The frontrunners in this week’s elimination market – Miss Dynamix and Abi Alton – were thrown under the bus in weeks 1 and 2 respectively, yet survived. They look especially vulnerable with the two surplus Overs now gone and Kingsland Road due a sympathy bounce. You’d expect producers to go after one of them this time and give the other some respite before trying to finish them off in week 4.
The question is: whom? Both acts suffered injury scares last week. The way these are handled in tonight’s VTs should be revealing. In one, last week’s events may be suggested as an indication of weakness, in the other an indication of bravery. My guess is that the act to appear later of the two will get the sympathetic hospital footage: a shortened version of ‘Casualty’, airing at the same time on BBC1.
My head says that Miss Dynamix will be the main target this week, but at a best-priced Evens, there’s no value in thinking so. Producers have kept with last week’s song choice, Gabrielle’s ‘Dreams’, which has about as much relevance to movies as it did the love and heartbreak theme. (The movie link is Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Magnolia’, where the song is used as a motif for a character whose life has gone disappointingly wrong).
Try listening to it: the song has no big moments and doesn’t go anywhere. In the context of an X Factor live show, it’s boring and unknown to the demographic.
Last week the girlband were due on sixth in the running order. If I were producers, I’d be tempted to put them on first this week, in the 15-minute Strictly overlap. They’d have the perfect excuse – tell the three girls it’s for the best to get their performance over with, so there’s less chance of SeSe having another panic attack whilst waiting to go on and more chance for her to rest afterwards.
I’d also pick up on the slightly pathetic-sounding excuse last week for not performing as a duo – that an hour was too short a time for Rielle and Jeannette to learn SeSe’s verse – by hinting that a lack of work ethic is the reason for giving them the same song again.
Commenters have generally been unimpressed by Abi’s song choice of ‘Moon River’ too. Richard Betsfactor explained: “It’s a very old school song that I used to play on Hospital Radio in 1996 to people in their 80’s.” Fair enough, but unlike ‘Dreams’, at least it’s an iconic movie theme. As I explained in Richard’s podcast, Abi does have a redemptive storyline to hand this week – that she’s back to doing what she does best – and the song choice allows for that possibility.
Abi’s had some bad press this week, and it would obviously be no surprise at all to see producers go after her again tonight. However, if they are confident of being able to get Miss Dynamix in the bottom 2, they may just want to help Abi steer clear of the singoff for a week to avoid having to give her a bounce. That way they could target her next week, when the disco theme is unlikely to suit.
We suspected last week that producers had set out to angle Kingsland Road into the bottom two with the hope of being able to give them a bounce by saving them against Miss Dynamix, before SeSe’s panic attack scuppered those plans. If the same thinking is at play again, who might they prefer to save against the girlband rather than the expendable Abi?
The betting suggests one of the boys – Sam Callahan or Luke Friend – is the most likely outcome, bearing in mind this week’s PR stories which indicate that everything is being done to help Kingsland Road bounce out of the danger zone. It will be interesting to see if they get the “introduce each act by name” VT that is classically used to give groups a strategic boost.
Luke has Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ and is due an early slot, but I’d be more worried about Sam Callahan dropping into the bottom two if ‘All I Want Is You’ turns out to be the minor U2 number rather than the song from Juno. Producers did their best for both acts last week, but I’m reminded that Sam was given less help in week 1. I’m waiting to see their treatment in the show tonight.
Rough Copy have been mentioned as possible shock bottom two candidates by the likes of JScouser after last week’s ropey vocals. We have a precedent for a big turn in treatment from a previously heavily-pimped boyband in week 3. Just watch the VT and staging for The Risk’s rendition of ‘Crazy’ back in 2011. However, it took a personnel change and a few more poor performances before they exited the competition in week 5, by which point Little Mix were carrying the hopes of the category.
I’d like to see evidence of a deramping of Rough Copy before getting involved, though. Producers’ attempt to give them Middle England appeal seems to be continuing with the song choice of Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do’.
Otherwise, Hannah Barrett should be boosted by a VT showing mentor Nicole joining her at workplace Gregg’s and a song choice, unlike any other this week, that is both iconic and recent. Nicholas, Sam Bailey and Tamera should be safe, and Tamera’s supporters should be pleased that her recent press has only been positive.
How do you think tonight’s show will unfold? Do let us know before and during in the comments section below.