X Factor 2012 Week 7 Post Mortem: One Ella-va Shock

Rylan’s psychic must be feeling pretty embarrassed tonight. As Kieran wrote in the comments, “my head just exploded”.

Ella and James had both been trading around the 3/1 mark to hit the bottom two. But they were both huge prices to be eliminated, each of them trading at three-figure odds on Betfair at some point. This reflected near-certainty among punters if one of them hit the singoff, one of Chris, Rylan or Union J would be in there with them.

It was surely the most shocking singoff in the history of the show.

Betfair edged gradually towards Ella leaving, as punters recovered from their stupefaction and figured out that Gary’s comments about wanting James to win meant that he would save him, meaning Ella’s only hope would be survival on deadlock. Following the same logic, I had a little bit on as her price contracted from 1.9 to 1.6.

Debate had broken out in the Sofabet comments today about why producers had seemed to be subtly dampening Ella’s appeal. That question has suddenly become a whole lot more interesting, and you get the sense that there will be some difficult post-mortems in the production team this week.

The win market has been radically shaken up, with only Christopher and Jahmene now having avoided at least one bottom two appearance (no act has won having previously been in the bottom two, although as Little Mix showed last year there’s a first time for everything). It’s worth remembering that Olly Murs and JLS bounced from a week 7 save to second place, and James could well enjoy a similar fate.

The “first to lose all acts” market has been settled, too. Congratulations if you were on Tulisa.

Christopher’s survival, and Ella’s departure, pretty much conclusively validates the Daily Star leak which had Maloney topping the votes up to week 5. So now producers find themselves with both Christopher and Rylan in the final five. Where do they go from here? We can surely expect a singoff among the final five, for starters.

There will be plenty more to say as events sink in, but for now let’s quote tpfkar from the last thread: “All hail Sun God Maloney the powerful. Think anything bad about him and his laser eyes will find you out…”

We can’t wait to see what they do to him next week. As always, please let us know your thoughts below.

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63 comments to X Factor 2012 Week 7 Post Mortem: One Ella-va Shock

  • This was a disaster for me this result. Losing in eliminations, despite expect Ella to be there, but didn’t stake accordingly.

    More importantly what are people’s views now on James’ chance of winning, at first I excepted defeat and all bets on him were lost. But what is the general views of everyone else? Will this give him enough momentum to beat James?

    I won’t be playing next weeks eliminations, for now anyway.

    But note if Chris/UJ go, that’s two judges with no acts. Make of that what you will.

  • Have the producers demonstrated greater incompetence than this in any previous series? From Rylan bottom two first week to Union J facing two sing-offs already and unwanted wildcard Chris saling through week after week, it seems like the production team have lost a lot of control.

    The knives will be fully out for Chris next week, expect awful song choices/staging and a ‘diva’/hate figure VT. I feel a bit sorry for the man to be honest!

  • Matt

    I’ve been a bit of and on and off viewer so haven’t bet or posted thus far, although have thoroughly enjoyed popping by and reading the articles and comments!

    I was watching tonight though, incredible. I failed to believe the Maloney hype and thought there was a clear assassination attempt last night. I expected a CM/Ella bottom two.

    However… I didn’t think much to Ella’s track last night and though I enjoy her most weeks. I suspect James is niche in terms of popular opinion and would never win.

    Tonights results will get serious press, it’s massive water cooler moment stuff. If Chris is polling well could it be the producers threw the kitchen sink at him as a last ditch effort to get rid, while at the same time massively pimping Rylan post performance via banter and scripted wit (the likes of which I can’t recall before). This would potentially lead to a hugely ‘shocking’ bottom two, if Union J could pull of the sympathy vote, and enormous column inches tomorrow in a year where the talent is poor and ratings dropping…

  • Jake Kl

    Leaks about Ella barely avoiding the bottom2 must have been right.
    We were bound to have a shock exit and Ella started getting really boring. Im also happy Tulisas left with no acts.
    Suprising result but im actually happy for James. This might propel him to the finals, targeting 3rd, 2nd mayb? Great place for him

  • R

    Alternative view: What if they knew James & Ella were struggling for votes and decided that, if they couldn’t bring Chris down through producer hate, they would bring a big act down and get the public to blame him – as they have been doing on Xtra-factor.

    I’ve not seen Tulisa being so vitriolic since…well her last drunken rage. This far exceeded her “If Little Mix go out it’s YOUR fault” rant at the public last year.

    • It sound good, but they did nothing but pimp James from what I saw. So why do that with these intentions.

      It just blows everything pretty much out the water

    • annie

      It does make sense, doesn’t it. One truly shock bottom 2, to raise awareness…
      Still I think it’s the worst series for quite a while, although it started of rather well. The decent looking overs hitting bottom on a stringline, joke acts outsitting their healthy run. Loosing Lucy… And now these 2 in the bottom.
      I just can’t believe it, but there must be truth in the star leak. That’s why they started pushing Jahmene like crazy, to hopefully steal votes from Chris, even though I doubt in an ideal world they would have wanted him to win.
      I can’t see at the moment which outcome can be beneficial to the show… maybe they will try the impossible task to create a new ‘first’ this year, make James win despite a bottom 2 appearance? In a year where it seems nothing works as expected could such an unexpected win occur?

  • Boki

    Disaster indeed, still shocked to see such double surprise. Lazy GBP pick up your fakin phones! 🙂
    But that didn’t stop Chris/Rylan’s fans from voting so I guess they were more motivated and producers are to blame.
    Also think Tulisa’s speech is not appropriate, she can’t tell people who is right to be voted and who not, could again backfire and motivate Maloney’s fans.

  • Help!

    So gutted right now…

    But I’m not surprised. Even though Union J weren’t treated well last night, if the producers hold down Chris well enough, they could be the in the final. Either way, James will get a sizable bounce to the final.

    Going to be eating lots tonight.

  • Louis's wig

    Disaster yes, had a very healthy book until tonight when it became a break even book………..unless….. 8th of Sept Rylan £30 at 125-1 ……..

  • lolhart

    I wasn’t shocked to see Ella in the bottom 2, as her performance last night was all kinds of dull. I don’t think there was a deliberate attempt to deramp her these last few weeks. My theory is that she hasn’t been polling as well as expected since the start of the lives. TPTB probably thought people were not voting for her, because they assumed she was a dead cert for the final. Hence the gentle constructive critcism the last few weeks to show she wasn’t Invincible Ella. This would correspond with last week’s return of Table Thumping Tulisa.

    I know there’s been a lot of surprise about James being in the bottom 2, but I’ve questioned before who exactly he appeals to. He’s too scary looking for the oldies (coupled with the rapping) and not good looking enough for the teen girls. It’s not enough for the likes of Rita Ora to endorse him. As for Chris being safe again, I think the comments about his production last night were another Wizard of Oz moment like the producer whispering to Louis during the first results show.

    Two points not related to betting. I’m not convinced this is going to prove a big ratings boost for the show. After all the public aren’t going to care about contestants on a show they haven’t been watching. Also, like some other posters Tulisa’s rant (and for me the Flack’s behaviour on Xtra Factor) left a bad taste in my mouth. The British public don’t like to be told they’ve made a mistake or who they should be voting for.

  • The Cat In The Hat

    In the last seven days I’ve seen three things that have literally left me speechless: Djokovic v Federer, Zlatan’s overhead kick, and Ella going out tonight.

    I think that whoever is in charge of the show, needs to take a good hard luck at themselves and, if the programme is ever going to continue, it needs a major ovehaul.

    I don’t think it has ever recovered from Devlingate in last year’s show, and whoever wins now, will be devoid of any scrap of credibility.

    A disaster!

  • Boki

    Btw Ella was above James in every single poll so one could expect her getting through on deadlock. Market was right this time though but I didn’t commit at all…

  • Tim B

    Ella sang You’re The One That I Want which is ironic because this week she was the one that no one wanted.

  • eurovicious

    Yo! I just lost a load of money again but I’m not bovvered. Classic example of underdog voting tonight. But beyond that, it’s this simple: The X Factor is and remains a Saturday night entertainment show. In their misguided drive for credibility and authenticity, the powers that be seem to have forgotten this. People want entertainment, tears, and personality. Chris and Rylan provide all three of these, Jahmene provides about one and a half, Union J provide one (entertainment), James and Ella provide none. They’re boring people who don’t leap off the page, and they’ve given the show week after week of angst and downbeat, overearnest balladry respectively, which is hardly suitable for a Saturday night entertainment programme – emphasis on the word “entertainment”. The show, which is far too up itself, is playing the B2 as a surprise because they’re seeing it from their perspective rather than a viewer’s perspective. Just because an act is pimped doesn’t mean the public buy it, and as we’ve now seen with Ella, overpimping can lead to an act being seen as a surefire winner and not in need of votes. This is the death knell for the whole “authenticity” drive – it’s not what the public want. And despite the fact I lost money, it’s given me a huge, really huge reinjection of confidence (in a series where up to now I haven’t had much) and proven that my gut feelings, going right back to the first couple of audition shows and my failure to connect with Ella right up to now, were right. People didn’t vote for the “credible” overs (Melanie, Carolynne, Kye), they didn’t vote for the “credible” urban act, and tonight proved they’ve not been voting for Ella or James anywhere near as much as the show would like either. They are voting for Chris, they are voting the acts they connect with personally and that they feel “need” their votes, and they are voting for the acts that provide entertainment, tears and personality. The show’s authenticity drive has led to ratings plunging off a cliff (compared to the, erm, incredibly authentic Strictly Come Dancing which is soaring in the ratings on t’ other side), and the public have reacted by overwhelmingly supporting the act that every week, the panel of “music experts” abuses, belittles and shits on for not being “credible”. As I’ve said before, when they poo-poo Maloney, they poo-poo viewers across the country for liking old-fashioned, underadulterated covers sung well by a deserving and sympathetic candidate. It’s this arrogance, not Maloney, that is bringing the show down.

    Rufus Hound on Xtra Factor was right – there was a ridiculous level of wailing and gnashing of teeth (and navel-gazing) going on on the shows this evening. It’s not like she’s died. She didn’t catch on – it’s that simple. Everyone gets the placing they deserve. I really like Tulisa and can completely understand where she was coming from, but the sheer arrogance of her literally berating the public for not voting for the “right” act encapsulates the show’s entire problem this year. Further underlined by everyone saying those two “shouldn’t have been in the bottom two” – yes they should, because it’s what people voted for. You can’t steer what people like. It’s democracy.

    Like everyone else, I called the bottom 2 wrong tonight (apart from a small amount on James B2), and despite never having been an Ella backer (I in fact had a small lay on her), I wrote a number of pro-Ella arguments on here in the past few days. Those were wrong. However, I also wrote that she was the “toilet break act”, had less of a connection with the viewer than several of the others, and was the only one not to get an ad break last night.

    I’ve made my case for Chris several times here, and in another recent comment I called him the “copper-coloured embodiment of the disconnect between what the public like and what the show thinks it should like”. The narrative of this series is not authenticity. It is this disconnect. The harder they push the entertainment-free, two-dimensional holy trinity of boring Ella, gnashing James and self-pitying Jahmene, the more people vote for the characters who do leap off the page and who create a sense in the viewer that they “need” the support, that their votes make a genuine difference – Rylan (humorous, engaging, fun, but also vulnerable) and Chris (vulnerable, highly capable, has the strongest connection to the public of any act and understands what the public wants, knows exactly what he’s doing).

    Earlier I used my “Maureen in Farnworth” analogy to explain the failure of the other 3 overs (http://sofabet.com/2012/11/04/x-factor-2012-week-5-post-mortem-bye-kye/#comment-25405). I’m now extending this to Ella too. Working in Asda (or *insert mind-numbing, prospect-free grind here*) and living in a terrace in Farnworth (it doesn’t have to be Farnworth) is bad enough as it is – the last thing you want when you come home is a load of fucking dirges. This is why the ratings are down, this is why Ella’s out, this is why Chris is deservedly soaring. Does the average ITV viewer think “I know what I want to hear on The X Factor this evening – that fun song from Grease, the one with what’s her face, three very nice fellas, Olivia Newton John, that’s it, but slowed down, drained of every last droplet of its joy and exuberance, and sung as a depressing, moribund, soul-exsanguinating ballad?” No, they bloomin’ well don’t. You want yer entertainment. Fuckin’ right. Bit of Bonnie Tyler. Northern lad. Loves his nan. Int he nice? Oh look at him bless, he’s shaking. That snotty American cow’s got no right to speak to him like that – ere y’are Noreen, give us the telephone.

    Cruiseship should not be an epithet. The X Factor IS cruiseship.

    In other news: OMG ABBA WEEK

    (Sorry for language.)

    • Kevin O Reilly

      this has to be the best sofabet article i have read. superb

    • Brilliant post mate; really entertaining. Agree with pretty much all.

    • steve

      Glorious write up eurovicious. Its the arrogance of the production team that cost Ella her place not Joe public. The choreographed spat between Rylan and Gary was painful to watch but it fulfilled its objective of getting Rylan the votes, unfortunately it didnt take him past Chris but James and Ella.
      The judges then have the gall to say the public are saving the wrong people despite both Louis ( Caroline ) and Tulisa (Kye) saving Rylan over superior singers.
      They then tell us dont be stupid Chris cant sing we dont want him in the final. Well actually the public prefer a good cabaret singer over any of the rabble which is left. In his genre Chris is now the best singer left. He is the most deserving winner and the winner the show most deserves.

  • tpfkar

    Only just back from a weekend away, so didn’t get involved. Looks like I’ve dodged a bullet as I wouldn’t have got near that B2. My win Market position looks much better as a fluke as I’m on James and jahmene but not Ella.

    Big postmortem to come this week but gut thoughts:
    1-remember how we all said after judges houses that the boys were miscast and the girls were the strongest category? Oops. How did we get that so wrong?
    2-Agree with comments that Tulisa was an awful loser this week, but how graceful and classy was Ella after the result was announced? Respect to Ella for that.
    3-Ella had been going backwards for weeks, slow songs, singing candle, lots of praise but a lack of emotion, and got found out in the end. Could they really find no journey for her- the only time she got interesting was flirting with George Shelley, which they haven’t mentioned for ages. Why didnt they make her uptempo after ‘Bring me to life?
    4-they paid the price by not getting serious on Rylan or Chris this week a la Wagner. They let Chris sing an 80s song, and gave Rylan a big production with lots of Gary angst and good banter. If they really wanted them gone why did they let this happen?
    5-next week Abba then Motown. Good for both Chris and Rylan at first glance.
    6-The Sun God Maloney liveth! Bow down and repent o thou unbelievers……

  • Queen Bea

    ABBA week? Great, can’t wait to hear some of the best pop songs ever written crucified. If they really want Maloney out, give him The Winner Takes It ALL.

  • eurovicious

    As I speak, Chris is at 10.5 in the Betfair win market, while James – who’s just been in the bottom 2 – is at 3.7. This is ridiculous given everything that we know. Does the market really think Arthur is riding higher in the votes than Maloney and appeals more to a mainstream audience than him. I can’t say this enough times: like the show itself, the betting community is focusing far too much on what the shows wants, its “narrative” etc, and nowhere near enough on what the public actually likes. There’s a serious value angle in this. It’s the same set of blinkers that saw Leanne Mitchell overlooked and disregarded throughout the latter stages of The Voice to the extent that she went into the final as the bookies’ least favourite(!).

    If you haven’t already, get on those odds. They took unprecendented staging measures this week to dampen Maloney – and as I expected, it completely backfired. I highly doubt they’re going to be able to manoeuvre him into the bottom 2. Tonight’s the point they need to just accept what the public want and stop trying to derail their most popular act. They’d only be shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Jake Kl

    Tulisa’s singing live next week. Having no acts might help concentrate more on her performance.

  • Caro

    Why weren’t we shown Ella’s ‘highlights’? Rumours suggest it was because they weren’t prepared because TBTB weren’t expecting her to go. So, did the ‘subtle dampening’ (if there was any) backfire?

  • Donald

    “We can’t wait to see what they do they do to him next week” that will be worth seeing, Tonight proved that not these producers have a degree in getting it wrong really or have they?

    The dampening of Ellla was there the pimping of James was there which as it turns out was desperation, bad night for the show but it will roll on to next week that what they do. Kicking myself a bit for not going harder on Ella but then lucky to have backed off on having a win bet on her last night. That is how close the margin of error can be on this series as we all know by now well and truly but one reliable was there song choice with Ella last night, they stitched her with that song choice.

    They don’t exactly have a star studded line up left but they will have a winner. The voting must be low and viewer figures are down, they got Rihanna next weekend which will help, they at Fountain while Strictly is at Wembley arena.

    James styling is a strange one, I had noticed the change.

    It all points to Jaheme but this series anything can happen now.

    I still think they got Ella but much faster than they wanted maybe although song choice is the best weapon for a top act.

    UJ back down from bounce next weekend, but the series has lost it’s way totally, anything can happen now. None the wiser despite suspicions and hunches, especially after tonight.

    Be interesting to see the press after tonight, storm in a teacup really, and the bookies must be happy with tonight result. Favourite gone and first judge out gone their way most likely.

    And Abba week next week just to add to confusion.

    Who is actually voting this year?

  • Kevin O Reilly

    I had small bets on Chris at 33/1 & 40/1 and they have not crossed my mind for weeks. Is it actually possible? With the publicity of Tulisa’s rant there must be a possibility of an anti X Factor vote gathering support now. I suspect she just recruited more voters for Chris. As Eurovicous points out the 10.5 is not bad is it?

  • Steven

    So how high do we think Chris is in the voting at this point?

    If he’s still quite clear of the B2, I’d imagine that they’ll do a Wagner-style Rylan kill, just to ensure that the final at least has 2 of the intended.

    If he’s close though, they’ll give Chris yet another shot.

    The risk for them is that both Chris and Rylan will be B2. Based on the past, this would likely bounce the saved straight into the final.

    But then, when has the past been a good guide this series?

    • It occurred to me that TPTB may yet take up the option of a semi-final sing-off – there’s only two more weeks between now and the final to get shot of Rylan and Chris and I doubt the producers will be leaving anything to chance/the public after this weekend.

    • Steven

      I misremembered the details of the bounce… it is the Week 7 bounce that has tended to go in the final. For the years that we have data, the Week 8 2nd last has been the Week 9 elimination. Apologies.

  • Not quite sure… Love your overall vibe (as ever), but you need to rein in the sneering tone towards the general public. Maybe people are voting for Maloney because he’s the best singer, simple as.

    The whole ‘Loves his nan/Bless ‘im’ schtick is beneath you, TBH.

    • eurovicious

      I don’t mean it in a mocking, making fun or “looking down” way… I’m from the northwest and I mean it sincerely. Chris taps into a set of values, and that conversation is going on in homes across the country, and especially those in the northwest, which is an ITV stronghold. I’m not being patronising. I’ve been in the pound shop in Farnworth when an overweight woman walks in, spots a bag of marshmallows, says “ooh, 50p, I’m ‘avin them!” and grabs them off the shelf. I’ve been on the tram in Manchester when a gran enthuses about taking her grandkids out to McDonalds. When a drunk man spills a bag of Maltesers all over the tram floor, scoops them up again in his hand and crunches them down. I am not making fun of the unsophisticated. And I write like that because it’s how I also react – when the show does him down, when Nicole is catty towards him, when he breaks down. I wrote after Chris’s audition (see link below) that I reacted emotionally to it, and I’m sure I even said “bless him” to myself the week he started crying after his performance. My use of a voice and character is based not on a snide southern stereotype of “simple folk up north” but on real observations from growing up in the northwest. I don’t think it’s offensive to suggest that there are ordinary people with accents who like Christopher Maloney; I am one. (For the record, I abhor the “class blackface” of Matt Lucas’s “Vicky Pollard”, Catherine Tate’s “Lauren” and Simon Brodkin’s “Lee Nelson” et al and even recently wrote a complaint to the BBC along this line. So definitely not sneering.) Far from having a sneering tone towards the general public, my comment was a condemnation of the show’s sneering tone towards the general public. I agree with you that people are voting for him because of his talent.

      The second paragraph of my comment after Chris’s audition looks very prescient now: http://sofabet.com/2012/09/08/x-factor-2012-audition-show-4-melanie-mccabe-underwhelms/#comment-23315

  • With the producer’s lacklustre efforts lately to make Ella a sure fire winner (because ‘only they’ know the actual recent lazy voting figures), has anyone stopped to consider that this competition is now a not so much of a ‘vote for for a winner’ exercise, but a ‘just get voting for ANYONE BUT MALONEY message’ to shock folk into getting on the phone (by showing them what will happen if they don’t)?

    I think that they have used Ella as a sacrificial lamb to alert people (Chris haters) into action to get busy voting, as it is now the only way to get Chris out. They have effectively written a pantomime with a nice banished princess and a lonely prince and Baloney as the villain who ruined it all (complete with Booos and hisses from the audience).
    What great telly this is !

    It would be a more interesting scenario if telephone votes were for who you wanted OUT instead. That would then be a whole different different story, as Chris never gets anywhere in ANY poll anywhere. Not only this, but it also just gets MORE people voting; and that = more revenue ££’s.

    As I have said before, they are just chasing the £ and the viewing figures and the contestants are just mere fodder (just like they also see gullible us as being). We now have a shocked nation wanting to know what the next instalment will bring and even bigger headlines in tomorrow’s news “Shock Horror, Ella is ditched”….Bingo for XF ! (and all without digging any dirt to degrade and cheapen the show).

    They are not so much bothered if she won or not because they have a big guaranteed contractual future with her regardless. The series has served its purpose to promote her and get the public to love her. Maybe this is why the Judges bleated on so much about her being a star and a recording artist and bathing her in golden light to sweeten the bitter pill of defeat. It is therefore no loss to XF that she has gone now.

    James will now have a massive ‘deserved’ bounce to the final and I still say that Union J will be there with him (and likely ahead of him with the massive teenie girl vote which is building up). First safe this week (for the 3rd time) is a great indication of XF’s next ‘ramping up’ plan of action.

  • We all knew it anyway, but I think this could be a good thing for Union J (and they also publicly covered on XF Extra tonight). Jaymi hasn’t committed a crime and I think that he will only get admiration (and extra fans perhaps) for ‘coming out’. Hats off to the lad (and his band mates) for pure guts and risking all at this stage I say !

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2234708/Union-J-X-Factor-finalist-Jaymi-Hensley-reveals-gay.html

  • Mick

    Well I’ve only lost on 3 eliminations (weeks 1,6 & 7) when each time I chose Rylan to go. Gonna give up on him as he might even make the final, seriously. As a saving grace I got in quick before the sing off and put a few quid on Ella to go at 8/13.

    I think the voter turn out is so low that it is tight between all acts only takes a small swing to put the wrong act down there. Same in politics, low turnout = shock result.

    Agree with comments here tonight and I have stated earlier. The public that are voting are rebellling against the show bullying tatics to CM & RC. As someone said, we don’t like being told who not to vote for. I can see them both in the final.

    If the show still had any serious lovers of music in its viewership, this will make them switch off even more so now.

  • Fair enough… and great answer.

    The people (who you sketch very effectively) are my sort of people, too… And I remember very clearly your ’emotional’ response to Maloney’s first audition.

  • eurovicious

    So, ABBA week next week – has to be the following, no?

    Chris – medley of Gimme Gimme Gimme (Me Nan After Midnight), Under Attack, Super Trouper and The Piper (for the merry tune he’s playing them)
    Union J – Ring Ring (Cos We Need The Votes)
    Rylan – anything.
    James – Like An Angel Passing Through My Room
    Jahmene – mashup of I’m A Marionette, If It Wasn’t For The Frights and Should I Laugh Or Cry

    AMIRITE?

  • Jack

    I agree, Daniel, that this week pretty well confirms the Daily Star leaks. I have to say, if this series does continue, we should be looking at that paper in great detail next series considering its leaks have been pretty well consistently correct.

    James is my favourite, but I did predict him to be B2, but not against Ella!

    Is it too obvious to say Rylan-Union J B2 next week with Rylan to go?

    A Chris-Rylan B2 next week would be so interesting as, not only could it potentially see Rylan bounce to the final, but it could also engineer an all-boy final!

    Never would believe Tulisa would be first out, but credit to the show in regards to casting of the boys, something I don’t think any of us would have called.

  • simon le chat

    Absolute disaster for the show.
    Five acts left and not a woman in there anywhere.
    No colour left and little talent.
    Producers will be kicking themselves but the show ran out of gas a long time ago,

  • Jake Kl

    I dont think any act should be allowed to perform in gold. Thats what got Rylan in bottom2 wk1, and now Ella. Its the kind of colour that tries to convince the viewers the acts are untouchable and is really off putting.

  • EM

    That’s got to be a bottom two the producers didn’t see coming and wouldn’t have wanted. That means one thing which is bad for Sofabet types… they’ve lost control.

    Sensible betting on X Factor has eschewed emotion and instead focussed on the fact the producers have almost total power over who goes and who stays. They throw all the tricks they can to get their favoured contestants into the final and to get their least favourite out.

    But this hasn’t been a standard series and last night wasn’t a standard result. There’s no way the Powers That Be would have wanted to make a choice between Ella and James at this stage.

    So they’ve lost control. There are some assumptions we can make about why but they are just assumptions. Voting is low, the bland contestants they have this year just aren’t generating passion. People actually like Rylan and Christopher and want them to continue (either a talent/entertainment vote or an anti-X Factor one). My hunch is both are true to an extent.

    X Factor is so crucial to ITV’s success you can bet the producers aren’t just going to cede control and roll with the voters which give us some pointers as to what happens next.

    The ultimate aim has to be a final that people watch in massive numbers. They’ve probably even figured now that they aren’t going to shift much music product on the back on a bunch of singers people don’t feel passionate about. For that reason I can see an attempt to get one of the controversial contestants into that final. A groundswell of “we can’t let Rylan/Christopher” win opinion would drive those viewing figures. But you need two of Jahmene, James and Union J in there too to make it a story.

    They will carry on the story that started last night of people aren’t voting enough, the Great British public will be guilt tripped into believing the fate of true talent lies in their hands.

    One of the controversials will be thrown to the dogs. I know that appeared to be Christopher on Saturday but as he seems to be made of Teflon then it could be Rylan that finds himself on fire this weekend.

    Don’t rule out a twist too: what better way to keep people talking and try to get that control back? Could be exit with no sing off to emphasise every vote counts, it could be a vote freeze, bottom two are announced and then voting for them starts afresh, it could be a bottom three sing off, it could be something I haven’t thought of.

    At first glance last night was a disaster for those who try to read the storyline ahead but it might just make the next couple of weeks extremely predictable.

  • Alen

    I totally believe now the reports that Chris is topping the votes and Ella barely escaped the bottom 2 the past few weeks.

    I don’t like Chris at all but I do feel sorry for him. After all he is only chasing his dream and is fighting for it.

    Problem is the producers are totally missing their targets. WHY is Chris still singing 80’s cheesy songs? Sure, they tried to make him look like Satan or something on the background but his fans chose to ignore that. Give him an uptempo, modern production, give him a new styling (Gary: I want you to prepare for the finale and spice it up. You have to connect to the younger audience!) and he just might be bottom two. Time is running out…

    BTW I’m sure now that this week the judges will still have the deciding vote just in case Chris is only 4th and not 5th so they finally could get rid off him.

    Union J were safe although they were bland but I guess the sympathy bounce plus some picked up votes of District 3 fans were enough. I doubt they will survive the next two weeks.

    This means with Jahmene and James probably in the finale we WILL have Chris or Rylan in the final anyway. How odd.

    Even Simon Cowell tweeted that it’s unbelievable that Ella left. I’m sure some heads are rolling as I type.

  • George

    Something very strange happened yesterday afternoon.
    This story appeared on the Daily Mail website about 4 hours before the elimination.

    “Ella leaves George heartbroken as she cosiess up to josh”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2234767/The-X-Factor-2012-Ella-Henderson-leaves-George-Shelley-heartbroken-cosying-Union-J-bandmate-Josh-Cuthbert.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Why was a negative Ella story released yesterday afternoon, did the prods do it because they new she was in trouble?

  • Neeve

    I honestly think that last night was the final nail in the coffin for X factor. It peaked in 2010 with massive viewing figures and unprecedented levels of exposure. And signs by the “chosen ones” of that year, One Direction, are on their way to becoming THE biggest pop act in the World. The show has been in decline for the last two years and now surely has been responsible for it’s own undoing.

    Last years catastrophic manipulation of the viewers with the ridiculous pimping of Little Mix (read: any GROUP that could win) and the weekly, one-by-one obvious killing of the other acts has opened the eyes of the general public to what readers of sites like this have known for a long time. Everybody now talks about “Fix Factor” and laughs at the manipulation techniques producers use.

    In short, Nobody takes it as a serious competition any more. It was never about the most talented act winning, nor was it even about the act with an undefinable special quality winning (the so called x-factor). But it was never so obvious before and this is the problem.

    One thing is for sure, if the show is back next year there will need to be MASSIVE changes. One thing we can bet on is new judges. They need to scrap the “mentoring”, the themes, the ridiculous OTT productions. I even think they should scrap the arena auditions. We like to see an act grow from audition to live shows but when they have already sang on front of a few thousand people it demeans the task of singing in the live studio.

    Sorry for going on a bit…..!

    I will admit I used to be a huge fan of X Factor, I loved watching it and looked forward to a Saturday night. Not any more, now it feels like a chore to drag myself through it each week. Viewing figures tell us I’m not alone.

    It seems as though we have gone back 8 or 9 years. Christopher Maloney is in the quarter final and the theme is Abba. This is still one the biggest shows on TV, it should be slick, modern and cutting edge. It just is not relevant anymore. By this I don’t mean “current” the way it is used on the show, old-fashioned singers are fine but they need to bring something fresh and different. The show has turned into Stars in Their Eyes, everyone is as Louis continuously tells us “like a young ….” whoever!

    Anyway ranting over and onto this year. Is it now possible that Chris can win? Honestly I’m not sure but won’t be ruling it out. I like maccafan’s thinking about Ella being sacrificed to save the show from Chris and I do think that in itself confirms our worst fears that the Star might be right again. But will it work or, like most things this year, Will it backfire. I have a horrible feeling it might be the latter.

    Thinking about Chris…. Now I will say I am anything but a fan of Chris. I don’t like his voice (although admit he can sing in tune), I don’t feel overly connected to or compassionate about him as a person. I would never in a million years buy a Chris Maloney album. My local musical society has many people who could do exactly what he does on a Saturday night. BUT I do feel sympathy towards his treatment on the show. He is being bullied by the press and by the producers of the show. Anyone can dress it up how they like but it is bullying, which is one thing I will not tolerate. I have no doubt they this view is one which is commonly held among voters. Now I live in Ireland where a vote costs .65c so would never spend that voting for Chris but surely he is picking up a huge number of votes for this reason. Is it enough to win? Probably not but it is a huge factor.

    Tulisa’s rant has got a very negative reaction on forums, twitter etc. Will this encourage people to do the opposite of what the tells us to?

    The producers threw everything at Chris on Saturday, I literally laughed out loud throughout the performance. It had it all.. Red and Black, Creepy Devlinesque face, the laser eyes, District3’s cage of light, bored looking judges. I didn’t listen to a word he sang throughout! All that’s left to hit him with is a demo-alienating song choice. Producer discussions this morning must be interesting. Can I suggest a little Jay-Z perhaps or some Nicki Minaj!?!?!

    My money is on Jahmene since bootcamp so feeling good about that but this year all we know is that we know nothing.

  • I have had time to reflect on this, at first like everyone I was in huge huge shock, that James and Ella were the bottom two… But was that really the shock??

    I mean think about it, it’s been a topic on here now that Ella was on the decline. I myself wrote a lengthy comment about Ella’s treatment on here, pointing out the negatives where a clever way to deramp her.

    The intentions this week I thought was to create a “shock” of Ella v Chris, with rylan as the backup for Chris, enough to give ella the momentum she needed to push her to the finals. (Unfortunately I gt greedy and focused on Chris and Rylan v Ella in my bets)

    So why are we shocked? Not because Ella was in the b2, but because it was V James so we were about to lose a star.

    How has this happened, the producers targeted Ella for a B2 knowing they could save her, but they cant save her now! Now she has landed in the b2 v James (who I believe they do want to win, but that’s another matter)

    I think the problem here has been this, lets assume Ella was miles at the bottom for b2 well done, target achieved. So how has James ended up there.

    Union j – I had no doubt they wud be clear from b2 this week with their bounce and the extra boyband votes they would have no doubt gained. Maybe those votes where underestimated by the producers

    Jahmene – I think he was always safe anyway, safe enough to have avoided this shambles

    Chris – Chris was the main target for me it should have worked they did everything, not bad comments… The neutral ones I think tulisa ended with “…but yer Chris that was nice” worst compliment ever is “nice”. Neutral comments from Louis too. So what went wrong? I think they over did it and then the likeliness that the comments of dermot,Chris and Gary pointing out how bad it was and that it was not their choice, totally highlighted it to any viewer who didn’t notice. So his deramp, just got a littler harder with his fans incensed now at how producers have took piss again. (Also don’t forget how Gary introduced him.. “Now it’s time for the two words that bring fear to many people in this studio Christopher Maloney” or along them lines)

    Rylan – their back up. Anyone backing him to go must have been thinking home and hosed throughout the vt and judges comments… Until rylan fought back! Well it was clearly the highlight of performance from Rylan. How scripted was it? Well some saying the comment of rylan saying he wasnt Gary because he was too skinny, was scripted. Perhaps so. But that’s not all that happened, I think the thing that’s kept him in here is this..

    “Right dermot (as he plods his face towards the mic, unexpectedly for dermot) I’m going to have it out here now, Gary I’ve never said I could sing, (viewers agree as be says this) performers that do what I do, u know what they do differently… They Mime!”

    The moment he said that my instant reaction was “wow” now personally I think that was enough to send his fans voting, that’s before the scripting, because their was nothing else in his Vt or production that did that.

    Unfortunately James has became vulnerable as a factor.

    • eurovicious

      Rylan has sometimes been overly po-faced, humourless and victim-like in his interactions with Gary, but this week was his best banter by a mile. Not only was it funny and delivered with sass, but he actually has a valid point about the miming. There’s an Icelandic artist similar to Rylan (ie. a lanky 6ft supergay clothes horse with a penchant for big production numbers) who I’m a big fan of, and he can’t sing for toffee either but his album is brilliant (completely vocodered of course) and most importantly he can work a stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IrduZNMQfA

  • Mick

    Yes agree with JS above and I think the shock on the judges faces was genuine. They didn’t expect this especially after the over pimping of James – Gary wanting him to win and rubbed in by Dermot to Chris.

  • eurovicious

    For people saying the show has engineered this to turn people against Chris (pull the other one), that’s not how it works. Ella was last in the vote, Chris was probably first or second. What it is doing though is turning some people against Rylan (not Chris). Metro asked on their Facebook page today “Who do you think should have gone instead?” I’ve screenshotted a representative stretch of the comments. They’re focused on Rylan. Chris is getting some negativity but far less than Rylan is. http://www.twitpic.com/bekhes

  • tpfkar

    Had a morning to reflect now. EM is spot on that last night showed the producers losing control, and being carried at the whim of the great British public. It probably happened some time ago, but last night was the ugliest example to date.

    But why didn’t they kill off Rylan or Christopher properly? I can’t get away from that. Christopher was allowed anoter 80s song he sings well, and Rylan was given plenty of time to entertain again. Why o why? Some ideas:

    1) Laziness. They thought that they didn’t need to do anything to get Rylan / Christopher bottom 2. Rylan on his way down from a bounce, possibly Christopher in range for the first time.

    2. Barlow blew it. Suppose Gary has really gone rogue. The way he introduced Christopher, the way he highlighted the Sun God Maloney effect, the way he baited Rylan more than he had to – above anyone else it was Gary who pushed the buttons on both acts. Was he supposed to tone it down this week and refused?

    3) Nobbling the favourite. Would anyone gain from a tactical takedown of Ella to get Christopher / Jahmene sailing to the final?

    4) Was the plan to allow Ella a bottom 2 as the best way to bounce her to the final? If Tulisa was in on this, it would explain why she lost it the way she did after Ella went out. If the plan was to save Ella against whoever, and Tulisa deliberately didn’t appeal for votes as a result, she’d hae been mad when it was James who was stuck with her, and she was first judge out as a result.

    5) James was surely a bad accident; several of us saw Ella in trouble, but hadly anyone James. Look s like they didn’t even have a plan for how to handle him in the bottom 2 – but should now bounce to the final.

  • Evidently Rylan’s Psychic has now cancelled all future appointments due to unforeseen circumstances.

    Seriously though, this is exactly the publicity Simon wanted, he even claims to be so surprised, Yahoo quote… Even Lord of X Factor himself, Mr Simon Cowell has had his say, tweeting: “Ella! Gone??? Unbelievable.”

    Yeah yeah yeah Simon, we believe you.

    http://uk.omg.yahoo.com/gossip/the-juice/x-factor-ella-henderson-didn-t-deserve-celebs-075459989.html

    I don’t believe XF actually originally set out to nobble Ella, but they did change tack to sacrifice her, as I said earlier. With the support they saw for Maloney, all they did was let her go without helping her,or being seen to do a deliberate Janet on her. Their hands look as clean as Pontius Pilate’s after they let the public decide her fate by not voting enough.

    Nobody can argue either that they didn’t praise her and wrap her in gold leaf (golden lighting and gold dresses) like the ‘Golden Calf’ in the story of Moses. They saw their chance to get some incredible free publicity and ran with it. As I mentioned earlier, they have a contract with Ella and will make a bundle from her anyway.

    I have a prediction of my own that all this adverse publicity is going to put immense pressure on Maloney now as the newspaper stories and the hate tweets come in and he may just bow out of the competition yet. He is already a bag of nerves and I don’t think that he has the mettle to take it. I have been on stage myself and I can imagine it being the most frightening place to be if the audience is against you.This guy also has to look into the eye of a camera and face millions (as well as a sickened glaring judging panel only yards away).

    He has no friends left at XF now and if he doesn’t resign, he is either a hard faced Liverpudlian ‘scally’ and will love the hate publicity (by deluding himself that he is a star), or he will fold on stage amongst the ‘Boooos’ and forget his words (again) for some amazing ‘car crash tv’.

    • eurovicious

      Why should he quit? He’s winning, he’s the public’s choice, and he’s a lot tougher and more canny than people give him credit for. He wouldn’t let his fans down by doing that. And this wasn’t planned. It puts pressure on Rylan, not Chris. Yeah, Maloney’s getting flak, but Rylan’s getting 10 times (see screenshot in comment above) more because of the fact the judges saved him twice despite him being a vocally unreliable joke act. This won’t put pressure on Chris because he was chosen by the public, and like Jahmene, has never been in the bottom two and is a capable vocalist. Not going to counter your last paragraph (“if he doesn’t resign, he is […] a hard faced Liverpudlian ‘scally’ and will love the hate publicity (by deluding himself that he is a star)”) because it’s just ridiculous.

      • EuroV. But he isn’t the ‘general public’s’ choice though and the ‘public’ outcry proves it (though they have no room to complain for letting Ella go by not voting). I don’t know one person that rates him. It is voting apathy for other acts that has got him to where he is. Do you bother voting during the series? I certainly don’t. (However, I did do once last year and again the year before for MC and LM in the ‘finals only’ to put my mouth where my money was…it only seemed right to (token) back my winning investment so that I had no room to complain if I lost by just leaving voting up to others).
        This is just a betting game for me and personally Ella’s departure make my UJ bets look even better now as I have calculated on a surge of teenie votes for them like last year.

        The Baloney phenomenon is a bit like that episode of ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’ (the lovers) when they wanted to paint the hut which they were living in to make it more homely. They all had to vote for their favourite colour (and score on the others) from what was available that they stole and they somehow ended up with Yellow (the one that ‘nobody’ wanted). Not enough voted for any one good colour, so the last one won by default.

        I have warmed to Rylan (as most people are doing) for this program. He seems honest and genuine and feeling grateful/guilty to still be there. The guy can’t sing either, but he IS a hoot and becoming a big tv personality like a modern singing/dancing version of Larry Grayson…that is his ‘talent’ and also his passport to tv stardom (like Jedwood).

        On the other hand, if anyone thinks that Chris is a good singer/entertainer then I question their taste. He can hit a big note and keep it there for sure (like a one trick pony typical ex-karaoke scene to working men’s club act with backing tracks as a filler between bingo games). He is awkward and stiff and totally cocked up the words to ‘I’m still standing’ and he is an insult to anything that is good and professional in this business. I should know, as I have been in the biz for over 40 years and have seen all the ‘deluded chancers’ come and go….and mostly go. .

        I go to Liverpool a lot as I love the place and have met the ‘scallies’ too (who all have a sob story when they try to blag a drink or some money out of you). If I hear one more ‘this is for my poor Nan’ story in that whiny voice of his I am gonna scream. He’s false and two faced and has a deluded ego as big as the Liver Building.

        So, the only thing ‘ridiculous’ here is him and his ‘multiple voting’ crew fooling themselves that he is a ‘credible’ talent in this show amongst the likes of Ella, James, Jahmene and Jaymi from UJ. He is not built for the professional world of showbiz and has not got what it takes and his only hope of more tv after XF is to brass everyone off in the Big Brother house or to eat worms in I’m a Celebrity.

        • eurovicious

          He is the public’s choice because of two established facts: a) he was voted in by the public, and b) he has been topping the public vote throughout the series and is one of only two acts to have remained safe throughout. Chris has a lot of online detractors, but the key word here is “online”. Maureen in Farnsworth has better things to do with her time than go on Twitter or Digital Spy. While DS users have it in for Maloney, the public in general see Rylan as far more undeserving of his place in the show – this is backed up by his two bottom 2 appearances and the comments from Metro I screengrabbed earlier. You don’t know anyone who rates him? Interesting story, an American I knew said to me in 2006 “I just don’t understand how Dubya won again – I don’t know anyone who voted for him”. We all have our own social bubble, which is why stats and hard evidence beat anecdotal findings every time. I don’t vote because I don’t live in the UK. Disagree with your highly subjective last paragraph again. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of his but I do think he’s a good singer and entertainer – he’s more experienced, polished and professional than we were led to think at first, he knows exactly what his public wants, he has a good voice and knows how to use it, and he knows his comfort zone and limitations. Your “working men’s club” description is exactly why he’s popular. It’s a karaoke contest and he’s the best damn karaoke singer on there. It’s gonna be Maloney this Christmas… 😀

    • eurovicious

      Plus I hear he has a Sunny D sponsorship deal in the bag if he makes it to the final.

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