X Factor Week 8 Sunday Update

The story of the night was definitely that the show now wants rid of Wagner. Have a look at our article earlier this week entitled  “how to get Wagner out“, in which we discuss how we would be able to tell when the producers wanted him gone. An early slot in the running order? Check. A relaxed VT from Simon? Check. No big production? Check. One song rather than a mashup? Check. Lukewarm praise in the judges’ comments? Check.

Out of a million fun rock songs to give him (another Meatloaf perhaps?), ‘Creep’ seemed strange indeed, as the judges acknowledged afterwards. ‘Addicted to Love’ was underwhelming too – the dancing girls weren’t doing much dancing. Cheryl’s comment that “this is the week you’ve enjoyed yourself the most” planted the idea that this would somehow be a fitting end to the Wagner campaign.

That wasn’t all. In the second part of the show, once lines were open, they had not one but two more acts – One Direction and Mary – singing after Wagner and before the advertising break. (When lines are open, it will probably help an act to sing just before an ad break, giving them an extra few minutes of being fresh in the public’s minds. Usually there are only two acts, tops, between ad breaks. They were trying to shove Wagner down the memory hole).

And if you watched the Xtra Factor, you may have noted the first caller set up Simon to observe firstly that he had called the Rage Against The Machine campaign organisers last year to thank them for giving him a wake-up call, and secondly that voting for Wagner isn’t getting at him but getting at the more talented acts. In short: every trick in the book was used to depress the Wagner vote. But will it work?

From a financial point of view I certainly hope so, much as I love Wagner (and with ‘Creep’ we saw that he actually can sing better than many). In yesterday’s post I said I thought producers would want rid of Wagner either this week or next, and I spent yesterday building up a five-figure liability on Wagner in the outright winner betting market.

At the time of writing Wagner is 1/2 to go in a double elimination, and if that’s not a winning bet then there will be some serious head-scratching going on among the producers. I have to respectfully disagree with our commenters to yesterday’s post, Mark and Hanna, who suggested the show could save Wagner in a sing-off. Having set out their stall so clearly in yesterday’s show, I would be amazed if that’s the case.

But will he be last in the results, and thus first to go (as commenter Allan said he got his money on as soon as he saw Wagner was up first)? That’s a more difficult question to answer.

The other story of the night was how much help the other headline grabber and perennial favourite to be eliminated, Katie, once again got from the producers. They did their very best to save her from last place and ensure she’s in the sing-off at worst.

In the first set of songs, just before lines opened, she was up seventh of seven in another show of favouritism. She was sold as ‘honest’ – Operation Humanise Katie was at full throttle, and continued to be through ‘Everybody Hurts’. After that song, by saying she was great but Cheryl had ruined the song for her, Simon managed simultaneously to hype her and manufacture judge controversy for sympathy purposes.

In the second set of songs Katie sang fifth – before an ad break – and the pimp slot was given to Cher doing ‘Walk This Way’. She was given as much of a boost by Simon and Cheryl as possible; that, and the sympathy bounce should see her through, I think. (Incidentally, are we being far too cynical in wondering whether one or two Cher fans might have absent-mindedly added Katie’s 07 number to their phone vote after seeing Cher perform seventh in the second set of songs?)

In grave danger is Mary, however, who failed to offer anything that played to her strengths. By the end of the show, she became favourite on Betfair to be eliminated next. Producers are certainly hoping that she or Wagner finish bottom, so that they can save Katie yet again in any sing-off against the other one.

Otherwise, Rebecca was marginally better than the last two weeks, and probably did enough – though I don’t regret having a small, speculative bet at long odds as I think she’s the one most likely to slip into the bottom three if one of Wagner, Katie or Mary escape. Matt and One Direction remain safe, surely.

12 comments to X Factor Week 8 Sunday Update

  • Dave

    Creep didn’t seem strange in the drop-Wagner week, surely? It allowed the producers to do a full-face close up of Wagner singing the line “I don’t belong here” and Dannii to get in the quip about connecting with the lyrics underlined by the Louis/Simon tag-team effort to (badly) shoehorn in a translation of the lyrics just in case the audience hadn’t got the message.

    Top marks to Wagner for grabbing Dermot’s mic when giving his reply, he’s clearly spotted that Dermot will whip the mic away in a flash if the contestents begin to mis-speak.

    Thinking of the producers, when they cut to Cheryl wincing at the start-up of Katie’s second song (the first notes of which were dire) – was that intentional or an error?

    • Daniel

      You are right Dave, given it was an attempt to ditch Wagner, ‘Creep’ made complete sense. It was only strange if the show was trying to do their best for him. I didn’t notice the microphone grab, but will have a look on YouTube. Wagner likes to hold the microphone close and tight as we know from his performances 🙂

      Not sure about the Cheryl shot during Katie’s second song. Much as it’s nice to ascribe a reason for everything on the show (and I love to do it, as you may have noticed), sometimes on live TV, stuff will go out that wasn’t intended to look the way it did.

      I wonder what other people think on these points.

  • how predictable is xfactor getting its starting to bore me like i said in yesterdays post cher would sing last ov the girls and not only that they gave her pimp spot 2 try and make sure she survives another week shes still only 6-1 on betfair to go so she still may be in trouble i hope so… i think the big 3 in matt 1direction and rebecca r safe although rebecca 4 me was yet again poor awfull song choices again…. i said 2 weeks ago matt was huge at 2-1 he is now evs i still think thats huge he looks unbeatable to me…. im goin for katie bottom with cher and mary in a sing off with mary goin although only for small stakes il bet big in the sing off if its mary and cher althouugh nothing would surprise me i think this week is hard to call so b carefull with ur punting gud look

  • Lee Phelps

    Agree with everything as usual. Producers are definitely trying to engineer Wagner out.

    In terms of low vote, I can’t see how Katie will ‘spike’ again, Mary has been down there and despite their best efforts Wagner will still get that ‘support’ he’s enjoyed.

    I think Katie goes first leaving Mary and Wag in sing off. Here’s the tricky bit, if it goes to deadlock Wag stays, but who will vote for him to stay? He is more of a money spinner than Mary let’s not forget.

    One other very interesting thing from Saturday. I’ve been reliably informed Wagner’s usual phone number has been given to Katie this week (speed diallers beware!).

    I backed KW and MB to go 1st before the weekend with split stakes, so sitting tight on that.

    Good luck


  • Andrew

    An Abigail88 update, for those who are interested! She has not posted on her Twitter account at the time of writing, but has posted a thread on Digital Spy. It is here. In brief it gives Katie bottom, followed by Mary and One Direction in the singoff slots, and Wagner above them in fourth from bottom.

    It strikes me that this is pretty much exactly what I would want the leak to say if I were an X Factor producer. That is, it gives maximum encouragement to Katie and One Direction fans to panic-vote, and minimum encouragement to Wagner fans to do likewise. That may, of course, be a complete coincidence. But I am taking it all with a healthy shovelful of salt.

    (It’s also worth remembering Abigail88’s words in our interview with her about the Aiden alleged leak about most of the votes coming during the Sunday results show – and worth noting that a scan of the Digital Spy forums shows that other supposed leaks are also doing the rounds on Twitter. All very confusing.)

    Lee – that is a fantastic spot about Wagner’s phone vote number! He has indeed sung 7th in each of the last four shows, so anybody assuming they can dial the same 07 number will have voted for Katie. Who knows if significant numbers will have done so – but every little helps, as Mary would say.

    Must admit I struggle to see them saving Wagner from a singoff at this stage. A couple of weeks ago yes, but the next show is the semi-final and I feel that restoring credibility may be more important to them now than chasing headlines with the novelty acts. Mary, while limited, is infinitely more credible. I may be completely wrong, though – will be fascinating to watch what they do if that’s the hand they’re dealt.

  • Nick

    I am a bit sceptical about Abigail88 too. In her interview with Dan she stated that as many as 20 people know the results of the telephone voting whilst the lines are still open. I would find that very, very surprising as 20 people would be impossible to control and the core team would be much smaller than that.

    Having said that, I think she could be right about Katie. She had a poor Twitter performance last night and her current iTune stats are very bad, she is even being beaten by Wagner on her first song which is not a good sign. I would have expected some kind of sympathy for the porno Granny story but nothing is showing in the stats to reflect that.

    The strong Twitter performers were One Direction, Matt Cardle and Wagner had a really strong night. I think Matt Cardle and One Direction are safe. The Wagner spike could be the general debate about it being his time to go. There’s no doubt that the producers want him to go (I felt like I was watching Dan’s script last night) but he’s had his best Twitter, iTunes and You Tube performance to date.

    Mary has bad stats but Mary always has bad stats so I think we can only judge her on her performance which wasn’t good. The Twitter comments were quite brutal so I think she is in trouble.

    The surprise of the night for me was a poor Twitter performance from Cher. However, her iTunes and You Tube stats are good today. Rebecca doesn’t have good stats but we know from previous weeks that this doesn’t mean no votes as it looks like she’s got an older following like Mary. Her performance was much better than last week.

    So for me, Katie and Mary are the ones that I think will be in the bottom 3, with Katie being booted first. Wagner should join Mary in the sing off but I say that with a bit of caution!

  • its 730 and they has been a huge gamble on cher lyord bein first out she was 6-1 this morning now as low as 5-2 the exact same thing happened last week with peije and we all no what happened to him i believe she is bottom right now but dont forget a lot ov votes will be taken when the show starts good luck if ur avin a punt

  • Nick

    That’s really interesting. There was a very negative reaction on Twitter last night after her first song, lots of Tweets saying she she was too cocky.

  • little miss attitude i call her she has no likeability factor whatsoever compare her to rebecca who is adorable cher is now as low as 9-4 with vc

  • Daniel

    Having laid her at 4.5 yesterday afternoon, I hedged my bet at 7.8 today, so win either way on Cher. I feel for her a little bit, she’s an awkward 17-year-old who doesn’t really know how to present herself to best effect in these situations.

  • Lee Phelps

    You’d think the bounce would be enough to get Cher above Katie (who has consistently been low in vote) and Mary (Ireland can’t afford to vote anymore)

  • Nick

    Cher LLoyd is getting slated on Twitter at the moment – I would say 65% negative comments……

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