X Factor 2013 Live Show 1: Shelley-shocked

The headline of tonight was that producers unequivocally went after Miss Dynamix – but it’s Shelley who landed bottom of the first ever flash vote.

After all our speculation about which disposable acts would be thrown under the Strictly bus during the 30 minutes in which the shows overlapped, producers sent out two of their big hitters – the acts who entered the show third and second in the win market – as the first and second to perform. As Nissl put it in the comments, “Up is down, left is right, cats and dogs living together etc.”

Those opening two acts – Hannah and Nicholas – coincidentally happened to be the ones we’d predicted 1st and 2nd in our customary speculative pre-lives finishing order prediction. You could almost think producers were having a little fun at our expense.

Such paranoia aside, there is a more logical reason for opening the show with big hitters – it’s a message to viewers who missed the start of the show that they shouldn’t do that again. That ties in with the flash vote as an attempt to boost audiences, and hence advertising revenue, from start to finish of the Saturday show.

With his Scottish fanbase, Nicholas – who showed himself to possess stage poise beyond his years – in particular should be safe as houses. There’s more room for doubt around Hannah, whose staging was messy and who was the subject of pre-show scares about needing voice rest. But she came across sympathetically and should have come into the lives with enough momentum from bootcamp and judges’ houses to see her safe.

Normal service was resumed as Miss Dynamix were lobbed buswards just in time – the Strictly credits rolled just as their comments were finishing. With Sam Bailey to come, it was a classic big-name sandwich. They were positioned on a plinth, which we have speculated has the effect of distancing from the audience – a plinth festooned with, as Donald noted in the comments, a giant image of an old cassette tape. Shades of Christopher Maloney there.

It’s hard to imagine many viewers having been impressed by Miss Dynamix’s harmonies, and the comments were suitably anodyne, neither motivating enthusiasm nor provoking sympathy.

Up next, Sam Bailey looked a million dollars and had an evocative backdrop of gold flowers, skies and lighting. Nicholas, earlier, had been surrounded by huge golden stars. Lots for the subliminals fans among us to get stuck into there.

We were treated to more gratuitous naked upper body shots of Sam Callahan, in a packaging that left us in no doubt that girls are supposed to love him. Sam lived up to his billing as the cute boy with mediocre vocals, and you can’t help feeling he missed his vocation as a part of One Direction, but the former part of the equation really ought to see him safe.

Kingsland Road didn’t get the VT individually naming the members which traditionally signifies serious producer investment in a group – though they did get images of themselves holding up names on the backing screens. They brought a huge amount of fun to the stage.

Most of us have assumed that, in the absence of an obvious novelty act, Shelley would be shoehorned into that role – especially because playing it straight risks leaving her looking like a poor man’s Sam Bailey. But there wasn’t much hint of Rylan or Wagner in her VT or rendition of ‘Alone’ – it all felt much more Sami Brookes, and it was no great surprise to see her finish bottom of the flash vote.

Abi Alton came across extremely sympathetically in her VT, got a white piano and some striking lighting. Her vocal style isn’t to our taste, but she does what she does. At the moment we see no compelling reason to revise our pre-lives prognostication that had her going in around week 4.

Pre-show elimination favourite Lorna was clearly very nervous, and producers gave her a memorable production but there were mixed messages – was the VT supposed to make us root for her as an underdog, or remind us – as Nicole did in her comment – that we don’t know who she is?

Tonight presented a puzzle in that Lorna, as had happened to Nicholas, had an ad break inserted in between her song and comments. We can’t remember seeing this before on the UK version of the show, and on the face of it you might think it’s meant to be helpful – the opposite of the memory hole. On the other hand, Daniel recalls it being done to Vino Alen in the US version when he exited, though that was followed by negative comments whereas this wasn’t the case for Nicholas and Lorna. Readers’ theories on the significance, if any, of the ad break are invited below.

Project Humanise Tamera continued with a VT that told us she is nice to her sister. On the other hand, the edgy urban visuals hardly seemed calculated to appeal to Middle England, and the amount of movement in the song caused her some dodgy vocal movements. The judges wasted no time in instructing us that this is a ready-made popstar who can sell millions of records.

Judges’ comments did nothing to change the sense that Tamera is Plan A. Will the public play ball?

Up next was a man with greasy hair in a velvet jacket singing a stalker song. Luke’s VT showed him bonding with the Rough Copy boys – perhaps intended to have Luke’s middle-of-the-road acceptability rub off on them, rather than their urban edge rub off on him. It also reinforced the idea that, like Samson, his hair is the only interesting thing about him.

Ostensibly the second-from-last slot looks like it was intended to help keep him clear of Miss Dynamix, although of course Carolynne Poole hit the bottom from this position last year. Like Lorna, he got some production help but didn’t make enough of an impression to suggest that if he gets a stay of execution this week, it will be more than a short-lived one.

Just before the last act to perform, we got a Caroline Flack interview with Shelley. This is another innovation this year, which we assume will be used to stragetically remind viewers of selected acts just before the flash vote – although it was too little, too late for Shelley.

On the same theme, for those who don’t believe in coincidences, interestingly Joe posted in the comments that the ad break after Tamera’s song happened to include the song Tamera had just sung.

Support for Rough Copy in the win market before Saturday’s show had made us wonder if someone might know something about the running order, and the trio – who Dermot introduced by name before their VT – got the pimp slot. The VT had Gary talking about how much they deserved their place, and the group testifying that music keeps them on the straight and narrow.

The judges were on script with the pimping, Nicole calling them the best band she’s heard on the show. Gary committed himself to this being his last year on the show, in a way that suggested he’d like his fans to send him off with a victory by backing Rough Copy.

Is this proof positive that Rough Copy are the alpha group over Kingsland? We reckon it’s producers floating a trial balloon to see how the public take to them – they certainly couldn’t have done much more to give them the opportunity to cement alpha status.

Immediately after the pimp slot, the lines opened for the flash vote – and, accentuating the disadvantage of going early, it was a little while before we got a recap of all the performances. Dermot then went down the line, interviewing the acts as the seconds ticked down – and got to Miss Dynamix, reminding us of their existence, with only ten seconds left to pick up the phone.

The market suggests it will be one of Miss Dynamix, Luke or Lorna joining Shelley in the singoff, and it’s hard to disagree. Our sense is that given Miss Dynamix’s treatment tonight, they are likely to save Shelley over them if they succeed in getting the girl group in the bottom two – why risk the bounce? It would be easy enough for the judges to do so, along the lines of “two acts who both have potential to do better, it’s such a difficult decision”, etc.

Will they see enough fun potential in Shelley to save her over one of Luke or Lorna? Who else do you see in danger of the singoff? As ever, do let us know below.

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90 comments to X Factor 2013 Live Show 1: Shelley-shocked

  • Phil

    Re: the ad break between the song and the judges’ comments. It’s strange how they did this with one of the frontrunners (Nicholas) and one of the favourites to go out first (Lorna) – almost as if they were trying it out to see what effect it had. Let’s not forget, the producers don’t know if a vote-dampening tactic will work unless they try it.

  • Hi guys.

    One quick point…. I personally liked the look of Abi, until tonight. I agree with you now – she’s off pretty soon.

    The key reason… Sophie Habyebye. They did exactly the same with her – a slowed down version of Livin on a Prayer. Sophie ended up 9th in the voting that week and then was booted out I think the week after.

    These guys aren’t stupid, they will have seen what that song and that version does. Abi and Sophie are very similar in terms of style/age etc.

    Sorry Abi – they are after you!

    • Ben Cook

      But the judges couldn’t possibly have praised any more so that doesn’t make any sense.

      • I’m not saying she’s going soon – I’m saying, yesterday she was expendable. Personally, I think she’s a “holding pattern” contestant. Someone who can be promoted if needs be, but equally someone they don’t mind losing. They knew that version, sung well, in a decent slot, didn’t do well two years back.

        Anyway – all opinion! All fun! 🙂

        • I’m on Abi, so already have invested interest in her because I think she has greater potential than most, and much more marketable.

          I was not pleased with song choice, because of the Sophie h version. However there was lots to like about Abis version, the stage lightening was perfect, the piano was white, as opposed to black like other pianos when they have been used. And she sung it fairly well.

          Compare that to Sophie h, black piano, lighting was a mess, and I believe your best theory…. Red and black.

          Sophie was given all of above because she was fodder, abi was given everything which suggests she is not.

          Also anyone looking for a “boring” angle on abi compared to Sophie, abi has had more airtime and better used airtime, they where the reasons Sophie was so forgettable.

  • stoney

    Only 1 negative for me on the betting front and that’s hannahs drift to 4/1 for top girl. Apart from that it was a good night for me. Rough copy 1/2 for top group is the glory mover of the night for me

  • Nissl

    I want to digest, but at a risk of strapping on a tinfoil hat I think they’re adjusting to the more obsessive corners of the internet leaking into the way the general population sees the show. People starting to talk about death and pimp slots? Put much of your sturdier chalk early and many of your disfavored acts late and talk about how tough it is going first with Hannah. (Though two of the favored acts with high commercial potential but question marks, Tamera and RC, still went late.) Viewers aware Lorna’s the underdog and the wiseguys are expecting her to fade into the background? Give her a big production and sympathetic VT about being the forgotten underdog. I see it as a necessary blend of misdirection (in the case of the running slots) and honesty (in the sense of owning things like an underdog narrative existing outside of one the show creates.)

    My tinfoil hat is extra tight after Gary made the tears comment, which I tagged Hannah for in my preseason thoughts. It’s not like there weren’t a lot of other crybabies.

    Shelley vs. field for elimination is an interesting bet. They would probably save Lorna over her, drop Miss D, and not sure about Luke or Sam C.

  • AnnaC

    The early acts get slightly more time in the flash vote. The phone lines open and viewers are reminded of the numbers.Those who want to vote for act 1 or act 2 can do so immediately. When acts are in the middle of the pack it’s unlikely that viewers will remember an act’s place in the running order until the number is announced/displayed. It’s a tiny advantage but in such a quick vote it might be significant.

  • Ben Cook

    The ad break thing – I wouldn’t read too much into it as I don’t really see how it helps or hinders. At the time of the first one the show had been going for getting on for 20 minutes so they really needed a break – probably someone asked is there any particular reason why we can’t put one inbetween a performance and comments, and someone else said why not let’s try it.

    Definitely felt like Miss Dynamix were being thrown under the bus – though Rielle did them absolutely no favours by looking utterly miserable in their VT!

    Like you say, bizarre decision to have Shelley do a ballad (though I’m one of the few on here who likes to believe that the judges have *some* say in what goes on, probably along the lines of here are 4 songs to choose from like Frankie Cocozza claims)

    Completely disagree with you on Luke – he was the surprise of the night. They seemed to be really giving him a chance with a great production and that backdrop was really effective. Really positive comments and I think they want him around for a while to play the semi-authentic artist James Arthur role. I don’t see how him performing in Carolynne’s draw is relevant, since her elimination was probably an accident and the voting lines opened at the start of the show last year.

    Rough Copy went up in my estimations too and I can see them getting pushed into the final too.

    Hannah now doesn’t look like the obvious winner after week one, but then neither did Alexandra Burke or many other former winners. Putting her on first might be part of the plan.

  • I think Shelley is toast. Miss Dynamix might have the pregnancy problem, but I think Shelley is dead last on the producer’s preference list.

  • Leroy

    Bet they’re praying MD come bottom of the voting. Can’t imagine they want the judges to actively vote off the pregnant girl – won’t look good – so a dead-lock elimination would take the heat off them.

  • Kevin

    Put up message as update appeared so just want to put it out regarding the “cheese” references by Louis, Shelley herself and her mentor. I know this is one of those words highlighted here many times before. Cheese = Elimination. Own mentor using the word is producer led targeting. I cant see her being saved, it could be argued the odds on her now are value. The overnight elimination market now becomes a new dynamic. Where are the angles? No doubt Sofabet will lead the analysis.

    • Alen

      Oh forgot about that one, that is true, how often did they call Christopher Maloney cheesy last year? I think several times on every show. Good reference!

    • Did Maloney change the rules of “cheese” on this show? They threw the entire cheeseboard at him in the early weeks last year and it didn’t make a dent in his support.

      Why they didn’t make Shelley more fun last night feels like a key part of the elimination puzzle. Is it possible that, envisaging the possibility of a Shelley-MD B2, they didn’t want to risk being in the position of saving an obvious novelty act?

      With the cheese reference and Gary’s comments about being dated, I wondered if the narrative they were going for with Shelley is judge pantomime about “you can sing but Sharon keeps making the wrong choices for you”. But they didn’t flog that line anywhere near hard enough last night to get Shelley any significant sympathy votes.

      Or is it just the straightforward explanation of, as Mateja says above, they have no interest in her?

      • They obviously have no interest in Shelley. 34-years old woman that looks even older than she really is, has several bad singing/performing habits (as seen in her VT, Sharon was trying to fix that). She has kooky personality, but not enough to be this year’s joke act (like Rylan, Wagner, Jedward, etc.). Plus she is just one of many female belter singers this year and she is no stand-out. Last night she was really good on chorus, but the verses were too low for her. Sabotage, probably.

        And if we just compare her to the other two overs, she is still dead last – Sam and Lorna are both better singers and Lorna is much younger.
        Syco also has 0 interest in her as a recording artist.

        Miss Dynamix have the pregnancy problem and obviously they will be gone long before December, but I still think they are above Shelley on the producer’s preference list. No need to kick them out in week 1.

        I actually doubt Shelley has a chance to survive tonight.

      • Kevin

        Even if the tactics employed against Maloney initially failed it still openly displayed the tactics of choice. Perhaps the mistake with Maloney is that they made it too obvious that he was being targeted. I think Shelleys treatment was uncannily similar to Maloney’s but in a more subtle way. I think if she wasn’t target no 1 she wasn’t far off it. Perhaps they had a couple of targets that are happy to eliminate. This would suggest that Shelley,s only hope is their other target (or one of) coming up against her. No matter how she performs they can easily justify eliminating her by repeating the comments last night.

        Was it said before anywhere here that The Voice in Ireland had a lady in the final who was due to give birth the week before. I cant recall her name but the whole thing was handled superbly. It was a huge feelgood story and the lady in question sang superbly each night. She finished 2nd i think. I guess if it was The Voice UK it would be more significant.

    • If they have zero interest in her, why interview her backstage? Surely anyone they interview would be getting more airtime and is a plus? If they wanted her out they would of ignored her so she doesn’t gain any support of the back of a “backstage chat”

  • Alen

    Miss Dynamix were def. the one they were going after. Reminding us constantly that one of them is pregnant, showing in rehearsales that they have a complicated dance routine just to end them up not sounding good and just walking around. Even Gary critisized them which is pretty bad in the first week. Plus as mentioned, shoed in between Nicholas and Sam.

    I think they are also after Lorna. They reminded us that she is an underdog, but not in a “watch out for her” way. Then the VT suddenly turned into naked boys and that’s where it all went down for her. She started the song with a slow version, where all the focus was on her. Then the focus was all on her naked dancers. What happened then? First of we got a break to make sure to forget about the performance. Then the judges made sure to remind us that the slow part was her messiest, so better forget about it. Then Louis reminded us of the dancers, Sharon did too, they stared talking with Gary joining them and even Nicole for a word or two. Oh right, we forgot that Lorna was on stage at that point. And all that after her having a break between performance and these judging that just made sure there was no focus on her. I’m saying she will probably get lucky this week but they are out for her too.

    I also really had to laugh at Kingsland Road. Eventhough you say they weren’t introduced by their names they clearly showed them all with their names attached at the rehearsales in big letters, the background during the performance was all a bout their names and Sharon also made sure to call one of them one out, Connor the Leonardo look-a-like. It may not have been so obvious but they are starting. Also the girls on the right side of the stage were just there for them.

  • Donald

    Lots to ponder, the show seems to move faster than other years, cutting to add breaks before comments. means holding the viewer but creating “that gap” before the comments, they may develop that as a tactic to use.

    Flash vote, very valid point re last introduced out of time.

    They threw the lot at MD but failed, nothing new there, they might still get them into bottom two, Luke not so sure about.

    And finally hard to know what to think of their Eurovision esque backstage effort? And the Twitter roller was as fixed as anything they have ever done, needs to be with the return of all the Twitter vultures tonight.

    Be interesting to see which songs get downloaded, was that not a first also? iTunes I presume? will check AM, might be a new area to monitor…

    Nothing new new overall really, and they missed their target yet again, well for tonight they did, tomorrow going to interesting.

    • Ben Cook

      Where have you been? They’ve been putting performances on iTunes for the last three or four years. They are left out of the iTunes/OCC charts so we don’t know which are selling the most.

    • AnnaC

      They have been putting performances on iTunes for some years. This provides important additional information for producers because they know which acts/performances people are willing to buy. It’s a good indicator of which acts are more likely to be commercially successful. This means that producers can choose to try and dump an act which generates votes but not sales and they can also work to keep an act which people buy but don’t vote for. This information is _not_ available to audience and punters but may be very influential with regard to producer decisions.

  • Couple of things to think about…

    I thought for a while now, the best way to make this “twist” entertaining, is to have the Saturday vote stay in! Just gives it a bit more of a “story” else its just pointless watching the Sunday. I think this week that will ring true and Shelly will stay.

    Finally, being announced Bottom on Saturday, gives that act a small advantage? how big of an advantage is unknown but I think its worth noting… they have 24 hrs to perfect their sing off song and “nail it”. Surely this should not be discounted. I know if I was singing for my “place in the competition” I’d would love the 24 hrs notice and practice, instead of having literally 60 seconds notice.

    • One other thing I’ve wondered about is that it also gives bottom acts 24 hours to reflect on what happened to them on the Saturday show. Imagine if they really obviously go after an act with 2011 levels of subtlety, and that act duly finishes bottom, it gives them all of Sunday to stew about it whereas before they’d have spent Sunday hoping they’d still be safe.

      I wonder if we might get the odd snarky parting shot to Dermot in the post-elimination intereview this year? In a way it’s surprising it’s not happened already, the closest being things like Aiden’s “I’m not surprised, I heard there was a leak on Twitter” and Kitty grabbing the microphone and bursting into song. This must have occurred to them, so will they think the tactics need to be a bit more subtle this year to avoid that?

    • Kevin

      It could be argued that 24 hours knowing that you are tethering on the brink of likely elimination is a negative. It might affect people differently. Surely any act knowing there is a chance they may need to perform to survive would prepare anyway. I am not saying you are wrong but as often with these things there is an argument against it.

      • I agree, but I’m sure if you ask any act, anyone involved in staging, producing anything at all to do with performing, they would want the 24 hrs time to prepare. Would have no doubt Shelly practises her sing off song more than any other act.

  • Henry VIII

    Re: pre-judge ad breaks – I think it’s part of a bigger theme of more control. A few years ago there were many great acts in XF, now hardly any. There may not be loads of great songwriters about but there are always loads of great singers. But we never get to see them because SyCo doesn’t want competition for its chosen one. Poor sleepy ITV.

    The judges are all wearing ear phones and the ad breaks give the producers more time to adapt the judges’ scripts after an act if an unexpected change in the act, or in a prior act, would make the script look stale. I would imagine there’s also someone following live social media.

    • Chris Bellis

      Henry VIII – Couldn’t agree more.
      Go to more or less any pub in Blackpool and you will hear better singers than the average on X Factor. Probably goes for most pubs in the country that feature live entertainment. These are the people that are working and earning and can’t be bothered with the whole X Factor thing. But then people who stay in to watch X Factor aren’t going out much, by definition…so don’t get to see the acts in the pubs and clubs. From a betting point of view it makes it difficult for me, as I am mentally comparing the X Factor singers with ones I’ve recently heard in some pub or other. Can’t be beer goggles as I will have had more to drink when watching X Factor at home. So nearly all the X Factor mob these days sound at best average. Stands to reason really – if they were any good they’d be out earning money. As for the groups with “urban edge” – most wouldn’t last ten minutes in as pub or club acts, even ones with a mostly young audience.

  • stoney

    We all know that the sing off has very little resemblance to who actually gets eliminated, its been proven time and time again as better singers have been eliminated in dead lock scenarios. What i do think is it gives the panel more chance to spin a cock and bull story that you went away come back fighting for your life, this is the real you etc etc.
    I do also support the view that they are going to have to pull a few shockers on the sunday night as there is going to be no point watching the sunday night if saturday nights bottom act is the one to keep going home.
    For that reason if Miss Dynamix were to fall into the bottom 2 tonight, i would expect a 3-1 judge vote in favour of a new more current or fun version of shelly. All ifs and buts at this stage of course.
    My overall view of the flash vote is that although it adds a little bit more tension/bite to saturday nights show, i dont think its done enough to warrant us losing deadlock on a sunday night, and im not even looking forward to tonights results already knowing who bottom of voting is. Sunday for me was always about speculating and seeing voting leaks etc etc, if they was going to reveal the act at the bottom of the flash vote, maybe they should have revealed the act at the top as well?
    Anyway i think this format could spell the end of the end for the x factor, the beginning having already taken place some years ago.

    • Kevin

      I also think if Miss Dynamix are bottom 2 they will go but all others would be saved over Shelley. I hope not with 7/1 Shelley but covered Miss Dynamix this morning. I think this new format will offer betting opportunities but not sure how yet. There is a market today for next elimination and also for bottom act tonight. I am sure someone here will develop an angle of interest.

      You can take a stab on a Saturday night act being eliminated knowing you can cover it handsomely if they are bottom on Saturday night. If you are wrong your bet still runs. So my 7/1 Shelley would be still be in the race even if she was not bottom last night. It is almost like a chance of a bonus. The favorite for eliminations odd will drift significantly if they escape being the lowest on Saturday. e.g. Miss Dynamix.

      There are new dynamics in the market which need to be exploited by us conspirators. The first to go market shifts massively in running.

    • Donald

      Good point, I think it will work for a while, As the number of acts decreases they may have to drop the flash vote but at the moment it serves to keep viewers watching for advertising.

      Noticed the timing last night of the countdown took them past 10 PM, new hour for more ads, which they duly did, cue Dermot, find out after the break.

      It also acts as a buffer to stop drop off of viewing figures which was happening last year on the early shows.

      Will they go for controversy if MD fall into bottom two and create “Maloney 2013” in the process. Ifs and buts as you say but a possibility.

  • lolhart

    After watching last night’s show, I wonder if some of the new features (the flash vote, ad breaks before comments) are a product of some of the “failures” last year. I think it’s pretty obvious TPTB wanted an Ella, James Arthur and Jahmene/Union J final 3. While they did have some textbook successful eliminations (Jade for example), they also had some noticeable failures. Rylan landing in the bottom 2 the first week and District 3 hanging around a lot longer than planned spring to mind. I think last night they underestimated that one of Miss Dynamix being pregnant could be seen as a possitive for some. There are plenty of single Mums out there who probably think, “Well, why can’t she be a popstar?”. I think if they survive this week the producers will play the “popstar = risk for the baby” card to minimise any bounce that Miss Dynamix may get.

    By the way, this is not relevant to this year’s show but did any other Sofabetters chuckle at James Arthur saying in the press this week that The Voice is a fix?

    • Chris Bellis

      lolhart
      I didn’t chuckle, because my money is involved. They’re all bent to some degree, with Eurovision winning the prize for bentness. I suppose the art is to predict in which direction the competitions are bent, and Sofabet does a good job in highlighting this.

  • Cath

    As we have seen in previous series, the judges’ comments don’t necessarily reflect the reality of how good or poor a performance was. By putting an ad break in between performance and comments, this allows the viewer a bit more time to forget what they just saw and instead accept the judges’ (producers’) version of the truth.

  • Dean

    With Shelley singing ballads it leaves us with no joke act this year. Strange!

  • Dean

    Huge red and black on Hannah’s set or are we nipping that in the bud now after JA got constantly red and blacked?

    • stoney

      Never believed that in the first place, didnt Tamara have some red and black in her performance as well?

      • Dean

        Did JA not go 2nd on 1st show last year like wee Nic? NMc looks like a mini Ja in styling (diff musician though) but great styling, great VT, great song, brilliant sung. I’m liking wee Nic McD

        • Dean

          And like JA the girls should love this kid comments already came out by the sexy Nicole S.

        • stoney

          Yeah me too, my initial thought on him getting slot number 2 was being annoyed, that they were trying to sabotage him, but having analysed several factors i have come up with a postive feeling about lastnights performance. Although these may just be biased views.
          Its important not to peak too early, perfect start for Mcnik, he looked very confident, doesnt strike me as someone who is going to let nerves affect his performance either.
          They clearly see him as a fancied act, being used as the big hitter in the first part of the sandwich to screw Miss Dynamix over. With a lot of focus on his scottish accent, and louis letting everyone know hes representing Scotland, and nicole highlighting the fact the girlies will love him (blue eyes reference)
          Also by putting him 2nd in the pecking order, just after Hannah TPTB get an early indication of how well he stacks up against Hannah Barrett, who many believe is the plan A for this year. If for instance He blitzes her it will work in his favour, or the producers will need to start de-ramping him over the next few weeks to stop him carrying on gaining support.
          Rough copy are clearly the alpha band as i anticipated and they are coming in very short now, as short as 7/2 which is mad considering a week ago i took 5/2 on them being top group, with that in mind and Sam B shortening i would expect Mcnics odds to ease out slightly during the week and then ill top up on the outright win, even though i promised myself i was going to go easier on that market this year.

  • Natasha

    After re watching last night show, I still believe Tamera is plan A and Rough copy are now plan B? I initially thought Hannah was plan B but after the performance last night and voice issues so early on in the competition, I have now disregarded her completley.

  • Dean

    I also have to admit I actually like Sam. Seems a nice lad, but think he will be gone first in the boys category and Luke could stay longer than him. Luke had favourable treatment I think.

    • At 37:36 (on ITVPlayer) you see Sam C intentionally remove his monitor from his ear after singing a few bum notes. Innocent or deliberate technical issue with his backing track so that they can make the weak voice comments? The viewer wouldn’t really notice it as he handles it very well.

      Aside from the vocal comments, he was given a good edit and comments. He got intro’d as “Essex boy” too whereas most people were intro’d with their (former) profession. I don’t think he’s in immediate danger but it wouldn’t be too hard to get rid of him at any point.

  • pimp

    In hindsight have we made a mistake in thinking the producers want to keep shelly around for novelty act purposes? Its no very clear right now.
    That being said miss dynamix definately looked the target tptb want to leave classic tactics of sandwiching them between popular acts and luke warm comments.

    If miss dynamix land in bottom 2 i think they will be gone,
    Lorna could see the same outcome although im not 100 percent on this anymore, anyone else shelley goes !

  • Alen

    Another thing that just came to my mind about the flash vote: Will they use it to target the bottom of the saturdays votes via press on sunday? I’m sure they have some bombshells ready to drop if needed to get someone out of the competition.

    So if someone ends last on the flash vote on Saturday, they have the whole of Sunday to bring bad press so they can make the public accept why they are dropping someone out of the competition on Sunday.

    • TommySauce

      Unlikely, due to newspaper production cycles. They’ll all be put to bed before it airs on Saturday (think about how late night current affair shows often ‘in tomorrow’s newspaper’ reviews). Would have to be massive news too warrant ‘holding the presses’ late Saturday night. They might be able to get some online media between the shows, but probably not enough of the mainstream audience will see that.

  • TommySauce

    Apologies for poor typing, on mobile this weekend. Unable to watch last night due to work, but thanks to you all for very exciting commentary here, which I sneakily followed on the phone when I should have doing other things!

  • Natasha

    Theres this one aswell http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/x-factor-tamera-foster-dumped-2365934

    It’s not looking goos so far is it! Make way for plan B!!

  • Nissl

    Even without those articles Natasha posted, I was going to say that the one insight I’d had after sleeping on it was that Tamera was in more trouble than ever. In addition to there still being at least 3 clearly better voices (Sam B/Nic/Hannah), now KR and RC both showed better stage presence with great likability to boot. Presuming those groups can do it somewhat reliably, that’s one heck of a final 6 to get her through, particularly considering that both of the groups are looking mighty commercial at the moment.

    Also, if the producers are actually reading this site and I’ve helped prevent RC from doing any of that awful, self-sabotaging flirting on the live shows, then I’ll consider that my good deed for the month!

  • More things to question from last night…

    Straight after Lorna’s comments, they went to Dermot who then showed the audience whos the most popular judge was… “Sharon” does this influence viewers thinking? That it happens to be the same mentor for Lorna.

    Finally they then went to show the twitter wheel.. not sure how much this would effect the Saturday show, but what about viewers watching the repeat on the Sunday when they can vote? I’d be voting then me, because its most boring part, who cares about the twitter wheel.

    Anyone any views?

  • Cath

    As Hannah opened the show with ‘What’s love for to do with it’ I had a little chuckle to myself as this followed on directly from Strictly’s Love themed show. Unlikely to be a deliberate dig, but amused me nonetheless.

  • The flash vote opens, everyone votes within 10 minutes, most likely they will vote for the ones fresh in memory, so Running order plays a bias, im sure nobody disputes that….

    Now what about those fans that vote on Sunday? Surely the running order is now discounted since the lines are open again and most will have voted already, during the 10 minute period.

    Perhaps there is a large bias favouring acts towards the end for Flash Vote, but then it makes it more even with only acts with their “fans” who will vote on Sunday, meaning less of a bias for the act bottom for Sunday.

    Anyone any views, looking at running order from this angle?

    • AnnaC

      I’m sure the flash vote favours acts 1 and 2 more than those at the end because those are the numbers that are easy to remember, especially at this stage in the competition when there area lot of acts. To know that the phone number for the final act ends in 12, or next week, 11 or the week after, 10 is trickier than knowing that the first act on is 1 (particularly as you are reminded of that number as soon as the vote line opens).

  • AlisonR

    There was a point near the end when Dermot was announcing all the acts and following each announcement the audience screamed to a greater or lesser degree. I noted that both Shelley and Lorna didn’t get very much on this “screamometer”, so not surprised to see Shelley bottom and wouldn’t be surprised if Lorna joins her. I wouldn’t mind listening again to those few minutes on itvplayer as I think it would be quite a good indication at the moment of who’s hot and who’s not.

    • stoney

      you cant really read too much into this, 1 direction used to get a much bigger crowd reaction that the rest week after week. Most of the audience are youngsters, and the parents arent likely to cheer

      • AlisonR

        Is the studio audience demographic that different from the pick-up-the-phone demographic? Surely the latter are also more likely to be youngsters than parents, and youngsters are probably more likely to multiple-vote whereas older voters if they vote at all will probably only do it once?

  • AlisonR

    I missed the first 3 live as I was still on Strictly and forgot that XF had already started, although did hear Hannah and MD on ITV1+1 during ITV1 ad breaks. I didn’t hear McNic other than clips afterwards and it sounded alright. Hannah I’m quite worried about, she can sing OK but if she doesn’t sort her voice rest issues they may dump her early. MD were weak, although I thought the baby thing was treated sensitively enough. SB was good but overpimped, that interview backstage, the Mrs O the judge being talked about etc, I feel they are really pushing SB hard. SC wasn’t great vocally and may now be dumped early instead of LF. KR I think did a solid job, with a lot a girly support I’m still quite happy with my EW bet on them. AA has quite a weak voice but enough originality to carry her through for the time being. Shelley I didn’t think was too bad. I did note a number of long camera shots where she was only on the side of the picture. Luke wasn’t that great with a few flat ones in there, but was better than I expected and got more girly screams than I expected too. Tamera was Ok, although shaky to start with and in the lower register. Lorna could have enhanced her standing with a good performance, but for me her tendency to sing sharp to a greater or lesser degree pretty much throughout really grated. I actually got tingle factor with RC, which I didn’t expect.

    Did you hear Xtra Factor’s Freudian slip (“Tamera” when they meant “Tomorrow”)? Wonder if we should read anything into that?

    • stoney

      I dont think that kingsland road have the edge over sam with the girly vote too be honest, its easier for a solo act to gain this, and his VT had him clearly stating his single which helps. Add that to the fact his from essex, he should have decent enough support to hang around til the latter stages, hes no worse vocally than llyod daniels was

  • Kevin

    I think Hannah is in serious trouble given her opening night. During the backstage interviews they seemed to deliberately embarrass her and Dermot passed some comment afterwards. It is a long road but not surprised that odds have doubled.

  • AlisonR

    KR also stated they were single in Xtra factor. I get your point about Essex though, it didn’t do Olly Murs any harm and they might be lining SC up as his successor.

  • Kevin

    Does anyone know if the wonderful Eurovicious is contributing to our annual debate?

    • eurovicious

      Hi Kevin, I’m weeks behind on this year’s X Factor, fell out of it midway during the audition shows. I do still vaguely intend to catch up, but as I’m not betting on it, it’s not a priority. I’m also far from an expert on X Factor and while I enjoy the performances and enjoy the show as entertainment, it also really rubs me up the wrong way now that I’ve realised what a procession it is (audition show frontloading etc), and the moment I try to analyse it from a betting perspective, I find myself a) thinking overconspiratorially in a way I really don’t like and b) getting overly emotionally involved, especially with the contestants I feel are being treated unfairly. So no comments from me until I catch up, assuming I do.

      • Kevin

        Thanks for reply, your musings are of course vastly more entertaining than the show! It is hard to generate enthusiasm this year, it does feel like the end is nigh. I had Geraldine McQueen at 7/1 for first eviction but covered stake at least so no harm done.

  • Santa Giles

    I think that Shelley stays whoever she is against. Its the same idea of a novelty act that outlasts a better/more proven singer. I can see that being the twist in the storyline and get us to keep on watching and voting on Sunday.

    I thought that Sam Callahan and Abi were both poor and could likely find themselves in trouble in the weeks to come. If not now. But the obvious thought is that Lorna or Miss D will find themselves in the sing off vs Shelley and then depart. Nothing last night will sway me from original thoughts that Lorna and Miss D are both cannon fodder and will depart early. I think that whichever one is in the bottom 2 will also leave.

    • stoney

      I am of the same opinion, i have backed the judges to save Shelly tonight at sky bets evens, the only annoying thing is sky bet are very strict on my stakes with reality tv. I dont think its really much to do with them wanting to save shelly though (unless she is up against miss dynamix)
      I feel that they will be worried that if they let the bottom act go tonight then the results show will get even lower numbers from now on as people wont see the point in watching.

    • Nissl

      Not so sure about Lorna. They put a lot into the underdog narrative to want to dump her in the same week (although certainly it’s coming). Plus if they’re now going for an authenticity/talent narrative, sacrificing the camp act with the much worse voice would be a good start. Not sure which approach is favored at the moment.

      • They mentioned her being an underdog a lot but didn’t say that they wanted her to be considered as a contender, just that “I wish the public would know I was actually in the competition”. She also got put in an Abi/Tamara sandwich in the running order which hasn’t been mentioned much. Message: you didn’t care about this person before, and look which other girls she’s up against.

        I think Shelley will be saved against either MD or Lorna.

        • I almost agree here.. but Nicoles scripted comments…

          “I have to confess… I didnt know who you was before…”

          Viewers all agree and say me either
          She contines

          “… But now I know who Lorna Simpson is”

          Audience says me too.

          I thought that all worked in Lorna’s favour, however I think the purpose of this was to make sure MD fell in the bottom 2, as opposed to Lorna being safe. They dont care about her… but they wanted MD this week

          • Yeah agree, although she’s definitely the second choice to go. Shelley was given good production (she was the only contestant [up to and including Lorna, not finished watching a repeat of the show yet] where judges (both Louis and Sharon) were actually enjoying themselves during her performance. She got good staging – the only contestant to get a portion of the show solely to herself without ad breaks. TPTB did take the fun away from Shelley, but not in a “get rid of her” asap way. I think they wanted Lorna/MD bottom 2.

  • stoney

    In the re-run from last nights performances Miss Dynamix were the only ones who had a negative comment louis backstage critising their vocals, TPTB are really gunning for them

  • stoney

    So now we have had both James Cordon and Ellie Goulding both praising Kingsland Road, this reminds me of everyone back JA last year

  • ChrisR

    Anyone see Nicoles face when Miss Dynamix were called as safe ? Priceless

    • Chatterbox5200

      I was out tonight, but just watched the show. I agree, Nicole’s reaction was great, and she seemed almost as shocked as Miss Dynamix themselves!

  • stoney

    Anyone watching Xtra factor? Sharron said lorna should go to the jungle, wonder if this might cause a few complaints lol

  • Jay

    I’ll point to my comment after the first Judges house calling a Shelley vote off save! Gotta love the script

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