X Factor 2012: It’s Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll For Me

Since the painful arrival of Credibility Cardle on our screens in 2010, there has been a steep upward trend in the number of X Factor contestants showing up with acoustic guitars and sullen faces. Two years on, it is clear that the serious ‘n’ authentic troubadour has left something of a legacy on the X Factor. This year’s auditions were jam packed with pretty, whining indie-boys just bursting at the denim seams to strum a line or two for the judges.

They were not alone of course. Champion of the flipside, Miss Cher ‘Swagger’ Lloyd has her own brand of auditionee to answer for – the cocky urban child. It’s a niche that Her Royal Highness, Misha B, did well to refine last year, albeit in the face of some rather uncomfortable sabotage.

Whatever you think of these characters, their participation in X Factor has broadened our ideas of what a winner should sound like. Time was, you had to be a white crooner in a stiff collar or an overly grateful black diva-in-training to scoop the main prize. Today, people look at James Arthur (who surely would have been shooed like a dirty pigeon from series 1 auditions) and wonder if he might be the prodigal epicentre of artistic torment.*

Of course there have been guitars from the beginning, and rappers too (who can forget the inimitable Miss Frank?) but aside from 2005’s Journey South, who were more Kum-Ba-Yah than Arctic Monkeys, there weren’t any real ‘alternative’ contenders until Messrs Cardle, Lloyd and Grimshaw turned up in series 7.

So far, however, no indie act has really worked post show. Wett Flannel found that he had no street cred in the harsh, middle-class wankfest of NME readership, a misfortune he might have anticipated before slagging off the X Factor and labelling its audience a ‘stepping stone’.  Aiden Grimshaw has managed a little better, but only by side-morphing casually into murky post-dub pop waters and keeping his head down somewhat.

2011 proved even more disastrous for the indie-crew, with James Michael leaving early, Janet Devlin suffering assassination and Frankie being a bloody, rasping arsehole on twiglets.

The urban story is a slightly different one. True, Cher Lloyd discarded the fragments of effortless urban cool she demonstrated in one or two performances and instead threw herself headlong down a gauntlet of lollipop knuckledusters and bubblegum pop. But what she did do, and what Misha B is trying to do now, was to turn a niche audition into a vaguely successful music career.

Let us imagine for a second that every X Factor contestant – and by extension every popstar – fits somewhere on a scale between 0 and 10. A nice number 5 would be neither too sweet nor too salty but simply good, wholesome pop. A zero would be as ghetto as X Factor is capable of getting, whilst a perfect ten would be an acoustic cover of Killing In The Name Of in the style of Florence Welch.

(I’m quite aware that ‘pop’ as a neutral point between contrasting genres isn’t exactly scientific but for the point of this post we’re going to run with it).

Some examples are in order (feel free to contribute your own). It would be pretty fair to say that Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis were both about a 4, much like Justin Timberlake and an early Whitney Houston – essentially pop but with a hint of soul. Meanwhile, Joe McElderry, One Direction and Little Mix would all be a strong, poppy 5. Diana Vickers would just about push over into a 6 and Janet Devlin would yelp her way to an 8, right behind Matt Cardle at 8.5 (still a fair distance from Robbie Hance’s 10).

Overall, the show’s winners tend to be a 5 or under, with the sole exception of Matt Cardle (who incidentally also holds the record for fastest post-show vanishing act).  Winners and runners up can lean ever so gently towards the urban, as was the case with Alexandra Burke and JLS (both about 4) but not so far as to intimidate middle England and therefore cost producers a lot of extra pushing and pimping, as was the case with Cher and Misha (2.5 and 2 respectively).

However, should you graduate the X Factor as an urban leaning artist in a top 4 placing, you look far more likely to make waves in the singles chart from that point onwards.

The same cannot be said for the indie-rock darlings. In fact they appear to have the opposite problem. Whilst some appear to storm the public vote, as with Cardle and Devlin, we might speculate that others pose such a threat to producer plan that they are cut before the public get a say (see: Joseph Whelan, Robbie Hance). And unlike the ‘urban’ acts, the indies don’t have to rein their differences in – the more leftfield their performances, the more the audiences lap it up. The paradox: these are the acts that the TV viewing public love to get behind but the record buying public won’t invest in.

It could be argued that a lot of it comes down to class and taste. The stereotyped urban market is younger, less concerned with questions of high vs low culture and essentially less cynical / more willing to buy into commercial crap. The indie market however is obsessed with the idea of credibility and takes great joy in rooting out the inauthenticities in every Tom, Dick and Harry who makes the shelves in HMV. Look at what happened to poor Lana Del Rey.

So what does this dichotomy mean for the inaugural class of 2012? Ella and Jahmene are solid pop 5s so they’ll do all right, won’t they? And Jade Ellis looks like an appealing 3.5 which has to be better than Lucy Spraggan’s 8, no? Mitsotu can be written off as a threatening 1 but sixer Kye is not to be sniffed at. Right? Hmm.

Just as we here at Sofabet like to pore over our makeshift form book, so too will music bigwigs be scanning the X Factor’s eight year history for a good indication of what to do next. Is there space for another One Direction in the form of Union J or GMD3? Is it better to play to the show’s strengths and produce more urban pop artists and shy away from the dangerous, unmarketable indie acts? Isn’t it time that X Factor produced another golden girl pop star and shouldn’t that star be Ella Henderson – young, fresh, talented and unassuming?

The problem with that line of thinking of course is that music trends are fluid. Whilst Matt Cardle bitched about singing Katy Perry in yellow trousers (seriously, man the fuck up) and Janet Devlin moaned about being separated from her beloved guitar, we no longer live in a world where an act needs to make a clear cut choice about whether to attack the pop or indie market. Why is that exactly?

In a word, Sheeran. To complement it with another, Gotye. Those two acts have done more to indify the tween market in the past year than The Script could manage in four. Whilst ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ was the anthem for commercial hipster chic, with lyrics as patronising as ‘have you friends collect your records and then change your number’, Ed Sheeran became the poster boy for heartfelt angst and teen insecurity as well as a beacon of authenticity, shining brightly against a dark sky of monotonous production, dubstep breakdowns and Nicki Minaj interludes. Sheeran also became something of an unlikely heartthrob, his wiry ginger hair and tubby physique somehow making him the accessible pin up for adolescent females up and down the nation.

The tween represents a strong sector of the X Factor demographic but more importantly, a potentially strong crossover between the voting public and the average music buyer. Let’s face it; part of what doomed the careers of most of the show’s male winners is the simple fact that randy housewives don’t buy CD singles.

The X Factor has lamentably failed to provide us with a solid urban category this year. Rough Copy have apparently failed to make Judges’ Houses due to visa issues and Mitsotu have barely been covered. Rumour has it that Starboy Nathan fails to make the finals and Jade Ellis is hardly Miss Dynamite. Perhaps this is due to the current glut of ‘urban’ rubbish in the charts right now – from Tinchy Srtyder to Taio Cruz via everything involving Nicki Minaj (let’s be clear – I LOVE Nicki Minaj but enough is enough guys). Perhaps what the single-buying public want right now is more Gotye and more Sheeran.

As I see it, X Factor producers currently have two options. They can attempt a return to form by committing to one of Ella Henderson or Jade Ellis and creating their third successful flaming songbird character. Or they can strike while the iron is hot – that is to say at the point when the market wants Sheeranesque, acoustic indie-folk-pop – and take a risk with James Arthur (9) or Lucy Spraggan (8). The risks paid off with Cher and Misha in the urban vein. And they paid off with JLS and One Direction with the resurrection of the boyband. Maybe, just maybe, the indie-folk concept has been tweened and preened to the point that an X Factor alumnus could slip into the charts without the need to defend his or her authenticity. It may have been too soon for the Devlinator last year but Lucy Spraggan has already proved that she can sell records and James Arthur hasn’t half racked up the hits on Youtube.

Then again, that Adeleona Henderson does look like a safer bet for both punters and producers alike. Either way, what the show needs least is the fallout from a win by Jahmene or Kye. We don’t need another Steve Brookstein or Leon Jackson or Joe McElderry and The Powers That Be, as dense as they seem at times, must know that too.

As ever, do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you expect producers to play it safe and engineer a win for a silken pop princess? Or do you think producers and punters should take the big risk and root for the more exciting (read: tedious, acoustic) outcome? We want to know!

*Collagen Westwood is the prodigal epicentre of artistic torment and don’t you forget it.

46 comments to X Factor 2012: It’s Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll For Me

  • Tim B

    What about MK1? They are strongly rumoured to be in the lives and describe themselves on twitter as a “Commercial dubstep group”. I think they could be this year’s alpha group – promoted as a credible urban act in the vein of Cher Lloyd and Misha B. Where would they be on the spectrum…2.5? Guess we need to see more of them.

  • Nugg

    Whilst I can understand this line of thinking Dug, the winner of the XFactor is not what matters so much as keeping the press coverage flowing and getting the viewer numbers back on track. XF winners and most contestants are now generally disposible TV fodder, the chances of making it in the music game with any longevity are pretty slim for all, most will have a couple of minor hits and a minor album whilst their name is still remembered and then be forgotten.
    The difficulty in promoting indie acts in the show is that they lack the universal mainstream appeal of a pop artist and do not create the optimum Saturday night family entertainment/variety TV show. If we are subjected to weeks of acoustic acts singing their own songs, rap and urban acts then there is a danger a large number of viewers will switch off. With viewer numbers already falling thats the last thing the show needs, surely it’s better to have colourful pop acts belting out familiar and safe Abba, Britney and Take That mainstream songs than risk alienating half the audience.
    I think it’s a brave and possibibly disastrous move for the XF brand changing the format in this way, I have a feeling that these acts may just be allowed to get a bit of coverage but that ultimately it will be back to XF as we know it and a traditional mainstream pop winner.
    The indie/guitar acts through seem a little dull to me, but then I also honestly think the show is past its shelflife now and this WILL be the last series ever made.

    • Dug

      Some excellent points Nugg, and you’ve pretty much summed up my deleted paragraph about the importance of entertainment throughout the show over winner’s credibility. However, I think it would be unwise to think that producers don’t care about creating a profitable, high profile act (winner or not) from the show. And as the voting stats for Cardle and Devlin prove, the public really DO get behind the kind of 5+ acts I’m talking about. It’s just that none of these acts have thus far worked in a post-show context. Surely the goal for producers would be to find the kind of act that could generate that kind of support as an artist. Pipe dream or no, it’s a nice idea.

      • Nugg

        The thing is with Cardle and Devlin, although being slightly different, they did sing familiar mainstream songs , my worry at moment is that , it appears at least, that these, alternative, artists are going to be allowed to sing their own songs.

        This is disaster IMHO, songs the viewers have never heard, they have nothing to compare the vocals too .

        How on earth can this work? How can we have themed weeks ? How often will they be allowed to sing their own writings?

        This is a really BAD idea and marks the end of the XF I know and love.

        The difficulty in creating any credible artist from the show is that regardless of how talented/good you might be, you will ALWAYS be known as that singer/band off the XFactor, in the pop world thats not so bad but in the indie/urban world it’s not a good hash tag to have.

        • Dug

          I’m with you Nugg. Were the problem of originality vs live finals with themed weeks not an issue, I’d be looking at Lucy Spraggan for the win. But we obviously have a problem on our hands and so does the show as a whole.

          There is definitely a sense of apocalypse surrounding the show and there is a strong difference of opinion on whether natural development or a return to form is the solution.

          What I do think however, is that indie-folk is merging into the pop sector now in the same way that urban music has been for the past 5 or so years. It’s not so much that the acts have to appeal to an alternative market than it is that the flavours of that market have to seep into the realm of pop. I’m not expecting James Arthur to get a good review in NME, I’m expecting the single-buying public to want something with an acoustic guitar over another Adele.

        • Nugg

          Just thinking about SHEERAN as an example, now just suppose SHEERAN had auditioned and done well in, possibly won, the XFACTOR.
          Do you think he would be more or less succesful than he is now, would he have the same longevity?
          My own view is that if he had come through the XF, he would have nowhere near the following and lifespan his current career has. He would sell a few records, have a fan base but ultimately just be that lad who was on the XF and that tag would be with him forever and destroy all his long term credibility.

          • Dug

            But there would have been no Sheeran benchmark for him to follow. No credible tween-magnet with acoustic guitar for him to emulate.

  • AlisonR

    I noted Gary’s comment, after he got given the over-28s, about it having previously been a “joke category” – are they pimping someone in this category for the win, even at this early stage? My money’s on Kye. They clearly don’t want a group to win this year following on from a group win last year, because they’re all pretty anonymous and have been dumped with Louis.

    • Dug

      I have wondered about this, AlisonR. It seems odd that they wouldn’t be giving someone as (self)important as Gary a winning category but I just can’t see how the show would allow any of the present overs to win it. Kye seems the most viable but how different is he from so many of the show’s failing winners. My thought is that Gary has had his ego pumped enough this year, what with the Olympics and all the appearances he made in Africa, and that he’s happy to be the voice of reason. He is very much a solid brand in himself, whereas Tulisa is a relatively new brand whose double success could help to solidify her celebrity.

  • Daniel

    According to the website Unreality TV, details of the twist have been revealed. Once three acts are chosen from each category, a fourth wildcard will also be selected by the mentor. These four wildcards will face a public vote with lines open all week. The winner joins the first live show, giving us 13 acts.
    http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/x-factor/x-factor-2012-new-wildcard-twist-will-see-ditched-acts-getting-the-chance-to-return-four-have-already-been-chosen/?utm_source=Twitterfeed&utm_medium=Tweet&utm_campaign=Twitter+%28%40unrealitytv%29

    • Tim B

      A couple of questions arise regarding this twist. Will they leave someone out on purpose, in order for them to gain a big fanbase and give them a head start going into lives? And who out of the rumoured acts that misses out in the top 3 most likely to win a phone vote,? Essex Amy? Poisonous Twin? Nathan Fagan Gayle? Shaky Maloney?

  • Simon "Le chat"

    Ah=ha!
    This is why the bookies have dozens of acts still in the betting even though they know the 12 that are through. Hope for Duke yet!

  • Highlighted

    I doubt a group would win the public vote. My guess is shaky Maloney or Nathan to be the wild card.

    • Andrew

      Agreed, Highlighted, this must have been done with a particular act in mind and those two are the most obvious contenders. If Shakey is in the vote, hard to see how Starboy beats him given their screentime disparity so far. If, however, he’s up against Brad Shackleton…

  • Highlighted

    By the way I think Union J and GMD3 will be too alike and they will surely dump 1 of them in the first few weeks.

  • KaraokeSauron

    Another fascinating article, and response/s.

    Nugg – Whilst I have no powers to award offical Sofabet titles, were I able to do so you would be the Voice Of Reason. You’ve hit upon what I’ve been saying about Lucy (and her fellow ‘five pluses’ – like it!) since the start of the series.

    We’ve all seen how clearly producers have installed Ella Henderson as Plan A. Indeed, this announcement has been proclaimed with utter clarity. Listen again to Ella’s first audition, and the music which swells at the end of her performance. It’s pure Hollywood: part Spielberg-Williams, part Disney, and is meant to signal the birth of a very ‘magical’ talent.

    Then we get the official endorsement from Tulisa, who visits her back stage to solicit the ‘Goodbye Grandad’ backstory.

    Later, at bootcamp, Nicole’s response to Ella’s ‘Believe’ was so melodramatic even her fellow panellists seemed ashamed. Add the fact that Ella will be mentored by the reigning alpha female, whose tabloid popularity Cowell is planning to stoke further with a second consecutive victory, and the writing is very much on the wall.

    In his boot camp review Daniel claimed to see no reason why producers wouldn’t run with the series’ other breakout star, Lucy Spraggan. However, I would aver that Ella Henderson is one very obvious reason why they won’t, or if they do, then for a limited distance only.

    Yes, producers want to reflect the post-Sheeran musical landscape in the complexion of the lives, but to preserve its status as TV’s tentpole product, the show has demonstrated over several years that it prefers solid, if dull, victors over edgier (but ultimately more lucrative) acts – whose careers SyCo/Sony will profit from regardless.

    For this reason I maintain that Lucy (or Indie Plan B: ‘Arthur’) can only win the show if the public rebels against its overlords and rises to the banner of a folk hero. Of the two, Lucy is more dangerous because she has the requisite charisma (and massive confidence) to elicit such a response. However, I expect Cowell will be at pains to prevent from happening, and will pull the plug in the final (or a couple of weeks prior) by the simple expedient of removing her trusty guitar, giving her a full backing track and insisting she sing a cover. Job done.

    As an aside, I’m greatly looking forward to that moment. Not just because Lucy needs taking down a peg or two, but because the spectacle of her attempting to convince the public that she’s an all-round entertainer – instead of a glorified student act – promises belly laughs to exceed even those provoked by Mary Bryne’s turn for Disco Week.

    We’ll know when the moment is due by how soon producers introduce ‘Last Night’ and ‘Tea & Toast’ into the lives. These are the two original songs with which audiences have had time to familiarise themselves; and each represents a free pass to the next round for Lucy Spraggan. She’ll be on borrowed time as soon as we’ve heard both of those.

    By the same token, if we get to the semi-finals – and, as I expect, both Ella and Lucy still remain in the competition, and neither of these songs have been performed… Well, Lucy’s current price would look a steal.

    Thanks,
    KS aka ‘Prodigal Epicentre’

  • Highlighted

    Well indeed, if Amy however managed to get a Wild Card then I think she could be the chosen act. I think though they will want Shaky to get the vote (as Barlow said, the overs needs to be considered more serious and what better way than to have more in that category on the lives than any other?)

    It seems each category will be made of

    Boys – Arthur, joke act, Nervous
    Girls – Ella, Lucy, Jade Ellis
    Groups – GHB, MK1, Union J
    Overs – Carowho?, Melanie Witchcraft, Kite Stones

    Then depending on who they want through with these, if its Amy, then it would be Amy, Nathan, Brad and whatever group (as I said none will advance)

    If its Shaky, then Shaky, Nathan, Leanne and a group.

  • Nugg

    If this leak is true there are going to be some very depleted bank balances….mine included 🙁

    Source – todays Irish Independant

    GIRLS

    Lucy Spraggan
    Jade Ellis
    Leanne Robinson

    BOYS

    Jahmene Douglas
    Starboy Nathan
    Rylan Clark

    OVERS

    Carolynne Poole
    Melanie Masson
    Christopher Maloney

    GROUPS

    GMBD3
    Union J
    Posionous Twin

  • Daniel

    I have a speculative theory about the twist. How do you make it as big a story as possible and get everyone talking about the show again, not to mention tuning in the following weekend?

    Tulisa agonises over her strong category this weekend….and leaves Ella out. She’s one of the wildcards instead. Next Saturday, Ella is revealed as the vote winner, and duly gets the pimp slot, singing a stripped back version of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. Tears all round. 

    The producers’ favourite now has an interesting narrative, and the wind in her sails.

    Would they?

    • Ella Amaro! I think they would, but they would have to choose the 3 other wildcards carefully to make sure ella will be voted through.

    • Tim B

      It’s a good theory, but as the last 2 years have shown us, week 1 is a bit early to be having the wind in your sails. Remember Mary Byrne from 2010 and Janet Devlin (and Craig Colton to a lesser extent).

  • The Irish Inde have previous in calling things wrong – you may recall it claimed Mel McCabe had made the lives last year.

  • Nugg

    Ella would sail through as a wildcard whoever they choose as the 3 competitors, just like Amelia Lily did last year. I agree Daniel, it would be purely a publicity stunt if they did this and would boost her chances of winning.
    Who knows what stunts they are capable of, nothing would suprise me

    • Daniel

      Agreed Nugg. The main argument against the theory is that it reeks of desperation, of a show in terminal decline that will do anything to try and halt a ratings slide. Hmmmmm.

      If on the other hand, the twist leads us to a pimp slot in the first live show for Christopher Maloney, well, it would be one big ‘meh’.

  • Highlighted

    If this happens I’ll throw all my money on Ella, but Janes Arthur out too would be a shocker.

  • Nugg

    Just reporting the news, personally I cannot bring myself to beleive a word of this so called leak.

    I am choosing to ignore the leks this year and go with my own head and study, there are so many conflicitng reports flying roun about who is in or out.
    At the time of my bets, both my selections, Ella and Kye, were being rumoured not to make the lives. I stuck with my own thoughts though, if I am wrong and I lose then only myself to blame.
    I honestly think there are postings and rumours deliberately being circulated by SYCO to keep everyone guessing and so there is no clear picture of who is through. I actually like not knowing 100% who makes the lives, it adds to the suspense for the weekend. I trust my own judgement.

  • Shoulders

    I think from last year it is fact that it’s only down to who the producers want to win that will be steered in the direction to make that happen, Jannet was topping the vote every week despite the judges panning her performance until eventually they got her in the bottom two and then it was see you later girl!!, commentators are saying that by giving Louis the groups that they don’t want a group to win, but for the shows longevity and keeping the competition between the judges a key part of the show, at some point would it be good tv to see Louis after 10 years win??? Could this be the year despite a band winning last year?? Perhaps the producers can see more post show cash on bands than soloists now?? i really have no idea but perhaps rather than how successful an act is in the charts maybe which judge gets one up on other is also key to keep people tuning in and interested year and year???

  • Highlighted

    Anyway I think the Irish thing is wrong. Lucy posted a FF tweet including James, Riley, Kye and Jahmene obviously meaning they are in the XF house.

  • R

    They could easily put Starboy, Leanne, Melanie (or Kye) and any of the lesser bands up for the wildcard. This way it would be the over who goes through as Melanie & Kye have had the pimping while the majority of the public wouldn’t have a clue who Starboy or Leanne are, and they can’t blame the show for not getting into the lives as it was the public who voted them out.

    This could also work if they want an extra girl through to put up Ella, and swap the over choice to invisible Brad.

    The big two acts for me following Bootcamp are Ella and Jahmene, which I’m sure is no surprise to anyone (I don’t think Lucy has the staying power).
    However, if Jahmene gets to the final 2, he would be a real risk to an Ella victory and will therefore need to be dropped before the final four as Janet was last year. That would leave the other guy (who isn’t Rylan) as top boy.

  • Highlighted

    Rylan or whatever his name is. Camp boy.

  • Boki

    I am on vacation so keep it short, do not get why people think Lucy have to perform her own songs to stay in for many weeks. She could easily do well known covers suitable for her style if they want her to go through. Winning is another story and that is in hands of tptb of course since they can jagger her easily…

    • Dug

      Have thought exactly the same Boki. I don’t feel that Lucy will struggle with the live themes unless the show WANTS her to struggle. Even Big Band could yield a great Mr Bojangles. Dance week? Well she did Titanium at boot camp (unaired). And past years have proven that XF is happy to take the themes loosely in terms of production. Not saying that means her chances are good but I agree that it’s producer intention over challenge of theme that would kill her.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Melanie McCabe could be one of the wild cards. They would’nt dare risk Ella. Lucy Spraggon cannot win, Ella might Jay front runner too. Let’s see the first live shows then decide.

  • Boki

    In respond to your article Dug, it seems to me indeed that indie will replace urban in the final this year, so Lucy or James will be in the final imho (or even both if Lucy gets the votes and James saved like Misha B).

  • Ben Cook

    “The paradox: these are the acts that the TV viewing public love to get behind but the record buying public won’t invest in.”
    – I don’t think this is necessarily the case. I mean Matt Cardle’s winning single sold a million copies – I know they always sell well, but his did particularly well. And his album went platinum despite it being very boring. I maintain that Matt *could* have done very well. It was just that the material he came out with was crap, and that Gary Barlow-penned second single pretty much killed his career.

  • Simon "le chat"

    All this talk about “Indie” and “Urban” is imho a load of bollox. The producer’s job is to make money from the program- primarily through advertsiing and the barious rip off phone ins and loaded competitions ie squeeze every last penny out of Joe “mug” Public as we can. To do that they have to get as many bums on searts as possible to halt the slide of viewers. This is why Ella, Jahmeine and Lucy (particularly) are a must for the live shows. YOu need a couple of good lookers for the middle aged men so let’s put that ex-wag Poole through (it was Kitty’s role last year if your remember). We need a bit of young studs for the teenagers so let’s put through some good looking boys in some carefully contructed bands and then chuck one of them. Put James through because of his sob story even if he isnt that good- let’s tidy him up a bit and try and make him look less thick by giving him a pair of glasses till we dump hm week three or four. Kye is a nice looking lad who seems clean cut next door type so let’s put him through to keep the middle aged Mums happy. We need something to boost Tulisa so how about MK1 so she can sing with them later in the competition and boost her own ailing career. We don’t want an all girl group mind because we dont want to deflect from Little Mix’s debut single which will be carefully coincided to top the charts at the end of November. We need a “camp” bloke in for a few weeks to keep the purple rinse and pink voters in and then let’s get a joke act or two in to chuck out in the first couple of weeks while everyone else gets their feet under the table.
    Of course what they have to do as well is GET RID of Natalie-Lewis-Hmailton-Wag who’s completely OTT untous reaction to Ellas ‘moment’ last week was truly vomit inducing.
    Last 3 Jehmaine (class) Ella (class) and A N other.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Don’t forget the potential new way for the producers to make money this year… by cashing in on acts in the show that write their own material. If the stories are true, that the contract each contestant must sign when they agree to take part in the show, now includes a clause to pay a cut/comission of royalties for material used in the show (and possibly future sales too).

    This means that by giving acts like Ella Henderson and Lucy Spraggan a platform to showcase their own material, and building up a fan base, money can be made from them without any real investment on behalf of SyCo/Sony.

  • R

    Tonight’s song list:

    Boys:
    Jahmene Douglas – ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta
    Jake Quickenden – ‘Back for Good’ by Take That
    James Arthur – ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ by Bonnie Raitt
    Adam Burridge – ‘SOS’ by Abba
    Nathan Fagan-Gayle – ‘Beautiful Monster’ by Ne-Yo
    Rylan Clark – ‘We Found Love’ by Rihanna

    Groups
    GMD3 – ‘Bless the Broken Road’ by Rascal Flatts
    MK1 – ‘Just Be Good To Me’ by Professor Green
    Union J – ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepsen
    Times Red – ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’/’Let’s Get It Started’
    Mitsotu – ‘Hey Ya’ by Outkast
    Poisonous Twins – ‘Freak Like Me’ by Sugababes
    Duke – ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ by Michael Jackson

    Girls:
    Jade Collins – ‘It Must Have Been Love’ by Roxette
    Lucy Spraggan – ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston
    Amy Mottram – ‘Read All About It’ by Emeli Sandé
    Jade Ellis – ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E King
    Leanne Robinson – ‘Hurt’ by Christina Aguilera
    Ella Henderson – ‘I Won’t Give Up’ by Jason Mraz

    Overs:
    Brad Shackleton – ‘The Final Countdown’ by Europe
    Carolynne Poole – ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ by Ronan Keating
    Melanie Masson – ‘Everytime You Go Away’ by Paul Young
    Nicola Marie – ‘Tragedy’ by Steps
    Kye Sones – ‘Payphone’ by Maroon 5
    Chris Maloney – ‘All Out of Love’ by Jagged Edge

  • Chatterbox5200

    That’s the boy’s category settled then. They didn’t even try to hide the layout of the photos on Nicole’s table as she pointed to each of the three acts she was taking through to the live shows. The left hand column featured… James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas and Rylan Clark(from top to bottom). She even said “I didn’t get him before today but he’s won me over”, which could only have been directed towards Rylan.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Biggest dissapointment of the evening – washed up botoxed up Sharon joining washed up botoxed up Louis both staging a conversation about some of the acts needing work to get them up to scratch for the live shows- as if either of these two can play an intrument or sing a note. They are both just awful- utterly awful parodies of themselves, puppets of the producers. Like grandparents trying to be cool at a youngsters party. Vom!
    Biggest surprise of the evening- the way James Arthur sang “I can’t make you love me”- he does have a sadness to his voice although those glasses make him look false and he needs his teeth fixing because they detract from his performance. Should speak to Simon/Cheryl/Sharon/Louis/Garry about this- they obviously know where to go.
    Biggest irony so far- the critisim of Nathan Starboy for singing like “look at me how cool I am” coming from a bloke who calls himself “Neo” wearing orange trousers and an orange trilby . What a dick.
    Biggest groan of the evening is seeing Cheryl Cole step out of the helicopter – she’s on the program for her own benefit and I dont know what she’d do to keep the brand going without it. What is she actually GOOD at by the way apart from self promotion and miming?
    Outstanding act of the evening
    Biggest dissapointment of the evening was Jehmaine- not a good performance, not good at all but his audition was so superb that he has enough steam left to carry him over the line to the finals. Good job mind because some of the boys were much better (tonight) than he was.
    Worst song choice: “Stand by me” Jade Ellis, what were you thinking of or did you have no choice in the matter? You might as well put on a pair of jeans for the Lord Mayors ball
    Amy Motam out of tune unfortunately for her and there is only room for one 16 year old diva and I’m afraid its not her
    Lucy Spraggon- really shown up by the others- she is very average singer and I would sell her on the markets all day long- she’ll get a recording deal and be famous but it will be as the Pam Ayres of pop and not as the winner of the show (or anywhere enar it)
    Ella- pimped as usual but what a voice and a modesty and grounded character to go with it. I see one of the bookies have her down at 5/4 and I’m not surprised although it is far to soon to call the show a one horse race
    Brad Shakleton has a great voice but it is 30 years out of date or at least it is not for this show- he might have been better doing a ballad although I doubt if it would have saved him
    Carolynne Poole sang well but what a duff choice – she looks the part but she sang flat like a karaoke singer in a club. Also I still cannot get over her deciding to tell us things about her personal life (including fertility treatment)in her audition that nobody really wants to know- why do it? It doesn’t make you sound any bette rand looking like she does no one is going to feel too sorry for her – sang well though but who is going to vote for her if the bookies are right and she gets through
    Nichola Marie’s version of “tragedy” was just that- bloody awful! The guitairist was playing it in e minor and she was singing in F sharp and G minor. How on earth did she get this far?
    Melanie Mason – one of the better -overs- and I expect her to get through. This woman can’t half sing but then so can the girl in the “con-fused-dot-com” advert and I give them both about the same chance of winning the competition ie nil.
    Kyre Stones- I used to think he was really, really good- if there was a threat to Ella from the pack this was it.
    Looks good, acts cool, dresses well, seems liekable.
    Problem is his range is limited and the fact he sang a song where he couldnt reach the top notes speaks volumes- you can look the part all you want but if you havent got the range and the sense to realise it in your choice of song, it is something you cannot “sweep” under the carpet.
    Chris Maloney – Pull yourself together man for goodness sake! Sang fair- he’s this years Jonjo and if he gets through fodder for the first show. Far too anxious and would be totally out of his depth in the live shows.

    Best judges house performance: Ella by a street followed by James Arthur and of the bands MK1. None of the overs was good apart from Melanie and Kyle who were best of a bad lot. I reckon a sound bet is for whoever has them (Gary) to lose all his acts first- and we dont even know who went through.
    Here’s what the bookies thought about it. The only surprise is some money for Nathan Starboy- perhaps he is a wild card?

    http://www.oddschecker.com/specials/tv/x-factor/winning-act
    Worst: Nicola (sorry Nicola but it sounded really bad)

  • Queen Bea

    Hey all.

    Great site and analysis. The only way Nicole could possibly “get” Rylan and put him through was with direct instruction from the producers. Maybe he will become the face of the Anti X factor vote this year? I’ll be interested in what tricks will be used to get rid of him if he outstays his welcome.

  • eurovicious

    This is a superb piece.

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