X Factor 2016 Week 1 Post-Mortem: Brat Packing

As the new singoff system debuted, it’s worth remembering that another innovation – the Saturday night “flash vote” in 2013 – was quietly dropped after three weeks. There’s no guarantee that producers will persevere with this one. They were probably as intrigued as we were to see how it would pan out, and what kind of act would benefit most from the flash vote-to-save.

There were no big shocks in the bottom three, with elimination market leaders Bratavio joined by Freddy and Saara. It was Freddy whom app voters reprieved while the ads were on, perhaps indicating a crossover in voting demographic between Freddy fans and app users. As Dermot filled while waiting for the vote to be verified, Simon promised him that whoever did best in the singoff would be saved – and there was never much doubt who that would be.

Bratavio traded at around 1.25 to 1.3 on Betfair during the singoff and were unsurprisingly cut loose, given that they always appeared cynically confected and without the charm or joy of previously successful joke acts – although Simon’s “obviously” in saving Saara was a bit rich considering this show’s history of manufactured controversy.

We’ll be back in midweek with a more considered review of the first live show. In the meantime, do keep your observations coming below.

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146 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 1 Post-Mortem: Brat Packing

  • Tpfkar

    Don’t think we got an answer about how they’d handle deadlock. We’ll need to wait to the end of the series to know if they could have got a different result by deadlock – my guess is that Bratavio were easily bottom of the vote so they made it look more definitive than usual to run with the grain of the public vote.

    Not sure they’ll be missed, although Louis has one group as things stand, that’s probably top of the producers agenda right now.

    • I’m curious to see what they do about the groups as well. The obvious solution is to reinstate a group via public vote, but that would almost certainly add back Four of Diamonds with a bit of momentum. They could probably ease 4D out midtable via several rounds of lukewarm treatment but it would still be a tougher out than either the pre-scandal Brooks or Bratavio, particularly given they are vocally stronger than 5AM.

      If they can find something else reasonable to do, they will have 5AM with a completely clear path to a commercial launch finishing place after only one week.

  • Sagand

    I think it shows that the save vote will measure depth of the support rather than passion.

    Saara has a passionate support that puts her near the top of online polls but her portrayal so far has been so negative that the general audience doesn’t like her. Whereas Freddy was dull but when you have a vote you might as well use it and Freddy was most appealing to the main stream audience.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think it’s more straightforward than that. Imo Saara’s performance was dulled by the musical arrangement and staging. It might have put some voters off. Add the performance Sharon made about her nationality and her singing was forgotten. She was saved because she was the best singer. I think she would have been saved even if she was last. The show benefits from controversy but saving Bratavio over her would have made it look ridiculous and alienated more viewers than it entertained.

  • Fudd

    What I’m interested in seeing is how the sympathy bounce works now as we now have two acts on it. Will the producers look to work with one and supress the other, supress both or work with both? Will Freddy get less of a natural bounce than Saara as he was saved by the app? The producers won’t know how this will work yet either which makes it more intriguing.

    • I’ve been thinking about this too. It’s all very interesting. I absolutely love the new lifeline vote by the way, it makes the results show much more exciting and provides more betting opportunities. Hopefully it’s here to stay for a few weeks at least.

  • Stu

    Another reason for the joke act being sent home week 1 over a “credible” singer is in case Brooks Way get replaced by a previously rejected group who will have to start the competition in Week 2, and it may cause a backlash. But the fact that Bratavio were rubbish won’t make the whole thing seem unfair.

  • Cath

    After watching Saturday’s show, I couldn’t see any way that Bratavio wouldn’t be going home, especially with the new app save vote.

    I’m also somewhat gutted not to have even a chance for my 12th place prediction to come through, with Brooks Way being the only act not capable of eviction!

    For me, the shock of the weekend (apart from Laura / Tamika bottom 2 on Strictly) was Emily’s VT. Is she out of favour already or was it badly misjudged? However, her reaction to the last minute change of song and judge criticism was very compliant, so I think she at least won’t get shafted for rebelling in the way that Janet Devlin perhaps did.

  • Esme

    Did anyone notice Simon telling Nicole to “write it down” before he cast his vote? It was as though he didn’t know who he was supposed to be voting for – maybe a broken ear piece? It was very odd.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I thought Simon’s most revealing moment was when he described Sharon’s “confusion” about Saara as “genius”. I assumed he couldn’t remember Bratavio’s name.

      • Cath

        I agree with Jessica’s interpretation, that Simon couldn’t remember Bratavio’s name, so wanted to make sure he got it right after Sharon called them something else entirely.

  • A really bad weekend for me, finishing heavily down after some wrong calls. But it’s still only week one, and I’ve got Matt on the nose and Shirtlifter for top mentor.

    Need to put a bit more thought into next week. Hopefully Sara will bounce and TPTB will work with it.

  • Martin

    A successful evening for me – bottom three correctly identified although prior to the show, without fully understanding the context of the lifeline vote i anticipated Freddy bottom two. When it came down to it, it seemed fairly obvious that he would benefit more from it than Saara would. It’s basically an on-the-spot sympathy vote.

    Will be interested to see how Motown week plays out next week. With this week being full of current song choices, the next theme seems more of a blanket even keel in that respect. Relley C being called safe first was promising.

  • The producer treatment of Sara – almost casting her as UKIP’s idea of a nightmare – is really interesting considering her accomplishments in Finland. She’s voiced either Elsa or Anna for the Finnish dub of Frozen, come 2nd on The Voice over there, and had two seconds at YLE’s Eurovision NF. That’s quite a CV to come onto this show with.

  • I wouldn’t be so sure about Freddy’s faggotry. He comes across as a metro lamer toff to me. So the potential for some premenstrual girls induced bounce is there if TPTB want to ride on it to rid of a female over.

  • Martin

    Yeah maybe i was just being presumptuous about Freddy. The way the life line vote works, I assumed that because Dermot said they revert to the public vote for deadlock, it would fall back on that. Surely they couldn’t revert to the life line vote because it’s app only? If it did go to deadlock and, for arguments sake Freddy was the bottom, Bratavio second from bottom pre lifeline vote they would still go because they were bottom of the two in the sing off.

  • swablu

    Has anyone ever studied the correlation between vote numbers and the order acts are announced safe in? I’m sure somebody did once. What’s the significance of Relley getting announced first and Gifty last?

  • Harry

    Brooks are definitely gone. Any thoughts on who, if anyone, they’ll bring in to replace them?

    • Anglia Chu

      Yes Lad makes sense from a demographic perspective.

      4 of Diamonds makes sense because they are the best among the axed acts.

      A nice change would be to let a few acts leave, then have a vote to bring one back.

  • Anglia Chu

    I was looking back at Honey G’s performance because the part where the judges were reciprocating her “When I say Honey, you say G” seems so familiar. Now I remember!

    (go to 4:12)

    • Anglia Chu

      Also in my thoughts:

      – Gifty got a good edit this week, but what will happen to her if the public don’t bite? Some people have pointed out that her performance isn’t exactly pleasing to Middle England.
      – In general, what happens to the Girls from here.
      – How Freddy and Saara will be treated this week. Saara doing Motown is a really hard sell so I reckon she’s on her way out but what do I know.
      – Relley’s position in the show’s pecking order. It’s higher than expected but is it higher than Honey G?
      – That gaping hole in our contestants list. News have come out but the show has yet to confirm anything officially (via their website). Either they’re sweeping the twins under the rug or they’re still pressing to clear the hubbub (and not bothering anymore if they can’t by Friday or something).

      • Anglia Chu

        on the last one: http://www.itv.com/xfactor/news/brooks-way-leave-the-x-factor-by-mutual-consent

        It’s official, a few minutes after I posted. Who’s coming back, if any?

        • Fudd

          I don’t think they can overturn the public vote and bring Bratovio back due to OFCOM rules so it will have to be someone who was sent home from Boot Camp. A wild card vote with one act from each category or just from the groups? Or will ‘Louis’ just get to pick an act?

          • Anglia Chu

            The last one makes the most sense, but this is The X-Factor. Given how relatively trouble-free last year was, this is a welcome(?) change of pace for TPTB.

            On a personal note, I want Four of Diamonds to make it now, but Louis Walsh probably had “NO GIRL GROUPS” in his contract. I hate seeing things (the allegations) like this happen; I think Brooks Way has at least some potential, but this mess needs to be sorted out.

          • eurovicious

            If they do bring Bratavio back, I can’t wait for their second elimination.

            Simon: I’m sending home Belavia.
            Dermot: You mean the national carrier of Belarus?
            Simon: DO AS I SAY

    • Harry

      DJ Talent did that first in BGT – ‘I say Britain, you say talent’.

  • Stu

    This FSV (flash save vote) is already shaping up to be extremely advantageous for the pretty boys. If this new twist stays, contestant X could land in the bottom 3 and then get saved every single week…

    • India Marie

      Brooks Way must be kicking themselves right now lol

      Of course, as I read in another post, this flash vote shows depth of support, which makes sense given the limit of 5 votes per person (although it skews the votes to the young, but that’s another story)

      Moreover, I remember a few years ago when the relatively good-looking lads struggled in the flash vote (Kingsland Road finishing bottom Week 2, Sam gaining the most ground in the overnight vote).

  • Netnerd

    Caitlyn just tweeted this… Then quickly deleted it.

    http://imgur.com/V54cWg6

  • Dan

    I got on Four of Diamonds at 60. 🙂

  • Stu

    The Sun (closely tied to Syco/Simon) are running with 4 Of Diamonds being the replacement with direct quotes from Louis.

    If 4OD are given a fair chance by producers (going by week 1, it could be likely), is it too crazy to suggest that they could be a voting force, even if just for week 2? Think Christopher Maloney and Amelia Lily. Both were wildcards who were previously eliminated and both returned with also topping that week’s vote (in Christopher’s case it was the week 1 vote but still…)

    I think we’ll need to pay close attention to the parallels of their journey and Little Mix’s – in regards to how producers handle their VTs/song choices etc – since they’re the only girl-group to have strong producer favour through the lives.*

    *I know there was Hope before them but that was like flogging a dead horse.

    • I think Week 2 will play out as if Week 1 was a bad dream. The group that got 4oD’s spot is gone. Things are as they should have been (the Brooks exit as a given).

      Everyone else got an essentially free week, except Saara and Freddy, but neither is a serious contender.

      • Fudd

        I’m sure this week Four of Diamonds will get the same treatment as Sami Brooks did after her return in series 8 – ‘How COULD Louis send you away???’, ‘You’re just what this competition is about’ etc. etc. etc.

        She was eliminated a fortnight later.

        • Stu

          You’re probably right Fudd. Traditionally, if a certain group is in the producers’ favour, TPTB will want to get rid of every other group quickly to clear the path. But if 4OD poll in the top 5 – like Little Mix did – in their first week, maybe the producers will run with it. After all, groups have a great track record for doing well post-show.

  • Plinkiplonk

    What do we make out of that whole episode with The Brooks??? On the one hand they have all that stick for being too closely linked to Sinitta, on the other hand they get unceremoniously dumped because of some unproven allegations ? That were bandied about well before the live shows? Was all of that not known before?

    On a completely unrelated issue, when they announced Motown week, I thought: ‘Shame that there isn’t a girl band in the show, that would suit them.’ There is also a ‘Girlband vs boyband’ theme on the spinning wheel, I think. Hmmmmm…

    • 360

      I think unfortunately the allegations were just of the kind that absolutely ruined their squeaky-clean good boy image. I’m not saying whether I think they were true either way either; there’s a lot of discussion of that on other forums, but I don’t like to dismiss them completely out of hand just because they haven’t been proved yet – too many cases of similar things happening to women who were too afraid or shy to come forward at the time. I can definitely empathise with the situation if the allegations were in fact valid.

      Perhaps the producers weren’t aware or didn’t know anyone would be pressing charges or would have significant evidence or support to dredge this (old, it seems) issue up. If they had kept them it would have dogged them through the competition like the Misha B bully remark did her.

      Re girlband vs boyband I actually suspect that would just have been an excuse to plug One Direction, Little Mix, Fifth Harmony and whatever bands are on Syco’s roster for a week.

    • Anglia Chu

      I think this caught them by surprise. There were articles about one of the twins getting into trouble on New Year’s Eve, but they still carried on. There is some truth to the allegations, I reckon, but the show has no time to flesh out the details (which I think aren’t as nasty as alleged, but still damning, to some extent).

      On the themes, Motown was more than girl groups and ditto on what 360 said for the g v b.

    • fused

      I really, really don’t think what has happened with The Brooks was “planned” at all. Despite what is often said, there is such a thing as bad publicity, and that the show appears to be taking the “airbrushing out of history” approach to The Brooks now makes it all the more likely they weren’t expecting this to happen.

      As for bringing 4 Of Diamonds back, it seems quite last minute, most likely the thought process was “we don’t have enough acts now, we could bring one of the eliminated groups back, 4 of Diamonds were quite good and seemed fairly popular, let’s go with them”, or something along those lines.

      As for the Girlbands vs. Boybands theme week, while it’s not quite one of those “songs that are songs” non-theme weeks, it still gives them a lot of leeway. There’s a fair bit of variety with girlbands and boybands, there’s also the fact that both sorts of groups have done a lot of cover versions, and there’s nothing stopping them taking inspiration from the original or even a different acts cover if it suits a contestant more. Basically, I think it’s the sort of theme they can still call a theme but can also still do whatever song they like as long as some girlband or boyband or other did a version of it at some point in history.

  • Scott

    On Gifty – there’s no way she’ll win the show and if she’s to progress for any distance then she’s going to need massive producer favours. Middle England and the people who listen to new music are very different beasts. She could be the fourth placed credible artist or she could bomb in the next couple of weeks, depends what Syco feel like doing with her. Definitely my favourite of week one.

    • Sagand

      There is still the question about Gifty whether she was given a great production as a showcase for her, which will continue in the coming weeks or for the song Syco are trying to promote for Fifth Harmony.

  • Martin

    If there was anything untoward going on, Four of Diamonds would have been drafted in as an immediate replacement for week one. The fact is, they weren’t wanted in the live shows in the first place and I can’t see them getting much producer favour in the long run.

    That said, it seems obvious that good will may get them through this week. Expecting Freddy to bounce from the bottom three, but not Saara. Also expecting to see one of the girls get nobbled, but can’t decide which one. Seems obvious that Gifty is being pushed, and Motown week should play to her strengths. Seemed telling that Samantha Lavery was second on with good treatment, but Emily on second from last with bad treatment – the mixed messages between the two seemed like a bit of a test as to who could weather the storm, and maybe this week they will push the one who coped best.

  • Jack

    Don’t know if it’s already been posted, but 4oD are back officially: http://www.itv.com/xfactor/four-of-diamonds-back-for-live-shows

  • Jay

    I wonder if this was all an elaborate plan. Agree w brooks a healthy sum to tarnish their name, allow 4oD some time to get their act together and become more polished whilst allowing them a narrative that gets them through the first couple weeks without being in the bottom two as most girl bands find themselves. last few years the most successful X factor success stories have all been groups, JLS, Little mix, OD vs James Arthur, Ben Haenow, Sam Baily…….

    • Too convoluted and it would take a lot for Brooks Way to agree to tarnish their name this badly. Surely they’d just have a drug scandal or something? It does slip 4D into the field without generating a lot of antagonism with Little Mix fans though, while giving them a big boost of publicity.

      I think the producers are likely to give 4D nice treatment for next week but I’m not sure what comes after that. Martin is right that 5AM are the alphas, and 4D can be pigeonholed as a dated, boring tribute act if desired. On the other hand now that I’ve thought it over they’re really fishing for votes in the same pool as the girls, not 5AM. Perhaps they will get a shot if the first week performance and audience reaction are good….

    • Girl bands haven’t done well because the producers didn’t want them to. Little Mix bucked the trend because the producers wanted them to, although I admit they started an unstoppable momentum very early on.

    • Anglia Chu

      One month isn’t enough time to polish themselves.

  • Jay

    Personally I think they’ve been locked away somewhere for two weeks rehearsing and practicing getting them ready for showtime

  • Not a surprising move at all. Given the level of backlash on social media at their exclusion, it was pretty obvious producers would find a way for their return.

    I hope the producers give them a chance, and don’t do a Monica and bring them back just to run them straight under the bus.

    Girl bands haven’t done well historically, Little Mix notwithstanding… and TPTB hace to take the credit for that because theyve thrown countless girl bands under the bus over the years.

    The producers must be acutely aware, however, the Mixers are pretty much the only former winners to have had sustained success over a long period.

    Given the distinctly average performance of pretty much everyone on Saturday, I wouldn’t rule out a small nibble on them on the nose.

    • Anglia Chu

      I imagine them ending up at Brooks Way’s mid-table finish. They will be welcomed with open arms this week, but the following weeks are open season.

  • stoney

    Marcus would have beat them in a fair final

  • Alan

    Dont see why producers would favour 4D now given that they didnt like them enough for the lives. They’ll be managed out soon enough.

    • Jay

      That’s with the presumption that there wasn’t gonna be a wildcard entry pre planned in a different manner. We were all speculating if they would add a 13th. The incident with Brooks just may have forced their hand early

      • Anglia Chu

        Surely if they planned a 13th act, they would unleash that act in Week 1, Brooks or no Brooks. Anything else reeks of insulating a rejected act from one week of voting.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Lots of nose about Reily C from posters here. I don’t believe she has significant tptb support. They gave her enough to make her safe but it was a low-budget extravaganza of a dated song. She’s not Fleur.

    Atm I see Matt winning with Gifty and 5am in the final. If 5am turn out to be Rough Copy or Gifty fails in some way they have enough back up to find a substitute. I believe that while they may have a plan they are also flexible enough to change that plan if circumstances warrant.

    • Anglia Chu

      Most of the reactions are due to her treatment exceeding all expectations. Surely no one thinks she will be in the final five, right?

    • Martin

      I’m not sure, Jess – it would have been easier for them to Lorna Simpson her, but they didn’t. Treatment this week should be more telling, but I think last weekend shows support to some degree.

      I don’t see her doing a Fleur by any stretch of the imagination though. Although with the success of Little Mix a few years back, and Fleur and Reggie & Bollie more recently, maybe there are legs in the theory some have about acts being deliberatly flown under the radar.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I think there is a difference between tptb intentions for a given show and intentions for the series. We get caught up in the bubble and fail to see the wood because we’re staring at the trees. Tptb have read this site. They will throw in a gold dress or a red and black spiral for misdirection.

        To reiterate, imo that was not a show of support, it was enough to make sure she polled higher than Saara, who by staging, arrangement and comments was clearly a b3/b2 target. Now Saara is damaged they can, if they need to in order to make a high quality show, let her progress and get rid her at will. It’s a mediocre field but they don’t have to worry about another Sam Bailey.

        Once again, these are just my opinions.

        • Toby

          Ain’t no way the show runners would mess around with that which they are up to to mess with heads here.

          They care about ratings first second and third. Finding a recording artiste or two past that and everything else is noise they will ignore.

          • Anglia Chu

            Are you saying that about this year? Because I’m pretty sure a large part of the decline in ratings since 2010 is because they were looking for that “noise.”

        • Alan

          Totally agree. Relly is in no way a commercial proposition. They gave her support to get her above their targets. She is a decent singer and having her around gives credibility to the idea that its a singing competition. Plus it means Sharron has some non-comedy act interest in the competition. She will be got rid of exactly when they want.

          This was in response to Jessica’s comments but it has posted them at the bottom rather than as a reply.

        • Spiidey

          This is spot on. With the correct editing of the kooky foreigner, as was shown in the audition episode, and the correct backing during the live shows (staging /arrangement / Mic mix and reverb) Saara had the performance but more importantly the vocal skills to win the show.

          The edit and treatment since 6CC have cleverly put paid to that.

        • David Cook

          Well I was the idiot who put Saara fourth in my predictions. My thinking on this was that she was – in technical terms at least – the best singer out of the final 12. I can’t see that anyone else in the Motley Crew is ever going to duet with Jose Carreras. If the show wanted a reliable diva type performer she seemed ideal – a credible singer, but one that ultimately wouldn’t threaten TOC. She’s a far better singer than Sam Bailey, but she could never have matched her for popularity so they never had to worry about that. Saturday seemed like a total stitch up by TPTB, saved by her actually pulling out a good singing performance. I’m really not sure why they would go through this entire charade of dropping her at 6CC, to bring her back only to then try to kill her off on the first live show. Maybe they misjudged it a bit. The fact that Freddy was bottom three as well seemed to make matters worse. The song and performance were very dull, but it was still well sung. The fact that both acts landed bottom three – together with Bratavio (the worst act I’ve ever seen on the show) – whilst acts that performed poorly sailed through just seems to chip away at the last vestiges of credibility of the show. Fun and games indeed.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I don’t think a fourth place finish is out of the question. Now they’ve prepared the ground and killed her chances they can let her shine for a while and keep a bit of genuine quality in the show.

  • Anglia Chu

    Caught wind from the Australian version of the show that their overs are the Over 22s. I wonder if that will fly here.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I’m not suggesting they make the show for us Toby.

  • Looks like Four of Diamonds were put together in a workshop by the show. http://www.tellymix.co.uk/reality-tv/the-x-factor/282537-x-factors-four-diamonds-actually-put-together-show.html

    That was a suggestion of mine a few years ago. Wonder why they were so afraid of telling us. I think a video of the process could make a nice pre-audition bit of web promotion.

    • 360

      Not surprised! I thought it was a bit fishy that their original bio described them as four girls from different parts of the country who had formed a band, despite them all being different ages and seemingly not having any place where they’d all met each other (e.g. university or work).

      I guess they want to make it all seem as organic as possible? Same principle as having the reaction shots, filmed applause then cut onto different acts…even the ‘homemade’ posters the crowd have supporting acts are apparently made by production staff and then passed around according to accounts of people who’ve been to auditions.

  • Milton

    What are you lot on? You think that Syco have gone to all this trouble to create this group, so that they can then de-ramp them at the first opportunity? Not a chance. They would be delighted if 4oD won to become only the second group winner in 13 series. Maybe they would prefer a boy group, but a girl group would more than fit the bill.

    • Milton

      “Guys I told you to hunt the 4 corners of the country to create the best girl group that you can, and judging by the betting markets it looks like you might have done a good job, and created a group that might actually win. We can’t have that, what can we do to dampen this down?”

      Seriously?

      • I think the focus of the workshop may have been making a boyband around Ryan Lawrie, but it didn’t work out.

        I think Four of Diamonds have a chance to move some records, and Syco will have to think about that. However I do not see as much of a long-term upside as Little Mix and they are an awkward fit for Syco’s current portfolio.

        Syco already have two girl groups, and the plan is for Little Mix to move to the US next year after their fourth album campaign for a final push. Launching another UK girl group while they’re gone won’t go down well. Don’t forget LM are nearing the end of their contract, seem to only be getting bigger, and are already one of the top two acts on Syco along with Olly. They would have to be bought off somehow… all for a group Syco didn’t rate enough to make an alpha in the first place.

        • Stu

          I said this on DS but I might as well say it here. 4OD could be marketed as the All Saints to Little Mix’s Spice Girls i.e the cooler, edgier option. Whether or not Syco could consider this, I don’t know. But having a third girl-group on one label won’t hurt Little Mix. They already have a strong and passionate fan base. Girls Aloud and The Saturdays were/are on the same label. A lot of the Motown girl groups were on Tamla. It doesn’t matter. If an act is commercially viable, why not try to push them for the win? But it is early days. We shall see.

          • 4OD don’t really have any edge. I also said this on DS but I see a good bit of Sats-ness to go with the low-key All Saints thing, albeit 4OD obviously have much better vocals.

            I would like to think they could be launched without hurting LM, because I like both groups. But the BBC1 numbers show today on LM is cause for thought. LM’s album sales are 79% physical compared to a market where physicals have shrunk to 46%. No doubt much of their album sales (and concert tickets as well) comes from stocking stuffers for children.

            A likable younger foursome with its own narrative would complicate that picture, even if I suspect they would have less tween appeal than LM. On the other hand I think they are unlikely to crowd LM out of the market, and I know that Syco brokered a senior/junior deal between 1D and 5SoS in the past where 1D got a chunk of 5SoS’s career earnings. All of that is a lot for Syco to think about though.

          • Stu

            They have a coolness about them though (and more to the point, the JH edit showed Alesha saying something similar along those lines… although I’m not sure if that was an intentional push for them if the producers knew what was going to happen with The Brooks).

            Their popularity will partially depend on how they are perceived in their VTs. Little Mix were helped through the “Jesy Online Bullies” edit which played into their unthreatening-to-other-girls image. It’ll be interesting how their return will play out this week. Could they be opening the show in order to get their return out the way or will they be on near the end to see how they fare in their first vote with a producer push? I’m thinking more the latter.

    • Alan

      If they like them so much how come they didn’t put them through to the lives?

      • Stu

        Because the audience loves a comeback story? Look at Amelia and Christopher Maloney. Plus with the “backlash” of them being eliminated at JH, a lot of the angry fans may throw a few votes their way to show Louis he was wrong for ousting them.

        • Gavster

          Both Amelia and Maloney were brought back by public vote, thus the public had an opportunity to invest in them. Those votes naturally continued into the live shows.

          4oD’s return is different, the public haven’t had a say, and being brutally honest, 4oD were hardly shown as a potentially groundbreaking girl group during the pre-lives stages.

          There are several acts being supported by the producers. 4oD are just a one show distraction. I’d be surprised if they go further than week 6.

          • Henry VIII

            But bringing them back shows producer support. Girl groups can’t be left to the public vote or Yes Lad might have been voted back.

          • Gavster

            “Girl groups can’t be left to the public vote or Yes Lad might have been voted back.” – so why will 4oD fair better now?

            Also bringing back Monica Michael didn’t help her last year.

          • Henry VIII

            If they are one of the Chosen.

            Monica alas was not. She had a great w1 and then they started slaughtering her from w2.

          • Never understood the point of that given the truncated series with its endless double eliminations.

          • Milton

            Who said they need to be groundbreaking? They just need to be nice, relatable, non threatening and talented. On those measures I struggle to think of a better girl group at this stage. They also need to be supported of course, but why wouldn’t they be? Why go to all the trouble of putting this group together if you’re not gonna support them?

          • Stu

            It’s too early to tell how the producers will treat them since they haven’t even given a live show performance yet but their treatment throughout the competition has been favourable – a positive audition, a very positive 6CC edit that gave the impression that they’re the best of the girl groups and a full JH edit with a lot of praise from Louis and Alesha. They may have been dumped at JH but being reinstated through public vote or not, a comeback in the same series rarely hurts an act’s popularity. Look at Melanie Amaro in the US XF. She was axed at JH, brought back by Simon and then won the whole series. I’m certainly not saying 4OD are going to echo that but there’s really nothing substantial to suggest at this moment that they’re seen as undesirable in the producers’ eyes – especially with The Brooks now gone.

      • Milton

        They thought they had two marketable boy groups this yeah, so it would have been madness to pack the category with a really good girl group as well. This would guarantee that they’d lose one by the 3rd or 4th week. Better to give the girls coverage this year, let them go controversially leaving the public wanting more and then have them return in a blaze of glory next year. With the Brooks leaving and possibly 5am struggling with their vocals, the whole dynamic has changed and it makes sense to put them back in with all the headlines.

    • Alan

      Wow, some bonkers theories on 4oD. Surely there can be no bigger indicator of a lack of producer support than being dumped out of the competition by the producers themselves. Not even by the public. By the producers. If TPTB had any plans for this act as a commercial proposition they would have put them through to the live shows. Anyone who cant see the logic in that argument should stop watching and definitely should not bet on this program. It will only end in tears.

      Someone said being brought back showed producer support. Yes, to a degree. But only more support than any of the other dumped acts got. And crucially way less support than all the other acts put through to the lives got – albeit we know that some of these will only have been put through to make up the numbers and not threaten the chosen ones.

      I would think that the producers will hope that 4oD can emulate whatever level of success was hoped for Brooks Way. A like for like replacement so to speak. Maybe TPTB had big plans for Brooks Way. Thats the best chance 4oD have got. Maybe 4oD will poll well in week 2 and TPTB will get behind them. That’s still a possibility. Either way it’s definitely not what they had planned for them.

  • I think half the reason they’ve chosen to bring 4OD back in is simply to placate the backlash they got for dumping them in favour of Bratavio.

    Let’s also look at the other interesting bits. Motown week (and Halloween will prove that the jukebox thing is about as random as the timeslot for the Six O Clock News) – so an era that the girls say they model themselves on. Louis only with one group left otherwise by Week 2. Also, no real eye candy for the lads – not that I imagine many straight adult men watch the show, but it’s a cast of joke acts and nice boys otherwise this year, and I think that had to be corrected. (On that note, whatever happened to Lauren Murray?) Fourth Impact had quite a decent run too considering the shortness of the series last year. And… Louis hasn’t won for 11 years.

    Cannon fodder they ain’t.

    Don’t rule out the pimp slot on Saturday.

  • Plinkiplonk

    i think will all the drama going on, giving them the pimp slot to re-introduce them would be easily justifiable, so if they DON’T end the show but are wheeled out second in the strictly overlap I would say that would show they are fodder.

    But I have to agree with others here that by now, I question almost anything on this show by default; there are just too many layers of info within this whole mess…

  • Kermit_The_Frog

    1) The audience didn’t particularly “love” Amelia Lily – she fluctuated from Top 2 to Bottom 2 in the vote, based on the level of support given by TPTB. The perfect ‘wildcard’.

    2) I was VERY surprised that Gifty avoided the Bottom 3 this week – aside from the song, her vocals were really ropey and due to taking the ‘lower’ harmony she seemed to be miming the chorus. Add that to her not conforming to the ‘shy/meek/comical’ black girl narrative that UK viewers seem to prefer and I wonder just who is voting for her. My assumption is that they support whoever polled best out of Gifty and Relley. I’m guessing the latter. It was one of the most positive VTs that I have ever witnessed on this show.

    3) Emily Middlemas suffered a takedown on a big scale. Did she not give a quote earlier in the week that ‘Toxic’ is dated and she wanted to sing something current? That song change was 100% her decision and she pissed people off in pushing for it. Mark my words. The VT was textbook destruction, while the mildly positive critique was to avoid any sort of sympathy vote. Not their preferred winner anymore (if she ever was).

    • Henry VIII

      “100% her decision”

      Why, a day before performing, would she drop an arrangement she loved for a song she didn’t know? And why would Cowell say he changed it?

  • Martin

    I would be very surprised if all of this with Four Of Diamonds were part of a long term plan for them. I don’t read too much into them being formed by the show – a “workshop” is probably a fancy term for the show putting them in a room with a vocal coach for half an hour. They’ve let go groups that they’ve formed themselves before.

    If we interpret the facts, we are left with mixed messages. The only similar circumstance we have to compare this to is Amelia Lily, and she was parachuted in a lot later in the series than 4OD are. If the show wanted 4OD to do well, I think this would be an extremely messy and risky way of going about it.

  • Henry VIII

    Saturday won’t tell us much about intentions for 4oD as we can expect any wildcard to be pimped on their debut. The 64K question is – would they have been brought back without Brooksgate?

    I notice from twitter that Gav and Tim are keen on Honey G. Anybody else feeling her vibe?

    • Gavster

      I backed pre-lives assuming they’d go big on Honey G. Already stories suggesting they want her in the final. I think best bet is ‘top over’ at 1.9. Over 2.0-2.1 was available yesterday.

      • Jessica Hamby

        It’s possible. They did it with Reggie & Bollie. The joke is going to wear thin before long though and it won’t be good for the show’s credibility. There could also be a “blackface” backlash. Honey G isn’t subverting anything, just mocking it. I wouldn’t be surprised if black artists start criticising her or saying they won’t go on the show (although if that happens it might boost her vote in some quarters).

  • India Marie

    The fact that they are replacements for Brooks Way and the stories planted that make it seem like they aren’t as organic as originally thought suggest that Four of Diamonds isn’t a chosen act from the get-go. They will probably work around the circumstances as they see fit, but I am doubtful that a long run by the girls is IN ANY WAY pre-planned.

    • Henry VIII

      The stories are just white noise – one girl said she was scouted by Sony. Most of the acts these years are scouted. Could be even regarded as good news, it means the girls are good. Could even not be planted – just a journo reading her facebook page.

      And you say not organic so not chosen. Illogical. Created bands can be both chosen or dropped like the boyband Ryan was in.

      • India Marie

        Someone’s catty today

        Pretty sure that “boyband” was a decoy and yes, manufactured groups don’t necessarily make it to the Lives. My impression on the “scouted” article is that it’s going against the usual narrative of “these girls who were unfairly removed are back” by suggesting that “these girls have connections

        All the lady contenders underwhelmed overall in Week 1 so this gives TPTB a new low card (4♦️) up their sleeve and don’t have to settle for a bland male whose appeal I cannot find. What I find hard to believe is that this is pre-planned.

        tl;dr
        If the question is “are 4D the chosen ones?”
        I believe “Not last week, but maybe now they can be.”

        • Stu

          I see your points and on the most part I agree. 4OD’s status in the show might directly depend on whether the the producers’ chosen ones don’t self-combust in the coming weeks. Is it fair to say Syco would likely want both groups on the tour for variety?

        • Henry VIII

          Not catty, just impersonal and unemotional as such analysis should be. (I sometimes smile in real life).

  • stoney

    If the producers really want to stop matt winning they need to begin the deramp this weekend. I don’t see them shafting him at all. If they really had big plans for 4OD then putting matt in was a big mistake. But no reason they can’t steer the girls into the final without much problem

    • Stu

      I think Matt will be on very early this weekend to see how his vote holds up. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he topped week 1’s vote. Usually the buses start coming in week 2 onwards.

      • I can see that, and 4OD’s reaction will influence a lot of decisions at this point. If they poll well, will producers go with it or chuck them under the bus? If they struggle, will the producers let them go to the wall nautrally or will they get pushed?

  • Oh, on the subject of The Tour.

    Honey G. We’ve talked about the act wearing thin… watch out for a nuking soon as she’s been secured a place.

    Lots of people going to keep her in. This is the same British Public who ten years ago voted for Daz Sampson.

  • Martin

    I thought the inclusion of Seann Miley Moore on the tour last year, even though he finished in 11th place, put paid to any theory that the tour influences the producer plans?

    It’s their tour, they can do what they bloody well like.

    • Anglia Chu

      His inclusion was as a wildcard-of-sorts; the tour is still generally for the top X acts. They can’t just say “the tour is for the top 7/8 plus a few we kinda like.”

  • Black n Blue

    I’m no expert at predicting X Factor results, but I did catch last Saturday’s show, and I thought Honey G won it at a canter. She’s barking mad, but kinda brilliant too. Everything else is dull as dishwater.

    • She’s not mad, she’s the managing director of an IT recruiting agency after all. She’s just having a bit of fun. No doubt she will keep the character going all season though.

      • Henry VIII

        You can be an MD and be a nutter. I don’t know about her recruitment agency but I would guess it is very small, maybe even just her.

        • Martin

          Was there not a story about her business being in huge debt too?! Her reasons for doing the show seem pretty clear, and she should be able to motivate a bit of sympathy too when the time comes. I work for a recruitment agency and most of the people in the industry are complete and utter lunatics.

      • Black n Blue

        Interesting. You see I’m not sure if she’s in on the joke or not. I think she could go the distance. Depends on the judges. They’re enjoying the gag now, but they may get fed up pretty soon.

        • I expect the judges will follow the usual joke act pattern where they embrace the madness for a few weeks, then Simon gets annoyed to provide more encouragement, then she suddenly gets lukewarm treatment at midtable. Any deviance from this pattern would suggest she crushed the vote in week 1, which I don’t think is too likely.

    • Lynda Woodruff is batshit, but Sarah Dawn Finer is certainly not!

  • Henry VIII

    A large amount trying to lay 4oD on the Betfair Exchange has been gobbled up and now there’s big money waiting to back them on the right.

    Not surprising really, there’s been some kind of de-ramp for every single act except Matt and 5am. Matt sometimes sticks his falsetto in where it’s not needed or wanted so he will be easy to de-ramp later and 5am can’t sing. So that doesn’t leave many Back options.

    • I’ll have a bit of that, currently 9.8 for the outright.

    • Alan

      9-1 for an act that TPTB didnt even want in the lives? Would lay that all day long if I had the funds.

      • I’ve backed them at 9/1! Had they not had the controversy of Bratavio dangling a carrot I think they’d have been in to begin with.

        They’ve clearly dropped a bollock. Bratavio polled what I can only assume to be rock bottom or they’ve have been saved on deadlock.

        As someone else said, things are now as they should have been.

        • Alan

          Thats my point though really. The fact that TPTB favoured Bratavio over them speaks volumes about how keen producers were on them.

          5AM would have to bomb for TPTB to start throwing their weight behind 4oD.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Imo the only reason Bratavio was there was to be pushed under the bus in the first round. The Brooks were there as eye-candy and planned for early / mid-run elimination too. 4OD may turn our to be Little Mix if they get something like Jesse’s fat-shaming to stimulate votes and interesr but to me right now they look like a straight replacement for the Brookes.

  • Henry VIII

    As to whether Honey G is genuine or mocking, I think she started out as genuine but a little insane. I’ve heard an interview with her from months ago, which would not have been heard outside of the rap community, and not by many in that community either. And she was serious about it. It is her chosen persona, as it is with many similar (and they swap back to their middle class accent and grammar when they visit their parents or old friends).

    However now she’s well aware that most think it’s a big joke she’ll run with that as that’s what’s making her famous. But she’ll probably still say and maybe even believe that she’s the real deal.

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