X Factor 2011: Week 2 Update

Punters held their breath to see which acts would be thrown under the bus of the Strictly Come Dancing overlap at the start of tonight’s show. Having listed all the ways last week that producers had nearly strangled Nu Vibe at birth, the boyband came out first like lambs to the slaughter.

Also not done any favours was Sami Brookes in the second spot. Both the boyband and the Welsh lass were followed by two of last week’s big hitters – Craig Colton and producers’ Plan A, Janet Devlin (timed to be the first act fully seen by those switching over from Strictly). Oh, and surprise, surprise, Kitty Brucknell had the pimp slot. Programme makers could not have been much more obvious about their intentions.

It doesn’t look promising for Nu Vibe for a number of reasons. Matt rightly pointed out that last week’s “shouty dance track” was not a wise choice. This week their beefed-up version of ‘With or Without You’ sounded suspiciously like, er, another shouty dance track. As Donald commented, it had a “dated trash Euro beat”. There were plenty of references to last week’s problems, whilst the judges continued to remind us of their “lack of chemistry” with Gary and Louis damning them as “No Vibe”. This was an attempt to read them their last rites.

They weren’t the only males to have a bad evening on the show. All of those in the boys category – Craig Colton, Frankie Cocozza and Marcus Collins – were particularly disappointing. Gary Barlow’s song choice for each of them was questioned by the other judges. Those who feel that producers are doing their best for the girls this series saw nothing to change their mind.

The girls had a better evening. Tonight Misha B was Grace Jones, and if she didn’t quite shine as much as last week, her originality continues to stand out. Janet Devlin still looks like a deserving favourite at this stage, with good styling and a clever song choice. Sophie, performing in the penultimate slot, clearly has some producer love after all, and is being portrayed as the competition’s dark horse.

The other groups were given a much better ride than Nu Vibe. I lost count of the amount of times we were told that the members in Rhythmix were “girls that other girls can relate to”. This is a clear attempt to break the ‘the curse of the girlband’. Meanwhile, The Risk are clearly being set up as the boyband heartthrobs instead of their younger male rivals. Once again they had the best slot and song choice in their category, and the judges emphasised their hard work. It was a repeat of last week’s script.

For the overs, each have their niche – it’s a case of how broad that proves to be. Sami took on a big song in ‘I Will Always Love You’ which she wasn’t always equal to, but she’s nothing if not game. Johnny was given a big production for ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ and is pretty out there for a mainstream ITV1 audience. Kitty’s on a whole different planet altogether, and her pimp slot kookiness indicated we won’t be allowed to forget it.

I would be surprised if Nu Vibe escape the bottom two tomorrow, and it’s hard to see who the judges might conceivably save them against. Producers are clearly keen to push The Risk, and as we have stated before, two boybands are one more than necessary. Bookmakers agree, seeing Nu Vibe as odds-on for the chop.

One way of assessing public reaction to these performances will be to keep an eye on Sofabet commenter Toby‘s site. It tracks volume and positivity/negativity of tweets about each act at http://anlytk.wordpress.com/. Watch out for an update some time on Sunday to indicate the stats for tonight’s show. [UPDATE: Here it is].

Let us know below what you think of this evening’s performances and tomorrow’s elimination possibilites.

59 comments to X Factor 2011: Week 2 Update

  • Tim

    It was a great show for me, and I agree with pretty much everything you said. I could have written the script for the running order, having somehow accurately predicting the first four to perform!

    Yesterday I decided to back Nu Vibe for 5th elimination and laid Kitty. I figured there was more chance of hell freezing over than her leaving, and this is now more true than ever. As well as being highly pimped – she was superb.

    Nu Vibe and Sami for bottom 2, with Nu Vibe leaving 3 votes to 1.

  • Curtis

    I’m going to assume Nu Vibe will be in the bottom 2 tomorrow, and so discuss who might join them there.

    Frankie probably has enough of a fanbase to survive tomorrow, but with his absolutely horrendous rendition of The Scientist today, he has to be a “dark horse” for the bottom 2 now. It was so bad that I don’t think even his biggest fans could have appreciated it.

    Kitty probably did enough with the pimp slot to keep out of the bottom 2. She has more fans than Katie Waissel had last year I think.

    Sami is in trouble. I Will Always Love You is a bad choice for anyone these days, irregardless of how well or otherwise it’s done. It’s been overdone and every time it sounds the same, and every time it also sounds inferior to Whitney Houston. Combine that with the fact she went second, and she’s in trouble.

    Johnny is the other candidate. He was going to be whatever he did today, and what he did was pretty uninspiring. I don’t think he has anything like the fanbase that Wagner accrued last year as the joke act, so I feel that he probably will be the person joining Nu Vibe in the bottom 2.

  • mark

    Im not sos ure Curtis, whilst I did think Nu Vibes performance was quite bad – niot a fan myself anyway – do they have enough fans?! Plus the fact they were trending on twitter #votenuvibe although I dont know how much weight to give that?!

    Kitty got the pimp slot so I consider her safe

    Sami in trouble? I’m not so sure, I thought Sami did really well, although the 2nd slot is a worry which could push her into the b2 – plus who is voting for her? But she got positive comments and nailed the song imo

    Johnny was rubbish, as expected, he had a better slot than Samii and Nu Vibe but can that save him? He’s the joke/clown act of 2011, but he isn’t as entertaining as Jedward or Wagner were..just really rubbish and cringeworthy – so I can’t see him having enough fans to save him? Would people bother voting to save him , or would people just vote for other contestants and leave him as he’;s a non entity? Jedward and Wagner may have progressed sof ar partly also due to people wanting to stick two fingers to cowell? now that Cowells not here that wont happen (yes he is still involved but will the people who watch X Factor be fully aware of that?)

    So Johnny and Nu Vibe I would say

  • Donald

    Strange show, totally agree that boys category particulary dissapointing tonight, as mad as it sounds could one of them be vulnerable? At the prices available maybe worth a small investment? Twitter was crazy really Dan Wooton and Myleen Klass exchanged an interesting tweet.On another note “Bass” missing on some mixes tonight, not on others, that’s why The Risk sounded shallow compared to Matt last year for example. Craigs “bass” much lower than Kitty at the end. Just an observation but worth noting me thinks. Finally Janet missed her first note ever tonight and it wasn’t a hard one which surprised me! I will check on YouTube again but they may protools it before upload but positive she did.

  • James

    I’m going to stick my neck out and say Frankie will be in the bottom 2. The Jason Orange story coupled with what will surely go down as one of the worst performances in X Factor history will see all but his most loyal fans deserting him, I think.

    Sami doesn’t have producer support, but I think she did well with the song and the mature vote should keep her safe for a few weeks. Meanwhile, I think Johnny has become something of a cult figure and probably has a big enough fanbase to see him through at least one public vote. TBH I thought Kitty was the best of the lot tonight and I would be gobsmacked to see her in the singoff.

  • Donald

    Just checked Janet on YouTube again, the track was low for her and she was aware of the note as her eyes sort of show just slightly before. She is young but good for sure.Where is her banker song? Next week?? If Janet gets a banker song will take beating for sure and very Celtic tone tonight. Is Simon thinking Celtic Woman US market but Janet has to win first. I agree with Curtis and Daniel on the boys. At the prices have to have a nibble on one being in bottom two but with Daniel never far out and sheer logic all round it says Nu Vibe but for some reason think that they may have chance of survival also. Small stakes for sure. Good luck to all of you.

    • mark

      I thought Daniel said Johnny
      ‘The 8-1 available for Johnny Robinson with Coral seems better value, and this means he just gets the nod as our recommendation. ‘

  • Daniel

    I did indeed, Mark, in my pre-show analysis: it’s there in black and white 😉

    • Donald

      Sure it was Daniel, I’ve already done that especially after Amelia last week, but with the prices of the boys was going to hedge a bit, will the producers decide overnight that for any chance of credibility as singing contest to let one of the boys go to start focusing on just two. Craigs song well risky choice in my opinion, Beyonce fans won’t vote for that and Kelly had a shrewd pop at it. No defending Frankie at all.

      • mark

        Out of the boys the one I’d have a few pounds on, and I have requested a tenner on bf..not matched yet is Frankie, I thought his performance was poor last night and an 33s could be worth a few quid

    • Ronnie

      Hello Daniel, can you tell me if anyone has ever been as short as 1/2 (66%) to go but has managed surviving or even escaping the bottom two? Just trying to consider if Nu Vibe have any hope here and, if so, if any precedent has been set before.

      • Daniel

        Hi Ronnie, I can’t remember a price this short with 12 acts in the running. Do bear in mind, however, there are the possibilities of shock results right up to and including the sing-off, where Lucie Jones was 1-10 to survive against Jedward, for example.

        • Ronnie

          Thanks for that Daniel, I personally feel that Nu Vibe are way too short now considering the amount of votes expected to be cast at this early stage of the competition – by which I mean that it will be a fairly close vote.

  • mark

    With a bit of luck hopefully we can still see Johnny endup in the b2 !!

    I’m not so sure Nu Vibe are naield on bottom 2 –

    I was looking at a site which does twitter sentiment analysis and Frankie looks to have a lot of negative tweets

    have a look


    Frankie Cocozza 38% positive 62% negative
    Kitty Brucknell 54% positive] 46%Negative
    Sami Brookes 78% positive 22% negative
    Sophie Habibis 84% positive 16% negative
    Nu Vibe 56% positive 44% Negative
    Craig Colton 83% positive 17% negative
    Rhythmix 73% positive 27% negative
    “Misha Bryan 69% positive 31% negative
    Marcus Collins 94% positive 6% negative
    Janet Devlin 70% positive 30% negative
    Johnny Robinson 71 positive negative 29%
    The Risk 77% positive 23% negative

    Obviously cabnt read too much into these, but it is interesting, and the samples are very low numbers – but still gibes some views – depends how you view twitter stuff though — are the people posting on twitter a good representation of the people who will be voting etc?

    Based on this though Frankie looks worth a tenner at a big price for sure 33s at freds/stans/lads and 38/1 at Unibet!

  • bob

    For what it’s worth…

    My cousin told me that Hills rejected a £150 bet on Frankie to go at 40/1 last week. They decided it must be based on some sort of insider info, though pre-show it seems difficult to see what, especially as the judges seem likely to save him against anyone.

    Everything was soooo transparent this week though wasn’t it? Nu Vibe first, Kitty last, the “Wales loves you Sami but Wales needs to pick up the phone”, the “These are normal girls, representing for other girls”. I think safest bets pre-show would have been to lay Kitty and rhythmix at any odds.

    Had a large wager on Marcus before the first show. My only hope is that producers want to avoid predictability of last year, where, i think, matt was fav more or less all the way through. Otherwise it’s difficult to see someone from outside the current top three in the betting winning.

  • Simon "le chat"

    I was raoring drunk when the show was on last night but even then could tell “one trick pony” Frankie was out of tune. I loved Alan sugar’s description of him on Radi 2 last week comparing his hairdut to a guard outside the palace and how he wears “a dirty tee shirt and ripped jeans and stands like he has constipation”.
    Craig is 1/2 to be top boy but he sings with an unfortunate face jaw drop like Gordon Brown and I am astonished the bookies love him so much. Janet has come in from 11/4 to 9/4 and with more facebook “likes” than all the other acts put together deserves to be favourite. MARCUS will still be there tomorrow night but he was given an awful song choice and I get the feeling we are all being manipulated by the kingmakers in the show.
    Great entertainment though.

    • mark adam

      I hope so I’m on Marcus outright e/w too, im also on Johnny & Frankie tonight..

      as annie says the number of votes at this stage is very low, its the first week with a public vote, so lets assume its still low numbers not like double what it would be in wk1 had they had a vote

      Nu Vibe could still be safe, I certainly wouldn’t be a backer at the prices..as I say going off the twitter analysis at the prices Frankie looks like a value bet at least? And yes I know..value doesnt feed the kids (i.e. if its value and loses :P)

      Was there anywhere that said the total number of votes cast each week for previous years shows?!

  • annie

    Sophie’s running order looked good (…still, followed by kitty’s really high profile production maybe wasn’t as brilliant place to be…) BUT she got the worst possible criticism by gary, that she lacks spark. he didn’t even say she lacked spark ON THIS evening he said it in a general sense… I feel producers would happily say goodbye to NuVibe, they were paving their way to depart all show yesterday, but as I understud at this stage of the competition the number of votes cast isn’t that big… so maybe they’s crawl through for another week on a couple of teenae girl votes. Hopefully not.

  • Justin

    Annie, I agree. I think the producers are trying to set up Sophie’s departure for the next few weeks. Hopefully she will survive the ‘entertainment’ acts but the seeds have been sown.

    I also suspect that Marcus will get a death slot in the next couple of weeks which will put him in grave danger if he comes up against Frankie or Kitty in the bottom two.

    As for Nu Vibe I don’t think producers could be more obvious of their intentions if they posted subtitles that they want them out at the bottom of the screen. Lets see if the public bite..

  • Panos

    i’ve always wondered about the hypocricy levels of the judges, cos they all ‘seem’ to be trying to get al their acts thru each time. how conscious is, for example, tulisa about nu vibe’s killing at the mo and is she playing a part in it?

  • Oli

    An interesting night. I’m wondering whether producers want a Janet victory, she sings nicely enough but in her VT I couldn’t understand what she was saying, can you imagine her interviws?!

    I thought that Misha B, Janet, Sophie and The Risk did well but everyone else was just ok.

    For the bottom 2 I’m Expecting Nu Vibe and one other. Frankie was woeful but should be safe. Craig and Marcus I think will be fine aswell.
    I think it’s between Rythmix, Sami and Johnny for the other slot. Sophie and Kittys’ position should keep them safe I think.

    There was a full on propaganda campaign to support Rhytmix and I think they’ll survive this week (Belle Amie did!), also think Sami should just do it.

    Johnny vs Nu Vibe for me and Nu Vibe out.

    • mark adam

      Johnny vs Frankie / Nu Vibe for me – with Johnny out, surely sense prevails and someone better than fjohnny gets through

      this ‘he can sing’..he clearly cant he was singing to the kylie song?

      Frankies performance was poor which is why I put him at risk

      Nu Vibe were poor and had a death slot BUT who knows they had a lot of positive tweets on twitter too and #votenuvibe was trending yesterday

      as others have said the numbers of votes is low at this point, so its hard to call

      with the numbers being so low, no fan bases really having been built up in the numbers yet besides maybe Janet ? I dont think many of them have enough who will vote for them to be 100% safe

      and remember it’s vote to save..whilst people might not want to get rid of Johnny will they bother to pick up the phone and vote to keep him in? OR will they vote for another contestant?

  • mark

    Looking at oddschecker (http://www.oddschecker.com/specials/tv/x-factor/next-elimination)
    Johnny shortened up at 365 and at Hills to 8s (price it was pre live show?)

    and Frankie has shortened up for the elimination with most firms

    Frankie looks like value to go given his poor performance and the negativity on twitter combined with his slot-didnt get one of te great slots ,

  • Allan

    Still think novibes are near certs to go, but agree with the above that Frankie was unbelievably bad! Got on him to go halfway through the performance at 42 on BF for tiny stakes. Think he has a big chance of being in the B2, but 3-1 prob about the right price…

  • Stats are up at http://wp.me/p1U16p-H

    Two of the acts clearly stand out as having less support than the rest, that’s where I put my money anyway.

    • tpfkar

      Very useful, thank you Toby. Do you publish how you carry out the measurement, and decide whether a tweet counts as positive/negative? Sorry if that is an obvious question for a twitterphile. Cheers

      • Andrew

        Hi tpfkar, We’ve already had an email chat with Toby, including the question you ask, and plan to publish an article on Sofabet in the middle of this week about what methods he’s using and the general question of the usefulness of Twitter in predicting X Factor. Hope you don’t mind waiting a few days for an in-depth answer! 🙂

        • mark

          I suppose it also depends on numbers on that site I was looking at to see positive/negative tweets for each contestant some of the numbers were really low like 10/15 tweets – how well does that represent the actual feeling of a larger number and how the votes will be cast?

  • Simon "le chat"

    Johnny’s performance was ok – he’s a good singer- miles better than Frankie – and Johnny is humble and amusing. Safe.
    Nu Vibe have been thrown to the wolves so for me its Frankie and New Vibe in bottom 2 and Frankie to survive on deadlock

  • EM

    Interesting movements today on Betfair. Nu Vibe have gone favourites by miles to go tonight and The Risk have gone favourites overall.

  • Pete D

    Can’t understand why everyone here isn’t on Frankie to go. Odds as I write are 14 coming in from 22 to 33 today (some big ones just still available). Overnight Mirror public pole shows him clear bottom. Youtube comms (even from his fans) are not at all favourable. Good luck peeps !

    • Ronnie

      Because if he does make the bottom two, he’ll be saved by the judges if pitched against Nu Vibe. Better off backing him in other related markets such as bottom two or to be saved by judges – although the value has gone really.

      • Pete D

        Hi Ronnie (sorry, new here and didn’t use reply button last comm). Just one more thought though. Remember, these judges aren’t voting how the public would vote. They will always be voting to keep the best of the worst two ‘out’ in order to save their own acts. Also XF bosses are making a big noises this year to influence voters for a band to win. They make more money and create high profile for XF and the recording contracts that they own, as JLS have proved (even though they didn’t win outright).
        I could be wrong, but then i will only lose £10 at 22/1 on Frankie to go.
        I also got Rythmix at 66 to win as a side bet to an early Marcus punt. These lasses are being moulded into a ‘brand’ and will be the new Spice Girls. The time is ripe for it.

    • mark

      I am on him mate as I posted – best of luck tonight everyone

      lets hope it’s a shack up Nu ibe going would be boring and just no surprises

      • Pete D

        Hi Mark. It was just an IMHO. It wasn’t a right one in the end (but it WAS a near one though and my heart was pumping for a few minutes there). Hope you didn’t lose much matey.
        BTW, it WAS boring and too predictable to make money at those NV odds.

  • Pete D

    Good point Ronnie, but as Gary would vote FC anyway, the rest are all automatically biased towards bands because of their own history. Also if NV are going to stay rubbish (with no chemistry) it makes tactical sense for Louis and Kelly to keep them in another week for ballast to keep their own acts off the bottom. FC could improve and be a renewed threat with a right song and hard work under Gary’s tough love whip crack (as he won’t like to be beaten). Best that they jump on Gary’s mistake whilst it is still hot.

    • Louis

      I think you’re missing the point here. As Daniel and co often point out in their excellent articles, the judges aren’t voting in a way to maximise their own acts’ chances – they’re voting in order to keep in the act the producers want. That’s the one which creates as much interest/headlines/exposure (and therefore £££) for the show as possible. How good they are at singing does of course matter, but at this stage of the competition they don’t care as long as someone with an excellent voice (and therefore a chance of winning) isn’t got rid of.

      Frankie is an interesting, recognisable act who creates headlines and has more potential to do so as the show goes on. You’re correct that he’s not the best singer – but that doesn’t matter for now

    • Ronnie

      Hello Pete, I can see your point regarding the other judges wanting a weaker act left in to help their own acts’ causes but I have to question whether the X Factor bosses will want two groups left in the competition. I agree that they will want a group to win but I think they realise only one boy group is needed so they will want to put all their efforts into The Risk.

      For the sake of the programme, I hope we get some kind of shock tonight.

      • Pete D

        I like your thinking Ronnie (same effect too really as it’s still not public-esque related voting).
        DAMN ‘n’ BLAST, I was so near yet so far with the right bottom 2 acts and bloody Louis ruined it for a £220 win. Feel sure that a hung vote would have revealed the true public opinion based on my homework. Wish I had done a £10 hedge on it to now at 9/2 (and still been up £45 on stakes).
        Ah well, its the same old gamblers tale for me (came a close second).
        Still…worth a tenner though for the buzz I have had all day till I watched the show after I got home at midnight.

  • Boki

    Sorry but I don’t get why this hype about Frankie botttom 2 or even leaving. So his established fan base will punish him on a first voting only because of 1 bad night while Gary apologized for the last minute song switch? No way, he’s safe, wasted money imo…

    • mark

      I was surprised to wake up (just now ) I work nights and see his price shortened even more

      glad i got my 10 quid at 33s!
      frankie and johnny bottom two please – then I can cover my losses on other stuff

      • Ronnie

        Frankie and Johnny bottom two is my cheer but will be happy to see just Johnny there.

        • mark

          Exact same as me mate thats my thoughts regardless of my bets – but I hae bet both to be eliminated at ok prices 🙂

          we need shocks it’s boring when it all goes to plan

          Nu ibe could be safe, a lot of teeny girls who may still ote them to see them again remember they were trending

          its hard to call – did anyone have an article re how many votes in first few weeks total?!

    • Boki

      Oops, guess I was wrong about this one 🙂

  • Donald

    Couldn’t resist prices available on Marcus to win that been available all day. So that added to the book Daniel, hope you right at those prices. Hedged a bit on tonights elimination at fancy prices also. So if tonight works out in decent shape again after Melanie etc. Has anyone seen Janet own channel on YouTube? If not have a look janetdevlin. So the bookies hype machine on The Risk now as well. “No Risk” for the bookies I think but let them lay it.

  • mark the bookie basher

    1-4 on for nu vibe to be the bottom 2 is way to short after loads ov disapointing performances it could be any 1 ov seven im havin small stakes on sophie 18-1 marcus 22-1 and rythimix 14-1 any 1 ov them 2 go shows a healthy profit – also cant believe the risk are now fav 2 win plan a janet should surely still be fav gud luck 2 u all if your havin a punt

  • Nicky

    No Vibe and Frankie Cockloser are bottom two for me.

    How bad was Frankie? He’s got to be one of the worse singers ever on the X Factor. Gary Barlow’s support for this sexist little twerp suggests he’s more of a producer’s puppet than expected. I was surprised, though, that the other judges criticised him; I thought this might be off limits as with One Direction last year.

  • Simon "le chat"

    Money pouring on NUVIBE, SOPHIE, JOHNNY and FRANKIE.
    Sophie could be in danger but I am on Frankie and Johnny at 25’s and 9’s.
    It will be interesting to see if word has got out from the counting room.

    • mark

      I had the same selections, no luck this week eh – I expect Marcus/ Sami to be thown under the bus next week ! bUT WE WILL HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS

  • To give an example, from midnight last Sunday to 10ish this morning when I started grabbing tweets there were 175k messages. I’ll post the stats for each act up after the results show.

  • mark

    Daniel – I’ve been reading over your previous articles – and I was reading about the week2 running order

    Basically week2 the good slot goes to someone first or second in the vote and then week 3 it goes to someone the producers want to keep in but is struggling in the public vote

    So for next week, while it’s week3 , it’s only week2 of the public vote, what would you expect to happen? Will it be treated as a week2 and the good slot given to the act who came first/second in this weeks public vote or will it be given to an act struggling the public vote like previous week3s have where there’s been a public vote from week1?

    I was thinking Frankie would get the sympathy bounce and the pimp slot for next week (week3) like would normally happen in a week3, a struggling act given the good slot – but its only the 2nd week of the vote-

    Just wondered what you think, thanks

    • Daniel

      Hi Mark, firstly to answer your question in a previous post, voting figures for each week are only released after the final, so we can only guess up till then.

      Secondly, you’re referring to my article about the running order in our ten-part review of XF 2010. It suggests that in the second week of the public vote, producers have so far given the pimp slot to the act that finished top or second in the previous phone poll.

      I have no idea whether this will happen again in 2011 – the ‘extra’ week of performances without a phone vote may or may not move the goalposts – but it will be interesting to see who gets next week’s pimp slot and speculate.

      • mark

        Thanks for your reply Daniel – I’d be interested to know your thoughts on The Risk and if they can do what other bandsa have failed (hopefully you’re planning on writing an article!)

        I know this isnt based off any previous form or evidence, but what would you think would happen nxt week if you had to pick, they do the normal week 2 and put whoever came 1st/2nd this week in the pimp slot? or they treat it as the week 3 and a weaker act

        I can’t help but think weaker act and it’s lined up for frankie!

        • Daniel

          Hi Mark,

          We wrote an article on the site about The Risk last week. Nothing I saw during the latest live show changes the opinions expressed there, I think.

          As Tulisa’s best hope, the group are clearly going to be pushed towards the final by producers. They are decent enough to do very well in what is a weak year, though their harmonising is better at some points than others.

  • Pete D

    If it helps comfort anyone out there in the licking of our wounds today. For all Frankie (none)-fans who had money on him for the boot, today’s Mirror (Monday) shows a public vote of approx 70% over 30% in favour of him going. That’s pretty well convincingly severe for me even if it is not accurately representative of all the paying voters.

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