X Factor 2014 Week 8 Elimination: Platt Out?

I find myself in agreement with the consensus among our commenters that producers’ preferred finalists are Fleur, Ben and Stereo Kicks, leaving Lauren and Andrea in their sights this week and next. The main questions are: how well do they suppress any Andrea bounce; how close is Lauren to the danger zone; and will we have a singoff just to make sure producers get what we think they want?

The moment in the competition when we switch to two songs per act, creates a slightly different dynamic for in-play betting. We’re used to contestants losing favour in the space of a week; that can now happen in one evening. Narratives can be set up by the first performance, to be triumphantly achieved or disastrously fail in the second.

Take Chris Maloney in the 2012 semi-final, allowed some dignity for ‘You Raise Me Up’ before a full-on attack for ‘Just Haven’t Met You Yet’. Andrea and Lauren, take note!

Andrea’s song choices seem most likely to create this story during the show. The former public favourite allowed to do his usual thing for ‘Hero’, be reminded this is what he’s good at, before finding himself swinging from ‘Chandelier’. This week, the publicity has stepped up the negativity a gear, The Sun reporting on his “strop” at being in the bottom two to reinforce the “diva” label that will quite possibly be wheeled out again this weekend.

Both of Lauren’s two song choices suggest to me that her slow puncture treatment will continue. ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ brings us back to Kye Sones’ Bonfire Night (incidentally, it was also the Miss Dynamix singoff number), whilst ‘Clarity’ is another song that that just isn’t well known enough to a mainstream audience.

An added complication is that Lauren has been suffering from flu this week. Producers may have to tread more carefully as a result, but they’ve already managed to quell a sympathy vote based on illness this series when Jay James first fell into the bottom two. It does make things a little more unpredictable pre-show, however.

Like last week, I expect Fleur and Stereo Kicks to be given every help, although it might be worth seeing if Mel tries to undercut any praise given to either act. Song choices look good for the boyband in particular, allowed to reprise their triumphant bootcamp performance of ‘Run’. ‘Just The Way You Are’ gave Matt Cardle his strongest relative phone vote in 2010 from the week 2 pimp slot.

Meanwhile, Ben Haenow’s choice of ‘Come Together’ was Matt’s weakest relative performance when he performed it from the coffin slot in week 7 and was almost trumped by Katie Waissel. I’m intrigued as to how mixed the messages will continue to be for Ben this week. To be fair, I think the song will suit his voice more than Matt’s, and it served Olly Murs well enough from the week 4 pimp slot in 2009, when he managed second to a bouncing Danyl.

‘Thinking Out Loud’ is encouraging as his other number tonight, but once again I’ll be watching to see how much Mel, and indeed Cheryl, continue to qualify their praise for him.

With other unknowns such as the treatment of Lauren’s illness and whether we will have a singoff this weekend, it’s another show when I’d rather wait for any in-running opportunities. They may be created by the aforementioned potential for a first-song bluff that’s a prelude to a change in treatment with the second number. But there’s no guarantee of it.

As always, please let us know what you’re watching out for, and keep us posted about your thoughts during tonight’s programme.

101 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 8 Elimination: Platt Out?

  • Andrea to go. As most other commentators have noted, there’s no real value in a Lauren elimination. If there IS a sing-off, then Andrea’s going against pretty much anyone. Not sure how they could play an Andrea v Stereo Kicks sing-off though, if Stereo Kicks have come bottom.

    I personally don’t understand the gunning for Lauren. Everything seems set up for Andrea to die the death of a thousand knives tonight.

  • Stu

    I think it looks pretty clear this week. Andrea is the main target but if his bounce is out of TPTB’s control, Lauren will have to be the scapegoat – that’s if Ben is untouchable. I still don’t know why the producers would actively want him in the final. Maybe they are accepting the fact that he is a shoe-in for the final but I doubt they’d want Simon with two acts at the finish line as well as the fact Ben isn’t the type of artist Syco would like. I think a Lauren/Fleur/Stereo Kicks is the dream final for producers.

  • Donald

    Song choices not strong for Andrea, Fleur Tina Turner song could be an anti climax. If Mel B baying for blood re Andrea that the song she will criticise. Could we see Mel B and Cheryl making comments that do not favour but help their own acts.

    If Lauren does the acoustic of Don’t You Worry Child could be well decent. Worry is that they give her versions of both songs with crappy Euro beat programming which they have been known to do it the past if out to get an act. That will be a sure sign they at it.

    Clarity is big song for Lauren demo and was used early in the series by Raign at audition. It has been around for over a year but only barely broke top 30 on both occasions. A worry but keeping faith until watch the show.

    Have backed Andrea to go this weekend all week. odds were too temping, topped up today at 3/1.

    Wonder who gets the pimp slot tonight, Fleur or SK again? If either do doe sit mean they still need it.

    Fire for Ben looks a worry.

  • Heisenberg

    From ITV press centre re Sunday’s sing-off:

    “Tonight sees another heart-breaking elimination. Following last night’s breath-taking performances, the finalists have had a nerve-wracking day waiting to find out who stays and who goes.

    The tension in the studio is palpable, as host Dermot O’Leary tells the remaining acts who is safe and who has scored the lowest number of votes. There will be a nail biting sing-off before another X Factor dream comes to an end.”

  • Not surprised by the inclusion of a Sing Off. I guess it gives us another betting opportunity tomorrow evening.

    I backed Ben for the win last week and my thinking is this – is it in Fleur’s and SK’s best interests NOT to win? I look at acts like JLS, 1D, Olly Murs, Ella Henderson etc. Going further back in time I look at Javine, Lemar and Liberty X.

    Fleur and SK are surely getting signed regardless. So it’s not a massive deal if Ben wins.

    • Dean F

      I believe people are wrong when they say that about Fleur given her age. I think it’s important she wins if at all possible as she is 28 and this should be seen as her last chance

  • Dean F

    Sorry maybe not a last chance but she defo needs to win

    As for today I would agree Lauren is in big danger but they would prefer Andrea out this week

  • Stu

    Although I think the producers’ preferences are clear at this stage, I don’t have a clue who’ll be in the sing-off tomorrow now that there are five acts left. I’d say Ben is safest in my opinion – especially with those song choices. I think Fleur could be vulnerable but the speed in which her odds shortened over last weekend has me wondering whether she topped the vote? I think with ‘Run’ Stereo Kicks should be safe. I think they’ve finally got the momentum and following they lacked at the start. I do think a Lauren vs Andrea is therefore most likely (although I guess that’s obvious). Jay’s proven that being sick doesn’t always get you sympathy and also that you don’t always bounce after surviving a sing-off with app votes thrown into the equation.

  • Lauren definitely performing tonight. Cue a sympathy vote then nuke her next week.

  • Heisenberg

    Cowell on Twitter just now:

    “Watching rehearsals for X Factor tonight. Could be Ben and Fleurs best week.”

  • Heisenberg

    I’m sensing a game-changing moment tonight, SK are best price 9/1 – they may be much shorter by Monday.

    Run is perfect for all their voices, well, if you don’t count the lad at the beginning:

  • Woofie

    Another interesting week.

    If they do have big plans for the SK they have played it very differently, perhaps learning from past show experience. I thought 1D ran out of steam and there was nowhere else to go with the group on the show. I think Everybody was a blip but they have been slowly building SK up, from a very low base, despite their boot camp triumphant. Of course it depends, have they gathered enough momentum to carry them through?

    Even when it appears it all came together last week the TBTP could still have something else. As I read it think Run will be performed second, with some comments on their performance for the first song on the lines they don’t bring out the emotion of a song, que Run an emotional performance with tears all round, possible surprise moment for the causal voter and a massive tug on the hearts of their supporters. And if they do deliver on performance but still end up in the B2 and they want to keep them in the competition the case for keeping them won’t look too ridiculous.

  • Face

    on iTunes the order of the songs is the popstar pick (i.e. Chandelier for Andrea, Clarity for Lauren etc…)…

    followed by the Jukebox (public) pick (i.e. Hero for Andrea, Don’t you worry child for Lauren etc…)…

    I wonder if that’s the order they will be performed in?

    point to note… Fleur is the only exception… guess that means they think she can have a bigger moment with ‘A fool in Love’, than the dreary Alicia song…

  • Heisenberg

    Exec Producer, Mark Sidaway has teased that ‘sparking Angle-Grinders’ will feature tonight.

    So who’s going to suffer this unhelpful staging distraction? We already saw the fire in Ben’s rehearsal, could it be for him, or Andrea?

    http://goo.gl/FKRHtH

  • Jessica Hamby

    Fleur and SK top two combo now down to 5/1. Did anyone else get on this when the odds were higher? It was 50/1 a couple of weeks ago.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Hahaha!!!

    Best subliminal ever. Cheryl just said “I wanna go home.”

    Brazen.

  • Curtis

    Andrea has the pimp slot? But of course that can change in the second half. Stereo Kicks and Andrea to do a second half order swapsies?

  • Fudd

    First round order:
    1. Ben
    2. Lauren
    3. Stereo Kicks
    4. Fleur
    5. Andrea

    But they might change the order for round two.

  • poor from ben – andrea lengthening in odds due to pimp slot

  • Chatterbox5200

    A “Homecoming” visit for Ben, with virtually no one there, just a friend, and one girl even seen running in the opposite direction…. and then they surround him by fire on the screen, fire in bins, and women with angle grinders!

  • Curtis

    Producers want it all, and decide to squeeze Lauren in as well before Strictly ends! Unusual for them to do two acts before the first ad break.

  • tpfkar

    Andrea pimp slot. Big emotional family reunion VT for Lauren. Ben with ,mediocre VT, fire and angle-grinders.

    I wonder if the consensus may be wrong here?

    • Jessica Hamby

      *clears throat*

      I can think of at least one person calling Lauren for the third final spot for a while now.

      Ben’s staging was horrible. Those women in the suspender tights looked like they were doing pelvic floilor exercises.

      It looked like an outtake from This Is Spinal Tap.

    • EM

      Ben’s VT was fine his comments were fine, the production was dodgy.

      Same as the last 5 weeks they’ll only ever give him 2/3 help

  • Fudd

    Lauren’s brother’s back.

  • Natasha

    Ben looks to be in trouble after that staging…….

  • Fudd

    Remember what was said before about two songs; one might be a take down followed by a recovery – or vice versa.

  • Curtis

    Actually Mel, I counted at least 3 bum notes in that performance!

    • Curtis

      Thought it was actually one of Lauren’s better performances though – surely it won’t be enough though, even with the sympathy. It’s hard to imagine a bottom 2 without her, especially if Andrea is in the pimp slot.

  • Fudd

    A One Direction song playing in the background for Stereo Kicks’ introduction…

  • Fudd

    So One Direction and Little Mix phone up but Tulisa appears to tell Stereo Kicks their song?

  • Fudd

    “I much prefer it when I can hear your voices…”

    Sounds like a set up for Run to me.

  • Keen Observer

    On this evidence doing their best to get the Lauren & SK B2 and then can try and bounce SK to the final ahead of Andrea. Unless suddenly decided to give up on SK!

    • Curtis

      The VT made it clear they haven’t given up on SK! It’s possible they’re going to help them in the second half, or else yeah, just let them drop into the B2 to bounce them to the final.

  • Fudd

    Fleur talks to a priest… she’s even got divine intervention on her side. 😀

  • Fudd

    Cheryl said she didn’t know the song but Olly performed it in series 6 while she was on the panel.

  • hmmmm … with Andrea to come all four have under performed so far …. they are not going to stitch us all up are they?

    • Fudd

      Setting up stories for round two I think – Stereo Kicks and Andrea have pressure on them seemingly; I wonder if Stereo Kicks will nail their round two song and Andrea struggle?

      Lauren now placed ahead of Ben in the running order?

  • Donald

    Plenty calls for votes for Fleur from Louis and Simon. Thought SK was very weak, was that a hint of red and black in the heart behind them. Showing a name other than SK on screen in VT and messy room etc. very odd.

    Hard to know exactly what they at so far tonight, it all seems a bit of a mess and not great viewing so far.

  • EM

    Putting aside Sofabetness Fleur is head and shoulders above the others still in it.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Stereo Kicks and Fleur get personal visits from their pop stars, Andrea and Ben get Skype calls…… and Lauren just gets a call, without the name appearing on her phone/

    Thoughts?

  • Simon 'Le Chat'

    Laurens song was a complete turkey. She’s out. Andrea is too foreign but just to make sure he goes he gets a turkey too. Stereo Kicks dispensable, too many of them. That leaves Fleur who is the best act and Ben who has the most all round appeal and will win this competition.
    Is there any more to be said?

    PS Worst performer of them all is the gushingly dreadful OTT Mel B. Ugh!

  • Fudd

    Dermot: I knew you were upset on Sunday… and Monday…

    Passing reference to locking himself in the hotel room?

    And the presenter speaks Italian again.

  • Phil

    That song that Andrea sung. I mean, what?! What the hell was it? Who were the zombies rising out of the smoke? The chandeliers looked like they each had a noose hanging out of them.

  • Donald

    Chandelieeeeeeeeeer could have broken all the glass in the chandeliers. ouch..

    Simon was right Ben sang best in that half.

  • Stu

    Tonight so far is really confusing: Ben getting called the best performer so far by Simon (not Fleur), Andrea getting the pimp slot and a sympathetic VT…

    Are they working with an Andrea bounce and targeting Lauren? Surely this could give him enough momentum to bounce into the final? I’m also surprised at Ben getting favoured. Is this because he has the competition sewn up or because his vote is under control and could be a shock bottom two? I’m inclined to go for the former.

  • Fudd

    Andrea and Ben getting the push from the judges.

    This has been very random up to now but Simon has specifically stated the second song could decide their fate.

    I think he actually means ‘will’.

  • is lauren miming? thought that in first song? holding mic very close to mouth

  • Stu

    I’m actually thinking Fleur could land in the bottom two as a “shock” simply because Andrea and Ben are clearly the ones bigged up tonight and Stereo Kicks are clearly going to have a “moment” with Run. Fleur could then have a James Arthur-style bounce (if she can’t top the vote any other way) after an “unfair” bottom two appearance…

    Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

  • Tabitha

    Really beautiful staging for Lauren’s second song.

  • Simon 'Le Chat'

    Well after that Lauren is out! Dreadful performance and song at this stage of the competition- and just to make sure Louis says ‘you are the perfect pop star’. Yeah, right.

    Thing is the judges job is to get people to vote so they praise and dash in turn. Lauren though not good enough. What are the odds of her going out. Worth a maximum bet.

    • Donald.

      Never been bottom three and maximum bet? Good reasoning above re Fleur by Stu maybe. I get the feeling TPTB are creating a wow comment opportunity for SK here.

  • Fudd

    Yes, we get it Dermot – Cheryl gave Lauren Strep Throat.

  • Jessica Hamby

    It’s as if there’s a background narrative for Lauren to go home and unite her family.

  • Fudd

    Red and Black for Ben.

  • Fudd

    He’s sitting on labelled luggage stating his name. Where’s he supposed to be singing this – an airport?

  • Fudd

    “There’s no more I’d rather see in the final, other than Lauren, than you.”

    At the same time Simon encourages boos for her previous comment about the song not suiting him which means it sounds like they were booing the above. Planned or bad timing?

  • Stu

    So Simon explicitly pleaded for votes for Ben… maybe he’s not doing as well in the vote as we all assume?

    • Curtis

      I was surprised by that, but I still think that tonight was a pretty clear deramp for him, and it’s because he’s either leading the vote or close enough to Fleur to worry about.

  • Chatterbox5200

    I know it’s been mentioned by several commenters over the past few weeks, but I really think that the impact of the sympathy bounce, has been severely impacted by the free app voting. In previous years, an act falling into the bottom two, gave people who thought they were safe (and therefore didn’t pay to vote) a sense of urgency to place votes the following week.

    Now, as the voting is free on the app, people who may not have felt they needed to pay to vote as their favoured act was safe, now can easily give them 5 votes at no cost.

    In previous years, I have only bothered to vote if there was one act that I really wanted to do well, but this is the first year that I personally have voted every week.

    I personally think this week TPTB believe they have Andrea’s vote under control, and therefore won’t mind dropping Lauren into the bottom two with him, as it will be easy for them to justify keeping her in – she hasn’t been well and this is her first appearance in the sing-off, where it would be Andrea’s second in two weeks.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Didn’t Mel’s 15 year old daughter love Only The Young a week or so ago?!

  • Fudd

    Hmm, they tried for a moment. Vocally I’m not sure if they quite managed it.

    Oh now Mel’s kids love them again. They’re very fickle, aren’t they?

  • Jessica Hamby

    I thought the end of SK’s performance was shockingly bad. Was it just me?

    • Donald

      It was bad, it was a step backwards for them I think. show is not great at all tonight. Way down on past few weeks. Boring enough for your normal viewer. Ben song choice was bad.

      • Fudd

        I don’t get why, though. Who are they trying to benefit? The judges have been pretty honest tonight rather than following a clear script so no one’s really been ramped.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Their faces when the judges were speaking were hilarious. They kn ew they’d messed it up. No wonder the guy was crying. Then the judges starting talking and they couldn’t believe their ears.

  • Fudd

    Fleur stuck on the plinth and, thanks to the back screen, made to look like a peacock.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Why so many comments tonight, and in recent weeks, about what the act is wearing? From the behind-the-scenes footage that is shown on Xtra Factor, it’s clear, that the acts have absolutely no say in what they wear!

  • Jessica Hamby

    By all the classic signs, fire, red and black, homecoming vt etc surely Ben’s in more trouble than Lauren.

    • Curtis

      Are the producers about to make a big faux pas? Are they about to give Andrea an Arthurian Sympathy Pimp Megabounce?

      Simon set it up in the first half – but they need to tread carefully here! Winners have been known to be made in these conditions.

  • Fudd

    Mel’s comments have been cleverly demotivating for Fleur – criticism but an immediate weak positive to stop the sympathy vote. This hasn’t come across as a ‘ramp’.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Simon – “Some people just come on this show for the fame and will do anything after it”. A quick dig at Jake Quickenden, I suppose.

  • Louis's wig

    Just putting it out there………..I believe song choice is virtually everything………Fleur sang an unknown song and a song that got to No. 18.
    I’ve had a little bit of bottom 2 at 6’s

  • Andre

    Agree with Jessica that end of stereo kicks song was a shambles – fizzling out and finishing at different times. Ben through on likeability factor. Jessica will need a huge ‘sympathy for illness’ vote to survive

    • Jessica Hamby

      DUDE!!!

      Ok. Some of the judges have been a little harsh and at one point I even locked myself away and contemplated quitting the competition but I spoke with my mentors and I believe I have eniugh support to go all the way.

  • Phil

    SINGING IN ITALIAN KLAXON

  • Stu

    I think Mel is singing from her own hymn sheet tonight – maybe because of that spat with Simon last week. Surely it wouldn’t be in the script to criticise the apparent Plan A’s two performances. Something just seems really odd tonight – especially with Andrea’s third pimp slot (while Lauren hasn’t even had one yet).

  • Fudd

    They’re working with Andrea’s bounce so… what are they playing at?

    I presume they’re planning to get Lauren plus one other in the bottom two, de-ramp Andrea next week and bounce this week’s saved act through.

  • tpfkar

    Strange evening. Lauren looks least like a pop star – as much in interviews as anything – but plenty of positives from home, family, and staging of second song.

    Ben didn’t come off at all well from comments or staging.

    Stereo Kicks v positive, but 3rd is probably the worst position to sing (followed twice by Fleur) when lines open from start of the show. Do Mel’s kids always change their favourite each week?

    Fleur generally good apart from awkward comments.

    Andrea pimped from the er, pimp slot. 3rd pimp slot in 8 weeks? Is that a record? Even Chandelier could have been worse.

    Not at all what we predicted, maybe Jessica Hamby excepted 🙂

    Lauren looks likely for B2 unless she was topping the vote for the first two weeks, but no idea who she’ll be with, and I’m sticking to shoring up the win market.

  • chicky258

    Lauren is going.
    The second spot is between Steroekicks and Andre. Thing is this is UK X Factor, not Italian X Factor. Andrea could be toast here leaving one girl (Fleur) one bloke (Ben) and one (sort of) band SteroeKicks.
    Ben to win this and bring home my double with Pixie.

  • Curtis

    Andrea is no way getting eliminated tomorrow.

    • Simon 'Le Chat'

      You sure?
      Who in the Uk is going to vote for him?
      The purple rinses are on the other channel and he’s foreign enough to be passed over for the thinner better looking Ben who at least sings in English even if his voice isn’t as good..

  • Stu

    I do think a Lauren vs Fleur/Stereo Kicks bottom two is being set up with Lauren going home and the sing-off survivor bouncing into the final (and maybe even towards the win). I think the generally great treatment towards Andrea tonight is to make the audience think “okay he’s back on track now, he’ll definitely be fine”. He’s definitely safe this week but next week he should be in trouble if there is another sing-off – Ben presumably doing great in the vote + this week’s sing-off survivor leaves one of Fleur and Stereo Kicks in the sing-off with Andrea – Andrea’s gone. That’s the only explanation I can give.

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