X Factor 2017 Pre-Lives 1-16: On The Rak

Grace or a group? A group or Grace? If not Grace, which group? That’s been the question occupying the Sofabet brains trust – although, as usual, we confidently expect that the first week of live shows will turn many assumptions on their heads and leave us with egg on our faces. Please be reminded that this traditional curtain-raiser to the lives is intended only as a bit of fun.

1. Rak-Su
Current odds: 6.4

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In our opinion the first shall be first: Rak-Su opened the series at the room audition, and we think they carry the right mixture of producer favour and viewer favour to be last ones standing. “It’s only recently that people have started to do their original songs on this show, and that’s what I’m looking for,” Simon said then. We’ve taken him at his word, with a top two based around acts that have showcased most their original material.

While respecting Grace’s chances, we hypothesise Rak-Su being Diversity to her Su-Bo. Since 2012 we have gone back and forth between winning male and female soloists, when one of X Factor’s USPs is its group category. Overall, these acts have proved the most commercially viable. A Rak-Su victory would break the mould, and let Simon prove he’s still credible in much the same way as when steering Tokio Myers to BGT victory earlier this year.

We think Simon mentoring the groups this year is a statement of intent – the last time he had them was 2010, which included One Direction. While we respect all three acts he put through in his category (we rather hedge by having them all in our top four), Rak-Su are arguably the most organic, in the sense that they’re all an integral part of the group. Moreso than nearly-winners 5am last year, who had one main man, and had been thrown together for the purpose of the show. The focus on the Watford boys’ friendships since childhood is a signal of their authenticity, and is a big part of their unthreatening appeal.

Rak-Su received arguably the most positive edit at judges’ houses, with a powerful VT reinforcing their longstanding bond. After original number ‘Palm Tree’, Simon said that they were full of hits, Cheryl commented that their London voices would go down well with Americans, and they had “global appeal”. This reiterated Simon’s comment during another very positive edit at 6CC that there was a “gap in the market” for the group. These are powerful buzzphrases at this stage of proceedings. The one blip came at the arena stage of bootcamp, where a mixed edit had Nicole questioning how good their original number there was, and it felt like deserving criticism at the time.

We don’t yet know how many original numbers or covers they will sing – they’ve also been accused of not being comfortable with the latter, which is a potential weakness. We’re hoping that if they resort to covers, they put an original spin on them, and we get told “you Rak-Sued that song”, turning their weakness into part of the journey. That’s what we’d do.

2. Grace Davies
Current odds: 3.8

x-factor-1-16-grace

Until last weekend, this series had often seemed to be all about Grace. And perhaps it still is. You could see her judges’ houses edit as being expectations management for when she switches to covers, and establishing the pitch: acknowledging that she’s not the best singer, but making viewers feel that she nonetheless deserves their votes because she’s a “fantastic songwriter” – a phrase much-repeated by the Osbornes amid their voicing of doubts.

And yet, and yet. Sharon drew viewers’ attention to Grace’s overuse of the “quirky” thing she does with her voice – presumably the affectation that makes it sound like she needs a squirt of WD-40 – while Jack added that her voice lacks power. It reminded us of when Simon Cowell pointed out, at his 2014 judges’ houses, the nasal tone of Jay James – who had previously looked like alpha over, but soon found himself on the disposable list. Could this presage a similar, shock downgrade? It at least needs to be considered.

Most surprisingly, Sharon asked Grace if she’s “a songwriter who shouldn’t perform”. Had she been told to try to make viewers root for Grace to demonstrate her performing chops in the live shows? If so, it’s seems a strange way to pitch for sympathy – viewers may think that being a successful songwriter sounds like a nice enough career path – and it was a stark way to go about it. “A songwriter who shouldn’t perform” could become Grace’s X Factor epitaph.

It’s certainly possible – likely, even – that this was all just an attempt to make the series seem less like a foregone conclusion. Kelly’s worry that Grace would “crumble” in the lives looked like straightforward tension-building. And if the show remains as determined to bludgeon Grace to the win as it looked through the audition, bootcamp and 6CC stages, it could look generous in retrospect that she goes into the lives at longer odds than Louisa Johnson, the last beneficiary of scorched earth tactics in a shortened run of live shows.

But while Louisa proved to have a powerful enough voice to overcome our concerns about her relatability, Grace is arguably a hard sell for the opposite reason – although she has more of an evident personality, it’s the belters who traditionally do best in the girls category. It adds up to enough uncertainty that we can’t bring ourselves to make her our choice at a short-ish price.

3. The Cutkelvins
Current odds: 12

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The Cutkelvins have been on our radar since their positive edit during the second weekend of room auditions. There were three main reasons for this. Firstly, producers were keen to accentuate then – as they have at every stage of the competition – that they are a “family band”, which translates as them being authentic and having a genuine connection. Secondly, as the only Scottish act featured so prominently, we expected them to get through to the live shows given the show’s apparent attempt this year to provide regional breadth to shore up ratings.

Finally, lead singer Shereen is head and shoulders above the field in what we call the “Fleur East test”, which is essentially: “how much do you look like a pop star?” Her stunning looks and style drew immediate praise from Cheryl in an incredibly positive judges’ houses edit. The 20-year-old was formerly part of the group Neon Jungle, so this fact hasn’t escaped the music industry already.

Shereen can deliver an occasionally outstanding vocal too, best showcased at their room audition rendition of ‘Runnin’. They are one of the most commercial prospects in this field, which made it understandable that Simon said their inclusion in the lives was a “no-brainer”.

There are a few weaknesses. From the very start, the role of Shereen’s brothers has been open to debate. At the room audition, Sharon felt that they should be in the background for Jay’s occasional vocals and Kyle’s occasional rap, and this strategy seemed to be adopted at judges’ houses, where instruments formed a visual barrier between the boys and their sister. Simon went on to worry of Shereen that the boys “drag her down”, which is damning in a group dynamic.

Arguably they’re also the least relatable of the three groups chosen at judges’ houses, currently a little too-cool-for-school for mass appeal. And in a year where original material has been the theme, we’ve not heard any suggestion that the Cutkelvins have this string in their bow. But we do expect Simon to push them hard, and we suspect they will trade lower at some point than they do now. The question is, how far will the push take them? Third is our suggested compromise.

4. Sean and Conor Price
Current odds: 9.4

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Betting is all about weighing up when the odds make a chance worth taking – and earlier in the week we were tempted to tip, at the prices, the Prices. The Irish brothers had been the shortest-priced group, but after judges’ houses their odds almost doubled (they’ve since come back in a touch). Was that an over-reaction? While not all commenters agreed, we quite liked Sean and Conor’s ‘What About Us’. And they came across, as usual, as charming and likeable – both words used by Simon and Cheryl.

They had two main problems. As noted above, the positivity was ratcheted even higher for the other two groups. And Simon mused to Cheryl: “What’s the magic ingredient that makes them unique? Because at the moment, they’re buskers.” Oof.

Here on Sofabet we generally assume that judges’ reactions are choreographed to send signals to viewers. But perhaps, in Sean and Conor’s case, a prima-facie interpretation of Simon’s reactions makes most sense. Room audition: he’s genuinely enthused – you can see the dollar signs light up in his eyes. Bootcamp: he’s genuinely disappointed that their nerves are affecting them on their first outing in front of a big crowd. 6CC: he’s genuinely hoping they improve, hence the hand signals motioning to them to slow down. At judges’ houses, this narrative continued with the brothers telling Dermot they felt happier with the “intimacy” compared to the previous stages.

Anyone backing Sean and Conor is taking a chance that they can get comfortable on the big stage. If they can, there’s a ready-made journey for them, and it’s easy to imagine the show throwing its weight behind them again. If not, they could be in for an early exit.

“Buskers” isn’t necessarily fatal. The word was constantly applied to Luke Friend, and he managed a podium finish. Ultimately, other doubts held us back from taking a chance on the duo. While they do have original material, their songwriting prowess hasn’t been explicitly praised, unlike with Rak Su and Grace. And, unless the rules have changed since last year, the Irish will have to pay to vote – they can’t use the app. That will presumably dilute the impact of a regional vote last seen carrying Tesco Mary almost to the final in 2010.

5. Holly Tandy
Current odds: 6

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There’s much to like about Holly’s prospects. She’s young, good-looking, and has a decent, powerful voice. The show has invested in her at every stage of the competition, making her increasingly sympathetic throughout. That’s important because she’s come across as a very focused, determined individual, mature beyond her years. But alongside that we’ve met her emotional, supportive Grandad, seen her cry and doubt herself, and, at judges’ houses, explain that she wanted to prove wrong those peers at school who put her down. Sharon used the word “relatable” afterwards.

Sharon’s main fear, expressed then, is that Holly “doesn’t have the X Factor” – Jack commented that he doesn’t think she lights up a room, and Sharon agreed that she lacks charisma. Actually, Holly reminds us quite a bit of 2015 winner Louisa Johnson, another powerful-voiced, young, focused female who wasn’t particularly charismatic. And that may be Holly’s main problem. She offers nothing new to the franchise if she wins, but a return of the pendulum from Middle England-appealing male solo winners to big-voiced female solo winners.

In her category, she feels like the beta girl behind Grace, whose songwriting abilities do offer the franchise something different – as Syco have recently found with 2012 winner James Arthur. As a result, we can’t see Holly being pushed for victory at this stage, though her skills should see her in the latter stages of the competition at the very least.

6. Lloyd Macey
Current odds: 36

x-factor-1-16-lloyd

Usually we find it useful to try to figure out the pecking order of acts in each category. But that doesn’t feel like much help this year with the boys, as producers seem to be equally dismissive of all of them. It was nicely summed up in a scene from judges’ houses in which Louis and Mika shared a joke about how long it had been since Louis had won, and gestured to suggest he may as well pick at random.

We’re predicting Lloyd to get furthest of a weak-looking bunch because he has a Welsh regional vote, a pleasant voice, an entertaining Nan, a puppydog smile and a likeable demeanour, not because we discern any signs of producer favour.

Indeed, following up on Simon comparing Lloyd to a “comfortable blanket” at 6CC, Louis piled on the ignominy at judges’ houses: he called Lloyd “a bit bland”, and asked if he was too “musical theatre” before putting him through. We assume producers feel relaxed that they can keep a lid on Lloyd’s appeal through choosing songs that allow them to portray a lack of versatility, and dispose of him at will.

7. Matt Linnen
Current odds: 38

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Matt Linnen most closely fits the template of the mid-to-late twentysomething everyman with broad female appeal that often wins this show, including last year’s victor, Matt Terry, as well as Matt Cardle and Ben Haenow. That’s not to say that every youngish beefcake goes on to great things in the show, as Jake Quickenden could tell you. Linnen’s vocals are are not as good as those previous winners, but better than the likes of Jake.

That in itself can get him to the latter stages of the live shows. But we’re expecting producers to treat him with caution, given his potential appeal, and the commercial failures of the Haenow archetypes – Matt Terry’s first solo effort being a current example. It’s interesting to note how quickly the tabloids were out of the starting blocks with a negative story.

His judges’ houses edit was suitably mixed. While Nicole and Stormzy praised the tone of his voice, both expressed the concern that Rozzalla’s ‘Everybody’s Free’ had been “too big for him”. Given the nature of the song, that’s pretty damning. Matt also has yet to show the same level of audience connection that Haenow, Cardle and Terry managed. So far, the only way the show has encouraged us to relate to him has been to objectify him as a “blue-eyed boy”. We suspect that will remain the case.

8. Rai-Elle Williams
Current odds: 32

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Unless there has been a drastic rethink on Grace, it seems clear that Rai-Elle goes into the lives as gamma girl – she’s had significantly less oxygen than both Grace and Holly. The wildcard situation could easily relegate her to delta girl, as happened to poor old Kiera Weathers in Louisa Johnson’s year. But while Rai-Elle doesn’t have the vocal chops of Alisah – or, of course, Holly – she does at least have a bit of spark about her and can put on a show, so we’re pegging her for a mid-table finish.

The relative lack of interest in Rai-Elle continued at judges’ houses, where she was tagged as “inconsistent”. We’ve also noticed that the show seems keen to associate the word “attitude” with her – if that’s a conscious tactic it’s an interesting one, as even if the word is always spoken in an ostensibly positive context, in itself it has plenty of negative connotations.

9. Talia Dean
Current odds: 40

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Talia has some momentum going into the live shows, on the back of the audience demanding her return at 6CC, and winning the wildcard vote. She clearly has some appeal to the watching audience, possibly partly due to wearing her heart on her sleeve every time she’s appeared, something the show has been keen to play up, alongside a potential rags-to-riches story revolving around carrying bags for celebrities such as mentor Nicole at Heathrow Airport.

Though neither of her bootcamp efforts made it onto ITV, she’s had plenty of screentime since, even if it’s involved twice being rejected by Nicole. We don’t discount a journey to becoming top over on the basis of this, and momentum from her wildcard victory – although we’re assuming that the public having voted for four wildcards means any of them is less likely to build up a Maloney-esque head of steam. Ultimately, we can’t get past Talia’s voice, which tends to get very pitchy at the big moments.

10. Sam Black
Current odds: 70

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It’s a good job Louis isn’t an oncologist. After overdoing the old “it’s not good news… it’s great news” trope on Sam, he then had to awkwardly reiterate the second part of the statement as Sam sobbed helplessly. Earlier, Louis informed Sam: “I’ve seen you mess it up on the big stage… yesterday it wasn’t a brilliant vocal… I haven’t seen you do an amazing performance yet”. Earlier still, Louis asked Mika whether Sam was good enough for the live shows; Mika pointed out that Louis had sent him home once already. Sam himself joined in the undermining of his prospects, commenting “I’m just a plasterer who does a bit of karaoke”. Oh Sam.

Sam was initially introduced as being from Liverpool, but mentioned at bootcamp that he’s from the Isle of Man. We wonder if we’re in for a reprise of one of all our-time favourite X Factor moments, Craig Colton’s Incredible Shrinking Hometown. Sofabet commenter India Marie has quipped that Sam is actually from 1961; keeping him to dated songs should indeed help producers to keep a lid on his appeal.

11. Leon Mallett
Original odds: 85

x-factor-1-16-leon

Leon has to be considered the most surprising wildcard result, beating out the much more frequently featured Aidan Martin in the boys category. The Yarmouth lad’s coverage has been cursory by any standards, initially featuring with his younger brother as a group at the room audition, before we saw them compete as soloists at 6CC following the judges’ advice at bootcamp.

Leon’s rendition of Gabrielle’s ‘Dreams’ wasn’t particularly impressive even with his own original rap in the middle – during the important parts of the song, it felt like the backing singers were doing what heavy lifting was required. Still, he clearly has some public support on the back of his wildcard victory, and that could carry him through the opening week, especially in a category as weak as the boys. That may be the best he can hope for, however.

12. Jack and Joel
Current odds: 110

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It’s unfortunate for Jack and Joel that this is such a strong year for the groups. In another season, the combination of fun personalities, decent voices and the ability to put on a show might have tempted producers into being relaxed about giving them a decent run – perhaps not as far as Reggie and Bollie, but they’re certainly an upgrade on the lives of Bratavio and Diva Fever. Judges houses saw them getting a kind letdown by Simon, in stark contrast to the perfunctory way in which he dismissed the now-never-to-be-named New Girl Band.

Our latest understanding of the format is that the least popular act in each category is going to be in trouble in week 2. We reckon the Oxford graduates will find themselves in producers’ crosshairs once the survival of one of the other groups is threatened.

13. Kevin Davy White
Current odds: 110

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“More love or more disdain I crave”, wrote the 17th century poet Henry Purcell, pleading with the object of his affections to “be not still indifferent”. This may prove to be Kevin’s problem, judging by the fact that hardly anyone can be bothered either to back or lay him in the Betfair market: the Frenchman doesn’t seem to be stirring any strong opinions one way or the other.

He’s had a decent enough edit, with a repeated focus on his relationship with his London-based girlfriend to explain why he’s in a UK show, and with judges bestowing a modest degree of praise: Nicole and Stormzy claimed at judges’ houses that his “blues” offers something the competition hasn’t seen before. But Kevin has so far struck us as somewhat one-note, with likely limited longevity.

14. Alisah Bonaobra
Current odds: 38

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Alisah has been rejected often enough already to leave little doubt about the level of regard in which producers hold her. After being tagged as “cabaret” and “dated” by her mentor at 6CC, the Filipino lass endured further indignities at judges’ houses: Sharon threw in a “cheesefest” for good measure, before informing her to her face that she is “one-dimensional”.

That said, and as indicated by her wildcard win, the ability to belt out the standards is not to be underestimated on this show. As with Jack and Joel, we’re predicting Alisah to have enough momentum to get through the first week of live shows if up against a weaker category, and then to find herself in the crosshairs once pitted directly against her category rivals.

15. Spencer Sutherland
Current odds: 70

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Spencer Sutherland arrived in the UK with two very clear objectives. He wanted to secure a place in what he calls the X Factor ‘mansion’, and he wanted to entertain a TV audience of eight million people every Saturday night. Oh well, one out of two isn’t bad, Spence. How’s your Paso Doble?

Looking back at Spencer’s room audition, it began well enough as he and Nicole shared an Ohio connection, followed by his tales of sleeping on couches and doing ‘music stuff’ to get by. But his performance of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On was problematic.

Simon labelled him “corny” and questioned his image by suggesting he’d come to audition for “one of Louis’ boy bands”. Sharon reinforced identity concerns as she advised not to be “someone else” but to “be yourself” before describing Spencer as an embodiment of every cliché from the last 10 years. Nicole reminded everyone that “there’s gotta be something said for the voice” but then stared blankly into her compatriot’s eyes and muttered “I have hope for you” in a tone reminiscent of Princess Leia speaking to an Ewok.

As Spencer made his way towards the exit (with four yeses), he was literally laughed out of the room by Simon who appeared delighted to have found yet another candidate for Louis’ band of misfits, otherwise known as the boys category 2017.

Spencer featured briefly at Bootcamp, forming part of Grace’s group, but we saw nothing of his solo performance during the weekend shows. There was some drama at 6CC when Spencer had to sing for his seat in a head-to-head against Benji, but the USA prevailed over Cornwall on that occasion.

If judges’ houses was intended to remedy the damaging comments made at room auditions, it’s safe to say that Mika did not receive the memo. “Stage school” and “dated” were piercing remarks from Louis’ guest advisor after Spencer had performed a curious original song dedicated to his dad. This particular song had allowed him to ‘open up’ his emotions, apparently for the first time in his life. Long may the therapy continue, perhaps one day Spencer will conquer Spencer’s most irritating habit of frequently referring to Spencer in the third person.

Mika summarised perfectly: “He’s a pro. He can sing. He ticks all the boxes”. Louis’ response was equally fitting: “But there’s something missing”. We couldn’t agree more.

16. Tracy Leanne Jefford
Current odds: 210

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Every year producers need at least one act with a big target on their backs for the first week’s vote. It’s typically either the weakest group or the weakest over. Two years ago, for example, Bupsi was despatched in a brutal fashion even by this show’s standards. As a brassy, ballsy mature woman without the best singing voice in the competition, Tracy Leanne reminds us of Bupsi.

Newspaper reports this week have had her setting out to “change the public view of travellers”. If that’s a portent of her first week’s VT, it may not be the best way to endear her to an ITV-watching Middle England demographic who already seem sceptical – the Sunbury lass is the only act in the lives whose JH performance video racked up more thumbs-downs on the X Factor app than thumbs-ups or hearts put together.

Now it’s over to you – please post your own 1-16 in the comments below at any time before Saturday’s opening credits. If you haven’t posted on Sofabet before, this is a great time to join in. As usual, bragging rights are up for grabs for the commenter whose prediction ends up most closely hewing to the actual result.

(A bit of housekeeping: the wildcards are now confirmed. And judging by X Factor social media, it looks like groups and overs are performing in the first live show – so we’re presumably looking at a group or over out in 16th, and a boy or girl in 15th. Beyond that, things get murky; if, say, three acts go out next weekend, perhaps we should consider them as equal 12th, and so on – let us know if you disagree).

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

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89 comments to X Factor 2017 Pre-Lives 1-16: On The Rak

  • Tim B

    I won it last year, so no pressure .

    1. Grace Davies
    2. Lloyd Macey
    3. Sean and Conor Price
    4. Holly Tandy
    5. Rak-Su
    6. Matthew Linnen
    7. Spencer Sutherland
    8. Alisah Bonaobra
    9. The Cutkelvins
    10. Kevin Davy White
    11. Sam Black
    12. Rai-Elle Williams
    13. Talia Dean
    14. Leon Mallett
    15. Jack and Joel
    16. Tracy Leanne Jefford

    • Timothy!! You have to change yours. The bottom 2 have to be 1 over/group + 1 boy/girl.

      • Tim do you not know the format of the live shows this year? 😉

      • Tim B

        You’re right, I made my prediction before we know who was performing & when. I’ll get like Dua Lipa and play by New Rules.

        REVISED PREDICTION

        1. Grace Davies
        2. Lloyd Macey
        3. Sean and Conor Price
        4. Holly Tandy
        5. Rak-Su
        6. Matthew Linnen
        7. Spencer Sutherland
        8. The Cutkelvins
        9. Alisah Bonaobra
        10. Kevin Davy White
        11. Sam Black
        12. Talia Dean
        13. Rai-Elle Williams
        14. Jack and Joel
        15. Leon Mallett
        16. Tracy Leanne Jefford

        FINAL ANSWER

  • Martin

    Been looking forward to this aaaaall week, one of my favourite parts of the show each year. Hard to argue with any of that reasoning, mine is similar…

    1 Grace Davis
    2 Rak Su
    3 The Cutkelvins
    4 Holly Tandy
    5 Sean and Connor Price
    6 Lloyd Macey
    7 Matt Linnen
    8 Rae Elle
    9 Alisah
    10 Sam Black
    11 Taliah
    12 Leon mallet
    13 Kevin davey white
    14 Jack and joel
    15 Spencer Sutherland
    16 Traceyleanne Jefford

    I did hope that the show would split the groups and overs as I was confident Jack and Joel would be shoe in to leave this weekend but Traceyleanne is unvoteable as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t see them dropping below her. With all the changes, it feels particularly difficult to gauge what’s going on – I think that ultimately, if the latter stages are dominated by groups, Grace will be more capable of delivering a performance which resonates with the voting public and will probably edge the competition on that basis.

  • Yolanda

    First year of predictions on here, but a keen punter every year.

    1. The Cutkelvins
    2. Rak Su
    3. Holly Tandy
    4. Matt Linnen
    5. Sam Black
    6. Grace Davies
    7. Talia Dean
    8. Jack and Joel
    9. Alisah
    10. Lloyd Macey
    11. Kevin Davey White
    12. Leon Mallet
    13. Spencer Sutherland
    14. Sean and Conor
    15. Rae Elle
    16. Traceyleanne Jefford

  • Joe Lemer

    Ok here goes.
    1st The Cutkelvins
    2nd Rak Su
    3rd Holly
    4th Grace
    5th Lloyd
    6th Rai Elle
    7th Matt
    8th Leon
    9th Talia
    10th Jack and Joel
    11th Sam
    12th Spencer
    13th Tracey
    14th Sean and Connor
    15th Kevin
    16th Alisah

    Scottish regional vote, Cowell really wanting to work with them after their first audition and stunning vocals from a stunning lead singer will push Cutkelvins to the win.

    Too many 2nd chances and the constant crying will see Alisah first out on Saturday.

  • Joe Lemer

    Made an error with Alisah as she is in the girls group not an over! I’ll swap her (just like 6CC!) in my prediction with Tracey. Apologies.

    1st The Cutkelvins
    2nd Rak Su
    3rd Holly
    4th Grace
    5th Lloyd
    6th Rai Elle
    7th Matt
    8th Leon
    9th Talia
    10th Jack and Joel
    11th Sam
    12th Spencer
    13th Alisah
    14th Sean and Connor
    15th Kevin
    16th Tracey

    Scottish regional vote, Cowell really wanting to work with them after their first audition and stunning vocals from a stunning lead singer will push Cutkelvins to the win.

  • David Cook

    I’m hedging. I still see four possible winners which would be acceptable to TPTB. I tend to think either Grace wins it – or it becomes apparent that she can’t in which case Holly steps up to the plate. I think they’ll actually finish 1st and 4th, either way the singer edges out the groups with the voting public. Cutkelvins are starting to look a bit more cohesive, with a better balance between the three than they had earlier in the competition. I favour them slightly ahead of Rak-su.
    I don’t see anyone else in with a chance. I think Sean and Conner will drop down the pecking order – they are basically a couple of buskers. Unlike Holly there’s been no improvement since the first audition.
    I’m going with Matt and Leon as top acts in the Boys and Overs but I think they’ll make sure they keep a cap on them to ensure that they’re not challenging at the top.

    1 Grace Davies
    2 Holly Tandy
    3 Cutkelvins
    4 Rak-su
    5 Matt Linnen
    6 Leon Mallet
    7 Sean and Connor
    8 Talia Dean
    9 Lloyd Macey
    10 Alisa Bonaobra
    11 Rai-Elle Williams
    12 Sam Black
    13 Jack and Joel
    14 Kevin Davy White
    15 Spencer Sutherland
    16 Tracy Leanne Jefford

    • 360

      You’d need to edit this list a bit if you meant Grace and Holly in 1st and 4th as you have them 1st and 2nd right now!

      • David Cook

        Or Holly 1st and Grace 4th. Just for the hell of it – as more people are predicting Grace – I’ll call it the other way. Actually from the song choice this week I think they’re moving Holly in the right direction. Revised prediction:

        1 Holly Tandy
        2 Cutkelvins
        3 Rak-su
        4 Grace Davies
        5 Matt Linnen
        6 Leon Mallet
        7 Sean and Connor
        8 Talia Dean
        9 Lloyd Macey
        10 Alisa Bonaobra
        11 Rai-Elle Williams
        12 Sam Black
        13 Jack and Joel
        14 Kevin Davy White
        15 Spencer Sutherland
        16 Tracy Leanne Jefford

  • Ben Cook

    1 Grace Davies
    2 Rak-Su
    3 Matt Linnen
    4 Holly Tandy
    5 The Cutkelvins
    6 Leon Mallett
    7 Sam Black
    8 Rai-Elle Williams
    9 Sean & Conor Price
    10 Talia Dean
    11 Lloyd Macey
    12 Jack & Joel
    13 Alisah Bonaobra
    14 Kevin Davy White
    15 Spencer Sutherland
    16 Tracy Leanne Jefford

  • 1 – Rak-Su
    2 – Grace Davies
    3 – Sean & Conor Price
    4 – Holly Tandy
    5 – Lloyd Macey
    6 – Talia Dean
    7 – The Cutkelvins
    8 – Spencer Sutherland
    9 – Alisah Bonaobra
    10 – Matt Linnen
    11 – Leon Mallett
    12 – Rai-Elle
    13 – Kevin Davy White
    14 – Jack & Joel
    15 – Sam Black
    16 – Tracy-Leanne Jefford

  • Marc

    1 – Rak-Su
    2 – Grace Davies
    3 – Lloyd Macey
    4 – Sean & Conor Price
    5 – Holly Tandy
    6 – The Cutkelvins
    7 – Matt Linnen
    8 – Rai-Elle
    9 – Talia Dean
    10 – Leon Mallett
    11 – Sam Black
    12 – Alisah Bonaobra
    13 – Jack & Joel
    14 – Kevin Davy White
    15 – Spencer Sutherland
    16 – Tracy-Leanne Jefford

  • Alan

    Great article. Ive probably only seen half of the acts perform so my predictions are based on previous week’s articles and comments as much as anything else. Previous years results never end up as expected with favourites suddenly becoming totally disposable – Anton & Sean Miley-More springing to mind – so Im predicting some upsets to stand out from the pack.

    Based on the little Ive seen of Grace she doesnt seem to have the likability factor and her voice is definitely an acquired taste. Also pinning my hopes on Rak-Su struggling in the early vote and TPTB throwing all their weight behind The Cutkelvins.

    1 The Cutkelvins
    2. Holly Tandy
    3 Matt Linnen
    4 Alisah Bonaobra
    5 Sean & Conor Price
    6 Talia Dean
    7 Lloyd Macey
    8 Kevin Davy White
    9 Grace Davies
    10 Sam Black
    11 Rak-Su
    12 Leon Mallet
    13 Rai-Elle Williams
    14 Jack & Joel
    15 Spencer Sutherland
    16 Tracy Leanne Jefford

  • Kenneth Chow

    I’m totally stumped here…

    16) Tracey Leanne Jefford
    15) Lloyd Macey
    14) Kevin White
    13) Jack & Joel
    12) Matt Linnen
    11) Rai-Elle Williams
    10) Cutkelvins
    9) Sean & Conor Price
    8) Sam Black
    7) Talia Dean
    6) Leon Mallett
    5) Alisah Bonaobra
    4) Spencer Sutherland
    3) Holly Tandy
    2) Rak Su
    1) Grace Davies

    I don’t think Rak Su will win though,..a girl will win, who that will be i’m completely going back and forth on Grace and Holly…i originally went with Holly, but i think the judges are more lucky to push for Grace, so i’m going with the safer bet

  • 1) Raksu
    2) Grace Davies
    3) Lloyd Macey
    4) Holly Tandy
    5) The Cutkelvins
    6) Kevin Davy White
    7) Spencer Sutherland
    8) Talia Dean
    9) Rai-elle
    10) Jack and Joel
    11) Sam Black
    12) Sean and Connor
    13) Alisah Bonaobra
    14) Matt Linnen
    15) Leon Mallett
    16) Tracey

  • Steve

    1. Holly
    2. Cutkelvins
    3. Lloyd
    4. Grace
    5. Rak Su
    6. Matt
    7. Sean and Connor
    8. Alisah
    9. Talia
    10. Sam
    11. Leon
    12. Jack and Joel
    13. Kevin
    14. Rai- Elle
    15. Spencer
    16. Tracey

  • Justin

    1. Grace Davies
    2.The Cutkelvins
    3.Holly Tandy
    4.Sean and Conor
    5.Matt Linnen
    6.Rak Su
    7.Lloyd Macey
    8.Sam Black
    9.Alisah
    10.Leon Mallet
    11.Talia Dean
    12.Rae Elle
    13.Traceyleanne Jefford
    14.Jack and Joel
    15.Spencer Sutherland
    16.Kevin White

  • Durchfall

    1 – The Cutkelvins
    2 – Rak-Su
    3 – Lloyd Macey
    4 – Grace Davies
    5 – Sean and Conor
    6 – Talia Dean
    7 – Leon Mallett
    8 – Holly Tandy
    9 – Sam Black
    10 – Rai-Elle Williams
    11 – Matt Linnen
    12 – Alisah Bonaobra
    13 – Kevin Davy White
    14 – Spencer Sutherland
    15 – Jack and Joel
    16 – Tracy Leanne Jefford

  • Stoney

    1. Cutkelvins
    2. Holly
    3. Matt
    4. Grace
    5. Raksu
    6. Lloyd
    7. Leon
    8. Jack and Joel
    9. Sam
    10. Sean and Connor
    11. Kevin
    12. Talia
    13. Rai elle
    14. Alisha
    15. Spencer
    16 Tracey

  • Rose L

    I agree that a group is likely to win this year but think Raksu aren’t quite young enough in ideal terms – friend of mine whose group got a recording deal was forced to pretend to be 7-8 years younger than the reality – he was 27. Sean and Conor couldn’t really be any younger but they aren’t quite there yet. The Cutkelvins, thus, get my tip, but I am wary that Simon tends to like bands he has put together and at least ones who do what he tells them to do. At early stages, the Cutkelvins were told to make Shereen more central but I’m not sure they’ve followed advice. If they are even remotely rebellious, they may not get the support they need. But I prefer them to win over the competition. For now!
    Anyway, enough waffle, here goes:
    1. The Cutkelvins
    2. Holly Tandy
    3. Raksu
    4. Grace Davies
    5. Lloyd Macey
    6. Sean and Connor Price
    7. Matt Linnen
    8. Rai-Elle Williams
    9. Alisah Bonaobra
    10. Talia Dean
    11. Sam Black
    12. Leon Mallett
    13. Jack and Joel
    14. Kevin Davy White
    15. Spencer Sutherland
    16. Tracyleanne Jefford

    • David Cook

      I think the Cutkelvins have change what they are doing. My impression of the JH performance was that there was more where the boys were doing their own parts and less singing with (or over) Shareen, which is where they tended to sound weak.

      • Rose L

        Yes, that’s very possibly true, but maybe it was too subtle for my none-too-delicate ear to notice. I was waiting for one of the judges to congratulate them on following the advice given earlier, which I didn’t hear. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t given – just that it didn’t make an edit. But it was potentially an obvious improvement story which didn’t seem to happen – at least not yet. I can imagine a mirror story arc where a less well-appreciated group might end up scolded and discarded for not having taken heed of the advice offered to them earlier.
        Anyone see anything I missed here? Been watching on the run so far.

  • India Marie

    I think Rak-Su are preferred ATM (esp. given this week’s songs), but TPTB will realize that they need to throw money on the right train. I also think people are quick to write Tracyleanne off; I think her song this week could switch her narrative.

    1. The Cutkelvins
    2. Grace Davies
    3. Matt Linnen
    4. Holly Tandy
    5. Sean and Conor Price
    6. Rak-Su
    7. Lloyd Macey
    8. Alisah Bonaobra
    9. Talia Dean
    10. Jack and Joel
    11. Sam Black
    12. Tracyleanne Jefford
    13. Rai-Elle Williams
    14. Leon Mallett
    15. Spencer Sutherland
    16. Kevin Davy White

    • Edie M

      I still need to do my list, but I agree with a lot of this. I’m not convinced Rak-Su can make it all the way to the finish line, they remind me too much of similar acts who got to the latter stages but faded towards the end when more casual viewers start voting. I like Rai-Elle but am very worried for her.

  • Dazzle

    1. The cutkelvins
    2. Holly Tandy/Grace Davies (can’t make up my mind)
    3. Matt Linnen
    4. Grace Davies/Holly Tandy
    5. Lloyd Macey
    6. Talia Dean
    7. Sean and Connor Price
    8. Rak Su
    9. Spencer Sutherland
    10. Jack and Joel
    11. Leon Mallett
    12. Sam Black
    13. Alisah Bonaobra
    14. Rai Ellie Williams
    15. Kevin Davy Williams
    16. Tracyleanne Jefford

  • RichJ

    1. Lloyd
    2. Rak-Su
    3. Grace
    4. The Cutkelvins
    5. Holly
    6. Leon
    7. Matt
    8. Rai-Elle
    9. Sam
    10. Talia
    11. Jack and Joel
    12. Alisah
    13. Price Brothers
    14. Spencer
    15. TracyLeanne
    16. Kevin

  • Anglia Chu

    On one hand, I believe The Cutkelvins have a stronger upside than Rak-Su; on the other, I think TPTB won’t notice and will ultimately back Rak-Su when push comes to shove.

    Tracyleanne is a goner. I like her song this week but they can skank it up easily and put voters off. Ditto for Spencer; God knows I associate his song choice with Misha B, who was in the bottom so many times.

    1. Rak-Su
    2. Holly Tandy
    3. The Cutkelvins
    4. Matt Linnen
    5. Grace Davies
    6. Lloyd Macey
    7. Sean and Conor Price
    8. Alisah Bonaobra
    9. Sam Black
    10. Rai-Elle Williams
    11. Talia Dean
    12. Jack and Joel
    13. Leon Mallett
    14. Kevin Davy White
    15. Spencer Sutherland
    16. Tracyleanne Jefford

    Also, what are the conditions for being part of the XF tour? I reckon some acts are wheeled in the show for that purpose.

    • Hi Anglia, traditionally the top 8 have gone on tour but they included Seann Miley Moore a couple of years ago despite him finishing 10th, so our working assumption is they can choose whoever they like – they don’t need to feel bound by the finishing order, they’ll just pick whoever they think will sell more tickets.

    • Anglia Chu

      With the movement of the Boys to Saturday, I assume the Groups go on Sunday to cope with Simon’s accident.

      • Anglia Chu

        According to Spencer, Boys/Girls on Saturday while Overs/Groups on Sunday

        REVISED:

        1. Rak-Su
        2. Holly Tandy
        3. The Cutkelvins
        4. Matt Linnen
        5. Grace Davies
        6. Lloyd Macey
        7. Sean and Conor Price
        8. Alisah Bonaobra
        9. Sam Black
        10. Rai-Elle Williams
        11. Talia Dean
        12. Jack and Joel
        13. Leon Mallett
        14. Kevin Davy White
        15. Tracyleanne Jefford
        16. Spencer Sutherland

        • Ben Cook

          Hopefully whoever does the scoring at the end will take into account that we don’t know which nights each group will be singing every week. Whoever leaves on Saturday and Sunday this week really is going to be joint 15th anyway.

          • Mech

            I’ve done the scoring the last few years – I’ve tended to take the view that you can predict whatever order you wish, and the acts leaving are announced in a chronological order.
            I’ll be running a (semi-official ?) score sheet again this year, under the same guidelines….
            https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19hatUczTYPQekSDMAy92jiCQ7j29m-FCLXTb1s8TbP8
            As in previous years, the predictions are made on the basis of the best available information at the start of the series, and acts joining and leaving are excluded from the scoring. Only entries time-stamped on the forum before the start of the first live show will be accepted.
            If anyone wants to run an alternate scorecard under any alternative rules / guidelines I have no objection – I’d be curious to see how much difference it makes!

            (Hopefully this year I won’t be on a transatlantic flight during the final…)

          • Anglia Chu

            I think if the acts leave on the same weekend, there should be leeway.

      • Uzair

        I think theyll change boys and girls to Saturday then too they would be already decided running order and person who they want eliminated so theyll just change the dates. That means Tracey will finish in 15th. I’m still unsure for tomorrow then I can see Spencer or Sam going.

  • Uzair

    The producers have put them in a very good position they can push any of their top 3 groups and they’ll come out on top. A few other things to take note of is that we are underestimating Spencer personally I think he’ll exceed both Sam and Leon. We’re aslo underestimating alisah her backing is very strong and I think she’ll easily be able to surpass raj Elle. They can also eliminate her whenever they want as she has a lot of downfalls. Also if its 2 categories each night they will have to alternate which 2 perform on Saturday and Sunday each week. So when it comes to the group’s and girls performing one night and the boys and overs performing one night what who happen. I’m guessing they’ll save that till week 3 so they can kill rai Elle off and pimp their chosen over or boy. Also who do we think they’ll give the week 1 pimp slot. Imo they could give alisah a triumphant return on Sunday. And for Saturday im guessing a pimp for Matt or talia I dont think they’ll give raksu or the cutkelvins a pimp slot yet theyll see how well they poll in week 1 with similar treatment to both groups and decide who to push from their

  • Dazzle

    I always thought they should put the groups on the sunday anyway if they want one of them to win when more younger viewers will be watching and more likely to vote for rak su and the cutkelvins unlike if they were on saturday, most younger viewers will be out, so that means the older viewers will be watching and vote for the likes of matt and lloyd

  • Piresistable

    1. The CutKelvins
    2. Holly Tandy
    3. Matt Linnen
    4. Rak-Su
    5. Grace Davies
    6. Lloyd Macey
    7. Sean and Conor Price
    8. Alisah Bonaobra
    9. Leon Mallett
    10. Rai-Elle Williams
    11. Talia Dean
    12. Kevin Davey White
    13. Sam Black
    14. Jack and Joel
    15. Spencer Sutherland
    16. Tracy Leanne Jefford

  • 1. The Cutkelvins
    2. Holly Tandy
    3. Rak Su
    4. Lloyd Macey
    5. Sean and Conor Price
    6. Grace Davies
    7. Matt Linnen
    8. Alisah Bonaobra
    9. Rai-Elle Williams
    10. Talia Dean
    11. Sam Black
    12. Kevin Davy White
    13. Jack and Joel
    14. Spencer Sutherland
    15. Tracy Leanne Jefford
    16. Leon Mallett

  • Mech

    I’m much better at spreadsheets than predictions but based on ranking each category first and then largely in the order groups, girls, boys, olders….

    1 – Rak-Su
    2 – Holly Tandy
    3 – Lloyd Macey
    4 – Matthew Linnen
    5 – The Cutkelvins
    6 – Grace Davies
    7 – Leon Mallett
    8 – Talia Dean
    9 – Sam Black
    10 – Jack & Joel
    11 – Rai-Elle Williams
    12 – Tracy Leanne Jefford
    13 – Sean & Conor Price
    14 – Alisah Bonaobra
    15 – Spencer Sutherland
    16 – Kevin Davy White

  • jimortz1980

    I agree Sofabet, we might have a Su-Bo/Diversity situation this year. I prefer Cutkelvins though. However, chavs votes might sway towards Raksu.

    1. Raksu*
    2. Grace*
    3. Cutkelvins
    4. Holly
    5. Matt
    6. Sean & Connor
    7. Spencer
    8. Alisah

    9. Talia

    10. Leon
    11. Rai-elle
    12. Lloyd
    13. Jack & Joel
    14. Tracey

    15. Kevin
    16. Sam

    My Top 8 acts are who i think most likely to join XF tour. Spencer, as an eye-candy for young girls. Matt for middle-aged women. Alisah’s countrymen (UK-based), would ensure her that position. Producers might also include Talia (9th), as in case of Sean-Miley Moore, “due to popular demand”.

  • Milton

    People in Eire might have to pay to vote for Sean and Conor, but the Irish diaspora in the UK don’t. According to wiki:

    “It is estimated that as many as six million people living in the UK have an Irish-born grandparent (around 10% of the UK population). The 2001 UK Census states that 869,093 people born in Ireland are living in Great Britain.”

    There are also 1.8m people living in Northern Ireland, some of whom will be included in the above figures.

    Mary Byrne and Eoghan Quigg were both Irish and did extremely well without the benefit of votes from the Republic. They may even have won had the show treated them fairly.

    • Anglia Chu

      The power of their regional vote will determine their treatment IMHO. If the “Irish vote” proves to be stronger than expected, I expect soft derampings until they leave; otherwise, maybe they will be a tad nicer until it’s time to go.

  • Harrow

    Here goes 🙂

    1. Rak-Su
    2. Holly Tandy
    3. The Cutkelvins
    4. Sean and Conor Price
    5. Grace Davies
    6. Rai-Elle Williams
    7. Matthew Linnen
    8. Lloyd Macey
    9. Alisah Bonaobra
    10. Leon Mallett
    11. Talia Dean
    12. Tracy Leanne Jefford
    13. Spencer Sutherland
    14. Jack and Joel
    15. Sam Black
    16. Kevin Davy White

  • So much Rak-Su love on here now… I like it 🙂

    1. Rak-Su
    2. The CutKelvins
    3. Holly Tandy
    4. Lloyd Macey
    5. Grace Davies
    6. Matt Linnen
    7. Sean & Conor Price
    8. Alisah Bonaobra
    9. Rai-Elle Williams
    10. Leon Mallet
    11. Talia Dean
    12. Spencer Sutherland
    13. Jack and Joel
    14. Kevin Davy White
    15. Sam Black
    16. Tracy Leanne Jefford

  • 01 the cutkelvins
    02 matt linnen
    03 holly tandy
    04 rak-su
    05 grace davies
    06 alisah bonaobra
    07 sean and connor
    08 spencer sutherland
    09 lloyd macey
    10 talia dean
    11sam black
    12 tracey leanne jefford
    13 jack and joel
    14 rai elle williams
    15 kevin davy white
    16.leon mallet

  • Phil

    1: Matt Linnen
    2: The Cutkelvins
    3: Kevin Davy White
    4: Holly Tandy
    5: Rak Su
    6: Grace Davies
    7: Spencer Sutherland
    8: Lloyd Macey
    9: Alisah Bonaobra
    10: Leon Mallet
    11: Talia Dean
    12: Jack and Joel
    13: Tracey Leanne Jefford
    14: Sean and Connor
    15: Rai Elle Williams
    16: Sam Black

    Couple of punts in mine, particularly in Kevin who I think (and hope) will outperform expectations. I thought he was great at judges houses. I still think Matt will take the crown as well.

    Poor Tracey – she must be the least likely contestant to win in the show’s history!

    • India Marie

      Least likely yet you have her over three other contestants?

      btw Sam and Rai-Elle can’t both be in the last two, same Live Show that will get rid of at most one of them

      • Phil

        I was referring to Tracey’s placing on everyone’s predictions. Also, she is on the second night.

        One from both boys and girls going tonight isn’t it? Was working to the assumption of a boy and girl tonight, a group and over tomorrow. Don’t think the order is particularly important.

        • India Marie

          Oh okay. According to the papers it’s one act tonight and one act tomorrow. I’m betting on a shock survival for Tracyleanne myself so maybe I was hoping for a friend

  • Nick

    Last chance of 5/2 on Grace.
    For those who think she is a certain top 3….if you bet each way you are getting great odds.

    ie bet £10 e/w
    Win pays £51,25 and if she is second or third, £16.25 for the place.

    Therefore you are risking losing £3.75 for winning £31,25.

    Under the old voting/ elimination system I would say this is a great bet….but slightly apprehensive given the new format rumours.

  • 360

    Still need to rewatch all the contestants before I do my full prediction as I’ve forgotten some. However some broad predictions:

    Tracyleanne for a Relley C edit and finish more than a Melanie McCabe.

    Rai Elle to run Steph Nala’s path and bow out as the lowest girl in show 1 or 2.

    Cutkelvins win.

    Matt Linnen to become a Maloney-esque figure who has to be dragged out.

    The Boys category to disappear by mid-show, similar to series 5 and 7, leaving Matt and Rak-Su as the last males standing.

    Grace Davies to be more an Ella Henderson than a Louisa Johnson, although they’ll try to drag her there. Holly Tandy to be a Lauren Platt who may defy expectations and go even further, unless she’s nobbled hard, Janet Devlin style.

    Ultimately the Cutkelvins remind me of the Fugees, and the fact Shereen looks similar to Fleur East isn’t escaping me either. I expect this show to try to establish them and get viewers to invest in specifically her personality, possibly to launch her as a solo artist later – or even drop some kind of twist in which she becomes a soloist during the show’s run, if one or both of her brothers ‘unexpectedly’ have to drop out – cue family drama, tears, and sympathy plus a regional vote.

    I can’t call Sean and Connor, but them being Irish and in Simon’s category ensures a singoff save from both Simon and Louis every time unless they appear against one of Louis’s boys, so they should be able to go far just on the logic of two judges always voting bloc to save them. Still not quite got my head round how the new rules will work if I’m honest.

    • India Marie

      Louis can’t save Sean and Conor because apparently, there is no more bottom two sing-off. I’d much rather both top two and bottom two have sing-offs, a la Project Runway.

  • R

    After much analysis, deliberation and general musings I still haven’t a clue, so here’s some names in a list.

    1. Grace Davies
    2. The Cutkelvins
    3. Matt Linnen
    4. Holly Tandy
    5. Rak Su
    6. Lloyd Macey
    7. Sean and Connor Price
    8. Alisah
    9. Jack and joel
    10. Spencer Sutherland
    11. Kevin Davey White
    12. Leon mallet
    13. Taliah
    14. Sam Black
    15. Traceyleanne Jefford
    16. Rae Elle

    I’m going for Grace as I still feel it’ll be a female winner this year despite all the recent negativity. It could still be Holly or Shereen and her backing singers but I see Grace as the one most likely to sell well post show.
    If Grace isn’t pushed to win I don’t see her making the final and may finish as low as fifth.

    I see Rak Su too much as The Risk type of group. Early expectations quickly diminished.

    Matt is the male who could pose the biggest threat. He fits the stereotype of the male who wins without much pushing. Because of this, they may want to get rid of him early and have Lloyd in the final as a bland non-threat.

    The middle group of contestants are interchangeable.

    I’ve put Rae Elle last as it’s usually a female or a girl group who leaves first. Although there could be a shock Alisha backlash elimination tonight with Tracey leaving tomorrow.

    The first few acts to leave are usually female, with the male fodder leaving next so this is how I’ve structured the list.

  • Stu

    1. Rak Su
    2. Grace
    3. The Cutkelvins
    4. Talia
    5. Jack & Joel
    6. Leon
    7. Alisah
    8. Spencer
    9. Sean & Conor
    10. Holly
    11. Kevin
    12. Lloyd
    13. Rai Elle
    14. Matt
    15. Tracy Leanne
    16. Sam

  • Tim B

    There are now Top Boy, Top Girl, Top Group and Top Over markets on Betfair, so please get trading them.

  • DeanF

    1. Cutkelvins
    2. Alisah
    3. Grace
    4. Rak-Su
    5. Holly
    6. Lloyd
    7. Talia
    8. Leon
    9. The Prices
    10. Kevin
    11. Spencer
    12. Raielle
    13. Jack and Joel
    14. Matt
    15. Sam
    16. Tracy

  • Hammo

    I’m all in on the tried and tested formula of Matt and I don’t think Grace or Rak-Su’s original songs will be popular with a (declining and more middle of the road) audience…

    1. Matt
    2. The Cutkelvins
    3. Holly
    4. Lloyd
    5. Grace
    6. Rak-Su
    7. Leon
    8. Sean & Connor Price
    9. Taliah
    10. Spencer
    11. Rae-Elle
    12. Kevin
    13. Jack & Joel
    14. Alisah
    15. Traceyleanne
    16. Sam

  • tpfkar

    Have been following with interest, good banter and insight as always.

    My thoughts:
    -Grace is an opposable favourite, when there is a big switch at judges houses it usually means something (e.g. Fleur East) and I am not convinced the big stage will do her many favours, too much risk of running into trouble. And can she rely on teenage boys voting as they did for Louisa?
    -Agree that the girls and groups are where it’s at, but not sure Rak-Su are quite middle-England friendly enough to go all the way.
    -Think Rai-Elle could be a bit of a dark horse, but I’ve learnt not to back the gamma girl who’s your favourite, will kick myself if this is the year.

    I think that all means:
    16th: Kevin Davy White.
    As you say, anonymous, foreign, beige. I’m not sure that will be enough to get through the the first week

    15th: Leon Mallett
    Surprised he got through wildcards, but don’t think either his looks or his voice will get him far.

    14th: (=11th) Tracey Leanne Jefford.
    Like you said, but I think she’s worth a couple of weeks of headlines

    13th: (=11th) Jack and Joel
    Agree with your comments. Wrong show for them.

    12th (=11th) Rai-Elle Williams
    I hope i’m wrong, with backing she could go far. But I’ve learnt that my favourite girl usually departs quickly

    11th Spencer Sutherland
    As per your article but I think his looks and stagecraft get him through a week

    10th: Sean and Connor Price
    My shock early exit. When the show pushes a group it can’t afford for the other groups to be hanging around, and it looks like it’s pushing 2. I can see them overawed on the live stage and with ireland paying to vote I think they are over-priced.

    9th: Sam Black
    Agree with your comments, regional vote will get him so far.

    8th: Matt Linnen
    As per your comments

    7th: Lloyd Macey
    Tough call – could be a finalist, could drop out early. So in the middle as I don’t know, not because I think he will be,

    6th: Alisah Bonabra
    Think you are underestimating her. Far east contestants do well, huge voice, big sympathy vote, momentum with her.

    5th: Talia Dean
    She’s as near a controversial / joke act as we have this year, and they will need her to generate tabloid headlines. As for not being the best singer, that’s never stopped contestants getting this far before.

    4th: Grace Davies
    I think we have another Janet Devlin, Ella Henderson, Lauren Platt, Emily on our hands – I can see slowed down dirges and a real loss of momentum in the last weeks. May well be wrong of course but don’t see the slam dunk that others do

    3rd: Rak-Su
    Entertaining finalists but not middle England enough to win it in the final

    2nd Holly Tandy
    She won’t be plan A, but I think she is determined, vocally competent, and has the right image to make it all the way to the final.

    1st: Cutkelvins
    Everything going for them and the one act to really make me sit up in auditions. Great chemistry, individual roles and talent, modern and relevant,Scottish vote all to themselves and Simon as mentor.

    Good luck everyone.

    • Anglia Chu

      I loved reading this. I don’t agree 100% (as demonstrated by my own predictions) but as someone who begrudgingly placed The Cutkelvins as losers I feel hopeful.

  • Cath

    Tricky this year with the loss of the sing-off and fewer weeks of the lives. But here’s my attempt:
    1. Grace
    2. The Cutkelvins
    3. Matt
    4. Rak-Su
    5. Holy
    6. Sean & Connor Price
    7. Lloyd
    8. Talia
    9. Sam
    10. Leon
    11. Jack & Joel
    12. Rai-Elle
    13. Kevin
    14. Alisah
    15. Tracy Leanne
    16. Spencer

    Good luck everyone!

  • 1. Holly Tandy
    2. Rak Su
    3. Lloyd Macey
    4. Talia Dean
    5. Sean and Connor Price
    6. Grace Davies
    7. Matt Linnen
    8. CutKelvins
    9. Sam Clark
    10. Tracey Leanne Gifford
    =11. Rai Elle Williams
    =11. Leon Mallett
    =11. Jack and Joel
    =11. Kevin Davy White
    15. Alisah Bonaobra
    16. Spencer Sutherland

    The lack of sing off is going to make it difficult to control the culling of the pack so we’ll probably see more pimping and more brutal takedowns, but will the public play ball? They’ve already proven themselves more adept at deflating someone than boosting them and that means I think they may have to cut one of Rak Su or CutKelvins early to try and throw support behind the other – I don’t think both will be able to last for long.

    I think Grace’s trajectory may be more like Ella Henderson’s, where she doesn’t find momentum and ends up being a shock boot. I think Lloyd may become the Christopher Maloney figure and get propelled to the final against producer’s wishes before finally being cut down at the last and they’ll have to embrace the Beta Girl as victor to try and propel Rak Su forward as a commercial prospect.

    But I’ll probably be completely wrong!

  • @Danyal589

    All recording for tonights show are up on itunes

  • Chatterbox5200

    I’m still slightly confused by the elimination process. Will it be one act per night, or one from each category per night? I see a group winning this year, and am probably biaised as Rak-Su are also from Watford! For what it’s worth, here are my predictions:

    1. Rak-Su
    2. Grace Davies
    3. The CutKelvins
    4. Holly Tandy
    5. Matt Linen
    6. Talia Dean
    7. Lloyd Macey
    8. Kevin Davey White
    9. Sean & Conor
    10. Sam Black
    11. Alisah Bonaobra
    12. Leon Mallett
    13. Jack & Joel
    14. Rai-Elle Williams
    15. Tracy Leanne Jefford
    16. Spencer Sutherland

  • Rose

    Quick question as I’ve been travelling all day so apologies if I missed the answer already, I made my predictions when we thought it would be the overs and the groups tonight – hence predicting an over would leave first. Do I need to change that now we know it’s girls/boys?

    • Mech

      I’ll just be taking all prediction orders exactly as written, if you want to change anything before the start of the first live that’s entirely up to you. To be honest, getting this weekend exactly correct vs Saturday and Sunday correct but in the wrong order it will make only two points difference…

  • Edie M

    Really have no idea but here goes:

    1. The Cutkelvins
    2. Grace
    3. The Prices
    4. Matt
    5. Rak-Su
    6. Holly
    7. Lloyd
    8. Alisah
    9. Talia
    10. Leon
    11. Tracey
    12. Sam
    13. Jack and Joel
    14. Rai-Elle
    15. Kevin
    16. Spencer

  • Sagand

    I’m going with Rak-Su to overcome the ‘sofabet prediction’ curse. It’s easier to save an upbeat song with staging compared to a ballad. Grace is already quite marmite, so it might well be the case of whoever gets to the final two with her will be the winner. Six weeks isn’t a very long time so realistically I think anything could be manufactured, but without the singoff there is no safety net for Plan A so either they are very confident or there is multiple winners that they would be happy with. In which case we might see a less manipulated show.

    1 Rak- Su
    2 Grace Davis
    3 Lloyd Macey
    4 Cutkelvins
    5 Matt Linnen
    6 Holly Tandy
    7 Sam Black
    8 Talia Dean
    9 Alisah
    10 Leon Mallett
    11 Kevin Davy White
    12 Sean and Conor Price
    13 Rai-Elle
    14 Jack and Joel
    15 Tracy Leanne Jefford
    16 Spencer Sutherland

    • Edie M

      I just don’t see how Rak-Su win without being able to sing a big emotional number in the final. Has anyone ever won without that? Little Mix had Perrie.

      • Sagand

        Maybe it’ll matter, maybe it won’t. I could easily see Cutkelvins and Rak-Su switched around. I went for Rak Su as the show has shown more interest in them so far. If the show can get Reggie n Bollie to second place over seven weeks I think they can cover up any deficits Rak-Su has over six weeks.

        I think the format of winners’ singoff might cause people to tire of the frontrunner quicker than usual, so dark horse might be where you want to be. Hopefully the show will reveal a lot.

  • @Danyal589

    1. Grace Davies
    2. The CutKelvins
    3. Sean and Conor Price
    4. Holly Tandy
    5. Rak-Su
    6. Spencer Sutherland
    7. Matt Linnen
    8. Llyod Macey
    9. Alisah Bonaobra
    10. Leon
    11. Sam Black
    12. Talia Dean
    13. Rai-Elle Williams
    14. Jack and Joel
    15. Tracey Leanne
    16. Sam Black

  • 1 lloyd macey
    2 holly tandy
    3 talia dean
    4 the cutkelvins
    5 sam black
    6 grace davies
    7 rak-su
    8 rai-elle
    9 alisah bonaobra
    10 spencer sutherland
    11 jack & joel
    12 mathew linnen
    13 sean and conor price
    14 tracy leanne jefford
    15 leon mallett
    16 kevin davy white

  • 360

    Here’s mine then. I’m assuming Talia will be the villain of the series so should go further than her ropey vocals would suggest.

    1. Cutkelvins
    2. Holly
    3. Rak-Su
    4. Grace
    5. Matt
    6. Sean and Conor
    7. Lloyd
    8. Talia
    9. Leon
    10. Alisah
    11. Spencer
    12. Sam
    13. Kevin
    14. Jack and Joel
    15. Tracyleanne
    16. Rai Elle

  • Spiidey

    1. Rak-Su
    2. Holly
    3. The cutkelvins
    4. Grace
    5. Matt
    6. Sean & Conor
    7. Leon
    8. Talia
    9. Alisah
    10. Lloyd
    11. Sam
    12. Kevin
    13. Rai-Elle
    14. Jack & Joel
    15. Spencer
    16. Tracy Leanne

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