X Factor 2017 Week 4 Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball Metaphors

“They must have been very proud of the Andrea Faustini food takedown, there’s more food discussion than most cookery shows” – Sagand. “Did last nights Prawn cocktail reappearance remind anybody of the Skips rabbit hole?!” – Martin.

If you were reading Sofabet in 2014, you’ll recall the infamous “doughnut deramp”, in which Simon compared an Andrea Faustini performance to eating six doughnuts. We thought Simon was trying to subliminally associate Andrea with the queasy, bloated feeling of regretted over-indulgence – and that it was ingenious. Our ears now prick up at any food mentions. How appropriate that on the night which saw the return of Matt “like a sandwich without butter” Terry, we got a feast.

Simon started his comments to Sam with: “that’s what I call a prawn cocktail”. He explained: “not the main course or the dessert, a little thing you have before the big thing”. Louis helpfully asked Simon to provide a further explanation, in case anyone at home had missed the point. “It’s quite nice,” Simon obliged, “but you always look forward to what’s coming next”.

“Not necessarily,” Louis replied. “I love prawn cocktails”. This was ostensibly leaping to the defence of his act, but implicitly accepting Simon’s framing of Sam as merely an hors d’oeuvre. Dermot reinforced this, reassuring Sam that he also likes prawn cocktails.

As regular travellers down Sofabet rabbit holes will recall, this is the second appearance of “prawn cocktail” this season, the first as the flavour of Skips offered to Grace at the six-chair challenge. We’ve also wondered about Rak-Su being associated with fajitas, and katsu. We haven’t yet addressed another of the repeated food associations of this series, though: step forward, Nanny Chris, and bring us a fish finger sandwich.

What does “fish finger sandwich” say to you? It’s honest, homely comfort food. Unpretentious. A guilty pleasure, perhaps – not something you’d serve at a dinner party. But it hardly seems fair to deduce, only from the fish finger sandwiches, any conscious effort on the show’s part to associate Lloyd with a taste that’s bland and unsophisticated…

What was that, Nicole? “You, to me, are like a perfect bowl of spaghetti.” Lloyd is like a bowl of spaghetti, you say? “I love spaghetti, with some tomato sauce.” Who doesn’t, Nicole? It’s honest, homely comfort food – though perhaps not something you’d serve at a dinner party. “However! Sometimes I’m hungry for some arabbiata. With a little kick, a little spice, right? Throw some meatballs in there. A little less cheese…”.

Brilliant – and good to see that Just Eat are getting their money’s worth.

Font of knowledge

The X Factor have given the acts their own typographical treatments this year. Last weekend they were given extra prominence by being used, instead of the X Factor typeface, at the end and sometimes also the start of the VTs. The choice of typeface is crucial to the branding of any business, so what do these choices suggest about how producers would like us to see the acts?

Lloyd’s is a traditional, classic serif – safe, reliable, unexciting. It’s a typeface in which you’d print a broadsheet newspaper, a typeface you’d chisel into stone outside a solicitor’s office. Making it gold and putting Lloyd’s first name in bigger type, however, adds another connotation – it’s a poster advertising a West End musical.

Matt’s typeface is rough, hand-hewn block print. It’s raw and unpolished, evoking the physical and masculine – a typeface you might see stamped on sacks of grain or wooden packaging crates. It’s also slightly wonky, with varied spacing between the letters and slightly different sizes of N in the surname implying movement – or perhaps lack of attention to detail.

Kevin’s been given a gothic feel, with the pointed arches – perhaps tying in with his church staging in the second week? When we tried to imagine where we’d see this typeface in the real world, we thought of a label on a craft beer from a monastery. Is there a hint of a gallic shrug in the serifs on the V, W and Y?

Grace has a simple, clean, modern sans serif. It’s open and easy to read, with an appeal that’s broad rather than niche. The pink and dark red colour scheme connote warmth and love, hearts and girliness, accentuated by the little kiss between first name and surname.

Another clean, modern sans serif for the Cutkelvins – thinner than Grace’s, and this time in cool light green. The letters are almost as widely spaced as Shereen and her brothers have tended to be on stage.

Finally, Rak-Su. This is interesting because they turned up to their first audition already with some funky, colourful branding embossed on merchandise:

Rather than run with this, the show chose to give them another typographical treatment:

At first, this is puzzling – although bright and bold, in electric blue and italicised for emphasis, the new treatment also feels cheap and throwaway. It looks like one of those trashy magazines you see at the supermarket checkout.

But perhaps that’s the point? Rak-Su turned up with branding to appeal to buyers of their kind of music; the show have given them branding to help them through the competition by appealing to ITV-watching Middle England.

The industry of originality

In our Week 2 review, we provided a link to a Music Week article featuring Syco’s newish MD Tyler Brown who used to work on the show. He features again alongside Syco’s global head of music, Simon Gavin, Cowell himself, and Louis in a six-page spread of the latest edition. We’ve taken a look through it for the most relevant content.

Louis reiterated the statement he made on This Morning last week, that “I want to be in the final this year – and I’m going to be – I’ll have one person in it, but I want the show to win.” In fact, the interviews were done in the run-up to the Week 2 shows, so he has been confident for some time.

Cowell made the following point: “An artist like Rak-Su, for example, probably went through a mental process which was, ‘Do we trust the show enough that it’s going to work for us? Or do we use social media and post videos to build a fanbase.’ Luckily, they trusted us. So if they do well, or Grace does well – they’re the two obvious ones at the moment – then you’ve got the confidence that other people will want to be on the show.” This was interesting given the debate over Grace’s treatment in the live shows.

He went on to say: “iTunes is really important to us. It’s the best market research you could ever have, because it’s so brutal. It’s a very quick snapshot of how badly or how well you’re doing, so I love it.” At the time of writing, Rak-Su’s ‘Mona Lisa’ had just come down to #2, with Grace’s ‘Hesitate’ at #14, both above Matt Terry’s ‘The Thing About Love’, debuted on Sunday’s show, at #18.

The article was bullish about X Factor’s star-making capacity, without really pointing out that since 2013, the post-show business model hasn’t succeeded: pay writers and producers to put together an album for the winner and some of the placed acts, then watch it flop a year later.

One of the many advantages of promoting acts who use their own material is not just, “the audience wants authenticity and it doesn’t get more authentic than that”, as Tyler Brown mentioned in the article. It’s also that these acts have an album of material ready to go, in February say, when they’re still fresh in the memory, and the charts are less competitive than later in the year. It makes much more sense in the modern music industry.

Protecting the stars

On the matter of gaining the trust of artists wishing to apply to the show, the Grace and Rak-Su VTs last weekend were a masterclass in showing off their personalities. During his post-song comments, Simon acknowledged its importance to Grace in particular: “It was getting to know you again as a person… This to me is really important as well.”

The VT did this by pretending to undercut Grace’s USP – her ability to write break-up songs – and in the process reinforcing it. Her sister Amelia joked with her that she would be writing another depressing love song, before saying, “This time next year, you’re going to be hooked up.” Grace shot back quick as a flash, “Then where am I gonna get all my songs from? Send some bad boys me way, let’s make an album.”

She described her songs as like looking at her childhood diary, and went on to do just that, mocking her earnest younger self. “16 year old me, like, what were you doing?” In a show where the two targets were her 16 year old female rivals, Rai-Elle and Holly, this was prescient indeed.

Meanwhile, the Rak-Su VT built on the idea they’re eligible sex symbols, also by pretending to undercut it. Myles is clearly the centre of attention in these encounters – and the tabloids. But each of them was joshed as they pretended to write each others’ dating profiles.

We got occasional cuts to camera-as-mirror shots allowing us a coy glimpse of naked Rak-Su shoulders. On which subject, the show has done a great job of reinforcing the lads’ unthreatening nature. They were given only the briefest moment with their female dancers, before moving on to sell their latest original, ‘Mona Lisa’.

That’s how both acts showed themselves to be fun and able to laugh at themselves, all the while building their brand.

Call me Dave

The Music Week interview above crystallised something we’ve been wondering for a while: are producers making a rod for their backs? If performing originals becomes seen as the key to X Factor success, what do you do when acts whose album you’re not planning to release in February ask if they can perform originals, too?

You can’t exactly say “no, only favoured acts are allowed to perform originals”. It’s tricky to say “no, your originals aren’t all that good”. And you don’t want to criticise an original because – as Simon said in the interview – you need artists to trust you. You can’t afford to put off talent who are considering going the XF route in 2018.

“They’ve written their own song, first time they’ve done it, they were insistent about it”, Simon explained doubtfully before The Cutkelvins performed last week – the first act outside of Grace and Rak-Su to do an original in the lives. “Could be a risk, could be the best thing they’ve ever done, we’re going to find out. I think it’ll be a good thing”, he concluded, sounding deftly equivocal.

All four judges stood, and comments were kind. Louis told them it should be their first single. Sharon gushed that it was “a really great song, the way it started out and went into the hook, it was fantastic” – although the features she picked out for praise were rather generic: most songs, after all, start out and, sooner or later, go into the hook.

But comments also hammered two consistent themes: they emphasised it had been a risk, and hinted that survival wasn’t assured. Louis started his comments by saying it’s “tough” that two have to go, and urged people to pick up the phone. Sharon agreed, because “we don’t want to lose you.” Simon started his comments by musing “it’s just occurred to me that we’re going to lose two people tonight”, before saying “I think it’s going to pay off” and “I pray people pick up the phone”.

Dermot, as ever, was on message. First question: “huge risk, do you think it paid off?” Second question: “are you thinking ‘there’s two acts going tonight’, or trying to get it out of your mind?”

It seemed to us that producers were treading a fine line – doing nothing that would discourage songwriters from applying next year, but also nothing too helpful. The desire not to be too helpful was suggested even before Simon introduced them, as a Dermot interview with Mum-Su reminded us of their successful songwriting rivals.

And the VT was jarring in places. We saw them reminiscing about sibling rivalry – “it starts off as fun and games, but at the end of it we’re at each other’s throats” – and mock-fighting in a deserted playing field at twilight. Simon’s reaction to learning that they’d written a song – “No. This is amazing!” – was perhaps a tad condescending.

There have been noises this week that both the Cutkelvins and Matt are keen to perform originals this weekend – in the case of the latter, a string to his bow that it was hinted did not exist in his room audition. We’ll watch with great interest to see how they’re treated – as, no doubt, will songwriters mulling participation in 2018.

Crazy in love

As indicated by Twitter accounts like @trumpdraws, in this day and age you’re asking for trouble if you hold up something on which writing can be Photoshopped. We couldn’t resist.

Love you, Sharon, too.

As ever, do keep the conversation flowing below.

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

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93 comments to X Factor 2017 Week 4 Review: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball Metaphors

  • As a social media marketer involved in the betting industry, it is no surprise to me to see the Rak-Su logo presented to us in blue and white. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumbler, Skype, Outlook and many other of the most popular and influential companies and social media/communication companies use this colour scheme. I wouldn’t want to go into too much detail in the comments section here, but a simple google search will present you with some quite compelling reasons why the blue/white combo is so popular.

    From the first article I clicked on “… blue is considered to be a masculine color, nonthreatening, and inspire confidence”.

    I mentioned in an earlier thread that RakSu can get a good portion of the male/dad vote partly because they are seen as non threatening (4 not particularly attractive guys, having fun and not taking themselves overly serious)

  • India Marie

    Nice to see a discussion on the logos; I’ve looked at a few of them and just concluded they’re rip-offs of someone else’s logo.

    Rak-Su’s logo is an imitation of Supreme, the streetwear brand. Having it blue instead of the original red, as pointed out by Yolanda, makes them non-threatening (in addition to making them avoid lawsuits). So it’s like “Rak-Su’s cool but nonthreatening.”

    • Chris Bellis

      The old wild west font, also used in Victorian music hall posters, is not so subtly suggesting that Kevin is old fashioned. Old and past his best, but with nostalgia value. I hope it backfires against the evil powers big time.

  • Tom

    When will we find out if there will be 3 or 4 in the final? I’d assume 4 but we haven’t been told. On the Sunday will there only be 5 performimg? That’s barely any.

  • Anglia Chu

    Maybe I’m reading this with the lens of a fan, but I don’t think the sibling rivalry was negative at all; Shereen being “one of the boys” with her brothers makes them relatable.

    I thought the emphasis on how risky it is to do an original combined with the reminder of a double elimination was a shrewd move: it motivated voting for TCK without resorting to hyperbole that may derail the Rak-Su victory parade. It may also be a template in eliminating an act who did an original without undermining the show’s new mandate; just remove the high praise, give the competition good covers, and done.

    As for the contestants’ typeface treatments, outside the top few, it’s mostly uninformative (by the time you get to the Week 1/2 eliminated contestants you pretty much get nothing). Perhaps we could have looked at this to peruse TPTB intentions.

    • David Cook

      It’s likely that somethings are designed to be percieved as either positive or negative to the audience in general. Other elements or comments may be intended to appear innocuous to some, but negative to others. Don’t scare off the existing fans, but perhaps limit new votes.

  • R

    I really don’t like the Rak-Su typeface. It may be clear, bold and businesslike, but it doesn’t shout fun or fajita, more parcel delivery.

    When I saw the “X” between Grace’s name, I first thought it was a big “don’t vote Grace” cross, but scrolling down to the Music Week cover there was that cross again with Simon.
    Another subliminal X = Grace has the X Factor rabbit hole?

  • Phil

    Of course they’ve been using these typeface/logos since week 1 although only on the round ceiling screen above the stage. It’s something they’ve always done in Australia, I think it’s rather a good idea.

    The one for the Cutkelvins was just ‘TCK’ originally (which seemed slightly iffy given Cutkelvins is one word and not two). I was also struck by how similar Jack & Joel’s was to the 1D logo.

  • Alan

    There is of course the possibility that the producers asked someone to come up with the typefaces with no hidden agenda along the lines of vote manipulation at all. Crazy idea huh?

    • Tom

      I doubt there is anything to it either. If there was, Rak Su wouldn’t get a typeface that looks like a logo for a company. The public don’t care about things like this.

      • Chris Bellis

        “The public don’t care about things like this.” Yet big companies like BT and BA spend millions on designing logos. The public don’t THINK they care, and that’s how the mind twisters like it.

        • Tom

          The difference is, company logos are shown a lot in ads etc and recognisable. Do you think they even notice the logos? They are shown at the start of a VT sometimes and before they perform. They are not shown a lot.

    • They will certainly have briefed the designers re type of act, musical genre, target demographics, brand values etc. This won’t have been a random process in which Rak-Su could just as easily have ended up with Lloyd’s typographical treatment and vice versa.

  • The Juan

    Well the cutkelvins are doing another original… the YouTube Vid seems to point to a different vibe… soulful and like the Jackson five… but there’s only 3 of them at the moment… the family always appears in the final?

    Think this could actually either be the moment before the final, with great praise to kill off Matt and Kevin?
    With a return to the electro for the final and vote control?

  • Joe Lemer

    It would appear TPTB have the vote under control with pinpoint accuracy this year.
    I would suspect that with a Best of British theme they are wary to want to get rid of Kevin (being French) and stop him in his tracks. They would be happy to get TCK over him and Lloyd or Matt. I’m not sure which is more of a threat. Thoughts?

    I really hope for an upset in the final. We have had two head to head battles in RskSu v Grace, a third round for a top two battle is positively dull.

    My guess is that one of them won’t make top 2. Vote transfer will be key. It’s been too straight forward for TPTB so far so a twist would make it interesting. Battle of the bands would be good.

  • Tim B

    Did anyone ever find out if Grace did that charity gig for Children In Need?

  • India Marie

    SONGS

    Kevin: Come Together (The Beatles)
    Rak-Su: Flowers (Sweet Female Attitude)
    Grace: Life On Mars? (David Bowie)
    Lloyd: Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Elton John)
    Matt: Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
    The Cutkelvins: Nothing Like You (original)

    4 standards, 1 hipster song, and 1 original

    • Chris

      Rak-Su to duet with Sweet FA in the final?

    • George

      Are they really only doing one song?

      • These are the Saturday song choices. Not confirmed yet but Sunday show being 10 mins shorter suggests one act goes on Saturday and the remaining five will sing something else on Sunday, theme believed to be “get me to the final” (i.e. no theme).

    • Anglia Chu

      Positive signs for Grace and Lloyd. They get songs that are in their zone.

      Negative sign for Kevin. His shtick is “musician” and you can’t look “musician” covering The Beatles; attempts at doing so make you look like an amateur.

      Really Negative sign for Matt. Gimme Shelter is dark and “rape, murder” is in the lyrics. It’s his birthday today, though… surely they won’t kill him off the day after.

      TCK is fairly positive. Had it not been for Rak-Su getting what they got, an original will surely make their songwriting look amateur compared to the covers others got. That said, the show will not mishandle an act who does an original, given the show’s new mandate.

      Rak-Su is a wildcard. First thought is that this will be a Faith-esque foot-off-the-gas moment, but further thoughts tell me they could spin the song and make it a Rak-Su original that samples Flowers by Sweet Female Attitude.

  • Nick

    Grace’s “Life on Mars” is on You Tube.
    Excellent version imho

    • David Cook

      I agree with you – I think it’s a really good version too BUT I can also see that a lot of the audience may be thinking ‘what the hell is this’, in a similar way to Kevin’s song last week.
      Not to go on about it too much, but I don’t think Grace’s live singing performances have matched her recordings. I really hope she keeps the diction clear as it is on the Youtube version, as some of the words on last weeks song were almost unintelligible. It’s a fine line between getting it right and wrong.

    • David Cook

      Just to go on a bit more – I think you have to be careful when making judgements based songs you’ve heard a few times onYoutube, and remember that a lot of the audience will be hearing them just once and then making a spot judgement for the vote. There’s no time of a ‘grower’. It strikes me that what might be called a ‘banger’ has more chance of doing well.

  • Stoney

    Poor Kevin. They really are gunning for him aren’t they. Wouldnt be surprised to see him and Matt both go this weekend. Rak su choice is a funny one too.
    Cutkelvins getting push for the final would be my take looking at the song choices.

    • David Cook

      Kevin must be singing the Ben Hey-now songbook, as it’s the second week in a row. Just for the record Ben easily topped the vote with this which has to be one of the most bizarre backing performances ever, seeming to involve the dancers cutting themselves out of some form of chastity belts with angle grinders. Maybe they could try this with Matt!
      Anyway I think more bluesy version of this could be right up Kevin’s street – but at the same time keeping him firmly in his lane.

  • Borat the good

    Would suggest that Lloyd is a guaranteed finalist with that song choice.

  • Stoney

    If Kevin gets though Saturday i imagine he will sing ‘That’s life’ on the Sunday.

  • Joe Lemer

    Kevin and Matt to go based on song choices IMHO. Both tracks offer little chance for them to show off their voices. The mind boggles over RakSu’s song choice. Cool Brittania equals Sweet Female Attitude, suely not. A retro song certainly but not a track that fits the theme really, deramp. Are they pushing TCK with an original track? It will look like a positive sign to me.

    • David Cook

      Stoney might disagree but I can almost think of ‘Flowers’ as a song that TCK could have done, but yes not the first song that comes to mind.
      I suspct Rak-su version will be little more than the hook, with their own lyrics and rap added. The hook may even just be sampled from the original as part of the backing track, so that it’s almost an original. I can hear Simon now telling them how great it was to take a classic British UKG track and turn it into something ‘current’ and ‘original’ and ‘relevant’. Oh – and it’ll be a ‘banger’ too.
      If TCK go for a more mellow vibe this week does the title lend itself to one of the judges telling them “it was a brave decision to try something like that – but it sounded nothing like you” – Louis probably.

  • David Cook

    I for one certainly don’t disagree with The Beatles and Rolling Stones on Best of British week (even if it probably appears that I only like female solo artists), but are ‘Come Together’ and ‘Gimme Shelter’ really the best of the Beatles and the Stones?
    It strikes me that Gimme Shelter is really going to suffer if they cut the intro – basically it’s the intro and the riff that makes it.
    Also I think almost everyone will know ‘Life on Mars’, probably ‘Come Together’ but possibly not ‘Gimme Shelter’?

  • Excellent song choice for Rak-Su

    As I’ve alluded to a number of times this series the Middle England Mums that watch this show are no longer women in tea dresses and a pair of C&A shoes.

    The MEM vote is now the people who grew up listening to UK Garage, this plays exactly to them. Add in the ‘yoot’ vote and I think Rak-Su clean up this weekend.

  • 360

    Interesting to at this stage not give the last girl standing a woman’s song. Is the thinking that she couldn’t do justice to, or would be negatively compared to a classic British female song standard?

    • Very good point, why not give the next Adele and the Greatest female singer in X factor history according to some a song by Adele… she’s British and sort of cool

    • David Cook

      It looks like Grace is in favor by either being allowed to choose her own song, or possibly they’ve suggested a song, that she’s already covered, and can perform well. Given the renewed interest in Bowie, I think it’s perfect for the theme.
      To be positive it’s certainly better than having to listen to her perform some dirge by Adele the queen of dirge.
      To be slightly negative, if you had to choose something idiosyncratically British by a female artist, then it would have been great to have someone do a Kate Bush song, but no I don’t think Grace could pull it off.

    • India Marie

      Princess Grace wanted this.

      “I’ve waited the entire series to perform this song. My favourite song to cover, ever. ♥️

      I hope I do you guys proud, and do the song justice. PLEASE remember to #VOTEGRACE

      See you tomorrow x”

      https://twitter.com/gracedavies/status/934061816896020480

  • Stoney

    Raksu are set to become the 1st winner that won’t have/be able to perform a ballad. Up until this year having a ballad in your armoury has been essential. A sign of the decline in competition.

    • Or a sign in the changing face of music?

      How many ballads have been number 1 this year? Sam Smith – Too Good at Goodbyes and I think that’s in

      • Stoney

        Isn’t Ed Sheeran on course to have a xmas number 1 with a ballad?
        Ok lets put it another way. A group that are unable to sing a ballad being 1/2 before the semi final stage. Not sure thats due to a change in the face of music to be honest. There was a group a few years back in the show which remind me of Raksu. I think they were called FYD. They didn’t sign there own songs though. They went out in the 1st live show if I remember correctly. I bet Raksu would have been no different. They have entered or been re entered at the right time. This will help them win the show no doubt. But thats where it ends for this group.

        • “Isn’t Ed Sheeran on course to have a xmas number 1 with a ballad?”

          What ballad is that?

          • Martin

            Perfect is gaining momentum and he’s releasing a new version of it with a featured artist next week according to OCC.

        • Obscure act to compare them to… why not pick
          Reggie ‘n’ Bollie
          5AM
          JLS
          Rough Copy

          Who are a ;pt more of a similar act than a five piece… they also didn’t even finish bottom of the vote that week. In fact I would say FYD are more like The CutKelvins, than Rak-Su.

          FYD were also up against 1D, who were obviously a) the alpha group and b) a better commercial prospect… The CutKelvins would probably have been out first that year too

  • India Marie

    Unrelated to the show, but I saw tweets of Khalid and Lorde showing some love for Simon’s current boyband project PRETTYMUCH.

  • Ben Cook

    Weird to have a best of British theme and then let TCK do an original, and Rak-Su an old garage tune

    At least if Grace is doing a cover it’s one she is comfortable with

  • Steve

    Hmm, based on song choice alone, I’d say TPTB have their gunsights trained on Matt.

    I have a good knowledge of rock/pop since the 60s, but I can’t recall what Gimme Shelter sounds like.

    I’d say if Matt is not in the second half of the show, he’s toast, wherever the others sing.

    The only possible other outcome imho is Simon AND another judge going in hard on a performing -first-or-second Lloyd with the old “good luck in panto, cabaret or musical theatre” chestnut.

    I am intrigued and pleased with Grace’s (slightly risky)? choice.
    Seann Miley Moore survived “Life on Mars” but went home the next week. The song got poor old Nicolo – what a wasted talent!-to judges houses but I’d still say it’s a risk.

  • Plinkiplonk

    Whatever happened to Matt’s original song that was promised? Did he get lumbered with ‘Gimme Shelter’ to deny him to bonus of an original song? He’s clearly for the chop. I think they may be ok with Kevin limping into the final as 4th, seeing as that would give them one act per mentor, but he has a very visible glass ceiling above him, hasn’t he?

    • India Marie

      I think Matt talking about an original was either a spur-of-the-moment thing or planned for Sunday (that the show won’t make happen because he is targeted).

  • Timothy Roll

    I have a friend who’s a branding specialist and based on their typefaces he’s suggesting Grace will leave Saturday and Raksu will leave Sunday. Cutkelvins for the overall win.

  • Martin

    I’m torn between Come Together being historically a good sign, or a bad sign. It’s been used for Olly Murs, Matt Cardle and Ben Haenow previously – all of whom did very well but for Matt and Ben, it was arguably not meant to play to their strengths. It seems like a bit of a go-to song for the “settling for a male winner” type. Removing all of this, however, it’s not the most exciting of song choices.

    I think Matt’s song is a step backwards for him. Didn’t know it before I YouTubed it, it’s hard to get excited about.

    Life on Mars is a superb choice for Grace, her version of it on YouTube is excellent and I think her choice of covers is positioning her exactly where she should be – somewhere between Anne Marie and Lorde, whose version of the song at the Brit Awards was spectacular. If she’s permitted to do an original on Sunday, I think it’s smooth sailing through to next week.

    Similarly for Rak Su, their song is also exactly what they should be doing. I’m not a fan personally, but TPTB seem to have finally closed the gap between the acts they want to do well and the will of the voting public. Two or three years ago, a chosen one would have never been allowed these song choices. You only have to look at the difference between X factor Louisa Johnson and real world Louisa Johnson to see how jarring it can be. If Rak su (or grace) can win the show whilst still being reflective of the sort of artist they will be after the show, perhaps there’s hope for it yet.

    Anyway, I digress. Hard to think much of Cutkelvins without hearing their song. I liked their original last week, but they’ll need more love from the judges to get them through. If I were producing, I’d want an act from each category in a four person final which means losing them at some point this weekend. I don’t think it would be great for the show to have an act leaving the show they perform an original, so I’m thinking Matt going Saturday and Cutkelvins Sunday, but treatment dependant as always.

  • Tim B

    Next Elimination market is now up on Betfair.

  • Spiidey

    Firmly in the Matt out Saturday, Cuttys out Sunday camp.

    1 act from each mentor in final.

    Believe that is the producers intention, will the public play ball?

  • Anyone want to guess the running order for tonight?

    Lloyd
    Matt
    Rak-Su
    Kevin
    Grace
    The CutKelvins

    maybe swap Grace and Kevin around…

    That would be my guess, easy to keep TCK in doing a original, then easier to take down tomorrow with a you’ve gone backwards from last night comment

    • Timothy Roll

      Matt and Cutkelvins on first and second to give people longer to think about voting for them. RakSu and Grace last so that people won’t forget how bad they were. I also suspect we will see producers make more use of the logos. This will probably stop people voting for Grace and Raksu who liked their music but don’t by like their font.

    • R

      I’d expect to see The CutKelvins and TCO in 5th and 6th to ensure The CutKelvins are forced through despite a weak vote and the momentum of TCO is maintained.
      Then the target on first and the remaining 3 in 2nd, 3rd & 4th slots based on their previous voting (in reverse order).

      So, assuming Matt is the target, Rak-Su are TCOs, and Grace beat Lloyd, who beat Kevin in votes received, I’d say:

      Matt
      Grace
      Lloyd
      Kevin
      Rak-Su
      The CutKelvins

  • David Cook

    To give TPTB credit it does look like they’ve perfectly engineered this so it’s one act from each category in the final – with each one having won the prize fight. On the face of it, it should look fairly balanced going into the final.

    • Stoney

      Not sure why everyone keeps assuming they have been so intent on 1 act from each category in the final. That’s never mattered before. 1 act to each win a prize fact is definately an idea I could see them wanting to happen. Which coincidentally is 1 from each category. I still think they will try and get tck into the final as they are more likely to be signed than any of the other disposable contestants left. Not saying they will be signed, just more likely to be signed. A pimping tonight will give them the momentum to get through tomorrow night. We’ve already seen how fickle the app voters have been this series.

      • David Cook

        Based on how much last year they emphasized that all three acts had topped the vote – which gave the impression that they were going into the final on a fairly even footing. As it happened the vote on the Saturday did show that they were quite even.
        This year I think they are trying to make it even more explicit that everyone in the final is in with a chance – even if the reality is probably quite different. I agree it’s not so much having an act per category, as being the acts that have topped the vote and then gone on to win the head to head prize fight that matters.
        Obviously I might be wrong – just saying that to me that’s how it looks.

  • Borat the good

    Cutkelvins wont be on last.

    Is nice.

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