We’ve noticed in the comments over the last couple of days several references to the part the tour may be playing in producers’ thinking for the early eliminations.
For instance, ringermark says “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.)” Nick Baker notes that “District 3 have very powerful and well known management”, and speculates “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”. Mick reckons “For the next 2 weeks you just need to work out who they’d rather not have on tour”.
We don’t tend to factor the tour into our elimination thinking. This post is to explain why, and to ask if we’re missing something – as well as briefly to round up a couple of recent rumours.
Historically, the tour has tended to consist of the top eight or nine acts from the live shows (we can’t remember exactly who was on the tour in each year, and this information isn’t immediately easy to find through Google). But as far as we’re aware – and we stand to be corrected – there’s nothing that commits them to this for the future.
When you look at the ticketing websites, on both The Ticket Factory (which you get when you click the tour link on the official X Factor website) and Ticketmaster, you’re told you’re buying a ticket to see “contestants performing classic songs and viewer’s favourites from the TV series”. On ents24, the wording is that the tour “features the finalists from the show, plus other memorable contestants”.
In other words, it doesn’t promise that you’re going to see “the top 8 in the vote” or “nobody who finished lower than 10th” or anything like that. We’re not aware of any pre-commitment along these lines on the official X Factor website, either. If this is the case, it’s surely no accident.
We work on the assumption that the only priority in choosing who goes on tour will be who’s going to sell the most tickets. As a general rule, you would think this would be the acts that finished higher up in the show – they’ve had more weeks of exposure and got more public votes, and there must be an overlap between the kind of people who vote and the kind of people who go to see the tour.
But what if one year this isn’t the case? What if one year they decide they’d sell more tour tickets by, say, including the act that finished 11th in the show and not the one that finished 8th? Is there anything to stop them doing that? We can’t think of anything.
In which case, it’d be a red herring to consider the tour in thinking about early eliminations. That’s our reasoning, but we recognise we may be missing something here – and if we are, we’d like to know about it. Please let us know in the comments below.
Now onto rounding up a couple of quick rumours:
Double elimination this week?
Eagle-eyed commenter Phil notes that the ITV website’s listings for this Sunday say: “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.” Bottom three? Is this a typo, or are we in for a double elimination, with the bottom act departing and then a singoff between the second- and third-bottom?
We think that would be a mistake. For a start, it would complicate the task of Saving Private Rylan – they’d have to get him above three other acts, not just two, in the week he’s due to come down from his sympathy bounce. (And regarding Rylan, he and Lucy Spraggan were filmed rather the worse for wear, and reportedly kicked out of their posh hotel and banished to budget accommodation as a punishment. Plenty of raw material for this week’s VT, should the show wish to use it.)
Moreover, with 11 acts and 7 weeks left, losing one a week would leave them with four for the final weekend. If they want to have at least three acts in the final, then they’ve room to lose only an extra one. A double elimination this week would mean they have no cushion against losing an act outside of the remaining normal elimination process, as happened last year with Frankie Cocozza and was rumoured to have been on the verge of happening again when Craig Colton reportedly threatened to walk out in the week before he was hob-nobbled. Why take this risk with such a long way to go?
Then again, the fact that we think something is a mistake is no guarantee that it’s not going to happen. We thought it was ill-advised last year to bring back an act mid-series in the shape of Amelia Lily. Speaking of whom, could they possibly be thinking that in the event of a Cocozza-style mishap they could always draft in the runner-up in the wildcard vote, presumably Amy Mottram? For the sake of what remains of the show’s credibility we hope not, though the fact that Amy has been traded at high three-figure odds on Betfair tells us that someone thinks it’s not beyond the realms of imagination.
Do we still trust the Daily Star?
Commenter Rave is absolutely right – the Daily Star have form of being right with their voting leaks. Which makes this story, stating that Christopher Maloney “is topping the public vote by a large margin”, hard to dismiss completely out of hand, however unlikely it seems:
A show insider said: “Liverpool has clearly come out in force to back their man because we’re not sure who else is.
“He’s not particularly liked backstage because he’s a diva and thinks he’s the star of the show.
“And let’s face it, he’s not that great when he gets out on stage either.
“Most people reckon his nerves are a complete act too because it’s funny how he’s shaking one minute and then suddenly he’s fine.”
Give that Shakey got the full-bore cheese-and-cruiseship treatment on Saturday night, it would be alarming to say the least for producers if he topped the vote by a large margin. Are we in for another Janet Devlin-style Pamplona bull run, with more knives being tossed in week after week before the erstwhile frontrunner is finally brought to ground around week 8?
Or are the Star simply being used to disseminate a bit of strategic disinformation ahead of a hoped-for exit for Shakey this week or next? Eurovicious summed up both points of view in one post. With all due respect to the Star – and the release of voting figures at the end of the series will tell us if we were right to doubt them this time – we lean towards the latter too.
As ever, please continue to post your news, thoughts and theories in the Sofabet comments below.