X Factor 2016 Week 7 Post-Mortem: A Coatbridge Too Far

“Surreal”, said Dermot. “Bizarre”, said Simon. Ryan barely hit a note, and Honey G barely remembered a lyric – it was one of the oddest singoffs ever on X Factor. I opted to gawp at the spectacle rather than get financially further involved – though I’d expected Ryan to go on deadlock with one neutral judge doing the “right thing” by referring to the public vote. The fact that both Louis and Simon sent Ryan home suggested they didn’t have that luxury; we’ll see when the votes are revealed.

13-lives-week-07-results-ryan

It’s understandable that the show wanted to keep Honey G around – she’s certainly compelling viewing, and Ryan has spent the last few weeks looking like a wounded puppy waiting to be put out of his misery. It’s been indignity heaped on indignity, from week 2’s hometown VT to last night’s cruel comparisons with Matt, and from his on-screen demeanour on Sunday nights and occasional frustrated tweets we’ve had the impression Ryan has been well aware of what’s been happening to him.

But he can go back to Coatbridge with his head held high after an exemplary exit interview with Dermot. Acts entering this show should realise by now that they’re selling their souls in return for Saturday night primetime exposure, and Ryan’s had more of that than most. It gives him a platform, and it’s up to him now to use it wisely.

13-lives-week-07-results-main-ryan

Dermot said during the show that there was only 5% in it between the bottom four, and producers may be kicking themselves tonight for having taken their foot off the pedal with Honey G – the “same thing week after week” comment from Nicole was deadly – and not doing more to stick it to Saara. The “can Honey G really win?” headlines now cease, but no doubt the show will look for ways to squeeze a final week or two of other headlines out of their best tabloid fodder of the series.

Does this mean we’re facing an obvious final three of Matt, Emily and 5 After Midnight? Or can producers conjure any aces from up their sleeves to make the run-in more interesting? Do let us know your thoughts below.

Photos via ©ITV

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118 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 7 Post-Mortem: A Coatbridge Too Far

  • stoney

    What i found strange was the fact they went to neutral judge Simon first. And he said i want it to go to deadlock. When there were 3 other judges left to pick. I can’t remember a time where they didn’t ask the mentors first. It was weird even though the same result i expected came anyway

    • EM

      Looked to me the order was engineered to make Louis the fall guy knowing they couldn’t take it to deadlock and get the result they wanted.

    • Spiidey

      Yes, this was odd. It’s never happened before. Winner it if was designed to cement Simon’s ‘non-embarrassment’ at honey g to ensure there is no later anti-establishment vote.

    • Alen

      I took Simons comment as an instruction to Louis to take it to Deadlock in the end so I was surprised.

      • stoney

        They have the best part of 20 minutes in between the bottom 2 being announced and the sing off. Id lay my mortgage that the judges decisions are all mapped out before they actually give them

      • 360

        I took it as a dodge. Suggest he’s plumping for Honey G in the hopes one of the others will ‘be fair’ and bring it to deadlock, in the full knowledge that they won’t. That looks fairer to any of the audience members who still believe it isn’t all pre-arranged.

  • Still think Saara can get to final 3. Especially with everyone performing 2 songs now. Suits her the most

  • Woofie

    I am sorry but the signs are there.
    They want 5AM in the final but accept that they can’t win it.
    That is the four guest singer that has named checked them.
    Simon back tracked on his critic on the Xtra Factor it was no concidence that they didn’t use it the recap video.
    Yes there are issues with the vocals but they have known that from week 1 and 2. So far they have worked with it and maybe they had riggle room to enable Simon to temper his praise this week.
    Nicloe was asked in Xtra Factor who will lose all their acts first and she, like Louis, said Simon. Simon said no but when pressed refused to say who he think it would be… Maybe there is nothing in that but it was interesting.

  • Chance

    Holding Emily to be last one named safe seems like a clear signal to her fans to vote more. Whether it’s out of any real danger or to keep her vote levels up so when the totals are revealed after she wins to show she was long the favorite, I don’t know.

    • Woofie

      I am not sure that be would a signal to vote.
      They did it last week with the lovebirds.
      It was interesting Simon said he was nervous for Emily but that didn’t fit with last night’s praising from the judge’s after the pimp slot. It will be interesting what happens next week as we know Emily is doing an uptempo song. It’s two songs from Louis’s Loves anything can happen next week.

      • Jessica Hamby

        we know Emily is doing an uptempo song

        We knew Emily was doing an uptempo song this week too!

      • Sindi

        Yes Simon saying he was nervous for Emily was odd. I can’t quite make out the whole picture here. I really wonder what will become of the uptempo. Emily will fail due to not sticking to Simon’s image of her?

        • Rose L

          I think Emily didn’t have such a good week in the vote from those comments. Simon saying he had been nervous for her and that she definitely would do a more uptempo number next week suggests to me that there really aren’t so many voters who are engaged by a girl sitting still singing a dirge, whose voice isn’t utterly outstanding (it’s a good and interesting voice and perhaps her illness has made it sound worse than it otherwise would be, but it just doesn’t stand out to me – compare and contrast Janet Devlin). I’m looking forward to seeing the voting figures when they are released.
          I do think they will want her in the final with Matt and 5AM, hence the promise for an uptempo number, which, if she delivers well, should give her the momentum she needs. However, if her voice is still suffering and/or she seems overwhelmed by the production, changing her style might also lose her votes. It’s a high risk move at this stage of the contest but I too think Simon meant it when he said she would get a more uptempo number. Anything could be more uptempo that this weekend’s song though so perhaps it doesn’t narrow the field so much!

  • Sindi

    Poor Emily is in so much trouble. Her voice is obviously hoarse, apparently due to illness. How is she going to manage 2 songs?

    I don’t believe Honey G is going to bounce. Her time in the show is running out.

    • DGiles

      Emily reminds me of Janet / Diana. One of the early front-runners with a weak but supposedly unique voice who fall short of the final as their voices become exposed and struggle to show any kind of diversity what so ever. The attempts of uptempo for Janet and Diana were both horrific when they were forced into it and I don’t expect great things from Emily either.

      Part of Honey G’s voting appeal was the speculation that she could win. Tonight has signalled she can’t, which will badly damage her future vote. The 2 performances next week is a further hammer blow for her. Just can’t see a bounce here.

      IMO Honey G to open the show next week and leave on Sunday after sing off with Emily (who’ll go on second in the performance order on Saturday).

  • GsP

    A second safe week for Saara makes it harder for them to save her over Honey G if they land together in bottom 2 next week.

    Does it really matter whether Honey G leaves in the quarters or semis? Will they just go to deadlock and take what comes next time?

    They were helped by Ryan being fairly weak in the sing off and resigned to his fate.

    I also thought Honey G ‘s attitude tonight was dreadful. Rude and quite aggressive, didn’t even acknowledge Ryan.

    The constant name checking of 5AM suggests to me they aren’t doing as well as they want. I suspect they narrowly avoided B2 this week.

  • DannyCraig

    I’m expecting honey g to go next week. Maybe singing off vs emily who shines. 1% between 3rd and 4th.

    Emily bounces the following week.
    Saara vs 5am in the semi.
    5am finish third, emily second, matt wins. Maybe even taking the final off and still winning

  • Poker Coach

    Who were the bottom 4 within 5 % range?

    Saara / 5 Am / Emily

  • Woofie

    I’m not sure Honey G saved over Saara in a sing off – that would brake the franchise in two. The name checking of established guest artists for 5AM – they must be confident they can keep them off the bottom 2 at this point. Yes their vote would have dropped this week but wasn’t it because they had wriggle room? It was no concidence that after the name check by Craig David, which to be fair allowed for “a maybe not a win but they could launch a career narrative”, they were called safe first.
    I think I understand their intentions it is whether they can pull it off. I don’t know. I don’t think a win is credible but I’m sure Simon would like a final placing, especially without a B2 appearance.
    Of course it could all change next week.

    • Sindi

      I don’t think they can ever save Honey again.

      Re: Craig David, is their anyone appearing on this show who hasn’t sold their soul? I’m surprised that big artists have to be such puppets. I’m naive.

      • 360

        Alicia Keys seemed to be quite human tonight. Dermot stood nervously and moved to interrupt her as she started to make some political-lite statements about the state of the UK nowadays!

        • Alicia was scheduled to sing the same song Tuesday on the Voice US. She sang about 5 seconds and switched to a different song called “Holy War” because of the “current climate”. That followed directly after Adam Levine had his team sing a well-known protest song for their group song.

          Dermot must have been warned about those goings on.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Craig David got his second lease of life from his appearance in the final with Reggie & Bollie last year. He took it and ran with it. That’s why he was saying thanks to the panel and specifically to Simon after his performance. Also it’s hardly surprising, being an r&b artist, that his favourite act is 5AM. It would be strange if it was anyone else.

        • Sindi

          Dermot did turn it political himself though, asking Alicia if she will run for prime minister.

          Who did Robbie name besides Saara? Was it Honey G?

          • HL

            Honey G, Saara, 5AM. Honey and Saara were obvious choices, since he had been co-judging the Overs. Saara apparently is his personal favourite based on his tweets during the lives. 5AM might be something whispered by the producers (or not, who knows if he really fancies them).

          • Saara and Honey G because they are over and he was Sharon’s guest judge at judges’ houses. And 5am because he liked their Spice Girls cover.

  • David Cook

    I think Honey’s behaviour tonight will seal her fate next week. If she wasn’t rock bottom this week she almost certainly will be next week – there will be no bounce. Her behaviour was somewhat bizarre if not worrying and TPTB may need to consider how they carefully manage her out this week.

  • Dana

    Saara’s odd run has been identical to Ruth Lorenzo’s so far. Will it have the same ending?

    • Stu

      I’ve noticed this too. Both in the sing-off week 2. Both bounced into safety weeks 3 & 4. Both in another sing-off week 5. Both bounced into safety weeks 6 & 7.

      Simon tried to make Ruth perform in Spanish and pigeonhole her, while he did the same with Saara but with the “kooky” angle instead.

    • DGiles

      Ruth’s sing off performances are untouchable, but I do think Saara is much more reliable in the main show. Ruth was frustratingly inconsistent in this regard.

      The sing off in the Top 5 changes the dynamic between both series though, plus the show being split over 2 nights.

  • Stu

    It seems as if the show is pushing for a Matt vs 5AM final two… with Saara potentially in third. I have this feeling that Emily could be set-up next week with a bad up-tempo track to (a) deramp her and (b) prove that Simon was right all along.

    Now that Honey G’s popularity has been somewhat exposed, I’m now inclined to believe 5AM and Saara were in fact last week’s all new top 2 rather than 5AM and Honey. I think Matt and 5AM are this week’s top 2 with Saara in 3rd, Emily in 4th and Ryan/Honey 5th/6th respectively. I guess we shall see!

    • DannyCraig

      All the desperate pleading for votes for 5am and name dropping by guest acts, must show they’re not top2 and we’re one of the bottom 4.

      I think it’s easy to ignore the betting market, but 5am were favourites to join Ryan in bottom 2 today – must have been the weight off money supporting this as it was widely expected to be Saara or emily who would be down there, not 5am.

      I think Saara’S VT next week will be interesting to watch.

      • Stu

        I don’t recall anyone pleading for votes for 5AM? And I doubt the guest artists are told what to answer. They’re not a part of the production team so they don’t have to follow a script.

        But I agree about the betting market. I noticed they were as short as 2/1 in the B2 combo but last night wasn’t their best week and the running order wasn’t kind to them. The voting stats are going to be interesting.

      • Woofie

        There was no pleading for votes for 5AM. I disagree with Stu about the guest artists not “guided” what to say. They are there to promote singles, albums and tours, I’m sure they will follow the production team guidance. I don’t see it as trying to keep a contestant off the bottom when the guest artists is name checking a contestant, they are guided what to say but it has to be credible they are established artists and it is always said when the vote is closed or almost closed, so the producers know the result – I don’t think they would be encouraged to say someone who goes into the sing off that weekend.

        5AM may not have polled as well last night as the previous week, that is because they were not expected to – the producers had some wriggle room for Simon to temper his support on Saturday.

        If you look at the criticism on face value it was the strongest, next Honey G, and then Ryan. There were no strong negatives against Matt, Emily and Saara, ok Simon’s comment about Saara’s dress but not the singing and performance.

        When the introductions and recap played last night those comments were not aired unlike previous weeks. Simon even backed tracked on the Xtra Factor, any negativity towards 5AM was conveniently forgotten.

        I knew Honey G was in trouble when her recap featured the “she’s so hard working” narrative.

        • Alan

          Since ive been watching the show from a Sofabet perspective the guest has named the chosen one as their favourite at least 80% of the time. They are undoubtedly guided what to say.

  • Ruth’s exit was on pure public vote, before the sing-off was used right to the semis.

    We can safely assume Honey G polled dead bottom tonight, purely on the fact there was no deadlock. Had she been one-from-bottom, then of course that’s how it would have gone. Even against Ryan, that was a very stunning and brave move on the producers’ part to legitimately save her on a judges’ vote.

    I can’t see her bouncing. They’ve got their controversial save. Stand by for a Wagner style nuking next weekend.

    Who’ll be with her though? Louis Loves is basically a byword for Brian Friedman’s Wet Dreams, right? Surely that means a production for Saara that makes “Love Love Peace Peace” look like a Primary School Nativity?

    • Honey G wasn’t necessarily last tonight. Personally I don’t think she was. Sometimes the judges send someone home 3-1 so they are seen to be “judging” – like with Bratavio in week 1. By your logic, Saara would have been dead last in that first sing off as well, whereas she almost certainly wasn’t.

      • Woofie

        I am not sure Tim, for a controversial contestant like Honey G, you would think they would use the opportunity to say it was the public that kept her in. I don’t think she would have been saved if it was against any other contestant but Ryan.

        • Woofie

          Maybe against Saara in a deadlock but that would have been a close call to make. Ryan made it easy for them being so many times in the bottom and to be able to say Honey G had more fight in her. But it would have been better to have the “public kept her in” narrative too.

          • Alan

            To take it to deadlock one of the judges wouldve had to save Ryan over HG. Yet all through the series they wouldve been heaping praise on HG and at best damning Ryan with feint praise. 3 – 1 made more sense and on entertainment value and connecting with public also made sense.

          • Woofie

            Looking at the different prespectives I can see she may not have been absolute bottom in the voting. As you say Alan it made sense in terms of the judge’s previous weeks of praising and standing ovations compared to Ryan. The voting figures will be very revealing for last week and it is important to take note for future shows with similar scenarios.

            I do wonder Nicole’s comment was they doubted she could clear the bottom 2 as they were not prepared to nuke a contestant at this stage.

  • I caught Xtra Factor tonight for the first time in ages where I was interested to discover that the Top 6 have already recorded their winner’s singles. Matt seemed very happy with his. I’d love to find out what Honey G’s is!

  • Jessica Hamby

    The nation gives its verdict.

    https://youtu.be/8JWo34wKG1s

  • Sindi

    I have wondered if Nicole went rogue when she critiziced Honey G:s performances for being always the same, particularly as Louis has been going on about her always being different. (Louis sticks to the script really well, he keeps repeating himself.) However Nicole’s words were probably meant to be an ever so slight beginning of the end. Under the circumstances it felt like letting air off a balloon. I think Honey G will go home next. I really hope they won’t finish her nastily. They don’t even need to, there’s not enough support left for this stage.

    Then goes Emily. Despite the pimping last week she doesn’t currently have what it takes to deliver at the final. I’d like to know what’s really going on inside her head regarding song choices and Simon. She must be very worried about the health of her throat. She’s certainly aware that the sound engineers are keeping it all together right now. The production is not giving her a voice rest VT, they apparently don’t want people to notice it. Will Ryan’s fans transfer to support the girlfriend of their idol?

    Then goes 5 am. For a large proportion of the audience they do not possess what is expected of a winner of (what goes by as) a singing competition.

    That leaves us with Saara and Matt. I know I’m biased but I think Saara could realistically make it. With the show’s ratings being bad they need a final day with pure old fashioned quality. Saara’s fanbase seems to have exploded lately. Still I get it why her performance of My heart will go on might sound a little underwhelming to some but it’s delicately, effortlessly beautiful. That’s quite an achievement with a song that tends to come off as quite heavy.

    Matt’s version of Writing’s on the wall has grown on me. He tried a bit too hard, but it was emotional and, ummm, not too “clean”. He’s so much better when he’s not forced to do some emptyheaded uptempo. He must have been worried. I think they will let him soar from now on. Maybe.

    When you think of how much resources the show has, how many talented people work for them, it’s annoying that they waste so much time on scheming. I might be naive, but wouldn’t it be better for the ratings if all the singers in the lives were amazing and the performances did suit the contestants each week. This show has a bad heart.

    • Caroline

      I agree re ratings, surely that would make a better show with higher ratings? I understand wanting to favour certain acts that they want to give a springboard to, but do they have to hobble the other acts so much?

    • 360

      I don’t think Nicole would go rogue, she has the most of all the judges to lose by disagreeing with something or crossing producer intentions. Louis, Sharon and Simon all have existing other careers and the former two have clashed with Simon before in the past. Nicole owes basically all of her recent success to Simon and the X Factor producers for adopting her and turning her struggling solo career around, at least in the UK.

      She may well have misspoken or botched her planned mildly critical line, though. All of the judges have been guilty of that in the past – sometimes with disastrous consequences – the Misha B ‘bullying’ line stands out, as does Sharon reducing Abi Alton to tears and then trying to rescue the situation by shouting at her not to cry and not to take it so personally.

    • Milton

      “When you think of how much resources the show has, how many talented people work for them, it’s annoying that they waste so much time on scheming. I might be naive, but wouldn’t it be better for the ratings if all the singers in the lives were amazing and the performances did suit the contestants each week. This show has a bad heart.”

      Well said Sindi. Every year I wonder if they will learn their lesson and change their ways, but they never do. Maybe with the desperate ratings at a time when IAC and SCD are soaring the penny will finally drop.

  • Chris

    Slightly off topic (unless you consider it the most subliminal of subliminals), the scale on the mugshot VT (see gif above) makes Ryan (at best) 3 feet 7 inches tall … his head is at 6 feet but he’s standing on the 2ft 5 inches line.

    I trust that whoever made the backdrop got a good old fashioned clip around the ear for thinking that half a foot is 5 inches.

  • India Marie

    I remember the prediction game at the start of the Live Shows and I was worried that Ryan will be my biggest loser (I had him at 4th ), but now I realized that Saara is my biggest loser as I had her out by Week 2 or 3.

  • Scott

    That’s my favourite headline so far. Amazing work.

    I’m yet to watch it, but I was sitting there last night swearing to increasingly incredulous people that Honey G would be saved. There was absolutely no doubt. Unfortunately, as I suspect X Factor only attracts bets from people who are generally in the know, there was no value – Ryan was actually favourite to go. Willing to bet someone made an absolute packet by getting in there early.

    I also suspect that Honey G landed at the bottom of the vote, otherwise why wouldn’t you get Louis to do his five minute to-ing and fro-ing, then get him to scream deadlock, as in previous series? I almost take Simon’s comment as a despair that they hadn’t managed to engineer it.

    I reckon Matt and Emily are stick-ons for the final now – the only question I have is over 5AM. The show has done everything it possibly can for the boys, showing them in increasingly generous VTs meeting each others families (this week felt like an Asda advert or something). I still have huge doubts over whether they’re dependable enough for the final. The franchise comes first, and Tamera was quickly thrown under the bus when she disappointed for one week. Saara would give them a dependable singer whose vote they can easily control.

    They appear to have everything bolted down as they would want it – middle England friendly winner (Matt), competent runner-up who will clearly be outsung on the final night (Emily) and boy band (5AM) who could go on to have a career and give some variety vs someone who can flip from novelty act to really credible singer at the drop of a hat, but can be nuked at any time by playing the foreign card (Saara).

    So someone in the bottom two next week who can then be bounced to the final (Emily?), Honey G out the following week?

  • fused

    I agree with a lot of what has been said on here. Saara’s vote looks similar to how Ruth Lorenzo’s went, so wouldn’t at all be a shock if she also went in 5th place. If it’s a sing off, it could be against Emily, as 4th has been the position Diana Vickers and Janet Devlin were in in week 8. Of course history might not repeat itself directly, but the top 2 in both years included a group, one was runner-up (JLS in series 5) and one was a winner (Little Mix in series 8).

    I don’t neccessarily think Honey G was last in the vote. Yeah, she certainly COULD have been, I’ve never believed she was ever getting that many public votes anyway, but getting a majority vote to go from the judges isn’t forced to mean that they weren’t bottom of the public vote. Ryan has been at least bottom 3 for 5 out of 7 weeks, that’s a fair enough reason itself to vote someone off. (The treatment of Ryan which might have contributed to his low public vote isn’t so fair of course, but that’s another can of worms altogether).

    I do think though that if Honey G ends up in another sing-off, she’s gone. They might not actually mind her being in the final too much, but I doubt they WANT her there particularly.

  • David Cook

    Interesting to compare the reactions of the other acts during the sing off both before and at the end of each performance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMJqLbMh790&t

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGRFS6FDCaw

  • Keen Observer

    Groups are notoriously difficult to get over the line and tend to need an extra push just to get to the final. Testified by the fact we have only ever had one group win and groups such as JLS and 1D came 2nd and third respectively (strong years!).

    This year feels more like the Fleur/Ben scenario with 5AM playing the overly pimped Fleur role, and Matt playing the better voiced Middle England vote winner in Ben. That won’t stop them trying with 5AM though, so don’t be too surprised if they continue to throw the kitchen sink at 5AM with more up and down treatment of Matt.

    On a side note, Honey G still far too short in the betting, surprised not to see her in triple digits yet. Would also suggest Saara should be a much bigger price, I think they’ve set their stall out on a Matt/5AM/Emily final. They’ve shown that there’s great control over the Saara vote thus far and don’t expect that to change, with the old Andrea Faustini tactics in reserve if absolutely necessary.

  • 360

    Off-topic, but I’ve just noticed that Saara’s initials go nicely with the title we’ve given her: Saara Aalto, Singoff Assassin.

    Should be an album title.

  • Anglia Chu

    Surely Honey G is out next week. We already see how they plan to kill her off, performance-wise: absolutely nothing, her shtick is naturally tiring.

    Given that the semis now have a sing-off, a finalist Saara is possible, but for her to confidently win deadlock over 5AM/Emily requires the latter to royally screw up over the next few weeks.

  • HL

    They have been consistent this year, eliminating one from each group, then another one from each group. Thus I am waiting for an Over to drop this week. If there is any justice in this world, it will be Honey G, against anyone. Then there will be one act left in each category. Of course is she is not there in B2, then my scenario sucks.

  • GsP

    The difference in YouTube views across the series is astounding. Saara already at over 1.3m from Saturday night. Just astounding.

    • stoney

      Due to overseas fans

    • Woofie

      I have to say I was pleased for Saara that she didn’t end up in a sing off. I do think the show is happy to support the narrative that contestant’s can turn things around, gives the impression it is a genuine competition in the hands of the contestants and the voting public. Whatever happens next she can walk away from the show with her “head held high”, knowing that she won the affectation of the British audience.

  • Sindi

    Somebody said Honey G left some lyrics out because there was inappropriate language.

  • Henry VIII

    I don’t know what Cowell wants this year but the next week may be the pivotal one. Please give opinions on the following dissent.

    The G could excel next week, the week after continue excelling or need a save, make the final where all the talk would be “Can Honey G win XF?” They’ve gone to a lot of trouble just to dump her.

    Facts to ponder:

    Cowell’s philosophy is “If they’re talking about you you’ve won”. Cowell said “we need to throw out the rule book”.

    Cowell made 1000x more money from Jedward than Joe McElderry and Jedward were never even TCO.

    Honey G would be more in demand than any of the others and would make Cowell much more money than any of the others. Also a Honey G win could be Cowell’s excuse in later years for XF viewing figures going down the drain. He knows they’ve already started going that way and would continue to do so, with or without Honey G.

    Matt has had evil eyes staging and “karaoke”. No TCO has ever had that. Bond songs have a bad record at XF and yet Matt was given not just a Bond song but the hardest one (“I chose it” Matt said = he chose it out of the 3 songs he was given, the other 2 being wholly inappropriate). He ended the song being consumed by fire and surrounded by stark red and black. Were they hoping he’d also mess up? Anyway he didn’t mess up, and sometimes they just run with the best eg Sam Bailey. Or next week “Matt you did great last week but, to be honest, I found that boring”.

    Honey G had a bad week. I loved her two prior performances and they were much better received in sm. She showed a lot of spunk and determination in the sing-off, she’s a new phenomenon. She can still win this.

    • Sindi

      Simon said in Xtra Factor that Honey G is not going to win. I believe he meant it. I think the Honey pimping can’t survive that one awkward sing off. The whole thing could work just as long as supporting Honey was being on winner’s side. That’s why they needed to throw the kitchen sink every week. Honey’s service could well be considered finished and many headlines did she give them.

      I don’t think they can save Honey against anyone who’s left. Despite all the trolling there’s a line they can’t cross. People would be too upset.

      Of course I might be totally wrong.

    • Woofie

      I hope to provide more thoughts on where I think the competition and the contestants are later. On your thoughts Henry. I am not convinced. They must have had doubts about Honey G clearing the bottom 2 last week but they were not prepared to nuke any of the other contestants to help her.

      Their target was Ryan and they succeeded – the only contestant seriously damaged by that was Honey G.

      If your logic is correct and that she presents such a strong commercial proposition then they would have done it. We know, and some commentators feared, they could have gone to town on Saara – they didn’t, they restrained the vocal so she couldn’t belt it out, little musical theatre and old fashioned dress – such a contrast to the previous week – but they didn’t nuke her. They eased of the peddle for 5AM, they didn’t give Matt his pimp slot and Emily was given positive treatment but again it didn’t feel like it was a wow moment. They still stand as contenders and Simon was playing that up on the Xtra Factor.

      To me that suggests that the other contestants are more favoured. Nicole’s critic stands out in all of this.

      I think after last week they were embrassed by the sing off.
      It was interesting she was dressed in red and black, kept her trademark baseball hat and glasses, but took away her personality and made her look something to be feared – not very family and child friendly – when they had the break I thought they were going to restyle her into a gold or sliver tracksuit. Notice it was blue on Saturday.

      They don’t need her to get to the final to “cash in”, Jedward didn’t get anywhere near the final. What I will say I think Honey G is damaged goods more suited to celebrity reality TV.
      I think Simon’s main interest is credible music artists not one hit wonders. Louis benefited more from Jedward than Simon, in fact I think he arranged for them to be released from their management contract, which was an arrangement with the show.

      However, you can never be sure with this show. It could all change next week, they kept her in the competition but I am not sure it would be good for the franchise if she won it.

      She is not Reggie’n’Bollie and after last week’s sing off even more so, she lost the family friendly tag last week in my opinion, but it could be restored – the kids would have in bed for school on Sunday night…. I hope.

  • Poker Coach

    Lost money with this logic last week.

    But Saara has around only 50% chance for ending in b2 according betfair.

    Would her outright odds remain high even if it would be guaranteed that she has been in top 3 in votes?

    I just find it odd that best vocalist is in top 4 in votes, has fanbase and has second highest odds in outright.

    • Alan

      Shes long odds because it’s pretty clear that TPTB wouldnt want her to win. On top of that TPTB have shown that they can manage her vote down at will. Double-Whammy. She’s got no chance.

      I think her treatment will start to deteriorate because they are going to want to get 5AM (and to a lesser extent Emily) above her in the vote. The bus is coming.

  • Dana

    I think there is a limit to how high a percentage an act with zero talent or likeability can get in the vote and Honey has well and truly hit it. The show might bounce her to 4th if they pimped her to the Heavens and completely assassinated Saara, but I’m not sure there would be any point.

    The majority of the audience want her out at this stage- may as well give them what they want.

  • Martin

    Two songs this week should be interesting. Given that Saara has had the least favourable treatment overall so far, I’m expecting a nobbling for her this weekend – they don’t even need to be harsh with her, just send her on in the middle with an MOR ballad that doesn’t show off her vocal, and early in round two with a wierd production and she’ll be gone. They’d have to get Honey G clear of the bottom two though – saving her over Ryan wasn’t so disasterous, but I don’t think they’d get away with it again.

    I don’t think Emily will be in as much trouble as we think with an uptempo number. She’s the likely next candidate for b2 based on previous treatment but she’s proved she can do uptempo at SCC and does anybody really think that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun would be a ludicrous choice for Louis Loves theme? Wouldn’t be a shock to see it reprised, and then allow her to stay in her comfort zone for second song.

    Personally I think Honey G has served her purpose and having Saara around for an extra week this week would be better for the show but she’s the only one making headlines and publicity obviously means more. Not sure they’ll get away with it though.

    • Sindi

      I didn’t see that story intended as negative.

      • HL

        I hope there would be only people like you Sindi out there! The Sun, Ok!, Daily Mail and Express are all writing something about her fiancee today. Most DM comments seem to be really positive, saying she is the best singer, or congratulations, but there are hateful prejudiced comments with lots of likes, too.

      • Martin

        To be fair, they could spin that into a really positive, cute VT for Saara this weekend and it would still probably send her into the bottom two. As if she isn’t scary enough, what with being FOREIGN and KOOKY, she’s now a bloody lesbian too!

        • HL

          On the other hand, if there is any kind of publicity that is not good for the show, it is tabloids screaming that XF is homophobic and xenophobic. If they choose Honey G over her, how bad would it look like? [A: Very.]

          • Martin

            If they could take it to deadlock, I don’t discount them at least attempting it. At least then the voters are homophobic, not the show.

            Not that I think this very likely – this show is terrified of homosexuality. I don’t imagine anything like this featured on the show on Saturday.

          • 360

            Ironically, Honey G is also rumoured to be a lesbian – they’ve been careful to bury any of her old music that references or suggests that fact.

          • Sindi

            “this show is terrified of homosexuality”
            Bratavio then?

          • HL

            They have been giving subtle hints here and there, but no more. Let’s hope you Martin are right and they are not taking it any further.

            Btw, loads of people started googling “matt terry gay” after Simon had joked about Louis fancying Matt. It is still the second most used search term when searching information about Matt Terry.

          • 360

            Bratavio went out rock bottom in week 1, Sindi. Previous gay contestants have been firmly closeted and had their significant others and/or the existence of their non-straightness ignored. Exhibits: Joe McElderry, Lloyd Daniels, Marcus Collins, Craig Colton, Lucy Spraggan, Jade Ellis.

            Gay contestants who were openly so or appeared so: Bratavio (out week 1), Diva Fever (out week 2, polled very low week 1), Seann Miley Moore (out week 2), Danyl Johnson (a rare exemption, but whose vote share still tanked from top of the leaderboard the two weeks after being outed on live TV by Dannii Minogue).

          • Martin

            Even then, it wasn’t addressed directly. They served their purpose as the comedy gay novelty act the show needed them to be.

            I can count three instances when homosexuality has been addressed on this show – Danyl Johnson (or should I say, bisexuality) Lucy Spraggan and Jaymi from Union J. If you consider just how many non-straight contestants there have been over the years, they just avoid the subject altogether.

            Sorry for the tangent! I don’t see the story being brought up over the weekend concerning Saara.

          • Martin

            We also forget Rylan and Johnny Robinson. Make of that what you will.

          • Alan

            Louis Walsh? NIck Grimshaw? Numerous contestants? Yes blatently terrified of homosexuality.

            Anyway why should someone’s sexuality be addressed? Its a singing competition not Mr Gay UK.

          • Martin

            The only time Louis’ sexuality is mentioned is when it’s the punchline to a joke. I’m not saying it’s something which should be drawn attention to, but for all the lovely VTs we get over the years with a contestants girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands, whenever it concerns a homosexual contestant, their partner becomes invisible.

            I don’t want to be all militant-gay about it, but I don’t see how it can be viewed any other way.

    • Sindi

      I think if they wanted to damage Saara, they’d dig up the exaggerated claims of her career in Finland or do something else obviously negative. They might still do that though.

    • Woofie

      I don’t think these type of personal stories play negatively against contestants. They appeal to their supporters and reinforce an emotional connection with the contestant. Saara has stayed true to herself and I think that has helped her cement a fan base.

      I am sure swing voters watch the show and give contestants a vote or two based on how much they liked a performance and positivity around personality, the VT, staging, styling and song choice etc., and of course judge’s critique.

      We have had lots of media stories, positive and negative, depending on your viewpoint, and I don’t think they have had that much influence on people’s voting intentions – what happens on Saturday night is more important. On people’s betting that is a different matter!

  • Rose

    I see where Henry’s coming from above, regarding Honey G’s money making potential but I’ve always seen her as more probably a one hit wonder, if that. She’s not very good at what she does and while I was beginning to see a tiny bit of charm in her naivety and self belief, Sunday’s sing off performance blew that all away for me. She seemed quite unpleasant and ungracious which I think makes her a much harder sell to the public. Her family have hinted at her having quite a fragile shell and I think if she really does believe she’s a genuine rap phenomenon, then her fall from grace may hit her hard.
    Simon was quite clear and matter of fact on Xtra – she can’t win the show – it didn’t sound like a tease or something said just for the column inches.
    I also think they can’t now credibly save her against anyone except by going to deadlock with her only second to bottom. I do think Simon is doing a volte-face with her now, beginning to distance himself. My guess is that she goes next week. Will that have been enough in terms of the publicity she’s brought them? They’d have to destroy someone else IMO on the show next week and would they really want to do that to keep Honey G another week?

    • Jessica Hamby

      Jedward appear to be lovely guys. Honey G doesn’t have the same warmth or approachability. I think if you’re going to be a novelty act with any longevity people need to like you. I’m not sure many people like Honey G.

      • Rose L

        That’s it, Jessica. Reggie and Bollie, too, were warm – the sort of people I’d be happy to spend time with. But Honey G has kept her personality under wraps – even the much-vaunted “dance off” challenge with Ed Balls came down to her repeating the exact same line each time she was asked. There’s so little to grab on to in terms of likability with her and definitely a more negative side beginning to show now. I think she has served her purpose on the show and will be eliminated this weekend – hopefully not too brutally though, as I suspect it might hurt her if so. I guess I’ve taken the view that she really believes she is a rap artist rather than that she is an actor doing a role – I think the sing off probably clinched that for me. If that was acting, with that utterly awful performance done with such gusto, then she is a Method acting genius!
        The only thing I can see keeping her in another week is if Simon believes a controversial save against another contestant is a publicity stunt too enticing to miss. Could they really do it after that sing-off? Well I wouldn’t put anything past them, I am afraid. But I struggle to see who they could save her over.

        • Sindi

          I firmly believe she’s acting and she knows she’s a humour act. We know that she’s been leading a normal life. If she was severely under illusion it would have been extremely immoral and also risky for the producers to go with her. They might have been involved in developing the character.

          I do believe that Honey, I mean Anna is however hoping to make a career out of it and that’s understandable. We all know that the fix claims are untrue and people have really been voting for her. I think her performances have been entertaining several times. The problem is she needs a big, expensive show, so her career would need massive financial involvement. Is someone going to go for it? I doubt it.

          The reason why she seems too weird at times is that she’s playing a character and she’s not an actual actress. She miscalculates at times. It’s very demanding to keep doing what she’s doing at the show and she might be getting exhausted.

          The hating really is out of all proportion. I don’t know why the audience is taking her so seriously.

          • Martin

            Yeah this seems pretty obvious that it’s all an act. She’s clearly been told what to say and when, and seems pretty nervous when she has to deviate away from her “script”. It doesn’t help her cause at all. I do think she’s benefit from a “behind the mask” sort of VT. She’s got plenty in the way of a sob story, if the show did want to keep her around it may be a good tactic to get people to warm to her.

          • Rose L

            I do see where you’re coming from, but if it were an act, wouldn’t it be a bit better than this? Wouldn’t she be briefed to be warmer and funnier and given some pointers as to how to achieve that? Maybe a few other lines than “I’m the realest chick in the game”?
            I started off strongly believing she was an act like any one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s personas, but I am now a bit dubious. Maybe that’s the true brilliance of the act though!

          • Sindi

            I’m sure they wouln’t take mentally ill people to the lives. There would be zero guarantee they’d manage the demanding weeks at all. Anna’s shows have been among the most demanding and she has to be mentally strong to make it.

          • Rose L

            There’s a big difference between being mentally ill and being a bit delusional – the latter is quite common among X Factor contestants from my experience!

          • Sindi

            I suppose if Honey G was ‘real’, she’d be more than a bit delusional. That could be argued I guess. 🙂

  • Tom

    Convinced Honey G was plum last in this weeks vote, really cant see her avoiding bottom 2 this coming week. Trying to back her at 1.6 is there any takers?

  • Dana

    How boring is Honey G’s Twitter account? All she does is retweet people praising her. She doesn’t seem to interact with her fans or the other contestants at all. Think people are beginning to realise she isn’t in on the joke after all, making her far less funny.

    • 360

      Her willingness to sell her soul to become part of the machine really irritates me. None of that article reads as her own opinion; it’s a press release she’s changed some of the words of and put her name to.

      Ryan didn’t “need more time”, he just wasn’t as strong a singer as the others – with the exception of 5AM, who were given every help to make them sound better (I’m not even counting Honey G – and was harpooned every week with the songs they gave him. Surely Fleur, not the strongest singer in the world herself, if she was being honest would be aware of this, instead of mouthing an empty statement to fill up the word count??

      • Plinkiplonk

        ‘Fleur East’ as a brand is owned by Syco, and they are using this asset to spread the message we are meant to believe. I would be surprised if she had written as much as a single word of this, it’s all PR.

        • 360

          It grates on me so much how she is willing to go along with it though. To appear on the show in whatever capacity they want of her, while being a puppet! Freaky if you ask me.

          She will be the next Sinitta.

          • Rose L

            To be fair to performers like Fleur, they work in an incredibly competitive environment and can lose their precious record deals at the drop of a hat, often through no fault of their own. This happened to friends of mine who thought they were set up for life when they won their first (and only) record deal. A few months later, they were dropped when the record company lost interest in them and they never got signed again.
            If I were in Fleur’s place, I’d do what was asked of me too.

  • stoney

    Where have all the Honey supporters slipped off to by the way?

  • Poker Coach

    Next week only top 3 will avoid b2.

    In voting habits there is quite big symoathy bounce effect.
    I think that it would be bigger next week than usual if somebody will be the one who sends honey g back to home.

    Lets assume that theybwant Saara to end up 4th in competition and honey G 5th. Would they want to give Saara a possibility to the sympathy bounce?

    I think that theur ovjectives would be best served to give that sympathy bounce to 5 AM next week. Any thoughts?

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