X Factor 2016 Week 5: Diamonds Aren’t Forever?

Halfway through the live shows, the eight remaining acts also seem to divide neatly in half. There are four in whom the show apparently retains an interest: Matt, Honey G, 5AM and Emily. Meanwhile, Sam seems to join Ryan, Saara and 4 of Diamonds on death row, wondering when their stay of execution will expire.

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4 of Diamonds are favourites to go next, followed by Saara. Ryan “Lifeline” Lawrie has drifted out in the betting, with Dermot confirming we again get a “bottom three”. Can anyone stand in the way of Sunday evening being Saving Private Ryan: Part IV?

In the last three weeks Freddy Parker, Ryan and Gifty have all been clobbered by the Strictly bus, so what to make of Matt Terry opening the show this evening? We wonder if this was producers’ way of saying to the acts: “no, of course it’s not a tactic to get rid of you!”

Matt got a VT about avoiding complacency, while also reinforcing the sex symbol meme, and preparing the ground for his first negative comments – which duly arrived as Louis thought it was “karaoke”, and to our ears it was indeed his weakest vocal. Simon “loved it”, though.

Overall, this felt like an easing off of the accelerator, which had to come sooner or later – they’d have risked burning out the engine by continuing at full throttle for another five weeks – rather than an application of the brakes.

Sam may have suffered a glancing blow from the Strictly bus, with her VT starting at 20:15 and performance at 20:17 (Strictly finished at 20 past). Her VT featured advice from Rebecca Ferguson and discussing her Dad with vocal coach Annabel (rebranded this week as Annie), but we didn’t actually see Dad himself, except in photos.

The staging was great, with the audience waving lights, a white-clad choir and the lighting focused on her. But the vocals sounded off to us, and the look on Sam’s face at the end suggested that she knew it. Louis then incongruously claimed that “you’re one of the few people who seem happy to be here”, which was interesting in hinting that other acts aren’t happy backstage.

Sam rather alarmingly claimed that it was the first time in her life that she’d connected with the lyrics of a song, and began to cry, to which Sharon rapidly urged “don’t cry, missus” (echoing what she’d once said to Abi Alton, when they were trying to ease her out but Sharon overcooked her criticism). Nicole duly softpedalled to avoid any further waterworks, gently saying that the song choice “dated” and “aged” Sam, and wasn’t “edgy” or “raw”.

Simon praised the song choice, but said nothing about Sam’s performance of it. Something else was noticeably absent: a cutaway to tearful, proud Dad in the audience, which is surely something the show wouldn’t have missed an opportunity to provide had they been looking to help.

Sam was thoroughly memory-holed by Honey G, and became the mover in the elimination markets, coming in to fourth favourite. If she escapes this week, her card does look more clearly marked now.

The Honey G show continued apace, with Mummy G in the audience and going through the #GrannyG tweets with Dermot. In a week where Professor Green and Lily Allen have called Honey offensive to black people, the VT twice referenced “haters” and showed her giving a motivational talk to a racially mixed class of schoolkids. Good work, producers!

It was another huge production – her best yet, we thought – and followed by a four-judge standing ovation, with a big crowd reaction, and the judges reiterating that that she is the act everyone is talking about. They couldn’t have made it clearer how desperate they are to keep her around.

Ryan’s VT featured repeated mentions of the words “bottom three”, and – rather cruelly – making him read out tweets that said he was “dismal” and didn’t deserve to be there. Chin up, Ryan.

To his credit, Ryan came out with a fun-filled performance – and to their credit, producers gave him a bit of dignity by allowing him a big production and plenty of vocal assistance. Louis duly praised his attitude, but Sharon claimed he hadn’t shown enough enthusiasm – then Simon defended him as “not a moaner”, again claimed that the repeated bottom threes had been good for him, and praised his fighting qualities.

To our mind there’s no particular reason to see a change in the dynamic of the last three weeks – Ryan losing out in Saturday’s vote, when he has to split the Scottish and teen girl vote, and sailing through the lifeline vote when he has those demographics to himself. The fact that producers are persisting with the lifeline vote suggests they’re comfortable for the Saving Private Ryan storyline to run for at least another week.

Louis still isn’t introducing 4 of Diamonds individually by name, and the poor girls were made to read out even more insulting tweets than Ryan’s, calling themselves “boring” and “like cats being strangled”. They were shown bonding with a slumber party and being supported by Yasmin’s sister’s schoolfriends in a video message, but the overall feel of the VT was more defeated and despondent than determined and defiant.

Then they sang a fairly dull song, in a fairly static way, repeating the message “hold on for one more day”, which may be prophetic. The judges were positive but with praise that felt nonmotivational to us, and there was no particular reason to think that 4 of Diamonds will suddenly hit the top five in the vote after two consecutive singoff appearances.

If they’re in a third consecutive singoff, the market reckons it’s likeliest to be against Saara, whose VT explained that her X Factor experience had helped people in Finland to see that it was okay to be different. Yay X Factor, changing Finnish culture!

In the Sofabet comments, Saara has been called the “singoff assassin” – the speculation being that producers are happy to have her repeatedly in the singoff, as she’s such a good singer and performer they can credibly save her over anyone, but because she’s a kooky foreigner they can also get rid of her at any point they want to. So it was amusing when the staging had her astride a gun barrel on a tank. Will she be blowing another act away in tomorrow’s singoff?

Otherwise, the staging was a Brian Friedman fever dream – some kind of high-concept colour-vomity Geisha thing, which we didn’t entirely understand on first watch. Simon said “you’re becoming the choreographer’s puppet” and it was “too costumey”.

This may have been getting the excuses in early to explain another singoff appearance, if one is in store. Saara brings much more in terms of performance and vocals than any of her likely rivals in such a singoff, so we’d be inclined to save her if we were running the show.

Next up was Emily, who didn’t have quite such a moment as last week, but was treated very positively: she was the only one to get the red carpet VT, then there was a moving bit about how the lyrics of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ reminded her of her mum. Nicole later referenced that, saying the song was not only for Emily’s mum but for all women.

Simon’s comments were encouraging for Emily’s long-term prospects: “you’ve created a sound, style and look for yourself which is recognisable, you’ve distinguished yourself from a lot of people in the competition”. However, there’s a danger of pigeonholing so we’d hope to see her go uptempo sooner rather than later.

5 After Midnight didn’t get the most promising of VTs, their “six hours later” struggle for a song choice recalling Ryan’s VT after his first bottom-three appearance (and which presaged his second). The rejection of song after song made it look like they weren’t confident in their own abilities.

The vocals also felt exposed and ropey to us, but the four-judge ovation and gushing comments clearly indicated that we were meant to have felt differently. Nicole claimed it was a “gamechanger”, bringing them “credibility”, while Simon said it was “so exciting, so refreshing”.

He also claimed “the best bands are not puppets” and said “everything felt like it was coming from you tonight”. The positivity of the comments felt at odds with the performance to us, but it does seem like the boys are back in producers’ good books.

The market suggests a bottom three of 4 of Diamonds, Lifeline Lawrie and Saara, with the Coatbridge Cavalry coming to the rescue again and the girlband being despatched. Do you take a different view? As ever, let us know below.

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

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169 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 5: Diamonds Aren’t Forever?

  • Poker Coach

    Thanks for your article Andrew. Your analyze is spot on. But it misses the big picture.

    Could you elaborate a bit more about producers big picture and reasoning behind the actions. It feels that now we see what is happening and what are the short term targets.

    It would be interesting to read about the situation they want to have when there are only 4 people left. And which are the steps they have to have to do beforehand to achieve it.

    • Hi Poker Coach, it’s bit too early to be confident about what they’d want to achieve in terms of the final four, even if we assume that (a) we’ve identified the planned final four correctly and (b) the public will play ball. Though tonight reinforced our suspicion that their top priority looks like getting Honey G to the final if they possibly can.

      Having caught up properly on comments to the previous thread, thought DannyCraig put it well: http://sofabet.com/2016/11/05/x-factor-2016-week-5-elimination/#comment-75746

      • Poker Coach

        For me it seems even much more complex than that.

        Today we saw, that they tried to decrease even Matts votes. Honey G is very tricky one, because it would be hard to save her in the sing off.

        If they save Honey G against Saara that could create too much outrage and claims about being fixed than what they want.

        So that’s why they need to transfer votes from Matt and Emily to Honey G AND make sure that none of the rest are going to get these votes. They criticize Matt about being karaoke like, they give emily similar songs to make her as boring as possible.

        And then they sabotage everybody else. I must say that if I look the show from the assumptions above, things start to make sense. But of course this is just my speculation and I am not very familiar with reality shows.

  • Poker Coach

    From X-Factor Facebook under Honey G picture:

    I can’t deny it that is the Best performance of the night so far. As much as many haters might dislike Honey G you can’t say that performance wasn’t entertaining. She is getting better each week and I respect her for putting on a show and keeping it real.

    -If the rest weren’t so average, she wouldn’t be doing so

    —–

    That answer not an analytical sofabet comment but frustrated and annoyed comment because the other acts did not deliver what the audience expect.

    I believe this is exactly what they need to get honey G in top 6 before being in B3.

    I cannot know how much higher they could take her with B3 system.

  • Poker Coach

    As long as the following are left:

    -Saara
    -4 of Diamonds
    -Ryan

    TPTB can be sure that Honey G is safe one more week -> possibly higher media coverage and more people watching the show.

    In order to achieve that they try to memoryhole Sam or prepare her so that she would be in the B3 next week.

  • Stu

    I didn’t view 5AM’s struggle to find a suitable song negatively. It made them look more determined and hard-working than anything but that’s just me.

    Likewise with 4OD’s VT – they had the “Jesy from Little Mix insecurity VT” with them reading horrible comments online. The staging and song arrangement actually made me think the producers were trying to replicate Little Mix’s “Don’t Let Go” moment. Simon did say “best performance of the series”. A pretty big statement for an act that isn’t in favour… I personally think the producers are giving 4OD one last push – even if just for another week.

    • deathfromabove

      I picked that up too, but the even with the judges judicious use of hyperbole, surely he meant *their* best performance of the series…

      • Alan

        Yes he meant their best performance but judging by one of the girls reaction she took it to mean best of anyone. I was surprised when he didn’t correct himself. Still dont think it will help them avoid bottom 3 though.

    • Difference between Little Mix’s dont let go moment. 4OD were very quickly telling the viewer “no matter what happens we have each other” “we will always be around each other to give each other hugs” Sympathy ended, motivation to vote gone.

      Just as you were starting to feel sorry for them.

  • Woofie

    I thought Honey G was much like Jedward in week 5 when they did Gostbusters and the narrative that their fans were younger children. That performance was considered a competent performance like Honey G this week.

    I found with Honey G there was a lot of red and black particularly at the end and red lights over the audience. I thought the VT gave the narrative this is very childish, it’s fun and not really serious. But the judge’s reaction was all positive so maybe these are not negatives. She did a good performance and unlike Jedward has the benefit of the app free voting, so maybe she picks up significant number of votes from people’s free 5 app votes for being entertaining.

    My thoughts were the leak of the lyrics to her own songs in the press doesn’t go with the primary school friendly image on the VT, which I expect to be get further attention after tonight.

    I thought 5AM were much better vocally then their other performances and to be fair the song was suited to their limitations. I thought their VT was about building up the tension and the element of risk. I am not sure the viewer would see it as a doubt about their abilities when it shown it was their work, they pulled it off and the judge’s comments were about their creditability as a group moving forwards. Taking all day to choose the right song could be interpreted as a good work ethnic and commitment. We know it has been used as negative before but in this context I don’t think it was intended to be a negative. We also had Spice Girls songs played throughout the show building up to their performance, would be interesting where they are in the voting. Their producer support though feels like it could change very easily.

    I am not sure about 4OD I think they have had a reprieve but it didn’t feel as though it would be generating a significant voter interest outside their current base but again the fee app voting may help.

    Saara’s clothing, staging etc., was completely at odds with the song. She performed well but it didn’t allow her to show off her vocal abilities. I also felt it was an “end of the journey” VT, she has accomplished what she set out to do.

    I thought Sam’s performance was not good in parts and it felt like it didn’t go anywhere but the emotions may have generated votes at the time.

    I don’t read too much into Matt’s order, song choice and performance. I am sure he will be given the pimp slot soon.

    I notice the word final was not used except by Honey G herself.

    It feels to me the producers are keeping their options open but will have to make decisions soon if they want to achieve their desired outcome.

  • Martin

    The narrative this week was set up early doors: everybody stepped it up last week, so naturally this week was going to be a massive let down. Love this recap of the show – in the absence of Bitchfactor (RIP), the little nuggets of humorous cynicism are always welcomed.

    Matt – interesting VT involving him ‘letting his hair down’ and harping on about the female attention yet again. I expected more to be made of that this week, especially given the song choice but it was another week, another good performance. It was very camp though, he reminds me of little Joe Mcelderry pretending to be Olly Murs.

    Sam – now the Emily train is back on track, it looks like Sam’s is being derailed. Again, they could have done a lot more for her with that song but it was so so all round. I think she’s the producers fifth favourite right now – happy for her to stick around but ultimately, she’s not a long term prospect. I’ve been a fan of hers so far, and this was my least favourite performance she’s done. I do think she does a great VT though, and they are continually anchoring her to past XF acts for some reason.

    Honey G – whatever they are doing for her is clearly working. If they can keep stepping it up, I don’t think they’ll have any trouble getting her in the final. The camera work was interesting too – it was shot more like a music video with more movement and ‘in the crowd’ shots, even with Nicole playing up to camera at one point. We’re all involved, you see?

    Ryan – oh poor Ryan and his abysmal VT. I liked his performance actually, it was a bit McFly but he looks so throroughly done with all this shit, bless him.

    4OD – their VT was very peculiar, probably on purpose. It was like the Insecure Jesy VT but if it were being spoofed by Ricky Gervais. I half expected one of them to wink at the camera. Anyway – that arrangement of ‘Hold On’ was horrific – like the first half of last weeks performance but all the way through. It all reminded me of Bellefire, if anybody remebers them. They’re toast this week, and tptb didn’t even need to try.

    Saara – ‘I need help’ ‘I’m different’ ‘you’re special’ – they’re treating being from Finland as if it’s a mental health problem, this week. My least favourite performance of hers so far, which is a shame. I think she’ll sing 4OD out of the bottom two.

    Emily – i wish her performances were as good as her personality is. Another positive VT, although I did laugh at the end where the security were dragging Ryan away so Emily could have photos on her own. I don’t like emily’s shtick and I doubt that she can carry on doing it and expect to make the final, there needs to be something more on offer, but i don’t see her in danger this week at least.

    5AM – I get the concerns about their dithering over song choice but I thought the framing of them working with the music team through the night came off extremely well. I liked the performance – vocally it felt better than the last two weeks.

    I think it’s a battle of the damaged goods this week, with 4OD off.

    • fused

      “It all reminded me of Bellefire, if anybody remembers them.”

      Oh, I remember Bellefire! I quite liked ‘Perfect Bliss’ when it was released. Then they did a U2 cover and I think that was pretty much it.

      They did a version of ‘What Hurts The Most’ too I think. That song has been covered by Jo O’Meara, Rascal Flatts and Cascada. Quite a varied bunch of chart also-rans there.

      I know all this isn’t really relevant to The X Factor, although if I remember rightly I think Bellefire were managed by Louis Walsh!

    • I really liked 4oD’s performance, regardless of whether it’s enough to keep them on the show tomorrow. Based purely on what I hear in their vocal, I actually have confidence in them as a band for the first time.

      You’re right that they do have a bit of Bellefire feel, but there’s a lot more energy present in 4oD’s vocals for me. I think they would be pretty comfortable doing gentle dance tracks like Lean On or retro numbers like LM’s new grat track F.U, which has been very well received.

  • Henry VIII

    Suicidal 4oD tweeted their foreign fans instructions on how to bypass the XF IP filter. Naughty girls. I got a screenshot of it because I knew they’d be forced to delete it.

    • Spiidey

      Can you upload it and post link please?

    • A Kel

      saara aalto has been doing this for the past 4 weeks now. This information has been shared over and over on her Facebook pages, and her fans are spreading it.Even one of the main newspapers published the instructions on their site so Saara is getting thousands and thousands of App votes from Finland and other countries from people using fake Apple IDs and VPN services.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Thousands and thousands? From other countries? Doesn’t seem to be doing her much good. Have you got any screenshots or links to this?

        • HL

          It’s a bit hard to believe that 4oD or Saara or any other act would have been stupid enough to give instructions themselves. However, the most passionate fans are of course trying to find loopholes. I managed to find some instructions how to do it, but they were terribly hard to follow. How many foreign people have access to a valid UK credit card number to create a fake ID to Apple store UK? Just to start with. You should be able to fake your location too. So here is my free tip to all contestants: don’t hold your breath while waiting the international voters to come in rescue.

  • Anglia Chu

    Matt had bad staging and dodgy commentary but it doesn’t matter.

    Sam had good staging but she looked like someone who was made to dress up and sing a song she doesn’t like. She “connected” with the song but did she, really? Doesn’t sound like it.

    Honey G is good if viewed in the frame that she’s catered to old people. As a “genuine rap artist”, though, her shtick is dead and people are sick of it. Both these views contribute to votes so I don’t know how she will fare.

    Ryan’s performance reminded me of Sam Callahan’s swan song three years ago, but with less red flags. He seems to have more fun now because he pretty much knows his place in the show or something.

    4oD’s background looked like a tribute for a girl group that passed away in some freak accident. It was sympathetic overall but lifeless.

    Saara had fun staging again but it’s a step down from the last two weeks. It’s hard to do much with a song meant for, umm, non-Saara ladies.

    Emily is being pigeonholed further. Whether it’s to temper her vote or because this is where her vote does best, I’m not 100% sure.

    5AM are safe.

  • Anglia Chu

    In terms of B3 safety, this feels hard because the canonical B3 choice (Ryan-Saara-4oD) are chosen mainly from historical precedence, which is a good way of choosing but given that they’re 3 acts and there are 3 spots, there is room for error.

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

  • Alex

    Watching the show live without any internet, my first immediate thought regarding 4oD was sympathy for them. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that. It’s a long shot, but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they dodge the bottom three and Sam drops in. For that reason I’ve had a small nibble on a Sam elimination. Ryan I assume would win the flash vote (again) and Saara has the vocal chops for the judges to justifiably save her over Sam in a sing off.

  • 360

    What immediately struck me about Saara’s extremely Asian-themed getup this week was that if this is construed as racist given that Saara is a white woman, it will take the heat off Honey G’s act being called out as blackface and offensive.

    It really seemed like a reason that they would choose that staging.

    I’ve just watched tonight’s on catchup. They did all they could for 4oD with the better clothes, harmonies, positive VT and gold lighting throughout. Having seen 5AM’s performance, on performance alone it felt like 4oD were challenging for alpha as 5AM’s vocals were really exposed and the song didn’t go anywhere. 4 Judge standing ovation though, so they are still definitely favoured despite their lack of vocal proficiency.

    Mixed messages for Sam. Interesting to give her a me-and-my-dad VT in the same week Emily gets a me-and-my-mum. Sam’s outfit chipped away at her usual style and I didn’t think was a great look on her. The tears will have helped her though and I couldn’t help but be amused at Sharon panickedly telling her not to cry, just as she did to Abi Alton in the past. I thought, despite the dedications, the lyrics of neither Sam’s or Emily’s songs were quite appropriate to be sung to a parent. Emily also had, I felt, extremely distracting staging, and is being now pigeonholed as a theatrical Ella Henderson.

    I felt Saara was definitely a target. The theme was bizarre, song didn’t really go anywhere, and it was a jump to have a VT about how much she loved the Spice Girls, to then have her singing Girls Aloud. I also felt in Saara’s VT that some of her audio had been chopped into statements that felt edited-together.

    That came up in Honey G’s VT as well. Notably, she was never in shot with any of the large group of kids in the audience, which made me question if she was actually there (esp. given reports that she ducked out of other public appearances this week and stayed at the house). She does later meet some kids in a classroom, but I thought it was a strange choice to keep cutting between close-up shots of her with a blank wall behind her and the audience looking at *something*, with no Honey G in shot.

    I actually thought they went with Ryan’s bounce as much as possible. That was a big production, he had his hair, and his tattoos were hidden as much as possible – nans will be happy. Matt, conversely was given more mixed treatment – the huge focus on ‘female attention’ in the VT which he said he was uncomfortable with, seguing into a song whose chorus is “if you wanna do it do it right, do it with me” while girls gyrate around him.

    There was red and black lighting for Matt briefly and for Honey G briefly this week.

    What I think we have to think about at this stage is vote transfer and who they want to ultimately win. I’m thinking this week they might cull Saara, having made her sufficiently kooky for her votes to transfer to Honey G. Ryan is there to dilute Emily’s vote, even if by only a little. 4oD may gain some ex-Gifty votes this week, as might 5AM and either Emily or Sam.

    An interesting show, all in all. Watching just the performances and just listening to the judges’ comments while doing something else is an eye opening experience.

    • Chance

      In Honey’s VT, you could see the kids reflected in her stupid, stupid, sunglasses during the close ups of her talking. So I doubt that was completely faked. Probably a little bit not completely.

    • Anglia Chu

      I’m seeing articles saying Saara is culturally appropriating Asian culture so your first theory is sensible.

    • Woofie

      I agree that vocally 4OD are better than 5AM but I do think the audience gives the boys a bit of slack on vocals but expectations for the girls is higher. They came into the show with high expectations but have not (or been allowed) to deliver. I thought last night was about giving a little help to 4OD but I don’t know if it was enough.

  • My notes:

    If you didn’t know, you’d think 1D won this show. Dermot confirms the Ryan save continues. Matt on first with Slavery in the death slot. 5AM in the pimp slot – they must have just escaped the danger zone last week.

    MATT: Sickeningly positive VT. This showbiz journalist is hilariously cringe. Female attention the theme of the VT. This has to be a deramp. He’s got a cheesy 80s song, his vocals are distinctly average, he’s been put out under the Strictly bus and it’s undisputably a Red & Blacking. Only Nicole stands. Louis is lukewarm, but Simon compares him to Olly Murs. Which you can either read as having a successful singing career, or not exactly being in the same league as Messers O’ Leary and Mede as a presenter. Still saying *GREEN*.

    SLAVERY: Simon admits he cocked it with Total Eclipse. Rebecca Ferguson in the VT. Fuck me, has she still got a career? Et Tu Annabel is now Et Tu Annie. TEARS. LOTS OF TEARS. But the death slot. If she wasn’t already an Aldi version of Cheryl Whatever-she’s-called-this-week, they’ve given her a song Girls Aloud recorded. But The Pretenders, the original artists, were loosely a rock band right? Oh this is very Louisa Johnson. Angelic choir. Lots of lighters in the air. Nobody stands. Louis says she’s “one of the few people still happy to be here.” Sharon does the Abi Alton Memorial make-her-cry trick. Nicole sticks in the knife, but brings up the “edgy” and “raw” thing – when “you first came to us”… that’s why she got stripped back afterwards, right? *AMBER*

    HONEY G: Dermot’s next to Honey G’s family, and the Memes continue. Oh this is so boring. This VT is child abuse. Somebody call Operation Yewtree, please. And what education authority signed this off?! Massive production again taking over half of Fountain. Oh well, it’s getting bulldozed next year. Major Red & Black. Could this be an attempt to get her into the B3/2 for a “controversial” save? It’ll make a change from Ryan I guess. All but Louis stand. Universal praise. Remember that Cowell signed some utter shit in the 90s. He knows what he’s doing. Surely a time will come soon when TPTB will not be able to put the brakes on her? At what point do they call time on her whilst… correction IF they’re still able to nuke her? *GREEN*

    RYAN: Twitter is abusing him. I await the day a contestant gets burned on Sofabet and it’s read out in a VT. “Maybe I’m not wanted here.” You’re B3 every week love. You work it out. People in the house don’t want him around? Ouch. Everything’s about his poor record in the competition. No Emily this week. That shirt is pure Colour Vomit. Very karaoke performance. Colour Vomit lighting and possible implied gang-rape at the end. Messy performance. Only Nicole stands. Sharon puts the boot in. Dermot: “That’s the first good feedback you’ve had from Simon.” You bitch Dermot. *RED*

    4OD: More Twitter abuse. Theme of the VT is the sisterhood. TEARS! Nothing about the song at all, interestly. Song is the Conway Sisters Memorial Track, Hold On by Wilson Phillips. Well known for being in Bridesmaids, as Sharon points out, so the younger audience will get it. As it was with the Conways way back in the days of Kate Thornton, it’s been used to show off harmonies to great effect. That’s definitely a “work with the bounce”. *GREEN*

    SAARA: VT seems very “end-of-journey”. Do we know who flew from Finland to interview her – would be interested to know if it’s YLE (Eurovision) or whatever network airs The Voice? WTF with the wig? That’s some serious colour vomit. The staging and her styling is giving me really bad flashbacks of Germany’s Jamie-Lee from this year’s Eurovision. That was really weak compared to All So Quiet. Judges give a mixed reaction. Sharon goes on about her work ethic. Isn’t that why we employ foreign people? 😉 *RED*

    EMILY: Emotional Creep recap. Ryan’s in her VT. As is Heart’s mic. Continuing to play all the cards Daniel went through in the midweek review in the VT. Another John Lewis cover, but less Emily Middlemass and more Emily DeForrest with the bare feet. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Very high concept staging with those butterflies. Another pimping. Louis says she’s the future. Are TPTB switching horses? *GREEN*

    5AM: Distracting intro with Simon and Louis’ ears. Gifty’s exit is the theme of the VT. Interesting. Average performance, but I’d argue of all the Spice Girls’ hits from 20 years ago, Say You’ll Be There is arguably the most credible. Crap arrangement. Universal ovation from the judges.

    Ryan, Saara and 4OD for the B3. Ryan saved by the public (again) and it’ll go to deadlock for the ladies.

    • Cath

      James, why have you predicted 4OD for bottom 3, when you have them as green and Slavery as Amber? I’m not sure I understand your colour coding.

    • Stu

      I agree on the most part – I’m still not sold on why red-and-blacking is necessarily a bad thing. The colour code for the XF opening titles is red and black. 😀

      I’m still firmly expecting a 4OD, Ryan & Saara B3 with Ryan saved and 4OD leaving. 4OD are red hot favourites to leave and it’s Sunday afternoon. Usually the acts in danger are indicated by movements in the elimination market. Sam’s actually drifting slightly.

  • Poker Coach

    How much do the competitors know about the show?

    They always act along. They pretend that they have chosen what to sing and how to perform it. They never criticize the production team but when things go well they occasionally give thanks for the production team.

    It looks like they perform as a hired actors who pretend that they don’t notice any production tricks. Why does it look that way?

    • 360

      Re “you chose the song” the way they do that is sneaky. I haven’t seen ot mentioned on here in a while so I’m not sure if people are aware of it…?

      They give tge acts a choice of three every week. Maybe sometimes the mentor or the producers push hard for one choice over others. Maybe sometimes they contrive circumstances to force one choice – e.g. copyrights expired; another act already chose that song…

      Of course when they say “YOU chose the song” it gives the impression the contestant chose it randomly out of thin air. What actually happens is “YOU chose the song out of the options we gave.” That’s what the contestants understand the statement to mean and that’s why they glumly nod along, agreeing. Unaware that out of context the audience get a totally different impression from that.

  • Anglia Chu

    Watching the shady viewer portion of Xtra Factor (where Louis was confronted with her criticism of Cheryl/Rita and Sharon kept saying G4 should’ve won series 1). Louis said the finalists should be his groups (he’s being nice) and EMILY, based on this week’s performances.

    Both Ryan and 4oD had slivers of sympathy handed to them. Perhaps SOMEONE ELSE is a target to sink (if possible), like Sam…

  • Up until last week I had Emily red rectified that during Creep, she’s now a solid green. All week been coming around to the idea she’s plan A and Matt isnt.

    However what doesn’t make any sense to me, why wasn’t their any Scottish mention this week? I can make excuses for it for first 4 weeks, I don’t think she was plan then. last week I can make an excuse for it, they where checking how it came accross before giving it the ok to push.

    But this week I can’t. no mention of it in VT, judges comments or in intro by Nicole, not even mentioned by Dermot.

    I find it hard to accept “they are saving it, they don’t need it yet” what’s benefit in saving it? If she’s your plan A put it in, doesn’t need to be rammed home, it’s not a sympathy vote, just a brief mention once would be enough.

    If they did and I missed it this week, let me know when and ignore this post!

    • Stu

      Do they really need to though? Any Scottish viewers will immediately know where she’s from just by hearing her talk. Also, didn’t Emily and/or Ryan talk about how they’re the last two Scottish acts in the competition one week? (or something along those lines)

      • Dont “need” to do it no. But it helps and if Emily is currently your plan A then again why not say it? I was referring mainly to this week and last week not mentioned I dont think.

        View for me is, she wasnt plan A going into the comp, but may have become it the last 2 weeks. Not using the Scottish vote to your absolute advantage brings questions for me.

        • stoney

          It’s hard to work out whether they would do that for their plan A to be honest. I don’t remember them doing it for Rebecca Fergerson. Once it gets to the business end of the competition IF Emily is plan A they will use it when she really needs the help.

          • Rebecca Ferguson wasnt Scottish?
            Or plan A?

          • stoney

            I know she was a scouse but the same thinking applies. She was plan A by the time of the final.
            They hammered home the liverpool connection on final night if i remember correctly

          • For her to be Plan A in the final, your thinking they realistically thought they could beat Matt?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X_Factor_(UK_series_7)

            Not sure about that.

            Think Scottish vote is much bigger and harder to control than liverpool vote anyway. So not really too relevant for me.

            If she was Plan A at the moment, I think we would of heard more “Scottish” comments this week. That doesnt mean she wont cement her place as Plan A in the next few weeks though… Just wondered if anyone had an explanation for it that I hadn’t came to yet.

          • stoney

            She was only about 6% behind him with the final vote. Previous to that she only polled 7% behind him in the semi final. It wasn’t impossible for her to get past him on final night

          • I disagree with your view here. But even if so and your correct and Rebecca was the Plan A at the final and Scottish vote is relevant to scouse vote and Rebecca didnt win then..

            If Emily is Plan A, better to be precise and start encouraging and drawing in the Scottish vote now, as it didnt help Rebecca saving it until the final!

          • stoney

            I don’t believe she is plan A so we may never get the answer to that. I think the fact they have put another scottish act in the final rules out the chance of her ever being the original plan A. Maybe they introduced the lifeline vote to keep them both in to dilute the vote and stop it getting out of control. I haven’t seen anything of Emily so far to make me see why they would be switching horses at this point either. But they have the voting figures and we don’t.
            I still fully expect Matt has won every week

  • David Cook

    Matt – beyond bland. About as charismatic as Bill Turnbull. So still the winner.

    Sam – defo not Chrissie Hynde. According to a recent interview Chrissie doesn’t think of herself as being a proper singer. So Sam’s got that part of it cracked.

    Honey G – it’s the Emperors new suit. Destroy everyone else and it doesn’t look quite so bad. Still as charismatic as Bill Turnbull after a charisma bypass and as entertaining as a wet weekend in Skegness.

    Ryan – well he’s still there and as it’s B3 we can all look forward to seeing him again next week.

    4OD – vocally almost competent this week. Can’t say anything else about the performance as there was no performance.

    Saara – words defy me. If I didn’t know it was deliberate I would probably suggest Brian lays off the drugs for a while.

    Emily – sorry can’t comment – fell asleep watching her.

    5am – vocally weak – again. Otherwise almost passable. Standing ovation – probably just thanking God it’s all over.

    Still a succesfull show all round and the narrative rolls on. Who gives a toss about those little things like entertainment or ratings.

  • Plinkiplonk

    Great article, agree with virtually everything in it. Just to add a few bits:

    – I think we know now why Gifty was shafted last week. She appeared in at least 3 VTs, making 2 of the acts (Ryan + 4oD) look like they were there undeservedly in her place, and giving 4aM a bit of sympathy by association. Somebody give her the FleurEast Memorial trophy asap.

    – While I stand by my belief that Saara in the original tool to kill whoever falls into the B2 with her, I also think Ryan’s role is now to enable them to get rid of the third from the bottom if needed. Full voting figures will make interesting reading.

    – In regards to Ryan, I belief he would never been allowed close to the live shows without his relationship to Emily, and I still maintain a possible B2 with her was on TPTBs wishlist, but obviously not now that she is groomed for the final.

    – I think Matt’s treatment this week was a slow down rather than a full break. I would say he got a bit too far ahead in the votes, and Emily needed to catch up a bit. From a mathematical point of view, the more votes Matt & Emily can hoover up between them, the less is left to be shared between the others, and the easier it gets to push a certain act (like the Honeymonster) into third.

    – Looks like 5aM are being kept warm in case the Honey G plan falters for the final.

  • EM

    I think here’s a shed load of overthinking going on in the comments this weekend.

    The show cares about two things. Ratings and getting some viable recording acts out of the process.

    Yes these two things can be complex and nuanced but there really isn’t the Machiavellian and labyrinthine plotting going on that some of the comments suggest.

    PS Sam’s signing was bloody awful.

    • Henry VIII

      The concept was started to get popstars. Syco sacrifices ratings for that. ITV shouldn’t allow that but they don’t interfere.

      It may not be logical but that’s the way it is.

      • EM

        You’re mistaken. It’s first and foremost a television format. The record company aspect is to use it as a launch pad for careers, the smaller the audience the smaller the launch pad.

        That’s not to say that the producers haven’t taken decisions that have lost audience but never will they sacrifice audience deliberately.

  • Woofie

    I don’t expect the producers will drag Honey G to the final with a series of sing off saves. Like Reggie n Bollie they have to get there on public merit. I don’t think they will want a contestant who is a total figure of “hate” to be in the final. I expect them to continue the charm offensive and hopefully getting enough of the audience to like her, finding her harmless, entertaining and good fun. I think the word “turnaround” was used last night.

    I do agree that the press around Honey G if it is steered from racist tones is welcomed but up to a point. If she completely over shadows the better singers and is the face of 2016 that does not bode well for the brand. These contestants are useful but surely you have to get back to the seriousness of the competition? Even if they think they could make some commercial impact with Honey G it would be turning the show into a joke full stop… blurring the lines between X Factor and BGT. If The Voice can produce a credible winner with chart success game over.

    I think in the short term it I expect the producers will be picking off the unfavoured contestants and keeping their other option(s) in contention. I agree that at this stage I do think it’s going to be between Honey G vs 5AM with Matt and Emily for the final. If they are through this week it will be interesting to see if the producers give 5AM full on support next week (week 2 treatment) or just enough to keep them above the danger zone.

  • First on
    Strictly slot
    Red and Black
    Only Nicole standing
    Karaoke
    Distracting comments

    Who likes… Snakes?
    https://s14.postimg.org/url5r7f7l/snake_eyes.jpg

  • Alan

    To accept the idea that Emily is Plan A rather than Matt you have to believe that Cowell thinks she is a better commercial proposition than Matt. Im not sure I buy into that idea. I think Matt could easily go the way of most winners and get dropped after one unsuccessful album but he could also do an Olly Murrs and make Cowell a small fortune too. It could go either way and Syco have proved they can make it successful in the past.

    Emily? I just dont see her being any kind of success on a label like Syco. Artists in that style who are successful are usually more independent and achieve success on their own terms. They’re usually talented song-writers who build up an underground following first. Its the polar-opposite of the “music by marketing committee” approach of Cowell.

    It does feel like TPTB are testing the waters though this week to see if they can get Emily above Matt if they so desire. As someone pointed out though if this were the case why not throw the Scottish vote thing into the mix too?

    All will be revealed when we see the voting percentages.

    Think pretty much everyone has got the same B3 this week – Ryan, 4oD and Saara. Could Sam drop in there? At 10-1 to go she is reasonable value but I think they will save killing her til later on. They did the shock elimination last week.

    4oD to go for me.

    • Gavster

      Matt doesn’t have the personality to follow Olly. The VTs appear to show him as being socially inept, whereas Emily is constantly shown as a relatable girl next door character, someone you’d trust to babysit your kids etc.

      Matt is starting to go a bit Jahmene, all voice but no personality.

  • stoney

    Matt is almost touching evens now. Get on him now because that price is printing money.

    • Curtis

      I still find it super hard to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t win. If you asked someone to design a person who was as typical an X Factor winner as you can be, they would design Matt Terry. I’ve never been convinced the show are particularly keen on him winning – I think he’s more the guy they’re going to let win than the guy they really want to win, but they’d have to do something pretty drastic to stop him.

      • stoney

        I can’t see why they would want Emily to win either. She isn’t going to do much after the show. I reckon 5am would be there ideal winners but I imagine they are too far off the leader/s to have any real chance of winning

  • Cath

    Sam – did anyone else find that photo of her as a child bride, stood next to her dad quite odd in her VT? What do we make of the new hair do? She looked quite different to previous weeks and less rock. The staging looked like they were trying to give her a ‘moment’, but comments went totally the other way.

    Ryan – those dancers did him no favours; especially when he pushed them all to the ground at the end (violent to women?) And they all ended up walking off with a male dancer each whilst he was left alone. Sharon was brutal with her ”is that you really letting your hair down? Is that the best you can do?” comments.

    Sarra – that tank staying was reminiscent of Cher’s Turn Back Time video. Explains the inspiration, but will have done get no favours at all. St least she wasn’t wearing the same outfit as Cher! In her VT, the message seemed to be that she came on UK X Factor to help her career in Finland, not even interested in her UK fans! Very damaging! I’m hoping for a save in the sing off for her.
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/BsKbwR7WXN4/maxresdefault.jpg

  • Alan

    Simons comments to Matt made me smile “you cant do the same thing every week”. Errr does that not apply to Emily then????

  • Linda

    I hope Honey G makes it to the final. I’m sick to the back teeth of political correctness.

    • Edie M

      Funny that, because I’m sick to the back teeth of endemic racism.

    • Anglia Chu

      I’m pretty sure “political correctness” is the least of her problems.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Why bother yourself about little things like talent and respect for the music, or for other people, when you’ve got the opportunity to indulge your meanest and pettiest prejudices, eh?

      Well done you.

      • David Cook

        Well done XF.

      • Linda

        I apologise Jessica, my post was poorly worded. I’m just angry at the attacks on Honey G that say a white girl shouldn’t sing “black” songs. Music is universal and anyone should be able to sing anything they like. I’m worried that there is a creeping train of thought that there are artistic lines that shouldnt be crossed. That raises her to me above the role of joke contestant to an important and credible one.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Fair point. I’m uncomfortable with the concept of cultural appropriation too, but in my experience people who complain about political correctness often just want to be allowed to express racist, sexist and/or homophobic sentiments without fear of censure. I’m much more uncomfortable with that.

          • Manufactured controversies. Honey G is just a woman incompetently performing her preferred genre of music. Saara’s staging/perf was fine apart from the silly wig, which over and above any issues of potential offence (I for one was OUTRAGED and will be chaining myself to Dermot in protest) just didn’t look good.

            The Honey G race argument is that she’s been put through to the live shows even though she’s terrible, while plenty of other talented acts who auditioned (of all colours and creeds, including black singers and presumably black rappers, insofar as any rappers actually apply to TXF) were sent home in her place. So she’s taking someone’s spot precisely because the show esteems her awfulness, while a black person performing the same skill competently wouldn’t have been put through. This applies to novelty acts in general though, they’re always taking the spot of another act with real talent, but it’s a tabloid show for a tabloid culture.

            Honey G is also not a hero defying the tyranny of PC culture by daring to perform an African-American genre of music badly as a middle-aged white British woman. She’s just a nutjob, and a product of entitlement culture where we can all be exactly what we want and woe betide anyone who tells us otherwise. The show is playing to this, and encouraging the nation to, and it won’t be to her ultimate benefit – it just makes her more deluded.

          • Jessica Hamby

            For the avoidance of doubt, the aspect of cultural appropriation that I’m uncomfortable with is that it actually exists. I don’t have a philosophical or moral problem with a white woman rapping badly. I have a problem with bad art. I don’t think Honey G is deliberately mocking or belittling rap either (which I wouldn’t like). I just think she’s not very good.

          • Linda

            Points completely taken, you are right.

  • Spiidey

    I believe they want a bottom 3 this week of Ryan, Saara and Sam. This would allow them to get rid of Sam credibly (by being outperformed in the sing off by Saara).

    Hence the 4oD push to try and get them to 4th bottom – as they would find it much harder to justify saving 4oD over Sam, particularly after last week’s backlash against Gifty being bored over them.

    Having said that, I don’t think they’ll get what they want – Sam will probably poll 4th bottom with a bottom 3 of Ryan, Saara and 4oD.

    • Phil

      Not sure I’d have called it a 4oD push. It was incredibly dull and sounded awful. If that’s them being given a push, I’d hate to see a full-on hatchet job.

      • Curtis

        Without being too snaky, how much control do the producers have in terms of 4oD being dull and sounding awful? What the producers did for them was give them nice goldish staging, a suitable song with harmonies, and good judges comments. I’d say it was at worst a half-hearted attempt to give them a bit of support – certainly no hatchet job.

    • Alan

      @ Spiidey – That’s an interesting theory and totally plausible if 4oD were third bottom last week and Sam only slightly above them. I felt 4oDs treatment was pretty sympathetic but that they just didn’t really help themselves with their performance. Would they kill off Sam while they have the chance? Might be worth a small bet at 10s.

      • Alan

        Having only just seen Sam’s song and comments I would definitely think she’s worth a punt to go at 10s. I thought the performance was poor and the comments are totally non-motivational. Similar to Gifty last week in that they appeared to be saying nice things but made absolutely no attempt to say anything that would make people want to vote. Also rather than saying what a great performance it was Simon,her own mentor and (to many I think) the judge whose comments hold the most weight, spends his entire time justifying the song choice. I was almost expecting him to have put the fangs back in for further distraction. Sandwiched between Matt and Honey G? Definite target.

    • Tina

      I wish Sam went, she is the worst of the lot. 4OD and Saara are far better singers and Ryan gets the lifeline votes.

  • Pro punter

    It’s so obvious now that the final they want is Matt Emily and honey g with Emily been plan A if Matt was plan A he would be around 3s on so if you think the public won’t play ball then evs is a great price only 2 winners ov the show have won it without being plan a in Matt cardle and Ben I’d rather take a price on the final been the 3 mentioned above than the outright I don’t think Matt has the same likeability as cardle and Ben therefore without been plan A evs is to skinny for me

    • Alan

      When they want a female winner the male contestants are usually mingers. See 2015. On that basis they clearly didn’t have Emily as Plan A before the lives. She hasn’t done enough to make me think they’ve changed their minds.

    • Curtis

      Were Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson, Alexandra Burke, Joe McElderry, James Arthur, and Sam Bailey Plan A? Certainly some of those acts became Plan A but only once their real Plan A fell by the wayside.

  • stoney

    I don’t think Matt is any more dull than Ben Hannoew was
    They will be pulling in pretty much to same vote pool except Matt will be doing better in the teen range i believe

    • annie

      ben was much fitter, he was a man…. matt is young and somewhat cheesy… i don˝t see women who are not teenager nor grandma finding him appealing, and the fact they they try to shove him down as sexy almost makes a parody of him I feel.

      • stoney

        Fair point I’ll take your opinion as more valid as I’m just guessing what girls think. However even as you say the teen and grandma vote is still hugely significant

      • David Cook

        We don’t quite know what the voting demographic is now. There was an article regarding research for advertising which indicated the largest proportion of viewers were females aged 30’s and 40’s. That’s probably going back 4 or 5 years now. Since then the audience has dropped at least 30% and they’ve brought in the app vote. Maybe the key voters are younger now?

        • stoney

          I would imagine so because of free app voting. I can’t imagine many picking up a phone to vote anymore but if so it would be older viewers

  • Scott

    My takeaway from Saara was “different”. And incredibly middle England unfriendly. You still can’t see Four of Diamonds as a coherent girlband, and Ryan was poor again. Ryan to be saved in the flash, then toss a coin. All saving Honey G, of course.

  • Nick

    After sussing the “saving private ryan” train…we’ve had decent priced eliminations the last two weeks.
    Can we get the same this week?
    As at Sunday 2.30pm……
    Assuming the Ryan vote continues, he’s safe at 9/2.
    Surely the only way 4OD stay is if they arent bottom two…so are favs at 11/10 …obviously no value.
    So if 4OD somehow avoid bottom 3 then the bottom 2 should be Sara 9/4 and Sam 10/1.

    Therefore for me…..value and a bet in Sam and a saver bet on 4OD.

  • Stu

    Did anyone else find Honey G’s backstage entrance to the main stage reminiscent of Jimmy SaVILE in the Is This The Way to Amarillo video for Comic Relief? The tracksuit, the shades, the walking through corridors… it was the first thing I thought when I saw it. I wonder if any other viewers thought likewise?

    I’d be very surprised if Matt doesn’t win this unfortunately. He’s exactly what Louis Tomlinson would be if he could sing.

    But… who was the last Scot to make the final of XF? Leon Jackson right? He’s to date the only winner who upset the bookies. Everybody thought Rhydian had it in the bag that year. It was the skilled, polished opera singer vs a boy who was ripped apart in week 1 due to a nervous car crash of a performance. And that might have been back when the total votes were generally much higher than they are now. If Leon can win against the odds, surely Emily can with far better treatment? The Scottish vote is a major factor.

    • Plinkiplonk

      I think the last Scottish finalist was wee Nicholas McDonald, and it took some major bussing to get him off the top spot, like making him sing ‘Candy’ and a duet with Shane Westlife…

      • stoney

        Yeah i was horrified at the week by week treatment of him as I was watching my xmas bonus slip out of my hands. Was the ultimate hatch up job

      • Jessica Hamby

        Was he that close? I thought Sam Bailey had it pretty much sown up (although I agree they went medieval on his ass).

        • stoney

          The week before the final he was little more than 1% behind her in the vote. I remember saying at the time that it must have been close when they gave him Candy in the final. They were taking no chances. Just like when Marcus Collins got the cheesy outkast song. Brutal.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I didn’t realise it was that close. Candy was brutal though.

            It’s depressing to think back and realise just how much time I’ve wasted watching poor performances of rubbish songs. I’ve got to stop this.

      • Stu

        Oh of course. To think I’ve watched this show year-in-year-out and he slipped my mind. And Stoney, Hey Ya is a classic!

  • Jessica Hamby

    A few thoughts….

    Horrible, bland, dreary show last night.

    It’s interesting to contrast the “sex-symbol” Matt with the “you’re beautiful / empowerment” thing they’ve got going on for Emily. I’ve seen articles talking about how Matt has already won. The “peak too soon” is probably the only way they can stop him from winning it and if they can contrive to make him seem a bit sleazy and a bit of a player then that could bring him down.

    Vocally Matt was very ordinary last night. Encouraging him to sing songs where he can’t use his full range and where he is expected to move and even dance on the stage will demotivate votes. He doesn’t seem to have much stagecraft.

    Although it seems unlikely given their respective treatment I wonder what would happen if Sam goes b3 and Ryan somehow avoids it. Sam was treated well but her vocal stank, Ryan was treated badly but his overall performance was actually quite good. A b3 of Sam, 4OD and Saara would be interesting. In that scenario I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see Saara escape and the other two sing off.

    Saara continues to be treated as a sort of Brattavio lite in terms of visual presentation. It’s as if they can’t do anything to stop her voice so they’re going to make her look as ridiculous and repellent as possible to discourage votes.

    I didn’t like 5AM. The ovation and praise seemed completely over the top to me. I wonder how the general viewer saw it. I thought it wasn’t quite funk and it wasn’t quite contemporary R&B although it tried a bit to be both (as for Stevie Wonder – PAH!). The arrangement didn’t work for me and their vocals still sound a bit weak. Obviously tptb are persisting with them at the moment. I wonder if their vocals can be relied upon.

    Emily was a bit dull. They need to find something uptempo for her in the next few weeks or people will start thinking “oh no, not her” when she comes on. If not an uptempo song then some variety in a number would make her more appealing.

    I agree that the value bet is Sam but I wouldn’t like to call a sing off between Saara and 4OD. There are justifications to save either and Saara’s treatment yesterday was not at all helpful. She could easily be bottom of the vote and ripe for a deadlock elimination.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Rebecca Ferguson released an album called Lady Sings The Blues last year. It’s good but it’s not at all for the audience Sam is being aimed at (mind you, is anyone – who listens to power ballads in 2016?).

      https://youtu.be/AAO2qvTYUMU

      She also had an album called Superwoman out this year.

      https://youtu.be/WkMOfRYYwJI

      https://youtu.be/WhGIjGSVszE?list=RDWhGIjGSVszE

      • Martin

        They keep doing this with Sam. It was Rebecca Ferguson this week, previously they’ve shown her fawning all over James Arthur in a VT and in another one she was spouting off about all the previous XF acts she was a fan of – Leona, 1D and Louisa. Much like Gifty was a vessel for Simon to promote Fifth Harmony, it seems Sam is being used as a mouthpiece to shout about how marvellous this show is, and to show that young people are still a fan of all the people that come off the show.

        It certainly does seem difficult to imagine Sam Lavery avidly following Rebecca Ferguson’s career since she was 12 years old, given the drivel she’s put out ever since.

  • Poker Coach

    There is an article in Finnish tabloid about Saaras journey in X-factor

    http://www.iltalehti.fi/viihde/2016110622575509_vi.shtml

    Translated into english it says shortly that Saara has nothing to do with how the show presents her.

    -Saara does not choose her songs or costumes. Even the dialoque is completely scripted. Whe she is interviewed about the destiny of competitors end of journey, recording stops and Saara is told what to answer. Then she repeats everything as her own comments.

    Article also says that Saara is generally happy how the show portaits her.

    • I’ve just whacked that through Google Translate. Bit of an eye opener from what I could understand – also confirms that it’s YLE who were over here to flim her. Wonder if she might be a serious contender to fly the Finnish flag in Kiev?

  • Three Wise Monkyes

    I always watch for the act that looks petrified. This week it was Sam for me. Gifty knew last week and Relley the week before that, I feel.

    The acts have an idea about the show now to a certain degree, they are only aware of how they are being portrayed on the night. They watch the their VTs just before going onto the stage, and only know the staging when going on.

    The show can change anything they want, even upto, or not long before the show goes Live. That’s the reason I look for the act that knows they’re being lead to the slaughter.

  • DannyCraig

    Was wondering whether honey g to be announced safe first at 3/1 could be an interesting spot of value?
    We’re all agreed that yesterday’s show pimped her & what a way to suggest to the public that she did well by calling her safe first?
    Not a market I usually play in, so I would welcome people’s opinions

    • EM

      Avoid, there’s little rhyme nor reason to the reveal order

      • DannyCraig

        Is that true? My logic is as follows…

        We know there’s only 8 acts, of which 3 are at the bottom.

        We also know they *usually* put someone in danger as the last announced safe.

        So then it’s down to the big 4.
        I imagine it’s a toss up between honey g & 5am to be announced safe first.

    • stoney

      I have to admit sometimes occasionly i get a hunch as to who their gonna call first. I think also they may call someone safe first that’s previously been in the bottom 2. Aside from that it’s an absolute lottery. A silly market to get involved in unless you land a rank outsider at big odds

  • stoney

    1% between matt and Emily at the top. Wow

    Probably on around 20% each

    3rd and 4th probably on around 10 each

  • DannyCraig

    1% between first and second, 1% between 2nd and 3rd

    Bottom 4% sepearsed between bottom 4.

    Mathematicians. Work out the percentages please!

  • Pro punter

    1 percent between 1st and second theyve got matt vote under controll emily wins this

    • stoney

      Why would they want to announce that to everyone if that was the plan?
      Way off the mark, they want to let everyone know this is not a done deal. I expect matt will be put back on full throttle next week now

    • Jessica Hamby

      On the basis of last night’s performances I’d say Honey G was the winner. I thought she was by far the most entertaining.

      *disclaimer* This doesn’t mean I like Honey G or think she’s any good. The fact that she can be the most entertaining with what is essentially a novelty song by a one-hit wonder shows what a crock of crap last night’s offering was.

    • DannyCraig

      Talk about confirmation bias. You suggested evens was too skinny on matt earlier…and now following up saying those stats are supporting your argument. For me, it’s clear they said that to show this series isn’t a runaway winner yet and you’ll find Honey G was right up there this week too

  • DannyCraig

    Didn’t they do the same between ben & Fleur, and Ben was miles clear most weeks apart from 1?

    • stoney

      When they give facts like this it’s always true. Sometimes they mislead the way they tell it though. They said 1 act was 1% away from the bottom 2. That was Fleur

  • stoney

    Death slot + awful horrendous non motivating song choice+ deramp comments, and still the scottish vote can’t shake matt off.

  • Seems to me like that top vote separation announcement was the main motivation for the Matt deramp this week. Now they can hype that they’ve got a close series. I guess all the top/bottom 4 discussion was right as well, but the order of the next 3 weeks will keep us all guessing.

  • Fudd

    What is interesting about the vote is, if the top four are the Alphas and the bottom four the Betas they don’t have to push the unneeded acts too hard to get them through the door.

    If any of them are a Beta act we’ll probably see the bus hurled at them next week.

  • Pro punter

    Yeh danny i said evs was to skinny and 1 percent splitting the vote so i was right ????? How thick can u get

  • DannyCraig

    Maybe they brought Matt’s vote down too much this week?

  • Jessica Hamby

    I thought this might happen.

    Sam v Saara v 4OD.

    Sam to go? I think so.

  • Daz

    No lifeline vote next week then

  • Who would they prefer on the tour?

  • annie

    sam will be saved. saara vs 4oD sing of.
    4oD will leave on deadlock.
    i am sad 🙁 I liked them.

  • Wasn’t paying attention. Thought it was who got through tonight.

  • Slavery saved. No idea who goes from Saara and 4OD, but it’ll be done on Deadlock.

  • Woofie

    I think Sam will be saved on the lifeline vote.
    Announcing the tour provides a bit of consolation for the leaving contestant tonight.

  • Dean

    Still unsure who votes for Sam. Must like the sound if broken glass or something

  • Sagand

    Sara to stay now. There is far more they can do with her than 4oD. But they might not care and deadlock it regardless. Or maybe they want Sara’s joke vote for Honey G.

  • Plinkiplonk

    There seem to be a lot of complaints that the app didn’t work for most people – wonder if that will be brushed under the carpet or addressed.

  • Alison cassells

    Ohh my. That is a chronic vocal, surely they won’t go to deadlock. I’ve not even heard saara, but the cat outside sounds better than 4OD

    • Jessica Hamby

      Listening to Saara I can’t help thinking that if they’re genuinely looking for a recording artist, there she is – the only one on the show – and yet they insist on turning her into a clown.

      *shrugs*

  • annie

    well, 4oD will be saved if the show needs some budget cut 😀 cause saara´s oversized productions plus whatever brian needs to smoke to come up with them I am pretty sure cost a lot.

  • Fudd

    Saara’s being kept around as Sing Off Killer until she’s surplus to requirements.

    She’s able to put on a good show though.

  • Martin

    The sing off assassin!

  • Jessica Hamby

    The best part of that was seeing the crestfallen faces of the other contestants when they realised they weren’t getting rid of the best singer.

  • stoney

    Simons second slip up in a row with his send home comments. The person i mean the act LOL

  • Poker Coach

    Next week our sing-off assasin will kill sam as ryan will be saved 🙂

  • Fudd

    Next Sofabet headline – Four of Bye-monds? 😀

  • Curtis

    For the first time this year I’ve put on a bet that didn’t lose. Sing-off was truly free money, they were never going to save 4oD over Saara, yet the odds were much tighter than they should’ve been. Hope some of y’all capitalised!

  • GsP

    So next week get rid of Flash Vote, try and bounce Saara, and have a Sam v Ryan bottom 2 with Ryan going?

    • Jessica Hamby

      They don’t need to bounce her. All they need to do is dress her like a human and let her sing a Donna Summer classic or something. The question is whether or not they want to.

  • Woofie

    That’s the second week running the performing artist has named checked 5AM.

  • I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one of the Top 2 was Honey G, not just this week but potentially some previous weeks too.

  • Alison cassells

    Did anyone else note honey g telling one of the kids she wasn’t an actor? Again trying to dispel some of the rumours in the media

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