X Factor 2013 Week 6 Staging and Lighting Review

For new readers who’ve joined Sofabet in the last week or so, every week this year we’ve been doing a review of staging and lighting to see if we can tease out any subliminal messages which may – either intentionally or accidentally – be influencing how the acts are perceived. (Previous weeks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). These posts are, by their nature, hugely speculative and often left-field. In that spirit, your theories are always welcome in the comments.

Starting with Hannah, last week you’ll recall she got a backdrop of golden machine innards. This week she got something similar – some kind of fractal-esque study in golden plumbing based on wind instrument tubes:

week6_Hannah

Gold is generally a very positive colour, of course, as Heisenberg notes in this must-view visual analysis of colours and lines used for three of this week’s acts.

At other points the backdrop was a pulsing kaleidoscope of gold trumpets. The same motif is picked out on her dress.  Jessica posted in the comments that she found it “not just distracting but actually disturbing”. Anyone have any ideas what golden trumpets might symbolise?

week6_Hannah2As the above picture also shows, in the words of Tim B “the dancers were mostly distracting, weren’t looking at her and weren’t co-ordinated with their styling”. However, arguably the overall impression was one of high-octane fun, with Hannah enjoying herself. As Tim also explains, “when Hannah is shown to be smiling and laughing, it has an infectious impact on the audience”.

Now, who is this woman and why is she filming the back of Luke’s head?

week6_Luke_woman

I’d agree with eurovicious when he says Luke’s bottom two appearance “shows the power of distraction”. Although tpfkar offers another take: “I don’t agree with the majority on Luke; I thought the video was sweet, romantic, unthreatening. No distracting dancers so he’s alone but projecting his thoughts; I thought it all worked”.

Going beyond the question of whether it was distracting, isn’t it quite likely that some of Luke’s voters will be motivated by indulging in some kind of reverie that he’s singing to them? Isn’t it possible that explicitly showing us another woman to whom he’s singing the song might make that reverie impossible? As Caro puts it, “If you are relying on young girl’s votes you shouldn’t make him look hooked up (and she didn’t seem the right type for his image, as well as seeming quite a lot older than him).” There was more than a hint of Harry Styles and Caroline Flack about it.

Chatterbox 5200 asks: “With that imagery behind Luke, did they actually “nuke” him infront of our very eyes? It changed from what looked like a galaxy of stars, to an orange, and then red ball of fire! All that was missing was a mushroom cloud after it!”

week6_Luke_nuke

We never know whether staging effects are deliberate or unintentional, of course. But it seems fair to file “home video with older love interest segueing into nuclear winter” in the “unhelpful” file for future reference.

Sam Bailey next, but first a little detour via Jahmene in last year’s semi-final:

week6_Jahmene_steps

In the spirit of those “spot the difference” pictures in children’s magazines, anyone see what Sam is missing?

week6_SamB_steps

“What do you mean you can’t find all the stairs? How do you lose a piece of f*!^ing staircase? Oh well, she’ll just have to stand on them for the entire song. We’ll winch her down at the end when the cameras are on the judges.”

Or if this is deliberate, is it intended to communicate something? That we have seen Sam ascend irrevocably up the staircase of stardom? Any other interpretations? It’s intriguing as it’s an odd decision, as eurovicious noted, to use stairs without having Sam “stride down them divatastically halfway through the song”.

Sam had a backdrop of lots of candles. Let’s play a mental connotation game with “lots of candles”. Aromatherapy studio? Power cut? Birthday cake – Sam is old?

week6_SamB_candles

In the comments to last week’s post, Neve made the point that “Rough copy have a very clear silver theme. What does silver mean compared to gold?? Second place. NOT A WINNER. They were name checked as finalists. But not potential champions.” Not only did Rough Copy get silver again this week, the focal point of their backdrop throughout was a lion. While lions generally signify things like strength and Africanness (as did those drummers), a silver lion is also specifically a mark of quality in the sterling silver trade:

week6_RC_lion

JScouser observes that “they were split into 3 by the 3 large white lighting paths on the floor” – which is true, but those lines draw your attention to the lion. (Any other theories on the lion?) Can’t disagree with JScouser on this, though: “The sparklers I thought were poor, looked cheap, not like its fireworks in the background”.

week6_RC_sparklers

Sam Callahan next, and the message here is unmistakeable: FAITH. For the second week running, after Abi’s ‘That’s Life’, the eventual eliminee has the song title up in lights behind them. And of course generally speaking, if one has faith in something (e.g. Sam Callahan’s longevity in the competition), one doesn’t need to actively do anything about it (e.g. vote):

week6_SamC_FaithA minor detail in the above picture – why did they choose to light up the cables that are trailing messily across the stage between the speakers? Could it be subliminally making viewers notice the mess, and thus think of the performance as messy? Certainly the lighting was plenty messy.

Plinths are a frequent subject of debate in the comments to these posts. Earlier on, Hannah started off on a plinth and ended up mingling with the audience, a trajectory we reckon usually has positive connotations – someone who we meet in a visual context that establishes their importance shows us they don’t think of themselves as above anyone else. Sam C takes the opposite trajectory, starting at ground level and ending up on a plinth, which perhaps suggests he’s getting ambitions above his station:

week6_SamC_plinth

Usually you would think that having so many dancers on stage looking up to him would be a good sign, suggesting his popularity, but Gamblebot suggests another way of reading it in context: “the large crowd might have been code for “hey guys, he has a lot of fans, so don’t worry about this week and have faith”.”

Gamblebot and Argenta Q also make the interesting point that Sam was styled in a loose-fitting shirt, making viewers forget about his physique this week after producers had repeatedly made topless shots something of his USP.

In week 4, they stuck Tamera in a diamond-shaped cage (our general speculative rule of thumb is that anything that disconnects an act from the audience is unhelpful), and she ended up in the singoff. This week, they stuck her in a cage again, to sing a song about diamonds:

week6_Tamera_cage

As Fudd commented, “I raised my eyebrows as soon as I saw her starting off in a cube – a disconnect from the audience seems strange for someone they’ve been pimping readily up to now and is coming down from a sympathy bounce.” At least she eventually escaped from it.

Eurovicious felt the “dubious” urban dancers were unhelpful and the blingy gloves “looked threatening”. Did anyone else think of knuckle dusters, and remember the stories about her getting a police caution for beating someone up?

week6_Tamera_bling

Obviously, the diamond-themed backdrop referenced the song – but presumably also “rough diamond” is the subliminal connotation producers are hoping to evoke.

These shots of Nicholas from behind made me think of the idiom “they think the sun shines out of his arse”:

week6_Nick_sun

Is that the aurora borealis going off behind him? Is Nick our Northern Light?

week6_Nick_lights

Do please share your thoughts and theories below.

72 comments to X Factor 2013 Week 6 Staging and Lighting Review

  • On Luke: Home videos tend to evoke a sense of “looking back”. Some say it’s looking back at Luke’s journey, but if so, they should have put something like old clips of Luke or even clips of Luke doing things like laugh or whatever. This felt like a Mothers’ Day “hey mom I love you and I sing so let me do this” serenade, which is obviously out of place. A bit like Abi the week before, but in the second slot instead of the first. Also, Sam Bailey went up right after.

  • General Hogbuffer

    I think any form of merely suggesting that a young male act is in a relationship will be damaging. Luke had him galavanting with an older woman on film, while Sam had plenty of speculation about his relationship to Tamera – Bingo. Compare this to Nicholas going on about how he’s single, and the bottom two is less of a shock.

    Interestingly, I feel the opposite is true for young female contestants. If they are in a relationship, they tend to be less threatening to the show’s demo. Hence Tulisa’s constant insistence that Little Mix wouldn’t steal anyone’s boyfriend. I think reports of Tamera’s frequent changes of partners will have done her more harm than shoplifting or assault stories…

    • Gamblebot

      Is it a coincidence that Tamera reached B2 on the week when speculations of her dating Sam and Jay from KR (from different sources, of course, but still) surfaced, unlike the other weeks when it was just Sam?

  • Heisenberg

    Another great article.

    Had a quick refresher of your previous staging reviews and was reminded that Hannah’s golden treatment is quite consistent. What odds for a gold-less, obscure Joe McElderry cover this weekend?

    Latest Hannah news below, is it just me or does Tamera spring to mind here?

    http://goo.gl/3dngGa

  • Gamblebot

    Not exactly a staging thing, but I remember thinking that Sam C’s song is bad if the stage is clouded with dancers. The song is fun, but it’s all about the singer (look at the lyrics); having all those people makes no sense and ruins the substance of the song (compare to Lloyd Daniels’ cleaner– albeit still all over the place– lighting and having the focus on him, and oh yeah, he had a new haircut that week but it was actually flattering). Double the ruining with the chorus (original shown below):

    ‘Cause I gotta have faith *hold*
    I gotta have faith *hold*
    ‘Cause I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith *soft*
    I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith *loud*

    Sam’s arrangement had a loud “faith-a-faith-a-faith” on EACH LINE, which is the equivalent of having a large plate of cheese for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. It turns a cool chorus into an annoying one.

    Now something related to staging, I noticed that for the last 2 weeks, Hannah’s staging had gold, but it did not glow painfully like what Tamera, NIcky, and Sam Bailey have gotten in earlier weeks. It felt like, “yeah, that girl is good, but not as good as the other guys we threw gold at” in Week 5, but just “yeah, that girl is good” in Week 6. Overall, though, it was messy and was only saved by Hannah’s most genuine stage smile (so far) and her sudden ability to control her shouting.

    Sam B’s truncated staircase evoked regality, that she is the queen now (after all, she is the odds-on favourite) and she need not go down to everyone else as everyone else will look up to her. The dress is a bit scary, though (The Countess, bathing in the blood of the teenage girls that left?). In contrast, Tamera (who had purple staging, too) looked like a princess who isn’t ready for the big leagues (forgotten lyrics, anyone?) and needs to wait for the queen to die.

    Rough Copy’s was strange. The three white lights leading to the silver lion makes it seem like the lion is controlling them. Next Syco puppets?

    I’m guessing they had a come-what-may approach in dealing with this week (and I do think they would have set Sam C up for a longer redemption journey had it been Hannah, and not Luke, in the B2 with him).

  • lolhart

    This is not related to staging and lighting, but I noticed this article about Hannah and had mixed thoughts:

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/s103/the-x-factor/news/a532039/x-factor-hannah-barrett-gets-racist-abuse-they-say-im-too-dark.html

    On the one hand there are people who will feel sorry for her, but there are also those (who I don’t agree with) who will think she’s whinging and it comes part and parcel with being on TV. I’m pretty sure The Risk from Little Mix’s year went out the week that Kitty was accused of racially abusing one of them, so it doesn’t necessarily provoke sympathy. It will be interesting if the show decides to address this in Hannah’s VT this week. (which didn’t happen with The Risk if I recall).

    • Curtis

      Given that I think they’ll be looking to jettison Hannah, I very much doubt they’ll mention it.

    • R

      Hannah, RC & Tamera are currently splitting the black vote. At the start of this article, “Hannah getting racist abuse” would seem to rally those votes in her favour and get her more white voters who will jump to her defense.

      But then Hannah says “The sad thing is most of them are made by black people who just have lighter skin than me.”
      So no white guilt. People aren’t as angry as it’s black on black.

      And she doesn’t really care either. “I’m just like, ‘Whatever’. I know they are talking rubbish,” she told the magazine.

      In fact she’s rubbing her privileged life in people’s faces. “Now I’m living in a £5m house with amazing people, going to photoshoots and interviews and singing at the weekend.”

      So she won’t get many sympathy votes for the hate she’s receiving. In fact she may lose some of her black vote to RC and Tamera.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Is there a ‘black vote’? If so, how significant is it? Black people only make up a couple of percent of the population and speaking as a person of colour I’m not aware of bias driving me, although I don’t vote. I liked Abi best. After last week I’m now ‘supporting’ Hannah. If Hannah were to leave I will not automatically transfer mysupport to Tamera or Rough Copy. I don’t know if I’m typical but I would be wary of suggesting there is a ‘black vote’.

        Having said all that, I agree that Tamera and Hannah probably do share a demographic and there is probably some overlap with Rough Copy.

  • Ben Cook

    Everyone thought they wanted to jettison Hannah last week!

  • Shoulders

    I noticed in the results show that when all the contestants came out to sing their group song, every contestant was dressed in a red and black themed outfit except just for Tamera who was dressed all in white??

  • Heisenberg

    Song spoiler alert… TPTB had a meeting, “Let’s expose her limitations by pairing her with one of the most talented female singers ever seen on X Factor and whilst we’re at it, let’s make her sing the song that Matt Cardle really struggled with and proved to be one of his poorest weeks.”

    http://goo.gl/2Hqr82

    Matt Cardle version (skip to judges comments 3:45):

    • annie

      … and I recently heard an interview with matt saying that this was the song he really didnt want to sing and felt that it didnt work for him but simon (not dannii!)basically made him do it. i think they know the slaying power of this track 🙂

    • If you watch his performance in full, the whole treatment was poor and could be the reason why its one of his poorest weeks, not just the song choice.

      VT features Brian saying “Its one of those songs, you just dont touch”
      Simon saying “Not many people can sing this song”
      Simon giving a very sarcastic “Good luck” at the end of the VT

      The staging was all red and black, the lighting pulled away from Matt when the chorus kicked in, as opposed to focusing more on him, majority of the song has one Red light focusing on him. The cameras focus on a miserable looking Simon.

      I’d be more worried of Sam Baileys treatment in above, than the actual song

  • tpfkar

    Just about stopped sulking now. Worst weekend ever on X Factor and although I only put on peanuts compared to serious punters here, it doesn’t feel good. Although I saw Tim B posted on twitter today that he took a day off work after the James / Ella bottom 2 so maybe others here get it.

    I reckon that either the Sun leak was deliberately wrong, or the ‘bottom 5’ are getting a tiny number of votes, or both.

    I’ve also had to accept that every call I’ve made on Luke has been totally wrong throughout the series (‘helpfully’ highlighted in the article) and I’m still struggling to see how both of the girls survived at the weekend. Lots of theories but I guess we’ll have to wait till the votes are counted at the end of the series.

    Still, I’m sitting on 13-1 for Sam Bailey in the win market which is now looking mighty tasty so chin up…

    • eurovicious

      I don’t think the Sun leak was wrong, I think it’s that Sam B and Nick are probably pulling in a significant proportion of the total vote, leaving the remaining contenders like pigeons fighting over a chip. You were wise not to put much on – I also didn’t lose much because I didn’t put much on, only about a third of my combined winnings in weeks 4 & 5. So don’t worry, we’ve all been there and you’re far from alone. Trying to predict something as mental as X Factor is very speculative and by no means an exact science. I lost on X Factor last year, I also remember Boki losing €10K one week and another former regular commenter losing thousands from backing Ella. Personally speaking, the biggest lesson for me has been caution over conviction – my major losses always occurred when I was “sure” of something and reckoned I’d figured it out, almost as a point of principle. I couldn’t envision an alternative scenario, which is a dangerous mindset to have.

      A couple of the things Tim said might be right – that with Abi (the highest-polling girl) gone, Hannah and Tamera might be getting more of the “girl” vote (if there is such a thing), and that Nick’s stellar performance sucked votes away from Luke and Sam C, especially combined with the use of extreme distraction during their performances. Hannah escaping didn’t surprise me but them both escaping, and Tamera in particular not returning to the B2, definitely did.

      I thought RC’s sparklers looked totally naff and I laughed when they whipped them out. That performance was car crash to me. They can’t stand still or perform with gravitas for the world. If they’d been given Someone Like You they’d probably have jived and done crotch thrusts through it. They’re about as urban as Michael Fish.

  • Gamblebot

    Also, Lloyd from series 6 reached 2nd place with this song a year before Matt. It’s that bad to generate so much sympathy votes.

    Now I don’t know what TPTB are up to.

    • Gamblebot

      re: Bleeding Love. oops

    • Scroll up a bit and can see what I’ve said about Matt when he did this song.

      If you directly compare with Lloyds treatment, its much better, its easier to see that in both cases its more about the overall treatment and not just the song choice.

      I cant find the full version for lloyd, so can only go off staging, not the VT.

      Lighting Purple and blue, not a negative
      Long shots for lloyd as the beat changes and it brings 3 large Videos of him on the screens behind him – positive. This continues throughout.
      One judge shot of Simon looking pissed – negative

      The judges comments where negative from Simon, blaming Cheryl, who then got upset and comforted by Lloyd, probably the reason he was boosted.

      Overall I would say the treatment is key, but if they use this song because its makes it easier for them to jusity bad treatment…. then not a good song choice.

      • lolhart

        I would say the main reason Lloyd polled so high that week was because he ran down to comfort Cheryl. That moment made him appealing to the Mums and Grans as well as his tween/teen fans. I think otherwise he would have been in danger of landing bottom 2 that week.

  • Heisenberg

    Unless the twitter photo is a red herring, we know that Sam B will perform ‘Bleeding Love’ and will have the Leona mentor VT.

    What about the others?

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rough Copy pair up with Olly Murs, given the judges houses connection. ‘Troublemaker’ would suit their performance style and backing tracks could be ramped up for the chorus as usual.

    Tamera and Alexandra Burke’s ‘Bad Boys’ seem very compatible, a modern, uptempo song is overdue.

    A Donald/Elderry McPartnership looks like it could be on the cards with ‘The Climb’ surely the song of choice.

    Hannah has already been endorsed by James Arthur and my guess is that Nicole will call him in for a second VT appearance. ‘Impossible’ (more Shontelle than James Arthur) would be fitting, especially with the lyrics, “Shout it from the roof tops.”

    Although I could equally envisage Little Mix mingling with Hannah and a performance of ‘Wings’ – I’m leaning more towards Luke Friend and a busker’s performance of ‘Cannonball’.

    I’m trying to be very open minded about B2 possibilities – if the real shocks are going to come, week 7 is the time. Ella/James is fresh in the memory from last year but also consider past surprises Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs and JLS.

    The introduction of guest mentors makes this week very unpredictable. Now we must consider a mentor’s own popularity and fanbase and what level of vote swinging potential that could represent to particular acts.

    If you play a Joe McElderry song backwards, it says “short straw.”

    • She could be singing ‘Bleeding Love’ but it’s been done too many bleeding times. If they have any sense, they’d give her ‘Run’. I suppose it’s possible they may also give her something like ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ or ‘Stop Crying Your Heart Out’. I’m pretty certain she won’t be singing Leona’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hurt’ 😀

  • Jessica Hamby

    When I saw the video behind Luke my first thought was “Why is he with his mum?”.

    Other than that I’ve not a lot more to add. I didn’t enjoy the show much and spent most of the time pottering in the kitchen with the telly on in the background.

    I did make a lovely banana bread though.

  • General Hogbuffer

    This may be the week when they finally have to nail their colours to the mast. Whoever gets 1 Dimension will be the chosen one surely ? They would never risk having their main cash cow linked to a loser, plus the pull they have will surely transfer to whatever act they will endorse ?

    Sam and Leona has already been confirmed it seems – I suppose Leona with Tamera would have been too obvious even for this show…

    Still would not rule it out to see Rough Copy with JLS, complete with a sick inducing VT where they “pass on the baton” or some such nonsense… Otherwise, Olly Murs is a good guess, I think.

    Hannah and James Arthur would make sense because of the past VT where they met, although his recent spats with various people online could well be a dampener for her.

    I struggle with pairing up Tamera, but maybe Alexandra Burke? “Halleluya” could well be slated for the big ‘moment’, providing she can actually pull it off.

    I think they’ll get OD and Joe McElderry for the boys, so the combo will be very telling. I could see both singing either “little things” or “the climb”, but whoever gets OD will be the chosen one.

    Ack, reading this back it reads just so predictable and obvious, can we really hope they go a bit more left field ? No, me neither…

    • Gamblebot

      I’m guessing JLS won’t be assigned because of the group song.

      Sam’s pretty much confirmed, with photo and everything.

      Maybe Luke will get Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley style, but with Alexandra’s guidance? Only thing that fits him imho. Ok dot com.

      I initially thought that RC will get 1D, but with Sam C gone, it’s a perfect time to reinforce that Nicky is the contestant for teen girls. RC might get an Olly to reinforce their personality or whatever.

      Hannah and JA seems perfect because before Hannah’s first B2 appearance, JA tipped her to win. The bad press won’t hurt the plans to take her out.

      This leaves us with Tamera. What now?

      • Gamblebot

        Tee might get Little Mix. The problem for her has been her shady past and bringing in girls who were inoffensive and struggled through the witches of the internet (see: some VT they had) would make her more lovable. Plus, she’s due an uptempo oww.

      • Gamblebot

        Oh wait, 1D can’t even do their thing live (I think it will be pre-recorded), so they’re out. Since Joe was invited (despite the album snub), maybe The Climb for Nicholas?

        • General Hogbuffer

          I would be surprised if the current posterboys of the X Factor weren’t included in the best of songs – surely they can phone in their mentoring advice via the handy and reasonably priced product placement tablet ™ ?

          • Gamblebot

            I’d think that their appearance will be limited to their Sunday performance and the eternal reminder during the show that they’re world famous. Besides, I think they’re doing the US results show this week.

    • Natasha

      I think it’s safe to say that Nick won’t be doing Joe McElderry’s The Climb as per this article below. It also states the remaining acts will perform the most memorable performances on the show (not just x factor hit singles) so it really is an open field as to what each finalist will perform! Apart from Sam B of course because we kow she’s singing Bleeding Love!

      http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/x-factor/one-direction-cher-lloyd-jedward-alexandra-burke-little-mix-dannii-minogue-new-x-factor-2013-promo/

  • Curtis

    I doubt they’ll worry about linking 1D to a loser. 1D are already very closely linked to an X Factor loser – themselves. Hasn’t done them any harm!

  • Natasha

    Hannah and Rough Copy I think for bottom 2. I have a slight suspision Tamera will get her ‘moment’ and Luke will bounce. Sam B and Nick are safe as houses no matter what song they get. I’m really hoping they don’t pair Nick with Joe though!! Although, in previous weeks by now, he would have posted how much he loves the song he has so i think the predictable will happen. BUT X Factor isn’t THAT predictable, is it?! lol

  • Roxie

    I am still confused as to who the producer favorite is?

    Is it Rough Copy/Tamera/Sam Bailey/Nick? Or have we got it all wrong? Is it Hannah?

    She survived the first slot again singing uptempo when she’s been doing nothing but ballads since Week 2. Maybe that’s what they got wrong? Anyway this week she’s due to get a later slot as since Week 4 she hasn’t got one. So I have a feeling depending on what song they do with her she may escape the B2 AGAIN. If it’s a song where raspy Hannah is more evident then she’ll definitely B2. If it’s a song where Hannah can sing it with energy without overdoing it and smiling like crazy then she may survive again.

    The thing is that I don’t think Nick is the producer’s favorite only because of his slots so far. They exposed Eoghan as much as possible in 2008 no matter the fact that he was dominating the votes. They’re not doing the same with Nick which makes me think he’s not a favorite.

    They tried to throw Luke under a bus this week by putting him before Sam B and by giving Nick the pimp slot, taking away his ‘boy’ vote. So I don’t think it’s him.

    Rough Copy are repeatedly being praised, sometimes for giving under par performances such as this week. Either the producers are pimping them up or confusing people to not vote for the ‘producer favorites’.

    Sam Bailey on the other hand is repeatedly given outstanding feedback, only 2 negative comments in 6 weeks, backed by nearly every celebrity guest on the show/Xtra Factor (Robbie, Celine, Michael Bolton etc.), given great Mary Byrne, every day woman styled VTs (which the producers know gel well with the public from Mary). At the moment I’m thinking Sam Bailey is the real Plan A.

    Which brings me to my next question. Are they still interested in Tamera as the Plan A? I think they definitely are interested in her. But it remains to be seen whether she is Plan A. They’ve set her up for some sort of breakthrough performance next week. However, two factors make me think something is wrong. She’s been given two penultimate slots in a row so it’s highly unlikely she’ll be given the pimp slot this week. Combine that with the theme that it’s X Factor covers essentially which allows for unnecessary direct comparisons with previous acts. Anyway, I think it remains to be seen what happens on Sat night before we can conclude whether she is still Plan A. If she doesn’t deliver she will be B2 again no doubt.

    So at the moment without looking at the song choices I have a feeling it’s Hannah vs Rough Copy this week. But if Tamera doesn’t deliver then it’s Hannah vs Tamera. Either way Hannah’s gone. But

    • Argenta Q.

      I think Sam Bailey is the preferred winner if the chosen one fails, hence the pimping.

      That said, I think Tamera is still the chosen one even though the people around her don’t seem to know what to do with her…

      BUT Rough Copy is like an understudy who will be pushed to the high heavens in case Operation Tamera fails badly. The judges are practically peddling snake oil when describing the group and with enough repetition, people will believe it.

    • lolhart

      I’m not so sure TPTB want Hannah out that badly. They could have easily thrown her under the bus last weekend, but the song turned out to be a good choice for her and she got positive comments from the judges. Perhaps they’ve resigned themselves to the fact she will never win, but wouldn’t be against her progressing a little further. I still think they’d much rather she won over Luke or Nick.

      • Gamblebot

        I think they will use her to take out acts with fanbases strong enough to ruin their plans (i.e. if she lands in the B2 with, say, Luke, they will create an excuse to save her, since Luke is due a stronger bounce than her and could displace Tamera/Rough Copy).

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Unable to track down the specific comment, but last week I mentioned that if Hannah wasn’t eliminated from XF over the weekend, I would have plenty of egg on my face.

    This week, I have no money for food, but, handily, I have plenty of omelette to eat.

  • Heisenberg

    Happy Jam Tart Wednesday.

    “Never give up in what you believe in” (source, Tamera Twitter):

    http://goo.gl/JhXAnC

  • Gamblebot

    Cryptic Tweet Time starring Miss Hannah Banana Barrett!

    https://twitter.com/HannahBMusic/status/403089096073314304

  • Heisenberg

    Here are the top Google keyword/phrase searches for each remaining contestant:

    http://goo.gl/7ADNHN

    I subscribe to the theory that those acts who make the biggest impressions in their auditions are the ones who create the strongest emotional connections with the viewing public. As we get deeper into the competition those audition memories do naturally begin to fade in the viewer’s mind, but they are still very much alive in the subconscious.

    Looking at the Google searches we see that only three names have the word ‘audition’ in their top 10 search terms. These are the acts who have made the strongest connections through their auditions, these are the auditions people are searching for to watch again.

    I acknowledge that Hannah’s B2 appearances do contradict this theory, however, I believe last week’s performance helped to restore some positive sentiment amongst voters, reminding them of Hannah’s audition and reviving some of the emotional connection that had been dormant for several weeks.

    If Hannah received more votes than Tamera last week, from a trap door slot in the running order and considering Tamera’s late slot and sympathy vote slip up – TPTB may decide 4th place is unreachable for the alpha girl and push Hannah instead.

    The treatment of both girls this weekend will be fascinating.

  • Heisenberg

    I had to watch this to have it explained to me:

  • Jessica Hamby

    Love this illuminati stuff.

    I thought the speculation on here was a bit tinfoil hat.

    Mind you, I think calling Sharon Osborne a high priestess of hell seems reasonable.

    And if Rhianna sacrifices the odd goat or two to Lucifer, well…..

    It’s a dirty job but [i]somebody[/i] has to do it.

  • Heisenberg

    Interesting version of events from Janet Devlin:

    http://goo.gl/HCQdsw

    • Curtis

      Very interesting read. Of course what it does is confirm what we already knew and had inferred. She had an incredibly rocky relationship with the producers, and they started messing with her head, as well as obviously attacking her in every conceivable way on the show.

      And I’m pretty sure I’ve heard her use that justification for Mmmbop before. She did look very ill during both of her songs that evening. The show don’t look after you particularly – but I notice Janet stopped short of ever criticising the show. I think she realises the opportunity it has given her. As Sofabet often says, people should know what they’re getting into with the X Factor by now, and it’s usually not pretty. It certainly wasn’t for Janet!

      • R

        Thanks for posting this, I’ve been waiting all day to get back home and post the article.
        Certainly very insightful and a must read for every Sofabetter.

        I have to also add that Janet has done a lot of Blog TVs for her fans over the last couple of years. In these, she mentioned that she was asked out by a certain Irish boyband member (between weeks 2 and 3) but turned him down because she had a boyfriend at the time.
        I always found this interesting as this was the time we all thought the show turned on her.

        Also worth noting that a couple of weeks later Little Mix all dumped their boyfriends to “focus on their careers” but all then started “dating” people signed to Syco. This of course includes Perrie & Zayne from 1D, which has propelled the girl group into the media spotlight despite most 1D fans seeming to know that the relationship is a fake.

        I wonder if this was the original plan for Janet and the ultimate reason they turned on her so harshly?

        The other point to add is that she has previously mentioned that she chose Zombie by the Cranberries as her song choice for Halloween week but was taken into an office and had an argument as TPTB pushed her to sing Every Breath You Take, a song which she had no connection to. She finally gave in after a few hours as the need to use the toilet increased.

        • annie

          I havent watched back anything from that year since it ended. and looking back at is now a maybe knowing a bit more about the shows workings… the judges comments …ah they seem completely fake and staged. when louis says brave… or tulisa saying she has to be in a certain mood to be able to listen to her (at one of her performance) or gary. oh dear, he seems like a mediocre actor.

    • eurovicious

      So much respect for Janet after reading that.

      • lolhart

        Agreed. I’m glad that she sees the positives in doing the show after the way she was treated. I’m a bit disappointed in Kelly Rowland after reading the article.

        • Roxie

          We can’t believe everything that she says…isn’t the whole point of the show that TPTB or ‘judges’ (to the public) choose the songs. Janet choosing Zombie by The Cranberries wasn’t a choice by the producers/’judges’ so fair enough. From what Kelly said and did on the show, she did seem to genuinely care about Janet. Misha was definitely her favorite but she had no qualms about choosing between Sophie and Misha. But when it came to Janet and Misha, she went all teary-eyed. I could just be incredibly gullible but I don’t think Kelly’s all the person Janet’s making her to be. It seems to be a case more like a mother telling off her child than anything else.

          • Dean

            Janet has not actually said much bad about Kelly. When she first came off the show she only praised her even. However it’s likely Kelly was told by producers to sway a few things in Janet’s performances.

    • Dean

      I’m one of Janet’s pledgers and proud to be. Her album is great. Certainly better than most commercial trash coming from the show. Janet used the show as much as the show drowned her. Obvious now the show did what it did because Janet was the way she was. I applaud her for not changing and being who she wants.

      • Phil

        Her new song is brilliant and she looks stunning. I hope she does well with it – can’t see it getting played on the radio enough to get the recognition though.

  • Neve

    http://t.co/5Z51gjoLI2 interesting that the only current finalists that make an appearance here are Sam B (very briefly) and rough copy…..
    (And also very randomly Kingsland road?!)

    Unless I’ve missed anyone?

    • Gamblebot

      Yes, only them. I actually had to look twice if the cheesy dancing group was really Kingsland Road. Then again, the show was laughing at itself so I don’t think there is significant interpretation that we can get.

  • im an idiot.. I didn’t particularly like that girl during the live shows, felt most of her performances were boring and were very low standard compared to her audition. I realize they actually tried to manipulate the poor girl, whether in style, song choice and she alwsys wanted to stay whoever she was before the show.. a lot of admiration for her.
    that new single is great btw

  • Henry VIII

    Heisenberg a word of caution about those top 10 search phrases: they don’t have total numbers, which are overall more important than the actual phrase.

    Eg if someone’s 10th most searched phrase has been entered 1000 times more than someone else’s 2nd most searched phrase.

  • eurovicious

    Off-topic: Lucy Spraggan has been tweeting troglodytic texts James Arthur wrote to her https://twitter.com/lspraggan/media

  • Heisenberg

    The Matrix Mechanics Formula results as of Thursday 21 November:

    1. Nicholas McDonald 18 points
    T2. Sam Bailey 13 points
    T2. Luke Friend 13 points
    4. Tamera Foster 8 points
    5. Rough Copy 7 points
    6. Hannah Barrett 4 points

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