X Factor 2016 Week 4: Tricked or Treated?

All credit to producers. In the past, Hallowe’en shows have made their targets hilariously clear – from Belle Amie’s coffins to Jack Walton’s vampire. This time, we felt treatment was much more nuanced. VTs and comments were largely positive for all, and – this being Hallowe’en – staging clues were less obvious. We’ll need to rewatch this one tomorrow.

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Our quick reaction, though, is simply that producers are presumably comfortable with whatever vote they’ll get with relatively even-handed treatment. After the show, the three market leaders in the elimination betting – the three bottom-three survivors so far, 4 of Diamonds, Ryan Lawrie and Saara Aalto – remain the same, though in a slightly different order.

The biggest market mover was Gifty, who was under the Strictly bus. This suggests to us that she didn’t poll brilliantly last week and producers aren’t interested in expending too much effort keeping her clear of the bottom three – the big question being whether this is with the intention of a save-and-bounce, or they’ve given up on her altogether.

Her VT featured a friend visit, but a suggestion from Simon that she needs to be reminded to look like she’s having fun. Comments featured plenty of praise, but also Louis and Simon bickering over the song, which Louis and Sharon pointed out was not well known. Despite the elements of production, we found the overall effect a bit underwhelming.

Staging-wise, she had a spider on her cheek – something we’ve previously suggested could be the most off-putting Hallowe’en prop – and the doors could be seen as an “exit” subliminal, but there was gold tickertape at the end. The hair was a halfway house between the crop of weeks 1 and 2 and the long wig of week 3. Take from all that what you will.

Second up, memoryholing Gifty and catching viewers turning over from Strictly, it was another very solid week for hot favourite Matt, with a sex-symbol VT, a strong vocal performance and superlatives galore in the comments. It’s probably best not to think too much about the zombie nurses on zimmer frames. The Matt steamtrain shows no signs at all of slowing.

While Matt’s market position hardened further after his performance, 5 After Midnight have drifted right out. It’s interesting to wonder whether their VT will have made more of Middle England go “aaah” at Kieran embracing his impending fatherhood and showing off the 12-week scan, or “oh!” at the revelation that he carelessly got his girlfriend up the duff.

In our previous Hallowe’en staging article we’d speculated that being portrayed as undead may be especially unhelpful, and here we actually saw the boys dying – the opening vignette showed them clinking glasses and falling down dead, poisoned, while the TV set stage backdrop turned into a graveyard. But this is Hallowe’en, and it’s easier than usual to overanalyse these things.

What doesn’t need any overanalysis is that the vocals were even ropier than usual, though the judges didn’t acknowledge this – Simon saying “every great group needs personality and this is what you showed tonight… it worked… a million times better than last week”, and Louis claiming it was “one of the best things I’ve ever seen on X Factor, visually and vocally… and you must make the final”.

For as long as Honey G continues to be the show’s main media attention getter, emphasised in the VT with her radio interview, producers will be doing their utmost to keep her around. By teasing us with shots of Honey waking up and donning her sunglasses and hat before looking at camera, the VT also played into the “is she real?” vibe which the general public still seem to be heatedly debating (somewhat bafflingly. Isn’t she clearly a recruitment consultant called Anna who enjoys having an alter ego, like Sacha Baron Cohen and Ali G? Where’s the mystery, or the problem?)

Producers had gone to the trouble of getting ITV to create a “breaking news” segment about UFO landings to go from the VT into her song, and she started from outside the studio and walked in. The kitchen sink had been thrown at the production, and comments again prepared the ground for a save if necessary, with Louis saying everyone wants to know about her, Simon saying it was “the biggest turnaround I’ve seen of any artist. You started off everyone hating you, including me. This was like being at the Honey G concert… I’m beginning to get you now.”

Sharon said “you make people happy, you make people smile”, and said people would want her in the final. Dermot referenced her hard work. Producers will be hopeful that they’ve done enough to keep her in the top six of the vote.

Ryan had been reported in the tabloids in midweek as believing there was a “conspiracy” to get him off the show – interestingly, as it suggests an increasing comfort level with public discussion of producers’ machinations. Unsurprisingly, after that, they went for plausible deniability this week with Ryan – a nice enough VT and some positives in the comments (Louis: “rock star”; Sharon: “personality”; Simon: “vocals were a bit dodgy, but a thousand times better than last week”).

However, his vocals were left exposed, and there were staging red flags even for Hallowe’en – a lighthouse spotlight searching anywhere but where Ryan was standing recalled something similar for Chris Maloney in 2012. They’d removed his trademark curls again. Nicole was allowed to stand up for him this week, but there was no real motivation to vote – indeed, Dermot suggested that he must be happy now.

Sam had the sweetest family homecoming VT of the night, surprising her mum in Tesco and having her dad emotionally tell her “good lass” at the kitchen table. She went to see Newcastle United win 6-0 in the midweek cup match, which could be a double-edged sword for the regional vote. Coxhoe, where she’s from, is closer to the Stadium of Light than St James’ Park. How many votes will Sam be getting from Sunderland tonight?

Vocally it seemed off again to us, and again there was no hint of the judges acknowledging that, with Louis calling it “great”, Sharon referring to her “rock voice”, and Nicole calling it her “favourite performance” of Sam’s and a “masterpiece”. It was left to her own mentor, Simon, to suggest that it wasn’t that, saying that “if anyone’s thinking it wasn’t good enough, it’s my fault”, promising to do better and saying he thinks she will “survive”.

Staging and styling wise, Sam had a spider’s web in her hair, the stage was very empty, and she seemed to be depicted as drowned on the big screen.

Saara got the Andrea Faustini Memorial “Funny Foreigner Has Never Heard Of Hallowe’en” VT, reminding us that she ain’t from round here but also sending “end-of-journey” signals about her now feeling accepted. Again we loved Saara’s performance – the show hasn’t had many acts who can perform and sing as well as the Finnish Kitty.

Comments were kind, Louis saying “I did not want that to end… You’re a world-class performer”, and Simon saying “you’ve become someone we look forward to seeing”. Just how much that’s the case may be put to the test if Saara finds herself in need of another singoff save. On Xtra Factor, it was mentioned that Sharon is planning to fly to Finland with her this week, which is a VT we’d enjoy seeing and may be an incentive for the show to keep her around.

4 of Diamonds got another pleasant, family-focused VT, going for a lastminute.com spa day with their mums. And comments, yet again, were positive – Nicole called them “classy”, Sharon said they’d “progressed”, Simon claimed “we’re seeing you for the first time as who you are… It felt real to me for the very first time”.

But the staging was arguably the biggest red (or should that be flourescent vomit-green) flag of the night – not only the spider on the mic stand, but the sustained fire, which looked from certain camera angles like they were four witches being burned at the stake as they repeated “give up the ghost”. Relative newbies to Sofabet may not be aware that fire is generally seen in these parts as the most vote-demotivating possible staging. We’ll find out on Sunday if it retains that reputation.

Closing the show was Emily, and plenty of effort had gone into her staging. It, and the vocal, worked for us – the judges agreed, Simon calling it “magnificent” and “career-defining”, as did Betfair, with Emily backed down to below 5.0 and emerging as the clear second-favourite after 5AM’s drift.

Dermot mentioned the words “bottom three”, which suggests the lifeline vote remains. Is the market right that you can perm three from four of 4oD, Saara, Ryan and Gifty? Do producers remain sufficiently invested in Gifty? Does Coatbridge remain sufficiently invested in Ryan? Will one of the other five drop into the danger zone? For us, it’s one to sleep on. As ever, do let us know your continuing thoughts below.

132 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 4: Tricked or Treated?

  • Jessica Hamby

    “oh!” at the revelation that he carelessly got his girlfriend up the duff.

    Definitely this.

    I can’t believe for an instant that Sharon would put herself in a situation where she has to go to Finland.

  • Eoin

    Saara seems to have had a continued popularity spike looking at social media, i’d say she’ll be in the lower half of the poll but not be in bottom 3.

    Can see a shock Ryan save as well, but it’s Gifty and 4OD who I think are deadset in the bottom 3.

  • Tina

    Anyone else find it strange how Dermot totally ignores Saara’s family and friends in the audience? Now even more evidently when Saara was to perform right after they were filming the families. Rude. Even her brother had flown from Finland to see her perform.

    • Fudd

      Interesting she says it was the worst live show so far… I thought it was the best. Certainly more fun than the crap they served up last week.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Asking which is your favourite live show this season is a bit like asking you whether you’d prefer to eat excrement that tastes of bolognese or bolognese that tastes of excrement.

        • MCIMH

          I think this year is decent? The third-worst this decade after the boring messes that were 2013/2015, yes, but firmly in watchable territory.

        • Fudd

          Though they’re a dmansight better than the tripe that got served up last year – that was excrement which tasted of excrement.

        • Alan

          Haha. Comment of the series so far by Jessica.

          Great article as usual. Totally agree that producers are happy with the way the vote is going. Their favourites are topping the vote, the disposable ones are struggling and they dont seem to be overly fussed in what order they leave. This is a theory that is pretty much universally ignored on this site but explains all of the contradictions we see. When things are going to plan TPTB dont need to meddle as much and it feels like its been that kind of series so far to me.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Can I just add that it was meant as a joke. If any contestants read the blog please note that I am actually an x factor fan and I’ve enjoyed a lot of your performances this season. You kind of sold your souls so I’m afraid you’re going to have to expect a bit of infernal torment, but you’re appreciated at Hamby Towers and the performances are better each week. Thank you.

      • I thought that was the strongest production of the series actually, they clearly threw a bit of extra money at this week to make it an entertaining show. I’m hoping they make a decent effort with the arena final this year. It needs to have that “sparkle” the Nordic Eurovision productions always seem to have over everyone else’s. And not be afraid to laugh at itself – bring back the auditionees’ number I say.

  • swablu

    Gifty and Ryan I reckon. Even I forgot Gifty even existed after the first few performances tonight. Ryan’s voice sounded incredibly weak and lonely singing a group song.

    I think Saara’s vote might have an ongoing uptick. I managed a rare X Factor viewing with the rest of my family last weekend and they all started voting for her. They said ‘I like her now, I think she’s fun’, and tonight’s performance had the same sort of vibe as last week. It was also notably professional and strong after Ryan and Sam who both sounded weak and shaky.

    Something to note about normal people who watch X Factor and don’t analyse it like we do – whatever’s in the VT and comments is not so important as we think. All the analysis over the last couple of weeks about how meaningful it is that Emily appears in Ryan’s VTs and not vice versa. No-one in my family had registered as of last week that the two of them are in a relationship. They talk right over the VTs and the comments, or are still out of the room having a fag. The performances matter more for votes, I think.

  • Anglia Chu

    Gifty is this year’s Tamera: they have ideas for her commercially but dragging her far will be really burdensome.
    Best performance by 4oD in the Lives but they looked like Witches in Salem.
    5AM wasn’t terrible but they need to step up or else they may have to be dragged.
    Saara is embracing her quirky foreign-ness (the last two weeks make the first two feel half-baked). She may sink and how they treat her indicates how confident they feel about Honey G’s viability.

    In terms of safety:

    GREEN
    Matt, Emily, 5AM
    AMBER
    4oD, Saara, Sam, Honey G
    RED
    Gifty, Ryan

    • Jessica Hamby

      Honey G is getting the media attention. Saara is there to provide the performances. Wagner, Rylan and a few others did both but I this year it’s different.

  • My Notes:

    Great production all round, with a huge effort being made for Fright Night. They did well to assemble all that with 6 days’ notice of the theme. 😉 Definitely the strongest show of the season. If this was Eurovision, this was more SVT than ORF in terms of overall roduction. Dermot confirms it’s a B3.

    GIFTY: Introduced with a weird effect on Simon’s voice. On first under the Strictly bus. Actually never heard of this song. Neither has Louis. Neither has SharonMaybe we’re just old. Overly sexualised French Maids there amongst the dancers. Anything to read in the doors slamming shut about 1/3 in? And that wig looks hideous. Seemed like a really long performance compared to the usual edits on this show. Nobody stood. Distracting “teeth” gag. *AMBER*

    MATT: VT shows a legion of adoring fans. Is this the death slot considering the Stricly scheduling? Like how he’s in a klnd of Wig-Wam of lights. Note the dancers all falling dead at once, leading him literally the last man standing. Nicole and Sharon stand. Nicole rouses the audience. *GREEN*

    5AM: So you’ve met a bird at a concert and got her knocked up? Well done bro. Note the playing of the original version of this “iconic” song during the VT. The word “Iconic” was used twice. Opening the number whilst watching them die. Vocals are dogshit. The crippled dancers are trying hard to run away from the boys. The Middle Eight was beyond dogshit. Distracting having Peter Dickson do Vincent Price’s bit. The vocals are still dogshit. All but Simon stand, but delivers high praise. Nicole’s reference to rehearsals suggests she wants to go rogue but doesn’t. *RED*

    HONEY G: OK. Don’t try and convince me she’s real. She’s a persona in the way Lynda Woodruff is a persona of Sarah Dawn Finer, except SDF can actually sing. The ITV News mockup was cringeworthy. Massive production though. TBTP don’t want her to go anywhere, and to be honest I don’t think the public do; the attitude is one not dis-similar to the UK’s approach to Eurovision: people are only watching to take the piss. However, that piss-taking has rewarded us with many, many wooden spoons. Will Honey G harm the franchise long-term? Louis and Sharon stand. *GREEN*

    RYAN: There’s Emily! More London Tombs action, giving Matt a bit of extra airtime. This song doesn’t work for a soloist. Note the whole Skull & Crossbones thing. All the girls looking like they’re going to gang-rape him at the end – making him less accessible to women? Forgettable. *AMBER*

    SLAVERY: Loving the Tesco VT. She’s a bit of a tomboy isn’t she at the footy? Really, really helpful VT. She’s doing that horrible “affected voice” thing loads of young female singers seem to do at the moment, which I fucking hate with a passion. Once again, she’s got a song which is just way, way, way too big for her. As Bonnie Tyler songs go, this was more “Believe In Me” than “Total Eclipse.” She can’t manage the high notes at all. Red & Blacking. She dies at the end. I’m bored of the rock thing already. Ruth Lorenzo had a rock voice. Sam doesn’t. She is, however, really likeable. Why was Simon admitting he dropped the ball? *AMBER*

    ZARA: Noting the press pushing the lesbian card this week. “I love Britain.” So they don’t do Halloween in Finland. “What do people dress up as?” Think Lordi love. Bit of an end-of-journey VT. Kitty Brucknell pointed out on Twitter that piano players have always ended up in the singoff. Veil was unhelpful. Colour vomit. That’s definitely colour vomit. Great production once again. Clearly at her best with big theatrical productions. All but Simon stand. Unanimously positive VT. I think they’ve worked with the bounce. I’m going out on a limb: *GREEN*

    4OD: Weird distracting thing with Louis from Dermot. Liking the mums in the VT but I think it distracted from everything else. They’re on a plinth. Vocals very ropey. No harmonies. FIRE. A LOT OF FIRE. FIRE KILLS! Forgettable. No comparisons to Little Mix this week, though. *RED*

    EMILY: She had an amazing week last week. Unlike her fella of course, which didn’t get mentioned. Not sure what to make of this performance at all. Creep is the last song you’d expect TPTB to give an act, John Lewising or no. Massive production and obviously gone to some effort to film the silent movie. Only unanimous ovation of the night. Bit of crying at the end… was that “in-character” or not? On the whole though, definitely a full-on pimping. *GREEN*.

    I’m calling a GIFTY, 5AM & 40D B3.

  • Chris Bellis

    Italians don’t celebrate Halloween, Finns don’t celebrate Halloween. Bollocks. I’ve been in both countries at this time of year, and loads of kids have Halloween costumes and wander round the streets with collecting tins etc. The adults go to the cemeteries and place candles on the graves of loved ones, in both countries. In Italy it’s a public holiday ffs. It’s not as commercialized as here and in the USA, but it’s still quite a big thing. Just saying. By the way, I love James Martin’s notes just above. Brilliant.

  • Poker Coach

    Saara is safe and will most likely reach quite high in the show.

    I have been doing google trends analyze for her against the other middle class competition:

    https://www.google.co.uk/trends/explore?date=now%201-d&geo=GB&q=saara%20aalto,gifty%20louise,sam%20lavery,4%20of%20diamonds,5%20after%20midnight (Last day)

    There is a slight trend that people around UK starts to google her more than others after the live show. But everybody is in a totally different level comparing to Honey G.

    If 10% of people who search honey G are voting for her, she will definitely reach the finals

    • Alan

      There’s a world of difference in Googling someone and voting for them. If I missed the show I would probably be most interested in seeing Honey Gs performance. To see how rubbish it was. I wouldn’t vote for her in a million years. I don’t think we have ever seen any meaningful stats showing any kind of link between internet activity and votes have we?

      • Chris Bellis

        Dead right.Every Eurovision people produce google statistics to suggest this or that act will win. I can’t remember them ever reflecting the real vote, even if you discount the jury votes. I agree that google stats don’t give an accurate picture. EG I have just googled “Donald Trump” because I enjoy reading the mad things he says. I would never vote for him even if I could.

      • Poker Coach

        Of course there is a difference between googling and voting. But it can be used to support other analyses.

        Still part of the people who google will also vote. If someone is not googled at all it tells that they are not very memorable.

        Maybe 80% who google Matt will also vote him. But only 5% of people who google honey G will vote her.

        Still Honey G is 10 times more popular in google search than even Matt Terry.

        Also it is good to look a little bit into peoples twitter accounts. Who are receiving tweets:

        I voted for you.

        I have been observing Saaras twitter account during the competition and positive tweets about being voted are increasing steadily.

    • Sagand

      I did the same analysis in week 2 and came to the same conclusion, that Saara was safe. She was then bottom two… (http://sofabet.com/2016/10/15/x-factor-2016-second-elimination-saara-finnished/#comment-74504)

      Google Trend is probably a good measure if you’re going to fall into the bottom three due to dullness, that isn’t what would hurt Saara.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Ryan, Gifty, Honey G according to this poll, with Saara at the top. It would be great to see her in the final. I wonder if they’ve got the guts to put her there and allow her to do well.

    http://www.tellymix.co.uk/reality-tv/the-x-factor/285455-x-factor-poll-best-tonights-live-show-vote-2.html

  • Martin

    the running order hasn’t really changed a lot since for some of the contestants over the series has it?! both Matt and 5am have had earlyish slots throughout and same for 4OD and Saara (apart from wk1). Anyway…

    Gifty – pretty nonedescript VT which I didn’t see as positive or negative. Performance was average, song forgettable but staging seemed favourable. I thought comments were positive but not motivational – it wasn’t a kill, but it didn’t seem like they were going out their way to keep Gifty around this week. Was also memory holed by Matt.

    Matt – fun VT, pushing the sex symbol meme again. Staging was irrelevant (I liked it though, mental hospital/electric chair, it was a Halloween dream) because his vocal was outstanding. Shame about the overdone song choice, but he’s leagues ahead.

    5AM – I thought the vt was intended to be sweet but as pointed out in the article, could come across differently. Performance was atrocious though, if the show wants them kept about they need to do more. Vocals were poor and that song is as gimmicky as you can get as far as I’m concerned, there’s just not a lot to be done with it. Comments were at complete odds with the performance, I’m not sure the public will play ball this week.

    Sam – personally, I liked it and I like her. At risk of getting personally involved, she’s my favourite this year by far. Although she is divisive and i don’t see her passing many more weeks without being in danger of b3. I saw the family/Newcastle vt as extremely positive and her Twilight staging for her performance was classy and in keeping with her shtick so far. It wasn’t as lonely as Lola’s similar staging a few years back, and least they had the decency to chuck in some fog. They’ve got a formula for her and are sticking to it. I think she’ll be safe and Simon effectively took responsibility for anybody who says they don’t like her, suggesting a bit of a departure for her next week, saying that he will do more for her?

    Honey G – a ‘day in the life of’ VT which lacked in any humour or fun. A lot of effort in her staging and Judges yet again going through the motions with pretty much word for word comments the same as last week. Suggests it’s working for her but I’m beyond caring for her.

    Ryan – VT didn’t seem dampening and made him seem plucky and enjoyable. Performance was piss poor as usual, and his image overhaul was alarming. Seemed to be pitched to be the polar opposite of what people voted for him for previously, and absolutely no core demo mentions for Scotland or young girls. I think he’ll be b3 but not convinced they can keep him from bouncing out of it again.

    Saara – VT was back to kooky foreigner. Reminded me of Andrea not doing Halloween when they dressed him as a devil, and of Janet Devlin not liking Xmas. She got into the spirit of it – her performance was the most entertaining of the night and the comments were flattering. I think the show would like her to stick around, and are happy to save her again if needs be.

    4OD – another nice family VT, not sure that continuing to associate them with the act/mentor divide is very encouraging though. I thought the performance was their best so far but that doesn’t say a lot, and the staging was burning them at the stakes. I thought the comments were fair, but social media response has been extremely negative.

    Emily – bit of a novelty VT, no pushing of the couple angle this week but Emily is extremely endearing. I loved the performance – I don’t think it was designed to be negative, but a bit of a Halloween concept thing which worked. Emily’s vocal was amazing. It won’t have been for everybody, however the comments were positive and i don’t think the show is looking to lose her either.

    Ryan, 4OD and Gifty for b3. Whether Gifty would bounce instead of Ryan, I’m not sure. Not obvious this week as far as I’m concerned.

  • EM

    I didn’t watch last nights show live, I’ve just caught up with most of the performances.

    Two big observations. 4 of Diamonds were bad. Really exposed, little vocal help, dull production. Awful.

    Honey G ain’t going nowhere fast. Forget your Tellymix etc polls, she had the kitchen sink thrown at her in terms of production £s, lighting, vocal help, choreography that put her at the centre every time, camera angles, judges ovation, crowd reaction and more.

    And you can bet they can turn off her support whenever they like.

    Unlike in previous years I’m finding it much harder to rank the acts in order of producer favouritism. But right now

    Disposable: Ryan, 4OD, Saara

    Keep (but not as long as the final): Sam, Gifty, Honey

    Finalist: Emily, 5 o D, Matt

    Not sure they’ll get the final they want though.

  • David Cook

    With the voting lines open from the start they’ve removed the recap of each performance at the end of the show. Viewers of SCD won’t have seen Gifty at all. It’s important for acts appearing early go make an impression and win over app votes there and then as they can now be even more easily be forgotten at the end. Anybody going to remember Gifty this week?

  • hemsby

    Anyone catch what was written on the sliding doors at the start of Gifty’s performance last night ?

    I know how much the sofabet community love a conspiracy theory 🙂

  • Tina

    I thought 4OD was really dull. Every week I completely forget that they are coming and when they do it’s totally forgettable again. But it’s probably not all their fault. They were in their normal clothes again even though it was Fright Night and had no choreo. I would send them home tonight, but anyone of them, or Honey G, Ryan, Sam and Gifty can go.

    I compare the other females to Saara and they don’t come anywhere near her vocals or stage presence. I just hope the producers see Saara’s potential. They are only scratching the surface here, she is so talented.

  • David Cook

    Anyone else think they may be giving up on 5am. Last night was atrocious no matter what the comments were. The first couple of weeks they got massive help on the vocals – basically to cover for them. After lasts weeks criticism they could have helped them again, but for some reason they clearly chose not to bother and the result was a disaster. This lot make Rough Copy sound good.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think their days are numbered. Right now I see Matt and Emily as finalists and I’m wondering about the third. I hope it’s going to be Saara. Unless 4OD have a huge transformation I don’t see how it can be either of the groups and Honey G irritates far more people than she entertains. She brings the media attention but at the latter stages the show gets that attention anyway.

      • Edie M

        It really seems as if they’re having second thoughts about pushing 5AM to the final. They’re just not that good. Also the way that VT was edited made it seem as if he’d impregnated a random girl he met once at a concert rather than someone he was in a relationship with.

  • Edie M

    Interesting to watch with family for the first time last night and see how much they liked Sam. They don’t think her singing is amazing (there was a lot of talk about her needing vocal training) but said they thought she brought some ‘raw energy’ to the show that is lacking in a lot of contestants this year.

  • Rose L

    First of all, just to confirm, Dermot said quite clearly last night at the start of the show that app voters will have the flash vote/lifeline vote chance to save one of the acts in the bottom three from the sing-off.
    So I’ve been ruminating about the bottom three since last night. I’d usually watch again but it doesn’t look as if I’ll have time today – what a relief!
    Just going from last night with a bit of past experience thrown in for good measure: I was thinking last night that we are due a bottom three permed from four acts – 4OD, Ryan, Gifty and Saara. In the past, I’d have said Saara to end up bottom three, but I think with the X Factor, it’s often worth going with the blindingly obvious rather than looking for hidden meanings. They do seem to have decided to be more positive towards Saara – while her show was messy, at least it was a show and quite entertaining – and that may very well be reflected by the votes, as it was last week.
    So with Saara possibly safe again, we could have a bottom three of 4OD, Ryan and Gifty.
    I’m still unsure about the Flash Vote though. The consensus last week seemed to be that it would always save the pretty boy, and that’s exactly what happened. It would seem stupid, then, to predict that anything else would happen tonight. If this is the case, the sing off would be 4OD against Gifty and I suspect Gifty would get the save this time with 4OD going home.
    This still may be fine with tptb because the expected Ryan/Emily sing off is nowhere near happening yet but it may be proving impossible for them to imagine making it happen – though the fewer the acts competing, the easier it will become. So having Ryan saved in the Flash Vote might still fit the show’s agenda.

    • Edie M

      A lot of my thoughts have been tending in this direction, generally can’t escape the feeling 4oD have had it this week and that Gifty is going to at least fall into the B3.

  • Nick

    Agree completely with Rose.
    Going on Ryan to be saved by the flash vote again!,..then the value bet would be Gifty at 7/1 with a safer on 4OD at 11/8 with Stan James. Edit 11/8 now gone with SJ.

  • Stu

    Some thoughts from last night that I don’t think have been discussed:

    – As someone who very clearly predicted pre-show that Ryan could be safe this week, I was alarmed by Dermot revealing how Ryan was “fuming” last week – not disappointed or emotional – fuming. I can still see a scenario playing out where he is called safe, but it’s looking less likely.

    – Dermot referring to 5AM as “12:05” and “5 After 11”. Just two of Dermot’s jokes or a method of disassociating them from their group name? I didn’t see the baby scan VT as negative – it seemed more like a device to redeem their bickering VT of last week and show their strong brotherly bond as well as their softer side. The judges’ comments back this idea up. Also worth noting Louis said “I want you guys in the final” rather than the “you guys are going to be in the final” comment of last week.

    – Gifty’s song choice being a promo tool for Fifth Harmony seemed to be confirmed. A scripted “I don’t know the song” comment from Louis, allowing Sharon to rave about it and for Nicole to explain it’s by Fifth Harmony – viewers who won’t know the song will then know what to search for to buy it. Her vocal was flat in various parts.

    – 4OD’s treatment seems like the producers are doing all they can for them. “Nice girls” by Louis, bonding with their mums, even Spice Girls playing in their VT and videos of the girls singing when they were younger – showing off their vocal abilities from an early age. The performance itself was their first solid one out of the 3 so far. Louis riling Little Mix fans may have lost them some votes. Given their competition, I think they’re a dead cert for B3.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Well it didn’t help much. Bad Romance is #70 in the itunes chart and Thriller is #29 (the originals, not the versions from last night). I can’t see I’m In Love With A Monster in the top 100.

    • Alan

      Yes I thought the fuming comment from Dermot on Ryan was a bit of a dig. Made him sound ungrateful and not taking criticism on board. He’s got to be definite bottom 3 though however judges play it as he is clearly the worst act left in the competition (aside from Honey G of course). They dont really need to nobble him as long as they keep giving him unsuitable material. He does the job for them.

  • Jessica Hamby

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/2077909/x-factors-four-of-diamonds-star-yasmin-broom-keeping-wife-beating-brothers-prison-secret-to-curry-favour-with-viewers/

    Poor girl told tptb and now they’ve gone and told The Sun. If she’d kept it to herself then it probably never would have come out.

    Meanwhile Sinitta keeps Honey G in the news while managing to say that she will be eliminated and she will be in the final at the same time.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/honey-g-never-survive-weeks-9156476

    And Sam does nothing but still somehow comes out of it looking tarnished.

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/2078723/x-factors-sam-lavery-hits-back-at-ex-acea-brabrook-for-claiming-she-dumped-him-by-text/

  • Rose L

    I found some interesting stuff online about Honey G, but haven’t been able to post it, or not as far as I can see; when I try again, it tells me it has detected a duplicate post, so I can’t post it it would seem. Does the system stop any particular links being posted, for example? Or is there some problem at the moment?

  • Fudd

    Just proving how presentation and staging, especially can result in rabbit hole moments, especially on Halloween: I loved two bits of Honey G’s production – firstly the news article which, to me, labelled her an ‘unidentifiable species’ and secondly the dance routine resulting her being surrounded by crash barriers stripped in tape saying ‘CRIME SCENE DO NOT ENTER’.

    So Honey G is an unidentifiable crime scene? Yeah, I’d go along with that. :p

    Another thing – did the background to Saara’s Bad Romance performance remind anyone else of Kingsland Road’s Marry You which landed them in the bottom two?

  • Jessica Hamby

    I must have been only half watching 4OD last night. They really burnt the hell out of them didn’t they!!!!! Can’t believe I missed that.

  • 360

    Honey G review link wouldn’t go up for me but here’s quotes from it:

    Some interesting credentials actually –

    “Honey G started mixing in 1999. After mixing for only 4 months she made her first appearance at Club Abbyss in Ayia Napa and gained a residency at Gas club in the summer of 2000. In Manchester where Honey G had studied, she was introduced to vocalist, musician, and emcee, MC Krazie Laydee and they decided to form a crew together called “Female Phenomena”. They toured across the whole of the UK playing at various clubs in Manchester, Blackpool with EZ, Nottingham with Ms Dynamite, Preston and The 112 concert in Liverpool.

    In 2002 Honey G gained 2nd place in The Ministry of Sound National Student DJ Competition. She then met DJ Sarah Love and the three of them decided to team up and launch an urban club night called “Luvibe”. Luvibe was not only about promoting female talent, but black female talent. DJ’s such as Femme Fatale, Jenny Harrison, Lady G Spot and DJ Touch also made appearances.

    Honey G who has also been broadcasted on BBC Radio 1, moved to New York after graduating.”

    So, bizarrely it seems that ‘Honey G’ is playing a fictionalized and parody style version of her actual self. Quite odd that someone with a genuine interest in those genres would go along with that! She must be getting paid or getting some kind of deal out of it.

  • Just catching up. I wouldn’t say Matt had a full-on, series defining moment but it was very strong. Emily was good though ducked all the big notes in Creep. Looks solid for the top 4 at the moment. Sam was much more in tune than prior weeks but still wrecked gratingly at the end. Gifty was solid but forgettable, stitched up by running order and song choice.

    Ryan was pretty dire though more positively treated. 4oD showed some real signs of connecting for the first time and did progress noticeably, but they had some screechy points and all that fire should see them in the B3. Saara was very good and put on a show. Status quo for 5AM and Honey G, and lacking great enthusiasm though positively treated enough. Not out of the question one of them could slip B3.

    I’d have Gifty, Ryan, and 4oD B3, Ryan saved by flash again, probably 4oD to go sadly. Although we are reaching the point where there’s often a shock ejection, and they could choose to even out the categories particularly if they are getting on Emily.

  • Henry VIII

    Honey G – I’m sure I mentioned here that I’d heard a couple of rap magazine interviews with her going back years, she definitely would rather have originally been taken seriously. No knowing how much she now goes along with the joke, she’s a bit of a mess, but the fame is what she wanted. For the first time she is outshining her sister.

    Room 101 – it’s the most famous room number and amusing to use it. No need for any more significance than that.

    I think Cowell likes Gifty fwiw but the public seem indifferent. He probably likes Saara more (for the show) and possibly 4oD too.

  • Donald

    Missed the show last night and repeat today, will catch up on here no doubt thanks to Daniel, Andrew and all great cometators on Sofabet. Good luck to all tonight, Great to see C Maloney pic again on previous post , a classic that is:-)

  • Daz

    I like how they got Rylan to scare Nicole as Ryan is about to perform as if it was to get people talking about that instead of Ryan’s performance, very convenient

  • Jessica Hamby

    I still feel like Louisa is singing at me rather than to me.

  • Martin

    God, all that fuss last year for that?! Forgive me for going off topic slightly but what a shower of shit.

  • 360

    We called it, Sofabet!

    • Jessica Hamby

      Well some called some of it. Let’s not get carried away with confirmation bias. Some suggested 5AM, Sam, Saara, Honey G and even Emily would be down there. In fact if you go back through the posts I think the only person we’re all agreed wouldn’t be b3 is Matt.

  • stoney

    The good news is honey Gs time should be coming to an end with her being called safe last

  • Here comes the weekly save of Ryan.

  • Betfair taking forever to re-open the market.

  • Edie M

    So 4oD must be going then

  • stoney

    I have a feeling Gifty could be sent packing here

  • Woah. I’ve just lost a fucking fortune.

  • Martin

    Christ, if I actually stuck with my pre live prediction id be rolling in it now. I had Gifty as out this week.

  • Phil

    Note to all the other contestants – don’t drop the f bomb on the X Factor stage!

  • Rose L

    Well, didn’t see that final result – got it all spot on until the really important bit! I wonder why Sharon and Nicole turned against Gifty – and why, while Louis was desperately trying to influence Sharon to save 4OD, Simon sat there saying nothing at all – he even blurted out Gifty to go home at the beginning. She looks SO pissed off now!

  • Piresistable

    She does not look happy.

  • Pete

    Gifty loving the way Simon fought for her, like Louis did with 4oD .
    Then tries to claim it was his fault! Priceless.

  • 360

    Wow, I’m shocked! A lasting punishment for her slip of the tongue last week, perhaps?!

    She must be fuming. Literally she’s been used 2 of her 4 weeks as an ad for one of Simon Cowell’s other products, and then cut loose a week before the tour.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I still don’t see this week as an advert. The song is dead, they don’t sing it on tour, the video is dull. It was about flushing her down the memory hole. As soon as I heard it I was convinced they wanted her bottom of the vote so that she could go on deadlock.

  • Lenny

    Now, we can analyse Simon’s slip up to death for the next week. I couldn’t get a bet in on 4oD to go during the singoff so I bet on a 3-1 judge elimination. I just assumed it would be 3-1 the other way.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I thought she was going to go on deadlock but otherwise, utterly unsurprised by that result.

    If looks could kill Simon would be a whiff of hydrogen right now.

  • That’ll be why 4OD got saved…

  • Piresistable

    Black girls gone in consecutive weeks. No doubt there will be accusations of racism just as there were against Strictly.

  • Curtis

    Simon instructing the other judges to send Gifty home at the start there? Is that too much of a conspiracy theory?

    Also as an unrelated point I do feel sorry for Gifty – it was obvious to everyone including the audience who won that sing-off, and like Relley before her if it was down to pure talent she’d be going much deeper into the competition.

    Oh, and there’s why 4oD were saved. Boyband vs Girlband next week – better have one of each!

  • Rose L

    Thing is, the judges have been praising Gifty pretty consistently every week; whereas 4OD have had a much more mixed bag of comments. Goes to show that we shouldn’t put too much value on what the judges say.

  • Phil

    Feels a bit grubby this week. One of those weeks where the judges blatantly send home the act they don’t want to but are told they have to, and can barely hide their shame at it.

  • Nick

    6/1 last week and 7/1 leaver this week…..the flash vote with Ryan really helps to define the last two. Got lucky today, as Gifty easily won that sing off.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Well Gifty was out of tune and a bit shouty again when she went for the big notes. She’s got problems with her technique and what she thinks of as drama is actually a bit difficult to listen to. 4OD didn’t go for money notes and as a result didn’t fluff it up. I didn’t think there was much to choose between them but at a push I probably would have picked 4OD on singing. Personally I don’t think she’s as good as she thinks she is.

    • DannyCraig

      A bit of confirmation bias? Haha….

      TBH, I echo your sentiments. She wasn’t THAT good. She wasn’t likeable either. I definitely felt that they tried to soften her image, and the public still didn’t take to her, so at that point she was expendable.

      You also have to factor in that 4oD are tripe, and will be easy to target when needed.

      This show is about Matt & Emily this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see SLavery being targeted soon to keep the path clear for Emily, and we all know that Ryan will go as soon as he gets into the sing off.

      Honey G or SLavery for a shock exit next week.

      • Jessica Hamby

        If Honey G goes then Saara will be in a great position for the final. One can then hope that the public gets tired of Matt as sex symbol, but that’s probably a hope too far.

  • Jessica Hamby

    And since no-one else is saying it, YAY ME for calling Gifty in trouble on Friday. She was available at nice prices to go and to go b3. I hope some of you had a speculative sniff. If not, better luck next time.

  • Plinkiplonk

    Just two things that stood out for me tonight:

    1. Controversially save the Girlband (who must have polled last, otherwise they could have gone deadlock) just minutes before the blessed jukebox ‘randomly’ lands on ‘girlband vs boyband’, with the one girlband and the one boyband already tidily lined up on one side for Dermot to speak to – priceless. Obviously the fright night fiasco wasn’t enough…

    2. Based on the assumption that we saw the true Louisa tonight, it just shows what they can do to sell someone HARD. With that styling and that kind of song, she would have been out by week 3 max. Her vocals were also a lot ropier than I remember – goes to show the effort they must have put in last year, as if we didn’t know…

    Night all, comiserations to everyone that go stung by the result.

  • George

    Gifty looked furious. Some of the other contestants didn’t look too phased by her departure as well. Wonder if her fall out of favour was due to her not being the easiest to get along with.

  • Alan

    I thought Gifty was much the better in the sing-off but was on her at 8.6 so well happy with the result. It seemed to me they wanted her bottom 3 with the Strictly slot, rubbish song choice and then distracting argument and Simon’s teeth during the comments. It was a classic in how to appear postive whilst actually trying to ensure a lack of votes. Still thought they would save her over 4OD but at 8.6 she seemed like good value.

  • DannyCraig

    Xtra factor: Nathan’s tinder profile being mentioned & making comment to him hooking up with someone in the house. Is this the way they’re going to stop them from beating Matt & Emily?

  • Poker Coach

    This outcome increased my respect to the original blog post. Thank you Daniel.

  • Allan

    Anyone else pick up on the camera showing Matt laughing immediately as it was revealed Gifty was going??? It really didn’t look good for him!

    I’ve just watched this clip back a few times and there’s something fishy about this!

    Firstly to me it looks like that camera shot of Matt laughing was out of context….it was shown immediately after we knew Gifty was going and usually at that point all the contestants are sat open mouthed looking shocked or upset – not the case here!

    Which has left me wondering if that shot was from a moment or so earlier and was edited in to that point.

    If this is the case this could signify that tptb are about to start messing with Matt which could indicate that actually Emily is TCO as Sofabet predicted at the off!!

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