X Factor 2012 Week 7: Battle of the Damaged Goods?

On a night that will live in the memory for the amusing sight of lasers shining madly from a creepily pixellated version of Chris Maloney’s face, the mystery of Maloney continues. Are they merely trying to drag him off the top of the votes, or do they think they have a chance of getting him into the singoff? Frankly, search us.

Here’s how the night unfolded in our eyes. First up were Union J, who were shown enjoying a rollercoaster ride in Paris (and George wore a fleecey top with ears that accentuated what the Bitch Factor accurately call his creepy puppet smile). But will there be another climb after the second rapid downward surge they experienced last week?

They reprised their judges’ houses song, when they were Triple J plus George and we enjoyed the irony of “I just met you and this is crazy”. The performance was monochrome, both visually – with black-and-white lighting and shades of grey – and, more damningly, metaphorically. Judges’ comments felt lukewarm.

It wasn’t a performance that felt to us as if producers have a great deal of interest left in them. Did it indicate that Chris is safe and they are hoping to get the boys down in the singoff with Rylan, protecting their top three?

Ella was introduced by Tulisa as a “little star” and the VT reinforced the concept, showing her on stage and walking the red carpet, with stars on her necklace. However, there were once again mixed messages about Ella – for a summary of mixed messages in previous weeks, see JScouser’s comprehensive comment posted on the last thread.

Readers who read our article on stage lighting earlier this week will have noted the mixed messages in the staging, as Help! noted in the comments, with spotlights not shining on Ella. She got gold lights and a starry backdrop, but she was on a plinth. The mixed messages continued from the judges, with the usual “recording voice”, “only 16” boxes being ticked and Gary calling it her performance of the series. But Nicole criticised the song choice and the audience reaction felt muted. Twitter seemed to like it, though.

While R saw lots of positivity, Donald noted that Ella didn’t look too happy afterwards, and it didn’t feel to us like this was the breakout performance we’d been wondering if we might get from Ella. It might just have been from James, though.

If you’d told us after audition show 2 that come week 7 of the lives our two favourite acts by a long distance would be James Arthur and Rylan Clark, we’d never have believed it. It showed a softer side to James to see the bromance between them depicted in his VT, having been described in this rather lovely interview with Rylan in The Sun (check out his hilarious faint praise for Chris).

This felt to us like James’s most accessible, crowd-pleasing performance yet – almost Cardle-esque. He got plenty of close-ups and the shots of his face on myriad television screens behind him reinforced our sense of him as a natural presence in the corner of our living rooms.

Intriguingly, after a hint last week that Gary’s opening answer to Dermot’s softball might have been unexpected, we got another suspected off-script comment from Barlow who noted he “probably shouldn’t say” that he wanted James to win it – Dermot noting he’d opened himself up to a “world of pain”.

As Daniel noted in his preview article, debate before the show in the Sofabet comments had covered whether Ella or James would be the most likely of the big three to fall into the bottom two if Maloney is safe and Union J bounce. On this evidence, it looks like Ella is the more vulnerable.

Next up, Rylan Style went international in another endearing VT. There was a hint of the “journey over” in the VT, and the performance wasn’t great – but what followed it was fascinating.

Rylan had already told The Sun he couldn’t believe he’d got this far and was fully expecting to go home this week. We can’t remember any previous act so cheerfully embracing the idea of their imminent demise, and it will be interesting to see if it motivates any votes. The self-deprecation continued in an unusually lengthy post-performance VT, Gary saying Rylan would be forgotten in “a couple of months” and Rylan happily shooting back with “a couple of weeks”.

We then had some further entertaining banter with Gary, including a weight reference that was surely scripted but managed to feel enjoyably unforced. It all felt like it might have been an attempt to motivate some votes for the likeable Essex lad.

Chris’s VT took us back to Paris, which might – not coincidentally – have been getting boring for viewers by then. Again, he wasn’t nobbled by a demo-alienating modern song choice – although, having earlier sung ‘Alone’ and ‘All By Myself’, Chris was sent out with the opening line “Every now and then I get a little bit lonely.” Do you think he might be unpopular with producers or something?

The staging was a delight for those of us who enjoy such things, as confirmed by the flurry of comments immediately afterwards from the likes of JScouser, Nicky, R, annie and Eddy, and there’ll be plenty to enjoy on second viewing – red and black, a cage of light, and above all a creepy pixellated version of Chris’s face with mad staring laser eyes. It felt like an even more blatant takedown production-wise than Janet Devlin’s face going up in flames last year. We also had some lovely cutaway shots to Louis and Tulisa looking suitably unimpressed.

For the second week in a row, they followed Chris with Jahmene. This seems like a very granny-specific targeting of the memory hole tactic. Jahmene got an inspirational and heartwarming VT, delivered a performance that should have pleased his fans, and got pimping that befits the term pimp slot. He was high up on a plinth, something we have speculated may have a distancing effect from the audience – but then, in Jahmene’s case, perhaps it was merely to signify that he is closer to the angels than us mere mortals.

We stand by our view that it’s Home Maloney as soon as they get him above the trapdoor. But if the stories are right to suggest he’s polling well enough to be safe and if none of the big three fall, then who would win a Battle of the Damaged Goods between Rylan and Union J? With two singoff saves already to each act’s name, it wouldn’t be difficult to take it to deadlock credibly if they wanted to. Cheerio to Rylan still seems the most likely scenario, but at odds of 6/1 there might be a bit of value about Union J.

How are you calling it? As ever, do let us know below.
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106 comments to X Factor 2012 Week 7: Battle of the Damaged Goods?

  • Just wrote this in the other Thread, so may aswell bring it here

    Views on tonight.

    Draw Bias, I dont think this is as significant any more now less acts. However at first glance I thought the worst place for Chris to be was directly after Rylan. “Fun” followed by “Villian” one winner their.

    Union J – I thought their song choice was perfect for their target audience, and I took nothing from their VT. But I am of the opinion that a bounce and all the extra votes from D3 fans they are totally safe from bottom two (I dont mean the hardcore fans, i mean those fans that varied their vote week by week from D3 to UJ n vice versa, giving it to the Boyband they thought needed most, now they are all D3s)

    Ella – The only significance in her VT was the mention of twlight! I didnt hear that in any other acts VT. So basically if your a girl and you like Twlight, your on the same page as ella, so you like her. Good VT

    I tweeted as she sung “Ella’s best performance by Far” to 10 seconds later hear Gary reflect exactly the same.

    I fully agree, i thought everything about it was perfect. But… what shocked me was that they CONTINUED to put a subtle negative in it. This time iit was Nicoles turn again. (Highlighted this again http://sofabet.com/2012/11/16/x-factor-2012-week-7-elimination-six-of-the-best/comment-page-1/#comment-26007) What are peoples thoughts on this? I really take a big big negative from it. What purpose is their to critique a front runner, who has just done a flawless performance? Only one is to deramp her.

    Also there was none/very little mention of Girl Power from Tulisa this week. Make of that what you will.

    James – VT was very good, Nicole comments were “That sounds awesome” “This is the song all the GIRLS want to hear” So your told already, its brilliant and then your told if your are a girl you love this! Very good VT

    Stage Production – Once again something new for X Factor similar to last week. THis week he is on stage and his backdrop is now 30+ small TV’s showing James clips from X factor. Their you go, James has been planted in your memory as a famous TV Star, someone your likely to see on TV Over and Over. Very positive

    Comments – First time we have heard any judge say, I want you to win ? Big positive for James… big big negative for Chris (come to this later)

    Rylan – Didnt take much from his VT other than a crying baby. Nothing really. Past song choices for Rylan have bene much more popular for viewers at home, this song not so much. I dont think it would give the viewers at home the opportunity to join in the fun. Which is what Rylan is all about and what keeps him in. I thought it was truly awful. Thought it was curtains for him.. until this happened….

    Judges Comments – Typical comments as expected for Rylan, but then Rylan fought back v Gary, he won that battle, this would have definately enticed his fans to vote for him. Gary looked as though he totally enjoyed it too. Did anyone notice Louis needlessly step in and then say (Bare in mind he knows the script better than anyone) “Rylan didnt your psychic say you was going this week too?” Just to let viewers know, dont worry he is going this week.

    Verdict – Bad bad song choice, bad performance.. did Rylan v Gary in the judges comments keep him around? We shall see

    Chris – Gary introduced him something along the lines of as.. “Two words that bring thunder to many in this studio Christopher Maloney”

    Perfect time now for Chris to come…in the producers eyes anyway! VT i thought was good, it showed him Laughing and having fun, we havent really seen that before.

    His stage production however, probably the worst of the series! First up it showed him in the blue prison circle of death that D3 were in the second week (when they landed in the bottom 2). Awful start… then it got worse. (as already pointed out above) His back drop wwas his face, cut to pieces with lights come from his eyes, making him look like satin.

    Good thing too, because i think he sung it as well as he possibly could.

    It was as bad as it could possibly be

    Judges Comments – Not bad, not good.. neutral. Louis & Tulisa not laying in to him as normal just being mild, so his fans dont vote in force again.

    Dermot then questioned his stage production to which Gary said “Well that wasnt your fault chris, and it certainly wasnt mine” He may as well have said “Producers want you out mate, thats why they gave you that sh#t”

    Ok so Gary saying he wants James to win, its almost as if tonight he has accepted that producers want Chris gone ASAP. But take note.. the moment he goes.. you now know who Gary will be supporting James Arthur! Use that how you wish for your outright book

    Verdict – The target this week.

    Jahmene – Interesting VT, keep in mind James’ VT showed Nicole saying “That sounds awesome” Jahmenes VT focused on how he was struggling to sing it and ended with Nicole saying “Dont Suck” quite the opposite.

    I dont like Jahmene, so forgive me if I come accross biased.

    I thought it was a typical Jahemene performance, i almost feel like I am watching the same thing over and over. But that will be enough to keep him fully safe this week.

    Judges Comments all Praise

    OVERALL VERDICT

    Target is Chris, but will it be enough to get rid of him. If the rumors are true about himbeing high in the votes, well it might not be? So who shall fall in the bottom two if not chris.

    For me I think the plan is Chris v anyone to get him gone.

    But if what they did isnt enough for him Rylan v Ella looks most likely for me. With Rylan gone. This then leaves room for Ella to easily be in the Final, and allows room for Chris to go next week.

  • annie

    Seriously, I can’t stop bursting out in laughter at every recap or whenever I get a glance of Chris’s pixel face with laser eyes. It’s hilarious how they did all they could (except maybe blocking his phone line :)))) ) to get him down and out.

    • annie. I’m still laughing now and have had to stop watching it over. I’ve laughed at it so much with the missus that I am wondering if my pants are ever going to dry. It was the most memorable moment of this series for me.
      They couldn’t have tried any more stuff to nobble him, save adding a kitchen sink and Quasimodo pouring boiling oil on him.
      If Chris isn’t toast tomorrow then there is no justice in this world. Ella could do with a little bounce to make her completely safe against any rumoured doubts, so I think its a good pairing to put him up against a real singer in a face-off (where I think a cricketer should lend him some gear to protect his privates from a well aimed boot).

      • I am already on rylan at 7/4 and 2/1 but I am concerned by the bad bad stage productions and the average comments as opposed to bad comments for Chris.

        However I do not think its benefit to have Chris v Rylan in bottom two, regardless who they save it poses a potential problem of having that act bounce or have their fans rally for them. Perhaps putting them in the semi finals, let alone final! (Unlikely though)

        I am with you 100% and think Ella in the bottom two would be perfect for her, it’s enough to take her to the finals, when she is saved.

        So who against Rylan I hope, but just incase… 22/1 offered for Chris v Ella is a bit on the high side for me, compared to the 6/1 Rylan v Ella. So I have backed accordingly.

  • Andrew/Daniel/everyone really

    If anyone has checked Gary Barlows tour dates… They start this Monday? How do you? (If you do) take this into account for this weeks elimination.

    It would work for the producers if Chris goes this week Gary’s input would be limited more so no need for effort for VTs etc, but how much time does this actually require. Taking into account Nicole flew to USA this week and it wasn’t noticed, I’m sure this has happened in other year too.

    • Hi Jscouser, not sure it has much significance. As EM said on a previous thread, it’s doubtful how much mentoring actually happens, and anyway if they can ship them all to Paris at the drop of a hat then they could surely drive Chris to one of Gary’s tour venues for a filming session if they wanted to.

  • eurovicious

    I watch online and the livestream went down or was taken down for the exact duration of Rylan’s segment. So I saw all of tonight’s show apart from Rylan’s part. The problem was definitely at their end, not mine. Don’t know whether this is significant (“legal reasons” or something).

    Union J were forgettable. It was the wrong song. Can’t see them polling higher than James (safe as houses), Jahmene (probably also safe), Ella (likely safe, but definitely the most vulnerable of the prime acts, with a song choice that might not have been quite right) or Chris (whose song choice could hardly have been more suitable; he delivered his usual goods with aplomb in a way that’ll definitely keep his fans happy, despite the comically bad staging – which I think they went to far with, making their intentions obvious even to the average viewer). At this stage I’m standing by my Rylan/Union J prediction. Outside chance of Ella B2. They didn’t do enough.

  • Delicatessen

    James Arthur – the musical equivalent of The Emperor’s New Clothes, There are better buskers on the streets of my hometown. Like fingernails being dragged down a blackboard.

    • Fortunately for James, none of them or similar style acts, have ever been on the X Factor, making him Unique.

    • Kevin O Reilly

      I disagree regarding your comments about James. I have enjoyed every thing he has done thus far. Music is subjective of course but “fingernails been dragged down a blackboard”, where on earth do you get that from?

    • eurovicious

      I like James Arthur but yes, there are jobbing musicians who are just as good (and better) up and down the country. He’s the best act on the show though, which in itself highlights this year’s problem.

      • I struggle to see how “he is the best act so doesn’t need to win it”

        “He will get a recording deal anyway so they will be happy for him to finish 3rd”

        Benefits he show at all. In a year where ratings are on the decline if an act is going to be the most successful they wil want that labelled as “x factor winner”

        Anyone suggesting above makes me think producers will be happy for best act to finish 2nd/3rd and have another Leon Jackson? I really can’t buy that case against James.

        The best act winning is the best for the TV show. It makes it credible long term, as well as a constant advertisement for X factor.

        • Jake Kl

          Here it goes Jscouser2002: James is the best act not to win XF. He is the most credible one but at the same time wouldnt look good (for producers and the public) as the winner. I think JLS are the perfect example. having them win over Alexandra wouldnt have been right. She had “the voice”, “the star quality” etc and she looked fit being the winner. Jls have so far been more succesful (like James could b hopefully). That doesnt mean it wont make “good tv show”. I remember clearly Halelujah shooting straight to no1 and being the fastest downloaded single. I remember that year as being a typically good XF year

      • Kevin O Reilly

        All true but I think the criticism went overboard. And in fairness to him he has taken his chance and performed well every week in the pressure cooker X Factor would surely represent to any singer/ musician. Not everyone could do that the way he has while retaining his credibility. The lad is bloody good.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    In retrospect wasn’t a Chris back to lay an obvious policy? Regardless of the tactics working or not there was always going to be huge negativity sent his way tonight which was guaranteed to affect his price. I agree with the wily wordsmith Eurovicious that they overcooked the pudding in their treatment of Chris. TPTB’s intentions have been too obvious all season. But the price was always going to drop significantly.

    By golly James was pimped tonight. I reiterate my earlier belief that he may well be the chosen one. I hope he wins.

  • Heisenberg

    If Ella was indeed bordering on bottom 2 before this week then what we saw tonight should be enough to dip her under. That was an unsuitable song choice (although she still delivered a predictably strong vocal) and I sensed from Nicole’s and audience’s muted interaction that this was an intentional soft deramp. Tulisa has also had bad press this week which was interestingly highlighted by Louis with the WAG comment – which also doesn’t help Ella’s cause.

    Rylan came across as very likeable tonight and I see his elimination odds are shortening already.

    Forget the ridiculous staging, Christopher’s biggest attack tonight came from the neutral comments because the content of his VT was designed to create expectation of judges’ criticism – so when it didn’t come his fans felt less satisfied and also less likely to vote in retaliation.

    Very average night for Union J and all the talk of reaching the final and even winning the competition felt like more hope than expectation.

    Rylan to go if he’s against Ella.

    Rylan vs Union J – I would love to know what you think because I can’t call it.

    • Rylan goes v anyone, only one he is likely to stay against is Chris.

      However I don’t think Chris v Rylan is ideal for producers as it gives the chance of one acts group of supporters to vote in numbers for next when they are saved. Making them in the semis, doubt either will be wanted there.

      But anyway Rylan v Union J makes it easy for produce…sorry I mean the judges… To vote rylan out.

  • Boki

    Mixed feelings about tonight. Worst acts deserving bot2 were Rylan and Chris, Rylan looks a lock to me while Chris might scrape through if those damn leaks were correct.
    From the others even UJ were stronger than I expected, current song choice (and a huge hit) should be enough for their votes so don’t know who might join Rylan if Chris escapes.

  • Help!

    These mixed messages are driving me insane. All I really read from them is that Ella’s producer support is dropping, and that they’re taking a ‘whatever happens’ approach on Ella’s fate.

    I doubt that Ella no longer being favorite will make the producers do anything, they’re likely waiting until James overtakes her and I think that’s when the producers will go ‘Oh crap’ and try to throw a bone to her by letting her reprise Believe as a ‘Get me to the semi-final’ type of thing.

    X Factor’s YouTube is getting really lazy. They’ve yet to post anything tonight.

    • If James overtakes Ella (assuming he hasn’t yet) it will largely be down to what I think mild pimping for James compared to the deramping of Ella.

      I personally think its going exactly how they want. James to overtake Ella… Wether they want him to overtake James… I’ll leave that question out there.

  • If I absolutely HAD to call it – I’d say Rylan’s safe.

    But it’s just a hunch based on 20 minutes on fast forward ….

    A couple of other thoughts hurriedly scribbled are on http://betsfactor.com/

    The producers just have a great sense of humour. Those bright eyes were an absolute joy.

  • tpfkar

    Away this weekend so brief notes:
    1-presumably a major commercial deal with Disney to feature them so heavily. The P sign after every commercial break and it felt like a trial run for much more commercially themed shows in future.
    2-All hail Sun God Moloney the powerful. Think anything bad about him and his laser eyes will find you out…..
    3-I now see only James and Jahmene as indisposable. Ella firmly relegated from that list tonight.
    4-classic UJ mistake of making them look lazy. VT started with talking about working hard, then it was all champagne, holiday, rollercoasters. Fatal. The judges all highlighted energy after they managed one step off a plinth in the whole song. Couldbe gone tomorrow.
    5-Ella just went nowhere with her song, why didn’t they speed up to tempo at the end like Jahmene? Not safe and no longer looks box office? Did anyone spot the music to Tragedy to introduce her segment?
    6-Rylan and Chris much the same as before, don’t think they’ll get Chris this week but R in trouble.
    7-I think it’s UJ bottom 2 with Rylan or Ella, UJ will hope it’s the first.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    I fear for Ella at this point. She took a song with a killer bass line and turned into a dirge. Despite the judges comments her performance this week played into her critic’s hands. A one trick pony. Ella equals lets all be sad and think about bad stuff. Gloom. Ella = Gloom.

  • Donald

    Great headline which it probably is,

    I thought as much as they did Christopher might be safe, the song choice spot on, funny they even went to Dermot on the ad break intro to start the go at him. It is funny, I really hope he survives just for the laugh of seeing what they would do next week. With Gary on tour, would he walk?

    They did have a little go at Union J in the competition featuring JLS, bottom line is young girls only have one boyband right now and the is One Direction who are one step away from being a stadium pop/boyband show, that where the real $ are, Simon Louis and the big promoters know that so why complicate a job alredy done, stick JLS on as support easy work. So I think because of all traditional Sofabet observations and the One Direction fcator Union J are of no interest to producers as they proved tonight.

    This show is about the show now, not with careers, Ella is being dampened that for sure, sitting behind James Arthur tonight going into ad break, only one shown on stage in Paris with the daft headpiece ears, they are making her look boring, and she knows it judging by her demeanor at end of performance tonight

    Has anybody thought of Nicole having all three finalists? Banter tonight with Gary was scripted to help Rylan, highly unlikely but.

    Union J for bottom two my bet despite the bounce factor, Chistopher to escape the producers bullets again, if he does he has to be called Christopher Wayne from here on in and other of the bottom two either Ryan or Ella unless of course James close to the wire hence all the pimping. There is no doubt from a value point of that Ella and James are worth a punt, daftest punt of all tomorrow night might be Christopher to be called safe first, if they fail they just might throw the towel in and call him first! If tthey don’t he might be B2, I going to try as he is like a bad flu ffor the producers it takes time to get rid of it. Be some laugh if he survives all that tonight on here, be worth it for that alone!

    I was going to have some proper £ on James for the win earlier but on careful review and a few glasses sitting tight.

    Last thought UJ V Rylan B2, Louis would have to save UJ, Gary, gives boot to Rylan with your cabs outside, Tulisa sticks with Rylan, and his Judge saves Rylan, Gary walks and goes on tour, Christopher ordering his own fire crew for next week, nite!

    One Direction announce stadium tour. If only it was that easy!

  • eurovicious

    Have watched Rylan now. Not as good as weeks 2 and 5 but still one of his better performances (ie. better than the other weeks), though still underwhelming. But it didn’t feel like they wanted to mark this as the end to his journey, with the exception of Gary saying “You are famous”. It was another big production and medley, with a lot of humour (actually much more than normal) both in the VT and after the performance. Nicole also asked viewers to pick up the phone.

    UJ feel like a lock for bottom 2. Not much was done to aid them. This difference in treatment between Rylan/UJ has me starting to ask myself: do they care who goes? Are they not that invested in UJ? As UJ are already damaged by two B2 appearances, better to lose them and keep Rylan around for entertainment value? If Rylan does go, as everyone expects, that leaves them with a non-bouncing boyband that they’re not interested in, who haven’t caught on and who’ve been in the bottom 2 a massive 3 times.

    Strongly feel Chris will be safe and that the other 3 are also safe. While I agree with Nicole and others that it was the wrong song, rumours of Ella’s demise are greatly exaggerated. She may not be topping the vote but she has a stable and significant fanbase; there’s a significant audience for vocals of that style and calibre.

    • Donald

      Agree with this as I had posted above,

      I like Ella and is best singer on the show, but there are signs the past few weeks that the are dampening her, that is the worry, but the best prices in weeks are available on Ella this AM, I am tempted but they are “Cardling” James to good effect. Jaheme is good but getting one trick pony like also.

      UJ for bottom two and gone at the odds seems reasonable starting point this AM.

  • Ben Cook

    People are saying the producers are “deramping” (which I couldn’t find in the dictionary by the way) Ella, but no one has explained why. Why wouldn’t they want Ella to win?

    • I don’t think anyone truly knows the answer, all speculation.

      Could it be that she was too high in competition and it would have made it look like it was all over and she had won easy, too early on? (Remember when she was frankella) so they are putting her down to pick her back up again?

      Or maybe they just don’t want her to win, so are slowly deramping her to make sure it doesn’t happen.

      I think that it’s the second, If it was the first option, I would have expected the negative comments to stop and the wow moment to have begun this weekend.

    • Daniel

      Hi Ben, sometimes a simple question is the most pertinent. My own take is what do producers do if your heavily pimped Plan A has been dropping off from a high of only third in the public vote since week 3, as the Daily Star (which is traditionally on the money with these leaks) story last weekend indicated?

      In this situation, the show looks a bit silly if it continues to promote her as its best contestant and it turns out the public is not playing ball. So instead you do that for other alternatives, such as Jahmene (Louis’s stated favourite) or James (who we now know is Gary’s favourite).

    • Jake Kl

      Tulisa also said James was her favourite boy, few weeks back. Only a matter of time till she claims hes her favourite over all contestant

      • Daniel

        And let’s not forget that the judge who has consistently been the one to find something a little wrong with Ella’s recent performances has been Nicole.

    • Donald

      Hi Ben, Daniel has a very valid sinario there, Daily Star are usually right, so there story last weekend has to be heeded.

      No idea why they doing but there were rumours of friction in the camp a few weeks ago but Lucy leaving sort of overshadowed that a fair bit at the time, one worry I would have is that Ella has very little in real common with her mentor, one can sing really well being an above average starting point for example. Stars and egos can be a wierd thing in the business.

      They seem to have gone for Ella nastily last night with song choice, That thing had ONJ and hot body and blonde hair written all over it in the subconscious of those who remember it and to those who do not it just dated and the bow or ears on her hair at Disney was well misplaced, having here sitting behind Jamess Arthur going into the ad break was the one that did it for me though, ever before I saw any of the above, but I have been on the radar for this stuff with Ella past few weeks. Signs like these usually spell danger for an act but another week on the fence safest policy at the minute.

      It is so different to last year from a punting point of view, it is turning out to be like Eurovision this year, sit tight and go hard late I think, no real value for risk taking at the minute.

    • Could it possibly be less about not wanting Ella to win than not wanting Tulisa to win?

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/4650505/tulisa-faces-x-factor-axe.html

      If they’re looking to drop Tulisa before next year, it’ll be more awkward if she’s won 2 out of 2.

      • Donald

        Could well be Andrew, something odd going on that for sure. Stars and egos can be a strange one. Tonight will either tell allot or leave us none the wiser especially if UJ and Rylan B2.

  • Donald

    On another note Daniel you should licence your Sofadesign to a sofa manufacturer with the amount of sofa ads appearing, ha ha, seriously though, be cool sofa! They might even use it on the Xtra Factor, you deserve one for yourself anyway , allot of £ made thanks to this great place. Paddy Power no book on first called safe tonight, at least once this season anyway!

  • EM

    I don’t know if anyone has pointed out the Louis Walsh interview in the Guardian yesterday http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/nov/16/louis-walsh-x-factor-interview

    At the end he says Christopher keeps getting really big votes. It’s a very unguarded interview so he may have let slip something about the figures or he may be helping the disinformation or he might just read the papers but it *might* be a useful slip.

  • Demon_eyes

    Hi all

    I’m a long time reader of the site but this is a first time comment. I’ve added some random thoughts below (which I hope are my own, I don’t read every comment, but also it’s easy to pick up threads of thought from others!). Say what you like about the quality of the acts from year to year but I think most of the betting markets are fascinating, as they usually are.

    – Last nights demon eyes were great. But what was very unusual on doing something like that was the extent it was commented on on the show (almost privately laughed at). The other judges mentioned it, Dermot gave Christopher the chance to say “nothing to do with me”. Then Gary managed to also make sure he noted it was nothing to do with him. So yes, they want him out, blatantly! But they were almost laughing at themselves.

    – Related to this I’ve read sofabet for a few years. I clearly don’t know the level of the hits you get, and I’m not saying they are scouring it every day, but I’d be surprised if by now the producers (and the contestants!) weren’t aware of the content of this and other sites, and acting if things are ever getting too predictable.

    – The Rylan exchange with Gary Barlow was great, and for me, pretty scripted. Dermot is an absolute pro at controlling when the contestants do and don’t get to say their piece – there is perhaps less scrutiny on his control of proceedings than there could be, given the site has commented on all sorts of areas (lighting etc). It’s pretty subtle but perhaps we could have a piece on Dermot throughout the series and the difference he can make?!

    – Re the daily star and the voting leaks, I’m very suspicious! In my view these leaks are certainly not uncontrolled! They have been happening for more than a year so if they were unauthorised I’m sure they would have been shut down by now. But it may be in the producers favour to have leaks now and again to suit their agenda. E.g. Christopher is topping the phone vote (so don’t vote) / Ella not doing that well (so do vote). I’m not saying they’re not accurate – even deliberate leaks have to be mostly accurate to establish their credibility. But then the odd inaccurate one can be thrown in at the time of most effect!

    – Lastly, the win market. Ella has dropped from under evens at the beginning of the series to 2-1 now. Yet she’s never seen the bottom 2. What do we actually know for sure about the voting so far? Doug(?) I think wrote a very good piece about the office water cooler a while ago – and how Ella was everyone’s favourite, but they thought it was only them that thought that. For me for a long time, this still made sense and she was still favourite. However I agree with many on here that she is running out of weeks to be given the absolute vintage treatment to show that they still believe in her. Daniel’s comment just above is (as always) probably pretty on the money. But I’d also add they’ve done a great job at making the field much more level and creating an unpredictable overall competition.

  • Daniel

    Hi Demon_eyes, many thanks for the kind words and you make some good points. Ensuring the outcome seems more unpredictable and open is indeed pretty useful for programme makers.

    And yes, leaks should always be treated with some scepticism, even from a paper with a good track record like the Star. Nothing to say that there isn’t some misinformation among what’s printed.

    The Sofabet team have been discussing a piece on Dermot’s role for a few weeks now, and we hope to have something posted within the next few weeks.

  • Dan

    I thought that this was an interesting week for a number of reasons:

    It’s now very obvious that Ella can only do one thing which is sing slow songs. She isn’t versatile like James or fun like Rylan. Her performance last night whilst vocally sound was bloody awful – she sucked all of the fun out of “You’re the One That I Want” and made it a real drag to listen to. I was expecting it to go up tempo but it didn’t happen. I really hated it.

    Eurovicious made a good point on the previous post (http://sofabet.com/2012/11/16/x-factor-2012-week-7-elimination-six-of-the-best/comment-page-1/#comment-25972) that Union J and Ella (to an extent) are rather anonymous. I can’t say that I had thought that about Ella but looking back on it, all that we know is she’s 16, has a dead granddad, is only 16, likes Twilight, and is just 16 years of age. Now all the points apart from the Twilight one we knew about three months ago from her first audition. The producers haven’t shown any VT advancing this so we don’t really know the “real” Ella and I think that this combined with the lack of versatility makes me believe that it’s now doubtful that she’ll win and may even hit trouble in the next week or so.

    As for Shakey, the very negative set shows to me that the producers want shot of him as soon as possible. The wife and I had a good laugh at the disintegrating demon face and the laser eyes. This week will be a test of how good those Daily Star voting leaks are.

    Rylan has probably done all that he can do now and will be toast if he lands in the bottom two against anyone apart from Shakey.

  • Highlighted

    When it comes to Shakey, I think if leaks were true then producers knew they would be in for a long haul. With cases like this as it was for Janet last year, they are more stopping him from gaining any new fans rather than taking away his current canvass. I predict his vote percentage has fallen with less acts now and he will be gone next week at the latest.

    There was an article in Mirror today with Shaky stating that he’s been set up. He knows it himself. And I believe him when he sees he is not a diva or anything. He seems genuinely upset that the judges, ex contestants etc. are told by producers to say he’s a diva or a fake etc.

    By the way everyone says he is delighting the demo but IMO I think they give him 80s music all the time because yeah sure it gives his fan base reason to vote, but he won’t be gaining any new fans and especially not younger people who will vote in numbers. So they are happy to accept he has a fanbase already set, like Janet last year. But they have stopped any new fans for him.

  • R

    The one doubt I always have about the Maloney deramping is the obvious nature of it all.

    They put him on a cruise-ship and Louis points out the cruise-ship backdrop.
    He gets hate from the judges and Gary points out that he’s “the people’s choice”.
    We get the demon head and again the judges point out the head and say it wasn’t his fault.
    Is this really deramping or is the show playing a double bluff? Surely a true deramp would involve him wearing tight red ball-crunching leather trousers, singing “All hope is Gone” by Slipknot while descending Kye’s funeral pyre/ bonfire.
    To me, the hate it too obvious to have a negative impact on the general public.

    I also noticed last week with Nicole’s “tears” at D3’s performance, she basically wiped her cheek with a tissue – hardly Kelly Rowland levels. She then went on to tell D3 that their performance brought her to tears, with no expression in her face or voice.
    While we may have said that it was too obvious, is it possible that the general public saw it as an attempt to boost D3’s vote & therefore didn’t vote for them?

    For me, Chris is very much in the Wagner role at the moment. Make it obvious you want him in and they will keep him in.

    Saying all that, I’ll probably end up being wrong and this will be the week he falls into the B2.

    With Ella, I was so keen watching the VT and comments, which I thought were positive, I completely missed the song which was an absolute mess.

    As for Nicole, most of the negative comments seem to come from her so I’m surprised the public haven’t started saying “she’s just trying to protect her boys” as they did with Gary last year.

  • I was disappointed not to get online last night because Maloney’s production was (literally) a massive eye-opener. One might imagine I would be honoured: they turned Maloney into the physical embodiment of the ‘Karaoke Sauron’ himself. It was… unreal. Fascinating. Hugely unfair.

    It followed Maloney’s most positive VT to date. (It seems they don’t go in for negative VTs at this late stage.) Interestingly, when I re-watched his segment I noticed that the backdrop to his rehearsal, whilst similar, utilised a much gentler image, minus the lasers. This would suggest the version we saw last night was a last-minute ‘surprise’. That would chime with GB’s reaction.

    As Demon_eyes notes above (love it!), a couple of things might have undermined the assassination. One, of course, was the sheer obviousness. It was Devlin all over again, turned up to eleven. (I have never seen anything so unremittingly negative on the X-Factor. The panning shots, in particular, with the lasers descending into the viewer’s eyes were like something out of The Shining.) As such, producers can not be said to have employed ‘subliminal’ tactics.

    Secondly, as noted, the show went off-script by talking about it. By discussing cues which are meant to be unconsciously received, the panel undermined the impact of those cues. Also, the production accompanied what was (I think) Chris’s best vocal performance to date; and amongst the creepy panning shots there were some positive, viewer-friendly close-ups to lessen the damage. Imagine the effect if those close-ups hadn’t been there!

    The most interesting thing for me is how this all proves the interest producers take in forums like this one and Digital Spy. Over on the latter geekboys (and girls) have invested 84 pages of hypertext in a thread (‘The Christopher Maloney is back on my television support group thread’) in which Maloney is imagined as a Luciferian figure, waging a cosmic battle against the forces of Light led by the resurrected Wagner. (There are some strange people on DS.) Clearly producers have had a private giggle at the wags’ descriptions of the ‘Orange Satan’, etc, decided it chimed with their aims, and sought to incorporate it into the show.

    Are you proud of your work, ‘Brother Bananafish’?

  • Is this the first Sunday their hasnt been press stories about Christopher being hated/topping the vote etc? Normally their is one or two stories about him on a sunday?

  • Is anyone backing UJ for the B2 not worried about the bounce-factor? It’s the bet I am thinking of having

  • Are XF turning Jahmene into some kind of Americanised Christian preacher figure (perhaps to capture their vote too)? Apart from the halo, the rostrum/altar and the gospel-esque choir backing, they even dressed him in a glistening (pure) Priest like stole this week.
    We can’t deny that Cliff (I don’t go to the toilet because the fairies come and take it away in the middle of the night) Richard has a huge following and market for all the same reasons as Jahmenes quite admirable principals and beliefs.

    Also, did anyone notice the Talk Talk advert before Rylan’s spot. Not only did the ‘tv screen head’ clearly display a ‘Union Jack’ flag on it, the body playing the piano is very much a ‘hint of Ella’. Is this a reminder to keep voting for them as they were both on at the beginning of the show?

  • FYI, paddy Power have a special in-shop: rylan to go at 11/10

  • Highlighted

    Sorry guys a bit off topic, I know there were a few Janet fans on here last year. 1 of the tracks from her not yet released album is on YouTube in a live studio session. Just type in Janet Devlin Crown of Thornes. Really really good song.

    Back to today I’m still saying Chris will go this week.

  • Simon "le chat""

    its between chris and rylan. Rylan is awful and time for him to go.

  • Stephen

    anybody in the mood for a punt on the first to be announced? James arthur at 11-2 looks big to me. Any thoughts?

    • Said this previously 🙂 – I have backed accordingly

      Off topic but for anyone that takes part in the “First Act Announced Safe Market” their could be a small play here.
      Like the rest of this show.. nothing is Random or isnt decided already.

      The only acts that havent been announced safe first yet are
      Chris
      Rylan
      Jahmene

      Taking into account James/Union J have been announced 1st twice. (James’ second time was last week)

      I expect Rylan to be in the bottom two as do most, so that means he is rightly so an outsider for this.

      Chris has been getting boo’d when saved the longer he goes without being announced safe, the greater effect the boo’s will be as the Audience wait for their favoured act to be announced safe. Will only irriate them when they see the “Villian” has been saved and not their favoured act.

      (Baring in mind a few expect it to be Rylan v Chris anyway, im not one of them for the record)

      Take into account Nicole has 3 acts so they probably get spread about

      Leaves only Jahmene at 7-2, it seems almost as good of a week as any for him to be First Act Announced Safe

  • Nicky

    None of the available polls are that accurate, but UJ appear to be bottom of all of them. http://twitter.com/tvpolls is the only survey that’s had Maloney safe every week, and on their figures, he is clear of the bottom two again.

  • cbell

    I’m still undecided who goes if its rylan v union j bottom two

    • For anyone interestted Rylan has been tweeting in past tense all day, giving impression he has accepted defeat and is going..

      Not once has he tweeted the phone number to vote for him encouraging his fans to vote, unlike previous weeks.

      Make of that what you want.

  • Stephen

    ella is going no?

  • Highlighted

    XF really are incompetent assassins but keeping Rylan around too long has backfired most probably.

  • TS

    What the…????
    Did anyone see this coming?

  • Cath

    Oh dear, don’t think anyone saw that B2 coming!

  • Cath

    It seems that Chris’ scouse army are the only people voting this year! Seems like Jahmene is the only one of the alpha-3 that can win it now. 🙁

  • Jake Kl

    Gary wanted james to win. Id sat we’re looking at a deadlock

  • Simon's Cuban Stacks

    Bloody hell! What were the odds on that bottom two combo?

  • Wkrs

    Christopher isn’t a Cruiseship. He’s a Destroyer.

  • Walter

    PURE AMAZEBALLS. Surely the biggest sing-off ever in this show? Will be curious to see if they’ll get rid of the last girl and sustain those “get rid of Tulisa” theories or if they’ll want to shed a boy out of Nicole. Hmm. Wish I placed a bet on Ella to go when I had the chance.

  • chrisr

    Looks to me like the Star leak just got authenticated.

  • TLG

    Very briefly, William Hill had James Arthur at 11/10 and Ella at 6/5 to go – if only I was more prepared!

  • R

    Disappointed that I didn’t bet this week as I told everyone at work Ella would be B2. I think a few of us saw Ella in the B2 and a couple of commentators mentioned the possibility of James but I don’t think anyone thought both would go.
    Funny that so many people on my Twitter TL are saying this is fixed as Chris & Rylan escaped.

  • TLG

    * Paddy Power had Ella at 6/5 to go

  • ringermark

    Well this is all going well this year isn’t it? 😀

  • Jake Kl

    So taking into account previous years, Jahmene or Chris are the only ones who can win? This year keeps getting worse and worse

  • “We have an admission to make at Sofabet. We sometimes (though by no means always) write a draft for this Sunday night article before the result is announced. That’s because we sometimes feel like we have a good idea who will be involved.”

    I suspect that isnt the case for this week 🙂

  • chrisr

    The face on Tulisa… Priceless. Ella was 2/1 to go on betfair in the comm break. James 11/10 to go in the sing off… Happy days

  • Louis's wig

    Staging, pimping, lighting blah blah. Song choice is (virtualy) everything. Not entirely surprised.

  • Walter

    Things couldn’t have gone more wrong for Tulisa this year. Leaving little Adele behind in St Lucia, losing her first act to an early assassination, having one of the girls quit the competition and ultimately losing her holy grail in an unlucky voting poll. Add a general disconnection between her and the public and she couldn’t look more incompetent right now.

  • Heisenberg

    I just retrieved my James/Ella B2 combo bet slip from the bin. Fiver at 40/1 – sweet.

    No best bits for Ella? Maybe they just weren’t prepared because nobody expected it?

  • annie

    So this series is completely fucked up isn’t it? Top 5 with 8 blokes, potential winners are chris and jahmene…. chris’s been stuck in the sunbed since 1986 and jahmene is leon jackson.2. neither a very desired winner.the ther joke is still in competitions despite some borderline disaster performances…. Last year was a bit messy as well, but at least they were able to say a group, a girlgroup won at last… Maybe this year they will have to ‘gain’ that an over wins after so many seasons ;)) with all the manipulations, maybe they actually deserve that.

  • Stephen

    never saw this 2-1 on betfair chris, i was bid at 3 and wasnt filled.

  • Donald

    I had a little on both to go at big odds as I posted last night was worth the punt based on pimping of James and treatment of Ella, did I think both in bottom two? no so didn’t do it.

    Shallow victory as I liked Ella, but Andrew we were onto it past few weeks. The producers just kicked themselves in the b…. with their carry on or did they get her? The signs that they were at it were there.

  • Stephen

    Well done to everyone who pumped ella from 2.1 down to 1.4 as Im sure many of the big lads have done. Only money was ella on betfair.

  • WideoftheMark

    well I have been betting against Ella, but thought enough was enough so had a punt on UJ to go – c’est la vie – but my outright win book is now looking +ve unless UJ or Rylan win. I may put a little on UJ to tkae the sting but quite happy over all – even though it was a fabulous bit of TV and I’m a grumpy cynic

  • Highlighted

    The aftermath of this could b good for James. Think the sympathy will propel him to top 2 at least.

    • Curtis

      Yeah, often it can actually be beneficial for acts to fall into the bottom 2 at this stage of the competition to encourage that sympathy, rater than have them drift to the bottom when there is no more sing-off. Look at Olly Murs and JLS for reference.

  • chrisr

    Sorry Stephen, typo, she was evens, then James 11/10 mid singing

  • Chatterbox5200

    Ella/James for Bottom 2 was 70/1. I had a little nibble earlier in the week, before Saturday’s show, just to cover other bets.

    That means that either Christopher or Rylan will be in the Top 4!

  • Cath

    After Rylan’s psychic predicted he would go out this week, the only winner this weekend is science!

  • chrisr

    Anyone else think that as the star leak seems to have been authenticated, its time to start considering Chris in the win market with some seriousness

  • Nicky

    Had UJ/James and UJ/Ella combos, and a little on James and Ella to be eliminated, so quite pleased. Don’t want to sound wise after the event, but I’ve had the same reservations about Ella as I did about Janet last year. That is, too many vocal inadequacies to win a long, drawn out competition. It’s hard to trust your own ears sometimes though when everyone seems to love your least favorite contestant. Tulisa’s comments really pissed me off. How rude to berate the public for not spending their money how she thinks they should. It’s her job to motivate people to vote by making her act stand out. A dirge sung well is still a dirge.

    • Curtis

      I actually think Ella and Janet’s situations were significantly different. I think Janet easily had the legs and public support to win the competition last year, but was slaughtered by the producers for 5 or 6 weeks, which eventually ended in her departure. This year, I think Ella was held back by her own limitations, not the producer’s choices. Not interesting enough to go the distance.

  • chrisr

    Couldn’t agree more re Tulisa Nicky… Who is she to tell the paying public that they voted for Chr er sorry I mean the wrong act. Either a glimpse at the real Tulisa, or her best acting of the series

  • Queen Bea

    I really think Maloney has the anti-Xfactor vote here- though i’ve seen no campaigns to suggest so.
    So accordingto previous series only he or Jahmene can now win. *Flush*

  • WideoftheMark

    Loving ,y 33-1 on Chris now – it was a freebie bookie join up bet. Will hold my nerve for another week I think it will be UJ vs Rylan next time round.

    James is toast for the win as previous weeks article comments on his musical credibility not converting to votes

  • WideoftheMark

    Loving my 33-1 … sorry

  • WideoftheMark

    One last thought. All the money for the previously evicted girls on betfair at 1000-1 had been taken Lucy is at 500 and Jade now at 1000. Ella is still at 150/160 – instead of going straight to 1000. It looks like people are thinking there me a surprise return. If this is true I think Lucy would be the most credible – the lawyers have had time to work a deal and/or she was knocked off sick rather than actually evicted

  • Louis's wig

    speaking as someone who had large on the girls at 9/4………..am afraid that you are VERY wide of the mark (do you see what i did there lols)

  • wideofthemark

    normally am Louis – normally am!!

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