X Factor Week 9 Elimination Market

The rumours suggest the act with the fewest public votes will be automatically eliminated this weekend, leaving four still in for the final.

The bookmakers’ favourite to fall at this point is last week’s sing-off survivor, Mary, at a shade of odds-on. The second favourite to go is the previous week’s sing-off survivor, Cher, at around 6/4. There is a big gap back to the other three, headed by Rebecca at 10/1.

But I think this is much trickier to call between these three acts than the bookmakers’ odds suggest, for a number of reasons. As always, much depends on how producers present the semi-finalists in the Saturday show, especially as this is the stage when we tend to get a lot of the back-story for each remaining contestant. And I am finding it hard to be confident about guessing which of these acts they will be trying their hardest to drum up support for, and which they will be looking to cut adrift.

In many ways, Mary deserves to be favourite for elimination. She has looked increasingly limited in her range throughout the series, was rumoured to have polled fewer votes than Wagner last weekend, and will not have any pull for producers as a recording artist.

However, taking an odds-on price about someone who should benefit from a sympathy bounce is not an attractive proposition either. Mary has a core demographic among older voters and the Irish, who will want her in the final. And there is a theory that a four-way final may be designed for a one-act-one-mentor event.

If producers are looking to do their best for Mary, they have plenty of raw material. She has arguably the most interesting back-story out of all the remaining five acts – last week, she dedicated her sing-off song to the father of her daughter, who up till now had not been mentioned. There is a tremendous opportunity for producers to play up past heartbreak and create a narrative of overcoming adversity – if they want to.

If there is any truth in the one-act-one-mentor final theory, then which of Cheryl’s acts might find herself being set up as the fall girl? Cher was certainly given every help last week, with the pimp slot and wild praise from the judges. It does seem that they see her as a future recording artist, and a slot in the final would help.

Cher was benefiting from the sympathy bounce last week, and this often endures for only one week (although Olly and JLS bounced all the way from week 7, when Cher had her sing-off, to second place). She may not find so much sympathy this time around – as Nick commented there was a tremendously negative reaction to Cher on Twitter last weekend, where she was perceived to be cocky in her reaction to judges’ comments.

On the other hand, it is perfectly possible that the show might decide to focus on over-the-top elements of this negativity (the poor lass is only 17, after all) in Cher’s VT as a way of motivating sympathy and support for her – if they want to.

As I indicated last week, I’ve not been sold on Rebecca having the X Factor, and wondered how many supporters she had been losing during a disappointing few weeks – producers seem almost to have given up on her after the Week 6 pimp slot disappointment. I don’t see her as being as relatively safe as the odds imply.

Unlike Mary and Cher, Rebecca has never been in a sing-off so she has no sympathy bounce. She does have a strong regional vote, but how effective this will be probably depends on how much the show choose to play up to it – will they send her out singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, a tearful rendition of which carried Ray Quinn into 2006’s final, and ensure that every judge tells her there won’t be a dry eye left on Merseyside? Or will they fail to remind us even once that she is from Liverpool, as happened last week?

Rebecca comes across as very likeable, and the producers could certainly choose to give her an uplifting VT focusing on her back-story as a single mother of two – if they want to.

In short, a watching brief is advised. As well as the relative interestingness of the VTs, the running order will tell us a lot this week about which act they are looking to wave goodbye to – and as we saw with Wagner, when they want rid of someone, they can dream up plenty of ways to undermine them. The someone they want rid of this week may well be Mary – but if it appears not to be, then I may end up backing Cher or Rebecca to be eliminated next during the show.

One Direction were rumoured by the source of the Twitter vote leak to be in the bottom three at one stage last weekend. Producers seemed keen to reinforce this idea by making the group the last act to be announced safe.

We at Sofabet think this was intended to give their supporters a fright, as part of a concerted push on behalf of Simon Cowell to build some momentum for a One Direction victory. That is going to take some doing in my opinion, but I believe that producers will give them every advantage in the semi-final.

As a result, I would be shocked if they were eliminated. It is churlish to believe that only young teens have been voting for them and that this may provide a ceiling in their support. JLS showed in 2008 that a boy band could broaden their appeal in the final few weeks.

Matt has become odds-on favourite for victory. We are at the stage when supporters and even neutrals are becoming more motivated to vote, and as arguably the most talented and popular contestant at this stage, he should be safely through.

5 comments to X Factor Week 9 Elimination Market

  • Wagbo

    Good reason to believe it’s a purely phone elimination tonight.

    Purely speculative but Cher seems primed to go tonight – lots of media stories suggesting they’re using her for ratings not music, great slot in order last week to keep her alive, if she’s first up tonight you’ll know that’s the plot.

  • forget the big 3 its a straight fight between cher and mary 4 the next elimination and ive just seen marys songs never can say goodbye and the way we were uninspired song choices 2 me if she sings first or second 5-6 is a steal lump on i am

  • hanna

    I am very sad to say but i thinks it’s between Cher and Rebecca to go… And although I am her no 1 fan since her first audition i am very afraid it will be Rebecca. She was good today but i think she would have needed a standing ovation and/or much more enthusiastic response from judges, public and after-show panels after both, or at least second performance too elevate her from good to contender. Her first performance would have needed a much more party like choreography and/or her second a significant peak-moment which it lacked. It was all just played to safe by the judges .. not enough woo-hoo dramatic praise to sail through and not enough criticism for sympathy motivated votes (which mary and possibly even cher will have enough from). with a four way finale it’s really at hand to have an act for each judge to make it exciting. plus looking back on previous semi finals(with 3 acts going trough) it was always a surprise eviction of earlier favorites (niki, diana, danyl) with not so obvious choices (olly, same difference) going through. Mary is such an obvios choice to exit tomorow, plus her sympathy bonce from last week , i think her fanbase, which I suspect is big regardless of her performances, will be terribly motivated to vote. Although this reasoning would apply to cher as well as rebecca I still fear for rebecca more, cause I think the people that vote for her would also vote for matt, so i feel she might get neglected whereas cher i’m sure has a group of people voting just for her and voting a lot at this stage. I sooooooo wish I was wrong!
    ps. I reaallly startd hating 1D a couple of weeks ago. In the beginning they were cute, delivered decent performances and were fun. but at one point, not sure when they started to seem quite full of themselves, taking it and themselves just a bit too seriously as if they were really that great singers and dancers and big guys and all. yukkk.

    • Andrew

      Interesting, Hanna – I also felt underwhelmed by Rebecca’s performances, and couldn’t tell if the reaction of the studio audience to Amazing Grace (which seemed strangely muted) was because they were stunned by its brilliance or bored by it failing to reach much of a climax.

      However, this certainly wasn’t a hatchet job on her. She sang 4th of 5 in the second round of songs and the judges did make a effort to drum up Liverpool votes for her. Certainly the markets think she’s a lot safer than they did before the show – her elimination odds almost tripled.

      We shall see! I’d be sleeping relatively easily as a Rebecca fan, but stranger things have happened…

  • hanna

    I’m soooooo glad I was wrong! Even though I think it’s completely nonsense how they did the results!
    hopefully cher will divide some of the teen vote between her and one direction and matt, or even better, rebecca will win 🙂

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