X Factor 2014 Week 5 Elimination: Akis Goodbye?

In each of the four weeks up till now, the post-performance next elimination favourite has been sent packing. That’s a remarkable display of punter and producer accuracy, indicating that both are on top of their game. Waiting for the show and picking up the signals from it has thus become a necessity. What should we be watching out for tonight?

Paul Akister is now elimination market leader following his song choice reveal as ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. The number has a very mixed record on the show: it finished off Kitty Brucknell in 2011, after the setup of a VT which showed her being unhappy at having to perform Queen not Lady Gaga; Union J were criticised after it in 2012; but it was positive for Olly Murs in 2009, who was praised afterwards for being an entertainer.

On the surface, it doesn’t bode well for Paul, who was criticised last week for mardiness and more generally for lacking personality on stage – he’s being portrayed as the antithesis of Olly. Or as Andy put it in the Sofabet comments, “Does Paul have the ability to look like he is having a good time? Does Paul look like a sex machine ready to reload / Like an atom bomb about to Oh oh oh oh oh explode?”

It’s potentially a no-win situation for Paul: he obviously doesn’t want to come across as mardy again or he’ll sound as disconnected lyrically as Kitty did; but even if he pastes on a smile, it’s not exactly an obvious song to have a breakout moment with. If the judges want to be unhelpful, they could just give him faint and non-vote-motivating praise for getting into the spirit of it.

His main rivals in the elimination market are Only The Young. Their song choice ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ also has a mixed record: it ended Kingsland Road’s journey with a colour-vomit production and coffin slot in week 4 of 2013, but promoted Same Difference with a big production for its era in the week 4 pimp slot of 2007. It too can be used either way.

The fourpiece are coming down from a sympathy bounce. Two-thirds of the time, the phenomenon lasts just a week. It takes something extra to avoid a repeat singoff for longer, but that can be any number of things as recent examples have shown – Katie Waissell, Frankie Cocozza, District3, Rylan and Tamera since 2010. In each case, controversy, heavy pimping or both were used to continue the bounce.

Stereo Kicks are already facing their second attempted bounce after another bottom two appearance last week. Our commenters have noted a slew of bad headlines in this week’s press. It’s worth remembering that such stories are lifeblood to the show, and don’t necessarily indicate producers want them out, especially as the intended magnet for controversy, Chloe Jasmine, is no longer around.

Nonetheless, with their credibility as contenders currently in shreds, they’re going to have to step it up to emulate Union J, who bounced out of danger twice. It looks like Louis is going down the sombre Westlife route if rehearsal pictures for ‘You Are Not Alone’ are taken at face value. That’s not a bad idea if credibility needs restoring, but totally relies on being well executed.

Alternatively, it could conceivably suggest a continuation of the storyline of Louis not knowing what to do with them, justifying yet another controversially Waisselesque save if they land at the bottom against someone disposable.

Another candidate for the annual controversial singoff decision this show revels in is Stevi Ritchie, this year’s novelty contestant sticking around for longer than many anticipated. Some have questioned whether his pimp slot moment last week represented the end of his journey, but producers have a tradition of keeping this storyline running till later in November. His song choice of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and its potential for another big production suggests that’s also the intention here.

It would be hard to manage a Stevi save against Jay James, also mentored by Cowell. He has been given great treatment throughout the live shows, with the exception of winning over Cheryl, a journey that producers may want to bring to its destination soon. Remembrance weekend for the ex-navy crooner should theoretically play to his strengths.

‘The Show Must Go On’ is a big number. As Jessica predicted in the comments, “I expect him to run the full gamut of emotion, all the way from A to B. He’ll quiver and gurgle, his nostrils will flare, he’ll close his eyes and gesticulate and stand on one leg like a flamingo.” Nonetheless, producers have used helpful reverb effects in a few of his performances so far. Watch out for its use or not this time.

Ben, Lauren, Fleur and Andrea now dominate the outright market, and their performances are likely to shed more light here. Both Fleur and Lauren could do with a breakout moment and it will be interesting if either get the pimp slot to achieve it. Fleur’s ‘Will You Be There’ was showcased by US winner Melanie Amaro at judges’ houses, whilst UK winners Leona and Alexandra both sang Lauren’s choice, ‘I’ll Be There’.

Ben seems back in the good books and ‘Man In The Mirror’ should suit, whilst it will be fascinating to see if producers hold their fire on public favourite Andrea Faustini after a merciless few weeks. If you want to see how production and staging can make the same song deathly or uplifting, which is a running theme of this site, just compare how ‘Somebody to Love’ was presented for Janet Devlin in week 6 of 2011 with Joe McElderry in week 6 of 2009. For Janet, incidentally, it was the first time she didn’t top the public vote.

Let us know what you think and keep the conversation going below.

104 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 5 Elimination: Akis Goodbye?

  • Ben Gray

    Paul is looking the least marketed/marketable at the moment, and coming off of his exchange with Simon last week, I agree that he is vulnerable. Only The Young emerged last week for me as a fresh, cool new pop act for children, so watch out for “fun” themes to see if that continues.

    Stevi for me is going one of two ways, they’re either steering him towards the theatrical talent, or slowly deflating him with more serious songs until he’s the novelty act that isn’t making us laugh any more. He’s got the gift of the gab though, so he can talk himself out of the bottom in post performance comments. Andrea has a bit more steam in him left, but last week was his worst yet. It’s less about how bad he comes off, but rather how much better everyone else.

    I’m probably not betting any more because they’re pretty much free of all their dead wood, but good luck to all who are.

  • Paul is my best position going into Saturday night; with OTY also showing a healthy profit for elimination. Will be able to hedge on Stevi and SK after the performances

    Can’t see any of the big four dropping into the bottom two, so this leaves me looking at Jay as my nightmare scenario – but they ain’t going to send a veteran home on Remembrance Day surely? :O

    • on the win front i am heavy on Ben and Fleur with a decent cover on Lauren. Andrea is the nightmare scenario there – but only if he drops in price. If he drifts to 3.5 then I will hedge successfully. If he has a showstopper tonight and move to odds-on then it will be a lot of work to break even!

  • Face

    didn’t really watch XF in 2011… that Janet version of Somebody to love was painful to listen to/watch…
    though I do imagine Andrea will do a more version more like the original… or at least like the George Michael version…

  • Stu

    I honestly don’t think Only The Young are going to dodge the bottom two this week. They may get positive feedback but Blame It On The Boogie is just not a song choice which would inspire votes. They’re definitely being marketed as this series “fun factor” so maybe in a bottom two scenario of Only The Young vs Paul the inevitable narrative of choosing fun over boring will present itself.

    The question is, if Paul escapes the bottom two, who will be seen as the most disposable? Before watching the actual show, I’d suggest Only The Young. Stereo Kicks will most probably bounce again and even if they don’t, their media coverage is good for the show. Keeping them in a little longer would be preferable in the producers’ eyes surely. Stevi’s time doesn’t seem up this week with the ridiculously brilliant song choice he has. Would producers really dump Jay on Remembrance weekend?

    The show is in need of a shock exit though and Jay is the most likely out of the possible “shocks” to fall into the danger zone. Plus Simon surely needs to lose an act soon and Ben already has the Adult Contemporary good-looking Over male on lock.

  • Donald

    Hard to see OTY avoiding bottom two after bounce last week, who is with them will depend on tonight, SK being there again would not surprise. Or a surprise and SK and Paul finish up there. A night to be careful until seeing the show and running order.

    Song choices are odd in a way, would have thought Ben would have got a Queen song. Kingsland Road going was a big result for me last year, Producers could have a tricky enough job to keep SK out of bottom two this week, they clearly not getting enough votes. Wonder will Daily Star report of Simon splitting them come to pass. Maybe just Saturday spin to even make them less promising as they are. Might hurt votes even more.

    Good luck to all tonight.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I don’t see how they can split SK during the show’s run and expect either group to get any meaningful votes for either group. They’d probably both go b2 the week it happened which would be hideously embarassing all round.

    I’m reluctant to call it for OTY until I see the performances. I don’t think SK have any meaningful intrest from the public despite the news stories. They seem like a very mediocre bunch, no particularly interesting personalities, no great beauty, lots and lots of average singer and really bad hair.

    Walking down my High Street today I haven’t seen anyone with a gelled quiff. They’ve ALL got them. What on earth is that about?

    I’m not on anyone yet. Its all a bit up in the air to me at the moment. We know who the most obvious candidates are.

    I may actually watch Dr Who (or be made to watch Dr Who) and watch the show on catch up, so if my comments seem out of sync you’ll know why.

    • Stu

      Splitting SK into two bands would definitely backfire on both the group and the show. The blatant favouritism towards SK is already sickening with Simon stating he should mentor the group instead (why not help OTY also?) and thinking of ways in which they can become popular with the public. If they’re not proving popular, let them die out.

  • Martin

    Whilst we’re talking about their quiffs…

    http://m.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/s103/the-x-factor/news/a608774/the-x-factor-stereo-kicks-to-undergo-hair-transformations.html

    Operation save Stereo Kicks, everybody. It worked for Waissel (for a week at least).

    • Here’s an idea to Save Stereo Kicks (TM): give them colour-coded haircuts. No-one’s gonna remember 8 names of 8 identikit boys, so instead we could have Red Stereo Kicks, Green Stereo Kicks, Puce Stereo Kicks, Magenta Stereo Kicks etc – makes them more kid-friendly, far easier to distinguish from each other, and easier to market merchandise of. There could even be a tie-in with Crayola.

  • Jessica Hamby

    More on Stereo Kicks here. Mind you, it’s the Daily Star so hardly a high circulation paper.

    Interesting that the week after they boasted about taking girls to the Ibis hotel and trying to smear Betsy Blue for not fancying them, they’re now trying to paint Chloe Jasmine as a whore and telling us that they don’t fancy her.

    Little Pricks.

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/tv/x-factor/408830/X-Factor-Chloe-Jasmine-tries-to-kiss-Stereo-Kicks

    Back on topic, as you’ll have seen from the picture in the article, Jame’s hair is now nearly as big as his own head. They probably don’t have hair as big as that in Texas.

    I can’t see this lot going even as far as Union J. I bloody hope not. Hate the smug, sneering lot of them. They’re the kind of boys who are permanently obviously desperate to have sex and yet disparage both the women who have sex with them for being sluts and the women who won’t for being snobs.

    There are words for people like that boys……

    Misogynist Little Pricks.

    And breathe…… 🙂

  • Face

    the songs are now available to preview on UK iTunes… my initial thoughts…

    OTY – Blame it on the Boogie… fun, very Glee meets HSM…
    Stereo Kicks – You are not alone… very faithful to the original… so a bit dull & dated… very Westlife circa 2002…
    Lauren – I’ll be there… similar to Leona and Alex versions… capable, nice tone…
    Paul – Don’t stop me now… very frenetic drum beat in the backing track… drowning out the capable vocals… I smell B2…
    Andrea – Somebody to Love… very rousing and powerful… his accent seems really strong…
    Fleur – Will you be there… vocals very clear and distinctive… a choir started to come in… quite soulful…
    Ben – Man in the mirror… soulful and gravelly vocals… soundd like he was about to take it to church…
    Jay – The show must go on… vocals a bit nasal and thin on the big notes… typical Jay angst coming through… though I find it quite a dull song…
    Stevi – Bohemian Rhapsody… like a comedian doing a capable Freddie impersonation… mediocre karaoke… wonder what the visuals are like?

    I would say… depending on staging, VT, judges comments etc… Paul, Jay, Stevi and SK seem most likely to be in trouble…

  • DannyCraig

    Does anyone know the running order yet please?

  • Blake

    PAUL IS TALKING TO BEN. THIS IS NOT A DRILL!

  • Fudd

    Performance Order:
    Paul
    Jay
    Lauren
    Only the Young
    Ben
    Stevi
    Stereo Kicks
    Fleur
    Andrea

  • Blake

    Very odd distracting dancers for Paul too.

  • Fudd

    Louis: People everywhere are saying vote for Paul! Vote for Paul! (you don’t need to vote then)
    Cheryl questions Paul’s trust issues with Mel.
    Simon basically calls him a Dementor – although he’s comparing it to last week but fancy saying it now eh?

    And then the knife in the back – Dermot goes back to the Dementor comment.

    • I think that’s a bit selective, the overall impression of the comments was thoroughly positive.

    • R

      Watching on +1 and it was very positive for Paul.

      Opening the show gives him a chance to gain app votes.

      The vt was about him needing to have fun and move around the stage more. He sang “Don’t stop me now I’m having a good time”, and the camera angles made it look like there was a lot of movement in the performance when in reality he didn’t seem to move much at all.

  • Lenny

    I am not quite as confident about my elimination bet on Paul as I was ten minutes ago. Will let the rest of the show play out before putting any more money on.

  • DannyCraig

    Simon’s comments were brilliant – massive deramp, could he remind us how shit Paul was last week any more?

  • Blake

    All of these things are true. And I’m not sure he can escape it. But he actually sung it very well. The thing is that the producers can do what they want with the weaker contestants, because a nuking works. But with people like Andrea and Paul, they are too talented to actually completely get lost in the midst of it all. I’m not convinced they did enough if they want him out.

  • Maarten

    Love Louis – ‘everywhere I go people are saying paul is going to win’ – are they really Louis?!?!
    Bye paul. Awful performance, the arrangement of that song will alienate his demo, he looked like he was constipated throughout and simon didn’t even comment on his performance, just went over his comments from last week. Also much appreciating the Harry Potter reference. Had Simon actually watched the films?!

  • Natasha

    Im not 100% they’ll get paul in B2 after that?

  • Fudd

    That was an abrupt switch from the record deal part of the VT to the vocal cord issue. Obviously a late edit.

    It’d have been ironic if he’d withdrew this week considering he’s singing The Show Must Go On.

  • Curtis

    The judges comments reminded me a lot of the ones given to Lola last week. Undeservedly nice, and no motivation to vote.

  • Jessica Hamby

    How messed up is this backing track.  The drums are awful.  Very bland comments.  They’d love to suck him into b2.

    Nice of dermott to ram home the dementor comment.  End of journey much?

    And Dermot’s final comment delivered in a very negative way before flushing him down the memoru hole.  Now THAT’s a kitchen sinking.

    No mercy at all.

    The real show will be starting after this break, which will be an extra minute long.

  • Curtis

    Let’s all “pick up our apps” and vote for Jay! Oh Simon.

  • Fudd

    Dermot: One left but only need one to win…
    Cheryl: One left but only need one to win…

  • Fudd

    My goodness, they’re showing Cheryl her baby photos. :-O

  • Jessica Hamby

    Jay was dull. I was hoping for more histrionics.

    Effective flushing of Paul though and JJ may take any sympathy voters.

  • Blake

    Re: the running order. Interesting that OTY are sandwiched between Lauren and Ben. And Andrea having the pimp slot is odd. Unless they are giving Fleur a moment before him, and trying to get everyone to use their remaining votes up on her.

    • Donald

      That what they could be at, SK on late again also. By giving Andrea pimp slot they getting it out of the way and with comments and staging might de-ramp him more.

  • Martin

    Wow lauren has got everything thrown at her this week! Could not be more positive.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Louis’s such a bullshitter.

    Lauren’s nothing like a popstar. She’d be great in a musical but zero personality without a character to inhabit.

    Jay could be in trouble here.

    • Martin

      Haha I love that of all thing to call Louis a bullshitter over it was that! You are right though.

      Was that lauren performance supposed to be a moment? Why was it not in the pimp slot?!

      Also for the first time she was back to what she was wearing in the first few auditions – no more impossibly high shoes, oversized baseball tee but lots and lots of gold.

  • kinski

    Great job reminding everyone that Lauren soldiered on with tonsilitis while Jay blew it…

    Looks like OTY is getting the colour vomit treatment judging from the cut to their outfits right before the break…

  • Curtis

    I like Lauren but when she’s doing big notes I always anticipate that her voice is going to crack. If the vocal trainer could kick that out of her then maybe I’d start to believe in her for the win market. Until then, I just don’t think she’s got enough wow to win.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Thoughts on Paul. The drums in the music effectively stopped the momentum of the song, the dark stage, quadi military garb of the dancers and their bizarre movements and Paull dressed all in black took any sense of fun out of the thing. Judges comments were so over the top and inappropriate they added to the viewer’s sense of dislocation. Memeory holed by an ad break and JJ at Help For Hetoes I’ll be amazed if he isn’t b2.

  • Caro

    Lots of fun tonight – JJ goes to meet some heroes and then is affected by a sore throat…
    Lauren is on a journey, and even has a golden road as a back drop.. (And of course the tonsillitis comparison) then straight to the ads, and the talktalk song is ‘story of my life’ …

  • Curtis

    Colour vomit is right! The bottom 2 awaits OTY again.

    • Fudd

      Really? I thought that was pretty positive for Only the Young – right down to Simon and Louis appealing for votes.

      And they work so hard. And they’re fun. And I’ve been brainwashed…

    • Curtis

      I should clarify, I thought they were very good, but I don’t think it was enough to avoid the comedown from the bounce. A 70s song isn’t exactly going to motivate the kids to vote is it?

    • Curtis

      Though I will additionally clarify that I made my comment before the judges pimped the hell out of them!

  • Blake

    OTY are finding their niche! They were very good, and don’t deserve to go at all.

  • Martin

    Oh I loved Only The Young, I hope they don’t end up bottom two. I was getting Miss Dynamix ‘Dreams’ vibes off that staging though.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Torally hideous staging for OTY. Colour vomit and distracting skaters (like skateboarders for Blonde Electra). Good comments though. Distracting arguments from judges BUT direct encouragement to vote.

    Dodgy musical areangement but they made it work.

    Paul’s surely gone whoever is down there with him, and it could well be Stereo Kicks (or JJ).

  • Martin

    CHANGE in big letters?! Mixed messages from Ben – amazing vt, a good performance I thought. The transition to gold lighting seemed positive but the lettering was questionable and lukewarm comments from Cheryl, horrible ones from Mel?!

  • Jessica Hamby

    I felt sorry for Ben with the muppets in the audience clapping out of time. Very motivating comments from Mel. Cheryl spunded like she was about to say but…. and probably generated more sympathy.

    Bright, shining green.

  • Simon saying he wants OTY in his category. And people still think TPTB want them out?

  • Jessica Hamby

    OH MY GOD STEVI. I couldn’t not look. First laugh out load of the series. Surely green for Stevi.

  • Lenny

    I was predicting a bottom 2 and controversial save for Stevi this week…..not any more. That was completely ridiculous and I think he’s perfectly safe.

  • Curtis

    That was truly hilarious.

  • Fudd

    So the John Lewis advert gets an airing after Stevie…

  • Martin

    I have no words.

  • Jessica Hamby

    End of Stevi’s journey. Out next week.

    OT Those John Lewis pebguins coat £95 according to their website. Turns out you can put a price on love.

  • Donald

    I think they might be going for Stereo Kicks, Simon wants OTY and that cut to ad break did them no favours.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Pissing myself laughing at “it’s coming home”. Red flag anybody?

  • Lenny

    If you don’t vote Stereo Kicks this week, they won’t get on the tour. Seems as good a reason not to vote as any.

  • Fudd

    They don’t seem to be getting any vocal backing at the moment.

    Interesting stage invasion – it says a lot when I think even that was planned!

  • kinski

    Yeah Stereo Kicks playing football by themselves on an empty field isn’t exactly the best light to cast on them…

    Lol did they just yank someone off the stage!

  • Curtis

    And come on, these guys are going to bounce right? And that bounce is going to hurt OTY.

  • Who wants to bet the stage invader was a stooge to motivate votes?

  • Jessica Hamby

    Could SK get a sympathy vote due to an unscripted stage invasion.

    Simon dismisses it.

    Certainly they’d rather lose SK than OTY at this point but I still think they want to keep both.

  • They clearly want both bands on the tour

  • Fudd

    And that’s how you do a moment.

  • Blake

    “Roman Emperor of Pop”

  • Martin

    I have decided that I dislike Fleur quite a lot. I don’t know what it is but I find her very off putting. Irrespective of that, her performance will have served it’s purpose.

  • Donald

    The Roman emperor of pop, here we go…and the dancing seed planted on Fleur VT. This will be interesting.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Intrresting. By the time we get to Andrea no one will have any votes left.

  • kinski

    Congrats Andrea you got deported

  • Fudd

    “Time to Say Goodbye” playing during Andrea’s VT lol.

    • Jessica Hamby

      When he was about to say goodbye to his family.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I didn’t see anything detamping in the vidro, performance or comments. Simon’s enough of a businessman to know when to switch sides.

      And as predicted Andrea sang the hellout of the thing.

      Paul isn’t wanted. B2 and he’s out, and I think he’s b2.

      Jay or SK to join him, and I’m thinking SK.

  • Lenny

    Has anyone mentioned Andrea might actually be some sort of Italian?

  • Curtis

    I think that VT was helpful. Is this the week the producers give in to the power of Andrea?

  • DannyCraig

    A VT completely in Italian. Crazy staging and some red/black…the de-ramp continues!

  • Jessica Hamby

    Called it.

    Underampable. 🙂

    • Fudd

      Unless… he came very close to the bottom two last week so they’re confident they can de-ramp him again after they’ve got rid of Paul.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Yeah. That’ll be it.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Incredibly deeamping video on xtra factor with the chef too. Andrea eats FOOD ffs. Who in the uk eats italian food apart from pizza, pasta, risotto and a few desserts. And apaet from the wine and occasional bit of coffee we’re not fond of their drink either. I suppose he’s lucky they didn’t show any Vespas or a Ferrari. Probably would be a definite b2 if they had.

        Reckon it’s pretty much game over for the bloke. Sad really.

  • Martin

    The deramp is still in effect, slightly more subtle. Even with the vt, which I’d imagine was supposed to be harmful, it actually came across as adorable. The staging was bizzare but he did a great job – and a four judge ovation?

  • Fudd

    Could they be pimping Andrea to de-ramp Paul?

  • Jon

    I think that’s my Lauren money done. I can’t see anyone other than Andrea after that.

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