X Factor Week 4 Staging and Lighting Review

Before getting into this week’s review, Ben Cook comments in response to last week’s post: “There is absolutely no way that they would give Hannah a great song, a great VT, great comments but then deliberately use fire to ruin everything. That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.”

Sure. There is an ever-present danger of disappearing down the rabbit hole in these posts. We do these posts because we reckon staging and lighting are sometimes consciously used to motivate or demotivate votes, and because many of you seem to share our fascination with teasing out the ways in which that might happen. But that doesn’t mean we believe every staging and lighting decision is made solely for its carefully-calibrated likely effect on votes.

We assume that sometimes staging and lighting decisions are made for artistic reasons. (And to the extent that you believe producers care about this stuff being discussed here and on Betsfactor, it also wouldn’t be tremendously surprising if they occasionally mixed things up for the sake of not making it too obvious.)

If we always knew when staging and lighting decisions mean something, and when they don’t, it wouldn’t be fun to debate them. Maybe they just thought Hannah was going to be fine last week? We’d bet that was the explanation for Luke’s mess of lighting this week:

week4_Luke_redandblack

Usually we’d see sweeping spotlights as a warning sign (there’s red and black here, too), but it’s all contextual. You’d hardly expect a song like ‘Play That Funky Music’ to be staged with lingering close-ups of a single-spotlit Luke framed by a golden halo. A three-judge standing ovation, and hitting of the “dark horse” line in VT and comments, leaves no doubt that they’re out to bolster Luke; attention-scattering spotlights don’t trump those neon-lit signs of helpful intent.

Talking of neon-lit signs of helpful intent:

week4_Luke_name

The acid trip hipster quintet of doom, aka Kingsland Road, get some more colour vomit, albeit with a predominantly purple palette:

week4_KR_purple

The overall effect of the staging is pretty messy. Their backdrop is a bank of TV screens, all showing different things and constantly cutting from shot to shot:

week4_KR_screens

It reminded us of the intriguing point made by EM in the comments to last week’s post, that the reason why visual distractions (uncoordinated colours, fast-changing camera shots, spotlights sweeping in all directions, and so on) are unhelpful is that they induce the opposite of a hypnotic trance. (EM argues that staging and lighting we consider to be favourable – because, broadly, it focuses rather than scatters viewers’ attention – is helpful because it increases suggestibility).

Lovely staging and lighting again for Tamera – and here’s an act for whom we’d bet they are consciouly putting thought into creating backdrops with positive connotations, much good they did her this week. She starts with an inverted-V of lighting that opens up like a blooming flower, then we get a closeup against a backdrop of a galaxy of stars:

week4_TF_stars

What’s that spinning frame she’s encased in, though? Is it meant to be a diamond? And here’s a “danger of disappearing down the rabbit hole” moment, because in general (and as Lina Tartana observes in the comments) we would also guess it probably doesn’t help an act to connect to the audience if they’re enclosed in some kind of barrier or cage:

week4_TF_diamond

As evidence that colour connotations of lighting are thought about, we don’t remember any other act so far this year getting this colour palette in the singoff:

Week4_Tamera_singoff

Literally the golden girl.

Sam C’s staging called to mind the golden days of Brian Friedman’s gloriously unfathomable imagination. Did this all come from a literal-minded interpretation of Louis’s comment in his VT that he wanted Sam to come out fighting?

week4_SamC_boxers

Some commenters have noted that it looks like the giant boxers are about to thump Sam. But the giant boxers actually are Sam, aren’t they? Which doesn’t make much metaphorical sense. We read that as just another excuse to picture Sam with his top off.

Sam hops into the ring to referee some boxing women, as you do. Amid a mess of sweeping spotlights, the female boxers and their coaches embark on an energetic dance routine. We’ve been starved of ludicrously flamboyant performances this year, so for amusement value we thought it was a knockout:

week4_SamC_knockout

Gary loved it, too:

week4_SamC_gary

(And if you believe that these judge reaction shots aren’t carefully planned, we have a bridge to sell you. We like this emerging narrative of Gary’s annoyance with Sam’s survival; Sam seems like a grounded, self-aware kid – “this isn’t The Voice, it’s the X Factor” – who is mentally tough enough to stand up to any brickbats that will come his way for surviving over more accomplished vocalists. Again, props to producers for realising they could take Sam in this direction).

Rough Copy got sparkly suits, backing musicians, and a backdrop of the kind of lights you associate with theatreland – staging that is presumably intended to convey the idea that they’re putting on an entertaining show:

week4_RC

Hauntingly evocative staging for Abi, to go with her hauntingly evocative arrangement of ‘I Will Survive’. She gets a backdrop of slowly-spinning shiny silver tiles, as if we’re in the middle of a whirlwind but time has been slowed down to a crawl, giving a sense of hyperreality. The tiles come from the disco glitterballs that were an ever-present motif this week, and the visual motif is also picked up on the side of her white piano:

week4_Abi_debris

Abi gets loads of close-up time, and you can almost see her reminding herself where she’s been told to look to find the camera:

week4_Abi_closeupLater, we see the silver tiles coalescing to form a slowly spinning heart – this is intended, we assume, to convey the idea that last week’s harsh criticism broke Abi’s heart but this week’s performance has mended it:

week4_Abi_heart(Abi’s piano starts to spin too, an innovative use of the Rebecca Ferguson Memorial Chicken Rotisserie).

Star crazy and colour vomit for Nicholas! This staging was surely designed specifically to make Richard Betsfactor’s head explode:

week4_Nick

Hannah gets her name on a jukebox:

week4_Hannah_name

And then on some gold records. It doesn’t get much more positive than that:

week4_Hannah_records

Abstract shapes in pink and purple for Sam B, for an overall effect that is vibrant and fun. Do the golden doorways symbolise opportunity?

week4_SamB

What were your thoughts on this week’s staging? As always, do share your theories below.

87 comments to X Factor Week 4 Staging and Lighting Review

  • Chiggs

    Great article. I was confused by Luke’s messy and confusing staging because it was in massive contrast to every other element: positive VT, great performance and praise from the judges.

    So far this series, Tam has clearly had the best staging followed by Rough Copy and this has to be because TPTB believe they have the best chance of selling records.

    Week on week, it’s becoming apparent Luke could also be a potential chart topper. However I think he’s too similar to last year’s winner, James Arthur, and because of this the producers are unwilling to get fully behind him. “Dark horse” means yes Luke you can win but you’re not the chosen one. And I think this is the message behind the staging.

  • Quick one just to remind everyone the same TV’s used on KR’s backdrop were used when James Arthur sung “Cant Take My Eyes Off You” which got him in the bottom 2, maybe not deliberate last year, but perhaps it was noted and now re-used on Kingsland Road which helped them land in bottom 2

    • Well remembered, JS. Here’s that James Arthur performance –

      Can anyone remember TV screens being used as a backdrop before, or is it two for two in singoff appearances?

      And any theories to account for why it might be? Watching that JA performance back, the lighting is lovely and I can’t see any other reason to think they might have anticipated this being a negative, but I did find my eyes flitting from screen to screen over his shoulder. Maybe that stops you from giving the performance your full attention?

  • I often ask people who don’t read about staging etc and are purely watching as a viewer without being aware of how its manipulated, what thought of X act as they watch it.

    Response for Abi was my favorite “I didn’t like it in the beginning, but I liked it at the end” amazing what broken glass that later turns into a heart can do. Along with something new in the form of a Piano lighting up and slowly spinning around, ensuring you focus on the Piano and Abi.

  • eurovicious

    I totally agree with your opener here. It’s important to interpret staging because the effect it has is irrespective of the intention behind it. Unhelpful staging isn’t always meant to harm an act. Maybe they thought fire around Hannah would look dramatic and Bondy. I doubt v much Misha B’s Halloween staging was intended to harm her – it was supposed to be awesome, scary and dramatic. But whatever the intention behind certain staging choices, what viewers see is the same.

  • Heisenberg

    Don’t know what to make of this…

    http://goo.gl/6mtkec

  • Dean

    Just as some info I was told the whole performance was Abi. She had total control of song, styling, her dress and even her staging. Which for me is unbelievable because it all worked really well and props to TPTB. If she indeed had most say in her staging too she definitely has the package.

    I remember seeing Sam’s at the time it was just chaotic. I think the poor comments helped him more than anything.

    • annie

      well, it saved her for sure. I wonder what made them give her this power? I have to say the way this was mentioned by the judges wasnt giving me the vibe that oh, you are sooo brilliant, but a bit more like you are being way to individual.

    • eurovicious

      This is a significant development. The only person they’ve given this level of creative freedom too before was Lucy Spraggan, and even then not to the extent we saw on Saturday.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I think Gary’s comments definitely saved Sam. That staging was a disaster. I didn’t even notice it as him as one of the cgi boxers at the back. All I noticed was that their fists smashed together with him in the middle of it. There was so much going on it reminded me of what my webpage design teacher called an angry fruit salad. You just didn’t know where to look, and clearly neither did the cameraman.

    If Gary had been a little more tactful Sam would be back in Chelmsford. I convinced of that.

    • Dean

      Hi Jess I remembered when you intro’d yourself that you said you read DS. I thought I’d give it a go to read a few bits and bobs but it’s just awful. Mostly with posters filled with hate for acts. Just can’t read that sort of stuff, not sure how u do 😉

      You contribute well here though so must be one of the few with brain cells from that site.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Hi Dean

        Thanks for the kind words.

        DS is a very different kind of forum than this. No doubt about that. I’ve cut down my posting there since I discovered this forum but I still enjoy it. I like this kind of analysis though. It’s like cracking a code or solving a mystery.

    • eurovicious

      There was stuff happening in front of Sam for a significant proportion of the performance. They had him sing the first bit standing right at the back of the stage, so the ropes of the boxing ring obscured him, then later there were people boxing across him.

  • Asanda

    I think Sharon would have deadlocked it and Sam would just have squeezed past Kingsland Road (unless Tamera actually had the lowest votes). The camera angles and the spotlights were a mess, but bringing out the guns seems to be a positive. The naked men at the back popped as him (who else could it be? the backup dancers from Lorna’s week 1 performance?), so that’s another plus.

  • Heisenberg

    If you are showered with golden ticker tape and receive a four-judge standing ovation – does that mean you have just won the X Factor? If this happens during mid-December then the answer is probably yes. If it’s only week 4 then the answer is absolutely no. I echo Daniel’s sentiment from Friday’s Betsfactor podcast, “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”

    I found it very interesting that Sam’s VT had Sharon explaining how, like a racehorse, Sam would be properly paced – yet 5 minutes later she’s revelling in a winner’s dress rehearsal.

    http://goo.gl/BbPnLc

  • eurovicious

    If they want Abi to go, they should get her to abify “Hollaback Girl”.

    • Chris Bellis

      Might just work the other way actually. Who can forget this re-working of a popular favourite, and Abi reminds me of Alanis quite a lot.

  • eurovicious

    Please see these tweets:

    https://twitter.com/LamontJunior/status/397101732247113729
    https://twitter.com/NolaMarianna/status/374258936926314496

    During the first audition show, someone I follow whose tweets are protected said the same thing. And he doesn’t even follow X Factor, he heard it from someone.

    • lolhart

      This doesn’t surprise me. I remember stories going around that Syco were putting feelers out for material for One Direction right after they were put together at Boot Camp. If they want Tamera to be the UK answer to Rihanna, I don’t think “Tonight Matthew I will be Beyoncé” is going to appeal to that target demo.

    • zoomraker

      Interesting that Tamera is being talked about as the next rhianna rather than the next leona. I wonder how many of the bad girl stories were deliberately leaked by syco and if the plan was ever for her to win?

    • Henry VIII

      Aren’t these 2 tweeters just 2 young nobodies who have guessed that she’s TCO?

      • eurovicious

        Quite potentially. But one is a musician with a fairly high no. of followers and the other is a writer for Cosmo. They’re both in the sort of circles where one hears things.

  • Heisenberg

    This weekend’s guests may have bigger roles to play than usual.

    Using Robbie Williams to fuel the Sam C vs Gary theme can surely not be passed up – and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sam get a very late slot (maybe with a Robbie guest appearance in his VT) and a crack at Mr. Bojangles. It would be an entertaining payoff for the markers already planted and naturally keep Sam well clear of the drop zone.

    I can only see Celine Dion’s appearance working as a negative for Sam B. If they somehow orchestrate a meeting between them I sense it would signal an end of journey vibe for Sam, finally meeting her idol followed by a Sunday evening master class performance that reminds us just how far away Leicester is from Vegas and Caesars Palace. She wouldn’t face any danger this week but I’m sure Cowell doesn’t want Baileys for Christmas and the Screw-Bo knives we saw in week 2 will be well sharpened in time for a week 6 takedown.

    • Roxie

      I was thinking about Robbie’s appearance. Sam mentioned in a VT on the Xtra Factor that it was his dream to see Robbie. Could they potentially attempt to finish off his narrative that like Mary and Wagner in that he’s ‘fulfilled his dream meeting Robbie’? It could be a good way of reducing support. I have high hopes for Sam being in the B2 next week, especially with Big Band week. It’s a theme which will expose his voice more profoundly than the judge’s comments will. It’s almost like a perfect storm for him to go out on.

  • Dean

    So where do we go from here? It’s a difficult year to read, starting with Abi… Clearly after week 3 she seemed to be on the get rid lost. I argued her narrative could be the ‘villain’ who gets through week on week despite being hated by public and judges. That role has gone to Sam C. Instead TPTB gave Abi total control of her last performance. Loved by judges in particular Gary who nearly went as far to say she is the best ‘musician’. I never saw that coming.

    This goes 2 ways for me now. Her narrative has ended. She showed what she can do. Her fans will be happy, she will be happy and this week after a less good performance with feint praise she ends in the B2. Or her narrative is just beginning. With the other girls struggling TPTB may have seen a side to Abi they like, maybe she was 1 of the 3 Simon meant in his tweet a couple weeks back, maybe she will come back from the bottom (after the tears I mean) like a true underdog. I really wonder if they give her a pimp slot this week? I feel it will be the former still, but it’s interesting.

    Then there is Sam C. His role is obvious, all we need is Sam C to land in B2 but not be last, then go through on deadlock against someone next week. Would be awesome. I think an act will be totally thrown to the bins this coming week in order to achieve this.

    That brings me to Hannah. Has to be either her or Abi the true target this week. With Abi proving to have a stubborn and loyal fanbase it may well be easy to dispose of Hannah coming off a bounce. What is her narrative now? It’s just about her being poor for pretty much the whole time and voters aren’t buying it as proven in week 3. I think she’s in trouble for the coming week. Wouldn’t be surprised if she is on 1st or 2nd.

    Luke? He’s definitely the one moving from the pack. We’ve moved on from the that ‘guy with the hair’ to people now recognising him as Luke and a seriously talented musician. He is being aimed for the final, no doubt.

    Wee Nic. There is nothing extremely motivating or dreaming about the lad so far. Suggests to me that TPTB know he us thee for the long haul, and want this, but he’s not Plan A or even B and so they do not want to give him enough to get new votes.

    Tamera and Rough Copy for me are potential winners but not faves now. They will do well to hit the final. Actually starting to see more potential in Rough Copy emerging from the middle, but they need a big performance in next couple weeks.

    Lastly Sam B. She is picking up votes from all demos and right now deserved fave. She’s not TPTb overall preferred winner, but she brings a feel good factor to the show.

    My prediction for next week singing order

    1. Sam C
    2. Hannah
    3. Sam B
    4. Luke Friend
    5. Tamera Foster
    6. Rough Copy
    7. Abi Alton
    8. Nicholas McDonald

  • Just a funny observation: The other 2 times when the girls’ category was perceived as strong (2008 + 2011), the girl that was initially thought of as the one with the least chances (Alexandra and Amelia due to the early boot) ended up as top girl. Abi-licious??? Haha would be funny!!

    • Jessica Hamby

      Seems likely, unless there’s a major vote switch when one of Hannah / Tamera leave.

    • Kevin

      8/1 for Top Girl is still available on Abi, it is a big price given she is the only one not in B2 yet. Regardless of her being a real contender or not she may be up against two very weak opponents.

      • Roxie

        I just don’t believe Abi will be Top Girl at all. At the end of the day, Tamera and Hannah may not have warmed to the public yet but they are still Plan A and Plan B. Though they may be B2 again (Tamera I would think may rebound like Danyl), the decision will lie with the judges ultimately and both are their favorites. I don’t think either will leave unless they’re up against each other.

        With Abi, the excuse is that she’s a real musician, but they’ve already got that with Luke now, making her role redundant almost. Not to mention the fact that her critique means she won’t last for much longer and that the producers are out to get her. Sam C or Abi could function as sort of hate figure/joke acts but the fact that Abi can actually sing and very likable makes that role also a difficult one.

        • Kevin

          I agree in that it is far from straightforward but 8/1 appeals as value given the percentages. I also think Hannah is toast this week so am factoring that in.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I think things will be a lot clearer as the week goes on – song choices, performance and results all shedding their own light. First, what songs are they doing. Is the plan to dump Hannah to try to boost Tamera? That may not work. Tamera has a lot of anti fans, some of whom will be supporting Hannah as protest and not turn to Tamera.

          Then there’s Sam C. Can we assume a sympathy bounce this week? If so TPTB may feel inclined to b2 him the following week before he starts to interfere with their chosen ones.

          Then there’s Abi. Will she Abify a big band standard and can she arrange it including horns and strings? What impact would that have on her vote? This is unknown territory.

          If she is b2 against Hannah who goes? I doubt many Abi votes will go to Tamera or Hannah.

          If she avoids b2 then that indicates she has good, committed support and leaves Rough Copy or Luke or one of two people assumed to have sympathy bounces.Also Tamera will be in danger of b2 again the following week unless tptd play a blinder or she seriously ups her game.

          I’m taking a small piece of that 8-1 (20 pretend pounds) and if she does a good performance on Saturday night and the price is still good I will add to it.

  • EM

    Single sales so far this week (original versions)

    Enough is Enough 806
    September 788
    Somebody Else’s Guy 582
    Wishing on a Star 320

    Anything else less than 300

  • sistermym

    That is very interesting and Nick is not near the top this time. Hss anyone kept tabs on the iTunes downloads ?

  • R

    It does feel like the bottom 2 is 2 from 3, between Hannah, Abi & Sam C.

    Hannah will be coming off a bounce & doesn’t seem to be gaining any votes. Her elimination will also help Tamera with votes.

    Abi’s trajectory over the last 2 weeks feels like a repeat of Janet’s weeks 6 & 7. In week 6 she was told she had lost her identity. In week 7 she sang Kiss Me to double-edged praise about how good she is when she’s in her comfort one.
    This may explain why Abi was allowed so much control last week.
    I expect her to be moved out of her comfort zone again.

    Sam C is the most difficult for me to read. He, Hannah & Abi will have set fan bases who will vote each week, but the numbers won’t increase & overall percentages will fall, allowing each to drop into the B2 in turn.

    The problem with Sam falling B2 is there is no excuse to save him. He’s been slated by Sharon, Gary & Nicole. They will have to pimp him out of the B2 or vote him out.

    It would be more interesting to see a B2 of Hannah & Abi.
    Abi receives loads of Twitter hate, especially after being the last act to be saved on Sunday while Tamera & KR were B2.
    If she was saved over Hannah after giving a dull, screechy performance, there would be a lot of anger generated.

    Also, given that Tamera is seen as a “superstar”, I expect her to be saved over any other act (unless the real Chosen One falls B2 with her). This has to ensure she will reach top 4 at the very least and therefore must be top girl unless Abi or Hannah are expected to be top 3.

    I didn’t watch Xtra Factor but haven’t seen even a fraction of the noise generated about Tamera being B2 as when James Arthur was.
    If they had really wanted to boost her votes to winning percentages surely they would have repeated Tulisa’s “It’s the public’s fault. You’re not voting for who we tell you to!” rant.

    • Jessica Hamby

      My thinking is that Sam’s sympathy bounce from Gary’s attack will continue this week. Anti Abi noises on Twitter only matter if she hits b2. You can’t vote against someone but you might influence judges’ perception. I’m gambling that Abi has more core voters that one of Luke, Sam C, Rough Copy or Tamera for Sunday and will beat Tamera later down the line. Of course the danger is that I’m wrong orr that she hits b2 with Tamera.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Of course I’ve only just discovered this sire and I’m not yet betting with real monney, just making notes of the amounts I would like to risk at the available odds. I’ll see whether I’m up or down at the end of the season and then see how I feel about proper money when it comes to BGT or Eurovision.

      • eurovicious

        I’ve decided I’m less worried about the voluminous anti-Abi chatter on Twitter at this stage of the show given that the same was true of Chris last year. Twitter isn’t like Yougov, it’s not representative. I don’t think Sam C will bounce just off the back of a mild attack – he wasn’t B2, in fact he was the first announced safe, so he won’t get a “sympathy bounce”. His fortunes depend on what happens this Saturday.

        Abi definitely has more core voters than Tamera (because Abi won’t beat you up, basically – her sensitivity yet inner strength is the antithesis of Tamera’s rather unfortunate tough-girl image). The others, I’m not so sure. I think the boy vote is strong across the board, but of course they do split it between them to a certain extent, whereas I don’t think Abi’s vote is split with Hannah or Tamera (natch). The same sort of girls that like(d) JLS also like Olly and Justin Bieber, from which I extrapolate that the “pink mobile vote”, as it was so incisively and hilariously put, is going not just to Sam C but also to Nick, Rough Copy and Luke. Maybe also somewhat to Abi as flaky girls love other flaky girls. Of Abi, Sam C, Luke and RC, the act that’s had the most boring show narrative is RC, so despite the supposed JLS factor I see them in danger for that reason.
        – Abi has given us variety and tears, provoked sympathy and become an underdog who’s come out fighting and only revealed her full talent in week 4
        – Sam C also has an increasingly strong underdog narrative plus hotness
        – Luke has an underdog narrative, one of an ordinary relatable lad finding his feet on the show, getting better and better and going from strength to strength, this week establishing himself as the dark horse, and (importantly) really enjoying his performances and his time on the show. Luke is the most genuine fun act as far as I’m concerned – he brings a carefree competence and joie de vivre to his performances that the girls and other boys all lack and that RC’s jigging around can’t compete with.
        – RC’s narrative ended for me when the group were made into a threesome again. Since then, it’s just been same-old-same-old every week. One of their relatives needs to die or something, or maybe the one in the skirt could cry about being the target of Twitter abuse for wearing a skirt. Though on the other hand, that might just make him look like a big girl’s blouse (probably also part of his wardrobe). We haven’t been introduced to them individually (if we have, it obviously hasn’t stuck with me) and they haven’t been differentiated from each other – I barely know their names, I think the visa one is called Kazeem(?), the skirt one is Sterling(?) and I’ve no idea about the other one. What are their different personalities? In Little Mix we had the fat crying one, the black one, the Geordie one and the blonde one with the big voice who’s also Geordie. In RC we have… the one in the skirt and the one who can’t leave the country? Sorry, but just like Kazeem, that isn’t gonna fly.

        I don’t think Sam B will win, as she won’t be able to get younger viewers on board, and it’s they who vote to a much greater extent in the final. Probably every winner apart from Steve Brookstein has needed to do this, so in his case at least there’s a precedent, albeit very long ago (it certainly wasn’t teens voting for him, although I do admit to buying the copy of Heat that he was shirtless on the front of. I was young and confused.) I hate to say this because I love Sam B and she’s the biggest vocal talent in the show, but she’s not pop, she won’t last in the market past an initial post-show covers album. She’s a masterful professional singer with a phenomenal voice that she has superb control over, but she’s not an artist. She’s cruiseship in the best possible way, and I love cruiseship despite never having been on one (Liverpool to Dublin doesn’t count), but cruiseship doesn’t win the X Factor. Even Subo couldn’t win BGT despite being a massive phenomenon, because young people voted for Diversity.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Great post. Had me laughing out loud.

          I’ve been wondering if tptb have been firefighting ever since they found out about Sese’s pregnancy. Assuming Miss D were originally chosen ones it must have been a blow to have to lose them, then they miss a week and the potential novelty act goes, then it turns out that Alpha and Beta girl are behind Gamma girl and Gamma boy is polling better than a & b girl too.

          They must be wondering what the hell is going on.

          And great point about Luke. He does seem like a really nice guy who’s enjoying himself, grateful / humble but not an assmunch and very relateable. I’m not on anyone for the win atm but I wish I’d put a few quid on him a couple of weekas ago.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Good points about RC too. I wonder if Kazeem (visa boy) is the one that sings out of tune. That would explain why Gary picked them if he wasn’t at JH. And he will have then created another unexpected headache for tptb.

          They definitely did not do their due diligence!

  • Chris Bellis

    Rough Copy has one singer who is flat, but we’ve heard what a bit of sound engineering can do, as well as clever harmonies from the backing singers. To my ear anyway, none of the singers in this competetition has had perfect pitch, even Sam B. Abi had it nearly perfect last time, but then she was singing at her piano, and in her comfort zone. Rough Copy have appeal for the voters, and they will have the trained backing singers compensating for their less than adequate vocals. They may even be given some reasonable songs to sing, which has not been the case so far. This competition does not necessarily favour the best singers to win. The runners-up often achieve more commercial success, as we all know. I can see Rough Copy winning, with Tamera the real commercial success of this year’s X Factor. I could be miles wrong of course.

    • Jessica Hamby

      The demo they want to love Tamera seem to favour Sam C at the moment. I think the bullying story and her unsumpathetic demeanour may have damaged her beyond repair. To me she seems to have an arrogance, an air of entitlement and superiority, that rankles even though I try not to let it. I am definitely not alone with that feeling.

      • Natasha

        I’m with you on that 100%. Girls don’t like girls like that and i’d say most of the voting public is girls/women. She can sing though but put her in a slot next to Sam B as they have been doing and she just blows her out teh water completley

        • eurovicious

          That’s a really good point.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Even if boys and men vote in equal numbers, they’re not Tamera’s demo. Teenage boys will mostly be interested in Luke or Rough Copy. They might fancy Tamera but can you see them getting worked up about a Beyonce power ballad? Older men might like her but I think they’ll be as interested or even more interested, in musical terms, in Abi or Sam Bailey or Rough Copy or Luke.

          On Sunday the Little Mix girls blew Tamera away for sex and sass, and since we’ve seen them cry about being fat and grow up and blossom into some fierce- and fabulous-looking popstars it’s ok. We already know and like those girls. They let us in. They’ve kind of earned the right to live the dream.

          Tamera hasn’t paid those dues. She can’t just say “Nicole’s cool” as if she’s giving Nicole her seal of approval. She’s got to look and sound grateful that she’s hanging out with a woman whom straight men would pay to drink her bath water and women would sell kidneys to look in her shoe closet.

          I’m sorry if that sounds like a rant but it’s how I respond to her and, as I said, I’m not alone.

          • eurovicious

            Yeah, straight men and boys don’t get emotionally involved with talent show acts the way women and gay men do. Teen boys and dads may think Tamera’s hot but they probably couldn’t give a rat’s ass about her singing, and they’re not gonna vote for her because she’s attractive when they have an internet full of women or a wife at their respective disposal. If they vote at all, they’ll vote for Luke – he’s competent, cool and (crucially) doesn’t require or demand emotional involvement. He doesn’t come at you crying or with a sorry tale, he’s low-key, likeable, take him or leave him. I think most blokes mentally run a mile when some bawling woman appears with “problems” – they get it enough in real life, the last thing they want is to be confronted it in their entertainment too.

            Unlike Tamera, a lot of the other acts – both Sams, Nick, Luke and Abi – offer emotional appeal. Girls, mums and gay guys can connect with/relate to them, feel for them, feel protective of them or be attracted to them.

          • ‘I think most blokes mentally run a mile when some bawling woman appears with “problems” – they get it enough in real life, the last thing they want is to be confronted it in their entertainment too.’

            Eurovicious, I cannot express in words how much I agree and feel the same. Spare us the drama!

  • Natasha

    Eurovicious, you proper hit the nail on the head there and completley agree with you 100%. In the latter stages of the competition last year i admit i voted for james 10 times each week and on the final/ Not only because I had money on him to win, but after he was in the botton 2 and after Tulisa’s rant, I felt very protective over him and felt it was my due to make sure he didnt hit bottom 2 again. This year, it’s Nick that gets me, he’s such a sweet, genuine young lad with a lovely voice and I do to some extent feel protective over him. I am a 29 year old single female with a 1 year old son so make of that what you wish with regards to voting etc. If he reaches the final, I probably will vote for him 🙂

    • Natasha

      Forgot to mention that I do realise that he has limited commercial post show success a la leon and joe however, Shertzys behaviour towards him on the show has influenced me into how emotionally attatched to him I am and the question as to whether he he will go far after the show if he wins doesnt neccessarily matter, which, is different to how I felt about James last year.

  • http://tellymix.co.uk/reality-tv/the-x-factor/165569-x-factor-2013-tamera-foster-branded-arrogant-diva-by-backstage-staff.html

    What’s going on here…Do they want Tamera out to boost someone else? Do they want her in the bottom 2 again? And is it just me or does it seem that no one was particularly bothered she was in the bottom 2?

    • Jessica Hamby

      I was about to post this. I think they’ve finally decided she’s a liability and she’s on her way out. She’s polling badly and doesn’t look to be winning the public over. This plays right into the worst perceptions of her. I posted about it last night. Obviously her b2 was not enough of a wakeup call.

      I wonder if this will affect tptb’s treatment of Hannah.

      Nick, Sam B, Luke for the final? Or maybe RC if they can sort out their vocals?

    • Jessica Hamby

      Also Abi as top girl is looking better and better 🙂

      • Curtis

        The issue with Abi as top girl is I think she’ll be jettisoned as soon as she hits the bottom 2. Hannah and Tamera would still be saved in many bottom 2 duels.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Oh if only wwe could get something like this on Saturday.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L8d4ExlwsA

    That’s entertainment! OUCH!!

    • eurovicious

      Look at how young they all look…

      I thought she was well out of order at the time, but as things transpired she was absolutely right. But her attacking him like that only cemented his victory. It wasn’t the right thing to say or the right time or place. Cowell handled it perfectly.

      • lolhart

        Yes, if she was hoping to sabotage him it completely backfired. I think Simon or Steve (or both) have claimed he won by an absolute landslide and I’m sure that was partly down to Steve fans rallying to his defence.

      • R

        I must have missed something. How did Brookstein turn out to be a knob?
        The only things I know about him are: he refused to do an album of covers, much like Cardle, and got dropped;
        Syco used the media to tell everyone he was a knob (they also tried this with Will Young);
        and someone made a fake twitter account which tweeted some nasty stuff.

        • Chris Bellis

          I have some sympathy with your implication that Syco would have manipulated the media to make SB look like a knob, but have you heard him in interviews? Knob doesn’t do it justice really. Unless the interviews were recorded by an actor playing SB of course.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Similar to her attack on Abi over Moon River. She was actually correct, it was boring, but she didn’t know when to stop.

    Either that or she’s got no mental filter or something. It’s as if she doesn’t recognise when she’s crossed the line between saying stating an opinion strongly and browbeating.

    Poor old Ozzie. No wonder he got high.

  • It’s Wednesday, so the most important question of the day is obviously whether or not Sam Bailey will be featured on GOGGLEBOX tonight for the fourth week running…or will producers have decided ‘Enough Is Enough’ ?

    It’s good promotion for her, the show gets well over a million viewers and it’s probably a different audience to X Factor.

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