X Factor 2016 Second Elimination: Saara Finnished?

There’s a simple way of looking at a next elimination market for the second live show. Are the acts that fell into the first-week danger zone and survived, surplus to the show’s requirements? For the last three years – Kiera Weathers, Steph Nala and Shelley Smith – they have been, and were the next to go. For the two years before that – Rylan and Frankie Cocozza – producers had a longer-term narrative in mind, and worked with the sympathy bounce to good effect.

The difference this year is that we know the two lowest polling acts left in the competition. It wasn’t surprising to see Saara Aalto and Freddy Parker in danger after their treatment on the first live show. There was a distracting song arrangement and distracting judges conversations surrounding Saara, whilst Freddy was made to spend the last third of his song warbling and jiggling around on stage to a red illuminati backdrop. Simon said it was the first performance that hadn’t worked; Freddy had been eighth of eleven in the running order.

On that evidence, both appear surplus to requirements. Producers can always change their minds from one week to the next, but these are two acts who have been given scant investment, and seem highly unlikely to win the competition. The running order of the second live show has been indicative in the past: Kiera, Steph and Shelley all got first-half draws, Rylan and Frankie received a more favourable second-half position. There’s a Strictly overlap of 25 minutes tonight.

An elimination market dominated by Saara and Freddy thus doesn’t offer too many opportunities. Next in the elimination odds is Relley C, for whom producers did change things up between a lack of audition screentime, and a very supportive first show. We had said then, that it seemed likely the fortunes of Saara and Relley were linked as one of them would be the most disposable of the Overs (we were wrong in thinking it would be Relley).

There’s a small chance producers could perform a switcheroo between them, but such was the judges’ support for Relley in comparison to Saara last week, that I’d want to see evidence of it during tonight’s show.

The Sunday flash vote to save one of the bottom three, complicates matters a little bit for elimination backers. Last week saw the teen heart-throb saved. Could it come to the rescue of Freddy again? And if fourth in elimination lists, Ryan Lawrie, finds himself down there, will the Scottish vote come to his rescue? Next in elimination lists, Sam Lavery, has a less significant but regional base in the North East.

Saara being foreign (as the show delighted in reminding us at every opportunity) and female, has less of a ready-made fanbase to be mobilised. Those backing her to go have to factor in the likelihood that she will out-perform any of her rivals in another singoff, though this time judges could say, “you’re a great vocalist but you’re clearly not connecting with the audience, and therefore I vote to send you home”.

Most intrigue surrounds Four of Diamonds entering the fray on the back of Brooks Way leaving. Our comments section and the gambling community in general have been very excited about their return, and the girlband are currently fourth favourites to win the show. Surprise returnees such as Monica Michael, have usually been treated very well for their first performance, and it’ll be fascinating to see just how much of a song and dance is made of Four of Diamonds. They’re a matter of great audience interest, but in circumstances that are embarrassing for the franchise.

The other big questions we are looking to have answered include the treatment of Emily Middlemas following the serious mixed messages of the first live show. Her song choice of ‘Stop In The Name Of Love’ doesn’t necessarily encourage, but I’ve been shy of discussing the Motown numbers given to each artist this week because so many of them feel uninspired or puzzling.

Gifty Louise is a case in point. She got the most positive treatment among the girls last week, and goes from performing an unreleased track then to wedding disco staple ‘Rockin Robin’. This may be an attempt to soften her edges for the Middle England audience by showing her fun side.

There’ll no doubt continue to be lots of hype around Honey G in an attempt to keep her as the talking point of the show, and given that Matt Terry and 5 After Midnight have already been namechecked as finalists, I’m not expecting anything particularly negative for either tonight. Though the beauty of a live show is always its capacity to provide at least one surprise. Do keep your thoughts coming below.

121 comments to X Factor 2016 Second Elimination: Saara Finnished?

  • Stu

    My early predictions (that may likely change after actually seeing the live show) are a Gifty / Saara / Ryan bottom 3 with Ryan saved by the public and Saara sent packing.

    I’m thinking the producers will work with Freddy’s bounce this week while suppressing Saara’s. I’m still not convinced Gifty polled well last weekend – probably 7th or 8th in the vote. As much as I love Rockin’ Robin and think it’ll be a fun performance, I’m sceptical of her appeal to the GP. With that in mind, I don’t think she’ll benefit from the flash save vote if she does indeed end up in the danger zone.

    Ryan is arguably the most anonymous finalist this year and, Scottish or not, I can’t see him having a long shelf life. He screams cannon fodder. If he is solely there to give Matt an easier ride to the finish and/or to give Emily more of a “story”, it wouldn’t matter to TPTB if he fell into the bottom three.

    But Relley’s treatment could be flipped on its head and 4OD are literally a wildcard but I’d assume a generous amount of good will should safely see them through to at least week 3.

    (On a semi-unrelated note, I wonder if the producers would dare to engineer a sing-off between Emily and Ryan later down the line with Emily saved. It’s the sort of newsworthy story The Sun etc would love and the Scottish vote could quite easily be split between Ryan and Emily).

  • At this stage I can’t see a scenario where producers would want to work with any sort of bounce Saara may get. I’m inclined to agree with Dan’s calls but I won’t be putting any money down until I watch the show. If Saara can sing RDMH well, especially if she leans more towards the Celine Dion version, I think she might escape the danger zone.

    4OD should be alright, but there’s always that risk the Girl Band curse could return. That red and black staging is a warning sign,

  • Interesting to see Syco buddies The Sun slamming Honey G as an actress. I wonder if she did a little too well in the vote last week.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/1980036/little-mix-reveal-x-factor-hopeful-honey-g-is-fake-as-they-claim-shes-an-actress/

    • Henry VIII

      The Sun could have been fed that but why do you think they’re buddies?

      • As someone who has followed 1D and LM a bit I can assure you that when Cowell says jump, Dan Wootton says how high. Syco artists perform at Sun parties, and the Sun gets first dibs on any major articles to do with Syco artists, like the first interview with Zayn after leaving 1D or LM firing back at Zayn after he dumped Perrie and ran to People to get out ahead of the story. The running assumption in LM threads is anything the Sun prints about them is something Syco wants out there.

  • Alan

    Were there mixed messages for Emily? For a first show Id say the messages were overwhelmingly bad.

  • Plinkiplonk

    Looking at the song list, it reads like they (once again) went for the most obvious choices, and they are all much of a muchness, with the glaring exception of Honey G’s of course, so expect discussions between the judges, Louis waving the rulebook, etc, basically lots of noise about her act.

    For the others, it will all depend on who gets to put their own, fresh modern spin on a Mowtown classic (read: copies a performance that was done on American Idol last season) and who will perform a stright up karaoke version. Since the vocal talent this season is probably more limited than usual, I feel we will witness a few murders of good songs; and it will be interesting to see who will be praised regardless.

  • Sagand

    I’m actually pretty confident Saara going to be safe this week.

    Kiera Weathers went from the girls category when they were trying to push girl, Louisa to the win.

    Steph Nala went from the girls category when they were trying to push girl, Lauren Platt to the win.

    Shelley Smith went from the overs category when they were trying to push over Sam Bailey to the win.

    Kiera, Steph and Shelley all also had very negative comments in week 1, whereas Saara were distracting but what they did say was positive. The one with negative comments (who also is in the category with the presumed Plan A) is Freddie. A bottom three without a singoff is clearly going to get less of a bounce than having a singoff.

    If it was me I would lean into Saara’s bounce and try and get someone in the bottom three who can beat Freddie in the save vote. Then let Saara go naturally next week.

    • Stu

      I see your point but I don’t think Lauren was being pushed to win. In the early weeks of the lives, they were forcing Stereo Kicks onto the audience.

      Also, surely Saara being bottom three despite having no real negative comments suggests that she’s a bit of a non-starter in the vote? And given how she has been portrayed at the 6CC (not taking no for an answer) and JHs (Robbie delusion), are the voting public really going to feel much sympathy for her sing-off appearance?

      • IIRC Lola was the girls plan A that year but they gave up on it after a few weeks. Lauren was the capable backup. I agree Stereo Kicks was the plan A for the season.

        I also agree Saara may not bounce. She lacks the likability. They could play up her vocals if they want but with Relley and Honey G delivering entertainment of various kinds I’m not sure why they would.

      • Jessica Hamby

        What they did to Saara was worse than negative comments imo.

      • Sagand

        I get your point that Lauren is debatable, the way I see that series is Lauren was the Plan A until she had a mini-breakdown in dress rehearsal in week 4 then week 5 onwards was all about Fleur. If SK was Plan A they would have done a better introducing the members and they wouldn’t have been mentored by creepy uncle Louis.

        I think the singoff was a moment where she showed how good she could be. We can see what happens tonight but you’re choosing between a capable singer who you can get rid of anytime you want or a non entity boy who you have several better versions of. I know who I would pick to help.

  • Martin

    I feel confident that Freddy will be down there again this weekend, but not so much that if he wouldn’t bounce out of the bottom three again. I’d prefer to wait and see how the show pans out before putting my money where my mouth is.

    I do hope the show works with Saara and her bounce but I’m not hopeful. Typically we lose an over in the first few weeks and it’s looking likely that it be her.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Regarding Emily, her girl-next-door sweetheart image was her strongest selling point imo. Now it’s out she’s doing “stuff” with Ryan that’s gone. She’s unlikely to be in trouble this week but I think she’s regarded as disposable – beta at best and that status is in danger.

    I have heard suppprt for Gifty as the only one apart from Matt who had anything about them. That was from a west Kent dwelling brexiter. It may not be indicative of anything but the “appeal to middle england” shout may also be a red herring. Middle england is watching Casualty.

    • fused

      I don’t know with Emily, perhaps I’m overestimating people, but are a lot of people really going to dismiss her as “sluttish” and so on just because she has a boyfriend? That’s a very archaic attitude to have. Again, maybe I’m overestimating people, and I realise how incredibly conservative and puritanical The X Factor and much of its audience can be at times, but it still seems an odd attitude to have in 2016.

      I think with Gifty, IF there is a problem with her getting votes (which we have no evidence for yet), then I’d imagine it’s probably more to do with connection than people not thinking she’s talented enough. I thought she was good last week, the one who most looks like a popstar and all that, but thinking about it, she wasn’t my favourite.

      I was thinking that, for the sake of argument, if I were a Eurovision-style jury voter, I would have ranked Gifty very highly, but if I were a Eurovision (or X Factor for that matter) televoter, I probably wouldn’t have voted for her, not as my main vote anyway. Only speculating obviously, but I wonder if she’s many people’s favourite that they’d give a lot of votes to.

  • Sagand

    Freddie gets an early slot but a feel good VT and big production. Mixed comments and followed by Emily with no break.

  • Is it just me or was there a lot of emphasis on Freddy being bottom and versatile?
    Wasn’t expecting the X Factor to turn into Grindr all of a sudden.

  • 360

    Back to the bottom 3, Freddy. VT and outfit that sent the message loud and clear, girls, he’s not for you. Plus a song that was a little big for him, and then faint praise from the judges. Reserving judgement but that wasn’t the strongest start.

  • Blake

    Watching for the first time this year tonight. First thought is that Freddy is in danger. Emily is going in the next couple of weeks.

  • Alan

    Emily is just way too average to make any progress in this. Way too bland, no star quality, never a commercial proposition. Cannon fodder.

  • Martin

    Freddy on first, no attempts to motivate any sympathy and damned with faint praise.

    Emily not a target, but still not allowed her guitar and told several times that she doesn’t have a big voice, by her mentor no less. Felt like an Abi Alton job.

    That said, she’s probably the most likeable girl personality wise. Shes adorable.

  • Lenny

    Now she doesn’t even know which act is which…..

  • Dean

    What the heck was thar mix up all about?

  • stoney

    Winning gold for Matt. Given the winning treatment tonight.

  • The difference between Freddy and Matt’s treatments and now Emily and Relly is INSANE. The first two treated patronisingly, the last two got everything thrown at them with the superstar treatment.
    Definitely surprised at Relley having so much support!

  • Blake

    I’m really confused by Relley’s treatment…

  • Oooh!! “I know who that is – I know that’s Relley!”, said HEAPS when she’s completely lost and baffled when Saara comes on. “From abroad!”

  • kingston

    are they making relley fleur mk2?

  • kingston

    nicole and her legs can win this series for matt

  • Martin

    I do think there is something to be said with the ‘deliberately flying an act under the radar’ theory some have mentioned re; Relley. I’m reluctant to get on board fully, but she’s had nothing but positivity and clearly tptb don’t want to lose her just yet.

    Not worried for Matt either. Thought he was better this week than last week and actually performed well. My one niggle being that whole ‘Spain’ thing but his nan overshadowed all that.

  • Sagand

    It’s a shame the production team didn’t finish Sam’s set on time.

  • EM

    Was it just me or are Sam’s comments totally at odds with an absolutely awful performance?

  • Rose L

    Started watching a bit late so still catching up but I did notice how they played up Freddie being a mummy’s boy again, with the maternal visit bringing something he wrote when he was five years old – how embarrassing can you get? Again, that’s not going to make him look appealing and attractive to the girls out there.

  • Martin

    Nothing says ‘Great rock voice’ like an out of tune cover of Lionel Richie.

  • Being turned into a Pop/Rock songstress didn’t do Lucie Jones any favours, will it work for Sam? Doubt it.

  • DannyCraig

    notice how many references to family being there in the audience to support….there’ll be no family for Saara I”m sure – “send her back to be with her family” story forthcoming?

  • Martin

    This week has rapidly descended from Motown week to Family VT week.

  • Piresistable

    Emily bottom 3?

  • Sagand

    They can pimp them all they like but 5AM just aren’t good singers, to go much further they have to do a better job of covering that up.

    • Rose L

      I just can’t agree with that; I think they sing well enough to win this particular series, they’re cute in terms of having actual personalities and their dancing is on point. I don’t think they’re being bigged up beyond their capabilities and I definitely see them in the final at this point.

  • DannyCraig

    I think this year has a:

    Matt vs 5am vs 4oD final all over it.

    Maybe even boy band vs girl band final 2?

  • Piresistable

    I am sure at some point they will engineer a Ryan and Emily bottom 2.

  • 360

    Ryan embarrassingly bad this week. Not a bad VT but they’ve also got rid of his hair and he’s lost the cute look he had due to it.

    Nicole’s comments in the VT and afterward also very calculated to twist the knife. Blames the song choice squarely on the contestant, and also gives praise that will make the viewing audience say “yeah right!”

    • Alan

      Terrible comments too. The song choice was bad and Nicole made sure she didnt take the blame for it. Also no mention of Scotland being behind him, just the town he’s from. The whole of Coatbridge is behind him.

      Bottom 3 target for sure.

  • DannyCraig

    Who hasn’t had family so far – can’t recall emily’s VT?

    Matt Henry in ryan’S VT – waiting on Ben Haenow to appear in it….

  • DannyCraig

    Just in case you didn’t know she was Finnish, dermot comes in with a terrible pun. Pure X factor takedown at its finest. A joy to watch.

  • DannyCraig

    Fyi, she’s still 9/4 to go…

  • 360

    A step down for Honey G. This week will be about pushing as many as possible under her.

    Gifty on late suggests they’re boosting her. Emily definitely gamma girl now I think. Either of Ryan or Freddy could be gamma boy, both were hit hard this week. Are they pitting the two less favoured boys and the two less favoured girls to see which of each can pull through?

  • Martin

    The cheek of them showing the same Honey G segment two weeks in a row.

  • Stoney

    Even with that pimping its hard to see honey G getting many votes. That was an absolute mess. Not even funny.

    • Alan

      Being unfunny hasn’t stopped her so far.

      But how long before the “when I say honey…” lyrics wear thin for even the most gullible sap?

  • Piresistable

    Begging for votes suggests Gifty did not do well last week.

  • Dean

    How hard is it to say Saara nor Zara. So set up its not funny.

  • 360

    Saara in a distractingly revealing dress again – raiding Monica Michael’s closet this week too!

    Also rocking a part of Misha B’s halloween rhino horn in her hair.

  • DannyCraig

    “That’s what I’m getting from the public…they don’t want you” – hahahahahahha LOUIS!!!

  • Dean

    Honestly Saara is easily one of the best in this competition..a shame they kill her coldly

  • DannyCraig

    Is that the ONLY THE YOUNG guy in the audience?

  • Martin

    Oh I’m so sad that the show doesn’t want Saara Alto, that was all kinds of kooky foreign tv gold. What more do they want?!?!

  • 360

    Red lights this week for Gifty and a slightly odd arrangement for a fun little song. A lot of belting, raw vocal where it should have been lighter and more bubbly, Marcus Collins style. Also felt she might have been stretching her voice to hit those notes at the start.

    She danced well though and performed decently. I even as a critical viewer who knows they’re out to manipulate, didn’t feel she connected with the song so well.

    Knives out for a lot of acts tonight!

    • Rose L

      Simon’s plea for voters for Gifty really stood out in contrast to the other comments this evening; I suspect she didn’t poll too well last week but they still really want to keep her as she looks current and modern – someone who can sell records – but it’s unlikely to last if she can’t pick up the votes over the weeks to come.

      • 360

        I feel that they’re attacking a lot of acts in order to push them under Honey G. Some openly, and some hidden behind a smile. Ryan and Emily were both hit that way this week.

        Miss G is generating headlines, interest and viewers. Or at least, she has been. Once she goes, who will their main pull be?

      • “I suspect she didn’t poll too well last week but they still really want to keep her as she looks current and modern – someone who can sell records”

        Don’t look a Gifty horse in the mouth… :’D :’D :’D

        I’ll see myself out.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Waching on +1. Didn’t see Freddie. Emily is in danger. Pointless VT, glum arrangement and staging, uninspiring performance, comments were bland, ambiguous (Emily you’re really Emiland salted with backhand criticism. Worst of all it was forgettable. B3 seems likely atm.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Last week they put Sam and Saara in the same pool and favoured Sam. This week they put Sam and Emily in the same pool and favoured Sam. Interesting…. Right now she’s being used as the secret decoy. Whether they have plans for her that run deeper than that is another matter. My current feeling is no but there’s a while to go.

  • Piresistable

    Positive start for 4oD with introductions.

    ….And downhill from there. Oh dear.

  • DannyCraig

    They’re really bad :/ haha

  • Blake

    This performance is a literal replica of a week where Little Mix fell very flat though…

  • stoney

    These are no little mix

  • stoney

    Hope some of you lot didn’t go in too heavy with this group

  • 360

    Very, VERY average from Four of Diamonds. Can’t help but compare it unfavourably with Little Mix’s version from a few years back.

    Wide empty stage, odd arrangement, no one girl sang alone throughout – we don’t know their solo voices. Ending on “You don’t really need me” before actually ending the song was definitely deliberate. Knives also out from Sharon with the comment that all the other acts have already been there working with the team for weeks before the first live show, and they’ve just waltzed in.

    Also surprised they didn’t get a chance to get changed into more Motown-appropriate clothes before singing. Well. Not that surprised if they’re not going to be overly supported.

    • Alan

      It’s almost like TPTB knew they were rubbish and dumped them out of the competition. Oh hang on……..

      Seriously I’ve got no sympathy for anyone who backed an act that TPTB had already rejected. How much more of a sign do you need?

      For the record I had a small bet on Ryan before I had ever heard him sing, based on his looks and his Scottishness. And no I dont expect anything sympathy either. Haha.

  • Martin

    wow, what an underwhelming show. The only acts I’d be confident are safe are 5AM and Matt Terry, potentially Relley C. You could make a sensible case for all the other acts being bottom two. 4od were massively disappointing, I’d imagine goodwill and a pimp slot is the only thing that will get them through this week.

    • fused

      Agree entirely on how underwhelming it was! So many forgettable performances. It’s difficult to say which I liked the most, but probably 5AM? I thought it was a good way to use a medley, in that performance showing they can do uptempo and ballads, they can dance and sing well.

      For me, the worst were Ryan, as it was incredibly boring, and I thought Sam was awful to be honest, so out of tune. However, I suspect she’s safe. I think she has fans anyway.

      I actually quite liked Freddy this week, definite improvement as a performance from last week IMO, but the show couldn’t have been any more unhelpful than they were.

      Because everyone was so mediocre this week and about the same level, it could end up with a shock appearance or two in the bottom 3 (though probably not a shock elimination).

  • Curtis

    4oD are alright. It was poor, but they’ll be fine with pimp slot, nice comments, they’re back hype etc.

    I did laugh at how they just recycled the staging from Little Mix’s performance. But like Little Mix, if they’re going to go deep into the competition they’ve got a lot of work to do.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Holy Cow. Simon Cowell just punched Ryan in the face, Nicole saw it and instead if helping him she pushed him to the ground and got a couple of kicks in as well. “He’s not in the safety zone, he’s actually breaking out of it”. What? He’s so had he’s breaking into the non-safety zone? With friends like these…..

  • Plinkiplonk

    Well, that was shockingly bad from nearly everyone, but interesting to watch in a horrible, guilty way.

    There seems to be A LOT of backing track help going on, not to say miming. Particularly noted this last week with 5AM, as they sometimes didn’t even bother moving their lips, and same again this week. Of course, some acts don’t get any of that and are left to fight for themselves…

    I’d say the bus came particularly for Freddy (First out in Strictly overlap, mixed reviews), Ryan (criticism, bad staging and change of hairdo – no floppy fringe, hardly recognised him) and Saara (Foreign foreign FOREIGN, and Louis sticking in the knife).

    4oD had reasonable help with the introduction and the pimp slot, but they were just really bad. Also lots of subtle digs in the words of the song (You don’t really want me, you don’t really need me).

    Quite shocking that they keep referring to Saara as ‘the snow fairy’ and giving her a song from ‘Frozen’, only for Louis to have the nerve to say he thinks maybe people feel she’s ‘too cold’…

    If you want to see what they want you to think, pay attention to Louis and Dermot. Simon is sometimes trolling, and Sharon and Nicole are just blind drunk most of the time, it seems.

    Oh, and they really want to make Honey G happen, badly, what with asking the public to send in pictures etc. Shameless, and with an act that is very one joke unfunny to boot.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Honey G firmly shunted into the novelty act zone tonight. Safe imo.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Gifty still looks like alpha girl to me. That was not a red and black attack. It wasn’t nice to look at but safe imo.

    • Martin

      Yeah it wasn’t a red and blacking, more a red and pink. It was a bit harsh on the eye but I think we were supposed to think it was colourful and fun. She had far and away the biggest stage production, comments were resoundingly positive.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Great performance from Saara. Camerawork was harsh. All mid and distance shots. Not a single close-up of her face. Louis’ comments will motivate some votes imo. I’m calling her safe.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I enjoyed 4OD. They came across as vey likeable imo. Felt a lot of sympathy for them and I suspect they felt a lot of nerves. Definitely safe imo. Don’t write your money off yet.

    Emily and Ryan to go b3 and trusting my fellow sofabettors, Freddie to join them. Didn’t see Freddie but Ryan looks very vulnerable from the other two.

    • I caught up and I agree. You would have thought it was a trainwreck from the initial reaction. I don’t see them challenging Matt for the win but I’m not writing them off as an early casualty yet particularly in such a weak field. Very unhelpfully static staging and routine that might have been due to a rush job (or desire to avoid challenging LM the day before their big launch), but otherwise fairly positive treatment. Let’s see if they can relax and throw themselves into it next week. Glad I don’t bet on the show.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Did anyone else see Simon blushing at the sight of Sinitta braiding her hair and getting ready for bed on Xtra Factor?

    Blimey.

  • Curtis

    My spread is not looking good if Freddy goes right now. I worked off the principle that boys bounce, whereas overs (i.e. Saara) don’t. However, does only being in the bottom 3 even really qualify you for a bounce? And if he were in the bottom 3 again, would he be saved by app voters again? Probably depends on who he’s with. Maybe Saara would be saved from a bottom 3 though because sympathy? I just don’t know.

  • It’s interesting comparing the values of BBC and ITV Saturday night entertainment when it comes to their treatment of people from outside our cursed isle. SCD presents a number of east Europeans and dancers from other European countries (plus Bruno) inclusively and treats them like people, their heritage is barely an issue but not ignored either – while ITV fetishes European contestants and showcases them as weird, alien and intrinsically less knowable figures of fun (Andrea and Saara) or tries to elide their foreignness and uses VTs/performances to make a performative point of their love for Blighty (Attraction on BGT, among others). It’s notable that when an act from outside the UK has turned up to audition for TXF/BGT in the past few years, a juror (normally Simon) generally pointedly asks why they’re there, and in the case of Attraction, Simon made clear for the audience’s benefit that he wasn’t happy about them winning. It’s also notable that this kind of treatment is only seen as acceptable for white, European contestants – imagine them giving Reggie and Bollie the “Haha, Ghana – where the hell is that? Haha, don’t they have funny names and funny accents?” treatment last year… not that I don’t think R+B were sort of fetishised/commoditised by the programme, just in a somewhat different and more inclusive/celebratory way, taking them on their own terms.

  • Donald

    That show tonight pure absolute shambles, how many viewers would it have lost while it was on? It has happened before, obviously bit safer now with bottom three etc. but a surprise late performer in bottom three could easily happen. It seems very average year overall.

  • Sagand

    Looking at Google Trends for the period during the show, looks like Saara is safe. She has both a high peak during her performance and when the voting opened. Freddie had the lowest peak during his performance and virtually no peak when the voting opened.

    4OD were also googled a lot that could have been people looking up why they were back. Honey G is off the scale being googled ten times as much as second place Matt.

    Guessing the placing just from Google Trent I would say the bottom three would be Freddie, Sam and Ryan.

    It’s interesting how the regions breakdown too. Emily is double Matt in Scotland but Matt is double Emily in England, Wales and NI. Ryan is more popular in Scotland than anywhere else but still only half of Emily.

    • Interesting. Do you know if Google Trends predicted the Bottom Three last week? I mean, it can’t be totally accurate, as there’s no chance Honey G could pull in ten times as many votes as Matt, for example.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Whay are Google Trends? What do they measure? I’m not familiar with them.

      • Sagand

        They measure the terms that are googled. (https://www.google.co.uk/trends/) You can search for terms and compare. You can also narrow it down to just the UK unlike youtube and Spotify.

        It didn’t do very well in the first week, it had Bratavio too high, due it measuring attention but for Bratavio most of it was negative. That’ll be what is happening with Honey G too.

        It may also underestimate acts like Sam and Ryan as people google different terms i.e. “Sam X factor” or “Sam Lavery” are two different terms but are googled about the same amount whereas Matt Terry is a catchy name and is googled twice as much as “Matt X factor”. Might be better later in the series when the contestants are better known.

        Overall probably something to keep an eye on but still a fairly blunt instrument.

        • tpfkar

          I’d have thought that the raw figures wouldn’t tell you much – but the trends would, week by week. If someone is getting much less buzz relative to the others than they did the previous week – they are probably in trouble.

    • Honey G was trending on worldwide Twitter after the show for quite a while. I doubt she’s walking off with the vote though, or they wouldn’t have been so helpful this week. She’s doing her job of getting people talking, no doubt.

  • So many underwhelming performances tonight. My Bottom Three prediction is Freddy, Saara and Gifty. I’d be surprised if Scotland doesn’t keep Ryan safe in week 2, even with splitting the Scottish vote with Emily. As others have mentioned above, Simon’s comments about Gifty suggest she didn’t poll well last week, and it was an odd song choice for her. I also have a nagging feeling about Relley C slipping into the Bottom Three, especially if Freddy and/or Saara bounce. Not enough to back her, but I wouldn’t lay her either.

    I’m pretty sure Matt, Emily, Sam, Honey G, Four of Diamonds and 5 After Midnight are safe. Probably Ryan too.

    I’m also annoyed that there were no pictures of the performances posted on Facebook. I always find the likes and comments useful on there, so it was a shame not to have those to help negotiate such a confusing show.

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