X Factor 2012 Results: Week by week voting statistics

It’s the moment many of us have been waiting for. ITV has now posted the full week by week voting statistics for 2012 X Factor. You can find it here. As usual, we will provide a more thorough analysis in the near future when we do our review of the series. But for now these are our initial thoughts. Do let us know what you make of them in the comments section below.

1. YouGov were on the money in their final poll

The Saturday night percentages were James 51.7 followed by Jahmene on 31.5 and Chris on 16.8. (YouGov’s figures were James 50%, Jahmene 35%, Chris 15%). The contest had effectively been decided on the Saturday night. James was too far ahead at this point, barring a miracle for Jahmene on Sunday.

2. So was The Star with their leaks

Chris won the public vote every single live show up to and including week 7 with Jahmene in second place every single time up to this point. That’s exactly what The Star told us with leaks published on the Sundays after weeks 3, 6 and 8.

3. Chris only just made the final

In week 8 however, James Arthur streaked ahead with 40.7% after his breakout rendition of ‘Let’s Get It On’. That’s one heck of a sympathy bounce after his week 7 singoff. Chris’s trajectory continued to falter and he dropped from 2nd in week 8 to 3rd in the semi-final, only just scraping into the final by 0.6% ahead of Union J.

4. Ella’s trajectory was basically a gradual downward one

Third place in the first week was the best she managed. But given the thinning field, her share of the vote essentially became less and less impressive and she was 1.6% behind James in that week 7 singoff. Week 7 saw just over 5% cover the five acts behind Chris.

5. Union J would have won each deadlock had it happened

The boyband polled more than Jade, District 3 and Rylan. These were the only occasions when the judges didn’t take it to deadlock, choosing to save the boys by majority decision instead. The result would not have been affected had deadlock taken place.

UPDATE: We think it makes things clearer to look at each act’s vote as a proportion of the average, given the differing number of acts who were in each week.

So, for example:

  • In week 1 there were 13 acts. The average vote was therefore 7.69% (because 100 divided by 13 is 7.69). Christopher got 28.8%. That’s 3.74 times as much as the average (or, to put it another way, 374% of the average).
  • In week 7, there were 6 acts. The average vote was therefore 16.67% (because 100 divided by 6 is 16.67). Christopher topped the vote with 26.4%. That’s 1.58 times as much as the average (or, to put it another way, 158% of the average).
  • So while on the face of it, Christopher’s week 1 and week 7 performances might look similar (28.8% and 26.4%), comparing them to the average vote shows a large drop-off, from 374% of the average to 158% of the average.

Here’s a pdf we’ve quickly done with these calculations for all the acts in all the weeks. (F1 is the final freeze. F2 is the votes cast between the final freeze and the lines closing – we can calculate these by working from Christopher’s total in the vote freeze and final vote count, assuming that Christopher ceased to accumulate votes after he was eliminated. It shows that 56% of the votes in the final were cast after Chris was eliminated on Saturday – and of those votes, James won 55%.) If you spot any errors on this, please let us know in the comments.

And here’s a graph of the trajectories of the first six. You can see clearly why producers must never have been too worried about Christopher – he was always coming gently back to the pack. And you can see what a huge bounce James got in week 8 after his week 7 singoff, riding that momentum all the way to the final.

Do please continue to share what you’ve spotted from these statistics in the comments below.

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54 comments to X Factor 2012 Results: Week by week voting statistics

  • alscott67

    It’s quite striking how District 3 were nobbled as well – they were constantly ahead of Union J in the early weeks’ voting but they obviously weren’t the favoured boyband of the producers.

  • Mike F

    The only thing that shocked me looking at the results is the sheer level of the sympathy bounces this year, especially in the case of Rylan. He went from 12th all the way up to 3rd and 4th over the next few weeks. District 3, Union J and Kye also experience quite large voting increases after appearing in the bottom 2. Plus there is obviously James who bounced from the bottom two all the way to be the winner.

    I wonder if its anything to with the new voting system? Or perhaps maybe something to do with the supposed lower voting turnout?

  • annie

    There are a lot of ‘what the hell’ things in the statistics… I didn’t expect chris to win more then 2 weeks, I thought the rest was exageration…
    What struck me. At the point where they saved James against the last girl standing Ella, he wasn’t doing that well as thought (neither was she, but she was the last girl standing) so I wonder what made them think they’ll be able to push him in the final at least, so letting go of the last girl standing would be a worthy sacrifice.
    The next observation. Gary is really rubbish talent scout. Last year he predicted frankie, this one kye. great insight, let’s give him an OBE for it 😀

    • EM

      It could be they saw more commercial opportunity in James than Ella so saved him to make the £££££ confident they could get him toward the final because from the point of a balanced show it would have made sense to keep and pimp Ella for a bit.

      Chris must have scared the s**tless. Normally the controversials are polling mid table and easy to take out. Chris was miles ahead. They must have been confident they cod get him but I concede he was a phenomenon

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    My initial reactions and comments are on the previous thread.

    I think the X-Factor PTB got very lucky with the week 7 bottom two.
    It transpires that at that moment of decision, they had their choice of series winner – in their panel puppets’ laps.
    It’s an ill wind (for Ella) that doesn’t blow someone (James and TPTB) some good.

    • Curtis

      An excellent point – Ella may well have gone on to win herself if saved from the Week 7 sing-off. I think crucial to James’ success was the breakout performance of “Let’s Get It On” in conjunction with the sympathy vote – this is what propelled him to victory.

      • Ben Cook

        I agree – it was a combination of sympathy vote with two perfect song choices in weeks 8 and 9. I don’t think Ella would have beaten Jahmene in the final unless she started doing something more interesting.

  • Hello all – just a note that the post above is now updated with some quick mathematics and a funky graphic!

  • tpfkar

    Did I miss anything?

    Goes without saying but the prediction and coverage this weekend were in a league of their own and showed why sofabet is essential reading. And sorry to both our hosts and yougov for doubting you!

    Could say lots of things about the voting but above all else, the producers really did have it under control, with all three finalists exactly in the right place after the semi. For me, Jahmene won the Sunday show, and the votes back this up, but Saturday was James’ night and the contest was over then.

    Notes on votes:
    1-females polled terribly, even Frankella was never really in the game. Lucy was in the middle, Jade was never released, Melanie and Carolynne were bottom straight away. Makes you realise what an achievement Little Mix was.

    2-week 3 I tried the twitter model and called Jade bottom 2 wrongly. It was very close, 3rd bottom, 0.2% safe. It also called Ella going backwards.

    3-Sympathy bounces stronger than ever throughout, which maybe gave them confidence to bounce James all the way to the win.

  • Tim B

    Gary’s prediction of Kye to win in ‘the opening of the envelopes’ (how Eurovision) proves that he was the intended alpha over.

  • Thanks to all SB contributors, great guidance from all again this year and hope you all had a profitable series.

    The graph shows that I don’t think producers were worried about Maloney getting remotely close to winning, as he wasn’t picking up any new fans(hardly surprising given the way they were sticking the knife in). Not that it stopped them giving it a final twist this weekend mind you…

    The size of the JA bounce suggests that he had a lot of fans who weren’t bothering to vote as they thought he was safe. Same goes for Ella and it will be worth bearing in mind for 2013.

    • Richard (t'other one)

      Also Kimberley in Strictly this year, though that show is much harder to pick than X Factor. But, every week, someone mentions the time Kimberley was in the bottom two, which has to prop up her vote.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    I just cant believe the commenter Stoney went away and never came back for not being name checked in an article. I would thinking life is too short for taking oneself so seriously but what the hey.

    well done to JS Scouser for calling it so correctly and Eurovicous for countless outstanding articles and a display of rare humility last night apologising to anyone who followed his advice re: Christopher. I had it wrong also as did many but Daniel showed who the boss is yesterday!

    Here’s to next year.

  • tpfkar

    Week 4 is interesting, Halloween, where they got Jade but were stuck with UJ in bottom 2. The previous week, 5 acts were adrift:
    Mk1 – gone
    Kye-bouncing
    Lucy-absent
    Jade and UJ

    So they were always likely to end up with UJ bottom 2, and didn’t seem to be desperate to prevent this. Or is it possible they were lining up Lucy to go and couldn’t work around her withdrawal?

  • Tim B

    Haha, the banner at the top of the page is promoting James Arthur’s single. Now, are they pimping it because they want it to do well or because he *needs* it? 😀

  • lolhart

    The final result wasn’t a surprise for me after the YouGov poll. I can’t say I’m a fan of James Arthur like the Sofabet Team but good luck to him. Just a few observations after taking a quick look at the stats:

    Battle of the Boybands – I’m surprised TPTB were so anti-District 3 and pro-Union J as they were pretty even in terms of popularity. They could have made a lot more of the battle of the boybands narrative.

    Chris – I think everyone will have their own interpretation, but to me the voting supports the idea that TPTB were panicking over him not only topping the vote, but having a clear lead over Jahmene and the others. Hence, the all out attacks on the show and in the media. If they were deliberately attacking him to gain sympathy, it was a dangerous game.

    Jahmene – I assumed that the stories about his past were to give him a needed boost, but he didn’t really need it. In fact, the Week 3 VT only increased his share of the vote slightly and I don’t think it made a huge difference the other times. Perhaps the hyping of him and Ella was to push Chris down.

    Ella – I actually thought she was struggling in the voting from the beginning, but her downward trajectory only really started the week she did Bring Me to Life. If I remember correctly that was the first time she got mixed comments (from Nicole).

    TPTB really missed their targets some of the weeks. A good example is Week 5 with District 3 when they polled 3rd. It seems that lower voting coupled with people being more clued up on the mechanics of the show means that fans rally to protect their favourite acts when they receive harsh criticism (especially the ones with younger fanbases).

    Finally, this is wild speculation but I think one of the reasons they didn’t have a singoff in the semi-final to get rid of Chris was James’ bounce after being in the bottom 2. It could have given Union J a big boost and I don’t think they wanted them to beat Jahmene to 2nd place.

  • Lia

    I was very relieved to see Shakey go. Now knowing the percentages, I can see the people who started voting for him kept on voting for him to the very end. He never got any new fans. People in general were not voting for him on sympathy, but his fanbase was very loyal indeed.
    And the bounce James got after the bottom 2 appearance was amazing! No one in their right mind would have thought of that. I can only think that people who were not voting decided to. I confess I did myself vote for James and I’ve heard of loads of people doing it too, especially in the final.

  • shoulders

    Hi Sofabet team, another great year of reading this great site, managed to make a profit again!!!!
    Here’s a thought in regards to the voting figures, is any analysis being carried out of the US X Factor where they are announcing the voting order weekly, on here the analysis of song choice and staging and comments is being carried out in retrospect, the US version allows instant analysis. UK X Factor definatly needs a revamp for next year so this could be a change that’s coming and taking an interest in it now could give a head start for next years betting??
    Again thanks so much for such a great site, my personal opinion of X Factor as a talent show gets worse every year but thanks to this site highlighting the manipulation and pantomime, my interest in it grows more and more!!! Well done everyone who contributes, and special mention to betsfector brilliant too!!!

    • Luke

      If they bring the same format in in the UK it’d definitely be interesting, but if they don’t then you’ve got to account for the biggest influencer of voting which is knowing how people are polling already, so would be impossible to isolate other factors.

  • Henry VIII

    Nice graph and nice series analysis Sofabet team. I look forward to Eurovision and Britain’s Got Talent.

  • anon

    Glad James won.

    I do think that with a breakout performance, Ella could’ve had the same bounce James had, possibly to win or land 2nd. They both have big fanbases that didn’t bother to vote because they assumed he/she was safe, but eventually coming to the rescue if their act lands in the bottom 2. Sadly, they landed in the bottom 2 at the same time.

    • Kevin O Reilly

      I am not certain Ella had the versatility that James has. James had a massive bounce yes but then carried that forward. I think if you compare their ages, life experiences etc. James was simply more ready. Ella is only 16 (still I think) and I think this experience will only make her better. Disappointments mould character and James trip back to his old bedsit was revealing in this sense. Ella has an awful lot going for her but I do not think she would have won, even if James had gone out instead of her that week. Couple of years of life’s hard knocks will have her right! All conjecture of course.

  • AlisonR

    Great series, analysis and commentary from all. Look forward to next BGT.

    Is there a way to analyse voting position vs order they sang in the shows, to put that debate to bed? It obviously didn’t make a difference for Chris and Jahmene, but did it make a difference for the lesser-voted-for contestants? (anything we can take out of it for next year’s elimination markets?)

    • Hi Alison, That’s one of the things we’ll definitely be looking at when we do our review of the series in the next few weeks.

      • AlisonR

        And whether order announced safe really was “In No Particular Order….”?

        • Tim B

          I’d love to see an article on that! It’s definitely not in No Particular order. The person announced first is someone the show is pushing and/or someone who has just been in the bottom 2 the week previously. Psychologically the audience believes the person announced first is doing well in the vote, which is why Christopher was never ever first and James was announced first more than anyone else, I think. Although it is a slight mystery as to why Jahméne was never announced first until the Saturday final. Perhaps he was just never their chosen winner.

  • tpfkar

    A couple more thoughts on the figures:

    1) District 3 had that breakut performance of ‘Begging’ in Week 3 on a sympathy bounce – which bounced them all the way to fifth place with 8.4% I wonder if this was a test by the producers of whether to switch boybands, as they could see Union J weren’t setting the scoreboard alight.

    When they saw that this was as high as D3 could bounce, they promptly switched back to UJ.

    2) Christopher – as Lia said, it seems they managed to motivate his core support with all the attacks, and prevent anyone switching to him mid-series. This long game worked very well in the end. In fact the producers had him exactly where they wanted him before the final, and the number of things they did to obstruct him in the final indicates just how seriously they took finishing him off, when he was already dead man walking.
    2)

    3) I don’t know about the antiChris, but Ella can be seen as the anti-Janet (Devlin.) Janet was far too popular and they spent weeks trying to drag her down. Ella was Plan-A in the similar way, even featured in the final slot of the first audition, but they spent weeks trying to push her up the votes, without much success. Interesting ‘what-if’ had Ella bounced from week 7 – we’ll never know.

    • Jack

      Judging by the Week 6 voting figures, it seems as though they were gunning for an Ella-Rylan B2 in the hopes of bouncing Ella to the final. In the end, though, Rylan’s talk-back to Gary probably was unscripted and saw him safe meaning JA fell into the B2 and producers needed to pick between the two.

    • Tim B

      The reason that District3 received favourable treatment in week 3 was to get them on the tour. They needed more than one group, MK1 weren’t catching on and it’s obvious that District3 (as a boyband) would put more bums on seats than Carolynne, Melanie, MK1, Jade etc.

  • EM

    You don’t think if they really wanted Ella in the final they’d just give her a great performance, good staging, excellent song etc?

    I don’t buy all this talk about trying to get someone in the bottom two to bounce them somewhere. Too risky, too damaging.

    • Kevin O Reilly

      There seems to a revisionist belief that TPTB were controlling things well but I dont buy it. Chris was never meant to be in the final until he got there. Looking at the figures if they had really pushed Union J consistently they might have pipped Chris but they seemed to dally with District 3 and deramp Union J.

    • Donald

      EM agree, they were far from kind to Ella that week in fact rather nasty as I thought and posted at the time.

  • tpfkar

    That makes a lot of sense, and would tie into the idea that Tulisa was in on it.

  • Jake Kl

    One thing I realised. Last slot is still the pimp one. The first 6 weeks, James was 6th 4 times and 3rd twice (wk4 and wk6), in the votes. Out of those 6 weeks, he had the last slot on both of those weeks.

  • Dan

    I always love it when the stats come out; sadly one of my favourite parts of X-Factor…

    It’s a shame that the number of votes isn’t published as given the slim voting percentage difference between acts, the (alleged) low number of votes in the early stages, throw in a bit of rounding up or down, and I reckon you’ve got acts at the bottom of the table with a handful of votes between them – in the low hundreds or even tens.

    There was a complete lack of controversy in the eliminations – the “right” person (i.e. the one with the lowest votes always went). Compare and contrast with the last couple of years where the likes of Katie Waissel, Cher Lloyd, and Misha B were saved by the judges several times each at the expense of acts with higher votes.

    Ella placed sixth, the same as Wagner did in 2010! Just throwing that out there being slightly bemused that the perceived favourite act turned out to be nothing of the sort.

    • Curtis

      Then again you need only look at the eventual winner’s voting up to the point Ella left to see that Ella could’ve easily gone the same way if she were the one saved in that sing-off. As I said before, I think Ella got the unfortunate position of being “everyone’s second favourite”, a dubious honour to be sure.

  • Lia

    LOL, but definitely not. He’s the Law &Order SVU cop, much fitter and not orange!

  • Nugg

    Headline in todays SUN….

    ” I was dreg of society…now I’ll write songs for 1D ”

    ….is this meant to be funny…..oh the irony….

  • Dan

    Hi Sofabet team, is this it for the X-Factor coverage this year or are you planning on doing any round-up/post-mortem type articles?

    • Daniel

      Hi Dan, thanks for asking. We usually do our review of the series in January, and we are planning something similar again this time. You can see what we did in previous years by looking at the Jan 2012 archives and the Jan + Feb 2011 archives.

      • lolhart

        Looking forward to it already. I know there isn’t the same level of interest, but personally I’d also be interested in an article about X-Factor USA after the final. Especially something on the tactics used in comparison to the UK version.

  • Highlighted

    What do we say of red and black after this show? James Arthur was red and blacked quite a few times and yet he was plan A from about week 3 (I think) and pimped a lot.

  • R

    I’m moving more toward a heaven and hell scenario.
    The colours depend on the context within which they are set.
    Kye’s “bonfire” performance was the most obvious red & black staging of the series followed by Chris’ “demon eyes”. None of these elements were used in any of James’ performances.
    On the flip side Jahmene’s “stairway to heaven” performance was pure evangelical staging, topped off the AMEN sign, the golden lights and halo, and Nicole’s “blessed” comments.

  • R

    Btw, in any review of the series, is there any chance of covering how they managed to turn a guy who I had seen described as “Mr Potato Head” at the series into a heart-throb with a no.1 single.
    This for me is the single greatest stroke of genius from the series.

  • Highlighted

    I agree, I think James is a great musician, but they saw something in him which made the teeny vote (and young adult) go wild.

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