X Factor 2015 Week 4: Noise Reduction

A puzzling X Factor journey came to an end tonight. A meagre 47 seconds of audition screentime; a strop at the six-chair challenge, referencing the meagre 47 seconds of screentime; a controversial return; a neutering; an abject apology; cheese; a return to “cocky” and “arrogant”; and a clinically-executed hatchet job. What was that all about?

They could have made him a popstar. They could have made him a pantomime villain in the show. Instead they just seemed to mess around with him, changing tack from one week to the next. Mason himself seems to have been bemused by the whole experience and glad to be out of it. Before the show, he’d cryptically tweeted “One more show. I’m ready”; after his elimination, he hilariously said “thank you to everyone who didn’t vote, so I can go back to doing my thing”.

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Now the tricky task of guessing who’s in the singoff tomorrow. As ever, a Sunday rewatch will tell us more. These are our first impressions.

In the Strictly crossover slot came Che Chesterman, who went from a man with all sorts of romantic possibilities last week, to a loved-up relationship this one. The VT showed us with his girlfriend referencing his grandfather’s death, before deciding that he could connect best to ‘Yesterday’ so long as emotions didn’t get the better of him.

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The staging was helpful enough, with musicians on stage; a classy, Deco backdrop; and simple, focused lighting. Che’s vocal felt less exposed than last week, though I found the arrangement of the song fussy and off-putting. It was also a song choice that kept him firmly in his box and will likely not have expanded whatever support base he had already. Judges’ comments were positive: Cheryl said it was “one of the most powerful openers we’ve ever seen,” whilst Simon encouraged people to vote and used the “artist” buzzword. But being the only act under the Strictly bus has to be of some concern.

It soon became clear that producers were intending to sit on any potential bounce for Anton. An anodyne VT was followed by death imagery all over a cold blue stage, which seemed appropriate as Anton murdered ‘One Sweet Day’. Admittedly, we had pyros and warmer lighting at the end, but the effect was melodramatic.

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Nick said that the performance felt “like an act”, implicitly reminding viewers of the story that appeared in The Sun after the first week’s show painting Anton as a serial fantasist, Walter Mitty type of figure. That sparked off anger in Anton that the judges didn’t know how to handle. “There’s nothing fake about me,” he shot back, and the rest of the panel had to work out ways to say a similar thing to Nick without getting the same backlash. Nick tried to claim Anton had been “aggressive”, and Anton went on to profusely apologise.

You could argue about how Anton came off – to us, it was like someone well aware he was being done over and not willing to take any more of it, but how widely that view will be shared among the voting public is open to question. But there was no denying the passion and sincerity of how he felt, and this sort of controversy often sees a spike in support. It certainly wasn’t in the script.

Fourth Impact had a VT which showed them missing their family, something Cheryl made sure to reference again at length in her comments (“they’ve come halfway round the world, they’re missing home” – the “halfway round the world” phrase was used about Seann Miley Moore in the week he departed). It began as an impressive production with great staging and styling, the girls starting from backstage like Fleur East or James Arthur. But once they were front and centre, the spotlights weren’t focused enough and something got lost.

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Simon said he felt that the group had no individual personalities, and he didn’t know who they were as individuals; he even called them “A, B, C and D”, which is quite an insulting demotion from the laboured attempts in previous weeks to make sure we knew their names. Olly didn’t give them a chance to say anything after the song, although who knows whether anything Olly does is deliberate.

We’d wondered whether Lauren’s VT might sympathetically reference the stories in the press this week about her depression, or reference the stories about her moving out of the X Factor house by suggesting that she’d had enough of the competition and was ready to leave. In the event, it did neither. It had a nice segment with some of the music pupils she teaches, and associated her with Fleur; although it was unfortunate that after she was shown with Rita being excited to be going on Alan Carr, we then cut to her in the audience as Rita was being interviewed, leaving no doubt which of the two was the centre of attention.

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There was a real lack of effort on the staging. Lauren was high on a podium – something we have argued can disconnect an act from the audience, and visually undercut a sense of humility. She was disconnected also from her few dancers, and had a generic backdrop and some falling confetti. The lighting was bright and unfocused, so as not to create any visual wow factor. The song didn’t give her any kind of moment, either.

The judges also came up with comments that were forgettable, criticising things that weren’t her fault whilst offering some generalised, nonspecific praise. Worryingly, Simon said: “For the first time I felt your nerves.” This was the sentence that Cheryl used on Monica for her ‘Crazy In Love’ week. Overall, this felt like a definite softening.

Mason’s VT showed a life transformed by his time on the show, but that had something of a “journey now complete, so no need for further votes” vibe, and whether discussing a propensity to jealousy in his love life was a good look is also open to question. Nick reminded us of the “cocky” line.

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There were lots of big lights, occasionally flashing distractingly, whilst four backing dancers cavorted around with him. He was given plenty of rope and no help for the difficult falsetto parts of the song, which didn’t sound great – and that was immediately referenced by Rita in the comments. Simon’s comments were damning, implying he was unrelatable by saying “there’s always been a slight wall”, then calling him “ambitious”, before referring to the performance as “cold” and wondering if he was nervous. Cheryl also mentioned nerves. Mason gave them a look that suggested he had no idea what they were on about, but was past caring.

After five performances that were all unhelpful in some way to the act concerned, we got to the reason for the blanket unlephfulness. This week we got to meet Louisa’s builder Dad and she went public with her life as a West Ham supporter by means of a hard hat. It felt like her best VT yet, relatable and genuine.

We had been promised something “on another level” in her introduction and that’s both literally and metaphorically what we got with our staging, with Louisa standing on a cloud in the heavens with a distant cityscape-from-above backdrop, floating above her celestial choir – and also the audience, it turned out.

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Cheryl called her vocal “unbelievable”, Simon called it her “moment”, which Nick agreed with. He also tried to persuade us she had sold the emotions of the song, which we have consistently argued is her weak point, and may have reminded us once or twice that she is only 17. Simon characterised her as “sweet and humble” and Louisa did her best to give that impression in her reaction, which was “grateful to be here” – in contrast to the “want to win” message, which we had wondered about the wisdom of.

It was a kitchen sinking of a pimping, and she went strongly odds-on in the outright market as a result.

She didn’t get the actual pimp slot, however – that went to Reggie n Bollie, who got another lovely family-oriented VT and huge, fun production. They also started off in the audience, and got an array of dancers. As in week 2, the female judges were out of their seats throughout and Cowell rose at the end to complete a four-judge standing ovation.

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There were colour vomit elements and spotlights everywhere, for sure, but it all seemed intended positively. Simon then namechecked them as potential finalists in his comments, and made the point of saying that we had come to know them personally – in none-too-subtle contrast to his remarks to 4th Impact – and that the country is falling in love with them. Reggie briefly then mentioned a problem with depression, stealing what had looked like it could have been Lauren’s sympathy card, and Caroline asked them “if they think they can win”. The Reggie n Bollie train is still rolling.

After Mason’s elimination, Anton is hot favourite to go in tomorrow’s singoff. The show certainly looks like it has no interest in keeping him around, though it will be interesting to see if he gets any spike from the controversy created by Nick’s comments. Fourth Impact are next most likely according to the elimination market, followed by Che. This seems fair enough based on tonight’s show, and our reading of who is the priority to be saved among these three, which looks like the reverse of that bookies’ 1-2-3: that is, it looks like they are keenest to see the back of Anton, and still seem keen to keep Che around for longer. A Fourth Impact / Lauren singoff might be harder to call, though.

Let us know your thoughts on these permutations and anything else below.

X Factor images ©SYCO/THAMES TV/PA

205 comments to X Factor 2015 Week 4: Noise Reduction

  • Jack

    My thoughts from this week:

    Che – continued pimping; seen as a mark of confidence that he’s on so early but wonder if the great comments were in preparation of a sing-off save? Think he’ll be fine tomorrow; not least because he’d be saved v Anton, FI or RnB.

    Anton – Definitely the target this week after Mason. I genuinely felt for the guy as he comes across so well and seemed to recognise he was being stitched up. I hope the sympathy factor saves him but it probably won’t. He’d leave against anyone remaining, especially his most likely sing-off save.

    FI – It felt like a holding week. Weak vocals and a bit forgettable (not unlike Anton last week) so wouldn’t be surprised if they were in trouble. They would be saved against most (apart from Che) so will probably safe. Did note that their vocals didn’t do the song justice but then again, we knew that they weren’t exactly four Christinas.

    Lauren – It’s Make or Break week; that’s how I read it. I reckon she outpolled Louisa last week and if she does so after Louisa’s pimping, we may see a switch in horses; if not she’ll be the target next week. She was definitely deramped but with enough positivity to switch back to her if need be. Thought her vocal was stellar and she still comes across well; she definitely isn’t the target (they would have mentioned the leaving the house stories and given her an earlier slot) but may go if in the B2 against the wrong act. As I say, make or break week.

    Mason – The show gave up on him; utterly forgettable and a poor performance with a poor VT. 100% agree with your assessment – what was his purpose? As others have mentioned, the Judges Houses edit that made him out as a nice guy took away his edge and removed his marketability. Predictable bottom of the vote.

    Louisa – That was a good old-fashioned style pimping and as I mentioned with Lauren, I reckon it’s make or break for her. If she takes her chance and polls well, producers will keep faith. Otherwise, they’ll switch to Lauren in the Girls category. Over to the public.

    Reggie n Bollie – Still can’t see them anywhere near the final in spite of what Simon said. I think it was a gimmick to get them through to next week that may yet fail. They’d be saved v Anton, but not against Che and FI would be very interesting. A big pimping, but as I say only to get them through to tomorrow. Surely they’ll be gone soon.

    Overall, I think Anton and Che will be B2 but RnB and FI could well join them. The girls are probably safe, but whoever polls worse out of the two will be targeted next week.

    • Stu

      What do you mean by a “holding week” re Fourth Impact?

      • Jack

        Not much positivity; not much sign of a deramp; they’re polling about as well as TPTB expect/want. That said, the lack of ramp or deramp may see them forgotten in the pack.

        • Stu

          Yeah that’s what I am thinking. The fact they were one of the two “performances” tonight gives me hope but they were third in the running order, damning comments from Simon and then being in the last three on stage at the end which I’m still not sure whether it is a positive or a negative – since they were there with Anton but Fleur was in their position last year…

          • Jack

            Not sure how to interpret Anton and FI being left on stage. On the one hand it could plant a negative impression and make you think they’ll be in trouble the following night (Think OTY last year) but it could motivate sympathy. It’s a difficult one to call.

  • Stu

    I thought Reggie N Bollie got the pimp slot only because of the flash vote and the producers didn’t want them to poll bottom. But the name-checking of them being potential finalists now makes me think that their journey could be a lot longer than I thought.

    This doesn’t look too good for 4th Impact sadly. If I were the producers, I’d want a Louisa vs Reggie N Bollie vs Fourth Impact final since Louisa is the most commercial solo act and the two groups offer entertainment week after week but I don’t think for one second that two groups can make the final. Che will definitely get a place there.

    What are the likely bottom two combos?

    Anton vs Fourth Impact – Fourth Impact goes?
    Anton vs Lauren – Lauren goes?
    Lauren vs Fourth Impact – Lauren goes?

    The reason why I don’t think Anton will go is because I don’t think the producers would want him to leave on such a “low” which is exactly what that moment between him and Nick was.

    • Jack

      Think Lauren goes against anyone left except maybe RnB. If she’s in the B2, she has no more purpose as Louisa’s outpolling her. FI would be saved v Anton, but sent home v Che. Che would be saved against any of his likely B2 rivals. RnB would be the most interesting for me. Would they be saved against anyone? Anton and maybe Lauren. FI v RnB would be a fascinating B2.

    • You don’t repeatedly 4-standing-O a second-choice group.

      • Stu

        But FI’s treatment last night didn’t exactly look like they were alpha group. RnB were name-checked as finalists, got the pimp slot and received a 4 judge standing ovation.

  • Joe

    The treatment of the 2 bands were quite contrasting. Reggie and Bollie left till last to grab the glory, 4th impact were somewhat forgettable. Che under the Strictly bus is a concern for his longevity. Can’t see Anton being saved over anyone so to keep Simon Cowell in the competition they are going to have to hope his bounce from last week is high. Unexpected sympathy from his fightback to criticism may be enough.

    4th impact v Che bottom 2. 4th impact to exit the competition.

  • Curtis

    It was surprisingly unhelpful treatment for Fourth Impact this week but I feel like Cowell surely isn’t going to let these girls go prematurely – they’re exactly the kind of act he likes. Usually they’re quite prepared to give these groups multiple saves to get them to the latter stages of the competition and 4I haven’t even had one thus far.

    With that being said, I wouldn’t even be surprised to see them saved against Ché. As it is, I do think Anton will find himself in the bottom 2, and he’ll be ditched whoever he’s up against in the sing-off.

    • Stu

      What we need to take into consideration re Fourth Impact is:

      (a) they were last to announced safe last week
      (b) they were on as early as third this week
      (c) they were one of the three remaining acts on stage yet to be announced safe tonight

      Looking back to last year’s flash vote during the top 7 results – the three remaining acts on stage were Only The Young (who were eliminated then), Stevi (who was eliminated the following night) and Fleur (the Plan A).

      Having a Fourth Impact vs Anton sing-off would be very predictable since they were in the last three on stage so I fully expect one of them to be safe and I think that it’ll be Anton.

  • Lia

    Seventeen! Seventeen! Seventeen! SEVENTEEN!!!
    Seventeen! Seventeen! Seventeen! SEVENTEEN!!!
    Seventeen! Seventeen! Seventeen! SEVENTEEN!!!
    Seventeen! Seventeen! Seventeen! SEVENTEEN!!!
    Seventeen! Seventeen! Seventeen! SEVENTEEN!!!
    Seventeen! Seventeen! Seventeen! SEVENTEEN!!!

  • Jessica Hamby

    I agree that Mason’s journey was weird. As with Monica, one wonders what the point of all the drama was. Bringing them back and then treating them as they have done does not make sense if they were intended to be competitors in a singing competition which they had a chance of winning.

    It does make sense, however, if there was one contestant who was intended to be the winner in the first place but that viewers were not to become aware of that intention. Monica and Mason’s returns add drama and talking points to the show. They become the subjects of scrutiny instead of the chosen one and the actions of the producers. They fill the necessary quota of contestants and give the illusion of competition while the negative way they are portrayed ensures they are no threat to the intended outcome.

    They are there, quite literally, to make up the numbers. That goes for most of the contestants this year.

    • Agreed, Monica and Mason were only ever there to make up the numbers or for a short term OMG!SHOCKTWIST!

      I said it last week, but I think that they never want wildcards or last minute replacements to stick around that long. At the end of the day, they saw them as expendable earlier when they were choosing who’d be in the final 12. Why would that change?

      I can’t think of any time they’ve been keen to let a wildcard or replacement stay apart from Wagner and Stevi Ritchie because they filled the joke act role, and even then they wanted them to go as soon as that was no longer required.

      I suppose Amelia Lily might be an exception if you count her as a wildcard/replacement, but that was a series where all their apparent initial plans imploded for various reasons.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I think they are all there to make up the numbers bar Louisa. I don’t think they care about any of the others. After Ben won last year I posted something about how if tptb want their chosen ones to win they should decide who the winner is before auditions start. I think they’ve done that this year (although not necessarily after reading my post, obv).

        It’s not just Monica and Mason who have been buggered about. Everyone has been deramped or messed about or had their character impugned except Louisa and Alien, who couldn’t sing. Their treatment of Anton, Max and Keira stinks too. Lauren has been cast as a poor Louisa (literally poor) and all her productions have reflected that. FI and Seann were hammered with the “not invented here” tag from the beginning. Che is a tribute act.

        It’s been the Louisa show from the start. Kudos to those who spotted it early enough.

  • Hmm. 4I’s costumes remind me of those the week Hope landed in the bottom two in 2007, on the first occasion they’d actually bothered to wear clothes.

    I’m still convinced it’s going to be an Anton vs 4I B2 with Anton gone.

    Anton might believe he can get airplay on Radio 1 but I doubt very much that Ben Cooper shares that view.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Depends on what kind of music he makes. Sweeping statements like that are just daft – no disrespect intended to you but Grimmy should know better. Faithless got plenty of airplay at their peak and Maxi Jazz is 58.

      They stuck Anton in that cheesey outdated groove and then blamed him for it. Let’s face it, he could have done twice the job on Jealous that Mason did.

      • This is true, but the whole reason Grimmy took over from Chris Moyles was ageism. Radio 1 is under huge pressure to shed older listeners. If they lose 15m 25-35s and are left with 7m 15-25s as far as the Trust are concerned it’s job done. It’s a very BBC thing to have too many of the “wrong” listeners, whereas the commercial sector wouldn’t give a shit.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Normally I would take issue with such a bizarre assertion but I recall reading something that said pretty much that – that they didn’t want the wrong sort of listener. So essentially it doesn’t matter that Grimmy wouldn’t play him on a show that’s meant for kids when he would be making music that’s meant for adults.

          They make rules that exclude him and then blame him for not fitting in.

          *gallic shrug*

          I wonder if this pantomime can manage to run again next year, never mind renew its contract.

      • Sagand

        No, there 0% Anton would get played on Radio 1 daytime. But that isn’t what was said. Nick said he wouldn’t want to hear him on the radio or buy his album because he seems to be putting on an act and it didn’t feel real or raw enough. The exchange can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7ilLKUtldM

        It was clearly a scripted comment (Anton was close to tears during the performance and was out of tune throughout but criticising it emotionally didn’t make much sense.) It hit a nerve that he was being called fake by someone reading a script and he fought back.

        I think there is a chance enough people take Anton’s side the dodge the bottom 2 (if he doesn’t he’s gone). It was the most memorable moment in the first half of the show.

        If it’s not Anton I’d guess Lauren vs 4th Impact with Lauren going home.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I watched the performance posted on youtube earlier without the comments and Anton seemed under the cosh throughout. The glimpse of the judges at the end with Nick saying something like “he’s weird” felt uncomfortable too. I think he knew he was going to get it today. He is an emotionally driven person, a feeling type. No wonder he lost it a bit.

          Anyway, I’m about to get out of here now so I’ll take a look when I get home. Thanks for the link.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Just watched it. It seems obvious to me that Nick was deliberately trying to provoke him – they all were.

            The guy is the same kind of lowlife shitstain as Louis, taking a person’s hopes and making them nothing so he can have more money.

            I am beyond words with fury.

          • Chris Bellis

            Look on the bright side – a betting opportunity. Anton v FI tonight. FI to go. If you have that reaction to Anton’s treatment, others will feel sorry for him too, and we know that FI are “homesick”. Even though I’ve never met anyone from their country who isn’t glad to have left it.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Good point. I’m calm now too.

        • Linda

          Thought Anton acquitted himself splendidly in the face of that boorish behaviour from Grimshaw, whether scripted or not. Grimshaw was totally out of order. Anton has been the most passionate and engaging of all the rent-a-crowd contestants this year. The irony of Grimshaw calling someone else “fake” and “an act” is not at all lost.

  • Everyone’s favourite former contestant turned gambler Kitty has pointed out on Twitter that all previous singers of Ain’t No Other Man have gone home.

    Interesting.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Just watched Reggie & Bollie. I enjoyed it. If I was there I probably would have danced. But it was a novelty act.

  • Can I just ask…

    How the fuck did they clear all that confetti in three minutes?!

  • Caro

    I felt that the brakes were put on 4I tonight. It was the first time that they’d all been dressed pretty much the same, which fed nicely into Simon pointing out that they weren’t memorable as individuals.
    They’ve got quite an age range between them – 19 to 27 – but they come across as very naive and young. This may be a cultural thing, but the lack of wordliness was emphasised in their VT, which pointed out their difficulty connecting emotionally with the song – and ended up suggesting that they thought of someone in 1D to bring some emotion to their performance. This might have been okay if they were 17 (!), but just seemed a bit silly with a 23, 25 and 27 year old.
    And aren’t ‘homesick’ comments usually a vote dampener? Yes, we saw them talking to their father who is ill and can’t travel, but
    if they’d wanted to get some sympathy votes they could have said how they only entered X Factor to raise money for their father’s illness http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/tv/fourth-impact-desperate-win-x-6664419

    • Chris Bellis

      I doubt whether they were “homesick” at all. Anyone who’s been to their country of origin will tell you that the best thing about it is the road out of it. Crime ridden, poverty stricken, corrupt, dangerous. People miss their families, no doubt, but most are glad to have left the place. Hence…the homesick theme is to prepare for a dignified exit. Homesick was mentioned several times. I am going to put some of my winnings from MN on to an exit for FI.

  • EM

    Mason going was the easy part – who’s next is harder.

    I could see big trouble for Lauren, a real nothing performance, nothing in the staging or song stood out.

    I read Anton’s treatment as trying to stimulate the sympathy for him (possible to keep SC in the game). At the end of his performance Nick said (thinking he was off mic?) “that was weird”.

    Anyone bar Louisa could be bottom two, there’s some real value in the B2 market now if you can call it.

    If we needed any confirmation that Louisa is plan A we got it in spades last night not just in the vt, staging snd comments but in the fact they had a flash vote means they had no doubts she’d come bottom or close to it.

    I have a feeling Lauren or Fourth Impact could be going tonight – both have played their part…

  • Martin

    I thought Lauren’s performance would see her safe from bottom last night, but the bottom two is so hard to call tonight I’m not so sure now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of them down there to be honest – Louisa and Reggie n Bollie at the end seemed to be out of fear – they do not want to lose these two in a flash vote. Anyone else they can deal with.

    Interesting that Che got the appeal for votes from Simon last night, did Louisa get any such comment or were they all too busy trying to tell us what a moment it was? I honestly would not be surprised to see Louisa down there tonight, it all seemed a bit desperate to me. They turned the whole studio around for her ffs, it all felt A Bit Much for my liking, but I’m steering clear. I have no confidence in saying any of them will be bottom two a – my gut is saying Anton and Lauren

    • Dean F

      Was it desperate or was it the time to do it? Desperation would have come in week 2 or 3. For me this was the week they sealed the deal for their Plan A to go for the win and start winning more of those floating votes

    • Dean F

      Is Louisa being pushed? But I don’t think it’s desperation but more of a hammering home the advantage. They gave plenty of chance to Che and even Lauren last couple weeks while Louisa was on middle to early slots and despite pimped was not overcooked.

      This was the right week to give her the moment. Many cynics on here don’t see it but it was definitely a sort of a moment. The cloud. The 4 judge standing O.Even Olly’s words after where he said literally every member of the audience was on their feet. It was all designed to push louisa.

      Right now who is middle England voting for? Definitely Louisa and the truth is Fleur was being pimped all through last year and the desperation attempt came at SF. If that came any earlier she may have won. Louisa has come in week 4 and still didn’t get the pimp slot which will likely be saved for next week. As I stated also there is definitely no Ben Haenow around this year to sweep up votes.

      Louisa competition for me is only Lauren but I don’t think TPTB felt that threatened by her but still Lauren has all the tools to gain momentum

      • Martin

        Oh no, I’ve got no doubt that she is plan A, but I say desperation as it was the flash vote and they made damn sure she was in no danger. As others have said, it was a kitchen sink of a pimping and again, she wasn’t even in the pimp slot. It had all the ingredients for this ‘moment’ but for me, it didn’t happen, maybe that’s because we’re all wise to the tricks now but to me, it was just another Louisa performance. It was good, but not a game changer.

        As you say, she’s likely to be hoovering up floating votes and she’s well on her way, but to me, she’s yet to have her ‘Don’t Let Go’, ‘Summertime’ or ‘Uptown Funk’. You can’t force that, as much as they can try, it just has to happen. No amount of dry ice, heavenly choir or being staged on a cloud will matter.

        • Dean F

          Everyone on here is waiting for the ‘moment’. It may never arrive but she can still win without an ‘Lets get it on’ or ‘First time’. Competiion for me is only Lauren.

          Truth is yday was a huge pimping. Average viewers would have been sold.

          I still don’t think it was a desperation tactic. It was intended to push her on for the win for me as you cant keep her in early/middle slots with great comments but not winners kind of performance all series. Was definitely her best week yet as yesterday was a wnners showcasing. Whether she wins is to be seen but the betting public think so given her price now

    • Dean F

      I really don’t know about Anton. Will he get a huge amount of sympathy? It’s possible plus a few other underwhelming performances. I can see 4th Impact v Che or Lauren with 4I going.

      Just depends how much sympathy Anton generated

  • Plinkiplonk

    It was yet another show which left a very nasty aftertaste. Anton’s crucifiction started even before his VT, when theyintroduced Simon as having only one act left, he countered this with ‘it’s quality not quantity’, and then he seemed to stop himself and said ‘Oh, I have to follow that one up now’, leaving no doubt that he didn’t much believe in Anton’s quality.

    Equally, the pimping of St Louisa is reaching ridiculous proportions. We are talking like when the show seemed to imply Fleur was a bigger star than Labyrinth last year. She cannot be polling first, otherwise why risk over egging the pudding that much ???

    R ‘n B are clearly desperately wanted for the final for the fun factor (because Louisa and Che zzzzzzzzz ), but the sheer level of panic with the pimping makes me wonder if they could be in danger after all…

    Oh, and as for Lauren, theoretical they could switch and make her plan A if Louisa doesn’t poll well. However, I would strongly suspect that wheels to make Louisa into Leona V2.0 are already well in motion, in which case I cannot see Simon wanting to have a winner that would eat into the same market. Louisa will be launched whatever the outcome, but if she cannot win, the winner must be a different demographic,i.e. Che or R ‘n B. Sorry Jessica…

  • Rose

    I spent too much of last night putting a bet on Mason for first elimination so I missed giving the show my full attention. I’ve been following this site for a couple of years now but this is the first year I’ve started betting (more than the odd one-off) and it’s taking me a bit of time to get accounts set up. Another viewing is therefore definitely on today’s agenda. However, I did feel last night saw TPTB signal they have a new alpha group – they seemed bored with FI. The four judge standing ovation, while it might have seemed just a pimping to save RnB from the flash vote to many of you, took on greater significance to me as a contrast to the forgettable performance and comments on FI. Who’s going to be able to forget the RnB carnival?
    As for Mason, his treatment has indeed been confusing. I did think they might still have a role for him going forward when I saw the song choice, and the tiny snippet on Itunes sounded promising. But a few seconds into his performance – red and black, and semi-naked buttocks (luckily not Mason’s, but still!) – was enough to tell me clearly I was on the wrong track.
    So why did they bring him back? Jessica was right in saying they do simply need the numbers and Mason provided temporary controversy which also gave the show extra publicity, so there is value already for them there. I also suspect that having depicted new judge Grimmy as the one who brought him back, it would have looked a bit sad for his thus-favoured act to go out the following week. Mason also allowed them to get rid of Seann (competition for the chosen one) at an early stage. Mason was quite right to look very confused. He is better off without the show, as he pretty much implied himself.
    Talk about trampling on people’s dreams – with Mason, they also, at least temporarily, stripped him of his identity.
    While I can see Louisa has great talent, I am not the only person to be utterly put off by the constant pimping. TPTB have pimped her into a corner this week IMO – where do they go from here?

  • Lia

    Louisa is not plan A: she’s the ONLY plan. It’s never been clearer. That performance last night was not a moment. It was just another ballad, just like she does every week, but pimped to high heaven quite literally. I find that very off-putting.
    When someone has a moment I feel something. When Matt Cardle sang First Time Ever I Saw Your Face it was just amazing and, trust me, I always hated him, but had to admit it. I felt Louisa was just meh!
    The thing I realised is that Syco does not have Leona or Alexandra anymore and they don’t want to wait 2 years developing Louisa to get something out like they had to do with Ella. Problem is, with her being SEVENTEEN, waiting is probably the right thing to do.

    • Donald

      Totally agree on the “moment” obsevation. It also needed a choir to try prop it up, choir distraction for a real “moment”

      Closest anyone has got to a moment this series in my book was Lauren last week. Be interesting to look at voting when results are shown.

      Maybe pimp to high heaven was to ensure keep out of bottom three but I’d say Che and Anton most likely bottom two based on show running order and normal patterns from other series.

      4I could be in danger bottom two, that song not great and the VT set up a dignified exit if needed.

      Night of caution but logic like last night says Anton goes. Be interesting to see who bottom two are. Voting can be low after flash vote as people switch off the voting mentality, this helps pimped acts.

  • Linda

    So I was wrong about Mason Noise being kept in, but my reasoning was sound. Why on earth bring Grimshaw and Ora into the show if no contemporary style artists are going to be cultivated? The remaining line up is dire and at odds with the initial stated intentions for the current series. I maintain that Che was still B3, I think Anton and FI’s vote will pick up during the day. But with Mason out they’ll save Che at all costs so I think we’re looking at FI out tonight. Louisa was just shouty Louisa again. I just can’t connect with her. She leaves me cold. Potentially she could be an Ellie Goulding type of pop artist but TPTB seem to have no clue what to do with her save to hand her the crown. This series is so strange.

  • Rob4

    quick question about voting stats. olly said one week that they had received 2.5 million votes. in comparison with previous years is that high or low?

  • fused

    Mason going was expected considering he was coming down from a sympathy bounce, but I warmed to him over the last couple of weeks with ‘Men In Black’ and this week’s ‘Jealous’ performance. I wish they’d have gone more in that direction with him from the start instead of using him as a panto villain.

    I thought Lauren was fine this week, though I don’t particularly like ‘We Belong Together’. It’s a pretty shallow song that thinks it’s incredibly deep. That said, as Mariah Carey songs go it’s a lot better than ‘One Sweet Day’. What a load of boring, morbid, sentimental crap that song is. Anton being typically overwrought didn’t help either. I know it was a bit of a stitch up, but it was an awful performance.

    The Louisa staging with her on a plinth higher than everyone in the clouds dressed in white was overegging the pudding a bit. I’m surprised they didn’t stick a halo on top of her head, angel wings and a harp while they were at it. It still didn’t work for me, even though she has a good voice. But then, all that matters is if it works for enough of the audience.

    I really enjoyed Reggie n Bollie’s performance again this week, after not liking last week’s. I quite liked 4th Impact’s performance, but I agree with those that say there’s a sense of them not being long for this competition. Che’s performance was a bit forgettable, and but I do find him likeable, as a singer and as a person.

  • Joe

    Great comments from everyone on here as usual, so thank you. A very odd series, little drama and all very desperate from Tbtb to get Louisa over the line. Completely agree that Louisa and R and B were put on late to keep them out of danger in the flash vote.

    Tonight is hard to call but I don’t think the producers care. Something makes me think that Anton although he goes v anyone in a vote off won’t be bottom so could be saved through deadlock.

    But I have a nagging feeling with him being left until bottom 3 last night will create more sympathy, plus he is still bouncing from last week so I feel he will escape bottom 2 tonight.

    4th Impact v Che with the girls to go, bouncing him into the semi final.

  • 360

    Two acts were pimped last night; Louisa and Reggie and Bollie. To be honest, I feel a little bit cheated – I’m not invested enough in the show to care *much*, but still.

    As someone who normally watches X Factor on catchup the day after or later that night… that flash vote, ten minutes of voting, was a cheap trick. Absolutely deliberate though.

    Now, one point of it was to get rid of Mason, definitely. Or Anton, but that wasn’t likely to happen after his spirited defence earlier. Ten minutes to vote AT THAT TIME obviously disadvantages any act who has a fanbase who doesn’t usually watch the show when it initially airs. In a year where the show was still at its peak popularity I’d expect outraged complaints from those fans, but I don’t know if people care that much any more… still. That was one aim.

    A second aim though that I suspect was the case too – create spectacle and flash. Making contestants as MEMORABLE as possible, just for those ten minutes, was the name of the game. Hence we have Louisa’s off-stage white angel performance and Reggie and Bollie’s party starring a ridiculous number of dancer-extras. Really, there isn’t a limit on that kind of thing?

    Yes,Louisa is definitely Plan A and always has been. But I wonder. Were they pulling out all the stops for her to make sure she definitely ran no risk of being flat bottom? Of course that would be an ulterior motive. But was it just insurance, or is she polling badly, or mid-pack?

    In other news, I saw this week as the week they decided to run with Lauren and push both girls. Yes, she had a plinth, but the staging was also very reminiscent of Lauren Platt’s breakout first week last year. Her styling was also great, the start of a transformation perhaps? She’s not a bad looking girl, but they’ve deliberately left her as slightly plain Jane so far I think.

    What does her VT feature? An endorsement from golden girl Fleur, bonding with Rita, and crucially, I think, also as soon as Monica’s left, we now find out Lauren too teaches kids at some kind of vocal school. Are producers playing for a vote transfer? Are they even hoping some casual viewers will confuse the two girls and give Lauren their support as ‘the dark haired girl who works with the kids’? It seemed a sudden thing to drop into her background if there was no ulterior motive for it.

    Otherwise this week? A softening up for Che, with a song that didn’t allow him to showcase much power or vocal acrobatics, along with a slamming on the brakes of sexy Che by pushing the fact that he’s got a (rather unkempt-looking) girlfriend. 4th Impact again given a song which requires them to have a better command of the English language and pronunciation than they seem to possess. Cheryl also stitches them up with a smile on her face in the comments, as she manages to push the ‘foreign’ angle several times in her comments.

    Anton was poorly aimed, I think. Grimmy’s comments were forceful, but I think, also badly considered, given Anton’s VT pushed how the song he was singing was to a ‘partner’ (definitely gay then) who’d hurt him in the past, and the lyrics were all about long-lasting love. I think, on reflection, Love and Heartbreak week was a badly-judged time to accuse someone of not putting their heart into their song and appearing fake and cold, which was essentially Grimmy’s take. Personally I felt Anton’s hurt and outrage was absolutely justified, and the whole debacle wasn’t helped by Nick refusing to apologise or offer his comments in an apologetic manner. Whether it will be enough to get Anton higher than 5th out of 6 in the voting remains to be seen, of course.

    All in all an interesting show. I see them holding on to Lauren, Louisa, and R’n’B up to final 4 if they can possibly do so, unless Lauren polls well enough and Louisa poorly enough for them to want to try and change their plans. By then it might be too late, however. (Whew, that was longer than I anticipated when I started writing it!)

  • Rob4

    i’m going to take a different possible narrative to that given above. First of all Mason was unsaveable. Even NG appeared to have accepted that judging by his unenthusiastic praise,

    in regard to his attack on Anton. it may have been motivated by desperation. Che was under a strictly bus with a pretty limp version of an old song. there was universal praise but not at a level that would motivate people to vote. i think he is in danger and NG knows it – he was noticeably sweating just before his attack on Anton like he knew he was about to go off piste. Cowell seemed genuinely irritated with his ‘not everyone is for Radio 1’ comment. i think NG thinks Che can survive a sing off with Anton but is not so sure about the others.

    it should also be noted we were introduced to Che’s girlfriend this week. that’s not going to motivate female voters. to me Che really only appeals to mums and nans – are they voting by App?

    the alleged 4th Impact de-ramp didn’t strike me as much to do about anything. true the missing home is often used to dampen enthusiasm but this was tempered with the emotional skype from home and a reminder to the public of the reason they travelled. the performance wasn’t brilliant but it was competent and i noticed it was the first week they’d been dressed more maturely rather than the normal south east asia sex worker apparel. SC gave them ‘we don’t know you as individuals’ line but it could be to set up something for next week. i thought it was more a holding pattern than a de-ramp.

    Lauren strikes me as being in the same category as Lauren Platt last year i.e. a threat to the chosen one. her song last night was bland and did her no favours despite the praise. i think they will be looking to ditch her before the final the same as LP. its interesting that LP beat Andrea in that semi final vote but was still ditched. deja vu will prevail methinks.

    for me both Louisa and Reggie and Bollie are treading water – hence their late slot. Louisa is still quite unrelateable and may need to be bounced to the final. i wouldn’t rule out a bottom 2 appearance next week. i think RnB have probably served their purpose and wouldn’t be surprised that they leave fairly soon.

    its interesting that at the equivalent stage last year (week 7) there was a flash vote with Only the Young eliminated first. the sing off was with Stevi Ritchie and Andrea. Ritchie went out despite polling more than Andrea. if it comes to a Che/Anton sing off would Che get the same treatment as Andrea if he is bottom of the vote?

    in summary song, performance, VT, faint praise, running order, (history?) point to Che as the value pick.

  • Dave S

    I could kind of see what Grimshaw was getting at – Anton’s performance was full of emotion, but it wasn’t an emotional delivery of the song, it was the emotion of a man who knows he is being thrown under a bus. So in terms of his connection with the lyrics – it was a bit fake. Overall he verged on the desperate – but you can understand why. His fight back might just buy him enough votes to survive though, as Che was utterly forgettable (again) and 4th Impact are simply fizzling out. After all the Celina shenanigans last week we now have Cheryl trotting out the ‘they are a million miles from home’ rubbish. I can see those two acts in the bottom two. Lauren might just have survived her diabolical song choice – she remains the most viable alternative to Louisa in my view and she has that precious advantage of being completely natural and likeable. Louisa sings brilliantly but still seems really plastic. I’d be amazed now if R+B don’t make the final – the opposition isn’t exactly taxing.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Finally seen the Lauren performance. Beyond parody. They blew the budget on that one. Having seen it I suspect she’s not polling that well. It’s too much too soon. According to Simon last week was the performance everyone would remember, this week was the moment like Fleur (plug #173) and Leona. She’s emotional, she’s connecting blah blah blah blah blee. The performance was as ever, a bit bland.

    I’m reminded of the megaproduction they gave Fleur last year for Uptown Funk. A lot of us thought she must be topping the vote when that wasn’t the case. I think Louisa might be in the same situation. The setup was such that it seemed to disregard the audience in the venue and was aimed exclusively at tv voters. To me that seems a bit desperate.

    She’s a hard sell. It’s tough to relate to someone when there doesn’t seem to be anyone in there. That’s why, imo, they should be giving her age appropriate songs. Maybe someone googled Madonna early in the week and got confused.

    On Che, why couldn’t they give him a Cee Lo Green song? Oh yeah, that might make him relevant and a real threat. A bigger guy who is a massive star because if his easygoing style and amazing voice? That would never happen.

    I know I have Lauren flavour goggles on so treat this paragraph with caution but I wonder if part of the hype for fun and loveable R&B is to take some votes from fun and loveable Lauren.

    And I just realised Louisa was wearing Supergirl’s pyjamas.

  • Edie M

    Re-watched most of the show this morning and Anton’s treatment came across as even crueller in the cold light of day. I hadn’t fully been paying attention to the VT which made it clear that there was a lot of emotional resonance in the song for Anton, I almost think that was a bit of problem with the performance rather than there not being enough emotion. But still not sure if he can bounce all the way out of the bottom 3, there isn’t much sympathy for him on DS for example.
    But if he does manage it, I have a nagging worry about Lauren falling into the danger zone. I really hope she doesn’t, but her performance felt a little flat last night. As Jess points out- the first half of the song was engineered to be that way. Plus as someone mentioned pre-show yesterday they changed Lauren’s staging in a way she wasn’t happy with and then criticised her for it in the comments! I think if she doesn’t come near the bottom it means she has strong support, but don’t agree with others above that if she polls above Louisa that she has any chance of being made alpha girl.
    Finally- Louisa, I know she’ll still probably win etc. etc. but I still think they went a bit far last night. My mum rang me up after Louisa’s performance to say she thought it had been ‘ludicrous’. This from someone who is pretty atuned to the manipulations but up to this point hadn’t been off-put by Louisa’s treatment.

  • Edie M

    Anton posted this on twitter at 3am last night (it isn’t looking good for him!):
    Tonight I’ve grown tired! I allowed irrelevant people’s ugly opinion matter But I’ve felt it important to stop being a victim FIGHT 4 myself

  • Jessica Hamby

    Just heard Che. I thought he was amazing. Pure soul. Technique, tone, range, phrasing were all impeccable, and it was so easy for him. Incredible.

    Voters won’t like it much.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Just saw the Anton thing. Total set up. Despicable. I wonder how non sofabetters saw it? Does anyone have an insight.

    Off topic: Nick Grimshaw is now on my list.

    • You saying the whole thing was in the script? I’m just rewatching now. I’m sticking with a 4I/Anton singoff.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I think it was planned. They’ve been painting him as weird and aggressive and unstable for weeks now. Headbutts, staring eyes, scary mouth, weird facial expressions, the whole nine yards. We’ve had more of that then we have of his talent.

        • Alan

          I’m not sure they expected or wanted him to react like that. Cowell and Cheryl exchanged an odd look. If Anton is aware of the manipulation then it would have been a very risky strategy. Same with Mason. One day a contestant will mouth off about what an shitty hand they’ve been dealt. Mason just looked bemused, like he was expecting it. Hopefully he has been all too aware of what’s going on and has just been using the show for his own benefit.

  • Jessica Hamby

    KITTY:

    You need to correct an error in your column sweetheart. You say that Lauren sang James Bay. She didn’t. She sang Mariah and Louisa sang James Bay (reworked by Sofia Karlberg).

  • Caro

    The typo in this article made me laugh – Louisa: ‘I was really low. I wasn’t easting properly’ (too many mentions of Fleur????)
    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/tv/x-factor/476996/X-Factor-Louisa-Johnson-battle-with-food

  • New poster here, be gentle on me.

    End of the day, it’s only a TV reality show but for a chosen act, it’s really unfair to other acts to suffer with bad staging, song choices and judges comments. Acoustic Ballades / Slow songs driven with piano accompaniments always has a emotional spot in many of us and Louisa is lucky to have that kind of songs. Also whenever Louisa sings, magically the quality of sound improves including the reverb, better sound shaping, high quality backing vocals and instruments.

    Lauren has much better colour in voice, but never heard in live shows. Also she lost a bit of power in voice too. FI can surely sing in acoustic / stripped down setting, but never had a chance. Anton is all about telling a story, he need space/time but backing track is constantly pushing him or make to switch to technical mode. Still, wonderful singer who didn’t deserve that comment from Nick. He is not fake, at least while telling a story.

    Che is an incredible vocalist, IMO better quality vocals than Sam Smith but not good for XF.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Hi Simon. I have long thought that they mess around with sound quality and arrangements to ramp or deramp acts. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that.

      I agree about Che too. He is the standout singer in the competition. Imo he’s the best singer they’ve had since Leona. Maybe Cardle ‘s First Time would come close but I didn’t take to him.

      The right songs would make Che unbeatable – AND HE’S ONLY 19.

      • Edie M

        Camera work was definitely used against FI this week as well. Too many unfocused long shots.

      • Thanks for reminding me Che is only 19! That’s quite astounding but never heard mentioning that on XF.

        @eddie – true about camera work, I read elsewhere the camera angle mix where act’s eye contact is most important to relate to audience at home for a solo act and for performance act, choreographed moves need priority over individuals. Re-watched FI again, you are right.

      • Chris Bellis

        Jessica – completely correct. Having a sound engineer in the family I know how they can influence things. Look how they deliberately b*****ed the sound for Blue in Eurovision a few years ago. Blue has one member (!) who p***es off the crew, but as a sound engineer or producer you can get your own back. Look at the first outing of the Blue Eurovision entry on RTE. The man or woman at the mixing desk has immense power.

  • Backing Fourth Impact to go at 4.00 (3/1) seems the most logical bet

    If Anton bounces, I think they hit definitely hit Bottom 2 v Che
    And they’re not going to send Che home this weekend

    If Anton doesn’t bounce then he’s probably gone, even though that leaves Simon with no acts… I don’t like to back against a bounce at 2.50, so I’m not going to back against it at 1.57

  • Edie M

    I kind of liked Mason’s totally bemused expression throughout the entire show last night. You could tell he was over the whole thing and it made his exit much more dignified.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Agree. He’s not a housecat. He shouldn’t have to act like one. He comes across as a decent guy and like many contestants it looks like he’s been used. I hope he makes enough money from the tour to compensate a little and goes on performing. He’s very watchable (although too much crotch grabbing for my taste).

  • Nick

    Agree with Cherry Analysts who said this on Nov 3rd:

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

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

    That performance was incredible and an easy choice for Simon to push to win.

  • Alan

    Think the program reached a new low last night when u compare the treatment of Louisa to that of Anton and Mason. The acts seem to be well aware of it as well. Anton knew he was being stitched up as did Mason. No wonder all is not well in the house.

  • George

    Still astonishing to me that they’re prepared to let the show suffer just to get one act over the line.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Even more astonishing to me is that they’re prepared to let the act that they’re trying to get across the line suffer to get her across the line.

      I have to say I am actually warming to Louisa. I thought the little scene between her and her dad was genuine and sweet. They’re not a sentimental family but the I’m proud of you from her dad was sincere and the high five between them was easy and natural. It makes it all the more absurd that they’re trying to turn her into some sort of saint / princess. Why can’t they see she’s not a girly girl? I can and I’ve only ever seen her on the telly.

      They keep bloody telling us she’s 17 but they don’t let her act like it, talk like it, sing songs that reflect it. She has a hell of a lot to offer and could easily be someone we could relate to if they would allow it. Instead they seem to think the way to win votes is to put her on a pedestal. Literally.

      The reason Lauren is so easy to warm to is because she’s so human as well as so talented. The reason Louisa is so difficult to warm to is because they keep presenting her as if she is superhuman.

      The question I’m left with is this. Is being admired enough to win the competition or do you actually have to be loved?

      I could write an essay on my thoughts about this but I think it’s probably best to leave it there before I actually disappear up my own fundament.

      • Edie M

        I watched her first audition for the first time today, and thought exactly the same thing about her not being a girly girl. She is so much more likeable and natural in her VT for that audition.

  • annie

    when did Lauren end up last week at #9? Cause I see with all the high praise and excessive pimping Chosen Louisa is only managing #15 so far.

    • Martin

      I think it was around Monday/Tuesday? She also managed to get the Arianna Grande original to a similar position, and Lauren is still in the top 20 which is some going over a week after the performance!

  • Linda

    Just rewatched that Grimshaw/Anton face off again. Very nasty, but what came across to me on a re-view was how personal Grimshaw’s comment, both in content and delivery was. It was as if there was an event during the week that remains unspoken. Grimshaw came across as petulant and arrogant when challenged by Cowell. It was a real low point for him that supports the views of his critics. We will know later the fallout, if any.

    • Martin

      I thought Nick came across incredibly forced actually. Aside from the ludicrous situation of Nick criticising a man who was visibly in tears through 50% of his performance as he stood in front him for failing to show emotion, he seemed to look uncomfortable before he gave the first blow and then completely clammed up when Anton started responding, coming back with the feeble ‘aggressive’ line. I’m a massive fan of Nick’s, but it was all just a bit uncomfortable and I think Anton should bounce enough because of it.

      • Alan

        Check out Rita’s face during the exchange. Clearly bricking it as she knows she too has to stick the knife in and clearly doesn’t relish the prospect. Both her and Nick always look uncomfortable before they have to be nasty. Cowell and Cheryl now seasoned pros of course and just water off a ducks back for them.

        I do love the “you looked nervous” comment as a de-ramp. Cant find fault with anything else and dont want to be too harsh so we’ll say “something wasn’t right, maybe you were nervous”. Absolute bullshit of course and Mason’s reaction said it all.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Also the “how did you feel about that?” question. Whenever someone in authority asks you that question it means they’re about to fuck you up. They’re trying to put you off guard by seeming to care about how you feel and if they have any interest in your answer it’s to use it against you. It’s a bit like when someone addresses you as “my friend”. Your friends never call you “my friend”.

          • Alan

            Yeah I was hoping that Mason was going to say “I smashed it” when asked by Cowell how it went but his response was a bit half hearted. He’d already worked out he was a goner from the previous comments.

        • Chris Bellis

          “Cheryl is a seasoned pro”! In so many ways.

  • Nissl

    Interesting that they seem to have stitched up 4I this week. I just caught the performance and in addition to what’s been pointed out I noticed they didn’t get an arrangement/track that would let one of them really belt a big note like usual.

    I’m not sure what the producers are thinking. I’ve made my skepticism about 4I’s long-term potential clear, but surely the Youtube numbers and general online fervor suggest they could have at least a reasonable debut era? That’s more than I can say with certainty for anyone else left in the field, though I do see potential for RnB to have a few novelty singles or Louisa to be groomed into a star if she can figure some things out.

  • Curtis

    Random irrelevant nonsense about Lauren but though I really like her voice and have enjoyed her performances, there is one thing that annoys me with her. She pronounces her t’s like d’s! “One Last Dime” and “We Belong Dogether”. Sort it out Lauren!

    Oh, and on a more pertinent point, I think she’s very safe this week, even despite not-so-great treatment. Fourth Impact, Anton and Ché will all finish below her.

    • Jessica Hamby

      *cough*

      I think you mean SORT IT AHT LAUREN!

      By the way – don’t ever listen to the Gladys Knight version of Licence To Kill. It’s drive you mad. She sings “Licence to Kilt”.

      😀

      • R

        Maybe dear Gladys was thinking of Connery’s Bond 🙂

        • Jessica Hamby

          Speaking of Gladys Knight, check this out. It’s an oldie but goodie. You see the beaming, little woman stood next to Stevie and you think she’s there to make sure he doesn’t walk into the door on the way out, and then about 2.45 in she starts singing…..

          Allow me a moment of sentimentality – I dedicate it to all my lovely Sofabet friends.

  • Rose

    The sweetest part of the whole show for me was when Reggie’s baby daughter was given the gift from Cheryl. She reached down to embrace the glittery box as if the box itself was the present, and that box was the most lovely thing in the entire world. It was so touching. Can Reggie’s daughter please become a contestant?

  • Keen Observer

    I think last night perhaps suggested Che and Lauren have been polling well, hence the kitchen sink thrown at Louisa, combined with the early slots and a few negatives in the direction of the aforementioned two. They may just be doing everything they can to make sure Louisa is above the bottom 3, hopefully by jumping ahead of one of Che/Lauren.

    Certainly the outright price of 1/2 is quite absurd considering three weeks remain and the level of pimping we saw last night is already required. Of course, another possibility is they’re looking for a Louisa, Lauren and RnB final and are hopefully softening up Che to get him out at the semi stage.

  • Pete

    Interested in everyone’s opinions here. Think tonight possibly good present present a very good betting opportunity with Anton’s elimination odds being so short. My question is, if he hits he bottom 2, who goes in these situations?

    Anton v 4I
    Anton v Che
    Anton v Lauren

    To what degree are the happy for Simon to be without any acts at this stage?

    • Jack

      Anton definitely goes v Che as I doubt they’d want Nick out as well. Fourth Impact would also probably be saved. Think Lauren would be cut loose personally as she’d have outlived her purpose. Thinking about it more, I think that Anton may just bounce high enough and we could be in for a Che v FI B2.

      • annie

        I also think there is a real possibility they would/will get rid of Lauren if faced with Che, 4Imp or anyone else besides Anton…

        But after last night I just cant see Grimmy voting for Anton rather then Lauren and I also cant see Lauren as dead bottom instead of Anton, so he would leave on deadlock.

    • annie

      Lauren and Anton would be deadlock at worst and the survivor would be Lauren. (Rita, Nick def team Lauren)

      Simon, as an old, established member or the panel could go on without an act, but I doubt they would let that happen to Grimmy, so Anton would def go against Che.

      Anton vs 4I is interesting one… Even if Reggie and Bollie seem to do more for the competition I still see 4Imp having better comercial future in Simons eyes so I doubt they would be dumped at the first stumble.

      I would say they wouldnt dare to kick Anton out on such a cruel note but I hardly saw the cringy interaction making any rounds on media. No one cares, besides Anton and a few DS girls.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I would say they wouldnt dare to kick Anton out on such a cruel note

        😮

        It has been drawn to may attention that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit so I will say no more.

  • oxobb

    antons price is too short to go tonight, can see him being saved against 4th impact, with ‘on tonights performance’ type judges comments..4th impact the value to go for me.

  • Pete

    Thanks all, seems my thoughts were on the right tracks the, re Che and Lauren. The one I can’t work out is Anton v 4I? And whether there is value at 7/2 on 4I next elim?

  • Very telling editing of the recap there. Only negative was to Anton. Reggie and Bollie got their WINNER subliminal chucked in there too.

    Interesting that R&B are the first joke act sold as “fun” – previous acts like Wagner, Jedward or Rylan have had that threatening streak about them.

  • Wonderful shit sandwich from Nick there off the back of 4I on the second recap.

  • Piresistable

    Grimshaw saying he wants 4th Impact to be more honest was quite a snipe in the round up.

  • annie

    Lauren doesnt look very happy, does she?

  • stoney

    Good boy Nathan. Reminding us how good louisa is

  • Alison cassells

    Olly someone’s going home tonight ( turns) Anton……… Nuff
    said

  • Alison cassells

    Nuff , bloody ipad

  • Chatterbox5200

    Is Rita trying to look like Louisa from last night?

  • Piresistable

    Will Caroline ask Olly who he wants to win?

  • Donald

    Olly said there will be more tears , bit obvious considering who cried last night.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Anton is best priced at 1/2. Who can be taking that? There’s no guarantee he’s going to b2. If he does then I think he’s out but the people who think Grimshaw was in the right can’t vote against him and the people who thought Anton was hard done by can vote to keep him in.

  • Ferret

    good luck all …. Anton +£1 for me (!!) 4I +£75 … rest losers (only Che and Louisa damaging though) but should be a predictable singoff so if bottom two not the above will hope to be able to cover.

  • Ferret

    Lauren first call – interesting

    Bugger …. 4I safe – losing night tonight then!

    Anton v Che then — bouncing Che into the Semis? OR is this the next controversial save (removing a competitor to louisa in the process)

  • Piresistable

    Was Lauren called safe first last week?

  • Curtis

    4th Impact with incredibly durable vote.

  • DannyCraig

    Did anybody see Lauren not wanting to hug Louisa? Haha

  • Fudd

    Save Order:
    Lauren
    4th Impact
    Louisa
    Reggie and Bollie

    How they’ve dragged down the early ‘favourites’…

  • stoney

    I see lauren snubbed louisa when louisa was announced safe. Might be a rift between them 2. Lauren seems very desperate to win. Her reaction at going through is always ott

  • Linda

    Fcuk it I knew knew knew Che would be down there this week and sounded like a broken record saying it. Lost money though, had 4I to go tonight. 🙁

  • Dean F

    Anton going and in my opinion they gave us the first sign that RnB will be the target next week having been called first. This week was their big production next week the chop

  • Alison cassells

    Oh well no prizes …. Bye bye anton

  • Market is up. Shit prices for Anton mind.

  • Curtis

    Even though the sing-off should be free money, still can’t bring myself to get involved. Don’t like the possibly of getting burned so badly for small wins.

  • Linda

    Anton is going to tear that stage apart. Cmon Anton!!

  • George

    So the first week he’s not pimped and he falls in the bottom two.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Betway is only offering prices on acts already eliminated.

  • Linda

    Disgraceful decision. Che obviously polled bottom and they couldn’t let Grimshaw lose his act.

  • Phil

    Anton Decked?

    You’re welcome 🙂

  • Never in doubt lol… Hopefully a profitable weekend all in all but I couldn’t get involved at those prices.

  • Martin

    My favourite X factor moment from this year… Nick asking Anton if he’s tired whilst he gives his decision on who to send home

    • Jessica hamby

      He gives good bitch, no doubt about that.

      He’s still on my list though. There’s a power imbalance between judge and contestant that makes his behaviour and attitude towards Anton last night abusive imo.

      • Martin

        Oh I don’t think so, he’s just doing as he’s told and from his body language last night, he’s not entirely comfortable with it.

        That said, the last three eliminated singers – Anton, Mason and Monica have all seemed immensely relieved to be gone, the whole set up this year seems a bit abusive tbh.

        • Jessica Hamby

          If he’s not comfortable doing it then he shouldn’t do it. The fact that he’s being told to be abusive doesn’t mitigate the abuse. It doesn’t mean he is not culpable. It has long been established in law that “I was just following orders” is not a viable defence.

          It’s interesting what can happen to people when they are given authority over others.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

          • Martin

            To be honest, I’m of the opinion that all the contestants and judges should know what they’re getting themselves into, the show has been on for long enough. If you don’t want your character to be open for assassination, don’t sign up.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I understand why you say that but on the other hand, everyone who enters thinks they’re going to be the one who gets tptb support.

            Tptb give everyone the soft soap and flannel treatment until the moment they turn on you and they do that to scouted acts particularly. I can understand how contestants want to believe that they will be the exception and that for them it will be different – particularly if they think it is the only route they have to success. It’s confirmation bias.

            And then, all of a sudden, overnight in fact, it isn’t.

            It was fine all week and my mentor was saying the nicest things and I had a few doubts about my outfit and the dance routine but all the experts told me it looked great from out front and on camera…. How did this happpen? I thought you were my friends?

            *room empties*

          • Martin

            I agree – I’m not saying it isn’t heart breaking and I do feel for the more vulnerable contestants. Abi Alton’s treatment was most unkind. But Anton has worked in the industry his whole life, surely he has an awareness of how this show works. Why would he expect it to change for him? He’s had two weeks since his awful Bang Bang medley, the warning was there.

          • Jessica Hamby

            When the choice is between hope and despair, the rational mind chooses hope. It’s easier. If he chose despair the rational mind would walk out, which would mean the end of a stronger hope – success in the music industry.

            It is not wise to trust tptb, but it does make sense. It’s a bit like being conned. I think you see it like an internet scam by someone posing as a member of the nigerian royal family. I think it’s more analagous to Paul Newman & Robert Redford in The Sting. It’s well thought out and they’ve got the perfect bait to draw in their marks.

  • Joe

    Very humble from Anton even though they quite disgracefully killed him off week by week. Reckon he topped the vote week 1.
    Simon has no act in the final for the first time ever.
    4th impact next week, then Lauren and you have your final 3?

  • Rob4

    off the crossbar. but my reasoning on Che was sound (see above) and i suspect he was bottom of the vote.

  • stoney

    3 million votes cast is a pretty low number when you consider 5 free votes on the app. I would imagine the phones votes are low. Not forgetting people use multiple devices. With that figure in mind i would be surprised if the show has half a million active voters. Which is pretty lame considering around 95% of the 6-7 million viewers would have access to free votes.
    People just don’t give a hoot about this show anymore

  • Joe

    Anyone reckon a bet on Lauren, R and B or 4th impact is a wise move at this stage? Good odds on anyone but Louisa. Is this good value or has the chosen one got this in the bag?

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