X Factor 2017: Live Show 2

We’re still adjusting to the changes in format, but it has to be a positive that the franchise felt refreshed from its tired old formula. Our midweek musings will be where we plunge into depth on various treatments. That will include Spencer’s assassination, which saw more than a few foreign references, and a cage of light.

Some brief thoughts on the other acts in the order they appeared: Rai-Elle’s busy production felt like roadkill – almost literally when a cyclist nearly crashed into the audience; Holly’s weirdly-phallic pink staging looked like a Mr Blobby wet dream, with an otherwise positive-but-not-OTT, beta-girl edit; Leon was treated rather cursorily as if his time will soon be up; and Alisah kept firmly in the power-ballad lane which could see her to the middle stages of the competition.

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The last three acts received increasingly positive edits: Louis didn’t initially seem too sure about Sam Black’s name or how useful the Isle of Man voting bloc was going to be, but we felt he had a helpful production that calmed his nerves; there was some red-and-black in Grace’s staging but it wasn’t harmful, showing a blooming red rose of Lancashire, with an extended petal shower for the finale followed by great comments; and the biggest push of all came for Lloyd-from-the-Valleys which tried to put the “star” in ‘City of Stars’.

More on some of those during the week; let’s look forward to tonight’s show.

Most intriguing will be the treatment of the three groups Simon put through in his category. There was a lot of positivity about them at judges’ houses, and a sense that any of them could be contending for the prize. Will we get a greater sense of which one is preferred?

In terms of elimination, wildcard group Jack & Joel may struggle in their category, but it’s unusual for an act to get back in on a public vote only to be sent home straight away. And if next week involves an elimination from each category, it may be useful to keep a disposable group around this time. That leaves one of the overs category likely to be looking precarious by the end of tonight’s performances.

Tracyleanne Jefford was a very popular choice for early elimination in the 1-16 prediction lists, and she faces an uphill struggle given her profile on the show so far. But if producers want to defy expectations, they may target Kevin Davy White – let’s see if he’s been sent on the same tourist excursion as Spencer Sutherland yesterday. Wildcard winner Talia Dean will be fresh from her success, and Matt Linnen’s looks give him a demographic among the voting public.

One thing that felt lacking in last night’s show was the commanding presence of Simon Cowell to keep everything in check. We hope he returns tonight. Let us know your continued thoughts below.

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211 comments to X Factor 2017: Live Show 2

  • Alan

    First guest shout out went to The Cutkelvins from Liam Payne so it will be interesting to see if that is mirrored in tonight’s treatment. I suspect they will give all the groups a fair crack and see how the vote pans out.

  • Martin

    Whilst I appreciated the changes to last nights show, it was lacking slightly and it was down to Cowell’s absence. Latest twitter rumblings suggesting he’s off again with Alesha Dixon being brought in to replace him, but that could just be Twitter noise.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the show did give Traceyleanne a chance, much like they did with Relley last year, however Relley did have something about her – Traceyleanne not so much and I can’t see past her being first out.

    • India Marie

      Is Dan Wootton reliable for these things? Saw him tweet this.

      Will this give the Groups some sympathy points because poor groups Simon can’t support them, or will this hurt them because if things go awry, there is no one that will defend them (I remember when Kelly was out, Alexandra Burke was practically a neutral judge rather than supportive of the Girls in terms of comments)?

  • I think Tracy’s fate depends on whether she shows up looking like her pre-lives self or her glamour “make under” self.

    Can she be Eliza Doolittle-d?

  • Piresistable

    Personally I thought that the change of formula felt like a last throw of the dice.

  • Tim B

    I missed there not being a novelty act. Bring back Honey G!

  • Edie M

    I’m hoping Tracey gets a fair shot to get through at least this first weekend. I like her, she’s more interesting than a lot of the women overs in recent years who were planned early fodder imo. Her voice is not the best (nice tone tho) but my god 3 out of 4 of the boys category have some of the worst voices I’ve ever heard on X Factor lives.

    • Piresistable

      If they had filled the girls category with Grace and three no hopers we’d be saying they’d done that to make it easier to get Grace over the line. Perhaps we should consider that they actually want Lloyd to go a long way into the show.

      • Edie M

        I think they want him to go fairly far to not wipe the boys out too early, but they’ve made sure he will be pretty easy to stop getting over the line. Someone in another thread compared him to Andrea Faustini & that rang true for me.

      • David Cook

        Before yesterday there seemed very little interest in Lloyd. Based on YouTube his JH is still lowest of the 16 finalists. He is lowest of the 8 acts last night however improbable that may seem. TPTB may have judged this very well. Pick an act that’s a really good singer to shade the other boy’s, but someone who definately won’t challenge the favoured acts later in the competition.

    • India Marie

      From a personal perspective, this year’s Boys are probably the worst set of contestants from a single category that I’ve ever seen.

  • Nick

    Tracey out to 2/1 to go…Kevin fav at around 11/8

  • David Cook

    Tellystats posting that Cutkelvins are first up with Rak-su in pimp slot. Make of that what you will.
    I think pimp slots are possibly more valuble for the top acts later in the competition. So Rak-su getting one on week one might not be as helpful as it seems.

  • Alan

    Are Cutkelvins doing an uptempo number? They usually like to open the show with something lively dont they?

  • Stoney

    Id imagine the Cutkelvins are a shoe in to win tonight’s show.

  • Stoney

    These guys are ready. I thought that was excellent.

  • Having two of the three trapped in boxes hardly works as a cohesive group. That reminded me of Phoebe and the Woo Woo Girls. That should be enough to see them through tonight but… doubts there despite the judges praise. And Louis saying “Scotland will be voting for you” rather than “Scotland need to vote for you!”

  • Martin

    Strong start from The Cutkelvins. You could question the staging separating them all but given their comments about making Shereen the star and everything else being rather positive I wouldn’t be too worried.

    Louis giving them all a by-name shout out (and dermot referencing it) was positive hit his Scotland shout out could have been more supportive.

  • Rose

    It was a pretty direct following of the advice they were given early on in the auditions – though it did look a bit odd when Shereen was surrounded by backing dancers leaving the boys stuck in their boxes without a ladder. Still a pretty sound performance

  • Paul W

    ‘Sorry No Vacancy’ THATS SUBTLE

    • Doesn’t the word vacancy have it’s roots in French? Or am I disappearing down the rabbit hole there.

      Louis said ‘Merci Beaucoup’ and Dermot spoke French at the end but not quite the same level of foreign hammering as Spencer got yesterday from position two.

  • Mike

    LOL….Sorry No Vacancy for Kevin

  • Martin

    ‘Sorry no vancancy’ in huge letters for Kevin!

    Louis going a bit OTT with his comments there. His VT was polite, performance was good but I can’t be the only one sat at home going “…really?!” after all the positivity from the judges. Journey over?!

  • Joe Lemer

    Almost spat my tea out! SORRY NO VACANCY. Incredible. It screams ‘there’s no room for you Kevin’. Bye.

  • Piresistable

    I’ve missed the first 20 minutes as I didn’t know it started at 19:00. I wonder how many others have done the same?

  • Sagand

    Bye bye, Tracy Leanne Jefford. She doesn’t need to throw under the bus on running order, she doesn’t have appeal. She this year’s Bupsi. Kevin won’t go too far but that was solid enough.

  • Stoney

    A few quid on Talia isnt a bad shout. That was awful.

  • The judges are trying to outdo each other with “who the heck are they???” moments. I wouldn’t say there was anything about them to motivate votes; an uptempo song turned into a ballad, an anodyne VT (we didn’t even see the baby whereas in the CutKelvins VT he was front and centre). And immediately followed by Jack and Joel… a fun performance to come?

  • Martin

    Bizzare comments for Talia – a very subdued audience reaction too, Nicole being forced to whip up some sort of atmosphere.

    The VT was sweet, although you could question that shot of her leaving her family in the middle of the night. Her performance was all much of a muchness, felt a bit flat to me. Not sure how the voters will respond.

  • 360

    Why on earth did it start at 7pm?? It’s started at 8 or thereabouts every Saturday and Sunday for years now!

    • David Cook

      By the looks of it so they can put the fodder on opposite SCD.

    • Edie M

      Because it has to be 2 hrs now with the 2nd set of contestants singing & they don’t want to finish as late as 10pm on a Sunday

    • Probably because they want it in a consistent slot – it’d only be pushed back when I’m A Celebrity starts anyway. But I agree, they should really start it at 8pm.

      At the rate they’re going the singing will be done and dusted by 8pm!

      Jack and Joel – fun performance, enough about the comments/staging to get them through tonight but keep a lid on them at the same time.

  • Martin

    What on earth was that from Jack and Joel?!

    Whilst I may have hated it, I do think there’s an audience for them. There’s no novelty act this year and that was fun, if you like that sort of thing. Comments were positive, Louis shouting out for votes.

  • Nothing to worry about for Matt there but again they were careful not to give him too much momentum – lots of larking about from the panel. Though with lot I’m starting to wonder if they’re capable of following a script… it’s either that or they’re very good at covering conspiracy with incompetence.

  • Martin

    Ew at Sharon foaming for Matt. Makes me feel like Jake Quickenden got off lightly.

    He won’t be going anywhere this week, but they’ve given Matt his role and ran with it. Sub-James Arthur staging, an Everyman/wheyyy lads Vt and gushing comments should see him safe, but not the runaway train some expected.

  • Stoney

    A decent performance from Tracey is what I’m hoping for. Took 6/1 on Talia next out

  • Alan

    FFS I thought it started at 8. Im gonna have to watch on +1.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Dermot, leading into the break: “See you Rak-soon”
    Subtle!

  • Martin

    Also, Dermot said a triple header for the last three acts. Big name sandwich for poor Traceyleanne

  • I actually didn’t mind the Price’s – other than the held notes where they were shaky I thought they were alright. Better than I expected which… isn’t saying much admittedly.

  • Martin

    Had the sense of the show doing its best for Sean and Connor but the script didn’t match the performance.

  • Tracey-Leanne’s being protected then. Think a bet on Talia going looks a good one at the moment.

  • Rose

    Tracy was surprisingly good tonight – can’t see her going out tonight after all

  • Phil

    Well that was unexpected from Tracey. Loved it.

  • Piresistable

    Are Rak-Su actually singing?

  • Stoney

    This is all a bit ‘the risk’ ish

  • David

    Rak-Su seem so dated to me. It feels like 90’s timewarp

  • Stoney

    Im interested to know what Raksu backers made of that performance. That was some ott ramping.

  • Piresistable

    Not long to vote!

  • Mike

    5 minute vote, last night was 12!!!

  • Edie M

    We thinking Kevin or Talia to go then? Also 5mins for the vote is ridiculous

  • Acts mentioned by the judges as having a good night:
    Kevin
    Matt
    Rak Su (or Rat Su?!)
    Tracey-Leanne
    Cut Kelvins
    The Price’s

    Sorry Talia and Jack & Joel…

  • Sagand

    I guess it’ll be Talia to go then, with Rak Su winning.

  • Martin

    I think Traceyleanne saved herself there, but also a lot of love for Kevin from the judges. Talia out?

  • Chatterbox5200

    Did I miss it, or was there absolutely no mention in TraceyLeanne’s VT of her being from the traveller community? It had been mentioned constantly until tonight.

  • Phil

    I’d love for people to get behind Kevin. He’s a class act.

    Feels like Talia to go I think. I quite like J&J but I don’t think there’s an audience so wouldn’t be a surprise for them to go either.

  • Stoney

    Direct hit. Bang 🙂

  • Stoney

    The Raksu pimping pays off.

  • David

    Raksu will need to improve to maintain momentum IMO
    I can only see them going downhill….

  • Sagand

    If Grace wins this she’s unstoppable.

  • Be honest, when Grace started singing.. did you know it was the same song as last night?

  • Piresistable

    This seems entirely pointless. We’ve just heard this lot sing this song 20 minutes ago.

  • Joe Lemer

    So team top two in the outright betting go head to head tonight to win the prize in week 1.

    Will this long term weaken their support? If the same acts keep topping the vote will viewers look to give another act a chance to win a prize? Plus could complacency set in mesning people don’t vote?

    What do we think? Are Grace/Rak-Su not the chosen ones?

    Just seen they’re doing a repeat of their songs, do they becone boring?

    • Piresistable

      Got to think that TPTB have thought about this. If it’s the same two acts doing the same songs on a Sunday night for the next few weeks it is going to kill the show stone dead.

  • Made my first attempts at betting this weekend after reading this site for ages, but ignored my original instinct

    Last night: Went for poor singing (Sam) over unfortunate staging (Spencer) and was burned.

    Tonight: went for unfortunate staging (Kevin) over poor singing (Talia) and had 2nd degree burns!

  • Phil

    This all feels pointless. I could understand it if they sung something different but it just feels like they’re padding.

  • Nick

    Quality from Grace ,better than yesterday

  • Stoney

    This new top 2 sing off is basically just a load of crap.

  • 360

    Guess Talia was ultimately too much of a loose cannon, much like Gifty and Janet, so they cut her loose. So much for her being the villain of this series! I’m betting they were spooked by her rule-breaking video… wouldn’t even be surprised if she made it through to lives so she’d have to sign something to be contractually bound not to reveal anything else. But that’s major rabbit hole territory, of course!

    • India Marie

      The fact that a returning act couldn’t garner enough sympathy to stay in Week 1 is a warning to all future targets. I reckon the “standard voter depressants” (running order, damning reception,…) will play a big part in dragging acts down

  • India Marie

    MY GIRL TRACYLEANNE IS SAFE I AM SO HAPPY!!!

    Surprised that Talia was in the crosshairs, though. I thought it will be the other foreign guy.

  • It’s nice for Labrinth to be announced on the stage for once, instead of having to announce someone else!

  • Joe Lemer

    Stormzy red and blacked. He’s going home.

  • David

    If anyone else remembers series 4, this series feels like it could be similar.
    Groups were the favourites pre-live shows (Hope and Futureproof), along with Daniel de Bourg. Momentum for these died very quickly into the live shows. 2 of them gone and the other dropping into the bottom 2, all by the end of week 3

    On the other hand, 3 of the top 4 had the longest pre-live show odds (Rhydian, Niki and Same Difference) and were seen as early week cannon fodder. Obviously this changed very quickly after the first live show, with Rydian and Niki becoming among the favourites.

    I don’t expect anything quite this extreme this year. But Talia going this quickly is perhaps a sign that support and momentum is quite thin this year and things may be liable to change fast (especially if Grace and Rak-Su need to start doing covers)

  • Nick

    Twitter also hating this format. Should be singing a different song,if not scrapping this sing off. Sure Simon will change it sooner rather than later

    • Ben Cook

      I get what they’re *trying* to do, but it doesn’t work does it? I also don’t like the categories being split over the two nights. And what’s the point of having a 2 hour show on a Sunday that will be badly hit by a Strictly clash?

      • Phil

        Thought the pace was good tonight. I think splitting over Saturday and Sunday works pretty well – they just need to iron out how they’re going to finish the shows. The last half an hour tonight wasn’t needed. Maybe a bottom 2 sing-off with a public vote is the way to go? Allows them to keep the narrative of putting control back in the hands of viewers, but adds back the drama.

    • David

      There’s really no reason to keep watching after the elimination.

      I see no entertainment value in people singing the same song again to see who wins some concert ticket. a sing off with nothing at stake is just lame

    • India Marie

      Having the same song is pointless. No information added and wastes the energy of the contestants.

  • Dazzle

    Reckon Matt came 2nd with either Sean and Connor 3rd or the cutkelvins in the vote

  • India Marie

    I try to watch this with a friend who’s not “Sofabet initated.” This is their remark (summarized) on the performances.

    Cutkelvins: I love it but why isn’t she a solo act?
    Kevin: Cool but he won’t last.
    Talia: zzzzz
    Jack and Joel: fun fun fun I won’t buy their record but fun fun fun
    Matt: oooh yes my fave so far
    Sean and Conor: so cute, not the best but I want to see them again
    Tracyleanne: yes girl! (disclaimer: i was also cheering so much)
    Rak-Su: I can see them selling music now.

  • George

    Surely they’re going to have to deramp Grace at some point. They can’t have her winning every week, it’ll make this new format worse than it already is.

    I suspect they tried to avoid her winning this week but there you go.

    • Sagand

      It might kill the show but it’d be a good place to launch Grace from. Basically everyone who watched the show will have listened to her first album twice.

    • India Marie

      So true. Given that Grace wasn’t pimped hard but won anyway shows power. TPTB may hope for some backlash after this, I guess?

      • George

        She clearly has a strong vote. If she’s their preferred winner they won’t mind that at all, but they probably wanted the lives to get off to a less predictable start.

        It also means they’ll have to do more if they want to dislodge her, which they probably wanted to avoid.

  • tpfkar

    Feels the producers got what they wanted tonight.
    Agree that the winner’s sing-off had all the tension of baggy pants – they’ll surely rethink this.

    2 questions then:
    1) As they were so happy for Talia to go home, did they want a different wildcard winner in the Overs?
    2) Will there be any villain act now to hog the headlines – I thought Talia would do that for several weeks?

    Finally, look up to EdieM’s post at 17:28 In my experience these are never released at random, and that looks like a very good hint at the next target.

    • India Marie

      I think they expected her and prepared appropriately, especially after the video thing. Berget and Slavko were buried at Judges Houses.

    • Phil

      Re: the article about his ABH conviction. Didn’t do Princess Cheryl any harm.

      • Chris Bellis

        Phil: Re the sainted Cheryl’s ABH conviction – it did her a lot of harm as a judge in USA. They kicked her out after a couple of weeks, the cover story being that the Americans didn’t understand her accent. The reality was that no-one in the show’s demographic had heard of her, looked her up on the internet, and found out she’d been charged with racially aggravated assault. They then read the full story and made their own minds up.

  • Roxie

    Matt was stunning tonight. Anyone else find his awkward dancing incredibly endearing? I just love his tone and his choices. He nails light and shade like Matt Cardle did 7 seasons before him.

    I’m not sure what other people are hearing on here but I found The Cutlevins one of the worst acts tonight while Kevin, Jack and Joel were my favourites under Matt. Kevin’s got a beautiful tone, while J&J have lots of entertainment value. I imagine people would want J&J to stay in for a long time. The Cutlevins could barely stay in key – it sounded quite painfully karaoke at the start.

    It was a shame about Talia because that was a poor choice for her that didn’t suit her husky voice at all. Tracyleanne did a fantastic job though – and chose a song at last which suited her voice. I know she isn’t the most popular choice but I feel like if Amy Winehouse was on a show like the X Factor – people wouldn’t get it either and she’d be ostracised (even though she could sing hula hoops around any of her contemporaries in spite of all the alcohol and cigs).

  • One thing I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet, is that Sean and Conor were the first of three acts in a segment before an ad break, or, in this case, the end of the show. They usually only do this when they desperately want rid of an act etc., or want to drop someone into the danger zone. On BGT it’s used to make sure someone doesn’t win a semi-final. Could they have been scared that their Irish vote might have been enough to take the win from Rak-Su tonight?

    • Ben Cook

      Might have had something to do with SCD clash. People were just about to switch over from BBC1 so having a longer segment before the next ad break might help keep the viewers. The longest part of the show it usually at the beginning of the show too, must be a reason why they do that. The longer you’ve got the viewers’ attention the more likely they are to stick it out I suppose.

    • Alan

      I personally dont think it means anything at all. Why would being the first of three acts be a negative? And if they really wanted to dampen S&C’s vote wouldn’t it be much easier to just give them a less favourable VT, crap song choice (you could argue they did that and certainly pointed it out) or less favourable judges comments? When push comes to shove this is how TPTB generally control the vote.

    • Martin

      Initially I thought it may have been to harm Tracey between two of the strongest acts, sandwich style but they didn’t go in on that. If the result isn’t obvious, I doubt they were trying to achieve anything. It didn’t feel to me like S&C were memory holed. The most harmful thing to me was their dreadful version of their song.

    • India Marie

      Didn’t think of it that way but Daniel should note this

    • There was a 30 second break in a way, between SC and Tracey. They advertised live tour followed by brief chatting with the judges.

  • Uzair

    Anyone notice how the reveal order of the acts safe were very similar on both nights. Sam and Kevin both called first acts who seemed likely to go. 2nd was rai Elle and sean and connor both seem like hammad for their categories. 3rd was winners of the night grace and raksu. 4th was random Matt and holly. 5th r the acts who most likely came second Lloyd and cutkelvins. 6th was alisah and jack and Joel the better of the 2 wildcards. And the bottom 2 was of acts who were most likely to go

  • @Danyal589

    Grace now #5 on itunes

  • Ben Cook

    Current iTunes standings, for what it’s worth.

    6 Grace Davies – Too Young (X Factor Recording)
    18 Rak-Su – Mamacita (X Factor Recording)
    45 Lloyd Macey – City of Stars (X Factor Recording)
    117 Matt Linnen – Scars to Your Beautiful (X Factor Recording)
    127 The Cutkelvins – What About Us (X Factor Recording)
    146 Alisah Bonaobra – This Is My Now (X Factor Recording)
    199 Kevin Davy White – Stay (X Factor Recording)
    212 Spencer Sutherland – Who You Are (X Factor Recording)
    233 Holly Tandy – Hollow (X Factor Recording)
    274 Jack & Joel – New Rules (X Factor Recording)
    332 Leon Mallet – Stay (X Factor Recording)
    412 Sean & Conor Price – Strong (X Factor Recording)
    477 Rai-Elle Williams – Doo Wop (That Thing) / Lost Ones / No (X Factor Recording)
    580 Tracy Jefferson – Written In the Water (X Factor Recording)
    1081 Sam Black – Faith (X Factor Recording)
    1431 Talia Dean – What Makes You Beautiful (X Factor Recording)

  • Martin

    A few creases to iron out with the new format but overall I enjoyed the weekend. New song choices were a step in the right direction, I enjoyed a more leisurely pace across the weekend, the overall ‘positivity’ meme seems to be working and also generating the desired results, for this weekend at least.

    They need to sort the prize fight out – it went down like a lead balloon, but it’s good to know who the public are voting for. I think that, if the same person wins week in week out, it’s not necessary a bad thing for them IF it’s deserved. If it was Maloney winning each week, it would be outrage but Grace seems deserving at the minute.

    • Edie M

      I thought the first 90mins of tonight’s show were much better than last night- more interesting categories and a bit more oomph all round with 4 judges etc. But the ‘prize fight’ did not hold my attention at all, I just did not care who won. It could be more interesting if the winners fluctuate over the weeks.

  • Alan

    Glad Grace won. I think she was easily the best performer and it will highlight what a rubbish idea this sing-off is if she wins every week. It would be hilarious if she wins the show and TPTB have gone off the idea. Her treatment next week will be very interesting. If her and Rak-Su make the final they might just be happy to end up singing them both and not feel the need to de-ramp her too much.

    Thought Rak-Su were easily the next best act over the weekend too. Im not a fan of their lyrics which I find a bit cheesey but the songs are very catchy and they’re very likable.

    Im looking a shoe-in for last place in the predictions competition given that I banked on Grace and Rak-Su struggling and Talia getting deep into the competition.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Any idea when we will find out which categories will perform on Saturday and which on Sunday? This will directly affect the “Next Elimination” market.

    As the Overs and the Girls are both now down to 3 acts, it would make sense to pair the Girls/Groups and Overs/Boys, so that there are 7 acts each night.

    If they want to make more time for the Prize Fight, they could put the Girls/Overs together, so only 6 acts perform on the Sunday.

    Whichever way they do it, I’m sure that due to Grace’s previous commitments, the Girls will be performing on Sunday.

    The category pairing could be a good way to eliminate an particular act, by pairing them with the strongest category (or the one that achieved the most public votes).

  • Edie M

    Initial thoughts after show 2:

    The Cutkelvins- she was good, but the extent the brothers have-quite literally- been shelved is looking a bit ridiculous. They need to integrate them more as a group even if she clearly maintains the lead singer role.

    Tracy- I love her! Tracy to win!

    Grace- Have we already seen the winner crowned in week one? Have we already seen the final two with her and Rak-Su? Going to be a boring few weeks if so.

    Matt- certainly no Matt Cardle, I couldn’t tell you now what he even sang.

    • David Cook

      I think Cutkelvins went backwards this week. The balance between Shareen and the boys has just gone too far the other way to the extent that they seemed to be making incidental background noises. It was almost as distracting as when they were singing over her. Looks like too much meddeling from the production team. They haven’t got long to get it right now.

      • Edie M

        I agree, they have definitely overcorrected. If you just tuned in this week you could easily have thought she was a solo artist and they were x factor set dressing. There has to be a better balance next week if they have any chance of getting to the final.

  • Chatterbox5200

    I wonder if any of the viewers (with free app votes to use) might have been swayed in to voting for Grace to win the prize, as they feel that she would benefit most from a 1-to-1 session with Pink. I’m not sure if it would really have suited Rak-Su.

    Also, I don’t think I would have been the only person to think that the trip was THIS week, and could impacted preparation for next week’s show. However, a quick Google search showed me that Pink isn’t playing Madison Square Garden, until April 2018.

    • India Marie

      You’re not alone there… so the prize is crappier than it seemed, but it makes sense especially that Grace has prior commitments on Saturday. fitting those two with rehearsals is for actual stars and not budding ones

      • Phil

        If being given a free trip to New York and backstage access at a Pink concert is crap, I’m not sure what would have impressed you. A trip to the moon?

        • India Marie

          Oh get over yourself it’s not about the value of the prize. I wouldn’t say the prize is crap if this were The Amazing Race and they had a pit stop in Pink’s hometown, but this isn’t The Amazing Race.

          That’s a prize best left for hardcore Pink fans and given that it’s months later, I don’t get the point. They might as well add a The Price is Right segment in the show.

  • Martin

    Erm… probably not the place but wtf at next weeks ‘Viva Latino’ carnival theme?! This series has a mind of its own!

  • David Cook

    The judges comments on S&C really show what’s wrong in terms of criticism. As I’ve said I thought Sharon’s comments / advice to Grace last week was perfectly valid. The problem comes when you get a really weak performance from S&C and the comments still treat them as if they’re the second coming. It’s not fair or balanced. They were off right from the first note. They lost the melody. They generally sounded weak – which TPTB tried to cover by adding so much reverb that they sounded like they were in an echo chamber. I’m not saying they should destroy them with criticism, just be a bit more realistic.

    • India Marie

      They’re getting the kid gloves treatment because the show is trying to drag them down in the softest way possible. Alesha put it best: they had some grit in their audition, which has morphed into an Abi Alton + some personality. The endless calls of “potential” will keep the descent slow but I expect their exit to be over a war of song choice.

    • Martin

      Sharon’s comments were interesting. I always enjoy “how do YOU think it went?” As a critique – her subdued response when they were getting all overexcited and simply saying “yeah it was good” said more than anything else, I thought. A few examples of Sharon reliabley slipping the knife with a smile this weekend.

      • India Marie

        Mrs. O has gone far from that time she made Abi Alton cry.

        To add: their fawning praise contradicts their deadpan expression during and just after the performance. It’s faint yet effusive at the same time.

  • David

    I think this week has confirmed for me that the show just needs to go back to having the complete show in one night. They decided to spin it out over the Saturday and Sunday and add all the filler when it was at its height of popularity, but it just makes it more tedious and tiresome now. I’m sure the whole weekend is part of the overkill that has lead to its decline and makes it seem like the lives are dragging on far too long.

    Go back to having performances, then results and singoff all on the Saturday, with maybe 30min between the two shows. It worked for series 1-5 (and pop idol before it). I think it maintains much better momentum and tension all on the same night as well.

    • India Marie

      Agreed. While a change in SOP is necessary, this is a step back from the old format.The positive changes are nice, even if the prizes are likely meh, but they can be done in the context of the old format

  • India Marie

    The ratings suggest the new format is not well-received. 4.6 million

    • Ben Cook

      Though how much of that is down to the SCD clash? It had 5.5 million at 8.30pm. Probably would’ve done better 8-10.

    • Boki

      Idea for the next week: put boys and overs together and organize a plaster-off for Sam and Matt to battle it out on a brick wall 🙂

    • Edie M

      Aside from the format changes & clashes, it’s just not that popular anymore. Reality TV was a new genre in the early 2000s but now it’s quite dated and being on the X-Factor actually seems to be a negative for a pop career (esp if you want anything more than one single and some quick money). I would definitely have advised Rai-Elle for example to avoid it like the plague. SCD is able to to have longevity because it is not intended to produce anything outside the show itself.

      • Anglia Chu

        A lot has changed since X-Factor started; I think the success of its alums, both absolute (Little Mix/James) and relative (The Voice and its lack of stars), have kept it afloat when TV numbers don’t justify saving it. I honestly think the 15th series should be the last; the viewers aren’t coming back and the hitmakers aren’t coming out either.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I haven’t watched an episode yet this year and I have no plans to change that. And I used to be a big fan of the show. I’ve just lost interest. The last few years have felt like a slog and in my opinion the wrong person has won. It’s not worth the investment of time or emotion.

      Isn’t it still one of ITV’s most popular shows though?

      • India Marie

        That’s sad yet expected. I think most people here are watching for the £££ and the analysis, not the music.

      • Edie M

        This is the first year I watched nothing until JH and didn’t miss it all. I’m only watching now for, as India says, the £££ & the analysis. I miss your commentary tho!
        I’m not even sure if it is one of ITV’s biggest shows, 4-6million viewers is not even that much more than the voice. And I think it could drop even further week on week of the live shows.
        Also- I agree about the winners. I found Matt’s win disheartening last yr

  • Anglia Chu

    Overall, Live Show 2 is better because they don’t have the Boys. My takeaways.

    Staging is harder to gauge. The character of this year’s sets differs from the sets of yesteryear (Sophie’s red mess, Hannah Barrett on fire, Christopher Maloney every week). The new format doesn’t help because it doesn’t give us time to deconstruct everything.

    The takedown of Talia wasn’t as blatant as Spencer’s; I think she was given some breathing room (bad song choice aside) and traps were set for Kevin and Tracyleanne in case they stumble. Kevin and Tracyleanne SMASHED IT, though, saving themselves as Talia leaves. I hate that Tracy screwed up my score in the predictions but I loved her last night.

    Given that Rak-Su won the Sunday vote, I’m on the fence regarding how threatening Matt is. He “ticks every single box” for *THREAT* but the structure of voting makes it easy to prevent him from pulling through, something he could easily do a few years ago.

    Jack and Joel got the same staging treatment as Rai-Elle: fun, messy, and starting from a weird place. Take that as you may. They had Wham! vibes, in that I enjoyed them but I thought they cheapened the Dua Lipa song.

    As part of the “My Heart Says Cutkelvins, but My Head Says Rak-Su” club, my head just won big in Week 1. The Cutkelvins sounded v. v. current but you wouldn’t be faulted if you thought Shereen was a solo artist; the guys look like DJs at the back. In contrast, Katsu were pushed hard as a solid group. Needed a little more stage authority from them, though.

    A part of me thinks this is a longer game that tests the vote-grabbing ability of the Scottish trio vs the Watford quartet, expecting that the treatments next week will reverse.

    This leaves me with Sean and Conor. The facial expressions of the judges mid-performance screamed “meh” but these judges were all about how good they were (the act, not the performance) and how much potential they had, complete with calls to vote. Alesha even pointed out their audition, as if telling the audience “they can come back to that, so vote.” It’s negative, but in a way that will kick in after a few weeks.

    • David Cook

      Is the problem with Cutkelvins that they don’t quite fit into the X Factor box (very weak pun). They’re obviously not really a vocal group as such – which what the category traditionally has been for. They seem to be more like a band – with a lead singer – and the musicians contributing backing vocals. But then somehow they don’t quite fit into that either. It might just be me but I get little sense of what that boys are contributing musically. Outside of the context of the show, if they were set up as a band with the three of them performing original songs then I think it would be fine. But for me at the moment it’s not quite working.
      Maybe they should do an X Factor for bands.

  • India Marie

    Grace, Rak-Su, The Cutkelvins, and Tracyleanne will be in the Pride of Britain https://twitter.com/prideofbritain/status/925005141060800512

  • Anyone want to have a guess at what the Prize Fight voting stats were from last night?

    If Rak-Su can’t beat Grace now, when will they?

    • India Marie

      The short time frame for voting makes it feasible. Had mediocre edit Grace beaten pimped-up Rak-Su overnight, it would be another story.

      • Sagand

        I’d guess Grace won 60/40. I notice Dermot didn’t give any voting figures at any point which I would guess means there were under a million votes cast. (There no way to make that sound good.)

        Last year the flash vote to save and overnight numbers of voters weren’t very different. I thought transfers might hurt Grace but that clearly isn’t going to be fatal. It might seem early but if an act gets through four more votes they are in the final.

        Even if they can knock Grace off the top for a week or two, if viewers only know one act from this series it’s Grace, which means the look in audience for the final favours her. Short of forcing her to sing MmmBop every week or planting cocaine on her Grace has won the show.

    • Add Matt Terry when he was Bottom 2 week in Semi Final last year too.

    • R

      It may have been very close given that Grace is number 2 on iTunes and Rak Su is 3.

  • Could have said the same about Stephen Bear in Big Bro when Ricky was announced top vote week before final.

    Or Diversity when they lost to Susan Boyle in semi final, then 5 days later they beat her.

    Matt Terry when he was B2 last week, behind Both Saara and 5am. Beat both when it mattered.

    Plenty of other examples I am sure.

    Also why would they beat Grace now when grace at every part of process has had lengthy edits with songs that she can connect to. Raksu havent.

    Grace always in better position to beat anyone in a sing off at this stage. 5 weeks from now…lots of changes before then.

  • I’m not sure if I like the new format. The singoff is now utterly pointless. Frankly, they’d be better taking more people through to each category – say six or seven – and then doing a more Melodifestivalen type format where each category is an individual heat. Each week, two go through to the big arena final, and two go through to Second Chance. Repeat for three more weeks. Second Chance round. Big Arena Final. Drop artist after a year. Sorted.

  • The Juan

    After watching back the shows, o think the following is an interesting thing to note: the focus on ‘original’ material.

    I think grace went a little off script when she said ‘this is what it’s all about, writing your own original material’ (while all
    Others bar Rak Su are doing covers)

    I think tptb are setting a path for one of the other acts to suddenly ‘release an original’… then we’ll see the real winner?

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