Maloney lives to shake another day. We’d thought he was worth chancing at the odds, but props to those Sofabet commenters who were sure he’d be as safe as houses.
Given Maloney’s survival, we have to look again at considering whether the Star’s alleged voting leak is correct. Here’s what it said:
In week one, Chris bagged more than double the votes of his nearest rivals Jahmene Douglas, 21, and Ella Henderson, 16, while last week he bagged a quarter of the vote, 10% more than Jahmene in second place.
We were deeply sceptical, but the Star do have form in this arena from previous years. Then again, if this is right, Ella will have scored less than 15% in week 2 and probably no more in week 1. In which case, what is she doing at 8/11 to win the whole competition?
Onto the elimination, and after sustained shortening of Jade during the day, the Betfair market moved sharply towards Rylan in the minutes before the lines closed with Kye drifting rapidly as someone seemed happy to lay him at any price. Oops, on all counts. There were suggestions that an insider might have been playing the market this year, after the dramatic Sunday plunge on Carolynne in week 1. This week stands as a counterexample.
There has also been much discussion about whether “late is the new early”, with the voting lines being open from the start. Both sides of this debate can find succour here, with MK1 hitting the singoff having sung second and Kye third-from-last.
We noted in our Saturday review article that MK1 seemed to be being offered up as sacrificial lambs, given mixed comments and immediately shoved down the memory hole by that incredibly powerful Jahmene VT.
Then again, there has been plenty of negativity around Kye these last two weeks, with his staging sending him up in flames in week 2 and putting him on a funeral pyre in week 3. Despite the positive comments he received after his performance yesterday, it was noticeable how much effort the show had gone to in his VT to point out how hopeless he’d been the previous week (“32 flat notes”).
There has also been a lively debate in the Sofabet comments about what’s going on with Gary. On one side, some commenters have confidently argued that Gary would not be left with only one act so early in the competition. On the other side, there has been speculation that producers might be out to get Gary, for whatever reason.
The market reflected this general sense of uncertainty, with MK1 hesitantly favoured to go, trading at about 1.7 to Kye’s 2.5. The former camp now stand vindicated. But this still leaves us with the puzzle of why Kye has been deramped so much these last couple of weeks, landing him in the bottom two. With one of his acts damaged goods having been in a singoff this early, and the other Mr Warm Cheese Toastie, Gary is already dead judge walking.
It’s fair to say that we’re not feeling like we’ve got a handle on this series yet. Irritatingly, if we’d simply ignored everything we’d seen since judges’ houses and gone with our picks in our speculative pre-lives 1-13 prediction, we’d have got the last two weeks’ eliminations right.
If you’re a believer in superstition, Jade and Maloney are the next two exits predicted in that just-for-fun list. It doesn’t sound beyond the realms of possibility, although with District 3 coming down from their sympathy bounce they must also be contenders for next week – and frankly I’m amazed at how Rylan avoided the singoff this week.
What’s your take? As ever, do let us know below.