X Factor Week 5 Sunday Update

Another Saturday night show and more confounded expectations. Treyc, the candidate we felt most likely to be eliminated first this week, has drifted from 5/2 to 9/2 after singing second from last with a whole segment of the show to herself. Whilst we advised caution in Saturday’s post given the difficulty of guessing the producers’ strategy, we certainly didn’t expect Treyc to get such a great draw.

Meanwhile, headline-grabbing Katie Waissel was thrown to the wolves. We argued that it would probably take something spectacular to save Katie from the bottom two, and we certainly didn’t get that: a terrible draw, a tepid performance, and judges’ comments to match. They even used her VT to remind people of a cause of her unpopularity – her previous history in the recording industry – rather than to play for sympathy with a montage of harsh tabloid headlines.

Katie is now the current favourite to be eliminated first this week. I added to my small bet on Treyc by backing her on Betfair at 2.68 for elimination during her performance (she is now around 2.36). But I’m certainly not discounting Treyc. In addition to her great draw, she looked fabulous and sang well, so she would be unlucky to be in the sing-off. But at least two of the arguments we mentioned yesterday still stand: she is coming down from a sympathy bounce, and she does not appear to have a big fanbase.

A Treyc/Katie sing-off appears the most likely combination in the event of a single elimination. Treyc lacks impact, but even so, I think it would be highly controversial to save Katie against someone more deserving in every respect. Would they really force Cheryl to choose between her two acts? The only way I see Katie surviving in such a situation is it being sent to deadlock in the name of “fairness”, but on the basis of last night, there’s no guarantee she would win this.

Mary was awful and would justifiably be in the sing-off. She needs her core support and some sympathy votes after a painful performance. The same was said of Aiden last week, however, and it was enough for him then. I do feel that Mary would survive against Katie or Treyc for three reasons: she hasn’t been in the sing-off before; she would perform a number that suited her; and the show wouldn’t want to risk losing Irish viewers at this stage of the competition.

Aiden managed to improve considerably this week, and is surely in no danger. I also now expect the increasingly likeable Paije to survive, after he showed Wagner that he can also do a mash-up and stole the mantle of the ‘fun’ act from Katie.

That leaves us with Wagner. As the show went on I half-expected that Wagner would be in the pimp slot, and his brilliantly staged performance would certainly have been a fitting show-closer. Instead the producers chose to put him in the relatively poor 7th slot in the running order – where, to make things worse, he was immediately followed by Matt Cardle, who once again hit it out of the park.

It is very hard indeed to guess what the producers are thinking here. Are they confident Wagner can survive, or are they – surprisingly – happy to see him the bottom two this week? If he is up against Treyc, it would be exceedingly controversial to take him through, though he could conceivably do so in a deadlock.

A Katie / Wagner sing-off would be a mindbender of epic proportions. What on earth would each perform and how would the judges vote? Has the warmer tone of Simon’s comments last night set himself up to take it to deadlock, allowing Wagner through to enjoy a sympathy bounce with a long-awaited pimp slot next week? Or is trying to analyse such a prospect too much for any sane individual?!

What do you think would happen in this situation, and any of the others mentioned? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.

5 comments to X Factor Week 5 Sunday Update

  • Nick

    Twitter made really interesting reading last night. Whilst there was a lot of discussion about the performances, there was also a very high level of tweets about the tabloid headlines, rumours and back stories to each of these acts. This is probably quite understandable as we are getting to know the acts better.

    The surprise for me was the negativity against Mary. The performance was poor but the fact that she had won a TV talent show in Ireland in 2008 and released a single did not go down well. Lots of Tweets were posting You Tube links to Mary’s previous TV performances prior to X Factor. Her back story of being a Tesco worker is now a bit of a shambles. I completely missed this story, must have been reading the wrong gutter press! Here is the clip:


    TreyC continues to get a very weak response on Twitter whilst Aiden achieves a huge outpouring of lust from teenage girls. Cher gets an equal combination adoration and outright hatred. Matt and Rebecca get a strong and positive response. Katie got a weak response.

    I think Mary is weak but agree that she could be saved by older voters and hardcore fans. The acts for me in the danger zone are Wagner, Katie and TreyC but I’m going to have a look at the iTunes stats and You Tube views just before tonight’s show before making a final decision!

  • Daniel

    Thanks for more great information, Nick. I think it’s instructive that Katie got a weak response this week, whereas your previous comments indicate this wasn’t the case before – correct me if I’m wrong. This may show that the public have become less interested, even bored by her. Problem is, they seem pretty bored by Treyc already, and now Mary is facing a backlash. It will be good to hear your informative reading of the iTunes figures later today.

  • Nick

    I’ve had a look at the iTunes stats and the You Tube views on the official X Factor pages and again it is very tricky. The top 5 are stable across Twitter activity, iTunes ratings and You Tube views so I think that these are safe. The top 5 would be Matt, Cher, Aiden, One Direction and Rebecca. The bottom 5 is more than a little unstable.

    The iTunes stats have the bottom two as Mary and TreyC. The You Tube views have the bottom two as Wagner and Paije. Katie performs better but the comments and ratings on iTunes are horrific.

    It’s very difficult to read. If you look at it from a pure figures point of view, Mary and Wagner would be the bottom two but after reading Twitter and the comments on iTunes, I can’t believe Katie is safe. I’m going for Mary and Katie.

  • Andrew

    Close again, Nick – you’re getting brilliant at predicting the last act to be called safe!

    I guess it’s partly Mary’s voting demographic being disproportionately non-internet-users, plus some element of personal (rather than performance) vote, which apparently Mary, Wagner and Paije have to some degree but Katie doesn’t. Treyc evidently had that extra personal vote last week with the sympathy bounce, but lost it this week. Question is – with Mary, Wagner and Paije all likely to be trending into the danger zone – how to find some kind of statistical proxy for that?

  • Nick

    Two weeks of being so close! However, I have spotted some trends in my figures. Pure analysis doesn’t work but comparing performance week on week (Katie’s figures just spiralled down for the the last three weeks for example) looks promising. One thing is for sure, low Twitter activity is a very bad sign. Katie and TreyC were very low over the last show.

    Back to my spreadsheet! I haven’t got long to perfect my system!

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