X Factor 2011: Bootcamp Part 1

It was a case of more questions than answers after last night’s first bootcamp episode. Perhaps the most intriguing feature of the night was the question of who gets the remaining slot in the lives among the girls (if we assume Judge’s spoliers are right that Janet, Amelia Lily and Misha fill three of the four places).

From the editing of the auditions, Jade Richards would be the most obvious choice. But there has been persistent hype about Melanie McCabe, given which the paucity of screentime alloted her in audition show 6 came as something of a surprise. Last night, it was the same story. Melanie’s name flashed up briefly during a snippet of performance, while Jade got plenty of VT time.

And yet, if you were reading the comments to our last post, you would have seen Ronnie sharing a link to the Irish press reporting that it is Melanie who makes the lives. Clearly some punters were reading Irish newspapers while others were watching ITV1 as both acts are now shorter than they were before the start of the show.

[Update: The Scottish press are now reporting Jade back at college. Hat-tip to Ron in the comments below].

The other act who has been interesting punters despite a lack of audition show screentime is, of course, James Michael. We at least got a brief VT from him in the first bootcamp episode alongside the clip of him performing, but nowhere near enough to make up the gap with the extended audition show segments enjoyed by the other boys reported by Judge to have made the lives.

Still, this didn’t put off punters. The comments to our last post suggest a groundswell of interest in the dark horse, and at the time of writing his best price had shrunk further after the show to 10/1.

Elsewhere in the boys category, Frankie Cocozza garnered a good deal of screentime as producers had fun hinting that he might have notched up another reason to visit the tattooist. Way back in our review of the first audition show, and pre-spoilers, this is what we wrote:

Despite the averageness of his rendition of ‘Valerie’, it’s well worth bearing in mind that X Factor has been reported as planning to offer us more Big Brother-style voyeurism of the contestants’ living arrangements this year. And Frankie would be ideal for that, so he may well make the live shows. But if he does, it seems likely that producers will be more interested in hoping he will work his way through some of the female acts than in planning a post-show career for him, so he makes no appeal in the win market at his current price of 33/1.

Frankie’s best price is now 14/1, but last night’s edit and performance seemed only to confirm our opinion that he is there to provide tabloid interest as a ladies’ man rather than as an intended finalist. While supporters of the Brighton bum-barer will take comfort in Judge’s observation in the comments that he is attracting plenty of interest on Twitter, we reckon too many viewers will agree with Boki’s comment during the show – “I’m really sick of this Frankie and the way they push him tonight” – for him to overcome his vocal limitations to the same extent as other boys have managed in previous series.

We will have to wait for tonight to get answers to the other questions we wanted answering at bootcamp. The fate of Lascel Woods and John Adams remains unclear – was John even sighted in this first show?  Nor did we see much of 2 Shoes, whose price has shortened since news broke (thanks to HenryVIII for alerting us) that one of them, Charley Bird, is pregnant – an intriguing development which may restrict how many dance moves they can pull off, but should guarantee them plenty of goodwill and column inches.

The composition of the remaining groups remains unclear. In the comments to the last post, tpfkar takes issue with our interest in The Risk, rightly noting that “we’ve always said that one of the most important facets of a successful X Factor group is that they look like they get on and like each other” and raising the concern that, with Charlie from The Keys reportedly replacing Marlon at judges’ houses, this is “a group not only manufactured, but re-manufactured. The casual audience will likely be confused about who is performing with who.”

These are all good points. Our high hopes for The Risk have always been based on the conviction that Tulisa would surely be given something to work with, and it was at least encouraging to see decent screentime for both Derry and The Keys last night. But we were a little disappointed that producers didn’t come up with some kind of imaginative twist on the tired old routine of calling back the rejects. Tonight’s show will give us a lot more hints about the likely trajectories of the manufactured groups.

Elsewhere, we learned little new about the two favourites – Janet Devlin and Amelia Lily – and while Sami Brookes got plenty of screentime, suggesting she may be the one to fill the slot in the overs on which Judge doesn’t yet have information, she didn’t make us revise our opinion of her as sub-Mary Byrne.

The three overs who Judge’s spoilers tell us are through also garnered plenty of screentime, with Kitty Brucknell being set up as a hard-nosed diva, and both Johnny Robinson and Goldie Cheung being given space to develop their schtick. Goldie in particular came over as a lot of fun and has clear potential to be this year’s Wagneresque cult figure. [Update: The Mail are reporting Goldie quitting the show; see debate in the comments below].

What are you making of bootcamp? As ever, do let us know in the comments box below.

28 comments to X Factor 2011: Bootcamp Part 1

  • Tim

    I think the Goldie story is a publicity stunt. She clearly is aware that she’s there to provide some novelty value, with the leg over Gary Barlow, crawling on the floor and the clip from tomorrow’s show with her gyrating on top of a piano.

    Looking at the the trends on twitter just now, Janet Devlin and Frankie Cocozza were trending in that order which shows there is a lot of interest in those two. The talk about Janet is mostly favourable whereas the opposite is true for Frankie. I wasn’t on twitter earlier to see if, say, Kitty or Goldie were trending.

    The clip from tomorrow’s show with Kitty and the flashing leotard shows her giving a very powerful and impressive vocal performance. Is she a back to lay perhaps?

  • Tim

    I call BS on the Goldie story, as she has taken to twitter tonight and has thanked several tweeters for their support. There is nothing on there to suggest she has quit.

    • Henry VIII

      …except the very confident Daily Mail article.

      And the fact that she has tweeted a lot today thanking people for support (last time before today that she tweeted was 2 Sep) and she doesn’t once say “I’m still in. Don’t believe the press”.

  • Tim

    This leading story on Digital Spy appears to clear it up.

    When questioned about the reports, Cheung appeared reluctant to discuss her X Factor future with the press.

    “No, I haven’t left the show,” she stated. “Who told you that? I haven’t even told anyone that. I cannot speak to you. The X Factor have told me I can’t give any interviews.”


  • Ron

    As far as Melanie McCabe goes, it’s looking pretty good for her, as not only does an Irish newspaper report she has made the live shows, the Scottish press are reporting at the same time that Jade Richards has returned to college this week.

    It seems as if the producers may perhaps be highlighting Jade at bootcamp ahead of a dramatic and tearful exit at Judges’ House next week.

  • Shaun

    I’m totally in agreement that it would appear the final slot seems to have been well and truly shifted in the direction of Melanie now.

    But although the outcome almost seems inevitable now; it would still come as a massive shock if Jade doesn’t make the live finals especially as Gary Barlow was the one saying ‘that performance is going to change your life’ & also add that to the fact that Kelly was the judge most moved by her performance who I hasten to add is the mentor for the girls. It would be a big, big shock even though the odds seems to be stacked against Jade now.

    I know the judge seems to get most of the acts spot on; but the one category he has been cagey about is the girls…Maybe, just maybe, Misha is the girl who misses out..thus leaving Jade and Melanie to complete the girls category with Janet & Amelia. However, that wouldn’t quite fit into the usual X-Factor dramatic judges houses shock. It does appear Jade has been edited for the chop next week. Hmmmm…We shall see.

    • Ron

      It may be that the producers are “doing a Gamu” with Jade and building her right up so that her fall seems even more dramatic.

      It certainly was a bit suspicious that they concentrated so much on her at bootcamp. Why not on Janet Devlin instead from the same category who is the favourite to win the show? You’d have to think there might be an ulterior motive : perhaps they actively want the backlash from Scottish viewers they might get if Jade fails to go through….”any publicity is good publicity” and all that.

  • Andrew

    Morning all,

    My reaction to the Goldie story was the same as yours, Tim. There would appear to be nothing in the Mail story that rules out her being “persuaded” to “return” at some point in the next two weeks.

    Cheers for the update on Jade, Ron. I’ve found a link here

    Maybe this is Scotland’s punishment for Jai McDowell? 🙂

    It is a bit odd that they would give up the chance to cash in on the Scottish regional vote like that. Possibly interesting in this regard that The Risk contains a Scottish boy – named by Sophie in the comments to the last thread as Andrew Merry. I can’t find any footage of him this year but here is his audition from 2008

    Seriously: Derry and Merry?

  • Rob

    scotlands votes will switch to ireland. therefore it makes sense to remove a strong scottish contender. i haven’t rewatched the show but i seem to recall there was a judges comment straight after JDs clip of something like ‘now it begins’…?

  • geoff

    anyone else agree that james michaels odds are not looking value for money?
    i agree he potentially is the best of the boys, but 8-1 for someone with so little screentime has got to be a worry

  • Ronnie


    This is a non-story in my books. It doesn’t confirm anything whatsoever. “it seems Jade Richards is back at college” – what does that mean, ‘seems’? She either is or she isn’t. She could well have popped in to sort our deferring a year. The only quote the journo could muster up is from the first auditions when she said she’d skip a year if she wins.

  • Tim

    There is a poster on Digital Spy claiming that Sophie Habibis is in fact the 4th girl choice. Her odds have plunged over the last 24 hours. However it must be stressed that the poster has no previous history or track record for spoilers. Her audition was pretty good but she would have to be REALLY pimpe by producers tonight and next week to make it surely? I’m not sure I trust this though and think Melanie McCabe may well be Kelly’s final choice.

    • annie

      and some are pointing out that she had roughly the same amount of screen time as james michael who we know is in the lives… so it might well be true. I don’t really get the hipe about melanie mccabe, she seems rather uninteresting to me, a bit like treyc last year, everyone was saying she deserves to be there, big voice, but turned out to be very dull.

    • Ron

      Would be a real shocker if Sophie got through as it would mean both Jade and Melanie missing out.

      I’d still find it hard to believe as apparently Melanie gets a very strong edit tonight for the first time.

      • Steve

        Yes read the tellymix preview. Lots of Melanie tonight, also Holly wows the judges too. Plenty of Kitty and Terry though it shows Terry fluffing his lines. Finally Gary not impressed by Frankie, think it will be Robbies choice to put him through. James gets his customary 15 seconds, according to the review.

  • Shaun

    Who is Holly? I cannot remember even seeing her? Holly Repton is it? Can’t remember seeing her.

  • Shaun

    On digital spy they say that ‘The replacement for sian will be revealed tonight. she’s already been shown, inciditently, she was shown in the same montage as melanie’. Holly Repton was indeed one of the girls who featured in the montage,; however, we didn’t hear her vocals. It is definitely her. Sophie was already in the final 8. Holly will get her chance.

  • Boki

    I’ve just seen The Risk @ 6/1 on Skybet…

  • Panos

    Yup, I think historically there’s been a couple of people at odds below 5 at this stage and it usually increases to 3-4 people just before the lives.

  • Henry VIII

    Judge is the source feeding you official? That’s the only reason I can think they’d hold back the name of the final girl – to postpone a Gamu type controversy.

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