X Factor 2014 Week 6: Jay James Picked-On?

Up first, and apparently back in the bad books after last week’s pimp slot, was Andrea. He got an Anglicisation VT which saw him go from being Mel’s “Italian dish” in the introduction to “proper English”. Simon called attention to Andrea’s habit of pulling faces, and compared his version unfavourably to Leona Lewis. Then we had the much talked about Sainsbury’s advert to catch viewers turning over from Strictly.

Presumably this was a “silly Strictly viewers, should have tuned in from the start” running order decision, rather than the use of the Strictly bus to attempt to get an act in trouble for tomorrow – but there seemed to be plenty of alarm bells for Andrea backers following last weeks’ positivity. We’ll unpick them in the midweek article.

Lauren’s VT introduced us to her little brother, following which she not only had the same song as Diana Vickers had performed in Big Band week, like Diana she also did it on a swing. While she got a “born recording artist” from Louis, Simon called it “boring” and “good but not fantastic”, which we suspect will likely have struck most viewers as fair comment. This was a case of being on a swing, but not getting a push. Will it have been downbeat enough to see her drift into the singoff?

After the break, Dermot introduced us to Fleur’s sister, Fleur having featured prominently in both Andrea’s and Lauren’s VTs.

Jay had a family-themed VT, featuring his infant daughter, his mum’s love of Sinatra and his grandad’s suit. It ended by him saying that if he didn’t have his “moment”, he could be going home. The song choice should at least have delighted the demo, but Jay did look rather dissolute with his bow tie undone and cavorting with a girl in the cocktail glass having just been pictured with his wife.

Louis called it karaoke and started an argument about the staging, Mel criticised the song choice and called it “almost comic”. Cheryl mentioned the girl in the glass again and called attention to Jay’s slightly odd-sounding American accent. Producers seemed to be trying to dampen rather than heighten Jay’s anticipated sympathy bounce following his singoff survival last week. They have successfully suppressed a bounce once this series, for Steph Nala in week 2.

Louis introduced Stereo Kicks as the “biggest boyband in the world”, presumably in the numerical sense. We had an action-packed VT: a reminder of their stage invasion, the red carpet,  go-kart bromancing and the song change drama: “Mack the Knife, what’s that?” Well, boys, it’s a cheerful song about a serial murderer.

Comments focused on there being too many of them and how they need to be introduced more individually. This could conceivably be reigniting the cull debate – and it was noticeable that in their VT, the go-karting had them split into two teams – but it seems equally likely to be intended as an excuse for why it’s taking them so long to gel with the public. And, of course, as an excuse to save them again, if the need arises.

Ben started off being treated extremely positively. His VT, taking his supermarket worker mum to a film premiere, could hardly have been more heartwarming. His lighting was golden. His hair was slick. But his comments were only lukewarm: “went off a bit at the end” from Louis, “good” from Mel, “not your best week” from Cheryl. Again, a second viewing will help read the runes for the win market.

Only The Young got plenty of positivity for the second week running – a VT featuring the red carpet and supportive family members, and explicit shoutouts for votes from Louis and Simon. Mel helpfully pegged their demo for us as 3-15 year olds (her kids having apparently switched their earlier alleigance from Stereo Kicks). Reaction in the comments was mixed as to whether the performance had fully delivered on the anticipated fun, but clearly punters had erred pre-show in suspecting they were going to be this week’s unambiguous target.

Interestingly, Only The Fun were followed by Stevi Ritchie’s enjoyable carcrash of a Wagner/Jedward homage, which had a big producton right from the start. The verbal interplay with Mel B afterwards was right from the Rylan playbook though other elements in downbeat judges’ comments went against the grain of a helpful slot in the running order.

Simon then raised expectations of something “incredible” from Fleur, whose VT sounded the grandad klaxon, portrayed a journey from humble origins to the red carpet, laid out a hope of making the final and reminded us that her judges’ houses performance of this song had been the point at which she apparently went from fodder to contender – or as Simon put it, “changed everything”. She got a big production and for the most part did it justice, earning a pimping that saw her and Ben establish clear second-favouritism in the win market at half the price of Lauren. Louis called her a star who will sell records, and Simon said he sincerely thought she could win it.

It doesn’t feel like an elimination market to get heavily involved in. The odds-on favourite didn’t have a great night but is due a sympathy bounce; the second favourite is a joke act whom producers continue to place near the end of the show; third favourites are a boyband whose comments seemed designed to set up a save if necessary. Could there be value elsewhere? This is a week where discretion seems the better part of valour, and a Sunday re-watch seems more necessary than ever. How did you read it? Do let us know below.

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117 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 6: Jay James Picked-On?

  • Dean

    Opinion is a Stevi SK B2 with Stevi going. Was a poor week in general though. Feel bad for Lauren and my Lauren bet. She did well but she clearly has little chance now to win. Unless TPTB change their mind. The week 4 dance debacle has done her no favours

    • Jon

      I feel your pain Dean. Dark Horse was def the night it went wrong. I still have a faint hope after tonight’s performance that she can get back in the running.

  • Curtis

    I don’t think I’ve got a word to add to that post really – it mirrors exactly how I saw the show. I’m definitely staying out of the elimination market this week. The punters say Jay to go, and they’ve been right every week, but nevertheless, I personally don’t consider odds on to be good value for that in the slightest when he is on a bounce.

    I may put some on SK for the bottom 2 because I see no reason why they’ll get a prolonged bounce this time when they didn’t last time.

  • Is anyone watching Xtra factor, a segment which has totally mocked SK’s performance last week, suggesting it was crap.

    Apologies for going off topic, need to rewatch again

  • Jon

    Must be on my own but I see OTY in much more danger than SK. SK managed expectations much better. OTY felt like a let down.

    • I agree – I thought OTY’s performance was very disappointing, whereas SK actually had one of their best nights. Jay’s performance deserved better comments and they were clearly gunning for him tonight – he’ll have to hope for the regional/bounce vote to survive.

      I see a Stevi Vs OTY bottom two tomorrow with Stevi finally getting his marching orders.

      • Jon

        Having not bet on previous series I’m not completely in tune with the bounce effect. I presume when most artists have bounced in the past they did get something of an assistant from the Judges? Or are we saying that voters are ‘shocked’ into backing the act they support after seeing them in them in the bottom 2 the week before? Surely the vote now being free has diluted this somewhat?

        • Curtis

          Sometimes acts get judge and producer help to bounce, but even without that they generally do, for the reason you noted. People see their favourite in the bottom 2 and are motivated to vote.

          Acts that don’t bounce tend to be the ones that just don’t have any fanbase. Jay James clearly does have some kind of fanbase to avoid the bottom 2 for 4 weeks. The producers’ tactic this week was to try and help out the acts in trouble around him (SK, OTY and Stevi) to try and negate Jay’s bounce. I definitely do not trust that it worked enough to bet on Jay to be eliminated for odds on.

          • Jon

            Thanks Curtis. That makes sense, altho if your fans won’t even vote on an app for free without being kicked then you must be in trouble you would think!

          • Curtis

            Yes, well if Jay gets through this week he’ll almost certainly go next week! He’s certainly not long for this competition, but he may have one more week in him.

        • The bounce usually works; it’s rare enough an act will find themselves bottom two two weeks in a row, especially this early on. I get a Kye Sones vibe from Jay. Kye bounced around the same stage during his series and then left two weeks later. I think Jay will bounce to next week and then go.

      • Dean2

        I totally agree, @Mad Donna.

  • Donald

    You summed the night up very well Andrew. SK for bottom two only bet that attracts but that not even that attractive. Have Lauren done at big odds already and Fleur small stakes so sitting it out until tomorrow.

  • EM

    If ever there was a night when the judges’ comments didn’t really match the performances it was tonight. Intentions well signalled. Will the voters play ball? Who knows, will make elimination market easy to read if they don’t.

  • Donald

    One thought from tonight, Simon did allot to swing the votes in his acts favour and he had last two in running order.

  • Jessica Hamby

    JJ hurt himaelf on xtra factor with a mini row with Stevi. Silly sod.

    Even without that imo is J hits b2 he’s gone against anyone. I think they’ve done enough to get him bottom of the vote and have takrn a small piece of the evens action on him to go.

    Hilarious subliminals shout for Andrea on xtra factor with “please release me let me go for I don’t love you anymore” playing during a vt about him.

    Another point on Andrea: how many of those three tier cake trays did they have for him and Mel. It was similar for Lauren last week. How much f*ckin cake can these people eat???!!!

  • Dean2

    Stereo Kicks are currently at #54 on iTunes, beating out Cheryl’s single and all of the other acts. If iTunes sales play a role like they do on The Voice, then their top sales the last three weeks will do them well.

  • Martin

    I know it’s a spice girls song so sort of topical but I had a little lol at ‘stop’ being Andrea’s vt song.

    Can’t really add much to the article – nothing solid enough to commit to tonight.

    Much fangirling of Only The Young happening from me this week, though potentially they may have oversold their performance. I was worried for them up to the dancing.

    I’d imagine Stevi will be bottom two, for the show they probably want JJ with him but I’m not sure if enough has been done to cut the bounce. They did sweep it under the carpet rather nicely though. Echoing the vibe of everybody else with SK and Lauren also potentially in danger.

  • Lee Phelps

    Felt like produxers were testing Andrea’s popularity again tonight with the slot & Simon’s blatant dampening comments.

    Fleur getting every push possible. Pimped, featured in multiple VTs, family interviewed in crowd, biggest production. They are working hard to keep her going. Really intrigued to know what percentage she is getting. Will ‘Middle England’ take to her enough to get the numbers she needs to win though? Rapping and acts on the urban side of things have traditionally struggled.

    On Xtra Factor Lauren admitted she agreed with Simon about the song being boring. Said she felt the crowd was flat and wished she could have got down from the swing.

    Jay & Lauren B2 for me and bye bye Jay (despite the bounce) low vote anyway and not much to motivate his few fans tonight.

    Interestingly Andrea is shorter than Lauren to be in the B2 though.

  • Boki

    I’m curious to see if JJ’s bounce will work or not, hard to tell.
    What I still don’t get is Fleur: do they push her for the win because Andrea is stoppable or just push to survive to the final. Anyway, they are pushing really hard…

  • Joe

    All seemed very desperate with Fleur I sensed she must be struggling in the vote. Still think Jay may bounce so someone surprising may fall bottom 2. Fleur?

  • Chatterbox5200

    A couple of quick things that I noticed from tonight’s show, that haven’t already been said:

    – Was the positioning of Stevi directly after OTY’s performance and comments about being fun intentional, so as to highlight that Stevi really isn’t that much fun?

    – In the re-cap of each performance, at the end of the show, most acts had the key part of their song reprised. For Andrea, although it was a powerful note, it wasn’t obvious (to me anyway) which song he was singing.

    – In Dermot’s final statement, he said the usual line “another act will be leaving the competition”. As he delivered this line, he gestured behind him with his thumb, pointing directly at Stereo Kicks! I’m sure that it was just that they happened to be behind him, but for a brief moment, it looked like he was indicating who would go.

  • Glad I took JJ at double figures on Monday/Tuesday – that plus OTY drifting to 20 meant i could get all 5 potential elimination candidates greened up – pretty much equitable on JJ/OTY/Stevi and SK – will probably tinker tomorrow as i digest the performances and the odds fluctuate further.

    JJ vs anyone … JJ goes

    Stevi vs OTY/SK – Stevi goes
    Stevi vs Lauren – is this the big shock they have been waiting for?

    OTY V SK – i really still am not sure who is alpha group?

    Lauren vs Anyone but Stevi – Lauren survives

    coming off the shelf now — i think Jay will bounce to third bottom and Stevi will be in sing off with a group … and will go

  • Jessica Hamby

    Just rewatched JJ. It was an obvious b2 performance. The whole thing was like a manifesto that he wanted to go. The girl in the glass reminded me of the glass behind Abi last year. The judges performances were utterly unmotivating. I’ll be astonished if he escapes. I think free voting has negated a lot of the power of the bounce. SK and OTY bounced because tptnb gave them extra help. JJ has been attacked two weeks in a row.

    At 5-1 for b2 Lauren’s worth a few quid too, given she performed second and was meh.

  • This week is all about elevating Fleur because her biggest competition (Andrea, Lauren, Ben) are all shoved to early slots. Lauren could be in trouble the most if Andrea and Ben are really vote sponges as perceived here.

  • I think people could be underestimating OTY. Their one week in the bottom two is the week they did something radically different from their usual stuff and got nuked to pieces.

  • David Cook

    The problem with Big Band week is that the songs are so well known – and of course have generally been sung by absolutely class singers at the top of their game. It’s difficult to measure up, and I have to say I think most people really struggled tonight.
    Andrea – I was wrong – this was awful. What was he singing? There was barely anything in that performance that I actually recognised. Again this reminded me so much of Leah McFall, just a string of vocal tricks. Please just for once sing the f******g song. If it’s good enough for Ella Fitzgerald I’m sure it’s good enough for you. IMHO.
    PS – watched it again to make sure it really was that bad. It was, in fact it was worse. Were the audience cheering with relief when it was over? Awful (IMHO – I know lots of people will not agree with me).
    Lauren Platt. More of the same from Lauren. Dull. Boring. Probably safe but going nowhere at this rate.
    Jay James. I was wrong. It was more – oooweee oooweee nooee yooeek – followed by Karaoke New York, New York. You couldn’t make it up. It’s big and it’s red and it’s coming straight towards you.
    Stereo Kicks. Either: One – if what they were planning to sing was worse than this it must have been bad. Or: Two – if this took a full week of practice they’re not trying hard enough.
    Ben Haenow. Wrong song choice. Wrong arrangement. This was like listening to a third rate Bob Blakeley. Either this was a deliberate de-ramp or the person choosing the songs/ arrangements is an imbecile.
    OTY. Given what had gone before this came as a bit of light relief. The vocals were okay, the performance was fun. It was cohesive. For me this was better than SK.
    Stevi Ritchie. The vocals were not okay, the performance was not fun. The jokes no longer funny. Can I put money on for next week now?
    Fleur East. Given what had gone before there wasn’t much to beat, but this was still by far the best all round performance of the night.
    Having seen the song choices yesterday I took JJ at 9/2 as that looked the best value. I’m happy with that, but certainly not risking more at evens. The swing in the odds makes buying a bit of cover the best option.

    • MW

      Could not agree more about Andrea. I thought this was a total mess. I’ve been less and less impressed with him every single week (after an fantastic start), but this was a nadir.

  • Gamblebot

    A note about Mack the Knife: it’s said to be Simon’s favourite song ever.

  • MW

    Honestly, I thought this week was utterly clear cut.

    Two acts delivered: OTY and Fleur. OTY’s dance break was just utterly delightful and they totally sold it. Fleur (while I still think she can have even more of ‘moment’) proved she is a class apart from all the other soloists as a performer.

    Most of the others seemed like they were barely even there. Andrea and Lauren have been running on empty for weeks now, but I thought even Ben was lacking this time round. It was pretty awful show all round.

    I would guess at a Jay v Lauren bottom two. Jay needs to go, one way or another.

  • Scott

    They want Jay out. No doubt in my mind. Not sure whether they can achieve it this week given the bounce, but he’s primed for the kill next week if they can’t.

    Initial thoughts:
    * “So good they named him once from Dermot”.
    * “Representing Wales” doesn’t seem to have the same effect as a Scottish shout-out. It certainly didn’t do him any good last week, and Simon repeated it this week with little enthusiasm.
    * “It’s my mum’s favourite song, she’ll kill me if I mess it up”. (words stuck in your head “mess it up”)
    * “I need a moment” (stuck in your head – this has to be sensational)
    * Grandad’s suit sounds promising, then he throws it off during the performance.
    * Dancer in the background – incredibly unhelpful. Distracting, off-puttingly (to middle England) sexualised,
    * Judges row.

    I note also the Daily Mirror has a story running about bullying accusations… http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/x-factors-jay-james-denies-4636712

    I loved also the pushing of Fleur throughout Lauren’s VT and with Fleur’s family afterwards. A Tamera-style push.

  • Scott

    Too many mixed messages for me this week. May get involved in the sing-off but not touching elimination beforehand. It’s almost as if they’re just shaking things up and seeing how it all lands. Wouldn’t be surprised it the people they’re interested in winning are clear enough to allow them to take that gamble – even if someone useful falls in the bottom two they’ll get a bounce towards the end of the show.

    The only sense I can make of it is my interpretation of what the bosses think of each act (which will no doubt be hilarious if anyone from the show looks at the site as it’s probably a million miles off). Nevertheless:
    * Andrea – Never going to be a long-term recording artist but feel-good story for the show. Would prefer him not to win it, wouldn’t be devastating if he did. Deramping
    * Lauren – Showed promise but wobbles during a few performances that judges had to cover for. Not quite on the same page as Tamera in terms of errors but they will want dependable acts for the final. Could go either Nicholas McDonald or Lucie Jones routes from here.
    * Jay – Hugely gone off him. Leaks in tabloids say it all. Could take votes from Ben. Out at the earliest opportunity. If not this week, definitely next week.
    * Stereo Kicks – Still a possible commercial success, but would need to be taken away and rebuilt away from the show. Not concerned about them winning but would like to bounce them as far as possible in the show to give them a vehicle to launch their careers (see One Direction).
    * Ben – Commercial prospect. An edge to him and one for the ladies. Winner the show bosses would be quite happy with.
    * Only The Young – Clear defined demographic as ‘for the kids’ The days of Boom Clap are long gone. At the same time, if up against an act the show is really behind they’re goners. Disposable.
    * Stevi – Still useful for controversy/fun. Potential for a shock bottom two save, which would also help get rid of him in the long-term.
    * Fleur – Commercial prospect. Push to the final if possible.

  • Moon Gin

    SK reigning the chart sales on iTunes may indicate that they are potentially marketable and could be commercial success. I don’t think TPTB would try to push them to win anymore but they would be dragged as long as possible to help their post career show. I could see them as one of the act signed by Syco.

    • MW

      I don’t think too much can be read into them topping the iTunes sales in terms of potential commercial success – they peaked at a low position compared to what some acts have managed in previous weeks. (And remember even Jay James topped the iTunes post show sales one week for some reason!).

  • EM

    After last night I feel like anyone in the bottom two wouldn’t be a shock, probably by design, they need a bit of controversy. As they know the voting figures they probably feel safe that those they want are pretty safe from the bottom.

    There was a clear hierarchy last night though

    1. Fleur
    2. Ben
    3. Stereo Kicks
    4. Only the Young
    5. Lauren
    6. Andrea
    7. Jay

    The one I’ve left out is Stevi, I got the impression they want him around longer but the way they’ve stacked the acts they might have to sacrfice him if he ends bottom two with someone much more favoured or they can’t make deadlock work or work in his favour.

  • Face

    I’m wondering if now TPTB have decided on their preferred top 3 or 4… and that is why we are seeing some mixed messages…

    for example they clearly want Fleur in the final… and maybe to win… so to ensure that they know they need to remove her potential competition… most likely to be OTY & Stevi (also do big productions & fun), Andrea (also diva-esque), Lauren (also female)…

    yet they still want all of these acts around for a few more weeks… they can’t lose all the female acts just yet… or the fun acts… or the ones who do big productions…

    so… a bit like last week with Paul… they focus all their efforts on one target, Jay…

    but all the while you know that it will soon be the turn of Stevi, OTY and Lauren to become surplus… and if TPTB get their way it will probably be in that order…

    and not just to safeguard Fleur, but also the other preferred top 3 acts… Ben & SK… with Andrea probably also there till the finale… but I think they’d be happy to get rid of him around 4th if they can…

  • Jessica Hamby

    Interesting that Simon described Ben as representing London. Imo that would not motivate votes for Ben, if anythng put them off a bit except in Ben’s specific locale since Londoners are, as a rule, a contrary bunch. Could well motivate votes for Fleur though, who is also from that area and didn’t get a similar shout.

    And Ben is actually from Croydon which is far enough out that some people might not consider themselves Londoners at all. It’s a bit like saying someone from Stockport is representing Manchester.

    • But it must help that it was “Representing London” instead of “Representing Stockport”

      A positive for me.

      Where as in Fleurs VT she mentions Walthamstow

      Not as good as Ben

      • Jessica Hamby

        It’s only helpful if he does represent London. He doesn’t.

        Anyway, it’s all opinions, that’s all.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Saying “representing” before an act has performed is not the same as a direct appeal for votes after s/he’s sung. Jay was “representing “Wales” and Ben was “representing London” according to Simon. Fleur was “from Walthamstow” according to the voiceover of her VT.

          Given that both Ben’s and Jay’s performances were not great I suspect that the people they were supposed to be representing would be disinclined rather than inclined to support them. It’s a bit like when I look at John Terry in the England football team and I think to myself, I don’t want that idiot representing me.

  • EM

    Given tonight’s Strictly result (no spoilers) I feel Stevi might just be given a helping hand…

  • Stevi v Lauren Bottom 2 for me

    Backed Stevi to go at 7/4… Easy to green up if in sing-off

    Backed Lauren B2 at 6/1

    Lauren is boring, I can only see her share of the vote going down each week

    Stevi was entertaining, but he’s not a classic joke act, last night was just embarrassing…. Hard to see how people would have been entertained by it

    • Thing is for Stevie, I think he stays in almost all sing offs except for Ben/Fleur, both of which I see unlikely scenarios.

      Think anyone else will be booted ahead of him and used as a “shock”

      • David Cook

        I think it’s the opposite – if Stevi lands B2 he’s gone. They cannot retain any credibility if they save him. Looking at the combinations I cannot see how the judges could vote to save him. I honestly think there’s more chance of Simon voting against him.

        • Credibility? Didnt do them any harm in part when saved other novelty acts.

          Jj v Stevie JJ goes
          Simon says not voting
          Louis and Cherly both vote JJ off

          Thats if Stevie is bottom.

          • The days when they can save unfunny cringe acts with impunity are gone.

          • Good, that makes it even more controversial if they decide to do that.

          • EM

            Plus an easy engineered deadlock means the show retain credibility by saying “it wasn’t us it was the public”

          • MW

            Stevie would almost certainly be saved over JJ. Maybe Lauren too as bit of a ‘shock’ (on the basis that she’s boring everyone now anyway).

            The others, I’m pretty doubtful. OTY are arguably more entertaining for the show than Stevie, SK are still getting pushed heavily, Andrea would be a more controversial loss than they probably want, Fleur is the potential winner, and Ben is important to keep the older female viewers interested.

          • Jessica Hamby

            If they cared about credibility they wouldn’t keep Louis and Cheryl as judges.

          • MW

            I’m no great fan of Cheryl, but as a highly successful pop star who was discovered on a TV show, she seems perfectly credible as a judge on a TV show aiming to find someone who might be able to be a successful pop star.

            Louis just isn’t a very good judge, quite apart from any issues of credibility…

          • Jessica Hamby

            She uses autotune so much she sounds like Stephen Hawking.

          • MW

            Regardless, she’s still a highly successful pop star.

            That’s always been the explicit point of the X Factor: it’s not just about the vocals, it’s about the whole package. And that reflects the reality of the pop music business.

          • Jessica Hamby

            It’s sweet that you think that. If nothing else reading this site shpuld have taught you that it’s about bullshit.

  • Caro

    Excellent article – so many possible combinations and variables for the bottom 2.
    A quick note about Ben – I agree with Scot that he is ‘one for the ladies’ and I thought it was significant that he was shown taking his mum to the premiere not his girlfriend (subliminal – he is potentially available). Remember how when they wanted to depress Luke Friend’s vote they had him apparently romantically linked with a woman in the film showing behind him as he sang – to demotivate his female fan base?
    Of course, taking his mum to the premiere also showed him as a nice family-oriented guy – a theme continued on Xtra Factor with a VT message from his gran.

    • Martin

      I have noticed that whenever they mention his girlfriend they always talk about him getting married too. Although they aren’t married, the mention of it makes it seem as if they are more serious and prompts happiness for them rather than jealousy from a female fan base.

      • Caro

        That’s partly because it was during his audition that he first said he was going to marry her, which was apparently a surprise to the girlfriend watching from the wings, so it is part of his X-Factor journey.

    • MW

      It’s also all about setting up Ben for inevitable Mother’s Day album.

      They know they want him around for the final to keep the female viewers. But equally, they’re perfectly well aware that his post show potential as a recording artist is likely very limited. With a bit of careful positioning now, they can set him up for one or two lucrative (and cheap to make) covers albums for the Mother’s Day market, and not let his prominence go completely to waste.

  • Curtis

    Put a little bit on SK for bottom 2, but I’m not exactly certain of it! However, I consider it more than 50% they are in the bottom 2 so I should be happy with odds better than evens.

    Even with their late show pimping with Everybody a couple of weeks ago they were unable to avoid the inevitable comedown from their bounce. Surely the second bounce is going to have been even weaker, making their inclusion in the bottom 2 this week even more inevitable. Not to mention other factors like a first-half slot in the running order, and direct competition in their demo with superior act OTY who on reflection have probably polled fairly well this week owed to a helpful song choice and later slot in the running order.

    Still, the favourites are Jay/Stevi for the bottom 2 and the favourites are usually right, which makes me a little nervous about it.

  • Donald

    There will easier nights to make and risk money than tonight over the coming weeks. Much too many variables and possibilities. Waiting for sing off with outside bets already on Fleur and Lauren at big prices. At a push SK bottom two maybe but small stakes. Will the worse performance of all time go?

    Big viewing figures tonight as Band Aid 30 being played for first time, wonder how they will split the show up with the two quests and that.

    • Fudd

      I’d format it the same as last week – normal part one with the group performance, recap and guest, then go into the results leaving the final three before airing the Band Aid video. For that reason, I think they should leave Andrea as the third member of the final three as they want to de-ramp him yet he has enough support to keep people watching; especially if one of the other big four (Ben, Fleur or Lauren) is in the bottom two.

  • I thought all the performances stepped up a notch thanks to the use of a live orchestra. I wish we could have a band every week!

    Fleur pimped to high heaven this week and one wonders if she’s now the new Plan A. Yes, CBWs don’t usually do well on this show, but she comes across as much less aggressive than either Rachel Adajeji or Misha B, the latter of which got backed to high heaven by producers despite the public continually rejecting her.

    Lauren was OK but I get the impression she’s not Plan A anymore. I really liked OTY. They won’t win, but I’ll be really surprised if Cowell doesn’t sign them – and JLS, Olly Murs and One Direction have proven that you don’t need to win this show to have a career, often quite the opposite. They handled the song well without coming over like a reloaded Same Difference.

    Not mad about SK – have the producers switched horses? – and Stevi was like being on drugs. Very odd.

    Jay without a doubt had more than a hint of “valedictory” performance about him. I’m amazed he didn’t get That’s Life. The whole thing just screamed “Journey: Completed.”

    For that reason, I am predicting a Jay James vs. Stevi Ritchie bottom two. Stevi will be saved. This week is possibly the one week where it can be done credibly; there was a huge backlash over Paul’s departure last week and this could be seen as “righting a wrong.”

    I then predict an all-out Wagner-style nuking of Stevi next week

    • Boki

      So last week a good singer (Paul) was gone to a worse one and in order to “right a wrong” this week a rubbish singer Stevi will be saved against Jay. I don’t get the logic behind this.

    • Curtis

      With Fleur I think the producers have tried their best to give her a good image (things like Lauren’s VT this week for example) whilst keeping all the things about “CBWs” that make them very commercially viable. She certainly seemed like Plan A last night, but I’m not sure her votes are going to turn out as well as they had hoped.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Jay’s performance was like a cross between New Year’s Eve, a farewell party and that point of the nihht when everyone’s pissed and it’s time to go home.

      It was like watching a man sing his own suicide note.

    • R

      The improvement in OTY’s treatment could be an indication that they are now favoured for a top 4 spot. While Lauren’s slow deramp could mean that she’s being targeted as the one who misses out.

      ps: The only thing the success of JLS, Olly & One Direction proves is how gullible the public are for any junk fed to them by the media.
      The idea of position having any effect on post show success is as big a fallacy as the idea of the public deciding who wins. All the contestants who have gone on to post show success are those signed by Syco/Sony and have not rattled the cages.

      pps. Steve Brookstein’s book “Getting Over The X” is out on 20th November. Hopefully it’ll be one massive rant about the inside workings of the show.

      • MW

        Or, alternatively, that JLS, Olly and One Direction are likeable pop stars producing with a bit of charisma producing perfectly decent pop that the public actually enjoy…

        The idea that Syco or anyone else is entirely responsible for the success or failure of acts is as ludicrous as the idea that they have no influence whatsoever.

        Steve’s book should be a funny read, but I won’t take any of it particularly seriously.

        • R

          The level of media hype, particularly in mainstream music related shows and national radio is what ensure sales. It has nothing to do with the quality of music.

          Who are TXF guests tonight? Olly & Nicole. Who were on last week and the week before? One Direction & Cheryl. Who have been played over 100 times during the series in the Talk Talk ads? Little Mix.

          If Cheryl can get to number 1, I’d say media profile is the most vital part of success, and Syco hold some very key strategic positions to ensure success.

      • Fudd

        Getting OVER the X??? It’s been 10 years and he’s still leaching off the show.

    • Martin

      It’s funny you mention aggressive with regards to Fleur this week – I know you’re saying they’re trying to tone her down from that but I watched the show with five other people last night and everybody agreed that she looked very aggressive last night. I can understand why, facially she looked strange. Probably not the right audience though, everybody had already said they disliked her before her performance but I’m always interested about how things go down with people outside of sofabet.

      They’re doing a stellar job with Fleur though – I thought her performance and the sped up arrangement last night were hideous but she’s topping just about every poll going this week. If she’s bottom two I’d be amazed. At this point I’d suggest the groups and Stevi, but Lauren or even Andrea would be less of a shock to me than Fleur tonight.

  • Stu

    Without a doubt this week was set up as Fleur’s week and she more than delivered. She featured in both Andrea’s and Lauren’s VTs (Lauren’s VT especially), Dermot was talking to her family in the audience AND to top it all off she was given the pimp slot with a performance that definitely seemed like a “moment” for her. She’s definitely the producers Plan A for this week but I don’t know what will happen if she polls lower than the producers were expecting despite everything going in her favour this week.

    Most likely bottom two scenarios in my opinion:

    Jay vs Stereo Kicks – Jay eliminated
    Jay vs Stevi – Jay eliminated (Simon will refuse to vote)
    Stereo Kicks vs Stevi – Stevi eliminated

    I think they are the most likely scenarios tonight. So maybe it’s more or less certain that an Over will leave tonight. If the can’t get Jay, I think they’ll take out Stevi as a back up.

  • Sagand

    I decided to look back at the precedent for an act not bouncing out of the bottom 2 in past years, and it is incredibly rare. There have been 69 weeks that have left one act from a bottom two of these 52 acts bounced out of the bottom 2 the next week, which is a 75% survival rate.

    Of those who didn’t bounce, five of them were from the first two weeks of the show (series 4, 5, 6, 10, 11) which makes sense if we think a bounce is calling a fan base to action these acts never built a fan base.

    A further five were already on their second bounce or worse (Hope (S4) , Rachel Hylton(S5), Katie Waissel (S7) (twice) and Kitty Brucknell (S8)) it’s thought the more times you’re in the bottom the weaker bounce you get as people write you off as a no hoper.

    Of the remaining seven acts who didn’t bounce 6 of them came in the first three series, not completely irrelevant but it was a wildly different show back then. Leaving only Mary Byrne who would have needed to overtake either 1D, Rebecca Ferguson or Matt Cardle to get out of the bottom 2 in a top 5.

    I see no reason why JJ wouldn’t have a bounce strong enough to get him clear.

  • George

    I’d like to echo everyone who said Fleur’s push seemed very desperate, all for a pretty mediocre performance (for her standards) too. It’s not the way they typically go about setting the stage for a winner, which makes me think they’re doing it because she’s struggling in the voting.

  • Paolobow

    Jay and Lauren B2 looks terrific value. I think Stevi safe despite being backed for elimination / B2.

    Good luck everyone.

  • Patrick

    Is the ITV website subtlety suggesting Only The Young is leaving tonight?

    http://i57.tinypic.com/aeruhs.png

  • Fudd

    Reveal Order:
    Fleur
    Andrea
    Stereo Kicks
    Lauren
    Ben

    Leaving Jay, Only the Young (again) and Stevie in the bottom three.

  • annie

    so will they save stevi over OTY? on what laughable excuse?

  • Jessica Hamby

    If J goes I’m in tiny profit. If not I’m a loser on the night, but still in profit overall.

    Looks like Lauren’s still got more backing than I thought.

    It’ll be intrresting to see what happens it it’s Stevi and J.

  • Jack

    A Stevi B2 wouldn’t be disastrous as a bounce could last him to a nice Week 8 exit. Could they justify him in a save v Jay? Let’s say Mel and Louis send home Stevi and Cheryl sends home Jay (With Stevi as the wildcard) Simon could deadlock it…

    Think Jay’s gone v OTY and Stevi and I think they’d try and save Stevi v OTY (Considering Stereo Kicks look to be back to Alpha-Group again, sadly)

  • Curtis

    I now need Jay to go to break even

  • George

    Second week now they’ve left OTY hanging. Why? To rile up their fans = more votes next week?

  • Jessica Hamby

    I predict Jay going on deadlock.

  • Josh

    Stereo Kicks survive their second week off the bounce, and OTY their third 😮 The question is whether they’ll be able to manage another week. It feels like they will be, but I might be underestimating their voting numbers.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Stevi singing for his life.

    Not a controversial save.

  • DannyCraig

    So predictable. That’s what we love about this show. Adios JJ

  • Babit

    Well, that was predictable…

  • Lenny

    Interesting that Simon and TPTB make Mel and Cheryl do the saving of Stevi here.

    Mind you, I thought Stevi was better than Jay in the sing off. (not that that really matters, but still).

  • EM

    Never a chance they were sending Stevi home!

    (He says after having sweated nervously for the part 10 minutes)

    Seriously not one sign they wanted Stevi out but plenty of indications with others.

    Stevi staying was always more beneficial to the show than anyone bar SKs Fleur and Ben

  • Dean

    Paul Akister just tweeted

    ‘I don’t know what to say really’

    Gotta think they r basically saying Stevi is a better singer than Paul 😉

  • And lo, it came to pass. Hopefully a profitable week. Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who piled in during the singoff?

  • Chatterbox5200

    Has the free voting on the App killed the bounce? Jay bottom of the public vote after being in the bottom two last week.

    It was a profitable evening, even if it didn’t look like it, when both Simon and Louis voted to send home Stevi. After what Mel said about Stevi in the last two weeks, it wasn’t really expected that she would save him, but I guess she will say that she based it on the sing off performance only.

    If it’s in no particular order, why did they announce OTY as the last act safe for the second week running? Was this a strategy to:
    a) Make them look as though they aren’t safe and galvanise their demographic to vote even more for them next week
    b) To make them look less popular than Stereo Kicks
    c) Something else?

  • I thought that. I was amazed Jay’s odds were as long as they were. I watched with my mother who was genuinely shocked that I was going in balls deep… free money tonight I’m afraid. Stevi was ALWAYS going to get saved in that scenario.

  • MW

    Great (and profitable) result all round, and could not have been more predictable.

    Jay has been dire throughout, so I never thought he was likely to get much of a bounce (especially the circumstance in which he was saved last week), regardless of any statistics saying otherwise.

    I don’t think it will even be a particularly controversial save – Jay was dreadful in the sing off, and even objectively Stevie probably deserved to stay.

    Most interesting question is definitely why they left OTY to the end once again. It may just be because a lot of people predict them to be bottom two each week, so it creates tension. But even so, odd. Will be fascinating to see the voting percentages.

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