The results show for judges’ houses (Judges’ Houses? – is it enough of an institution to capitalise?) continued in the theme of sledgehammer subtlety. We opened on a not-so-tense segment of star girl Ella Henderson receiving Tulisa’s first yes of the evening’s edit. Next up, the not so favoured Jade, Jade and Leanne were bundled together with only London Jade making the grade.
When you get to the point at which one contestant is edited against three, you would have to be either a single-celled organism or an average ITV viewer to miss the point. I never got as far as deciding whether or not I liked Leanne Robinson but by the sounds of it she was a cut above the rest, vocally speaking. Now, alas, she’s just another talented black girl that went home at Judges’ Houses (capitalisation is happening).
Ella is now trading at a top price of 6/4, and I’m certainly inclined to agree with Nugg on the following:
“The producers will not want to be running with a one horse race through the lives, so I think we best be prepared for some heavy pimping of one or two other contenders during the first few live shows.”
Anyone who caught wind of Chatterbox5200’s excellent pause-button investigation of Saturday’s show might have wondered if Amy was going through and leaving Lucy as the strong wildcard. Whilst I think the arrangement of photo cards on the judges’ tables was too blink-and-you’ll-miss-it to have been an intentional red herring, I think it is more likely that the props were organised by a continuity staffer according to the prepared script in order to suggest tension.
Leaving Lucy as the wildcard contender would have suggested some incompetence as well as paving the way for a ‘people’s champion’ narrative on which producers might struggle to slam the brakes should they decide Lucy isn’t viable for the show. Ketamine Adele, whose losing edit showed a lot of favour, makes for a much less dangerous wildcard if she makes it through – she’s currently trading at 2/1 second favourite.
In the groups category, MK0.666 unsurprisingly beat out Mitsotu in the ‘perfunctory urban act’ category. The other two groups through to the lives were GMD3 and Union J.
Who is in line to be the alpha, beta and gamma group remains arguably more of a head-scratcher than in the other categories. I have to agree with Daniel that on evidence so far, the newly formed Union J are vocally leagues ahead of their boyband rivals. On the one hand, they could be being groomed for an underdog victory as top band. On the other, they come across as a little too desperate and puppy-eyed whilst GHB are more like three cheeky (American-voiced) chappies that are just happy to be at the party.
Incidentally, news comes through on the X Factor website that GMD3 are soliciting viewer help to choose a new name. It worked for Rhythmix.
Despite their heavily cut segment on Saturday, Tpfkar is “surprised MK1 are at such long odds” whilst Monsieur Le Chat fancies them for top band. I’m not sure that I would go that far, but the pair do seem to have the least manufactured chemistry of the groups.
It was never going to be an easy ride for the wildcard group – Times Red are currently 10/1 to win the 13th slot in the lives. Louis’s assertion that the Abercrombie beat-boxers were ‘too old’ for the competition can’t have done them any favours at all.
Itchy-chested prodigal epicentre of artistic torment and possible part-time hobo James Arthur was next up with an Ella-style segment of his own to reflect another strong vocal performance on Saturday. Nicole broke the news and he quickly called someone up – possibly one of his fictional foster families – to share in the joy.
There was no big surprise or producer favourite narrative revealed behind Starboy Nathan, who simply went home leaving us all to wonder why we’ve been speculating back and forth on his chances for so long. Poor Jake Quickenden didn’t see an upturn in his luck and Funky Davros was sent through despite Nicole’s worries about his nerves.
Finally it was Rylan vs Adam, with the former act making it through and solidifying his place as this year’s camp-as-Christmas panto act. The wildcard contender was once again the final rejectee. Well done X Factor, you have made formulaic editing an art form and won all the prizes.
Adam’s the 25/1 wildcard outsider and I’m not that worried about him – he might be a dark horse going into the lives but I don’t see a poor man’s Aiden Grimshaw beating out Shaky Maloney and Ketamine Adele without more of a backstory.
Finally, in geriatric land, old man Sones went right up in my estimations after threatening to projective vomit on Gary Barlow (I wonder if Dermot will promote Gary from ‘one of the finest singer-songwriters of our generation’ to ‘saviour of the known universe’ in this year’s live shows). It was a yes for Kye, although Gary looked disappointingly dry, and a pair of big fat nos for Brad (‘I thought I was going through!’) and Nicola Marie (a mistake in my opinion – she was like a cruise-ship Kitty).
Carolynne received her own segment, potentially marking her as the alpha over, and whilst I don’t think her country shtick has much place on this side of the Atlantic, I have to give her credit for snotting on Borelow’s shoulder. A note to Kye: promise less, deliver more.
It was final yes vs wildcard contestant once more as part-time fairy Melanie Masson (who could be 32 or 68) fluttered by into the live stages, leaving SuBo Robinson with the agonising final rejection. The man is mediocre community theatre at best and I can’t see producers wanting him to do well in the competition, so I shall have to assume that his inclusion really is part of a backstage game to see how much he can be made to tremble. I reckon they’ll be measuring the tremors on the Richter scale come next weekend. The runners probably have bets going on it.
We closed with a brief ‘revelation’ on the wildcard twist (as if we didn’t know) and then followed a hideous montage of the final 12 singing earnestly in black and white. Congratulations are in order to whichever intern stayed up all night on that. It was like an audition reel for a Coca Cola advert from the 90s.
We’ll be back later in the week with an assessment of the wildcard situation, as well as our beloved annual finishing-order prediction piece. I can’t help but thinking of Catherine Tate – “It’s just a bit of FUN! Have a GUESS!” Until then, good commenters of the Sofabet community, do let us know your thoughts. Will it be a coup for Shaky Maloney? Or will Ketamine Adele survive the day to warble again? What about the Abercrombie beat-boxers or the poor-man’s Aiden Grimshaw? And most importantly, are any of them a real threat to the show’s main contenders?