X Factor 2013 Live Show 4: Will Abi Surivive?

After the first of the damp squib Sundays we’d worried about, we weren’t sorry to see the back of the flash vote. Producers have clearly decided that it subtracted more drama from Sunday than it added to Saturday.

As Chatterbox5200 noted in the comments, they also seemed to be prioritising ratings over nobblings by scheduling special guest Chic in the Strictly overlap. Viewers switching over from BBC1 were confronted with “dark horse” Luke in another helpful VT intended to portray him as likeable and determined to show his versatility.

This is surely one of those occasions when we can ignore staging that is sometimes a warning sign – red and black, and a mess of lighting (not inappropriately, given the song) – given that Luke got a three-judge standing ovation (the first of the series?). This was quite the pimping, and reinforced the impression that the show is throwing a hefty amount of weight behind Luke.

Sympathy bounces, more often than not, last only one week, which puts Kingsland Road in danger. In a page ripped half-heartedly from the Zayn Malik at bootcamp playbook, the VT focused on one member’s worries about dancing. At least we got to know him by name – Matt – but Kingsland Road are still not getting the coveted “introduce them all by name” VT.

The performance had Nicole calling on them to loosen up and Sharon saying they looked in fear of the bottom two, with Louis hoping they’ll be around for a few weeks and Gary pointing out that they put on a performance. This was neither an assassination nor a pimping, judges providing no great motivation to vote either out of enthusiasm or sympathy.

Up next, we saw Tamera responding to the Beyonce-a-like criticism by appearing to embark on a quest for an identity. One assumes we will see this pay off down the line as she discovers the identity producers have lined up for her; perhaps then judges will even learn how to pronounce her name.

‘Wishing on a Star’ provided plenty of opportunity for starry lighting, and the judges left us in no doubt that we were supposed to have been impressed – but we found the whole thing a bit dull, and audience reaction in the room sounded flat. We continue to get the impression that Tamera is proving a hard sell with the voting public.

Sam C’s VT started by pointing out how bad he was last week, and he got no help from the backing track this week. Coupled with WTF staging – including girls holding up red cards, after his footballing VT – it was all somewhat reminiscent of a Wagner or Rylan performance, prompting JScouser to wonder “Is Sam C this years Novelty Act?”

They could do with rustling one up from somewhere, as they’d reminded us with a Dermot interview with Souli Roots at the start of this segment of the show. And serious props to producers if it turns out that they’ve uncovered one under their noses in Sam C – not a possibility we’d considered when we lamented the lack of an entertainer in last week”s article. He does have some similarities with Rylan – the weakest vocalist in the competition, but personally likeable and an entertaining performer, all traits the judges pointed out last night.

Unfortunately he lacks Rylan’s easy charisma, but perhaps they’re exploring the possibility of morphing him into this kind of role. If so, it would be no surprise to see him “controversially” saved in a singoff or two. It will be interesting to see if the criticism was harsh enough to motivate his fans to save him from the danger zone this time around. (Interestingly, as happened with Abi last week, Sam got a backstage interview later with his parents defending him against criticism – although this will probably have been less motivating for Sam fans than it was for Abi, given how much less vulnerable Sam appears.)

In the comments to last week’s post, in response to a call for suggestions to perk this series up, Nissl suggested to “turn Rough Copy loose (with an admonishment not to flirt.) Their auditions absolutely made me smile. Of course, this is risking the middle Britain marketing plan.” The VT suggested this lesson had been taken to heart, and it was a more vibrant performance – sort of a dubstep breakdown – than we’d been used to after the sanitised ballads of the first three weeks.

Help from the backing track, pimping from the judges, and getting a section to themselves suggested they are still very much the alpha group.

“Abi Alton – I Will Surivive”, read the song list on Friday morning. Will you, now? That was the question that dominated debate in the Sofabet comments.

Abi’s VT showed her feeling sad as she watched – the many uses of a SAMSUNG tablet – the girl who auditioned and has since had her confidence shattered. She emphasised that the song choice and arrangement were entirely hers, and she had by far her best week yet. After last week, it was heartwarming to see her at the piano, having fun.

The question is, did this all have an “end of journey” vibe for Abi? Will voters who picked up the phones in sympathy last week be left thinking “ah, bless, she’s happy now”, and not pick up the phone this week?

Wee Nick’s dancing lessons evidently didn’t go well as he was fairly static during an underwhelming performance. Scotland will surely see their favourite son safely through towards the business end of the competition, but on this week’s evidence, producers appear to be hoping to pimp Luke into the alpha boy role. Then again, disco week was never likely to see Nick at his best.

The sympathy bounce coupled with a second-from-last slot in the running order should be more than enough to see Hannah safe. Producers couldn’t have done much more to help her back on track – shipping in James Arthur for the “winner who was in bottom two” vibe to rub off on her, great styling and great staging, with her name up in lights, and a backdrop of golden records. After last week’s hangdog look while receiving comments, it was good to see Hannah smiling again.

As predicted by Tim B, it was Sam Bailey’s turn in the pimp slot, and she’s now challenging Tamera for favouritism. If, as we suspect, Tamera hasn’t been polling all that well, was the message of tonight “well, our Plan A isn’t working out, let’s give everyone a chance”? It certainly made for what was, for us, the most enjoyable show of the season so far. (And for Nissl, whose take is always worth reading).

So where’s the elimination value? Our instant reaction to the show is that Kingsland Road look least likely to escape the bottom two – they are coming down from the sympathy bounce, and who is going to vote for them in week 4 who didn’t in week 2 (when they were bottom of the pack after singing second in the running order, as they did tonight)?

Sam C is odds-on favourite to be eliminated, but if there’s anything to the theory that he may be morphing into our novelty villain, there’s a case for wondering if he’d be saved over them. And the criticism he got was harsh enough to wonder if he’ll escape entirely.

Having been confident before the show that producers would grasp any chance to ditch Abi should she hit bottom two, we’re edging back towards the fence on that one after tonight’s performance. Tamera is as short as 9/2 to hit the singoff after her underwhelming performance, and Rough Copy 5/1.

Either of those would surely be saved over Kingsland Road, and there are question marks over what would happen should they hit the bottom with Abi or Sam C. While it would be no surprise to see either of those two ditched, all things considered, we reckon Kingsland Road at a general 3/1 to be eliminated is probably a bit bigger than they should be.

Your thoughts? As ever, do keep the debate going below.

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122 comments to X Factor 2013 Live Show 4: Will Abi Surivive?

  • Ben Cook

    Yes I think Kingsland Road’s time is up. If they were trying to nuke anyone this week it was surprisingly Sam C rather than Abi, but I agree that they would probably save him over the group, and in any case I still wouldn’t be surprised if they overdid it again and motivated his supporters to vote and we end up with Tamera or someone in the bottom 2. She was so dull tonight.

    Interesting they seemingly allowed Abi to choose the song and arrangement – she probably would go through this week on merit, though you may be right that people might not bother voting because they feel she doesn’t need it this week.

    I do wonder whether part of the reason they gave Abi a week off this week is that they’d rather a male act went this week so there isn’t too much of an imbalance. We’ve had three female acts go in consecutive weeks so it’s surely time for a male act to go.

  • Very much in the Kingsland Road to go tomorrow camp now.

  • They’re not sending Abi home after that. If KR don’t escape the B2 they’re out.

  • Also, Sam had his parents on the show last week, too. Did you say red flag?

  • R

    The lack of a flash vote also gives the judges more flexibility with the use deadlock again.

  • eurovicious

    I wholeheartedly agree with Jess and R on Abi – it was a stellar performance, note-perfect and a highly nuanced and sophisticated arrangement. Pure art – probably the most artistic X Factor performance ever. The comments were fair, she came over very well, it looked brilliant and she had a v sympathetic VT which portrayed her in a positive light and reminded us why she’s here by showing us her excellent audition. Her old look was back too, with the flowers in the hair. As to the reinterpretation of an upbeat song, it reminded me of Alanis Morrisette’s “My Humps” and Marina & The Diamonds’s “Starstrukk” (check those out if you liked Abi tonight).

    So this week it’s not the show I’m all angry-wangry at, but viewers – I wrote last week about the horrible comments about Abi on Twitter and I was surprised then, but I’m even more baffled to see such overwhelmingly negative opinion of her (from young people) this week after that performance. This is what you get when, as a culture, you raise people on inane formula-written Swedish-produced mush by interchangeable starlets and boybands – when they hear something REAL, they switch off because they’ve never developed the musical palate to appreciate it and they don’t know how to respond to it. Abi just served up a gourmet meal but half the audience is too coke-‘n’-chips to appreciate it. However, Twitter is not representative and I think she will be safe, it’s the sort of performance that certainly does delight the demo and it will motivate music-lovers to vote. (Do music-lovers watch X Factor?)

    I also think Tamera may be in peripheral danger. I think it’s much more likely she’ll be safe but I wouldn’t rule out an outside chance of B2. Her vocal was stellar, but the song and her performance of it were kinda dreary – it’s a repetitive, low-key number that doesn’t really grow or change (unlike the climax in Abi’s arrangement of I Will Survive), and she was on early, immediately followed by another act, and there were a lot of “star” comments and a starry background. I agree with Daniel that she may not be polling as highly as they’d like.

    Heisenberg’s ranking for the week pretty much exactly reflected my own thoughts with one exception – Sam C at the bottom. (Heisenberg, if you’re reading, can you give us an indication of why this was?) Despite tonight, I do think he’ll be safe. I can kind of see what you mean about them crudely shoehorning him into the “controversial act” niche – the OTT staging and extended camera focus on Gary’s open-mouthed reaction did seem designed to create a “moment”. For the first time, I didn’t like Sam C’s vocal. But he’s such a likeable guy, and mature and chipper for his age in the way he interacts with Dermot/Caroline and takes the jury comments that I think he’ll pull in votes. It was negative enough to motivate votes… just. He didn’t cry but he looked sufficiently genuinely crestfallen for me to want to give him a special hug, and girls and gays from Truro to Thurso will react the same. I’ve learned never to underestimate the cute boy in these types of shows and he’s the only contestant filling that role.

    To me, KR seem like more of a lock to be B2 and then to go than any other act so far this series. They offered nothing new and nothing spectacular, were on second, received run-of-the-mill feedback with no memorable moments and no strong praise or criticism, are coming down off a bounce, are not fanciable (Thompson at a push), don’t have a sob story (well, “living in London” I guess), and the song wasn’t appropriate for their theoretical demographic (although they weren’t alone in that tonight). I don’t see the point in keeping them around or what the show can do with them narrative-wise. The effect of their VT was to prime viewers to look for mistakes in Matt’s dancing. I didn’t think the camerawork was all that helpful either.

    Luke’s performance was excellent (who knew he could do uptempo, OW?) but I did wonder whether there was slight deramping going on – take the show’s coolest, most indie act, the one it’s OK to like if you’re not quite sure about X Factor and all this pop malarkey, and have him rollerskating around the house doing disco moves then singing in golden shoes like a hairy Herrey. The VT also opened with Louis saying to him he could go “all the way” (= demotivating votes-wise) and ended with Luke saying he’s “still improving” (= I haven’t been very good). He was also on first for the first time, but I’m more inclined to see that as a sign of confidence in him, plus there was no overlap. I wouldn’t rule out an outside chance of B2 – I’m not sure he delighted the demo tonight and it’s not impossible that his momentum is merely the product of him having done 3 good performances in his comfort zone in 3 late slots and is less than people thing.

    Rough Copy are value for B2. They’ve done the same thing 4 weeks in a row and tonight didn’t feel particularly off-the-hook, people must be getting bored of it. I can’t see their song choices and performances particularly appealing to girls, as a group they’re so vibrant and fresh but their songs have all been so dated.

    Nick: fine. That’s all. He can sing anything. Incredible voice, incredibly calm, mature and professional. Sam B: brilliant, particularly what she said afterwards about channeling all of her emotions into one and putting them into the song. Good lass.

    They really want Hannah to bounce, don’t they? So we get the Arthur association and the sob story, golden treatment and repeated references to her B2 appearance being a “shock”, and the song ends with a pointed shot of her giving a big smile and wink to the camera instead of looking awkward like last week. Two questions: 1) If she fell out with her family so badly that she had to move into temporary accommodation, why are they in the audience cheering for her? 2) How is “I live away from my family” a sob story? I’ve lived in a different country from mine for 10 years, including 5 months in temporary accommodation, you don’t see me on ITV bellowing obscure disco classics into a microphone with all the vocal nuance of a bullock being castrated. Which is to say once again, the one central factor they can’t control is her lack of vocal adeptness. They can go all out on everything else, and have done every week so far, but as long as she keeps singing whatever they give her in the style of Mordo off Futurama, people will not vote for her. It’s off-putting.

    • Kevin

      Wonderful contribution. Do you think Hannah’s treatment is because Tamera is not polling well? Plan A Girl winner being the motivation

      • eurovicious

        Thanks. Pretty much the only reason I watch the show now is so I can play Will Self on here once a week. You see, writing is all I have – I live away from my family and was in temporary accommodation and had an operation and had my heart broken and my terrier went under a steamroller and my mum’s just been diagnosed with a rare form of achy breaky pelvis and I’M NOT GOING BACK THERE! *bawls*

        I think Tamera and Hannah are a sort of double-handled Plan A – one based on idealism (Tamera), the other on realism/cynicism (Hannah). The idea seems to be “if we can’t get our star over the finish line, we’ll run with the girl with the sob story instead”. I think Tamera is brilliant and I maintain she stands a good chance of winning – she has really broad appeal and can handle pretty much anything – but Hannah is miscast. I like Tamera because she’s extremely competent and hasn’t cried her way through the contest, but in terms of winning potential, if Tamera had Hannah’s backstory and cried even half as much she’d be a shoe-in. Look at Alex Burke – Beyonce practically needed water-wings during that performance. Producers, if you’re reading, Tamera lots of crying in the latter stages please.

        • Chris Bellis

          eurovicious – commiserations on the heartbreak and the loss of your dog. Most of my friends who have split up with male or female companions and also lost dogs seem to have felt the loss of the dog more than the person. My time of life and my type of friends I suppose.
          I mentioned earlier that my bookie relative tipped Rough Copy to go through when all were saying they would be out a couple of weeks ago. He’s still got his own money on them, for what it’s worth. I don’t know whether Gary Barlow praising them is a good thing or a bad thing though.

          • eurovicious

            You know I was joking, right? My terrier didn’t really go under a steamroller. It was a combine harvester. (And anyway, I’m a whippet man.)

          • eurovicious

            Ya know, this shows just how well sob stories can work.

        • Chris Bellis

          eurovicious – good one! I thought the terrier’s awful death was a metaphor for your life, so I was moved to tears. Almost as much as I was by Michelle McManus so many years ago.
          By the way, to the commenters who think that Tamera’s not sexy, you are obviously fans of the Partridge Family.

          • I don’t think there are any commentators that think Tamara isn’t sexy – but more the point that ITV can’t push her as a sex symbol on a family TV show because she is only 16 – would be frowned upon by a large proportion of their viewers.

          • eurovicious

            She’s legal. And hot. Even if the show don’t portray her as such, blokes will still see her that way.

          • eurovicious

            We did actually have a terrier for a couple of years, inherited from my schizophrenic grandmother after she went into a home. We also had a whippet for many years, inherited from my grandfather. My parents euthanised him so we could go on holiday to Switzerland.

            Now you don’t know whether I’m joking or not, do you? 🙂 Neither do I sometimes…

  • Kevin

    I agree re; Kingsland Road, backed them beforehand and have gone in again. The were bottom of a vote, we cant say Sam was. If B2 i think they will go.

  • I have to think, though, that maybe, Sam’s just being dragged to hell and not being bashed into sympathy. Not sure if he will play ball as a joke act and seems to be serious about his music (even Jedward, with their pop star ambitions, took a piss at themselves).

  • Donald

    At the price Kingsland Road to go was tempting and have had a decent go at it. A good night ahead for Sofabet hopefully. Sam C odds on to go but following Sofabet.

  • Lia

    OK, I just have to highlight something I noticed. Abi performed, got praised, she was happy. Good sign for her? Not too sure. All comments were about how great she was doing her (only) thing. Then she is followed by WeeNick clearly trying very hard to do something different, even if it’s way out of his comfort zone. He says very clearly: “I want to show I am not a one trick pony”. Anyone else thinks this VT edit was done this way on purpose or was it just me? Nick also got stars and honestly, it was a lot better than I thought it would be.
    Regarding Sam C, he might get some sympathy votes. Gary’s comments in particular were overtly harsh and unnecessary. I agree the staging was bad but no need to put HIM down like that. And I don’t think he’s joke act material. He’s miles off Rylan’s banter, Jedward’s craziness or Wagner’s hallucinations. I see Souli Roots and can’t help thinking “what if”.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I thought Nicholas was dull. The song is about sex, or rather making lurve. He sang it as if it was about dancing. It works as a song to make slow love to but not as a dance song. I don’t think he’ll be b2 but it does show his limitations. I think Tamera, Nicholas and Hannah all need couple of years, maybe 3 or 4, to become the real deal. They’re not cooked yet.

  • I saw the squeeze used three times in one live show!

    Kingsland Road (squeezed between new dark horse Luke and Queen Tamera)
    Sam C. (squeezed between Queen Tamera and alpha group Rough Copy)
    Abi (squeezed between alpha group Rough Copy and Saint Nicholas)

  • Wide angles all over and it kept moving. It ticks all the boxes.

  • Fudd

    One thing regarding Abi – last year Gary told District 3 that they had lost their uniqueness somewhere along the way after they had sung Dynamite. The sympathy vote promptly saved them from the bottom two and the following week they returned to their roots with Tears in Heaven, were praised and… fell into the bottom two and were eliminated.

    Last week, Gary commented that Abi had lost her uniqueness somewhere along the way after she had sung Moon River. The sympathy vote promptly saved her from the bottom two and the following week she returned to her roots with I Will Survive, was praised and…

    For that reason I wouldn’t write her off falling into the bottom two.

    • sistermym

      And so for the morning after the night before:

      A big push from the producers to get the show winning the ratings war: Disco week,Dermot dance, Cameo by James Arthur (he does have a single to promote) Big hair everywhere, Chic on first as it doesn’t matter if no-one watches them and much press in the weekend papers (how many Xfactor articles in the Mail?) and lastly no more Flash Vote! I believe that the voting figures must be really poor as they have all but thrown the kitchen sink at it this weekend. I makes me think that we could have a shocker in the Bottom 2 this week…

      So in no particular order:

      I agree with Fudd insightful comment about Abi and she could be a goner. Way to go Abi to kill off a major stomper of a song…with artistry…( sorry eurovicious) I admit I watched it twice with mixed feelings, yes it was interesting but I kept waiting to see her get up and mosh it but no it was all slow and understated and nasally. Her voice is like Marmite and I hate marmite.

      Luke: I am feeling vindicated that I backed him and said he is the dark horse in Week 1 as other commentators were writing him off. Dark Horse was mentioned in the VT, in the comments, on here and in the papers. He is on his way to become the Alpha at the expense of Nick.

      I could not believe that Nick would make the Final from the start because of his blandness and one-dimensional ballads. This week taking on an upbeat Michael Jackson number I felt he was really exposed: vocals were weaker, dancing…well if you call that dancing, it was really awkward, staging was horrible with dancers everywhere to the point he looked like he was drowning in a sea of colours. His backdrop of flashing rainbow colours made it quite hard to focus on him. So I was really surprised with the Judges comments praising him… He may have a shock B2 and even go this week. My thinking is that much has been made of his regional and wide appeal but who has the money to pick up the phone in Scotland or anywhere else…The votes are down and voters may think he is a safe act.

      Kingsland Road: Argh, colour vomit! Thanks for the turn of phrase…I actully fast-forwarded through it. If they are not in the Bottom 2…I will be losing some money.

      Tamera: I actually thought she did the song justice but only if you closed your eyes while listening to it. Seriously she looked like she was singing in a strip club…cringe-inducing performance completely at odds with the way the PTB are trying to portray her ( No, no she is a nice girl really…look at her rollerskate)

      Sam B: As the judges said, performance of the night and if I was voting for anyone it would be her just because she fits the show’s format and ethos so well in terms of her narrative. Louis comment about Yummy Mummy was pure Louis.

      Hannah: I like the double Plan A theory from Eurovicious but I thought she did well and she will be on a bounce so safe.

      Rough Copy: starting to be shoe-horned into JLS mold. Safe

      Sam C: What was that! Gary’s open mouth reaction was priceless.Overkill to the max so I am calling it safe.

  • Jessica Hamby

    In terms of camera work, only Sam C and KR got the jerky edits. Everyone else got nice, connecting shots. Surely that singles them out as B2.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Regarding Tamera, is it possible that her age is an issue? If she was a couple of years older they could make her sexy, but 16 feels a bit uncomfortable.

    • Leroy

      Yes, i think so, too. The constant reminders of her age only reinforces the fact that she’s off limits. She’s just too young for the sexy angle. There seems something confusing about her: on one hand the tabloid stuff, the confidence to have grown-up relationships and older boyfriends, and on the other the timid, quite shy, sixteen year old who often comes across as a bit of a cold fish. I thought ‘Disco’ would be an opportunity to show her having some fun but it never got close, so only adds to the disconnect i feel with her. I really struggle to see how her low price in the win market is justified at his stage.

  • Did anyone notice how COORDINATED *sarcasm* the outfits of Kingsland Road are?

  • Boki

    I’m glad they scrapped the flashvote since that leave more flexibility to the punters today.

    SamC had terrible distracting staging so it will be a test for his followers if they can vote him out of b2 again, harsh criticism will help and I’m surprised he’s so low for the elimination (anyone else?).

    KR most probably b2, agree on that, that’s my only pre-and-live-show bet.

    Abi was back to herself so that’s not a good sign for her. However, She was allowed (and did a great job there) to arrange the song herself and did her best live performance on the lives – probably enough for the escape but not certain.

    Tamera indeed underwhelming, it was classy but didn’t fit well to the rest, it will also be a test of her support and probably still a value bet as some say. Btw, do people expect an unexpected b2 appearance again? It can happen, especially for someone who started good and we think he’s doing great but actually not (example The Risk week after MishaB). But my point is that now many put Tamera into that role so that’s not unexpected anymore (but a put a small amount on that anyway).

    Which leads me to RC, I would say they are the perfect candidates to join KR. What puts me off is the fact they did a fun performance in their element for the first time and were looking good on screen (another nail for KR btw), also second amount of likes on FB after SamB (almost more than all the rest together). Anyone has data how are they doing on twitter?

    SamB smashed it, Luke also, Hannah will bounce, so that was it. No, wait, it’s only 8, I forgot someone. So while I’m writing this I completely skipped Nic and that tells exactly what I think about his performance – completely unmemorable and flat. Not only it’s his nightmare disco week but the song he’s given is bland, he didn’t enjoy it at all. Richard will not be delighted to see lot of distracting colors on lighting and dancers also. I can hardly see people in UK voting for this performance especially when everyone assumes he’s safe as houses because of his roots. I would make him a perfect surprise b2 candidate if he wasn’t from Scotland, but are we really really sure that Scottish vote is so unbreakable? Since he was praised by the judges, could be expect the same “he’s safe” effect there also?
    Anyway, week after week they give him rubbish to sing and I’m afraid that Luke might overtake him so took some measures there.

    • re: Sam C. I’m not sure if they’re smelling blood and going for the kill or they’re softening him up for the kill next week (if so, poor lad, to be sacrificed on the week his idol Robbie Williams performs). This seems like a twist on Abi’s critique a few weeks ago, but Gary’s fundamental question of his place in the show seems to make it more than that.

      re: Abi. They were very accommodating w.r.t. lighting, camera angles, etc. She must have very few voting fans if she lands the bottom.

      Tamera had an understated, underrated performance, second to Sam Bailey (or third to Sam B. and the wonderful guest performers :D) in terms of quality imho. That said, I think she doesn’t have the level of polarity of Cher Lloyd and Misha B. to warrant a B2 appearance this early.

      If you mean Twitter followers, Rough Copy is 6th behind the three boys (surprisingly the top 3), Kingsland Road, and Tamera.

      • Boki

        I mean not the followers but twitter sentiment from last night and today, it seems that the last week the least talked about contestant was Hannah, there was not much twitter traffic about her.

  • AlisonR

    Kingsland Road and Sam C were undoubtedly the targets but Sam may escape – the negative comments will motivate the pink mobile vote. Rough Copy, Tamera or even Wee Nick could be in trouble. Abi’s performance gave me tingle factor, Luke and Hannah both had their names visibly displayed and did a decent job. Sam B is just class.

    Big Band next week, apparently. That could be tricky for Luke.

  • Leroy

    What are the current thoughts on who would be saved in the instance of a Sam C v Kingsland Rd bottom two?

    • Speaking of which, Louis and Gary have been going after the other’s weak points (i.e. Sam C. and KR). Obviously they will save their own acts.

      Despite Louis’s decision to send home Shelley, I think Sharon will send KR home. As for Nicole, she will probably send Sam home unless she sees a glint in his eye in the sing-off or something.

    • Morning Leroy, our thinking is that if we were them, we’d save Sam C. It makes more narrative sense to us – Gary gets to be outraged that his act has lost out to Sam C, whose performance he hated. It creates some controversy, the lifeblood of the show, and some spark and needle for next week – a reason for people to tune in and see what happens. Whereas what’s the upside in saving KR twice? Who’d be tuning in to see that narrative develop, and where would you take it?

      Of course, we’re not them, and they may be thinking differently!

    • Boki

      I see that as a perfect opportunity to go for a deadlock since that tension was gone with the flashvote.

  • Boki

    It was said on Xtra that Abi had a last minute song change, not sure how to read that.

  • Dean

    The song will help Abi. Sam C was awful.

  • Dean

    What I will say though is the Sam fans will be out voting. Wouldn’t be surprised of it’s an all group B2.

    • eurovicious

      If you had to pin me down, right now I’d also say an all-groups B2, which is also what I predicted before the show. I think it’s KR plus one other, and who that is is pretty open – RC, Luke or Tamera. I agree with Denia’s comment that Tamera, as she’s come over on-screen, hasn’t been sufficiently polarising to necessarily warrant a B2 appearance this early. But there were a lot of warning signs last night and her song and performance were boring. Abi was boring last week and survived but Tamera doesn’t evoke the sympathy Abi does.

      I think they ditched the flash vote because it was affecting both revenue and bounce. By having two separate votes, you’re essentially trying to make people vote twice in the same weekend – once to keep their favourite act from hitting bottom on Saturday, then the same thing again on Sunday. As such, it demotivates Sunday voting and thus led to some unexpected and undesired results – like Shelley not bouncing (well, she bounced on the Saturday, just not on the Sunday) and Hannah coming bottom of the Sunday vote last week. Without the flash vote I think Shelley would have bounced, as they presumably wanted her to, and after last week, they didn’t want to take the risk of Hannah not bouncing, so they ditched it.

  • sistermym

    I really thought this week is a ratings war and a vote grabbing exercise. This is how the show makes money first and foremost; ratings generates advertising money and voting cash in bank.

    So I am not to surprised to see the return of Cowell and Cole (maybe): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2483925/Simon-Cowell-lines-Cheryl-Cole-X-Factor-return.html

    • Ben Cook

      Interesting to see several of the tabloids running with this. Does this mean they’re all making the same thing up or could it actually be true this time? Seems unlikely that any decision would be made this early.

  • Dean

    For anyone surprised with Abi last night I just remembered she sang I was a dance with somebody at bootcamp in her own arrangement. Was surprised they let her do it her way here. I do get the feel it’s a kind of send off message . If not this week then next. If I was TPTB I’d want Abi on the tour though. She has a beautiful niche and it seems she has her fans.

    Kingsland. No point of then here at all. Big danger of going.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Wwhen they call an act brave, isn’t that a kind of damning with faint praise. It’s like saying they did the wrong thing or something. It certainly doesn’t feel complimentary when the judges say it.

  • annie

    I do feel to that this had a nice end of journey feel to it. They kind of reinstated her artistic credibility after ruining her the previous weeks, I think she was easily one of the best of the night, but after the praise (which wasnt over the top) she wasnt really mentioned later (like in Xtra factor …) maybe shell survive this week, a la Katie Waissel (when she did a wonderfull rendition oh Help after the series of bad weeks) and then fall next week.

  • Not much mention of it in the above Article, what did everyone make of Sams VT, other than the reminder of how bad he was… it was mainly about viewing Sam as a footballer?

    Im not sure how it will be perceieved, what was the intention etc

    • Acne. Knock down the “hot guy” vote (I’d expect that teen girls, if they decide they no longer fancy someone cos he doesn’t have a great face, will stop caring about the body)

    • He seemed down in the dumps in the house (thanks to Gary) whilst very happy back with his old pals… a sign that he should just be sent off?

      Oh yes, he forgot to put on makeup during his VT. Also, I think his forehead looks huge with his hair pushed back (it’s been that way for 4 weeks but I just noticed). Sabotage? 😀

      P.S. If he is indeed the target and they miss the mark, they should blame Gary for laying it on too thick. The consolation prize, though, will be that salt has been planted on the earth and his chances of getting floating voters are close to zero.

      • sistermym

        I always thought that for a supposed hot guy, he is fairly average. And they got rid of of the good looking ones at bootcamp. It would have been interesting to have had Alejandro Matt and Paul as top 3 boys.

    • Hi JS, good question, didn’t mention it in the article as wasn’t immediately sure what to make of it. The football showed him as good at sport and popular with his mates, which you would think are both traits teeenage girls would find attractive. On the other hand maybe the overall effect was to depict him as an ordinary lad (i.e. not a popstar). Not sure.

      • Tim B

        I saw the football VT as a positive for Sam C. It showed how much support he was having back home from his team mates (in contrast to Sophie Habibis in the empty pub). Portraying him as a football player is good as it shows him as being both popular and a team player. It will also make him more attractive to females as both a sporty guy and a football player – more young girls these days aspire to be WAGs than teachers, doctors or lawyers (it’s true, they’ve done studies).

  • Natasha

    So after week 4 of the lives I really can not call who will be in the top 3. I am confused! Sam Bailey is definatly a force to be rekoned with and TPTB certainly have their work cut out trying to derail her should they not want her in the top 3 or even 1st place. My hopes were for Nick but after last night, it shows he isn’t that versatile after all and I don’t know if the scottish vote alone will push him to the top spot. I am looking forward to big band week and hope it regains my faith in him. Luke Friend seems the only ‘credible’ artist and is certainly getting better week on week along with helpful treatment but the fact that he didn’t get much air time pre lives confuses me as to what their plans are for him. What winner do they want (still a girl?) What top 3 do they want? I thought i had an idea but seems not anymore!

    • Nissl

      Well, the easy call is that they’re looking for a Tamera/Rough Copy/Sam B/Luke/Nick final 5. Of the other 4, Hannah’s the only one who hasn’t been roughed up – though we’ve gotten indirect reminders of her crying excessively and now looking dour – and she’s already hit B2.

      It’s too early to really start deramping any disfavored acts out of that final 5, not to mention that they need to work hard to keep things mostly positive and fun – with a little controversy – for ratings. I’m not even sure what my thinking is on the relative commercial potential of those 5 at the moment, especially since I can’t see the votes. Does Nick have a static regional vote that hasn’t grown at all? Are RC, Tamera, or perhaps even Luke barely scraping by above B2 (unlikely in Luke’s case, given the show’s growing interest?)

      I don’t think much has really changed from preseason other than that Luke has pushed himself into the favorites pool.

      • Natasha

        Yes I agree with you on that top 5 without a doubt however, I do think they have a tough job at getting Tamera there. I know she is plan A and thought Nick could have been plan B but not sure on that one and not sure who could be crowned apart from her. I think i’m a bit frustrated because by this point every year (apart from 2011) I know or have a strong feeling who the winner will be but as you said, it is still early days. It was at this point last year i layed heavily on James Arthur so naturally wanted a repeat! Patience is a virtue so will have to try lol

        • Jessica Hamby

          Your last sentence about patience has struck a chord with me. I’m not betting, probably won’t this year, but even my imaginary bets are causing me anxiety. I need to learn to relax and trust my judgement rather than get the collywobblesand change my mind according to what I’ve read, seen or heard most recently otherwise I’ll be cutting the heads off cockrels and looking for signs in the bones.

          • Natasha

            I’m the same as you at the moment with regard to feeling anxious etc oonly my bets are real and don’t want to miss an oppertunity on someones odds before they get shorter week by week

          • eurovicious

            Speaking from experience, it’s much better to be anxious about bets than cavalier about them. Fear is your friend, so be cautious. I gambled professionally (4-figure sums) for about 18 months and in my first year I hardly ever lost and built up a significant sum, which ultimately was a damaging experience because it led to me becoming cavalier. In the following 6 months I had a series of 3 big losses due to overconfidently putting lump sums on things because I was convinced I was right, almost out of principle to a certain extent. My hubris was my downfall.

          • Natasha

            Funny you should say that, i’ve had 3 relativly big wins on reality tv over the last year so am being cautious this time as i know becoming over confident and greedy will be my downfall! I’ll wait a few more weeks and if it means shortened odds then so be it!

        • Nissl

          I cannot bet, but if you forced me to win bet in the current market I’d put cash on the acts that I think are connecting strongly and consistently. That would be Sam B (although I continue to see her as a runner up) and now Luke. I’d lay the preseason favorites with big question marks. In particular, picking Tamera to get across the line at this point strikes me as putting an awful lot of faith in the power of producer nobbling, especially given last season.

  • Dan

    I missed last night’s episode due to storms knocking out the power and I haven’t had a chance to catch up yet.

    Noting the comments on here, it’s interesting to see #VoteKingslandRoad has been trending all day on Twitter. I bet they end up in the bottom two tonight which will help prove my theory that tweets don’t equal votes when it comes to the boybands.

    Good to see the flash vote gone. I think that’s a significant move and must have been driven by a very negative impact on voting numbers and viewing figures. It will be interesting to see if they publish the voting percentages for the flash vote at the end of the series as I suspect that one reason for dumping it was that they came very close to losing favoured acts.

    • eurovicious

      Yeah, it’s still trending. Be interesting to see what happens.

      If Tamera does go B2 tonight, as is being widely speculated, that makes intended gamma girl Abi the alpha girl in terms of votes…

  • Dean

    Luke Friend has definitely taken the role they originally planned for Frankie Cocozza except he’s a much nicer guy. Frankie if you recall was certainly plan B at the start and I think we can almost say the same of Luke.

    To be sent on 1st he must be polling rather well.

    • eurovicious

      This, exactly. Frankie was cast entirely on image without regard to basic competence, something Luke has to spare.

    • eurovicious

      Yes, his being on 1st last night wasn’t necessarily a disadvantage in that he performed right after everyone switched over from SCD. However I am wary of the fact that his perceived/imagined momentum could just be the result of 3 good weeks in 3 late slots. I do think mums and dads will like him, he comes over as a normal likeable lad and is down to earth and relatable. The hair-washing was a good idea.

  • Chris Bellis

    I know this isn’t Eurovision (my real love) but Sam B’s first high note when she started moving was way off. In Eurovision that would be a death sentence. Presumably since no-one has mentioned it, nobody cares that she was off key for the first part of the song. For a short period there were echoes of Jemini. I felt sorry I put money on her, and am hoping that the usual suspects with no musical taste vote for her regardless.

  • Chris Bellis

    Luke said
    “I don’t think there are any commentators that think Tamara isn’t sexy – but more the point that ITV can’t push her as a sex symbol on a family TV show because she is only 16 – would be frowned upon by a large proportion of their viewers.”
    You obviously think that the viewing public for this show is less hypocritical than I do. I can think of many 16 year olds whose sexy image is pushed by the media when it suits them. It may not be as blatant as for someone a couple of years older, but it still exists. The Mail website seems to be made up of even younger girls in various sexy poses. But I do take your point – Junior Eurovision has never been shown in this country because of the perceived sexualization of under age young people, even though nobody in Europe sees it that way. The UK is full of uptight puritans with no sense of hunour or perspective.

    • eurovicious

      Junior Eurovision was shown in the first few years when the UK was part of it and ITV was responsible. There were even national finals, which produced gems like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP4D8aUAIwo I agree otherwise. This is why I object to people making lazy paedo cracks about it – can’t people let kids be kids without having to apply a sexual filter to everything? People don’t watch adult Eurovision for sexual reasons so why would they watch Junior Eurovision for sexual reasons?

      • Chris Bellis

        I defer to your superior knowledge. I would have been out of the country at that time. I think the Yewtree and Minipops scandals have finished off any chance of us having a bit of innocent fun watching some talented (and not so talented from memory of my time in Spain) young performers on JESC. You have to watch it on the net or through a eurobird dish via CYFRW I suppose. And I woldn’t be surprised if Virgin’s filters blocked the content as it has done with loads of other totally innocent stuff, including for some reason the Specsavers website.

        • eurovicious

          You seem very knowledgeable about this. Just watch it on eurovision.tv.

          • Chris Bellis

            eurovicious – Thanks. I’ve just got to hope my Virgin cable has become less like a Taliban censor. Pity too there’s not a sofabet comments page on that. I’ll have to use a Gibraltar betting site too. I love everything Eurovision and have done ever since I can remember. Kitsch enertainment at its best. The junior ones are mainly Eastern European and I like their music. I am not a paedophile and I resent this moralistic twaddle that stops innocent entertainment. Rant over – nothing to see here.

          • eurovicious

            I wouldn’t bet on JESC if I were you, it’s chaos. Mind you, I wouldn’t bet on the adult one now either after the voting irregularities this year.

  • Bottom 2 predictions: Abi Vs Kingsland Road. (even if Callahan should be going). Kingsland to go?

  • Dean

    The question for Sam is how much will his fans have been tempted to pick up the phone? I do not think his votes were that great anyway so the really harsh criticism and Gary’s opened mouth face which was legendary, can be seen either as going in for the kill this week or trying to actually generate some votes for him to stay this extra week/

    How many will be on the tour?

    • Dean

      Furthermore looking back on it I genuinely think it is going in for the kill. I do not think Sam will generate as much sympathy like Abi did last week from her fans. For me the only 3 I believe will not fall into the B2 this week are actually Sam B, Nic and Luke… all the others have a chance for me.

      Sam’s staging/lighting by the way was disastrous. Just total chaos.

      • annie

        I found Nic particularly bland, boring and unappealing this week. might not land him B2, but I suspect he took a great dive percentage-wise. If next week wasnt Big Band (which will suit him like a glove ) he would be in danger soon enough. Im not so sure of his top finish anymore, because of the way things are working for luke. He is edgy enough for young and teens, pretty faced too, but also pleasant and good enough for mums. He will pick up much more of the floaters than weeNic I think and will triumph over his regional appeal as the weeks pass.

  • Dean

    Looking at it he has a chance to land in B2 as you say. He was very bland and a bit same old. At the moment I think they are putting this in our minds about him, a little like how they did with Janet from week 2/3 onwards. Everything is just samey. Personally I really like Nic, but if there was ever a week his votes could drop its this as the criticism wasn’t enough to generate sympathy votes and at the same time he did not delight his demo. Not even sure Scotland’s public will vote every week just for him

    • Natasha

      Nick didn’t recieve any critism, quite the opposite actually considering his weak performance

      • Dean

        That is my point. The only people really motivated to vote for him last night were his ‘true’ fans who do this every week. The occasional Nic voters and any floating votes definitely will not be IMO. I’m confident he has enough of a fanbase to avoid B2 this week though.

        • Natasha

          I tend to disagee. His twitter followers go up in thousands every week so he is still gaining momentum even after that performance last night

          • Dean

            Well for sure like I said I really like Nic and for me his first 3 weeks he sang brilliantly. However, they are certainly not pimping him, even if they are not deramping him. I think it actually says a lot and its why he is still someone I can see winning the show. I just think this week might be one of his worst percentage wise. Like I also said though he has enough of a fanbase to probably ensure he Is not in the B2.

            A lot of people still think Nic is the alpha boy, certainly in the votes he probably is currently, but for me TPTB would prefer Luke to go further from what I am seeing

          • Natasha

            I read on unreality tv today that he has topped the votes each week which is good and I think that is why he is not being pimped although i can see Sam B topping the votes this weekend so a pimp slot next week would be good to gain votes from floaters and would be perfect for Nick considering its big band week. Regarding Luke being possible Alpha, I think the revenue X Factor gets from all of Nicks votes is far more beneficial to them than Luke going further in the competition, thats my opinion anyway 🙂 altjough, the treatment Luke is getting is a bit of a worry ha

          • sistermym

            I would agree because he has very little appeal after the show gir Syco and could be another Leon.

          • Dean

            Any idea what the source was? because Nic is actually being backed in for a B2 appearance. That said he is still as high as 25s in places and as low as 12s.

            Kingsland Road are also getting heavily backed it seems now a best priced 4/9 for the B2 appearance. I think they could be goners. They do not even have a narrative on the show anymore. At least with Sam he has that ‘Rylan’ thing about him going on now in terms of a crap signer but good performer/personality though not as crazy as Rylan. Only reason to keep Kingsmill is if they do not want to leave Gary with 1 act, but they did not see that as a problem for Sharon.

            Tamera is also as short as 4s now for B2. Not worth backing at them odds for me, but she could be in ddanger.

          • sistermym

            Nice shocker for the show to have Nick in bottom 2

          • Dean

            Isnt it normally the Daily Mail that gives us the great leaks? 🙂 However it would not surprise me if he has been topping the votes

          • Natasha

            I think so yeh and thats prob where they got it from as there was a similar one last week or the week before 🙂

          • If it’s not from the Daily Star, don’t believe it. They reported that Nicholas topped the vote in week 2, but this was when Sam Bailey was de-ramped. I’d be amazed if she didn’t top the vote in weeks 1, 3 and 4.

    • eurovicious

      I think Nick’ll be fine. Vocally he was flawless as usual, he just didnae do any jiggin’ aboot.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I don’t think Nick will be b2. I’m pretty sure it’s Kingsland and a n other from Abi, Sam C and less likely Tamera (bit dull), Hannah (shouty and then blown off stage by Sam B). Obv if Sam C’s and Abi’s fans are moved to vote and Hannah’s or Tamera’s are a bit apathetic, that’s where it gets interesting.

        My pretend money is on Abi to go and KR to be b2. I don’t think it’s going to work out that way now. I think KR are likely to go and I’ve a feeling Abi won’t be b2, although that may be personal bias because I was impressed by what she did with the song.

  • Not mentioned above, just worth noting that the background video that was on during Abi’s performance, was at first shattered pieces of glass then towards end of performance as the Piano turned, the pieces formed a love heart.

  • annie

    so will they save abi over kingsland rd? i think they will 🙂

  • Nissl

    Told y’all to lay Tamera in the win market before the show 😉

  • Fudd

    Plan B and Plan A in the bottom two over two weeks? Who’s Plan C?

    • Nissl

      Luke.

      Plus getting RC to the final 4 at least. And testing the adult contemporary waters with Sam B and selling some albums to moms with Nick.

      The tricky decision is that they’ll have to B2 save Tamera against at least one of those if they want to get her to the final 4.

    • eurovicious

      I think Tamera is more important to them than Hannah so while they’ll try to bounce Tamera to the top 4, they may let Hannah go. They will continue with their efforts to lose Abi and Sam next and if I’m correct they won’t save Hannah a second time, leaving us with a top 5 of Sam B, Nick, Luke, Tamera and RC. Given that a) Tamera and RC are important for Syco, b) Sam B and Nick are the public’s favourites and both extremely professional singers who’ll be nigh-on impossible to dislodge, and c) Luke also seems to be increasingly popular, they’d be unwise to try and bounce Hannah past about 6th.

      • Boki

        This makes sense. Interestingly when Tamera had pimp Hannah got b2 and this week Hannah bounced with a good slot/pimping while Tamera got into trouble. So next week all mighty pimping for T bounce with H in trouble again I would say.

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