The X Factor has released the week by week voting results for 2011 – here they are. We’ll do some more in-depth analysis of these statistics over the next few weeks, but for now here are some headlines that immediately jump out. As ever, we’d greatly appreciate your help in dissecting these stats. Do please use the comments box below to let us know what you’ve spotted.
1. Little Mix won comfortably in the end
They ended up with 48.3% to Marcus’s 42.8%. Amelia wasn’t close to making the final Sunday, finishing with 26.5% on Saturday in comparison to Little Mix’s 39.0% and Marcus’s 34.5%. This suggests either that Tulisa is a very good actress, or that she was not aware of the voting as she begged rather desperately for votes in the early part of Sunday’s show.
2. The week 3 treatment of the girlband almost put them in the bottom two
There has been much debate in the Sofabet comments box about whether (a) Little Mix were being lined up to go all the way right from the start, or (b) initially producer hopes were limited to avoiding the traditional embarrassingly early girlband exit, and decided to push them for the win only after their breakout performance of ‘ET’ in week 4.
Little Mix got 8.7% in week 2 (the first week of the public vote), after which producers sent them out in an unfavourably early fourth slot in week 3, with a diversionary judges’ argument afterwards. As a result they were just 0.4% off the bottom two. It is open to debate, but we think this shows that the second interpretation is more correct.
The fact that Tulisa was revealed on Xtra Factor as having predicted Nu Vibe as her winner before the live shows also suggests that producers cottoned on to the girls’ winning potential somewhat late in the day. (Gary picked Frankie, Kelly picked Janet, and Louis picked a final two of Janet and Frankie, which further suggests that the series did not go entirely according to programme-makers’ early anticipations).
3. Marcus Collins was certainly considered expendable
Eventual runner-up Marcus Collins was also considered expendable early on – a poor showing in week 2, with 6.8%, implies that when producers sent him out first in week 3 in the Strictly overlap zone, they were looking to sacrifice him. As it was, his rendition of ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ received 11.2% of the votes.
4. Deadlock wasn’t an option when it wasn’t used
In six out of seven singoffs, deadlock was not used – only Craig and Amelia went to dealock, with the former departing. The figures show that, with one exception, it was the bottom act in the public vote of the two singing for survival who was saved in all the other weeks. Only Nu Vibe finished below their singoff rival – Frankie Cocozza – and were sent home by the judges’ vote.
5. Janet and Johnny had them spooked
The two-week attack on Johnny Robinson was, as we had thought, prompted by producers panicking at how strong his vote was after ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ in week 3 – he finished second to Janet with 17.1%. And it’s not surprising that it took them six weeks to kill off Janet Devlin, given that she topped the first four public votes.
6. Tearful VTs win votes
Little Mix’s week 4 ‘Insecure Jesy’ VT, and Misha B’s week 7 ‘Estranged Parents’ VT (both of which featured in our choice of Top Ten Manipulative Moments from the series) resulted in a substantial spike in the vote for those acts, carrying them to second place.
**MONDAY MORNING UPDATE**
Have converted the X Factor’s percentages to express each act’s vote relative to the mean each week (so, for example, in week 2 – with 12 acts – the mean vote is 8.3%. Little Mix got 8.7%, which is 104% of the mean). This makes it easier to see their trajectories – see the pdf here for the full figures.
By my calculations, about two-thirds of the vote in the final was cast after Amelia Lily’s elimination on Saturday night, and the share of the vote between Little Mix and Marcus was 53/47 both before and after Amelia’s departure.
Something that leaps out is that Marcus’s week 7 vote for ‘Higher And Higher’ was his worst of the entire series, relatively speaking, apart from week 2 – and this was from the week 7 pimp slot! It was not just a worse song than ‘Reet Petite’ for him to reprise in the final – it was the worst possible song.
Here’s a quick graph of the top 5 trajectories:
More of this sort of stuff to come when we do our full review, as we did for 2010.
We’ll pore over these statistics more in the next few weeks and post some more considered analysis of what we can learn ahead of the next season. In the meantime we’d love to know what your reactions to the statistics are. Please use the comments box below to share your observations on what we can learn about this series, in retrospect, now we have the figures to hand. (For more general reactions to Little Mix’s win, please continue to use the comments thread on the previous article).