X Factor 2016 Week 6 Post-Mortem: The Abolition of SLavery

“You have friends?” has to go down as one of the most brutal lines we can remember in a VT. The visit from friends about which Simon expressed surprise then portrayed Sam as a child (they brought a cuddly toy and Strawberry Laces) who misses home, and ended with her reminding us she’s young; before being aged by her styling and singing a song with lyrics meant for people with more life experience, and which Sharon made a point of referring to as “old”.

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Poor Sam. She’s not had much love these six weeks, and it was a pretty undignified end.

It came down to the bottom two who’d seemed most likely before the show. Ryan’s relationship with Emily offers more potential for column inches over the next week or two, and Sam was clobbered so hard last night, it was no surprise when she went on deadlock – although punters who’d been backing Sam at around 1.5 during the singoff will have had their hearts in their mouths as Sharon seemed all set to say Ryan’s name (“it’s only because he’s been in the bottom so many times”) before correcting herself just in time.

Earlier in the show, Dermot had us all rewinding our VCRs to unpick exactly how he worded his tease about the top of the vote (he also said there was only 3% between the bottom three). Our transcription is one that doesn’t make sense: “Over the last 24 hours the first and second place have changed a number of times, and the two acts who have been at the top who have never been top before.”

There are two possibilities here. The most obvious is Dermot didn’t mean to say the final “who”. Then, it would mean over the last 24 hours the lead had changed hands several times but only two acts have been in contention, and neither have been top before.

But what if he meant to say “there are two acts” instead of “the two acts”? Then it would mean any number of acts might have been top at some point over the last last 24 hours, including two who hadn’t been top before – but the final top two might have been the usual suspects. We’ll see when the vote is revealed after the series.

In the meantime, Honey G steams on, now challenging 5AM and Emily for second-favouritism on Betfair. Next week it’s movies week. That’ll be fun.

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On whose X Factor journey will the credits be rolling? Do keep your thoughts coming below.

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

153 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 6 Post-Mortem: The Abolition of SLavery

  • Alan

    You could probably do an article like the Abi Alton one for Sam’s journey. A masterpiece in keeping a likeable acts vote firmly in check and then kiling her off exactly when she’s served her purpose. Brutal stuff from TPTB.

    • Curtis

      I particularly thought her treatment for her “Total Eclipse of the Heart” performance was telling. The staging was pretty bad – she looked mighty lonely out there on the stage. But vocally it was for me undoubtedly her best performance of the series. Louis, Sharon and Nicole acknowledged this, and then in the most ridiculous fashion, it came down to Simon – her mentor – to bring down the mood and claim it was the wrong song choice, thus derailing any momentum she may have gained.

    • Am I the only one who’s shocked she lasted as long as she did with that dreadful voice?

  • Piresistable

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Dermot’s words were deliberately misleading.

  • Tim B

    I’m not looking too much into Dermot’s words about the voting stats. All I’m taking it to mean is that it’s a somewhat open competition. How exciting.

  • DannyCraig

    Gangsters paradise for honey g? Everybody loves that song…no?

  • DannyCraig

    Unchained melody for matt?

  • Jessica Hamby

    If Saara gets Pearl Harbour you know it’s over for her.

    • David Cook

      What if she gets ‘This Woman’s Work’? Full fat Kate original version.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Personally I don’t see that as a vote winner.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
        Kiss – Prince
        Stay – Lisa Loeb
        The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand
        Everybody Needs Somebody to Love – Blues Brothers
        Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins

        Just vague ideas. I don’t hold a torch for any of them particularly so please don’t anybody start some sort of deep critical analysis.

        The board seems to be getting a bit fractious. It would be nice if we could continue doing our best to be nice to one another.

        • Chris Bellis

          This board is fractious? I hadn’t noticed. I thought, and still think, this is one of the least fractious on the internet. People say what they think and on the whole the trolls don’t descend on them. Try posting on the Indy site.
          I would choose Rammstein’s “Mein Land” for Saara. Seriously, there are so many songs that would kill her off, you have to think that TPTB want her to stay.

  • Martin

    ‘That’ll be fun’ heh.

    I am of the opinion that Dermot’s nonsense claims are just to create the illusion of an open competition.

  • annie

    I thought I heard it right the first time, or at least I wasn´t in any doubt.
    The way I understood it was that either of the two (acts) that were the top 2 at one point this weekend haven´t been in the top 2 so far..
    like let´s say if emily and matt were always top 2 up to this week and this week 5AM and Saara surpassed both of them…

    • Jessica Hamby

      So you don’t think it likely that he just threw out a meaningless word-jumble to encourage speculation without providing any useful information?

  • 360

    The ironic thing about Honey G, if she IS real, and does truly want to be a successful rapper, going on The X Factor and being portrayed as a joke rapper for children is nails in the coffin for any kind of career she could have wherein she is taken seriously.

    What interesting viewing it would be if she realised that late in the day and decided to go rogue!

    As is, predict for her to be given a jokey song again next week. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict Jay-Z’s Hard Knock Life, sampling the musical Annie, from Austin Powers –

  • Woofie

    Let’s try and put things into prespective about the state of play with the voting. What they want you to think may not be the case. We have to consider based in previous year’s voting patterns what is likely to have happend over the last few weeks with the voting. I think it is tight now. We thought Matt was running away it and Emily came into play with 2 strong weeks. Matt’s vote may have held except for this week.
    Next week will be interesting.

  • fused

    It looks like the vote is very close generally.

    I’m not so sure Matt’s really getting a heart throb vote despite all the spin. I don’t know if he’s really the average X Factor voter’s type. He’s not really much like previous examples of that, like Matt Cardle and Ben Haenow. He’s perhaps a bit too boyish and not rugged enough compared to them maybe?

    It could be like series 6 where there’s a few different contestants topping the vote based on performances rather than one contestant with a large fanbase dominating the vote every week.

    • Daz

      maybe Matt is going to have more of a marcus Collins run and 5AM come out of nowhere and take the lead like little mix

      • fused

        In series when something like that has happened, it does seem to be usually about week 7 (which is the upcoming movie week this year) when an act overtakes the lead and has momentum all the way to the final.

  • Tpfkar

    One fascinating insight in the article.

    You still have a VCR? I thought we were the last ones holding out. Solidarity in video collections still gong strong.

    My first profitable week for a while, but it did seem that Sam had least to offer the show in the last few weeks so got on early.

    All I would take from Dermots words is that no one is running away with it, and this means they have all votes under control and are likely to get their preferred winner. So indications of their Plan A more important than asking whether the voting public will play ball.

  • GsP

    It will be very interesting to see what they do with Saara next week. Was being praised all over the shop this weekend, called first, all judges said they think she topped the vote, XtraFactor presenters saying she was their favourite.

    If her vote is very volatile, do they work with her? They don’t need her as an assassin now, anyone can be saved against Ryan next week. Keep her one more week then drop her in 5th? Allow her to run if she’s picking up support?

    It does seem open

  • Only two possible winners for me at present matt terry and 5am. If TPTB don’t start helping matt like they did with louisa last year though it looks like its going to be a struggle for him to win. If 5am had the vocals surely they’d be plan A but maybe they can win anyway!

  • Curtis

    Dermot’s remarks do spice things up certainly, but I’m sticking to my guns here. Matt probably did not win the vote this week, based off what Dermot said. Does that really matter? I say no – I say Matt will pick up the floating voters better than the other competitors, and if he is in the final he is exactly the kind of person who wins. I don’t think 5AM are good enough to win.

    All that said, I’m not interested in putting my money where my mouth is, even with Matt as long as evens!

  • Jessica Hamby

    Emily didn’t go b3 but she got a proper shoeing this week. To get back on track she’ll have to do something up tempo or something dramatic and full of emotion next week. Of course it could be that she was not third from bottom. It might have been Honey G. That doesn’t matter though. The perception will still be that she is boring and struggling in the vote.

  • Having seen photos of Sam from before the XF, I will say that the styling that made her seem old for her age was actually less severe than what she did to herself. Teased hair, far too much make-up, the works.

  • Beluga

    Game plan:

    1. Next week, hit Emily again to get that juicy B2 with Ryan
    2. Send Ryan home
    3. Following week, really emotional VT (Doing it for the both of us. With tears if possible) and song (Cut to Ryan looking loving and proud in the audience)
    4. Ride the sympathy train to the final and be beaten by Matt

    • Jessica Hamby

      If she struggles again next week as much as she did this week she will be damaged beyond repair. She is in serious trouble as it is.

      We should remember this was done to her. She didn’t choose the song, make the VT or write the comments. There are only two possibilities here. They are going for a “moment” (I hate that word) next week or they have decided to cut her loose. We won’t know for sure until we see next weeks performance but I’m inclined to believe they’ve decided to cut her loose.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Another thing about this Ryan / Emily b2….

      Will it generate or add viewers? I don’t think so.

      Are current viewers invested in them as a couple? I don’t think so.

      I know that tptb are quite happy to put contestants through the wringer to get their goals. I just wonder if there is anything in this for them. A few headlines and a few tears, but they get headlines whoever gets evicted.

      I wonder if they consider it worth it for 15 minutes of anxiety porn. Surely not if their intention is to get Emily to the final.

      • Beluga

        There’s a lot of tabloid potential in it, I think, beyond a normal elimination and earlier tonight twitter was going absolutely wild at the possibility of an Emily/Ryan b2 – I think tptb love the ‘good telly’ potential drama there.

        You’re right about the two possible options, but I don’t think they needed to scale her back as much as they did this week just to give her a moment next week. All of her performances have been so samey that her performing something different well would have been enough in itself, I reckon.

        It may well be that they’ve decided to cut her loose in favour of 5am as the new Plan B and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened, but either way I’d imagine they’re pretty confident that the following week they can bounce her to where they need to or let her go if they feel so inclined. 5am should be an easy slide and kill if the productions start getting scaled back and I also don’t think Saara is much of a threat voting-wise (although I do think her numbers were high this week).

  • Tom H

    5 After Midnight have absolutely no hope, the vocals are actually bad. In terms of winners we are looking at Matt/Emily/Honey G. In the final, those are the only possible winning acts I can conceive. Not to say those are the final 3, but they are the only ones with a hope of actually coming 1st place.

    As a side note, this must be the worst final 8 we have ever had in the history of the X Factor. Losing Relley, Gifty and Freddy early on, the 3 acts with the most potential for growth, for the sake of this lot… I despair!

    • 360

      I would lean toward this too, and also as a reason against Honey G winning:

      Let’s not forget, no matter the style of the contestant, they have to sing ‘the winner’s song’ in direct comparison with their competitor.

      Reggie and Bollie were hung out to dry with that last year, being unable to do anything of their own style or that would appeal to their core demo. In fact it left them completely exposed. The same would be the case for any act that can’t sing on a par with their competition.

    • Woofie

      I thought the producers did a brilliant job with 5AM last night, whether they can keep it going with the limited vocals, I don’t know. The studio audience reaction was crazy and I’m sure motivated people at home to vote. I loved how they left the stage last night to “that’s the way we like it” and the audience played along, probably better than they imagined.
      I think the producers want 5AM in the final as a launch pad, can they do it? 3 weeks on the trot the guest singer has named checked 5AM. Be interesting to see what happens next.

  • Steve

    I have a feeling Dermott meant to say “and two acts who were at the top have not been there before”. I take this to mean that at some point in the 24 hours since voting opened two acts were top two who had not been there before. The way I see it Saara and 5AM sang before Matt,Emily (and Honey G). It would therefore make sense that people voted for Saara after her performance (making her top) then people voted for 5AM after theirs (and they topped the vote at that point pushing Saara into second). When Matt sang he probably took top position and may well have stayed there. Regardless of whether Emily or Honey G polled first second or neither, Dermott’s statement stands correct.

    Not sure whether what was in my head makes sense in written form but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Matt was still leading tonight when the stats are revealed.

    • Alan

      Yes I think you’re right. Whoever the first vote was cast for led the vote. They may have ended up last. You can pretty much get stats to tell u what u want.

      • Stu

        Call me naive but I think this is one of the few times where the show is actually being straight to the point. Has Dermot ever revealed stat info like this before in a results show? I feel like he has in Fleur’s year…

        • Jessica Hamby

          But if you listen to what he said, he didn’t reveal anything.

          • Stu

            True Jess but once the stats are revealed post-final, if Dermot’s revelation turns out to have been misleading, then there’s no reason to trust his words in the future. I feel like there’s a precedent for Dermot releasing ambiguous stats mid-series but I can’t for the life of me remember when.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Even then we won’t know how many times the lead changed hands or which acts it changed between except for the one which ended up with the most votes.

  • Dana

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if Matt’s vote is eroding. He is genuinely quite a boring guy and far too obviously camp to appeal massively to teenage girls no matter how hard they try and sell the Heartthrob angle.

    Saara seems to be having a very “Ruth Lorenzo” style run.

  • annie

    ot: since yesterday this site isn´t loading properly for me, anyone else experiencing problems?
    never before….

  • Sindi

    This show is such a treat. Isn’t it so delightful to see a likeable young person go from excitment to nervous breakdown to disillusionement. (Sorry if my english is not perfect, I’m from ABROAD.)

    I wonder if Sam really is as graceful towards Simon & co as her comments were after the show. She was serious when she was sent home, but not in a way Gifty was. The moment she looked really pissed was when Dermot said b2 was going to be announced later.

    Of course she’s young, so she might not have realized what they did to her. Or she has, and she’s intelligent enough to pretend she’s grateful, in hope of more opportunities. She might also be getting advice. Maybe the contestants know that Gifty was punished for rebellious behaviour by rather abruptly not letting her make the tour. Of course I don’t know if that was the case.

    I think Sam’s odd comment about the song she sang to his father, that it was the first time ever she felt really connected to a song… I think it could be interpreted so that she knew what they were doing and tried to stop it.

    Simon’s inability to say positive things to his acts is rather odd.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Simon’s inability to say positive things to his acts is rather odd.

      If you think of him as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder then it makes perfect sense.

    • Jessica Hamby

      The thing is that most contestants seem to believe (at least at the beginning) that it is a fair singing competition. The truth is that it is more like a scripted reality show with different acts brought in to fill different roles. The producers will have an idea of who they want to win, who they might want for a tour and mid-season exit and who they are using as early elimination fodder from the beginning.

      Sometimes those plans change, as with Gifty who was (imo) intended to go further than she did at the start of the lives but who was (again imo) set up with an awful song, running position judges comments etc on Halloween night for some reason that we are not aware of. She had been given an opportunity to shine the previous week and not made the most of it but a lot of acts would be given a second and even third chance to have their “moment”. It is certainly believable that she pissed off someone important.

      I like Sam but she’s still developing. She needs to work on her basic singing exercises (scales and arpeggios and stuff) and develop a controllable, variable vibrato. She needs to grow all the tools in a singers armoury if she wants to do well because that’s what the best singers do. It’s possible for her. As commented in other articles, she’s very likeable. She’s also very pretty and that helps. I hope she isn’t too upset by her X Factor experience but as many have said here in the past – going on the show is like doing a deal with the devil. She’s survived relatively unscathed and had some valuable experience of performing in a big arena, got some exposure and learned a lot about how shitty the music industry can be. If she goes away and does the work and comes back in a year or two or three (and remember she’s only 17 – Jess Glynne didn’t get her break until her mid 20s) she could do really well.

      • Sindi

        In the other hand it might be that the worst thing you can do to a teenager is let them sail easily to victory while making them believe they are the best in the world.

    • Woofie

      Interesting articles there. I thoughted WTF was she doing in the group song when they performed it. I did not expect her to sing but surely when they rehearsed a production team member would have said not to do that. She looked ridiculous and disrespectful.

  • Woofie

    So far I think the producers have done a great job with 5AM. Their voices are very limited and often their individual sound doesn’t fit the track, they also tail off, that might be the dancing. I think their timing is ok, being good dancers that’s makes sense. So it’s about finding songs that match their limitations and provide plenty of vocal support. Mash ups are good because you avoid some of the intensive lyrics and maintain the tempo with limited vocal input, having plenty of key changes and building up to a strong finish, which plays well with the audience, especially if the previous performance was lacking excitement.
    Be interesting to see if they can maintain the momentum, that’s of course, assuming this week translated into votes and they still have producer favour.

  • India Marie

    The shock announcement makes a Ryan-Emily feasible in my head. That said, I’m waiting to see who Saara kills via the sing-off next week.

  • India Marie

    Interesting that Alicia Keys, coach of The Voice in the US, is going to be a guest next week. This isn’t unprecedented but I wonder what she will think of the show when she finds out that unlike the show she’s on, this one is quite negative.

  • DannyCraig

    Is Emily now value at 6s? They have controlled her vote before, and then Creep week got her to the top of the pile…what’s to say they can’t do it again? Let’s be honest, is there much difference to when she was 2s 8 days ago?
    For me there has been a massive overreaction and if you look at 5am, from 4/1 out to 14/1 and now back in again, perhaps there’s a similar journey for Emily?

  • Anglia Chu

    Looking at the Jukebox, there are two themes left: 80s and Louis Loves. How will that be divided?

    Also, 2.5 million votes. Given the climate, that’s a lot, right?

    • Woofie

      They announced a competiton for viewers to send in their suggestions for themes which will be added to the wheel next week. I think this week’s was a genuine spin and they were ok with the 3 left.

    • fused

      There aren’t many weeks left though. It’s Movie week this week, week 8 probably ’80s, week 9 whichever viewer suggestion they liked best, then it’s the final, and there’s no need to have a theme at all then. They didn’t in week one (well, OK “express yourself”, but that’s not really a theme as such). The final is, well, the final. Celebrity duets, favourite song from the series, winners song.

      They don’t have to do the Louis Loves one if they don’t want, clearly it’s main contribution to the series is for LOLS while the jukebox is spinning anyway.

  • DannyCraig

    That’s only 500k voters. Most people vote 5 times online for free.

  • hemsby

    Very interesting vote reveal,one which has provoked many theories.

    What is the purpose of these vote reveals ? IMO it’s to tell the viewers that the contest this year is very close and that anyone could win.Whether that’s actually true or not is of course a moot point.

    I think the most logical concurrence from the information we were given tonight is that 5AM were in the Top 2 after never previously being Top.That seems to be the easy bit,the next part is open to many different interpretations.

    I reckon Matt was the other Top 2 tonight meaning that he also hadn’t topped the vote previously.My guess would be that owing to a strong regional vote,Emily has been Top every week up until now,but slipped outside the Top 2 owing to a truly dreadful performance and the regional vote being diluted as the field thins out.

    The voting trajectory could perhaps be similar to the Janet Devlin year where she lead the vote for the first 5/6 weeks before being overtaken by a returning Amelia Lilly,and then Little Mix.

    All guesswork though,and it certainly gives a spark to what has been an excruciatingly poor series.

    • Phil

      I certainly don’t think it’s been put out there with the intention of being misleading, like others have suggested. I’m pretty sure that the voting figures, when released, will confirm that.

      I’m guessing Saara for first place, not sure for second. Would have said Honey G but I thought she’d have topped it last week.

      Btw my 100-1 on Honey G at the start of the series is still looking good!

  • I just want to say that that is positively the best ”pun title’ for any Sofabet header article ever. Very clever lads!

  • Jessica Hamby

    It was interesting that in the group song Saara sang most of the vocal and the 5AM guy came down to sing the end. Matt had a small role and Emily sang less than Sam. The 5AM guy has a nice voice (which is probably the point they were trying to make). It’s a shame they can’t seem to sing together very well. I wonder if they’ll make it more of a lead with two backing vocalists style in the future or if, after the show, the weak link (if that’s what the problem is) gets replaced.

    I agree with Woofie that 5AM are looking like Plan A at the moment. Matt seems to be on a long-term deramp and Emily got a big deramp last week.

    The best final in terms of variety would be Matt, 5AM and one of the remaining females. If 5AM’s vocal problems persist or can’t be hidden then they will have to go the way of Rough Copy and then we’ll have two from Honey G, Emily and Saara.

    Given her upward trajectory and recent treatment I think Saara is going to the final. I also think that she is likely to do well in the Syco stable. She’s the best singer the show has had since Leona and she’s got personality and huge likeability too. Her fluid sexuality is in tune with the zeitgeist and she’s very distinctive in her style. They wouldn’t know what to do with an act like Emily and she’s still a work in progress. They like finished articles. The mentoring concept is nonsense to delude the public.

    I don’t think Honey G is going to the final unless they absolutely have to take her there because other acts fail or get run over or shoot a police officer.

    • Jessica Hamby

      One other point – which is doubtless obvious to other sofabettors.

      Even if 5AM are Plan A, it doesn’t mean they are going to win. When the final comes they can’t deramp you too much (although last year’s farce with R&B doing the winner’s song belies that) and Matt is definitely going to the final.

      He fits the mould of many previous bland male winners. He probably isn’t tptb’s ideal choice but it will take something special to stop him. He’s perfect inoffensive Saturday night tv fodder. He’s as challenging as The Lighthouse Family or M People and for this audience that’s about perfect.

  • Plinkiplonk

    I am not the most savvy with social media statistics and the like, but I was wondering if the massive gap before the B2 was announced was to try and increase ratings? To get all the teens tweeting ‘OMG – RYAN vs EMILY SING OFF ON #XFACTOR’ and to get their friends switching the telly on? Seems to have worked if it was trending, so if they actually get them into the B2 next week, I predict it will be announced as early as possible, to make sure any floating viewers can be attracted in time.

    In regards to 5AM, they are trying to make them happen so hard it’s laughable. I also don’t get how, seeing as they are put together especially for the show, they couldn’t find a better selection. I mean, they can dance ok, but only one of them can sing a bit, and only one (the same guy) of them can really be called good looking (in a pop star kinda way), so that’s not the best starting point, is it?

    If they really want to get rid of Honey G before the final, they should have started to introduce at least a note of caution into their comments by now, like the odd ‘one trick pony’ reference or so. I fear she’s there for the long haul. As for singing the winner’s song, they could go the opposite way to last year’s R&B slaugthering and pick a song geared for her. Try rapping with your falsetto Matt, why don’t you ? Or they do what they did in the past and pick different songs for the different finalists, easy.

  • Scott

    So I’m basically going to start writing something here and hope that I come to a conclusion that’ll help me, and maybe others. How much they all register in my head right now:
    * Matt – Either Ben Haenow or Jahmene. Could be first or second depending on their plans, can be brought down if required. I agree with a previous poster though that plenty of floating voters would go with him when their favourite acts are knocked out. If he was a radio station he’d be Heart.
    * Emily – Her styling reminds me of a slightly older-pitched Lauren Platt. Perfectly feasible credible second place – even when her songs are oddly chosen and staged she still does an ok job with them. At this point I refuse to believe the producers will be able to resist getting her and Ryan in the bottom two though, especially after seeing the reaction last night. For all we say “Oh the nasty producers” people were gagging to see that happen.
    * Saara – I’ve always said they’re getting behind the comedy foreign act when they’re taken on a bus tour of London. Saara spoke to half the United Kingdom and was introduced as being from London this week. Would not rule out the possibility she could be kept as she’s a solid credible performer, equally she could be ditched when necessary as they know how to get her into the bottom two.
    * Ryan – Looks like he’s being moving into the Luke Friend lane. Hugely benefits from the Emily/Ryan situation, I don’t think he’d have made it anywhere as far in the contest without it. (I know that sounds horrible but everything is a narrative in this show). Can’t see him in the final.
    * Honey G – The comedy act that the man and kids on the street are talking about. Do not underestimate in a year of Trump how important it is we don’t forget that primary school kids and the working bloke (in this case it is generally a bloke) who generally aren’t on social media either have a vote or can pester their parents. I’m not ruling out Simon trying to pull off with Honey G what he did with the WWF superstars and Robson and Jerome either. I don’t think she’ll win it, but 2016 – I’m not ruling anything out. She’s the traditional joke act who is normally cut loose around about now, but is getting the show a lot of column inches. The franchise comes first – would her be in the final damage it? (or lead to a lot of “oh my God can she actually win it before she’s destroyed by the winners’ single)
    * Five After Midnight – Have had a solid push, some standout performances, still need vocal help though and would they be reliable enough in the final? Strong chance they’ll finish fourth in a Rough Copy kind of way. Wouldn’t rule out a push in a Little Mix kind of way, but it feels like I haven’t got to know them individually through the series, and they’ve already pulled out some of the big sob stories.

    So the good news for the remaining acts is that I can name them. I could never remember Sam was there, which probably did for her. Never good enough to challenge at the top end, not bad enough to motivate a vote. The bad news is I genuinely don’t know where they’re going this year. My best guess would be Matt/Emily/Saara. Three solid performers who will give you a good final, and whose votes they have clear control over.

    Where do they go next?

    The terrifying thing is when I was listing them I initially did Honey G twice…

    • 360

      One additional thing we have to keep in mind re Honey G and publicity:

      Voters may not necessarily be viewers. Viewers are only 6 mil or so, but to vote for Honey G out of spite only takes you having the app on your phone, opening it at some point over the weekend, and tapping a button to send a few votes her way.

      That puts any act with sufficient support and publicity’s support at potentially 50 mil, not just the 6 mil that are actually tuning in every week.

      • I believe it is the opposite. 6 million + viewers, but a much smaller number have bothered to download the app.

        I have never seen any statistics on how many XF app users there are. Anyone have reliable numbers?

        • fused

          Yeah, I agree with Amy Beth. I think generally more people watch reality TV shows than bother to vote in them. I don’t see why anyone would download the app if they’re not even watching. Why would they care? The show is more easy to avoid these days. It’s not like when it was getting huge ratings and media exposure like it was around 2008 to 2011-ish, it’s just not the big deal it once was, so no real motivation for a backlash either.

  • Keen Observer

    As has been rightly suggested, Dermot’s words have to be treated with a little bit of caution. However, in my eyes it seems likely that in the first few weeks Matt and Emily probably shared the top spot and hence were both somewhere in the 3-5 spots this week.

    Matt is so good it is odd they are not letting him fly – perhaps too similar to Haenow. Still looks close to nailed on top 3 considering quality.

    Emily gets fantastic staging every week but as everyone suggests it is becoming boring, possibly wasted her opportunity but Cowell may give her one last chance.

    5AM getting the kitchen sink thrown at them, agree are probably plan A now. Expect another VT next week focused on an individual as worked well this week. Look the value bet at 4/1.

    Honey G & Saara so tough to read – hard to see either winning but both possible finalists, prob at expense of Emily.

  • GsP

    Saara will get a big ballad this week.

    I’m sure she’ll get My Heart Will Go On but she could absolutely cement herself as a contender if they let her do I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables. I think that would be absolutely sensational

  • Hi guys, I was that Zak guy who posted on the previous article.
    Who do you all think is next in the firing line?

    Week 7 is usually the joke act elimination, and Honey G might be getting close to the scandal that breaks the camels back. Saara isn’t really needed as an assassin anymore, and if her upward trajectory continues I could see her making the final, honestly depending on how bad Emily performs next week.
    Ryan is really a dead cert for the next 2 weeks, and I still think Matt is Plan A. I dismiss all the subliminals so ignore this if you wish.
    The either options are a Emily V Ryan sing off, with Ryan leaving for a Ryan V Honey one, which could go either way.

    MY PREDICTION:
    Emily B2 Saved
    Ryan Eliminated

    Quarter Finals:
    It’s about time to get rid of Honey, who could potentially be in a sing off with Saara or Emily. Either way Honey goes.

    PREDICTION:
    Emily/Saara V Honey G, latter eliminated.

    Semi Finals:
    Depending on TPTB’s (Does that mean the powers that be? I’m new here) preference, Emily or Saara gets eliminated against 5AM who fall in the bottom. However, both of them could be in the bottom 2, again it goes either way, due to me being horribly bias to my favourite act Saara, let’s say Emily goes home.

    Prediction
    Emily/Saraa Vs 5AM, Emily/Saara eliminated
    OR
    Emily Vs Saara, either way.

    Final: The person who limps to the final is eliminated in the first day. Matt wins, 5AM comes second, maybe Saara or Emily if my first prediction comes true and one of the Ladies go.

    Sorry for the super long post, please reply with yours. I don’t bet, I just like to predict things.

    • stoney

      Hi mate that’s a good analysis there. It’s the people with no emotional involvement i tend to pay more attention to. All of us are biased when we are invested in an act financially.

    • fused

      No, you don’t look stupid at all. I think those are pretty good predictions. For me I’ve no idea what the order could be. I think Matt’s going to win, and Ryan is probably gone next, but other than that, I haven’t got a clue, I think it could conceivably go in any order because the vote appears to be so close.

      Saara’s been in the bottom 3 a bit too often. There’s usually a ceiling to the support an act like Emily has, they usually end up leaving in 4th place or so. 5 After Midnight have been a bit too up and down quality wise. I still think Honey G is probably doing just well enough to avoid the bottom of the pile, but not to get anywhere near the top.

      • stoney

        Correct. Hence the 4 judge standing ovation and recent pimp spot. Cant be long until matt gets one of those, and more importantly a deserved one

  • Sindi

    I’m totally expecting to see Ryan vs. Emily singoff next week. They were already shamelessly creating expectation of that. Having Honey G the last to be called safe they’d maximize the attention. Ryan would leave and Emily could easily be bounced back if they like. They’ll have undivided Scottish vote, Creep and a sob story behind her.

    The headlines about Honey G are getting so negative that I don’t think they are going for having her in the final. I might be underestimating their hunger for sheer publicity though.

    Why is Matt’s vote being kept under control? Maybe they don’t want the winner to be too obvious as it apparently was last year (I wasn’t watching). Maybe they’re actually considering other options.

    Their treatment of Saara is a bit odd. She’s been their clown for several times but then they keep favouring her again. I wonder if she was meant to be disposable but has won their favour, or if they always meant her to go far.

    I think 5 am keeps on being a bit anonymous but it certainly looks like they have continuing support. I really don’t think they’ll win though. The show needs a winner with stronger vocals.

    If I were the producers, I’d go for Matt, Saara and 5 am in the final and Matt and Saara singing for the crown. It would be exciting vocally and give the show credibility. It would also be unlike last year’s final which was pretty ridiculous.

    • I agree. The treatment of Matt, Emily, 5AM, Honey and Saara next week will tell a lot. I expect Honey to stop being expected to go to the final and position for a quarter or semi exit, next week will see if 5AM become the new plan A and Matt becomes B and if Saara replaces Emily as the other finalist.

  • DannyCraig

    A lot of bad press for Honey G today. Think she could be a target this coming week.

  • Scott

    I’m struggling with this coming week. Ryan strikes me as the most obvious person to go, but he could bounce out of the bottom two and there’s the slight possibility they try to extend the rock lane they built for him during the sing-off, in which case he has a bit of a USP. Keep him clear for a week, get him and Emily down to the bottom two (much more achievable at that stage) the week after when we’re coming to the end, and bounce Emily along to the final?

    We’re due a controversial save, so Honey G v Saara in the bottom two, going to deadlock next week? (the only problem being that this would be a particularly ridiculous save and could only be almost justified via deadlock, but I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to plunge Saara down to zero with her lack of natural home constituency and her struggles in the first few weeks – end of journey time?)

    That gives you a final few weeks of Honey G v Saara, Emily v Ryan, then Honey G in the bottom two just before the final. The producers then get to wheel her out again as part of the parade of rejects half-time show, so have their cake and eat it?

    Alternatively, make this week the Wagner Memorial “the jokes gone far enough” week and wipe out Honey G. Same result of possibly have Emily and Ryan in the bottom two the final week. Saara can be justified through really good vocals and there’s little danger she’ll win the whole thing and wipe out any other plans, so could hold til just before the final/third in the final itself.

    The variable I don’t know is 5AM – are their vocals good enough to cut it in the final, in the producers’ viewpoint? I’ve always held to the theory that the final being a great show and therefore good for the franchise is the priority. (that was knocked a bit last year though)

  • Curtis

    It is perhaps a little hard to see beyond Ryan leaving next week, but I see no value at all in 1.5 odds. One of my X Factor mantras (I have many!) is that “boys bounce”. This fact has been shown many times over the years. If you’re looking for an act that’s going to get a sympathy bounce, look to the boys category, or a boyband.

    So unless the producers deliberately stifle the bounce by sticking the knives in hard on Ryan (which they well might), then he’s going to get an uptick in his votes. The next question is whether it’s even feasible for Ryan to overtake 4th – maybe there’s a huge gulf between him and Saara and the top 4. That is hard to tell, but I just have an inkling from Dermot last week when he spoke about how close the top 3 are, that one of the big 4 might be polling not quite as well as imagined. Could it be Honey G, whose pimp slot appearance this week bordered on desperate?

    There are certainly enough factors in play for me to want to stay well away from 1.5. On the other hand if we see Ryan opening the show next week that’ll be my cue to immediately lump on him to go! Of course perhaps the most bold and clever among us will – if it is not Ryan to go – be able to identify who it will be, and if you can do that there is some tasty money to be won!

  • Henry VIII

    Philosophical question: If the “joke act” gives a better performance and sounds better than all the others is it still a joke act?

    Because that’s what Honey G did. (Except maybe she didn’t top Saara who herself has been treated as a kind of joke act).

    • It really depends how much times it’s better. If it’s 55% better than most others on 5 weeks for example, it’s just a decent act. If they are better one week, they are still a joke. Saara is a joke act when it suits the producers, but she has a lot of talent. I would say she was a joke in week 5, and maybe week 3 but if she was there she would be the best joke act. I believe she wouldn’t be classified as one this year but bratavio and honey will definetly be. Unlike let’s say Stevi this year the joke acts don’t have talent.

    • stoney

      But this is a singing show. They may as well have stand up comedians on if that is deemed anything other other than a joke act in a singing competion.

      • Henry VIII

        The public disagree with you. She probably topped the vote Saturday. We were told it was 2 new acts top 2.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I’m surprised at you Henry, taking that as anything other than a mischievous bit of misdirection.

          • Henry VIII

            I enjoyed it the most Jessica. The viewing public are simple souls. They don’t analyse it and are easily lead by judges comments. Staying Alive – well known, strong rap version by Honey G, very positive and feel good.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I meant you taking Dermot’s comment seriously.

            We were told it was 2 new acts top 2.

          • Henry VIII

            XF has, from the beginning, always been scrupulous about vote counting and vote reporting. The vote scandals which led to big fines for TV companies were probably just before, or during the early years of, XF.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Sure, but we weren’t told anything concrete. We were given a confusing message that can be interpreted in lots of different ways and so could mean just about anything.

        • stoney

          If she topped the vote I’ll eat my hat

      • Jessica Hamby

        It’s not though Stoney, and it hasn’t been for a long time. It’s a scripted reality show and the singing competition is just a backdrop for it.

        The singing takes second place to the drama. Don’t forget that it was originally conceived to be a competition between judges as well as singers so that it didn’t infringe copyright with Pop Idol. The VT and judges comments take up much more time that any singing performance.

        When we tell ourselves it’s about singing and especially when we tell ourselves it’s a competition, we’re deluding ourselves.

        • stoney

          Yeah i get that but Honey G represents NOTHING to do with singing. She’s the least talented act they have ever put through to the final.

          • Woofie

            I agree and I think she is the most divisive contestant to have been on the show, more so than Frankie Cocozza and Jedward. Free app votes may have changed the dynamic but to achieve the levels of voting that Reggie and Bollie received you have to be very likeable with a genuine feel good vibe. They were also very self-effacing and humble with a back story that the audience tapped into and wanted them to succeed for their families.
            May be it really is about people voting to annoy other people but if she is doing well in the voting than fair play to her and the producers, and I will learn from it for future seasons. .

          • stoney

            I still have faith in the british public that they are not stupid enough to think that voting for that garbage is rebelling against the show. Yeah shes getting through each week but everything points towards her needing every bit of help she is getting.

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s disquieting that Fleur is suggesting that Honey G is a worthwhile artist and that she’s going to the final.

      • Woofie

        Maybe smoke and mirrors?
        I am not convinced Honey G is doing as well in the voting as they like us to think, yes it has held up but look at whose gone and how they were dispatched… now it starts to get interesting… Depending on how others are treated this week, if she avoids the B2 without 2 others clearly targeted, then I might start to wonder…

        • Jessica Hamby

          I think she’s probably circling the drain but they’re keeping her out of b3/b2 week by week with massive levels of pimping and targeted destruction. The question this poses is, are they prepared to drag her all the way to the final like that?

  • Jessica Hamby

    Saara gets an opinion piece in the Huffington Post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/maria-karvouni/x-factor-saara-aalto_b_12949346.html

    The level of attention she’d receive if she wins should not be discounted as a factor in her trajectory for the rest of the show. Also it would be a lot more positive than the publicity that Honey G has been getting.

    Meanwhile, The Sun does lesbians…..

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/2171432/x-factor-singer-saara-aalto-fancies-nicole-scherzinger/

  • Alan

    Seems like it could go any number of ways but I personally think they will keep the Honey Monster for at least another week so TPTB will either try and get Emily or Saara below her to sing off against Ryan (which surely must be a given). Saara’s vote seems easier to control so I wouldnt be surprised to see her back in the bottom 2 with a dull ballad and dodgy staging.

    Either way Ryan has to go next week. Sam was about the only person he could have been saved against last week and even she easily out-sung him.

    For me 5AM are Plan A for the post-show career but not necessarily the win. Along with Gifty they’ve always looked the most commercial prospect out of any of the acts and nothing has changed my opinion on that. They clearly fell out of line and were given the wake up call with Simon’s comments in week 3 or 4 whenever it was. Now they’re back in line they have been outrageously pimped.

    There’s been much talk on here about vocals but they’re not really going to be about that after the show. On record they will sound good and when touring they will have backing tracks to help them. I dont remember JLS delivering very good vocals on the show and it never did them any harm out in the real world. You dont need to be able to sing to be a pop star. But you do proabably need to be able to sing to win the show. And for that reason I think TPTB will be happy for Matt to win and 5AM to just get to the final. Much like Fleur and Ben a couple of years ago.

    • Scott

      Finding it hard to disagree with Alan’s comment. Matt is a solid performer who will sing well in the final, 5AM could do something beyond the show but are exposed within it. Of the contestants left he is by far the most likely.

  • stoney

    I’m a little bit annoyed I’m away at the moment and couldn’t get my funds in place to capitalise on matts drift to evens.
    It now seems as if the market is regaining its senses and his odds are falling once again

  • Woofie

    Interesting comments and thoughts about how the show is moving.

    I am lovin’ this year because at this stage there are so many ways it could go and your outlook changes each week, which could provide good opportunities but also pitfalls.

    I do think, now that the competition is heading into the home straight, what happens this week could be revealing. With the app and facebook/twitter logon to get the free votes the producers must have significant data and statistics on the voting.

    Apart from Honey G all the other contestants have had positive treatment and the brakes applied at some point. And I do think Saara has genuinely changed the producers’ thoughts.

    I had 5AM as third in the pre lives list.

    I know if 5AM were strong vocalists it might be game over but the Producers have been aware of their limitations since week 1/2. I think they tested them in week 5 with their pimp slot on vocals and didn’t reference the final again in the judges feedback – last week they went full on again, like week 2, and although it is Louis making the noises about the final it was back on, including saying they could win it. As I said, 3 weeks on the trot , the guest singer when asked about their “favourite” contestant 5AM is the one. Interesting if we think that Fleur’s feature in the London Standard is a show mouthpiece she too thinks 5AM are destined for the final.

    This, of course, could be pimping to keep them out of the drop zone, but to me it felt a genuine desire to build them up from a credible voting position for a final placing.

    I do believe 5AM are capable of a pulling off a final performance with the right material and get a good arena reaction, where I have doubts is their ability to do the number of performances required for a 2 day event justice. It takes a lot of effort to do those big production and dance routines and they would only have a week to prepare. It was interesting seeing how they would perform on the Remembrance tribute song. I thought Kieran (the lead) did a good job, so maybe they could do one stripped back song but would that matter if they are not destined for the win?

    I see some of us don’t credit them for the performance on Saturday in the voting. You cannot ignore that studio reaction it was insane. All I will say is a studio reaction like that on Saturday in the past would usually get a contestant in the top 3 of the voting at least, if not 1st and 2nd, the exceptions tended to be the perceived novelty/joke acts.

    I think the producers will have poured over the voting data and decided how far they want and can push 5AM. Did they meet or exceed their expectations over the last 2 weeks? Unlike the other contestants I don’t believe they can afford for 5AM to slip back, ok for week 3 but at this stage of the competition, poor vocals exposed would kill their chances, I think they have to keep the momentum going… maybe ok for a semi final sing off…

    I feel that groups can be hardest to progress in the competition, especially the latter stages, but offer the best returns for post show success, particularly from a final placing.

    The producers may have already decided the best they can do with 5AM is a top 4/5 placing. They need the full on routines and support to mask the vocals. It’s a tough one to call. This week it could all change again and their support be pulled back, in favour of other contestants who present better value for the show in the final stages.

    • Alan

      I dont think it will be hard to get 5AM to the final. Ryan – no effort required to get shot; Saara – Crap song, crap staging, crap comments, Finnish embassy VT; Honey G – just pull the rug from under her. Job done.

      • Scott

        I’ll refer back to the Betsfactor logic – the franchise comes first, and they want a good final with excellent performers. That was the logic for Tamera under the bus some time back when she had problems with Impossible the week before, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s why Rough Copy made a surprise semi-final exit. 5AM are getting good treatment right now, but if anyone at the show thinks they will in any way let them down in the final they’ll be under the bus before you know it.

        The three most solid performers for me are Matt, Emily and Saara. I’d be amazed if the first two at least don’t make it to the final weekend. Saara could be relied on to perform really well but her vote can be dragged down quite easily, and likewise with Emily, giving Matt the poisoned chalice of being the middle England-friendly X Factor winner who has no chance of a long-term pop career. You hope he knows that and instead goes on to use it for a career elsewhere, like many have done in the past.

  • Stu

    Has there been no mention of “Little Dermot” interviewing Olly Murs and saying he’s better than Matt Terry? Obviously a child would rank a pop star over a talent show contestant but in the context of Matt being deramped these last couple of weeks (imo), it did seem a bit suspect.

    I personally can’t see Saara either topping last weekend’s vote or being desired for the final – I think she will finish 5th, ahead of Ryan in 6th place (which would mean this weekend would be the last chance for a Ryan/Emily bottom two).

    Sadly, I can see Honey G going all the way to the final. Her treatment is very similar to R&B’s last year. And I may be wrong, but as soon as I heard Dermot reveal the vote info I immediately assumed it was 5AM and Honey at the top. Speaking of R&B, the first and only week they topped the vote was in week 4 when they got the pimp slot in the final 7 – just like Honey.

    5AM were my pre-lives pick for the top so I’ll try not to be too biased about them. Ultimately their fate in this competition (much like most of the others if not all) comes down to tptb’s intentions. History shows that (a) the MOR strong vocalist usually wins and (b) it’s nearly always by a solo artist. Times when (a) didn’t happen was with Leon and Little Mix. Leon presumably had Scotland behind him and Little Mix… well the 2011 sofabet articles tell that story. 😀 (b)… obviously Little Mix again. The voting is apparently close all round so a Little Mix -style trajectory isn’t out of the question. But then Little Mix didn’t have to compete with the typical XF winner-type.

    I guess this week’s show should give us a far clearer idea of who TCO is.

  • Woofie

    Interesting on winner’s single: Ed Sheeran gives guaranteed Christmas number 1 for X Factor winner… unless it’s Honey G
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/2184961/ed-sheeran-gives-guaranteed-christmas-number-1-for-x-factor-winner-unless-its-honey-g/

    • Woofie

      That fits Matt and Emily more than the others. Emily more so?

      • EM

        Depends very much on the type of Ed track it is. A Lego House yes Matt or Emily a Sing is a different story

        • Woofie

          We may also have different winner’s singles, which may be aired depending on the final placings. I can’t believe they would not want to use the new song written by Ed Shearan as a shot for Xmas No1. Matt vs Emily on the final day?

          • Daz

            I think the producers want the Christmas number 1 again as well as a marketable artist so 5AM for 3rd Emily or Matt to release the winners single written by Ed Sheeran then launch 5AM with a song suited to them then the producers get both.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Are we suggesting that Saara can’t sing a ballad. She’d sing it better than either Matt or Emily. Did you listen to the slow intro to Enough Is Enough?

        Remind yourself. It’s here.

        https://youtu.be/c_k58eUpNOg

        • stoney

          Would the British public get behind a foreign act to make xmas number 1? Not so sure.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Do you think it’s that straightforward? If some moron at the Daily Mail decides we need British records for a British Christmas and starts a campaign it might go one way. If the same moron decides that she’s bringing a touch of the Frozen Christmas from the land or the reindeer to cheer up Blighty she’ll still be number one on Valentine’s Day.

            I still have faith in my fellow citizens. I don’t think most of them care much either way who is number one at Xmas. Most people think the chart is hyped and manipulated anyway.

            Most of all, I certainly wouldn’t consider that as a reason why Saara wouldn’t win. I can think of lots of others but that would be way down on my list.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Other thoughts on this…

            Music in general and singles in particular are mostly bought by younger people. Younger people tend to be against the jingoistic, nationalistic, racist attitudes that have been allowed out in some spheres.

            The Referendum result was slightly tighter than 48/52. You can’t vote against a record in the charts. If there is a concerted campaign against it, it’s likely that a lot of people will buy the record to stick two fingers up to the other side.

            I think that any such campaign would make it more, not less, likely to hit #1.

    • Jessica Hamby

      The shocking thing about that article is the picture of Louisa. Why do all Syco’s female acts wear cheap thigh-length boots and disdainful expressions?

      • Sindi

        Also those pictures about bum flashing… Really cheap and undermining. Apparently this is hiw Simon wants women to be. Porn culture.

        Imagine this done to Emily… They wouldn’t, would they? I don’t think she’ll win though.

      • Alan

        Does the show have any history of changing their minds on an act they had previously considered disposable? I cant really think of one and Saara clearly falls into that category. She’d be brilliant in the final but I really dont think it is part of TPTBs plans.

      • Alan

        Does the show have any history of changing their minds on an act they had previously considered disposable? I cant really think of one and Saara clearly falls into that category. She’d be brilliant in the final but I really dont think it is part of TPTBs plans.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Short film from BBC Newsround with children’s opinions on Honey G.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/37972948

    Also this on Saara.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/x-factor-saara-aalto-fixed-9249793

  • Woofie

    I don’t doubt for a second that Saara could sing the winner’s song and do it justice but based on the choices made to date I don’t think the public would immediately think Ed Shearan when it’s comes to Saara. However, we are assuming it will be the sort of thing he would release rather than write something different for an XFactor winner.

  • Gavster

    Matt – no appearances in bottom 2
    Emily – no appearances in bottom 2
    5am – no appearances in bottom 2
    Honey G – no appearances in bottom 2
    Ryan – one appearance in bottom 2
    Saara – three appearances in bottom 2

    If we’re talking about who will do well on the televote and thus be given an Ed Sheeran song for Christmas, I don’t think Saara should be on that list.

    • 360

      To be fair to Saara, its entirely possible she was contrived into the bottom 2 every time and was actually third bottom of the votes.

      • Jessica Hamby

        It’s also worth remembering that her sing-offs happened when she was Zara from Finland. Last week she was Saara from London and Dermot dropped the (previously) weekly Finland pun.

        • Sagand

          It’s also worth remembering Matt, Emily or 5AM didn’t fall into the bottom three when they were given bad weeks.

        • Gavster

          Then you’ve just clarified that Saara’s position in the show is to edge others into the drop zone. She’s just a pawn being played by the XF machine.

          Considering Saara for the win is rather a stretch on the back of just having good vocals. Andrea (3rd) and Seann (week 2 exit) are two recent foreign examples.

          My guess is they planned to drop Saara much sooner, but they found an entertaining use for her.

          I’m curious as to what makes you think Cowell drops Matt, Emily and 5am for Saara, who only took part in XF UK because she hasn’t ‘made it’ back home, despite taking part in various talent shows.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I’m curious as to what makes you think Cowell drops Matt, Emily and 5am for Saara, who only took part in XF UK because she hasn’t ‘made it’ back home, despite taking part in various talent shows.

            No. You’re using confirmation bias to read into my comments what you want to see.

            My guess is they planned to drop Saara much sooner, but they found an entertaining use for her.

            It’s quite possible that you are correct but I have been saying for some time that talent is light and they need to keep Saara around. Dumping Gifty exacerbated the situation.

            The current trajectories are clear. Saara and 5AM are on the up, Emily and Matt are on a deramp.

            It’s worth remembering that Matt started crying when Simon began him comments with criticism on Saturday. One wonders if Simon altered his remarks to avoid a full scale sympathy generating blub.

            I’m curious as to what makes you think Cowell drops Matt, Emily and 5am for Saara, who only took part in XF UK because she hasn’t ‘made it’ back home, despite taking part in various talent shows.

            Maybe in your world being the lead in a Disney movie and performing with Andrea Bocelli is failure. I disagree.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Apologies – first italicised para should be

            Then you’ve just clarified that Saara’s position in the show is to edge others into the drop zone.

            No. You’re using confirmation bias to read into my comments what you want to see.

          • Gavster

            No confirmation bias here, I’m just assuming from your recent posts on here that you think Saara could not only win the X Factor but also land the Xmas no.1. If that’s incorrect, fair enough.

            If however you do think she could win over acts that haven’t appeared in the bottom 2, are there any stats to back up that theory?

          • Jessica Hamby

            Then you’ve just clarified that Saara’s position in the show is to edge others into the drop zone.

            No confirmation bias here, I’m just assuming from your recent posts on here that you think Saara could not only win the X Factor but also land the Xmas no.1

            You can have your cake or you can eat it. You can’t have both. The first paragraph is the one I referred to as born of confirmation bias. The second paragraph which you use to refute the suggestion has no relation the first. Non sequitur.

            you think Saara could not only win the X Factor but also land the Xmas no.1

            Definitely. And if she wins then it would be ridiculous to say that she couldn’t land the Xmas #1 from there.

            I think there are other acts more likely to win but I only need her to come third and I’m happy. A win is bonus. I think she’s overpriced and will come ahead of Emily and Honey G. What happens beyond that is in the lap of tptb.

            are there any stats to back up that theory?

            No. I note that when I said I thought Gifty was in trouble and pointed out that the song had only charted in Belgium at #23 I was told that the song was chosen for cross marketing. People use stats when they’re helpful and ignore them when they’re not.

            Gav, I have no idea what you’re angry about but you respond to my speculation differently from the way that you respond to any other poster. You even challenged me to come and bet against you personally on Betfair. You haven’t done that with anyone else. I don’t like it. In the future I will not respond to any more of your posts and I would like you to not respond to any of my posts either. That way we can make sure the board stays a place where everyone feels comfortable to post.

          • Gavster

            I think you’ve totally the wrong end of the stick here Hamby. I’m usually a lurker here, but comment when I feel I disagree with something I’ve read – the same as most folk on here. And it’s usually to delve a little deeper into the theories people are floating or to add my own thoughts. I don’t just engage with you.

            If you read my earlier comments, I think you’ll find I’ve asked a few simple questions. If asking you to back up certain theories with stats/proof offends you, maybe a gambling site isn’t the right medium for you.

          • Edie M

            Just to say, Jess is right, the way you respond to her does seem off (and to me patronising in a gendered way that leaps to her being too emotional etc- when actually it’s you getting emotional!).

  • EM

    Moving away from playground squabbles has anyone spotted any value in the markets? I’m striking out!

  • David Cook

    It’s worth remembering that acts that make it to the final will be singing at least two songs, or four in the case of the final two. That’s after two performances each in the quarter finals and semi finals. Unless something changes it’s not an entirely enticing prospect. Anyone fancy listening to Matt running through four songs, or Emily, or perhaps both? Honey G doing four versions of H to the O to the N – everybody in the house slash their wrists?
    I know I sound like a one man Saara Aalto fan club but really the producers need to be looking at this and hoping that they can get her to the final. I’m certainly not suggesting that she can win as I doubt very much she can beat Matt or 5AM, but at least she can help make it a better show. Matt, 5AM and Saara would (IMHO) be the best line up they could hope for based on performances to date. I think she’s only just starting to show what she’s really capable of doing. If anything her ‘problem’ seems to be that she’s capable of doing so much that’s she’s never focused enough to really find her own style. That’s something she possibly still needs to sort out – but on the show her versatility is probably her greatest commodity, alongside great vocal and performance skills. The show really needs to make use of it.

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