X Factor 2013: Week 1 Staging and Lighting Watch

Last year we heard that when the X Factor acts discussed among themselves which of them they believed were in producers’ good and bad books, stage lighting was a big topic. We also, following in the footsteps of the fantastic Betsfactor, have become big fans of the idea that the show likes to plant subliminal ideas in viewers’ minds, associating certain concepts with certain acts.

Sometimes it seems obvious what effect producers are trying to achieve with staging and lighting – in particular, last year’s acts apparently concluded that messy, scattered, unfocused lighting was unhelpful. Often, it’s not obvious at all – at least, not to us. With that in mind, we thought it might be interesting to look back through the first live show’s acts, float some of our ideas and ask for yours.

Up first was Hannah, who appears to have been located outside a block of flats at night:

week_1_Hannah_flats

That’s not helpful, surely? It feels vertiginous, claustrophobic, oppressive.

This lighting looks messy as well, scattering the viewer’s attention away from Hannah rather than directing it towards her. Throw in some red and black, for those of you who like the idea that colour palettes are also consciously used to create mood – although there’s some helpful golden-yellow in there, too:

week_1_Hannah_lighting

Contrast the lighting for Nicholas, which draws the viewer’s attention straight to him:

week_1_Nick_lighting

It certainly looks like they’re thinking of Nicholas as one of the stars of this year’s show:

week_1_Nick_stars

The association of star imagery with Marcus Collins in 2011’s series was one of Richard Betsfactor’s earliest subliminal theories.

Now, where are Miss Dynamix? I’m sure they’re there somewhere. Not to worry, the many different searchlights roaming all over the place will locate them eventually:

week_1_Miss_Dynamix_lighting

Sam Bailey gets yellow roses. Apparently, yellow roses “send a message of appreciation and platonic love… The color represents feelings of joy and delight”.

week_1_Sam_Bailey_roses

Sam also gets an evocative backdrop of yellow-uplit cloudy skies, like the uplifting sunset after a storm clears, with images of petals from roses floating upwards, signifying… um… something to do with heaven?

week_1_Sam_Bailey_skies

The searchlights are out again for Sam Callahan. Where are you, Sam?

week_1_Sam_Callahan_searchlights

Mixed messages, though. This looks altogether more helpful:

week_1_Sam_Callahan_spotlights

What’s with the upward-scrolling measuring tape behind Kingsland Road? Any ideas?

week_1_KR_measuring

Again, though, this kind of lighting looks helpful enough:

week_1_KR_lighting

The lights are focused on Shelley, but the blue and black palette somehow feels cold, dark, icy, sterile:

week_1_Shelley_lighting

And any ideas what they were tring to achieve with the articulated lift? The overall effect seemed less Aliona Moon, more “can you get something from the top shelf of the warehouse”:

week_1_Shelley_lift

Lorna gets a similar colour palette, but with fireworks visible through the windows and the addition of some semi-naked dancers making it all feel more fun than Shelley:

week_1_Lorna

Abi’s piano is white, a colour associated with purity and innocence. The lighting creates a kind of protective, shielding roof over her head:

week_1_Abi

(Somewhat less encouragingly for Abi, on rewatching her VT we noticed it concluded immediately before this performance with her saying she hoped she wouldn’t hit any bum notes. Thus viewers were helpfully primed to be extra-alert for them.)

Tamera’s a puzzle. If you were hoping to break people’s mental associations of her with violence and drugs, why would you send her out against an nighttime inner city backdrop of high-rise buildings, graffiti and crowd control barriers?

week_1_Tamera

Luke Friend gets a giant-picture-of-himself backdrop, perhaps intended to be a Big Brother-type presence to watch us every breath we take. It’s a device the show has occasionally used to negative effect, notably when shining lasers out of Chris Maloney’s eyes and sending Janet Devlin up in smoke. But it has advantages, as this shot illustrates – Luke’s face remains visible even in a long shot.

week_1_Luke

The spotlights in the above shot appear to be unhelpfully scattered, but he gets some focused lighting too:

week_1_Luke_lighting

A blue-and-black palette, yet again, for Rough Copy – this time with a thunderstorm. For an act that we assume producers are hoping to make seem unthreatening to Middle England voters, such a dark and brooding backdrop is not an obvious choice – especially for a bit of Phil Collins cheese. Perhaps the lightning is supposed to tell us we’re supposed to think this performance is electric:

week_1_Rough_Copy

Of course, any and all of the above might be miles off the mark, misinterpretations or meaningless coincidences. But it’s speculation that entertains us; and it’s worth remembering that these backdrops are thought up by somebody. If it entertains you too, do share your thoughts and theories in the comments.

77 comments to X Factor 2013: Week 1 Staging and Lighting Watch

  • Kevin

    Given Hannah’s treatment above are you guys concerned about her having put her up as the likely winner? Would it be truly paranoid to think they are undermining your tip because you tipped it. Hmmm.

  • Chris Bellis

    My friend’s daughter is a (very lowly) member of the production team on this show. She’s says they read all the comments on the show, including those from this site. So don’t discount the intention to do a double bluff. But excellent article – really quite intriguing and well put together.

    • Nissl

      So my application of a tinfoil hat a couple days ago was justified… thanks for the info, appreciated.

      Will be tweaking my comments with that in mind from now on.

      • Chris Bellis

        Nissl –I asked my friend to check with her daughter whether they employed people to make “sock puppet” postings and she said they didn’t have time to do that sort of thing, which I can believe. They probably just like to know how the wind is blowing. However I know that the BBC employ PR firms who use sock puppets to post stories about awful things that happen to licence dodgers, so if you’re feeling paranoid….Information from Private Eye, but I can believe it.

  • Alen

    I’m really confused about Hannah. Are they trying to get her off? I wonder why?

    And I really have to laugh regarding Nicholas. Can they make it even more obvious (I know they can lol)?

    • AnnaC

      Hannah has a problem with her voice which might lead to her missing a week or even having to quit the show. This is not desirable so it would be better to have her voted off early.

    • Tim B

      No, they are not trying to bump her off! They just fancied opening the series with one of their big hitters (two including Nicholas) for a change. Her comments were extremely positive, with Louis pleading for votes and suggesting she’s going to go on a journey where she improves each week. The camera cut to Gary during the performance where you could see how much he was genuinely enjoying it, and Nicole was up dancing/feeling it. They want to build her up progressively rather than letting her peak too early.

      If anyone wants to counter-argue this with the red and black theory, then I must direct you towards Tamera’s performance, where she received much stronger red-and-blacking.

      • Tim B

        Also, them highlighting the problem with her voice makes us as the audience wonder “Ooooh, is she going to pull it off?” then of course we are wowed when she does. If the problems with Hannah’s voice were that severe then they wouldn’t have put her through and pimped her relentlessly throughout the audition stages.

        • Regarding the red and black theory and comparing Hannahs to Tameras, there is a different type of “red and black” There is one that is mainly Black, with red, This to me looks alot more dark and dangerous, when compared to bright red, with a bit of black.

          James Arthur got the same treament several times last year, “Power of Love” and “Sexy and i know it” spring to mind.

          If you look at the pictures Sofabet has used above, there is a big difference between the red & black, for Hannah and Tamera.

          • Tim B

            Indeed, red can be used in a positive way. In James’s case, backdrops of red hearts or slutty strippers were intended to make him more fanciable.

          • eurovicious

            Agree, this is why it’s important we remember red and black is contextual. Regarding Hannah’s staging and early slot in the first live show, it’s worth remembering that James Arthur was given similar treatment last year – he was on second in the first live show and given red and black staging and (constructive) criticism from the judges. I read it (incorrectly) as a deliberate dampening attempt at the time. So I completely agree with Tim’s comment “They want to build her up progressively rather than letting her peak too early” regarding Hannah. Peaking too early in the live shows is dangerous, and most years the winner hasn’t been someone who was in the lead most of the way – Matt was the exception. Alexandra, Little Mix and James Arthur all just sort of bobbed along, while in Joe’s series, Danyl and Stacey led until the final few weeks with both Joe and Olly bobbing along.

  • Tim B

    Furthermore (sorry, me again!), her being on vocal rest can be spun in a positive way, as it could show the audience how dedicated she is to delivering a strong performance and boost her credibility.

    What’s vocal rest got to do with it?

    • Prolonged vocal rest so early is a bad sign. It shows she has an issue with her voice that they need to correct. It’s not “been on the show 6 weeks practising too much and need a couple of days rest” or “got flu”. It’s either a problem with her voice which they can’t do anything about or a poor technique which they will try and fix. You can’t have a popstar who can’t do 2 hour long sets night after night.

      If they can fix it then great, and there may be some story there showing how dedicated she is. But if they can’t fix it, then she has a glass ceiling as to how far she can go on the show, because there’s no realistic proposition of a career post-show that involves touring.

      I don’t think she is by any means in danger currently. They will give her time to try and fix the issue and will keep her suitably ramped during that time. But if they can’t fix it, she won’t be the winner. I think she’ll get a couple more shows of ramping and then their true intentions will appear.

  • I think the backdrop for kingsload road was helpful, if you change it to simply colored background, any color, it wouldnt be as engaging on the eye, the fact it moved in motion was a positive for me. Its almost like a “music video” when you first look at it, as its aired on TV, the same was used for James Arthur – Hometown Glory last year as well as others. I certainly dont think its a negative.

    • AlisonR

      Also there was a point where they were holding up placards with their names on? So we now know who they are. On the other hand, can you remember the names of the people in MD or RC? I can’t.

      • stoney

        i dont know the names of any of kingland road, i dont see what makes them any different from union j last year, who polled nearer to the bottom than the top most weeks, i dont see kingland road fairing much better

  • Can I add regarding Abi, in the picture you shot, they have a light to the right of the video, a sole light just aiming towards here, this looked particularly good in the close up shots they used. A positive for me. Wether she was received well overall is a different matter, but its certainly positive intentions from producers.

  • stoney

    Hannah is looking far from the winner at this stage and I say this as someone who has invested money in her to make it past the other girls. Id take it back if I could.
    And regarding the idea that TPTB would read comments and from this site and change there ideas for the winner/plan for the show is up there with the loch ness monster. I don’t doubt someone from within the company keeps tabs on such sites as this and digital spy for research purposes and Is paid to do so. But I can’t accept they would let it influence the agenda in any way shalt or form. After all this christopher maloney stuff was picked apart and predicted week after week last year and never at any point did the show do the opposite to prove anyone on the Internet wrong. As long as there getting the money from adverts and producing a couple of acts per series that can make them money for a year or so I can’t imagine they give a hoot what a handful of people (in comparison with the viewing numbers for the show) on the internet think might or might not happen on the show.

    • “Hannah is far from the winner at this stage”

      I see where you’re coming from, but since when has the X Factor winner been obvious from week 1? The only exception I can think of is possibly Matt Cardle, but then plenty of people fancied One Direction and Rebecca to win instead. Not even in Leona Lewis’s year was she favourite to win after week 1 of the first live show.

      • There is a difference between not being favourite, and drifting from 5.50 – 14.0. Has a winner ever drifted out so much after week one?

        Thats a big a negative, which reflects her treatment this week, if they turn it around great. But right now im happy to leave her as red.

      • Kevin

        Perhaps they were neutral towards James Arthur early on last year but I cant recall them undermining him. I thought that she was deliberately made to look like someone in the way during backstage interviews. Maybe as you suggest it is an element of double bluff but I think there is enough negatively to fear otherwise.It is interesting to hear what people think.

        • What, are you trying to say that they deliberately asked Hannah to stand right by Caroline Flack so that they could point out that she was “in the way” a couple of times when trying to get to their desired contestants?! She just happened to be standing there, just as Rough Copy happened to be warming up their vocals just as they were about to go on. Caroline tried to include her, anyway. Talk about overanalysing.

          • Kevin

            I reckon you must be on Hannah as you are shooting down every opinion that suggests things are not looking as good as one hoped they might.

            Overanalysing is probably not too uncommon in these parts!!!! I just recall Dermot making some comment which I thought was strange but cannot recall what exactly it was.

            Week 2 will tell a lot as they might pimp her to high heaven. I had intended backing her but had no funds handy and am relieved now and not tempted by the higher price.

            If you are on her and still convinced it is a huge positive as you can now avail of a price twice what it was just as the show started.

          • Tim B

            Indeed, Hannah is one of several acts I’m green on in the outright, and I’m on at a much bigger price than what she’s currently trading at. I have been adding more since the weekend, as I thought her treatment was almost entirely positive. But clearly, others disagree.

          • stoney

            When were hannahs odds considerably higher than now?

          • Tim B

            Just after 21st Sept, when my X Factor source texted me the final 3 girls (I posted them straight on here) and the market still thought Melanie was through.

          • Boki

            there is a pricewatch post on betfair forum:

            Before Judges Houses, best bookie prices for the final 24:

            Tamera Foster 7/2
            Abi Alton 6/1
            Nicholas McDonald 6/1
            Melanie McCabe 10/1
            Sam Bailey 10/1
            Hannah Barrett 12/1
            Sam Callahan 12/1
            Paul Akister 14/1
            Joseph Whelan 16/1
            Kingsland Road 16/1
            Luke Friend 20/1
            Made up girl group 20/1
            Brick City 25/1
            Rough Copy 33/1
            Lorna Simpson 50/1
            Andrea Magee 66/1
            Shelley Smith 66/1
            Zoe Devlin 66/1
            Code 4 100/1
            Giles Potter 100/1
            Jade Richards 100/1
            Relley Clarke 100/1
            Ryan Mathie 100/1
            Xyra 125/1

            Day after Judges Houses (on betfair):

            Tamera Foster 3.95 / 4
            Nicholas McDonald 5.9 / 6.4
            Hannah Barrett 7 / 7.4
            Abi Alton 9.2 / 9.6
            Rough Copy 13 / 13.5
            Sam Bailey 14.5 / 15
            Miss Dynamix 20 / 21
            Sam Callahan 24 / 25
            Kingsland Road 24 / 27
            Luke Friend 32 / 46
            Lorna Simpson 55 / 75
            Shelley Smith 100 / 110

            So Hannah was 12/1 after bootcamp when I took it, she was indeed even higher before.

          • Boki, those odds are not correct, Tim is correct the Monday before judges houses aired there was plenty of 20s around for Hannah to win, this was a week after tim had said Melanie wasn’t through.

          • Andy

            If you go to oddschecker and click on the graph at the side of the contestants name there is a full list of all odds in the history, Hannah was at 33/1 with 1 firm and 25/1 with 3 firms.

  • stoney

    Done on my phone so a few typos

  • tpfkar

    Only 2 points as it’s hard to disagree with anything above:

    1) A plinth is fine as long as you come down from it. While a plinth might set you above mere mortals, the audience is meant to connect when you come down from it. So Miss Dynamix’s plinth was nowhere near as unhelpful as planned (one reason I didn’t think they’d go) and you get the same effect coming from back of stage to high-fiving audience (Kingsland Road.) But the opposite was Shelley. Started sterile anyway, and then for no good reason she jumps in a lift where we can hardly see her and she lords it over us from above. Fatal.

    2) Luke’s was incredibly helpful and you can’t compare to Chris / Janet. It made him seem much bigger and dynamic so adding to stage prescence, and the only act I remember being seen singing on the big screen last year was James Arthur.

    • eurovicious

      I kind of disagree, I think a plinth is bad if you’re on it the whole time, but it’s good if you come down from one or get on one at the end. Consider Sarah-Dawn Finer’s performance of “Moving On” in MF 2009. If you’re stuck up on a plinth on your own as a soloist for the whole song, it’s bad – if members of a group are on separate plinths, it’s worse. (If there are sharks below, it’s even worse.) But if a group are all on the same plinth, it’ OK, especially if they jump down from it in a moment of frolicsome unity. Movement in either direction is good, a statuesque plinth performance is bad.

      I can’t believe I’m wasting mental energy thinking about this stuff.

      (Forklift or no forklift, I think Shelley’s biggest problem was the “if looks could kill” visage of doom she maintained throughout her performance, and her awful hair and makeup. Her voice is great but I don’t think they should have put her through – I know people called Sami “cruiseship” in 2011, but Sami runs rings around Shelley as far as I’m concerned – so much more warmth, fun, a more likeable voice and a real down-to-earth hen-night vibe. Shelley is “grizzled karaoke” personified. If it was a do you were at, you’d watch Sami but bugger off to the buffet while Shelley was on.)

  • tpfkar

    If the production team really have nothing better to do with their time than read sites like this, surely they’d be able to post as well, probably as a distraction?

    So the question is, who is the sofabet mole? We need to know…

    • eurovicious

      Qualitative sentiment analysis is important, I would hope most production teams read feedback and analysis online – especially Syco talent/reality behemoths like X Factor. And unless they wanted to anonymously solicit opinion on a specific issue, posting themselves would distort their own sentiment analysis.

      I admit it. I’m Simon Towel.

  • lolhart

    Some very interesting points. Perhaps for Tamera they are deliberately embracing her “urban roots” as Tulisa would say hoping it will make her more appealing to a young audience. I recall Cher Lloyd having a similar backdrop for her first live show performance. So maybe they are planning to give Tamera a performance in a few weeks to soften her like Cher’s performance of Stay. I’m still convinced TPTB are trying to build a journey for Hannah and Tamera rather than throw them under the bus. Ella’s a classic example of how the audience can tire of the early favourite.

    • AnnaC

      Tamera looks a lot like Cher Lloyd in that she has commercial potential but appears unlikeable. I expect the producers to push her into the final but I will be surprised if she comes higher than third.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Watched Strictly on Saturday night, flicked over to see a few of the feedback comments for Sam B and was then out dancing. So with a fresh set of eyes have skimmed over Sat’s XF on catch-up.

    Hannah Barrett’s vt focused on her ’emotion’, and her tendency to break down crying. I haven’t seen following XF closely (I prefer Strictly) so this was a surprise to me. As was her giggly guffaws and mega smiles.

    So, her big teary, sad heart, wonderfully expressive and friendly face and fun-loving side are established.

    I guess there is a production worry that she is coming across as a cry baby? With a lack of grit?

    Dermot presented her with a helpful ‘baker turned popstar’ reference, which reminded me of the “sandwich makers” billing that Richard and Adam received (initially) on this years’ BGT. I like the humble every-person association of these links. The ‘it-could-be-you’ ‘rags-to-riches’ idea pregnant in them.

    I’m speculating that the intention behind the production was to help provide Hannah with grit.

    As Andrew says, Hannah ‘appears to have been located outside a block of flats at night’ and this scene feels ‘vertiginous, claustrophobic, oppressive’.

    Yes, the scene does feel this. There it is towering threateningly over Hannah, a large-framed girl who is thereby rendered smaller. There are lights going on and off in the building but yet there is Hannah ‘outside’ the edifice.

    I am reminded of Hannah’s real life story of being “abandoned” by her mum and Hannah’s first audition where Sharon and Hannah talked about how her Hannah’s temporary accommodation was ok but not ‘home’.

    The song lyrics perfectly reinforce the overall theme of the package – ‘Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?’
    Yes, Hannah was left out in the cold, put out on the streets. She’s prone to crying because her heart has been broken, you see.

    And yet Hannah isn’t crying, she’s singing powerfully and smiling.

    The ‘red and blacking’ is necessary to provide an edgy, gritty “opponent”.

    I say “opponent” because the key thing here, visually, is that Hannah’s colours starkly differentiate her from the scene

    Hannah is wearing a blue jacket; and In a way, blue is seen as the opposite of red. There are a number of major footballing cities where the blues and the reds are shorthand terms for the opposing teams.

    Underneath her blue jacket is the happy, smiley sunny yellow top. So, the outer blue jacket shields her from, differentiates her from, and opposes the nasty. threatening inner-city scene. Her yellow top underneath, touching her skin, represents bubbly, enthusiastic, happy Hannah.

    Stagecraft symbolism:
    At the tail end of the song Hannah walks away (kind of triumphantly,or in a way that leaves behind and/or rejects that scene) from the backdrop and engages her “people”, the audience, and via the camera on the final lyric, you the audience at home.

    You may also notice that she doesn’t engage, or even look at, Sharon, Gary et al or any of the other mummy and daddy figures on the panel.

    The judge’s comments, and Dermot’s words on stage, endlessly emphasise her teenager status and reinforce how brave she is to be opening the live shows. Grit and bravery. Hannah is no big girl’s blouse.

    Louis emphasised ‘potential’, Nicole called her ‘a champ’ (re the boxing term) and yet another journey aspect will come with the woes from her tender vocal cords.

    Moving on to Tamera… Her vt was obviously seeking to show us that,contrary to what you may have read in the press, Tamera is a big softie. Tamera’s, erm, “grittiness” is fully established, so XF production are seeking to soften her. Yeah, yeah. And they’re making a good fist of it.

    So, regarding the staging for her song (and in the catchphrase of Simon Cowell) what the bloody hell was that about?

    Cheap, nasty staging that at one point seemed to enclose her like a makeshift cell. (Where are you, Sam Bailey?!) Red (and some pink) and black throughout. This was neither the camp, dance school “tough” of MJ’s ‘Beat it’ vid, nor the elegance and drama of some of the more dramatic street scenes of West Side Story.

    Although they have Tamera in a pink top below her jacket, the dominant visuals of Tamera remain the black,leather jacket and her (tarty?) red lipstick.

    Though even those images are trumped by the massive, swinging denim codpiece featuring between her legs.

    I think the XF production team became confused as what to do with Tamera for this performance. The thing is with Tamera is that she’s not entirely convincing with the nicey, nicey humbleness. She requires more work and training before they can brave trying to sell that kind of performance.

    The judges’ comments where bigging her up but to my ears her vocals where ropey and unconvincing in parts.

    Although Louis looked bored at times, and the song didn’t suit, but I enjoyed watching and listening to Rough Copy. My God almighty, do they have connection, likeability and charisma. Beautiful harmonies.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Although Hannah looked like a dog’s dinner, this was necessary for the narrative (or subtextual narrative, if you like) of the story being presented. Her mum’s just kicked her out of home, from an inner city tenement block. She’s hardly likely to look a million dollars.

      Her looking too good would distract from, and perhaps undermine, the narrative/concept/package/ remedial work etc.

      We’ve seen with the Sam Bailey transformation what the stylists at XF can do. So, it could be argued that Hannah’s opening live show opening slot image leaves scope for yet another journey for her.

      Thought Rough Copy were miles better than Tamera. They look a better bet than Tamera to be the global act to originate from the show, should one transpire.

    • R

      Tamera’s narrative seems to be aimed at attracting the male voters. TPTB know she won’t get enough female voters to make the top 4, but grabbing some male attention won’t just add to her percentages but boost the shows revenue from a demographic who don’t usually vote.

      Her Xtra-factor piece focused on how beautiful she is and how men will be falling over themselves. Her Twitter was full of males saying how “hot” she is & the only ” real pop star” in the show.

      They may also be hoping that softening her character will prevent the loss of any female voters that she does have.

      • Boki

        It looks you are right, even JA says ‘Tamera is a better looking Rihanna’ and they put it as article headline.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Hi R,

        Ah! right, I see what you mean. You’ve resolved the bewilderment I felt at what I perceived as an unlinked-up production strategy for Tamera.

        The sisterly-girly girl-normal messy teenager vt was the fabric conditioner; whereas the performance persona sought to channel (perceived) aggression into sexual power that might appeal to boys and men who go for the big, swinging dick dominatrix, and might appeal to girls and women who admire that powerful woman standing.

        Still, bit of a mixed-message to be transmitting, I should say. Or potentially confusing, anyway.

        Perhaps they need to start pushing the metaphor of the pussy cat who can be a tigress. This is easier to understand and links both strands of her (projected or perceived or actual) personality into an image friendly sound-bite.

        Hi Boki,

        Yeah, it can’t be denied that she is smoking hot. Even Rhianna at the same age wasn’t as lush as Tamera.

        • R

          Hi Guildo,

          I think they’ll need to continue building her softer side in her VTs and have a complete disconnect between her “soft” personality and hard-edged, urban performances.

          It also explains, in part, the red & black lighting she received, which is more edgy & sexually aggressive than the soft blues & yellows.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Another good sign for Hannah was that she opened the show.

      It seems that the XFPTB selected Little Mac and Sam Bail as the likeliest big vote draws for their opening show, and used them to sandwich the XF Enemy Number 1 for the week, Dyno rod. (Though with the much discussed Strictly overlap operating, it is interesting to note that perhaps Sam Bail can be regarded as the XF live shows’ opening act).

      Listening to the judges’ feedback on Hannah and then absorbing the “Spandex Belly” dominated vt of Little Mac’s, I noticed that the teenager card felt a bit repetitive with LM. We the viewers had just had that point hammered home not a minute earlier with Hannah. I guess that Louis and Sharon both deliberately got her age wrong, so to draw further attention to her age; or perhaps this was engineered to imply that her performance showed maturity. Either of these scenarios are possible; as well as the possibility that Louis is simply a tool.

      The positioning of Tamera in relation to Rough Copy was also interesting.

      I felt they eclipsed her. For a charismatic and likeable urban feel, they’re simply better than her.

  • Nissl

    I’ve been wondering whether Hannah was taking some mild deramping with those lights and that slot and Gary’s crying comment. If you’ve got 5 acts you’re interested in exploring commercially (Tamera, RC, KR, Sam B., and Nic) and she’s got the most raw vocal talent outside of those, well….

    If I were playing producer, I’d still be interested in giving her a few slow soulful numbers and seeing if she popped (and a favored act stumbled) at this point, but then I would have given Miss D a week or two to build up a little commercial potential rather than hitting them hard in week 1, so meh.

  • eurovicious

    For Hannah to win, she has to remain the underdog. Or else winning will not complete her journey. Simples.

  • stoney

    Im a bit disappointed Mcniks odds havent eased out yet, Rough Copys have shorted massively as have sam b’s, but not niks. The bookies arent giving alot away this years, a lot of shortended odds but no much drifting

  • Chatterbox5200

    I know that it wasn’t intended to influence the voting public,as the lines had already closed, but I couldn’t help notice the difference in lighting that was used for the two sing-off contestants; Lorna’s was dark (red and black), whereas Shelley’s was light (blue and white). Whether this was used to try and subliminally support the decision to remove Lorna, I’m not sure.

    (Daniel/Andrew – Images sent as unable to post directly in this thread)

  • stoney

    Would anyone like to give there guess as to why Nicholas is the only act from this year’s show that Nicole follows on twitter?

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Lewis Hamilton is about 5 ft 7 inches tall;Jahmene Douglas’s about the same. Little Mac looks of similar stature.

    She has a thing for cute, fresh-faced males in a narrow height band?!

  • Who’s in line for the pimp slot this week? As Rough Copy had it last week, we can rule out all three of the groups. I don’t think they’d give it to Abi as I can see them wanting rid of her soon. Similarly, Luke Friend was penultimate slot last week so I doubt they’d bump him up one. HANNAH may be in need of a voting boost after going first last week and perhaps TAMERA didn’t poll as well as they’d have liked. Everyone this week will be tuning in to see SAM BAILEY so I can easily see it being her. They did their best to get her ahead of NICHOLAS in the vote last week, but he can’t really be ruled out of going last this time. Shelley wouldn’t be a credible pimp slot occupant, in my opinion, although I do think she might be on late. Finally, SAM CALLAHAN had a poor first week and he may need a pimp slot to give him enough momentum to get to 8th place or so which is required to make the tour.

    Then of course there’s the post-Strictly overlap to consider as well…

  • On the subject of

    “How will the flash vote effect the “Bounce”?”

    I think it will change it alot. If an act finishes last in the Flash Vote and is then Saved in a sing off, I suspect that the act will “bounce” the Flash Vote, but not necessarily the Sunday.

    The viewers/voters will see by not having the same act lose the flash vote, they have done their bit. They will presume more so now, that their act is safe and probably vote less/if at all, on the Sunday.

    Compare that to..

    If an is in the bottom two as a result of being bottom on Sundays vote and Saved in a sing off, they are more likely to bounce both for the Flash Vote AND the Sundays vote, because their voters will still know they need to vote on the Sunday more than they did the previous week.

    Thats my idea of how this will turn out.

  • MP

    A few minor observations from someone who was in the studio audience this Sunday for the results show…

    The only time the judges left their desk throughout the course of the evening was following the Lorna being bottom announcement, and they were all visibly accompanied by a member of the production team. Probably not a surprise to us but it was a shock to me how blatant it was in view of the studio.

    Throughout the night all three of Louis’s boys (particularly Sam and Luke (!)), Kingsland and Sam Bailey received by far the loudest cheers from the studio audience. This might not mean much at all and could just be down to which friends/family was in the audience that night.

    I was also at the girls’ bootcamp recording and it was very obvious even at that stage that the top 3 was between Melanie, Tamera, Hannah and Abi. Sections of Tamera’s song were wildly out of tune and shouty but weren’t in the final cut on TV. We were again shocked at how often the producers were at the judges’ desk between and during acts – one asked Louis quite obviously seconds before Melanie had finished singing to ask her what the song had meant to her (the only act to have been asked this all day).

    FWIW the clear, overwhelming standout (and only standing ovation – others seem to have been sneakily edited in…) of that day from being in the room was Hannah. I only wish I had discovered this site a few months earlier…

    • Thanks for the info MP. It’ll be interesting to watch the show back to see which of the people you mentioned had their cheers turned down.. and which of the other contestants had theirs turned up.

    • Cheers for that MP, and welcome to Sofabet.

      I’ve often wondered how scrupulous they are about matching audience reaction shots in the auditions/bootcamp with the performance to which they were reactions – do they just accumulate a pool of “teenage girls react to attractive boy” clips, and drop them in as required? Editing in entire standing ovations would really be cheeky!

 Leave a reply...