X Factor 2015 Week 2 Post Mortem: Seann Miley No Moore

Sunday had seen a sustained market move for Monica Michael, which saw her overtake Kiera as favourite to go next. There’s always a question mark over whether such moves represent inside information; if so, the information was duff. Olly said early in the show that there was less than one percent between the bottom three; there was no mention of the distance between the third and fourth-bottom, which we can therefore assume to have been greater.

With the Daily Star having reported that Anton topped the week 1 vote with 23%, it seemed a stretch that he would fall from grace steeply enough to hit the bottom three, and so it proved as he was the last to be called safe. Post-Saturday show favourite Kiera duly became the next elimination, having been successfully Steph Nala’d.

week-02-results-main

It seemed like producers had accidentally pressed the button on Mason’s “best bits” compilation prematurely when it popped up on screen behind him in the singoff, as he sang about reaching the “end of the road”. But the valedictory feel to his performance was slightly undercut as they also ran Seann’s compilation while he sang.

Mason traded at around 1.2 on Betfair. I felt he deserved to be favourite based on his storyline on the show appearing to have run its course to a greater extent that Seann’s, who offered more entertainment value and a better voice; but there were doubts – the show does need a shock every now and then, pour encourager les voters. And we’d observed before that Mason looked just the kind of act who might benefit from a controversial singoff save or two. Given those doubts, I wasn’t tempted to go in big.

We’ll have more to say in the usual midweek review post. In the meantime, do keep the conversation going below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

236 comments to X Factor 2015 Week 2 Post Mortem: Seann Miley No Moore

  • The maestro

    I won a ton on the sing off the price to big to resist the monica gamble went well astray i bet mason at 7s to go first

  • stoney

    How bad were Caroline and Olly tonight. Fluffing lines left right and centre. Olly said to Nick if you choose to save Seann it goes to deadlock. Dermott must have been wetting himself.

  • Jessica Hamby

    If Alien and Seann were not the targets, who do you think tptb would have preferred to see the back of. If we assume the wanted Bupsi and Keira last week, which two would they have wanted out this week?

    • Edie M

      Good question. I don’t think they’d have been too upset to see Monica go tonight. If Alien were still here they might have wanted them out (considering how in favour with TPTB RnB seem to be atm). Maybe an Over would have been disposable but that would have made Simon vulnerable to having no acts very early on.

    • Fudd

      Of course last night’s show would have been different had they saved Alien Uncovered last week; it would have been them bouncing and the first question to answer is would they have worked with the grain? Or did they not care either way?

      Bupsi and Kiera seemed to be the first two targets. Monica was target number three IMO but they seriously overdid it. I wonder if they would have gunned for Reggie and Bollie had AU still been there.

  • Curtis

    Glad I stayed off Monica – that was a red herring. I wasn’t around for the sing-off, but if I was I probably would’ve stayed out, or bet small on Seann. A tricky little one.

    As a viewer of the X Factor, I’m sad to see Seann go – he had a lot more to give to the show in my opinion – but a shock exit is always good for press as well.

  • Lia

    When Monica was called safe you could hear the screams in my household from miles away. She was in a dress again but a very demure one so I’m just hoping they give her at least half a chance.

    And I did use my 10 free votes on her (in case you ask 5 on my phone and 5 on my tablet).

    I totally expected deadlock when they didn’t go to Grimmy first. And then I expected that to be in Mason’s favour, but when it got to it I honestly didn’t care anymore.

    • Edie M

      I’m happy she stayed as well, might actually have been the final straw for me if she’d been rock bottom tonight.
      re: the leak, the daily star reporter has tweeted about it (Sofabet has retweeted it).

      • Lia

        Seriously, what they did to her last night made Sophie Habibis’ and Abi Alton’s treatment seem kind! It was really disrespectful on a different level and I was disturbed by it in a way I had never been before (XF wise).

        Thank you all for bearing my posts! I love this blog because we all agree to respectfully disagree and have a laugh. xx

        • Jessica Hamby

          I agree with you 100%. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Monica got a huge amount of female support last night. If Cowell had said what he said to anyone in a different environment he would have probably been punched. Even Cheryl was wrong with emphasising how wrong Monica looked and felt after they had shoehorned her into some z-list celeb’s red carpet cast off.

          It was shameful and I wouldn’t be surprised if it has a knock on effect for a few weeks.

          • stoney

            Although the market plunge turned out to be a dud I fail to see that there was no substance in it at all. Monica had to have been very close to the bottom 3. Will have to remember this when we check out the voting statistics.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I have no idea how close or not she was. I feel sure, with no evidence apart from my own, Lia’s and Edie’s reactions, that she will have had a lot of sympathy votes.

            What makes you say that “Monica had to have been very close to the bottom 3”?

          • stoney

            Because of the odds. Its extremely rare for that sort of movement in the market to be of no real indication to how the voting was going. Even that aside nothing suggests to me from last night’s performance that she would have picked up a huge sympathy vote boost. If anything that went to Anton, who didn’t make cryptic digs on the show in his interview, but actually apologised.

          • Jessica Hamby

            So even though Lia said she gave Monica all ten of her votes because she was so cross and Edie and I both expressed support for Monica, support that will probably have a residual effect for at least one more week and quite possibly more, you think that doesn’t matter.

            Ok. You know best. Perhaps Lia said Monica but voted Anton because she got confused.

          • stoney

            Ok ok i surrender you know best. Shame alien didn’t get that huge sympathy vote eh 😉

          • Jessica Hamby

            🙂

            Sorry but you kind of deserved it.

            To me it is a shame about Alien as I backed them, but they were never going to get a sympathy vote because they weren’t attacked by the judges. In fact they seemed to be supported. The voters just didn’t like them and in a way their sing off performance proved the voters right. It was poor.

          • stoney

            Lol let’s flag this up and talk about it when the statistics are revealed. I’ll have an apology when I’m proved correct 🙂

            IF im not ill eat some humble pie

          • Jessica Hamby

            I’ll have forgotten it by then. I certainly won’t be apologising. I can’t see that I have anything to apologise for. You’re guessing based on odds movements. I’m basing my view on a sample of 3. Neither of us have much foundation for our view. Obviously mine is the right one but you are entitled to be mistaken. 😉

          • stoney

            Oh trust me you won’t forget 🙂

          • Henry VIII

            We can say for sure that Monica got a large sympathy vote for her unfair treatment. Simply because she avoided B3 and her poor performance and the abysmal arrangement on Saturday didn’t deserve any votes (and yet in W1 she was superb).

            And you can’t gain any intelligence from her Elimination odds shortening and imagine, all starry eyed, that it was an oracle. Except you can say that people lost money backing her.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Thank you Henry. I can tell you a lot of women will have voted for Monica. That’s the point I was subtly trying to make to you Stoney. I thought you got it but clearly not. A lot of women will look at how they asked her to dress, what they asked her to sing and then how they spoke to her afterwards and be moved to vote for her. At least some of them will continue to vote for her from now on.

            Also my point is not about whether you are right. My point is that you are basing your conclusion on irrelevant data. Odds movements are not indicative. You could be right but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. It doesn’t mean the clock is any use.

        • Fudd

          Speaking of Abi I wonder if Monica will get the same sort of treatment as she did post Moon River – redemption followed by a perfectly executed kill the following week?

          If she does, and Mason bounces, who does this leave? We need at least one more double at one point (two for a three act final) but in normal circumstances Monica would be the obvious act in the crosshairs.

          • Edie M

            I suspect the Abi trajectory is very likely. Interesting that if the daily star leak is right Monica polled above Lauren & Che- that’s maybe why they went in on her so hard this week. But the big question is whether there’ll be another double elimination next week or they wait until later in the series. I don’t think it would be a bad thing for them to give the doubles a rest for a week.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Will Mason bounce? Keira didn’t. Lots of better singers than him left in and so far, despite his claims to be a performer, he’s not offered anything particularly memorable. Last night was cheesy and verging on cringey as far as I’m concerned – nothing like the little bit he did with his mate before he threw the mike down. That was exciting, even just the bit when they turned around in circles. There was energy and you didn’t know what was going to happen next. If they give him more 70s soul and disco he’s gone imo.

          • Fudd

            They couldn’t care less about Kiera though; they saved her for the ‘credibility’ of the show then did everything in their power to prevent a bounce this weekend.

            I don’t know what the heck they were playing at with Mason last night, though. Why focus on his sex appeal and then dress him in that? Why bring in someone who can perform then limit what he can do by placing him on a plinth for the majority of the performance?

            Saying that, it’s easy enough to remedy and I think they’ll do so next week for the simple reason I don’t think Seann was discarded readily. He was able to put on a show and his voice offered some ‘credibility’ to it being a singing competition. Although I said to Martin(?) on the other thread that maybe they feared him bouncing I think the truth is they see Mason having more commercial potential. Ditching him in week three isn’t going to help in that regard.

          • Jessica Hamby

            All good points. If he has another performance like last night he can kiss his credibility goodbye though. They need to do something a bit wow for him, in his chosen genre.

  • Lia

    And has anyone seen the leak published on the Daily Star? I searched it in all possible ways and couldn’t find it. Could be another red herring planted on DS saying it’s from the Star because they are always right.

  • The big question… How can “middle Europe” go for a bearded lady in their droves, and yet “middle England” not go for a similar artist? After the Conchita thing, I fully expected Seann to go very far in this show. What happened?

    Also, is this the first case of an artist getting a pimp slot then exiting the following week?

  • Wkrs

    Louisa is looking more like a “survive to the semis” than a winner now and I think TPTB may swing behind Ché, Lauren or 4I as “anyone but Anton” options.

    Hard to call next week but you’d think Monica and Max would be their preference, one disposable and the other setting off Matt Cardle shaped alarms everywhere.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Why do you say that about Louisa? What has changed?

      Also, why “anyone but Anton”? Louisa appears to be the chosen one and if Anton is outpolling her so soon he needs to be deramped, sure, but are there strong reasons to stop him if she’s doesn’t connect with the public? He’s not the antichrist.

      • Edie M

        Cowell really doesn’t want a 3rd over in a row as a winner, he’s already panicking enough and wants to be able to claim ‘commercial credibility’ (in his view) hence why they’re pimping Louisa *so hard*- almost to desperation levels.

      • Wkrs

        I don’t think she’s coming over. If you believe The Star, despite a huge push she still only came a (fairly distant) joint second/third last week.

        Plan A usually picks up votes by being labeled the best singer. But this year there’s been a lot of competition for that tag. So I think she could be caught between better singers (e.g. Ché) and more interesting characters (e.g. almost anyone).

        I do think they’ll continue to give her a lot of support, but if I was them I’d rather she came 4th with Ché/4I winning than 2nd with Anton winning. I think halting Anton’s march will be the priority.

      • Linda

        I’m not being intentionally difficult but I really disliked Louisa’s performance last night. Stylistically it was a shambles and the song lyrics have no connection to a 17 year old female, even obliquely. The usual shouting at the end. I wonder how she polled this weekend.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I agree with you. I’m not a fan. I was impressed at first but I’d had enough by judges houses. I have seen a lot of love for her though. I didn’t think it was fading already.

          I’m on Lauren for top girl so I hope everyone else sees and hears as we do.

        • 360

          It was a really strange choice for their alpha, or even for their beta, I thought.

          That’s not to say she’s not the alpha or beta still, but it was definitely an odd one. Is there any chance she herself pushed for it, perhaps?

          I mean, we have no idea who actually chooses the songs or what the selection process is like. Presumably they need the performing rights for them. It just seems strange that of all the songs at their disposal from, presumably, the last 20-30 years, apart from 10 being performed by the other candidates, that they’d pick Billie Jean for the 17 year old girl. Shrug.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I don’t think the licensing process is terribly complicated. They may prefer to perform songs they own so as to pay themselves royalties and promote their own property but I think it’s all administered by the Performing Rights Society or somesuch and all you have to do is pay your licence fee to them and inform them what music you use. They do the rest.

        • Wkrs

          Agreed – I guess they thought people wouldn’t notice the disconnect in the lyrics, it was a really odd choice.

          • Linda

            There was nothing about Louisa’s performance that could in any way be deemed Reinvention. It was straight up karaoke. And wasn’t her audition song a Michael Jackson one also? Yet everyone else gets slammed.

  • Stu

    I’m actually gob-smacked they let Seann go as early as week two! Surely they would’ve wanted him for entertainment value? Surely they would’ve wanted him for his individuality? Surely they would’ve wanted him for the tour? I don’t know whether they got rid of Seann just for the “shock” factor and to hype the show up in a bid to get higher ratings but if the producers did then they are extremely hopeless. As a viewer, I loved both of the boys in the bottom three but getting rid of Seann this early is truly a WTF situation.

    Also, I am really shocked Monica escaped the bottom three considering her odds for elimination were shortening at a suspicious rate pre-results but I’m sure she just about dodged the sing-off this week.

    I think Mason could well receive a “moment” next week, especially if there is a double elimination. I think the producers will go all out in ensuring he bounces and is well clear of the sing-off.

    I’m intrigued to know where Anton polled this week. Is there a clear link between being called safe last and polling in a certain position in the phone vote? If he was not far off the bottom three this week, I wonder if the producers will be nicer towards him next week. Especially with the press/twittersphere accusing Simon of sabotaging him this week.

  • Jack

    Again, I was stunned by the sing-off result. Not that I’d put it past producers, but SSM brought so much more to the show than Mason did. I did think Seann may well be in the B2 in my earlier post, but was certain he’d be saved against anyone.
    So, trying to recover from the shock of SSM going so early…

    How do we read the Daily Star leak? Seann was apparently third last week, yet fell all the way to tenth in the phone vote? Seems pretty surprising to me.

    Oh and fantastic call on Che to the Sofabet guys. I wasn’t convinced before Lives, but two shows in and he’s indisputably Alpha-Boy and has been the best performance for me the last two weeks. I really think he’s winner potential now.

  • Fudd

    Watching back, Seann must have had one of the strongest performances ever to land in the bottom two – if that makes sense. If they wanted to they could have turned it into the mother of all pimpings.

    • Edie M

      It’s an interesting one. this was probably one of his least dramatic performances (which was why I liked it actually!), with kind of meh comments & all round quite unremarkable- even on sofabet he was barely commented on today/last night. Maybe he just got accidentally memory-holed b/c they thought with 3rd in the vote he was safe & didn’t want him to gain much further momentum.

      • Jessica Hamby

        And Simon called the performance, but by inference him, lazy. Written down it seems a very mild thing to say but the way it was delivered made it harsh and very negative. Obviously gew people were motivated to vote for him anyway. Was he just before R&B? That would have memoryholed the hell out of him.

        • Fudd

          Just looked – he was between Louisa’s pimping and Monica’s attempted sacrifice on the altar. I think he got an ad break either side of his performance.

        • Jack

          Nah, he was after Louisa and before Monica.

        • Jessica Hamby

          K. Thanks.

        • Linda

          In the singoff tonight on his own bat he was stellar. In the two Saturday shows I found his performances retro-creepy. The producers handled his talent so poorly. I’m not sure why they allowed this to happen.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I don’t think they’re as smart as we credit them. And maybe they don’t care as much as we do. They get paid whatever happens. We only get paid when we make the right calls.

          • Fudd

            Seann was an important contestant but not a key player in the great scheme of things. They’ve kept Louisa, Che and 4th Impact in play – that’s seemingly the important thing for the moment.

        • Fudd

          ‘Lazy’ is a dangerous word to use; it suggests a lack of effort and people tend to shy away from that. TPTB promoted Bupsi as lazy in week one then used the word in week two towards Seann – both have now left. Maybe they knew what they were doing in terms of Seann; maybe it worked too well. The voting stats will probably offer more evidence either way come December.

    • Curtis

      Yeah, I really enjoyed Seann last night. A big shame for the show to see him go.

  • Shocked that Monica had the sympathy vote but I shouldn’t be (Scott series 5, Wagner series 7, Frankie series 8, District3 series 9, Sam series 10). Also, is SMM’s exit the end of the crazy-but-not-quite-a-joke act? Chloe Jasmine left in Week 2 last year and ditto Shelley two years ago, and iirc Sofabet said they would end up mid-table.

    On another note, Fleur is fabulous I love her!

  • Fudd

    It’s very early to be looking into this, and obviously other factors definitely come into play, but…

    I’ll be interested to see who gets to perform fourth next week – Kiera performed there both live weeks so they’ll have to find another victim… er, contestant… to perform there now.

    Beware the curse of Louisa Johnson – in both weeks so far the act following her has been eliminated; Bupsi in week one and Seann in week two.

    Beware the curse of Anton Stephans – in both weeks so far the act performing before him has been in the sing off; Kiera in week one and Mason in week two.

    If an act is placed in a Louisa-Anton sandwich next week (especially if performing in slot four) I’ll call a taxi for them. 😀

    • Jessica Hamby

      Great spot.

    • Linda

      I’ll wager they’ll target Max very heavily next weekend. The longer he stays the more of a threat he becomes. I seem to be completely alone but I thought Anton was incredible last night. Not vocally but in how he carried those cr@p songs and brought them into his own personality. He’s the only performer last night that played correctly to the theme.

      • Jessica Hamby

        He was very dignified about the whole process. That’s true.

        I think we’ll have much clearer idea when theme and song choices are revealed.

        Max may well turn out to be a bit of a red wine stain though – hard to get out.

        • Phil

          Not on The Xtra Factor he wasn’t. When asked what he thought of the song choice, he very bluntly said “I hated it”.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I didn’t think that was undignified. He did the performance as well as he could and accepted the judges comments with grace. Dignity doesn’t mean he has to lie and pretdnd he liked it after the event. If he’d said anything other than that he hated it he would have compromised his own integrity.

          • Linda

            The arrangement of the two tracks was really lush – yes it was very David Hasselhoff /Osmonds in Vegas, but on the Bang Bang section he was a powerhouse and demonstrated great showmanship. He acted like a front man in control rather than a backing singer begging for a chance. I didn’t think he had it in him. Brilliant stuff.

  • The show was absolutely CRAY CRAY this weekend. To give some examples;

    Seann getting eliminated.
    Seann slipping down from an alleged close 3rd place to 10th.
    Mason polling higher than Seann.
    Monica avoiding the Bottom Three despite trading at 1.3.
    Monica’s boobs.
    4th Impact’s shocking car crash vocals.
    ANTON STEPHANS.
    Mason’s gyrating.
    Reggie N Bollie.
    Reggie N Bollie at number 30 on iTunes.

    Feel free to add to the list!

    I do wonder whether saving Mason over Seann was the right thing to do for a show that has lost millions of viewers. Last week, when they saved Kiera over Alien Nation, I was surprised but thought it was a step in the right direction in terms of salvaging the show’s reputation and credibility. I don’t see what they had to gain by saving Mason in this instance. They must really not give a f**k.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Reggie & Bollie could turn out to be the surprise package of the series. Are there any global african stars? I can’t think of any. There must be a market. If I was tptb I would be trying to make this fly. These guys have got the the whatever it is. They’re one of the few acts I’m genuinely looking forward to next week.

      If r&b get promoted, will Fourth Impact become disposeable before the final. Their vocals on Saturday were not good.

  • Kieran

    Did anyone else hear Max say something like “maybe next week, eh?” to Simon after his name was called?

  • Henry VIII

    Is group-think happening on this site? Many had Che winning in the prediction thread and anybody backing him then would have profited already by laying off. But why do people think they want him to win?

    On previous threads several have said things such as he’s their plan B if Louisa fails. On this thread Wkrs says that TPTB may swing behind Ché, Fudd says that it’s important that they’ve kept Che in play, and Jack says he’s indisputably Alpha-Boy.

    They’ve had a string of uncommercial boy winners who have flopped after winning so why would they want another? A boy who is actually less commercial than the ones they’ve already had? I think he’s the last person they want winning.

    He was given the star treatment this week. But in future weeks it will be the turn of others.

    • Jessica Hamby

      My prediction was based on what I thought the voters would go for as much as what I thought tptb would do. They don’t always get what they want. I selected him as the sort of compromise candidate being male and having a good voice and, after appearing a bit curt in the early shows, coming across as a pretty decent bloke.

    • 360

      My prediction was based on all their initial plans flopping, and them turning to Che just to stop someone ‘worse’ (say, Anton, or Max, or someone with too much attitude and personality behind the scenes) from gaining momentum or challenging for the win.

      The same way they switched to James Arthur to keep Jahmene and Maloney out.

      They’ve already lost Seann here. If plan A, Louisa, doesn’t catch on, presumably they’ll switch to a beta. But what if they don’t catch on either, and by then, they’ve weakened most of their other acts beyond saving, while quietly in the background, a middle-of-the-road likeable character has quietly been building up steam? That is when I see them switching horses to the good ship Che.

      TPTB seem to be protecting Louisa, 4th Impact, RnB and Lauren. Well and good. But 4 acts out of 9 (at this stage) that they like isn’t great odds if the public isn’t playing ball, as we know from experience is often the case. All it takes is for one – or more – of the others to gain momentum by personality or sympathy vote, and they’ve got a problem on their hands.

      In short I backed Che because he’s likely someone who can survive top-to-middle of the pack long enough to become a potential plan C or D.

      • James Arthur had more potential than Che. He proved to be a bit of an idiot though. “Why good ship Che”?

        They might prefer Che to Anton because of Anton’s bad press although I think Anton is a character who would be a more interesting ambassador. Max has the same problems as Che.

        However, going down the list, Louisa, Lauren, 4th Impact, Reggie n Bollie, Monica and Mason would all be more successful post show – good for brand – and make them more money than Che, even if some of them aren’t brilliant prospects themselves.

        • Linda

          Che was dull as dishwater on Saturday night. I’m getting really bored watching him every week. They are keeping him well within his comfort zone. He probably appeals to fans of Sam Smith and no one else. I can see his vote slipping away unless they give him a massive pimping, but they’ll be afraid to take any chances with him to do that as he’s not versatile.

        • Tpfkar

          I agree with you. I think Che will be 5th/6th – I don’t think he’ll be either a vote magnet or get the level of support needed to push for the win. Louisa or Lauren for the win for me, with Mason and ReggieNBollie as a possible finalist.

        • Jessica Hamby

          But the point here is to go with what delights the demographic. In x factor’s case that is Ben Haenow and Leon Jackson.

        • Fudd

          Whilst I understand what you’re saying my comment was based on his treatment on Saturday which I would say was the most favourable of the lot (even moreso than Louisa, who was constructively criticised by Cheryl).

  • If Lauren and Ché weren’t Top 5 in the vote in week 1, surely one (or both) of them is a lay at single figures. But then again, someone has to actually win it and only the top four in the market can…. *scratches head*

    • Jessica Hamby

      We could see a series where everyone gets nuked to see Louisa to the win. Apart from Lauren, Che and FI (and I suppose Mason if you assume Saturday was meant to be positive but in his case he’s tainted enough that it doesn’t matter) everyone has had at least a bit of a kicking so far. Max kind of got away with it but Nick still tried to land a few blows and you sense they’ll be another deramp attempt soon.

    • Tim, according to the Star’s tweet, posted by someone above on this thread, Anton topped last week’s vote with 2x the next, followed by Louisa, Sean, 4th Impact & Monica. We don’t know where Che was except that he wasn’t in the T5.

  • Dean F

    Only seen one person bring it up so far but how has SMM gone from 3rd with 12% in week 1 to 2nd bottom in week 2?

    Normally acts have a ‘core vote’ at this stage so perhaps the use of the word lazy and the fact his performance was cetaunly far less pimped than last week would have lost some floating votes but it’s a shock to see him down there.

    Also it’s why TPTB will not be afraid yet of the Anton win. The aim for them will be for Louisa mainly to pick up the floating votes week on week.

    They probably leaked the vote last week to ensure some Anton voters become lazier. They will definitely go down a Faustini route with him as he is a likeable guy like Andrea but TPTB have taken care of a number of these before

    • Henry VIII

      Sean was the best performance for me on Saturday. Two big differences though with last Saturday: his VT showed him to be a bit of a neurotic diva; and the skirt.

  • The maestro

    The betfair market was completly wrong last night only 1 percent between the bottom 3 yet shaun was available to be first out at around 66-1 also kierra was well supported to stay they was a huge gamble on monica i wont be taking any notice ov the betting patterns on there again i got 1.13 in the sign off thought that way way to short just wish id put more on

  • Glad that the inside info didn’t work out… keeps me interested in actually trying to nick a price..

    Bemused that Kiera couldn’t even bounce off the bottom and not sure how Seann got below Mason, so looking forward to the voting stats for this week, potentially a few hundred votes in it..

    I still think Louisa wins this, due to no real opposition… and I expect to see them play Max v Che to try and split their votes up.

    If they have a double elim this week then surely the target will be Monica, she probably is anyway

  • Rose

    I couldn’t bear to comment last night. As an X-Factor viewer for many years, Alien Forgotten Name, SMM and Mason were my personal favourites and I am sad to see two of them leave so early. It means the contest has even less interest to me now on a personal level (it is also truly unpleasant to watch this year) but having my two faves axed so soon does leave me free to view the contest more objectively from a betting point of view.
    With reference to Seann, I think “lazy” is a really potent adjective, especially coming from Cowell, but I do not believe they really wanted to lose him this week – just trying to control his vote. Tptb have managed to get the person they wanted out at the very bottom in both weeks but I think the second and third bottom have been less to plan. I really think they didn’t want Seann to poll so low yet – after all, he is entertaining to watch and has a good voice. For what it’s worth, I gave him all my votes from the app because I feared for him after the “lazy” comment though I didn’t feel strongly enough to bet. I also believe that his personal style made him a really hard sell to middle England from the beginning and he was never a potential winner. Whoever said they had made him into a pantomime dame was bang on the money and it was dreadful to watch.
    I entirely agree with the thoughts about Monica attracting the votes of women after her disgraceful treatment – even though I didn’t vote for her myself. I suspect she has fans due to her personality and those very emotional and memorable songs she wrote herself and performed in the XF over the last two years. Tptb really mishandled the way they treated her; it was way too cruel and obvious.
    I also think they mishandled Anton, being so unkind to him that he probably got quite a sympathy vote too. The public are not as gullible as they once were.
    In my mind, Monica and Anton’s treatment show that tptb have not got such a sure handle on the way they control the fates of the contestants on the show this time round. I wonder if it is because the series is much shorter, with more double eliminations, making it less easy to manipulate? Or, as others have suggested, do they simply not really care that much this year? Going on this premise, we should look out for more shock eliminations in the next couple of weeks.

  • PhilR

    To me, the front facing elements of the show, the presenters and the judges, are now mostly novices who seem to have been promoted well above their grade. Do we know if there’s been similar churn behind the scenes?

    I can’t help wondering whether this year’s TBTB are as out of their depth as Flack and Murs. If so, it adds another layer of complexity. Firstly, what are they trying to achieve? Secondly, what are their prospects of achieving it?

    • Jessica Hamby

      Who do you think they wanted last night? Monica? Anton? Max?

      As for Mason, he’s disliked for the 6cc but he’s not a Katie Waissel. He’s hardly worth saving for the controversy. He seems like a nice bloke.

      If Seann was turned into a pantomime dame (and I agree he was), Mason is rapidly becoming a cartoon bad boy. If he does another “sexy” performance he’ll become a bit ridiculous.

      I can’t see how they’ll keep him out of b2/3 next week without deliberately damaging two other acts.

    • Edie M

      Although Friedman wasn’t exactly subtle, I do think the new creative are clearly also novices and it’s contributing to the overall amateurish feel of the show/manipulations.

  • EM

    Around this time last year I’m sure I was able to write a post with fairly decent accuracy on what I thought would be the trajectory for the contestants.

    This year I’m much less confident but I’ll have a go!

    The interesting theme I’ve seen coming through the judges comments and VTs is Britishness vs foreign. With Andrea last year they were at pains to point out his foreigness – this year they also seem keen to push certain acts Britishness.

    So where do I think we’re at:

    Boys:
    Che – he’s been given every help – they obviously want him to go far – he’s shown as competent and confident. All the way to the final. Recent voting patterns suggest the public will comply. They’ve still to throw in his self-stacking humble lives too. I’d also expect to see him become the “big-brother” figure to others in future VTs

    Mason – I’m slightly baffled as to why he was saved over the much more interesting Seann – my supposition was that it was much better for the public to eject Seann than the judges so they took the first opportunity to lose him through votes. Mason can be got rid of another day – they don’t seem to have much interest in him.

    Girls
    Louisa – Obviously a chosen one. The question is whether the public will play along. She can sing but she may look and sound like she’s trying too hard. She’ll be given every help.

    Lauren – She was given a big chance on Saturday – closing the show, fire curtains, gospel choirs – but did it have that moment? They’re happy to push the ex-dentist receptionist lots. She’s being helped but if it doesn’t translate to love from the public she could be disposable with an end of journey storyline.

    Monica – the show has no interest in her.

    Groups
    Fourth Impact – being helped lots. They obviously want the girls to go further. The stressing of other’s British credentials could be quite puzzling around this but perhaps they want the girls to go far but not too far.

    Reggie and Bollie – a lot of style over substance! Plenty of feel good around them, big tunes and staging but vocally they are not that great. An easy assassination when their time is done.

    Overs
    Anton – I agree with all those who say the Maloney narrative is at play here. They will get their man with a constant drip of negative press and song choice/staging.

    Max – Seems to be in the judges sites – potentially they feel he’s too much in Che’s lane.

    So breaking that lot up into my favourite categories

    In the crosshairs – Monica, Max, Mason, Anton (but he’ll be hard to shift)

    Disposable (but may be around a while yet) – Lauren (unless she has a moment), Reggie and Bollie

    There towards the end – Che, Louisa, Fourth Impact

    • Martin

      I think Lauren Murray is the most hard to read. They seem happy for her to do well – and they are playing up to her feel good narrative at the minute. It would be very easy to give her journey an end at the semi final. Her treatment last week was almost an end of journey in itself.

      • EM

        Yes, my reading of Lauren is that they’ve been trying to make a young girl work for a good few series now (Tamera, Lauren P etc) and while they think Louisa is it this year they are keeping Lauren warm in case they need to switch horses.

        I guess the problem with that is if they are both fishing in the same pond they’ll need to ditch one to let the other thrive.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I agree with a comment from Daniel in another post. Saturday was a sort of half moment. She had the choir and some of the background and lighting effects but the clothes were a unflattering and the styling was very meh in terms of hair and make up.

        She’s easy to warm to in a way that Louisa perhaps isn’t. It was interesting that both Keira and Seann said they wanted Lauren to win on Xtra factor, although Seann also namechecked R&B.

        • Martin

          She was also very “involved” during the sing off performances. Most of the other contestants looked as if they’d rather be anywhere but sat at the side of that stage, but Lauren was in tears, on her feet – very supportive. It all resonates with the public. I’d love to know where she’s coming in on the votes.

          • Alan

            I think she’s mid-table. Safe to give her a pimp slot in week 2. They won’t be bothered about giving her it when she needs it later in the competiton.

            I think she’s very likeable. Great personality and good voice. But does anybody really see her having a successful post-show career? She’s just not versatile enough and doesn’t have “the look” of a modern pop star.

            I think the chosen ones are 4th Impact and Louisa. TPTB would be happy for either to win and both could be lucrative post-show. Che and Lauren would probably be acceptable alternatives if only to stop someone even worse from winning. Both would make good finalists but would also be disposable if it suits the 4I or Louisa cause.

            The rest are all completely disposable. Anton doing well in the vote is probably a massive thorn in TPTBs side and the others may get favourable treatment in order to bring him down.

            As you can see I don’t necessarily subscribe to the Alpha, Beta, Gamma theory. I think TPTB go into the lives with a handful of acts that they would be happy winning and the rest are just disposable aside from the one or two novelty / controversy acts. Beta or Gamma doesn’t really matter, they’d either be happy for you to win or they wouldn’t. Maybe with more shows they can hope to plan out a few trajectories and get a good balance of categories but this year that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I’m of the view that a good show is the most important thing of all. It’s been clear for years that the most successful contestant after the show is not necessarily the winner. I think they’re happy to push their favourites as far as they can and reinforce the message that this person is a star but it’s a mistake to think winning is the priority. In my opinion a good show is the priority.

            It’s a well established trope that the winner has their album released when the next series starts and is quietly dropped 6 months later, and that the most successful acts are rarely winners.

  • Gavin Ashdown

    Got Che matched at the start at 25/1. Purely on his voice and that he’s a boy. I dont think they would neccessarily want Che to win but he is the usual type of x factor winner.

    Whatever happens I think Louisa and Reggie and Bollie could be the most successful after the show has finished.

    • Alan

      Male winners are usually much more attractive. Fair play if you got him at 25s but Id have been more than happy to lay him at that price whilst he had the backwards baseball cap on. He just didn’t look like a winner at all.

  • Martin

    I do agree with the many of you who have said that Seann was ejected because he’s more of threat to Louisa, vocally. He polled well last week, they managed to depress his votes and took the first opportunity to get him out. Mason will be easy to get rid of, and less of a threat. May be more of a thing to keep an eye on with each bottom two.

    Che is getting a Jahmene treatment I think. For two weeks he’s had a motown/soul song – what he gets this week will be telling. It’s a popular genre and delights the XF demo, but will it pick up floating votes as the series progresses? Are they more likely to go to Louisa?

  • Rose

    My feeling is they wanted to get Monica as well as Kiera this week but really botched it, which does lead me to think that they have misjudged their moves as far as the detail is concerned. It may very well be that there have been a lot of changes in personnel behind the scenes to go with those in front of house, as another commentator suggested earlier. As a viewer, the whole thing feels a bit unsafe at the moment, like anything could happen in terms of cock-ups. Surely the programme won’t be coming back again next year?
    Which does beg the question, why bring Monica back only to try to jettison her in the second show? How much cannon fodder did they need when anticipating multiple double eliminations? Would it not have been simpler to just have one less double elimination and forget Monica? Or did they think she had a special link with the public that would make it worth bringing her back? If so, surely they would realise that betraying her as they did this week would never work. All very perplexing.
    I remember they said Simon hadn’t been around to watch his acts rehearse this week and wondered if it is a sign that he has consigned the show to history in his mind. Or perhaps he was having that obviously serious facial injury treated in hospital!! Honestly, a bit of professional-grade make-up would have hidden that in a trice. And there wasn’t much sign of it in the VT with him earlier in the week. Headbuttgate!
    I agree pretty much with EM’s take on all the acts, above. Don’t underestimate Reggie and Bollie. If the show can get the public behind them, they could go to the final.

  • plinkiplonk

    SMM leaving reminded me a lot of Chloe Jasmine – someone that was slated to provide a bit of difference without bothering the top. If he really made 3rd last week they probably pulled the emergency cord and pulled too heavily. We do not know what goes on behind the scenes, but the whole Mason drama/redemption arc, coupled with the revelation about being an established act with a manager etc seems to indicate that maybe there is an agreement in place where he is guaranteed a place on the tour ?

    I am really only watching this now to observe the wheels within wheels, there is no entertainment factor left, and I have no interest in any of the contestants. It is literally of no importance at all who wins this; we will be given the heavy sell of whoever SC wants to push, regardless of their result in the show.(see One Direction, Fleur East)

    • Linda

      What did anyone think of Fleur’s performance last night? I thought her dancing and swagger was top notch but the song sounds exactly like something I’ve heard before but can’t place? I don’t think she’s going to get on the Radio 1 playlist with that. I don’t think they’ll be able to push her as much as they presume.

      • plinkiplonk

        It was a carbon copy of Uptown Funk. But it’s also been used for the ASDA Xmas ad, maybe you’ve heard it there. She was good, but it was all driven by the performance and the song, and the money thrown at her really showed. If I was Ben Heanow I would be majorly pissed.

    • Linda

      Plinkiplonk you are are absolutely right. With Seann and Alien gone, the potential for creativity is gone. And Kiera was much better than ever given credit for. There is nobody left (bar Anton) who I’ve any personal interest left in listening to. I’m sure we’re not alone. The show really is in trouble.

      PS Thanks re the ASDA advert – that’s partly it. I know now, the main chorus riff is lifted straight from Jackson 5’s Dance and Shout.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I was just thinking the same thing. If it wasn’t for Sofabet I certainly wouldn’t make an effort to watch the show anymore. Maybe catch it if I’m in, maybe just turn the thing off and read a book. What’s the point if the best performers get dumped?

        • Dean F

          I think all you guys take this too personally. If you find it this way then just don’t watch it. Everyone has favoured acts at the end of the day. I remember in 1 year my favourite went out in week 2 or something, but at the end of the day it is a voting contest. Seann was in the B2 of the votes this week and without that much of a deramp aside from the lazy comment by Simon. He deserved to go.

          Alien last week were pushed to high heaven in their week 1 performance and comments, but sang an abolishment of a sing off, they deserved to go.

  • Dean F

    I think the truth is the show probably were aiming to a Mason save and will look to bounce him next week and the main aim was to get Keira bottom which us what they achieved. Monica and Max are the acts they may go for next week as they attempt to bounce Mason. Hoping for a better show next week. Now it’s down to 9 I am predicting a Louisa or 4th Impact pimp slot

    • Jessica Hamby

      Mason will have to be amazing to bounce.

      • Dean F

        I don’t think he has to be amazing more than the fact they can deramp a couple acts that are down there. I assume Monica would not have been far off this week and lets see how Max’s vote is going.

        I expect RnB to get another almighty push to keep them out the danger zone

        But most telling the coming week should see a single elimination (not confirmed just what I think) which means TPTB have more scope to save Mason again if they want too to create controversy.

        Honestly there has to be use for Mason if they were to save him over SMM. I don’t believe TPTB were that scared of SMM vote getting out of control. In 1 week they surpressed him from 3rd to bottom 2. I doubt they would have been that worried after 1 initial bounce.

        • Linda

          I suspect they will want to keep Monica for another week or two now that Kiera is gone. They need the female vote until the semis so it transfers to Lauren or Louisa to ensure that Ora is crowned victor (the intended outcome). Cowell will want an act in the final as will Grimshaw. So we need to ascertain do Mason and Max transfer to each other and if so by what margin. I suspect Cowell would prefer Max in the final than Anton but Anton will be very hard to dislodge. I think Cowell would prefer two boys in the final 4 rather than Anton. Seat of pants I think Max will be seriously deramped this week.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Deramp Monica? How’s that been working out for them?

          Deramp Lauren? Yeah sure. And let’s see them stamp on a few kittens in the warm up.

          It’s all assumption. I’d like something a little more concrete to base things on. Song choices and theme will help.

          As for Mason, his work may well be done. They made him look like a refugee from a 70s porno on Saturday. All the talk about potential success ignores the main requirement, which is to create a show people want to watch. They can only do two things with him next week imo – save him again to create more outrage and make him more disliked or dump him (with Rita saying she thinks she made a mistake last week) to provide a sort of justice.

          • Dean F

            Its week two Jess. It took them 4 week sot get rid of Abi before but they get rid. This week was probably the initial vote dampener in line for the kill next week. I thought they probably tried to get her in B3 this week but maybe went too far, but no doubt they would have dampened the initial welcome back wildcard stuff of week 1.

            I never said they are deramping Lauren, far from it, they want her around a while longer it seems. My point is they can make Mason a kind of villain still especially if he got saved 1 more time (next week). The show needs publicity at the moment whether good or bad. There is a reason surely that Mason got saved anyway. I also think announcing how close the votes were 1% between B3… is to try and get some sympathy/push for Mason next week for votes. Lets see anyway, but my bet for next elim right now would be Monica, but its tricky.

          • Linda

            Mason wasn’t good on Saturday night but he’s the only malleable commercial act they have left. If they’re pushing for Che to make the final, they need Max out but Mason in for another couple of weeks. Che is probably not polling as well as they’d like.

        • Edie M

          If it’s a double in particular Mason will have to have some sort of moment to bounce. I was surprised anyone thought Kiera was going to bounce, and that was bearing in mind she had an emotional sing-off whilst Mason was clearly the weaker performer.

    • David Cook

      Why would you bother? Mason started as an act with a bit of edge (in XF terms) and some commercial potential. That’s gone now. Now he’s singing a bland watered down bland version of Womack And Womack. It’s not exactly cutting edge is it? They’ve virtually turned him into the joke act.
      Last week they used the pimp slot to put Seann firmly in his box. I don’t care how well he did – he was never going to do better than that because they made sure there was no middle ground. So why not just run with it?
      I honestly just don’t get it.

      • eurovicious

        With Mason it’s about demonstrating control – commoditizing (and thereby declawing) dissent. Maybe they’re going to turn him back into the villain now but on their terms – by letting Seann go over him, they’ve created even more of a sense that he’s unfairly there. He didn’t look a happy bunny on Sunday and rightly seemed pretty sure he’d be going and like he might quite want to go. Similarly, Anton being called last (a la Maloney) was obviously no coincidence, as it gives people the sense Anton also unfairly stayed after a crap performance while the talented Seann has gone.

        It’s a real shame about Seann. His performances were uniformly wonderful and, as someone said on a previous comments thread, the X Factor is such a weird show – investing so heavily in people and building them up for weeks throughout the auditions/bootcamp/JH shows, only to rapidly demolish them professionally and often personally in the most cavalierly cruel ways come the live shows. An all-too-apt reflection of the British psyche, I think.

        Really surprising that Seann came 10th out of 11th given how good he was and how crap much of the rest of the field were, but I figure his performance was musical theatre and ITV viewers don’t go to the theatre (and think culture is something that comes in a yoghurt). He should come back next year in whiteface and a fatsuit with a dead-relative sob story and bellow Nessun Dorma until the proles vote him their champion. #classismisfun

        In answer to James Martin’s question above (http://sofabet.com/2015/11/08/x-factor-2015-week-2-post-mortem-seann-miley-no-moore/comment-page-1/#comment-65445), I think when asking why Seann did badly, we should ask whether Rise Like A Phoenix would have won Eurovision if Tom Neuwirth had performed it dressed as himself. I don’t think it would. It’s worth remembering he spent the first 5 years of his singing career performing as himself (with the same theatricality and type of music, just not in drag: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao7v0uOk4-Y) but it never really took off, so he adopted the Conchita persona both for artistic reasons and out of pragmatic necessity. Branding is everything – and visibly gay men performing as themselves, sincerely, theatrically and in a non-heteronormative way, often don’t win straight audiences over (cf. Norway 2001) because the message that comes through to viewers at home is “this is not for me”, whereas a drag performance or an uptempo performance by a gay man is clearly labelled “entertainment”. Plus Conchita had a message that I think people got, and Seann didn’t. There’s also the sex factor: men found Conchita beautiful (fact) and women related to her, found her inspiring and envied her figure; Seann is perhaps too between-genders to be a object of desire for either gender.

  • Dean F

    Just 1 more observation. Can RnB stand for Reggie n Bollie, but also Red n Blacked?

    That’s what they were on Saturday, but in my opinion this Red n Black theory can be put to bed ever since James Arthur smashed Red n Black out the ball park in his season every other week.

    RnB were excellent by the way on Saturday. I think they saw SMM more disposable with this Ghanian duo being pushed to stick around until week 5 at least.

    • Martin

      I bloody love Reggie and Bollie! They were the shining stars of Saturday night, a ray of light in an apalling show.

      I think red and black is context dependent. There was white in there, and it all fit in with the cheerleader staging. Later on, more colours were introduced (notably blue). All of their other treatment was positive, it doesn’t make sense that tptb would deliberately throw that in if it was unhelpful.

      Sometimes it works to effect, but I think you’re right that is has been phased out generally. I can’t think of a harmful “red and blacking” from last year, or this year so far.

  • EM

    While I’m in the mood:

    Bottom 3s so far show that coming early in the running order is no help whatsoever. Being first on isn’t certain death though!

    • David Cook

      Maybe it’s being on early AND being rubbish that doesn’t help. I didn’t read too much into Lauren opening the show last week even with the SCC overlap. Even XF must know that you can’t open your first live show with a crap act. After all it is an entertainment show isn’t it?

  • Alen

    during monica’s performance these lyrics def stood out to me:

    “Got me looking, so crazy, my baby
    I’m not myself, lately I’m foolish, I don’t do this ”

    they were so fitting as in that she looked bad and not like herself.

    another way of trying to manipulate the viewers.

    • David Cook

      And Kiera should have sung:
      “so I’m back in the game ………listen while I sing my come back song”
      But they missed that part out. How apt.

    • Linda

      I really liked Monica on Saturday night. I thought the “Bond theme” styling both aurally and visually suited her. For the first time I could hear the depth and richness of her voice.

  • Ben Cook

    Am I being naive in buying Simon’s “base it on the sing-off” speech the last two weeks? And him saying he wasn’t happy about the decision he was making. Are the producers letting the judges (or Simon at least) make a genuine decision in weeks where they’re not really bothered? I would’ve thought they’d prefer Alien and Seann to have stayed last two weeks.

    Just thought he seemed genuinely annoyed to have lost Seann go last night. I can’t believe they would’ve decided to sacrifice him for Mason, who is neither good TV or a genuine prospect for next big thing.

    • Stu

      You may have a point Ben. On Xtra Factor I’m sure Simon said something like “normally in the early weeks I don’t care but tonight I cared”. It’s easy to assume, as readers of Sofabet, that everything is not what it seems but there could still be elements of “reality” on XF.

      Having said that, I would’ve assumed Rita would’ve chosen to save Seann over Mason. Likewise with Nick although I understand that he’d want to take it to the public vote – therefore not actually participating in sending one of his acts home.

      • Jessica Hamby

        It was a big blow to the credibility of the show. For all that it was based on the public vote, it was seen by everyone, even Mason, as the wrong decision. I just can’t understand what Rita was thinking. I know she said she saw something in Mason, I know he got her dancing at his audition, but Seann wiped the floor with him in that sing off, absolutely destroyed him. It made no sense at all.

      • stoney

        But if they really wanted to keep seann they would have gone to Nick first and he would have abstained. Leaving Seann a 2-1 winner. This tactic is often used when it fits the agenda. I think its interesting that the order they go to the judges also is completely made up as they go along depending on the situation.

  • plinkiplonk

    I feel we have been here before, having spent ages to analyse the manipulations and subtlties of this show, only to be left with the feeling that it seems TPTB have lost it and don’t know what they are doing any more.

    – Why introduce an arbitrary wildcard contestant, NOT voted in by the public but placed by the producers, only to shoot her down in week 2 ? Did they simply have more airtime to fill because ad sales are down ? (hardly, the show is still approx. 98% advertising…)

    – Why go through all the drama to bring in a controversial contestant with a bad boy image to then blandify him beyond recognition ?

    – Why import acts from outside the UK / the other side of the world to then harp on about them being FOREIGN in all their VTs ? (see also Andrea Faustino)

    It’s like they just don’t care any more… (I can sympathise with that…)

    • Ben Cook

      I know, I’m a bit baffled about the “nuking” of Kiera and Monica. If they didn’t want Kiera, they could’ve just had Monica in the first place. If they didn’t want Monica, why did they bring her back?

      I actually liked Kiera’s performance on Saturday – it might not have been right for getting the votes, but it was nicely staged and felt “relevant”.

      Monica might have had firey background and the dress might’ve put people off, but I think the overall look of the staging was quite impressive.

      Sometimes they must just get things wrong, and sometimes they probably don’t care much what order the contestants leave so long as they keep the ones they want in. Just because they want one girl to win, they don’t necessarily have to make all of the other girls look like shit to make it happen.

      But then, no denying that Anton’s dreadful song choice and styling was deliberate.

      It’s a shame they can’t just give all the finalists equal chance to shine – wouldn’t it just make a better show?

      • Carla

        ‘It’s a shame they can’t just give all the finalists equal chance to shine’

        I often wonder how things would be if there was somehow a parallel universe where we had the same contestants, each singing the same song, with neutral staging, run in tandem with the manipulated version we see. I’d love to compare and contrast the outcome with no machinations or room for deramping etc.

        • The result would be The Voice. If everything was fair and on equal terms, we wouldn’t make that much money and this site would not exist :).

        • Alan

          Quote “It’s a shame they can’t just give all the finalists equal chance to shine’

          I often wonder how things would be if there was somehow a parallel universe where we had the same contestants, each singing the same song, with neutral staging, run in tandem with the manipulated version we see. I’d love to compare and contrast the outcome with no machinations or room for deramping etc”.

          Lets face it it would be as boring as bollocks. Its only the Sofabet perspective that has brought me back to the show.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Agreed. I wouldn’t watch X Factor without Sofabet and I simply don’t watch The Voice at all.

          • eurovicious

            It wouldn’t be boring. It’s how other countries do it, and how the BBC has seen so much success with GBBO, which smartly eschews almost all of the things people have grown to hate about TV talent contests.

          • Jessica Hamby

            “eschews” 😀

            I love this forum. Where else would you get “eschews”?

    • Edie M

      Absolutely this! The whole thing is so confusing this year. I think Sagand’s point below about it all just being geared towards doing whatever is required to get Louisa across the line goes part of the way at least to explaining some of the weird choices.

  • Rose

    My take on the foreign acts is that they fill the gaps where there are no longer enough adequately gifted British acts to compete after all these years. There are only so many 16-17 year-olds to add into the mix, after all. But I think they might balk at allowing a foreign act to actually win the whole show. When FI arrived at audition, Simon was totally smitten and was saying that they were going to be huge on social media, it was going to blow up right there and then. And I think his plans for them, post-show, haven’t changed, but I don’t believe they will win it. Ditto Reggie and Bollie, who are enormous fun (not up my street, but I can still see it) and who bring humour, colour and charm to the occasion every night. They are likely to be popular with the voting public (at least the non-racist ones) but unlikely to win IMO.
    As for Mason, the only question more interesting to me than why they are dumbing him down and blandifying him so much is why he is allowing it to happen. After all, as we saw at 6CC, he can stand up for himself. But he is just allowing them to strip his identity away from him on the show. You would think they would want someone to entertain us, wouldn’t you?
    The show seems to have lost whatever way it ever had.

    • plinkiplonk

      I was wondering about Mason, but if the whole scenario including tantrum, walk out and return was scripted then it kinda makes sense…

  • David Cook

    ‘How low can you go’. Maybe Nick’s reference to the shirt buttons was a metaphor for how low he’s prepared to stoop just to stay in this rubbish. They must really be testing him now. ‘Next week – how low can you go’.

  • Caro

    On 31st October (before the show) I checked Facebook follows for the artists’ individual ‘official’ pages. I know that this may not be any kind of indicator – though on the final stretch last year it reassured me that Ben was going to beat Fleur, despite producer’s best efforts (my money was on him).
    I also checked them again today. The relative increases are quite interesting.

    4th Impact’s huge numbers clearly reflect the international interest and that they are established so have an existing fan base.

    Monica’s first high number may also be to do with her being on the show last year?

    But look at Anton – what’s going on there?

    First number is 31st Oct, 2nd number is today
    4th Impact 41,482 62,206
    Monica Michael 23,456 28,396
    Louisa Johnson 12,200 20,239
    Reggie n Bollie 3,912 14,067
    Seann Miley Moore 9,229 14,744
    Mason Noise 8,310 13,723
    Che Chesterman 8,758 13,161,
    Kiera Weathers 10,702 12,862
    Lauren Murray 6,361 10,374
    Max Stone 4008 6160
    Alien Uncovered 5,303 10,117
    Bupsi 1,388 2,042
    Anton Stephans 155 1986

    • David Cook

      My take on this is that it’s likely that Anton doesn’t have that many ‘fans’. Those that he does have may be slightly older and perhaps not so big in social media. I suspect that Anton isn’t getting many blocks of 5 votes going his way – probably a lot of people giving him one or two votes just based on his likability. This is why they won’t want him to win – as that support will immediately evaporate at the end of the show and he would be a total commercial flop.

    • David Cook

      It’s not just facebook. On youtube views he’s bottom so far this week. Tellymix poll he’s bottom. It all points to soft support from casual viewers who split their votes, and minimal real fans. He could still be hard to shift though – once you give people free votes they’ll tend to want to use them.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Increase of more than 10,000 for Reggie & Bollie, second largest increase.

  • annie

    re Monika.

    My theory on the whole wildcard/deramp scenario is that Monika is brilliant and talented and brings much to the table, but she probably isnt willing to be the puppet they like their acts to be.
    It could very much be that they choose not to put her through directly to try to ´put her into her place´ a bit, if you know what I mean.
    Her week 1 standout performance was much needed to justify her seemingly arbitrary wildcard status.
    But I sense she knows her value and talent and isn´t willing to play the game quite like they´d like her to so she is getting nooked. ……(a bit like janet devlin, the classic example of how even the most favored act falls out of grace and is executed when unwilling to play along)

    • Jessica Hamby

      But she did dress up the way they wanted and perform the song they asked for even though she knew it wasn’t right for her and she didn’t like it.

      How much more playing along can she do?

      • annie

        well she did. but she also grabbed the opportunity to convey on air her dissatisfaction, wasnt she? and if I remember she also had some borderline snarky remark after not being chosen after judges houses… and if she dares to give voice for her thoughts on camera I am sure she says more behind she scenes.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I’m reluctant to put too much faith in speculation without evidence. She seemed polite and respectful in her VT when she was questioning choices and the first thing Cheryl did at judges comments was (with a big shit-eating grin on her face) ask Monica how she felt. I don’t know what response she was expecting (but in such situations one normally never asks a question without thinking you know what the response will be). Monica’s response was honest and straightforward. This isn’t me. I want to put my Tims on and be the streety girl I am.

          She may speak her mind but there’s no evidence she’s a disruptive influence or constant complainer. And let’s face it, they tried to stitch her up this week so she had cause. If they had her throwing an epic hissy fit or constantly complaining and undermining things I think they would have showed it on her VT.

          She’s Mon from the block, but still real as opposed to J-Lo. Being street doesn’t mean being bad or angry or bitter. I worry that we might be judging her on appearance and demeanour.

        • Jessica Hamby

          What I’m trying to say is that tptb don’t need a moral justification to stitch up a contestant. They do it because it suits their plans for a dramatic arc or a desired result or just to keep the show interesting. Assuming there is any deeper reason behind their decisions is, imo, a mistake.

          • annie

            It is exactly what I meant , but I guess it wasn´t the way it came across.

            Monika is talented and likely has commercial potential – it is very much possible for tptb´s desired result to be to get her to do well, sign her and make loads of money of her.

            However, her treatnent this week seems to contradict this.

            If a had to make an educated guess I would say she suddenly got nuked because they realised she isn´t as maleable as they prefer their newly signed artists to be.

            My impression doesn´t come from prejudice because she´s from the block and I don´t assume she is bad or angry or bitter or anything… I simply think she is quite a formed artist with a clear sense of herself, self penned personal music/lyrics. Her subtle but clear remarks reinforce this impression.

            And I brought up Janet D as a precedent to show that tptb are not keen on very self assured artist´even if they have commercial potential and are popular.

          • Martin

            falling into the rabbit hole slightly here, but do we think they were harsh on Monica on purpose to motivate a sympathy vote? knowing that these sorts of urban contestants can sometimes struggle (Misha B, Rough Copy etc.) did they manufacture this as part of a story arc where voters actually CAN get behind this sort of act? where she will come back as this “street” Monica that she has promised us, and they deliberately went in on her that hard to keep her around a few weeks?

            as i said, it’s rabbit hole and generally i don’t think being negative to get a positive result is a good strategy – she’s potentially damaged now, but the comments were all about her appearance and the arrangement, not her voice. (which actually sounded quite good).

          • Jessica Hamby

            Oh I see. I thought you meant she was a backstage troublemaker and so they just wanted to get rid.

            I now think you mean she’s too thoughtful and focussed.

          • Martin

            just to clarify – i dont think she’s being favoured as a winner or even a finalist, but I don’t think Simon would have said “I hope people forget you tonight” and expect people to do that.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I thought that was exactly what he expected. He wanted to rubbish the performance and then suggested we forget not the performance, but HER.

            The “I didn’t love it *dramatic pause* I hated it” was described by Mr Hamby as a c#nt’s trick. It was nasty and memorable enough to get the sympathy vote. I think Scowl thought it was the killer blow. He overestimated his influence.

            He wanted her out.

  • Sagand

    I think they tried so hard in casting the live shows to get the winner they wanted that now they only care about one of the acts. Normally there’s a decent alpha group that may not always be pimped but aren’t going to get thrown under the bus. This year the only act I’m certain that going to get treated well next week is Louisa.

    I’m not that surprised by SMM and Alien being voted off. Aggressive girl groups are one of the archetypes of early leavers. (Their VT telling them they have to appeal to children and 30 seconds later they are singing “Dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty sucker,You think I can’t get hurt like you, you mother-hey!”)

    The boys were picked in such a way so that none of them were supposed to have any chance of winning. Mason disliked from ranting at SSC, SMM was always going to more popular with the online niche than the main audience (he wasn’t even that popular online) and Che’s look will hold him back much more than Josh Daniels or Simon Lynch would have.

    Monica = Paul Akister
    They wanted her back because the comeback narrative is strong (I think it’s meant to be feel good but the show doesn’t do feel good well), but they don’t want her to go far for the same reasons she didn’t get past the SSC the first time.

    • Edie M

      Your point about how they cast the lives with basically the ‘winner’ in mind and everyone else pretty much fodder is how it really feels at the moment. Related to that I think Simon’s ‘deliberation’ at JH might actually have had an element of truth to it: Jennifer had been cast as part of his feel-good but no hope of winning of Overs, but his ego wouldn’t let him have a hopeless category so he plumped for Max (the only classic male contestant in the show this year, seen as Nick had been instructed to dispose of Josh & Simon).

  • plinkiplonk

    Actually, going further with my pet theory that the whole Mason story is a scripted ploy, I think they didn’t forsee that one guy dropping out, and Mason was originally pencilled in as the wild card. (/tinfoil head off)

  • 360

    Interesting from looking back at our pre-show predictions, nobody foresaw or even suspected that Seann would be going out this early.

    • Dean F

      Personally believe RnB stole his limelight and took up the actually quite good and fun narrative

      • Caro

        Agree –

        Anton’s treatment on Saturday seemed at times an attempt to move him into the ‘novelty act’ role (as part of his deramp) and as you say Reggie n Bollie have taken the ‘fun act’ role and are doing well with it, so Seann lost his ‘novelty and fun’ USP and the votes went with it.

        Did anyone else think of Jonny Robinson as soon as they saw Seann’s kimono type costume?

        • Edie M

          I also think Sean’s performance on Saturday fell between the gaps of failing to delight his demo (not dramatic enough) but turning off any floating M.E voters (too dramatic). Also, a first show pimp slot to me is always a bad sign- you don’t really have anywhere to go from that. Esp. for Sean- a pimp slot on Halloween was probably always going to tbe the height of his votes.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Was it ever clear what direction he was going in? He was kept in that diva / torch song area from first audition. At first I thought he was going to be a bit anguished and tragic but he got over that very quickly and became a parody of himself. Was The Show Must Go On his first audition song? I’m sure it was something like that. Mind you, even if he’d started with Sunday’s Ray Charles tptb probably would have pigeonholed him as a comedy drag queen fairly quickly.

        • David Cook

          The issue with Seann might have been that he was a ‘novelty’ act that wasn’t fun at all. I think he probably came over as being far too serious about himself. There’s nothing wrong with that, but XF is as much a popularity contest and I do think this made it difficult for people to warm to him.

        • Edie M

          No I don’t think it was ever clear, and all the show did- as you say- was make him a parody of himself. They could have stepped in and made him more current but they ran with the musical theatre am dram vibe he needed to get away from. It’s strange that he dresses himself so well (not incl. the kimono- which reminded me of Johnny R & Abi Alton) yet pretty much every song he did was dated.

  • George

    (All of this presuming the Star leaks are accurate)
    Monica coming 5th last week explains her deramp and Lauren’s pimping. Perhaps they thought that the public wouldn’t take to Monica at all?

    4th Impact coming 4th is a very good starting point for them if they wanted to support them later on (note that Little Mix also came 4th in the first public vote, dropping to 6th a week later). Suggests that this week was just confidence that they’ll be safe regardless and saving their standout moment for another time.

    Che’s absence from the top 5 also makes me believe they wanted to establish him as a finalist rather than a potential winner.

  • Henry VIII

    Carrying on from the Monica comments above: are we sure it was a stitch up?

    They have some leeway to play around with acts in the early weeks. (Same with Louisa – try and get her to move a bit.)

    Cowell “I hated it”. But that’s not how you get someone out. It’s how you motivate votes to save after the arrangement hasn’t worked. So I’m not yet convinced they don’t want her.

    However check out the look on his face after she said you have to follow the regime at the end 😀

    • Edie M

      If not her, then who do you think the producers wanted out this week alongside Kiera? Was Anton going actually in their sights?

    • Curtis

      I said it on the night, but I don’t think “I hated it” would’ve motivated votes because it will have been seen to be fair criticism. However, what probably did motivate votes in hindsight was “What have they done to you?” implying that it wasn’t Monica’s fault and giving her some sympathy.

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s hard to see who else. They planned a double eviction so they knew 2 were going and another one would sing off, so they needed 3.

      I think they were aiming for Keira, who they were pretty sure they would get, and then any two from Monica, Max, Seann, Anton – while probably knowing from last week’s figures that Mason was in trouble too.

      I think they were probably expecting to get Max but his performance was too good for their planned criticism and Seann got hit instead. All those acts were targets for deramping though (in my opinion, obv).

      The problem was that the criticism of Seann was the most apt – Monica and Anton looked hard done by because of their productions and Max made himself bulletproof.

      That’s the way I see it at the moment. The others (Lauren, FI, Louisa, R&B and Che) were all mightily praised and (apart from FI) all performed well enough to avoid danger.

      I’m open to other interpretations but right now yes, I think they tried to give Monica a proper shoeing and it backfired, or at least was only partially successful. We won’t find out till later if she was partly deramped, gained votes out of sympathy or stayed around the same level..

    • Henry VIII

      “Hated” does not come across as fair criticism, too strong.

      We know he wants to sign Louisa. Everything else is more fuzzy, probably for Cowell too. In the early weeks they test out strengths and weaknesses of acts and note public opinion.

      • Sagand

        If it was meant to be sympathetic it could be part of a one-two punch and next week will be a congrats you did how to want it/ end of the journey vibe.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I think the whole show was a bit of a stir things up and see how they fall effort. It’s not a precision sport. I don’t think Seann was a particular target and they’d rather have seen the back of Max or Monica any day but that’s not the way it worked out.

          As I said at the time, I thought that song was a terrible choice for Seann – all dreary and angsty but with no particular connection to him. Max’s song, by contrast, was right in his wheelhouse and probably quite well known in that version by a lot of people.

  • Dean F

    Just looking at history to see what we can make out of the supposed week 1 top 5 leak. Obviously not forgetting this year the live shows have less weeks for things to turn, but they still will once less acts are left.

    2014 – week 1 leader Andrea over 9% ahead of 2nd… finished 3rd. Eventual winner Ben was 4th on 8.7%. Eventual runner up Fleur 5th on 6.0%

    2013 – Eventual winner Sam Bailey 2nd in week 1 just behind Nicholas McDonald who was eventual runner up. With Luke only competitor to gain any momentum at all in this competition these 2 ran away with it for most the show, especially Sam.

    2012 – Week 1 Chris Maloney won with an overwhelming majority of 15%. Ended up 3rd, not knocked off top until week 8. James Arthur was 6th in week 1 on 5.6% his vote was mostly consistent until he dipped into the sing off at week 7 and never looked back. Eventual runner up Jahmene was 2nd in week 1 on 13% and remained 2nd every week there after except week 8 he came 3rd. Original plan A Ella after been 3rd in the vote in week 1 struggled after week 4 onwards to keep her vote despite still good performances (could this happen to Louisa, something TPTB will be looking to stop happening this year)

    2011 – Week 2 was first voting week. Janet Devlin smashed it at the top by 13%. Was out in week 8. Eventual winner Little Mix 8.7% in week 2, really held their vote from week 7 onwards. Eventual runner up Marcus Collins was 7th in Week 2.

    2010 – Week 1 leader Mary Bryne by about 7% came 5th. Eventual winner Matt Cardle was top from week 2 onwards. Eventual runner up Rebecca Ferguson was 6th.

    So what does this sample tell us. Firstly that even if Anton won the vote by the 10% stated in the leak, it does not really mean much as that vote will be held. He will still likely come 5th at least. Its obvious by now the person who will win will be the one picking up the floaters week on week, that much is obvious, but can TPTB avoid Louisa going down the Ella Henderson route. Louisa has more stage presence for sure and variety than Ella did in 2012, but lets see. I think Louisa needs more week 1 than week 2 for this to happen.

    Someone will most likely come out of the middle of the pack from the week 1 votes to be at least runner up. This has happened in every year aside 2012. So if Che finished 6th or 7th in the voting, that is no problem, same goes for Lauren whose likeability will win her a lot of votes.

    Right now I believe the top 4 that TPTB want are Louisa, Che, 4th Impact and Lauren perhaps in that order, but are aware Anton may nick 3rd or 4th, but for sure will not be winning. Sorry if some of this was already obvious but was something to look at.

    • Dean F

      Sorry just to add to this. There is absolutely no past of the 3rd place in week 1 being anywhere near the bottom 2 the next week. Not even close. Considering Seann was meant to have got 12% that is a huge giveaway at this stage of the competition. Don’t forget he would have had to gone from 12% to about 4 or 5% if that. How would that have happened? His performance was not great, but was not bad, overall he wasn’t given a major deramp, just a slight one, but he would have had core support.

      So what conclusions can we make? Either

      a) The Leak is a load of rubbish, maybe leaked designed to stop Anton from getting extra votes, make his support lazy already

      or

      b) How did 4th Impact, Monica, Mason, Max, Che, Lauren and RnB all finish above Seann… in some cases it would have needed to be a 6 or 7% percent, perhaos more, swing… which would literally mean any thousands of votes. I could make a case for Che and Lauren, perhaps RnB… but the first 4 were either deramped, gave a bad performance, or had nothing to be given many more votes than Seann compared to his much higher supposed majority from week 1

      We can only find out if the leak was true in December I guess.

      • Sagand

        The best comparison is Sophie Habibis who went from 3rd in the first vote to 9th in the second (Only 0.2% away from the bottom 2). Also the Seann’s 12% came from the pimp slot that is worth a couple of percent.

        • annie

          Looks similar on paper,
          but in Sophie´s case week 2 she was coming down from a a truly mesmerizing week 1 performance (teenage dream) that made people notice her after she was basically invisible throughout audition/bootcamp/judgeshouses. and she was done borderline nuked to end up in B2.

          Neither of these apply to Sean.
          He was good but not that surprising or standout on week 1 and he wasn˝t brilliant but not abysmal either on week 2.
          So I am truly curious how and if such a dip occured in his case.

          • Alan

            I know the Daily Star has a good record on these things but literally every other sentence in that rag is a pile of shit. Seems pretty obvious to me that any leak was a dud or like most other things they print was just completely made up.

      • Lia

        I was looking through the stats and Scott Brutton went from 2nd to 9th in the first 2 weeks in series 5. He went from 19% to 4.7%, which wasn’t enough to land him in the bottom 2 but would have landed him on a bottom 3, had they done it. It’s not usual but it’s possible…

        • annie

          but again, there was a quite visible reason for that, poor scott was bland and boring, I don´t think he would have ever gotten near the top that first week had the atrocious song choice by simon not existed and how that whole situation was handled. It was a giant excessive sympathy vote.
          Nothing extraordinary actually happened with seann. that´s why it´s hard to believe he went on such a wave. but ofcourse not impossible.

  • EM

    On entertainmentodds.com they make a case that the Star may only have the phone component of the voting which would explain a couple of the questions about the leak

    • George

      That would explain why their percentages were out in regards to Ben and Fleur last year. Surely good for 4th Impact if they came 4th on the phone vote.

  • The maestro

    9-1 mason to finish above che is absolutly massive surely worth a tenner to win a ton

  • The maestro

    So youd want 90_1 in a 2 way market dont be so soft

    • Jessica Hamby

      I’m with Stoney on this.

      If you’re convinced it’s going to happen then it’s great value. Personally I don’t think it’s at all likely. I’m not convinced that tptb have any long term intentions for Mason at all.

      If he suddenly catches on then yeah, they’ll have a piece, but if he keeps getting booed and low votes well they’ll just make use of it to make some drama and get some headlines. I see no reason to think he’ll beat Che at the moment.

  • Sadie

    Potentially telling article in Heatworld this evening:

    http://www.heatworld.com/2015/11/leaked-public-vote-the-x-factor-favourite-2015

    To me it seems like a bit of an attempted take down of Anton- quite derogatory- with mentions about the less the positive Sun article about him, his poor performance etc. Not to mention the reference to the “lovely, lovely Louisa”…

    An attempt to galvanise its readers to vote for Louisa/ other contestants to pull Anton down the ranks maybe?

    Not sure if Cowell has control over Bauer/ Heat (probably)

  • Stu

    I actually do believe the Daily Star leak. It does make complete sense…

    Anton winning with a huge lead is expected. He’s the typical vote-magnet. Sob story? Check. Fantastic voice? Check. Likeable? Check. The highly pimped Louisa being second after singing a ballad with great staging and unanimous praise is also no surprise. Seann may have been eliminated already but I don’t find it too hard to believe that he may have slid from 3rd to 10th place in the space of a week. Rachel Adedeji went from the top in week 3 to eliminated the following week. Yes she may have experienced a mega-huge sympathy bounce but that just proves that there’s a first time for everything. Seann had the week 1 pimp slot – it’s very rare for an act to poll out of the top 3 in the first vote if they sang last.

    4th Impact and Monica sang 11th and 12th out of 13 in week 1, it’s not difficult to believe that they finished 4th and 5th too. 4th Impact have been one of the most pimped acts this year so after a great performance they could easily have polled high while Monica had the “wildcard goodwill effect” along with a truly solid performance.

    I know some on here are doubting the DS leak simply because of Seann’s apparent trajectory but there’s always some rapid changes in the voting week-to-week (Scott Bruton, Rachel Adedeji, Danyl).

    • Dean F

      Not saying it’s not believable or true, but that it’s a huge shock that Seann slid from 3rd to 10th in the votes and a number of contestants had to overtake him.

      I guess for me a large part of Seann’s vote must have went to RnB and to lesser extent between Che, Lauren perhaps Louisa

      • Martin

        I think all they had to do with Seann was bland him up. The pimp slot played to his strengths generally, but the outfit wasn’t as “out there” as usual (yes it was flamboyant with the hat, but it was still a black suit) and he was put in a box with the cabaret comments. It dampened him. This week his staging wasn’t outstanding, the song was too beige and being called “lazy” (particularly after being tagged as “unemployed” several times during the early auditions) wasn’t going to bring in anymore votes. I felt sorry for him – he worked with what he had as well as he could, which was basically a nothing song and a few leaves. There was nothing inspiring about it, which was what Seann could have been.

    • Linda

      Ok. This suggests to me that Louisa Johnson is not polling as expected. They need Monica – or God forbid, Lauren – out with Max. Mason Noise will be safe this week – they’ll have to pull out all the stops with him to save face for Ora and Grimshaw after Sunday’s debacle. Lauren had her pimp slot last weekend and I think we can only call this when we see the song choices. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Anton had topped the poll again last weekend. For now – Max and Monica (though in my gut sadly I sense also Lauren).

      • EM

        Can you expand on why this suggests to you Louisa isn’t polling as well as they hoped Linda?

        Also given the public voted Seann off do Ora and Grimshaw need to save face?

        • Linda

          EM my reasoning on this – which could of course be completely wrong – is that another double elimination feels wrong at this point in the show. Someone joked the Killing Fields. Wiping another two out, three weeks in a row, feels less like a nurturing talent show and more like a karaoke version of the chariot race in Ben Hur. Is that the impression they really want to give? They need to get two out this week – it’s not that they want to.

          If we work on the principal of proportional representation, and voters who vote for the sake of it because they feel they’re part of the show, then the votes for an eliminated candidate go elsewhere. If Monica is eliminated the likeliest recipient is Lauren. If Max goes it’s Che, and behind that Mason. They can’t have Monica and Max going too much further, not because of they themselves but where their votes when ultimately they are eliminated will go.

          Louisa is the nucleus of this particular XFactor atom and the rest are electrons. But she’s like a electoral candidate in the PR system who gets her own number one votes but not many from anyone else. This series is not just pimping her, its centered around her. The double elimination gives me the impression that they need to turboboost her “number ones” from the following week onwards. They must need Monica or Lauren out of the way, and quickly.

          On the second point, Nick and Rita got a right hammering for not saving Seann on Twitter and other social media sites. Nick in particular seems to have taken it very personally and defended himself on Twitter, even though his action in the singoff made no sense. TPTB will want to put that behind them. IMO the way to do that is to pimp Mason to death this week to keep him out of bottom 3 – if he’s capable of accepting a pimping as his vocals aren’t a patch on Seann’s – he can go the week after.

          Of course – I could be wrong.

          • EM

            Ah my mistake, I read it as movie night was brought in to help Louisa. Thanks for clarifying

          • Jessica Hamby

            In the Daily Telegraph poll 73% of respondents thought the decision to save Mason was wrong. Three to one is pretty comprehensive. Terrible for the show. At this rate they’ll have no viewers to take to Sky even if it does get signed.

      • David Cook

        It might just be that this week they’re confident of which act or acts are likely to be bottom. Who knows – there might have been a gap above Mason in the vote. It seems like they’ve pretty much got him in their pocket – I doubt that he’ll get much of a bounce. As with Kiera last week I really can’t see him surviving this week if it is a double.
        If anything it suggests all the favored acts are doing at least well enough that they expect them to avoid being in trouble this week. I was expecting a single elimination this week as a chance to settle things down and possibly manoeuvre some acts towards the trapdoor.

  • Rose

    I suggest The Killing Fields as an apt movie to choose music from in this case.

  • Jessica Hamby

    A few more thoughts on Seann.

    I think lazy was a deliberate word choice from Simon.

    An ongoing theme of VTs an features on Seann has been divaesque and entitled behaviour. He joined in the VTs and actually DID become a parody of himself. We’ve heard how Seann was a bigger diva than Anton because he was in a 12 bedroom mansion and still comained about the size of the gym. There was the VT with him making demands on everyone and even being carried up the stairs by Che. He wore the same bloody kimono in his performance that he wore through the audition shows (I remember posting that I was sick of it at boot camp). Plus he had extra eye makeup like a mask.

    This wasn’t a one off, it was part of a sustained effort to paint Seann as lazy, entitled, can’t be bothered. It’s the repeated messages that they really want you to hear.

    Other themes that I’ve noticed are being classy or not. I think this may be part of a deramp plan for Lauren and Monica. Laziness may work on Che. Britishness is another ongoing theme. Lies, misrepresentation and oddness for Anton. Being uncool and maybe even childish for Max.

    It will be helpful to predict eliminations if we caj identify these themes. The dogs may be deliberate midlsdirection or may hve a later purpose.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Look for references to hen nights and karaoke, that sort of thing, along with frumpy and unflattering styling for Lauren. A pair of high heels and a better fitted jumpsuit would have made her look 100 times better on Saturday. Wonder why she didn’t get them (not!).

      Uncool, wrong image, doesn’t fit have been used on Max.

      Is Monica a bit angry, bitter, potentially aggressive?

      Any themes any of you have noticed? Positive as well as negative.

    • Rose

      I agree with everything you say here, Jessica. I was especially disturbed by the thick eye make-up on Seann this week, which made him look less human, more mannequin, than before. And indeed, the repeated messages are clearly the ones that eventually succeed in changing voters’ behaviour – but wasn’t this an unusually swift volte-face by the public, if we do take the leaked voting figures from the previous week at face value? Are other elements of the process also going to be accelerated in this shortened series? Can we expect other acts to fall from grace as quickly as Seann did?

      • Jessica Hamby

        I don’t think it was sudden. The seeds were planted. The messages work when they appear to be true. The kimono itself was a huge signal. He couldn’t even be bothered to change his clothes.

        Also, the attempted Monica and Max hits failed. I think they were intending to deramp Seann and put Monica (and /or Max) b3 and they missed.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Also, SOMEONE has to go every week. In a strong line up it appears to be a shock whoever that is.

        • Rose

          Wasn’t Seann an early favourite to win though? Of a strong field, he was, I believe, unarguably one of the strongest, most professional singers, with an image to match – a ready-made star in a way. Ditto with Alien Forgettable Name. I think what has confused a lot of commentators this time round is that the series is losing some of the more talented of its competitors already, rather than the less able singers that we usually say a less-than-sad goodbye to in the early weeks. It may very well, in my mind anyway, be a result of repeated double eliminations which are harder for TPTB to predict or control.
          It’s certainly confusing me, anyway!

          • Jessica Hamby

            If odds were reliable predictors favourites would always win.

            One interesting thing I noticed on DS is a few people posting that they thought other contestants were in trouble so they gave all their votes to a specific contestant where otherwise they would have given some to Seann. They presumed Seann was safe.

            That ties in with my feeling that this was an attempted deramp, not a full on assault. He got caught in the crossfire because people were afraid for Anton, Max and Monica. It was a combination of factors, a deramp creating apathy for him, the presumption he was safe anyway and greater concern for other contestants because they were perceived to be in more danger.

            I think they were aiming elsewhere and missed but missing doesn’t mean noone gets eliminated. It means someone else gets eliminated. Having said that, a couple of people called Seann in trouble on Friday.

  • Rose

    Your guess at what happened with Seann makes sense. I do think the word lazy detonates very powerfully when used in this show as a deramp.
    Ironically I gave the guy all of my votes once I saw the eyes and heard the adjective – but I guess they weren’t quite enough to save him 🙂

    • Jessica Hamby

      At the end of the day I don’t have any more certainty than you. Based on the information I have it’s a possible outcome. To be honest I don’t care about the reasons EXCEPT that there might be something useful in there to help determine future eliminations.

      Even if the reasons are wrong, if we find something useful then the speculation is worthwhile.

      Did you back him?

  • Caro

    Good lord – off topic, but Brian Friedman’s going into the jungle in I’m a Celeb – so’s George Shelley from Union J, (but that’s not so interesting). I wonder if they will spill any XFactor beans?

  • Murun Buchstansangur

    There seems to be a perception that RnB are a novelty act and that TPTB will derail them before that is allowed to happen. I’m not sure that this is the case, and I’m starting to wonder if they would be very acceptable winners for the show. In fact looking back, the only slight suggestion (picked up by Daniel) that TPTB are not behind them was the total lack of coverage of them at Boot Camp. Apart from that, the show and the judges seem to have bigged them up at every point. Would they be such bad winners? There are reasons they might like them to win:

    – The first black male(s) to win
    – The first male group to win (only the 2nd group of any type)
    – The first ‘novelty’ act to win, (although I don’t believe they are a novelty act)
    – The first foreign act to win

    The charts are full of this kind of act, they could have the most commercial potential of all the finalists. They would also be the ultimate feelgood winners, something TPTB may well value above all else, when the very future of the show is in doubt.

    • Chris

      Not a chance. The show format needs a “fun” act. They lined up Bupsi and R&B for the role then judged the public perception before deciding to jettison Bupsi.

      I was laughing my head off to see 3 judges standing and dancing during the R&B performance – presumably under strict orders. Drafting in a 1 directioner to issue praise also shows that R&B need assistance to escape B3.

      The reasons you gave are valid, but I don’t recall there ever being a winner that was so poor at singing.

      The odds for R&B shortened a fair bit this afternoon, so someone out there is taking a punt on them. Money down the drain as far as I can see though.

      • Rose

        To my mind, a novelty act is one that is indeed “fun”, but is treated somewhat critically and ironically by the judges, who often encourage the fun while distancing themselves as critics from the end results – so the likes of Bupsi, Wagner, Jedward and Stevi fit into that profile. But RnB don’t quite fit that mould; the judges are not trying to persuade us they are mocking them or just going along for the ride – in fact, they seem to be trying their hardest to signal their utter approval at this stage and spur people on to vote for them. That may of course be down to them being close to the bottom three, but I have a sense it is more positive. This week, we seem to have even moved a little beyond the “not the best vocal but so much fun” stage. I may be wrong, but I can’t remember any suggestion of deramp of these boys apart from a couple of minor asides about the vocals not being the best, and those at earlier stages of the competition.
        This kind of feelgood sound and look is very catching – a bit like a virus – and I really wouldn’t be surprised to see RnB going further than expected. Perhaps my money has gone down the drain and their singing abilities will stop them getting to the final but I for one couldn’t resist an each way bet on them.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I’m going to do the same thing.

        • Murun Buchstansangur

          Perfect summary of what constitutes a novelty act that Rose, clearly Reggie and Bollie don’t fall into that category for the reasons you state. Great post, I agree with everything you say, good luck with your each way bet, I did the same yesterday!

          • Martin

            I love the idea of this, RnB are by far my favourite contestant this year and the overall “vibe” of the show this year may well work in their favour – it’s very cut throat and they bring the light entertainment, but can they ride that all the way to the final? We’ve never had an act like them on the show it’s difficult to say, but everything about them is so enjoyable. They’re completely reliant on how the show treats them.

  • Woofie

    Hi I notice that Olly interviewed Kiera and RnB before the results were announced. I do wonder if we were seeing top and bottom of the votes. It is possible in week 2 that RnB could have topped the votes? It was a complete change in the show at that point and so close to voting that maybe RnB acted as decoy and someone like Seann,who the audience may considered was not at risk, lost out? Even the comments, although negative, could be perceived as positive constructive criticism, that is, they were meant for him to take risks, do songs that others wouldn’t do, a criticism of his mentor perhaps?

  • Wkrs

    My predictions for this weekend

    Monica’s VT focuses on her “being herself”. She then performs something unsympathetic in an early slot or sandwiched between big hitters to muted praise. Simon says he preferred her before and Cheryl says “you would”.

    Max’s VT is set up to make him subtly seem quite odd. Maybe introduce some not-so telegenic friends. Quirky performance that goes nowhere with dull staging.

    Anton is ostensibly given a better song more in his usual style, but it’s vocally challenging and highlights his weaknesses. Sound is deliberately very cold with little backing and negative staging. Subtle deramp after overdoing it last week.

    Ché is business as usual, talk of him being the dark horse etc. Good performance but middle of the road slot and comments.

    Louisa gets a good slot, maybe final and delivers her usual belter, but gets told to up her game (setting up a breakout moment next week)

    All positive for Lauren and 4th Impact, who everyone gushes over again.

    Mason gets a big production, great slot (maybe penultimate) and some interaction with Rita and Cheryl. Judges comment that they like him better when he’s a bit bad.

    Everyone bangs on about how “nobody is safe after last week”

    Sunday – Monica is last and Max plus one B2. Max goes. Hard to call who he’s up against.

    **** alternatively ****

    They have no shame and make Anton sing the Teletubbies theme in full costume, Cowell claims it shows his versatility.

 Leave a reply...