X Factor 2015 Week 5 Review Pt II: Ché-Ché-Changes

EM made a useful remark in our comments section to look at what was planned and unplanned in last Saturday’s show. A case in point was Ché Chesterman’s flub on the lyrics for ‘Hello’, which necessitated an on-the-hoof change in a narrative which mostly struck us as having been planned to help the previous week’s singoff survivor maximise his bounce.

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Ché’s first VT was helpful. It started with his reaction to falling into the singoff the week before. “You feel like you’re not wanted,” was his understandably disappointed comment to Lauren, while the pair watched it back on the sofa – a reaction which made him sound human and sympathetic, not entitled or whingey. To restore his confidence, the gigs that Nick arranged for him seemed to feature mainly mid-20s women expressing excitement about seeing him – an example of the principle of social proof.

“I feel so lucky to be able to do things like this,” he said about the gigs, showing that he’s humble, grateful and enjoying himself – all positive ways to be portrayed. The last line of the VT was: “It’s such a current song, there’s so much pressure on me to do it justice.” That was unfortunate in the circumstances, on which more in a second.

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In terms of staging, we were unsure about the initial appearance of the cage of light, which we have previously felt (with District 3 and Chris Maloney) has had the effect of separating an act from an audience; however, unlike in those cases, at least this time the cage had an open door, in which Ché was standing. The lights later angled to form a teepee, an effect last seen for Andrea in last year’s quarter-final – coincidentally, also for his jukebox song and following a singoff appearance.

The camerawork, whilst not as unhelpful as it would be for Lauren, had its disappointing moments. It swept away from Ché during the iconic opening of the song (“Hello, it’s me”), when a close-up would have been more impactful; and it was unfortunate that the close up came when Ché had his brain freeze over the lyrics. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the whole show felt a little stretched under the pressure of each act having two songs to perform, alongside the unplanned events like Louisa’s illness and Ché’s flub.

It’s always interesting to see how judges react to such an unexpected moment or performance – do they stick to the script or acknowledge reality? For a case in point, remember how all but Simon tried to pretend that Lola had smashed her week 3 performance last year when she had, in fact, completely lost the melody. As Ché walked from the side stage for their comments, Rita and Nick both looked unsure of themselves, whilst Cheryl was deep in conversation with Simon.

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“Can we have a round of applause for even taking on that song,” is how Rita started. You could see Cheryl at the side of the screen, clapping above her head, in an attempt to whip up crowd support. Rita referenced the mistake, but tried to make the best of it; perhaps the line that “I wouldn’t have taken on that song” but “you can’t deny your vocals” was what had been planned for her to say.

Cheryl eventually repeated the praise for the vocals, having first made an impassioned plea that, “This happens to the best of people… stuff happens.” When Cheryl referenced a Beyoncé example, Simon helpfully chipped in with a Madonna one, suggesting that this may have been what they were brainstorming as Ché prepared to receive their comments. Cheryl went on to add, “you had the wind knocked out of your sails last week, it’s not personal,” which was presumably planned as it related to the first line of his VT.

As with Lola last year, Simon was the harshest in the changed circumstances. “It was a killer song, it should’ve been a fantastic performance, it wasn’t”, he said, making us wonder whether the planned comment had been “It was a killer song, and it was a fantastic performance”. If so, then the “you look like you’ve just come from work” line would have sounded like a tangential caveat, not like a continuation of an attack. As Simon would have been well aware that Ché was due to reappear in two songs time looking much smarter, that was clearly planned as a setup for the second song.

Simon concluded by saying, “your overall star power has just gone back a little bit, you’ve got to come back on that second song and nail it”. And it certainly felt like the second performance was supposed to pay off that comment.

It started with a sympathetic VT, with Ché having a fry-up breakfast in a greasy spoon with his lorry driver dad, who had just come off shift. Cameras showed us it was dark outside, which helpfully told us both that Ché senior works hard and that Ché is a loyal son to have got up so early. The father-son dynamic was lovely to see – an example of what we felt we’ve been missing with Louisa – as Ché’s dad jokingly said he’d kick Ché out if he was in the bottom two again.

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After Ché’s dad had tried to bolster his confidence, later in the VT Grimmy did the same, saying “I just need him to believe in himself.” The VT ended with Ché referencing a meltdown moment (Grimmy later remarked that all through the week, Ché had been cool with ‘Hello’ but struggling with ‘Try A Little Tenderness’), and hoping that wouldn’t happen again.

From Ché’s comment to Lauren at the start of his first VT, to the four-judge standing ovation after his second song, it all pointed to the plan having been to show Ché gradually having his confidence rebuilt over the course of the show. The staging for the second song – with Ché and backing dancers and instrumentalists attired to match the monochrome theme of the backdrop – ended with four enthusiastic young female dancers surrounding Ché and grinning, reinforcing the theme of sex appeal from the first VT.

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The cutaway to Ché Senior in the audience, after Cowell’s comments, was presumably planned. The content of Cowell’s comments – “it’s the mark of a man that when he’s knocked down, he gets up fighting” – was presumably improvised.

With those few minor quibbles about the staging for ‘Hello’, overall it felt like another week of producers doing their best for Ché. The big question for this week is how forgiving they will be of his flub. If it was ever a possibility that Adele might agree to duet with Ché on ‘Hello’, which we speculated about last week, then whether she’s since got cold feet might help to determine how helpfully Ché is treated this week. The obvious conclusion is that the flub will have put the kibosh on any such duet possibilities – but if it does end up happening, there’s certainly more of a narrative now to shape the build-up.

Murray not so mint

There were arguably more than minor quibbles with some of Lauren’s treatment last Saturday. Her first VT was most memorable for her reaction to the public choice of ‘Firestone’ as her jukebox song. “I don’t know that song!” was her reaction on Tuesday on being told, “the public have spoken”. By Thursday, on stage at Sugar Hut, she was still asking doubtfully, “Does anyone know ‘Firestone’? Do you like that song?”

By Friday, when Rita said, “So that song is amazing. Yes to the public,” Lauren replied, “I’m so happy with that song.” Was the implication here that Lauren had initially not been grateful enough for her many supporters for choosing it? The final line of the VT was: “Prove to them [the public], that they’ve picked the right song. That they know Lauren.”

Judges’ comments continued to question this. Cheryl was supportive, “this song is more for you,” before undercutting her praise by claiming, “The first part was a little bit iffy. I could tell you were a little bit nervous at the start.” Simon claimed it was “totally the wrong song for you.” To which Rita said, “You think the public chose the wrong song?” Nick also said, “That is not the right song for Lauren, I personally wouldn’t have chosen that.”

Rita hardly endorsed the choice when she said, “You could’ve been singing anything and it would’ve been amazing.” And Lauren pointed out in her interview with the presenters, “I just worked with what I was given”. The narrative throughout seemed to be to undermine the public’s and her fans’ choice of song for her.

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In terms of staging, Lauren was on the “thrust” above the audience like Louisa last week. But the concept was more low rent than Louisa’s heavenly backdrop. Instead, Lauren was apparently in a tunnel (the phrase “oncoming train” was mentioned on the Sofabet sofa about the bright light behind her) that divorced her from her surroundings, and made it look more like she was underground than above the clouds.

But the main talking point from her Saturday staging was for the second song ‘You Don’t Own Me’. The VT again started with us being shown that she didn’t know the song – the cumulative effect, after the first VT, being to suggest either that these were obscure songs or that Lauren isn’t well up on her music. For the second time this series, after Monica Michael in week 2, we saw stylist Gemma Shepherd choosing a “glam” outfit outside an act’s usual style (unlike reluctant Monica, at least Lauren’s reaction was “I love it”).

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Unfortunately for Lauren, the “glam” dress was then seen in the context of low-rent staging – a balcony outside “nightclub” and “hotel” signs, in what looked a dingy and seedy part of town, with scantily-clad dancers gyrating suggestively. Our first reaction was that Lauren had been made to look like a lady of the night, accentuated by the lyrics (“Don’t say I can’t go with other boys”). The balcony also had the effect of divorcing her from her audience, high up and at the back of the stage, which was accentuated by many long shots. As with the first song, it took Lauren an age to reach centre stage for judges comments after the performance.

The VT had ended with Rita saying “This is the first time the public are going to see Lauren as an artist”, priming viewers to focus on the visuals. That line was reinforced in comments, with Cowell saying “you’ve found where you should be as an artist”, Grimmy adding “Rita was right, this is the song we see you as an artist”, and Rita saying she had “shown the public who you are as an artist.”

Another of Rita’s comments to Lauren at the weekend had seemed a little out of the blue – “there’s nothing fake about you”. Who’d said there was? Is it too tinfoil hat to wonder if that was a set-up (and, if so, whose idea it was for Rita to say it) for the unpleasant story about Lauren that appeared this week in Now magazine? The substance of the story is pretty thin – shock, horror, Lauren was once in a girl band – but the angle, implying she has been dishonest about her past, leaves an unpleasant taste.

Crack open the Bollie

Reggie n Bollie were given incredibly helpful staging for their first song, and truly horrible staging for the second. What was going on here?

In general, their treatment was highly positive, especially in the use of their children in the VTs, on stage and appealing for votes with Olly after the first performance, of ‘Watch Me (Whip Nae Nae)’. They endearingly attempted to learn the dance moves from their kids over Skype during the VT, and the kids then joining them on stage reminded us of Fleur East’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ performance, which also featured her family members.

With its cast of ordinary working folk as backing dancers – such as a policeman and a lollipop lady – the theme went even further, suggesting they represent everybody. That picked up on a VT which featured them connecting with diverse members of the public at a winter funfair. And the icing on the cake was Cheryl joining the Ghanaian duo on stage for the last part of the song. It was unprecedented before a final.

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The Reggie n Bollie train to the final seemed well on the tracks. We were slightly surprised therefore, at the offputting presentation for second song ‘Dynamite’. The boys came out from the corridors to red-and-black lighting and a colour vomit backdrop. More worryingly, their vocals were completely exposed for the first verse as they sang alone, before the backing dancers joined them and a blinding set of colourful laser lights started rotating into the cameras.

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The judges comments looked to their future career rather than prospects in the show. Simon called them “artists”; Grimmy said, “national treasures”; Rita criticised the vocals but said they had the “distinctive style” that it takes “to survive in this industry”. Cheryl brought it back to their role in the competition by explaining, “if it wasn’t for you, there wouldn’t be an atmosphere like this every single week”.

Our reading of it was that producers were keen to make sure they didn’t generate too much momentum. Cheryl’s second comments reminded us why the show looks like it wants them in the final – they bring atmosphere, fun, personality, warmth and a talking point. But in giving them some dodgy staging, exposing their vocals and allowing Rita to point that out, there were also signals that producers don’t want the pair winning. Expect to hear more about “you’re going to have a career in the charts whatever happens”, as a way of completing their journey, if they do indeed get to the final.

Let us know your thoughts below. Tonight’s Xtra Factor at 7pm should reveal more about what’s in store this weekend.

X Factor images ©SYCO/THAMES TV/PA

103 comments to X Factor 2015 Week 5 Review Pt II: Ché-Ché-Changes

  • Alan

    Did we actually see the dress that Lauren “loved” in the VT? I wasn’t really paying attention and wondered if maybe she had been commenting on a classier dress but
    it was edited to make her look a bit trashy, loving the lady of the night look she ended up with.

    • Caro

      No we didn’t – it was held low and out of shot the whole time. At the time I thought it was suspicious – it was obviously meant to come as a surprise (or nasty shock, as it happened…)

      • Martin

        I thought this since. It’s hard to imagine anybody, particularly a profession stylist and Rita Ora (very ‘fashion forward’) being excited about a dress which looked like Lauren wore to her prom in 2006.

  • Alan

    Great article as ever by the way. U always pick up on things in the vt that I miss.

    One thing I didn’t miss was Che’s dad. Surely this man is the most stylish trucker on the roads. I think wardrobe might have had a hand in it somehow.

  • Curtis

    With regards to the staging for Lauren’s first song, I think there was a pretty obvious overall message. “How dare you suggest that Louisa is favoured?! We let Lauren perform on that platform above the audience as well!” Of course everything else about her treatment there was unfavourable. Ultimately you were meant to draw the comparison between Louisa being up there and Lauren being up there and think that Louisa was a lot better.

  • annie

    Che’s songs are quite good.
    Full pimping towards final expected.
    Poor Lauren.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Excellent article as ever. I like the way you make a consistent whole out of the various aspects of how an act is treated. Given that I’m still stuck in fandom it’s quite difficult for me to see anything clearly at the moment.

    Lauren is now evens to go on Saturday. It’s hard to see any other result but I can’t bring myself to bet on it.

  • annie

    xtra factor is on right now.
    so far only Che announced.
    will update if more is revealed.

    ps. che senior is a brilliant singer.

  • Che’s Dad wins Britains Got Talent next year, simple as that 😉

  • stoney

    Che snr and jnr need to work on their harmonies. Absolutely woeful

  • stoney

    Louisa has the power of love as one of her songs. A traditional x factor banger

  • annie

    so both Che and Luisa sing massive crowdpleasers and I dont recognise by name neither of Laurens…

  • stoney

    Lauren murdering a spice girls classic after being given a pointless segment during her interview.
    Louisa on the other hand gets a good luck message from West ham captain mark noble.

    • annie

      yep. the knives are definitely out.

      • annie

        so, for Lauren the recipe is basically the same as last week, the week that got her into trouble :
        one very contemoirary dance-ish track
        one oldie where stylist are making her channel a diva…

        i realised I know both tracks i just didnt connect the dots at first and I actually think they are not bad… singing not so overused songs I guess give a better chance of iTunes succes at least…

  • Curtis

    Pretty uninspired song choices for Louisa. Both songs that she should be able to belt out no problem, but they hardly make her look current or relevant!

    • stoney

      Since when has current/relevant pulled in the most votes on this show? Pretty sure james arthur sang the power of love and he was the most current winner i can remember

  • Interesting. Just listened to Ella Eyre’s cover of BOML, and it’s not exactly that different from the original by the Emotions.

    Have the horrible feeling the bus is heading for Lauren.

    • …and the market sadly clearly agrees with me. I’ve taken some of it whilst she’s still as long as 1.75 but that’s going to come in rapidly over the next 70.5 hours.

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s a total end of journey song. First line says it all…. “Doesn’t take much to make me happy”. Let’s stop beating around the bush. They want her out.

      • Oh, she’s going. No doubt about that. I love her to bits but it’s one of those times when emotion has to be put aside, because it’s basically free money.

        I’m that confident that I am trying to resist the temptation not to go all-in.

        • annie

          …. and the kitchen sink just to Louisa!
          I just lurked around her twitter and she s been training with West Ham today….

        • Jessica Hamby

          I feel the same. I can’t bring myself to back her to be eliminated though.

          • It shouldn’t happen I know Jessica, but ultimately we put up with the charades and idiosyncrasies of X Factor and Eurovision to make money. I got emotionally invested in Janet a few years back and had I been betting back then, it’d have bit me on the bum. That weekend in 2011 was the “Santa isn’t real” moment for me.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Lol. Thanks James. I just can’t bring myself to do it. It would feel wrong. I’ve done ok elsewhere this season so I’m not going to worry about missing out on that.

        • Alan

          Would remind u of luke friend rough copy sing off before u go all in. Strange things can happen.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Rough Copy were truly terrible. You couldn’t possibly have had a final with Rough Copy in it without the show becoming a total laughing stock.

            Having said that, you’re right. All in is dangerous. What if Che forgets his words again and goes b2? Would they risk him in the final?

            It’s pretty clear who the target is this week. Lauren is a good singer but it’ll take more than that for her to get out of this one. One of the other acts will have to fail.

          • Martin

            Don’t forget Stereo Kicks v Lauren Platt last year – granted it was quarter final but many considered that scenario free money too. Ratings come first, and I think the song off matters more than ever when its springboarding one act into the final.

          • David Cook

            And having R&B in the final won’t make the show a total laughing stock?

          • Jessica Hamby

            Fair point. You know you’re going to get a performance with Lauren, that’s true. If Che does mess up again and goes b2 then he could well go out.

          • Jessica Hamby

            @David Cook

            Less of a laughing stock than Rough Copy. R&B are performing more like MCs than singers. Their style allows for ropey vocals in a way that Rough Copy’s did not.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Runnin’ is a lousy competition song too.

      It’s death by a thousand cuts for Lauren on Saturday, the gradual erosion of her support and demotivation of voters until there is nothing left. Deadlock and bottom of the vote.

      • Linda

        Best of My Love was sung by Kerrie Anne Phillips at Judges Houses and didn’t get her through. Simon called her “old fashioned”. We’ll probably hear that line again on Saturday for Lauren.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Yep. And when Louisa sings This Is A Man’s World we’ll be told it’s an inspired, revolutionary choice and that she wrote it 30 years before she was born.

          • Linda

            Late to the party here and missed last weekend, but I really like Lauren’s song choices this week. Sadly I think she’ll go but she’ll be going as the edgiest and most credible. Louisa and Che’s choices are phoned in.

  • Martin

    Is Ella Eyre on the music team this year or something? A few of her ‘covers’ have been used so far. I’m not a fan of either of Lauren’s songs at all this week. Louisa’s and Che’s are both uninspiring – I’m imagining Che doing Sam Smith’s version of the Winehouse song which is so slow it’s almost stationary.

  • Is it wrong that I just want this series to be over and move on to Eurovision?

    • Martin

      No. I don’t even want to watch on Saturday, all of the song choices so far are insipid. Even Reggie and bollie are being slowed down.

      • It’s not just me, then? After three really successful “major tournaments” on the trot (Copenhagen, XF2014 and Vienna) I was really excited about this series, but it’s just been rubbish. I accept it’s all bullshit, we make money out of that. But some of the manipulation has seemed very unfair this year.

        Or am I just too emotionally (not financially) invested in Lauren?

        • annie

          well, i skipped most of XF2014 and 2013 to some extent too. 2011 was the start of serious unfair manipulations i feel and to me also this year is a standout, along with 2011

        • Jessica Hamby

          The whole series has been a bit dreary though. There have been nastier and more blatant nukings in the past but this one hasn’t let anyone really shine or show their potential apart from Louisa and R&B.

          Mostly it’s been dreary shite. I thought Monica’s first performance was really good but they put the kybosh on her straight away after that.

          Fourth Impact sounded amazing at their first audition but their sound has had all the fizz taken out of it since.

          I could go on but why bother. You can fill in the rest yourself.

          The whole thing has been a particularly british vision of hell, like a wet bank holiday weekend in a caravan in Cromer that never ends.

    • Lia

      No. I’m done with XF. At least for this year. Seriously thinking about the rest…

  • Alan

    They’ve had some good acts who they’ve nobbled to get a dull 17 yr old over the line. Pointless really. In terms of the brand its pretty suicidal as now its only the most gullible idiots that can fail to see through the whole charade.

    • Stu

      Best comment I’ve read in ages Alan. You’ve summed it up very well. They’ve sacrificed a fantastic series for an average winner.

      VOTE LAUREN! 😉

    • Plinkiplonk

      It’s amazing, isn’t it ? Last year, Fleur had a very extensive background, including having been on the actual X Factor finals, but it was casually cast aside and she was presented as the plucky contender that deserved a second chance.
      Lauren had applied as part of a girl band and now she is the nasty ringer bitch that could rob St Louisa of her dream. This is all so pathetic, not only have all the 13 finalists most likely been cast via their agents, she would also have had to mention that she applied previously as part of the application process as well as disclose her background. But good to know that Syco still have the gutter press on their side, as there is no chance in hell that all of this would have emerged just now so very conveniently…

    • I want to get fustrated. Even though I’m financially invested in her departure it maddens me.

  • Pete

    So sadly it looks like Lauren’s chances of making the final are being firmly quashed, along with any chance she might have to bounce.
    Looking ahead to the final then, Louisa v Che v R&B. Is it a foregone conclusion that Che gets dropped in 3rd? Does anyone think his vote is strong enough beat that of R&B and if so do you believe tptb will allow this to happen?

    • Boki

      It looks like repeat of last year with Che(=Andrea) credibly beating Lauren(=Lauren) in sing-off and going out in 3rd next week.

    • Martin

      All the signs point to Che being third, but we’ve never had an act so vocally limited reach the final. Reggie n Bollie are infectious, and if they’re allowed to take those good vibes into the final I think they’ll make second. To counter that, if Che is really allowed a “moment” in the following two weeks (this weeks song choice don’t really allow for that) which take his appeal broader, and a bit more contemporary, he could manage second. Personally, I think it’s almost a waste of time watching from now on. Lauren may as well pack her backs now, Che only need book next Saturday off work with Reggie n Bollie second and Louisa first,

  • Rose

    The sad thing about Lauren is that I am pretty sure the producers found her through some part of her previous work. And without a doubt, once she was invited to audition, she was advised to play down her past when asked questions on the show, as the public is supposed to think everyone has just turned up to the auditions from their homes and have never sung professionally before. She’s just been playing along with what she was told to do. And even though the information was leaked that 22 out of 24 judges’ houses acts had been scouted by producers, we were still not told how the producers found the acts. Usually it is through youtube, I imagine. The fact they were scouted means they almost certainly have done some other work. Anyway, this couldn’t be more unfair.

    • David Cook

      Without even looking I can remember seeing both Abi Alton and Luke Friend videos on the ‘Ont Sofa’ website which were recorded before they were on XF. On the Voice it seems that the majority of the acts have done similar things. Last year at least 6 or 7 of the acts were on the on the ‘Famestage’ website. Just from the live shows I think both Hannah’s, Emanuel, Esmee and Autumn were featured. It was so many you do think that this is how they’ve scouted them in the first place. Of course acts do it – it’s one way of getting your music out into the public realm.

  • EM

    A question – this is a site (mainly) aimed at working out the producers’ plans and placing bets on hopefully predictable outcomes.

    So why are many up in arms that it looks nailed on for Lauren to go?

    • annie

      Cause we committed the ultimate gamblers sin (…forgive me Father) that is to get emotionally invested. 🙂

    • Dean F

      My point exactly. Because we see producer manipulations some on here get upset by the treatment

      But reality is this is a site of approx 100 or so posters while the voting public is hundreds of thousands to inside the millions who don’t give a damn or have any idea about producer intentions

      • Martin

        It’s human nature to get emotionally involved, especially when there are people on there who are as likeable (and as talented) as Lauren seems to be. It’s difficult for me to say, the only act I really liked last year was Only The Young and they sort of left naturally but Lauren has been dragged down and to me, it seems unpleasant to watch. I’ve made my bets, I’m happy to make the money of it, it’s what we’re all here for but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  • David Cook

    The song choices for Louisa do look a little cliched, but I think they’re aiming squarely at what they think the voters will go for. I’m not her biggest fan but I still think that if she pulls these off she’ll have this wrapped up by tomorrow night given the other song choices.
    I’m not sure that they’ll do the full ‘John Lewis’ with the Power of Love – I think it’s more likely that it will be closer to the version Christina Marie sang on the Voice, with a more powerful vocal.

    Then we come to It’s a Mans World – the obvious choice would be the Christina Aguilera version. OK it’s 90% showboating, and she’s not exactly Xtina, but in the context of XF if she gets anywhere near it would probably be good enough to swing it with the voters.

    But there might just be an elephant in the room here – the Joss Stone version. I think it’s safe to say Louisa’s more Joss Stone than Christina – and if she does that version it’s basically a pretty flat performance. I don’t think that will win over any voters at all, it’s just too similar to what she’s already done.

  • Stu

    Surely it’s better for the show if the final two are Che vs Louisa (assuming the final 3 line-up will be Che, Louisa and RnB).

    If Reggie n Bollie get to the final two, they’ll have to sing the winner’s single. If they sing a ballad version, it’ll make the show look like a joke as it’ll expose their vocals. But if they perform a reggae/dancehall version, having an up-tempo/upbeat winner’s single would be a novelty for XF so may encourage a flood of votes… but I’m sure the producers don’t want them winning…

    So will Reggie n Bollie finish 3rd?

  • Edie M

    Just watching y’day’s xtra factor, doesn’t seem like Louisa’s voice has fully recovered yet. They really work them hard, Lauren Platt had moved into presenting b/c she said her voice never fully got back to normal after last year, hmmm.

  • Jessica Hamby

    One thing that strikes me about Lauren is how she’s still there despite tptb’s best efforts. She avoided Licence To Kill, she survived last week despite a monstering from Scowell and all the signs saying she was going….

    If things had gone according to plan she would have been out a few weeks ago and we’d be looking at FI or Seann Miley Moore.

    Napoleon once said, “I know he’s a good general, but is he lucky?”. We know Lauren is a good singer and she is lucky. Maybe this isn’t over yet.

    The rest of this post is the fangirl bit. I apologise to those who are offended by such things however we know that contestants read the site so…

    Sing your heart out Lauren my darling. Everything else will take care of itself.

    • Alan

      They havent really gone for her yet and if they had wanted her out before 4I they would have done so at last weeks sing off. Shd hasnt really been treated too badly up til now. Saturday night will probably be a different matter.

      • Jessica Hamby

        If Celina hadn’t fallen ill for the second week running? If she’d done Licence To Kill there’s no way she would have gained the support that performance gave her, no way she would have hit itunes top 10. On the contrary she probably would have hit b3 the next week.

        I think last week was a particularly harsh attack, especially after the first song and then Scowell’s half time summary. If Che had remembered her words he would have had her at the bottom. The clothes and stage set that followed were very nearly deadly. The VTs and songs were unhelpful at best.

        The previous week as well, with the Mariah Carey song, was far from favourable. It may not have been blatant, in your face nuking but it has been very undermining and demotivating nonetheless.

        It’s all conjecture, but my opinion is that tptb did not intend for her to get to the semi-final.

        • Alan

          No I agree. I have never seen her as a Syco friendly act and said from the start that she would be completely disposable. A viewpoint you didnt agree with at the time.

          But she can sing and is likeable so they have gone with it and dragged her down over time. Will be interesting to see if they go for the kill or try to take her down gently tonight.

  • annie

    so iTunes would suggest Lauren changed her Best of My Love song choice to Take Me Home (her judges Houses)
    I am sure she will nail it, I just hope the public wont take the title as a subliminal message 😀

    • Ben Cook

      Fantastic news! I’m surprised she’s been allowed to change to that because she could bring the house down with it. Perhaps they’re not going to nuke her tonight after all.

      I think she has a chance of bouncing to 2nd now.

  • The thing that worries me about backing Lauren to go at 1.9x I that she is actually likeable and does sing well. If last week was close and they go overly harsh on her then it may have the opposite affect of what they want.

    I expect her to finish above Che this week, as he’s coming off a bounce.

    Can she bounce another heavily pimped and praised performance by Reggie & Bollie? I’d rather back her at 1.3x if she doesn’t than the current price.

    Alternatively would the producers be happy if Reggie & Bollie slipped into 3rd with Che 2nd? I think that in this scenario Lauren would go, probably on deadlock. But this way they can say they have saved her once, so the public should get to decide if they save R&B once… From a betting POV that’s probably the best outcome into as we should get a sing-off price somewhere near her current odds.

  • stoney

    For those of you in any doubt as to how popular bieber is in the uk just take a look at the charts today. He occupies 3 of the the top 5 (which includes 1st and 2nd)
    If they get him to sing with Louisa in the final this would beat anyone else imcluding Che with Adelle. Not that there has been any indication of this happening but it’s plausible that it could happen.

  • Chelsea

    Lauren is still favourite to go tomorrow night but I’m not so sure. I mean if Lauren is up against R&B in the B2, how could anyone other than their mentor justify saving them over her? Would TPTB really let the show lose what little credibility it has left as a singing contest? Or are you guys just assuming that R&B won’t be in the B2 therefore all of what I’ve just said is obsolete?

    I’m tempted to put some money on Lauren going as the odds are surprisingly decent given last week but I’m not convinced enough that R&B won’t be in the bottom two to do this. I believe Lauren would be a write-off if against Louisa or Che but as I said, I don’t believe R&B could be saved over her.

    • EM

      “I’m saving the act that has brought something different to the show. The act that I think will add most to the final”

      It’s really quite easy

      • Alan

        ^^ This ^^

        RnB could easily be saved in a sing-off over Lauren. I dont think they would have any qualms of playing the “entertainment” card over the quality of their vocals. They will save them on the basis that they believe the deserve their place in the final more. This would be completely consistent with their comments throughout the series so I dont think it would be any sort of problem for them.

        • annie

          and I bet Nick wouldnt be allowed to go rogue even if he wanted to on this occasion. unless Lauren would be dead bottom…

          • Alan

            Of course, if she’s dead bottom they take it to Deadlock. Personally I think she needs a miracle tomorrow night. If they had any interest in her they would have stopped those mid-week articles about her. As it is they probably handed them to the media.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I think “allowed” is a difficult word. As I’ve said before, thes judges are not schoolkids. He is a 30 year old professional person with a successful career which is completely independent of Scowell and his tentacles. No doubt pressure would be put on Nick but would he care?

            I think he’s a difficult one to call. There has already been a lot of speculation that he’s not wanted for next year so it might not matter in terms of another year on the show. He may not even want another year. He does seem to have strong and sincerely held opinions. How willing is he to go against his own feelings?

            The ideal scenario for tptb is a Lauren / Che b2. Anything else is trouble.

          • Alan

            By definition no-one can be “allowed” to go rogue.

          • Jessica Hamby

            😀 Quite.

          • annie

            sorry guys, english is like my 3rd language 😀

          • Jessica Hamby

            Sorry back at you Annie. I didn’t mean to be rude. I love words and their meanings and subtleties and the phrase “by definition” always makes me happy when it’s used correctly. 😀

          • annie

            Oh, truly no offence taken, I do realise that I use words in funny ways from time to time. 😀

  • Jessica Hamby

    Regarding the change of song I think it’s a great idea for Lauren. It takes her firmly out of the karaoke / hen night arena and with Runnin’ positions her as the most (the only) contemporary act of the night.

    Here is a reminder of Lauren singing Take Me Home at judges houses.

    http://youtu.be/B-NtJplHR4U

    If she does get eliminated tonight it will be on her own terms and with songs that appeal to the market she is aiming for which is a massive result for her in terms of credibility and future career.

    • Ben Cook

      That really was a stunning performance so I’m so pleased she’s getting to do it again, now the song’s been a hit. Running I’m a bit unsure about it having the money moments, but at least she’s singing that first.

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