X Factor 2016 Week 6 Elimination: Will Sam Survive?

We had two bits of news this morning that impacted X Factor betting markets. Firstly, Honey G made it all the way from North Weezy to tabloid notoriety with her front page splash in The Sun on her drug past. Secondly, The Daily Star broke the story that the Sunday flash vote to save one of the bottom three was being ditched this weekend, for a return to the traditional bottom two singoff format.

Honey G’s continued shortening of odds in the outright came to a halt on the news. However, the story itself has some unfortunate mitigating circumstances cited. Meanwhile, the end of the Sunday lifeline vote has seen three-time winner of that device, Ryan Lawrie, become favourite in Betfair’s next elimination market. Three acts dominate this market, and they look to be the most obvious deadwood left in the competition. Sam Lavery and Saara Aalto are the other two – having both fallen into last week’s bottom three.

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Of these, Saara has most to offer the competition despite her three previous singoff appearances. She’s the best vocalist and performer among them, and Simon set up a potential bounce storyline last week by saying she could turn things around after the singoff. Her song choice of ‘Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)’ has been performed twice on the show before – by Ruth Lorenzo and Sam Bailey. You might remember the latter’s week 4 pimp slot with golden tickertape ending. It suggested at the time she was the act producers would push to victory, and so it proved.

Ryan has been in trouble ever since the first of three consecutive bottom three appearances in week 2. But he managed to avoid the danger zone last week after a helpfully big production of ‘Twist and Shout’. Some keen-eyed observers suggested he hadn’t sung every lead vocal on the backing track. This time around he’s got ‘Play That Funky Music’, which in relative terms, polled averagely for Luke Friend in 2013. Ryan’s two uses for the show are that he’s a cute boy, and Emily Middlemas’s boyfriend, but that’s surely only enough for another week or so at most.

Sam Lavery’s ‘I Will Survive’ has been most recently performed on the show by Abi Alton in 2013. Again, it wasn’t a standout in terms of her polling, despite it being her best performance. However, it was a very different arrangement to the one Sam is likely to be singing. Lyrically, this seems to set Sam up to be preoccupied with survival, and runs the risk of being a little karaoke. The likeable youngster has perhaps struggled with nerves on her performances and post-song interviews. A series of earlyish running order slots, and empty sets suggest that producers haven’t pushed her hard, despite plenty of praise from the panel.

There’s a big gap behind the top three in the elimination market. The other side of it are Five After Midnight, who were given the pimp slot and plenty of positivity last week. But was it significant that this was the first week they weren’t namechecked for the final? They’ve got ‘Boogie Wonderland’, which feels like a promising enough song choice for the dancing trio.

Last week, Five After Midnight were shuffled back to fourth place in the outright market by Honey G, on the back of the latter’s best performance to date. The headline-grabbing novelty act has the N-Trance version of Bee Gees classic ‘Stayin Alive’ which is the best song choice of the lot, and promises another massive production. Despite The Sun story, I think producers will continue to go out of their way to help her.

That leaves us with outright principals Matt Terry and Emily Middlemas. Matt has got ‘Best of My Love’, which song-wise feels like it’s in danger of lacking a moment, though the capacity to use his excellent falsetto may just be that moment. Emily’s ‘Wishing On A Star’ doesn’t have a great X Factor pedigree, having put Tamera Foster and Austin Drage in the bottom two. Otherwise, I’d say the song suits her voice.

In terms of the likely bottom two this week, my pre-show guess is that Sam and Ryan have most to fear. As always, the show itself will tell us much more. Do keep your thoughts coming below.

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133 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 6 Elimination: Will Sam Survive?

  • Jessica Hamby

    likeable youngster

    Spot on, Very likeable girl. Hasn’t had the opportunity to show herself at her best.

    • David Cook

      But then who has? Matt. Honey G. None bar those two I would suggest.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Gifty, 5AM and Emily have all had the opportunity for stand out moments. Saara at least had “Oh So Quiet” (although that may have been an attempted kill that backfired).

        Sam has been styled as a modern Carole Decker. While I bow to no-one in my appreciation for A Little Bit Of Heart And Soul and I’ve learned to never push too far because your love is China In Your Hand, I don’t think the world needs another one.

        If she does hit b2 it will be interesting to hear what she sings. I’d like to know what she would choose when given that opportunity.

        • 360

          I’d like to know what she would choose when given that opportunity.

          That’s assuming that the acts actually do choose their sing-off song. I don’t even think they’ve mentioned on-show that that’s the case in a while, and even when they do; sure they say that the judges pick the main show songs they do, and we don’t believe that either.

          • HL

            Saara said this week that she now has two new songs to learn, one for the disco night and a new sing off song. She slipped that she had never heard those songs before but instantly fell in love with them. So it seems that at least they do not make that decision on their own, but the team is there to give suggestions and lead towards the right decision.

  • Martin

    I’d actually say Sam has had some of the most positive vts that we’ve seen so far this series. Unfortunately her vocal (or the overall style she’s been given) is very limited and I sense that her vote is naturally tailing off as some of the other contestants seem more well equipped to pick up floating votes.

  • Fudd

    Haven’t we been saying from the off that the thing they’d love is a Emily v Ryan sing off? With Ryan on a comedown from a bounce and Emily given a song which has resulted in a sing off appearance twice previously is this the week they’ll try it?

    Saying that, it’s a week early for a bounce from the bottom two to the final which can happen in Week Seven. But maybe they’d prefer to leave that for 5 After Midnight or Honey G to inject some fun into proceedings in the final (especially if Matt and Emily make up the remaining finalists!)

  • Woofie

    I didn’t realise the Honey G Sun story was front page news with the headline “I’m a Drug Addict”, they could have said “I was a…” Surely that has got to be a big negative for a Saturday night family entertainment TV show?

  • Rose L

    I think the drugs story is potentially quite damaging to Honey G. She admits to still taking some drugs (weed) so they can’t go the route of her claiming “it was only something I did at a very black time in my past and I really regret it – so just say no, kids!”
    They have been rather marketing her as an act for quite young children of late and I think that, as a parent, I might be a bit dubious if my kids wanted to download tracks from someone who has admitted she still takes drugs.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if we get something of a deramp for her tonight. It looks like it will be a big production and fun, but I was thinking the brakes need to go on, even if just slightly, sometime soon, and this story might be enough to hurry it up a bit. They may need to do a bit of a last-minute alteration to any previous plan they had for her.
    Can anyone tell me why this story isn’t going to damage her?

    • Jessica Hamby

      Nothing else has. She’s unapologetic. Donald Trump.

      • Chris Bellis

        True. I said Donald Trump would win weeks ago. Unfortunately I only put a fiver on it, but at 15/1, a nice return. I wish I’d had more confidence. BTW I love the idea of people voting in X-Factor objecting to an act being involved with weed. They don’t even hide the spliffs in Gogglebox.

  • Alan

    When Frankie Cocoza got caught taking drugs they booted him off. Why dont the same rules apply for Honey G?

  • Rose L

    He was taking them while on the show, apparently. It is made clear in the story that she is not.

  • Zak

    I think Fudd is right, but they will have to do a lot to make Emily fall in the B2, and even more to make her come 2nd after that. I think that Honey might leave soon. However, for the Emily 2nd place, I am going with my brain and not my gut.

    This week (W6) The final shock elimination happens.
    Sam, Ryan B2, Sam eliminated.

    Next Week: (W7) This is tricky, as this and Week 8 could be similar. Due to W7 being the Joke Act elimination usually, I think it’s this.
    Honey G, Ryan B2. Honey eliminated.

    Quarter Final. I am being wary here as I am keeping Saara here but here we go.
    It’s the producers time to do the Emily v Ryan B2, with Ryan leaving.

    Semis: Saara’s bounce ends and is in a B2 with 5AM. She is eliminated. She is my favourite this year so this might be bias so take this however.

    Final 1: 5AM limping into the final means that they will go this time.

    Winner: I think Matt will win, IMO he is the chosen one. Emily goes 2nd, but my gut says no.

    I’m new to all of this so please don’t judge me.

  • Scott

    If you really wanted to throw someone under the bus tonight, you’d get them on first, go to a quick break and hope the Coca-Cola advert is there, and then get on with the rest of the show.

    • Jessica Hamby

      They may not have to get every weapon in the armoury out tonight. The two we presume are the targets are at a vocal disadvantage before the show even starts and both have been b3 so they are already damaged.

  • Joe

    With with all that this year’s thrown up with shock results, I’m wondering whether Honey G might just pull it out the bag. TPTB (that we know so well) must be wondering whether this time having a novelty act included, will finally see them get their fingers burnt.

    They have given her endless help with the knowledge that she would only go so far. I also thought that but now I’m reconsidering my thoughts. She must be too close for comfort hence the ‘drug admission’ that’s front page news today. The take down is on, they always get their target (Christopher Maloney devil eyes was the best) but I have a nagging feeling this time it is too late.

    Honey G isn’t the best but seems liked and is working hard. The ‘people’s champion’? What with her and Ed Balls doing the same on ‘Stictly’, it would cap off and amazing year for the underdog.

  • 360

    Sister Sledge for bottom two after that performance I think!

  • Curtis

    oh my God that running order. They’re playing their hand very openly aren’t they, with sing-off candidates in 1, 2 and 3. Poor Sam can not get a break with the running order. Saara I’m very nervous from the death slot. Ryan doesn’t have the flash vote to fall back on anymore. Really interesting dynamic this week.

  • Curtis

    On the other hand Saara was NOT under the Strictly bus, and as I felt before, that was a fantastic song choice for her.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Interesting that there was no “which is the **** judge?” poll after Saara’s performance. Do you think they forgot? Maybe they’ll remember after Ryan’s performance and do it then.

  • Rose L

    Four judge SO for Saara and she really was good – and not OTT on the staging. But will the running order count against her?

  • Scott

    It’s hard to see Saara’s treatment as negative there. Introduced by Sharon as “from London”, speaks to people from virtually the whole UK, four-judge standing ovation, perfection call-out from Simon who says how difficult the song is, the word “star” appearing from Louis. Given a clear chance to plead for votes from Dermot. Only negative is being first on and … oh, here’s the John Lewis advert.

  • Sagand

    Listening to the songs on Spotify. Sam’s doesn’t go anywhere, Emily’s is classic John Lewis but does build, 5AM sound out of key and Honey G brings back the I say Honey you say G over the Rocky theme before a big finish.

  • Martin

    Seemingly positive treatment for Saara from the opening slot. As pointed out, no Strictly crossover this week. VT seemed feel good and painted Saara as hard working and involved but nonetheless reminded everybody that she’s not got a lot of support. comments positive but again, no appeals for votes.

    Memory holed by a bouncing bulldog too.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Saara aint going anywhere. I’ve been trying to say so for a few weeks but I don’t dare say too much anymore because people get upset.

  • Piresistable

    “Representing Newcastle” – so not Sunderland and Middlesbrough….

  • Sagand

    “You have friends?” Ouch.

  • stoney

    Im in egypt at the moment so will be relying on your guys reports as to what happens

    • Jessica Hamby

      Oh m8. You wouldn’t believe what they just did to Sam. Nicole even said her favourite part of the song was when Sam tripped over.

      Ryan is now stood in front of an enormous, oscillating, red and black… – well it looks like a bumhole trying to squeeze out the turtle’s head.

      It has changed to blue and he’s come down off his podium in the second half of the song – plus he’s really gone for it. Good performance.

      Judges are positive until Simon who undermines. It’s a clear Sam / Ryan b2 but Sam will be bottom of the poll.

      • stoney

        She isnt going to be missed though is she. Lets be honest

        • Jessica Hamby

          Nah.

          Bit of a shame for her though – plus I occasionally have a twinge because we know some contestants read this blog. I don’t want to put someone like Sam off. In the right style and genre she can sing. She’s not cooked yet, she’s a work in progress, but she’s not bad and she can get a lot better.

  • Piresistable

    Interesting that they got her to mention that she’s the youngest act in the competition and then made her look at lot older on the stage than she is.

  • DC

    I’ve just used all my app votes on Saara. I don’t care how well or badly the others sing, I really don’t like the way they’re treating her and I felt really sorry for her watching her VT.
    Honey G on last too, hoping that means she’s struggling.

    Did make me smile that in my opinion John Lewis were memoryholed by Kevin the Carrot though…

  • Sagand

    Disco classic and funeral march mashup for Sam.

  • Scott

    Missing her friends – so you can send her home to them.
    “You have friends” – ouch.
    I want to show I’m having fun – dull version of the song appears.
    Dodgy arrangement.
    “I wanna see another side of you” – so don’t worry, you’ll be back, no need to vote.

  • Rose L

    Sam sung that pretty well but I too was aching for it to move uptempo. The judges are making it a huge issue – and I think it was.

  • Alan

    Sam thrown well and truly under the bus.

  • Curtis

    Well that confirms who’s going this week! Boy did they do a job on her. That arrangement of the song was just truly awful – not sweet and mellow like Abi Alton’s version and not get on your feet and dance like the original. And again from a terrible slot in the running order!

  • Martin

    Moderate deramp for Sam. Hard to get excited about any of that – the message from the VT about her being 17 and wanting to have fun was completely eroded by that miserable arrangement and stationary staging. Which the judges were at pains to point out.

  • Edie M

    Seems like Sam more chance of being in b2 than Saara. That whole Sam thing was so dull and non-motivating.

  • 360

    Knives out for Sam as I expected. Quite androgynous makeup. Slowed down arrangement. Low motivating comments, and during the performance she executed the Gifty Louise Memorial ‘slutdrop’.

    The VT also ended with the words ‘show a fun, young side to me’ only to sing a slowed-down version of I Will Survive. Deliberate.

  • Edie M

    Getting a real Luke Friend (eurgh) vibe from this Ryan performance.

  • Scott

    And hey, after someone not having fun, heeeeeere’s Ryan.

  • Martin

    Nice of them to show some archive Luke Friend footage from 2013 there…

    Was Luke bottom two the week he did that song?

  • Martin

    Harking back to Sam there, her camera work was shocking too. Felt like we didn’t get a close up until a good halfway through the song.

  • stoney

    Keep me posted on my xmas meal ticket mr terry 🙂

    • Jessica Hamby

      I don’t want to upset you but I still think Saara will be going further than most others think. It’s hard to see your man not making it though.

  • Tpfkar

    So red on the win market it’s not funny, but lumped on Sam to go before the show and looking good so far – 10 minutes of meh. Lame of the show to have the first three in the running order those in trouble though.

    No-one’s a patch on Ed Balls however.

  • EM

    5 After Midnight getting more vocal help than Milli Vannili

  • Scott

    I am horribly, horribly jealous of you Tpfkar because it’s way too late to lump on that now.

  • 360

    Okay…were 5AM singing that at all??! That was blatant vocal support.

  • Curtis

    I mean did they sing a line of that? But whatever the case, I think we have a strong case for 5AM making the final now.

  • Martin

    Did 5AM actually sing any of that?! Being pimped regardless, obviously.

    Enjoyed the Che Chesterman memorial Vt too.

  • Rose L

    Well Five After Midnight really do seem to be back in favour – what a difference from a few weeks ago. I suspect the shot across the bows worked well and they have them back in control now.

  • Alan

    Wont they ditch Ryan ahead of Sam? Shell beat him in a sing off surely.

  • Edie M

    Dermot always so blatant. Was it a moment? Drawing attention to the VT etc. 5AM firmly back in producer favour. So much vocal support though. It was basically just a good dance performance at the end.

  • Sagand

    Does anyone see the bottom two as anyone but Sam and Ryan? The final three are as safe as houses and Saara and 5AM are having good nights.

    • Piresistable

      I can definitely see it being Saara v Sam. Saara’s VT may look better in the light of her performance and positive comments, but it very much showed up her foreignness. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Saara saved.

  • Jessica Hamby

    “Every now and then a band get a moment – was that your moment”?

    It was supposed to be their moment last week. Clearly didn’t catch. This won’t either imo. It was fun but kind of forgettable, for all that September is a great song. Like a lot of EWF it’s more about the groove than the lyrics and it’s hard to sing along to – not that they were doing much singing.

    Perhaps if they get another “moment” next week it’ll start to build some sort of momentum but right now I think they might have to cut them loose before the final and work on them post show. It’ll give them more credibility – “the x factor audience was never who we were aiming for” etc.

  • Alan

    They want 5AM in the final. Honey G to get ditched before then I reckon.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Your boy’s up now Mr Stoney.

    Getting a family VT. Bit of a sob story. Going back to old workplace. Showing women getting excited as he does his waiter thing and the restaurant where he used to work.

    Early tptb fake out with dancers in red and black but they disappear as he comes on stage. Real backing dancers dressed in black jumpsuits with huge gold lighting and backdrop.

    Matt looks and sounds good. The falsetto is back. He’s a bit camp cavorting across the stage tbh. Ryan appeared a lot more masculine, but Matt got all the producer help.

  • EM

    Nothing says future Ben Heanow more than singing in a car park sparsely decorated with tinsel

  • Martin

    Little Mix have been number one ever since they started their performance in that sodding car park. Are we seeing the birth of the car park pimping this series?!

  • Rose L

    And I have rarely seen this amount of gold in the staging!

  • Curtis

    Just in case we were unclear about whether the show still like Matt, I think they’ve rather showed their hand on this one.

  • Alan

    Zzzzzzzzz. here we go again

  • Alan

    Bring back Louisa please.

  • Curtis

    This is worse than boring. This is completely out of her range. Is she singing in the wrong key or something? Or is she ill perhaps?

  • Rose L

    Emily doesn’t seem so good this week, her voice sounds a bit unsuited to this song and she is on a very high plinth indeed. Nobody is standing up, nobody. Is this the week they are going for the Ryan/Emily sing off?

  • Jessica Hamby

    Predictable comments for Emily after the cut to Louis sipping his tea. Creating the opportunity for another “moment” next week.

    They styled her too old. She didn’t look comfortable. Right now she hasn’t got enough variety. I wonder if they’ve got anyone who they can call on for back up.

    They have to make it look like a competition. This is not, imo, a big deramp. She’s not going b2 tonight.

  • Scott

    I’m confused by this one. Is this a deramp or setting up for a journey? Why were there flying satellites? Simon’s comments open up the possibility of a journey. Did Emily just dig a bit of a hole for herself at the end though?

  • Alan

    Simon again totally failing to praise the performance. Talking about Creep as if to emphasise how bad tonight’s performance was. Massive deramp.

  • Edie M

    Plinth very disconnecting. Boring version of the song with shot to Sharon looking bored. Probably just her requisite down week like matt terry last week.

  • Curtis

    Honey G – pimp slot, gold and the kitchen sink I feel.

  • Martin

    Nice to see the show saving money by utilising Lauren Murray’s mega plinths from last year.

    A break in a sails for Emily this week, all helpfully blamed on Simon. Surely her vote is holding up if they can afford to take their foot off the brakes so heavily? I was surprised to see Simon not acknowledging how poor it was and pleading for votes instead.

  • 360

    I thought that was neutral for Emily performance wise but judges’ comments are twisting the knife a little. It was probably my favourite performance of hers and was a nice interpretation of Wishing On A Star- definitely a more interesting arrangement than the original.

    A lot of backing vocals for Emily too – although unsure if they were helpful or swallowed her up.

  • Rose L

    Surely it would be too much for them to be aiming to get her in the bottom two with Ryan this week? It just seems impossible with that Scottish vote to manage. But I saw that as a major deramp. There’s also the possibility that she was beating Matt but then they did allow Matt to be a bit forgettable last week.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Emily could also be getting a bit of a deramp to help Honey G who is following her. For all that she’s generating the headlines she may well not be generating massive votes.

  • Alan

    Maybe TPTB have worked out Emily’s a one trick pony. Matt, Honey, 5AM final anyone?

    • Rose L

      We know she isn’t a one-trick pony though; we’ve seen her doing a more up tempo, fun number from previous auditions and she just asked to be allowed to do that on this show. They seem to want to pigeon hole her which suggests to me that they don’t think of her as the winner.

  • Edie M

    That was such a by rote Honey G performance. So repetitive and tedious. 4jso though so what do I know.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Standing O means nothing in the long term. She probably needs the help. It’s wearing very thin. Maybe one more week and then a mercy killing.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Same old tedious shite from Honey G. Really can’t see her getting to the final. Two more weeks? Not much more than that. She lives and dies at their whim.

    • Woofie

      I cannot assess it. I don’t get it. Her rap was awful so amateurish, same tired thing.
      I did notice compared to other VTs it all about her biggin herself up almost felt delusional. No family connection. I think they are playing up the divisive annoying contestant.

    • Jessica Hamby

      The only other thing I’m going to say regarding Honey G is that people also thought Wagner could win. It turned out he never had a sniff.

  • Tpfkar

    We thought both Emily and Honey G have run out of steam here. Not that either is terrible, just seen it all before and offering nothing new. Matt and 5AM seem to be holding our attention better a few weeks in.

  • EM

    The only place Honey G is going is to the car park to start another performance.

    “You’re winning” from Cowell is a comment I haven’t heard before.

    They also allowed her to become much more human this week, she was softer in the VT and post interview, you could even see her eyes at one point. Interesting development

  • 360

    I couldn’t believe Honey G managed to even mess up the perfect song choice for her.

    Seriously, just let her cover the exact song. Nobody needs to have the seriously unfunny H to the O to the N shoehorned in.

    Did she even say the bit about Honey’s in the house that was in the original lyrics??

  • stoney

    Again i wasn’t able to watch tonight so forgive me if i seem off the mark. But if as seems honey g had the kitchen sink thrown at her tonight, she wasn’t one of the top 3 split by 2% last weekend

  • DannyCraig

    Haven’t watched tonight yet. Looking forward to catching up when I get home and seeing whether my views match the comments on here.

    From what people were saying, maybe my 5am to finish 3rd bet isn’t looking too bad now 🙂

  • Martin

    I cannot assess Honey G’s treatment objectively. I can’t believe this shit is working!

    I notice Saara got to do all her interviews via Skype and Honey G got an interview with an actual person. The knee slide thing was good for her, made her a bit more human but the whole no boos/on stage at the o2 made her seem a bit deluded.

  • Plinkiplonk

    The expected mess of a show tonight. Brutal for Sam, negative for Emily, and ridiculously over the top positive for 5AM and Honey G.

    One tiny final bit I noticed: After each act they were sent off with a short classic disco clip. After Sam we heard ‘burn Baby burn’, after 5Am ‘that’s the way (aha aha) I like it’. I am not invested enough to re-watch and find out the others, but subliminal or what ?

  • Curtis

    I still can’t believe what they did with the running order mind. It felt like two shows tonight – also rans, followed by contenders. No pretense of fairness.

  • fused

    Saara and Matt were the only ones who were even half-decent this week.

    I actually think Ryan has improved over the weeks, but not by much. I think in the eyes of the producers, Sam has definitely had her day. I think they’ll get rid of her in a sing-off against almost anyone.

    Emily sounded really quiet against the backing track.

    5.A.M’s performance reminded me of that medley they did in Motown week, but it wasn’t as good this time. It seems to have been well received though.

    As for Honey G, I still think what I thought before, if she was challenging the winner she would not be getting this much pimping.

  • Woofie

    For 5AM they couldn’t get more gold on that stage, apart from wheeling out a grate of gold bullion.
    Not only a judges standing ovation but giving critique standing up…

    • Jessica Hamby

      They’re the best bet for post-show success unless they find a route (and great songs) for Saara but I don’t see them winning it. I don’t think it would be good for a post show career to do the things they would have to do to win it. Better to stick with their current identity imo.

      • Woofie

        I agree Jessica but the groups that had the best success post show were launched from the final: 1D, Little Mix, JLS. Do the producers have a similar plan?

        • Jessica Hamby

          They can probably drag them to the final. Are they ready? I don’t think they are. Having said that the choices they have are limited. I suspect the current top 3 are 5am, Matt and Emily (or were last week) but that will make a bit of a disappointing final unless two of those acts can up their game.

          I haven’t looked on social media but I would be surprised if their weak vocals go by without notice. I think they would be better leaving in the semi-final.

          Whether you liked Reggie & Bollie or not, they were polished performers and what they do, they do very well. You can’t say the same about 5am, not yet anyway.

          • Woofie

            Tonight was a repeat treatment of week 2, on both occasions studio audience reaction was crazy. I re-watched tonight. They got support for vocals. They also put more emphasis on “personality”. It’s noted they have band/musicians and backing singers on stage on most of their performances. It is all designed to get a strong studio reaction, surely the producers can get the same reaction at Wembley.

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