X Factor 2016: 5AM’s Journey – From Brotherly Spats to Backing Tracks


The act with the most positive overall treatment goes into this weekend’s climax as outsiders. 5 After Midnight have been namechecked as finalists more than anyone else, and received the most endorsements from stars guesting on the Sunday show. We’ve consistently been encouraged to emotionally connect with Jordan, Kieran and Nathan – and their families […]

X Factor 2016: Matt’s Journey – From Jilted Lover to Jilted Favourite


Matt’s journey feels like a mirror image of Saara’s in that he started out with nothing but praise and producer favour, yet approaches the final having endured some rough recent criticism, and a singoff save. It’s been a series of two halves for the Bromley lad. Picking himself up from a failed relationship, the first […]

X Factor 2016: Saara’s Journey – From “Abroad” To Adored


There’s an archetype of auditions on shows like this, in which an auditionee is initially portrayed as self-deluded or otherwise weird, but turns out to be vocally brilliant and wins everyone over. Saara did this not only in her audition, but over and over and over again. It’s been one of the most remarkable journeys […]

X Factor 2016 Week 9 Post-Mortem: Middle Missed


I met Emily in the run-up to week 6, when Ryan’s VT was filmed in a pub near where I live. I didn’t tell her who I was, or apologise for jinxing her by tipping her to win in our speculative 1-12 prediction. Sorry, Emily!

I did ask her whether she was going to […]

X Factor 2016 Week 9: Weapons of Middlemas Destruction?


We were uncertain how tonight’s show would pan out: the market’s initial reaction points towards a consensus that Saara is now the chosen one for the win (the odds imply about a 60% chance she wins), and that Emily is a goner (an 80% chance that she leaves tomorrow).

But we should also consider […]

X Factor 2016 Week 9 Elimination: Semi-final Uncertainties


I’m reluctant to rush to judgements before tonight’s live show, having pondered a Ryan / Emily bottom two in week 7, and a difficult week 8 for Saara. Whatever producers reasons for not following either path, it’s worth bearing in mind that they seem happy with how the competition is progressing. There’s been no Maloney-style […]

X Factor 2016 Week 8 Review: The Curious Case of Saara Aalto


Fudd: “I still think there were enough signs during yesterday’s show to say that producers aren’t fully behind Saara.”

The previously discussed yo-yo treatment of Saara Aalto went into overdrive last Saturday. We learnt at the start of the show that she was drawn #2 in the running order, an unpromising slot from which 5 […]

X Factor 2016 Week 8 Post-Mortem: Sprint Finnish


It couldn’t happen… could it? After the hugely positive response to Saara’s first song last night, Sofabet commenters have spent the day wondering if producers might be tempted to run with the Finn as the ultimate comeback winner. It would certainly be a story – and, let’s face it, she streaks ahead of the other […]