X Factor 2012 Week 3 Elimination Betting: Overs and out?

Even disregarding my shock at the singoff result, last week’s events threw two curveballs. First of all, producers did everything they could to assassinate Chris Maloney and failed to get him in the bottom two, after a similar escape in week 1 for apparent assassination targets District 3. As tpfkar puts it, “the X Factor are turning into incompetent assassins this year. 2 targets lined up, 2 aimed at, 2 still standing. Last year they didn’t have a single clear miss.”

Secondly, and more puzzling, Gary’s two other acts were also treated very badly. Watching the show back in the cool light of midweek, it was even more clear how Melanie and Kye comprised the dull wholemeal bread in a Rylan sandwich. Melanie, like Chris, had contemporary dancing in the background that was designed to distract. Kye’s performance was sent up in flames. All three overs were ‘red and blacked‘, in common with District 3.

Was this a shot across Gary’s bows over his reported dinner demands that Rylan should not be saved against anybody? And if so, will it last more than a week now that they there are only two overs left in the competition?

Tabloid stories such as this one and this one and this one suggest that the knives are still well and truly out for Chris Maloney. Where their former sister paper the News Of The World once had the Fake Sheikh, The Sun is painting Maloney as the Fake Shake. He’s like a bull being gored by the show’s matadors, and it’s becoming fascinating theatre.

Quite how long he can survive this onslaught is the biggest question in the elimination market, for which the Liverpudlian is marginal favourite at 3/1 this week. KaraokeSauron has the best explanation for last week’s survival I have seen: he “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”.

We have to doubt the report in the Star this week that Maloney has been topping the public vote. But as Nicky says in the comments, “I still think Shakey’s doing better than they’re comfortable with though. How else to explain such aggressive, vitriolic tactics? It’s very reminiscent of when Johnny scared the bejebus out of them last year resulting in character assassination by media and finally a double elimination to ensure his removal.”

This week’s VT may give us clues about how well Shakey is doing. My instinct is that if we get an unpleasant VT that dwells on all those tabloid tales about how he’s a diva, a phoney, and rude, then it may mean we’re in for a Devlin-style long kill. Such a VT would stir up some short-term sympathy for Chris as the price of sowing the seeds of his long-term destruction.

If producers do think they can get Maloney out this week, I reckon we’ll get the “end of journey” treatment instead, with Chris talking about how “being on the X Factor has shown me I can beat my nerves and I can do anything in life”. This is a time-honoured tactic for suggesting to an act’s supporters that they no longer need votes for personal validation.

We then have to consider the bigger question of whether producers will want to leave Gary down to one act this early in the competition. In this respect Kye’s treatment will be fascinating. He seemed to go from hero to zero from week 1 to week 2, and I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to see him in he bottom two last Sunday.

Kye is going to need a serious boost if Gary is to get a half-decent run in this competition, which probably explains why he’s as big as 8-1 to be next eliminated – on the face of it, these are very generous-looking odds for an act who was shown no producer favour at all last week and is eminently forgettable even at the best of times.

In the comments, jscouser2002 reckons it’s “hard to see them leaving Gary with one act left after 3 weeks”. In normal circumstances, I’d agree, but last weekend suggested there is something strange going on with the overs at the moment. Jscouser suggests that Kye’s negative treatment last week should be understood purely as a short-term tactic to make Rylan look more interesting, which is entirely plausible.

However, if the chimney sweep is slated once again this week, we would have to consider the possibility that producers are looking – for whatever reason – to get Gary out early. Or perhaps to play the cruel joke of leaving the panel’s bastion of musical credibility to soldier on with Cruiseship Maloney as his sole representative.

What of the other contenders?

At 10/3 we have last week’s singoff survivors District 3. There’s no particular reason to think they won’t enjoy the sympathy bounce that usually benefits an act surviving a singoff this early in the series, especially with a motivated teen fanbase – their Twitter following got a boost from their singoff save.

Having said that, it would be interesting to see how they’d do from a late slot tonight. As has been much discussed in the Sofabet comments, the first two singoffs provide suggestive evidence that having phone lines open from the start of the show may have swapped around the historical effects of early and late slots in the running order.

This may be especially pertinent with the show on so late – as EM posts in the comments, “When Melanie performed at twenty five past ten the show was down 3 million viewers on its peak… That’s gotta hurt votes.”

We again have quite a late finish today, at 10.20pm. If producers are – like us punters – feeling their way with the effects of the new voting system, they might be tempted to further test the effects of the “post-pimp slot” from which Melanie evidently suffered by putting a headline act such as Ella or Rylan on second-from-last, providing a natural climax to proceedings, and then District 3 with lukewarm comments last of all.

At 9/2 we have MK1, who are fancied by many to go this week. For me, it all depends on what last week’s Glee comments portended. I’m not yet convinced by the theory, mooted by several commenters, that the judges’ comments about MK1 betraying their urban roots necessarily indicated that producers had lost interest.

Firstly, it continues the narrative tension of having “Uncle Louis” as their mentor, which was always going to be an awkward fit for a young and hip outfit. Secondly, while it may be true that an urban fanbase won’t like Glee-type stuff, conversely I bet Glee-type stuff gets more votes than urban.

AnnaC has a nice theory about what was going on last week: “it looked as though MK1 were being recast as a new Jedward/Same Difference – bright colours, catchy (indeed, cheesy) song, lively dancers – so that they can fill the ‘fun’ slot if Rylan falls”. Quite where this will go in tonight’s show is very much open to question.

Speaking of Rylan, we can surely expect operation Saving Private Rylan to be in full swing again, so I can’t recommend backing him in the elimination market at odds of 13/2. He will be coming down from a sympathy bounce after his week 1 singoff surivival, and more often than not that phenomenon lasts only one week. But I fully expect producers to do everything they can for him again, and this week’s theme of club classics seems to have been selected to suit.

Realistically, the other acts we could see in the bottom two are Lucy and Jade, who trade at 12-1 and 20-1 respectively. Either of these prices could look very big after Saturday’s show, but I can’t recommend them before Saturday’s show because I think both girls had sympathetic edits that sold them well last week.

I wasn’t a fan of Lucy’s rendition of ‘Gold Digger’ at all, but a moving VT about the death of her grandmother was always going to see her safe. It’ll be interesting to see what producers do in both her and Rylan’s VT with the stories of their drunken antics after a night out at G.A.Y. – an opportunity for Lucy to reprise her “beer fear” audition hit Last Night, perhaps?

We have wondered since our 1-13 prediction whether Jade’s journey will be more reminiscent of Rebecca Ferguson or Sophie Habibis. Week one’s treatment suggested the latter; week two’s treatment suggested the former. I still think producers are hedging their bets with her. Saturday’s show will tell us more about whether they’ve come off the fence in either direction.

If they do decide to go after Jade this week, it would continue the trend of this year’s assassination targets uncannily mirroring last year’s. In the first public vote, target the surplus boyband (Nu Vibe, District 3); in the second public vote, target the cruiseship over (Sami Brookes, Chris Maloney). Who did they go after in the third public vote last year? Sophie Habibis.

Which brings us back to where we started – after last year’s unerring accuracy, the show appear to have turned into incompetent assassins.

There are so many questions for tonight – what will Chris and Kye’s treatment suggest producers are thinking about the overs? Where do they go with MK1? Will District 3 look bouncey? Will there be a single or double elimination (the possibility of which we assessed in Andrew’s midweek post)? – I’m going to be watching and learning, and am not getting involved beforehand. What are your thoughts? Do keep the lively debate going in the comments section below.

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45 comments to X Factor 2012 Week 3 Elimination Betting: Overs and out?

  • Kevin O Reilly

    if there is a bottom three announced what will happen to Bottom 2 betting, null and void i guess.

  • Im fairly sure that if it was a double eviction we would know by now. Publicity etc.

    However last year, I remember it working to an advantage, depending on the firm.

    If you backed bottom 2, and the act is first to go, normally thats the act that had the least votes. Settled as a winner as the would have been in bottom 2.

    If you backed an act for bottom two and they are in the bottom 3, but dont go first. Then the only way you know they would have been in the bottom two is if it goes to deadlock. So if it does go to deadlock and your act had the least votes of the two, its a winner.

    If it doesnt go to deadlock but your act is in the bottom 3 but not the first to go, its void as the result isnt known.

    The rest are losers

  • AlisonR

    That’s about the third time now where I’ve made a post on a thread, and then a new thread has been started! I’m getting in early this time, if the system will let me 😉

    Thoughts: I buy the view that the one drawn eleventh, especially if after Ella or one of the other favorites, could struggle, and would be the ideal place to bury Faky Shaky or another target. If I were TPTB, I’d also put an ad break in between.

    Main Target: I would have said Faky Shaky because of all the negative coverage, although I’m also liking the viewpoint that TPTB will leave Gary with only the cruise ship singer to represent him after week 3, so not totally sure about this. I do think Shaky is doing better than expected and the negativity is intended to bring him down, although I’m not convinced that it’s enough to down him yet.

    Likelihood of hitting target: If Shaky is the target, a possibility of 3/3 target missed, especially if viewers have connected with him, or see through TPTB’s aims, or he gets regional support. I think they probably have two or three targets though.

    Possible bottom 3: Jade, Kye, District 3, especially if the FB “likes” stats hold. MK1 in danger if any of these three escape. In a sing-off, Jade would be saved over D3. If Kye ends up in a sing off, his treatment will prove or disprove the “leave Borelow with only the cruise ship singer” theory.

    Other thoughts:
    The draw still interests me. I think the producers nearly got it right last week – start with a beta act and gradually crescendo to your alphas around four to six, dump in some dispensible ones next whilst people switch over to Merlin, add in one of interest then wind down to the end. They realised the effect of the number one draw had changed but not enough to realise that placing Chris at two was a mistake if they wanted to get rid of him. I expect the producers to have refined things again for tonight.

    We’ve had a group and a boy kick off in last two weeks. There’s only two overs left, so that leaves the girls, so I expect to see Lucy on first tonight. Rylan has had two late draws. I expect to see him drawn four to six tonight. Ella has had a four and a six draw already. I expect her to be the “act of interest” left towards the end. Just some thoughts.

  • tpfkar

    Main thing I’m looking for tonight is running order. I still say it’s too early to say the long established rules on running order are overturned just becuase the lines are open earlier. If Rylan opens the show and it ends with Chris & D3, then I’ll be convinced.

    Chris most likely to go imo but no value at the odds. Possibly worth a trading bet on Kye?
    Not likely to get involved either pre-show

    P.S. Isn’t it Week 3?

  • Heisenberg

    Like many others, I won’t be getting involved pre-show this week. Things could go any number of ways with possibly only the boys category ducking friendly fire.

    I ordinarily love the challenge of sniffing out early value leading up to the weekend live shows – but this time last week I had 2 separate main bets, District 3 ‘to be eliminated’ and Melanie ‘to be saved by the judges’ – I went from smug to mug quicker than Tulisa could say, “I’m going with my heart.”

    However, the one thing abundantly clear at this relatively early stage is that, although not entirely miscast, Lucy Spraggan is a square peg in a round hole. If her VT is more about the Hotel eviction than the fun night out (Rylan’s may be the opposite) and the awkwardness of the club classics theme is magnified in judges comments – she’d be my pick for value as a bottom 2 contender.

  • Excellent post.

    I echo your interest in the evolving contest of Maloney vs. Producers. Apart from the ‘Camp Barlow’ theory developed in past threads, the only other explanation I can think of is that Chris must have really annoyed someone backstage. The Stop Maloney campaign is now the most concerted X-Factor character assassination I can remember since Wagner, but for different reasons. As you’ve said before, Wagner’s ‘journey’ was cleverly fostered by TPTB, in my opinion until perhaps the final two weeks of his stay. Maloney, on the other hand, seems to be a genuine Wild Card: entirely disfavoured by producers yet still managing to cling on. In doing so, he’s starting to capture the imagination of the public in a way redolent of the ‘folk hero’ archetype; as an example of this, the thread ‘Chris Maloney: Songs For Me Nan’ (a satirical tribute) is currently one of the longest and funniest on Digital Spy.

    I don’t see any potential for a ‘Rage Against The Machine’-type viewer rebellion forming around him, though; partly because he’s too ‘light entertainment’ but also because viewers no longer seem to care about such things. And I don’t see him hanging around much longer than another couple of weeks; with Louis in particular expected to be in full assassination mode tonight.

    On another subject: the Spraggan story hasn’t generated the fireworks I was hoping for… Each of her VTs has emphasized her status as a ‘real musician’ (we even saw her banging keys and drums in last week’s episode), and producers have so far been very accommodating. I don’t think there’s going to be any spectacular exit for her but a gentle de-ramping beginning shortly. ‘Last Night’ would be an excellent song choice for tonight if that’s to be the case; it guarantees her at least another week in the competition against anybody (except the biggest of the big guns) so needs to be rolled out fairly early if she’s not been earmarked for the final.

    As noted in your post, Kye’s treatment tonight will be crucial.

    ‘Your Saturday night starts right here!’

  • Curtis

    I have very little to add to such a comprehensive analysis, except to say that I think that the so-called pimp slot could still work out as the pimp slot I feel – I think what’s more important is how it’s used. Last week we saw something very unusual for a pimp-slot performance, in that it wasn’t over-hyped, it was fairly boring and really just implied “meh”, the worst possible feeling you can give an audience. On top of that it was very late. It was also overshadowed by Rylan’s performance just before. I think it is these factors, rather than the actual pimp-slot itself, that was the cause of Melanie’s poor vote. The change of the voting system almost certainly had some effect, but I don’t think we should underestimate what the effect of the generally negative portrayal was as well.

    • Curtis

      Indeed, are we sure that the guns were not out for Melanie last week as well as Chris, and that we just didn’t notice this because Melanie was in the ‘pimp slot’? I think that’s quite possible.

      • I think it’s quite possible, too, Curtis. 🙁 Agree on the new context-sensitivity of the pimp slot – and as tpfkar says above, in general it’s still very early to be making any firm generalisations.

  • Rave

    What time does the show usually peak in viewers? I’d assume that would be the ideal “pimp slot” now with the voting change.

  • Just to say (off-topic) that a major story concerning Jahmene has broken today – see The Sun’s website for more.

    From a punting perspective, this might have blown my bet on Ella. But that aside, it’s a very powerful story. And all credit and respect to JD.

  • Donald

    I have been so busy all week and out at a 70th B’party tonight, will watch the show AM and give thoughts then after I catch up on Sofabet posts and comments for the week just gone by and tonight. Good luck to all this weekend.

  • The order – Maloney, MK1, Jahmene, Jade, James, Union J, Rylan, Lucy, Kye, D3, Ella

  • tpfkar

    Maloney early & D3 late. Looks like we’re going to settle the running order thing today. My gut feel is they’ve done a better job on Christopher so far – eek – until Gary mentioned Liverpool as i typed!

    • Boki

      Yes but he said something like ‘all Liverpool is behind you’, it should mean to the rest ‘don’t bother to vote’, is it?

      • Curtis

        Yep, this is right. It was subtle, but Gary didn’t actually ask Liverpool to vote Maloney. Indeed he told Liverpool that he was being voted for, so essentially don’t worry. The VT was not good for Shakey, and neither was the song, which was dated. The judge’s comments were lukewarm up to Tulisa who stuck the knife in…however, I think that people will see Tulisa’s critique as fair and therefore won’t provoke a symapthy vote. Maloney to go tomorrow.

    • R

      This is confusing.
      Felt it was the “reached your destination” theme until Tulisa brought out the pre-churned cheese and Barlow called on Liverpool.

      Plus the negativity on Kye & Lucy shake things up a bit.

      Gary telling Kye his performance was awful and he didn’t deserve to be in the final 12.
      Then Lucy mentioning being thrown out of the nightclub.

  • Boki

    Btw, why is Gary again bitching about BOTH sing-offs?

  • PG

    Off topic but what is Louis wearing? Hilarious.

  • tpfkar

    Although intriguingly, the market has Chris with a much SMALLER chance to go than last week. My feel – as I think is yours – is that he is in trouble.

  • Curtis

    Jade is surely safe after that VT?

  • Jack

    Jade with a huge sympathy VT, hasn’t pulled a Diana Vickers. Again, I’d be surprised if she wasn’t safe.

  • PG

    Plenty of fishing for sympathy VT’s this evening. Jade , Jahmene and now James.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    I am convinced that Kye will be awful. I think the 7/1 to will go. Not his week to shine and he is unravelling gradually.

  • Boki

    Both James and Union given red&black 🙂

  • AnnaC

    Did Union J just get the ‘Sophie Habibis’ – getting “mobbed” by about 3 girls?

  • R

    Apparently Kye & Rylan have sore throats too. Will be interesting how they get treated. I think Kye will get a major dampening. Surely not Chris & Kye in the bottom two?

  • Curtis

    Saving Private Rylan Part 2 – comedy moments shaving his beard, mash-up 3 contemporary songs, get Rylan to chuck in a funny, throw every bell and whistle at the production, get Louis to tell us he NEEDS to stay in the competition, get Gary to continue his criticism (the week Gary stops criticising Rylan will be the week Rylan goes). I can’t tell you if it will be enough to keep him out of the bottom 2, but they tried their damn hardest, and if he does happen to slip into the bottom 2, you can be sure with this much producer support he is still safe.

  • PG

    They have built a bonfire for Kye this week!!

  • Chatterbox5200

    Someone must surely mention the staging for Kye. Putting him on top of a bonfire with post-apocolyptic scenes being played on screens around him.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    How did that Kye song fit within the theme?

  • Curtis

    Ok, D3 got great treatment tonight, so I think they’re safe. Lucy in trouble?

  • AnnaC

    Hmm, a lot more girls in the mobbing of D3 than UJ. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bottom two of Kye and Union J.

  • Boki

    I can only think of tonight as back to the old track. One clear target in death slot, ones in danger close to the end and pimped with last slot to Ella who will survive no mather what. I think they expect Rylan in bot2 and want to take Chris with hiim. If Chris doesn’t end up in bot2 I will be surprised in the GBP.

  • R

    There’s a lot of negative feedback about comparing Kye to Chris Martin on Twitter

  • Curtis

    If Ella wasn’t Ella she’d be in trouble after that, mainly because of diversionary judge’s argument. But she is Ella.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    First chink in Ella’s armoury?

  • DT

    Jade’s performance was forgettable. And with so much sympathy VT going about I wonder if hers will have been enough. Plus if she were to end up in the bottom 2 will her voice hold up for the sing off? It would provide judge’s an easy way to get rid of her if she ends up down there with a more favoured act. I think she is the value bet after tonight.

    Chris should really be the one going but then he was no different than in previous weeks where he’s survived. I’d say the same about Kye too. I do wonder if District 3 were too late on to get the sympathy bounce. There was definitely more effort put into their VT and production this week. Tough to call!

  • Righty, so I’ve been reading Sofabet for a while but haven’t really commented on anything seeing as I always come after all the drama unfolds.
    Tonight though, I’m right in the front row so here we go…

    Was very surprised at the positive VT and subsequent positive comments for Christopher Maloney. Turns out it’s really just to give the viewers a false sense of security when it comes to backing him up with votes. And I’d back this up with the constant use of “cheesy” to describe yet another performance by the Liverpool cruiseship superstar. Along with the very dated song choice and the unmemorable staging I’d say this is the week they succeed in bringing him down to the Bottom Two.

    MK1 dropped the Disney-esque family-friendly attitude and brought back their Urban vibe. This could be seen as heroic and vote-worthy, but Urban is something the average viewer does not consume so I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually gather less votes than in Week 2. Not to mention the embarrassing and messy mash-up they blessed our screens with.

    Jahmene and Jade both had larger than life sympathy VTs. In Jahmene’s case way over the top, but I would say both are easily safe this week (if only for the lovely and girly pink themed staging Jade got).

    And yes, yes. James Arthur had the red and black treatment. But does this colouring theory really apply for the big acts? I wouldn’t say so. Surely Matt Cardle had red and black week too somewhere… Plus, his rendition of the cheesiest club song ever was worthy of two or three Grammy awards so can’t really fault any of that as I’m sure the producers want him in the Top 2 finish with Ella.

    Union J… Another act to be surprisingly red and blacked. It was established during the week that they were the nation’s favourite boyband, and I believe they are/were. But in order to explain further what happened tonight with them I must jump queue and comment on District3.

    After falling on the limbo of Bottom Two acts, I was sure they had two, maybe three more weeks in them. Imagine my shock when I see they gave the 3 boys a good staging, a good song and backing track and, perhaps more superficially, great outfits. The wardrobe selection contrasted immensely with what they wore the weeks before and even with whatever else Union J wore (especially last week’s winter collection). Suddenly this boyband, which I actually loathed, caught my eyes and ears and I’m very excited to see what they will come up with next. I also want to buy all they were wearing.

    This doesn’t mean Union J are in trouble. I think the producers just want to milk a lot more the whole Battle of The Boybands drama, and more importantly boybands is what really brings more more since they get all the screaming fans waiting to throw their knickers (and wallets) at them by the stage. It was a surprising twist but they do want to keep them both in now.

    Another surprising (but not really) pairing was Rylan and Lucy. After being all over the press with their “beer fear” antics, I chuckled when at the beginning of the show they were revealed side by side in the running order. In Rylan’s VT they were even together in the hair salon like good friends do. This surely affects nothing on Rylan’s odds, but rather the opposite in Lucy’s case. “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”

    There was a problem in Rylan’s performance. As much loud and in your face (and blue and white, if you must) as it was, I couldn’t help but think that it was all a bit TOO camp. Even for Rylan’s standards. Looking at series past, we had Diva Fever who were obviously too camp to function, Nicolo Festa whose camp rendition of a Lady Gaga song threw him out before we could remember him, Johnny Robinson – who can forget such camp fest? – and Rikky Loney whose annoying little emotional tear fests did nothing but feminise him. All of those acts received a fairly amount of feminisation during their performances and saw them being voted out early. In the case of other gay acts such as Marcus Collins, Danyl Johnson or Paige Richardson everything was kept somewhat sober and buff enough to see the acts progress further in the competition.

    If last week Rylan had a camp everything on that stage, this week we saw him losing his manly beard, put on a quite questionably feminine outfit and given a very feminine choreography. The GBP doesn’t like very camp things on their Saturday night TV and even gay men often dismiss campness. I’m not sure where they are with Rylan but I’m confident we’ll still see what happens next week with him.

    As for Lucy, it was completely the same as Rylan, but just the other way around. Lucy contrasted greatly with Rylan’s Camp Attack especially since she came across too masculine and butch. It’s the prejudicial staging kicking in and we see her performing in a military-like outfit with her hair up and her guitar on her arms resembling another very butch contestant: James Arthur. And this is another great pairing as they are keen to establish a Battle of Authenticity between the two. Real musicianship is on Lucy’s side much as it is with Arthur, but while the latter comes across as a great lad, she comes across as a full on lesbian. It’s funny to see the treatment they gave to the show’s other lesbian, all pink and glossy and girly for Jade, all very butch and ungirly-like for Lucy. Surely it won’t hurt her this week, but it’s the start of Lucy’s deramping, especially after only her having the drunken night out on her VT.

    Kye was much better than last week wasn’t he? It feels like he’s finally on top of his game and to be quite blunt it’s boring as hell. The apocalyptic staging won’t help either and was it just me or didn’t he sing the same song for his audition? If so they it sounds like he’s finally come full circle and his journey is complete.

    Feels like a very easy to predict week with Christopher and Kye having below unforgettable performances but I’d put some money on MK1 too for the mess they made on stage. Rylan would be Bottom 4 if we had such a thing.

    It’s funny to see all of the sleazy circus tricks unfold while Ella carelessly closes the show just “trying to have a bit of fun and feel 16 really”.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Quite a few contestants tonight pointed out that this is Brian Friedman’s last week on the show. I wonder what impact this will have on the staging for future weeks – especially for Rylan. Will his performances become less camp and/or extravagant?

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