X Factor 2017 Week 2 Post Mortem: All White on the Night

After the clear intent of Saturday’s show, Sunday’s was a more opaque affair, with several instances of questionable staging followed by high praise from the judges. No performance was praised more highly than Kevin Davy White’s, and he duly topped the evening’s vote after a four-judge standing ovation.

Kevin then doubled up by also winning the “prize fight” against Rak-Su, and again we saw Simon standing in response. This time, however, he appeared to loudly exclaim “bollocks”. One assumes that neither Kevin’s winning of the prize, nor the screening of Simon’s reaction to it, were in the script.

How much to read into Rak-Su’s prize fight defeat is open to question. Having traded as low as 1.98 on Betfair, it saw them drift back out to around 2.4. One thing it perhaps indicates is the power of the VTs and judges’ comments to steer the vote: the prize fight is the first time the X Factor format has allowed a public vote following performances alone, without those traditional tops and tails.

What this portends for Kevin’s long-term chances is also open to question: moment in the sun, or potential finalist? Punters have Kevin in to third favourite, admittedly his odds (around 18) being some way back from Rak-Su and Grace (around 3.5). We’ll discuss further whether it’s still a two-horse race in our midweek article.

As we noted in our pre-lives preview, Kevin hadn’t excited the market much during the audition stages, but it’s worth remembering that he’s one of only two remaining acts outside the top two in the betting whom we’ve seen performing an original number. He therefore fits in well with the authenticity theme of the year – especially as it’s rare for X Factor to have a guitar being played, rather than used primarily as a prop.

At the other end of the vote, TracyLeanne was eliminated, but wasn’t malletted like Leon on Saturday. We’re presuming she hadn’t polled too well after being given every chance in week 1, so producers decided to let her drift to the bottom of the vote with relative dignity – a VT focused on her missing her kids jarringly leading into ‘Ain’t Your Mama’.

Rounding out the overs category, Matt got the pimp slot with curious orgy-in-a-box staging, and Dermot announced a double elimination on both nights next weekend. How will this work? The terms and conditions state:

“Each [Saturday/Sunday], either one or two act(s) will be eliminated as stated in the show. This may be either the act with the lowest number of votes across both categories that performed or the act with the lowest number of votes from each category that performed.”

We think the use of “act” in the singular rather than the plural in the second sentence means that a double elimination has to be one from each category, but we’re not lawyers and it could be clearer – if you read any wiggle room to eliminate two from a single category, do let us know in the comments below. If so, producers have a straight Matt vs Kevin (and Sam vs Lloyd) fight for elimination.

All four girls are still around, with Sofabet commenters’ consensus around Grace’s treatment – with which we concur – being that she was gently being tugged back to earth to make things more interesting, but without the infliction of any lasting damage. You could find positive and negatives about the treatment of all three other girls, with no obvious portents for their long-term prospects. Perhaps there was no grand plan behind Holly’s week other than “let’s make her sing Despacito almost entirely in Spanish, that’ll be hilarious”.

As ever, we’ll have more to say in our midweek review post. Do keep your thoughts and theories coming below.

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111 comments to X Factor 2017 Week 2 Post Mortem: All White on the Night

  • Anglia Chu

    on the “bollocks”: At the time, I thought Simon just sneezed tbh.

    George Michael week: There are 12 contestants left. First time the show had a person’s song as the theme with this many acts remaining. Previous equivalent was Elton John week 7 years ago, when there were 9 acts left. This leads to two questions.

    1] How will they ration the tracks? Will songs George covered (Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, I Can’t Make You Love Me) be part of the choices?

    2] How particular is George Michael’s estate with the handling of the songs? If very particular, it could spell trouble for the acts that are used to moving their songs around.

    ** I remember an incident a few years back where an act covered a gender-bent version of Taylor Swift’s Love Story, which got blocked from YouTube en masse. Also, I think Honey G ran into a related snafu last year.

  • Alen

    Crazy idea: Rak-Su sing original lyrics over George Michael music, would that be possible? 😉

  • George

    Rak-Su are #2 and #4 on iTunes. Their producer support shouldn’t be going anywhere.

    From last night: Kevin #12, Grace #41, Matt #75, Holly #84, Rai-Elle #102, Alisah #170, TracyLeanne #288

  • Ben Cook

    I suppose it’s *possible* that the “bollocks” was simply because his own act didn’t win the vote, rather than being particularly annoyed that Kevin won it.

    I wonder what they’ll do in weeks 4 and 5 now we know we’ll be down to 8 contestants at the end of week 3.

    The T&Cs suggest the format doesn’t change until week 5, but 4 acts per night in week 4 isn’t very many. They could all sing twice, or they could just have all 8 on the same night.

  • Stoney

    He would have known about the result prior to it being announced so I dont get why he did that. Was it to undermine Kevin beating his act?

  • Rose L

    I was struck by how powerful the judge’s comments and the VTs seemed to be in influencing the votes on the night. To be able to vote, you probably need to be watching the show as the window is so short. So this rules out people who might vote for their favourite at some stage over the weekend without having watched the show at all, or watching it on catch up with the fast forward button enabling them to skip anything they want including VTs and judges’ comments. Also it rules out those who want to think a bit before voting (do they exist?!) You need to go with your immediate reaction and that is perhaps easy to influence with high praise and touching VTs. Also it struck me that Kevin and Raksu both have original material to take into a recording studio – as another commentator mentioned, a top producer isn’t going to be giving his own songs to someone random from the X Factor week 2. So the contenders for the prize ideally needed to be people who write their own material and already have something to record – one hour in a studio is very little time really, if that was the length of the prize. Hence, perhaps, Kevin vs Raksu. But while it looked like Raksu were supposed to win, from Simon’s reaction, we assume he is going to sign them after the show, so why would he want them to record something with someone else?

    • Cause this someone else is already very tight with Simon, so it wouldn’t matter at all. Savan Kotecha was also a vocal producer on X Factor a few year back (and on its US version as well), but I got what you’re saying.

    • Dazzle

      A lot of older people would just be turning over from strictly as Kevin and then Matt would be performing and Kevin and Matt would play to the strictly demographic quite well. Kevin the most out of the two so probably got a few votes thrown his way.

    • Anglia Chu

      To add: the current format doesn’t allow performances to grow on you. If you’re a “regular neutral voter”, you will pick based on quick-touch impressions, which may not jive with how you would vote if it were the old format.

  • Uzair

    If its one for category i say Kevin vs Matt would be the only interesting one rai Elle and jack and Joel r goners. Sam is also a goner unless they try help him again and dampen Lloyd

    • Anglia Chu

      I don’t think Rai-Elle is a cert for her category. She did exceptionally this week (IMHO top three best performance over the two nights) and I think she may have done better than Alisah and Holly in the vote. Her staging captured the spirit of the week without being colour vomit. Alisah may be a good shout because Simon just planted the “not an artist” tag on her; they can sandbag her with Careless Whisper and be gone.

  • Next week’s Prize Fight should be really interesting once again. Katsu won’t be winning it covering George Michael if they haven’t already. They might not even appear in it at all. Similarly to Grace, the judges may just say it’s not their week and that they can get back to doing their usual thing the following week.

    Don’t laugh, but I could see Lloyd topping one of the votes on Saturday or Sunday next week. I think he’s been second on his night in both weeks thus far and the George Michael theme is very friendly to him on paper. The fact that Kevin probably moved from somewhere in the middle of the pack, to top of the vote a week later shows that it should be a possibility for Lloyd at least. I’m looking forward to finding out his song choice and seeing who he will be up against.

    • Chris Bellis

      I don’t laugh Tim B. For me the only two that I would personally buy a ticket to see are Kevin and Lloyd. The rest are just karaoke at best. Grace, I would pay money not to see. Rak su, I’d pay money to a hitman to finish them off. No wonder the ratings are so poor when that is the best the show can come up with. Rak Su that we are supposed to be so impressed with that they do their own compositions. FFS.

    • Anglia Chu

      Joe McElderry ran away with the vote with Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me on a pimp slot. They can give a similar treatment to Lloyd.

  • The Juan

    Interesting to watch across the weekend.

    Some things to discuss:

    Alisah s staging with the golden bull and constant animal references in her judges comments…time to shoot down the wild animal in the House?

    Rak-Su camerawork on both nights was identical, and I’m sure there’s a bit of miming there, interesting to watch how it pans out…. ballad for them and it could literally be the end of the road?

    Grace was awful, I would be tempted to take a pretty big position on her now she’s drifted out again.

    It’s important to note that matts absolute attempt at a pimp slot destruction didn’t happen, I wonder if he still polled well? If he did, I think he’s a huge danger if he gets to the final.

    The cutkelvins, I backed them since the off, I was shocked at the treatment on the weekend, but after thinking about it…. they were on in the coffin slot week 1 and prob polled very well, they had horrific treatment on this forgettable weekend. This is make or break weekend for them.
    Possibly setting up the falability of raksu and grace is a subtle path for a new act?

    Finally lloyd, Jesus to a child or don’t let the sun go down on me and he tops the vote.

    • Tim B

      Either of those choices for Lloyd I would be happy with, but Jesus To A Child would be especially poignant after George’s death. Plus I’m not sure it’s been done on a UK talent show before.

  • The Juan

    It’s also John Lewis advert weekend this weekend (I think).
    Rumour is that the song is George Michael, last Christmas (obviously John Lewised’)

  • Alen

    Yeah I’m getting the feeling that this might be Lloyds winning week 🙂

  • Dean Fiori

    Seriously think Kevin became a contender. His first 2 weeks he has been rather faultless and pretty good song choices to boot.

    Obviously Rak-Su seem to be chosen one but Kevin isn’t a bad back up

  • Panos

    Kevin turned zero chairs in his The Voice France audition. Doesn’t sound like a backup winner Cowell would be proud to be associated with. Not that he needs a backup winner with Rak-Su and Grace there.

    • India Marie

      Exactly. Kevin was given his moment because he wasn’t deemed a threat in the long run, not because they want him.

    • David Cook

      I think Kevin, and to an extent Lloyd are similar to a lot of acts that we see on the Voice – people who are really good at what they do, and that you can enjoy watching for a couple of performances – no matter what your own taste in music. As a viewer I think it’s good to see a mix of styles of music. But you know that that’s as far as it goes – because realistically they’re not commercial prospects.

      • Martin

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kevin in the position that Fleur, Reggie and Bollie and Sara have filled the last few years – an early outsider who creeps into the final. Granted he’s had his moment in the sun now, but if tptb can keep a lid on him they may allow him in the final as a talented and reliable performer who delights a demo that Grace and Rak Su perhaps don’t.

        • Anglia Chu

          That makes sense; he can zoom past Holly and maybe Lloyd just as Saara zoomed past Emily. That said, if the weekend will be categories against each other, it will be just as easy to Rachel Adedeji him out.

          • Martin

            Just a bit of further thinking – he’s the only act to survive this year so far from singing second, his treatment then was questionable (you could argue with his judges comments but they were a bit hyperbolic to me), so perhaps tptb are happy to let him muddle through representing the overs, he’s had his ‘moment’ as it were, and now they can give him middling treatment with bad staging and early draws in the RO whilst elevating their chosen ones. Speculative of course, but he’s looking like a good spot for a third placer.

  • Chris

    How do TPTB progress with project RatSoup from here? My guess is that the next move is clearing the demographic (I figure all 12 remaining acts are going on the tour). The undermining of the Cutkelvins is already prepared .. all they need to do is bring the guys to the front and give them a slow song with exposed vocals. Sean and Connor have never lived up to the expectations of their audition and no-one is talking about them .. one whiff of Club Tropicana and they’re gone.

    Losing 3 groups in a weekend seems unlikely but Jack and Joel (aka Wham v2.0) can have a good week if given a song they can make a connection to.

    I also see Rai-Elle being a better prospect for the show than Alisah and while they are unlikely to want her to win, the judges comments have expressed strong support for her performance skills.

    To go : Cutkelvins, Sean&Connor, Sam, Alisah

    • India Marie

      Losing 3 groups in a weekend is not “unlikely”, it’s IMPOSSIBLE; they all perform on the same night. Even if the double eliminations weren’t by category, it will take A LOT OF MAGIC to get Jack & Joel, a non-MOR act with no regional vote and sandbagged with a “non-artist” tag by their own mentor, ahead of both The Cutkelvins and Sean and Conor.

    • I agree with clearing out the demographic for Rak-Su. That for me points to CUTkelvins and BYE-Elle.

  • Joe Lemer

    I fully suspect that the only reason Kevin was praised so highly was to get him ahead of Grace in the vote on Sunday. Singles out Raksu even more and they were certainly expected to win the prize fight. The result was surely a surprise to producers. Seems similar to when they kept on praising Tamera but the public weren’t playing ball.

    I strongly believe Raksu won’t win the series. They have lost two head to head battles in a row. It’s a long way to the finish line and I still think there are twists and turns to come. TPTB probably thought they could easily get their preferred winner I’m not convinced.

    Kevin will be deramped this week along with Matt again. Lloyd doing well is a good shout. He couldn’t win week 1 with the pimp slot and a bloody star on the stage but being MOR and Nan vote friendly means he must be up their in the votes.

  • James Martin

    BREAKING: YLE confirm Saara Alto will represent Finland in Lisbon for Eurovision, via a revamped UMK.

  • Simon G

    I think the Cutkelvins are brilliant, it makes a change to have a group on x factor to have a lead and 2 backing singers

  • Joe Lemer

    I’m with you Simon G, maybe this is the week the TPTB give them a chance to have a ‘moment’ and who knows if that comes off then we just might have a more interesting battle on our hands.

    With figures down to their lowest ever (under 5m) producers can’t let the series fizzle out with a predictale run-in of Grace/Raksu. Kevin has sprung a surprise, they must now be open to creating more suspense. The show desperately needs it.

  • Uzair

    This week is going to be very interesting. If we have the format of one act leaving from each category it will be quite easy
    Boys-sam
    Groups-j and j
    Grils- rai Elle
    Overs-matt
    But if its a normal double elimiation it could be very interesting. Grace raksu Lloyd and Kevin r safe no matter what. Rai elle j and j and Sam seem like goners. This leaves 5 more acts for the last place. Matt is my first option especially with them having no use as Kevin topped the vote. I could see a group going for it to be easier for raksu. Both groups have regional votes and also i think both would be wanted on tour. I could alisah going but they would want At least 1 wildcard in the top 8 holly is quite bland but she is very appealing. My guess is even if its not one act from each category the 4 stated above would still go

  • Milton

    “Most of the voice change begins around puberty.[4] Adult pitch is reached 2–3 years later but the voice does not stabilize until the early years of adulthood.”

    Conor’s voice is still settling down, could explain why its a bit erratic. Same applied to One Direction at this time. Cowell needs a group hitting their peak when they are still as young and fanciable as possible, which is why he is starting the process with the Prices now. After the show Conor will go back to school, do his exams and re-emerge this time next year a much more rounded singer.

    I’m convinced Cowell will sign them win or not. I think he would like them to win, but as long as he gets them to the semi or the final that will do. In the meantime he needs to build up the Price brand which is what he’s doing at every opportunity with an unrelenting narrative of how nice they are.

    • Alan

      I think that TPTB will just pick off the acts that are closest to the bottom of the vote. I’ve never really understood why people think TPTB have any significant preference as to who goes when. There are acts that they want to progress to the latter stages, the rest they have no interest in. A handful of alphas, the rest gammas.

      They showed no preference as to who left on Sunday. They just gave everyone relatively supportive treatment and let the public decide. I can’t see why this will change. I’d say TPTB have things exactly where they want them. They must be very confident of getting the top two they’ve wanted all along.

    • Anglia Chu

      That would explain why their edit has been very friendly, but not why their song choices are not.

    • David Cook

      I was going to make a similar point to Anglia. I agree with your point that with some of the younger contestants you need to be considering vocally where they might be in a couple of years time rather that exactly where they are now. However if you want S&C to do well with a view to a future career why not help them with more suitable song choices? Why not chose something where a more raw vocal might work better? I’ve said this before – there are literally thousands of songs to chose from.

      • Anglia Chu

        May I just add: Syco probably has no time for long-term projects, which is why the favoured acts (Grace and Rak-Su) are almost ready-made packages that can just be hooked up with top producers and voila, a hit!

      • Milton

        Who knows David, maybe week 1 was a misjudgement, and week 2 was the best they could do with the theme? Maybe at that age your voice changes from day to day and you never know quite what its gonna sound like on the night, especially with the added pressure of going out live to 5m people.

        Do you think they are being given duff songs on purpose? Given the help they are being given in every other direction that seems unlikely. Cowell’s comments were interesting, ‘we haven’t nailed that record for you yet, or that moment, sometimes it takes a bit of time’. There was a clear suggestion that they are working on it and hoping that it will come.

        • David Cook

          I would assume it’s got to be deliberate. We find out what the song choices are and both weeks most people have predicted problems ahead of the performance. One would assume that the production team, with the additional benefit of seeing them practice day to day would be well aware of this.
          But they do other things too, that may be minor, but just strike me as being odd. I think Anglia suggested S&C might open the show on Saturday because of the line “It’s Saturday – it won’t be long”. Makes sense but being pedantic I pointed out the opening line in the Sia version of the song the day is Friday. When they actually put the songs up on the website I thought I was going to get egg on my face because in the Nicky Jam version the line is sung in Spanish and changes to “because today I feel like dancing”. Problem solved. So what happens – S&C open the song with “It’s Friday”, but more bizarrely at the end when they should have sung “It’s Saturday” they change it to Friday again. They messed around with the lyrics so much they could easily have just sung “It’s Saturday” both times and had done with it.
          Moving on to Grace. Now just from seeing her on Youtube I know that she cannot belt to save herself. Not a problem on Sunday because “Ciao Adios” definitely does not involve any belting whatsoever. Unless of course someone decides to change it so that it does.
          I’m sure the more people analyse the performances you could come up with any number of similar examples. People are choosing to do them, so to that extent it has to be deliberate. The question should be why?

          • Milton

            Sean and Conor present a unique set of challenges when selecting a song when you think they have to find a role for Sean’s harmonies/rapping and his guitar every week, without it appearing they are doing the same thing over and over. Week one they could have made a better choice, no question. But week 2 was never going to suit them and I think they did their best. Interesting though that even though they knew it wouldn’t be their best week they were happy to let them go 3rd and there was no begging for votes. They must have known that their vote was solid.

          • Milton

            What happened the last time they had a 16 year old Irish kid on the show? It took them 6 weeks to get him off the top of the vote. If that happened with Sean and Conor they would win every Prize Fight which would be a disaster for the show. If you look at it like that it would have been dangerous to risk them getting off to a flying start with a killer song. Much better to give them a poor song in week 1, let them start slowly give others a chance to shine, and then unleash them in week 3 or 4.

          • Nothing there to unleash is there?

          • Anglia Chu

            I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but the show’s dynamic now is so different from the Eoghan Quigg days.

            That was my first time watching the show, and looking back, things that happened there (besides having Beyoncé in a duet) that will not happen now or even the last few years.

          • Milton

            Fair comments Henry/Anglia. David asked a tough question, why are they giving them favourable coverage but also crap songs? This is a possible explanation which could fit the facts, but that doesn’t mean its right. It would be great to hear any other theories.

          • I think that their coverage has been so favourable that Cowell probably thought those songs would work. Surely chosen in agreement with the boys as well. He wanted to live up to his “Right now they’re buskers” with implication – I can turn them from buskers into pop stars.

            OC he can drop their favouritism at any time.

  • Lake

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/x-factor-star-grace-davies-11484062

    “X Factor star Grace Davies behaves like a diva and acts as if she’s already won”

    “A source on the show says the 19-year-old has ‘developed a bit of an attitude’ and is making a series of demands. All her manners seem to have gone and since winning the opening week she has developed a bit of an attitude. It needs to stop. She is not doing herself any favours. No one young in the music industry needs a reputation for being a diva. Sharon is her mentor and she is always very kind to the cast and crew so who knows where Grace is getting this from.”

    • Anglia Chu

      Is Princess Grace Janet Devlin-ing behind the scenes?

    • Poor Grace, as if allowing (or making) her wear that Rod Hull & Emu outfit wasn’t enough.

    • Alen

      Ouch. Let’s see how they handle her this week. I still think Rak-Su can’t win. And if they don’t want Grace to win who could emerge as the third fave? hmm.

      • R

        They’ll probably have Sharon point out the fake stories about her being a diva, saying that she isn’t a diva but continually reminding the public she’s not a diva so the word diva is wedged in their minds.
        Grace has also been to a fashion show this week, so “Grace is a diva”, followed by Grace pouting and being all glam at a fashion show is far removed from the audition Grace who likes to wear comfortable trainers and baggy trousers.

        Also, I’ve known about Grace through her music for a while and met her and she was lovely.

    • Gloria

      I have met her and she does come across cocky anyway, it’s her whole persona, plus she was bragging on how she was scouted etc, I thought she was 20 anyway not 19, to be honest I don’t like her voice, but I get lots of people do, it’s all down to personal choice, I just think her dicsion is really really bad, the way she forms her words etc, I just couldn’t listen to a whole album of that

      • Which Rak-Su member are you the mother of?

        Others who know her have said she’s really friendly and down to earth. What to believe? So many choices.

        • Gloria

          Well, I only met her one time, but it’s the faces she pulls, like a bitch look, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt, yes lots of people have said she’s lovely. No I am not one of rak su mum lol however……

  • Cowell manipulations can more easily get someone out than get someone to win. (Often TCO is the best anyway and doesn’t really need the pimping).

    The T2 in the table could get turned over at the sharp end as say Holly and Lloyd are both much better vocalists and also great personalities. Reminds me of The Voice a few years ago when a black church going guy (don’t remember name or year sorry) won it. He had the longest odds going into the final iirc and wasn’t even considered a possible winner. Bit like Kevin on Sunday.

    Then, as now, the TCO wasn’t up to the hype.

    • David Cook

      Jermain beat Sally Barker and Christina Marie in a three way final. They probably split the vote and let Jermain through the middle. The next year they changed it so the final vote was a head to head.
      On the other hand this year they only bothered to put up one contestant who could win so it doesn’t really matter.

      • Who is the only one contestant who could win?

        Or, if your last sentence is about The Voice, it seems like they’re copying Cowell. Must want his viewing figures 😐
        I haven’t watched The Voice for a couple of years.

  • Here’s a question….

    If The Overs and The Groups had performed together on the same night last week, who would’ve won the show?

    I still think Rak-Su.

    Kevin deserved his win, but he was aided by the comments and recency bias on Sunday. if he was up against Rak-Su on the Saturday, I’d assume the comments he recieved would’ve been less ‘useful’.

    Looking at this week I’d assume we’ll get

    Groups v Overs
    Boys v Girls

    Lloyd v ??? in the prize fight

    • Anglia Chu

      Agreed on the first point, but citing “recency bias” in Kevin’s win is a bit weird considering Rak-Su had more of that the week before… but they lost.

    • Anglia Chu

      Groups-Overs on Saturday (guest: Harry Styles)
      Boys-Girls on Sunday (guest: Paloma Faith)

      Will Rak-Su get a hat-trick of second place finishes in the prize round?

      • If they win the vote on Saturday night, doing a George Michael cover then their vote is strong and will , in theroy, improve once the other ‘similar’ and/or male acts are eliminated.

        Vote transfer will, as usual be a big thing when it comes to the later stages.

        Matt Terry picked up all of 5AM votes last year, if Matt had gone on the Saturday it’s highly possible that 5AM would’ve won, imo.

    • R

      I’d say that if they had Overs & Groups together Kevin wouldn’t have been pimped to ensure Rak-Su won. Then they would have been up against a pimped boy or girl. As they deramped Grace to ensure she didn’t win, I’d say that Lloyd would won and probably have beaten Rak-Su too.

      I have a suspicion that they want Rak-Su to lose the sing offs so they can get the public behind them ready for the final.

  • Anglia Chu

    From IG stories: The Cutkelvins will be doing choreography this weekend

  • I caught Loose Women today (completely by accident, honest ;)) and Lloyd Macey was on talking about his Crohn’s Disease, which I didn’t realise he had. There has to be a great crossover between Loose Women viewers and X Factor voters, so perhaps they are hoping for big things from him this weekend. He said that has the George Michael song he wanted, which was also the same song “Louis” wanted for him. It likely points to the obvious “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”.

    Bring on the Prize Fight!

    • That’s beautiful Tim. Maybe he will sing ”Heal The Pain” while sitting on a toilet.

    • Money for Lloyd, and S&C, relentless today.

      • Anglia Chu

        Winning the weekend? Leaving?

        • Money for the overall series Winner market on the Betfair Exchange.

          It’s usually more quiet midweek suggesting someone may know something.

          • Alan

            A fool and his money are easily parted. Not a cat in hell’s chance of Lloyd or S & C winning. Both complete disasters commercially.

          • Lay Lloyd then and take their money. The fools have been very keen to give away their money these last couple of days.

            Except… there have been a lot of other non commercial winners that have won. With greatly inferior voices to Lloyd.

          • Alan

            Lloyd has finished behind both Grace and Rak-Su so far with very favourable treatment. If there is any suggestion that he will catch them TPTB will throw the bus at him.

            The Prices might as well have ‘cannon fodder’ tattooed to their foreheads.

          • I’d hazard a guess that these two moves (lloyd and the Conor Bros) could be big clues as to who have the pimp slots this weekend. Easy to dip in and out and nick a few quid without a note being sung if you know the running order…

          • RO wouldn’t be decided until after they’ve learned and practiced their songs.

            As early as Tuesday though a lot of people would know what songs they’ve got and how well they can do them. And a few will know who they’re going to push with their comments.

            Inside info often doesn’t work. It gives the informed motivation to bet but songs can change and some acts are just poor however much they are pimped.

          • Doesn’t matter how good or bad they are if you can trade out a nice position before anyone has sung.

            The movement of the odds is not enough to suggest that someone is betting with knowledge that the two acts have been performing better in the votes than the odds imply, but certainly could suggest that they are expected to be treated kindly this weekend… Whether that be with song choice or their singing order remains to be seen.

          • Well they’ve halved in price or more. I’d say that could be “enough” for some big knowledge. (Doesn’t mean that knowledge is acted on correctly).

            And I repeat – those price movements, which started earlier in the week, are nothing to do with singing order. They only decide the ro when they can get a feel for how each act looks and sounds and whether it’s a good performance or poor. The aim is to produce a good show and changes to the ro can happen even as late as when they watch the dress rehearsal.

          • OC who they want to pimp on that week will get a good slot if suitable. But the overall ro aim is a good show and it is decided late.

  • Anglia Chu

    Initial thoughts, subject to change when song choices come out:

    GROUPS v OVERS
    – Rak-Su surely to win? That said, if TPTB relax their high praise and another act pulls off a stunner, it will be different.
    – If one per category, Matt v Kevin is a toss-up. Kevin clearly won last weekend but Matt’s base is presumably more robust. For the Groups, JJ is the easiest bet but their Wham!-ness will make it easy to attract votes on the night.
    – If not, Jack and Joel is a cert to leave; I can’t see them polling ahead of both Scotland and Ireland.

    BOYS v GIRLS
    – This looks like a week Lloyd will win, but TPTB may be afraid to open a can of worms by letting an MOR boy do his thing. Give Holly Freedom ’90 + a choir and she can win?
    – Sam to leave. Nothing else makes sense.
    – As for the other act, I think it will be Rai-Elle v Alisah. They’ve started the nobbling for the latter but the former may be easier to kill off.

    • Alan

      Surely Grace wins Boys Vs Girls with an even playing field.

      • Stoney

        An even playing field. Last seen when?

        • Alan

          Last seen when the person they wanted to win or lose didn’t need any help.

          Point I was making was that they will have to stop her. She’s not up against Rak-Su this week so will they want to stop her?

          • R

            Boys V Girls was also week one, so if Grace fails to win it’ll show how far she’s fallen.
            I see Lloyd winning this one. They certainly don’t want Grace winning given the drip feed of headlines and how last week played out for her.

      • Anglia Chu

        Grace lost to a breakout performance last weekend; if the show gives Lloyd his “breakout moment” (good for TV, bad for recording contract because giving an MOR boy breathing room is playing with fire), same thing could happen.

        • Alan

          That’s the big question. Can see why they don’t want Grace to romp away with it but quite difficult to keep her in check without doing long term damage if they want to sign her. Latino week was perfect cos it just didn’t suit her and (huge coincidence – not) Rak-Su just happened to have the perfect song already written.

          How can they dampen Grace without threatening her long term chances again? And also how can they get Lloyd above her without risking him getting too popular?

          If they do dampen Grace I think it will be the last week and they’ll start to build her up for the final from then on. Assuming they still want to sign her of course.

          • R

            I don’t think they’re keen on signing Grace at all and it’d be a terrible move for her.

            While some like Ella Henderson are let down gently before signing with Syco and launched harder than a human cannonball, others like Tamera Foster were given a bad edit before signing and not releasing any music.

            There have been several stories from the Syco source which are putting Grace in a very bad light which the express aim of derailing her on the show and damaging her post show career.

            So, if she does sign with Syco it’s likely her music career will disappear.
            If she doesn’t sign with Syco, she’ll be able to have a reasonable independent career, or may be picked up by another label.

  • The Juan

    So I’ve got my almost midpoint pencil and notebook out, this is how I see it playing out….

    This weekend the double elimination-

    Overs v groups eliminations

    Kevin – stripped back performance and poor song will see him a shadow of his win last week

    Jack and Joel – it’ll be fun but won’t motivate the votes, it’ll feel like a complete journey to the characters they resemble

    Girls v boys elimination

    Boys – Sam, it’s been there for a while
    and this will be the end of the road

    Girls – tricky one this, I can see holly leaving with last Christmas, a song done to early and out of step

    Which leaves

    Overs – Matt
    Boys – Lloyd
    Girls – grace/Rai-Elle/Alisah
    Groups – Sean and Conor/raksu/cutkelvins

    So taking into account that Louis and Nicole would both have an act in the final

    Matt and lloyd make it

    So the next week pairings of girls v overs and boys v groups would see a group and girl eliminated

    Sean and Conor or cutkelvins and Rai-Elle or Alisah

    Then swapping back (always keeping the pairing of girls v groups apart from TPTB) would see the other of Rai-Elle or Alisah gone and leaving one standing of raksu/cutkelvins/Sean and Conor

    Leaving a final list of

    Matt
    Lloyd
    Grace
    Sean and Conor
    Raksu
    Cutkelvins

    The main question is, will there be four in the final?

  • Sean

    Who is more likely to get knocked out this weekend – Matt or Kevin? Odds say Kevin but..

    Does anyone think Grace is gonna win it?? I’m still with her, she has the voice to pull off a ballad in the later stages/final unlike Rak Su

    When does the song list and running order get released? 🙂

  • David Cook

    It looks like a key week for Rak-su, even though the theme doesn’t really look like it will suit them. Will they do a GM song straight or mess around with it. Will they do their own song just referencing GM or lines from songs. Will it be enough to win the night, and if so can they win the prize fight. From many comments it seems that there is an element where people would effectively just vote against Rak-su. If they come up against a ‘singer’ in the prize fight I think it will be very difficult for them to win. But if they loose three head to head votes, would anyone have confidence that they can win in a final?

  • Steve

    Have just discovered Sofabet. I love it -now I have others to share my conspiracy theories with! I think Simon would be happy with any of four acts winning: Rak-Su, Cutkelvins, Grace, Holly. He can easily sign one or two who don’t win.
    What do people think of last year? I think Simon realised half way through that there was no act likely to be successful for him, so he relaxed and just gave his honest opinions, e.g. that Matt wasn’t that great. I don’t rate Simon’s A&R at all. He is totally uncreative and he follows trends,he never leads. I hope Saara is successful on her new label. Anyone can see she has huge potential throughout Europe?

    • Anglia Chu

      “He is totally uncreative and he follows trends.”
      That’s been his shtick since 19xx. The Spice Girls come to mind.

    • James Martin

      I’m amazed Simon has dropped Saara but it does mean she’s been freed up to do Eurovision next year. She’s the fifth singer from the UK franchise to go to Eurovision, and results have been mixed. I understand YLE have bought in the services of Brian Friedman who was a huge champion of her behind the scenes last year on X Factor. They’ve both got great CVs in terms of doing these sort of shows; I think we could be off to Helsinki in May 2019.

      • India Marie

        Read that the move was initiated by her because Warner had better ideas to execute her vision, which is why she still has ties to the Syco machine through the Finnish XF

  • Lake

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/4881829/sharon-osbourne-grace-davies-x-factor-diva/

    X-RATED ROW: Furious Sharon Osbourne tells stroppy X Factor hopeful Grace Davies to quit diva behaviour

    “Judge SHARON OSBOURNE hauled Grace in for a stern talking to about her behaviour behind the scenes, and warned her to rein in her diva attitude… Mrs O was furious after hearing rumours Grace had been difficult and stroppy with the show’s producers and crew… And in a stern dressing down backstage after last Sunday’s show, Sharon made it clear she won’t tolerate any more antics from the teenager.

    An insider revealed: ‘Grace is undoubtedly a talent and marked herself out as a definite contender early on, but it seems to have gone right to her head.'”

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