X Factor 2013 Week 9 Elimination: To singoff or not to singoff?

The X Factor betting fraternity has been wondering all week if there would be an unprecedented singoff among the last four this weekend. I was sceptical on yesterday’s Betsfactor podcast, but later in the day Luke Friend indicated in a tweet that there would be one. I won’t completely believe it until the words come out of Dermot O’Leary’s mouth.

If it happens, it’s probably good news for Rough Copy. Consistently pimped throughout the live shows, and namechecked as finalists for a month now, it seems more likely than not that they would be saved in a singoff against either Nicholas or Luke. It was no surprise to see them drift for elimination once Luke’s tweet had sunk in: at the time of going to press, there’s little opportunity to lay them on Betfair.

This leads to the question: is Nick within range or will it be Luke that is the semi-final sacrifice?

Luke’s two bottom two appearances, including last week following high praise from the panel, indicates that he is most in danger of another singoff appearance should one take place. But the big imponderable remains how well Nicholas’s vote is holding up after two weeks of rather bland performances, because my thinking, along with many of our commenters, is that Nicholas would be sent home in a duel with Luke.

It all makes for an intriguing if difficult semi-final, made moreso by mixed messages in the press and from the panel. Sam Bailey has been given the aura of a winner since Week 4, so why then was the “cruiseship” tag not only mentioned by Nicole last weekend but also included in both the opening Sunday montage and the reprise?

The Sun ran with the story of her alleged “diva demands” today. That’s a line that’s been used against acts before, notably Chris Maloney. Maybe it’s just for column inches this time around, if they’re scrabbling for angles to try to keep up interest in the press. But it does leave a nagging doubt that they may still yet try to pull her down – unlikely as it seems that they would want Nick to beat her, or that they could get either Rough Copy or Luke to do so if they wanted to.

It’s a puzzle. And much as one of our working assumptions about the show is that judges do as the production team want, it almost seemed last week as though the panel were pulling in different directions. Nicole used the “cruiseship” line,  Louis said he wasn’t terribly impressed by Rough Copy’s vocals whilst Sharon mocked their styling, and Gary continued to question Nick’s “individuality”.

In the comments, Argenta Q asked “what do you make of the fighting in the panel? Louis and Sharon sounded mad as hell at Tamera and it doubled when Gary took it to deadlock, Nicole looked pissed when Tamera was voted off, and you can see Louis and Sharon looking mad at Gary after the results”. Usually we would dismiss this as scripted pantomime, but there did seem to be some genuine emotion on display.

Is it fanciful to wonder if there are cracks within the production team, reflecting themselves on the panel? The story in The Sun earlier in the week that bosses fear a boring final seemed to be stretching the maxim that all publicity is good publicity. The “source” quoted in that story as saying “Tamera was the last one to have any drama around her” perhaps indicates that not everybody backstage was on board with the decision to jettison her.

That’s in the past, but it will be fascinating to see what signals are sent out tonight, and whether there is still any sense that the judges may not be singing from the same hymn sheet.

With all this uncertainty, I’m not going to advise any tip before tonight’s show. Do let us know your continuing thoughts before and during the semi-final below.

 

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75 comments to X Factor 2013 Week 9 Elimination: To singoff or not to singoff?

  • BerlinChris

    I’m wondering whether this year is a ‘write off’. Perhaps doesn’t matter to anyone who wins. Perhaps Syco are not interested in signing anyone beyond a one album deal. It’s ticking along. I think it will move up several gears next year.

  • Dan

    I’m wondering whether this year is a ‘write off’.

    I was thinking the same thing. There haven’t been the “fireworks” I was expecting for a ten year anniversary. The lack of shocks and surprises are good for the punter as things are more predicable, but then there are fewer value opportunities and the show is less exciting to watch.

  • Shaun

    Last time Luke was in the bottom 2 he bounced to safety the following week. Are the top 2 too far ahead for that to happen again? Probably.

  • Stu

    If there is a bottom two this weekend, Rough Copy may have a life line. I wondered whether TPTB would do this in order to get Nicholas out. Hopefully it works.

    Also, it could mean that Rough Copy bounce in the final to second place if they fall into the bottom two this week.

  • R

    As I see it there are 3 possible reasons for the late change to a B2.

    1. They want Nick out and this was their last chance before the final.
    I don’t think this is the case as I believe he is too far ahead of Luke and RC.

    2. They want Luke out but he was within a couple of % of RC. With RC losing the sympathy bounce & Luke gaining one, it’s possible he will leap over them. To ensure RC reach the final they have to be flexible with the elimination.
    The reason this has come about is due to Tamera’s word flub which left RC in the bottom 2 a few weeks ago, moving all TPTB’s plans out of sync.

    3. As option 2 but swapping RC & Luke.

    I think Luke will leave this week, but I won’t be betting on it…yet.

    • Gamblebot

      If Saint Nicholas (whose feast day or whatever it’s called was yesterday) is really close to elimination, why not let him run his course like Maloney? I think the main aim is to push RC into the final.

  • Lia

    The judges are not that great at acting, so I do think tempers were flying around last weeks elimination.
    Louis and Sharon were very hard on Tamera before sending her home, unusual, as we usually hear “great sing-off”, “amazing singers” and then pretend it’s a tough choice.
    Nicole was pissed at Tamera’s elimination and looked very surprised, shocked even, that it happened. For someone whose best XF moment was having 3 act in the final 5 and her 2 boys as 1+2 (her words), it must have been hard to swallow. Pride, baby.
    Gary is just stirring the pot. He and Louis never got along so why not have some fun at his expense?
    What’s going to happen now? No idea. I go with the write off theory and giving Sharon the win she never had would be at least kind of nice.
    As for the final being boring, well, they messed up from the start again. Bad casting, bad direction, bad themes, bad song choices. The lot!

    • Gamblebot

      The fact that the fighting happened when the camera wasn’t focused on them indicates that something is up. You don’t give your Alpha Girl a worse exit than your Gamma (who was given the standard “you’re wonderful and that was amazing but your time is up” send-ff), at least if they followed the script. Is this an uprising in response to Simon’s supposed favouritism towards Tamera?

      It must suck for Nicole to lose her acts first against three judges who have really bad records as “mentors” (Gary hasn’t won, Sharon hasn’t won and was wiped out WITH THE GIRLS in 5 weeks, Louis hasn’t won since series 2 and was first mentor out for three straight years: series 6-8).

      This year seems to be the shit that will make next year look so superb (i.e. the series 4/6 to next year’s series 5/7).

  • Lia

    Mmmm… just occurred to me: what if there’s a sing-off RC vs anyone and Louis and Sharon decide to get Gary back? Great TV! Priceless!

  • Dan

    The bottom two at this late stage of the game is odd. The last time they did that was to get shot of Mary Byrne back in 2010 to propel an unpopular Cher Lloyd into the final. So who have they got the knives out for this week? My pre-show guess would be McNick to allow for a final with a set of acts that cover most bases and allow a Sam B win.

  • Natasha

    This series has been dire!! Dated themes, dated song choices, ballad after ballad and no real, raw, talent. What the F were/are they thinking??!! I think this year has been the worst for a long long time. Im looking forward to tonights show as their intentions will become alot clearer. Im really hoping Nick can pull off ‘Halo’ and it not being an uncomfortable watch like ‘Greatest Day’ last week!

  • Andy

    Nicholas is the only genuine challenger to Sam, the final wouldn’t be worth watching if he wasn’t in it. I don’t think the TP would want such a clear cut final so for me nick is safe tonight.
    I truly believe Nicks price is still too big.
    I happily tucked in to 12/1 last week when his price drifted and he is still my biggest Green. Twice as big as Sam.

    • stoney

      i had another slice of the 6’s available today, but i keep thinking back to his treatment of the last 2 weeks, and the bottom 2 they have chucked in this weekend, and it worries me. The saving grace is the fact he had to have been in top 2 last week and that his songs are no where near the worst like they were last week

      • Natasha

        Im thinking that they made their b2 decision based on what they have heard in rehersals. That being Nick is really struggling with Halo which gives them great confidence in knowing this could land him into b2 perhaps (along with colour vomit, rough comments ets) ?

      • Andy

        The lad hasn’t put a foot wrong all series. we know he has topped the vote at least twice, he has overcome the hurdles that the show has thrown in front of him and is more than capable of big performances. Sam is favourite and rightly so but I wouldn’t like to have Nicholas Red at this stage.
        Joey leaving the jungle last night proves that shocks happen.
        I tend to stay away from teenagers in reality competitions
        but Nicholas is a very talented and likeable lad who obviously has a huge fan base and if he comes good in the final who knows what could happen.

  • stoney

    No strictly overlap tonight, so whoever is given nicks trademark spot wont be up against it as much tonight.

  • stoney

    interestingly apart from sam, nicholas is the one who seems to be coming in for a bit of money for the win market, hoping this is due to slot order, although im probably clutching at straws

  • Apparently there’s some big Sainsbury’s advert on during X Factor tonight. No doubt it will be used to shove one of Louis’s boys down the memory hole.

  • stoney

    this is awful from luke, lets see what the judges make of it???

  • Fudd

    Gold and ‘sun’ impressions for Luke moving to blue and white plus the uptempo/different version could work in his favour.

  • Fudd

    Louis did a vote call but only for the people of Devon? Reminder of the busker links? Gary also appealed for him to be in the final. But the criticism from Sharon and Nicole was flat; I can’t see that pulling in votes.

  • Natasha

    I really didnt like it. What Nicole said was completley true. And he aint no James Arthur

  • Fudd

    Nicholas is getting lost in the long shots with that background in the screens. Interesting he’s wearing and red-and-black shirt. He completely lost the key which could count against him but again the staging turns to gold.

  • tpfkar

    Dermot used a very odd analogy about locks and keys to describe the voting, but if I heard it right they left plenty of wriggle-room forma sing-off. Thought Nick just really struggled with Halo. No backing vocals and nasty key change imposed on him.

  • Fudd

    Oh well, the tears might ruin any plans the producers had of eliminating Nicholas. Louis switched tact and said he’s going to the final rather than appealing for votes. Hmm.

  • stoney

    Im thinking nick might benefit from a sympathy/panick vote, that song was clearly not suited for his voice, he needs to pull off a big performance in his next song

  • Fudd

    Simple lighting and Sam clearly in shot at all times and a song well within her vocal range. Following Nicholas, the effortless key change really stands out.

  • Andy

    Louis and Sharon laughing when Nick went off key will just whip up support for the lad.
    I thought that was cruel so will thousands of others.

  • Fudd

    Ah, so was Nicole’s cruise ship mention last week so she could say Sam is going back to her (excellent) roots this week?

  • stoney

    Notice how Gary chose sam bailey song to mention how hard it is to sing beyonce songs.

  • Fudd

    Yeuch Colour Vomit alert for Rough Copy. No support with the vocals which means they’re very exposed. The lighting is very distracting; flashing all over the place.

  • Fudd

    Nicole says they’re in the final and Louis and Sharon both criticise the production, the former leading to a distracting argument between Nicole and Louis. Dermot pushes the ‘overload’ angle.

    There will be a sing off tomorrow – I think production are angling for Nicholas v Rough Copy after round one.

  • tpfkar

    Dermot just confirmed a sing-off. Sam B won round 1 by a landslide for me.

  • Andy

    I happy to go for Luke & RC bottom 2
    Luke going home.

  • Boki

    Nic was clearly the worst in the 1st round, it will be a proper test for his supporters.

  • stoney

    lol suprise suprise nicks up first again this is getting laughable

    • Fudd

      In the second round this may be a benefit as people can vote for him while his performance is fresh in their minds/the performance is still on. It’s not so bad as going first in a one song week.

      If they want rid, it’s a slightly strange place to put him.

  • Fudd

    Dermot says hello to Luke’s family… and Sam’s… and Rough Copy’s… but not Nicholas’.

    Or am I becoming cynical?

    Nicholas misses his parents. He’s come a long way, he’s changed a lot – it cries of ‘he’s done it all so let him go’ to me.

  • Fudd

    Gold and coming off a staircase – good.
    The dancers – distracting and unnecessary.
    Judges comments – bland praise; nothing over the top. ‘You’re only 17’ and Louis pushed the Scottish vote.

    Dermot reminds everyone of his age…again. But he said something two very interesting things – ‘this is the last chance we’ll get to talk before the final’ and ‘with his last semi final performance’ which seems to suggest that he will be in the final.

  • Cade

    Those were some insane wide shots for Nick. They barely focused on him.

  • Boki

    That switch of positions is really confusing in terms of voting, Dermot reminds we can vote for Nic now but which number is it?

  • annie

    Its obvious they think they can get him B2.
    what surprises me is that they didnt pimp the hell out of luke and work on getting a rough copy- nick B2. it would be so much easier to justify saving against nicky blue eyes someone whos only been B2 once (RC) than someone who was there twice, even last week (luke). again, like so many times this series the non chalant nukeing makes me feel sorry for contestants who are also real young people with real dreams and sense that they are set up …

    • Fudd

      At the end of the day winning the show is not key and I think most to all acts realise that now. If you’re good enough you’ll succeed in the industry anyway.

  • Fudd

    They’ve tamed his hair but the lighting and camera angles seem decent and he connected with the emotion of the song… damn, why am I considering his own performance???

    Oh Sharon used the ‘proud’ word which isn’t necessary good. Gary says Luke doesn’t chase votes; could that isolate him from the audience. Nicole mentions being on the edge of a cliff… about to fall? Louis calls for the people of Devon to vote again – what about the rest of the nation? Ah Dermot gives permission to the rest of the South West. That’s ok then.

  • Fudd

    After the Colour Vomit of round one Rough Copy are now given stars… well, lights in trees but they look a bit like stars. They’re dressed the same, the camera angles are better and the song suits them more.

    Nicole says ‘pack your backpack’ as they’re going to the final and Louis says they ‘deserve’ to make the final. Sharon makes an interesting link to Boyz II Men. Dermot reminds everyone that they lost a member for Judges Houses. Hmm better than round one, that’s for sure.

  • I noticed the fireworks display, seemingly implying celebratory fireworks during Nic’s performance on the video wall. Not to mention the staircase gives some sort of “stairway to stardom” scenario. Something to think about?

    • Fudd

      I missed the fireworks. Could the staircase be read the other way in this case; as in him leaving the chance of stardom and joining the dancers?

  • Fudd

    A plinth for Sam but that was the only part of the staging that worked against her.

    Gary AGAIN reminds everyone how difficult the number is to sing. Good comments all round.

  • stoney

    Well i think they have definately levelled out the playing field tonight. The only thing im sure of is that luke will have polled lowest

    • R

      Luke’s on at least a 5% bounce from last week.
      I guessing that RC will be last, Nick will be 3rd with Luke less than 1% ahead of him and Sam way ahead.

      Actually hope I’m wrong.

      • stoney

        Bounce’s are not worth much at this stage, especially as hes already been in bottom 2. I certainly cant see him picking up any of the floating voters he would have needed to climb out of the bottom 2.hes 1/4 to be in bottom 2. For me the question is have they managed to get rough copy above nick

        • R

          In 2009 Danyl bounced 6.3%
          In 2010 Cher bounced 4.26% (this was with 5 contestants)
          In 2011 Misha had the same % in weeks 8& 9, but was bottom 4 times.
          In 2012 UJ bounced 6.3%

          RC will be coming off a bounce, but the acts that are B2 in week 7 and bounce in week 8 do tend to hold most of their votes.

          • stoney

            I saw nothing tonight that will alter the top 2 of sam and nicholas in.None of rough copy or luke did anything that would have picked up the floating voters. The only reason nicholas is ahead of rough copy in the elimination market is because he will leave if he falls into the bottom 2, but rough copy are still substancially shorter in the odds for a bottom 2 spot alongside luke

  • Did anyone else notice during the recaps of the second songs that Luke’s number was up for a few seconds whilst Wee Nick’s recap was on ?

    • stoney

      I dont read too much into all this number swapping malarky, i mean with 24 hours to vote who would be in such a rush that they couldnt double check they are phoning for the correct contestant

  • Henry VIII

    It’s been a weird series. Instead of pushing for an non-commercial winner why didn’t they just have a fair contest? They’d probably get the same result and wouldn’t alienate even more viewers.

  • Henry VIII

    Actually, to answer my own question, Tamera was their first choice. They later decided she wasn’t going to win and just couldn’t help continue manipulating even if it harms more than it achieves. Force of habit.

  • stoney

    Knowing the hash and utter manipulation this year I wouldn’t be Suprised if they had a bloody sing off on the Saturday night of the final. Afterall we will now know the top 2 later on tonight

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