X Factor 2012: Name-checking the finalists

The competition stepped up a gear last Saturday. How so? The judges started name-checking the finalists. This was their attempt to guide viewers towards those acts they want us to put there.

Richard Betsfactor’s guest article on the site last week noted that for this series’s focus on greater credibility, the acts being pimped towards the final were, in order: Jahmene, James and Ella. Of the remaining outsiders, Chris was taking on the role of potential script spoiler. The weekend’s events seemed to bear him out. This is what Tulisa said when asked on Saturday’s Xtra Factor who would be in the final:

“My hope is…in the people who deserve it and talent-wise and as people would be Ella, Jahmene and James.” When Olly Murs asked the audience if they agreed, there were loud cheers. Tulisa went on to add: “My fear is that Christopher would take one of those spots.”

The continued pimping of Jahmene was the biggest marker of the night.

Opinions vary widely about his performance of Beyonce’s ‘Listen’, but whatever your point of view it’s fair to say the judges reached for hyperbole in their response. It certainly wasn’t sung as well as Beyonce or better than anyone else, as Tulisa suggested. She’s lucky Alexandra Burke wasn’t making a guest appearance on the panel.

Tulisa commented after Jahmene’s performance, “I guess I will see you in Mani at the finals.” Louis similarly said, “you’re gonna be in the final” as well as adding he was a “world-class recording artist” which is his shorthand for saying he deserves to be in the final (on which more later).

Richard focused on the show’s search for credibility. Jahmene offers something else as well: he’s the feel-good contestant of the series. Firstly, he’s overcome great adversity. We learnt about childhood abuse in the incredibly moving week 3 VT, now articles are referring to racist bullies who made his life hell. Secondly, the show is transforming his life, as Saturday’s Asda VT so effectively reminded us. What’s the overall message? Nicole’s post-performance comment summed it up: “You inspire so many people to stand up and fight.”

We thought that Jahmene’s mannerisms, which were treated slightly mockingly at his first audition, would be a hindrance. No more. The nervous giggle, the tendency to well up with emotion, these things now have a heartwarming explanation that can’t help but win you over. He’s the closest thing to TV gold this series has, and producers may feel happy with a feel-good winner even if he’s arguably not as commercially viable as Ella or James.

Stage school-trained Ella can’t compete with Jahmene in terms of backstory. In this realm, there have been a few attempts to suggest she has been getting stick over her weight, but in reality the only thing the show has is to constantly remind us that “she’s only 16”. Nonetheless, the continuation of the “little star” mentions (two on Saturday) and Louis reminding us that she’s a recording star (check!), indicate the continued determination to get the original Plan A into the final.

In the last two weeks, however, judges have not given her a free pass. She could get away with some bum notes in week 1, but Nicole felt the need to call her out on this in week 5, having also said that she enjoyed least Ella’s week 4 performance. Of course ten weeks of continued praise would start to get boring, so we shouldn’t overplay this; there’s no doubt producers still want her in the final. But even if she’s still Plan A, producers have now moved at least one Plan A- into place.

James has been treated kindly throughout, most notably with Gary’s “performance of the series” comment in week 3. As Chatterbox noted, it seems that every celebrity guest has endorsed him, Rita Ora being the latest last night. He got to appear on stage with Labrinth in his week 4 VT, and not only received No Doubt’s benediction this time but got to sing their song too. As he does every week, Louis said James should get a “record deal”.

However, when arguing against Chris Maloney, Louis made the point of name-checking Ella and Jahmene as international recording artists. No mention of James. This was repeated in Sunday’s Xtra Factor, when Louis felt the frontrunners were Ella and Jahmene. That makes me suspect that producers have Jahmene as their alpha boy, whereas a few weeks ago I thought it was James.

Does this mean that James is the most vulnerable of these three projected finalists? Maybe, maybe not. As Stoney pointed out, there was a rush of money for a possible bottom two appearance last night, although that doesn’t necessarily tell us anything. However, I do think Jahmene is currently the safest of the three based on their recent treatment. I would not have expected to say that a few weeks ago.

Chris is the only other person not to hit the bottom two yet, giving credibility to the judges’ arguments about how far he can go. This does serve a couple of purposes for the show. It makes the final seem less predictable and allows the Liverpudlian to be a more potent figure of division among the panel. Hence the discussion in which Louis was insistent about him not being a star or an international recording artist (ie not deserving of being in the final, as Tulisa also implied).

There was plenty of motivation for his supporters to stay on board based on his treatment this week, as we pointed out in our review after Saturday’s show. This is a plot line producers are running with, although they would surely prefer to see Chris in the bottom two before any of the ‘big 3’ so it has to come to an end at some point.

Everyone else has been tarnished by a bottom two appearance. Union J look to be the only other potential finalists. Louis reiterated the idea that they were the “next big boyband” on Saturday, and though that falls short of James, Ella and Jahmene in the credibility stakes, they are a commercially viable outfit.

If one of the big three is falling short in the votes and cannot be rescued effectively, Union J are the obvious alternative finalists (although no act has ever won the show after appearing in the bottom 2, there are precedents for second-place finishes after a bottom 2 appearance in the shape of JLS, Olly Murs and Ray Quinn). At this moment in time, however, I think producers don’t feel the need to push Union J into the final. The continued presence of District 3 won’t help them, either.

What do you think of the lie of the land as the path clears towards the final? Which of Jahmene, James and Ella do you think is most vulnerable, and to whom? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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82 comments to X Factor 2012: Name-checking the finalists

  • Agree wholeheartedly with all this!

    Who’s the only person who hasn’t had a hint of Red and Black in their performance?

    I am convinced they are trying to dampen down James’ support. Can’t work out why though.

  • Can’t disagree with anything written here. Maybe can add a few comments and questions.

    Ella was pimped hard early on and the show quickly looked like a one horse race as she earned the nickname “frankella”. At the time I thought she was not only contender and was going to get boring. So now makes me question… Is the reason she is getting the occasional negative comment so that the viewers don’t think it’s all about Ella? To make it more of a competition, (take note now pimping Jahemene( could this be for battle of the voices!?). A big plus from these negatives and de-ramping it allows her to have that “wow” moment later on when she does something spectacular and judges remind us of this!

    Giving her a momentum to take her to the final two/victory.

    I’m on James in a few markets. I think this is looking beaten now, he lacks a wow moment in his performance, and often looks down at the floor or away from the cameras during his performance. This stops audience/viewers connecting with him. (Nothing that can’t be fixed with a bit of stage presence training, but will they bother?)

    I’ve thought throughout the deramping of Chris is not so he went in that week. But was because he was polling highly, so the de-ramping allows him to gradually lose votes so that when the time comes they can hit te “eject” button and have him leave at the time they choose.

    For this weeks eliminations I find really difficult to predict. Very briefly here is why:

    Rylan – a typical bounce and the effort they went to to save him last week, suggests they want him around a bit longer! So another week for him?

    D3/ UJ – UJ will be coming back from a bounce week. But where do they want to go with this Battle Of The Boybands theme. With comments in the papers that the groups don’t get on. Are they going to push this a bit longer? They need to for it to have any effect on ratings/story/entertainment

    Chris – Do they want Gary to have zero acts with 5 weeks left? Those suggesting its to replace Gary with Simon. If this was the case, and in the script, I would have expected more of an angry response from Gary with kye leaving to make it fit the “Gary quits” story

    So? Does that mean a potential shock on the cards to see one of top 3 go? Alot of questions this week

  • tpfkar

    Running a thread behind everyone else, some post-mortem thoughts on Kye:
    1) Rip up our latest running order theories. Bottom 2 went first and third in the running order. If that happened last year we wouldn’t have blinked, but it’s an awkward stat for those claiming the running order has simply reversed this year.

    2)Taking the same theme further, the producers were going all out to save Rylan this weekend, and chose to put him out first. So they clearly saw first as the best position – but it didn’t work out. It was surely Rylan’s best performance (including sing-off) as well.

    3) Looking back, Kye’s brother was incredibly dull. It’s cruel to judge him as he isn’t putting himself forward on an entertainment show, but he managed to make Kye look even more ordinary. Sad to see Kye go, I liked him, but even Gary looked like he knew the writing was on the wall and my guess is that Kye has been floating around the bottom 2 most weeks.

    4) So where now for Gary? Having picked 3 credible overs, he’s now left with Christopher. My guess is that the producers have tried to show him the ‘error of his ways’ and they may well judge that it’s mission accomplished. So Christopher’s hanging around may well be hammer the point home to Gary.

    5) The relegation of Tulisa to bottom of the judges pecking order continued in the sing-off. Not only was she expected to do the dirty work to keep Rylan in, but she had to endure Louis rubbing it in by claiming he was doing the ‘right thing’ by saving Kye.

    • Tptkar, a couple of pointers about 1) to think about

      I suggested last week tha Kye had no fans and posted about it on escbet.com. He landed in the bottom two in a week where he sung his best song which was also his audition song, presumably where most acts gain their original fan base from, especially needed in the early weeks. I think he had very little fan base at all. That amongst been sandwiched between favoured acts makes me think nothing else of the running order theory, still believing its more about who’s around you.
      I think Kye was bottom of the vote by a long long way

      So now D3 also in a bad draw but difference is they do have some fan base, I would assume from what I read, more so than any other act before X factor started.

      IMO it’s that fan base that beat D3s running order, especially as the judges comments went over the top, enticing their fans to vote for them, probably a mistake on the judges part as they looked like the target this week.

      So who would that leave vulnerable Rylan and Chris –

      Chris we always thought the rumours about him being high in te vote were true, he has avoided bottom 2 after alot of deramping, this week saw him turn on waterworks for first time, then Nicole highlights it to viewers when questioning him, then answers the question for him “is it cos you put everything into that” a big plus for him

      A few suspected that the effort to save rylan was higher than every other week? Maybe this was because he was always “just” safe and they knew he was vulnerable and we have now just found out how vulnerable!

    • Daniel

      Some great points here tpfkar. I said something similar about Kye’s brother during the Saturday VT.

      I still think the producers were trying to be helpful to Rylan but watching it back with the benefit of hindsight, they may learn a few lessons. Firstly, there was some red and black in the performance (though contextually it wasn’t too bad).

      Secondly, I just wonder if appealing to the Essex vote in such a way is very productive. The fact that 2Shoes finished bottom, behind even Jonjo, in the comeback vote last year indicates there’s not a strong regional identity.

      Even then, basing an appeal to regional votes on the likes of Amy Childs (who stated everyone is “pretty much” like her in the county) actually might not impress the vast majority of people in Essex. I think the rest of the country are slightly bored of that shtick as well. It’s all a bit 2010/11.

      If producers want Rylan to bouce effectively next week I suggest they ditch the TOWIE references and focus on an outrageous/surprising production, much like week 2 with its dancing fashionista Pandas.

      Having the show’s obvious gay act doing a Hung Up / Gimme Gimme Gimme mash-up was rather lazy in comparison. Hung Up notably did little good for 2011’s flamboyant act Johnny Robinson.

  • tpfkar

    Now onto this thread. I think the article basically makes the right calls. Very speculatively, and based on twittering, leaks and instinct here’s my guess as to how things have played at the top end so far:

    Week 1 – wildcard Christopher wins the vote, as leaked by the Star.

    Week 2 – Backlash against Christopher and I’m not convinced he won again, so the second part of the Star leak was misinformation. I think Ella was top.

    Week 3 – leftfield choice but on twitter stats, I think District3 won the vote. If they were good enough for Daniel’s favourite performance of the series, they must have impressed the Great British public as well.

    Weeks 4 and 5 – I think Jahmnene has won. As the article says, the show has suddenly taken him seriously and my guess is that this is based on consistent and growing phone vote performances.

    So how are Ella and James doing? I suspect not great, either of them. Now they’ve dispatched all the other females, Ella has a clear run, but although she is a great vocalist, there is little in terms of performance or backstory, so I think she is going slowly backwards after a strong start.

    I think James is in real trouble; he’s been upstaged by Jahmene, and the amount of pimping he’s needed week after week, including from guest artists, indicates a concerted rescue effort. Now Lucy has gone, he’s the obvious ‘niche’ artist heading for 4th place, but I think he may need a sing-off or two. To get to the final, he needs to beat both Chris and Union J. The second shouldn’t be a problem with producer support, but is the North-East vote really stronger than Liverpool? Amelia Lily vs. Marcus Collins would suggest not. Given the surprise success of the other two boys, could they engineer a controversial exit for James in the next couple of week? Stranger things have happened.

    • Daniel

      Plenty of meat to get hold of here. I think Jahmene may have won the week 3 poll as well after that incredibly powerful VT about childhood abuse, and his genuine emotion after performing. Tears = votes as many of us rightly note.

      I do agree that District 3 polled well too with the best non-camp, Saturday-night song-and-dance production of the series so far.

      Their ability to avoid the bottom two since then despite a previous singoff save and two consequent weeks of attacks would suggest they bounced very far indeed in week 3.

    • eurovicious

      Just one small point: the northeast vote was split last year right up to the final (between Amelia and Cement Mix, with Perrie and Jade both being from South Shields).

  • jake Kl

    Picking up on whats been said, Here are my thoughts;
    2 weeks ago, I said James was the alpha act. i take it back, its jahmene.
    Jahmene reminds me alot of Marcus. Hes a mixture of marcus and Alexandra. He keeps in the shadow of other good contestants, gives good performances each week. I say good because they are worthy of praise from judges but not standout or brilliant ones (Ella’s Loving you in wk2, James LMFO in wk3). He starts getting really noticed round about midway (Like Littlemix last year) and hereon flies to the finals, being the producers favourite he also wins.
    James is the type of person i’d see having a great career post XF or at least better than Ella and Jahmene. Being a finalist like producers are trying their best to do but not winning (like JLS, Olly, 1D,

    • jake Kl

      cher). He had his ‘wow’ moment, like you mentioned Jscouser, too early in which makes it unlikely for him to get another 1.
      Ella wont win. She is the early favourite type of contestant like Janet/Laura/Danyl. She is also getting the slow kill this year, having 2 bad weeks in a row. They’ve realised her support is quite big and cant do a U-turn now and give her full criticism after all the praise they gave her so killing her week by week will make sure she still gets to the final but not win.
      Chris is their biggest threat now. having survived for 5 weeks now, they’e going a different way to dampen his support. First it was just full criticism but seeing it only brought him more sympathy, they now r going less with the cheese and more bout the vocals and even saying hes not that bad which is a worse critique than saying he’s plain bad. They still want don’t want him in the finals like Louis mentioned a few times during live shows and Tulisa in Xtra meaning they’re desperate for his support to decrease.
      The boybands have become boring now. Keeping 2 boybands who have already been in bottom2 seems pointless. whats more pointless is that when one of them goes, D3 this week probably, the other one will have even less purpose on the show and will be gone soon after. I think keeping this so called ‘battle of the boybands’ was only to give both platforms for post XF careers, if they have any.
      Rylan is….Rylan. He’s had his purpose on the show and i predict he’ll go when he next lands in bottom2. One thing preventing him from leaving would b if hes up againt D3 which would go to deadlock and he would still have SOME sympathy after this week, to save him but not enough to keep him out of bottom2 for the weeks to come, doing a Katie Waissel on us. So Rylan/D3 this week, D3 leaves probably, Rylan goes week after, and UnionJ after that. By that time, Judges will have done all they can to prevent Chris from going to the finals. Jahmene looks like the ideal winner

      • eurovicious

        I agree that in a Rylan/D3 B2, D3 would go, but Rylan is sure to bounce next week. His singoff vocal was a revelation to me, and his show performance this week was also his best. He’ll bounce because the fans who kept him out of danger in weeks 2, 3 and 4 (but who had perhaps become a little more complacent by this week and taken his survival for granted) have now been given a reminder that he’s still in danger.

        • jake Kl

          Tbf i’d agree with u there if we were in the first weeks still. Only being in the 2nd half of the show, favourites and more serious acts will have more solid fanbases which will leave less votes for joke and pantomime acts. Katie Waissel in 2010 is the perfect example of sympathy votes not working repeatedly due to simply not enough support.

    • Kevin O Reilly

      I suggest with the market that James would target not actually being an outright winner of X Factor might be more a positive than a negative?

  • annie

    I actually think Lucy was going to be the Janet/Diana/Danyl to end her run just before the final. She was almost favorite at auditions stage. But just a bit to special for a broad and general support.
    I see in Ella a bit of a Leona. I didn’t watch the show back them, but as I understand she was stand out from the start. I watched all her performances back (not those of the other contestants…) and I saw at one point what I thought were brilliant performances getting some pointless critique and then whoooom, being brilliant again. I think Ella’s critique’s are also a bit made up, all her performances are above most of the others. Now that she’s only girl she’ll definitely make the final. And she’ll do well. If anyone’s to win above her is Jahmene, who is a bit like Joe McElderry for me. Innocent face, nice smile, good vocals, bit forgettable at start but gradually establishing himself. Not what the show would want, but maybe they won’t be able to help it.
    I’m very curious now, bu I still can’t believe the leak that Chris is topping or almost topping the votes. I think he is safe each week, and Rylan is just above floating level. I don’t see him bouncing again. They threw everything at him and was back at the bottom… He won’t be saved, as his place on the tour is secured and the panto act spot is filed by Chris. They don’t desperately need him anymore.
    I don’t get the boyband thing. I don’t get why they are pushing UJ so much above D3. The fact that they were in the bottom 2 as well proves that they don’t have a that much larger support. Plus D3 can both visually and vocally and numerically be much more differenciated from the well established 1Direction. Why would they want an almost copy of them? Union J are good, but besides little George they all look a bit the same, and george looks a bit like harry styles. I liked their performance this week, and their previous ones weren’t bad either… But I do think that if guns weren’t pointing almost all the time towards d3 and they’d get the same treatment as UJ they would be better. Could it be that the fact that D3 had a previous management it makes things more complicated so they are not that interested to work with them?
    James is a tough one for me. I like him, he is brilliant. But he does look a bit scary at times. And he struggles so much during some performances. After a while people get tired to see suffering. So yes, he could very well end up in B2 before the finale, but will surely be rescued and he will take his place on the podium.

    • jake Kl

      Agreed on boybands and Jahmene. Btw, TripleJ also had management b4 entering so i dont think its to do with that.
      I think its unwise though to compare lucy (and James for that matter) to any other past contestant since we’ve never had acts like them on XF b4.
      The difference between Ella and Leona is that while Leona was having good weeks at the start, she just got better and better feedback as we got nearer to the finals. For Ella, it looks the opposite

  • Neeve

    Lurker coming out of the woodwork!! And going off topic!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2228160/X-Factor-2012-Union-J-mobbed-fans-rehearsals.html

    Just a quick not on the images in this article.

    Look at the door Rylan is entering. “Maximum Artist Management” and “Jayne Collins Casting”. These are District 3’s management and have been for some time I gather. What are the other contestants (well Rylan at least!) doing at their offices? And why are District 3 nowhere to be seen? The article mentions Ella and all others are pictured except D3. Not sure what my point is here but it got me wondering…!

    On another note, I think the most interesting analysis we can have is on top group…It’s the main place I could see an upset . Union J have been favoured each week and given consistently average performances. District 3 have been thrown down the stairs, under a bus and then off a bridge since show 1. They have given 1 good performance out of 5 yet both have the same amount of appearances in the b2??

    I like the idea of getting on D3 as top group… Would I be mad???! Would like to get some opinions from such knowledgeable people as yourselves. I know it’s not the script, but it’s not going to plan so far this year is it?

    My logic is that D3 obviously have a big fanbase to have survived this far after some awful song choices, staging and comments. To be fair they have had a huge sympathy vote last 2 weeks (which no doubt impacts Union J). If d3 can pull off a good performance next Saturday they might pick up some new voters and presuming the sympathy voters might stick with them having invested financially and emotionally in saving them an seeing the reward. It all depends of course how they are treated. But if they can convince tptb to let them sing a half decent song I think vocally they can top anything Union J would be capable of. That’s a big if though. It’s all about the song this week for them. Watching some of their Youtube videos they are actually very talented and play piano / guitar. Something like a Take That song, to fit British theme and please Gary, with one on piano harmonised beautifully could be a real moment for them. They can easily steal some of the UJ vote and we know for sure they have already polled higher than them at least once!

  • stoney

    sofabet.com no longer over rating ella and underestimating jahmene 🙂

  • As with my bullseye hit last year, some of my homework consists of looking at YouTube viewing figures (whilst noting comments there from fans, who also indicate how they will vote…and ‘in multiples’ of upto 50 times like last year for LM) and too I use my 6 year old grand-daughter, her friends and my friends kids as a sounding board for who they want to see win the X-Factor.

    I also use tpfkar’s brilliant twitter traffic figure graphs to help see who is trending with these kids…(and who are the actual voters and spenders at the end of the day). Thanks again for that this year tpfkar !!

    For me it all consists of this type of person who, after all, is going to spend this money to vote and who will buy the songs afterwards…. the gullible teenie girls. They all have the hot money burning away in their pockets to spend which Simon Cowell wants …. and he knows just how to get it. Already on YouTube there are indications of a huge following building up for ‘flavour of the month’ UNION J (and a switch from 1D) with comments like ” George and Josh ahhh…1 Dead!!!!”…and..”They are actually better than 1D”.

    XF now know that Boy/girl bands are where the ‘real money’ is after the show ends and that they only have a short initial shelf life too before they start to evaporate. 1D may have peaked now and by planning ahead a year, Simon will want a replacement band ready to fill their boots whilst he has this big window to promote it in and to carefully etch their names into kids heads and you can bet your bottom dollar that he has been monitoring all this ‘market testing’ to see who is his best bet out of UJ and D3. For me, D3 are being slowly destroyed in favour of UJ and they must now leave very soon to capture the divided vote to transfer it to UJ. Timed right, this will also see off Baloney and Rylan.

    It is back to my old observation that at the root of this show it is really all about what Simon wants and ‘what Simon wants, Simon gets’ ….more money.

    Tulisa said it right on Saturday when she congratulated Louis on finding the niche ‘young girl’ market type for UJ (who could be his new Westlife and his winning Judge ticket too). For me too that Jaymi lad has the best voice in this whole competition and they may lean on him more heavily as the alpha vocal to carry the band through to the final.

    They really could be the next big boy band and I detect that even Daniel is not dismissing them now as final material. Even if they do not win and get 2nd place, there are some huge straight forecast prices on oddschecker for UJ teamed up with the other estimated big hitters for the final that ‘can’ also be reversed. This is exactly what I did last year when I copped another massive 66/1 payout on top of my equally big win. I would also have had the same price even if Marcus had won and therefore I knew that I had a nice payday anyway before the final even started.

    One thing that I am mystified with though. Oddly, XF’s own YouTube channel (TheXFactorUK) does not appear to have posted UJ’s live week 5 video. Could this be a subtle ploy to start de-ramping them for some strange reason in favour of D3? Was it a tester for a public reaction to it, was it just a simple error or is there a copyright issue for the song on YouTube? Hmmmm?

    Out of interest there, Ella tops out at 380,000 views with Jahmene at 370,000 with James at 295,000 (at this point since Saturday)…. BUT do these viewers actually pick up the phone to vote? You can’t leave comments on their YT site so there is no indication unless a fan posts a video clip up there for responses.

    • Quick comment, reason for Uj’s video not being on official X factor channel. It was confirmed that the lyrics where slightly changed and now against copyright laws, so X factor can’t put the video up without permission from whoever owns rights to the original song.

      Something like that anyway, so I wouldn’t read much into it

    • The one issue that Union J pose is for how long and how far they can push Jaymi back into the closet… photo opps with attractive women and awkward magazine interview answers aside, he was out before the show. Would Syco/the producers be tempted to switch horses to District 3 based on this?

      Not to mention that D3 have been in the firing line for at least three of the five weeks and survived, while Union J’s bottom two appearance followed endless pimping.

      • Is he gay? If he is and they add this “coming out” story to a VT viewers will connect more to him.

        “Coming out has been hard to do”
        “Really scary”
        “Didn’t know if the public would accept me”

        Followed by a huge solo note in a song

        Huge postive for them

      • Hi Eddy. I can only say that as it seems even more acceptable to be gay in 2012 so it should not really ‘pose as an issue’ in the pop world if Jaymi is gay. Just the opposite in fact. Not only do teen girls accept it more freely these days as the norm to have gay friends and gay pop idols, they find it rather endearing and cool too. They might even dream that they are the one to ‘change them’. In a modern world UJ might also even get an added male following because of Jaymi if it is true.

        In fact Mark Feehily from Westlife came out in 2005 and they still sold records and had a huge fanbase. So too did Stephen Gately with Boyzone. The (?) tag never did Bowie, Marc Bolan, Elton John or Queen any harm in my day either. The Scissors Sisters are also a complete mix of gay sexuality and yet sell out the 02. It only seems to be newspapers who make an issue of it, not the fans.

        b2 is not such a bad thing either with what we have found, as JLS were there and came 2nd (and huge) and UJ might even break those old rules yet like LM did as a supposed no hoper ‘girl band’.

        If D3 are so busy being shot at whilst the endless pimping is behind UJ, then I will go with the latter (XF expensive firework and VT investment). The constant ‘firing’ worked on Janet last year. Don’t get me wrong, D3 are also good and I had high hopes for them after the brilliant ‘Begging’, but it appears that that is how they are being left now by XF, ‘begging’. It has left them looking desperate and they are trying too hard now. Saturday was a complete confusing mess.

      • eurovicious

        AFAIK he is gay, someone I know found an old Myspace profile of his that indicated this. It’d be a definite positive and would give the band some actual personality. I doubt very much that it would turn girls away from the band either, quite the opposite (as maccafan suggests above) – instead of 4 cute non-threatening boys, they get 3 cute non-threatening boys plus a gay best friend. Totally agree with what Jscouser2002 says – it provides opportunity for a great VT/narrative and actually gives the band a USP and an emotional connection with viewers, something they’ve been lacking. Maybe they’ve been saving this up? Marcus’s sexuality was addressed in his week 1 VT (as far as I remember) and it definitely didn’t do him any harm. Also, judging by a number of comments I’ve seen on Twitter and elsewhere, a fair few people see Jaymi as having not just the best voice in the band but as maccafan says above, in the whole show – so he already has people’s respect.

  • Thanks JS2002. I also saw a couple more banned attempts up there. Doesn’t help too much with UJ’s cause though if they can’t be re-viewed by the public before the rest also get jumped on by the copyright police. Roll on next week for the continuation of battle of the boy bands on a level playing field again.

  • Boki

    Nice article and very good posts here. I would like to tackle some not so often discussed points. Btw almost all of us were wrong about Jahmene (as last year with LM) and it’s not the first nor the last time otherwise ‘we all would be rich’ as Richard says.

    Firstly the ‘vote transfer’. Each week someone leaves and his/her voters either stop voting or vote for someone else but can we draw conclusions who is gaining the most? Some expected that Rylan will get some Lucy’s votes because they are pals (and he tried during the show – ‘this one is for Spraggan) but it didn’t happen in big quantities. In case of boybands it’s obvious the the other one should gain when one eliminated. Chris seems to be the only besides Rylan one who can’t generate some new votes. When Chris is gone, I expect auntie vote to go to Jahmene and that’s making him so dangerous imo, especially if two of them topped the vote in the beginning. In that sense it seems Jahmene is about to win.

    Secondly the fan bases. They can give you a lot of (multiple) support but I do think that the ‘floaters’ are much more improtant when it comes to winning (please correct me if I’m wrong). They are still in the majority with increased numbers towards the final and could swing a lot based on that night’s performance. In that sense there is still hope for Ella especially if tptb decide to do a little break in Jahmene’s support.

    Jahmene’s support. If Ella was not polling good and Chris and Jahmene well they decided to use Jahmene – sounds logical. But could he end up in the same ‘can’t keep the momentum so long’ as Ella? He might be peeking too early, curious to see next two weeks and especially his treatment if/after Chris is gone. I saw fiveleaves suggested that ‘they’re pushing him so hard to try and dampen down the vote for Chris’ – sounds about right to me, let’s try to steal some votes. So the competiotion is still open imho.

    Chris. Keep it short. Could they add another sing-off with last 4 acts (if he ends there with Ella, Jahmene, James/UJ)?

    • eurovicious

      If Chris were to go, I think his votes would go not just to Jahmene but also to Ella, as she’s the other act besides Chris that fulfils viewers’ desire for straightforward well-sung covers. (None of this melisma malarkey.) Those voting for Chris primarily for sympathy reasons may well transfer to Jahmene.

      The floating vote is a v good point – a lot of people who don’t watched the series do tune in for the final, as I did from 2007-10. Interestingly, I was always underwhelmed by the talent, and there was always at least one act where all I could think was “How did THIS make it to the final??” – specifically Same Difference, Eoghan, Joe, and One Direction. Had I not followed last year’s series, I suspect had I’d have reacted the same way to Little Mix. Generally, the act I reacted this way to in the final came third, with the exception of Joe and (extrapolating) LM. Do SCD’s strong ratings compared to X Factor suggest that it’s adult viewers who are leaving the show more than younger viewers? Matt roundly beat One Direction in a year with record viewing figures, whereas LM beat Marcus/Amelia in a year with much lower ratings. As this year’s ratings are lower still, can we expect a “young”/”kiddie” act to win again? Is there any grist to this theory at all, or am I speculating without a solid enough foundation? After all, Joe beat Olly/Stacey in a year with high ratings, so that’s one argument to the contrary.

  • TheAnswer

    Off subject but will you be covering I’m a Celebrity? Odds are out now…I’ve already taken Hugo Taylor at 12/1 odds. I dont get why Helen Flanagan is favourite? I think it will be David Haye, The Rock or Hugo who win.

  • AlisonR

    I am going to stick my neck out and say Union J will be next off, or at least B2. They are coming down from a bounce and aren’t that good.

    • stoney

      yes but there bounce will be more of an olly murs style bounce which may launch them into the final, rather than a misha b type bounce that doesnt produce any extra votes, imo of course

      • annie

        Both Olly and JLS were in the bottom2 in week7, cher lloyd as well, so at a much later stage in the competition. it can’t be compared to union J, they hit it in week 4 already….

  • If the producers wanted to continue with the “Battle of the Boybands” thing, a bottom two singoff between the two would be a perfect sort of “final head to head clash” since they had to do it at bootcamp. I think if this was to happen, even though Union J are favoured over D3, the judges would almost certainly force a deadlock, to make it that much more interesting. Union J’s bottom two appearance sort of levelled the playing field it seems. At the same time, they’d have to nobble D3 even more than ever to make sure they finished bottom of the vote.

    • eurovicious

      As much as the show might want this, I can’t see both boybands going B2 because of the level of support they’re able to marshal, despite the fact adult viewers aren’t voting for either of them. One of them in the B2 is likely, but I can’t see an all-boyband B2. If I’m wrong and this does happen, the show could boost ratings by ditching the singoff in favour of hand-to-hand combat. Gasp as Dan from D3 takes out two of Union J with a killer backflip!

  • Mick

    Agreed the chosen final 3 is Ella, Jahmene and James but I think one of those will make way for Chris (being the only over) or a band. The strongest of those I think is Jahmene and the weakest is Ella. It’s working out in what order they will go.

    Speaking as someone who has won on all eliminations bar week 1 I take in all the comments given here plus I look at actual performances.

    This week I has money on Rylan and Kye to go so I was dead chuffed when they were both declared b2.

    Now to decide the order of elimination. When does Rylan go? I think UJ will over come D3, but when and will Chris take the place of Ella or James?

    I think top 5 will be Ella, Jahmene, James, UJ, Chris. Just need to work out who’s going when.

    • eurovicious

      D3 this week, if and only if their vote is sufficiently low for them to fall into the B2. Then Rylan the week after, who should be easy enough to get in the bottom 2 post-bounce. Regarding the Maloney question, looking at Craig’s trajectory last year as a better and more serious/credible singer than Chris, we could also be looking at Maloney going out this week or next if D3’s vote remains sufficiently robust. (That said, Craig didn’t rely on the sympathy factor to the same degree Chris does, so that may not be a good comparison.)

      For the record, Rylan’s psychic predicted he’d go out the weekend after next (week 7)…

  • Alen

    What I’ve been wondering for a while now is, who are D3 and UJ fans? Are these the same girls?

    Surely there are some hardcore fan girls that only like one of them but are they different enough not to like both?

    My theory was that they may have about 20% hardcore fans and 80% that like both bands, so whenever one band was in danger to land in the bottom two (bad performance, bad judges comments) they voted for this band and thus the other received less votes.

    Would also explain to me why Union J came into bottwom two quite surprisingly.

    Sadly last week D3 had bottom two written all over them and yet none of the bands went there. Still I think Kye has pretty much zero fans and Rylan only got lucky but people are getting tired of his performances (have you see one, you have seen them all..).

    I thought the producers wanted to keep both bands as long as possible in there so their votes get split and none climbs too high but I’m asking myself what happens when one of them leaves?

    Will D3-fans start to vote for UJ if they leave? And will that push them to the final or won’t it have any effect?

    I guess it depends how the Top3 are doing what the producers will do.

    • eurovicious

      Agree. When one goes, the other will get more votes. I think most “fans” like both, and either vote for both or whichever one they think is in most danger (hence, as you say, the UJ B2 appearance).

      • Cath

        I have been pondering if TPTB analyse the voting data to see for sure if voters of one act sometimes switch their vote to another act, either temporarily or after their favorite’s eviction, like we’ve been speculating with the boy bands.

        If they do, they could be acting from a much more informed position e.g. knowing whether losing one of the boy bands would result in a net drop in votes or have little impact on voting income compared to losing a more contrasting act.

        Can we also hazard a good guess at whether this analysis is being done given what we’ve seen of the targeting of acts and therefore deduce what this analysis has told producers? Possibly a slightly circular logic, but i find it an interesting question to consider…

        • It is an interesting question, Cath… I’ve wondered if this could help explain the ferocity of the campaign to bring down Janet Devlin last year. I know the anti-Janet campaign started (week 3) before the Little Mix breakout (week 4), but if they thought Janet’s votes would most likely transfer to Little Mix, which seems plausible, then the latter suddenly looking like potential winners might have made it more imperative to take down Janet as quickly as possible.

          Having said that, the voting stats don’t provide much in the way of evidence. Little Mix’s vote did get an uptick from week 8 (when Janet left) to week 9 – but less than the increase from weeks 3 to 4 or 6 to 7, so hard to disengage from other factors.

  • Nugg

    Jaymi is gay, it’s not even a particular secret, just not really relevant in the context of a singing competition. He is not “in the closet” , he is actually quite open about it but is there really any need to publicise to try and grab extra votes?

  • Nugg

    Hadn’t read that, just when he was introduced to me by another member with the words “This is Jaymi, the gay one ” he was having a good laugh about it and all the speculation and it didn’t seem to be a particular secret.

  • Nugg

    Completely off topic but I do find it quite hilarious that the banners on this site now try to sell me sofas. I think the google advertising algorithm has slightly misread the nature of this website ??

  • Jake Kl

    Went through all of UnionJ’s performances and i gotta say Jaymi does have a great voice, best male one deffo (except Jahmene). Thus, i think him coming out now would mean trouble for them. Some1 mentioned Marcus and other contestants b4 being gay and it didnt bother them. The fact is, marcus didnt try to hide it at all like we saw in his first live VT whereas if Jaymi came out now, in the middle of the competition, it would look like he was ashamed of it and wouldnt look well with the public

    • Alen

      I think I’m confusing something here but wasn’t last year something going on about Marcus (or was it Craig?) having a flirt with one of the dancers or something.

      I mean Gary said something like this, so they were trying to hide it too but maybe he fought it.

  • tpfkar

    Wwe’re looking for a new one at the mo so that’s actually pretty useful…..

    While writing thanks for all replies to yesterday’s posts, very useful & well thought out. And maccafan – it’s Toby who deserves the credit for the twitter graphs, he produces them on his site, and although I try to work out what that tells us about votes (by looking at swings etc) it’s all based on his work.

    • Thanks tpfkar and thanks too to Toby for the creating graphs.They were immensely useful to me last year especially in the run up to the final. I can imagine it takes quite a lot of effort to put those together for others here to see.

  • Panos

    @TheXFactor: The Final 7 Acts will hit the road on The #XFactor 2013 Live Tour… and here’s how you can get tickets: http://t.co/9snABz0z

    • Daniel

      Poor Kye. He’ll have to get back to sweeping chimneys with his brother much sooner than he would have imagined a week ago. The irony of last Saturday’s VT only now really hits home.

  • Tim B

    This story is a load of Baloney, just like all of the others. It says he voted by text – you can’t even vote by text. It may be an attempt at depressing his vote but these tactics clearly haven’t made enough of a difference just yet.

  • Shade

    I disagree about the gay thing in ref to Marcus Collins, he had a boyfriend last year but that was never mentioned on-show leading to the awkwardness of singing a love ballad to his mother in the final…

    Then again, with Marcus being/becoming the “traditional middle-of-the-road suited male” in his year they probably had to stay as conservative as possible so as not to scare off the blue rinse brigade…but still, gayness as a thing I think they still see as a risk to mention. Didnt Jade and Spraggan have girlfriends or something?

    • Alen

      I don’t think Lucy has a girlfriend. Jade has mentioned her partner several times on Xtra Factor.

      And Tulisa or Nicole also said to Lucy on the main show “oh you enjoyed the female dancers”.

      It’s like mostly everywhere: Lesbians ok, male gays no.

    • Jake Kl

      I remember clearly,b4 the Live shows started even, the stories about Marcus and his bf (a guy from a boyband in earlier XF years). They never tried to hide it although I agree, they never went on about it either. But at least from the start we all knew he was. Jaymi though we’re still in doubt, and if we were to know now, the fact we didnt know for 5 weeks, would be kinda suspicious for the public. Aside from the fact loads of young girls being suddenly put off.
      On another note, watching XF usa (which i enjoy much more than last year suprisingly), I realised all the female acts, whether the young adults or teens are all moving around while performing, some having great choreography and dance moves even. I have a feeling Simon is not looking for the “voice” performer anymore (melanie amaro, leona or alex) but more of a “whole package” contestant (like louis would say) and i have a feeling he’d rather Ella not win the show. Just a thought.

      • Alen

        So who do you think he wants to win then? I’m sure he wants a whole package for US, but doubt he wants that for UK. I think they were clearly going for a voice/credible perfomer for this year in UK.

        • Jake Kl

          i think Simon would have loved one of the boybands to win therefore why he created the battle of the boybands, but i dont think any1 expected them to fall in the bottom2 so early on the show. I think he’s expecting what every1s expecting, an Ella-Jahmene-James final with Jahmene as the more credible Winner, which means great news for James as runnerup/3rd place and Ella going the same route as Stacey Solomon, with mayb a slightly longer career.

    • It’s is literally unbelievable but as someone pointed out before, The Sun have a habit of getting these things right. One thing occurs to me: As we never know just how many actual votes are cast (we only ever get percentages), it is possible that with viewership down this year, the voting is probably down too. If it’s down A LOT, could it be possible that Chris has some consortium voting for him on the outside just to keep him alive. It would surely pay him to spend ££££’s on this to reap the benefits next year touring.

      That said, it is a lot more likely that the producers are leaking this rubbish to put him in the bottom 2 this week (where he belongs). I personally think 9/2 on him to go this week is huge and have already snaffled up a bit of it.

      • stoney

        actually the sun have a habit of getting things WRONG. Its the star who get it right more often than not. The sun got it wrong with both jedward and wagner who they claimed were both topping the polls at various points, when the were much closer to the bottom. The fact that the star said he topped the first 2 weeks was enough to make me back him at 100/1 looking at his odds now it looked a shrew move and covers me incase he out does jahmene (my major bet)

      • Rave

        Yep, The Sun is the one that is always wrong, since they are basically X Factor’s official PR mouthpiece.

        • My brain keeps telling me that if TPTB got janet devlin, they can get maloney.

          • Tim B

            Janet’s treatment last year was much worse imo. And she forgot the words which didn’t help.

          • Jake Kl

            The problem with Chris right now is that he is the only over left. Janet was topping the votes while the public were getting over mishas bullying rumours and Sophie leaving early as a sacrifice for her. If Amelia hadn’t come back,Janet could’ve won. But Amelia’s return meant she was no longer the only girl standing. I think the producers are actually panicking as to what it will mean for the public votes now hes the only over left.
            About those rumours hes topping the votes, Id say the daily stars one of the early weeks is true but this one looks really far-stretched. + its the sun.

  • Mick

    Reading Lucy’s tweets I see she has recovered from her “illness” and is back writing songs. I wonder if she was planned for the live tour? 7 seems a low number to have.

  • R

    My thinking on this weekend is this:

    Acts that have been in the B2 once and have bounced find it more difficult to bounce a second time. The later the second drop into the B2 the less likely they are to escape in subsequent weeks. There are exceptions to this of course such as Misha’s crying VT bounce last year, but acts such as Kitty Brucknell and Katie Wassiel have struggled and I would class Rylan as this type of act.
    I therefore expect Rylan to be B2. The last two acts to finish 7th are Kitty & Katie – the “joke” acts.

    If Rylan was up against D3 or UJ, Louis & Gary would save the group while Nicole would save Rylan, leaving Tulisa to either vote Rylan out or take it to deadlock. Could Rylan gain enough votes to survive above the groups?
    Rylan has also made the tour which, for me, was the aim of the show with him. I don’t think they will want to keep him much longer with the damage his presence seems to be having on the viewing numbers. Even people who I’ve heard call Katie Price inspirational are switching off because the show has become a joke.

    Chris is the only act I can see the judges eliminating against Rylan.

    The media news that has crossed my path this week (without me looking) is retweets of Jahmene’s campaign for abused women & an Irish show where an XF guy was telling everyone how big a diva Chris is and how he pushes the staff around – so the chipping away of Chris’ voting base continues.

  • Ronnie

    Agree with all of this.

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