X Factor 2012: Assessing the Melanie Masson – District 3 fallout

Ironically, for most X Factor viewers this week’s singoff decision between Melanie Masson and District 3 will have looked mundanely uncontroversial in comparison to the previous week’s shenanigans. As reaction in the Sofabet comments indicates, however, many seasoned observers of the show were entirely unsurprised by the Rylan-Carolynne ruckus but shocked by Melanie’s departure.

For the benefit of any new Sofabet readers (the stats tell us we’re reaching a wider audience this year), it may be worth taking a few paragraphs to explain why this is – regular readers, for whom this will not be news, please bear with us – before moving on to reviewing some of the theories you’ve floated in the comments about what might explain what happened on Sunday night’s show.

When you’re betting on who will be the X Factor’s next elimination, there are effectively three time periods in which to do so. First, before the Saturday show. Here, you’re trying in part to guess which acts will be given a favourable and unfavourable portrayal on the show itself. The odds tend to be greater, but so are the risks. Last week, for instance, a consensus developed in the Sofabet comments that the knives would be out for Christopher Maloney. His odds came in from 10/1 during the week to 7/2 before the show started.

Second, after the Saturday show while voting lines are open. Here, you have more to go on. Which acts did producers seem to be trying to help and hinder? Which do you think came across well and badly to the voting audience? Last week, for instance, punters felt that producers were indeed trying to dampen Maloney’s vote with his cheesy cruiseship production. At this point you have to consider whether an act will get enough votes to survive despite producer disfavour, and which possible singoff opponents they might be saved against. Maloney’s odds came in to 6/4.

And third, during the singoff itself. Now you know which two acts are involved, and it’s all down to the judges. Tens of thousands of pounds change hands on the betting exchange Betfair during the singoff itself, often at very short odds. On Sunday night, District 3 were trading in the region of 1.25 during the singoff. That means punters who thought District 3 were going home were betting for a 25% return on their money. Conversely, those laying District 3 – that is, betting that Melanie would go home – stood to make a 400% return.

To many viewers, it might have looked like a tossup between Melanie and District 3. So why the huge disparity between a 25% return and a 400% return?

Punters betting at short odds on District 3 to go were going on their interpretation of the treatment the two acts had received in the previous night’s show. They’d been called dated and cheesy in their VT, had Louis tell them “you don’t want to be compared to One Direction” (after their rivals Union J had been shown happily chatting to One Direction), and been damned with faint praise in the comments, being called a “vocal harmony” group (as jscouser2002 asked in the comments, “can someone tell me last time a Vocal Harmony group had a number one? Is there even a target audience for that type of act?”). It seemed to confirm the impression we’d got from the first live show, that there was no interest in keeping District 3 around.

Betting at short odds during the singoff, based on the interpretation of the previous night’s show, is a strategy that has served us well in the past. Nu Vibe, Sami Brookes, Sophie Habibis, Johnny Robinson, Kitty Brucknell… just look back at last year’s Sofabet coverage of the elimination markets.

Implicit in this strategy is the working assumption that the judges, in their singoff decision, will reflect producers’ desires as indicated by their treatment of the acts on the previous day. We devoted an article last year to how the judges make their singoff decisions.

In the comments to last night’s post, Roach expresses confusion that District 3 “were still available to lay at 1.26(!) as we went into deadlock [w]ith the chances of a boyband outpolling a 40 year old obviously very high”. The simple answer is that for the kind of punters who were backing District 3 at those sorts of odds, it’s also a working assumption that deadlocks don’t happen unless they bring the outcome the show wants. This working assumption is based on historical observations of who has gone home in deadlock situations compared to what we think the Saturday show revealed about producer preferences.

On Sunday, though, all that changed. Why? Here are some possibilities:

1. We overestimated producers’ antipathy towards District 3

It’s possible – and we’ve always said that singoffs represent our reality check in our musings about the show. But it’s hard to rewatch their week 1 and 2 treatment and see it as anything other than negative.

2. We underestimated producers’ antipathy towards Melanie

This is, perhaps, more likely. We never thought producers were particularly interested in Melanie. We said it in our pre-lives 1-13 prediction (it’s cold comfort now that we correctly slated her to finish 12th). We said it after live show 1. In retrospect, had Melanie not been in the pimp slot on Saturday, it’s likely we’d have seen more evidence that they were out to take her down. She was, after all, sent out in yet another costume that suggested she was a 60s chick (thus ageing the 44-year-old even more than necessary) and – per the Betsfactor theory, and like Shakey Maloney – given red-and-black lighting.

Were we guilty of being too quick to assume that producers couldn’t be out to nobble Melanie if she was singing last, not adapting our thinking to the apparently transformative effects of the lines now being open from the start? Is it possible that producers, as Roy suggests in the comments, “used her as an experiment to test the non-advantage of the pimp slot?” Could well be.

3. Did they just not care that much?

This possibility is, of course, wholly compatible with explanations 1 and 2. Lolhart suggests: “Whoever was saved would be easy to nobble again in the next few weeks, so perhaps the judges actually had free reign with their votes.” Curtis too: “my thoughts are that they considered both to be disposable. Maybe they even allowed the judges to just say what they wanted!?”

Panos develops the thought:

What happened during the past week was unprecedented in the sense that now for the first time it was out even to the casual viewer that this show is SO steered, and not just to the punters/analysts. So this week, 1 short week after the ‘dramatic events’, would be the last week they would want any controversy… [maybe] they decided that in the long-run they were both dispensible so what’s more fair than taking it to deadlock and having the act with the fewer public votes go? They got shit scared basically.

Tpfkar concurs: “all 4 judges were clear and decisive, so possibly a very public effort to show things had changed from last week”. But then, would it really have been that controversial to have Melanie clearly and decisively saved over District 3? If anything, it might have been perceived by the public as partial retribution with Louis losing an act and Gary keeping his.

4. Keeping a weak District 3 benefits Union J

One of the reasons we thought it logical for the show to jettison District 3 when they got the chance was that Union J have seemed clearly to be the preferred boyband, given which it makes no obvious sense to keep District 3 in the competition. Or does it? We like Beanie’s outside-the-box thinking:

I think it’s possible that their continuing presence in the contest will be used to boost UJ… as they have already been handicapped beyond repair they are no real threat in terms of split vote (as tonight showed) and perhaps having an ultra weak boy and in the contest who do cheesy and dated songs week after week helps viewers to see UJ as more credible and current?

HenryVIII reckons “District3 offers more scenarios.” Alen suggests a plausible-sounding plan of action in line with the Saving Private Rylan imperative: this week (reportedly disco week), we can expect Rylan to come down from his sympathy bounce and perhaps hit the bottom two again; if, after another battering of Christopher Maloney, they can get him in the bottom two as well, that’s a relatively uncontroversial save for Rylan. Then in week 4, District 3 should be coming down from their bounce and may hit bottom two again. If Rylan is there with them, it becomes more reasonable for the other judges to say “you were bottom two already too, public is not connecting to you, the other boyband is superior to you”. It makes some sense.

5. They did it to annoy us

R asks, tongue in cheek: “maybe TPTB are reading this site and are playing with us?” We suspect they have bigger fish to fry.

As always, do keep the conversation going below, and let us know your early thoughts on this week’s elimination – jscouser2002 has already set the ball rolling on the previous thread.

 

55 comments to X Factor 2012: Assessing the Melanie Masson – District 3 fallout

  • I’m surprised your article doesn’t refer to the following, which I’m sure you will have considered. Essentially, it boils down to Barlow’s anger at seeing his alpha Over ditched in the first week of live shows at the expense of the joke act. The preoccupation of some commenters with producer manipulation led many to question the veracity of his response; but my sources were adamant that his reaction was unscripted and genuine. This led to the now infamous Arts Club showdown during the course of which GB issued what might be interpreted as an ultimatum: namely, that he would quit his judging position if Rylan was saved unfairly over any other act (not just his own). As I said at the time, the ‘Cowell camp’ was said to be seething at the prospect of Barlow seeking to control the direction of the show.

    Having moved from radio silence to outright hostility, SC plans to humiliate Barlow by removing all of his acts from the competition without having to resort to ‘Louis-engineered deadlock’ and, crucially, without two Overs relegated to the bottom two in any single week (thus risking exposure of the plan by dint of appearing too obvious, or a sympathy bounce for the survivor the following week). Hence, commenters were absolutely right that Maloney received the full-bore treatment on Saturday. However, for the second time this series, producers didn’t get the scalp they wanted, and ended up instead with a contestant who – prior to Rylangate – had been regarded quite favourably backstage: MM. It makes no practical difference: the cards of District3 have already been marked and are being retained now only to propel the ‘battle of the boy bands’ narrative a little further. We already saw an enormous move made on taking down Kye Sones (on Saturday, a move led by SC’s right-hand man); and the hostility towards Maloney has been well-documented already.

    Maloney is SC’s next target, followed by Kye Sones. Interestingly, however, it has been suggested to me that Maloney is polling quite strongly, and personally I see potential for Shakey to become this year’s folk hero: the true jester of the piece whose trajectory Cowell and producers may suffer the occasional headache over before finally taking out.

    As Dan advised a couple of weeks back, GB as the first judge to lose all his acts is not only realistic (no longer much value in it) but is very much the plan.

    For those who wondered why GB appeared much more sanguine last night, it is because he has already lost his great hope in Carolynne; and because he is plotting his revenge in the form of a tell-all book.

    • Hi KS, we did float the possibility in the immediate post-mortem post that Mel’s departure might indicate producers having it in for Gary. It’s an explanation that perfectly fits the facts. I guess we didn’t dwell on this this time because, as you know, judge rivalry has been such an integral part of the way the show has always been sold, and over the years it’s generally paid to assume that the stories about judge rivalry are all for show, so we’ve evolved a default scepticism setting about any behind-the-scenes tension stories. Having said that, Gary’s position as non-Simon alpha male is obviously unprecedented in the show’s history and thus takes us into uncharted territory.

      A question, though: Why not just let Gary walk? If relations have broken down to such an extent, in any normal job you’d expect the employee to be escorted directly out of the building while IT disables their email login. Wouldn’t they be worried about the prospect of a humiliated Gary sitting on the panel with no acts left? What would stop him saying whatever he liked?

      • For me I cant have this scenario. When signing up for X Factor, their will be numerous clauses in the contracting covering Syco in all areas. Cant have anything like a tell-all book coming out. Just unrealisitic for me.

        Also Short term it would make good tv viewing seeing gary with no acts. But then for the long term when their are 7 weeks left. His role will be pointless and be sure the novelty will wear off. Ratings will only decrease not increase.

        The reason judges have acts and are not their purely to judges only. Is so that viewers believe that the judges genuinely have a passion and interest the acts. And a reason to slate/praise certain acts.

        If Gary has no acts it would be of no benefit to the show.

        Will watch closely though.

        But right now, cant see Christopher/Kye going for the next 2 weeks. Bottom 2 yes. But not eliminated.

    • eurovicious

      I was about to type that this 100% confirms all of my suspicions – then I started thinking about it a bit more. Far from the show having it in for Melanie and Carolynne, they were always going to do badly (as predicted by many before the lives began) – older women have it tough on these shows, Melanie has no sob story and her singing style isn’t easy on the ears, and Carolynne’s self-chosen song was dire. Similarly, the jury criticism of Kye as being anonymous and not connecting with the audience, and Maloney as cruiseship, is exactly what a lot of commentators have been saying from the beginning, rather than part of any kill.

  • Just to clarify: the successful execution of the plan also requires Rylan to remain out of the bottom two for the next two weeks (in order to eliminate any chance of GB making good on his threat). This is precisely why the theme next week will be Club Classics.

  • stoney

    ok, the first 2 stages of betting as you mention in this article have provided extremely tricky on the first 2 weeks of this years show. This week im going to avoid any early bets and keep an eye on sundays market movers, because carolynne and melanie both took huge plunges in odds on the sunday afternoon with at least one of the bookies, which indicates a voting leak, thats how im going to play it this week rather than trying to insinuate what the producers are planning. Also most people on this site, me included were saying that district 3 dodged a bullet on the first week, but how can that be true if they we saved one week later???

    • “because carolynne and melanie both took huge plunges in odds ”

      Be careful when following the money on X Factor on the sunday, The Liquidity in betfair is so little a 50-100pound could force prices to drop dramatically and novice/lazy bookies to follow the exchange moves. Often over-reacting to one average bet.

      Melanie & CP were not the only act to shorten on both sundays.

  • lolhart

    I also can’t see any benefit in making the show about humiliating Gary. With no acts left he could actually be a loose cannon. Also, if he was that was out of step with what the show’s about, they would have not renewed his contract this year. The convenient paparazzi stationed outside the “crisis meeting” and Gary’s interview with the Daily Star On Sunday make me believe this is just X-Factor pantomine.

    Back to the decision to save District 3 over Melanie. Perhaps Melanie did okay in the voting the 1st week, but District 3 were dangerously close to the bottom 2. So when Melanie ended up bottom this week, she became collateral damage. Better to save District 3 for the boot the next time Rylan is in the bottom. As Alen suggested it would seem justified to give them the boot. This is speculation until the voting stats are released, but it’s the explanation I’m leaning towards.

  • stoney

    i dont pay much attention to betfair mate, im talking proper bookies lol. Melanie dropped from 16/1 to 3/1 at paddy power in one hit sunday afternoon!

    • From my experience, majority of the bookmakers that price up markets like X Factor, dont have a clue what they are doing and wait for one bookmaker to price up and then basically follow them, whilst using Betfair as a strong guide. Never being over betfair price. So if betfair price comes down bookies generally follow.

  • Simon's Cuban Stacks

    I’m struggling to accept the anti-Gary line, it just doesn’t seem very plausible. If the producers really have got it in for him why put one of his acts in the pimp slot? Are they so confident in their ability (after just one week’s information) to fully understand the ramifications of the earlier phone line opening that they knew even a pimping wouldn’t be enough to save Melanie?

    But it may beg the question ‘when is a pimp slot not a pimp slot?’

    • @Simon’s Cuban Stacks – They didn’t want Melanie out this week… They wanted Maloney. As Andrew and others have noted, the effect of the open lines has completely thrown them. Also – Maloney ‘sang for his life’ and, crucially, communicated directly to the audience. He showed a good sense of theatre, smiled widely and broadly at the camera, and was actually quite winning when asked by Dermot how all the criticism was getting to him (‘Not at all’ – or words to that effect.) For the first time ever, I enjoyed CM on Saturday – especially now he’s toned down the DTs.

      I’m guilty of using melodramatic language. This isn’t an espionage thriller; it’s a bitch tiff between different cliques of very highly-paid, ultra-competitive but essentially friendly luvvie cliques. So when I say SC wants to ‘humiliate’ GB, I guess it’s not very different from the fits of umbrage which characterised his relationships with various judges over the years. Mr Barlow has overstepped himself a little bit, and now the opposing camp wish to have some fun at his expense by aiming their resources at his acts. It’s part pantomime, but with a semi-serious intent.

      However – from what I learn – GB is prepared to walk if the manipulation to retain the services of Rylan at other acts’ expense is as conducted as blatantly as it was two weeks ago. I think more than anything else the concern is that it makes everybody look dumb. Nobody actually wants this outcome – they’re all mates – but neither do the Cowell camp wish to let GB’s challenge go entirely unanswered.

      The likeliest outcome (I speculate) is that Maloney will be inviegled out of it, and they’ll let Kye continue as a wounded soldier for the next few weeks. But we’ve already seen the beginning of the take-down (and how swiftly it was executed) so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was sooner rather than later.

      Either way, and regardless of anything I may say or claim to have heard, a bet on Gary as the first mentor to lose all his acts looks very safe indeed. Daniel flagged it up at least ten days ago, I think. Can anyone disagree?

      Concerning the book, GB’s intention to publish a revealing memoir (not just about his time working for SC) is well-known.

      Hope I’ve made myself clear, and (again) apologies for length! Mr Vicious, yes, I know it’s what you do with it that counts! 😉

      • Sorry KS, but you write as though are have serious inside info here. Which is great. However I have checked all your other posts on Sofabet for the past 4 months, you have always spoken like the rest of us. Which is someone who speculates rather than believes they are “in-the-know” about anything.

        Why the switch? Surely if your this much in the know its doesnt just come from nowhere and would reflected in your other posts.

        I appreciate the info just weighing up how much to adjust stakes based on this.

        Thanks pal

        (Obviously I checked your previous posts to see if I could dig up any other inside info etc that you had reported, to see if I can now benefit from that too if the outcome hadnt been settled, aswell as determine adjustments to stakes and opinion based on above)

  • Like I said in the above post, I am guilty of stating my opinions somewhat over-confidently. (And not I’m averse to a bit of mythologizing, as my paeans in honour of ‘Eddie String’ will testify.) I’m speaking not as a punter on this thread, but as a viewer and, crucially, a journo and researcher. Just as the guys who write these articles do (I assume), I have contacts in television and the press. But, much as I would love to be ‘KaraokeSauron’ – i.e, the All-seeing Eye of celebritydom – in fact I’m merely repeating what some of those contacts say, drawing other info from widely available sources, and furnishing my personal thoughts in the creative manner which is my wont.

    Anyway – what’s your take on it all?

    • Cheers for the info :), time will tell.

      Honestly, unsure. Total guesswork. But easy to say that GMD3 may be easier to take down in the following weeks than melanie would.

      Also have to question if their was any signs that Melanie was begining to miss home/kids not like the enviorment. Makes it easier for show to get rid.

      I dont think the producers are stupid enough to get the running order wrong at all. I think their main aim was to save Rylan and they were more than happy to have this at the expense of Kye/GMD3/Melanie which is exactly what they did but below par comments for those and position rylan right in the middle of it.

      My suggestions/bets for this week have been highlighted in the previous thread for this week.

      I firmly believe there is absolutely no chance Chris/Kye can go. ill stick with that for now. If im wrong then it wont be the first time this series 🙁

      Anyone backing Kye to go I think is making a massive mistake, he was de-ramped last week purely so he would lose votes for the benefit of Rylan, who would gain those votes, he is definately underpriced for me.

      MK1 to go
      Lucy/Jade bottom 2 at big prices

      Only way I can see myself losing is if if District 3 go i think, so as long as they bounce, which normally happens in the first 2 weeks for acts in bottom 2. (rylan safe for at least 3 weeks as normal)

      • Sorry to add. I say only way I lose if D3 go is because only way they go in which I havent covered is

        D3 v Christopher (christopher stays for barlow)
        D3 v Rylan (Rylan stays)

        Any other “realistic” scenario I think I am covered.

        D3 v MK1, would mean Laying off stake on MK1 in sing off.

  • AlisonR

    Going back to what people have said on earlier threads – I agree that the producers have been thrown by the phone line thing. But I do think that it has proved that late slots are unfavourable and that the early death slots are now not so, and so would expect to see TPTB build on this. Club classics week: I think both Rylan and Chris will do just fine. Lucy could struggle with this one, but I don’t expect to see her go just yet. Gotta be a group. Thinking of the tour now. I do agree with others though that the margins must be tiny near the bottom.

  • Curtis

    I would defintiely expect D3 to bounce. There’s not much bounce they’ll have to make at this stage of the competition likely, and they’re a boyband. Boybands rarely survive a B2 visit, so there’s no real precedent for whether they’ll bounce – however, there is a strong precedent for people in the boys category to bounce, and I expect a boyband to tap into the same type of votes, and therefore expect a bounce.

    • In 8 series of X Factor in the first 3 weeks, there have only been two instances when the acts in bottom 2 have not bounced the following week…

      One a girl band called well… “Girlband”
      Another “Rachely Adejli”

      I have reflected this in my stakes. If there is no bounce this week… then I need to pray its against MK1/jade/lucy 🙂

  • Veering off-topic here: but did anyone else think Lucy was miming on Saturday?

    I thought she was given some assistance on the higher notes in Week 1, but on Saturday I wasn’t convinced she was singing at all. (And I’m almost certain the guitar track was not live – it was far too metronomic and precise.)

    Any one who knows anything about singing can tell when a performer is lip-synching. With Lucy, I saw no evidence of physical exertion, nothing to indicate she was forcing air out of her lungs… If it wasn’t mimed, it was horribly robotic.

  • Queen Bea

    I presume TPTB want Rylan on the tour for comedy value which means he has to be top 8 (although didn’t they take more in 2010?). What on earth can they do with him this week? His sympathy bounce will be over presumably and I can see a real chance of him being bottom 2 again. Maybe this was a reason for keeping D3- easier to sacrifice them against Rylan than Melanie, which would have probably sent Gary into apoplexy.

    Oh how I love a conspiracy theory.

    • I see a chance for him bottom 2 aswell, however I think it was the perfect time for them to throw in the Clubland/Disco week etc whatever they want to call. It perfect for him.

      He dodges bottom two ina week that suits him.
      Lands in a bottom 2 next week, saved v someone like D3/MK1/Jade
      Then bounces into the tour 🙂 and disposed of when it becomes a real singing comp and they build up for the winner.

  • Nick Baker

    Here’s the thing. As this year, acts are allowed to enter with existing management…what some people don’t know, is that District 3 have VERY powerful and WELL KNOWN management. Ever since I heard that GMD3/D3 were entering the show, I knew they would make the lives – I checked them out and yep. Powerful, well known management.

    Now – I KNOW that Union J look more favoured and are, well, probably better…but I have a feeling that TPTB have an agreement with the management that to get the boys on the show – they have to make the tour. Which is top 8. I might be wrong…but last night I was convinced they were going home, like most people here, and I’m starting to wonder whether a sneaky deal hasn’t been put in place. I have a feeling it might.

    Also – I’m not sure if it does any good betting wise… but has anyone realized that the person standing on Dermots left when the judges make a decision – that the person always on Dermots left goes home? I saw this posted on digitalspy – I thought I’d check it out, and guess what? Every single episode of 2009/2010/2011 the act on Dermots left has gone home! It’s looking that way for this year too…

  • Queen Bea

    In fact the more I think about it, the more it makes sense- the only acts I can see Rylan being saved against reaslistically are D3 and Shaky. I can’t see them wanting Borelow humiliated by losing 3 in a row so early on- plus Shaky has yet to be in the bottom 2, whereas if they can manipulate D3 back into the bottom 2 they can say that they have been there twice in a row and the public isn’t connecting with them blah, blah.

  • ringermark

    There’s a lot going on isn’t there? There’s #operation screw Gary; there’s #saving private rylan; More tangibly, there’s extending the phone hours (which, as in Eurovision, has changed where the pimp slots are.)

    There’s no controlling who’s in the bottom two but can TPTB really control these judges? Louis, yes, self-evidently – just by his appearance in that company. The others I suspect are less malleable, in the general way of megalomaniacs, and will take some steering to do the task (in the way that Frankie Boyle resisted being the person who provided the correct answer on Mock the Week to the headlines initials game).

    Nicole was last to judge. Did it look like they were ordering her by earpiece to say D3? Even if so, the only purpose could be to go to public deadlock in order to visibly drop Melanie on “merit.” There is something in the theories that TPTB were grateful to retain D3 for future tame sacrifice against Rylan and to axe another of Gary’s acts when they could (preferably not against Rylan.)

    After last week and Louis’s argument with his earpiece I think, after an internal scene and drama about it, that TPTB have just pointedly let the panel do their own thing this week.

    Personally, I think their only real early priority is now saving Rylan for the tour 8 (or 9 as they’ll stretch it if they have to.) Almost anybody in the bottom 2 at this stage is expendable and little else matters for now. The tour plan must be 3 boys, 2/3 girls, 2 groups, 0/1 over.

    I wish I said this before because I only went in with a fiver for fun this weekend (lost on Shakey obviously) because I was nervous about both the unpredictability of Rylans televote turnout and the clean heels they might want to show after last week.

    I don’t post much on here (^^cos I’m not pithy enough^^) and I haven’t remembered a user name yet so here’s a new one.

  • Mick

    Lasst year they took 9 acts on tour. 3 girls, 2 boys, 2 groups and 2 overs.

    D3 or MK1 will be lost for the tour. Of the girls I think Ella and Lucy will go. All 3 boys could go on tour. So the next 2 eliminations could ome from D3/MK1 (once one has gone, the other is safe for the next week), then CM, KS or JE.

  • Chatterbox5200

    JScouser2002, it might be worth bearing in mind when considering the sympathy bounce, that there have been numerous times when an act fails to bounce. Normally this is later on in the series, such as The Conway Sisters that were in the bottom two for three consecutives weeks back in Series 2 (Wk 5, 6 & 7) but Katie Waissel managed to repeat this earlier in Series 7 (Wk 4, 5 & 6).

    I also think you may have missed 2 to Go back in the very first series, who also failed to bounce after falling into the bottom two in week 2, to find themselves there again in week 3.

    • Sorry missed 2 to go.

      I highlighted only the first 3 weeks because the gap between acts in percent of votes, is alot closer in the earlier weeks normally 4-5 acts can be within 1% of each other. Later on in the series the gaps are greater.

      Making it much easier to bounce in the first few weeks of the show.

  • jake Kl

    hI People, im new here and I just wanted to share my views on sundays results. Following these series for a few years now, the producers aim for one thing= ratings. And obviousely with the love triangle of Ella, George Shelley and Dan from D3,they felt they had to keep the band over A contestant who not only was the oldest but in her VTs seemed to be longing for her life back home and (for me) looked pleased to leave the competition

  • Phil

    From the listings on the ITV website for this coming Sunday:

    Series 9, Episode 17
    Another heart-breaking elimination. Following their performances, the finalists have a nail-biting day waiting to find out who stays and who goes. Then the tension in the studio is palpable as host Dermot O’Leary reveals the names of the acts that are through and those who are in the bottom three. Two acts have to fight for survival by singing to secure their place in the competition, as one act must leave. SUB

    Double elimination this weekend apparently, assuming this isn’t a typo or a mistake.

    • Phil

      Just to add – I read it as the bottom one goes, and second and third from bottom have a sing-off. Think this was the case with The Risk leaving last year.

    • Alen

      I just came here to post that too. Interesting if they do a double elimination.

      And yes that was the case, whenever they had lately double elimination the last in televote left and then the other two had a sing off.

      If indeed we get a double this week this only shows me that Rylan barely escaped the bottom two last week and they will do EVERYTHING they can to keep him out of the bottom three this week. Or at least have D3 in there with him too so they can ditch them.

      So if Rylan survivies this double he would be top9 and ready for tour (as they can always change how many make the tour)

  • adgey

    Bettin is suspended, at least on betfair, by the time the acts stand to their respective sides.

  • Lia

    Just one fact that we might be overlooking: Gary’s got the weakest category. There has been a lot of talk about groups being the weakest because a group had never won, but the only time an over won was back in series1, and that was with SImon Cowell as mentor (as the mastermind behind the show he knew how to manipulate things to his advantage, especially Sharon’s hatred of Steve Brookwhatever).
    The only successful over is Olly Murs, who was 25 in 2009 and would have been in the Boys category instead in other years (and with the added push of the Xtra factor presenting role which worked wonders for him).
    From the groups you have at least JLS, One Direction and now Little Mix (still early but good start). You can also include *cough-cough* Jedward.
    My point is that it’s easy to eliminate all of Gary’s acts. Maybe it’s not as much as Simon trying to teach him a lesson (although he’ll be laughing his head off) but the overs are always the most expendable. Louis has always been brilliant with his joke acts. Just think the horror of Wagner and that same year the only serious over was Mary Byrne (great voice with extremely powerful backstory), who only left the competition so they could have the overpimped Cher Lloyd in the final.
    The last time someone tried to be serious like Gary with the overs was when Dannii Minogue lost all of her acts first.

    • Yes, but Dannii Minogue didn’t lose her first over until Daniel in week 6, so you can say that she had a pretty decent run with them.

      • Lia

        I know, but they were constant presence in the bottom 2. There was a B2 over from wk2 to wk5, with the other category being voted off instead. Then in wk6 2 of them landed in B2 and one had to go. The other 2 followed suit over wks 7 and 8. That doesn’t look exactly good. The coin flipped their way that year.
        But they could all have been gone by wk4.

  • Boki

    There are too many (conspiracy) theories for my taste, I go for the simplest explanation (No. 3) which is so nicely put by Panos.

    • Roach

      Completely agree, I read Panos’ comment and thought the same. They didn’t care too much after the Week 1 drama, and hence played it safe with Tulisa & Nicole taking one each and as a result, the judges deferring to the public once again.

      My earlier point was regardless of D3 and their possible lack of legs in the competition from here, the fact for me is Mel was – indeed as per the Sofabet 1-13 predicted finishing positions – always one of the most dispensable finalists to TPTB. And to back an Overs who you recognise as dispensable (let alone vs a boyband) in a sing-off, is in my view risky punting.

      Betting is all about value, and the fact is at c.1/7 and 7/1, Mel was near 50 times the elimination price of D3 in that sing-off. It’s all well & good that working for the last however many sing-offs, but at those kind of prices, it needs to.

      That all said, I seemed on the previous post to be largely swimming against the tide on this – so maybe I misjudged the situation, missed signs, and on this occasion got lucky.

  • Rave

    The Daily Star had a good track record for voting leaks before right?
    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/277228/Liverpool-fix-it-for-diva-Chris-Maloney/

    Their new claim: “But we can reveal that the Scouse singer is topping the public vote by a large margin as his city gets behind their only home-grown contender in the competition.”

    I … really do not believe this.

    • R

      The only way I can see this happening is if they are talking about him coming top in week 1 following on from winning the wildcard vote as Amelia did last year.
      This wouldn’t be too hard with a low number of total votes cast and could explain the sudden diva comments from the judges aimed at him. Reminds me of the way they turned on Johnny when be got too close to the summit.

      It could further explain the panic behind the scenes. Not only did D3 escape and Rylan end up in B2 with an unexpected Poole but Maloney had beaten all the big guns.

      This would mean they missed all their main targets in the first week and would have had to make some major reassessments.

      It would also explain how Chris escaped the B2 last week, although I think it more likely he would have drifted back into the pack.

      It’s a shame we never get to see the actual voting numbers as I feel there may have been a drop off (all circumstantial) caused by all the fixing allegations. A number of people I follow on Twitter have stopped watching the show and co-workers, who in the past have been obsessed with the show, have complained about the show being a fix and no longer worth watching.

    • eurovicious

      I’d buy it. We saw that the camp-underdog older man can be very popular with Jonny’s 2nd place in ones of the early live shows last year. Maloney’s a better and more straightforward singer and tremendously sympathetic – he has the SuBo “downtrodden ordinary person” factor. Plus the fact the public voted him in gives them a stake in him, though not sure to what degree that has an effect. Amelia did top the vote twice though last year after being voted in, before finishing third.

      Counterinterpretation: now that I’ve read the article (read before you type, eurovicious), it’s a kill piece. Unwarranted, nasty, negative, vindictive, almost certainly baseless allegations about Maloney from start to finish. The part about his nerves being fake really puts my blood pressure up – you can’t fake that body language, and just like Maloney, Gareth Gates was fine when he sang but his anxiety returned afterwards. And he’s not topping the vote – that’s code for “you don’t need to vote for him”. It’s a dampening piece.

      Despicable.

  • stoney

    slightly off topic but worth noting, union j up to 3rd favourites now and shortening all the time. Could the possible voting leak be a reason for this? Union j topping the vote?

  • stoney

    according to the daily star maloney is topping the vote, which completely goes against what the guy said on this site that he isnt connecting with the scouse vote. the star have a very good voting leak history. I knew the scouse vote was good to have, but this would be something else!

  • Discussion about the boybands: When exactly did you decide that District 3 are the least preferred? District 3 were through to judges houses and if that cheeky band hadn’t had visa problems Union J wouldn’t have even made it to judges houses let alone the live shows? So at some point D3 were certainly preferred over UJ.

    Also- it was very weird how UJ had 3 people and were sent home- and then appeared at judges houses with 4 people (the fourth ridiculously handsome with personality…) that just seems so fake- I would have thought that would put the viewers off them. Then in the first week UJ were absolutely terrible and all the judges said so- which doesn’t seem like a plug for UJ over D3? Just interested that you seems to be so certain that UJ are favoured over D3…

    • stoney

      As you said they were given a superstar 4th member which transformed them into a serious contender for the series, triple j never stood a chance. Everything was just speculation with regards to who the public liked more up until the point that D3 found themself in the bottom 2, now its black and white

      • As well as being on first in week one, normally the death slot. Before we realised the significance that the lines being open from the start would have. I suspect same for producers.

        District 3 being on then randomly a 5 minute introduction for One Direction without them even singing. Just a pointless part in show which was their only to make district 3 forgettable.

        Union J then come on stand on a nice platform that has “UNION J” in it so viewers would remember Union J at a time when D3 had been forgotten.

        Then week 2, further comparisons to One Direction, put in a negative light.

        However when Union J had OD in their VT, it was edited in a postive light.

        Things like above leads most to believe. UJ are the preference.

        Basically I think their is more that suggests this, than anything that suggest D3 are the preference? If anyone can find anything let us know as there is a big gap in prices, I would be happy to take advantage of if anyone can highlight anything 😉 🙂

  • jake Kl

    Just the fact that they swtiched from the Dan&Ella story (whos supposed to b a childhood friend) with the George&Ella (the unknown stranger) story shows they want to push Union J far in the competition. Also Union J have been compared alot to 1Direction, the biggest boyband in the world right now whereas District3 have more been shown like a white version of Boyz2men , meaning a bit ”dated” (one of the judges had already described them that way)

  • EM

    Bit of info from the Sun TV editor on the radio today. When Melanie performed at twenty five past ten the show was down 3 million viewers on its peak which was around half 9. Think roughly he said peak was 9.9 million, Melanie was 6.8m. That’s gotta hurt votes.

    • R

      Thanks for the info, this really puts the impact of the later slots into perspective when the show runs so long and so late. Especially if the big guns have already sung.

  • Mick

    Yea I heard that as well. The thought was that the show is far too long for the average viewer and he suspected that people will only stay to see their favorite acts then vote and switch off. Also the Sunday results show attracts more viewers than the Saturday show.

  • Shoulders

    This was my thoughts posted on Sunday morning after watching Saturdays show, even though I thought this I still put all my winnings from week 1 on D3 and lost Drat!!!!

    Still heres what I thought Sunday morning,

    October 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm · Reply
    Heres’s a thought, the pimp slot, will it be as effective for votes as it was last year when the show is now ending at 10.30pm? The producers obviously now accept that they cant compete with Strictly who are the ones who now have the prime time Saturday night TV slot. 10.30 seems past peek viewing time, this could be the reason why they had the better singers in the first half of the show, are they anticipating peole switching off and going to bed before the end?? Having the phone lines open from the start of the show i think is because the producers think a lot of viewers may have switched off by 10.30pm If they kept the format of releasing numbers at the end of the show they may not get as many people voting. If this is true it will have an affect on the elimination betting where in the past it was the act that sang earlier in the show that was almost always the act to get eliminated

    The thought I have now is wasn’t it a dangerous tactic to put Rylan on second to last if they really wanted to keep him safe. The week before Caroline had polled the least votes out of everyone singing in the pimp spot and then this week Melanie also polls the least votes singing in the pimp spot. If this is because so many viewers have either switch off or already used their vote on someone else, surely putting Rylan second from last was a dangerous tactic if they really wanted to keep him out of the bottom two??

    I believe they would not want Rlyan to go just yet, but with putting him on second from last may be because far from wanting to avoid the controversy of the first week, 1 think the show thrives on it in the early rounds and were looking to create more of the same by having in back in the bottom two for another save?? Surely if they wanted to keep him really safe they would have put him on earlier??

  • Ben Cook

    I’m clearly not cynical enough. To me, it seemed completely obvious that Tulisa would save District3 over Melanie, because she had been so positive about them after their performances.

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