X Factor 2011: Bootcamp Part 2

After weeks of audition shows with too much padding, it felt that the final bootcamp episode represented the start of the competition in earnest. We got some intriguing hints of producers’ intentions, and as such it was an important programme for punters.

This was especially true concerning the groups category, as this was the first time we had seen the freshly manufactured ones, including one formed on the day. We got to see plenty of some of the rumoured qualifiers in the other categories too, though the question mark remains over the fourth qualifier for the live shows in the girls category (assuming Judge’s spoilers are correct about who makes the lives – which we have no reason to doubt, as they were tonight proved to be spot on in terms of who gets to judges’ houses).

So, what did we learn?

Let’s start with Janet Devlin, because it still seems like she’s the producers’ Plan A. Her rendition of ‘Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing’ was set apart from the others in her category, provoked the only moist eyes we saw all evening, and prompted Louis to say, ‘She’s the one to beat at the moment.’ Bookmakers agree. We wrote last week that we’d taken 13/2 on the basis that she was a ‘safe haven’ who would only shorten in price, and she is now the 7/2 favourite.

Of the other girls, the second most favoured was Misha, who opened the show with her own version of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Survivor’, which endeared her to her future mentor Kelly Rowland. I think they will have to milk this relationship for as much as possible, because Misha currently reminds me far more of the two Rachels (Hylton and Adedeji) who exited before the latter stages, than Leona or Alexandra.

Of the other girls, I would be slightly worried that they didn’t get the same amount of screentime. I was left rather unmoved by the short snippet shown of Amelia Lily, but that could be something to do with the fact that the make-up and styling departments of the show need to give her a more flattering look.

Melanie McCabe and Jade Richards were left similarly shortchanged with the amount of time they were given. There was certainly no clue as to which – if either – of these two would fill the final place in the live shows within this category.

Moving onto the boys section, a lack of screentime could not be said to be a problem for Frankie Cocozza, who is clearly being set up as the major heartthrob of the series. I actually thought his rendition of ‘Iris’ was his best performance yet, so it was interesting that it was the first time that the judges expressed doubts about the strength of his voice, something which we at Sofabet have felt from the start.

The rest of the boys received far less time, and as a result it was hard to make any substantial judgements based on tonight’s show. It was a shame to see this happen with James Michael  given that it was also his fate at auditions. Joe Cox seemed more favoured, though perhaps his alleged failure to make the lives is because there’s a hint of the Aiden Grimshaws about his vocal affectations.

In the end, after all our speculation about groups or laryngitis, there was no attempt to explain the utterly mystifying decision to omit Lascel Woods and John Adams from the final eight. If we hadn’t been aware of Judge’s spoilers, we would have been astonished when Craig Colton’s name was called as the final boy.

Of the awful overs category, I suppose it’s about your taste in comedy. For me, Goldie Cheung is on the right side of wacky, and Kitty Brucknell isn’t. I can’t see the latter managing Katie Waissel’s feats of survival last year, despite the fact that she is being set up as a similar figure. Johnny Robinson has just one trick up his sleeve based on what we have seen so far, and none of the others impressed enough for us to see past Louis as the first mentor to lose all his acts, still a generous-looking 7-5 with Boylesports.

The groups intrigued most of all, and of the newly formed acts, it was interesting to see the younger Nu Vibe given more screentime than The Risk and their female equivalents. Described by Judge’s source as an urban One Direction, they were led by Ashford Campbell, who will be familiar to viewers of the Xtra Factor but not the main show.

They were vocally only passable for now, but they nonetheless have the right look and a clear target demographic. Bookmakers marginally prefer Nu Vibe to The Risk, and based on tonight’s episode, so do producers – they got the lion’s share of the screentime. But the component parts of this group are far less familiar to viewers than two or three of One Direction’s members were this time last year, so it is difficult to see them being pushed as hard by producers or getting as far.

Regular readers will know we have suspected The Risk were being lined up to be Tulisa’s main shot this year, but the editing of this show has dampened our enthusiasm considerably – so much so that we were not tempted by the 25/1 briefly available during the show (they are now best-priced at 20), a price we would have snapped up had it been offered a few days ago.

With the reported change in personnel at judges’ houses next week, The Risk will need plenty of producer goodwill to get themselves established in the minds of the voting public, and this episode did not give any great reason to believe it will be forthcoming. At this rate, the longest-priced of the groups alleged to be in the lives, 2Shoes, may well end up as Tulisa’s strongest hope.

What did you learn from this revealing show? Keep the debate going in the comments section below.

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41 comments to X Factor 2011: Bootcamp Part 2

  • Just a note on the Girls.
    Sian Phillips who was seen going through to Judges Houses is to be replaced with Sarah Watson. Not sure how they will handle the footage though.

  • Boki

    Daniel, you don’t think that a credible 4th over (like Semi Brookes) can be better placed then all the groups to make Tulisa first out ?

    • Panos

      Good point boki. I think it’s not that likely, but if some1 will be out before louis it will be indeed tulisa. I took it as a joint bet and split the stakes to get 0.50 return for louis and 0.13 for tulisa or so. you could do something like that and adjust the stakes/odds according to your opinion.

    • tpfkar

      Hi Boki.

      I agree with you and have money on exactly this. I haven’t seen anything from The Risk/girls to worry me, Nu Vibe looked better than expected but as the main post says, they have little time to gel and no history. 2 Shoes would worry me more if they’d had more screentime.

      I can see Kitty lasting well into the second half of the lives – she has a great performing voice. I agree that Goldie/Johnny are likely to bite the dust earlier, but a Sami or a Jonjo could easily outlast the boy groups.

      • Boki

        Thanks for confirming my fears lol. I’m only scared of Sami, hopefully judges kick her out (like Mary Byrne last year) before she does damage to us all.

      • Andrew

        Hi tpfkar and Boki – as someone who’s on Louis at 7/4, I am definitely a bit worried that none of the manufactured groups seem to have been allowed to generate much momentum, though I’ve quite high hopes of 2Shoes.

        A couple of thoughts, though. Once it gets down to “Tulisa, and the last of the groups…”, the show will start framing it as being more about Tulisa, who does seem to be quite popular.

        Also, I suspect producers will be much more keen to have Tulisa with a horse in the final than Louis. It’s a better story if they can engineer a three-way battle in the final between the three new mentors – Louis is expendable in this regard. And whoever Tulisa’s last remaining act is, I suspect they’ll be more marketable post-show than whoever Louis’s last act is.

  • Nicky

    James Michael hasn’t had much air time, infact only four lines of ‘Feel My Love’ in his first audition were shown. His melodic tone suited these four simple lines perfectly, but I was left wondering how the song would pan out when more range and dynamics were called for. I think the answer was apparent on tonight’s show: he can’t sing loud or high and is so quite vocally limited, despite his tone. The live shows will expose these weaknesses further, in my opinion.

    Maybe the sparse air time isn’t about disguising his ability, but rather his lack of it, as he is rather lovely!

  • fiveleaves

    I’d be amazed if Delvin isn’t at least 5 on betfair. Maybe even 6 or bigger.

    She’s awful. Louis can well up all he likes and the forums and FB can buy into the nonsense that she’s the next big thing, but she’s not.

    She’s a typical forum favourite who goes out 4th or 5th.

    • Ron

      I don’t think Janet will go as early as that, but I do think she’s a shaky favourite. She’s very young at only 16 to be favourite for such a big competition and it’s hard to see her seeing off 15 runners. She’s interesting and quirky but you’d have to suspect she’s not the best singer in the contest or close to it.

    • Rob

      fiveleaves, although i can’t agree with your assessment of ‘awful’ for JD it’s wise to be cautious. atm though from a betting pov it’s wise to be on JD as the factors for her to go far outweigh the doubts imo. she appears to have producer/judges’s favour, even if she doesn’t have the strongest voice she has the most distinctive, she’ll have strong regional support and she is the youtube leader (nearly 3 mill hits (nearly 24K likes) which means she’s first out of the blocks. agree that it can still go pear shaped, because she may wear after a while and a stronger singer may come up on the rails – but i’m not seeing that personality yet.

      • fiveleaves

        I’ve disliked the last 5 winners so you’re probably be ok opposing my view of her Rob.

        But removing personal taste, ‘quirky’ or ‘different’ is always worth opposing on XF. Especially at 7/2.

        I loved Vickers and thought she was in a different league to Delvin or anyone else that year. Despite her smashing everyone else on youtube and being the forums favourite, she only ever topped the public vote on the back of the sympathy she received when returning from her illness.

        It still amazes me that she didn’t top the vote with her U2 & MITM performances.

        Safe, middle aged and mainstream wins.
        That’s why for me the 3 girls we know who are through can’t win. One is ‘quirky’, one is a ‘Rock chick’ and the other is the type of black female singer who always struggles in this show. As others have pointed out.

        I’d make Jade favourite if she gets through.
        She has a very mainstream Adele type voice and ofc a large regional vote to boot.

        If she misses out then I’d go for one of the boys or a group.
        One of the groups with the support of Tulisa could easily win.
        She certainly won’t be dressing the girlband as tarts, as Cowell always does, to emphasise how heterosexual he is 😉

        • Rob

          they are good points, and people would do well to heed and not put their eggs in one basket so to speak. i often back acts i don’t like because of the evidence. i haven’t seen the polarising effect for JD as i did for DV as yet though, but i’ll be watching for it with a view to getting out at the right time. good luck

          • fiveleaves

            There’s plenty pn betfair already 😉
            Given her vocal style I don’t see how she won’t grate on people.

            Vickers was also a 14/1 shot, so worth a nibble.
            7/2 Delvin. Not for me thanks.

          • fiveleaves

            Vickers also smashed it out of the ball park the 1st 2 weeks.

            Delvin would have to do the same to see her price shorten any further.

        • Boki

          Hi fiveleaves,

          Jade has no chance to win imho because she doesn’t have a very important ingredient – looks.

  • DJ Sunsets Love Child

    She wont go out 4th or 5th.. maybe 8th or 9th but wont win.

    The competition is very interesting this year as the jusges have gone mad about Melanie McMcabe but shes had little airtime.

    IF she gets through and there are conflicting rumours.. then i think she is the winner and has been wrapped up.

    • fiveleaves

      lol Nice name.
      Are you DJ’s lovechild or DJ himself I wonder 🙂

      I certainly prefer Melanie to the 3 girls we believe are through. Infact I prefer all the other girls to the 3 we know are through.
      The 4th girl is the key one for me.
      I’m hoping it’s Jade as I think she’d win easily. Some of her tweets look positive, but the lack of anything definte stops me backing her at the prices available.

  • Mark

    Perhaps another clue Melanie McCabe makes it through to the lives – the order the acts were told they had made it through to judges houses. Excluding the groups the acts called last – Craig Colton, Kitty and Melanie. If not for the spoilers I think all 3 of these are called last to give a bit of a suprise/shock factor. The former 2 being confirmed as through to the lives also. I think it would also provide some padding for Melanie’s “best bits” montage which as already mentioned so far she has been given very limited screen time.

  • Malcolm

    Agree with Daniel about misha and similarities to Rachel’s hylton and Adedeji. Both had quite harsh looks in the early auditions that were styled out of them for the finals, it never got away from the fact that they were a bit too edgy for the masses. wonder what misha will look like come the first live show?. She will need to look a lot more approachable to last more than a few weeks.
    This year more than most they seem to have looked for clones of previous contestants, yes it’s a formula, but it’s beginning to show.

    • Dug

      No, adedeji started out with a very casual look in early auditions, it was in the lives that she was given the harsh look and then changed to a softer look for week three

  • Dug

    Has anyone noticed that carolynne Poole came fourth on series 2 of fame academy?

  • fiveleaves

    The Rhythmix look to be the best of Tulisa’s group according to Brazier on This Morning.
    She’s very keen on them.
    Still some 80/1 but the price is in freefall

  • Matt

    The problem I see with Janet is she’s remarkably similar (to my ear) to Diane Vickers who only managed 4th behind Alexandra, JLS and Eoghan Quigg. She might take a strong regional vote but if anybody begins to come across as a real contender I think her vocal style might make her struggle to find a large enough core vote to take her to the win.

  • Donald

    Melaine McCabe is related to a DJ on 2FM in Ireland who let it slip this AM that he would be talking to her next Monday as all contestants can talk then. He then backtracked quickly and said well whether she gets through or not. Four figure bet place at Hills Dublin this AM on Digital Spy twitter just now so PR machine on the go! One thing that is really important is song choice on the lives which the judges pick and who knows what goes on!Remember Maria Lawson and what happened, not as bad with 4 judges though. The Scotish girl Jade Richards wil last a long way as will hnadle the live shows and is the only one who could and can really nail an Adele song for example Look at this years sales, it’s Adele all the way and no doubt a big Beyonce track will appear. The groups will be popular but which one is anyones guess, the guys not strong really but audience demographic hard to be sure sure. It’s going to take PR miracles to get one across the line. Jade Richards ew as when it comes down to it Kelly WILL back the one that can belt it out!

    • Daniel

      Hi Donald, we are without confirmation on whether Jade, Melanie or another girl gets the fourth place in this category. Melanie has drifted in the markets today despite the rumours you have alluded to. I still think this could go either way.

    • Steve

      Would take that Hills 4 figure bet with a bucket full of salt, if they knew she was through to the lives they wouldn’t be stand out top price at 14/1. If anything it looks like they want to be against her as they think/know shes out.

  • Rob

    The bookies are as much in the dark as punters over this. XF being XF, it wouldn’t surprise me if both go through in some strangely contrived fashion especially after Goldie Cheung’s sad demise.

  • fiveleaves

    I’d agree with the others.
    The fact that a DJ said he’ll be interviewing her monday means nothing, as they’re all sworn to secrecy until sunday night whether they’re through or not.
    They’d still want to interview if she misses out.

  • DJ Sunsets Love Child

    Also heard of the big bet at Hills on McCabe today. Betting is very weird, for the first time there is money for Misha.

    Last year they had wild cards… whats the betting there is some new gimmick this year and a few extra get through? Longer shows this year ive heard so that would accomodate this.

    For a girl who was rumoured out… shes stayed short a hell of a long time when others like the 3 boys who were all short have drifted like a barge.

    Im still thinking MCcabe gets through and has the power voice that goes down well in this format, like Leona and Alex and Leon and Joe Mc … Kelly also really loved her in auditions and bootcamp and cant see 3 girls usurping her despite the rumours of Melanie missing out.

  • DJ Sunsets Love Child

    Melanaie is getting some pimping in the press today aswell and you would think if she was out they would pimp one of the others given shes been so low key in the edits.

  • DJ Sunsets Love Child

    also remember in 2009 the first big bet struck was on McElderry at 20s with hills in cash

  • Ronnie

    I agree with pretty much everything Sunset has said.

    Judge’s spoilers updated to include Mel.

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