X Factor 2014: Swing when you’re losing?

Time for our regular weekly pivot off what you’ve been saying in the comments.

1. Swinging into inaction

Jessica: “IMO Lauren is being deramped and has been for some weeks now.” Stu: “I definitely see Lauren being the one sacrificed out of the “Power Four”. Dean: “Simon’s boring remark was perfect timing in week 6 if they want to get her by week 8 or so.”

Is a swing the new plinth? We’ve speculated that being stuck on a plinth can isolate an act from its audience. What about a high swing towards the back of the stage?

lauren_swing

It’s not exactly inspired production. Especially when a similar prop was used for the same song back in 2008. Diana Vickers at least got to swing back and forth a little for her rendition of ‘Smile’.

diana_swing

Lauren had no such luck, and post-performance we weren’t allowed to forget it.

“It’s not easy to sit down and sing an entire song with such commitment and emotion,” said Mel with a straight face. “It was a bit boring, the performance,” added Simon, who couldn’t resist laughing as he joked,”it needed someone to give the seat a push or something”. Cheryl repeated Mel’s line, praising: “Being able to sing sat down on a high swing.”

To ram home the swing meme, Dermot continued the theme: “What’s it like singing a song like that sitting down?” “I’m just so glad the swing didn’t snap,” replied a slightly nonplussed Lauren. Simon got a chance to add, “If the swing had moved a little bit more in the middle it would’ve been a little bit more exciting.” As poor Lauren walked off stage, Dermot gave the swing a push for good measure.

It doesn’t seem fanciful to relate all this to Lauren’s week 4 rehearsal meltdown over a few simple dance moves. Choreographer Brian Friedman had been quick with criticism of her “limitations” at the time, but it seems producers waited an extra week for payback.

The “boring” tag is perhaps most damaging among the comments she got. This season alone, Mel called a Steph Nala performance boring, Louis did the same to Jack Walton and Simon to Paul Akister. Abi Alton was called boring in week 3 of 2013. Janet Devlin and Sophie Habibis were both called boring for the week 3, 2011 nuking of the girls. We’re trying to think if anyone has recovered well from being “boring” – perhaps you can help us out.

What else suggested a Lauren deramp last weekend? Her second consecutive early slot in the running order; a frankly boring VT which can be summed up as, “Fleur is great and I have a brother.” To be fair to her, the rest of the staging was cohesive and attractive, with a curtain of threaded diamonds motif. We got one cutaway to mentor Cheryl applauding, and Louis called her a “born recording artist”. So it wasn’t all bad. But what was supposed to linger in the memory was the swing, flapping back and forth as Lauren trudged off.

It’ll be interesting to see if she’s perched on top of a very high plinth for her week 7 performance.

2. Mystery of the East

R: “Fleur’s pimping on Saturday was so heavy I have to question the reason.” Dean: “It also could be just because they wanted to give their plan A her moment no matter where she is in the votes.”

There’s little doubt that Saturday’s programme may as well have been renamed ‘The Fleur East Show’. In Andrea’s VT she was on hand to teach him some English slang, in Lauren’s VT she was shown to be the caring big sister, whilst her very own sister and mother were interviewed before JJ’s performance. Three prominent shout-outs long before her big pimp slot production of ‘Bang Bang’.

Does this mean Fleur is Plan A, or was it just to help her clear the bottom two if she’s struggling for votes? Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive.

There’s no doubt producers would love to see her win, as a credible, commerical performer. We were guilty of underestimating her at the start before the live shows, resorting to the idea that in the past it’s seemed to be difficult for the public to get behind a confident black female. She’s had enough chance by now to show she’s a very likeable individual.

The next hurdle seemed to be not having had a “wow” moment vocally. Her week 5 VT teed up Michael Jackson’s ‘Will I Be There’ as just that, though Andrea’s pimp slot ‘Somebody To Love’ allowed it to be overshadowed. Fleur’s VT this week had her elatedly coming off stage after that performance, saying: “I finally got to show people that I can sing.” She was then given the mother of all pimpings whilst playing to her strengths.

We reckon Saturday’s show was all about seeing how high Fleur can fly in the vote when allowed to shine whilst her main rivals in the outright market were kept under the radar. We’ve already gone into the ways in which Andrea and Lauren were deramped; Ben at least had exemplary golden staging and a heartwarming VT, which will have kept his vote ticking over, but judges’ comments tended to be dampening.

Producers will now be much clearer about where Fleur stands in relation to her rivals, and can act accordingly. If she still fell well short of say, Andrea and Ben, they might recognise that third is the best they can hope for, with a recording contract to follow. But if she was anywhere near topping the vote, producers might feel that it’s worth continuing to dampen those around her for their credible winner.

3. Why are Only The Young called last?

MW: “I think the most fascinating thing is why OTY were again last to be announced as saved. Very interesting choice.” Chatterbox5200: “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.” 

For the second consecutive week, Only The Young were the act not actually in the bottom two who were made by producers to wait for 20 minutes to hear their fate. Commenters have been debating whether this is a positive for them (their fans think they are in danger and will be more motivated to vote next week) or a negative (it subliminally plants the thought that they are one of the three least popular acts).

While both are ostensibly plausible, we reckon the evidence points to it being negative. If you’re interested in this question of the order in which acts are called safe, do take a look at the article-length discussion of it we did after the 2012 season. A summary of the conclusions: the act called first seemed generally to be one that producers would have liked to be doing better in the vote than they actually were. The act called last was generally one producers didn’t have much interest in.

This year, Jake Quickenden, Jack Walton and Paul Akister were all the last to be called safe the week before they departed. Fleur has been most often called safe first.

The psychology seems to go like this: being called safe first creates a winner’s aura around an act; being called safe last suggests an act is becoming a lost cause. Evidence from the US X Factor season in which they announced the full voting order each week (discussed more fully in the above-linked article) backs up this view of voter psychology. Acts who were revealed to have only just cleared the singoff got no boost in their vote the following week.

So if producers are trying to galvanise Only The Young’s fans by calling them last, then it would be a departure from what they’ve done before, and the opposite of what you’d expect from the USXF evidence. It is also possible that they’re leaving Only The Young till last simply to milk the social media traction being generated by the bloke in the audience who keeps yelling their name.

4. Stereo Tricks

Thé Ferret: “I really can’t fathom who is the favoured group.” Phil: “they [SK] were really good this weekend I thought”.

In many other ways Only The Young have undoubtedly had a lot of producer positivity in the last three weeks. But at the same time, we’re struggling to discern any real signs that the show is giving up on Stereo Kicks. There’s an emerging consensus in the comments that producers will be hoping to drag a group to the final, but which one? It still seems a pretty open question to us.

Perhaps it’s worth remembering how much screentime producers lavished on the individual members of the eightpiece during the audition stages, which suggests a good deal of thought had gone into their post-show commercial potential. To what extent do early singoff appearances cause a rethink of commercial considerations? The signing of Tamera, despite her repeated flubs during the show, hints maybe not that much. Stereo Kicks have also been arguably the show’s most headline-generating act since the premature departure of Chloe-Jasmine, another reason why producers might want to keep them around.

Mel’s comments last week were especially interesting: “I don’t feel the public has got to know you individually enough to support you, and I want that to happen”. Was that a set-up for this week’s VT?

Two more thoughts on the boyband. Those of us wondering if the week 5 stage invader might possibly have been choreographed will have enjoyed the chance to wonder about Louis’s acting skills, as his reaction to the invasion was shown in their week 6 VT:

louis_shock

And what, if anything, do we make of this?

team_stereo

team_kicks

5. The Donut Deramp

Jess: “Is the donut deramp a thing?”

Those of you who get irritated with us for occasionally overthinking things, look away now! After Simon compared listening to Andrea in week 3 to eating six donuts, commenter EM remarked that it was like aversion therapy – associating Andrea with the idea of a sickly excess of food. Now, has there been any recurring motif in Andrea’s week 4, 5 and 6 VTs, by any chance?

andrea_deli

andrea_home2

andrea_cakes

Mind you, at least Andrea and Mel together shared only one three-tier cake tray. In week 5, the Platt family and Cheryl ordered five between the four of them:

lauren_tea

We love Jess’s idea of the Three-Tier Cake Tray Of Incipient Surfeit. Will it make another appearance this series, or – alas – be quietly dropped, like the Walton-Akister Memorial Makeup-Chair-Next-To-Ben-Haenow Of Doom?

Do let us know your thoughts on these and other pressing matters below.

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276 comments to X Factor 2014: Swing when you’re losing?

  • Fudd

    I really think someone should be placed in the Walton-Akister Memorial Makeup-Chair-Next-to-Ben-Haenow of Doom with a Three-Tier Cake Tray of Incipient Surfeit between them. If only for the craic.

  • EM

    Regarding the chair of doom I think it was just resting, next week you’ll see Andrea talking to Ben AND Fleur about how much he loves cakes while they look on indulgently but without commitment.

    At that point I’ll press the big lay button

  • Far more likely that they keep OTY till last because people expect them to be bottom 2, so when they aren’t it’s more of a shock. They’ve had mostly positive treatment the last few weeks but you still seem convinced that they want them out, when it seems pretty obvious to me that Simon wants to sign them after the show.

  • I reckon they’re through with Lauren and she’ll be cut loose before the final.. Her performances aren’t that impressive. She has zero stage presence. She doesn’t have a distinctive voice or look. Despite what Louis keeps saying, she isn’t a popstar.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I disagree with you. I think she has loads of potential. Technically she’s really good. The problem is she’s too young and things have come to easy for her. She hasn’t suffered enough and she hasn’t had to risk or try much. She thinks all she has to do is sing the words to the notes.

      WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!!

      I once saw Barry Manilow talking about performance (if you evwr get the chance go and see him by the way) and he said the first thimg you have to do as a performer is make the audience fall in love with you, and then you must break their hearts. In other words you need emotional engagement. That’s what Lauren’s missing.

      Given time though I think she could be really good.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Gaga, for example, might have down Smile dressed in a faded wedding dress like Miss Havisham from Great Expectations and put on clown make-up. Xtina might have done it like a world-weary crack ho getting ready to go out for another night at work, maybe with a child playing glimpsed in the dressing table mirror and covering a bruise on her face with foundation. They would be showing us something of their own inner lives thtough the performance. Lauren delivered a homily, a sort of twee sermon. Who wants to hear that sort of sanctimonious crap from a 16 year old. No wonder we all got bored.

        • General Hogbuffer

          You make this sound as if she has had any input into the staging whatsoever… I would love to see Brian Friedman’s face if Lauren came up and outlined her plans for the crack ho scenario…

          I think the main reason why lauren will not be dispensed soon is that this would leave St Cheryl without any acts; not sure her ego would allow that. Then again, there seems to be a well scripted ‘Simon teases Cheryl’ sub story running through this series, so this could play into that. What do I know…

          • Jessica Hamby

            Heh!

            Friedman would probably faint at the idea that there was a way of staging something that didn’t look like it was created by a 3 year old on magic mushrooms.

            Also I bet Lauren would make a great crack ho or mad obsessive jilted bride. Give her a story to perform, a character to inhabit, and I suspect she’d be delightfully over the top. Just right for pop.

            I know she doesn’t have any input into the creative process but that they presented her the way they did shows they don’t have long term plans for her in the show. I was just suggesting a couple of ways they could have presented the song if they did.

            I know some will disagree but I don’t think Cheryl having no acts left will be a deciding factor in tptb’s plans. She’s paid to be a mentor. She got her publicity shot and her number one. No-one knows how the categories are going to turn out when they’re selected. I think she’ll be the first judge with an empty purse and she’ll just have to suck it up.

          • Jessica Hamby

            And everything in the crack ho apartment would be busted, stained, dirty, messy and broken except the child and her toys, which would be pristine and spotless and shiny and new.

            And that is how you make an audience fall in love with you and break their hearts all at the same time.

  • Dean

    Great article to summarise some of the points. I love the donut thing.

    • Jessica Hamby

      There’s at least one more of those three tier trays on the table behind Mel.

      And can anyone make a screenshot of the selfie Andrea took of him and Mel on the bus? Her face is priceless. It could curdle milk.

  • Donald

    Lauren on a plinth is a possibility the way the going with her. Maybe Fleur pimping to really see if they could get her above Lauren. Lauren has not had a pimp slot yet, might happen this weekend but would not be at all surprised if one of the groups gets it.

    Team Stereo and Team Kicks. it’s probably too late in the day to split but with the stunts they been pulling for them who knows. Pimp slot is an obvious stunt this weekend.

    The Donut Deramp is class, it seems to show excess, wastage and away from reality especially Lauren hotel one so not a great connect with viewers. It seems to be a theme they using this year.

    Pressing matters, wondering is it the end of the road for Stevie or not just yet.

    From a betting point of view it has been good so far but it does seem a bit more wide open than other years at this point for top four with TPTB having a good season targeting acts. No big shock yet. Big weekend ahead for the markets.

  • EM

    The final voting figures will be fascinating when they’re revealed. It feels like there’s been lots of fluctuation in the voting but that’s just a feeling.

    It’s pretty obvious to me that Ben and Fleur have been the chosen ones since the start, as have the Kicks but they continue to underwhelm, no matter they’ll get pushed as far as possible.

    The treatment of OTY continues to confuse me, they’ve had signs of good and bad treatment. Ultimately I think they’re soon to be toast. I get the feeling the world would keep turning if they weren’t around anymore.

  • Jessica Hamby

    OT: Jake Quickenden is going into I’m A Celeb with Edwina Currie.

    Poor guy. She’ll make mincemeat out of him.

  • martin

    I am anxious to see what trickery they employ to drag Stereo Kicks through this week. Hopefully this week we will see a decision on which group they favour more – my heart will break if it isn’t Only The Young but it’s my own fault for allowing myself to like an act on the X Factor.

    The “shouting Only The Young man” – was he a thing before this week? I’ve heard a few shouts for them, and other acts, over the weeks when Dermot has been calling the names but the frenzy on Twitter/in the media has only really existed since Sunday to my knowledge?
    There is mixed messages with OTY – I can’t be sure whether leaving them until last was something the producers did the first time to prompt a boost in the vote for the first week. When they saw it worked, they did it again this week. Of course, that can be countered by saying it makes them look as if they’re struggling. If they are leaving them until last to prompt a boost in the votes it says to me they’re trying to get a few more weeks out of them, not get them to the final. The power of that method will likely be diluted over time – they’ve had two weeks out of it already which has bought them some time to get rid of some of the less-entertaining performers. Now most of the deadwood is gone, it might be the right time to let OTY go. Unless they think they can get rid of Lauren, which is an opportunity they might seize this week.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think tptb’s dream final would be Ben, Fleur, OTY and SK. Whether it’s achievable or not, only the voting figures can tell us.

      Having said that, I think Andrea could be a big star with an older demographic but, as has been said by others, they don’t spend quite as much money on the peripherals associated with their favourite artists – just music and concert tickets.

      • Martin

        I actually think Andrea could do quite well, given the right material. (I know, it’s a big ask). He’s got quite a ‘diva’ voice which Sam Smith has done quite well with recently – he’s the male Adele. If Ella is the ‘x factor Adele’ I think Andrea could be their Sam smith counterpart. Lock him away for a while, get someone decent to write him some songs, get him to pass them off as his own – boom, radio play and number one singles ahoy.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Having said that, I do agree that they’ll cut her loose before the final. What I disagree about is that I think she is very much a potential popstar.

  • Chris

    Concerning the two groups .. a couple of things that noone picked up on yet (I think).

    OTY: Right at the end of the song, the shorter guy misses a line, just a small one, but clearly flubbed. He recovers well but you can tell he know’s he’s bodged it by the look on his face – kind of like his intestines just fell out of his backside. None of the judges mention it at all.
    2:17 on this vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T777Hg81odM

    SK: When the lead guy comes to the side of the desk near to Simon, his voice dissappears at what could/should have been a high point of the song. Maybe he moved the mic too far away from his mouth or maybe someone on the mixing desk “screwed up” – who knows, but given that there was no adverse reaction shown on the faces of anyone on stage, it looks like it affected the broadcast output and not the studio output. (I’m actually not keen to think conspiracy on this one because the production on the whole show was an utter mess this week). Overall though, “proving” that Louis doesn’t know the names of the group yet said to me that it’s “job done” for now with the kicks.

    1:48 in this cid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHaeBQOyPLc

    … and just for laughs, when the SK performance started and they were all dressed in suits arranged on the stairs .. was anyone else thinking “Bullingdon Club”?

    • Dean F

      Yeah I noticed that with OTY and SK but nothing was said :/

      • Dean2

        They didn’t mention the SK error because it was an error of production, not the band. The show’s bad technicals cut out James’ mic, James didn’t miss the note.

    • Curtis

      Dermot did mention the OTY lyrics flub though I recall, as I remember the other members of the group consoling the guy (Charlie?) about it on stage. To be honest it was well recovered, so it didn’t strike me as too odd that the judges forgot it. It wasn’t like a Tamera lyrics flub!

      • martin

        I noticed that too – usually Simon is keen to point these things out, sometimes he glosses over it and sometimes he draws attention to it depending on the desired outcome. The guy looked distraught about it, maybe his reaction did enough but surely a little mention of his flub followed by “but you recovered it well” and some praise would have inspired a few extra votes?
        Either that or nobody noticed it.

        • Dean F

          It was quite easily noticeable as he was alsoon camera when it happened, but t the same time he recovered with genuine ease so it didn’t real matter and it was still a very good performance altogether.

    • Neeve

      I can’t be certain without watching it back (& can’t do that at work!) but I think Simon did mention the mistake with OTY, but glossed over it. I think he said something along the lines of “it doesn’t matter because that was a good performance”. Definitely one of the judges mentioned it because I wasn’t watching that closely and hadn’t noticed until it was brought to my attention!

    • Simon mentioned the OTY cock-up but did not mention the SK one. I was a bit annoyed he chose to highlight the OTY one and again just makes me feel that SK are still the chosen ones

    • UnCalquera

      I thought the flub was the result of something else, either he had a dry mouth or he choked, he seemed really unwell at the end and ran for a glass of water.

      • martin

        I can’t remember now and can’t rewatch but as I remember, he either missed a line or sang the wrong line. A different line was “echoed” by the blonde guy and then the brown haired guy carried on looking a bit sick.

    • MW

      Yeah, Simon did mention Charlie’s flubb – it wasn’t glossed over, though (fair enough) he pointed out it didn’t detract from the performance.

      I didn’t really notice it at the time at all – though I did definitely notice Charlie’s ‘about to vomit’ face at the end of the song!

    • Lia

      From Brian’s description I’d bet Lauren is doing LMC’s “Take me to the clouds above” which is a mash up of “How will I know” with U2’s “With or Without You”. Will they try to pass it off as her original again? Could generate a massive backlash and a proper deramp.

  • Curtis

    I did not notice the five three-tiered cake stands shared between four people in Lauren’s VT last week. That has to be one of the funniest X Factor images of the year. I hope to see more returns of the Three-Tiered Cake Tray of Incipient Surfeit, and I’ll be watching the VTs closely for more next week!

  • Heisenberg

    From DS:

    Brian Friedman’s column in The Mirror today:

    “Lauren Platt was called boring by Simon Cowell but…choose a slow song and you’re going to get a performance that doesn’t scream at you. This week Lauren’s doing an uptempo ballad, mashing a song up and doing it a new way. And she’ll be dancing. She’s said to me she wants to challenge herself and get redemption for her Halloween performance. Cheryls even going to come in and help to give her some pointers. I like Lauren setting a standard for herself and I look forward to seeing her meet it.”

    • Jessica Hamby

      Yeah. Of course she chose it.

      And “uptempo ballad”? What’s that?

    • Jessica Hamby

      So will this be redemption time, journey completed, on yer bike luv, or is it to ensure she polls above Stevi and the journey gets completed next week?

    • Neeve

      Good find. Interesting whichever way it goes.

      She either shows another side and has a moment of sorts (from the pimp slot?) or she pales in comparison to Fleurs’ pimp slot performance from last week.

      Also the way it’s worded if she messes up it was all her own doing…. “I look forward to seeing her meet it”. Subtext: if she doesn’t meet it she can look forward to a Sunday night sing off.

      I’m obviously hoping its the former as my money is on Lauren at nice odds pre live shows!

      • Dean F

        I have a bad feeling she could be Janet Devlined. Out of her comfort zone probably mess it up

        Either that or TPTB have given her a 2nd chance. To be seen…

      • Jessica Hamby

        I find it hard to believe they want her to win simply because of the way they’ve styled her. She’s been presented as some sort of virginal, sweet sixteen teenager from the 1950s, if she ever existed.

        The swing thing last week was almost like a debutante or something from Annie. I don’t believe for an instant Lauren is that sweet or innocent in real life. I know young women don’t want that in a pop star (look at how popular Miley is ffs). Even Ellie Goulding, who is hardly rebellious, is in leather, wet look and fishnet tops with her side boob hanging out.

        Are we really meant to take this seriously?

        • martin

          I know someone who lived with Ellie Goulding at Uni and let’s just say she’s far from as innocent as she likes to make out.

          I think tptb have a bit of a mismatch with Lauren at the minute. The way she is styled and presented etc. suggests that she is targeted at the younger viewer, potentially the same audience as OTY. Bit of a disney princess. Which was fine – “Happy” “Let It Go” and “Dark Horse” (had she pulled it off) were good choices for that demo. Everything else, not so much. She should be performing, giving it a bit of Taylor Swift, Arianna Grande etc. Instead, we get her on a swing and crying about having to move her hips slightly. Doesn’t really make any sense.

          And don’t get me started on the “uptempo ballad” – wtf?!

        • You know what, if they ever did a Musicals week I could see her doing a “torch-ballad” arrangement of Tomorrow. (I’ve just played FDR in a production of Annie so it’s close to my heart at the moment!)

          • Jessica Hamby

            Nice idea. I’ve long loved the idea of Tomorrow as a song about suffering rather than hope (in other words “please GOD let the sun come out tomorrow because if I have to face another day of this I’m surely going to die” rather “don’t worry it’ll all be alright, be reassured my friend”) but I can’t see Lauren being allowed to do that, not from what she’s done so far.

            The version of Happy that she did was, in Foxes original, a much more emotionally ambiguous song that it was when Lauren did it. Lauren presented it as some sort of angelic anthem. Foxes did it in a way that made you wonder if she was crying inside and just telling you what you wanted to hear, which gave it an exquisite poigniancy.

            If Lauren does Tomorrow they might as well put her hair in bunches and back on that bloody swing.

          • Complete with curly ginger wig?

    • Alen

      Cue to “This was not you, you are better when you stand and give us emotion”-judges comments and goodbye to Lauren.

      • Dean F

        This was what they done to Janet I guess. Told her she was boring when she went up tempo told her she needed to go back to basics then told her she was boring again. Same thing could be done to Lauren here.

        I really think Lauren trying something different is a good thing but only with producer help. It’s worth pointing out in each of Brian’s columns the past 3 to 4 weeks he has spoke of Lauren, not all negative either.

    • Lia

      Sorry for reposting, but had to put it in the right place…

      From Brian’s description I’d bet Lauren is doing LMC’s “Take me to the clouds above” which is a mash up of “How will I know” with U2′s “With or Without You”. Will they try to pass it off as her original again? Could generate a massive backlash and a proper deramp.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Simon apologises to Andrea and Lauren.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/simon-cowell-apologises-andrea-faustini-4646507

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/tv/x-factor/411025/X-Factor-Simon-Cowell-Lauren-Platt-Andrea-Faustini-sorry

    Also says in the Star article that he thinks Andrea or Ben will win.

    Hmmmmmm……

    All those who agreed with his criticism will not be changed by an apology – the seeds of doubt are sown. All those who disagree and think the show is manipulated will be somewhat mollified.

    As for his comments about Ben/Andrea, realistic assessment or demotivating for voters?

  • Lenny

    I think if Lauren’s going to last much longer, they need to give her something up-tempo and with some movement to it. The “boring” comment is perfectly true at the moment, her performances are unmemorable (yet highly competent vocally). She needs a moment or she’s gone, this week or next. Every other act left is offering more than her in the way of performance right now.

  • Dean F

    Compare Brian’s part on Lauren to Stevi

    A part of the Column mentions

    ‘Stevi knows his days are numbered, so we have put everything out there now as we might not get another chance’

    Yep basically no point in voting Stevi he is going soon (thankfully a lot will mutter)

    Also worth noting in the preview of Lauren he repeats ‘boring’ but it can set her up for this weekend I guess depending on producer intentions

    Also a side note about SK boys taking naked selfies, yes that’s for you girls lol

  • martin

    The shouting Only The Young shouting man is on Radio One right now. On the same show they had Stereo Kicks on yesterday.

  • Jack

    I apologise if it’s been mentioned above; I didn’t see it in my brief scan of the comments, but a poster on DS (I know!) has been claiming OTY topped the vote in Week 4, which is interesting and he said this may be the reason for them being called last. It’s certainly possible considering that was their sympathy bounce week, maybe it was a game changer for them?

    Pretty amazed by those who are convinced that Lauren’s time is up. For me they’ve been holding back on her pimp slot deliberately for a game changer. Apparently Lauren’s doing upbeat this week which would help her cause to no end. To me I reckon it could well be a pimp slot performance. I also question whether producers would want Cheryl out before the final. I reckon they could well set up a one act per mentor finale.

    Just my opinion though!

  • Only The Young are a shorter price to win the show than Stereo Kicks yet the former are also a shorter price to be eliminated. Which one is wrong?

    • Jessica Hamby

      OTY and SK are going to be first or second and you will all have to call me Queen Jessica, the Dark Lady of the Donut, source of the 250:1 win.

      Or in a more mundane (but more likely) scenario, opinion is divided.

  • George

    The thing is, Only The Young have been left hanging for 20 minutes two weeks in a row now to hear their fate. It comes off as quite harsh and makes people feel sorry for them. Jack/Jake/Paul were called last under completely different circumstances.

  • Stu

    Call me cynical but I think the main reason why it’s Whitney week is so Andrea will sing a Whitney power ballad which will then lead the judges to say that “it was predictable”, “you’ve already done Whitney, you could’ve done Elton”, “it was safe”.

    If the final is a 4-act affair and the semi-final will have a 2010-style sing-off, Andrea needs to just be pushed out of the top 3 to fall into the danger zone. Would it look extremely tactical voting out Andrea over anyone left in the competition? Could he even get pushed out of the top 3 in the voting? I think Lauren and Ben still have the potential to topple him – the latter can have a vocal moment she is yet to give while the latter probably isn’t too far behind Andrea (if Andrea is indeed leading). I guess with major pimping, Fleur could also just about scrape past him.

  • Natasha

    I really like OTY and hope TPTB get fully behind them by dumping off Stereo Kicks! Any song spoilers as of yet? Apart from Lauren’s which we know is ”How will I know”

    • Stu

      Fleur is doing a song that embodies empowerment so my guess is either Queen Of The Night or I’m Every Woman. She stands more chance of doing well with the former.

      • Martin

        If that’s the remit I’d guess at ‘i’m Every Woman’. Although ‘it’s not right but it’s okay’ is quite sassy and empowering, maybe a bit more Fleur’s style, not sure how it would go down on the show though.

  • James Timpson

    William Hill have just paid out bets on any finalist forgetting their lyrics during a live performance – does anyone know who they are referring to? Could it be the OTY slip-up during Saturday’s performance?

    • Dean F

      It must be, as James from SK did not forget any lyrics, it seems something went wrong with his mic, but as stated by someone else may have been a problem for TV only as judges (seemingly) nor even his band mates picked up on it from what it looked like

  • Lia

    SK= Team Teenage and Team Dirtbag. They should have been split like that from the begining. Problem is all the best singers are on Teenage and all the personalities are on Dirtbag. HA!

  • Curtis

    So I open up Sofabet and what’s the banner ad at the top? An ad for Domino’s doughnuts. Admit it guys, you’re part of the conspiracy.

  • Wow, this was only published yesterday and already it has 70+ comments…

    I don’t know if anyone’s made this observation already, apologies if they have because I’m sure I haven’t read every comment on X Factor this year, but the main thing that characterises this series to me is that the Overs – with the show’s every assistance – have become the de-facto Boys and Girls. We’d lost 3 of 4 girls by week 4 and 3 of 4 boys by week 5, while the sole surviving boy and girl have fallen out of favour. Meanwhile all 4 pimp slots that didn’t go to Andrea went to the Overs, one each. It took until week 5 for any Over to fall into the B2 and until week 6 for us to lose the *delta* Over. Saturday basically constituted Fleur’s elevation to alpha girl, if you will, coinciding with Lauren’s relegation after having failed to deliver a showstopper. Lauren’s a great singer but she needs performance practice and time to blossom, she’s too young and inexperienced still. Ben is alpha Boy, Fleur is alpha Girl and Stevi’s the “reason to watch” novelty act.

    I was cracking up at the Only The Young man on Sunday, it’s hilarious. I want to spice up my love life by shouting it during sex, and I think he should have an advice column where the answer to every question is “ONLY THE YOUNG!!!!!!!!”

    The Andrea food thing is interesting. I’m sure he loves a mouthful. For me, the tail also lent his week 4 outfit porcine connotations. I’m sure they could be dressing him better in general too.

    Stereo Kicks have 3 members whose name starts with C and two whose name starts with J? No chance of getting people to remember that. With Union J it was doable but they were half the size.

    I wouldn’t mind going in a chair next to Ben Haenow in front of a mirror – imagine the possibilities…

  • Heisenberg

    My suggestion for Lauren – I feel it plays to her strengths, especially 1:05 onwards, and on a swing again:

  • Dean F

    The Mirror’s betting column guy has tipped Lauren Platt at 7/1 to win the X Factor. Interesting, also got to consider Brian does a column for the Mirror, maybe the editor’s know something? Yeah probably just wishful thinking.

  • Tim B

    Lots of people backing Stevi to go, now at 1.68 on Betfair. Ridiculously short, or do people know something? Surely with normal-good treatment this week he would bounce?

    • Dean F

      As I said previously, Stevi doesn’t really have a fanbase as such, not sure on who was actually voting for him anyway, other than week 4 most people haven’t even really been that excited about his performances or found them funny. With the voting app too its surprising he has lasted to week 6 without falling into the B2. I think he will not bounce, and if he does well theres only a couple acts he can possibly bounce over, but would need huge producer help in doing so.

      I think he will get an early running order slot hopefully, get memory holed and even Simon may be slightly critical of his own act, especially considering he went against him last week. I think his days are numbered. There really is no purpose for Stevi on the show anymore, especially over the other acts who all still have something to give. OTY seem to have taken the fun performances away from Stevi to carry on for the rest of the show and they can certainly use Andrea as a kind of novelty even though hes a favourite, but also as a means to deramp (in his styling, staging etc.)

      • Tim B

        Of course he has a fanbase, he survived the Bottom Two, sometimes the Bottom Three for five weeks. Wagner and Rylan lasted until week 8, and I don’t see why producers wouldn’t let him the same. Free voting definitely helps a novelty act. People who enjoy that kind of act would much more likely to vote for him for free, rather than paying to vote by phone. Whereas someone like Andrea would receive plenty of votes regardless of whether or or not the voting cost money. You could argue that Simon was negative towards him to get him in the Bottom Two to give him that controversial sing off save. So why not give him the chance to bounce to contrive more controversy? I just think his price represents a very tempting lay, especially when Only The Young have the same number of
        B2 appearances and have been left hanging two weeks in a row. And 1.68 is shorter than anyone has been for elimination post-show, yet the Saturday show hasn’t happened yet and we don’t even know six of the song choices.

        • Dean F

          Well of course I wouldn’t put you off it but we will see by Saturday what producers intentions are with him. Brian did say they are going to do everything this week as they may not get another chance so I’m sure at the least it will be an upbeat fun performance.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I’m smelling “end of journey” with Stevi too, but as you say we will see on Saturday night. I think those left are the ones they think they can do something with – I’m not entirely convinced about Simon telling Jay he has a record contract last Sunday – and it would look better if they weren’t defeated by the amateur.

        • Boki

          I agree with Tim on this one but it entirely depends on whether tptb support the bounce or not. Last week they repeated that Stevi is to blame for loosing good singers, if they stop doing that he has a fair chance imo.

  • Andrea has no more chance of winning the show than Christopher Maloney had, despite what the odds say. Anyone thinking the producers would just ‘roll over’ and let him win after a few weeks polling high should look at the season when maloney topped the vote for most of the live shows. They will keep Chipping away until they pick him off. Sam Bailey is a completely different situation they clearly wernt against her winning.

    • Dean F

      Though I agree with you I am still confused at his week 5 pimp slot

      • Jessica Hamby

        That was the week they were targetting Paul. I think they wanted to make it clear that losing Paul would not be a big deal.

        I’m looking forward to seeing how close Paul came to beating Jay that week. It would have been more difficult to justify losing him if they couldn’t deadlock it and say it was the public’s choice (although they probably would have done it anyway – who remembers Paul now?).

      • Maloney must have had pimp spot at some point. As did nick McDonald very late in show last year

        • Dean F

          Strangely enough Chris Maloney got pimp slots in week 5 and 8… that said I believe once we get past week 7, when acts start to sing twice I don’t believe the pimp slot makes that much of a difference (just my opinion) although it is still best not to go first.

          So for me this week is the last week they can do a major pimp in the last slot for a desired finalist. Maybe someone can show me some evidence to state otherwise. Not saying a pimp slot doesn’t help in week 8-10, but that it is not as important as other factors, as they sing twice.

          By week 8 they normally have their plans made up and the desired finishing order in their sights, with some exceptions.

      • Stu

        I’m 95% sure that was to get Paul into the bottom two and out that week. Andrea and Paul were both men with big voices – a hyped Andrea performance will take votes away from Paul.

    • martin

      I think the vote margins of Andrea are probably saying more than whether he’s topped the vote or not. If he is topping the vote week in week out, he might be doing it but with somebody closing the gap. If they keep chipping away at him he can shed more and more votes as people leave and their transferable votes go elsewhere.

      Sam Bailey was allowed to win as she was running away with the votes, and the only other alternative was Nicholas McDonald, who was equally as disasterous commercially.

      I wouldn’t say Andrea has no chance yet – if he makes it to the final there’s a good chace he will win, it all depends whether they can manage him out before then IMO.

  • Heisenberg

    Consider some of Lauren’s song choices and then look at the UK’s top 12 biggest selling singles of 2014 (to date).

    What’s really going on? Are the current front runners simply being allowed to set the pace until it’s time for Lauren’s big metaphorical push on the swing…

    Let it go, let it go
    Can’t hold it back anymore

    Or has she disappointed so much that they’ve decided to…

    Let it go, let it go
    Turn away and slam the door!

    This Saturday will inevitably pay-off the ‘boring’ comments teed up by Simon last week, but in which direction? Either she surprises us with miraculously improved stage presence and movement (all thanks to BFF Cheryl) or the feeling is that it’s all too much for her to cope with – a bit Abi Alton ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ where she’s quietly slated but told she looks “absolutely stunning tonight”. Predicted keywords: risky, brave, comfort zone, confidence.

  • Another point. People suggesting fleur getting pimped is because she is struggling in votes look at James Arthur. Heavily pimped all the way following b2 appearance. Even when he was out polling every one by a mile

    • Dean F

      He al got a pimp slot when he was not polling as well also I might add.

      • Dean

        He actually got two pimp slots when he was not polling that well in week 4 and 6, but he also finished the show in week 9 and 10, was to ensure victory I am sure, but as explained above not sure the running order matters that much by that stage, but it doesn’t hurt either to go last still a benefit if they end with standing ovations and waxing lyricals.

  • Curtis

    Lauren’s song choice is going to be very informative this week. If it’s another slow one, they may stick her on first and go for the kill. Alternatively they could give her something uptempo and fun for the first time to try and respond to Simon’s criticism last week, which would be better news for her.

    Of course if she gets Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” then the question would be does she reprise the dreary version she did in arena auditions, or do something more akin to the original to contrast with that audition performance.

    At any rate, I think my favourites to go this week are Stevi, Lauren, OTY, and SK in that order. I’m really tempted to take some 8/1 on Lauren because I do believe if she’s within range and if she really does outright refuse to do anything uptempo, then producers may go in for the kill. I may wait for the song choices though.

  • Jessica Hamby

    So what does this do for Andrea?

    I’m still a virgin.

    Well duh!!!!

    I didn’t think he liked girls! Am I alone in that?

    I mean seriously, when he sees a picture of Kelly Brook and Jason Statham is there anyone here who believes he’s looking at Kelly?

    • Stu

      We shouldn’t use stereotypes but if we were to then I’d say yes he probably is gay and I don’t think he’s even trying to hide it. I notice in the article about his virginity he says “person” rather than “girl” and then how he was a Spice Girls fan and had a barbie as a present. Obviously this is just all stereotyping though. I think that article will endear him even more to the public. Dubbing yourself as a Bridget Jones type will always get sympathy (and empathy).

    • Stu

      Also the doughnut comment is having an impact – one of the daily mail comments from the article “I really don’t like him don’t know what it is but he makes me feel a little sick.”

    • Jessica Hamby

      Link is here:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2842430/X-Factor-s-Andrea-Faustini-reveals-s-virgin-dubs-male-Bridget-Jones.html

      I’ve really been trying hard to think of a response to “we shouldn’t use stereotypes” but honestly I just don’t know what to say to that.

    • Oh, cringe.

      You’d be surprised, a lot of people are blind to signifiers of homosexuality – they automatically assume everyone is straight (heteronormativity), refuse to see gayness, don’t consider it as a conceptual possibility and don’t pick up on it. While this is less the case in Britain today that in the vast majority of places, it’s still true that many people simply don’t see gayness at all unless it comes with Rylan- or Johnny Robinson-level signifiers, and that’s why the show feels able to present people like Joe McThing, Chris Maloney and Andrea to audiences as ostensibly straight. Certainly a lot of young girls don’t see it at all and if anything in fact prefer feminised “non-threatening boys” who are often gay.

      In culturally conservative countries, this “not seeing gayness” is so prevalent as to be essentially universal. (Imagine Britain in the 1950s – would you see a man on BBC1 and think “he might be gay?” No, because you’ve grown up in a society where that’s not even discussed and doesn’t exist as a concept.) Andrea has grown up in one of Western Europe’s most conservative, patriarchal and Catholic countries, where LGBT people have fewer rights than anywhere else in Western Europe. And he’s only 20. As being openly gay isn’t a conceptual possibility for him, he sublimates his gayness into music, into his performances. Someone need to take him down a bear bar in London or something, once the show is over.

      I have friends with Italian boyfriends in their 30s and 40s who aren’t out to their families and are never going to be, so their partner has to be kept secret. In some cases there’s a notional girlfriend on the scene for the parents’/grandparents’ benefit. In Germany a lot of male TV presenters are closeted (including the guy who hosted German Idol and Germany’s Got Talent and the guy who first hosted German X Factor), unlike in countries like UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland where gay TV presenters are generally out. Even more conservative Serbia has a ton of gay pop stars, none of whom are out or ever going to be. (To my own surprise, as I’m usually good at seeing these things, 2 separate people have told me that Zeljko is secretly gay recently!) Even Serbian X Factor’s flamboyant answer to Rylan has denied being gay in interviews and is officially straight:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw_lJOwAFQw

      Also, hell, Louis Walsh – like Andrea, from a super-Catholic country – has been on every series of this show and isn’t even out, and most ordinary viewers probably accept him as straight and he’s presented as such. His woofterdom is an unmentionable to be skirted round and only occasionally coyly hinted at (Simon’s comment this week – “well you weren’t looking at the women”). Andrea is occupying the same neither-nor territory for similar reasons. It’s up to him how he plays it. I’d like to see Andrea realize himself as a gay man, but I don’t subscribe to the notion that everyone should be out all the time; I have an article coming out on Balkanist soon about why it’s sometimes best for public figures/pop stars in culturally conservative countries (like Italy, South Korea, Serbia) to stay in the closet.

      Anyway, what Andrea is really saying by describing himself as “the male Bridget Jones” is that he wouldn’t mind sliding down a fireman’s pole like she does in the film. Awooga!

      • Jessica Hamby

        I *heart* you Eurovicious.

        And thanks for heteronormativity. I’ve been aware of the concept for years but I didn’t know the word for it.

      • Boki

        EV, you can count me as third. It’s a story that circulates for years actually but never confirmed, of course.

      • uncalquera

        In fact, XF is so heteronormative that they even change the lyrics to agree with the expected sexual orientation of the act… I remember all the fuss when Dannii pointed that Danyl didn’t need to change the lyrics and I remember myself thinking the fuss was stupid, but it was even more stupid changing the lyrics in the first place.
        Oh yes, acts have to connect with the audience, but why that identification between act and lyric voice? Is it that a straight man cannot sing or act about a woman loving a man without having to change the lyrics?
        In that (as in some other) aspect XF is still quite reactionary, not that I didn’t know.

        • Agree, the fuss was stupid and I didn’t blame Dannii for doing that.

          I think in the comments on here – either last year or the year before – we discussed how, on X Factor UK, favoured gay contestants are allowed to be out (Marcus, thingy from Union J, gay novelty acts like Rylan and Johnny Robinson, and probably Lucy if she’d stayed longer as it was already being preparatively hinted at) while unfavoured gay contestants aren’t (Chris Maloney, Craig, Sami, Jade Ellis, Charlie from MK1, and no doubt others). Then as a third category you’ve got the closeted ones like Andrea, Joe McElderry (in his case only due to youth, I’m sure), Jahmene and Jedward who the show just has to take as they are.

          It’s worth recalling that Will Young wasn’t out during Pop Idol either, and in fact represented a more masculine/mature alternative to boyish, camp-but-straight Gareth Gates.

    • Curtis

      But seriously we shouldn’t use stereotypes! Certainly there are indicators of sexuality but they’re by no means always right. As a rather feminine straight guy I know this better than most!

      • Stu

        You’re right to be fair. If he mentioned he’s more inclined to girls, I’d see him as straight even if he is camp etc. However at the moment I see him as gay. There should be nothing wrong with assuming he’s gay though because there’s nothing wrong with being gay itself.

      • Hi Curtis – I’d hope any woofter with a sufficiently honed gaydar would be able to tell a feminine straight guy such as yourself from the real man-lovin’ deal. I think the theatrical “straight-guy camp” of (for instance) David Walliams or Robbie Williams comes over quite differently to actual gay male behaviors, as do feminine/emo men like Jarvis Cocker or Michel Faber. Though I do admit to there being – for me – a Zone of Dubiousness occupied by “posh camp” men typically from southeast England like Gareth Malone, Hal Cruttenden, Jeremy Hunt and Jack Whitehall, all of whom set off my (possibly incorrectly tuned, possibly not) gaydar even though they’re apparently straight. Either they’re all on the down-low, or the poshness and woofterdom just get confused with each other in some vestigial part of my brain that screams “southern nancy!” whenever I see/hear them.

  • Dean2

    Stereo Kicks got a big plug on BBCR1 this week and did massive photoshoots with Heat and Attitude (without the other contestants). Is Simon sowing the seeds for signing them now, or prepping for them to make it to the final?

  • Heisenberg

    The male Bridget Jones? How can I possibly resist…

    http://goo.gl/QPrxK1

  • Stu

    I guess this week will be make-or-break for Lauren. If she delivers a great performance finally, and the judges love it, I think she’s destined for the final. Cheryl needs a horse in the final. However, if she blows it and looks uncomfortable on stage, maybe the judges will prioritise the entertainment of the show over an act representing Cheryl in the final.

    The same can be said for Only The Young. If they reprise their audition song then producers really want to push them as far as they can. If they are given anything else though (surely if OTY really are choosing their songs then they’d choose their audition one) then I think they’ll be treated as expendable (if TPTB want to keep Stevi around).

    • Jessica Hamby

      Do you think a good performance can really make a difference at this stage? I think tptb have decided what result they want already and now it’s all about execution.

    • Jon

      Totally agree with this. As a Lauren backer I am happy for what looks like a ‘go big or go home’ strategy for this wkd, as I think she requires a game changer to win the show.

      It does feel like it could go either way for her, as I don’t see any middle ground for judges comments this week if her song/performance is as described by Bryan Friedman. Makes me wonder if backing her to go and then laying her back might be an option Saturday? Her price could collapse under further negativity from the judges imo.

    • Seductive Barry

      Hi Stu, you say Cheryl needs a horse in the final, so which of Ben or Fleur do you expect to miss out? If Simon has two acts in the final as seems most likely then one of the judges has to be without an act.

      • Stu

        Good point. I have been thinking about that a bit actually. I’d say because Cheryl is the “X Factor princess” that’s why she’ll probably have to have an act in the final. That doesn’t mean all the judges have to. I think if Andrea isn’t doing as well as we think and is deramped enough to exit in the semi-final, that makes place for Ben, Fleur, Lauren and a group.

        • Dean F

          In the long run I don’t think producers care too much about the judges, only maybe Simon is the one that should be garaunteed an act in the final for his own ego, but its all about the talent they have and the ones they feel will do best in the final.

          Still with Lauren the feeling is she has been deramped, but we still have to look at both sides of the coin as said in the article. The main damage to Lauren is the ‘boring’ tag. Very rarely is that tag used as a narrative for the following week to ace it. It is normally always a tag used as a means of further deramp in the future. Especially when it is a word that the general public may have already been thinking of Lauren with her week 5 and 6 arrangements (followed on from week 2 and 3). Most will not doubt she is a good singer, but the public want more entertainment given the kind of show it is. So Simon’s words are not harsh according to most viewers.

          However on the other side of the coin Lauren is still getting mostly good staging, very sparkly or if you like starry. Week 6 there was not as much Gold about her staging as there was for week 4 and 5, but still it was a positive (aside from the swing which was part of the deramp). Out of the 6 weeks so far there has just been 1 negative judges comment from Simon. Interesting how in week 3 she actually did not get a negative comment (just a slight one from Simon but was not really negative), but in week 4 it was about bouncing back from week 3. They do this a lot, which is quite interesting.

          If she comes out this week without any sparkles, stars or diamonds in her staging it could well be the end of the a journey for Lauren. This week for me is the most intriguing yet now we are down to 7. We still have a few questions more than answers such as what are producer intentions with OTY, how are SK now doing in the vote? Will Stevi be helped to bounce, or like Jay last week, stopped. Will Andrea’s deramp continue with a bang? What way will they go with Lauren? Which of Fleur or Ben will get more of a pimping this week?

  • Dean F

    Btw live show week 8 only has 5 minute longer running time than week 7. This despite their likely being either 1 less song or 5 more songs? Can’t be right. Anyone think there is a change of a double elim this weekend?

  • Heisenberg

    It’s confirmed – Andrea will sing Whitney, as coached by Alexandra Burke, so almost certainly a song from The Bodyguard.

    http://goo.gl/535ws5

    I enhanced the lyric sheet and I Have Nothing looks like a match.

  • Andy

    I read the Mailonline every day and one thing I have noticed many times is the awarding of fake green arrows in the comments section, Mostly regarding UKIP articles.
    Comments that are the worst rated are miraculously the best rated after being awarded a few thousand or so extra votes as if by magic.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2842430/X-Factor-s-Andrea-Faustini-reveals-s-virgin-dubs-male-Bridget-Jones.html

    Jessie posted this earlier and the comments for Andrea were mostly positive.
    The top rated comment was, Good for him
    The 2nd top rated comment was, Its so depressing that this specific question was asked by Vanity Fair. He’s a singer…what do people care if he has or hasn’t had sex yet?!

    The worst rated comment was, nobody is a virgin at that age, he’s just exploiting the church vote.

    The Green arrow fairy has awarded the worst rated comment around 2500 extra votes along with one or 2 other negative Andrea comments and they are now the best rated comments.

    What do we make of that ?

    It sounds unbelievable but trust me, Its very true.

  • Henry VIII

    I see the “I’m a male Bridget Jones” article for Andrea, commented on above, as a positive.

    Regardless of whether he’s gay or straight, all this…I’m a virgin, I always mess it up… makes him kind of innocent and a little immature. Endearing.

  • If the suggestions that Fleur will be rapping again tomorrow turn out to be true I would imagine her return to rapping on last weeks pimp spot worked well in the voting.

  • Dean F

    Not long now until songs are out

    Pre-song release odds

    Winner

    Andrea Faustini 17/10 (bwin)
    Ben Haenow 3/1 (Lads, Coral) nibbled everywhere else
    Fleur East 7/2 (Lads) Nibbled elsewhere
    Lauren Platt 7/1 (various)
    OTY 28/1 (skybet) defo a few backers
    Stereo Kicks 33/1 (various) was 40s start of the week
    Stevi Ritchie 80/1 (various)

    Next Elim

    Stevi Ritchie 8/11 (Coral) backed everywhere, 4/7 in places
    OTY 5/1 (Skybet) drifting most places
    Stereo Kicks 6/1 (Skybet) – props to skybet, stand out
    Lauren Platt 10/1 (Coral, betway) nibbled into 8s and 9s most places
    Fleur East 40/1 (various)
    Andrea Faustini 66/1 (various)
    Ben Haenow 66/1 (various)

  • Dean F

    Seems to be confirmed. DOUBLE ELIM

    http://www.itv.com/xfactor/news/double-elimination-week-seven

    Well I guess that spells bad news for Lauren and Stevi, if the assumption is they would save the groups over them. Not sure they can bounce Stevi into the top 4 so his days are definitely numbers. I predict OTY and SK to go 6th and 7th in the running order to ensure neither come bottom of the vote? What do you think?

  • David Cook

    I expect a demolition job on Stevi to ensure that he’s bottom. Then they’ll want to pick from the next two. They’re probably hoping to get Lauren in B3.

  • David Cook

    Also confirms 3 act final. Does this mean that they’re confident they can get Andrea out by the semi?

    • Jessica Hamby

      Or if Andrfea is safe tomorrow, can a b3 bounce from Sunday’s survivor put him in danger in the semi?

      I firmly believe they have a plan in place that they are confident of executing. The only question is, what is it?

      Also, even assuming Andrea doesn’t make it, which 3 do they want in the final?

      My instinctual response to that is Ben, Fleur and SK.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I wonder if they think they can get Andrea b3 and then vote him out. I think there would be outrage unless he went on deadlock so it was obvious that he didn’t have public support.

    I find it hard to believe that they can do that but they obviously have targets in mind, and probably a back up to cover for shocks (unexpected response to judges’ comments or outstanding performance)..

    This is where I’d love to have a Daily Star leak. Andrea’s currently 66/1 for elimination.

  • Stu

    Oh another double elimination!

    I think one of the groups could actually be in trouble this week. Stevi is definitely one target but I don’t think they’ll succeed this week in targeting Andrea. The more I think about it, the more I think this is the week where one of the groups will be sacrificed and I’m leaning more towards Only The Young unfortunately.

  • Heisenberg

    And look which acts they’ve chosen to include in this double elimination graphic, they are not picked at random:

    http://goo.gl/CZKf1g

  • Boki

    Are they so sure they could get Stevi bottom on Saturday?

    • Boki

      Having said that, there is always a possibility they bounce Stevi just to avoid bottom and get rid of a target that was third from bottom last week (whoever that was, let’s say Lauren). Then on Sunday dispatch Stevi against a group which is much easier than saving group against someone else (e.g. Lauren).

    • Jessica Hamby

      They must be sure they can get him this week or next. I don’t think they can take him to the semi-final. If they do and there’s free voting again next year they run the risk of a full-scale rebelliion with a joke act winning.

      • Jessica Hamby

        There is no great reason to do Stevi this weekend if they think they can get him next weekend. If two others are lower than him in the vote they could easily deadlock and they could blame the public.

        Imagine dumping Andrea for Stevi and blaming the public for voting that way. What brilliant telly (and what brilliant betting opportunities).

    • phillipazevedo

      I think so – look at the way they countered Jay’s bounce. Stevi might be more popular than Jay generally, but if TPTB pull out all the stops (as they did with Wagner when he finally went), then I think Stevi is as good as out.

    • Stu

      Stick him on first and then it’s very likely. I get the feeling this week will finally see a shock elimination though. If it’s a three act final this year and the producers want a group in the final (just assuming) then two of the Power Four need to be derailed. Obviously those two are Lauren and Andrea (my earlier comments on Lauren can be ignored since it won’t be a 4 act final). I’m thinking the producers’ plan this week will be to get Stevi bottom and then to possibly get Lauren out on Sunday followed by Andrea next week (with the assumption that Sunday’s bottom-two survivor can bounce over him – the survivor has to be a vulnerable act for it to work so maybe a group vs Lauren bottom two this Sunday).

  • Dean F

    Remember going first in a flash vote is better than going mid order. Can see Fleur on first tomorrow

  • EM

    Double elim thoughts…

    They must be sure as stone that none of the favoured ones will poll dead last – and given the results we know it will have taken a hell of a turnaround for OTY or SKs to get into that position.
    That would also suggest that Fleur is doing better than many think.

    Also if I’m a producer the thought of Stevi hanging around longer than Andrea or Lauren would absolutely delight me bucket loads.

  • Heisenberg

    Very tactical timing to play the double elimination card now. I expect Stevi will not to be the primary target on Saturday – in fact judging from his own comments on Loose Women earlier this week, some of his tweets and production comments from Brian Friedman – I anticipate Stevi doing the same Freddy Mercury style performance, but this time as Elton John – maybe singing ‘I’m Still Standing’ with big, fun staging.

    If they wanted Stevi off first, a single elimination would be more than sufficient. They definitely have a strategic kill list for this weekend.

    I sense an angle they may exploit with Andrea singing Whitney’s (if it proves to be correct) ‘I Have Nothing’. His VT will show him practicing the song with Alexandra Burke, imagine if we’re reminded of her own X Factor performance of that song in the VT and/or her performing it in her starring role in The Bodyguard musical – she may even sing parts with Andrea to show how it should be done! That would surely set him up for unfavourable comparisons in judges comments.

    Which group will be targeted? We’ll see, awaiting song announcements. If OTY don’t get ‘Something About The Way You Look Tonight’ that could be the answer, especially in light of this tweet:

    http://goo.gl/pMUfH3

  • Stu

    Lauren is performing How Will I Know. Surprise surprise.

    Someone is singing Something About The Way You Look Tonight. It must be OTY surely? Good news for them if so.

    • Dean F

      Pros for both depending on if LP does a bit more uptempo with it, but sometimes ding your audition song can be a negative and gives judges a chance to say they haven’t improved etc.

      Could be end of journey feel too

      • EM

        I’m curious as to why many are saying acts need to be uptempo for them to get votes. Any evidence to show this is important?

        • Dean F

          More just for entertainment especially after the negative boring word being used, but let’s see. Anyone think Andrea is the one really I’m for a nuking?

        • Jessica Hamby

          Accusations of being boring have hurt Lauren. It was being said before Simon said it. Happy was fresh in week 1 but it’s as if she’s done the same thing every week since.

        • Thanks Dean and Jessica for your replies but it doesn’t really answer my question – uptempo can be boring too. Why are people equating going up tempo with getting more votes (not just in Lauren’s case)

          • Henry VIII

            Mental – physical, gives you more energy to vote.

          • Dean F

            Yeah I think it just shows a different variety. Especially if as said on twitter, Lauren will be doing something a bit different tonight. I think different is they key word. Standing there singing to a slow ballad which goes nowhere, like she has done in week 5 and 6 isn’t what the nation wants to watch. You can drift off. Even just showing a variety, but not necessarily nailing it at least gets people to watch the whole performance with higher concentration.

            Look at Ben week on week, something different all the time and I have no doubt that’s why his facebook likes are several thousand more than anyone else on a Saturday night

  • George

    OTY are doing Something About The Way You Look Tonight.

  • Alen

    Let’s say Andrea is their target it means he prob came close to the bottom last week and that’s why they are trying to get rid of him this way. But who could they really save him against?

    Stereo Kicks, Only the Young, Stevi, Lauren (maybe) -> no
    Fleur and Ben -> yes, so they could be targeted to save them

    • Jessica Hamby

      Dude. It’s not a singing competition.

      They will prefer to do him on deadlock but they’ll dump him by judges if they have to. Wagner, Chico, Jedward, Katie Waissel after not singing – all these have been saved.

      • Tim B

        Wagner was never saved. The first time he was in the sing-off he was out (vs Mary Byrne).

        • Dean F

          Stevi has had his save too, would be absolutely ludicrous if he stayed against anyone left in the competition. Publicity is surely good, but I think part of the reason they have lost so many in the ratings is because of how they save novelty acts and keep them in so long. A large part of the general public may not look into things like sofabet, but they also know when it is just blatant manipulation like with the novelties.

  • Stu

    Ben is singing I Will Always Love You.

    Thought it was going to be Andrea!

    • Dean F

      Hmm this is not going to suit him IMO. Further deramping Ben?

      • Jessica Hamby

        That could be a serious problem for him. Given the shocker he had last week I don’t see how this can be anything but a deramp.

        If a rock singer has to choose between Elton John, pub rock God, or Whitney, diva and disco queen, why on earth would you give him Whitney?

        • Dean F

          The definition of shocker is definitely different in our books but this week could certainly be a shocker

          • Jessica Hamby

            Well it was certainly wasn’t aimed at his demo and it didn’t suit his voice. He’s been on a bit of a slide since Halloween and Highway To Hell.

            He needs a reboot and this song won’t give him that. I don’t think he’ll go this week unless he gets pushed, but this is definitely a deramp.

          • Dean

            He got double the Facebook likes of every act other than SK. Not saying it was his best, or that FB likes tell all but he at least didn’t put off his demo last week.

            This week could however

          • Fleurs facebook picture was definitely the reason she polled so low in the face book likes. She wasn’t even on stage

    • Face

      I’m assuming he’ll do something very similar to the Dolly Parton original country version… which is kinda soft rock… so I imagine he can pull off successfully… assuming you like that sort of thing… and TPTB allow that…
      otherwise he is being totally de-ramped if they expect him to do the Whitney bid belter diva version… or even worse… the uptempo/dance re-mix version!!

  • Dean F

    After song choices I think negatives for Andrea and Ben certainly and possibly SK too.

    Positive for Fleur and probably Stevi but depends how he performs it. OTY and Lauren are positives on the face of it but could be negatives if spun against them, particularly Lauren

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think OTY are green this week. The switch in Mel’s kids and Simon saying they’re the act he’d take should not be ignored. Doing a song they know backwards is also a massive help.

      • Stu

        I agree Jessica! I think Simon has eyes on both groups at this stage and probably wants both of them to make the final 5 at least. Could OTY get the pimp slot? I guess this week the pimp slot could be the kiss of death.

        • Marjorie

          Agree. I think tptb’s ideal final five would be Ben, Fleur, Andrea, and both groups. Simon wants Cheryl off the show and getting Lauren out in the same weekend as Stevi sends the message that she’s “lost her X Factor touch” even more than the bad press she’s been getting over her mentoring this series.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I think Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me will suit SK very well. Last week, splitting the vocal between a lot more of them, was a big improvement on previous efforts. They can do that again and this is a big song which has already been done as a duet. No big thing to add a few more voices.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I don’t think the Make-up Chair Next to Ben Haenow of Doom is a thing anymore. We might see Ben visiting a bakery though.

    • EM

      You know what? I think you’re being tough on Ben.

      Just maybe they’ve given him a song that has wow potential, it certainly does and it has a definite moment in it. Just maybe he’s so safe they’re sending him right up the man-who-does woman’s-songs boulevard to skittle Andrea out the way.

      Now I’ll grant you that lots of the points made make sense but of all the songs this week this is the most iconic one, but is he given it to be iconic or to look tragically un-iconic? Most of the signs point to massive producer support for Ben so I’ll err on the side of this could be good for him.

      And if I’m wrong deny ever saying anything.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I don’t hink it’s a song for Ben.

        I’m not the gender police. I have no agenda in terms of men or women singing a particular song.

        • EM

          Just to be really clear, in case you have made a mistake and gotten that impression, I accused no one of being the gender police or of being guilty of lazy thinking and making unimaginative points. Nor did I mean anyone to take any inference that I thought they had any strange agenda.

          Clear? Braw

          • Jessica Hamby

            Yoi know what? I think you think I care about what you think about what I think.

            Just to be clear, in case I have made a mistake and given you that impression, I don’t.

        • uncalquera

          I see potential in the song choice, he could go down the I-love-my-GF-a-lot way with a more intimate, rockish cover (there are several examples in YT but all of them lack a wow moment). Something similar to his week 3 Aerosmith, which I thought was good (and working the cameras really well) but which was marred by Simon’s comments in what was thought a deramp… Don’t feel it is so bad of a song choice if they allow him to haenow it.

    • Hmmm… “Make-up Chair Next to Ben Haenow of Doom”

      What if they position him with a mirror either side …. so he is sitting next to himself!

      And one plate of cakes could look like infinity plate of cakes with the right mirror positioning!

  • Andy

    I will always love you.
    Not a song for blokes.

  • Fudd

    Could they be looking to tie the sympathy up with Ben to detract from the act which is getting mild criticism in the hope of eliminating them. Have Cheryl, Mel and Louis crucify Simon over song choice which results in Simon doing a ‘mea culpa’ coupled with the line ‘Please everyone at home give him another chance’.

  • Stu

    My thoughts on the song choices:

    Andrea – predictable. Is this setting him up for “copycat”, “predictable”, “lazy” comments. He got compared unfavourably to Leona last week, maybe he could again if he’s singing IHN.

    Lauren – again predictable. The dancing could save her though and maybe producers will be back on board with her. She’s either going to be a frontrunner again or she’ll be heading under a bus soon.

    Stereo Kicks – it really doesn’t matter how they do, does it? It will still be hyped up. If James leads, it could work out well for them. I can’t see them being in danger this week.

    Only The Young – so it looks like producers are definitely on board with them now. Unless producers cock-up with the flash vote and OTY somehow poll lowest, I can’t see these guys going anywhere this week.

    Ben – I’m against the view that this is a de-ramp for Ben. I think this could actually work really well for him. Definitely don’t think he’s in trouble either. If anything, he’ll be hyped up in order to steal votes from Andrea.

    Fleur – I don’t think this is a great song choice for her sadly. It’s very “karaoke” in my opinion. But I think Fleur could deliver a great performance. After last week’s pimping, I’ll be shocked if she lands herself in danger so soon after.

    Stevi – singing the lyric “I’m Still Standing” sounds like he’s gloating at surviving over Jay last week. Would viewers be put off by him singing this? Probably. I think Stevi is most likely out this week.

    I’d say the three acts in trouble this week will be Stevi, Lauren and one of the groups (with the group being saved). In a way though, as I write, I can kind of see a OTY vs SK sing-off happening. I would not want to bet on that scenario though. Is the idea of two groups in the Top 5 too good to be true? Possibly.

    • Face

      Ben aside… they are all very dull and predictable choices… with some pretty dull and boring songs as well…

      almost half of the acts repeating a song they have sang before on the show…

      only Stevi and Fleur are doing up-tempo performances … and they are both… imo… pretty poor songs… then it looks like it will be another less than stellar night of entertainment…

      (btw, I am assuming Lauren is doing the funeral dirge version of HWIK)

      • Dean F

        According to Brian Friedman’s Mirror article he says Lauren is doing something different this week with dance moves, also Heisenberg stated above Ben could do that too. Is it a night of everyone doing good up tempo performances apart from Andrea who goes safe?

  • Dean F

    Anyone going to have a nibble at Andrea for 66/1? Well I doubt he will go tomorrow night, if they do get Andrea it will be as part of the bottom three.

    Many have said about Cheryl having 0 acts left, what about Mel B? Would she be happy coming to judge on the XF to be left with no one after week 7?

    I still think 1 of the groups may be in danger… could be OTY if we assume SK are voting better now (but also possible they just escaped B2 last week). The flash vote also makes the running order different. Going 3rd, 4th or 5th tomorrow night is more of a negative than 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th but also have to consider who goes before and after too. I believe we will see Fleur 1st and their alpha group in the pimp slot. If they want Stevi out we could probably see him bang in the middle of the running order followed by Ben.

    • Dean F

      Mistaken, going 2nd may not be a good thing (never really is) as Lola was bottom 3 in week 4 and also if you ar following on from plan A it will most likely be a negative position in the running order. Best positions to go tomorrow night are 1st and last though for me.

  • David Cook

    I think that this may all be set up to target Andrea. I don’t think he’ll be bottom but I think they might be targeting B3. Four acts are singing Whitney – and I expect Andrea to get by far the most de-motivating comments. Ben, Fleur and Lauren will probably all be given versions of the songs with arrangements to suit them – I don’t for one minute think that Ben will be doing a straight Whitney Houston version of ‘I will Always Love You’. The judge’s will tell everyone how great it all was, and how original they are for putting their own updated twist on the songs. Everyone will have potential as a recording artist – everyone will have a place in the current market. Andrea will no doubt be left doing a hackneyed version of one of the most hackneyed songs – how many Whitney Houston songs can someone sing in one competition – it’s all a bit one trick pony. The comments will be fair, but pointing out that despite the great vocals he failed to ‘make the song his own’. Where would this fit in the current market blah blah blah. Result – votes pulled away from Andrea and landing him in the sing – off. Can it be done? Why not?

  • Stu

    Ooh some controversy between Stereo Kicks and Only The Young. Reece Bibby voted OTY to be eliminated in The Mirror poll and it was automatically posted on his Twitter. OTY have replied and shared the screenshot:

    http://oi58.tinypic.com/14ttwsp.jpg

    • Face

      some of those SK lads lack even the vaguest amount of common sense… and at the same time make themselves seem like absolute d!ckheads… how could you not know that would get back to OTY?!!

      all this bad press behaviour must really p!ss off the others in SK who don’t behave that way… assuming that is they aren’t all cut from the same cloth…

    • Dean F

      That Reece Bibby seems like an absolutely idiot. I really hope SK are not successful until a couple of the idiot members are dropped.

      No one thinks they are in danger of finishing bottom tomorrow night? Looking at the facts they have been Bottom 2 twice and this is a double comedown after the last bounce now (but OTY survived it too). Would take huge pimping to keep them above B2. Also worth nothing after the last flash vote they still ended in B3 last time and that was with 10 votes basically per app.

  • Blake

    They must be so confident that they can get out someone they want out with this double elimination. Otherwise why not just wait and have a 4 person final. I’m excited to see who they’re after and if they can pull it off successfully.

  • Curtis

    I think they’re after Lauren or Andrea. Lauren is probably a more realistic target. I guess we’ll see as the show progresses!

    The only act I’m really confident won’t be leaving this weekend is Fleur.

  • Fudd

    I think Ben could manage this version of I Will Always Love You:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1fy–AmHxw

    I wonder if he’ll start it acapella?

    I’m more confident that it’s not a de-ramp after hearing this. Not certain, of course!

    • Jessica Hamby

      He’ll have a click track and backing chords in his headphonez, same as for Man In The Mirror. The audience won’t hear it. Then the panel will fawn over him as if he’s done something amazing.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Actually I like him. I think he’s in trouble though. His best week was hallowern and Highelway to Hell. He showed potential to be a real old school rock god. They even gave him the shortened mic stand Freddie used and he worked it well. The next week was Queen v MJ and they gave him MJ. Obvious deramp dressed as a ramp. Instead of delighting the demo they give him a feel good wishy washy ballad, and during the a capella bit at the start the audience start clapping out of time. Do you know how easy it is to get a crowd to do that( Takr it from me. Piss easy. No more than 3 people can do it in a fevrred atmosphere like that. Spoiled the impact of the song. He was set up to fail. Then last week he had another poor song choice and a load of excuses. Now this weel k it’s Elton John, classic old rocknroller v Whitney Houston and they give him Whitney Houston.

      Are you seriously trying to tell me this isn’t a deramp? He’s a rocker and they’re making him sing the wrong genre and pretending they’re doing him a favour.

      Wake up people. Ben’s toast, if not this weekend then soon. Even if he reaches the final he won’t win. He’s done and has been for weeks.

      • Sagand

        What do you seriously think his demo is? If you think there’s a mass of people watching X factor waiting for an ‘old school rock god’, I think you’re mistaken. His demo is young to middle age women who think he’s hot. The very people who respond to ‘wishy washy ballads’ and Michael Bublé. I really don’t see an iconic song about undying love as a deramp.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I guess you’re right. Women hated that Highway To Hell performance. Mel C nailed when she told him how disgusted she was with it. What we really want is Bublé or Bolton.

          • Sagand

            It’s hardly controversial to say more women bought the last Bublé album than bought the last AC/DC album. Pigeonholing him into singing rock songs every week would have been just a damaging as Andrea singing diva songs.

          • Jessica Hamby

            You have your analysis and I have mine. Fair play to you for holding to yours.

            My feeling is that it’s only damaging when the judges say it’s damaging and that indifferent and mediocre and disappointing performances are damaging, particularly when pointed out by the judges.

            I’m not saying Ben will go this weekend. I am saying I don’t think he has tptb support and he won’t win. I think it quite likely that he’ll miss the final.

      • Face

        not sure I agree… this is a tv show that appeals to an MOR audience… and Ben is presented as a highly telegenic MOR friendly person…

        he has been presented extremely positively in all VTs… loves his gf… proposed to her on national telly… took his mum to a film premier… cried when reminiscing with his brother… and he is def a bit of eye candy for those who aren’t into teenage boys…

        he is someone blokes who watch (maybe under duress) will actually like/admire because of the types of songs he sings (the Eagles, AC/DC, Stones, The Beatles/Joe Cocker, S&G) … and their gf/wives will swoon over… for all the above reasons… with 5 free votes each I see many couples sending a few votes each week…

        in terms of XF he is a combination of the likes of Olly Murs (cheeky, down to earth Essex everyman)… Matt Cardle (not afraid to sing soppy love songs)… Luke Friend/James Arthur (bit of an ‘alternative’ act… within the XF universe)… all of whom did well in their seasons…

        I would be amazed if at this stage he is outside top 3 in the votes… even with mixed feedback he may get some weeks…

        if TPTB continue to slowly deramp he may only get to 3rd or 4th… but I cant see him hitting B2/3 at this point…

    • uncalquera

      I’ve found a couple of others, all well suitable to him, and Ben has a better voice than any of these youtubers… call me crazy, but I think it could be THE moment of a competition which has been lacking that moment-based development of other years. In fact, if anything, this year is defined by its lack of moments/inability to deliver them, and this could be the one that makes it for Ben.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Roflmao.

        If you all believe that the songs Ben’s been given over the last two weeks and the song he’s got tomorrow are signs of support from tptb then I guess you will make your predictions and any bets accordingly.

    • Face

      agree… and I may be biased as I think Ben is one of the better acts left in the show… and yes, I know it’s not a singing competition etc…

      reasons I think they want Ben to do well this week…
      to help de-ramp Andrea….
      to help de-ramp Andrea…
      to help de-ramp Andrea…

      Ben wont steal votes from Fleur and the groups… who now seem to be the preferred finalists… but he probably has some voter overlap with our food loving, Italian, virgin friend…

      and as they are both doing a big Whitters song… if Ben does something that the judges call more ‘unique’… then that will probably steal some votes from our Andrea…

    • Boki

      He could always do something like this:

  • Stu

    It would be quite hilarious if the current bookies favourite was eliminated this weekend. Has that ever happened before? For what it’s worth I doubt Andrea will be in danger. I really am curious whether he is actually running away with the vote or is in steady decline. I personally think the competition would be a lot more exciting if he wasn’t in it. I do get the feeling that as long as he’s here, he’s got the competition sewn up.

    • Dean F

      I may be wrong, but I think Ella Henderson was favourite (or defo 2nd fave at least) in week 7 when she was eliminated

        • Dean F

          I listened to the podcast Daniel was on and I have to say I am surprised also Andrea is still a short fave. Why are there still backers? When Janet got bombed in 2011 by now she was already out to about 7/1. Andrea hasn’t been killed as bad as Janet, but week 5 aside its not been far off (even if in a slightly more fun way, JD was absolutely buried)

          Good stuff on the podcast anyway Daniel

          • Curtis

            Andrea got afforded a pimping in week 5 which Janet certainly didn’t get once the producers had turned on her! Perhaps Andrea isn’t polling as well as we all think. Or perhaps he’s going to win this thing? Perhaps I don’t have a clue?

  • Anyone think Stereo Kicks might go (alongside Stevi, who they won’t want in the top 5)? If Ella can be a commercial success after going out in week 7, so can they theoretically. A third/fourth save would start to look ridiculous. Saving any of Lauren/Ben/Fleur against Stevi/Stereo Kicks would bounce them well too, as pointed out above.

  • Caro

    Stevi is apparently going to be dressed as an Egyptian Pharaoh (in gold, think large Ferrero Rocher) and on a plinth.

  • Martin

    What an awful list of songs. So predictable and boring.

    Stevi is doing the token novelty song. Could be spun either way but let’s be honest, him time is up and with it being a double I’d be confident of him leaving this weekend.

    I’m pretty sure that with so many acts repeating their audition song it will be used against one of them, particularly with Fleur doing it impressively last week. Of the three of them, I can’t put my finger on who. Lauren and Andrea seem like the targets – with the effort that seems to have gone into Lauren’s arrangement (from spoilers anyway) I think they may be going all out for Andrea, especially with the Alexandra vt. She’s not particularly well liked, she’s a better vocalist than Andrea and the song will give him the chance to fall right into the criticisms he’s had the last couple of weeks.

    There’s a strong chance the groups could be in trouble. SK’s song is very boring and I can’t see it doing much for them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them bottom of the pile this week ala The Risk.

  • Donald

    They must be pretty sure of their targets to go for a double go home this weekend. Will Stevie go tomorrow or Sunday, always thought it was likely to be next weekend.

    The Fleur pimp must have worked and they feel confident they can repeat tomorrow to get her towards final or else she bottom two on Sunday and they bounce her.

    Wonder what has gone on with vote transfers last weekend, maybe that has given them some reason also.

    They would never be so brazen if SK hit bottom two on Sunday to split them up and the double elimination makes room to do.

    Maybe they know they can get Andrea or Lauren at this stage or both even.

    Pretty puzzling weekend especially tomorrow. Will most likely become clear early in the show.

    TPTB on form so far and unlikely to change. It seems Andrea and Lauren have been on their radars.

  • Blake

    Yes it does seem interesting that Andrea is going to have Alexandra in his VT. She’s not very popular, and notice that last year during The X Factor Songbook week, she was mentoring Hannah who went home that week. A coincidence, perhaps, but I’d say they wanted rid of Hannah by that point.

    Also, I think if Ben goes directly before Andrea with a really good, unique version of I Will Always Love You, then it could really highlight how unoriginal Andrea is.

  • Chatterbox5200

    bwin are currently offering a market for….. “To be Eliminated in a Double Elimination this weekend (All bets void if only one act leaves this weekend)”.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Has anyone else noticed that the current advert for this weekend’s show features a complete absence of StereoKicks, a fleeting glimpse of Charlie from OTY…… and not one, not two, but THREE appearances from Andrea!

  • Jessica Hamby

    OMG!!! I’ve just remembered how at judges houses Simon talked about the bad singing habits Ben had. That must be why he’s giving him Whitney instead of Elton. Whitney’s is just an easier vocal.

  • Face

    i wonder if it’s pure coincidence that Dolly Parton’s Glastonbury set is being repeated on bbc4… and is trending on twitter… it (obviously) includes her singing IWALY…

  • eurovicious

    ONLY THE YOUNG!!!!!!!!

  • Seems a few echo my thoughts on Andrea being in range this weekend. Would be great for the papers. The shock elimination that’s needed.

    • lolhart

      Well at this stage they need something. I’ve been genuinely surprised how Strictly has consistently beaten X-Factor in the ratings and the margin. I think they can get Andrea bottom 3 if they use a similar tactic to Paul – deramp him and pimp the weaker acts SK and OTY. I think if it’s a Andrea v Lauren bottom 2 or Andrea v Fleur, they can easily justify saving either of them over Andrea. Lauren will be easy to get rid of later if need be. The public are notoriously fickle with female acts.

      • Yes I would imagine they should be able to get him into the bottom 3 then send him home on judges decision without batting an eyelid. This reeks of the Nick Mcdonald situation.

  • Dean F

    Lauren Platt on Twitter

    ‘Everyone watch out for a little surprise in my performance tonight, can’t wait’

    She will either be back in the game or chucked under a moving double decker

  • Henry VIII

    Following the Ben discussions above – imo last week he sashayed on all Hollywood Sterling Hayden and then gave his best performance yet, delighting the demo ie women.

    However incredibly the judges slated it. Very odd, or very transparent. I think they thought he couldn’t handle it. With this week’s choice they may be right.

  • MW

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see OTY going home this weekend alongside Stevi. It makes some sense from a show perspective.

    I think they’ve done enough on the show already that Simon knows that SYCO or another label can work with them post show, so from that perspective, keeping them around any more isn’t necessary. And from the perspective of the show itself, they don’t do much for the show’s main target audience (especially as we head towards the final) of older women who don’t much like pop music.

    If Stereo Kicks weren’t about, there would be less reason to get rid of them, but it seems pretty clear they are still desperate to do everything they can do to make SK a thing, so ditching the other group would make sense.

    Were Fleur genuinely to be struggling, then the calculation may be a little different, as I don’t think they would want to lose all the ‘performance’ acts this early, but otherwise, I expect a gentle deramp of OTY this week.

    Obviously, they wouldn’t be a shock exit, so if they’re keen for press inches, they might want to take a different tack.

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