X Factor 2015: Judges’ Houses ‘Groups’ – Dun-Rome-in

“This competition is ridiculous”, said Cheryl at the start of Sunday’s episode. Yes, Cheryl. Yes, it is, as today’s name changes across her category reiterated. At long last, though, it’s nearing the interesting part – this weekend we get the live reveals of the final three in each category. Cheryl filmed the groups’ judges’ houses in Rome earlier this month, with guest judge Jess Glynne.

JH-groups-main

Following on from the girls and boys, here’s our attempt to read the runes of what producers might have been thinking as the groups jetted off to Italy, based on the edits so far. The usual disclaimer: producer priorities can change quickly, and the judges’ houses performance edit might tell us something different.

Suggested Alpha: 4th Impact
Previously: 4th Power

Current Odds: 6/1

JH-groups-4th-impact

There has seemed little doubt about the identity of the alpha group since 4th Power, as they have been called up to now, were given a starring role in the opening audition show – traditionally packed with acts producers envisage having a good run in the competition. They got more screentime than their rival groups in the montage that closed the last audition show, and along with Louisa Johnson they then shared the pimp slot in the first bootcamp show. These are all statements of intent.

While the second bootcamp episode had Cowell muttering that it “wasn’t as strong” as their first two songs, there’s no point pretending their vocals will never suffer for their choreography, and they still very much felt like the centre of attention in the category. And it was back to all-round gushing in the six-chair, with Cowell telling the Filipino foursome “I’m thrilled that you’ve chosen this show, this country, to compete in, and I think the British public are going to fall in love with you”.

It’s not difficult to see their appeal to producers: they’re a polished, professional outfit who already have plenty of experience on talent shows back home, and can therefore be relied on to put on a high-quality, entertaining performance every week. As with Andrea Faustini last year, discovering life in London should provide plenty of VT fodder, while the strictness of their mother – they have reportedly never touched a drink or kissed a boy – offers plenty of possible storylines.

Suggested Beta: Alien Uncovered
Previously: Alien

Current Odds: 33/1

JH-groups-alien-uncovered

It’s generally a hopeful sign for a group when producers give them a VT introducing them all by name and sketching out some kind of individual personalities. Little Mix got that boost in live show 5; week 7 last year saw a classic of the genre for Stereo Kicks, but by then they were a lost cause. Alien were granted that honour at their first audition, which had Cheryl complimenting them on being “ready-made” while Cowell hinted at further potential with “I don’t think we’ve heard the best of you”.

They didn’t have the most promising of bootcamps, however – in the performance alongside other acts, Cowell’s praise for “making it all about you” (because “that’s how you succeed in this business”) added to the vague impression of them as coolly-calculated, sharp-elbowed stage school wannabes, which is hardly a recipe for success in a show on which voters traditionally reward humility. In the second bootcamp episode, Cowell expressed justifiable reservations about their vocals.

However, the six-chair seemed to establish them as clear betas in the category, Cheryl saying they were “one of the reasons I was so excited to get this category” and it was her “easiest yes of the day”. In this week’s Xtra Factor, Cheryl added to this impression by calling them “the future”. Cowell’s six-chair comment, “in terms of selling records, the potential, this is one the best groups”, points to them being given every chance to see if they can connect with the voting public. If they do, Cowell’s “as a British group you should be doing British music” suggests how producers might try to play any changing of the alpha.

Suggested Gamma: BEKLN Mile
Previously: BEKLN

Current Odds: 100/1

JH-groups-bekln-mile

The gamma group is rarely long for this world on the X Factor – the show needs some cannon fodder for the first week or two to protect the favoured acts. It’s usually the lowest-priority group and over who are the first to be sent out of the trenches: last year the show’s failure to identify a clear early target among the overs, after Fleur’s evident promotion from this role at judges’ houses, led to an unwanted second week singoff of Chloe Jasmine and Stereo Kicks. Whoever the gamma group is may be especially vulnerable to a first week exit this year, with the truncated live show schedule likely to mean we start with a double elimination.

With this in mind, our suspicion is that producers may be lining up Bekln as the last group to make the lives, and the first to face the line of fire in the opening live show. Right from their first audition, they have been introduced as a pair with Silver Tone. This continued on Sunday, with the brother-sister link between the two again being hammered home. Narratively, this all points towards televisual drama this weekend with heartbreak for one sibling and joy for the other. And with two girl groups plus a female gospel soloist already looking set for the lives, it makes sense for producers to go with Bekln as the sacrificial lambs.

Cowell told Bekln at their first audition that “there’s never been a better chance for a British R&B group to do something different”; since then, however, there’s been little sense that the show has any long-term plans for them. They weren’t pushed in the two bootcamp episodes, and Cowell’s six-chair “before you were better than the girls, today the girls were better than you” felt like it was playing into the narrative of building up to an agonising choice between the two, while ensuring they don’t develop much momentum with the viewing public.

Suggested Delta: Reggie N Bollie
Previously: Menn On Poinnt

Current Odds: 100/1

JH-groups-reggie-n-bollie

Of the three acts who we suspect may be missing out on the lives, if we were casting the show, we wouldn’t hesitate to find a place for Menn On Point. The cheerful Ghanaian duo put smiles on our faces at the arena audition, and did the same again at the six-chair challenge. We’d have a lot more fun watching Menn On Point on Saturday nights than most of the acts likely to make the final 12.

We don’t entirely discount the possibility of producers following this line of reasoning – Cheryl praised their “energy” when giving them a seat, and Cowell’s “love you two” reinforced his arena audition comment that they bring “sunshine”, although it was rather undercut by his overall verdict of “what the bloody hell was that”. However, they’d be a dangerous act to put through as intended first week fodder, as they could easily strike a chord with enough voters to survive. And the fact that they were relegated to the Xtra Factor for the second bootcamp show, and absent entirely from the first, doesn’t suggest producers are interested in having them around for longer.

Suggested Omega: New Kings Order
Previously: The First Kings

Current Odds: 100/1

JH-groups-new-kings-order

“Good first audition, guys,” was Simon’s welcome to The First Kings as they came on stage for the six-chair. “You going to top that?” And therein lies the problem. After a polished arena audition which saw them being pimped by the judges (and taking the trouble to bring their own VT which introduced them all by name), there’s been no sense of progression for The First Kings. Absent from the edit in the first bootcamp episode, they were described as dated in the second.

After their six-chair performance, Cowell called them “probably the best-rehearsed band” but added “you are corny, whether you realise it or not”. Rather than leaping to their defence, Cheryl chose to expand on what Simon meant by “corny” – “typical boyband formation” – before adding “but your choreography is so current”. Making the lives as the gamma group seems the best they can hope for, with no sense of the show being interested in them commercially or setting them up for a journey.

Suggested Zeta: Melody Stone
Previously: Silver Tone

Current Odds: 200/1

JH-groups-melody-stone

Silver Tone have provided some amusing moments: the contrived arena audition brainstorm for a black gospel song that led them to Simon and Garfunkel; the “we all do different jobs” attempt to make them interesting in the bootcamp VT; and on Sunday, singing ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ and Caroline and Olly clunkily pointing out the relevance of the lyric to the battle for a chair.

Silver Tone have won praise for their vocals, but their storyline has been all about roots and authenticity rather than potential commercial success. Their odds reflect the sense that there are two girl groups ahead of them in the category plus Jennifer singing their style of music in the overs. That said, if we’re right that the narrative points to either them or Bekln making it to the lives before being thrown under the bus in week one, you could argue that it doesn’t matter much which one producers choose.

Agree or disagree? As ever, do keep the discussion going below.

X Factor images ©SYCO/THAMES TV/PA

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71 comments to X Factor 2015: Judges’ Houses ‘Groups’ – Dun-Rome-in

  • Jessica Hamby

    Bekln remind me of Boyz II Men. I have a Boyz II Men album and it’s a struggle to listen to it all the way to the end.

    I agree about Reggie n Bollie. They’re a lot of fun and have great personalities. I’d go and see them live tomorrow. Given the short run and the need for double eliminations tptb will need to keep fairly tight control over the early votes to make sure their favoured candidates last to the later stages. RnB could ruin that. I would add that I suspect Seann will be fairly disposeable once he reaches the live stage (Che will be alpha boy) and could well be set up a “shock” early elimination.

    It’s quite interesting thinking in terms of fodder and keepers. Imo the keepers (those with most commercial potential) are Alien, FI. Che, Louisa and Jenny (for gospel, where youth, looks and style are subordinate to performance and passion, she’s a potential megastar). All the others are fodder although the public, of course, do not always fall in with tptb’s intentions. Fodder like Anton and Seann also provide great talking points and make the show more entertaining.

    I’m not intending this keepers / fodder analysis as a definitive interpretation. It’s only my opinion of which act falls into which category. However, as an alternative to alpha / beta / gamma to identify which acts are likely to have tptb support, you may find it useful.

    • Alan

      Pretty much agree with your keepers / fodder choices aside from Jenny. She will simply be used to promote the idea that it is a singing competition and to keep up the pretence that there is competition between the judges and that Simon wants an over to win. I dont think she is a Syco artist in a million years and they’ll make sure she doesn’t win.

      I think there could well be some surprise 3rd choices in the girls and boys categories just to make sure the preferred acts get to the later stages.

      Where did we see the markets for this? Was it Bwin?

  • Jessica Hamby

    Was the 33-1 on Alien on Betfair? I took 28-1 each way as a little long shot given that the price will fall significantly if they are confirmed finalists on Sunday. I don’t Betfair. lt would make Mr Hamby fractious.

    • Stu

      Ahh Jessica I see you’re more open to the idea of Alien doing well now. 😉 I actually think Cheryl will work really well with Alien. Both Cheryl and Alien are more dancers than they are singers so I think Cheryl will have a great idea about what to do for them as a mentor.

      I may actually put a bit on them to win also. It’s not likely that they’d win but it is nowhere near impossible either. We all know how the course of the show can change during the lives – once the first set of voting stats are revealed. Alien just need that one stand-out performance (which they’ll be able to pull off on a live show with full production rather than a minimalistic bootcamp stage). I also agree with whoever said that there aren’t any real “typical XF winner” types this year if Simon doesn’t make it through in the Boys category.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Hi Stu. Yes, I think they could do well. I take it all back. To me, a punter rather than a serious player, they’re worth an each way dabble.

        As you can see below though, others are yet to be convinced. 😉

        • Stu

          Haha yes! I can understand the argument against them winning (they are hardly the epitome of a typical XF winner) but look at Little Mix’s odds to win before even judges houses – how I would’ve loved to have put a tenner on them back then… I would’ve got at least £1000 back!

          So far Alien seem to have the producers’ support albeit not (yet) being one of the alphas. But Fleur proved last year that consistent performances – despite at times shaky vocals – along with a lot of producer support helped her achieve a solid 2nd place in the competition – losing only to a traditional housewives’ favourite. I can’t see there being one this year. Also, after Cheryl’s embarrassing performance with her category last year (not even a single one of her acts in the final) I can see Simon/TPTB really pushing her for a lot of success this year. 4th Impact’s success is not yet set in stone for the following reasons:

          (a) could the stories of them being scouted and having a lot of previous experience go against them in the long run?
          (b) will the hugely positive comments burn out quickly and will it disallow a much-loved “journey of growth”?
          (c) just how UKIP is the GP or, more precisely, the XF audience?

          Both Little Mix and Fleur did very well in the first live show vote (both were 4th IIRC) despite a lack of airtime and producer favour prior to their first live performances. That just shows that a solid performance can be rewarded in the form of public votes despite the “traditional obstacles”.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Also Simon is a businessman, a music mogul. I wonder if mentoring an act to the final is more important to him than having acts with strong commercial potential there. Sure Anton is loveable, but how commercial is he?

            A final of any three from Che, Louisa, FI and Alien would be a pretty good outcome to me if I was in his position.

          • Stu

            Simon has had at least one of his acts in the final of every single XF series he has been a mentor in (including the US version). But is that pattern becoming a bit too predictable now? He’s clearly aware he has a dud category (commercially speaking of course) but maybe the fact that two of his acts were the last two remaining contestants last year will mean that his ego doesn’t need to be massaged so much this year? I think finally having a commercially successful and current winner (4 years after the last) is far more important for the XF brand than him having one of his acts in the final 3. Who knows?

            And yes I checked out that Cracked article last night. A fantastic read! Great point about the Louis/Tamera incident but I still think that was more simply Louis being the mouth-piece for the producers/Simon who did all they could for her to have her “moment”. But after that, I’m sure TPTB are more careful with who they support in regards to experience and handling pressure.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Regarding Tamera I meant maybe he was annoyed because he felt she just didn’t put enough work in.

          • Stu

            I think her weed-affected memory was the problem personally. 😉

          • Jessica Hamby

            Heh! Quite possibly but still a reason to be annoyed and to support those who have the mentality for future success.

          • Stu

            True and, as you say, Alien do seem very ready to go out into the music industry. I’m very interested to see how their progression through XF goes – much like Fleur last year.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I think this link that Lia posted is significant too.

        http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1764-i-was-reality-tv-judge-5-secrets-i-shouldnt-tell-you.html

        One of the points he makes is just how much work it takes to create and maintain success after the show and that a lot of people aren’t prepared or willing to do it. I suspect that as backing dancers and performing arts kids Alien probably are. Of course it doesn’t guarantee success in the competition but it makes tptb support more likely. It also perhaps explains why Louis appeared to be angry with Tamera after she forgot her words the second time.

  • Alan

    39-1 on Betfair at the moment for Alien. Massively overpriced in my opinion. They could do well if they get supported by TPTB.

  • Tim B

    A word of warning for those backing Alien Uncovered. A group hasn’t made the final since Little Mix in 2011. Three things are required for an act in order to win; they have to be good at singing ballads, they have to have significant appeal to 40-60 year old females, and they have to receive considerable producer support. And remember, they aren’t even the Alpha group at the moment. But at least we know they’re going through.

    • stoney

      I think alien need a lot of big hitters to go out before they become the beneficiaries of a big producer push. I see a story has come out for 4th impact having a very sick dad. This sob story will no doubt help them cement alpha status and remain the last group standing

      • Tim B

        Yeah, exactly. 4th Impact are just too strong (in terms of ability) in the groups category. And Alien Uncovered are perhaps the most threatening female act we’ve seen on the show in a while. Yes they are potentially “commercial” but they currently look like they eat other people’s husbands for breakfast.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Entirely agree. And when you say eat husbands I wouldn’t be surprised if you mean with a knife and fork rather than figuratively BUT for a long shot punt I’m happy to have put a tenner on it. It won’t kill me if it goes astray and it should give me an interest for a while. I took it all too seriously last year. Never again.

        • Alan

          We don’t actually know that the public will take to 4th Impact though do we? All we know at this stage is that the producers are pushing them. Big difference. TPTB will change strategy depending on how the vote goes. To me this gives Alien a chance, albeit an outside one.

          • Jessica Hamby

            There are lots of possibilities at the moment.

            If they take Seann, Che and Mason as the boys and leave Max out of the overs then the traditional winner type is just not there but you still have a great line-up. Mason will probably go early because the audience don’t like him or suspect his return was a preplanned stitch up.

            Can FI be deramped below Alien? I would say yes, they can.

            Of course it’s a risk. That’s why they’re at those odds. But I am not a professional gambler and I’m not dependent on this for my income. I’m a punter, having a laugh and giving myself a bit of extra interest in the competition.

            I think this will be different from the last couple of years. 2013 particularly was a weird competition after James Arthur made such an idiot of himself on Twitter and it’s almost as if it has taken a couple of years for the franchise to recover. I wonder if maybe the audience might be ready to *ahem* bring sexy back. Let’s face it, whatever the truth of the stories about FI they know how to do sexy when they’re on stage.

          • Jessica Hamby

            In fact thinking about it there are sound strategic reasons for putting Mason in the lives. He’ll go out first show but in terms of the audience he wants to sell to that is probably a good thing. He gets publicity but he’s too credible for the X Factor. The audience get the satisfaction of ejecting him and asserting their sense of control over the show. There are no Cardles. Tptb have perfect fodder for show one. Win-win.

            All speculation, obviously, but possible. He’s got something and would be worth his place.

      • Alan

        At 39s they are a decent back to lay proposition though. I think TPTB will give them a fair chance and won’t target them early on. If they do well in those early votes I think they will get producer support They are miles more commercial than most. I don’t think they will win and I think TPTB will be able to manage them out as soon as it suits them. I just think their odds will have dropped a fair bit before that happens giving you the chance to lay it off and get a free hit on them.

  • Lia

    I am having trouble figuring out why ALL groups suddenly changed names. Surely BEKLN wouldn’t have copyright issues… What’s the master plan???

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s a mystery to me too Lia. As soon as I read Bekln Mile I thought of Eminem and 8 Mile.

    • Stu

      Maybe only 4th Power (and possibly Alien) had to change their names due to legal reasons and from TPTB’s point of view a group changing their name is a disadvantage since the audience may have to “re-familiarise” themselves with the changed-name group again? So the producers decided to make all of the groups change their names in order to put them all in the same boat. That’s the only reason I can think of.

    • Henry VIII

      “Legal reasons” in the past = another group has that name. “Legal reasons” that all groups have to change = SyCo have discovered that they get greater ownership if they get to name the group. Probably.

      • Jessica Hamby

        That sounds dubious to me H. Unless Syco have ownership of those names AND the groups sign new contracts giving Syco additional rights in exchange for use of those names I don’t think it would give Syco any extra rights. Also if there was any doubt about the groups being given independent legal advice it would be contestable in court and I would expect Syco to get a right spanking from a judge. That is a potential legal nightmare and reputational damage would be huge regardless of outcome.

        Think of it like this:

        We told you to change your name and now that you’ve done what we wanted we’re going to charge you for it.

        How do you think that would play out?

        • Jessica Hamby

          And what about the acts that don’t make it to the live shows? Does Syco retain rights over them even though they don’t provide management or support? If so, why? If not, why should groups that do go to live shows give extra rights? If a group reverts to its original name is it entitled to compensation for losses?

          I don’t think that’s a place anyone would want to go.

        • Jessica Hamby

          *has ownership*

  • Alan

    The odds I least agree with are Kiera’s. I just don’t get who she’ll appeal to. Nice vocals but nothing special. No distinctive image. No interesting back story. Yet as low as 7-1 to be overall winner with some bookies. If she does get to lives (which I think is debatable) I think she’s in danger of going out in the first few weeks.

    Pimp slot in the 2nd week of shows is the only thing in her favour.

    • Henry VIII

      Another Alexandra Burke maybe?

      It was actually pimp slot in the third week and 6th episode.

      When Cowell said after her 6CC something like “I thought I knew how this was going to play out and this changes everything” I think it was a genuine reaction ie she wasn’t originally destined for the Lives, but now who knows.

      • Stu

        I definitely think Kiera is a dark horse and in my opinion has more of a direction musically than Louisa has. I predict that Louisa will struggle in the live shows and will expose herself as a one trick pony – then Kiera will steal her Alpha Girl status.

        • 360

          Has a pre-live shows frontrunner ever gone on to win the whole thing, though? Its a reason I would hesitate to throw money at 4th I/P and Louisa; we’ve seen very little of them so far and the show has a strong history of u-turning on contestants.

          Two early favourites that I remember from the ‘glory days’ were that Rachel Hylton, the older Rachel, and Danyl Johnson. Both were built up throughout auditions, bootcamp and judges’ houses as The Next Big Thing, only to crash and burn – for various reasons – once they hit the live shows.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Shayne Ward, but that was season 2, an eon ago in x factor years. Having said that, no Overs had won until 2013 and now we’ve had two in a row. Past performance is useful as a guide but it’s not inevitable.

          • Henry VIII

            Actually Overs record is second only to Boys. Even better if you realise that Cardle would normally have been an Over.

      • Alan

        Its early days for Kiera admittedly but I cant see her being as versatile as Alexandra Burke. AB was able to pull off contemporary RnB and appeal to a younger crowd as well as belting out classic Whitney and appealing to the older crowd too. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a good price on her for an early elimination as I seem to be the only one who doesn’t really rate her chances.

        • Jessica Hamby

          It’s all speculation right now. When we see the live shows things will come into clearer focus. Some judges comments are genuine, some are to set up drama for later, some are to fill space.

          As John Maynard Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind.”

          We’ll get a better idea then.

  • Fudd

    In terms of Simon having an act in the final they could easily have a four act final this year. That would also cut down the number of doubles they need to get back on track from three to two. That way an Over could make the final without being a threat.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think putting Jenny or Anton in the final would be a threat unless they had already been deramped. Both of them are really good singers.

      • Henry VIII

        They’ve gone for quality singers this year rather than character matching to a tedious film script. Talk of “resting” XF because of viewer decline.

        So changes. Maybe another change will be that they don’t bother de-ramping.

        • Stu

          But couldn’t you argue that the drop in ratings is partially down to the dull and uninspired “cast” of the previous three years. The 2011 series was hindered for many reasons (Sofabet have gone into great detail about that so I needn’t bother) but the cast was diverse, exciting and entertaining – and most of the live finalists were able to consistently deliver solid performances. 2012 had an incredibly weak and dull cast mainly because the producers wanted to be credible and cool. Also, “John Lewising” every song makes the series boring and predictable. A final of James, Jahmene and Christopher Maloney was an incredibly poor climax to a series, especially compared to the previous year’s Little Mix/Marcus/Amelia up-tempo fest. Surely Saturday night viewers want to have Saturday night *entertainment*. Singing ballad after ballad won’t entertain. Having a Sam Bailey/Nic McDonald/Luke final won’t entertain. In my opinion, Fleur saved a dull series last year. The voters may opt for the balladeers but the casual viewers who watch for fun and make up a larger amount of the total viewers want to be entertained. That’s why I think pushing the same old powerhouses singing Whitney and a Dreamgirls soundtrack is dangerous for the show. A lot of viewers probably don’t want the same old joke acts but I’m sure a lot of them don’t want the same old Whitney tributes. They surely want interesting acts that make a Saturday night feel good rather than depressing and predictable?

        • Jessica Hamby

          I find it hard to believe there will be no deramping. It’s possible. My objection as a punter is that it’s not useful to believe that the producers are neutral. It is easier to make a betting decision on the basis that the producers have preferences and it is possible to determine those prefefences. That is not to discount public opinion. It is in the hope of finding an edge.

          • Jessica Hamby

            To put it another way:

            If there is no deramping then x factor betting is not much different from buying a lottery ticket.

          • Henry VIII

            The cast is crucial and having had poor singers and giving them poor productions for so many years it’s probably too late to save.

            When I said “maybe no more de-ramping” it was probably naive – but I was thinking of the giving people bad productions on purpose – I wouldn’t be surprised if they stop doing that now, with declining viewers (and no more Brian Freidman). There’ll still be the bitchy judges’ comments, because that’s Cowell.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Do you ever watch the american shows? Do they ever do things like laser eyes or kitchen sinkings like Storm Lee in the US?

          • David Cook

            Well it wouldn’t be a lottery as that would imply that everyone has an equal chance, when quite clearly they don’t. It’s not a level playing field to start with. Take out the ramping / deramping and you would just be left trying to spot this years Ben Haenow / Matt Cardle .

          • Jessica Hamby

            I meant a lottery for us David. Everyone would have an equal chance of spotting the winner. Surely the point of this site is that we think there is an edge to be found by interpreting producer intentions (along with other things).

            Also I did say “not much different”. 😉

          • Jessica Hamby

            Also also, although we’re all trying to identify the winner at the moment, a lot of opportunities come from trying to spot the next eliminee. That is where deramping, whether in VT, production or comments, is a really useful concept.

          • Henry VIII

            It’s not just Ben Haenow / Matt Cardle types that can do well without ramping. The public can take to those such as Sam Bailey or Leona Lewis.

            It would actually be better for everyone if it was a fair contest because it would keep its audience. Eurovision does fine with much less meddling.

          • David Cook

            If the live shows themselves are run as a fair contest, then the ‘casting’ really does become key. To an extent this may be what they’re doing if they put Mason through together with Seann and Che. That would seem to give Louisa or 4th Impact a better chance as there is no ‘Cardle’. That’s not ruling out Che but clearly he’s going to have to earn votes through performances rather than hoovering them up just because he’s an attractive male.

  • Martin

    Has there been any word on App voting this year? Did anybody ever come to any conclusions about its effect on voting last year?

    • Tim B

      App voting will be back for sure. They can’t really introduce free voting and make people go back to paying for it again. Also they brought it in for this year’s series of Britain’s Got Talent, so it seems like it’s here to stay.

  • Phil

    Not sure if it’s already been confirmed as happening, but the online Radio Times listing for the first live show on the 31st confirms that there will be a “fifth special guest judge”.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Oh God. Are they going to exhume Louis?

    • I think there has been talk of a fifth, impartial judge but more in the vein of a “musical legend” and people like Tom Jones and Dolly Parton have been mentioned. I’m sure we’ll see Louis back, at some point. It is almost them admitting they got the judging line up wrong, the oldies are complaining and the youngens aren’t watching so this will have to do until next year. (If it turns out to be true).

      • Jessica Hamby

        I like Louis in a sort of “got used to him” way but he represents all the things that make people want to switch off. He exemplifies the worst of the x factor with his cliches and his obviously scripted judge comments. Pickle him and put him on the table in a jar but don’t let him speak ffs.

        • Alan

          Haha! But Louis’ comments make it easier for us as punters surely. As long as I don’t have to put up with Robbie Williams Im happy whoever it is. Pathetic to add a 5th judge at this stage in my opinion. Have the courage of your convictions for God Sake Cowell instead of trying to second guess what the public wants.

          I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with the judging panel or the show. It’s always been lowest common denominator garbage and still is. People have just got tired of the format which after so many years is completely understandable.

  • Tim B

    The Girls are on Sunday, according to Havva’s twitta. So I take it that means the other three categories will be shown on Saturday? I jest. I would guess Boys on Saturday though…

  • justonehello

    “Let’s face it, whatever the truth of the stories
    about FI they know how to do sexy when they’re on stage.”
    Jessica Hamby

    • Jessica Hamby

      Well they’ve kept that under wraps. I wonder who would win in an Alien v FI twerk off. I think I’d back FI.

      • Martin

        That’s quite a spectacle. The thing is, whilst Alien have a consistent image and sound, they come across a bit Primark whilst FI seem like they’re in a league of their own. Rather than that coming across as sexy, it looks professional – they do it on stage and leave it there. If Alien did it, I’d imagine it looking a bit cheap (much like their slut dropping, and a member that does the splits for no apparent reason during each performance).

        That said, I always love something that’s a bit naff and Alien do have a certain charm.

  • Alan

    I’ve got to say that I don’t find FI sexy at all.

    • Martin

      No, they’re almost asexual which is so strange for a girlband. I think it’s the family link and because they’re all so small?!

      I’ve watched the show with various people, my mum, brothers girlfriend and two close female friends all reacted in a similar “awww, they’re so cute” way.

  • Linda

    Didn’t like 4th Impact there at all but Alien were stunning. So professional. Don’t like new JH format at all – flaccid after all the arena performances before.

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