you to like Janet ten times as much 😉

      • taichou

        Nugget i wouldnt believe anything what they show on the SHOW:D, i heard that Marcus is a total arse, arogant and divish in real life:)

        • misky knoodle

          marcus is arrogant and bitchy and catty and worked quite well as a two-some with craig in the house.one of the contestants was bombarded with text by marcus and when he was told he was nt that way inclined and was not interested he was then turned on by the terrible twosome!.Janet was said to be the most outgoing in the house and was said it was the best kept secret in there.the nicest guys in there were jonjo and frankie,frankie was nothing like his persona.vt`s ehh!!

      • sam

        nugget,at times i have sounded very very cynical about this showin my posts and its been pointed out to be on this, but may be ive just been watching it for to long or maybe because i was fan fan and a backer of janet.To be honest i came across janet devlin way before she came on x-factor ,january this year,as shes got her own youtube channel, i do like edelle(i know sad but true) and i came across her cover of this on youtube think its had over 3 million hit alone i found it rather good,and when i found out she was going to be on this show i could not believe it so oversly i had to back her,people said on the show she was dull ,predictable,borring,well actually shes nothing of the sort only the show itself and how it is, that makes her appear borring, she has said now she wants to make her own music and i hope she does and shes did not want to be a pupit on this show,and i think now alot of people who miss read her on the show are starting to find her much more real than they thought,even more real than the remaining acts only wish she could tell some of the real backstage stuff that goes on and what people are like but i guess if she does that then she will be burned forever from getting some sort or record deal as its no good a making an emamey of the simon cowell brand even if your not part of it.

        • Pete D

          Sam. It’s just another ‘sport’ at the end of the day and despite ALL our XF cynical moans and acid banter, wins and losses YOU STILL ARE a ‘good sport’ and a gentleman.

          Hell, I might have to take a kick in the Trossacks myself yet and eat humble pie, (so I have the ‘tommy sauce’ ready just in case, lol).

          If it’s any consolation, after watching that honest and relaxed SOFA interview with JANET here she has gone right up in my estimation.

          She DID try to be true to herself and stick it up XF after all, and you know “they don’t like it up em ‘y’know Mr Mainwaring. They just don’t like it up ’em”.
          She WILL STILL be a star and maybe you can get some coin back by betting that she will have a No1 album/single in 2012.

          http://www.holymoly.com/tv/video/x-factor-2011-holy-moly-meets-janet-devlin-morning-after-she-was-booted-out-x-fa60633

          • sam

            pete,love the banter we have on here is keeps my ticker going,if only words could show pictures as i lol right now,and right back at you a true gent you are.we all have are favs and put some coins down on them to do well but i need to remember it only a game show and what really goes on none of use will ever know ,that is unless you someone out there works on the show,but i do think and its been said by other to that they may well of under estermated janet,shes not what she is on the show,i reconised this a long time ago as been a suporter for long time,its the show itself that makes them seem different,but thats “SHOW BUSINESS” Done a little bit of work many moons ago in a theatre (1 off gig), im not in the industry ,but have had to go and work on some of the staging props,hence my cynical views of this show,but its not untill you meet some of the performers off stage you get to understand them and see its not all as it seems to be as an outsider.
            my real hope is that no matter who wins ,the girls,marcus,amelia,misha that they dont loose who they are ,its the only real thing we as people have,janet stood true to her beliefs and did not want to become just another x-factor droid and i respect her and anyone else who does this.
            by the way pete dont know if you have heard but the BBC are starting there own show uo next year think its called “the voice” sounds a good concept if it works.

          • sam

            pete thanks for the link at the bootom chears,had not seen that interview before.

  • jashala

    @Nuggett No problem

  • pata17

    I have been critical of a few of your pieces this year,notably the constant denial of Little Mix’s chances of success.I must say though,the above article is superb.
    Well reasoned,and thought provoking,I especially liked the fact you had the magnanimity,to admit your initial speculations were wrong.
    As a recent convert to this site,I look forward to your next piece.

  • pata17

    Just read the comments section.Take a bow abs,you are bang on the money.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Interesting JANET named the finalists as LITTLE MIX and MARCUS.
    Can’t wait for Daniel’s take on whether he believes MARCUS can still win.

  • Dug

    Personally, I don’t think you can call something a fix when it makes no claims to being fair or transparent. It’s The X-Factor, not a general election. I think that anyone complaining to Ofcom needs to maybe write to the letters page of Heat Magazine instead.

    I tried to plonk my entire bank balance on Janet’s departure once the bottom two was announced and Janet sang first but Betfair was loading at a snail’s pace and I lost out. I managed, I think, to get £7.50 matched in time. I was not happy.

    I’m struggling to see how producers could get away with another sing-off in the semi considering that there is now one less contestant than last year. I guess they’ll do everything in their power to get Amelia’s vote below Misha’s but I’m not ready to put anything on it yet. I’m just gonna stick a bit on LM top 3.

    • Andrew

      Hi Dug, You may recall we defended the show from “fix” allegations after last year’s semi!
      http://sofabet.com/2010/12/09/x-factor-its-not-a-fix/

      Meanwhile it does look like your “how to dampen Amelia” post that we drew heavily from in the last elimination preview may have been entirely accurate after all, but simply a week premature. You were even more prescient than you thought…

      • Nugget

        Just read last years comments Andrew, I would have to agree, XF is not a major sporting event with rigid rules to follow, ultimatley it is a light entertainment TV show and the producers aims, quite rightly, should be to make it as interesting and enjoyable to watch as possible. That would involve keeping a balance of different types of performers hence the likes of Jedward, Wagner, Chico etc progressing, not because the have a future as recording artists but because they make entertaining broadcast material.
        The danger is that if they made it completely fair young single male acts would win EVERY year and the whole thing would be a bit of a waste of time. I think they are quite right to give Lmix a decent push this year, as it adds to the variety and a girl group reaching the finals would make a refreshing change.

        Although we all have a financial stake in this, from the producers point of view this is a TV show not a betting medium and nor should it be. They are well within their rights to throw in some unexpected twists and manipulation, it is us, as punters who need to take all this into account when making our wagers.

  • Thank you for the link to the Janet interview. Interesting. However I don’t think we should put too much emphasis on her prediction of the finalists being Marcus and LM. After all this is the bookmakers’ favourite combo. The dual forecast is priced at 8/11. (Correct me if I’m wrong – she didn’t suggest the correct order did she?).

    Personally will be happy when Misha goes. Got it all nicely covered after that happens. (Assuming she does not go home as the winner!)

  • Ronnie

    I have to admit that I struggle to enjoy the show now as I am too busy looking out for TPTB’s manipulation tactics. I think I’m even starting to spoil my girlfriend’s enjoyment of the show, mainly due to my constant complaining of Janet’s poor running order slots. Yes, I backed the girl right back before the start bootcamp. I may be in denial but I still feel she’s the most talented to appear on this year’s show but perhaps she just wasn’t suited to the format – something I’ll need to keep in mind before becoming financially involved next year. I also agree with the article, the way she has been consistantly dumped on over a five/six week period is a form of bullying possibly worse than whatever Misha has been accused of. After watching her interviews when she was in the show and comparing them to how she appears now she is out – you can she that a weight has been lifted. Good luck to the girl going forward.

    Speaking of going forward – how do people see things going this week. Is it a straight choice between one of the girls to go? Will they do all they can to get Misha into the final and avoid the embarressment of Amelia being in the final three after being kicked out in week one? I think the only reason they pimped Amelia last week was to ensure she polled more than Janet so that the latter would drop into the bottom two. However, it would take some pimping of Misha and deramping of Amelia to get the mancunian ahead of her in the voting.

    Not much of a prediction but I agree with Janet that (barring further pimping of Amelia which I feel is very unlikely) Little Mix and Marcus will be the final two – with Little Mix getting over the line first – they are riding the crest of a wave at the right time. Marcus struggled in the early stages of his ‘defining’ ballad last week and getting his abs out on stage isn’t going to be a vote winning tactic with the older audience he is supposed to be attracting.

    Boylesports have Little Mix favourites ahead of Marcus but have a Little Mix/Marcus forecast at 11/4 while the reverse is priced slight shorter at 5/2. It looks like a slight error to me and offers a little bit of value. I have a little on Marcus at 22/1 so have chopped a bit out at the 11/4.

  • Highlighted

    I just went back and watched Misha’s week 3, this was the week they called her a bully etc.

    Just watching the VT though, Misha saying she likes how she gets to put her own ideas into songs etc. is this a way to play down how Janet says she didn’t get this freedom, they probably saw it all coming then, Janet saying after the show that she never really had freedom with song choice etc. Don’t forget this was the week when they decided to start shooting down Janet.

    Also no doubt something happened, I actually think Tulisa went against production wishes with saying what she said. If they already decided Janet is not their star female, and Sophie is not good enough for them, then Misha had to be the main girl who could get far at this point. Tulisa however, actually gradually got to her point, making me think she was trying to be careful of how to say it, but in the end just blurted it out realising there was no other way and Louis who also in his post song comment was as careful as heck, decided to go with it and back Tulisa.

    So I think this was the week Tulisa screwed the producers plans over in some ways, and no question of why since then Tulisa has not said a bad word of Misha, making me think the production had a word with her. Since this also its been almost blatant how they have tried to get viewers back on side for Misha, but despite the odd sympathy bounce, it just is not working, and if she does finish bottom of the votes against this week, bringing in a 4th save for Misha would just be absolutely brutal against the show.

    I think they prefer Misha to Amelia in the final, but they will not be too distraught with Amelia being there, just as long as its Marcus and Little Mix as their desired final 2. I think production is now fairly confident of that happening, thats why they put all their efforts this week into ensuring Amelia got a bounce above Janet and totally killed the little Irish girl.

    Just another thought, with Misha not doing so well in the votes because of Tulisa going against the grain, so to speak, getting rid of Frankie and replacing them with Amelia was probably a cunning plan to ensure they had a female replacement for Janet in the final. Maybe in week 1 they still thought Janet could be the puppet they wished and they could market her, but after a week or 2 more (maybe a strop from Janet because of styling/songs) they then realised it was a huge mistake and Janet had to be rid of. With the sniffing Frankie going AWOL it was the perfect opporunity to get rid of him and bring back a fan favourite in Amelia.

    Still to this day, the main proper to do would have been to bring back Johnny who was voted out after the sing-off. The X-Factor said that it was only fair those who did not face the public vote as yet got to have their chance, but this is just BS from the production.

    To now, we still do not know if Johnny had less votes than Kitty or not, but we definitely know that Johnny had more votes than The Risk, who were truly bottom that week, so Johnny being bought back in, the public would have taken that as fair game from the producers.

    Instead, they made a no-contest between 4 contestants who all already knew Amelia would be the chosen one, she was already achieving huge hits on youtube and requests from fans after her audition alone. Maybe in week 1 they thought Janet was the main girl and Misha would be back plan. Realising after week 3 already that Janet was to be put to the slaighter house and Tulisa had gone against them with Misha, they saw it as a perfect opportunity to get Amelia back because she was already popular, and could well take votes away from Janet, giving them more ammunition to get Janet out before the final.

    All rather cynical, but I think the above is how it all could have worked out.

  • Jake

    Complete BS.

    All the contestants (after leaving in interviews/ whilst they are their) seem to unanimously like Craig and Marcus. On xtra Factor Little Mix said they wish Marcus was a fifth member, because he is “lovely and so funny”. Janet said that Craig and Marcus were her to closest friends in the house. Just because the producers fix the competition, try not to be so cynical about the actual contestant’s lives.

  • Pauline

    I wandered onto this forum once not really knowing what it was all about and had a little rant ,off topic, but you were kind to me. Now I say nothing, because I know nothing. But I must say that Janet did have the same hunted look on her face which Lady Di had, when an attempt was being made to bring her to heel. It wasn’t good viewing. I was incensed. It did start from when you said it started and gradually worsened. I did feel Janet would be out on Sunday, because of the way things were going. Fortunately, she appears to be much happier now. My feeling is, with her immense talent, Janet will soar. (I too cried during ‘Chasing Cars’). I agree with you that this type of manipulation does go on. It was black panther out. Pink panther in, then little mischievous red kitten out. Amelia was brought back to replace Janet, not Frankie, he would have gone anyway.From then on her days were numbered. Can I also say, although I haven’t the knowledge to contribute, I love reading your comments.

  • Rob

    well i was away for the weekend and then work sent me away for the week on business so i’m mile behind on the blog and comments. apologies if i go over the same ground as other, but i’ve just scan read mostly, and didn’t want to miss JD’s passing without a comment.

    obviously disappointed that my bet went down but like most not surprised – just surprised it came a week earlier than i was expecting. there was also part of me hoping she could withstand the syco juggernaut till the final where matters may have been different.

    i’m not sure if anyone has aired it but the theory i’m beginning to entertain is that JD may have been complicit in her own demise. it was some weeks ago that RKA said they would sign her immediately. Is it not possible that some sort of backroom deal was struck between syco and RKA to ensure that RKA had first dibs? as this would have been difficult to do contractually if she had gone on to win. i expect that JD may benefit from not being too tainted as an xfactor winner – she didn’t seem too fazed when she went out at all, displayed none of the histrionics of AM’s elimination, or the palpitations of marcus when he was annouced 3rd from bottom. and also i don’t really buy the idea of forgetting the lyrics to ‘mbop’ even when you are ill?

    anyway if it was simply the show trying to get rid of JD i think the most effective thing they did was with song arrangements, by slowing them down to a snails pace, along with an earnest delivery, also enhanced the ‘boring’ tag. if you watch JD’s youtube channel she doesn’t sing any of those songs at the tempo chosen for the xfactor and emotes the muisic in a completely different way. i guess she won’t be able to reveal all for a very long time, but i must admit the most interesting part of the show is gone for me – JD against the machine was a titanic encounter and the rest sort of fades in comparison. like a lot of others i started the process not liking her that much, even though i thought she’d win, but by the end of it she’d won me over.

  • Lux Lisbon

    Awesome sauce, Rob, very insightful and something to grind a thoughtful tooth over.

    Xfactor without Janet, is now like ‘Hamlet’ without the prince.

  • Lux Lisbon

    @Pauline – terrific comments regarding Janet’s treatment last weekend – it was extreeeemely uncomfortable viewing.

    However, her rendition of ‘Chasing Cars’ will stay in my head for a very, very long time.

  • Sophie

    I’ve been reading your articles to do with janet for a while now but haven’t commented before.I have to say I’ve always agreed with you.As a devlinator (janet fan) i was very sad to see her go,but I did see it coming.

    She seems so much happier now since she’s left though. I’ve heard a number of record companies have offered to sign her and I’ve noticed on youtube and such she’s gotten some american support.I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of Janet Devlin :’)

    • Pauline

      Noticed Janet seems much happier. She’s amazing. As she grows her music will delight many and I bet more and more Americans will love her and her unassuming manner. She has star power.

    • Lux Lisbon

      I agree, my friend. I’m an indie kid. I’ve been collecting and listening to alternative music for the last thirty years.

      I have become really despondent about how pop music has been eating itself in the last ten years ago – horrible, lumpen, lazy, gloopy, super-slick, soulless R ‘n’ B trash.

      However, it has been a very, very, very long time since a voice like hers has moved me to tears despite myself.

      In addition, her humbleness and integrity and honesty rose her to the status of giant in my book.

  • annemarie

    I too have collected a wide range of music from folk to choral music to Tamla Motown and Pop for several decades now. I have a wide range in musical taste. Few singers though over the years have affected me the way that Janet Devlin has. She has such a beautiful haunting quality to her voice. She just makes you stop and listen when she sings. Her biggest fault at present is she is far too self deprecating. Once she embraces how good she really is, she will soar. I suppose we can thank the X Factor for at least one thing. We may not have been aware of her great talent but for her audition and her renditions of ‘Fix You’ and ‘Chasing Cars’. Her version of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ is a favourite too. The X Factor could have handled her much better though for as Rob states if you see her singing on You Tube Janet does tackle up tempo songs and does them superbly. As already stated we will probably have to wait a long time to find out what really happened behind the X Factor scenes regarding Janet. I patiently await her first album.

  • Jolo

    🙁 Aww Janet. She was my favorite. Then X-Factor ruined her.

    She had an extremely strong vote, especially the first week. 24% with 12 acts? :O That’s like Matt Cardle with “First Time”, but Janet didn’t need to deliver an awesome performance to gain such a vote. It’s the Irish curse that struck Eoghan, Mary, now Janet. Top the first — weeks. Then slowly drift off. Then get cut.

    She was plan A. But she was no shy Rebecca Ferguson. She had confidence. Then, as you said, they were stuck. I can only imagine the producer’s faces when she topped 3 more votes when they were SERIOUSLY trying to bus her. “JANET Y U NO DIE.”

    I think with better performances, BETTER SONG CHOICES, fair treatment by the producers, she could’ve won. 🙂 But she was nobbled. In week 3, they started “Operation Devlin”. But she still topped the vote for wk 3-5.

    Week 3: Sassy-girl VT. Which looked really awkward. Don’t forget the poofy hair. Though her performance here was one of my favorites; her best of the live shows.
    Week 4: Song choice. This performance was just…wreck. Then of course, Judging with Tulisa: “GET OUT OF YOUR BOX.” Then in week 5…
    Week 5: TULISA: “NOW GET IN YOUR BOX.” …2nd wreck performance in a row. But there was a 2+% spike in her vote…probably Ireland-panic, because they feared she’d go because of the performance..

    I think week 6 was a turning point. With Frankie axed, they could “conveniently” vote in one contestant back. Enter Amelia Lily. The comeback girl, destined to top Week 6, taking away the top spot from Janet. Put back in, especially to take away some shy-girl votes.

    She still finished second. With a boring performance. 😐 Kelly, y u slow it down.

    Then in week 7, she could’ve turned it around with Amelia’s poor vote and poor song choice. But here comes Little Mix with “Don’t Let Go” and Misha’s “sob-story” VT which stormed the vote, leaving Janet at third, with her vote the lowest its ever been.

    Then the perfect time to bus her. Week 8. Amelia would bounce back, especially with the pimp slot. Despite her 4% spike, it wasn’t enough to get to the 21-22-24% figures of Marcus, LM, and Amelia.

    She could’ve won. With better song choices. With fair treatment. With a blossoming-self-belief narrative.

  • Pauline

    Jolo. Three generations’ of my family going to the X Factor tour show at Manchester, purely to see Janet. We all find her absolutely captivating 😀

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