X Factor 2015 Week 1 Post Mortem: Alien-Nated

“TWO ACTS WILL LEAVE”, boomed the hastily-reinstated Peter Dickson at the start of Sunday’s results show, sending the elimination markets into a tailspin. Given that no announcement had been made at the end of Saturday’s show, it was only natural to presume that producers were keeping an eye on the votes and felt confident by 8pm that a disposable act would finish bottom and at least one disposable act would finish in the two above.

week-01-sunday-main

Bupsi immediately went odds-on in the Betfair first elimination market, as punters rightly concluded that she was the most likely of last night’s three seeming targets to be propping up the field. Annoyingly for punters, although some may have retrospectively felt relieved, the double elimination caught Betfair napping and no market was put up for the singoff between Alien Uncovered and Kiera Weathers. A handful of bookies priced up, with Kiera at odds ranging from 1.14 to 1.2.

It was a shambolic singoff. Ignoring the usual etiquette that Dermot was a stickler for, Rita said she was saving Kiera (whom she mentors) rather than sending home Alien – which Olly and Caroline let ride. Then Simon decided to send home “Alien Nation”, whoever they are.

The rationale may partly be that Alien Uncovered did badly enough in the public vote that producers decided launching them commercially was a lost cause; and partly that with ratings for the Saturday show hitting an embarrassing low and ever more attention focused on the show’s manipulations, Simon decided he didn’t need the headlines that would have followed an elimination of the clearly superior singer. It looked like an attempt to restore a modicum of viewers’ faith in the process – although commenter Rose floated an interesting theory that Grimmy might have forced Simon’s hand by going off-script in saving Kiera.

As for who might have won the first week phone vote, of course we’ll have to wait till the end of the series to find that out. But this article in The Sun suggests to us that Anton might have done rather better relative to Louisa than producers had been hoping.

Your reactions to the first results show? Do keep the conversation going below.

106 comments to X Factor 2015 Week 1 Post Mortem: Alien-Nated

  • Jack

    Well that sing-off result shocked me. Think perhaps that Alien was an obvious B2 missed simply because it was the first week but thought they’d definitely be saved v Kiera. Next week will be very interesting but I’ll expect to see Mason there and probably a single elimination so producers can gently eliminate Kiera in a double in Week 3. However not sure of anything atm.

  • Piresistable

    I find it hard to believe Grimshaw would have gone off message on his first sing off. I reckon Simon knew that Alien Uncovered were terrible and that there was no coming back from that.

  • Lia

    Still shocked that they did that textbook nuking on Kiera to end up saving her. Even Kiera looked shocked at being saved!
    I’m guessing Anton topped the vote so the knives are out. Simon will be in a bad shape as a mentor as they clearly don’t want Max. Funny!
    Best part of today’s show: Anton headbutting Simon. Hilarious!!!!

  • eurovicious discombobulated

    Kiera’s face was a picture and Simon made it clear that he’d prefer Alien to stay over her but was saving her because she was better in the singoff. The criticism she had last night was totally unfair given that she is in fact a much better singer than Fleur, who she was negatively compared to and who was pimped all the way to the final.

  • 360

    Kiera down to be this year’s Abi Alton then? I’m already intrigued to see the voting results with Alien out so early.

    I take it there’s no possibility a relation of Simon’s is a bookie? Weren’t Alien recently up in the odds to win, top half of the group at least? That’s a big difference from first night exit.

    I wonder who else was meant to poll lower (or higher!) than they did. I reckon they underestimated the impact week 1 being Halloween would have on losing certain segments of the vote due to people having parties and nights out.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Max surviving is interesting. A lot of people have said that as the only wgwg he should get to the latter stages. I have doubted it but now I wonder…. Is he this years real dark horse?

    • Curtis

      The knives couldn’t have been out for him anymore last night, what with awful slot in the running order, awful song choice, and lukewarm comments. Yet he’s still standing. He obviously has some dedicated support from somewhere.

      • eurovicious

        Not much, I’d bet. When you can survive to the following week by coming 10th or 11th out of 13 in a show watched by 5.4 million people, you don’t need that many votes. I’m looking forward to him performing ABBA’s “Tropical Loveland” in the style of Adele next week.

      • Sagand

        In fairness, I think the styling looked all right. The stage was warm oranges and he looked fairly smart. Instruments on stage is a positive. If you were watching with the sound off you might have thought it was good.

        • AnnaC

          My son switched on the Sunday afternoon catch-up at the beginning of Max’s performance and said “They want him out, then”.

          • Martin

            To be fair, they could have given him winners staging with a golden curtain and a spotlight and it still would have been a horrific performance – I’m still amazed he survived. I can only assume he’s getting by because his voice is alright, and he’s still a bit of an underdog.

  • Ana

    I think yesterday’s staging was setting up Alien for the fail. So many backing dancers that they drowned among them. Too aggressively sexual song. And while not exactly colour vomit, enough things happening around them and behind them to make it difficult on the eyes. I think show has enough experience with top model looking girl bands hitting the bottom first round to recognize a losing battle and let them go.
    Producers were wise to baby down 4th Impact. That’s what helped Little Mix through. Desexualizing them and making them nonthreatening as possible. Also, even now Little Mix biggest fans are little girls. If you listen or watch any of their radio or tv appearances with fan interaction, girls calling are 3-7 years of age. Targeting that market right away with 4th Impact is very clever.

    • Desexualizing a group of teenaged girls is very different than dressing 20+ yo women as school girls. In fact, in some quarters, that makes them seem more sexualized.

      • Ana

        Well yes, but preteen girls won’t get that. They’ll see bows and party dresses on women that can be perceived young girls. It will appeal to the targeted demographic. They are hardly targeting adult males. Morally it may be questionable, but from marketing point it makes sense.

        • 360

          I’m with you on that, Ana.

          Sure, in some quarters it might make them appear more sexualised. But out of 5.4 million British people watching a Saturday night primetime TV show, how many are gonna come away with that impression? Most people who take that impression are gonna be in the age category to be out doing other things, I would imagine.

  • Sagand

    It seems fairly plausible that Nick would have more loyalty to his friend than a clearly dying show. But Alien aren’t really that big of a loss, if there is going to be several doubles they weren’t going to stay very long. It might just be it takes the production team less time and cost to put on a Kiera performance than Alien.

  • EM

    I must admit to having a small value bet on Alien Autopsy or whatever they’re called going bottom two without even seeing most of the show.

    Groups often find it hard to get traction at the start and their running order position wasn’t the best.

    I also imagine logistically and production-wise it’s easier to lose a group early on – whoever is bottom two with them isn’t going to be hanging around much longer either so no need to be too tactical about it in week one.

  • Tim B

    Monica was the last act called safe tonight. Will they be targeting her to go next week in a double elimination? If Kiera is treated slightly better next week, she could easily bounce and they then would have to point their knives elsewhere…

  • Plinkiplonk

    To me, this looked like a goal half achieved for TPTB. Bupsi was clearly on the list, but I would agree with the earlier analysis that either Max or Kiera were emant to join her. So why not get rid of Kiera ? Well, AU’s sing off was a total shambles, so to save them outright would have been quite a travesty. To take it to deadlock Simon would have needed to save them, and as he surely knows the outcome of the vote maybe he knew they polled below Kiera. Or it really was Nick going off script – this show is such a shambles now, nothing would surprise me…

  • Caro

    Re The Sun story – Popbitch said this week that if Anton proved too popular there was plenty of ammo to take him out.
    If you’re not familiar with Popbitch, they do regular small items on X Factor in their newsletter that seem fairly reliable.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I don’t think Nick went off script. I think Keira came 3rd from bottom in the vote and once they heard the sing-off they knew they couldn’t save Alien. Simon was pissed off because he couldn’t get the result he wanted.

    • Alan

      Agreed. I think TPTB gave Alien a fair crack but were happy to cut them loose after finishing in the bottom 3. Kiera had the haunted look of a dead girl walking and one that realises she has been royally stitched up. They can take her down any time so saving her was no big deal. I dont think there’s any chance Nick went rogue. He looks to me like he’s being stifled and scared stiff of saying the wrong thing. His personality has been completely smothered on the show so far.

      • Ana

        I agree – Nick is barely recognizable in any of his interactions on stage. He’s absolutely sticking to the script. More than strictly necessary I’d say. You only see his actaul personality in bts videos on xtra factor.
        I really really doubt he’d go rouge. He’s on thin ice as it is. Simon didn’t count on him being that poor of an actor. Anyone who listens to Breakfast Show will know that the way he talks on the panel is nothing like him.

    • Phil

      I also don’t think Nick went off-script. In fact, I’d say he stuck to it against his wishes. Alien have tonnes more potential than Kiera and wouldn’t sound out of place on his radio show. Nick saving Kiera just seemed odd.

      Also just a general point – I find talk about “knives being out” and setting people up for a nuking etc a little bit OTT. If they didn’t want people like Max or Kiera to be there, they wouldn’t have been put through in the first place. There’s not been some uncontrollable invasion into the live shows – they have chosen all of the contestants.

      • Jessica Hamby

        It’s by far the most likely and reasonable explanation.

        It was nigh on impossible to understand Alien’s lyrics or to hear the singing clearly yesterday and while it was energetic and fun it was also a bit of a mess. They wouldn’t have won over (m)any new fans with that performance.

        • Linda

          Whilst I don’t think Nick went impromptu “off script”, I believe he made it clear to Simon off-camera that he’d save Kiera if she was bottom two or three. I occasionally read his twitter feed and in weeks gone by has come across as very supportive of her in a casual and private way. I suspect he wasn’t entirely comfortable with Saturday’s nuking. This supports the theory that Alien were second from the bottom. Cowell anticipated being able to save them but Kiera outshone them in the vocal. I like Alien, thought they were brilliant at Judges Houses and am sorry to see them go.

          • Alan

            He wouldn’t have taken the job without knowing what the deal was. I’m sure he ws fully on message. Cowell did most of the dirty work this weekend to be fair. I’m surprised they dont make the newbies do the dirty work as an initiation. Like Barlow having to pretend Frankie Cocoza was talented.

      • fused

        That’s the thing, perhaps we’re all going too far the rabbit hole with conspiracy theories on here etc, but I am a bit baffled by how many contestants, who have all been chosen to be part in the live shows, were given staging and song choices which looked more designed to be unhelpful and to deramp than to be entertaining. It seems really counterproductive. I know the way the show works means some have to be voted off each week, and this year they’re going to have to do a lot of mass eliminations, but I’m sure if they wanted to they could have found better ways to show Lauren, Max and Kiera’s talents than they did, and better uses of contestants like Mason Noise and Bupsi.

    • David Cook

      Maybe they just got punished for changing the song. It looked like a good choice for them as an act but it was always going to be a hard sell to the XF audience.
      Taken at face value the format of the sing off favours the better singers over the better performers – Keira was always likely to sing better than the other acts at the bottom – she’s not a bad singer. I would agree that the difference tonight was so big it would have looked ridiculous to save Alien – so why bother.

      • Jessica Hamby

        On reflection they might have been better with something from Girls Aloud. Something Kinda Oooh or Biology would have let them be plenty sexy but isn’t quite as in yer face as Do It Like A Dude.

  • Stu

    That Anton article completely shocked me!!

    • Jessica Hamby

      I thought it was very interesting.

      There’s definitely something going on there but it may be that Anton had ghastly parents and had a saving relationship with an adult or adults who he regards as surrogate parents. Obviously we will never know but he shows classic signs of someone who experienced childhood emotional neglect – drug problems, uncertainty over identity and changing his name, extreme emotional responses, coming into his own in his forties, all these are classic signs of a childhood of emotional neglect and / or narcissistic parents.

      There’s a lot of relatively recent research (and loads of material on the www) about it that suggests that not being nurtured appropriately and having one’s needs for love and stability ingnored in childhood leads to the same symotoms as post-traumatic stress disorder.

      Obviously we have no idea of the facts but I can’t help thinking that if I had an estranged and troubled child and saw him making something of himself and if I loved him then when the press came a-calling I would simply tell them that I was proud of my son and I was glad he was doing something he loved and was happy. Anything else would receive a “no comment”. I certainly wouldn’t call him a liar, even if he was.

      • eurovicious

        While I always come from a position of trust and empathy, I’d add that in my professional and personal life I’ve come across personality-disordered people (women and gay men) who have fabricated all kinds of stuff and lied to those around them and totally gotten away with it, often causing massive harm to others in the process. Some disturbed people do do this – Rachel Dolezal and Johann Hari being well-known examples, or the “gay girl in Damascus” Syrian blogger who turned out to be a bloke in Scotland – and it’s something that is under-discussed and often simply isn’t on people’s radars until the person is outed as a fabricator. The Sun article suggests to me that Anton is another of these cases. Of course, this kind of factitious behavior is a mental illness in its own right (whether Munchausen by Internet https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_by_Internet, a personality disorder or something else), but it still has to be confronted, and the destructive lies that ill people like this spread cannot go unchallenged yet too often do.

        Great piehole though.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Fair point. I hadn’t heard of Munchausen by internet but the australian Belle Gibson who faked cancer fits that. The piano player from The Communards faked HIV infection too.

          Disordered? Definitely. I was thinking more about why. The brain development of a neglected child is different from one who is loved and the coping strategies such a child learns perpetuate long after the situation that required them has gone. My understanding is that even the most neutral situations can cause a flashback because anxiety and fear is an almost constant state, a perpetual emotional background noise.

          But yes, undoubtedly such people can be very destructive and rationalise the destruction they cause. Perhaps Anton’s past will come back to haunt him.

          The good news is that the brain is plastic enough to develop beyond PTSD and learn new responses and behaviours. The bad news is that it’s bloody hard work and the suffering individual is often reluctant to try. Plus, once they have established a life based on deceit it can be very hard to undo even if they want to.

          Can’t help feeling for him regardless. He seems like a troubled and probably lonely man.

    • Tim B

      I was waiting for a good enough reason to mega-lay Anton in the outright. Started laying as soon as I found the article. He won’t be allowed to win.

  • Chris

    A slight aside, but interesting to note how the show presented Ben Haenow after he had seemingly been badmouthing it.

    Concentric rectangles on a pitch black set with a distant camera position .. what a way to make someone look all of 3 feet tall! I won’t be surprised to see that effect deployed again this series.

    • stoney

      Having just read that article I think it’s blatant that kitty is a regular visitor to this site. It could even be that she posts on here under an alias.

    • annie

      Hmmm-.
      I remember Kitty outed herself on DS forum back in the day. She was into these kinds of websites.., I wouldnt be surprised if she was actively reading us as we ` speak´.

    • fused

      Kitty has turned up on a lot of X Factor online discussions. I’m sure I saw her comment on The Fix Factor Facebook page a couple of times.

      The Loverush UK! remix of Tiltin’s ‘I Wanna Get Out’, which Kitty sang the vocals on, is one of my all time favourite songs released by a former X Factor contestant. So Kitty, if you’re reading, for what it’s worth I played that song a LOT on my iPod.

  • Martin

    I do always wonder if contestants have an awareness of these things. Hi Kitty!

    Dipped my toe in the betting yesterday for the first time. Put a bit on Max, but just about managed to even myself out with Bupsi. Wasn’t live though as I was out so I’ll be a bit more sensible next week I think.

    Nothing much to add with everything thats going on this week. Will be interested to see if they let Keira bounce or cut it like they did with Steph Nala last year.

  • Hi Kitty! 😉

    A very interesting insight that could have been ghost written by Dan or Andrew.

    This Anton business is very interesting. When, if at all, will the bus come his way?

    • stoney

      I suspect he topped the vote on Saturday and the stories are being leaked nice and early to make sure his vote doesn’t get carried away

      • Alan

        If Anton topped the vote and the story was a deramp why were Little Mix allowed to say they love him? Far fetched I know but maybe the story was actual real journalism rather than fed to them.

        • stoney

          I know clifford is banged up now but im still pretty sure that cowell will have a big say in what stories do and don’t make the papers.

          • EM

            Yep – even if it was proper journalism they’ll have put it to the show – if the X Factor didn’t want it run they’d offer them another “exclusive” story in return for not running it.

        • Panos

          awwwww, bless 🙂

        • It’s all part of the act. 😉 Cowell has managed to get entire print runs of The Sun pulped because of a story he didn’t want run. If it’s in The Sun, Cowell has let it be there.

          Note Kitty’s use of the word “nuked” too in the context of “betting jargon”. I’d love to see her write a guest article.

  • Great show – interesting how it will play out. Mason has his week ?

  • Curtis

    I think producers will go with the grain of Kiera’s bounce next week. Now they’ve saved her it feels like she needs a redemption story. It won’t be a particularly long story, it’ll start with a decent late-show performance next week and end with That’s Life from the graveyard slot in week 3 I think!

    • eurovicious

      I’d be inclined to agree with this. They have to be seen as giving her a fair crack of the whip. Personally I was surprised she was so low down in the phone vote as her performance was actually fine.

  • David Cook

    At the moment 4th Impact have four times as many views on youtube as Louisa who is second. Based on week 1 live show performances the numbers are 1,380k against 370k. On judges house the numbers are 4,000k against 970k. I think it’s reasonable to assume that a lot of these views are not from Britain. The app isn’t blocking voting from abroad – so is there really only one act in the competition?
    Last year we were told a couple of times that over 2 million votes had been cast – so probably equating to 400k to 500k active voters. It wouldn’t take that much to tip the balance firmly in favour of Fourth Impact.

    • Chris

      If a flood of international votes are distorting the outcome in a way the producers don’t care for, they can spring a flash vote on a Saturday show. Presumably most of the international voters aren’t watching live.

    • stoney

      I must admit I’m a little concerned about the overseas support for 4th impact. There lead in the telemix poll is huge over the rest of the field. If indeed the whole of the Asia are able to vote for them via the app then they are likely to win and the odds of 8/1 are way to big

    • eurovicious

      Wait, the app lets you vote from abroad? Surely that’s a huge oversight???

      • stoney

        Not at all im taking it very seriously. Can anyone actually confirm this is true though. I mean through personally voting from abroad, not from hearsay

        • Boki

          I will try it on Saturday but:
          – if it works this weekend there is no guarantee since they could prevent it in the future at the suitable moment for them
          – there is even no guarantee that the vote passed through, app could say ‘vote success’ but they can just ignore it based on my ip address
          So I’m not taking it so seriously…unless they become TCO.

        • I voted from Portugal using the app.

      • The problem isn’t with the app itself. Once you install the app, you should be able to vote regardless of where you and your mobile device are physically located.

        The issue is with getting the app in the first place. It’s supposed to be restricted to the UK App Store. However, people from other places have realized that there are ways to get around that hurdle and download the app anyway.

  • Anglia Chu

    I’m guessing the votes ended up like this

    1st
    Anton
    Monica, Louisa, Che
    4th Impact, SMM
    Lauren, Mason, R&B
    Max
    Kiera
    Alien Uncovered
    Bupsi

    • Martin

      I think Anton and Che will have run away with it this weekend, with Monica, Louisa, Fourth Power and Seann trailing behind. I’ll be watching Che’s treatment this weekend.

      Although saying that, if there is a vote occuring from overseas (and it stays that way) Fourth Impact might as well already be crowned the winners.

      • Che doesn’t feel generic enough to win a large amount of votes (and I don’t think his demographic will appreciate him sharing a name with a nasty “revolutionary”), compared to say, Screechy Jahmene.

        • Martin

          It’s early days I know, but I thought his was a standout performance. He looked the most comfortable on stage, vocally he was the best, and he seemed warm and friendly during his VT and comments wheras in the past he’s come across a bit awkward and unsociable. I think Che is more of an Andrea to be honest, in that he will have polled well and have to slowly and surely be taken down. Although with the amount of subtle on display last weekend, I imagine we’ll see Che with bleached hair, no glasses, wearing a catsuit singing “Smack My Bitch Up” before long.

          I’m not sure about the generic thing – in one sense he isn’t, he’s unusual looking and a bit quirky but so was Jahmene, personality at least. His voice is insane though – people still vote for that.

  • Plinkiplonk

    IF (big if) 4rth Impact are running away with the vote due to international app voters, then TPTB better make sure they do a hell of a selling job on them. If the UK has a clear favourite and it then transpires that they lost out due to SE Asia voters, Simon will have a lot of explaining to do… Then again, they were clearly invited and fast-tracked to the lives, so maybe they are Plan A to be launched from the show, so the ‘loophole’ in the app may have been intentional.

    Re: Anton, when I saw the front page of the Sun, I thought ‘ok, the knifes are out’. Also with Simon’s repeated mention of the ‘headbutt’, when Anton clearly was going for a kiss…

    • Alan

      Think you are ovrr-thinking it to be honest. There’s no way 4I are plan a over Louisa. Also Simon was clearly laughing about the headbutt rather than attempting to nobble Anyon.

    • Alan

      Think you are over-thinking it to be honest. There’s no way 4I are plan a over Louisa. Also Simon was clearly laughing about the headbutt rather than attempting to nobble Anyon.

  • Boki

    http://news.ladbrokes.com/x-factor/voting-loophole-good-news-for-prospects-of-4th-impact-x-factor-win.html
    If they publish an article like this you know it’s rubbish, if there was a loophole tptb will surely close it. Besides shouldn’t SMM also benefit from the Australian vote?

    • FWIW those loopholes could be legit. American Idol had an influx of Filipino votes to push Jessica Sanchez to 2nd place (at least accdg to Vote for the Worst). Since voting is free, I’ve actually tried voting in AI once (through Skype) and I think it went through.

  • First of excellent articles and comments… looking forward to another year, although saying that I think Louisa trains it.

    I backed Louisa, Kiera and Seann Saturday morning/afternoon and the only regret with that is the backing of Kiera and Seann.

    Other than my twitter ramblings, this is the first thing I’ve written down properly this year and this is why Louisa will win this show and should currently be an odds-on shot, in my opinion.

    1st Audition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KEQ7q-32R0 – Pretty standard audition for an alpha contestant. Pimps slot, Simon looking down dis-interested then looks up in shock and awe. Four judge standing ovation and the “you are the one to beat” “superstar” “stunning” comments.

    At this point I didn’t back her, because she was a white girl from Essex and we all know they don’t win the show. I think my X Factor betting head made her not likable to me.

    Bootcamp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcjWXaeKSSo – This is the first time we hear “I Love Louisa Johnson”, she was in a good group of singers, including 4th Impact, yet she was the one they picked out.

    At this point I knew I would never have her a s red in my book.

    Six Chair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFk082_8Vbw – This was the clinchers for me. Watching it back, she told us that we were going to love her, over and over again.

    By this point I’d gone from thinking that she was blonde bimbo Essex type, to an excellent singer and just a decent down to Earth girl.

    Week 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK461zFa5kU – They bring down her main competitor , Kiera, and like last year with Andrea they must think they have her vote under control, so I wouldn’t be too confident in backing her to go in week 3.

    Back to Louisa, and it was the starry background, a beam of light, standing ovations and the “birth of a star” comment. Usually none of that is enough to make me want to back a (white) girl to win the show, but this year there’s no alternative. Louisa is Plan A, B & C.

    I pointed out last year that if you were 3 peoples 2nd favourite act, then you’d pick up more votes, for example;

    Person A: 3 votes Louisa, 2 Votes Anton
    Person B: 3 Votes Anton, 2 Votes Louisa
    Person C: 3 Votes Mason, 2 Votes Louisa

    Final result
    Louisa 7 votes
    Anton 5 votes
    Mason 3 votes

    That’s very simplistic, but last year nobody was really saying that Ben was their favourite act, but he was always mentioned as someone they liked… the result, he picked up almost all the vote transfer and won the show at a canter.

    I see something similar this year and I think the producers saw that from the vote patterns last year, so this time around they’ve got rid of a male act who could potentially hoover up votes (Josh). In my head the only one who can get near her will be Anton, but he doesn’t have a broader appeal and like I said above I don’t think he’s going to pick up 5 votes from every single MEM.

  • Seductive Barry

    “Why we can’t bear to watch the X Factor” The sun has published a demolition job about the current series of X Factor today. Has Cowell lost his hold? If so was the Anton story really planted by Syco? http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/6723223/Simon-Cowells-X-Factor-onder-serious-presasure.html

  • Stu

    I really do think Monica will be this year’s dark horse. She received some of the “Melanie Amaro” treatment with her rejection-to-redemption. Obviously that’s not my only reason for thinking she’ll do well this year though. She’s got the mother of all sob stories, she writes her own music (good and cheap for Syco), has a big personality, has an Adele quality to her and who’s the biggest artist of this year/decade? Adele. 😉

  • EM

    Apropos votes from abroad on the app – they don’t officially count – see the terms and conditions

    “The Promoter is not responsible for any vote services promoted outside the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man or for any unofficial voting methods as these are not within the Promoter’s control. Votes must not be sent in through agents or on behalf of another person, and viewers cannot submit votes as an agent of any other person. The Promoter and the Programme producers reserve the right to discount votes if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have been made from outside the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland, from unofficial third party voting services or otherwise in breach of any applicable terms and conditions.”

    The only questions would be are they able to identify app votes from outside the UK/Ireland?

    • Curtis

      And would they want to? Just because they reserve the right to do it doesn’t mean they will – especially if those international votes happen to largely go to a favoured act.

    • Martin

      Thanks for the info. To me, that reads as if they can choose to discount abroad votes if they want to, or they can allow them if they want to.

      Just floating an idea here and until Boki does very kindly test it out this weekend, judgement could be reserved but could this not be kept open and aside until the time is right for them to close the international gate? Clearly, this puts them at a massive advantage and they are likely to top the vote with this is place. All it would take is for TPTB to leak a story about such an advantage on a bigger scale to one of the papers, maybe wheel out a contestant who was outrageously eliminated this series to do a woe-is-me interview, and then magically manage to fix the App in time for that weeks public vote. This is on the assumption that they can manage 4th Impact’s vote in the UK, and that they can see where these votes are cast from.

      The question to me is that they had an international contestant last year – Andrea. If this was a “happy accident” surely, someone from Italy would have piped up? In its first year, the likelihood of an error with the app would be greater last year.

      Or as those terms and conditions suggest, you can vote but they just aren’t counted. I’d hold off betting on 4th Impact as technical issues can be repaired just as quickly as they appear.

      • David Cook

        There was a thread on DSF which had a couple of links to facebook pages where people were showing voting from abroad. One appeared to be in Saudi Arabia and the other in New Zealand. The app showed that the vote had been accepted – but as Boki pointed out if they are tracking the IP addresses they might still discount them. But at the moment we don’t know.

    • David Cook

      Perhaps I should read the terms and conditions more carefully. How many people know they actually have up to 30 votes – as long as they have 6 devices to vote on.
      All of this seems to be a typical XF cock up.
      I’m sure someone can tell me that there’s an easy way around it but in principal voting on The Voice is linked to your BBC iD account which you need to register – then just get your 4 votes per account no matter which device you use. This seems much fairer.

      • EM

        I spotted that too – also spotted they broke their own rules this weekend:

        Each week, at the discretion of ITV or the producers:

        · the act(s) with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated from the competition, with the next two (2) or more acts with the lowest number of votes going into a sing-off and/or to face the judges; or

        · the act(s) with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated from the competition; or

        · the two (2) or more acts with the lowest number of votes will sing-off and/or face the judges; or

        · any other combination of eliminations based on the public vote, a sing-off and/or the judges’ decision will apply.

        In each case, the elimination format, and any specific terms relating to that week’s elimination, will be announced in the applicable on-air interaction information before voting opens.

        The elimination format this week wasn’t announced until voting was almost closed!

  • Plinkiplonk

    “· any other combination of eliminations based on the public vote, a sing-off and/or the judges’ decision will apply.”

    – so they can basically do whatever they want. They can save the one with the least votes and kick out the two acts above if they deem it necessary. They would obviously create a huge outcry, but the public seems to forget quickly, (see Lloyd, Cher) I was actually waiting for a 3 way singoff last weekend, but there was obviously no need with Bupsi coming last. But with so many double eliminations lined up, it’s a real possibility…

  • Boki

    Regarding the app I can confirm I could install it on my android tablet and register the device for voting successfully. So I presume I will be able to cast the votes on Saturday.
    I did it by using a VPN app to route the traffic via UK server (in other words X-factor app thinks I’m in the UK).
    Theoretically they can recognize that I’m using a VPN service and filter my votes out but I’m no expert in these matters…

  • Lia

    A lot of people use these tricks to watch UK i-players catch-up services, BBC and ITV included, that shouldn’t be available to residents of other countries, so I don’t see why the same thing wouldn’t work with the app.

  • Lia

    This is taken from mjsbigblog.com, an American blog. These instructions are posted there before all XFactor UK reviews:

    How to watch XFactor UK from outside the UK?

    You can watch X Factor live, online. ITV streams the show through the ITV Player. However, ITV blocks viewers from outside of the UK. To get around that, you need to use VPN connection. If Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is your preferred browser, install ZenMate or Hola extensions and set them to UK server. Then open the ITV Player and pick the right channel. The player will ask you for a ZIP code Find an active UK ZIP code HERE. Don’t let the browser send any information about your location. You can also try to find a working ITV stream on MyiPlayer.com, TVPC.com or FilmON.com.

    Easy peasy…

    • Boki

      It works and it’s not too difficult so that’s not the issue. The question that remains unanswered is: do they discard the votes coming from those tricks (as described in terms in conditions) or not?

    • David Cook

      Next daft question from a technophobe. If you can use a VPN to download the app can you not just do the same to cast the vote. That makes the vote look like it’s coming from the UK too? Is it likely that they’ll be using software to detect if a VPN is being used? If they were wouldn’t that tend to block access – in which case the vote wouldn’t be accepted – rather than just discount an accepted vote.

      • Boki

        Good question but we can only speculate. We have no idea what they do, but they can blacklist the VPN providers without problem.

        If they block app access for VPN users that would lead to complains because people from UK can use UK VPN service for anonymity and no one should forbid that.

        If they discount votes silently nobody will complain, as said in terms: “The Promoter and the Programme producers reserve the right to discount votes if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have been made from outside the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland”. If many votes are coming from the same VPN provider they should detect that.

      • Luke

        A VPN subscription would cost about 10% of the average monthly salary in the Philippines. Hardly going to be prevalent.

        • Boki

          I agree that actual number of people using it is probably small but not due to cost since I don’t have any subscription. First provider I stumbled upon (tunnelbear) offers 500MB of data each month for free which is more than enough for the app.

          • Luke

            I stand corrected. Good to know!

            I believe it’s pretty easy to record the mobile network of anyone on a mobile device even if they are using a VPN and Wi-Fi. That would be how I expect they exclude votes.

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