X Factor 2013: Week-by-week voting statistics analysis

Soon after Sam Bailey took the prize, the weekly breakdown of the phone votes was revealed. We like to take our time poring over these to provide a fuller analysis when the dust has settled (see our 2012 review articles). Still, here’s our quick-and-dirty analysis.

As usual, we’ve run these through a spreadsheet to get each act’s vote as a proportion of the average, given the differing number of acts who were in each week. For example, Nick’s score in week 1 was 23.5%. There were 12 acts, so the average vote was 8.33%. That means Nick got 3.05 times as much as the average, or, to put it another way, 305% of the average. We think these figures allow for more meaningful comparisons week-on-week.

And as usual, we’ve quickly done a pretty graph. Here are the trajectories of the top eight, on those percentage-of-the-mean figures:

Please let us know if you spot any snafus in our calculations, as they’ve been done quickly. Assuming they’re okay, here are our quick takeaways.

1. It was always Sam or Nick in first and second

Nicholas won the overall vote in Weeks 1, 2 and 6. Otherwise, Sam always polled best, but it was far closer than we suspected from week 8 onwards.

By our calculations, almost two-thirds of the votes in the final were cast after the Saturday freeze which saw Luke eliminated, and those votes split 61.5-38.5 in Sam’s favour – a bigger margin between the two than when Luke was still in it.

2. Producers’ took their eyes off the ball with Nick in week 6

As we suspected in our post on Nick’s journey, if producers were looking to deramp Nick gently throughout the whole series, they took their eyes off the ball with his week 6 pimping. His line in the graph shows he was comfortably below Sam in weeks 4 and 5, but had to be dragged down steadily from week 7 onwards to keep him below the eventual winner. The Powers That Be must’ve been worried.

3. “ScrewBo” hurt Sam, the cruiseship VT didn’t

In our retrospective on Sam’s journey, we thought she was deramped in weeks 2 and 3. It turns out week 2’s treatment, including the ‘ScrewBo’ tag, hurt her mean vote – but her week 3 Celine Dion effort, with the cruiseship VT, was almost her best ever – better than the following week’s pimp slot. It turns out commenters AnnaC and Chris Bellis may be right to argue that X Factor viewers see cruiseships as aspirational, even if producers generally mean it to be a negative connotation.

4. Tamera disappointed in her “Beyonce impersonation” pimp slot

Also in that retrospective on Sam, we surmised that after week 3 producers decided that if Nick were to be stopped, Sam was the only game in town. That theory stacks up well on these figures. Both Hannah in week 2 and Tamera in week 3, acts we believe producers might ideally have preferred as winners, were given early chances to shine but did disappointingly from their pimp slots. Producers may at this point have decided the gap between them and the top two was too far to be realistically bridged.

Indeed, Tamera – who most of us had pegged as Plan A coming into the live shows – could only manage a distant fourth at best, from that week 3 pimp slot with ‘Listen’ and when sympathy bouncing into week 5 with ‘Cry Me A River’. Her best performance, on those percentage-of-the-mean figures, was actually with ‘Beneath You’re Beautiful’ with the smoky backdrop in week 2.

5. Luke may well have been considered a spoiler to Nicholas

Another of the theories we floated last week, in the piece on Luke’s journey, which stacks up well is the idea that producers might have been pimping Luke in the early weeks to try to draw support from Nicholas, then turned on him in week 5 (when he was called the “busker from Devon”) after week 4’s vote persuaded them Nicholas was under control.

Looking at Nick’s trajectory up to week 4 lends credence to that theory. Ironically enough, Luke’s mean score was actually better in week 5, when he was the “busker from Devon”, than when he was described as a “dark horse” in week 4.

6. Although in the singoff, Luke almost won the semi-final

After week 6, judges started ramping Luke again, which we had surmised was a reaction to Nick winning that week 6 vote. What we hadn’t expected was how successful that ramping was – the graph shows that Luke was the only act gaining momentum in his mean vote through to the semi-final, when, despite being in the singoff, he was only 1.5% off Nicholas and 2.9% behind Sam.

He couldn’t quite carry on that momentum into the final. But if punters had seen those semi-final statistics, it’s hard to believe Sam would have gone into the final a 1/4 shot with Luke a 20/1 outsider.

7. The Flash Vote may have been ditched to spare Tamera’s blushes

Tamera was bottom of the vote in week 4 for ‘Wishing On A Star’, and had to be saved by the judges against Kingsland Road. This was the week that they ditched the Flash Vote – Tamera would’ve likely been bottom that Saturday night, had the format continued.

The comparisons of the Flash Vote to the overall vote show that over half of the weekend’s votes were cast in those first ten minutes.

8. Would it have been just too embarrassing to save Rough Copy in week 9?

Rough Copy started brightly enough with third from the week 1 pimp slot, but it represented easily their best relative showing. They did manage  third again with ‘Hit The Road Jack’ in week 5, but had to be saved 3:1 over Hannah in week 7, having finished bottom of the poll.

To my cost, I expected them to be saved 3:1 over Luke if necessary in week 9’s unprecedented final-four singoff. Assuming that Sharon going rogue isn’t the explanation for why that didn’t happen, is it just that with such a big gap between Rough Copy and the other three, producers decided that shoehorning them into the final would just have been too embarrassing when these figures were released?

(The other obvious possibility, of course, picks up on the idea that Luke may have been viewed as a spoiler to Nicholas, and perhaps Nick being so close to Sam in the semi vote persuaded producers to take him to the final – although, as noted above, the gap between Sam and Nick actually widened in votes cast after Luke was eliminated. Also against this theory is the fact that they didn’t make much noticeable effort to ramp Luke in the final, which suggests they were always confident they could ramp Sam to the win).

The same question goes for Tamera in week 8, when she was also far adrift of Luke. It may be that producers didn’t want the bad publicity of what would have been seen as blatant favouritism.

9. The also-rans

Abi started brightly enough with fourth place in week 1 with ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’, almost beating Hannah and Tamera put together despite getting much the worst edit of the three at judges’ houses. There wasn’t much of a tears bounce in week 3, when Sharon was harsh in her criticism, as we’d suspected there might be – Abi was just fairly steadily losing ground, week on week.

It was a real struggle for the rest, as shown by the bunching together of those lines on the graph. Sam Callahan’s best showing was in week 2 when he got the lovely golden guitar strings backdrop. Making him into the novelty act in week 4 seemed to have no effect on his vote one way or the other.

10. The one that got away

Punters will always look for the ones that only just got away. My one that got away was Miss Dynamix – tipped here at 10/1 to be eliminated in week 1, and a tantalising 0.3% off the bottom on Saturday and 0.5% off the singoff on Sunday that week.

What were your near-misses and near-hits? What do you make of the figures and the trajectory of each act? Let us know what you got right and what surprised you below.

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112 comments to X Factor 2013: Week-by-week voting statistics analysis

  • Chatterbox5200

    My initial thoughts on seeing the voting stats (apologies if these have already been mentioned by others):

    It was always only ever a two-horse race, although after Wk 1, Rough Copy could have been understood to have a shot, but that is more likely to do with their Pimp Slot.

    The running order is just as important as it’s ever been – Sam B’s lowest score (17%) came in Wk 2, when she opened the show. Her two strongest performances came in Wk 4 (31% vs 18% for 2nd place) and Wk 7 (36%) when she had the Pimp Slot. Nicholas’ strongest performance came in Wk 6 (31%) when he had the Pimp Slot

    The “Sympathy Bounce” is also alive and kicking. In each of the weeks that Hannah fell into the bottom two, and was saved, she finished third the following week. Luke also came in third the week after each of his sing-off saves. Even Tamera managed to move up to fourth the week after her bottom two appearance.

    Nicholas’ succession of opening slots started in Wk 7, the week after he beat Sam B in the vote for the first time since Wk 2.

    Luke’s share of the vote was steadily increasing from 9th place in Wk 1, but the start of significant increases happened in Wk 7, when he covered One Direction’s That’s What Makes You Beautiful. (Might be worth looking out for any future contestants given a 1D track)

    This may have led TPTB to believe that Luke could close the gap between himself and Nicholas, and from Wk 7 onwards this appears to have been the case, and he was only 1.5% short or taking second place from Nicholas in the semi-final. The de-ramping of Nicholas and pimping of Luke nearly paid off.

    The choice of songs for each act to reprise on Sunday was also significant. Nicholas was shown suggesting “Just the way you are” from Wk 8 (25% v Sam B’s 27%) and “Someone Like You” from Wk 6 (31% v Sam B’s 26%), but was given “Angel” from Wk 3 by Louis, the first week that he fell to second place in the vote. On the other hand, Sam B’s choice of “The Power of Love” was shown in the VT to have a particular family history to her, and Sharon stressed that it was the first time that she stunned everyone and focused on the journey that she’d been through. The voting figures show that although her 23% of the vote in Wk 1 was lower than her score for most other weeks, in relation to Nicholas’ performance and the fair share of the vote, this performance was only beaten by Disco Week (Nicholas’ vote was his lowest) and when she sang “Bleeding Love”. Presumably that would draw too many comparisons to a previous winner.

    I could add a lot more about the judges comments, staging, lighting, etc. but I am sure these will be covered in more accurate detail by the Sofabet team in their next post.

  • Nissl

    One thought on the boost Sam apparently got from Luke’s elimination is that rather than Nick and Luke splitting the moms & teen girls demos, Sam and Luke may have been splitting the votes of people who just found Nick kind of dull.

    As I said in the last thread, I’m still kicking myself for thinking the producers would favor Nick over Sam, even though I thought it was dumb. Whenever my thought process assumes the producers making a myopic decision, it needs to be revisited.

    I’m still chewing over the fact that almost none of us saw Luke making a run (particularly since Louis picked him to win, and since I also missed Carlito in my XFUSA picks). It feels better knowing that the way he was edited coming into the competition left him very near the bottom of the pack early on. In both cases I read a bit too much into producer edits and not enough into the strengths of those acts. In particular I was surprised by some studio Youtube videos in which Luke showed off a fairly capable voice and connected surprisingly well.

    I’ll be curious to see if we get any Scottish or Irish contestants next year. Casting non-commercial contestants from those regions is very costly, as they’re virtually guaranteed a top 5 finish.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    ‘One thought on the boost Sam apparently got from Luke’s elimination is that rather than Nick and Luke splitting the moms & teen girls demos, Sam and Luke may have been splitting the votes of people who just found Nick kind of dull.’

    Very interesting reading / interpretaion.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      And I too, Nissi, am sceptical about their being a Scot in the XF lives next year. It took XF nearly the entire series to get Nic’s vote under control.

      • Fudd

        It would have been much easier for them had they not made a blunder in week six and pimped Nick to the hilt. They seemed to do the same with Leon in series 4 and they couldn’t get his vote back under control.

        • Curtis

          Yeah, they screwed up there clearly. However, the key to securing the winner they wanted was to pimp Sam a week later. You can see how Nick’s vote is always one week ahead of Sam’s in terms of decline from then on.

  • Chatterbox5200

    I wonder if the boost in Sam’s vote had more to do with one-off voters placing their vote on the Sunday, once they’ve seen the whole show (or only watched the Sunday show)?

    I also will be keeping an eye out for any Scottish/Irish acts in next year’s show. Maybe TPTB can get round it by selecting the novelty act from there (e.g. Jedward). They could therefore ensure that they still have each country represented in the competition, but be more confident that the regional vote won’t hold up, and be a threat the the favoured act.

    • Curtis

      And this is definitely what I think. I don’t think Luke’s voters necessarily moved to Sam, I just think Sam got a very large percentage of the voters who only bite once a year – on the final.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I could well be wrong but I thought that the influx of one-off viewers for the final tended to be younger people – who would be more likely to vote for the younger acts with whom they are more likely to identify (rather than the age-group represented by Sam Bailey)?

      Or does the influx of new viewers hold a much higher percentage of non-Scottish viewers (which is understandable) – who are less likely to vote partially?

      I still think there’s something to be said for Nissi’s analysis.

    • Also, some had speculated before the final that Andy Murray and SPOTY being on BBC on Sunday might dent Nick’s Scottish vote – another possible factor in Sam’s widening margin after the vote freeze?

  • Gamblebot

    Is it possible that Tamera was a decoy for Sam Bailey? All the judges predicted Sam to win.

    • Possibly – or maybe they just thought that even if Sam didn’t win, she was always going to be there or thereabouts so it wouldn’t be an embarrassing pick. Whereas it was always possible that Tamera would go badly wrong at an early stage and end up as an embarrassing prediction. I expect Gary in particular remembers Frankie Cocozza being the name read out when they opened his envelope in 2011.

      Really interested in Louis picking Luke. I wonder why they decided to give him such an underwhelming edit at the arena/bootcamp/JH stages?

  • Argenta Q.

    Isn’t the final the time for obligatory standing ovations for all contestants? Look how firmly planted the butts of the judges were with Nicky.

  • Henry VIII

    Respect to Tpfkar and Guildo and any others who were on Sam from the beginning, and thanks to the Sofabet generally.

    I think the week 2 votes will have been important pointers for TPTB. And maybe also the iTunes sales, that we never get to see.

    Week 2. Despite their scepticism (judges predictions) they gave Tamera a chance – put her on late with a fantastic production and judges’ adulation and she could only manage 5th in the vote. Conversely Sam got the graveyard slot, with an overlap, with a dubious production, some judges’ undermining, and she came 2nd in the vote.

  • Danny

    First up, thanks for all the articles Sofabet, it’s been a very entertaining read for the last few months. Similar thanks to all the comments contributors, some great points have been made.

    After a brief inspection of the itv voting stats, I notice that in general, there is little difference in the voting from the flash vote and the overall voting. This either means that when flash voting is active, the majority of voters vote early or that the voting is proportionally similar in both timeframes. I suspect the former. Also, the main recipient of overnight (assumed multiple voting) between the flash vote and the result appears to be Sam Callahan .. Nicholas hardly increased his vote share overnight from any of the flash votes, giving weight to the voices of Scottish contributors (on DS I think) that they weren’t working themselves up into a multi-voting nationalist frenzy over their wee bairn.

  • lolhart

    As always the voting stats are one of the most interesting parts of the show for me (especially with this series being so dull):

    1) Sam C really benefited from the banter with Gary in Week 4. Whereas the following week he was third from bottom when Gary refused to play ball. I’m sure there’ll inevitably be a novelty act to antagonise and eventually win over Gary or Simon next year and this time honoured tactic will be recycled.

    2) Louis and Sharon being so openly critical of Tamera towards the end makes sense now. Even if the judges don’t know the results of the voting, there must have been talk behind the scenes she was struggling in the vote from the beginning. By the time, she left there was no point protecting her and TPTB probably didn’t care. Impossible must have been her last chance to redeem herself and she fluffed it.

    3) I’m less inclined to believe Sharon went rogue now in voting Rough Copy off. They were so behind the others by the time they left it would have been ridiculous to keep them around. They also needed the almost constant pimping they got and seemed to suffer vote wise when the judges were even slightly critical of their performances.

    4) Not saying this was the only factor, but Hannah went out the week she complained about abuse on Twitter. The same thing happened to The Risk the week they went out in 2011 when Derry accused Kitty of using racial slurs.

    • AlisonR

      Hannah had a raw deal, being voted off when ahead of RC in the voting, though understandable as she had been b2 too often. Still wonder if the Miss Dynamix domino effect buggered her chances there: If they’d have been b2 wk2 (almost a certainty if they’d been present, given how close they were to the bottom wk 1) they would have gone. This gave KR a bounce in wk 3 which caused Hannah to be b2.

      • Jack

        Oh I agree completely. She was never bottom of the vote, was 3rd in the vote 3 times and came 3rd on the week she opened the show (albeit on her sympathy bounce week). In fact if I were producers, I would have pushed Hannah to the Alpha Girl after this week (The week of Tameras Diamonds Are Forever) and looking at the vote I’m actually surprised TPTB didn’t do this.

    • Argenta Q.

      The percentages confirmed that they knocked Sam C down hard enough so that the Gary thing was needed to extend his shelf life. I reckon he was supposed to be in the B2 (then saved) against Miss Dynamix, but the voters had other plans.

      I’m also surprised that Abi fans didn’t eat up her Week 4 performance. My Week 4 ranking guess had Hannah just above the B2 and Abi in third. oops.

      The results of Weeks 8 and 9 also reveal that there were no rogues in the panel. Also, voting percentages aren’t usually that erratic. Could it be that very few voted this year, compared to the previous years?

      • eurovicious

        Yeah, I’m surprised at that too, though I guess the clearest explanation is that people with a sufficiently developed musical palate to appreciate the fragility and majesty of that performance don’t necessarily watch X Factor. Innit. When I looked on Twitter at the time, all the yoof were bitching about how she “made it slow”. This is what you get when you feed people on a diet of Jessie J.

        • sycamore

          The criticism for Abi in week 4 wasn’t so much for ‘making it slow’ as for it being Abi doing her one trick again. I think people expected the same slowed down version with ‘can’t get you out of my head’ in week 2 and to her credit she didn’t do it, but what she did do was a car crash. And ‘moon river’ ought to have been an absolute gift for her yet went badly. Her performance of ‘I will survive’ was great, but it underlined that she’s only good when she does her one thing. If that performance had come after good performances the previous two weeks I think the reaction would have been different.

          Tamera got the same criticism for ignoring the week’s theme to churn out another wannabe diva ballad, and it hurt her votes a lot more than Abi’s.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I agree that for the first few weeks Abi was rubbish but to my mind a lot of that was down to poor songs, stuling and arrangement. Rather than treat her like a 19 year old woman they styled and talked to her as if she was 11 and had learning difficulties.

            Her performance of That’s Life showed (in my opinion) that she is more than a one trick pony but all the producers ever wanted from her was a wimpy, virginal geek in glasses with flowers that they could throw rocks at.

            Don’t get me wrong, I thought she was poor for the first few weeks, even week 1 when she was top girl, but I think a lot of that was down to tptb, not her, and you could see the confidence and love of performing drain out of her week by week.

            I’m also not suggesting she could have won or been the perfect contestant with more support and no interference but I do think she would have come acroas a lot better. The support she had on week 1 was down to her performances in the auditions which were all much more appealing than her early live shows.

            To me she is a prfect example of the shortsightedness and small minds of the producers. She isn’t a female power balladeer or a soul diva therefore she’s useless.

            Similar with Paul Akister – he wasn’t MOR pop rock or urban r&b so they got rid.

            Remember kids, don’t sell your soul to satan.

          • annie

            i dont always agree with you jessica. but this is spot on! all of it.

          • David Cook

            I think Jessica’s comments are just about spot on.

            For me Abi was the big loser in this years process. She finished 8th, which is about what I expected, but it was the way in which it was achieve that was painful. She’s lost credibility for the future, and for someone not exactly brimming with confidence, any she did have was well and truly crushed out of her. But to her credit I don’t think she’s moaned about it.

            However I did notice that she didn’t appear at the weekend, and that they replaced her with Saffy from Ab Fab.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I’m not sure whether to be flattered or insulted. 🙂

  • EM

    I’ve just run the numbers through my spreadsheet which lets you estimate the actual number of votes each act got.

    You can see why they allowed Nic his week 6 moment, it looked like his vote was totally under control, he wasn’t gaining any new votes while Sam B was growing.

    What will have panicked them is that in week 6 Nic was clearly first, Sam second but tens of thousands behind and the rest were all much of a muchness, with no one showing any real potential in the weeks leading up to it. It must have taken a lot of soul searching to throw their weight behind Luke but it worked with him going clear into third in week 7.

    What few saw was how close the semi final was, by my estimate it was very very close between Sam, Nic and Luke. The swings needed for anyone to win were small.

  • AlisonR

    I correctly predicted Hannah as 3rd in week 6, see my November 18th comment (November 18, 2013 at 8:42 am), and RC 4th and Tam 5th. Wasn’t far off with the 8% for bottom 5 average either!

  • EM

    Oh and the Sun’s voting leak about Sam B running away with it was total rubbish in terms of absolute numbers.

  • David Cook

    Do the voting figures reflect how BORING the competition was this year.
    The figures are pretty stagnent, once you allow for the numbers of acts remaining each week. The movements generally reflect B2 bounces and performance order.But normally you would expect a couple of acts to make a dramatic rise or fall with quite big percentage swings. This year nothing other than a steady rise for Luke.
    I don’t think this will have done anything to help the viewing figures, and apparently this was the lowest year for the final. Certainly we never watched a single episode live this year.
    Time for a format rethink?

  • David Cook

    Just one last thought on the enigma that was Tamera. TPTB can be thought of as one entity acting in the same intersts. But really there is a big difference between the Saturday evening viewing public and the record buying public. It has already been suggested that Tarera was pushed onto the TV production team by Syco, and that the production team weren’t that keen and never really pushed her as hard as they might, and then dropped her as quickly as possible when it started to unravel. The voting figures seem to support that.
    That Katy Perry will never make it if those rumours of her Friday night antics make it into the British tabloids.

    • Argenta Q.

      I don’t buy the idea that the Flash Vote was axed to prevent people from knowing that Tamera didn’t poll well. In the first three weeks, she never gained ground overnight (i.e. her overnight ranking was never better than her Flash ranking). Recalling that Nile Rodgers performed on Disco Week and they had to remove the Flash Vote to have enough time, a more feasible theory is that they did not return the Flash Vote to spare Tamera of further humiliation.

    • Jessica Hamby

      What rumours? Do tell…. 🙂

    • Jessica Hamby

      The funny thing about Tanera is that from the beginning she was a very divisive contestant, loved and hated (but probably more disliked than liked), partly for non-musical reasons but a lot of people alao felt she was a generic petformer well before Gary mentioned it. I was an anti and didn’t really warm to her until it was obcoous her time was up and evenn then it was because she looked upset and I felt sorry for her.

      I think the relentless newspaper bombardment telling us Tamera was the chosen one allowed that myth to continue long after the evidence from her treatment on the show suggested otherwise.

      Going back to Diamonds Are Forever and then that song in the wrong key, perhaps it wasn’t covkup or conspiracy. Pethaps they just didn’t give a shit.

    • Jessica Hamby

      In fact in retrospect Diamonds Are Forever, with it’s MC Hammer dancers, it’s cage and it’s frankly appalling and utterly forgettable song would have been more suited to a novelty act than the chosen one yet somehow we managed to convince ourselves that it was just bad judgement on the part of the production team.

      In my opinion we were mugs. They were making it plain as day that they weren’t that interested.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Amusing review of the X Factor Final, that’s well worth a look:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2524342/The-second-night-The-X-Factor-2013-final-endurance-test-horror-Jim-Shelley.html

    I particularly liked the reminder that Gary Barlow criticised Tamera Foster for not knowing her words, yet he and Elton John needed to keep looking at monitors during their duet, which had the lyrics written on them. I noticed this myself due to the numerous overhead camera shots. You would have thought they would use those clear auto-cue type monitors used by politicians when making speeches.

  • Allan

    highlight of the entire series for me was the jolly guy with a pile of haggis pakora with Wee Nicky’s pals in the audience as it was his favourite food. Dermot asking him “what’s that?”, Wee Nicky’s response was classic “I’ve no idea!” What went on there then? Haggis pakora is delish, btw.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I wonder if, given the paucity of talent, they decided to sort of write this year off.

    I think others have suggested that already. I’m stoll confused by the decisions to leave Paul Akister out and to have 5 similar diva style screechers amongst the women.

    In retrospect, if they’d wanted Tamera to win Sam Bailey should have been left at home and they could have taken Souli Roots instead. Stranger things have happened n the past, after all.

    Certainly it didn’t occur to me that Sam was the one tptb supported until week 7 onward. It just didn’t seem likely. I still find it hard to believe she will have a significant long-term career but maybe I’m wrong.

    • Curtis

      I think she’ll have a long term music career – but no way will that be in pop music. I think the idea behind Sam Bailey winning was because she is so likable – it would all be very feelgood. If they want to sign up Rough Copy or Tamera or whatever, then they just will regardless. Honestly, I don’t think any of them really have long-term pop careers waiting for them, but they might be able to squeeze a couple of hits.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I wonder if she’ll sell many records.

        First album might do ok but why buuy Sam Bailey when there are so many better singers already? Unless she gets some amazing original songs I can’t see it..

        • Cade

          The same question could be asked of everyone else. For example:

          Who would buy anything from Tamera when Rihanna and Beyonce do it hundreds of times better?

          • eurovicious

            Oh come on, Rihanna can barely sing her way out of a paper bag. She’s all just about the “sexy victim” shtick. Tamera is vocally far better. And Beyonce is massively overrated – yeah, she has a great voice, but her canon of songs is rubbish apart from a couple of the ballads like Halo.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Personally I’d be surprised if she has more than one successful album in her. If her career trajectory matches that of Andy Abrahams she’ll exceed my expectations.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Elron John looks pre-embalmed, or else the real one is at home in a bed stuck full of tubes and we were looking at an animatronic double.

    Setiously, he looked like a movir villain who’d sold his soul to the devil in return for eternal life, and been duped by the small print.

  • David Cook

    I thought it just looked to obvious how hard they pushed her at the start. I could not believe that they would keep it up all the way through, and I certainly didn’t think that they wanted her to win in preference to Tamera. Completely wrong.
    But the margins in the competition can be small.
    Look at Carolynn Poole last year. Female, mid thirties, good voice, attractive. She did Clown by Emilie Sande at audition. It was good – nice tone. If I actually voted, she is the sort of act I would vote for. But look at the demographics. Its easy to see why she didn’t pick up votes. She was set up as the the first round cannon fodder.
    Sam B. Female, mid thirties, good voice, ‘everywoman’. She did clown by Emilie sande at auditions. It was good – big voice. Look at the demographics – its easy to see how she could pick up votes. She was set up to win.
    The difference is being the ‘everywoman’ which viewers can identify with, and the big blast them out vocals, which people still seem to like.
    But maybe the production team thought that see would need a big push to get her going. And having chosen a 16 year old boy from Scotland as competition it turned out that she did.

  • Gamblebot

    I noticed that the first act eliminated with at least 10% of the vote was Rough Copy… in Week 9. Last year, it was District3 in Week 6. Two years ago, it was Craig in Week 7. Says a lot about the distribution of the votes.

  • Gamblebot

    Also, Hannah looked beautiful last night! Much better styling than when she was still competing.

  • David Cook

    One last, last thought from me on Tamera in reply to the comments above (problem with this web brouser). I don’t think they would have ever risked all on Tamera, without a fall back. She was 16 and with minimal experience. She looks the part, and potentially has a voice that is good enough. But it needs lots of work and effort from her. They knew she had fluffed her lines at audition, and may have known of other issues which may have affected the voters. So it was just too much of a risk.
    I think that this is one of the issues with the music industry, and the likes X factor programmes.
    Kate Bush was spotted as a massive potential talent at 15. She was signed and allowed to develop for 3 years doing small gigs, until she was ready. Companies don’t seem interested in protecting and developing talent in that way now. Tamera walks into audition – great can we flog this girl now.

  • lolhart

    I don’t think the fact that the judges picked Sam as the winner proves she was Plan A. As has always been pointed out, she was a safe choice and as the Alpha Over would have been expected to make the latter stages. The judges (and producers) would have known it could go either way with Hannah or Tamera. Tamera had her past and habit to forget the lyrics. Hannah had her voice issues and an “image problem”.

  • David Cook

    Yes, how can you possibly take Gary’s comments about Sam C seriously when he was the bloke who mentored Frankie Cocozza. This year he told us Sam C was poor. Correct. He offered critique on vocals which was often precise. Fair enough. And then Rough Copy. A group with one member who consistently sings flat. A group who could not sing in harmony to save them selves. A group who require backing vocals to carry them. How many vocal groups do you know who only sound half decent when they sing individually. None. Yet Gary still told us that they were fantastic. How can you take this seriously.

    • Gamblebot

      It’s standard fare to patronise your own acts while slating others. If Louis and Gary swapped categories, he would call Sam C “charismatic” and “a performer” while calling RC “not cohesive” and “losing their direction”.

    • lolhart

      To be fair to Gary none of the judges seriously critique their own acts. If they did their act would most likely land in the bottom 2 precisely because the other judges don’t do it and it would give the public a bad impression. I think Gary was saddled with Rough Copy as his alpha act after the Miss Dynamix pregnancy debacle. At least they were energetic performers. Frankie literally had nothing going for him.

  • Davi C

    Your right, and I don’t have a problem if the mentors just concentrate on positive characteristics even if it ignores problem areas. The issue is stating things as fact, when even the most jaded of viewers must be able to see or hear it isn’t true. It just undermines any valid critique.

  • tpfkar

    And that’s a wrap…thank you Daniel, thank you Andrew, thank you Dug, and thank you to all commentators who’ve given this site its edge and made it essential reading.

    A few thoughts:

    1) Funny to be praised for calling the winner right from day 1, and then told that I did no better than random chance overall! It’s been that kind of series 🙂 Called the groups totally wrong for the second year in a row (lesson learned – trust posters here ahead of my own instincts on groups)
    and had Luke down as the whipping boy; the votes show that he nearly was.

    2)It does seem the producers’ most powerful weapon is the running order. I don’t think they were ever panicking with Nicholas – week 6 was an experiment if he was let off the leash – but they could never take their eye off him for the rest of the show, including more damping in the final than usual for the second place. They effectively kept him in his box so Sam took the floating voters.

    3) In fact the whole thing was a lot closer than we thought. I’m surprised the show didn’t make more of this – they allowed the perception that Sam was way ahead to foster, and if they had been panicking they might have jumped on this more strongly.

    4) All 4 judges picked Sam B as their prediction (with Louis hedging Luke) Plan A from the start? Seems more likely now.

    5) All the other acts were way behind, and the elimination votes were very close in comparison. We guessed this might be the case, but there was so little in it – lots of luck in the elimination markets. No surprise we had some tough weeks. Lesson for next year is that when there are 2 big vote magnets, the rest may be fighting over scraps.

    6) Like last year, the girls category was a total disaster in the votes from start to finish. Lesson for next year: don’t overestimate a weak girls category. With all the pimping in the audition stages and producer favour in the lives, that’s an embarrassing result. Melanie McCabe probably feels even worse reading these figures.

    7) The semi still looks like the most interesting week. Just suppose Luke had made that 1% jump. Would they really have ditched Nick with such a large gap over RC? Logic says yes, but then again logic would have sent Luke home…..

    8) Nicely green overall thanks to jumping on Sam B and Nick for the win and laying Hannah (possibly matched by posters here) and RC on day 1, and then laying Tamera when her odds got silly (and comical having seen the voting.)

    Did better on the win market than the eliminations this year – partly because things were so close at the bottom, but I’m cautious, I often hedge, so a couple of bad weeks can wipe out several wins.

    • Roxie

      I don’t think the girls category this year nor last year was weak at all! In fact they’re usually the most talented group. This year definitely overall they were far stronger than the others.

      But you’ve got to understand that they have to pass the insurmountable problem of the triple kill female vote – tweenies/mothers/grannies. How on earth do any of them ever stand a chance???

      • David Cook

        Roxie – I also tend to agree that there didn’t seem to be too much wrong with the choice of the girls this year. On the face of it they appeared to be as strong a group as the boys.
        Abi made the unfortunate mistake of beating both Tamera and Hannah in week 1, which meant they tried to kill her stone dead in week 2. Otherwise she might have got a couple of weeks to show what she could actually do. Hannah just didn’t click with the public and Tamera’s already been analysed to death.
        But you are correct – the demographics of the voters massively favor the boys and present a huge hurdle to the girls.
        I’m going to have to make better allowance for this in future and try to put aside any possible personal preference as Sam C and Nick certainly didn’t do it for me.

  • R

    Loving the S.Cowell tweet Daniel RT’d

    “…You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes!”

    Sometimes he just takes the proverbial.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Could be he’s talking about the rows and mistakes and panics and frailties that all human beings and complicated projects are prone to. I don’t think Simon is one for dark hints at deep conspiracies. I would imagine he thinks that what we think of as manipulation is s editorialising to make a popular, interesting and therefore financially viable show.

  • The final Betsfactor podcast is now up, with Daniel and Richard looking back over the final weekend – download instructions here
    http://betsfactor.com/2013/12/16/the-final-podcast/

    • E J Thribb - age 17 3/4

      So farewrll then
      Betsfactor pocast.
      You were long and you had phonecalls.
      Except when you weren’t.
      And you didn’t.

      I will miss you.
      Though the X-Factor
      Is over now.
      So maybe I won’t.
      Until next year.

  • Lily

    Do you think that it is relevant that in both UK and US XF no boyband went past the 4th place since 1D finished in 3rd?

    • Nissl

      I think it says that group acts without particularly outstanding vocals can be carried that far by their niche teen demographic but are never successful at capturing the broader public.

      If I were the head producer and wanted to get a boyband winner, I’d stockpile the best boys for a couple of years.

  • Cher Skidmore

    So to sum it up, this entire season was about trying to make sure a 16/17 year-old boy didn’t win.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    ‘I think Louis just speaks without thinking sometimes.’

    Bless her naivety.

    The contents in the bottom of page ‘Comments’ section is both naive and miserable.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2524997/X-Factor-loser-Nicholas-McDonald-hits-judges-I-felt-betrayed-Louis-Gary-liked-me.html

  • David Cook

    People should be aware of what they are getting into when they enter programmes like the X factor. A possible short cut into the music industry at the expense of personal integrity. Nick has done well out of this. Without the X factor is there any chance that he would make it? I doubt it (no jokes about HMV please). Now he has a half decent chance – if someone thinks he can sell records on the back of X factor then he will get a deal. Then it depends on whether people put their money where their votes are.

    There are real winners and losers in this process; on the winning side Sam B and Luke certainly, Tamera possibly. Losers – well poor Lorna who was only ever there to make up the numbers. Most naive was probably Abi who thought that she had more musical ability than the others – then you get on the programme, you’re not allowed to do what you want to do, get shoehorned into doing what you definitely don’t want to do, and then get roundly criticized for it – it’s enough to make you cry.

    I’m just a bit disappointed Nick didn’t say this on Sunday – it would have been so much more entertaining. Sam B did the humble and grateful winner thing so well. Who doesn’t agree with her aspirations to make a better life for her family? I wonder how quickly the ‘For Sale’ sign goes up.
    And Nick was just so generous and gracious in defeat, for a couple of minutes I almost liked him. The typical British loser. But part of me just wanted to hear him say “I’m gutted” in the style of a losing Masterchef contestant.

  • Jessica Hamby

    It would have been funny but he would have looked like a bit of a Master Baker.

  • eurovicious

    It’s almost surprising how unsurprising the stats are this year. It’s all pretty much as you might expect. The only surprises for me are Lorna not doing better in week 1 (shirtless guys and a chaise longue, hello), Shelley not bouncing higher in week 2 (it was fab and hilarious and she totally worked it) and Abi’s magical interpretation of I Will Survive in week 4. But that’s really more about the disparity between my taste and that of viewers.

    Glad to hear Nick speaking out about his treatment. The number of times he was on early or first was just ridiculous, and though I didn’t watch the final I saw a recap of the performances and it looked like they gave him the full volley for Candy – totally inappropriate song, ridiculous Willy Wonka staging and a million dancers – it reminded me of when they gave Eoghan that High School Musical rubbish in that year’s final. What annoys me about it is that Nick is an absolutely superb vocalist – as evidenced by his early performances and most of all his week 6 performance – but none of the viewers that tuned in just for the final will realise this, which they would have if he’d been allowed to do Someone Like You.

    I thought Nicole’s oversinging and the technical error of people talking in the background conspired to spoil And I Am Telling You. Nicole is a fine singer (her album track Amenjena is incredible, I really recommend it – just her and a piano) but Sam’s voice is superior – deeper and richer with more control and nuance. So I felt Nicole was given too much of the song and came over screechy and strident compared to Sam.

    That Yougov poll was quite off regarding the difference between Sam and Luke, then, wasn’t it? Nevertheless, I would like to take a leaf out of Richard’s book and pat myself on the back for correctly predicting the running order 4 days before the show (http://sofabet.com/2013/12/08/x-factor-2013-week-9-post-mortem-end-of-the-road-for-rough-copy/comment-page-1/#comment-34887) – though it’s hardly rocket science – and predicting that Luke could leapfrog before the Yougov poll appeared to back this up (despite the fact he ultimately didn’t).

    The week 2/week 3 difference in Sam’s vote is a no-brainer – in week 2 they threw every dampening tactic in the book at her, probably as an experiment and to allow focus to shift to Tamera. But as I probably said at the time, I never interpreted Sam’s week 3 song and VT as negative – it’s not as simple as “cruiseship is bad” or “cruiseship isn’t bad”. Cruiseship can be bad and as a rule probably is, but when you’re giving someone My Heart Will Go On – one of the biggest songs ever from one of the biggest films ever – it’s anything but. People love it and it’s perfect for Sam’s demographic and the show’s demographic. Added to which, the story about her having to sing it during stormy seas and never having sung it again added human interest, and her singing it so brilliantly on the show and getting over it/putting this demon to rest created a brilliant mini-narrative for her that week. It was the one thing you remembered from that week’s show.

    • Gamblebot

      Lorna’s low polling wasn’t shocking simply because the performance left me with nothing: I wasn’t scandalised, horrified, amused, or anything. Look at all the Karl Lagerfelds in Rylan’s Week 2 performance and see the difference. The other two startled me a bit but they could easily be explained; Abi’s, in particular, should have been a bit clear because they wouldn’t have been ballsy enough to take her down in Week 5 if she did poll very well in Week 4. I Will Survive would have been big if it were in Week 1 or if she wasn’t made to look awful in Weeks 2 and 3, but no…

      What’s noteworthy is how far behind the first three losers were from everyone else. Shelley barely squeezed past Kingsland Road, and that’s during a bounce and a death slot for KR, then losing by a wide gap to everyone else. Then MD returned: the next lowest vote-getter had more than 2.5 the votes while the rest were more than 3 times.

      Watching a 16-year old do And I Am Telling You on The Voice USA (alone and a bit underwhelmingly; shame because I liked her) made me think that Nicole taking over the duet was an attempt to make the duet very big. Sam is good but maybe they were afraid she wasn’t “good enough” to make the song a showstopper. At the end of the day, people will remember how good the duet was, regardless of who carried it. As such, Sam got some leg room (she was ahead by a wider margin than on Week 9) on Saturday, then routed Nicky on Sunday.

      I actually thought that the cruiseship was a deramp attempt and so was that awful dress (compare that dress which made her look like a fat woman who’s past it, to all her stylings since then). The public just didn’t play ball.

      • I definitely think Sam B’s week 3 treatment was a light deramp to test her popularity, much like they did early on with LM in 2011 (That time producers probably saw how well they did on Week 2, and decided to nobble them to see if they’d survive, and when they did, TPTB must have thought they were worth pushing). They did something similar to Cher Lloyd on week 7 with the “stairgate” argument and she duly landed in B2

  • This would have been a whole different competition with Melanie McCabe and Joseph Whelan in the lives. Melanie would have easily been the most popular girl and a frontrunner to win, and Joseph would have sucked up a lot of girly votes, mainly due to his physique, despite being in the Overs (and married) and this would have been disastrous for Nicholas and Luke. (I personally think Matt Cardle in 2010 stole a lot of the girly votes that could have went to 1D)

    • eurovicious

      Melanie would have been about as popular as Abi. Less. She’s flakier than Abi without her USP.

      • annie

        i think melanie would have been outstandingly boring with a decent voice. and while this setup works for boys there are no female examples of doing well with these givens.

      • David Cook

        I think beating Tamera and Hannah on week one turned out to be a disaster for Abi. I think they were happy to take her along as third choice girl. Someone with a bit of musical ability, but who should have been no threat to the other two. Weeks 2 and 3 they killed her. Without that week one she might, just might, have got a bit more of a chance to show what she could do. She wouldn’t last too long because of her pitching problems which seemed to affect every performance. She might have a good enough voice as a singer / songwriter but she really needs some decent coaching to try and sort this out.
        Send Rough Copy along at the same time.

        • annie

          i completely agree with this, what I dont understand is why they didnt just let things take their course. i understand the commercial appeal they saw in tamera and that they wanted to keep her around for that, but am a bit puzzled why they were keen to keep hannah if she wasnt catching on, why didnt they let abi be at least beta girl for a few weeks.
          I think they slayed her in week 5 because they saw that the brilliant performance of i will survive didnt make her fly, so it was clear that she survived mainly on sympathy the weeks before.

          • David Cook

            Annie – my support for Abi is based on seeing her singing her own song Crash and Burn on Youtube. I think its way better than anything she was allowed to do on XF. Its a good song, decent piano arrangement, and you can see that she is really connected with the song. Her vocal style is just so well suited to the song. She even looks much better without the silly styling. The problem is she still sings flat – I would hope but not be sure that someone can help her to sort out the problem.
            But as is often the case a songwriter can best express their song even if they don’t have the strongest voice. Its a pity she didn’t get the chance to show what she can do, but I wouldn’t entirely write her off just yet.
            However that’s the risk you take when you enter.

      • Jack

        Thing is, Melanie has a huge following online now so how shed potentially poll has always been very interesting. Whilst probably not as much as Nicholas or Sam B, I think she’d have done quite well (Comfortably 3rd all the way through maybe).

    • Gamblebot

      Nicky had a piece of the girl vote, but much like bread, you can’t live on it alone; he had Scotland and the grannies voting for him, too. The girly vote market is saturated with cute Nicky, cool Luke, hot Sam, and the-more-the-merrier Kingsland Road making their cases. Joseph in the Lives would have clipped Luke’s wings, but Sam has a relatively strong following from his past experience (and from the looks of it, he relied on that for six weeks), Nicky has the stuff I said above, and Kingsland Road is too far away from Joseph. What it could have done is expose some rift with Mrs. O because I don’t think she likes him. At all.

      Melanie would have made it a three-horse race, rather than two, assuming that she would get the same amount of airtime as she did if she were planned to be sent to the lives (I insist that she got plenty of airtime to be the fall girl).

    • annie

      and regarding joseph…. i think it was meant for mrsO to have only one contender and loose the rest early on. thats the reason joseph wasnt on board. mrs O was in america monday to friday each week, so hardly had time to pretend-mentor one act, let alone more.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I found Amy earnest but dull. She would have added some variety to the women though.

      I’m not a huge fan of Joseph. He has a nice body but the whole “cry because I have a son” schtick makes me want to punch him. I’d find him more appealing if he had a chocolate labrador. As an aside, I wonder how he feels about Nicole putting the son on her lap and all that ridiculous sentimentality now.

      I think it was clear from the chairs thing, when he got up and prowled around when Gary didn’t want him and Sharon barked “SIT DOWN” as if she was talking to a stranger that his days wete up and that he was off the favoured list. Whether it was already decided or it was that moment I’m not so sure but that was the moment I thought he was done.

      It’s actually quite nice to go back and look at all this again. It does make me sad though that so many people sell themselves to Syco for nothing more than humiliation and disappointment.

  • David Cook

    I honestly think that they take one act through each year as cannon fodder, and unfortunately for Lorna this year it was her. Last year it was Carolynn Poole. I actually thought Carolynn was decent, but they were both acts were set up with poor song choices, and the demographics of the voters does the rest. Somebody has to go out first and I think the producers like to know who it’s likely to be.
    Please let me know if you think i’m wrong on this.

    • annie

      i dont think carolynne was meant to be a cannon fodder, i actually think tptb found it surprising how little people voted for herm, thats why the week1 elimination fiasco last year

      • David Cook

        You might be right – but they would have know that she wouldn’t poll well in week one just through demographics, so if they wanted to keep her in why risk giving her such a poor song choice and terrible arrangement.

        • annie

          as i remember she said in a post show interview that all was her idea, she wanted to take that risk of a brave song choice, making something hip among young countrified … welll, backfired.

  • Tim B

    No one is stating the obvious regarding Abi, so I will. The reason she polled so well in week 1 was largely because almost no one votes in week 1 and she had the North East regional vote. It’s as simple as that.

  • Dan

    They’ve already been used above but the phrases “a two horse race” and the remaining contestants “fighting over scraps” are spot on. If I can borrow from your post-mortem article from the last series (http://sofabet.com/2013/01/07/x-factor-2012-review-part-1-how-many-people-vote-on-x-factor/) and assume 500k votes per show at the early stages, the bottom of the table looks something like the following for week one:

    12th – Shelley – 7,500 votes (1.5%)
    11th – Lorna – 8,500 votes (1.7%)

    Given the loss of 800k viewers compared to last year for the first live show and some rounding up and down, there was probably a couple of hundred votes between these two acts. That’s pretty normal but those percentages are diabolical; they haven’t been that low since 2010 when the vote was split 16 ways. The rest of the table up to 4th place or so isn’t much better and you run the risk of losing a brilliant (but slow burning) act before they’ve had a chance to shine. Luke could easily have been in trouble for the sake of a few thousand votes for example.

    Another thing that’s diabolical is how the female acts performed in the votes yet again. Sam B was the exception as they absolutely nailed the voting demographic with her but no one else came close. They had to railroad Tamera into 5th place when she should have gone in week 4. That’s probably the last time I put money on one to win or state publicly that it is “the year of the girls”.

    Thanks for all of the articles Sofabet team. Am hoping for your usual series retrospectives in the new year.

  • David Cook

    Is it possible that the semi-final sing off was just a rouse to add interest to a Sunday night show that otherwise would have been very dull. Maybe there was no other intention than to hold the sing off, then take it to deadlock and send home the lowest polling act. A little bit of added exitement, but still fair.
    The reason I think this is because I can see no other reason to have a sing off that week. We know they did not want rid of Sam B. I don’t see how they could have got rid of Nick even if he was third because the gap to 4th would have made the decision look ridiculous.
    If they prefered Luke as a finalist or just wanted him to help split the vote with Nick they didn’t need a sing off, Luke and RC were neck and neck but the momentum was definately with Luke.
    The only likely explanation seemed to be to push RC through to the final if they landed behind Luke. But I can see no evidence that they pimped RC in favor of Luke to try to at least keep it close. If anything they favored Luke, which would have ensured he was safe anyway.
    So maybe it was just a sing-off that never was.

  • Phil

    I’d like to make a prediction for next year’s series, if I may.

    The biggest criticism of this year’s series has been that it’s been boring due to the lack of a “novelty” act. I think that next year will be the year a novelty act wins. Maybe not a Wagner, more of a Kitty Brucknell type, but it will tick another box as a type of winner we’ve not yet had. Someone like Kitty could go all the way with enough producer love I reckon.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I don’t think this will ever happen. The presence of a novelty act is cotroversial. That, along with the slapstick humour, is the reason it’s there. Controversial / divisive acts don’t win xfactor. It’s a popularity contest. If it was a most tweets or a most talked about contest then I’d agree with you.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Also I don’t think they care about different typs of winner. A lot has been said about Sam Bailey being different because of her age. I don’t see it that way. I think she’s Leona Lewis mk II. If anything, given the mess James Arthur has made of things this year, I expect them to be more conservative than ever in the kinds of petsonalities they choose. Fewer Tameras and JAs. More Hannahs and Sam Baileys. They don’t want to invest all that money, time and effort into someone to have them throw it all away because they get into rows about nothing on Twitter and don’t know when to keep their mouths shut.

    • David Cook

      It’s probably fair to say that Tamera was a wee bit lacking in the charisma department. It’s a quality that Nick didn’t exactly have by the bucketful either. Sam B – popular but not charismatic. Sam C – that’s the sort of charisma I can live without.
      Contrast Tamera with Cher Lloyd. People equally loved her or hated her. But Cher was just so full of attitude. She could veer between cocky and total melt down. And she could also sing a bit when she tried. Although I only liked a couple of things she sang – probably ones she hated doing – as a contestant I thought she was brilliant. As Louis might say “we need more Cher Lloyds”.
      At the weekend people said Katy Perry was worse than the contestants. Well yes she sang worse. But she writes / co-writes / performs great ‘pop’ songs. The songs are simple catchy tunes and always with a hook. She’s got personality. I think it’s called the X factor. It’s a quality which was lacking in any of the contestants this year.
      (OK – to be fair I’m going to excuse Luke as at least he’s moving in the right direction)

      • Jessica Hamby

        The charisma thing is always interesting. Cocky, confident, humble? There’s no right way to be but there needs to be something individual and recogniseable about them.

        • David Cook

          I agree that there isn’t one answer. The programme needs a mix of personalities to make it work. But you do need to have some interest in the people, and not just because we’ve been told they had a hard paper round.
          As I said I think Cher Lloyd was great in that respect, and to be fair to the producers I’m sure they knew that as soon as they saw her. Unfortunately I expect that it’s as rare as hens teeth as they say.

  • David Cook

    One other thing about Tamera and Cher. Tamera was 16 and looked 20, but acted 16. Cher was 16 and looked 16 but acted 20.
    I think that this may have gone against Tamera because somehow people judged har as older than her age and expected more from her. Wee Nick was the cute 16 year old.
    In terms of attracting votes form teenage girls, this was easy for Cher and Little Mix. You can see them as your mates. Tamera – probably not.

    • Jessica Hamby

      My opinion now is that they always suspected that Tamera was too young but thought she would be an interesting cobtestant. They must have known from the start that Sam would outsing her and although they gave her a couple of opportunities to sell herself, ultimately I don’t think they were expecting much, as shoen by the judges’ predictions. Of course this is with the benefit of hindsight and I may be twisting my theofies to suit that. I’d be interested in others’ opinions. The earlier the chosen one(s) can be spotted the better.

    • Now that you’ve brushed on one of my all time faves Cher Lloyd. Remember when she was put through to the lives at the expense of Gamu? In Week 1, they gave her an outlet to bring her thing and she just popped and polled third that week. I remember seeing a similar motif on staging between Tamera and Cher in their Week 1s, but the former finished 7th of 12, behind a very orange guy whose performance was panned, for Christ’s sake!

      Since then, she didn’t do an uptempo until her last days. I can imagine the producers playing it safe with her so she attracts the MOR type; compare to Misha who was all flamboyant all the way and Cher who did her thing, both of whom sank to the bottom several times and needed to be saved. Clearly it backfired because instead of being a teen with great potential as a bona fide pop star, she looked like a mediocre singer. In trying to make her look nice, she looked dull.

      She also became more fragile towards the end (losing her lyrics and then her mojo) and clearly that’s the only reason she has a boyfriend now.

  • David Cook

    For Tamera 16 was probably too young, but for Nick it clearly wasn’t. But the roles were different, they were selling Nick as the wee 16 year old boy and they were trying to sell Tamera as a woman.
    This is a problem with the format – if Tamera walks into audition, do they really say no your not ready come back next year. Thay have done that before – but maybe with Tamera they did not want to risk loosing the opportnity. Maybe she doesn’t come back (maybe she gets locked up for shoplifting). For them its no risk. If she’s a success great, if she flops they’ve lost nothing.
    But for Tamera it might be a big difference.

    • Jessica Hamby

      She needs her own style, that’s all. She might well do something in a few years and a spot of shoplifting is not a big eal in the grand scheme of things. Better that than she lose her sense of self trying to conform to some bland, mor ideal which is irrelevant to her and stifles her creativity and which she’s not right for anyway.

      The world doesn’t need another Beyonce or Whitney or Celine and frankly, that’s not Tamera. I think she’ll become interesting when she works out what kind of sound she wants to make instead of doing what she thinks will sell or what she’s told or what she feels she “ought” to make. And if she finds a bit of rage and aggression in there somewhere along the way that’s all to the good as far as I’m concerned. It’s in her anyway and one way or another it’s going to come out.

      • David Cook

        At risk of sounding boring I’m in agreement on this with you too. I’m joking about the shoplifting – but there are many reasons why someone may not return if they’re told to come back next year.
        In general, I think 16 is too young for most contestants, but possibly not all. It should be the exception rather than the rule. But after ten years of the programme there’s only really one place the new talent’s coming from.

  • David Cook

    It’s been interesting to compare the betting odds just prior to the live show, against the final outcome, just to see what they got right and wrong. I’m sure we’ll get a much better analysis than I can give, so just a couple of thoughts about Sam B and the ‘overs’.
    In terms of the ‘overs’ category the odds were probably right. Or perhaps they were far to mean given the chance that Lorna and Shelley really had. The final three looked very odd as all were of a similar style. Now if you have three similar people with equal ability, then that’s just going to split the vote. But three people where one is head and shoulders above the others and with a better back story leaves you with a one horse race, and so it proved.
    How she would do overall was perhaps more difficult to anticipate and this threw me. Although Sam B had been a favourite from her first audition, but by the time the live-show line up had been decided she had drifted slightly. Now the fly in the ointment for me – Robbie Williams. At judges houses his comments weren’t exactly great – ‘her voice shone, but she didn’t’ – and ‘who’s going to be interested’. Now this is the first time that I have agreed with anything that came out of the mouth of Robbie Williams, so I should have known it was wrong. ‘Are the record buying public going to be interested’ was what I thought Robbie Williams was asking. My answer to that question was no I couldn’t see it – and I still can’t. In terms of the answer to the actual question – the Saturday Night Viewing Audience of course, but I was too busy answering the wrong question to see it. This was the programme where ‘Tesco’ Mary Byrne was 5th in a much stronger year. Against this lot Sam B had a great chance.
    Then week one of the live shows when the full favouritism was on show – and after that the odds were slashed. And of course being conservative that was the point at which I backed Sam B and Tamera.
    In hindsight was there a bit of a trick here? Were the Robbie Williams comments included to plant doubts in the minds of the viewers? In all the pre live shows Sam B looked very dowdy. I think most people would smarten themselves up a bit more, particularly for the arena and judges houses. Perhaps she was advised not to do so. That allowed the complete transformation from ‘everywoman’ to ‘star’. She was the best singer, and singing the songs and style that a large proportion of the viewers love. And it looked like it was the viewers who made the decision, rather than having the winner pushed onto them. It’s just so obvious I’m kicking myself.
    Please tell me if you think I’m wrong on this.

  • eurovicious

    I was joking when I suggested this but he’s gone and done it – get your JOSEPH WHELAN CALENDAR here! http://www.joseph-whelan.net/#!store/c200g

  • Caro

    Interesting survey here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2531968/X-Factor-Downton-Why-watch-TV-depends-live.html

    I wish it went into more detail – but it does shed some light on regional variations: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2531968/X-Factor-Downton-Why-watch-TV-depends-live.html

    Thank you Sofabet for a great 2013 – looking forward to next season!

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