Louisa Johnson: An Anatomy Of A Pimping

It’s been incredibly obvious since the audition stages that Louisa Johnson is the act producers want to win this year – we ran through all the evidence why in a post before the six-chair challenge, as well as the reasons to think that Louisa might not be an easy sell to the voting public. We’ve felt after the first, second and third weeks of live shows that producers haven’t quite known how to sell her, but goodness did they throw the kitchen sink at her this week.

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Louisa’s staging on Saturday is the most inspired we can remember on this show. It was so shameless you couldn’t help but admiringly chuckle – a moment right up there with Dermot banging the “Vote Fleur East” bus at the end of last year’s semi-final, or getting Labrinth to introduce Fleur in the final duet rather than the other way round. So let’s doff our caps to producers and admire a job well done this week.

We’ve felt there were previously a few mis-steps in Louisa’s VTs, but not on Saturday. After the usual anodyne backstage stuff, we saw Louisa visiting her brickie dad, Dave – starting to fill in a family backstory that has only so far featured a couple of glimpses of her mum. Don’t discount the importance of showing the family bond: last year viewers were repeatedly invited to invest emotionally in Ben Haenow’s relationship with his mum, brother Alex and Nonna Rita.

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As well as showing us that Louisa loves her dad and her dad loves her, the building site portrayed her as being from humble, honest, working class stock – a much better look than last week, reminiscing with her mum about being at theatre school at the age of eight. We saw her being charmingly at ease with her dad’s mates, wearing her WHUFC hard hat as they sang ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’, and cheerfully having a go at a bit of pointing. It showed a lot more personality than we’ve seen so far.

The VT was edited to end with Louisa saying “I’m going to prove with this song why I can win this competition”. We’ve worried before about the wisdom of Cowell repeating that Louisa “wants” to win the competition, but this was much better judged – it portrays her as admirably determined, not offputtingly overcompetitive. And, as the closing words of VTs are often intended to do, it frames viewers’ expectations – we’re primed to be watching a performance deserving of winning the series.

“This girl’s going to literally take it to another level” is how Rita had introduced Louisa, pleasingly for those of us who still care about the word literally, and Louisa duly appeared on a platform high up at the back of the studio. Her white-clad choir stood in the aisles, descending away behind her.

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Showing us that Louisa is literally above everyone else also suggests that she’s metaphorically above everyone else, and the backdrop – a distant cityscape, seen as from atop the highest skyscraper – cleverly accentuated that.

But more than that, the staging played heavily on the theme of Louisa as angelic. Regular readers will know that we feel red-and-black staging reminiscent of hell is one trick producers have used to get rid of unwanted acts, and this was the other extreme. Louisa herself was clad in white, as were her backing singers. Her feet were enveloped by rolling smoke, making it look like she was standing in a cloud. Starry lights twinkled as if in the firmament. She got halo-effect lighting.

After the performance, she got to walk jublilantly from her platform down the aisle as the crowd cheered, reminiscent of a cup-winning footballer having collected a medal, before enjoying a congratulatory hug with Rita.

Judges’ comments set out to address head-on a failing that we have consistently worried about – the fact that, as a 17 year old, Louisa lacks the life experience to make emotional lyrics believable. Cheryl informed us that “for a 17 year old that probably hasn’t really experienced heartbreak” it was “outstanding”. Nick ran with the theme: “I don’t think the impressive thing is your voice, being 17, obviously that’s incredible, but what’s impressive, being 17, is being able to tell a story and convey that emotion, that’s what really incredible, being 17”.

Simon sought to persuade us that we’d just seen a gamechanger: “You know what, Louisa, there is always, sometimes, a moment with singers in these competitions, Fleur with Uptown Funk, Leona with Summertime, I think you’ve just had that moment with this song, I really do.” Nick picked up that theme as well, calling it her “best moment to date”.

(What is it with the word “moment” this year? Nick used it four times in one sentence after Louisa’s week 1 performance, making us wonder if he was gently taking the piss out of the things he has to do for the show, as we also wondered with his repeated “17” references this week. Rita told Mason this week that “that moment wasn’t the moment I wanted, I didn’t find a specific moment”. Do they have some kind of private bet about who can use it the most?)

Cowell again seemed to reverse gear from the “you want to win” of earlier weeks, saying “you’re very sweet and humble, where you could be a monster” – and Louisa made sure to reinforce that impression, thanking everyone for voting and telling Olly she’s “grateful to be here”. Olly had started his post-performance question by telling her it was a “seriously stunning performance”, and making sure we’d noticed the standing ovation.

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The markets reacted accordingly. After being rated as having a 45-to-50% chance of winning the show before last Saturday, Louisa’s odds contracted to suggest a 65-to-70% chance. But still, it wasn’t hard to find some scepticism in the Sofabet comments.

Rose was “utterly put off by the constant pimping”. For Plinkiplonk, “the pimping of St Louisa is reaching ridiculous proportions”. Martin added “it all seemed a bit desperate to me”. Donald said: “still not convinced on Louisa, no real goosebump moment yet, they have tried but still lacks the really nailed on performance.” To Jack, it “screamed ‘Ella Henderson'”.

Dave S said she “sings brilliantly but still seems really plastic”. Simon Kent observed that “whenever Louisa sings, magically the quality of sound improves including the reverb, better sound shaping, high quality backing vocals and instruments”. Edie M reckoned “they went a bit far last night. My mum rang me up after Louisa’s performance to say she thought it had been ‘ludicrous’.”

Lia related this conversation with her nine year old daughter, who is clearly Sofabet – The Next Generation:

– Mum, is XFactor a fix?
– What do you mean?
– Like, it’s not happening for real. It’s a play and we don’t have to vote because they have a story to follow and it won’t count.
– Well, they can’t do that because a lot of people pay to vote for who they like, so they would get into a lot of trouble if they did that.
*Gives me an unconvinced look* so I carry on:
– But they can manipulate…
– How?
– Well, they may not put a lot of effort into someone’s performance so you’re not impressed or choose a bad song for someone or, if it’s someone they really like, they can make a big show and give better sound so more people will vote for that contestant.
– Aaaaah! Just like they’re doing with Louisa?

The question is, how widely do these comments resonate with the voting public. We are, after all, still something of a niche audience. Dean provides a reality check by saying: “Many cynics on here don’t see it but it was definitely a sort of a moment.” And Cherry Analysts cuts to the quick with: “Simple question… if Louisa doesn’t win then who does and why?”

Indeed. Last year we had Ben Haenow as a default vote magnet that Fleur never managed to attract enough votes away from; there isn’t an equivalent this year. Neither the boys nor the overs contained the kind of Haenow, Cardle, McElderry catnip for female demographics that would win the show off a level playing field: the nearest possibilities, Simon Lynch and Ben Clark, were never entirely convincing and both jettisoned before a public vote. This will not, of course, have been a coincidence.

In a parallel universe, where each act received equally helpful treatment, who might be winning it this year from the acts who made the lives? Anton, perhaps, being something of a Chris Maloney, Sam Bailey figure; but after allegedly storming the week 1 vote, according to the Star’s leak, he has been cut down in a ruthless and brutally effective manner.

It will be fascinating to see how producers play Louisa from here. Rose raises a valid concern: “TPTB have pimped her into a corner this week IMO – where do they go from here?” But the year this one is increasingly resembling is 2011, when a victory was won not only by pimping Little Mix to high heaven but by making sure they put the dampeners on everybody else.

X Factor images and clips ©SYCO/THAMES TV/PA

101 comments to Louisa Johnson: An Anatomy Of A Pimping

  • Phil

    I’d love it if she was sent on next week with a red and black background, singing Bang Bang. We know, however, that this wouldn’t happen in a million years.

  • annie

    well, I think Lauren was the closest this year to vote magnet.

    Decent voice, good personality, very much woman that some man might fancy but still relatable to women and younger girls too. and had some moments. Many mentioned liking her, maybe not as first choice, but with a very good chance to pick up floating votes.

    But the days of Stacy Solomon when a similar act was allowed to run its natural course we saw that whilst they didnt hurt her directly this week nothing to help her was done either.

    I am unsure what to make of 4th Impact.
    After last nights incident I realised they have a large, very very passionate following.
    I dont think they managed to gain the great british public´s support, but….
    I´ve had the chance to work with filipinos and asians from the area and one thing that stood out always is that they are very tech savvy, Honestly. downloading everything like crazy. Borderline hackers all of them. (the ones I met that is) So I really wont be surprised if larger masses have managed to crack the app vote so that they can vote.

  • Nissl

    If Louisa doesn’t win, then it’s probably 4th Impact imo. Given that they didn’t hit B2 this week, I suspect their surprising deramping was aimed at bringing them back into the pack rather than getting rid of them. But they clearly have a large and devoted base who are unlikely to be swayed by the show’s shenanigans.

  • Stu

    Actually, are the producers aiming for a Louisa vs RnB vs 4th Impact final?

    Reggie n Bollie have been name-checked as finalists by Simon. Their vote is probably no threat to Louisa whatsoever and they will fill the annual male act slot in the final. They will also provide a great show unlike the dull-fest finals that were 2012/13.

    Then there is Fourth Impact. Like RnB, they provide the entertainment fit for a final. Them being in the final will keep international fans interested even if they don’t win.

    Then there’s Louisa the Chosen One. If it is Louisa vs two up-tempo groups, surely she’ll have it in the bag? Casual viewers who only watch/vote during the final will find it easier to connect with a young, pretty, innocent-looking British girl than TWO foreign groups.

    I actually think this could be a big possibility. It’d be a safer bet for the producers than to let either Lauren or Che in the final with her.

  • Curtis

    I agree, it’s very hard to see beyond Louisa in the win market. Perhaps before this week, an argument could’ve been made for Ché, but he’s damaged goods now and would require something big to win from here. So honestly, if anyone were to win who wasn’t Louisa, I would expect it to be Fourth Impact. However, if they were to win I would expect the show to have showed their hand by now and pimped them to high heavens this week.

    I certainly think Louisa belong at the odds she’s at at this stage.

  • 360

    I’m going to have to concur with what everyone else said. Regrettably my pre-lives prediction largely hinged on less double eliminations consecutively and thus TPTB taking their eye off tje ball long enough for either Seann or Max to unexpectedly build up steam forcing a late-game switch to Che.

    Instead TPTB have controlled this series with an iron fist, pulling out all the stops to control the voting as much as physically possible without (and sometimes even with) contravening their own rules.

    Notably there’s no loose cannon on the panel this year to potentially mess up a targeting, as Sharon, Gary and Nicole have all been in the past, as well as instances of Louis and Cheryl breaking the script out of ineptness. Cheryl’s got her knife-twisting down to a t this season.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the voting breakdown for this series.

  • Lia

    Daniel, you made a 9 year old the happiest kid in the planet. She loves being Sofabet: future generation! I told her to read the article saying there was something she would really like. She was loving all of it but her face when she got to her bit was priceless!!!

  • Donald

    My niece made an observation from Saturday night. “Louisa would be gone home if it was The Voice as none of the judges turned around.” Followed by “but they want her to win”.

    About sums it all up. As pointed out in The Guardian today, hard to judge when you can’t see. It was a serious pimping.

    Viewing figurss through the floor, Simon has the week off now as no over left, turn up at weekend. That might affect overall show yet.

    It does seem to be swinging gowards 2011 senario but there might be a twist yet. This Lauren, 4th Impact story seems to be maintaining momentum as opposed to going away 24hrs later, one thing I did notice was the body language Louisa showed in the clip.

    Feel sorry for Lauren , it was spur of the moment but live television very unforgiving these days.

    It is generating coverage for 4th Impact and their fans are buzzing online. Hardly what TPTB would have wanted along with Simon being overheard to keep Che in.

    Open mind ’till next weekend, last year we were almost convinced Fleur would get there and she ultimately didn’t as suspected. Odds obviously starting to swing in Louisa favour but still “winner” not stamped on it for me just yet.

    • Alan

      Your comment about Simon having the week off got me wondering how much time the “mentors” actually spend with their acts. My assumption was that it would be the bare minimum and mostly done for the cameras. Does anyone know if any former contestants have ever talked about this?

      • Lia

        Before they at least tried to pretend the “mentors” were the ones choosing the songs and helping the acts. Now we just see the acts being told what’s going to happen by members of the production team with absolutely no mentoring whatsoever. Sad!

    • stoney

      I just asked my dog what he thinks and he says she would get all 4 turn round
      Jokes aside is there seriously anyone with ears that thinks Louisa would be in danger of facing the 4 judges backs following her performance from last weekends show. Each to their own and all that but I find it very hard to believe

      • Lia

        No stoney, she would slam the voice. Just XF is meant to have a different premise. 😉
        I don’t question her vocal talent. I question how she’s been presented and the excessive pimping, which for me, personally, is a turn off.

      • Donald

        Slould enter dog for BGT lol.

        Jokes aside she is decent, for 17 well decent, but not a Lauren Platt in terms of votes in my books, imagine if Lauren got even half that pimping last year, could have beaten Bem even. I know it has transpired that Lauren was ill which was not really public knowledge at time.

        I think you are closer to a win that you ever were with Fleur Stoney and you really do deserve it. I hope it comes off for you, i did put her up early early doors, I am stilll not totally convinced, the pimping seems bit desperate, not controlled to peak and a Cardle moment certainly not there yet. Oh God I said monent.

        On we go, first job who going home Sunday?

        • stoney

          Unfortunately my winnings on louisa are only around a quarter of what i stood to win on fluer as i have pumped the bulk of my stake into strictly this year which should prove to be a good thing fingers crossed

    • Lia

      Kids are just amazing! Perception and sincerity!

      Question: how do you judge a performance you cannot see??? The voice??? Oops! Wrong show!

  • Alan

    Also what is the score with Cowell feeling the need to make out he has become friends with each act as they depart? You’ve just shat on their dreams to line your pocket you two-faced &%£. Dont make out they’re your mate.

    • Curtis

      Simon’s treatment of Anton has been particularly annoying because you knew it was him who was sabotaging Anton’s chances whilst pretending to be his only defender. I don’t really believe that any of the mentors this year really care about their acts Tulisa/Little Mix style, but Simon was the only one going out of his way to damage his own acts!

      • Linda

        I hope Anton goes on to big and better things. He has a beautiful voice. Still angry at Grimshaw for acting the bowsy. Clearly a man terrified of ageing and being viewed as irrelevant himself.

  • Rose

    Did anyone see what has been written in response to the Guardian’s piece about this weekend, regarding Simon being caught on mic advising the other judges to vote for Che? I don’t remember seeing it here. Skim to the bottom of the article.

    http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2015/nov/23/the-x-factor-three-weeks-left-and-theres-a-sense-of-desperation

  • annie

    so I am actually scared for humanity.
    things like this are posted on Laurens fcbk:

    This video of yours has gone viral. Do not think for a minute you will be forgiven by just making a sign with your thumbs and fingers. This is what you have to do. Get in front of the camera on youtube and kneel. With your hands folded, with tears in your eyes, apologize to the whole world. Vow to the World that you will never, ever again in your life, be racist. Do it Lauren or you just made your Death Wish. If you talk to the World, then maybe, just maybe, you can make it to the next round.

    These people are completely nuts!! wacko…

    Nevermind getting eliminated or not, I hope it doesnt get to her and she can get over this ridiculous bulying with light heart.

    • eurovicious

      Just seen the same types of comments on Youtube. From “stans”. Will be non-UK. Did we ever get any further clarification on whether people outside the UK can and do app-vote?

  • The backlash against Lauren will harm Fourth Impact in the long run, if only because it is TOTALLY UNWARRANTED.

    Louisa’s price is terrible value tbh but I’m guessing that she’s doing quite well in the vote (note that it’s generally Che and Rn’B getting good slots, feel free to correct me). Whether she’s ~1:2 good is another story

  • Rose

    Did anyone see what has been written in response to the Guardian’s piece about this weekend, regarding Simon being caught on camera advising the other judges to vote for Che? I don’t remember seeing it here.

    http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2015/nov/23/the-x-factor-three-weeks-left-and-theres-a-sense-of-desperation

  • EM

    For anyone interested in how the show works there’s some interesting reading here https://survivingrealitytv.wordpress.com

    As with much of the show there’s a total sense of the allusion of free choice

    • 360

      Great link! She sounds a lovely lass. Looking forward to her live show posts!

    • Lia

      Great link. I do remember Sophia. I liked her quirky style and always thought Belle Amie was 2 groups in one, so I’m eager to find out the rest of the story. Should be fun!

      • annie

        I always thought they were better, prettier, coolerm had better style than little Mix, had they had the lucky constellation LM I am sure we would still hear from them.
        unfortunately they were in the wrong year….

        • Lia

          I thought they were super cute at judges houses but Simon destroyed them week1 of live shows by giving them a rap song when none of them could rap. Talk about hatchet job!
          And to me it always seemed Sophia and Rebecca had a quirky/edgy style and Geneva and Esther had a very classic style. The styling team never put any effort in to bring it together, adding to the stories that there was a split in the band (subliminal styling split). With 1D in the game they were utterly disposable.
          Little Mix were given a rap song week 1 too but the difference was both Leigh Ann and Jesy can rap.

    • Donald

      Great link, great writing, 5 Justins, em, all Sony planned.. look forward to readijng more, speaking of Justin he is doing the PR rpunds at the minute, wonder could they be lining him up for the final..

  • Rob4

    does anyone know if 3 million votes is a lot at this point in the series?

    • Boki

      I asked that already when they mentioned 2.5 mil but nobody seems to know…
      They normally didn’t mention it so early so the fact they do it now implies more votes than previous years, that was my thinking.

      • Edie M

        It’s so inflated by the fact that people get 5 free votes per device, and even more so this week that there were 5 votes allowed pre/post flash vote that you might have even expected it to be higher.

      • David Cook

        Last series the number of votes was mentioned a few times at the start of the Sunday results show.
        I seem to remember that on week 1 – the first time app voting was used – Dermot said ‘over two million votes ‘ had been cast. I think a similar figure was given on week two. Later in the series (possibly around week 6 or 7) a figure of two and a half million was given. There would then be additional votes cast during the Sunday show before the voting closed.
        Again at the start of this series I think a figure of ‘over two million votes’ was given at the start of the Sunday show on week 1.
        The figure of three million given on Sunday does therefore seem relatively high. I assume that was only votes cast after the lines reopened and the app votes were reset.

      • Rob4

        15,488,019 were cast across the entire series of series 7. a long time ago but seems to suggest that voting is massively up this series. can the app account for that?

        if anyone else has any actual voting numbers stats please post

        • Rob4

          2012 over 15 million votes throughout series and over 3 million in final. so again 3 million now seems very big.
          http://sofabet.com/2013/01/07/x-factor-2012-review-part-1-how-many-people-vote-on-x-factor/

          • Edie M

            But prior to 2014 all votes were *paid for* which seems to me makes a big difference in how we should view the voting figures

          • Rob4

            ok taking 500,000 votes per week stat as being accurate for 2012 (there’s nothing to say it is) lets take this a stage further with the caveat that this is all just idle speculation.

            x factor viewing figures are down from 2012.

            the app gives five free votes but not everyone will be using it. this suggests that the very maximum number of votes that could be cast would be 2.5 million.

            question: where are the extra 500,000 votes coming from?

          • Lia

            I can easily cast 30 free votes in my household by using different devices. I usually do 10 (phone+tablet) and my daughter 5. I could use my husband’s gadgets to get the rest but I daren’t. 😉

          • Rob4

            sorry Edie i posted before reading your comment. of course that makes a difference. but would it be that much of a difference. its about inclination isn’t it?

          • Edie M

            The flash vote and the two sets of app votes accounts for that this week.

          • EM

            There’s no way of making it an exact science but

            Let’s use the 2.5m from last week as the flash vote complicates things. The smallest number of actual voters would be half a million (2.5m/5 free votes).

            But that excludes the fact some people will vote only once by phone or text so there must have been more than half a million voters.

            Chances are more people are voting than previously, which makes sense given it is now free but we don’t know how many.

            We also don’t know whether people vote for five different acts or one act gets all five votes (obviously the real answer is somewhere in between!)

            Hope that clears it all up 😉

          • 360

            Don’t forget, the app gives five free votes PER DEVICE. Fans using five votes on their phone and five on their iPad probably go some way to account for the 500k discrepancy.

            Or it could just be those dastardly Filipino app hackers…

          • Chris

            Or even some of the 200,000+ Filipinos that are estimated to be in the UK who don’t need to do any hacking, vpn or proxy skulduggery.

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

          • Speaking of Filipinos, XF Australia’s last two winners are of Filipino descent. Whether they flew in from the Philippines or their parents did and they were born in AU? Not bothered to check.

        • EM

          Oh and we only know the number of votes cast in previous series – not how many people voted given there was bound to be people voting multiple times then too.

      • Donald

        Accordong to Wiki series 6 had 10 million votes in final, peak series viewers 19.7M, seems high 3M, maybe the 4I mob are burning up the app. It could be a show hype stategy about engagement vs Strictly voting. Will try find out some more info.

  • Rob4

    has the Lauren thing caused a backlash for 4th Impact? they are drifting further out. now 17@Coral

  • Rose

    I can’t quite work out why Simon Cowell would allow himself to get caught on mic telling the other judges what to do. Of all people, he surely knows when it’s safe to speak and when it’s not? You would have thought he would know the result of the public vote early enough to be able to tell the others what to do while the sing-off is taking place and attention is elsewhere. Did something last minute happen this time to make him risk being overheard? Some sort of technical hitch? Or a felllow judge getting suddenly confused at the last minute as to the mechanics of ditching Anton? It seems really odd to me otherwise.

    • Phil

      A more trusting interpretation could be that they were simply discussing who they were saving (and SC was clarifying/recapping). There’s nothing to say they can’t discuss it or that they have to keep it a secret from each other until they announce who they want to send home.

      Not that I believe that happened, mind 🙂

    • Rob4

      its likely that he closed his mike but one of the others forgot, which is why it is muffled.

    • EM

      I watched a lot of the show on headphones this week and caught a lot of judges chat which didn’t come across loudly on TV. It could be this happens every week or it could be a new sound girl/guy who had the judges mics on when they aren’t usually.

      The only thing of any interest I picked up was Nick Grimshaw saying that Anton’s performance was weird – presumably to Rita and presumably because he was surprised how weird it was.

      Interestingly I don’t think that was anything he said to the public or Anton in his judging – was it?

    • Rob4

      first impression is that Che and 4th Impact should be fine. Louisa’s song has the potential to be really boring live so will need a major re-work. Lauren’s song is a lot different to her past efforts so may be outside her comfort zone – deramp? RnB – who knows? Can’t see it being a stand out.

      • Che’s voice is not raw enough for “Hello”, still he has the range for buildup – chorus. I hope he brings his own interpretation.

        Louisa’s choice, “Love yourself” is a song that goes nowhere. Not much room for any improvements, no stand out interpretations on youtube either for copying. But this could showcase her actual voice, IMO which is more pleasing than shouty belting.

        FI already has a recording on youtube, which is in a very good standard for X-Factor. I’m not sure how its going to sound when the overproduced X-Factor backing track kicks in.

    • 360

      All pretty solid really. Reggie n Bollie’s Whip Nae Nae isn’t exactly vocally demanding and its another excuse to do a dance. Who knows, it might even lead to it becoming a ‘thing’ in the UK the way it was in the US.

      The second songs will show more about who’s going and who’s in danger this week. They are doing two songs each this week, right?

      Unless Che’s second song is horrendous or they can manage to whip up some controversy between now and the weekend, that ‘Hello’ should see him comfortably up to second in the vote. It’s a modern song but it’ll also be well-known by viewers of all ages and backgrounds by now, given that Adele’s been everywhere. Moreover, it’s a classic-style ballad.

      Louisa and Lauren are more questionable in how their songs will appeal to older viewers imo. Firestone particularly doesn’t necessarily have great lyrics to connect with, but Louisa’s song being absolutely brand new might also work against her with older viewers, while John Lewising it might go down badly with Bieber fans.

      • Linda

        They’re obviously going for the “Uptown Funk” effect in going for a brand new song with Louisa. Except that the song itself is cr@p. The bottom this week will be very hard to call.

        • Ana

          I actually think the song is brilliant. It’s Ed Sheeran’s. It’s all in the lyrics. It’s actually regrettable he gave it to Bieber imo. I can’t picture Louisa singing it. Not sure she can give it anything. And it clashes with her pure angel image. Song is basically saying f* yourself.

    • Alen

      Louisa singing Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself which is currently No. 2 on itunes? hmmm 🙂

      • EM

        Fleur topped iTunes herself and we saw how well that did her in the voting!

        • Martin

          Worried for Reggie n Bollie – outside of their reggae/dancehall sound but firmly in the fun category. The song isn’t that well known and really, is a bit shit. ‘Locked Away’ could have been a bit of a moment for them, surprised it wasn’t chosen.

          Louisa’s song will be great for her, I can actually see this being her ‘moment’ – it’s different to what she’s done so far, current, gives her chance to be a bit sassy.

          Don’t care about Fourth Impacts song, Lauren’s is as expected and I imagine she’ll do the advert ballad version. They could quite easily kill che’s bounce by putting him on first and saying it wasn’t as good as the original. They shouldn’t, mind.

  • stoney

    I posted this in another thread

    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

  • Dean F

    Yeah it used to be a thing to watch the XF. Now it makes you ridiculous

    Facing facts nothing can be done to turn it around either

  • Stu

    Anyone else think 4th Impact’s odds are too short in the elimination market? With the exception of Che, 4th Impact have probably the best song choice – especially since there is already evidence online of them nailing it on another show. As I said last week about the final chorus of We Belong Together saving Lauren from a difficult song choice (which it did), if the whistle note is included – and emphasised – I think the performance could be great for the girls in the vote.

    RnB’s song choice screams hysteria and hyperbole. No doubt Cheryl and Rita will be on their feet doing the nae nae during their performance.

    To be honest, it looks like it’ll be Lauren’s time to go this week. Although, I’m never confident about my 4th Impact gals.

    • On the Korean show, it was duets week and they were eliminated, mainly because their partner was terrible.

      • 360

        4i were on a Korean X Factor??

        • Phil

          They were on the South Korean version of Pop Idol (Superstar) last year and came 7th, under the name MICA.

          • 360

            Hmm I would say that could work against them if it comes out but if they’ve got a strong ‘regional’ vote carrying tjem thus far nothing’s going to shake it.
            I’ve heard it framed before that they’d “entered some singing competitions back home” and done some gigs. That’s a far cry from already having been on a high-profile national televised singing competition as recently as last year – especially with how they were painted as inexperienced in the auditions.

            It might not hurt their vote but maybe their post-show music career – look at how Cher Lloyd is still hated in the UK.

          • Lia

            M – yleene
            I – rene
            C – elina
            A – lmira
            ???
            Makes sense…

  • Tim B

    Confirmed: 4th Impact will sing a mash up of Iggy Azaelia’s Fancy and Gwen Stefani’s Rich Girl for their second song. http://www.itv.com/xfactor/news/4th-impact-talk-cheryl-their-performance-and-more

    • Linda

      4I safely through so. Too close to call as to who goes this week I suspect. The RnB pimp slot which kept them in was a big surprise to me. I’d like to see Che out this week but “Hello” will possibly save him. Possibly.

    • Stu

      On paper this does look like it will be a promising week for 4th Impact but this year has been so unpredictable – song choices don’t really say anything.

      I really do think Che and Louisa will be safe this week. Which leaves the two groups and Lauren. Surely this week will be the week the producers target Lauren? She’s Louisa’s main threat in the vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if fans of Lauren have Louisa as their second favourite and vice versa.

      • Boki

        I agree Lauren could be the target but with who else in b2 to make it a bit credible? Assuming Che bounces, it has to be a group, so I’m a bit afraid of 4thI could be a target also.
        Btw, Lauren is still 6.0 for elimination @unibet for those who can get on there.

    • Martin

      I know song choices aren’t easy to go by until we’ve seen them performed but a few thoughts on this. First thought initially is negative – two songs with a bratty/materialistic message and slightly rap heavy. Seems straight out of the Cher Lloyd niche to me. My second though is “Rich Girl” is pop/reggae sounding. With Reggie n Bollie being lumbered with the terrible Nae Nae song (although it’s fun, it strips them of their dancehall vibe for the first time in the live shows) does this look like some sort of vote transfer?! On the flip side, they’re both almost nursery rhymes, it will be memorable but neither song showcases a vocal particularly well. If I were backing them id be hoping for this to be their first performance.

    • Charli XCX sounds like Gwen Stefani so that mashup sounds promising

  • Martin

    I’m not sure it’s safe to assume Che will bounce tbh. “hello” may seem like a great choice but it’s a lot to live up to. Producers have been more than effective at killing bounces this year, and I think it can be done. I agree that the guns will be out for Lauren this week – Reggie n Bollie got a “final” shout out last weekend and theyve been given the most favourable treatment in the live shows after Louisa, and 4I’s popularity is hard to predict. I’d say Che is pretty likely for a B2 appearance again.

    • Sagand

      I think they would like Che as a finalist. He’s in the same position as Andrea was last year, a solo male with a good voice who has no chance of winning. He puts on a good show but doesn’t split the vote with their favoured act.

      • Martin

        I’m not sure – I think that if they can get rid of both Che and Lauren prior to the final, they should (in terms of protecting Louisa). Che is dull, and Lauren will threaten Louisa’s vote. A FI/Louisa/R&B final would be way more exciting than anything Che can offer.

    • Martin

      All of that said, the only counter I can see to this is that the judges may want to ensure Nick has an act in the final, so as not not render him even more useless than he already is.

  • Betfair Sportsbook have paid out on Louisa… it’s a shame that none of my bets on her are with them

    • That’ll be awkward if ADELE ends up duetting with Ché on ‘Hello’ (or similar) in the final!

      • stoney

        You seriously think that alone would win che the x factor? Come on as if cowell would be so silly to get pipped at the post by a duet decision. If che got adelle (which i highly doubt) louisa would get beyonce

        • Martin

          To be fair, if it was allowed to happen, I think it could win it for him. Which is probably why it won’t be allowed to happen.

        • 360

          It wouldn’t be the first time…Christina Aguilera and Rebecca Ferguson springs to mind…

          • Martin

            Do you think? I always thought that particular duet never came off – Rebecca Ferguson botched it and Matt Cardle was given Rihanna, who was pretty much the biggest star in the world at the time. Christina wasn’t flavour of the week any more.

          • Jessica Hamby

            The death stare Xtina giave Rebecca as they walked off said it all.

          • 360

            Oh that’s what I meant – it was probably intended to give Rebecca a leg up to attempt to boost her over Cardle, but she completely fumbled the moment. I’m pretty sure I remember that being referenced on here before.

      • Tim B

        Well you never know. ADELE has said in an interview a couple of months back that she’d potentially be up for duetting with someone in the final “If they weren’t rubbish” and that she would’ve been up for duetting with Ella Henderson in 2012 if she hadn’t been pregnant.

      • David Cook

        Che and Adele singing together at the same time. I can’ t imagine anything which could possibly be worse.

  • The Ferret

    as if they would have let you have more than a couple of quid anyway! Betfair sportsbook are scared to take a bet (other than from consistent losers)

  • Chelsea

    I’m assuming if you place a bet with Betfair for Louisa to win now they won’t actually pay out until the final?

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