X Factor 2015 Week 3 Elimination Preview

Whether and how tonight’s show chooses to acknowledge last night’s terrible events in Paris is open to debate. Producers have already decided to discreetly change the songs that Monica and Lauren will perform. The former, who had been due to perform ‘Bang Bang’, now gets ‘What is Love’, a reprisal of her six chair challenge performance. The latter, originally given ‘License to Kill’, now has Ariana Grande’s ‘One Last Time’.

Beyond this, questions are: will their VTs and/or judges comments reference the last-minute changes? If so, how much will it be used as mitigation for an under-rehearsed production? Punters have reacted to the song change by backing Mason and Max, as Monica has drifted. But even more than usual, this feels like a show to wait for.

We covered extensively the unflattering staging that Monica Michael was given last week. In truth, even more could have been written about just how unhelpful it was. The Bond-esque fiery backdrop, fire jets, and slow, erotic movements of the backing dancers were reminiscent of the hatchet jobs seen in the nuclear 2011 series.

It didn’t bode well for Monica that producers initially gave her ‘Bang Bang’ this week, the song that featured in the most spectacular staging asphyxiation of 2011 – on Sophie Habibis – a spectacle that merits the description “arachnid hellscape” every time. With the last-minute switch, she has a song with more emotion that she clearly connects to.

Lauren’s initial choice also featured in a successful 2011 red-and-blacking, ‘Licence To Kill’, which helped eliminate Craig Colton from the competition. Lauren was treated far better than Monica last week, with a generous, though not over-the-top, pimp slot opportunity. There was a curtain of fire but no judges’ standing ovation; a faux gospel choir but no starry backdrop.

Overall, it felt more like a short-term moment that kept her as beta to Louisa’s alpha, rather than part of a longer-term upgrade. Selecting ‘Licence To Kill’ for her earlier in the week reinforced that, given its toxic record. The decision seemed like the start of a softening up process that Monica first experienced last week. It’s worth bearing that in mind despite the last-minute song change.

Competing with Monica for favouritism in the elimination market are Max Stone and Mason Noise. Both featured in last Sunday’s recap segment about those “under pressure” in the competition. Mason’s singoff appearance made that abundantly clear. This week he sings ‘Men In Black’, which doesn’t have any particular vocal moments. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in Mason’s case, and visuals will be just as important – the staging will tell us how much they want him to bounce, if at all. His fans should be hoping for a big production.

Max Stone’s choice of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Secret Garden’ feels like a step down into obscurity after taking on some iconic songs in the first two weeks. He endured some harsh criticism last week, but was given a relatively sympathetic VT, encouraging us to emotionally invest in some family background to a limited degree. Still, it feels like his time on the show is starting to run its course. I’ll be interested to see if his VT tonight returns to the week 1 theme of diffidence, which wouldn’t be promising for him.

Another act taking on a minor work from a big name are Fourth Impact. They’ve been given Beyonce’s ‘Work It Out’, which encourages the sense that they’re losing momentum as the live shows progress. We’ve been promised some “sass” from them this week. I can only hope that alongside it they give us better vocals than they’ve managed in the first two live shows.

The other song choices look more reassuring. Anton’ choice of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’ suggests a return to his balladeering comfort zone after last week’s showmanship. Reggie n Bollie are attempting to ride their wave of fun-filled productions with a ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ / ‘My Heart Will Go On’ mashup. This sounds like the moment they step into novelty act territory.

Meanwhile market leader Louisa Johnson may be given another moment replete with Plan A staging for ‘Everybody’s Free’. Her main rival in the outright, Che Chesterman, has a suitable soul classic in ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’, which also fits into the narrative of Simon’s unusual comment about him “getting more handsome” last week.

There’s a 15 minute overlap with Strictly this week, so it will be interesting to see who is sent out first. Do keep your thoughts coming below.

95 comments to X Factor 2015 Week 3 Elimination Preview

  • eurovicious

    Notably, I Have Nothing was Misha B’s “redemption week” song that saw her highest vote in the series.

    • Tim B

      That was four series ago though, before viewers became sick and tired of the song. Since then, Sam Bailey, Tamera Foster (x2) and Andrea Faustini (and others) have performed the song, with it bringing the latter down to the Bottom Two for the first time.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I wonder if Anton might be an accidental casualty tonight. It’s one of those songs people are sick of. Having said that, he has the ability to sing the hell out of that song.

  • Sagand

    This is the stage of the contest tptb know where the acts are in terms of danger and the running order is easier to manipulate.

    Looking back over past series there have been 10 weeks with 9 acts, in these weeks the first performer has ended in the bottom two 4 times and the second performer 7(!) times compare that to acts that have performed 5th or later have only hit the bottom two a combined 4 times. Running order will be key.

  • Stu

    I honestly think Work It Out was/is intended to help 4th Impact – even if I’m sceptical of its ability to pull in votes. Surely Cowell must know that there is a lot of commercial potential in them – regardless of whether them topping online polls left, right and centre is due to their UK fan base or their pre-XF fan base, they’re still topping the polls so clearly there is money right there.

    But then the other part of me thinks the producers will clear out all of Louisa’s female competitors in order for her sweep up the vote. That’d be a silly move for the show though.

  • Disappointed they changed Laurens song… I was going to back her at 19.0 to be next out… one to wait for now.

    I think Monica will definitely avoid being in the bottom two, whether she’s saved in a sing-off is another matter.

    The most interesting thing for me is where they place Louisa this week… I’d like to see her on 3rd, as that means she has enough support and will still be easy to pimp slot in the coming weeks if/when needed.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I didn’t know R&B’s song was a mash up. The addition of My Heart Will Go On is definitely a bad sign for them.

    Next week will probably see them wearing long shoes, red noses and squirty flowers.

  • George

    Mason thrown under the bus with this running order.

    ETA: And red and black…

  • Pete

    Never mind Men In Black, it was certainly Red and Black!!

  • DannyCraig

    I love how fake Simon’s comments were for MN then. “I loved it” – maybe because he knew he was terrible and should finish bottom!

  • Chatterbox5200

    Is Merlin, Max’s Pub Landlord, the same Merlin from behind the bar at the First Dates restaurant?

  • annie

    ladies and gentleman, we’ve been presented our bottom 2 for the weekend.
    Mason got called cocky and arrogant (don t think about the elephant… )
    and Max even got the complementary Habibis Empty pub treatment 😀

  • Fudd

    Cheryl drops the word ‘boring’ into her critique for Max.

    I’m not sure if reminding the audience that Max has a girlfriend is a vote-getter either.

  • DannyCraig

    Cocky & arrogant vs boring & unmemorable

    Has to be this week’s bottom 2 surely?

  • Chatterbox5200

    They’ve memory holed the first two acts, with a feature length advert and then Louisa.

  • DannyCraig

    I enjoyed that Louisa performance. Can they get her over the line – I’m starting to have doubts, but I hope so.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Aaaaargh!! She nicked it from Quindon. All her idea?

    UTTER FUCKING LIE!

    Even the trills and embellishments were copied from the Romeo & Juliet original.

    BAH!!!!!

    Tell you what though. I don’t half fancy a giant crumpet.

  • Chatterbox5200

    “Olly’s backstage with Reggie and Bollie”….. as Anton stands there in silence like a spare part!

  • annie

    that was such shameless kitchen sink pimping I can’t even…. not even a propper pimp slot could have topped that.

  • stoney

    What a lovely moment with louisa and rita in tears. Pure genius

    • Jessica Hamby

      You think? Amongst women that may backfire. Even those who missed the reference to theatre school know how easy it is to make yourself cry.

  • Curtis

    Enjoyed Louisa. The fact she seemed to have an angelic hue was a bit off-putting though!

  • George

    Hard to see Monica avoiding the B3 but she should be saved over Max/Mason.

  • Fudd

    I love Monica’s expression during Simon’s critique – ‘I know what you were truly up to this week…’

  • annie

    Paris might have saved Monika.

  • Curtis

    Memory-holing Monica with RNB. Ladies and gentlemen, the bottom 3 has been decided.

  • George

    Reggie n Bollie’s odds are really silly. Who’s backing this to win?

  • 360

    Funny that while pimping Louisa they decided to give her Maloney’s giant face background though.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Was that the first ad break where they haven’t announced who’ll be on next? Olly “join us after the break when we’ll all be back”. I’m assuming it’s Anton as he was shown on the screens.

  • Curtis

    As I thought, this song is well outside of Anton’s vocal capabilities. This is a far better way of deramping him, because it looks like he’s at least been given a fair crack.

    • Jessica Hamby

      He smashed it. Did you here the audience? Louisa didn’t get anything like that.

      No ovation and deramping comments with minimal enthusiasm but that’s to be expected.

      • Curtis

        I heard the audience, but I also heard the song. He was a looong way out of his comfort zone. The audience applaud because they like Anton the man, and especially after last week it was nice to see him sing something not humiliating. I just don’t think that performance will be making people pick up the phones.

    • Pete

      Did I Simon hear Simon say “I’m trying to make it interesting” as he introduced Anton. Then the VT shows him sat on the sofa watching TV with the ‘boring and unmemorable’ Max.

  • Curtis

    Ché in the pimp slot. I don’t think he’s polling particularly well.

    • George

      That would be very surprising given he seems to be typical voter fodder yet it seems to be the case. They surely wouldn’t be pimping him so much if he was a threat to Louisa. (Unless it’s Louisa that’s polling poorly so they’ve switched to Che as Plan A).

    • Jessica Hamby

      Not sure you can read that into a pimp slot. Someone has to have it, and they want a good ending to the show.

  • Jessica Hamby

    A year or two ago someone posted some information about camerawork, closeups etc and how they affect perception of the subject. Does anyone remember it? It would be interesting to compare close up counts and looking into camera shots of, say, Louisa and Anton.

  • Fudd

    4th Impact a person down?

  • Donald

    How do the judges keep straight faces saying such important comments! Crowd cheer on Louisa song real or mixed in? Mixed in to me. When heard Max going back to pub, pity there wasn’t a book on whether was going to be full or empty.

    Little bird told me Louisa wanted to go home to see family and all is not well in contestants house.

  • George

    4I surely safe as houses.

  • Fudd

    4th Impact don’t have professional experience according to Cheryl. I just heard the audience snort derisively.

    Selina nearly fainting will get them votes, though.

  • Natasha

    Monicas song was completely dire and for me personally, so uncomfortable to watch. Definate bottom 3

  • Martin

    lol Lauren Murray loves the message of a song that’s about sleeping with an ex boyfriend even though he’s got a new girlfriend

  • Donald

    Lauren is nailing this, performance of series so far..

  • Curtis

    Well that song change was very good news for Lauren.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Comments change too.

      Grimmy called her his favourite girl in the series and I don’t believe that was off message. To get a pimp slot and then the second to last slot 2 weeks in succession is also telling.

  • Jessica Hamby

    My girl’s got the shizz.

    Love you Lauren.

    Mwah!!!!!!

  • Curtis

    And did Nick just say Lauren was his favourite girl? That seems a bit off the script!

  • Donald

    Did Nick just mention the cue Adele moment for Lauren?

    • Jessica Hamby

      All the comments, the mention of Fleur (and Ben Whonow), Adele, talking about light and shade in her voice, easy to work with, great personality, down to earth…..

      Looking like a new alpha girl.

  • Pete

    That song change could provide a huge change in fortunes for Lauren

  • Martin

    Yeah Lauren was outstanding, amazing song for her. She is almost like a parody of her herself though, personality wise. What on earth was she wearing? A necklace with her name on?!

  • annie

    lauren naturally has all the captivating personality and positive vibe that they would pay anything for louisa to have. unfortunately for them certain things cant be taught.

  • Pete

    Yeah they are yet to do her any real favours when it comes to styling.
    Nick declaring her as his favourite girl? Is that on script, are tptb swaying in their commitment to Louisa?

  • Fudd

    So Che’s performing at a Drive In Theatre? Doesn’t exactly cry out ‘star’.

  • Curtis

    By the way guys, wasn’t this a way better show tonight? Isn’t it a lot better without all the blatant hatchet jobs – and they’ll still get the bottom 3 they want.

  • Pete

    He did smash it though

  • Jessica Hamby

    Louisa is surely a good long odds punt for a surprise b3.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Lauren and Che shortened in the winner market. Louisa drifting (still favourite though).

  • R

    To me the week has been greatly impacted by the events in Paris. There was a big shift to making it a feel good program tonight, an escape from reality.
    The comments were upbeat and positive, and there was a coming together of sorts.

    Lauren completely outperformed Louisa this week, and there may have been a big shift in the ordering with Nick calling the former his favourite girl

    Also Anton being given fair treatment may mean they are happy for him to progress.
    If Anton reaches the final, they’ll need someone to challenge him and ensure he doesn’t win… maybe the super hot sexy beast following in James Arthur’s footsteps to become the next God’s gift to women who choose their men based what Simon Cowell thinks . Mr gorgeous himself, Che Chesterman.

  • 360

    Monica and Lauren possibly got a turnaround here tonight. They were much more blatant with their knocking down of Mason and to an extent, Max this week – although personally, I really enjoyed Max’s performance. Very emotive.

    From a week where everybody is put under the bus to a week where everybody is…quite good. I expect last week was a case of not many votes, this week may be genuinely a case of who gets the least number of votes and all the percentages being quite close.

    Between illness (4th I, Max), tears (Louisa) and song change (Monica, Lauren) that’s half the field with adverse circumstances – and at least Max made sure to make his heard, even if the judges didn’t draw attention to it.

    Then we have Reggie n Bollie with a fun centrepiece, Anton with a classic, and Che with a showstopping closer. Mason probably a dead cert for bottom 3, but at the same time, a blatant hatchet job might spring a sympathy vote….

    Who will be dead bottom is actually potentially an open market with 5 or 6 potential sympathy votes outof 9 in the field.

  • Fudd

    Much better show tonight, as said. The lack of clear hatchet jobs with finer deramps it improved the mood of the show considerably. I think they’re targeting Mason, Max and Monica and I think they’ll manage it.

  • Martin

    Monica’s treatment was very ‘fine, be the artist you want to be and see how many votes it gets you’ in my opinion. Max and Mason are fighting for bottom – I think ideally it’d be Max bottom with Mason v Monica b2 but I wouldn’t like to call on who they’d save. I’d get rid of Monica before she gets chance of a sympathy vote.

    I am slightly concerned about Reggie and Bollie. I do think they are riding the feel good wave tonight, but unlike last week the whole show had that vibe and they didn’t stand out. If it were just based on performance i would be considering 4th Impact as a bottom three contender but surely they’ll get the biggest sympathy vote for the night? I thought the vocals were ropey again, but they worked the routine and that song was arranged perfectly for the choreography. I loved their necklines on an otherwise identical dress making them more individual, by the way. This show is hilarious at times.

    With Lauren and Louisa, after the show tonight it feels like they’ll be happy with a female win, and if they can’t manage it with Louisa then they’re more than happy for it to be Lauren. There are worries with both of them – for Lauren, they need more of her personality in her performances. Not the tackiness of week 1, but for goodness sake let her wear something that doesn’t make her look like a teacher on a works Christmas do.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Rewatching on +1 it looks like Lauren has been upgraded to alpha girl.

    Funny to see hoe Che’s early auditions are being rewritten as him being shy. We all posted that he seemed arrogant and antagonistic (although he’s not been like that at all since 6cc). Now he’s been crowned the new Walrus Of Love.

    I’m calling Mason bottom of the vote and two of Max, Monica and Louisa for the singoff. Louisa v Monica would make for some great drama.

  • 360

    Ooh I would LOVE to see a Louisa sing-off this early. Something about her just doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t want to be mean to the poor girl but I guess… I don’t know why she’s on the X Factor. (apart from obviously she’s been invited and pushed)

    That is, she’s a pretty, fashionable young girl of 17 with a good voice, what seems like a stage school background, and no shyness or anything like that to get over as we’ve seen before with e.g. Leona, Rebecca, Janet Devlin, Jesy from Little Mix, heck, even Ella Henderson.

    Surely she should have no problem getting into the music industry the traditional route? I think that’s why she’s not connecting for me. It’s not believable that she needs the show and they’re not really offering any stories to counteract that.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Have a look at the odds for her to go b3. If you can get 50s or even 25s that might be worth a pound or two. If you lose it you won’t even notice. If you win I’ll have a Jim Beam over ice.

  • Lia

    Best comments of the night in my household:
    4. Husband after Max: That was Shit! – I guess it can’t get any more direct than this…
    3. 9 year old before Anton performed: Aaaaaaaarrrrgh! Please no! Not Bodyguard! I will kill myself if it’s I will always love you! – fortunately it was I have nothing and she’s still alive but she also hates that song.
    2. Husband after 4I: That is so fake! – Told you! He’s cynical!
    1. 9 year old after Louisa: Everybody’s free to roll in the carpet like Louisa in the giant screen! – had to ask her to repeat that twice and then pissed myself laughing.

  • Alison cassells

    Do the producers read this site, I thought the comment before anton about tellitubbies was weird, given that someone said that here after his last perfomance . Bit off field for a coincidence ?

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