We figured producers would be looking to ease Miss Dynamix out of the competition early after SeSe announced she was nearly six months pregnant. The first live show wasn’t helpful for the girlband, but they weren’t shot down with both barrels either.
It’s worth looking at the tactics that were used and not used, and how the job may be finished this coming weekend, if indeed it’s what producers still want.
Let’s start with the running order. The girls weren’t sent on first, a fate leading to a bottom two appearance in seven of the previous nine opening live shows. Miss Dynamix were put on third instead, still in the Strictly overlap zone and sandwiched between the two acts we hypothesised would be the biggest vote grabbers in the early weeks: Wee Nic and Sam Bailey – both of whom received very helpful staging.
The girls’ VT wasn’t obviously damaging. Every reference to their recent creation was followed up with the notion that they got on well with each other: they had “gelled” and “were like sisters”. SeSe’s pregnancy announcement was dealt with in a relatively neutral fashion though she seemed bashful talking to mentor Gary Barlow having previously hidden it.
As we had wondered in our Saturday preview article, their song choice of ‘Jump’ wasn’t credible, nor did it enable them to show off any vocal prowess. It also allowed for a busy production with distracting dancers; lots of bright, scattered lighting; and cassette imagery reminiscent of that given to Chris Maloney for ‘What A Feeling’ in last year’s final.
Still, there was some help on the backing track, and they weren’t red-and-blacked. Indeed no one was significantly on Saturday night (though Chatterbox5200 has pointed out that Lorna was for her sing-off performance on Sunday night).
Judges’ comments reiterated how well they had “gelled” and “looked like they had been together for years” though each panellist, even mentor Gary Barlow, claimed that the girls needed to have more fun (interestingly, a similar line was used on District 3 in the first week last year). It was the kind of anodyne faint praise with some negativity that fails to motivate voters in any way.
Nonetheless, they avoided the danger zone of the singoff. If producers still want to be less than helpful, what can we expect this week?
It may depend on how far they were from the bottom two. If they only just escaped, it may not require both barrels this week now that Lorna has gone and Shelley has a potential sympathy bounce (she’ll also be celebrating her birthday this weekend). More damning treatment this coming weekend may indicate they did better than hoped last weekend.
Perhaps, as with last week, the death slot will be considered too obvious a device, as Nissl noted with his tinfoil hat on. AnnaC made the interesting point that a middling draw may not be favoured in the new flash vote. Either way, Miss Dynamix could find themselves once again followed up by a favoured act or in another big-hitter sandwich.
As for their VT, we expect the pregnancy to be passed over now that it has been dealt with, though lolhart thinks it could be used against them. A both barrels approach would see hints that the girls aren’t getting on so well, and that could be backed up in the staging (by keeping them far apart) and in judges’ comments.
More likely, we will get a VT concentrating on what was wrong with their week 1 performance. This tactic was taken to its extreme for Kye Sones in week 3 last year, when mentor Gary Barlow berated him for 32 flat notes in the first two minutes of his week 2 song. This and an obvious red-and-blacking was enough to get him in the bottom two that week.
On his latest podcast, Richard Betsfactor reckoned that a bottom two appearance would very likely see Miss Dynamix eliminated this week. His argument being that a singoff save would probably see them bounce into week 4 at least, which he reckons is not what producers want.
I have to agree. But in the back of my mind is last year’s week 2 singoff, when I assumed Melanie Masson would be saved over the poorly treated District 3. I got my fingers burnt then. Is there any chance producers could perform a U-turn on Miss Dynamix and get behind them?
The show could always make SeSe’s pregnancy a positive subplot in the live shows, something we suggested for 2 Shoes under similar circumstances in 2011. Kevin pointed out that, the Irish version of The Voice featured a heavily pregnant finalist: “The whole thing was handled superbly. It was a huge feelgood story.”
It’s not our opinion that producers should be nuking the pregnant acts, just our observation that they arguably did it before and appear to be doing it again.
The need to appear not to be nuking pregnant acts may be behind the lack of both barrels last weekend – and maybe this one too. The show needs plausible deniability, and sending the girls on 3rd and then, say, 6th is going to look perfectly fine.
As with last week, it’s the treatment of Miss Dynamix that I’m looking forward to most this weekend, mainly because it’s a likely indicator of producers’ methods when trying to get rid of an act – if indeed they are still trying to get rid of the girlband. Boki and stoney have already stated they think it will happen this weekend, whilst tpfkar thinks they are a value lay instead and jay also thinks they may survive another week.
Is there any chance of a reversal of fortune for Miss Dynamix? And if not, how do you expect producers to go about trying to finish the job this weekend? Let us know below.