X Factor 2011 Results: Week By Week Voting Statistics

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:

X Factor 2011 Top 5 graph

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).

218 comments to X Factor 2011 Results: Week By Week Voting Statistics

  • Dannyboy

    Just remembered reading some stat on here about being last to sing in week 5 a while ago…
    Can anyone confirm if little mix were last to sing that week?
    and just remind me of the general stat?

  • annemarie

    These ‘ordinary girls next door’ might have won but not hands down I do think. It took an extraordinary effort to get them there. When I go to a concert I want to see ‘stars’ not ‘ordinary girls’. If I want to see ‘ordinary girls’ singing I can go and see my local school choir and see a whole bunch of girls singing far better. Little Mix may be Number One with Cannonball, but just for one week only. A set of more ‘extraordinary girls’ are coming up fast behind them: the Military Wives Choir for Christmas Number!

  • Hi guys,

    I can’t sleep for some reason. Too much staring at a screen I think!

    * On Rock Week – Whilst it’s accurate to say Little Mix were close to being in the bottom two, I think it’s worth pointing out that this is also true of THREE other acts and Little Mix are actually ranked 6th out of 11 that week! That’s almost top half! 😉 It was painfully close between the BOTTOM SIX acts, with only a percentage point seperating them all! Little Mix were top of that league of six.

    * It took them a few weeks to chip away at Janet. Once Amelia arrived, I reckon they sensed blood and just started the campaign. The second they got her in the bottom two it was bye bye. Amelia knocking her off her perch was the moment they realised she wasn’t imoveable.

    * The Good Ship was very much just sort of chugging along from destination to destination. He wasn’t a flashy speedboat making waves but then getting into trouble. Steered by an ageing dependable safe captain, the good ship was just one of those workman like cruiseliners, that eventually have to be retired.

    * Your theory on sympathy bounces really holds up. Amelia and Misha (along with cry VT’s) both got big bounces out of the bottom two. I’m sure there are many more to be found.

    There’s just so much to look at! Really looking forward to your detailed, forensic analysis of the data and congratulations on a season of superb analysis and brilliant articles. I will 100% be loitering around and making a nuisance of myself for Eurovision.

    • Daniel

      Hi Richard, you are right that they were 6th in week 3 and other acts were closer to the bottom two. But do you think that producers had hopes that Little Mix could be potential winners from the beginning and almost overdid the week 3 treatment, or was it week 4 that really opened their eyes to their winning potential? This is the question we are posing.

      And by the way, congratulations on being the breakout blogger of the series as well as on your success tonight 😉

      • Yeah, it’s a fair point – Watching ITV2 tonight Louis predicted Frankie for the final. So you’d assume they’d save him. Craig looked like a decent singer, so he’d survive against LM, Kitty provides the “fun factor” etc, so I do see where you are coming from! The Risk also came second the week before, so at this point, they have one group they reckon will do well.

        In my view at the “week 3 point” they had LM penciled in for “mid table”. They won’t have wanted Tulisa left with one act after three weeks, it being the groups *again*. So I’d say, a bit of overdoing it but equally I agree, they were expendable in an emergency. Perm any two from Sophie / Marcus / Sami was their ideal bottom two at that point in my view.

        I actually thought LM’s rock week performance was one of their better ones!

  • taichou

    also guys where is that Barlows single which he had to write? I believe those were not rumours?

    • Pete D

      taichou. I think that BORELOW’s promised single must have got a LITTLE lost somewhere in THE MIX.
      Seasons good wishes to you (and to all here too).
      How did you do in the end ?

      • taichou

        not bad, if Devlin would have won i would have made about 30% more profit:) anyways going to Italy for a new year:D

        • Pete D

          Taichou. Congrats on your wins too. Positive now, at least you have 100% of what you ‘have’ won (and one should never miss what one never had, so no regrets eh ?)

          (Damn ‘n’ blast if only I had stuck another flippin’ £-ten-spot on each of those LM bets I’d have twice as much, lol).

          Anyway my friend, say hello to the Pope and the Leaning Tower of Pisa for me and tell its occupants that I know ‘exactly’ how they feel inside there after what I drank last night.

          Chow, grazie and arrivederci till next time.

  • 1 – I’m not so sure that it was comfortable. We now know the girls thrashed Marcus in the semi, but were being chased down. If I’ve got my percentages right, in the same way that Rebecca was closing in on Matt last year, Marcus was nearer to the girls at the final count than at the freeze, he may well have been dangerously close at the start of the Sunday show.

    Certainly close enough that there was no shame in sticking to the prediction of Marcus.

    2/3/5 – yep, more evidence that they were making it up as they went along.

    I’ve spent the last hour comparing the figures to my predictions. For most acts it’s incredibly accurate. The exceptions are MISHA and MARCUS who were miles off week after week. I wonder why these two didn’t track so well? And Janet’s ‘Kiss Me’ got a massive spike on twitter but a slump in the vote which threw me out. I’ll post the graphs when I have time, and over Christmas I’ll try to improve the model based on the real results.

  • Tim B

    Has anyone else noticed that Kitty was very close to the bottom 2 after her week 2 pimp slot performance of ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’? Didn’t a vote leak somewhere accurately say this? The Daily Star was it?

    • Daniel

      Hi Tim, you are absolutely correct. As far as I can remember, every Daily Star leak about the weekly results, of which there were plenty, turned out to be true.

      • Where can we see these leaks guys – Were they just buried in random pieces about the X Factor throughout the series?

        • Daniel

          I’m not sure where they can be found, Richard, but there were two stories about voting stats in the Daily Star I remember clearly.
          1. The revelation that Kitty was one off the bottom two despite getting the pimp slot with ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ in week 2.
          2. The leak about Janet winning the public votes in the early rounds. This story also correctly revealed at the time that The Risk, Johnny and Marcus had finished second to her in weeks 2, 3 and 5 respectively.

  • geoff

    hmmm one point id like to make regarding how early they wanted to push little mix
    on week 1 of the lives one of the judges called them the best girlband thats ever been on the x factor! i remember thinkin at the time how can you say that after 1 song
    also they were pretty quik with the nomal girls that wont steal your boyfriend but as you say maybe they just wanted them to break the girlband curse

    another theory that ive been thinkin about is maybe the producers like to build up a contestant at the start only to knock them down to make the show less predictable.
    if you look at the people who have gotten the week 1 pimp slot over the last few years they usually start strongly then are the ones to get knocked down
    janet, danyl johnson, laura white all went into the show favourites or near favourite had the pimp slot week 1 and from there the negative comments started to come maybe the show doesnt want it to look like a certain contestant has it in the bag from the start? any thoughts on this?

  • geoff

    definitely think pimp slot week 1 is bad news

  • shoulders

    When the judges say pick up the phone and vote if you want your act to go through they really need your votes this is true, but Tulisa kept implying in the later weeks that Little Mix where not safe, to me that seemed to suggest that they knew the voting percentages and that Little Mix were near the bottom two and in danger of going out, but the figures show they were topping the vote

  • methlen

    Thank you for this season’s string of articles. I live in the USA, hadn’t followed any singing competition for years, am not an active music consumer, and would never consider betting money on reality TV, so by any measure I’m in one of the least likely demographics to be reading this site. But I ended up making time on weekend mornings to follow X-Factor live purely to listen to Janet Devlin, so you can imagine the growing sense of confusion and frustration over how the show was handling her, and I ended up on an article here linked from the DS forums while looking for some explanation. In addition to being interesting, the articles are also quite pleasant to read, as they don’t rely much on the writer’s own tastes but try to be objective, so are enjoyable no matter who the reader personally supports.

    There is a tendency on other review sites to make a big deal of who had the (subjectively) best performances each week and then spin winners/losers that way, but I’ve never felt that to be correct. Viewers are not asked for vote for who was the best that week; rather, they are asked to keep in who they want to see the next week. The widely-agreed conceit that if someone sings poorly one week they will lose votes does not seem to hold up with the numbers. Rather, the vote movements come in spikes where an act does so well and is so universally praised that viewers who hadn’t cared about them before start to take notice and vote for them for the remainder of the competition.

    Little Mix look to have won this on the strength of two substantial jumps in their voting numbers corresponding to “E.T.” and “Don’t Let Go”, and did not need to do more than that against Marcus, whose last standout moment by the numbers was week 5’s “Reet Petite” and treaded water the rest of the way. (Not sure what to make of Amelia as her re-appearance is such an aberration that I don’t know if statistics are meaningful.)

    As much as I absolutely love listening to Janet, after the first couple weeks she never gave a performance that would sway a viewer into her camp who didn’t support her already. I think “Chasing Cars” would have, but it was not up to a public vote anymore; it’s no accident that her best songs were purely on her own choice rather than sticking to a week’s theme and trying to negotiate for something that would work for her. Why on earth is anyone being made to do “Mmmbop” on a singing competition anyway–

    It is hard to disentangle Misha’s numbers from the bully accusations but I think song-wise she peaked with “Rolling in the Deep” and any further movements were due to the well-documented manipulation tactics that didn’t work in the long run. If you weren’t voting for Misha after the first couple weeks, you might have cast a sympathy vote a bit later on but you weren’t going to become a solid fan.

    To sum up my thoughts based on those case studies: I think emotional manipulation is useful in short-term predictions to guess at immediate eliminations, but the effects are temporary and won’t carry through to winning the whole show; for that, contestants still need to deliver a knockout performance late in the competition — not just ‘good’ but legitimately sways viewers permanently into their camp, and hope their opponents cannot do the same. (And of course that’s not entirely up to them, as staging, judges, and especially song choice matter in the perception.)

    • bob

      Interesting points. Agree with a fair bit of that.

    • Andrew

      Hi Methlen, Thanks so much for stopping by and for the kind words about the site. We try very much to be accessible and objective, and I’m glad you found it so! 🙂

      This is a great analysis. Something that intrigues me is the extent to which judges’ comments can persuade people that a performance was ‘knockout’, or that a performance can do it alone without help from judges’ comments. There was no mistaking it last year for example with Matt Cardle, with ‘First Time’ and ‘Nights In White Satin’.

      This year I’m not sure that there were any performances that would have seemed legitimately knockout (Craig in week 1 excepted) without judges framing it afterwards. I don’t think ‘ET’ and ‘Don’t Let Go’ were quite in the Cardle league of knockoutness.

      But they clearly need some substance to work with, as we saw last year with One Direction – all hype and no substance at all doesn’t cut it.

      • I totally agree with this Andrew. I tried to compile a top ten “best performances” and I just couldn’t think of a single “WOW” performance in the entire series (which sums it up!). Jar of Hearts was the closest I could come.

        On framing performances, I think it had mixed results this year – when Gary delivered his rather pre-rehearsed speech about Marcus having his “moment” after that Stevie Wonder track, the public didn’t agree.

    • Pauline

      Methlen. The WOW moment of the X Factor was when Janet sang ‘Your Song’. It brought me to this site. It brought you to this site. It caused me to watch Janet on YouTube, comment on many forums, generally fight her corner and watch X Factor more avidly, having become bored with it. There would have been more wow moments from Janet if she hadn’t been meddled with and given ‘old hat’ songs to choose from followed by the delete tactics (the Lady Di of the X Factor) She did give smaller wow performances initially,
      then it would appear she was too strong and deep for them and didn’t quite fit in. Misha B. Not my taste, but, you can’t deny her talent. She is a glossy, sophisticated act, but was sabotaged early on in the show. The remaining acts were lightweight. They had to be in order to get their creation Little Mix to the top. Amelia shouldn’t have been there
      at all. Strangely, Janet effected many lives, she awoke in me a connection I haven’t felt for a long time. The next big WOW moment stemming from that show will be when Janet releases her her first recordings, her style, her way. Janet the true winner.

      • R

        Pauline, a bit of Christmas cheer. Janet has tweeted that she hopes to post another song on her webpage in the next couple of weeks.

      • Lux Lisbon

        Amen, Pauline! I watched the video of Janet singing ‘Your Song’ only this morning and every time I heard that lilt in her voice, my old Irish heart skipped a beat and my stomach somersaulted like I was in a speeding car that suddenly went over a dip in the road.

        In a world which lacks true excellence in anything, and where mediocity rules, and the ‘good’ are hyped-up as great, Miss Devlin will live in my heart as a unique singer and as an angel of a girl.

    • Pauline

      Oh and Methlen. The last song Janet sang. Snow Patrol cover. A massive WOW!

      • Lux Lisbon

        That for me, my friend, was the standout moment of the series.

        There aren’t many singers through the ages – male or female who, when they sing, you believe EVERY SINGLE WORD that comes out of their mouth.

        However, into that small band, I include Janet.

      • methlen

        I don’t want to turn this into the Janet Devlin Appreciation Station, but I agree of course. The Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote one of the great poems about music, Broken Song (starts bottom of page 53), and in many ways I keep being reminded about that poem.

        To add a bit of site-relevant content, I thought Misha’s week 7 song choice (the Whitney Houston number) was a very well calculated gamble. She was at that point floundering badly in the voting and the show needed her to get back into the race. It’s interesting that Gary implied it was a ‘safe’ song choice as it was really not: you only do that song if you want to show you can match Whitney’s power in her high register, and very few people can. And Misha couldn’t really pull it off, it was passable but nowhere close to prime Whitney. Still a good gamble though, she needed to make some kind of desperation move and had the technical competence to have had a chance there. Had she been able to give a great performance then she may have kept some of her sympathy bump going forward, but as it was she dropped right back down to last place as soon as sympathy wore off.

  • Edie

    Maybe Tulisa was just genuinely wanting her girls to win, so kept making the pleas so their fans wouldn’t get complacent??
    Or was going the big plan, and kept pushing just to guarantee.

  • EM

    This is my favourite part of the series. How much about what we assumed actually happened? Answer lots.

    Sympathy bounces are there in droves, when accompanied by sympathetic VTs the next week.

    Daily Star voting leaks are pretty good.

    Twitter polls/YouTube stats etc aren’t great indicators

    When looking at what made acts do well or do badly it’s song choice that sticks in my mind. Song choice and performance. Yes there are other factors such as running order and comments but nothing kills a vote like a song that’s not appropriate.

    The good ship probably got managed to the final because he was no threat to plan A Little Mix having never won a weeks worth of voting.

    Going into semi final week there’s no way they could have been confident which 3 acts could make the final. Very brave of them to leave it to the public.

    If it doesn’t go to deadlock its because the one they want to go isn’t bottom. Unless they want to show support for the second from bottom act.

    • EM

      Scrap my semi final comment, it was pretty obvious Misha was going.

      My Little Mix theory is: They quickly became favoured group. Nu Vibe weren’t all that, The Risk imploded and if they won could have derailed the One Direction train they have running right now.

      Which makes favoured group pretty much a one horse race, probably just with an eye of getting them to the final, perhaps with an eye on them winning so I’m guessing pretty much from week 3 onwards Little Mix were being groomed for the final.

      • Richard

        Don’t forget 2 shoes. I think the original plan was to ditch one of the two suspiciously-similar boy groups (probably Nu Vibe) at week 1 and then use 2 shoes as a novelty act. But then one of 2 shoes got pregnant, and they decided not to go that way (possibly worried that the pregnancy would generate too much sympathy), which is what led to the decision between The Risk and Little Mix that pretty much decided itself when The Risk imploded.

      • Boki

        Agree on week 4 crucial on LM, they switched from Risk to them at that point.

      • Andrew

        What’s really interesting on the semi vote is that they clearly could have got Misha to the final if they’d tried – she was so close behind Amelia.

        I guess that they must have looked at the very close week 8 vote won by Amelia, and (a) weren’t sure they could deramp Amelia sufficiently, plus (b) also weren’t sure that either LM or Marcus would be safe if they tried to get Misha there.

        The way they nuked Amelia in the final implies that they probably overdid it with Amelia in week 8 – I would guess that putting her in the pimp slot was intended only to get her above Janet, and they were probably surprised when she won it. I would guess that if she’d been lower down in week 8, they’d have tried nuking her in the semi to get Misha to the final.

  • Highlighted

    On Janet it further proves to me her main fan base never really left her, but producers were able to stop her gaining any new fans after week 2. Looking at her voting statistics they remained pretty solid in percentages and I’d even consider that her actual voting numbers stayed similar. Problem is the more the competition goes on the more you need those floating votes, those who start watching the show as it progresses votes and also the votes of those who need a new fave after theirs lost the competition. She has a steady fan base and for that reason should do well after the show, but couldn’t gain enough new votes to win this.

    On Craig despite an awesome week 6 which saw a rise of his YouTube popularity he was still down the voting pecking order. I think production saw him as easy kill in week 7 to allow for the Misha sympathy bounce and ensure Marcus progressed.

    The sympathy bounce theory is huge. Only didn’t work for Kitty really and twice (Amelia and Misha) the bounce was insane. Shows the power of the following week VT aswell.

  • Highlighted

    Also just goes to show how much in control the bottom 2 keeps the producers. Twice Kitty and three times Misha should have gone by being BOTTOM of the public votes. Something you have to be aware of in future series when betting next elimination. You almost have to predict the bottom 2 so you can work out who the judges will save.

  • stoney

    marcus was stitched up tonight, his best performance of the series was reet petit by a million miles, the voting proves this, but he was made to sing higher and higher which saw him gain less votes, the producers knew this, even gary said reet petit was the performance of the season, with the final outcome being so close this may have proved crucial in the little mix win!

    • Highlighted

      I thin 5.5% is still a big difference in actual numbers. I doubt he would have won but it certainly could have been closer.

      On Frankie. They were sort of making him this years Wagner. Just keeping him in week on week.

      I’d still like to know if the Amelia comeback was planned to ensure they got rid of Janet. Alot of floating votes could have went from Janet to Amelia with this method though I’m unsure on that.

    • Andrew

      Absolutely right, Stoney. What must also be remembered is that the two songs they reprised on Sunday were the two they had sung in week 7 – so the relative impact of those songs was also known. LM won week 7 with 26.1% compared to a very weak showing from Marcus of 14.4% – and Marcus was from the pimp slot that week.

      They were clearly taking no chances there – they’ll have been well aware that Higher and Higher was a duff choice to give Marcus on the final Sunday.

  • Boki

    The fact that judges predicted Janet or Frankie puzzles me. That means Janet was plan A from the start, right? But what about Frankie, did they really think he will go far?!? Wrong judgement… Also the bottom 2 was really close in lot of weeks, amazingly they got the one they wanted most of the time but it could have been completely different.

    • Andrew

      I guess they actually did think that about Frankie. Amazing, isn’t it! To have got both Frankie and Janet – the two stars of the first audition show – so very wrong, completely failing to notice that one has no discernible ability to sing and the other has a mind of her own. It looks like they were a couple of monumental errors of casting.

      • lolhart

        I think the producers genuinely thought Frankie would be seen by the public as a loveable Jack the lad type who they’d grow to love. It might have worked if he’d actually been able to sing. The public can be influenced but not to the extent that they ignore what they’re hearing and seeing. Gary’s over the top praise didn’t help. The biggest problem though was Frankie embraced this persona to such an extent that it got out of control.

      • annie

        frankie’s only close to brilliant performance throughtout was the last one in bootcamp, when he sang Iris, which, If I remember corect, went back to the charts afterwards. So I can understand why that vocally decent performance, with is personbality and him being the only heartrob type boy made him look like a contender.

  • Curtis

    A real interesting point was that it seems the most effective of all the techniques the producers used to kill Janet was the Kiss Me week. A good performance with lukewarm comments in an early running order slot. That was the week when Janet slipped into the pack

  • stoney

    i was at the wembley final last night and was filled with massive hope when the red and black shone down on little mix for there cannon ball performance, i almost started to taste a marcus victory, does this put to bed the red and black negative theory???

  • Boki

    One thing I find looking at the stats (and not mentioned here yet) is: LM got a big boost of votes from Janet fans!

    Look at week 8: top3 very close and just above 20%, and in week 9 boom – amazing LM increase without a wow performance. It might have been that fans were scared because 1st time the judges won’t be there to save them but I think that there was also a resistance from Janet fans who voted LM or Misha just because they thought Amelia’s return was the cause of Janet’s elimination.

    • Highlighted

      Yes that’s very true and a very good point. Probably another reason why week 7 and 8 was in for the kill for poor Miss Devlin.

    • Andrew

      This is a really good spot, Boki. We wrote a couple of times that we thought they’d be keen to get rid of Amelia because she’d be fishing for votes in the same pond as Little Mix, but it hadn’t occurred to us that you could make the same argument about Janet.

  • Allan

    Not the most edifying spectacle to watch this series! But the excellent articles and following debate on here kept things lively. Did OK in the end, managed to trade by position on the Biscuit Boy nicely and I won my work sweepstake with the Mixers!

  • wiggle

    Janet definitely appears to have been Plan A – but my guess is the reason for the change of heart was that it just wasn’t working out behind the scenes – by the time Janet left I think she was relieved to be out of there. Rather than being angry about her treatment by the producers, I think we can look at it as a ‘mercy killing’.

  • abs

    In my eyes, this year’s Plan A was to avoid a male contestant from winning. The producers have been very careful in choosing male contestants that won’t appeal to the kind of viewers who would vote for a ‘Matt Cardle’ – good looking, talented, humble – Marcus was the only one close to these qualities, but being openly gay and wearing pink shirts did not help him much.

    To play it safe, the producers chose the formula they knew has worked in the past : insecure girl next door turned into popstar – these are the cards they played for Janet Devlin and Little Mix .

    Janet was pimped during the pre-live stage of the show, quite sure this was covered on this site during the auditions/bootcamp/judges house stage. This to me also explains her popularity during the first weeks of the live shows …. Find it hard to believe that if her talent was so strong she would lose support week on week just because of the poor treatment she got. A good comparison to make is Matt Cardle … topped votes week on week despite treatment he got from the show, the explanation to that is quite simple .. he gave good solid performances every week, with a couple of wow moments – certainly something Janet has not delivered. Whereas I completely agree the producers didn’t help her, she definitely did not help herself either .. I found her quite arrogant towards the later stage of the competition and know a lot of people who felt the same way. So as soon as the shy, insecure box was ticked off, she lost the public’s interest and consequently their votes. In my opinion, she could have won the competition if she really wanted to by giving performances similar to her audition, rather than some of the mediocre performances we saw through the lives shows.

    I do believe though that if Little Mix had not been popular from the initial stages of the competition (4th in week one).. the producers would have continued favouring Janet Devlin a lot more. Little Mix had the advantage of also being a group, the producers dream … not just a group winning but a girl one (no competition for One Direction). Also, producers have learnt pushing a male group to win is not easy – One Direction, JLS – as I believe with male contestants it’s harder to create the ‘emotional vote’.

    Little Mix’s treatment in Week 3 could suggest the producers wanted them out, but here’s a couple of theories around what could have happened:
    1. In week 2, LM were 4th, strong position for an act who hasn’t had airtime during pre- live stages. Producers could have thought they were safe enough , and actually wanted to test how strong their popularity is? Pass the test = pimp as much as you can ( which is what happened), Fail the test = Janet Devlin becomes favourite again for producers ( opposite happened)
    2. Due to programme’s ratings going down – producers wanted to create tension between judges to get press and people talking about it.
    a. Marcus was first to perform .. Tulisa already hinted she was worried about song choice,
    b. Sami’s song choice criticised (choosing ‘Turn back time’ after being criticised as too karaoke!!),
    c. Argument about Little mix’s song not being rock
    d. Sophie – Louis telling Kelly she needs to work more with Sophie
    e. Craig – Tulisa criticising turning rock song into ballad
    f. Frankie – Tulisa critising Gary for taking Frankie to an extreme
    g. The Risk – Louis commenting on song choice not being rock
    h. Misha – Bullygate!

    Judges had digs at each other constantly during the night, with the exception of Kitty and Johnny, the novelty acts the show did not want to put into any danger.

    Needless to say, I’d go for the second theory, the night was a judge vs judge show rather than an attempt to get rid or reduce votes for LM.

    LM were the preferred Plan A due to:
    1. Being a group,
    2. Were happy to play along the insecure ordinary girls card
    3. Gave some solid performances which enabled them to gather support.
    Two plan As won’t work … so no alternative but to do the utmost to dump the other Plan A – Janet.

  • Chloe

    Janet is the kind of arty contestant that Simon Cowell hates.
    I always thought that she was the early front runner who is supposed to falter half way through and give way to the real favourite.

    I also doubt that the judges know the details of the producers plans. It is more likely that they are just told what’s needed to make them behave in a certain way.

  • Andrew

    Good morning all, Just to let you know there is now an update to the post above, with a pretty graph and some percentage calculations in a pdf! 🙂

  • Nick D

    I think it may be interesting to compare and contrast the series trajectories of Eoghan Quigg, Mary Byrne and Janet Devlin. There seems to be a pattern developing where the Irish hopeful shoots off into the lead in the early weeks with 15 to 20% of the vote (modulo exceptional performance factors in a particular week), but never actually develops far from that vote share as the field thins out. By the time we’re down to 5 or 6 acts, that kind of vote share leaves you vulnerable – and as they’re routinely pushed heavily as the Irish contestant for Irish people, the mainland feels unneeded and doesn’t climb aboard.

    Jedward didn’t follow the same pattern, and I also wonder why that might have been.

  • Jack

    It may just be me, but surely 5% isn’t THAT much of a gap? I mean, I know some people who were predicting 60-40 in LM’s favour. I mean, if Marcus had sung Reet Petite and if the producers had had an audition round, isn’t it feasible that Marcus could have won? Looking at the Semi-final, producers must have thought that Little Mix had it in the bag as well.

    The sympathy bounce theory is in full swing. Frankie got a significant increase after his B2 performance and Kitty was safe after her first B2 appearance, but look at Misha B. She went from Top 3 to bottom to Top 3 to Bottom to Top 3 to bottom again! And then she nearly could have overtaken Amelia in Week 9 if producers had had the balls to go for it. And Amelia winning the Week 8 vote after being pimped to hell. I think that Operation “Get Janet Out” nearly spiraled out of control as far as Amelia was concerned, but once the novelty wore off, it was clear she was destined for 3rd.

    • Andrew

      Hi Jack, I have it that Marcus would have needed just over 51% of the votes cast after the freeze when Amelia was eliminated, to be able to win. Doesn’t seem completely out of the question, does it?

      • Jack

        Not at all, as I say, if he had been given any form of producer help, however mild, in the final Sunday, he had the potential to win. If he had been singing White Christmas, as rumoured and Little Mix had been singing All I Want for Christmas is You, then that, as well could have tipped the scales.
        However, Marcus’s performance of Last Christmas was just him singing and it isn’t the type of song for that. I think that people would have got bored just watching him sway there. On the other hand, Little Mix got Silent Night, which is a perfect song to showcase their vocals.
        Same with seemingly strange decision to give Higher and Higher to Marcus, when it showed that he was nowhere near LM the week he sang it, compared to Reet Petite where he comfortably outpolled them in spite of that being LM’s pimp slot.
        Also the lack of audition song, which really would have showcased Marcus’s vocals was evident. Just making the point that it wasn’t a done deal by the vote freeze and producers still felt the need to throw the kitchen sink at Little Mix to get them over the line.

      • I’d love to know what the voting figures were at the start of Sunday’s show. Would tell us a lot about what was really going on with the desperate pleading.

        • Andrew

          Our best guess is that you and Richard Betsfactor got it spot on in the preview thread, and that multiple voting may well have been the difference. One explanation for the desperate pleading on Sunday would be that more individuals were voting for Marcus, and they had to make up for that by terrifying the enthusiastic Little Mix fans into more multiple voting.

      • shoulders

        I thought that even though he sang higher and higher which I personally like on the lives, in the final the choir were kept in darkness for most of the performance, this must have been a tattic to lessen the visual impact of the performance

  • lolhart

    I think one thing we can learn from this series is that the “Plan A” is something that can change throughout. The producers must have looked very closely at the voting stats, especially in those early weeks. They may have favoured acts, but if someone like Frankie is consistently underperforming in the vote, they’re not going to waste time flogging a dead horse. At best they’ll just try and keep them around. I would argue that the producers would even have kept Sophie Habibis around longer if she hadn’t experienced such a dramatic slump in votes between weeks 2 and 3.

    I’ve never believed that Little Mix were the Plan A and the judges’ picks for the winner and the winner’s song itself seem to be even more evidence of this. To their credit they were consistent in their performances, played the role expected of them and had a great cheerleader in Tulisa.

    • lolhart

      I forgot to add that I think a judge being accused of indifference towards their act, or even having problems with them can be damaging. Kelly was accused of this with all her acts except Misha at one stage, and it seemed to be used at crucial times with Janet and Amelia on the show and in the media. There are other examples like Tulisa and Nu Vibe, and Louis and Sami. I guess the public’s thinking is that if the judge can’t be bothered with them, maybe they’re not worth the bother in the first place.

  • bob

    If Marcus hadn’t been awful on Heyya (sorry for the absymal spelling) and had done Reet Petite I think there is a real chance he coyuld have won. Think that is a major question mark over the social media analysis that had him miles behind.

  • Dug

    The biggest surprise for me is to see how close the gap was between Misha B and Amelia Lily in the semi-final.

    It seemed obvious that producers had been pushing the urban songstress towards the final from week one. Often against the public will. Strange then that they should stick her in the death slot with an unsuitable song choice when the results show she could have made the final over Amelia.

    Perhaps the return of Miss Pinkuilera would have appeared more embarrassing if she hadn’t made the final and after topping two public votes, producers saw her as a reasonable safety net against Marcus in the final, should LM fall. Unlikely though. Perhaps Misha would have been a threat to the urban vote?

    • Andrew

      I was surprised by that too, Dug. I think the explanation has to be the closeness of the week 8 vote and the fact that Amelia won it. They might have calculated that if they’d tried to big up Misha and nuke Amelia in week 9, there was a chance they could have lost Little Mix or Marcus by mistake – and that they’d rather accept Amelia in the final than take that risk.

      I would bet they were probably as surprised as we are by how well Misha did and how poorly Amelia did, given there was no real effort to push the former or deramp the latter.

      • Boki

        They were surprised for sure. I think my theory about pissed Janet fans voting for someone else just to sink Amelia can explain this too. Most of them went for LM as a (nice)girl band but some may have chosen another solo girl – so Misha got a boost also.

  • annemarie

    Statistics, ah statistics! Publishing the X Factor voting statistics has only served to re-open old wounds. This Daily Mail article regarding Janet begins with ‘She could have done it!’ Yes, maybe she could have if she had not been stitched up by the TPTB.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2072952/X-Factor-2011-voting-figure-Janet-Devlin-topped-public-vote-act.html

    It is beginning to feel a bit like a grieving process for Janet now. And I am at the ‘angry’ stage.

    Angry at the way Janet was treated by the X Factor: to build her up then shoot her down in the way that they did.

    Angry at the way Misha was saved over Janet in Week 8 despite Misha finishing bottom of the vote, and in the bottom two for the third time. Saving her was partly a way of the judges trying to redeem themselves after ‘bullygate’. The ‘bullygate’ issue was a complete mess up on the judges part. If there was any truth in the allegations it should have been kept backstage. The contestants were, after all, encouraged by Mr. Cowell to be divas. You cannot help feeling a little angry for Misha also.

    Angry at the poor judgement of Mr. Barlow. Choosing Frankie over James Michael was a big mistake. It was perhaps the Frankie scandal that started the slippery slope down for this series. Gary Barlow, as a fair X Factor judge, has been questionable.

    A little bit angry at Janet herself for not being aware of how the X Factor machine works. However, she is forgiven. She is very young and probably did not realise fully exactly what she was getting herself into. I suspect her Mmmm Bop moment was half deliberate on her part. She could see what was happening around her and perhaps used the choice of a song that did not suit her style to hasten her exit. It has been a steep learning curve for her regarding the music business.

    I am not that angry on the monies lost on her. That is the name of the game. You win some, you lose some.

    I am pleased that Janet now will not be burdened with the curse of the X Factor winner: that is short career, a few hit singles then disappearing in to the mists of X Factor history. I listened to Little Mix’s version of Cannonball on the radio this morning. It is not a patch on the original. What is the point of the competition if each year the winner’s single is just another copy of someone else’s work? Already the papers are questioning whether Little Mix really should have won.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/dec/12/x-factor-final-little-mix?newsfeed=true

    I need to get to the stage of calm acceptance regarding Janet now. Perhaps that will come when I get to see her at one of the X Factor live concerts. I am bonkers, I know, to possibly attempt this, as I will probably not be able to see or hear a thing at a large concert venue. I will just sneak off home after Janet has done her turn. I am not that interested in the rest.

    Christmas is just around the corner and it is time to put the X Factor to bed for this year. Thank you Sofabet for your lively and intelligent discussions. It is time for ‘Peace and Good Will to All Men’ including Mr. Barlow.

    • Pauline

      Annemarie. Maybe I can forgive Mr Barlow, but, I don’t think I will ever forget. He did look a little discomfited when he was told the numbers on Xtra Factor but, only marginally. Oh, but, Annemarie, no, I don’t think I can forgive yet. Janet, so young, so unexpecting of an onslaught like that. You are ,obviously better than I. She was so sheltered, so tender. No, sorry, he should have swallowed his ambitious competitive nature and shown more care and thought.He is in a position to make or break people. He’s quite dangerous and I don’t think he is up to it.

      • annemarie

        I understand your sentiments, Pauline. I am not sure that I have forgiven him totally. I just see Gary Barlow as rather a sad figure really: a middle aged man in a boy band. I do not imagine his own X Factor experience has done his public image any good either. He seems to have made himself in to a hate figure on some of the other forums. It is not only Mr. Barlow, but all the judges who seemed have participated in forms of subtle verbal bullying at one time or another: perhaps Kelly not as much as the others. However, at times she only seemed to half her mind on the task in hand.

        In an ordinary work situation, the type of negative verbal onslaught experienced by not only Janet but some of the other contestants too, just would not be tolerated. It should not be tolerated on TV either, especially on a family viewing programme such as X Factor. Perhaps, we should write to OFCOM about it but not sure they would really do anything about it. The media, at times , appears to be a law unto itself as we well know. You might find the following Daily Mail article of interest

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2063493/X-Factor-bullying-ethos-nastiness-damages-children-says-school-head.html

        We just have to hope justice wins the day and Janet triumphs in the end. I am sure she will.

      • Lux Lisbon

        Wow, every time you guys post something about Janet, it is like you are reading my mind.

        I agree; I feel I am quite savvy and switched on but, before I stumbled on to this excellent site, I had no idea of the politics and manipulations that go on each week on the show.

        So, if I did not realize it, there is good reason to believe Janet and many of the other contestants did not realize it, too.

        If they did, maybe they would have just smiled and shrugged their shoulders after they were eliminated, instead of looking bemused and betrayed.

        This is what you get though, with a Barlow and a Rowland – big egos who are trying to make the show about them. You see it every week with the designer stubble, the smug rocking in the chair, the fancy hairstyles, the designer frocks, the tears, the tantrums and the table banging.

        Don’t worry though, Pauline and annemarie, karma will have its day.

        • Pete D

          Lux, Pauline and annemarie. An early Crimbo prezzy for you.

          Pray to to this ‘Saint of Music’ and the Karma you want for JANET may come quicker than you think (as long as you remember to leave my innocent LITTLE MUFFINS alone too, as ‘Kar-ma CAN also run over your Dog-ma’ lol).

          http://youtu.be/EqP3wT5lpa4

          • Lux Lisbon

            Awesome sauce, Santa Pete.

            Thank you, my friend.

          • Pete D

            Lux. Santa might only come once a year, but when he does he fill yer stockings.
            Did you get the YT msg too ?

          • Pauline

            Just watched Instant Karma Pete.Thank you. Always loved John Lennon. To me he was The Beatle, then George. They seemed to be searching for something. Hope they have now found it. R.I.P.

  • Curtis

    Interesting. All of the top 5 have very unique graphs that tell the story of their journey very effectively.

  • Dug

    I’m struggling slightly to believe that the whole thing is over.

    I’d like to raise a glass to a series, love it or hate it, that generated some great debate and got me into betting for the first time in my life. I started out on the win market with Marcus and Janet but got more involved in eliminations as the weeks went on. All in all, I made a bit more than I lost but more importantly I learnt a lot of lessons in preparation for next year.

    In Little Mix I feel I have been presented with a worthy winning act that can more than justify the continuation of a rather muddy looking show. The papers are already full of stories regarding multi-million pound endorsements and breaking America. The girls can actually sing, they’re endearing, marketable and reek of potential. Let’s just hope the rumoured collaboration with Biffco gets going so we can all forget about “Can-in-ball” ASAP.

    I just wanted to thank everyone for some great discussions and for putting up with me each time I veered away from market talk into obsessive rants about costume choices and the proliferation of Devlinesque indie princesses in the pop charts. I think I always had a relevant point, deep down inside.

    Thanks especially to Daniel and Andrew for your amazing articles and engagement with the comments section. Thanks for keeping us in check when we got heated and for replying and quoting etc. It’s been really enjoyable.

    Maybe I’ll see you back here for Eurovision?

    • EM

      Says it all until the line about Marcus using it too.

      • Andrew

        I guess they never offered it to Janet 😉 Wonder if there’s some technical reason why they can use it in the arena setting, and not in the studio? I suppose they will care more about not having a lyrics flub in the grand finale, but it would make sense for all the live shows.

    • Pete D

      annemarie. It’s quite normal for even professional artists to use ‘autocue’. Brian Wilson and Mick Jagger openly use one and I have been backstage at a Black Sabbath gig where I witnessed Ozzy’s one in operation by his stage sound monitors.

      http://www.contactmusic.com/news/jagger-has-auto-cue-machine-for-lyric-reminders_1006573

      The Beatles used to have lyrics prompt notes taped to the top of their guitars too.

      It’s fairly impossible to remember all lyrics for songs and they are there just as a ‘prompt’ rather than for ‘karaoke style’ and are designed to quite literally ‘say it all’ so that the flow of an expensive production show doesn’t bomb live for the sake of a few nervous fluffs and mental blocks (as we all have from time to time and as JANET proved too).

      Remember the famous Elvis live single ‘Are you lonesome tonight’ where he forgot the words and ‘corpsed’ into complete fits of laughter ?

      • annemarie

        It is so sad then, Pete, that missing a few words was used against Janet in the way it was by the judges and she got hammered for it in the public vote. It was not mentioned when Leigh-Anne fluffed her lines.It is beginning to feel like the X Factor used all the contestants to their own ends to get exactly what they wanted. Poor Little Mix! We can’t see the strings being pulled behind them just now but no doubt we will in the months to come.

        • Pete D

          annemarie. I quite agree with most of that. Behind all the fun banter we have all had about each other’s personal favourites (and despite JAN not being first on my Christmas prezzy CD list and also behind the Wallace and Grommit print socks), I still faithfully had a back-up £20 straight forecast bet @33/1 for LM/JANET.

          Most of what we see on ‘the box’ (and in showbiz) is manipulated and controlled like Thunderbird puppets and all that glistens on tv is NOT ‘Gould’, as Daniel and Andrew and all here astutely point out and share to our mutual benefit.

          I arrived at my own good result by not so much (at the start) judging the talent with pure ’emotional taste’, but by listening to and watching where Simon Cowell was aiming his ‘plan A’ arrow.

          The Captain of THIS XF ‘Enterprise’ doesn’t accept anything less that hitting the ‘bullseye’ and has the influencial power to ‘make it so’.

          It’s just simple phsycology really as he is a smug hedonist who will stop at nothing to get to the ‘globally dominat’ top (and stay there). He wanted a girl band to win this year and got it in the end (as it was one trophy he DIDN’T have on his mantlepiece).

          For an £8 million contract he can yank my strings (or my chains, lol) anytime, as he has been pulling ‘all of ours’ too ‘anyway’ for the last few months if the truth be known.

          • Lux Lisbon

            Yeah, man, no hard feelings.

            Enjoy your winnings, sir.

          • Pete D

            LUX. Also same to you matey peeps and thank you ! Winnings half gone already on wine women and song (and I shall just ‘waste’ the other half).

            Seriously though, it’s wisely earmarked for a new website to invest in my future new (delayed lately) biz venture, as last website company shafted me out of EXACTLY that amount and got away with it in court on a technicality.

            Now THAT’S what you call everything comes to him who waits, ‘Karma’.

            BUT muchos stress over it = heart attack and not worth the worry in the end…Lesson learned the hard way).

            BTW, the only thing that was ‘feeling hard’ was trying to detach my brain this morning from the internal Balaclava that snook inside my head overnight, and then making myself believe that the legs I was attached to were really my own and not John Cleese’s ‘Ministry of silly walks’ ones. A comical scene indeed.

            Take care and Happy Crimbo and all the rest that goes with it.

          • Lux Lisbon

            You too, my friend, you too.

          • Donald

            Hi Pete ,thanks for pushing the forecast LM MC just as the LM steamroller was starting.

            Little point re Simon (Passed on the Spice Girls seemingly)

            The whole Janet thing unreal but I was nervous and even though really liked her Janet was never a serious winners bet as she didn’t get a real defining moment early on. She is popular, be interesting who signs her.

            Hope Little Mix and Marcus get some sort of decent run now.

      • sam

        pete,i just want to say a big shout out to you my old mucker,i know at times we have been like to old gits but its all in good fun and think we got alot in common with are views on things and ive really enjoyed all the chat over the last few weeks,regardless of who we wanted to win your girls came through in the end and i applaud your support for them from start to finish,well done,hope you made a few notes to.
        1 last thing thanks sofa bet for a great time,its been a blast and you got one hell of a good site here,keep up the good work..

        VIA CON DIOS everyone and thanks for the ride.

        • Pete D

          Hi sam. Aww man was I leathered and ecstatic last night. Hey, less of the ‘old git’ too, (young ‘git’ maybe, lol). Harry Enfield fan too eh ?
          Muchos respect matey peeps !

          I think you of all peeps on here will likely know the dark place I have been to this year watching a surgeon poke ‘stents’ into my heart through my arm on an x-ray machine whilst ‘awake’ (good job he was awake too, lol).

          I don’t normally gamble (G-National only) and this was the biggest scoop ever for me. I copped for £1,340 total for around £20 (less some minor back-up losses of about £40) 66/1’s win and forecast.

          I popped a bottle of rather expensive Shampoo (right on LM win cue) that someone gave me for Crimbo 3 years ago and was saving to launch a new small extension to my recording biz (then ticker health struck, and work and income had to go to bare minimum).

          So this was indeed well needed. It’s my good time now though I think as I also copped £250 on the Lotto +5 two months back.

          Sir Paul McCartney in Liverpool too next week, front block seats too to end the year off perfectly.

          A little something is going back to the XF charity too as grateful thanks (as that ‘good cause’ is a lot closer to my good lady’s heart than you will ever know)

          I’ve had a blast on here too with special thanks to one and all for the ride and I wish everyone a VERY HAPPY CRIMBO and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

          Thank you too to my LITTLE MUFFINS. You did me proud girls.

      • Pauline

        Why then Pete did they make such an issue of Janet missing a few words. I don’t get it. It seems like one set of rules for one and different set of rules for another. But yet again, that’s life. If your face fits you’re in, if not you’re out. The face that fits are the creepers, the face that doesn’t fit are the people who hold on to their integrity and refuse to become corrupt. I’m so glad you made that known. Janet missing a few words was no big deal, continuing was epic. Well done Janet!

        • Pete D

          Pauline. This was XF remember, with their own ‘ever changing’ rules. There is nowt more fickle and cruel as showbiz either.

          I have the t-shirt, vid and the kitchen sink to that one and I have seen the mighty fall to its corruption, booze and drugs and lose everything (first hand too, but not me you understand. I kept my smarts stayed at my lower happy level).

          Well done to JAN too as there IS something admirable about her after seeing that sofa interview and she will make it in the end after shaking of the immediately associated XF chains. Not my taste in vocal style, though I do wish her well (and you too for next year if you are perhaps having another punt).

          • Pauline

            Thanks Pete, I’m sure your lower level(modestly said) is something to be proud of. I’m glad the girls came home for you!

          • Pete D

            Pauline. My pal was the tour manager for some the very biggest rock bands in the world, and I am so glad I never made that level after the hair curling stories he has told me.

            The LM girls are welcome round my home anytime. I just want to give them all a big ‘thank you hug’ and then sit them on my mantle piece next to my dancing Father Christmas that swivels his hips with a big daft grin on his face whilst singing “HO HO HO MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS”.

  • Tim38x

    A good article again. The voting figures do very much show the manipulation of the show for what it is. Nothing is more clear than when one looks at the treatement of Janet Devlin. I wrote a post on this on Digital Spy on:

    http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1599562

    Really, in my view The X Factor is being false in its claims to be controlled by the public vote. The public, in reality, have far less say than they believe they have. It is far from a level playing field.

  • Dug

    This is the last thing I have written about this series. Bye everyone!

    http://foolsandgold.blogspot.com/2011/12/have-some-conviction-killjoy.html

  • wiggle

    I don’t know how long Cannonball has been lined up as the winner’s song (I remember it being mentioned weeks ago) but it’s a dire choice for Little Mix, whereas it would have been fantastic for Janet, I can’t help but think it was chosen with her in mind.

    I don’t know why they didn’t do different songs for each finalist like they did last year. As it stands they’ve lumbered Little Mix with a song which really doesn’t suit their style.

  • It’s not going to be quick but I’m going to look back at all of these and compare to my predictions to see how close I was.

    Wish I could say it’ll be soon, but in reality I’ve got bugger all time to do this with christmas coming up

  • marinamau

    I think abs has hit it, the plan A was that the winning act was anything but another Boy/male act, ideally a girl (best rate of after X Factor success for winners) or a group (never have won). Although i would not call Matt Cardle good looking! Average or just above average.
    i now think that the producers didnt derail Marcus because they knew he had very little chance of winning it on the night (his vocals are weak) but still wanted a male on the final.
    As anne marie says I still can get over Gary not choosing james Michael, although in my case I would have chosen him over Marcus. frankie was a joke act and can’t believe they did think otherwise during the first week rehearsals. However, coming back to abs theory, it all makes sense. James Michael was dangerously close to be able to be Matt Cardle mk2, only ten times as handsome and maybe less vocal acrobat.
    It also makes sense that other more all rounded male singers were left behind both at Boot camp and judges houses.

    As it is, I am glad that Little Mix won. I agree that they can sing, they’re likable, marketable and have a lot of potential even though the winners single is not at all them.

    • stoney

      had marcus been given his real best performance of the season and white xmas as originally planned and little mix given one of there weaker songs and a naff xmas song marcus would have swung the vote the other way, there was very little to choose between the 2 going into the sunday night, this is why marcus was forced to sing these dire songs, the producers new full well the week he sang higher and higher he was one position above bottom 2, hence instructing him to sing it in the final, if you think he believed this was his best performance your mad, im still feeling sick at how bad he was stitched up

      • Marinamau

        Yes, sure Marcus was stitched up, but not more than Janet (and I am not a fan) because she would have really won. But the thing is Marcus isn’t that great in the first place, and even before the final, I think that all in all little mix have been better than him even if by a 0.1%.
        Besides, is always more difficult for females to win, in the past only when they have outclassed them ten times (leona and Alexandra) on the show have they succeeded on the night.
        A nice looking likeable lad always gets votes regardless of talent (Joe at one end, eggnog at the other, Marcus in the middle).

  • Boki

    Two more things:

    – Tulisa’s prediction was Jade / Nu Vibe meaning she thought Jade Richards will go through ?!

    – Nobody mentions 2 Shoes disaster on return vote: AL 48.8%, JM 26.7%, Jonjo 13.2%, 2Shoes 11.3% lol

  • Lux Lisbon

    Boki, I can’t even remember who Jade was?

    Was she the Scottish girl with the glasses?

  • Lux Lisbon

    Oh, yeah – great voice, just needed a bit of a style makeover.

    She should try her luck again next year.

  • Donald

    This is me signing off for XFactor 2012 , as said earlier this site is truly wonderful and has made my day more than a few times this year.

    As Pete said above entertainment is a tough game, Daniel and Andrew and all on here deserve allot of applause for making such an effort all through out the year to help guide and give us all such great help in making decisions.

    Happy Xmas (Again) to all. The hangover is gone. The stats of the series are amazing to read.

    • Pete D

      Donald. Re-this and msg above. Thank you and glad to be of service if you backed the f/c too. Belief and faith can move Mountains (and dirty great smokin’ STEAMROLLERS).

      As the great Sir Macca said (and who I will be sat right in front of next week in Marcusland, “Have a simply wonderful Christmas time” matey !!

      Just one last thing I have been dying to ask, “Donald, just where the hell ARE your bloody troosers” ?

      • Donald

        Hi Pete, trousers are fine, no holes in the pockets yet anyway ha ha

        Good season, Aerosmith use autocue as well as do a good few more. I have been in places to observe just like yourself over the years.

        We just don’t sayk too much on here but this site is great rock n roll, has great varied info and opinion and above all a great gamble.

        • Pete D

          Donald. Then we DO know each other. Let me guess, hmmmmm, YOU were the guy who turned the ‘autocue’ handle. I know this for a fact because I was the guy who held your handbag, yeah ?. Int showbiz great ?

  • Pauline

    Methlen. Had to come back on this site once more. It’s a bit like wandering around empty corridors now, but you deserve a reply. The poem you led me to ‘Broken song’. Absolutely beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. It’s all about the connection. That poor old man. Loved it, and when the clamour of life gets too loud, will read it again and again. Thank you.

    Thank you Andrew and Daniel. Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year to all.

  • annemarie

    Final thoughts on Janet. After the voting statistics were released she appears to have had at least, if not more, Internet media coverage than Little Mix. She was also trending worldwide on Twitter yesterday #askjanet She has a lot of core support out there, not just in the UK but worldwide. Shame they all couldn’t vote! Janet also has her picture on the front page of the NME this week: something to do with the Kurt Cobain connection. Now that would be interesting if it did turn out to be true. I believe Janet does have enough of a decent fan base for a promising career.

    I have just been reading Richard Betsfactor’s ‘Cowells Crashing Car’ about the debacle at the end of the final. It made me think about the choice of the winner’s song ‘Cannonball’. A lot of commentators are saying this was made for Janet, but was Janet made for it? At one stage it was reported the last six finalist had recorded the winner’s song, therefore that includes Janet. Knowing Janet’s musical taste did she decide that ultimately she did not want to be musically associated with that genre of song and thus hastened her exit from X Factor more swiftly? Interesting thought?

    Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to one and all!

    P.S. Loved the Rabindranath Tagore poem Broken Song too.

  • mark

    tweeter followers for xfactor 2011
    janet 287,517
    kitty 68,143
    johny 57,939
    sammy 46,991
    jonjoe 16,583
    2shoes 81,316
    nuvibe 41,629
    little mix from facebook 167,759
    the risk 140,097
    misha b 185,101
    Amelia Lily 367,810
    sophie 154,662
    frankie 409,953
    craig 266,160
    marcuss facebook 103,586 twitter 428,647
    james 45.607
    litle mix do have followers on they own twitter page.80.000 per girl..
    people thoughts

    • annemarie

      I suppose it depends on whether it is ‘good twitter’ or ‘bad twitter’. Some Twitter comments I have seen on the X Factor contestants have been quite negative, so it depends how much publicity an individual is creating for themselves ‘good’ or ‘bad’!

  • rmark

    It seems depressingly plausible now that Frankie’s sacking at that point was solely intended to damage Janet in that it allowed SyCo to bring back Amelia Lily.

    I figure they knew exactly what being a bad boy actually meant all along and were protecting him until they worked out he was a price worth paying if it meant they could use his replacement to help bring Janet’s vote down.

  • Joe

    First off, what a fantastic site you have.

    I’ve just discovered it after the final after The Bitch Factor posted this on Twitter, and I would like to say the articles are incredibly well written, well thought out, objective, and fascinating especially to a gambling virgin like me.

    I have felt for quite some time that the production team, after most of the best members left to go to America, were looking back to the last series to replicate what should have happened.

    Last series, for me, was the production team attempting to get a band to win it. To go on for seven years without one category winning gradually becomes a joke. One Direction were set up to win, and like you say in your articles, it’s safe to say the production team failed.

    In many ways, it didn’t matter. One Direction ‘won’ the pop charts in the following year, and Matt Cardle has been left to the waste bin of male winners.

    The second thing that interested me is the comparison between Cher Lloyd’s journey and Misha B’s.

    It is in Syco’s interest that the act with the most ‘chart’ potential is kept in for a long time, so the audience will eventually take them seriously when the act is given a record deal.

    Both Cher and Misha suffered from being too niche for this show and would never appeal to the mass voting audience.

    So, in the first week (knowing she would not be eliminated) they gave Misha the gift of allowing her to show what she could do after leaving The X Factor. So she sang Rolling In The Deep with full blazing rap, random laugh, and hooded dancers. Like Gary said, it was like watching a guest artist in full flow.

    If you’re interested, this was my tweet from 2nd October, Judges Houses – http://twitter.com/#!/nottherealjoe/status/120585885182992384

    Spooky right? Maybe I should bet next year?…

    • Joe

      If you can’t see the tweet from the link, here is what it said.

      @nottherealjoe
      Yay for Misha! I’m looking forward to her inevitable 4th placing and then doing far more interesting projects than the finalists. #xfactor

    • Andrew

      Hi Joe – Welcome, and thanks! 🙂 You make great points. It’s funny that 1D last year felt so very meticulously planned, and the groups this year felt so cobbled together – membership changes, name changes – yet this is the year they succeeded!

      Whether or not you bet next year, please do bookmark us and come join the discussion from the audition shows. Will be great to have you here.

    • Andrew

      Hi Wolfstar, Daniel will be posting something on Strictly later on in the week.

    • Joe

      Thanks a lot. For me, it’s a likely Harry finish.

      Not only does it work with the McFly takeover of all celebrity reality television (I expect Tom/Other one to win Celebrity Big Brother next year if they go in at this rate), but his win also fits nicely with the people you expect to vote in Strictly.

      However there is a snag, there is nothing Strictly fans like more than the journey.

      It has been incredibly, almost offputtingly obvious this year. Chelsee’s journey from girl to woman, ladette to lady (they even had a ridiculous The Rain in Spain/My Fair Lady VT for her), and Alesha has played ‘big sister’ to her all series. All of it could lead to a surprise Chelsee win.

      It also does not help that most Strictly fans find Aliona, Harry’s partner, offputting (Aliona is known for being a terrible choreographer although she has been better late this series, and has had clashes with Len in the past – she said she never bothers to listen to the judges). A lot of Strictly fans find the new professional, Pasha, very cute, so it can’t hurt.

      If they wanted Harry to win by a clear mile, they would have put Harry with his Children In Need partner, the very likeable Ola Jordan.

      I have my doubts Ola Jordan and Robbie Savage were put together purely because of their hair.

      I imagine the votes for Harry has probably beaten out the others week after week.

      At the end of the day, as long as a novelty act does not win Strictly, the stakes for the producers are not as high as for X Factor. X Factor needs a representative outside the show more than Strictly, and also demonstrate it can make stars. If they don’t, they fail.

      Strictly, you must remember, doesn’t matter about the stars after the show. It gives them a platform, but there are no expectations from the producers afterwards, apart from the odd ‘champion’ return. I imagine all the producers want is for people to not think Harry is a runaway winner.

  • Joe

    Hi Wolfstar, hopefully you find any bit of my rants on Strictly vaguely helpful.

  • Thanks Joe. I’ve never actually watched Strictly but with the final being on Saturday, I’m considering it as an opportunity for a flutter (or a “fluttertunity”). The odds for Harry are very safe, so I was surprised when I looked at the “who do you want to win” poll on Digital Spy and saw that Chelsee has twice as many votes there. But of course, Digital Spy only represents a subset of people. Stranger things have happened though, and as you correctly point out, people do love the narrative or “journey” aspect of these shows.

  • Highlighted

    Not been mentioned but week 7 the cutting of Craig was said because he supposedly wanted out. I think it’s clear after his great week 6 Paparazzi he was still 3rd bottom and they just wanted to get rid to allow Marcus to get to the final (as you need a boy there really).

    Marcus was not setting the votes alight himself but was getting the better of Craig so week 7 was the point they thought its best to concentrate on 1 Liverpudlian. This in turn allowed Marcus to sneak ahead of Janet aswell for week 8.

    • Highlighted

      Just to reply to myself. I guess at week 7 stage producers feared if Craig wasn’t sacrificed and Marcus not pimped there was a chance of both being bottom 2 and to be honest that would have been the case otherwise looking at the percentages.

      • annemarie

        Interesting article about early stages of the competition:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2049693/X-Factor-2011-Sheila-OSullivan-exposes-manipulation-heart-show.html

        After all the analysis I still do not really understand why Janet was ditched the way she was after being favoured for so long. I do not believe that it could be just down to a few strops she had behind the scenes. It seems likely some of the other contestants were not angels behind the scenes either. Most of the GBP are not completely stupid and would not quite comprehend why Gary Barlow thought Janet was the greatest thing since sliced bread one week then predictable and boring the next for no apparent reason. Little Mix could have probably been engineered in to the final by just keeping them in the top three of the voting if TPTB wanted them to win so desperately. Looking back it seems the judges’ comments were really incomprehensible and inexcusable at times. Perhaps SyCo is the most apt name for the X Factor brand! It all feels like the whole competition was rather mad!

        • Kate

          Her description of Johnny and Kitty – two of the best performers this year – as “freaks” seems rather charmless, if not outright bitter. Obviously TPTB do regard them this way, but adopting their worldview is neither endearing nor particularly useful criticism.

        • Curtis

          Yeah, I read this article a while ago, it’s the most bitter piece I’ve ever heard. How dare they give Janet chocolate!

          • annemarie

            Obviously a touch of sour grapes in the article. It was just the recognition that Janet was favoured early on that caught my eye.

          • Curtis

            Yes, well it was plain to see from the shows that she was favoured. It seems from that article that it was planned from her audition that she should make the final 16 (ditto Kitty)

        • R

          I don’t think Janet actually had strops on the show, she seems down to earth in her post X Factor interviews. This is more likely the image the show wanted to portray to lose her votes.I think it more likely that they wanted a shy 16 year old girl they could maniuplate for profit-as Little Mix will find out. When they discovered they had an intelligent young lady who doesn’t want to necessarily be a big star but wants to focus on developing her own style they would have decided that they couldn’t risk Janet winning the contract. They wanted a young Ellie Goulding but ended up with a girl with her own musical opinions, whose favourited acts on her website include Devendra Banhart, Wye Oak, Thomas Dybdahl and 1970’s smooth jazz.
          The show needs artists who will bend without any fight – especially after the Matt Cardle fiasco. One of Janet’s most interesting comments in the Holy Moly interview, when supporting Mischa staying in the show is, “…I’m going home and I’m glad because she’s so dedicated to the show whereas I’m dedicated to my music.” This probably explains why the show backed Misha so much. Misha was willing to bend, Little Mix were doing backflips to stay in the show but Janet remained true to her musical values.

      • Andrew

        Hi Highlighted, this is a great point. May not have been anything to do with Craig wanting out after all, just that Marcus was more popular (or less unpopular) and they were at a point where they needed to choose who to push to the final.

  • Kieran

    Can’t find it anywhere… Can anyone tell me who the 4 judges predictions pre-show were?

  • Lux Lisbon

    What on earth are we going to do this weekend???

    I’m bereft.

  • Uncle Si

    Thank you Daniel and Andrew for Sofabet, which has made this X Factor series fascinating where otherwise I would have dropped it after week 1 of the live shows!

    Looking forward to your Eurovision coverage. Between yourselves and All Kinds of Everything there will not be a jot of analysis missed!

    (For those who don’t know, Eurovision is far more than the 3 live shows in May. Before this, there’s a good 5 months of national finals in each country, each of them in turn often preceded by heats and semis and all the rest of it. There are hundreds of songs to get to know, and a lot of intrigue along the way.)

    May I just mention my personal ‘Wow’ performance of this X Factor season?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHiCuOfyxJ0

    • Andrew

      Cheers, Uncle Si – looking forward to your Eurovision comments!

      Poor old John Wilding, eh? To miss out to Frankie Cocozza…

      • Highlighted

        I want to copy those sentiments. I found this show halfway through the show, I don’t bet too much on XF, but finding this site made me realise there is money to be made, so I look forward to checking up on this site from time to time when reality shows are on, and especially next year when the XF is back for another gruelling 3-4 months.

    • Curtis

      with regards to your performance of the series, John Wilding was better than all 4 of the boys in Gary’s category in the final 16 (put together, might I add). Criminal that he didn’t make it to the live shows! Incredible voice.

  • Boki

    Hi Daniel & Andrew,

    After some many intense weeks finally a deserved little break, I still didn’t do a proper sign-off of my 1st X-season so:

    Thank you again for dragging me into x-factor world, I guess it was a difficult year with ups & downs but I learned a lot about the show, so I hold you responsible for the profit I made which was bigger than my best ESC year. Cheers!

    • Andrew

      Delighted to hear it, Boki! 🙂 From our part, thank you so much for being a voice of reason, balance and sanity in the comments these last few weeks, and for all your perceptive questions and observations.

      Looking forward to having you with us through Eurovision season!

      • Boki

        Too many kind words from your side Andrew :). I will firstly try to improve on a number of meaningful comments, wouldn’t like that this place turns into forum-like chatroom. It’s sometimes hard since I don’t use digspy, betfair, dailypunt or any other forum but if we all continue in this tempo the amount of comments might grow out of proportion.

        Anyway, let the ESC season begin – can’t wait!

  • Tim B

    Hi Daniel,

    Is the Strictly article coming tomorrow once you’ve seen the papers?

  • Jolo

    Janet Devlin, I liked her. I liked her shyness, and her delicate, yodelling-voice. it was beautiful. Sadly, like fellow Ireland native, Mary Byrne (5th place, season 7), she suffered the what I call now, the “Irish X-Factor Curse”. Both of them finished in 5th.

    Janet and Mary both had distinct voices. Mary’s was powerful, Janet’s was delicate. I really wanted them to go far. But this “distinctness” was their downfall. They couldn’t expand as much, Janet’s voice limited her to slow, soft songs. A “bigger”, more upbeat song would’ve been too much for her voice. Mary was limited to those powerful, oldie ballads. The novelty soon waned, and they were eliminated.

    Let’s look at the statistics.

    Janet = Safe-1-1-1-1-2-3-4
    Mary = 1-2-2-3-4-4-5-5-4

    They both peaked early on. Their distinctive styles appealed to the viewers, and they in turn, voted for them. Janet, being younger and more “marketable”, held on to the top spot longer. Both soon dropped in the ranks, until they found themselves in the Bottom 2, during the top 5 week. Take note, both of them were FOURTH, so if it went to deadlock, they would’ve stayed.

    They were voted off for more versatile, original, younger, “urban” contestants like Cher and Misha B.

    Eerily similar, no?

  • SIX

    I find Marcus’ treatment the most interesting (maybe somewhat biased since he was the act I was backing this year).

    My take on his “treatment” is that he was given a decent slot in week 2 due to showing some potential the previous week with his ‘Moves Like Jagger’ performance but singing a ballad didn’t suit his USP – which are his energetic, uplifting performances that stand-out amongst this year’s samey contestants – Sami, Janet, Craig, Sophie etc. Therefore he struggled in the first public vote despite the later slot.

    As Sofabet have said, he was likely to have been seen as expendable in week 3 and with the producers then aware that the likes of Kitty and Frankie weren’t safe while initial cannon fodder Little Mix were comfortably high in the week 2 vote, it looked as though they were sacrificing Marcus – but then he shocked everyone with his Rock performance and ended up 4th that week.

    The next two weeks were odd though. He wasn’t given late slots for both ‘Superstition’ and ‘Reet Petite’ (he was due one both weeks considering Frankie’s weekly late slots and Craig’s pimp slot in week 4) yet he was given overwhelmingly positive feedback for both. Maybe the producers knew there was potential in Marcus but the late slots were needed for the likes of Frankie, Kitty and possibly Craig who wasn’t doing great in the vote?

    I believed at the time that the lukewarm judges’ response to his week 6 performance of ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ was a method to knock Marcus from the “top” since his previous week’s performance of ‘Reet Petite’ (declared the performance of the series) was so well received that he probably topped that week’s vote (well he wasn’t that far off, it turns out) and the producers didn’t want another male winner so signs of gaining momentum were quickly sabotaged. So I’m quite confused about why Marcus’ solid, but by no means his greatest, performance was criticised by all the judges except his mentor. Was it indeed “tactical critique”? Was it scripted?

    Then, at the time of his week 7 performance of ‘Higher and Higher’ which saw him close the show for the first time, I naively thought the producers were just being fair since Marcus was the only remaining contestant who was yet to close the show. But it seems that he was the most likely to ruin the theoretical plan of Janet’s elimination (if Marcus fell in the bottom two with Craig that week, the survivor would have rebounded and Amelia [who was lacking in votes] would have been bottom two with Misha, who’d have fallen from her rebound vote, the following week – allowing Janet to get to the semi-final and probably the final at the expense of Gary’s last boy).

    From week 8 onwards, it seems that the producers were trying to push Marcus into the final but carefully making sure that he wouldn’t gain enough momentum to ruin a Little Mix win (putting him on first in the final). But I think the producers knew quite early on in the live shows (moreso after the week 7 results) that Marcus wasn’t a threat at all in regards to winning. I think Marcus’ “half-pimping” from week 7 onwards was to ensure that head-judge Gary had at least one act in the final.

    It’s a shame Marcus didn’t top any of the weekly votes though. ‘Reet Petite’ probably would’ve topped the week 5 vote if he had a later slot. Scary that he was close to the bottom two after his week 7 and 8 performances.

  • SIX

    Another two things to add…

    Firstly, everyone is wondering why the producers didn’t make an effort with Misha in week 8 but they gave her the second-best possible treatment in my opinion. In a week where each contestant performed two songs, with the voting lines opening after the first round, Misha was in the best position (after Marcus, arguably joint with LM closing the overall show) performing an emotional rendition of ‘Perfect’ with fans of the performance being able to vote for Misha straight after she had finished singing – which would obviously do her favours in the long-term.

    Amelia actually had the worst slot of the 4 acts. While Misha opened the second round (lines opened just beforehand), Marcus closed the first round (lines opened straight after) and Little Mix closing the overall show (fresh in voters’ minds), Amelia was in the worst position of 2nd to perform – which evidently didn’t do Janet any favours (bear in mind that she never opened the show if I remember correctly, despite being sabotaged) and second in the running order is widely seen as the real “death slot”.

    Also, if it is true that Syco get first choice on whether they want to sign any of the top 4, maybe the producers’ goals were complete by getting Misha to the semi-final – probably one possible reason why there wasn’t a sing-off (it’s not like it would have killed any tension for the final since Amelia and Misha were bottom two in the semi-final).

    Also, just as a little something I’ve noticed that might not have been picked up already, Marcus and Little Mix sang ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’ respectively. These were the two songs that JLS and Alexandra performed in the 2008 final – Alexandra obviously won after her powerful performance of ‘Silent Night’. Coincidence?

    • R

      Six, my reading of the Misha’s treatment is a little different to that which has been suggested so far as I don’t think it can be viewed in isolation from Janet’s treatment or the efforts to ensure LM’S eventual win.

      If we consider that week 3 was the week she was accused of bullying, this was also the week TPTB turned on Janet and LM were became the new Plan A.

      In this, I think that a possible emergency meeting decided to sacrifice Misha as the hate figure of the series – as Katie Waissel was last year.

      The accusation of bullying ensured that she would struggle to gain enough votes to be a danger to the eventual winners. Added to this, each time she was saved the voters of the eliminated act would accuse the show of favouring Misha ensuring the transfer of floating voters to one of the remaining acts.

      The show’s supposed bias towards Misha culminated in her being saved against Janet. This caused a massive backlash from Janet fans (based on Youtube & Digital spy comments)with a lot of hate directed at Misha and a campaign to back LM to prevent Misha getting into the final 3.
      Maybe the constant tears from Jesy and bullying stories were aimed at picking up the Janet vote. The week Janet left was the week LM had a very teary VT and sang Beautiful (which Janet sang as Judge’s houses) with Jesy crying as the camera panned in.
      Once Misha had done her duty of ensuring the Janet vote was transferred to LM it was easy for the show to ensure her demise – a simple reminder by Barlow about the “bullying” incident was enough to put off any floating voters and drop Misha to bottom place.

      I also think it was vital that Misha didn’t make the final as her strong vocal(although I wasn’t a fan) may have outshone the other acts in the final, making it more difficult for TPTB to order the top 3. And they wouldn’t want to mention bullying in the final as they wanted a party atmosphere to ensure the final memories the public left the series with were good ones.

      • SIX

        That’s an interesting point, R. I can understand how that would tie in with the producers’ ultimate goal but why would they target Misha in the first place? Being fifth in week 2’s vote shows that she wasn’t a threat to Little Mix or whoever was the Plan A at the time.

        Also, I’m not even sure Little Mix were the producers’ Plan A during week 3. I’m convinced it was after their week 4 performance (E.T.) that the producers cottoned on to the fact that Little Mix could win the show if they were pushed. Obviously Janet was no longer the producers’ favourite in week 3 but I find it hard to believe that the producers would stick LM on early with a dud song if they actually believed in the group. Surely it is more plausible that the producers backed The Risk until the member swap screwed the group over in terms of both credibility and popularity and that’s when Little Mix were seen as Tulisa’s last hope at having an act in the final. From week 4 onwards, I’d guess that the producers were pushing Little Mix for the final (so it wouldn’t be embarrassing for Tulisa to not have an act in the final) and to ultimately win (the producers wouldn’t have wanted a male winner again for the sake of the show not looking formulaic and predictable, Amelia winning would’ve made the series look like a complete joke, Misha didn’t stand a chance after bully-gate).

        That’s my opinion anyway. 😀

        • R

          Hi Six,

          TPTB may not have decided to back Little Mix until later but I do think they set Misha up as the hate figure.
          Possibly someone noticed the nasty look she gave Amelia in week one when Kelly called her safe & they thought they could work with it.
          Misha did bounce to second in week 7 (I think it was her crying with Kelly week) but I have to admit LM were well away by then.
          To be honest I may have started over-analysing in an attempt to predict set characters for next year(If God plays dice etc).
          I was watching the Inbetweeners movie yesterday and the love interest for the main characters were a group of four girls. The beautiful blonde leader of the group, the “fat” one who is sensitive about her size and the other two whose personalities aren’t fully developed in the film.
          Well even TPTB have to get their ideas from somewhere;-)

          • taichou

            hey guys interesting point of view, but maybe they just created an excuse and headlines for Misha to be saved each time she was in b2, cause i was tired of hearing every judge “u were accused of smthing which was not true”, looking at voting she wasnt really popular and urban acts never are in such shows..

          • SIX

            R, I genuinely believe that “bullygate” was unscripted. The producers clearly wanted drama and may have encouraged Tulisa/Louis to mention Misha’s behaviour (which could have definitely been true) but I doubt the judges, Tulisa in particular, would directly “attack” Misha on live TV just for the sake of entertainment and just because the producers told her to. If she was told to read out the supposed script, she’d have walked off the show.

            Also taichou, I actually originally had that idea that maybe Misha was struggling so much in the vote in week 2 that only an unfair allegation that would make her appear unpopular would not make multiple weeks in the bottom two (with her being saved each time) look embarrassing. It’s a killing two birds with one stone theory. Keep an unpopular talent in the competition, while also creating drama to increase ratings.

        • R

          Six, I still have this nagging doubt at the back of my mind.
          I can’t believe something that big in the show would be allowed to happen. Surely Dermot would have stepped in rather than let Louis add to the allegations.

          As I remember it, Tulisa merely mentioned her behaviour but Louis (who I believe has much more power within Syco than the affable idiot portrayal)was the one who actually mentioned bullying.
          I think Tulisa would have found it very difficult to walk a way from a water-tight Syco contract with any damage that might they might do to her reputation. Look at the stick Kelly got for taking a week off.
          Is it possible that she had threatened to leave after the switch from Janet and initially refused to play the “nasty” role until they reached a compromise?

          One other point: It’s good to see the totally unbiased David “I love Little Mix” Walliams has now joined the Syco stable on an official basis.

          • SIX

            Someone in Dermot’s earpiece could have been ordering him to leave well alone until Louis has said his piece. I’m almost positive Louis’ comments were scripted. I’m just as cynical about him as I am about Simon. They are businessmen – by definition they are immoral. 😀

            I can easily picture a scenario backstage before the live show started, one of producers starts talking to Tulisa about the contestants and mentions Misha’s behaviour in particular – probably directly encouraging Tulisa to confront Misha (especially if she was indeed bullying her act Little Mix). The producers clearly know Tulisa’s reputation of being an outspoken confrontational person (a trait that probably got her the job) and they took advantage of it. In short, I’d say Tulisa’s role in bullygate was planned but not scripted.

  • Pete D

    Just wishing everyone still here a very Merry Crimbo and a Prosperous New Year before I turn in and get get some rest before the family celebrations.

    The Paul McCartney Liverpool concert, which I treated myself to with my LITTLE MIX winnings, was nothing short of watching ‘God’ create another miracle. 3 hours of pure bliss and all filmed in HD and 3D sound with my brand new Zoom Q3 HD camera (thanks again too for that LITTLE MIX).

    Just also wrapped the LITTLE MIX CD single as one of my presents for my lovely 5 year old Princess grandaughter (but I burned a cheeky copy off for myself first).

    I have to say, that on listening to it in a proper clinical recording studio environment, ALL these girls really CAN sing despite the doubters and that they will be as HUGE as I originally predicted.

    All credit too to the Military Wives charity single that overtook it to get to the deserved Christmas No1 slot. (I am sure LM won’t mind in the circumstances).

    Thank you to their brave husbands too for keeping our great country free and safe so that we can all enjoy another Christmas.

    Peace and best wishes to everyone this Christmas.

    • Lux Lisbon

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, too.

      I’m glad you spent your winnings on something you really enjoyed…I’m very jealous.

      Yes, saw LM on Christmas TOTP, and was pleasantly surprized. However, the highlight of my whole Christmas Day was watching The Vaccines bash out an awesome tune on the same show.

      Go gently, matey – health and happiness to you in the new year.

      • Pauline

        Lux, Pete, AM and all Janet fans’. I received a CD of all Janet’s songs for Christmas. Played it straight away in my car. Driving along with the sound turned up, listening to Janet. Bliss.

        • R

          Hi Pauline. Lucky you.

          Here’s the bonus track.

          Janet did an interview on RTE Radio and sang an amazing version of “Your Song”.

          • Pauline

            R. Thank you so much. An additional Christmas present. This version is so smooth and moving. So lovely. The pianist, so good and his last few notes on piano – Jingle Bells. Oh, and the interview, Janet has had a few offers, so this time next year we can listen to just, completely Janet, doing things, like, her way. She is such a lovely charismatic girl. This version has a gentle, tenderness to it. Lovely.

            I hope Lux listens in.

          • R

            You’re welcome Pauline. It was so good I just had to share.
            I think it really does show the unique qualities she brings to her music and what a wonderfully grounded girl she is.
            I’m sure your wonderful description will compel a few of the regulars to listen in.

  • Lux Lisbon

    Oh, Pauline, I’m here, never doubt that 😉 Yes, I heard the RTE radio interview with the devilishly delicious Miss Devlin.

    As you mentioned, my friend, the couple of notes from Jingle Bells at the end of Your Song made me swoon. Genius.

    Did you listen too, to the songs by The Florin Street Band and Wye Oak that Janet and the radio presenter mentioned in the interview?

    I checked them out on Youtube and both of them were right up my street – in very different ways.

    I’m glad you liked the CD, I’ve got a Janet Devlin mug on order – a Christmas present to myself. I’m so awesome, I figured I deserved it 😛

    Merry Christmas, to both of you.

    • Pauline

      Lux. Checked out both. Loved the enigmatic appeal of the one (Enigma, loved them) and the Victoriana of the other. Brilliant sound both.

      Happy New Year Lux. May your mug runneth over.

  • Gillian

    I still can’t get over how the amazing singer Janet Devlin was eliminated from the competition at such an early stage for her, she was predicted a finalist right from her audition, as you can clearly tell with 6.5 million views on youtube, which is more than any other X Factor contestant. Another interesting fact is that Jade Richards, a great singer who was eliminated at judges houses, got over 3 million views on youtube, which was more than Misha B and Amelia Lily. Maybe the final 4 girls should of been Misha, Jade, Janet and Sophie. This would of made a lot more sense. I think Janet’s had a really rough ride during her time, because she has gained the most votes for 4 weeks in a row, even in her worst week in Week 5, and then in Week 6, it was unfair of Amelia to return because it was obvious she would take the top spot of Janet. All the attention was put on Amelia and Janet started to lose popularity, she was now 2nd place in Week 6, and her performance was now ‘boring’, whereas Little Mix and the other contestants gave just-as-good performances and got great comments. The judges thought Janet was a threat! In week 7, Janet was 3rd, I think this was due to the ‘Safe’ song choice and not the usual exciting ballad than Janet usually does. In week 7, Little Mix take the top spot in their best performance yet. In week 8, Janet was given two terrible songs just to get her eliminated. It was stupid. And Janet got a ton more votes than Misha, Janet should of went through. I’ll miss Janet Devlin 🙁

    • Pauline

      Know what you mean Gill. We find her in other ways. She’ll be back!

      • Lux Lisbon

        Turned on the TV this morning, and watched ‘The Best And Worst Of X-factor 2011’ as I was getting ready for work, and had to sit through those two turncoats (Barlow and Rowland), praising Miss Devlin to the gods.

        I must have watched her ‘Your Song’ audition about a dozen times up until today, however, once she started singing I was almost sobbing and trying to catch my breath.

        I swear, that girl was sent to us from Heaven.

        • annemarie

          Pauline, Lux, R and all other Janet Devlin fans.

          I came across the following article/interview with Janet. It is kind of refreshing and gives a little more insight in to Janet’s personality and her X Factor experience.

          http://www.newsletter.co.uk/lifestyle/features/tomboy_janet_devlin_was_never_the_coolest_kid_1_3351516

          In retrospect now, regarding this year’s X Factor, I think once the TPTB saw a chance of a group winning , I do not think anyone else had much of a chance. None the less Janet should have really been in the final. If it were not for Amelia Lily’s re-introduction I think Janet would have been in the last three.

          I still have serious concerns regarding the judges unjustly negative comments on not only Janet’s performances but on those of the other contestants too. It may be just some talent competition to the judges etc. but its people’s lives they are playing. If criticism has to be negative in some way it should be constructive also.

          Janet looks to have a bright future and no doubt has learned much from her X Factor experience. To the future, I have tickets to see Janet singing live next week and also in March, so there is much to look forward to!

          • Pauline

            Thank you AnneMarie. Enjoy the live show, both.

          • Lux Lisbon

            Thankyou for that, AnneMarie, – you must report back here and let us know what the Janet experience was like. Have the tippermost-toppermost time.

            It’s really telling that out of the hundreds and thousands of people who entered the show, the dozen who got through bootcamp, the three that squeezed through to the final, and the group that got its neck across the winning post first, Janet is the one we people are still talking about.

            Happy New Year, folks, x

          • R

            Thank you AnneMarie, an interesting article.
            I’m sure you’ll have a great time at the shows.

        • Pauline

          Like you said Lux. “Something heartbreaking”.

          • annemarie

            Pauline, Lux, R

            Saw Janet yesterday singing live at The Forum in Hatfield. One thing I can say re ‘Mr Barlow’, Janet was not boring! Her performance was AMAZING and her voice as beautiful as ever. Janet had the star slot at the end of the show. Included in her repertoire were Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Your Song’. I had a bit of a lump in my throat when she sang the latter. Janet also sang a couple of songs with her guitar, and following is one of those songs uploaded to You Tube by tweetjlt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK2Ub6SeQ54
            There was a ‘Meet and Greet’ session after the show and I actually got to speak very briefly with Janet. I just said I really enjoyed her performance and she replied ‘Aw, thank you’. She came across as a little shy and unassuming, but that is not the same as boring! She is still very young!

            Whilst queuing for the Meet and Great session, some of the comments I heard regarding the X Factor generally from the ‘very young’ female persons also queuing were very interesting. ‘I thought Frankie should have won’ said one, ‘pink hair came third’ said another (they were struggling to remember her name). There were also shouts of ‘Janet, we love you’ and screams for The Risk who also performed. The Risk’s harmonies were a bit out when they sang. They were OK, but not my personal taste. The experience just made me think who was actually voting in this year’s X Factor and what were an individual’s reasons for doing so. For many of those very young girls it appears to have been ‘young male, good looking can sing OK’, for others it may have been on individual performances or an individual’s taste in music. Janet fans can take comfort in the fact, in view of the voting statistics, Janet maintained her core support throughout the competition and topped the vote four times. That show’s real popularity! In many such competitions we often think the right person did not win: as always it is down to the type of person who votes and the contestants popularity among those voters. That’s fair enough. We just need the judges to be fair too, in their judgement and their comments, and listen to what the public are saying! Still can’t believe Misha was actually bottom of the vote three times and saved each time!

            Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s hope we are all a little better off by the end of 2012!

  • anon

    As much as I like your analysis for the most part, I hate how you ignore certain things in order to make it fit into your theory. For me, I hate the VT about the insecure girl in Little Mix but I loved their performance which is why I think they got second place that week. And I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered for them if Johnny Robinson had a lot of votes in week 3. There was no chance he was going to win.

    • SIX

      I think there was always a chance Johnny could win. The only thing that could possibly stand between Johnny and victory is producers’ manipulation. If he was able to get a huge amount of votes in week 3 (more than Marcus, Little Mix etc), he was definitely able to win the whole show.

  • Pauline

    AnneMarie. Thanks a million for this. I have been looking out for it. I must admit to a bit of green eye with a tear in it. You actually spoke to wee Janet. Lucky you.
    Seriously, I am so glad she did you proud and you enjoyed her singing. Love that song on the clip “Sleeping Sickness”. Did catch Janet doing a live question and answer session on her lap top in her hotel room around about 11.50am yesterday She was happy interesting and typically, well, like, teenage. She was fun, took time with her fans and was absolutely lovely. As you say, very young. I hope to get to see her some day. In the meantime still enjoying the CD. Somehow you get the feeling of the voice and the whole arrangement all the more so without the visuals. I guess I’ll have to settle for that at the moment.

    • annemarie

      I saw the recording of the Live Blog you mention too. For others who might be interested:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUzgliZxAXw
      It is a little difficult to follow at first because of the live Q & A format. But as you say Pauline, Janet comes across as typically teenage in her manner, excited by the future and just finding out about the world. Not boring at all. Grrrr! All those sort of X factor comments about her still make me mad. If Janet comes to sing at a venue near you, all I can say is, it is worthwhile going to see her!

    • Lux Lisbon

      Awesome sauce – thank you for that. Holy St. Francis, I think that if I’d got the pleasure to meet Janet I’d probably end up swooning and making a right fool of myself.

      I was diagnosed with a cancer about four years ago (I’ve been in remission now since April ’08), and I am mad for living. I cannot wait to get out of bed each morning because I have so much fun just being me. Having the pleasure of being able to listen to Janet sing whenever I want, honestly makes my life an even richer experience.

      One wish: I’d love them to choose her to sing the theme for the next James Bond film. Can you imagine it? Sat in the cinema, with your popcorn and a drink and Janet’s voice coming at you in surround sound 😉

      That’s my idea of bliss. Going to check out those Youtube links now.

      Happy New Year to you all, x

      • Pete D

        Hey Lux. Just had a little peek in and saw your comm on the thread. Sorry to hear that news but glad to see the ‘in remission’ bit and your great attitude towards it. Same boat here for me, but with the old ticker instead after an h/a last May and now waiting test results for ‘suspected’ start of heart failure.

        Not letting it phase me either as can still live long and prosper with it. Ya just can’t beat music and laughter as the best medicine for any ailment.

        Hope Jan brings an album out soon for you drool and ‘swoon’ over. Same ‘awesome sauce’ for me too with McCartney at the Liverpool gig in December. It was like watching God create yet another miracle, lol.

        I’m a huge Bond fan too and as Macca has already done one, maybe it’s Jan’s turn now eh ?

        Take it easy and have a great new year matey (and many more after that too).

        • taichou

          hey Pete have a great new year! i just came back from vacation in italy 😀 thanks to our muffins!:D

          • Pete D

            Hi taichou. Nice one (where’s my holiday souvenir present then ? lol).

            HNY to you too. I was boring and invested my winnings in gear for my biz. A small vid-cam (Zoom Q3 HD ‘highly recommended’) and a ‘used bargain’ super duper live band mixing console from eBay that I have been after for ages.

            The rest went on Little Mix goodies for my lovely grandaughter’s Christmas box, disco lights for her bedroom, a few hot dinners, a packet of 4 x celebratory breakfast ‘Muffins’, Lem-sips for my Flu (that I caught in the Liverpool Cavern Club after the Macca gig) and this months mortgage, lol.

            I also left a tenner in the bet account to have a punt on UK ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. Now don’t laugh, but I put it on Frankie Cocaine-ozza @ 9/1 (as he owes me one for staying in XF when I bet him to go against The Risk in b2). Just a small daft bet really, but you never know ?

          • taichou

            haha Pete good bet! btw i bought also new smartphone with all the cool stuff so its all good, got new job so gonna invest more 😀

  • R

    Thanks once again AnneMarie, I’m so glad you enjoyed her performance and actually got to meet Janet. What a great way to start the year.
    Also nice to hear that she takes time out for a “meet and greet” session. Hopefully we’ll all have signed copies of her album sometime later this year.
    It all bodes well for her future career.

  • Matt

    What happened to the full analysis in coming weeks? I was looking forward to that!

  • Highlighted

    Here you go guys, this is the type of performance the producers didnt allow her to do, but what possibly could have won her the show

    • Pauline

      Thank you for this High L. Yes agree with you. Really enjoyed it. There is another on YT. Janet singing what is headed as “Acoustic Song”. I think it is “Neapolitan Dreams”. You must watch it. She is performing in a local pub. It’s really lovely. What Lux and Pete would call ‘awesome sauce’. Welcome back Pete.
      Keep going and enjoy things. Laughter is key.

      • Pauline

        AnneMarie, R, Lux. You will like Janet singing Neapolitan Dreams – Acoustic song too. Would post it, but not that ‘au fait’ with computing like you guys.

    • annemarie

      Yes, HL, I agree too! I saw this performance live at The Forum , Hatfield, last Monday. Janet’s live performance there was amazing. I do wonder now though, that Janet’s music style was perhaps a little too arty for the mainstream X Factor style of pop music. If TPTB had allowed Janet to sing with her guitar that would have perhaps felt like the female equivalent of last year’s winner, Matt Cardle. TPTB, perhaps, did not want to risk a similar style of winner. They gave Matt some ridiculous songs too last year to sing. I think song choice and the arrangement of the song, more than other of the little tricks X Factor play, affects a singer’s performance and how the public perceive them. It is a shame the X Factor portrayed Janet in the way they did. She was not and is not boring: a little unassuming maybe but is that such a bad thing. Janet had been to drama and stage school before the X Factor. They could have easily portrayed her more positively http://www.muchadostageschool.co.uk/gallery

      I have started watching ‘The Talent Show Story’ on Saturday evenings at 8.30pm. You can catch up with it on iplayer at http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=299211 It is a bit of an eye opener. Going back to Pop Idol ten years ago, Simon Cowell did not want Will Young to win then, preferring Gareth Gates. And Mr Cowell’s comments were suitably derogatory toward Will to try and derail him. It seems to have set the style for X Factor series that followed!

      • Pauline

        AnneMarie. I love unassuming. Unassuming ,however, can be taken by some as unaware. They couldn’t be more wrong. Unassuming is a strength, not a weakness. Janet is very young, but, strength of character she has in full measure, as you were privileged to witness at the forum. The human species being as it is, everything is engineered to the preference of those in power at the given time. Sad, but, there it is. The thing is those in power at the given time think they are invincible. Not so, their time of enlightenment will come. By then it is usually too late. Sorry, I ramble, but my sense of justice and fair play causes me great upset and causes me to rant. Still fighting Janet’s corner. Tho’it would appear she has plenty already doing that. She is a star that is meant to shine and shine she will.

  • R

    Thank you Pauline,

    I have to agree, this is a beautiful version of Neapolitan Dreams by Janet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8YjUzkgyXM

    The original artist was Lisa Mitchell who went on Austrailian Idol when she was 16 and was described in her audition as “…the standard.”
    She ended up sixth.

    She has since had a very successful career in Australia, being nominated for several music awards & winning the Australia Music Prize in 2009. Her style is described as Indie/Acoustic/Folk(Wikipedia).

    If you watch Lisa Mitchell’s official video for Neopolitan Dreams, some of the styling is reminiscent of Janet’s styling in TXF.

  • Pauline

    R. According to some guy called Dean Midas Maynard who interviewed Janet for Tellymix this am. Paddy Power are offering 50/1 on Janet having a number one this year. Also 8/1 on Janet advertising for a hair dye this year. Loved Janet’s answer to that. Take a look. It’s quite a good interview. Dean was very OK.

    • Pauline

      Actually R, forget the this year bit. Period of time wasn’t mentioned. I don’t know how that works with a bet. You could be waiting sine die!

      • R

        Thanks Pauline.

        The interview says 50/1 for a no.1 in the US. I think this might be more realistic as I would hope she’s much shorter for a UK no.1 if there isn’t a time limit.
        However, I looked on PP and couldn’t find the bet, it may have been a “special bet” listed during the XF live shows.

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