X Factor 2016 Final: Matt? Finnish?

In this most unpredictable of years, is there room for one final twist? It would be the ultimate irony if the prize ended up, after all, going to the act who seemed like Plan A throughout the audition stages but hasn’t had a single pimp slot in the live shows and was, this time last week, being dismissed as bland and compared to a butterless sandwich. Matt is now favourite on Betfair again.

xfactor-2016-final-saturday-main

Matt was never going to win the battle of the homecoming VTs, with both Dermot and Simon calling attention to how that they’d never seen anything like Saara’s Helsinki welcome on the X Factor before – Matt’s Bromley homecoming VT was perfectly fine, with respectable crowds and the requisite familial tears, but the 10,000 people in Helsinki looked as stunning as expected.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the night, though, was how Nicole introduced Matt – “England, it’s your very own” – and how she pointedly said, in her comments to his first song, and making sure that she found the camera as she did so, “England, please get behind your very own”. If producers were on board with a Saara win, it’s surprising that was allowed to happen.

If producers were back on board with Matt, however, then it’s surprising that Saara got the better comments. Simon referred to her “star power” and her ability to grow to fill the big stage; in contrast, he’d earlier referred to Matt’s nerves and said the vocal was “good”, which is about as faint as praise tends to get in the final.

Then, as Demot filled before Louis Tomlinson’s performance, asking the judges about the first set of songs, Nicole again shouted out “please vote for Matt” before Simon pointedly said it was “quite obvious” that “somebody” had just “killed it”. One assumes he didn’t mean England’s very own.

It’s possible to view the duets in two ways. If you think the key to a good duet is interaction between the act and the star, then Saara’s won hands down: Adam Lambert held her hand and treated her as an equal, while Matt might as well not have been on the stage as soon as Nicole walked on. Against that, ‘Purple Rain’ had much the more winner-y staging, with a cosmos backdrop, confetti and a pyro curtain. Overall, it felt more squarely aimed at an ITV Saturday night audience, many of whom may not know that Adam Lambert is now singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for a living.

Tomorrow’s songs of the series are ‘Writing On The Wall’ for Matt and ‘Oh So Quiet’ for Saara. That feels more positive for Matt: he gets to be James Bond, while Saara is in the full-on crazy mode that the week 8 focus group seemed less than keen on.

As for third-placed 5 After Midnight, we’re left wondering why producers went to all that trouble last week to pimp them into the final. Their first performance, as vocally underwhelming as ever, looked like it was set in a level of Goldeneye in Nintendo 64: graffiti, bursts of fire and a helicopter with slowly spinning blades as if it has just been shot down. The duet with Clean Bandit and Louisa Johnson looked alarmingly like they’d never met before and were making up the choreo on the spot.

Will the Finnish underdog get over the line, or will England come through for Nicole Matt? We can’t call it. Let us know how you saw the Saturday show below.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

490 comments to X Factor 2016 Final: Matt? Finnish?

  • Shraine

    Very very hard to call. I think saara has gained too much support and momentum. But it’s clear they want a Matt win and they want him over the line. The question is. Can they do it? Yes they can!

  • Okay, let me give my take on tonight’s performance of the TOP2.

    I think Matt’s solo was solid, if not exciting. Saara’s solo didn’t really work for me for the first 2/3’s of the performances, but she ended it well. I do wish the judges (especially Simon) gave her a bit more realistic comments.

    Both duets were great. Both acts had two good duet partners who really wanted to make a good duet. Both sang iconic songs. I just think Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t a great song choice for this occasion. BR has this unique structure and it’s a long song, we all knew in advance they would have to cut it down considerably. I really wish Saara and Adam did another song. I think whoever picked the song for Matt and Nicole completely nailed it. Their duet really had that oomph. The song choices for tomorrow really look in favor of Matt. That said, expecting Saara to sing anything from weeks 8 or 9 was really not realistic. We will see and hear how the winner’s single turns out for both.

    I would say Saara has less than ideal song choices this week. Matt could only do better if he sang Adele instead of Jess Glynne.

    3rd place finish for 5AM was kinda predictable. It made sense to have them open the show with that performance and it surely pleased a part of the audience. But that duet with Clean Bandit and Louisa was a really bad fit for them. When I heard that I knew they were history. There was no way the other two duets couldn’t sing circles around them.

  • George

    If Saara wins, it’ll be because she built up so much momentum in the past few weeks and a took an immediate lead after the first set of performances. If this is the case, they could be happy to just let the show play out knowing the result is inevitable. ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ is surely closer to real-world Saara than one of her ballads anyway, so there’s that angle, and (this is probably a big factor) they probably want at least one uptempo performance tomorrow.

    But if the vote is close right now, then Matt will almost certainly win tomorrow based on those choices and what I’m just guessing will be a much more suitable winner’s song.

  • Curtis

    I would imagine that the voting is neck and neck or close to now, but it looks like the producers for whatever bizarre reason have chosen to push Matt over the line tomorrow. It ain’t over until the Finnish lady sings though – and I’m still drawn back to how Saara was given the total winner’s treatment in round 1, fantastic homecoming VT, staging, judges comments and all.

    If I had to call it though I’d say that Saara’s unfortunate record of being a serial runner-up in TV competitions looks set to continue. I hope not, though I may make sure I’m financially invested in a Matt win so I’m happy either way!

  • 360

    The duet with Clean Bandit and Louisa Johnson looked alarmingly like they’d never met before and were making up the choreo on the spot.

    So accurate. And we thought Rod Stewart and Che last year was awkward!

  • Jessica Hamby

    squarely aimed at an ITV Saturday night audience

    I think this sums it up. Several times when reports suggested Saara might be doing a “eurovision classic” I posted that she needed to perform for the audience in front of her. The Matt / Nicle duet did that far more than the Adam / Saara imo. Of course I may be talking out of my hat – I hope so – but my suspicion is that the X Factor final audience likes it best when it’s turned all the way up to eleven.

  • Scott

    It’s very odd to see Simon appear at odds with his own show (whether real life or just fantasy) and adds an extra layer of unpredictability to the whole thing. The song choices lend themselves more to Matt on first view, but we haven’t heard the winner’s song yet.

    Gut feeling, Matt is going to win this. Not sure if this is reverse confirmation bias (I’m a natural pessimist) though. Either way, it’s a good combo for the final – entertaining act to open the show (as referenced by Dermot) and two solid performers. Kinda Matt Cardle v Sam Bailey.

  • stoney

    I can only hope that saara has pulled so far ahead in the voting that they feel they can level up the ‘wide open competition’ theory by giving them the song choices that tend to favor matt. Although the vote swing is of a major concern

    • George

      Only thing is, the ‘song of the series’ must have been chosen during the week and the producers aren’t exactly known to take risks and hope for the best. If they really wanted to push Saara over the line surely they would’ve picked something different?

      But it’s really weird – round one was all Saara and considering these performances were all being worked on at the same time it’s really sending mixed messages. Maybe Matt’s duet caught them off guard considering it was seemingly so last minute.

      • Jessica Hamby

        But Saara’s duet shouldn’t have caught them off guard.

      • GsP

        I suspect when it was originally being mapped out they thought they could push 5AM above Matt, then could deramp Saara on the final night and try to score them victory at the very end.

        If Matt squeezed past 5AM after the duets fell apart and he got lucky his worked out on the night, then they may actually be looking at a winner they didn’t want in the end.

        I just can’t believe they’ve landed her with Bjork. No matter how they spin it (I think visually it could be superb in the Arena) it’s not a vote winner, and I suspect the voting stats will show it left her mid pack in week 3.

  • GsP

    Oh So Quiet is a bad choice.

    Everyone will be expecting her to do Winner Takes It All or Chandelier, so it will immediately fall flat.

    If they wanted up tempo they should have done No More Tears. Her Disco performance was one of the best of the entire series from any contestant and would have been phenomenal.

    It looks like they are leaning heavily towards Matt with those choices.

    Saara’s only hope is that she’s built up sufficient momentum or goodwill to carry her across. But I now think she will come second on a 65/35 vote split.

    What a shame. Very like when they gave Marcus a low ranking “Song of the Series” to dampen him down.

    Her homecoming VT was sensational.

    • Alan

      If they were trying to dampen Saara’s vote they would have done it on the Saturday when there was still 24 hours voting left, not on the Sunday when they can only influence the last hour’s worth of votes.

      I dont think its an attempt to dampen her vote I just think its a mis-reading of her song of the series based on the turning point it represented for her.

  • Curtis

    Matt’s duet doesn’t seem to be up on the X Factor Youtube page right now. It’s easy to call foul play on these things, but I would guess it’s to do with the complicated rights surrounding the song “Purple Rain”.

    Edit: Mind you, I don’t see 5AM’s duet song there either – Just Saara’s. Maybe they’re just not doing a great job with the uploads!

  • Marianne

    I really loved Saara’s and Adam’s Bohemian Rhapsody, not as keen on the first song though and really disappointed she’s doing Oh So Quiet. If they wanted uptempo then I agree No More Tears would have been a much better choice. I loved it. And it really looked like they were backing her as a winner before, confusing. But even if she doesn’t win I’m sure she’s over the moon she got to perform with Adam Lambert and she made it through to Sunday. I do feel sorry for those who bet £10,000 and £30,000 on her to win.

  • should i cash out with my saara bet or hold my nerve…..make me slightly up on breaking even. decisions decisions

  • Plinkiplonk

    I am ever so slightly suspecting that they let Saara blow all her good bits today, where she was never in danger anyway, and tomorrow she’ll be subdued by the song choice. The only song that would have been worse for her would have been a repeat of ‘Sound of the Underground’. She could have done any of her well-received songs – Fleur repeated ‘Uptown Funk’ in the final after all.
    i think 5Am were cut loose once the Spice Girls duet fell through, Louisa turning up, singing the song while hey just did ‘Ooh ooh, do wop’ in the background was an embarrassment. More so after Middle Guy tried hard to pretend it was some sort of Alexandra/Beyonce moment (“I can’t believe what just happened” – Oh pur-lease…)

    Then again, Matt reprising ‘Writing’s on the wall’ could be a subtle reminder that Sam Smith snubbed him for a duet, who knows… most likely, though, he will hoover up some cute-boy-votes from 5AM.

  • Sindi

    Maybe It’s oh so quiet is there for Simon’s ego. It happened after he said she should go more crazy. Personally I really like it but I can see why there’s a doubt. However I think it’s an overreaction to say she’ll lose because of it. There are quite a few other factors.

    Will Matt’s voice hold?
    How is the winner’s single going to sound?
    Is Saara’s momentum enough?
    5 am vote transfer?

  • Dana

    I think Matt performing The Writing’s on the Wall will blow Saara’s silly novelty song out of the water. She isn’t going to win over any floating voters with that nonsense. The show tonight seemed to be geared towards a Saara victory. Is it possible the producers are just a bit inept?

  • annie

    did anyone else watch the yt xtra factor watch along ? the guy analyzing x factor winners etc said some pretty interesting things…

  • Ben Cook

    It seems far more likely that they’ve just made a mistake rather than they suddenly want Matt to win. Saara got by far the best treatment tonight.

  • stoney

    1 thing is for certain. This is the closest final in betting terms we’ve ever had going into the final day. Which is exactly what they wanted

  • Phil

    How many times over the past few weeks has everyone suspected Saara was being set up for a de ramp after finding out song choices, vt’s, leaked stories? She’s actually got stronger and more than likely topped the vote for the last couple of weeks.

    She’s obviously built up a big support and I think she’ll nail her performances tomorrow, whether they really ramp up Matt I don’t know.

  • Whilst right now there maybe much to ponder; in the days and weeks to come, do make sure you, your children and your children’s children, look back with awe on this night.

    Imvho, that was one of the greatest (and funniest) on stage nukings, in history.

    • stoney

      I was at Wembley so may have been watching from a different perspective but the closest i saw to what your describing was matts dancers chucking themselves around below him on his first song

    • Edie M

      Please elaborate!

    • Luke

      Assume you mean the contrast of singing “Crazy in Love” about a literal warzone nuking + the kid centric VT?

    • Jessica Hamby

      Well done Richard. Now you can say “see, I told you so, marvel at my insight” whatever the outcome. You don’t actually have to commit to a prediction.

      Why won’t you be specific and state who you are talking about?

      There is an obvious answer to this question – Occam’s razor and all that – but perhaps you have another one.

      • Alan

        Mr Red and Black himself.

      • Oh no; no insight. I’m talking about 5AM’s first performance. Daniel’s description is very funny and I’d place it as one of the greatest on stage nukings.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Ok. Thanks. I agree it was a nightmare for many reasons.

          I have two questions.

          Why do you think they did what they did to 5AM (no vocal support in the backing track, dreadful staging / dancers, the horrible duet etc) after having gone to all that trouble to get them in the final? Surely it would have been better for the brand to put Emily through. Her trademark wistful chanteuse schtick would have been much more impressive and they could have offset it with Saara doing a quality, uptempo big production.

          Who do you think is going to win?

        • EM

          Graffiti works every time

          • Martin

            5AM did get the book thrown at them with that one. Started off at opposite ends of the arena, then had the enormous Wembley stage cut off with one small circle of lights. Colour vomit, red and black and almost smoked out of the building. Leaving the Beyoncé original adlibs in the arrangement was quite cruel, though.

        • Tim B

          Nice to have you back on here, Richard.

          Loved the show.

        • Nice to see you back Richard. I stuck my neck out and had 5AM to win from this ‘anything can happen’ semi-final. Then I saw the abject ‘nuking’ before they even sang a note. I lost count of the repeated initial VT cutaways of them sat hanging their heads looking worn out, beaten and dejected on the stage. So ripped up my bet slip there and then.

  • Robert

    I must say, I thought Nicole’s repeated “England – vote for your own!” was incredibly obnoxious. Ugh.

    • Lake

      It was very funny to see pro-Brexit “Saara’s not from Afghanistan with a gun!” Sharon and supposedly liberal Nicole swap positions for a night.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I don’t know if I’m reading things into Matt’s treatment but in his first performance and comments it seemed like there was an attempt to use homophobia to dampen his vote. If that’s what they were doing then I hope he wins.

      It’s hard to criticise Nicole for shouting out for her act when Sharon was shouting out the same things to dampen her act in weeks one and two. It would have been better if they’d both approached things differently.

  • Keen Observer

    The discussion about Sunday song choices is getting a little silly.

    The lead from Sat to Sun in a final has never changed or come close to changing – the producers will be well aware of that now. Last year we saw Reggie n Bollie doing their song of the series (cheerleader) which conceivably could have been a vote winner. They shortened up a lot during the performance on Sun but never had a sniff.

    Additionally, the performances have surely been chosen during the week as prep is required to sort the staging, not to mention contestants need to rehearse. They have not suddenly decided Matt has won and chosen appropriate songs just before the Xtra factor. Nothing will have changed in that they’re clearly after a Saara victory, whether they’ll get their wish is another question!

    • stoney

      For them to be giving saara the bjork song she is either comfortably in the lead or comfortably finishing second. There is no way they would be giving her that song tomorrow if it was on a knife edge

      • Keen Observer

        I totally understand that thinking – if this was 5050 going into tomorrow completely agree that wouldn’t be the ideal song combination you’d want if looking for a Saara win.

        I’ve always thought there has to be some sort of planning going into Sunday’s show though – I know contestants have all day tomorrow to practise, but getting staging sorted/backing singers etc can’t be done instantly.

        You basically want to cover both scenarios of each act winning – let’s say Matt did win Saturday, you don’t want him doing one of his unexciting performances before being crowned champion, and vice versa.

        I think if it is genuinely on a knife edge, they’ll be tweaking on the day – more fire with Writings on the Wall etc!

    • DGiles

      I’m still not convinced by Writings on the Wall for Matt. Bond songs don’t have a good history on the show even when performed well, and this isn’t even one of the better bond themes. All we truly know is that Matt wasn’t in the bottom 2 with that performance and while most assume he did top the votes that week, there are no guarantees he did at all and it is all speculation. While he may have topped the votes that week, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t.

  • Poker Coach

    I just got a feeling that Saara has got what she wanted from the show. The more I think about it, she WANTS to be 2nd!

    Just look how happy she was when Matt got through!?!? Still against 5AM she had won it by a mile 🙂 And to sing bohemian rhapsody with Adam was a rather dream come through than a plot how to win.

    Now she does what she wants and it suits to the TPTB very well, because it wont attract mainstream voters.

    The reason why she never got big in Finland was because she had her own ideas so strongly with her. She indeed got offers from record labels, but rejected them all. She prefer to decide what to do and how to do it and is not that happy to become a puppet.

    She cared a lot to get into the last stage but that’s it. Now she’s had biggest visibility in the competition so far (Most songs singed). And tomorrow is her last chance to attract new fans who love that kind od music that she loves to perform.

    She is winner but she doesn’t care about winning anomore. She is happy to let Matt win. Both she and Matt will most likely do better with Matt 1st and Saara 2nd 🙂

    • Dendrite

      Yup. In one of her very first interviews right after the X Factor audition, she said that the best thing that could happen to her in the competition would be to finish second (again) – she would then get all the exposure and none of the winner’s obligations. And, every now and then, one gets what one wishes for.

  • David Cook

    Just watching it now – mixed feelings. To me Saara came out of it looking like the star singer and performer. But the performances might not be those that appeal most to the viewers. I agree that Matt might win this, but if he does it’s because he’s the bland default winner.
    Couldn’t quite believe the comments about Matt’s duet on the last page. I agree with Andrew – as soon as Nicole came on stage he might as well have not been there. Nicole’s a great singers but basically she just humiliated her own act – his contribution was zero.
    Saara wasn’t perfect by any means, but she was the one who looked like a professional act. Now to the crux of this – I’m sure she wants to win this, but I also think she wants to win it doing what she wants to do. And I think she’d rather finish second or third than compromise herself. Long term it’s better for her to do that.
    BR was almost a great performance – messed up be the short time frame and arrangement. You’ve got to try to look past that. It finally gave her a chance to how off the operatic side of her vocal – it was almost superb and personallyI loved it. Maybe a lot of the audience won’t.
    Off to eat ice cream now.

    • DGiles

      This series, theatrical has been seen as a negative regarding Saara, but do we have any past examples of more theatrical acts to compare against to see how their voting held up. The only one that comes to mind for me is Kitty, but she had so many other off elements that it becomes a poor example to analyse. Rhydians another I guess, but he was more extreme and we don’t have precise voting figures for that season.

      The argument is that these acts don’t do well because they are less commercial, but I’m just wondering if this theory holds up, or whether the vast majority vote based on whether they enjoy the act without thinking of future prospects or whether they could become a star. The BBC has been successful with theatrical type shows on a Saturday night (I’d argue that strictly is also in this category), so maybe these types of performances actually suit the Saturday night audience. Remember most viewers are aged 35+ (even if that’s not the aim of the show)

      This may be the reason why classic ballads tend to out perform.modern uptempo tracks also

    • Poker Coach

      I strongly agree with your post. But still I think that Nicole actually did a huge favour to Matt. Huge majority of voters don’t think that much about technical skills or even who did a song to sound great.

      Facebook reactions for Matts and Nicoles duet are actually quite positive. A lot of people are writing that they absolutely smashed it. And the ones who vote for technical skills have already chosen Saara.

      Only ones really humiliated were 5 AM.

      • David Cook

        Yes – but we’ve both come to a similar conclusion – Saara wouldn’t want to win on those terms, having someone else win it for her. Matt looked like a plank tonight – both performances. Maybe he doesn’t care as long as he wins.

        • Poker Coach

          Yeah. Saara’s stardom is genuine. Her attitude is so respectable. I sincerely hope that she would still win.

          However, at this point I think that it is better to invest the money to buy a ticket to her concert than to bet for her win.

  • Chance

    I’m surprised to see so many people say Oh So Quiet is a bad choice. That was the song that first kept her out of the sing off and it was a stunning performance. It’s the right type of crazy.

    • Poker Coach

      Strong risk of confirmation bias here.

    • HL

      I had to pick a favourite earlier this week, and I chose It’s Oh So Quiet. It was so surprising, entertaining, diverse and totally different from Björk’s version. There were three perfect ones to choose from: No More Tears and The Winner Takes It All were the other two candidates. Her Chandelier was great too, but it works only if it is not cut short.

      I have to agree that TWTIA or No More Tears would have been safer choices for tomorrow, but this one is not an obvious deramp either. You really have to hate everything related to musical theatre to hate it, it’s crazy and theatrical in a good way. Weeks 4 and 5 were the questionable ones.

  • Tim B

    The fact that Matt’s Facebook stats from tonight are almost even with Saara’s says a lot. Usually she’s miles ahead with all of her Finnish and international Eurovision fans. With at least one song sure to favour Matt tomorrow and what’s likely to be the bulk of the vote transfer from 5 After Midnight, I think he will almost certainly win now.

    • Dana

      I think she has only beaten him twice on Facebook, but yes- his victory is secure at this point.

    • Ron

      That assumes Matt was within touching distance of Saara before the final or even breathing down her neck but what if he was miles behind in the voting at the semi final stage? People are talking as if it is the easiest thing in the world to go from third place or lower in an X Factor semi to winning the final, when I don’t think it has ever happened in the show’s history

  • David Cook

    I’m just going to add that I actually felt sorry for Louisa tonight. I doubt she could really refuse to sing with the singers who can’t sing. Worse for her the key was obviously changed to something 5AM could manage which was pretty uncomfortable for her and sounded completely wrong. It was almost as bad as the sing off performance.

    • Curtis

      It made her look bad, and she sings that song very well usually. When Alexandra sang Listen with Beyoncé she actually had to change the key from her ideal to one that suited Beyoncé, one reason I’ve always preferred Alexandra’s solo version of that song. Louisa Johnson though holds no such clout and had to bend over backwards to support out-of-their-depth vocalists. That she didn’t even make the recaps says it all – I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen that happen before!

      • DGiles

        Yeah, can’t help but feel that the real loser tonight is Louisa. It could well be the last time she gets to perform to such a big audience and she was reduced to 5AMs abysmal vocal level.

  • India Marie

    When I saw the duet choice spoilers prior to the Live Show, I knew that 5AM were out; made a few £ along the way.

    Matt is being given a fighting chance tomorrow but a part of me feels Saara has a strong lead tonight that he can’t catch?

    At this point, I’m more excited for the voting stats.

  • Poker Coach

    When we think how much Nicole helped Matt we must also consider the votes left in todays marketplace.

    5AM votes were going to be redistributed. The ones who voted 5 AM obviously didn’t care about backing singers, distractions or any other gimmicks the production did for their support.

    So these voters didn’t either care if Nicole was the one vocally superior. It still looked like if they were singing it together and it was pleasurable to listen too 🙂

    • DGiles

      The question is whether 5AM votes are distributed straight after tonight’s vote, or whether their voters are just licking their wounds instead and will wait for tomorrow’s show (if they’re actually motivated enough to redirect their votes either way)

  • Martin

    I haven’t seen the show tonight but I’m surprised at those saying It’s Oh So Quiet is a bad choice for Saara tomorrow. It was her turning point in the competition and will likely remind viewiers of the moment they changed their opinion of her. Gives her chance to do a good vocal, perform and will suit a Wembley stage. No confirmation bias as I was on 5am today (so feel free to discount this post entirely).

    Simon explicitly said he wanted week one Matt back last weekend. Granted, his Sam Smith performance was his biggest moment but it’s a niche song with a static performance. I don’t see either of them being handicapped at this point.

  • I have a bigger green on Matt than I do Saara, but I’m not emotionally invested in Matt. It’s Oh So Quiet, for me, was her “breakout” performance – although I get the impression not many people agree. But then I always said Don’t Let Go (Love) was Little Mix’s when everyone else thought it was E.T.

    Personally, I think there is a bit of a zeitgeist going on and people are latching onto that; especially since Trump’s victory. I think back to Conchita Wurst’s Eurovision victory. The following year Graham Norton said “the people had spoken; and they were nicer people and more tolerant people than their Governments would have us believe.”

    “LGBT EU citizen wins singing competition” is going to resonate against too many remainers and Clinton sympathisers for this not to happen.

    X Factor isn’t used as a political tool like Eurovision is but I think that might be about to change.

    • Curtis

      Did people really think that about Little Mix? I mean it all depends on how you define breakout right? ET was their breakout performance in the sense that it happened first and was the first time it looked like they could win, but I thought everyone agreed that Don’t Let Go was their performance of the series. I certainly did, and I remember 0 uproar and backlash when it was chosen as such for their final.

  • HL

    My logic is that the producers of a tv show are normally more interested in the ratings than who is going to win. I thought from the beginning that Saara can offer so many things good for ratings that she will inevitably come at least close to winning. (She of course could have ended up being the shock exit, but they did it to her already once before the lives.) Almost everyone involved also seem to like her personally. But a foreign act has never won, and a female act is more vulnerable than a MOR male, and she is LGBT too, and a bit too grown-up for some voters.

    Saara is a much better singer than Matt Terry, no doubt, but Matt does not exactly suck either. He had tons of publicity already before the lives and started the lives as a strong favourite. It took weeks to bring him down for a necessary sing off to make the final exciting. When it finally happened, it was right before the final to activate voters who thought he was going to win anyway.

    This said, I am all fingers and toes crossed for a Saara win. 🙂 Not any money anymore, since my (small) bet was on Saara being the winner without Matt Terry. Happy now, and I wish luck to everyone who still has something to win or lose.

    Btw, Bohemian Rhapsody is one of my favourite songs and in my opinion Saara and Adam sang it very well and were very cute together. I would even say that if I did not know that Saara is engaged and Adam is gay, they looked like a couple. They even said “I love you” to each other. So sweet! The song was cut too short, but everyone knows it was not their fault, and it could have been cut much worse.

  • stoney

    I think Saara will be ahead of Matt in the vote at the moment. She had the stronger support going into the final. I think seeing as 5am went out in 3rd and were bottom 2 the week before the semis its almost definite she topped the semi and quarter finals.
    However given the song choices for tonight it looks like matt will more than likely overtake her tonight unless the producers have one last curveball to throw in the mix. Everything has pointed to them not wanting a Matt win but they have done very little this weekend to ensure it doesn’t happen. Maybe they don’t care who wins out of the 2 which again seems really bizarre given the support saara has had up until now.
    Matt winning was always gonna happen the moment i switched allegiances but even now i can’t bring myself to cash out.
    Oh well nearly christmas

    • Jessica Hamby

      I thought Saara had tptb support going in to last night but looking at the performances I’m not so sure. Mad World is a ridiculous choice and I find it hard to believe that was Saara’s pick. Why didn’t she do something like Born This Way or Edge of Glory by Gaga. An uptempo, feelgood song is what people what on a Saturday night, not a song about alienation and misery staged in the dark and sung in a cage of weird, green light. The whole thing is bizarre.

      Having said that, I’m still incredulous that they put 5AM through. I was sure it was going to be Emily because she can actually sing. It was a bit of a dogs dinner as far as performances were concerned and I’m still surprised by the way Cowell went at Matt after his solo song. That’s the only thing that gives me hope. I’m hoping he wouldn’t do that if he thought Matt was going on to win.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Sorry but I’ve got to get it out……

        I can’t believe how poor 5AM were. They gave them loads of help last week to get them through to the final but left them exposed and floundering last night. Why? It wasn’t just the duet that was hideous . Crazy In Love was dreadful. Louisa, in whom they have invested a lot of time and money, ended up looking rubbish too. That can’t have been the intention. But how could they not know that was going to happen?

        If anyone has a coherent explanation of last night then please share it. The only thing I can come up with is that it was a ocean-going, Dreadnought class cock-up. But even that doesn’t quite cover it. Was there any intention or method behind the madness?

        • Poker Coach

          Doesn’t make sense. They sacrified a lot to get 5AM into the final, where they were humiliated.

          Only explanation is that they had to do it to get Matt above 5AM.

          I think that they want finishing order:

          1. Matt
          2. Saara
          3. 5AM

          Matt was too much below 5AM so they could not treat them better. Against Saara 5 AM would have been toast in the final two.

        • Woofie

          The moment I saw 5AM dressed in red and black styling for their first performance I thought they were not destined for Sunday. I will say of all the contestants they have had the best VTs, week 3 being the exception but even when the producers were turning down their support, the VTs were very favourable. If they are indeed signed by Syco then it will be clear what the intentions were and that the best that could be achieved was a final placing. Jordan said they were brought together for the show and bonded throughout. Maybe last night it wasn’t meant to be that bad. They seemed very happy even though they were going out of the competition. You do wonder if they can launch a career off the back of that. The voting data will be important and that I’m sure influences the decision whether to sign or not. Maybe the decision won’t be fully taken until after the tour. I will say this Syco is good at picking music for their acts. Who knows they may even get additional members, something that couldn’t be done in the short term if they won the show.

      • stoney

        Cowell would have been free to have had a little dig at matt last night as the voting was barely open and he would have been able to have an effect. What will be more telling will be his comments after matts first song tonight. If he suddenly throws matt nothing but compliments you know matts won it. I just can’t for the life of me get the bjork song choice as song of the series for saara. The last time i remember something being as fishy as this was when marcus collins got higher and higher as his performance of the series when littlemix got don’t let go. In other words if you take her bottom 2 song choices out saara is getting her worst song of the series and matt is getting his best. This is why he is now odds on

  • Ron

    I’ve been wondering. The GBP seems suspicious of the X Factor this series, more than usual. Honey G’s time on the show has been plagued by theories around the producers trying to fix her as a finalist. And then she performed at the final and gots booed.

    The flip side of this is that viewers may reward performers they see as being genuinely vocally talented. So this might give Saara an edge over Matt.

    • Mim

      To be fair, I think Matt is also vocally talented. Saara may be stronger, more versatile and a better performer, but Matt is a good singer. I think Saara’s real advantage here is that she’s had the most interesting journey – the unpredictability is what makes her seem more genuine, whether or not it’s all been fabricated from the get-go.

  • Ben Cook

    I’m actually more worried about the winner’s single now than the reprise song. I wonder if they are both singing the same song – and if it’s true that it’s written by Ed Sheeran, is it going to suit Matt much better?

    • Yes they are both singing the same song, written by Ed Sheeran.

      I would assume it will suit Matt more.

      • David Cook

        Probably. But we also know exactly what it’s going to sound like as he’s a bit of a one trick pony. I’ m no saying he’s not a descent singer and it may be what appeals to the voters but it is a bit samey. We don’t know what licence they’ll give to Saara – she might do something epic with it.

  • Woofie

    I’m looking forward to seeing the voting statistics tonight. I think the producers have broadly got what they wanted tactically ahead of each show simply by pushing and pulling a few levers. I do wonder if there is a strong correlation between Matt’s treatment and 5AM. That keeping Matt’s (and Emily’s) vote in check (and supporting Saara) assisted 5AM to achieve their final placing. They were always confident of restoring Matt to top 2. It wasn’t that difficult.

    What happens tonight I think will be down to the vote transfer from 5AM and picking up the floating votes. Maybe I’m out of step but I kept thinking yesterday that most of the performances were core support pleasers but not of an absolute nature to be a great vote motivator for the causal voter, ok Matt’s duet stands out a little as it was designed to. The vote could be tight (or at least manageable for the producers) and may be it is the winner’s song performance that clinches it.

  • GsP

    Both Brian May and the guys from Tears for Fears have posted messages of support for Saara on social media

  • Plinkiplonk

    The way I see it (tinhat firmly on) is that they want/need a male act to launch this year. They tried very hard all season to make sure that act is going to be 5AM, and after finishing in the 1D memorial position it may well happen for them as long as Sony chucks money at them. In terms of winning, Matt and 5AM should have some overlap in demographic, so either leaving would benefit the other. We don’t know what was planned for 5AM for tonight if they had manage to edge Matt, but I think it must have become very clear during the week that 5AM were the weakest link, especially when the potentially watchable Spice Girls duet didn’t happen.
    I read it that the preferred outcome would still be Matt winning, but with Saara having built so much momentum of her own account they would have damaged the show had they try to downplay it, so she may have forced their hands and fought her way to the top, who knows?

  • Lara T

    I’ve been thinking about matts comeback, and actually think I probably should have seen it coming.

    He was a huge favourite until just a couple of weeks ago, and tptb have had to work REALLY hard to drag him down. Poor songs, terrible comments often at odds with performances, and not a single pimp slot.

    Even my mum commented to me that the show has annoyed her this year and she doesn’t feel like he’s been treated fairly at all, I believe ‘shafted’ was the term she used.

    Given the more open nature of the final, where acts have to be seen to be being given more of a fair shot, I think he was always going to come back in odds wise. He couldn’t possibly have been treated any worse than the last few weeks!

    Plus with more people possibly thinking like my mum perhaps, they would have voted for the first time, and possibly chucked a few votes his way.

    On top of this I actually liked the first song and the second definitely came out of the X Factor textbook for moments.

    Saying all this, I think Saara still has the momentum and will edge the win.

  • stoney

    http://www.tellymix.co.uk/ratings/293093-ratings-x-factor-drops-lowest-final-viewing-figures-ever-strictly-stays-top.html

    This is good news for saara. Looks like basically no one tuned in for the 1st time last night so previous support would have been crucial. If only she was singing her best song of the series tonight
    I said the biggest banker ofthe weekend was this being the lowest viewed final ever

    • Jessica Hamby

      I said the biggest banker ofthe weekend was this being the lowest viewed final ever

      Indeed.

      I didn’t find it satisfying to watch. Probably the best parts of it were the various homecoming VTs. 5AM’s first song was a dog’s dinner while Matt’s and Saara’s were both a bit dreary. 5AM’s duet is best left in the dustbin, Matt’s would only have been funnier if Nicole had tripped him over and sat on him and Saara’s was more like a demo or something you’d use in a singing lesson.

      If making an entertaining show and getting the “right” winner are competing priorities then they both lost. Investing 10 weeks of viewing (and that’s just the live shows) to end up with that feels like a waste of time.

    • George

      I notice Dermot said they had more than 2 million votes last night. Isn’t that the same number they got in the semi-final last week?

  • Alan

    I must have watched a different show. There’s no way they want Matt to win. Judges comments, Dermot’s questions. Saara very much portrayed as the star, 5AM as the eye candy, Matt as the also ran, nervous and relieved to avoid 3rd place.

    The vote lines opened at 8pm Saturday, the final two will perform their song of the series by 8.30 on Sunday so there will have been over 24 hours to vote and only another hour’s worth of votes after those performances. The contest will probably long be over so even if Oh So Quiet feels like a poor choice (and it does to me) it won’t have a huge influence on the voting.

    The fact that TPTB made no attempt to pimp 5AM to the win suggests Saara had a healthy semi-final lead over them meaning she had an even bigger lead over Matt.

    It looked like business as usual last night to me, Matt’s vote very much kept in check so as long as the public play ball Saara wins.

    My take on Nicole’s comments was that she was going rogue. Her comments were so ham-fisted. I dont think they would have been handled like that if they were scripted.

  • EM

    Heads will probably roll after this series. They’ve managed to end up with poor ratings and poor talent at the end of it.

    Looks like the pursuit of ratings (which hasn’t worked) means they’ve ended up making the talent look second rate too.

    No mean feat.

  • Rose L

    I’ve been a bit quiet on here of late because it’s hard to be in a club with one person in it – that is, someone who really likes 5AM, despite all the obvious problems with their singing. I’m about as far from a teenager, without being an OAP, as one can get, but I liked them from the beginning and so think their appeal isn’t as limited as people here tend to assume. They’re all good looking boys, who’d seemingly not been put together by producers/judges but who had made something of themselves in just five weeks before their first audition. That means they weren’t handpicked from the best singers at the audition stage but put themselves together from the best options they had in their own contact groups. No wonder their singing isn’t the best.
    I remain a sucker for their dance moves, the Kieran backflips and their basic likeability. I missed the show last night as had to go to a Christmas party, and when I got back and hopefully opened the app to vote, I found 5 am had disappeared and knew what had happened. Obviously my not having voted finished them off.
    I agree that the “duet” with Clean Bandit was plain weird and ill thought-out, and the staging of the first song did look a mess. But bands are a hard sell on this show and I am not surprised to see them go out to two credible solo artists who can both sing.
    I do genuinely believe that if Syco sign 5AM and get it right, they could go really far. But there have been warnings about a potential solo career for Kieran and a history of bickering which may mean they just can’t hold it together to do what’s necessary – in Cowell’s words, “to get it right”. So that’s a wait and see scenario. But once they get them in the recording studio, all the vocal problems will be a thing of the past.
    As for Saara versus Matt, I agree that Saara was presented as the star last night with Matt more of an also ran. But I wonder if the 5AM vote transfer might go to Matt rather than Saara. I think the song of the series has favoured Matt far more than it has Saara and it looks to be a close-fought contest which is what tptb have been aiming for throughout.
    Is it possible that Matt has lost his favour with tptb because of the innuendo about his sexual orientation? Are they perhaps annoyed at being lied to all this time? I hope not. I want to think we are beyond this sort of thing being an issue, though this is the show that spent the first weeks deep in xenophobia.
    Anyway, it’s hard to choose between them but I remain unconvinced that the show would relish a foreign professional singer winning, no matter how brilliant she is.
    I’ll be surprised if Matt doesn’t inch it tonight.
    But happy for Saara.
    And I have no money riding on it this year which is something of a relief as I haven’t been all that prescient!

    • Jessica Hamby

      I just watched it again. Even the clothes…..

      *covers eyes*

      *shudders*

      The one that looks like Sideshow Bob, his clothes were bad but Jordan’s…. There are helplines for that. He’ll probably need therapy to get over the trauma of the jacket.

      But it still doesn’t answer the question – why the hell take them to the final if you’re going to do that to them? It alienates the public. You’re putting on a production that you want to the public to think “Ugh! Not voting for that. Hate it.” and presenting it as the opener in the climax of your 4 month long entertainment show. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.

      Do they suffer from some weird cognitive dissonance where they think viewers see the performances as somehow separate from the show or that the show can be entertaining even if the bits that are the main reason for watching, the performances, are unpleasant? It’s crazy!!!!!

      • Woofie

        Your right I can’t quite work it out, particularly as their family oriented VT was designed as a real emotional pull at the heart strings compared to Matt’s and Saara’s. Maybe it might be a little clearer after tonight’s show and when we get the voting numbers.

      • HL

        I would sack the whole costume department, along with the hair & makeup team. Throughout the series they have given their best effort to draw attention away from good singing to terrible looks. (However, 5AM were not good singers. I was more worried this time about Saara’s harsh and excessive eye makeup. And what were those animals in Matt’s white shirt? Two stags reaching out for each other?)

  • Donald

    Hi all, have watched the show now, Out for lunch.. later… Fingers crossed for Jessica and all 🙂 I wouldn’t be panicking… One horse race, they turned this thing on its head two weeks ago, just a pity didn’t cop it bit earlier in the day that day.

    Last night show was not good, No wonder figures so bad, Honey G single! talk about a switch off moment for any new viewer.

  • Jessica, to answer your question about 5am why push them to the final to ditch them.

    Being a finalist doesn’t mean winner. If i remember rightly they have repeatedly been named finalists rarely winner.

    Above all, its a TV show. They preferred 5am in the final ahead of Emily, who its fairly clear they didn’t want.

    If you remove 5am, who do they pick to be in the final instead as replacement? You have to go back several weeks to find someone show could have considered. Once HG landed bottom 2 it was over for her.

    Also pushing 5am last week, helped Matt go bottom 2, which made the final appear much more open.

    And just because people are’nt voting for it, does’nt mean it does’nt make good TV for a neutral. I watched it and thought it was a perfect opening for BGT. Just good TV nothing more, nothing blatantly damaging. Yes it could be better, but for the purpose of what they wanted at that point it was fine.

    It makes sense to me.

  • Marianne

    After the BR performance Saara was asked how it was performing with Adam Lambert and she said X Factor had made her dream come true “today as well.” Does anyone know what she meant? Had they previously made some other dream of hers come true and if so what?

    Theirs is also the only duet I can find on the X Factor’s YouTube channel.

  • Linda

    I must be the only person to think Matt actually has the XFactor, and would be a deserving winner. He sings beautifully and has a presence about him when he walks on stage.

    I wrote a week or two ago on here that I thought he had a Prince-like quality so I laughed when he got PR last night. Maybe we are being watched!!

  • George

    I think it will be a close run thing, but based on last week Matt has some catching up to do. I’d still be surprised if he doesn’t edge it, but at the same time I’d be surprised if he was in the lead at the vote freeze last night. Happy voting stats day!

    For Saara it’s all about not losing the floating voters she’s picked up.

  • stoney

    Matt was around the same odds he is now when he was sitting in the bottom 2 last week. Heres to hoping for another price crash just before the show tonight

  • Edie M

    Echoing others above, I have lots of thoughts about what was a confusing final Saturday:
    *I always thought 5am would struggle with their vocals in the final. The first performance was ok as a spectacle, and as it opened the show, I’m not sure tptb actively intended for it to be bad. The less said about the clean bandit duet the better. If there was any doubt before it was clear after that they would be out in 3rd place. I think the producers knew it would be unhelpful to try to pimp them to the win and 3rd is a respectable position from which to launch a career (if they stay together that is). A friend I watched the final with, who likes X factor but is only semi-aware of the manipulations, was shocked when they were voted out and kept insisting their vocals were no weaker than Matt’s (who she thinks is awful). The only explanation about them being in the final was to put on a show & bring variety but do agree that the staging for their first song was odd and they could have helped them more with vocal support. Plus if given the opportunity Saara could have fulfilled the role of performer but was held back (maybe getting to sing ballads was better for her winning chances though?)

    *a bit confused as to why everyone suddenly has done a 180 on matt’s chances. I thought he was being underestimated here this week and almost predicted him for the win (but couldn’t bring myself too as I want Saara to win so much more!). There was no sign of producer support for Matt. He had a crap running slot, a weak first song and an accidental semi-moment with Nicole. Simon even said on xtra factor he thought he would be out in third. Having said that the fact he got through in spite of that is worrying. He may well win. If they really didn’t want him to win then they should have got rid of him last week as acts like him are dangerous in the final so they’re probably ok with him taking the title.

    *Weird night for Saara. Great slots, great vt, great comments and the duet with the most potential but somehow it didn’t quite come together. Song choices were not good and the duet fell a bit flat. Will be so interested to see the voting percentages.

    *ultimately think last year did irreparable damage to the franchise. Ratings were already on a downward spiral of course but think 2015 sped up the decline. Nothing they could have done this year would have improved ratings.

    • George

      If Matt’s duet was an accident, and they still don’t want him to win, it’ll be pretty easy to dampen his vote tonight I would’ve thought.

      I’m not convinced they really care either way at this point though.

      • stoney

        It will be too late unless its only seperated by a few %
        The bulk of the vote will be over by tonight

        • George

          I don’t think Matt is ahead by a lot, if at all, at this point is what I’m saying. If he is then it’s game over, but otherwise they can stop him winning if they want to.

          • Edie M

            I’m not saying he will win (Saara may well be far ahead), but I also think it’s harder to stop him winning if he’s in with a shot than you think. Precedent suggests acts like Matt pick up votes for doing far less than other acts. The producers had to work very hard to get him in to the b2 last week (& that was after a couple of weeks of dampening) and a series of lacklustre performances last night was not enough to get rid of him. That Jess Glynne song in particular would have done it for a lot of acts, so dull & sandwiched between two bigger performances.

  • Tim B

    It would be tragically unfair if the producers didn’t flip the running order tonight to finally give Matt his pimp slot. But we all know this show isn’t exactly fair.

    • George

      Don’t think they ever have, but first time for everything.

      Since the two-night finals began in 2009, the first act on Sunday has won 2 times (Matt/Ben), the second act 5 times (Joe/LM/James/Sam/Louisa). Though that’s probably more to do with general producer favourability.

  • Dana

    If the producers wanted Saara to win, surely there is no way they would give her the Bjork song as her “performance of the series”- I simply don’t believe they are that inept.

    • GsP

      It seems fairly obvious to me that the original intention was to keep 5AM ahead of Matt then subtly dampen Saara across the weekend to get 5AM a narrow victory.

      But the Spice Girls duet falling through at the last minute and the Weeknd refusing to step in killed their plans and they were a mess.

      We now have the prospect of the act they basically slagged off last night winning because of a duet he barely sang in and a plan to weaken Saara that wasn’t meant for this situation.

      Saara’s song of the series choice is a clear signal they want her second. But she’s coming second to the wrong person.

      It’s unbelievable she’s not doing Enough is Enough. That was performance of the series

      • Edie M

        I’m not sure they ever really thought they could get 5AM across the line, if they did why not get rid of Matt last week then they’d have been the only boys in the final? And why give them such a mess of a first performance as well? I don’t think the tptb had such bad intentions as some above do with that 1st song, but the staging and vocal support also weren’t super helpful (to say the least…).

  • Jordz

    Sure, let’s say that the 5AM supporters are now going to vote for Matt. But couldn’t one also conclude that Emily’s supporters will most likely be voting for Saara? Thus, even though Matt might gain in the voting because of 5AM’s vote transfer, Saara most likely would too because of the Emily supporters.

    • Ron

      A key factor would be how far Saara was ahead of Matt for the last couple of weeks in the voting. If she had a huge lead, it would make it extremely difficult for him to overtake her. Whatever about Matt’s duet with Nicole, there’s not the slightest shred of evidence that Saara had a bad night and therefore she will be managing to hold on those people who have been voting for her. All of the pressure is on Matt to pick up a lot of extra votes and reverse placings from the semi final, Saara doesn’t have to do anything.

  • GsP

    2 million votes is nothing considering everyone gets 5 free per device.

  • 360

    Forcing Honey G on us this year hasn’thelped the franchise one bit. Last night was a bit of a dog’s dinner.

    I didn’t really feel that emotionally invested in any of the final 12 in the group song. Bratavio and the girlband nobody liked were embarrassingly poor and some of the acts (Freddy, for one) were off-key with each other.

    Will be interested to see the voting data too; particularly the positions of Ryan, Saara week on week and the girlband.

    One saving grace for Saara; the lines and app vote opening before any of the performances yesterday, cult of personality rather than the show they put on influencing their vote. Has that ever happened in another series? I can’t recall.

    • Edie M

      I had literally forgotten some of the acts ever existed, especially the girlband. It has not been a strong year for talent. I’m still smarting from Gifty going so early (and actually Relley could have got further if they’d given her better songs after the 1st week). Honey G has really left a sour taste in the mouth the entire series & can’t believe she got an entire performance to herself last night.

    • Sindi

      I think Honey G was fun last night. I was watching with someone who has never seen the show before and she thought so too.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Brilliant. Sums it up. It wasn’t a duet. It was a diva-off and Nicole won.

      • Edie M

        It wasn’t even a diva-off, it was a short intro from Matt and then a Nicole performance where Matt looked like a total spare part. Re-watched it and, although I think Nicole sang well, it’s totally baffling to me how that could have motivated votes for Matt. But then, that acts as mediocre as him can win so easily on these shows also baffles me so I’m clearly not the target audience.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Is identity politics too easy an answer? (I’m trying to be non-contentious here!)

        • PolarNight

          Personally I don’t get it. When I watched Purple Rain yesterday I thought Nicole was good, but that it failed as a duet as Nicole suppressed Matt.

          Then again Saara’s BoRap suffered due time limitations. But even if the adaption was not perfect it felt like a good duet as Adam & Saara had nice synergy.

          I was taken off-guard when reports of Matt having a ‘winning moment’ in Purple Rain started streaming. Do the masses indeed vote for Nicole’s shining moment and not care that Matt was just a backup singer after Nicole walked to the stage?

  • James

    I’m not necessarily seeing Oh So Quiet as a deramp for Saara. Yes TWTIA would have been the “safer” choice but they need something fun and uptempo for tomorrow which Matt can’t deliver. It was her breakout performance and as Daniel put it in Saara’s journey article, “jaw-droppingly entertaining”. A big performance like that will go down well at Wembley.

  • Just watched it again. Thought Saara outperformed and out-sung Matt both times. Don’t understand the fuss about ‘Oh So Quiet’. It got her the most YT views of any of her songs and having a bit of theatre has worked for her.

    I wonder if they’ll give Matt the gold staging again for his Bond. Maybe something more dark and brooding instead, with flames leaping out of nowhere.

    Anyway I think, due to Saara’s momentum, due to Matt being B2 in the SF, due to a great last night for her, Saara’s vote will be unassailable already.

    • Edie M

      The wildcard factor here though is the nature of Matt as an act, he’s the type of singer who hoovers up votes on the X-Factor & therefore he can’t ever be fully discounted for the win.

    • George

      Watching ‘Oh So Quiet’ again, it definitely has potential. Key will be if they change anything with the staging, both for Saara’s reprise and Matt’s.

      • stoney

        The one shining light is that it is a well performed version of the song and ends with a money note.
        In comparison to matts which is just a solid vocal version of a sam smith song
        Thats how they were in the earlier shows anyway

    • HL

      It does not have the most YT views of any of her songs. Her audition (Chandelier) is the clear winner, and No More Tears also has a lot more views than It’s Oh So Quiet. They misspelled Saara’s name in week 6 so people could not easily find it. That’s why there are at least a million views via Anthony Ying and other alternative channels.

      I hope they are not that stupid that they only looked up the view count from the XF channel and decided that Björk is the best choice. Or maybe they also checked her votes but did not take into account that Björk was performed from a pimp slot and No More Tears from a death slot….

  • Scott

    There were quite a few “off” camera angles for Matt’s duet last night. Plenty of looking around aimlessly, I’m sure I remember him picking glitter out his mouth at one point. Whether that registers with the average punter, or whether they just appreciated the mega-notes, will be a big factor in who wins.

  • Rose L

    I think we can guess from the happy smiles on 5AM’s faces at the end that promises have been exchanged and it didn’t matter that they went out third – they will have a record deal.
    Good.

  • Rose L

    And I was a bit surprised we didn’t get any interview with The Weeknd after his performance – was that a matter of time or had he thrown a strop with the X Factor?

  • stoney

    Finally a few glimmers of hope of the betfair exchanges
    Just got home from London im about to watch it now on the playback. I have to say I’m surprised to hear 5am were woeful because the reception after their opening song in the arena was electric

    • stoney

      The suspicious betfair movement has begun 🙂

      • Jessica Hamby

        In what direction? Who is being favoured? On oddschecker it’s similar to what it was last night. Matt is slight favourite. He’s just odds on. Saara is evens or just outside.

        As for 5AM – look at this…. They killed them more times than Rasputin.

        https://youtu.be/HV55iP2ZNJA

        • Alan

          Isnt that just what one of their concerts will look like though? Minus the screaming pre-teens of course. I agree it didnt help their vote but thought it was all about setting them up for the inevitable post show career.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Hell no. That was an angry fruit salad they had on stage. it was a mess. If you see someone like Bruno Mars it looks very spontaneous and free flowing but it’s tightly organized. It’s a completely different experience. The lines of sight are clear, the outfits and colours work together, the look is always contemporary and fashionable, the sound is TEE EYE GEE AITCH TEE. The vocal most definitely does not suck. That might, on the surface, appear like a good show but it was all noise, lights and hysteria. Not the same.

            Do you go to many gigs? I can honestly say I’ve never been to one where they use fire. Ever. And I’ve seen some big acts.

        • stoney

          The gap is closing. Im fairly confident matt is only favourite because of his song choice for tonight rather than having a lead in the vote

        • Rose

          I think we last saw those shorts on Rough Copy. Awful

          • Edie M

            ‘That might, on the surface, appear like a good show but it was all noise, lights and hysteria’

            Tbh I’m not sure the X-Factor is entirely sure of the difference (or that 5AM would have been capable of delivering it). It seems like they just thought: BIG SHOW OPENER and threw everything at it without really thinking about it as a ‘nuking’ in traditional sense (although it really came off that way).

            Jordan has been forced in to those weird short things all season. Who knows why.

          • Jessica Hamby

            In fairness it might have looked a lot better in the hall than it did on tv but it was no Uptown Funk, not even Fleur’s version.

  • It’s worth remembering that saara was only ahead of Matt leading up the final because they applied the breaks to him.
    The main agenda this season has been to make the final look as close as possible, so getting Matt to bottom two served its purpose as now every act had been top and also in the bottom two.it also provided a double purpose as a credible Emily kill.
    On weeks when Matt was unleashed with no breaks i think he probably always won the vote.

    • Ron

      Did Matt top the vote in the quarter final though? I’ve a feeling Saara may have won the vote there which puts a different complexion on things. The producers may have realised momentum was moving towards Saara even before the semi final.

      • stoney

        We had no vote snippets about how close it was at the top in the vote last week. I would say it’s quite safe to say 5am were just above matt and saara was comfortably ahead at the top. This would explain their blasé approach to the final this weekend.

        • Ron

          That was my impression too last week that Saara won comfortably and that the other three were in a heap well behind her. To my mind, that makes Matt a shaky favourite for tonight : anybody who has to go through a sing off at the semi final stage can hardly claim to have a load of momentum going into the final.

          • stoney

            Song choice and vote transfer is why people have lumped on him since last night. The only thing is never in a final yet since figures were revealed has a saturday night vote transfer made a difference to the result on the Sunday.

          • Sagand

            There have been big difference between the result after night one and the result after night two though. Ben increased his lead by 10% overnight so he could have lost the first night by 11% if the transfers had been the same and still won.

            Another example might be I’m a Celeb season 12.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I'm_a_Celebrity…Get_Me_Out_of_Here!_(UK_series_12)#Results_and_elimination) Ashley Roberts (American) was leading by 8% in the final three lost by 1% in the last two.

      • I expect saara won the quarter final vote as this was her moment of the season with winner take it all .whilst Matt was dampened with first in running order on both songs

    • Curtis

      And you don’t think the brakes were continually applied to Matt through Round 1 last night, with his performance of Take Me Home? For me it certainly didn’t compare favourably to say, when Ben Haenow sang “Demons” in the first round of his final and he was really allowed to shine. With Matt it appeared they were confident they could stop him from winning. That was what I took from it anyway.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Watching the performances again Saara was clearly better than Matt in the solo songs. Will that transfer though? He did his usual stand there like a half pound of lard thing while she moved around and tried to make the song into a show.

    That’s put a bit of hope back into me. I didn’t want to get emotionally invested this year but I do want Saara to win. I find her much more interesting and enjoyable to watch than Matt. You don’t know what she’s going to do next but you know you’re going to get a show.

    She should (in my opinion) win easily. Sadly my opinion isn’t the one that matters.

  • Alan

    I still think the key thing here is that there will have been 24 hours worth of voting before Oh So Quiet and Writings On The Wall have been performed and only an hours or so afterwards. They will have very little impact on the overall voting and TPTB will be well aware of this. Looking at Matt’s treatment last night if he wins it will be entirely by mistake.

    Bad news for Saara fans is that I have invested my small profit from the series (thanks to Gifty’s shock exit) on Saara. Seemed too good an opportunity to miss but will probably be the kiss of death.

    • George

      With Joel on IAC, the Strictly spoiler from last night and Matt potentially winning tonight it appears that all of my favourites could fall at final hurdle this year! TV gods hate me.

  • stoney

    I’d say it’s almost certain Nicole went rogue on the comments last night. After Simon started commenting on the distracting dancers ( something nicole would have had nothing to do with) nicole decided to fight back and play the England card

  • Not to boast or anything but I am delighted at this Top 2 as I seem to have been the only one who correctly predicted it back in our prediction thread. http://sofabet.com/2016/10/06/x-factor-2016-pre-lives-prediction/#comment-73911

    Now I just need Saara to win which she easily do with her uptempo showstopper and a more superior version of the winner’s single!

  • stoney

    I don’t blame you for bringing that up today. Great shout as most had her as an early exit at that point.

    • What’s most surprising is that I hadn’t seen anything of the shows up to that point and mostly based my predictions on the casting archetypes.
      I’ve known Saara from her Eurovision ventures and she stroke me as perfect for the big voiced and humble quirky girl role, a combination I thought would be a vote magnet. Still baffled on how well I predicted it.

  • GsP

    Lots of people split votes between 5AM and Matt.

    Most people who voted Saara gave her all their votes.

    Depends really on how big a lead she built and if everyone votes again post freeze.

    I think Matt will take it in the end

  • stoney

    Matt coming back in on betfair now

  • I do not think Saara can win at this stage

    D:

  • Stoney

    Can anyone remember a closer set of odds between the 2 finalists going into the Sunday night show? Even when Leon won Rydian was heavy odds on

  • Stoney

    Pretty sure Ben was heavy odds on by the time of the Sunday show?

    • Tim B

      They were switching a bit. I remember making a successful trade on Fleur backing her and laying her much shorter on the Sunday, in the anticipation of Uptown Funk.

      If they weren’t still flip flopping then they were definitely still as close at this on Betfair.

      • Keen Observer

        Very true – huge fluctuations in that final. Ben was hugely odds on by end of Sun show, when it became clear game was up for Fleur.
        My only worry this year is that there feels the possibility of some insider money based on a few of the Sunday moves. Only takes one employee to fancy making a quick buck on the side, who then tells a few mates..

  • stoney

    If this is neck and neck tonight I’m hoping simon is going to come to the rescue and pull out some vote motivation to swing things in saaras favour. He’s been ruthless this year in his vote swaying tactics. That’s assuming that he would rather saara win than matt

    • George

      Her treatment last night suggests she is their preferred winner. If that’s the case, they must be kicking themselves about the duets.

      With Matt being first to perform tonight look out for if they shower him with praise or get prolonged enthusiasm going in the arena. That suggests he’s winning.

      • I’m not so sure Saara was the preferred winner from last night. The staging for Matt and Nicole’s duet was exceptional, for example. I think they’re *still* keeping us guessing, which continues the theme of it being an ‘open race’.

        • George

          I’m making that observation from round one, the duets are always weird because of how rushed they sometimes are, and they also don’t want to make the guest look bad.

  • stoney

    Signs of a price crash matt starting to occur
    I thought his first song was a hatchet job they had him up high with distractions below him they don’t do that to a preferred winner. I wonder if the stories of saara saying she would prefer to come second have annoyed the producers or demotivated her voters

  • Ron

    I reckon the only way Matt can win this is if the top 3 finished in a heap in the semi final and there wasn’t much in it. The voting tends to be much more consistent at this late stage with few fluctuations and acts have established fanbases.

    • stoney

      Was thinking about this earlier semi final could have gone something like
      Saara 32%
      5am 25%
      Matt 24%
      Emily 19%

      • Ron

        It’s virtually unheard of for an act to go from third place in the semi to winning the final, so if Matt was called the winner tonight, my immediate thought would be that the semi final must have been extremely close. I’m still not convinced by the supposed late momentum behind Matt though, more puzzled by it.

  • Matts Odds are changing drastically as of late. Not looking good for Saara.

  • Nick

    Have financially backed Matt from the start but now very concerned with Simon’s views being pro Sara and anti Matt…surely he doesn’t want egg on his face so close to the answer?….as someone said maybe wait for his comments after Matt first song….

  • Sindi

    Not so much talk about Matt’s vocals here. He’s been struggling the last few weeks. His voice seems strained and he himself seems tired and overwhelmed by pressure. Tonight he has a huge song to sing which will possibly expose him. Sound engineering may be a big factor, are they going to help him if needed? They probably will, the show has to be good. I hope he’ll be good though, it would make a better show and it’s terrible for an artist to fail at such occasion.

    It’s possible anyway that Saara will outsing him quite clearly.

    Btw I don’t think Nicole drowned Matt with her vocals on purpose. It seemed more like she wanted to carry him, knowing that he’s struggling.

  • I’m trying to find glimmers of hope for a Saara win but I cant find any.

  • MCIMH

    I definitely think she still has a chance, I’ll still predict her but yeah, it’s a toss-up.

  • Martin

    Finally managed to catch the show last night.

    Remarkable how they nobbled 5AM, and I’m not sure that all of it was on purpose. The duet was embarrassing compared to the other two – talk about wildly unsuitable. Their opening performance swallowed them up – I was getting Fleur East ‘Can’t Hold Us’ vibes from the staging, showing what they can do rather than the push them for a win but it turns out that it only highlighted their short comings.

    Matt got more of the same as he’s had the past few weeks. There was no praise for his ‘golden’ voice as there could’ve been – it says to me that this is the Saara show. That said, he won the duets. ‘Writings on the Wall’ is the only song he could reprise, whereas Saara could probably choose between three or four songs. ‘Oh So Quiet’ wouldn’t be my first choice, but I’m fully expecting to get the ‘this was the moment you arrived’ story with it and it should work, particularly if she says in the pimp slot.

  • stoney

    Hoping for a saara pimp spot and a superior first round performance and then ill take advantage and cover on a matt drift. Fingers crossed

  • Akit

    Well, ok. Clinton had lead in betting odds. Still Trump won. There could be other signs…poor viewer results…social media activity, still home country is huge advatage to Matt an
    d it cannot be over run easily. It could be that Matt is in lead in big time. He gets Syco record deal. I’m sure that Saara will also get something out of this journey anyway. I still wan’t to believe that Saara wins against all odds. Are they counting all votes these two have got from the whole series or just votest that was given based on saturday and sunday. Or just votes after yesterdays performance ? Not sure.

  • stoney

    Well unless the votes are very close there has been no vote leak this evening

  • Jessica Hamby

    I’m at work. Just leaving now so won’t be home for 30-40 minutes. Good luck to all.

  • stoney

    No vote leak. But dermot says closest run final ever. Can’t see it being closer than shayne ward year. Matt up first by looks of it

  • stoney

    Saara fights back on betfair!
    This is what you call a price crash

  • Woofie

    3 million votes does that suggest quite a chuck up for grabs? I would have expected 2 million per vote both nights?

  • Rose L

    Dermot claiming this was the “closest race in history” – this being the whole point of this series. I think ditching Five After Midnight so unceremoniously set us up for what Dermot described as a “singer’s final”, with arguably the two best voices against each other. This is the sort of final people might be yearning for, a sort of back to the good old days before manipulation took over – it is supposed to be a singing competition after all – and I think it explains why 5AM got so unceremoniously dumped last night once they’d got far enough to be launched commercially and provided something of a show in the Saturday final – even if it was execrable! You could never include them in a singer’s final after all.

  • Rose L

    Poor Kylie comprehensively red and blacked – will she be going home tonight?

  • Curtis

    When Dermot referred to it as the “closest race in history” though was he referring to this final or the series as a whole? I’d suggest there was enough ambiguity to mean either.

    • Ben Cook

      I figured he meant the series generally rather than the current voting figures.. he’d have said something like “there’s less than x% separating them” probably

  • Curtis

    Did Dermot just say “Saara and Matt” would perform after the break? And is that significant? If they do flip the running order that would be a very good sign that Matt has won it.

  • GsP

    Recap of last night felt like it reflected better on Saara

  • Fudd

    They’ve switched the running order. Advantage Matt?

  • EM

    I do try not to get all digital spy here and actually stick to the topic of betting but…

    …Saara is annoying, cliched, slightly smug and isn’t that great a singer.

    Man I feel better now that is out

  • EM

    That bus they used on Emily last week is currently reversing backward over Saara.

  • Sagand

    Saara staging almost exactly the same, good sign for Matt if they keep the golden glow in his.

  • Robert

    Big friggin’ terrifying Donnie Darko rabbits. Oh lordy…..

  • Edie M

    oh that was not great from Saara…(a shame the plait falling out was so distracting as well).

    also no ‘winner’ comments from the judges either, all about acceptance instead

  • 360

    Well the signs are pointing to it one of two ways.

    Either she is ridiculously far ahead…

    Or they’re running with Matt.

    Re-using the exact same set for Oh So Quiet is an ominous sign, and was that large spider there in the set the last time?

    • The spider was there last time I think. I think they are running with Matt. It’s just Finland Finland Finland, there’s no real precedent for this in an X Factor final… when the Hungarian group won BGT a few years ago their nationality was much more concealed, whereas right now the XF audience is being presented with a choice between an attractive, vocally capable young English man of the type that often wins these things, and a quirky diva from Finland who’s great but not very ITV. It’s Oh So Quiet also wasn’t emotive at all, whereas Matt’s song just now was very much – and he was the absolute focus, not surrounded by dancers and gimmickry.

  • Fudd

    I think they’ve managed to get Matt over Saara. Everything about that shouted “well done but you’re second”.

  • Robert

    Literally lost count of how many times the words ‘crazy’ ‘kooky’ ‘mad’ and ‘bonkers’ were shouted at us before & after that performance. Imagine Enough is Enough or The Winner Takes It All tearing up the stage now? Ridiculous. Just ridiculous…

  • Curtis

    And Saara’s journey seems to have come to an end. Even Saara herself seems to have been told “end of journey comments please”

    • Robert

      Her expression during judges’ comments spoke volumes. Oh look – and here comes Matt’s bathed-in-gold with torches-waving ballad. *sigh*….

  • Linda

    She has the diamanté Emily teardrops. Didn’t like that performance, nothing behind it. Come on Matt, my Christmas box is counting on you!!

  • Alan

    Matt’s jacket’s a deramp! Hideous!

    As for swapping over the running order anyone remember BGT final? They’re toying with us.

  • Linda

    Breathtaking as ever. That’s my boy!!

  • stoney

    I don’t remember the red and black the 1st time

  • Donald

    Will they switch the winner song so Saara last, serious production on Matt here, vocal not great though…

  • Great set and production by the way. Set reminds me a lot of the Eurovision stage from Stockholm.

  • Edie M

    Oh god that was so boring and mediocre. Which probably means he’s going to win. I’m so done with 2016.

  • Martin

    Changed Matt’s golden staging to red!

    Louis dropping a ‘no matter what happens’ bomb, too! They’re messing with us!

    • Ben Cook

      Yeah couldn’t be clearer who Louis favours!

    • Donald

      Few signs they were, red and black etc. Comments are well wayward. Judging on Louis comments you’d say Saara, logic says Matt but waiting for the “winners” song. No point getting this wrong, split the difference, half a loaf better than no bread all day any day. Shame to give away decent Saara green though especially with no loss on Matt. Gambling about value.. holding station at the minute.

  • Rose L

    Matt’s voice sounds a bit strained but overall it comes over as very classy indeed. I would say he knocked Saara into a cocked hat there.

  • stoney

    Simon waving the white flag there
    Matts won then

  • Curtis

    Louis gave Matt the “no matter what happens here” speech. Everything else though screamed winner.

  • Fudd

    “No matter what happens tonight you will get a record deal.”

    That sounds very… well, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t win so don’t bother to vote for him?

    Now I’m more confused that ever! Have they decided that they don’t care so they’re just having fun with us?

  • Ron

    “No matter what happens tonight” from Louis to Matt…..that hardly sounds like a ringing endorsement

  • Rose L

    And again, “It’s a real singers’ final this weekend” from Dermot

  • stoney

    Although if he had it sewn up why drop the red and black in at the end of his song.
    It could be one of 2 ways. Saara might already have it sewn up and Simon feels he no longer needs to gun him down

  • James

    Saara gets “you’re an international superstar”, Matt gets “No matter what happens tonight”. I get the feeling Saara has this.

  • Martin

    I give up – I’m pretty certain the whole intention of this series has been to upset Sofabet. Sod the ratings or a chosen one, let’s just try and mess with some gamblers on the internet!

    In all seriousness though, I still do think it can go either way. Neither comments were as hyperbolic as they were for Louisa this time last year just now. Relax and enjoy the circus.

  • Curtis

    What on earth has just happened to the odds on Betfair. And my wonderful, wonderful cashout….

  • Cath

    Didn’t the video of Matt performing WOTW first time round, in the VT, show red and black staging? I don’t think that is therefore new this time around.

  • George

    Saara really coming in now. What’s going on?

  • DGiles

    I don’t feel that they’ve accepted Matt as the winner yet at the very least, so is not massively in front (if at all)

    The judges comments were as faint praise as you could get in the final 2 I thought. No energy behind their words..

    • Ben Cook

      Yeah I think Simon would’ve been nicer if it was a done deal. He’d normally just behind whoever was going to win by now wouldn’t he? Sounded like he’s hedging his bets.

  • stoney

    SAARA NOW FAVOURITE WTF

  • Martyn

    Saara is favourite to win!

  • Kingyzgirl

    And Sharon telling Matt “congratulations for being here”. Not what you say to the winner. I’m not so sure Matt is going to take this.

    (First time posting after loving this site for years!)

  • Martin

    Suggs will never get people voting for him with those glasses on.

  • DGiles

    They’re hiding their eyes – deramp?

  • Lara T

    Evens on odds as far as I can see. Love that it is this open considering I’m covered either way.

    Think Saara has it but heart wants matt. I don’t even know why!

  • Cath

    Interesting that before both Saara and Matt’s performances they spoke off their song choice being the turning point for them in the competition; surely that’s a downward turn for Matt?!

  • George

    This is a voting leak-style crash.

    • Ron

      Or it might even be down to those hugely underwhelming comments from the judges to Matt. It certainly didn’t sound like they were addressing the winner of the series

  • Pete

    Big swing on betfair. Matt from 1.76 to 2.56 Saara now back into fave.

  • I thought Brexit was going to happen.
    I thought the Tories would get a majority.
    I thought Trump Would Trump.
    I thught I would make political comparisons to a TV show.
    I thought Honey would release a single.

    I think Matt will win… No wait, Saara! Nah, Matt. No, Saara!

  • Cath

    Madness winning the show for me! 🙂

  • 360

    When does the show finish (ha, Finnish) tonight?

  • Matt got more likes within same time frame after performance. How indicative has this been before?

  • Curtis

    Truly absurd – there was a lot more positive signs for Matt in Round 1 than for Saara. The odds are sliding back to normality now – I hope some of you guys were able to cash in. I already had my whole pot in play on Matt so I couldn’t!

    • Ron

      The betting is all over the place, looks like punters are very confused. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything though….there might not be any voting leaks to speak of

  • Sagand

    And Matt back to favourite.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Well you lot are no effing help at all. I’m going to run to the offie and then watch on catch up.

  • swablu

    Does anyone know who the market is for the X Factor tour? If people don’t watch the show anymore really how do they fill so many arena dates, months after the show is over and contestants forgotten? I never really questioned it before.

  • stoney

    Saara is surely going to blow matt away on the winners song which could see more opportunities in betting before the results

  • George

    lol, the percentages will come in and it will have been a 20 point margin or something.

  • Poker Coach

    There are obviously betting bubbles. When people notice a trend, they try to capitalize it even more.

    Odds won’t reflect the belief of actual winning but only, that the change will still go a little bit further. Same happends with stock markets.

  • Am I the only one thinking Simon watched Love Love Peace Peace before signing this off?

  • Rose L

    Well this lot of auditionees make Five After Midnight sound positively brilliant vocalists

  • annie

    wow. how much do they pay these people to get up again and humiliate themselves?
    and i wonder why x factor thinks this is doing any good to them?

  • George

    5.6 million votes… That’s 2 million tonight!

  • Woofie

    They have switched it…

  • Sara Vidoo (Another Good Foreign Saara) was the only one who was good tbh

    Just like the US Election I cannot wait for this to end.

    As I am posting this, SAARA PIMP SLOT???

  • Fudd

    Matt going first again – they’re taking the absolute mick with this!

  • Curtis

    They’ve flipped it back! The drama is real!

  • swablu

    running order switched!

  • Linda

    No pimp slot for Matt. Unless he wins, of course.

  • Chris

    Matt’s VT completely ignoring the whole ex-girlfriend part of his story.

  • Martin

    I notice they’ve airbrushed the ex girlfriend out of Matt’s journey.

  • Lara T

    Actual same odds on oddschecker! has that ever happened before?

  • Martin

    Wait, is this not supposed to be the winners single?!

  • Ben Cook

    What the actual??!

  • George

    The producers know about sofabet and are messing with us, all but confirmed at this point.

  • Lara T

    The John Lewis ad!!! Whaaaat!

  • Edie M

    I thought it was meant to be an original ed sheeran song this year? confused
    This is the single? or isn’t it? I went out the room for a bit…

  • DGiles

    You have nothing to benchmark the song against going 1st
    2nd can knock the first out the water if they can

  • swablu

    I thought it was supposed to be an original song this year!

  • Fudd

    That’s twice now during the final that Matt has done the cross symbol… which worked so well for Marcus back in 2011 (not).

    Where’s the Ed Sheeran single?

  • Linda

    Oh God he’s fantastic. Pure class.

  • Chris

    I wonder if they’ll only perform the winner’s single at the end.

    Is this when Saara busts out Rise Like a Phoenix?

  • Rose L

    Stolen some of the Weeknd’s leftover fireworks too – cheeky

  • 360

    is that the winner’s song? It’s very….theatrical, dare I say?

  • Curtis

    Simon just said “I think you’re going to do this”!!!!!!!!

    But Louis also said “No matter what happens here”

    But let’s be honest, Simon probably knows more than Louis.

  • annie

    i have a feeling saara will outsing matt on this one. genre and all, it seems to suit her much better.

  • Sagand

    I don’t think that was the winners song. Seems like only the winner will do that.

  • Rose L

    I’m very touched that Matt cries openly on stage and clearly means everything he says….

  • Lara T

    At the end of the day… the winner has well won before this performance so maybe it’s irrelevant?!

  • Robert

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS….

  • Cath

    What is this song that Saara is singing? Do people know it? She sounds great!

  • annie

    wow this sounds bad. sorry saara 🙁

  • Fudd

    That was it. They’re pushing Saara. Golden Shower/Choir/allowing her vocals to to do the job.

    That blew Matt out of the water.

    • annie

      it is so interesting how differently people perceive things sometimes :)))
      i thought that song really didnt work for her,
      but I am happy that others disagree 🙂

      • Fudd

        It wasn’t just the singing – it was the presentation as well, with the choir, a classic Whitney song against the older number which Matt was lumbered with (albeit it is the John Lewis number) etc. We’ve been waiting for them to be clearly split and for me there was a definite difference in preference between those two numbers. 🙂

  • Linda

    “Global superstar” Louis, come off it. There’s nowhere for Saara in Cowell’s roster.

  • Plinkiplonk

    Going by Simon’s comment Saara has this…

  • Sagand

    I preferred Matt’s song, but I have no idea who’ll win.

  • Phil

    Louis and Simon suggesting a Saara win, but who knows!

  • Curtis

    Well they are absolutely determined to not give it away. I still think it’s going to go to Matt in the end.

  • Lara T

    Said it before … Saara will win

    Not my best result but good on her.

  • Chris

    They held off showing her fiancé until the very last possible moment.

    • 360

      Also deliberately dressed like a man! No androgyny or mix and match there, blink and you’ll miss it lesbian moment. Too late to change your vote for her now if you’re a homophobe.

  • Robert

    Saara SANG;better, but Matt’s song CHOICE was better. Any floating voters will vote for the song choice every time….

    • Curtis

      Yeah, I love that song. I wish Saara had sung it, I think I’d have genuinely cried!

    • annie

      i agree. saara s song and arrangement and look in the first half of the performance made it look like something from the 70s. people will definitely choose a well known well loved song as matts over what saara had.
      BUT as we know that in most cases the winner is well decided by this point I say that it all depends on how close stats are.

  • Scott

    Matt has so got this. It’s blatant. Listen to the judges’ comments post-Saara. They gave Matt the John Lewis song and every firework in the building. It’s done.

  • Ron

    The crowd in the arena are all chanting her name. My best guess is that she has been comfortably ahead in the voting since yesterday (but it has been a confusing 24 hours)

  • Ben Cook

    Amy Wadge (co-writer of Thinking Out Loud) says

    Here’s the thing @edsheeran & I wrote a song a few wks ago Ed sent it to @SimonCowell and now it’s the winners single on tonight’s X factor

    So must be only the winner’s singing it. Perhaps they felt that it would give Matt an advantage if he sung it with the voting still open? I dunno. Odd that they wouldn’t maximize its exposure by having it sung 3 times.

    • annie

      it could very well happen. otherwise its weird they left out the usuall : How did it feel to have sung your possible first single etc. script….

  • James

    Saara getting the global superstar treatment again. How is Matt back as favourite after that?

  • George

    I don’t think either of them could have done any more. The show is at its best when both acts are allowed to just do their thing and it’s too close to call.

  • Martin

    I’d imagine after the shit show that was Reggie and Bollie performing last years winners single, Ed Sheeran perhaps didn’t want to see somebody murdering his specially written winners single on live TV?!

  • Sagand

    Such a high vote makes me lean towards a Matt win.

  • Fudd

    It always makes me laugh how much Little Mix have been sexed up since they won.

  • This is like XXL feat. Josh Dubovie.

  • Robert

    This Little Mix song is some terrible retro nonsense. Make it stop. Let’s just get on with it, and crown Matt yet another bland boy winner, and I can go to bed….

  • Plinkiplonk

    When Charlie Puth came on, I thought for a second they had brought Ryan back…
    And yes, these girls in the suspenders and overknee stockings presently cavorting on stage would, of course, NEVER steal anybody’s boyfriend…

  • I think Matt edges it. I’m Praying Saara wins.

  • Matt is the favourite but I think Saara has won. Confusing!!!

  • George

    Final call: Matt.

  • Fudd

    Final call: Saara

    Maybe I’m not quite as certain as I was earlier though. The show has played a blinder in the fast few weeks.

  • stoney

    Have to say I think matts won it all because of song choices over the 2 days

  • Donald

    Nothing has convinced me to change position and give away a decent green on Saara at good odds with it well covered so holding station. Good luck to all! They have tested out metal tonight!

  • Cath

    It’s tight, but final call Saara based on judges’ comments.

  • Lara T

    Good luck to all.

    I think Saara will win but hope matt.

  • Curtis

    It’s over. Good luck everyone. I have my heart with Saara and my money with Matt, so I’ll embrace either result. In the end, does it come down to what we have said for weeks? The X Factor final is won by the most middle-of-the-road candidate – and there is surely no doubt that this year that would be Matt. Curveballs have been thrown, but maybe as punters we should have held on to this basic principle. Or maybe not lol.

  • So sad at the fact that Matt has this but congratulations to him.

  • DGiles

    Think (and hope) Saara

  • James

    I’m about 70% sure Saara has it.

  • Jessica Hamby

    The difference between a Matt win and a Saara win is significant at Hamby Towers. I can’t call it but I want Saara to win. Respect to Matt though. He’s given it a good go and some excellent performances.

  • Keen Observer

    Irrespective of result, good for the series that winner not a foregone conclusion when announcement is made.

    Extraordinary odds moves tonight – you would think switch and comments suggest Saara has done enough but then odds moves have gone against everything we’ve ever learnt!

  • Jessica Hamby

    Also, what I’ve seen of tonight has been a really good watch. This is why I love the X Factor. I hope they can bring more of this back next year.

  • Fudd

    Bland good looking guy wins again. Not good for the franchise at all IMO.

      • There are only so many times we can say this. The franchise is practically made of the bland attractive balladeering white guy winning, it’s happened 8 times out of 13 (including 3 of the first 4 years) and the show is still running. TXF is far from its peak but there’s no way Matt winning damages the franchise anymore than Ben thingy winning 2 years ago did, or the vocally brilliant but uncouth Sam Bailey (who Syco dropped just over a year after her win) for that matter.

  • Linda

    Congratulations Matt. You are beautiful, talented and in a league of your own.

  • Robert

    A victory for safety, blandness, and jingoism. My apologies, Saara. You deserved better x

    • I’m a remainer through and through but you can’t describe Matt winning as “jingoism”. He’s very capable and better than many past bland male winners the show’s had. Saara was a less good match for the show and audience, and her songs in the final weekend were a lot less emotive than his.

      • Robert

        “ENGLAND… VOTE FOR YOU OWN!” Yeah. No thanks. Gross.

      • EM

        Well said EuroV. If jingoism came into it she wouldn’t be close to the final

      • Jessica Hamby

        The song choices were bizarre. None of them were a good fit, not even I didn’t know my own strength, and the duet choice was incomprehensible. I don’t understand any of those choices at all.

      • Edie M

        Yeah, I’m sure all the allusions to ‘ENGLAND’ yesterday by Nicole were just a total coincidence. Anyway, there is no disputing it’s yet another X-Factor victory for safety and blandness. And he’ll flop, just like the other MOR male winners before him (I’m not including James A in that bc I don’t think he was bland). How is he more capable than Matt C or Joe? Both had better voices than him & Matt played an instrument. Matt has stood on the spot, done some middling songs and occasionally given a decent falsetto part. Trust me, if he was a woman with that voice & personality he would not have won.

  • Tpfkar

    Bah. Not what I wanted, and certainly not what my book wanted. But well done Matt, and superbly well done producers, for having me and many others fooled that the tide was going out on Matt, when they clearly had it in hand for weeks.

  • stoney

    What a gutter. Moral of the story alway goes with your gut.

    • Fudd

      Through all the unpredictability it’s the most predictable result.

    • EM

      To be fair Stoney you were calling it strongly for Matt way out and your reasoning was always solid – trust that gut

      • stoney

        You can imagine why I’m feeling sick and will be for a good few days. What should have been a successful series has ended a disaster. I even managed to hedge some money onto matt tonight cash it out when saaras odds come in then put a lesser amount back on him 5 minutes later. Horrendous stuff a series to forget!

  • 360

    Commiserations, Jessica! I was leaning towards her having it in the bag at that final moment.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Thanks. I should have gone with the Matt / Saara top 2 as well as the each way. I don’t know what the odds were but they would have been good.

      Never mind. It’s still a win and I’m not going to moan and spoil Matt’s moment. He’s worked for it.

      • Robert

        Totally disagree. Saara had to work for it against all odds. matt just had to stand there being white & male & British & vaguely cute, and wait for the producesrs to carry him over the finish line.

  • annie

    aaah, so dissapointed. 🙂

  • Curtis

    Congratulations to Matt. It’s not a great result for the franchise, but it’s a great result for someone who has never given anything other than the impression of being a really, really nice man. I hope he starts his career with a number 1 for the sake of this show (although I’m not impressed by this song so far!)

  • Plinkiplonk

    Well, all credit to TPTB. The guy who everyone predicted to win at the start ends up winning, and yet it comes as a massive surprise. Lessons were obviously learned from last year.

  • Cath

    Who’d have thought 10 weeks ago that we’d be this unclear who would win between the MOR attractive white male and the quirky foreign woman!! Well done TPTB on keeping us guessing! I find that result a bit depressing though.

  • James

    This winner’s single is a complete turd, I’m glad Saara wasn’t lumbered with it.

    Congrats to Matt, it’s not the result I was hoping for but he comes across like a lovely guy and he is a great singer. All the best to both of them.

  • Dendrite

    Well, Saara got exactly what she wanted – she is getting really, really good at playing the second fiddle.

  • Donald

    Ah well, no loss at least, be interesting to see the actual votes.

  • Curtis

    I think we’re probably going to find it was not a nailbiter at all by the way when we see the numbers. Dermot didn’t mention how close it was at all (he made that cryptic comment earlier in the show, but I’m convinced that that was referring to the whole series). The show were just very clever to present it the way they did.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Do you think Simon was a bit disappointed or is that wishful thinking on my part?

    • Edie M

      Maybe a little bit, he’s not stupid and knows the record of male winners on this show. Plus, Saara winning would have been such a good storyline for the show, his embrace of her story is likely what got her to the final in the first place.

    • Alan

      He was definitely disappointed. I think TPTB absolutely blew it in the final. There is no way they wanted Matt to win. They were just incomptetent in getting Saara over the line.

      Fair play to Matt he has conducted himself with dignity throughout despite getting practically no help from producers from the halfway point in the lives.

    • Curtis

      Yeah, I think he was, although he obviously had to be congratulatory to Matt. But for once in his life apart from Saara’s song of the series it felt like he allowed both acts a fair crack of the whip in the final.

    • annie

      it wasnt wishfull thinking.
      Though I am pretty sure that he knew the results before Dermy said it, I felt this weekend he was keen to take a chance on saara rather than having a joe McEld 2.0

    • Donald

      Way cleared for 5AM.. It was all about getting on at value which as have said many times makes all the difference. Much easier run book and enjoy the show. Was rooting for you..

  • Sindi

    During the show it really started to look like Matt was going to win as he sounded good and came through as more approachable. Congratulations. But seriously could he have cried any more? I liked the winner’s single.

    Saara didn’t look one bit sorry to come second. Simon was keen to include her to the winner’s moment.

  • MCIMH

    Oh well.

    Overall a good year, I’m a latter-day TXF fan so I think this is in the top half, just. They didn’t really go all out nasty. Good for them. A great final, as well.

  • Cath

    Now we get to look forward to the voting stats! Then we’ll see how well we called it all along.

  • 360

    I for one am looking forward to the reveal of the judges’ sealed envelope winner predictions from the start of the series.

  • Sagand

    I’m glad Matt won, I think he’s much easier on the ear than Saara. Power and range is over rated when evaluating singing ability. Very much looking forward to the vote totals.

  • Alan

    Well I finished the series totally level after putting my small profit on Saara in the final. Not a bad result I guess.

  • George

    I think we now know though that in a “fair” contest, or as close to as possible, the generic, bland male will come out every time. They really had to deramp Matt to get him in the bottom two but as soon as shackles came off just a bit he was straight back up there.

  • Woofie

    I do wonder if Simon’s was 5AM not Sam? Judges reveal cards.

  • Shame. Apart from winning much less on Matt, a Saara win would have been great for the program. Matt… well we know what will happen.

  • GsP

    Sad. Oh So Quiet was totally wrong but maybe it was never that close.

    She seemed like such a good girl and after being perennial runner up this would have been awesome.

    But maybe she can do better with this platform doing it her own way.

    Simon seemed very disappointed to me. His “we will back you 100%” seemed through gritted teeth. Surely that should have been a given.

    Saara’s story would have been great for the show. Although I can’t see how she would have worked that winner’s single.

  • Lara T

    Matt was nobbled but won. We should trust our gut!

    Well done to him. Third in semi to win should be applauded.

    If it was Saara’s to lose then…

  • Rose L

    I really don’t think that Saara was truly up for the win – some of her final song choices were very dubious. I’ve said all along that the idea of a foreign, professional singer winning just doesn’t sit well with the brand despite its potential feelgood factor.
    I think what we got was a good old-fashioned singers’ final, which is arguably as it should be in what most people still regard as an elevated singing competition, even though it is called the “X Factor”. People on this site were complaining throughout that Five After Midnight couldn’t sing and thus seemed to see it as a travesty that they should have come this far. That thinking, about it being about who has the best voice, remains strong even in these circles where we feel we know a lot more about what the show is really about than the average viewer does.
    Having the two best voices pitched against each other was a brilliant way to put on the best, most convincing, most enjoyable and competitive show they could and making it seem so fair was the finishing touch. It had quite a retro feel to it and could be arguably seen as a back to basics year by the end – even if the beginning wasn’t at all fair or unmanipulated. My respect for tptb has gone up a long way this year. I think they ended up delivering a show that seemed fair and about real talent – even if the talent pool was very shallow from the start due to their behind-the-scenes machinations.

 Leave a reply...