X Factor 2011 Week 5 Review: They’re called PERRIE, LEIGH ANNE, JADE and JESY

Before last Saturday’s show, we observed that the decision to go for a double elimination had presumably been taken in some kind of crisis meeting to discuss how this season’s limp ratings might be boosted. We wondered if that crisis meeting might also have decided on changes in which acts are favoured – and Saturday’s show certainly proved to be a mid-lives mini reboot at least as far as the groups were concerned.

The appearance of Little Mix in the pimp slot indicated that they had usurped The Risk as programme-makers’ favoured group, although we’d be surprised if the show were anticipating their hatchet job on The Risk to have quite such a drastic effect. Props to the Sofabet commenters who warned us the switch of favour to Little Mix was coming, including tpfkar, Dug, Chatterbox, Pete D, Rob, fiveleaves and bunnyman. Perhaps nugget put it best: “If SYCO see a following building and think they can make this work then beleive me they will be quite willing to tear up old plans and rewrite the script.”

Happily, the rewritten script also seems to include more of a starring role for Marcus Collins. Our 14/1 pre-series tip is now a general 5/2 after being praised to the rafters for his enjoyable take on Reet Petite, a left-field but inspired song choice which brought back fond childhood memories for the Sofabet team (of the 1986 re-release, not the 1957 original).

But should long-time female lead Janet Devlin start to worry that her character arc is now in line for a premature and sticky end?

We think it’s too early to reach any firm conclusions. Let’s start with the pimping of Little Mix, which felt to us like what marketing people call a trial balloon. All we can confidently conclude from it is that their performance in week 4’s vote, after a competent ‘ET’ and inspired VT, was good enough to justify giving them a push and seeing if they could gain any traction.

Tulisa introduced them as “the girls’ favourite”, and “representing ladies across the nation”. We then had an introductory VT that felt curiously demeaning given that it came fully five weeks in – it was as if the show had been thinking of them up till now as a bit of disposable short-term fun, then belatedly realised that they might be relationship material so it would only be polite to learn their names and something about them.

Thus we were told that PERRIE is from SOUTH SHIELDS, LEIGH ANNE is from HIGH WYCOMBE, JADE is also from SOUTH SHIELDS (regional vote alert! Howay the lasses!), and JESY is from ROMFORD. Got that?

It now seems clear that we were wrong in last week’s article on Little Mix to speculate that the height of the show’s ambitions for them was to clear the bottom two for as long as possible. The VT and the pimp slot told us that producers thought it might be possible to get the girls far enough to set them up for a post-show career.

At least, we assume it did. The alternative way to read it is tpfkar’s observation that there was “something a bit desperate tonight, needing a second consecutive late slot, very helpful VT, Tulisa begging for votes, etc which makes me wonder if they are not doing as well as they seem”. Maybe so, but we reckon producers were simply throwing everything they could at Little Mix so they could get an idea of how much it might be possible to build their support from now on. If they were in serious danger this week, it would have been a risky choice also to trash The Risk.

We stand by our scepticism about whether Little Mix have it in them to produce the kind of game-changing magic moment that will surely be required for them to win this. We compared them to One Direction in this respect – and just as One Direction underwhelmed from the pimp slot in week 5 last year, Little Mix also failed to make the most of their opportunity. An eye on the Betfair win market told the story of their ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’. As the running order unfolded and it became clear that Little Mix were in line to be pimped, they were backed in to as short as 7.4. By the time they’d finished singing, they were trading at around 13. This is not good.

Presumably, producers will look at this week’s vote and see whether it suggests traction or spinning wheels before deciding how much it’s worth pushing them in the coming weeks.

If the balance of power shifted starkly in the groups category, it is still a head-scratcher which of the boys producers are hoping to get into the final. While we were obviously delighted to see Marcus being brought to the boil at last, they seem to be keeping Craig on the back burner rather than sticking him in the deep freeze. As lolhart says, “Last night was a good opportunity for them to criticise him after an average performance, but they didn’t go there.”

When we tipped Marcus before the lives, at a time when Gary had three Liverpudlians in his category, we wrote that whoever was the last Scouse boy standing would inherit this powerful regional base going into the final. It remains the case, especially with tabloid stories that Marcus and Craig are best of friends laying the ground for the maximum possible transfer of support from whoever is first to fall.

Those of us who are on Marcus at double-figure odds are now in the happy position of being able to lay off our stake and wait to see how this pans out.

Even more of a head-scratcher is what’s going on with Janet Devlin. To describe her latest performance, we would need to ask Kelly what’s the antonym of “putting it down”. Keeping it up? Janet certainly kept up her recent run of disappointments, following her dull ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’ and tuneless ‘Every Breath You Take’ with a lyrics-forgetting moment during ‘I Want You Back’.

When her VT started with Gary again calling her predictable, it seemed predictable that she was going to come out and prove him wrong by smashing an uptempo song. Instead of which, it turned out that Janet was being set up for a fall. We had a VT focusing on her taking control of her choices for this week to show us who she really is – and then the judges telling us that it didn’t work. Ouch.

Is there a way back for Janet? She is seriously pushing her luck with this prolonged failure to justify the wave of hype on which she surfed into the live shows, and if she was from a region with a less cohesive identity than Ulster we reckon she’d have been in a singoff already. But we’re certainly not writing her off, for a couple of reasons.

As tpfkar has observed, it is likely that Little Mix are fishing for votes in the same pool as Janet, so it is quite possible that the decision to downplay Janet this week was part of the floating of the Little Mix trial balloon. If the vote suggests Little Mix aren’t going to fly, it will be easy enough to give Janet a suitable song, a pimp slot and the “this is why we fell in love with you at your audition” treatment.

We also have to ask: Who will producers want to win the show? Much as we have tipped and backed Marcus, we don’t reckon it’s him or Craig. If we were them, we’d ideally like Little Mix or Misha B as our winner, as they seem the acts for whom it would be easiest to carve out a post-show career niche. But if it’s not possible to push either of them over the line – and we suspect it might not be – then our next choice would be Janet.

Certainly Janet’s VT this week felt like a departure from the self-confidence storyline, showing her being “feisty”, as Kelly put it. Could it possibly be that Janet has been getting too big for her boots backstage and producers feel a need to cut her down to size? They will want a winner who is content to be moulded, after all.

In Misha’s case, we’d love to be proved wrong about the uphill struggle we think she faces to win, so we were pleased to see programme-makers continue in full sackcloth-and-ashes mode. They gave her the most sympathetic VT imaginable after the hideously misjudged week 3 bullying allegations led to her week 4 singoff appearance. And as Tim pointed out, her song choice of ‘Proud Mary’ was the one which saw 2009’s Rachel Adedeji (to whom we have compared Misha before) top the vote in the week of her sympathy bounce.

They also, as Curtis noticed, just happened to let slip that she is from Manchester. Ronnie summed it up: “they are really trying to rebuild Misha B. The Manchester mentions, the number of times Misha said “thank you” after the judges comments, the new softer styling, the positive VT of her being humbled by her family – a real attempt to make her more appealing to middle England.”

As with Little Mix, we wait with interest to see how far Misha B can get with the wind of producer favour behind her again.

A final note from a viewing rather than a punting perspective. Immediate consensus in the comments was that this was a “bad show” (Donald), an “appalling show” (nugget), and “awful, all of it!” (Rob). It has been speculated many times that Simon Cowell must have taken all the producer talent to the US with him and left the work experience trainees in charge of this year’s UK show, and again there seemed to be some bafflingly poor decisions made.

After the media blitz that accompanied Friday’s announcement of the double elimination – which was presumably aimed to entice lapsed viewers to give this series a second chance – wouldn’t you think they might have given such viewers an early positive reason to stay tuned? Instead of which they chose as the first two performances Johnny and Janet, both of whom were being set up to be knocked down for the dullness of their performances. And just in case any viewers had inadvertently enjoyed them, Gary “Borelow” Barlow was on hand to point out their mistake. IT’S TIME… TO FACE… NO FUN AT ALL!

As ever, your theories and impressions are warmly welcomed in the comments box below.

71 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 5 Review: They’re called PERRIE, LEIGH ANNE, JADE and JESY

  • tpfkar

    I watched Little Mix’s slot again, and don’t believe my own ‘alternative’ explanation now – it was an all-out pimping. I thought last week’s ET was up there with Jar of Hearts as the stand-out performance of the series, if they’d combined last week’s song with this week’s producer support then I think their odds would be even shorter. Very glad to be backing them at serious odds.

    I wonder if The Risk were supposed to go next week? They spent 2 weeks on Nu Vibe, Sami, and Johnny. In each case, soften them up the first week and kill the next. The treatment The Risk go this week felt like the softening up, but it was more than enough. There might be yet more rewrites in producer central this morning.

    With the boys, is there a chance that with a final 3 of (say) Marcus, Craig, Little Mix, that the two boys would be fishing in the same pool for votes, so the girls could squeak through? Surely a very dangerous game, but it seems odd that half-way through the series they can’t decide which Liverpudlian to push.

  • Rob

    lots of theories to go on:

    janet: maybe they were testing just how far they could deflate her support by putting her at number 2 and poor comments? i’ve just listened to the performance again and it was shaping up to be quite competent until the line fluff and she counted herself back in very quickly but didn’t have the same confidence afterwards. liked the hair better though.

    craig and marcus: is it possible that craig was plan a for the boys and then when they realised he wasn’t gaining traction they panicked and went to plan b – marcus? now they seem to be a little stuck in the middle. both are giving competent performances without setting the stage on fire and the judges are not favouring one either way – this could be damaging to both of them.

    misha b: i’m never been sold that she is particularly talented. i think sometimes confidence is mistaken for talent? each time she’s performed i’ve always been drawn to the imitated e.g. grace jones, tina turner, aretha franklyn. she’s just not likeable enough even with the makeover. it’s not just her personality, it’s her physical appearance which is a tad intimidating and that ‘Agh!’ that she puts into the songs will irritate people.

    littlemix: my theory on this one is that these girls can avoid bottom 2 for the nest couple of weeks. producers will then not be adverse to a couple of saves against stronger opposition to get them to the final. not sure if they are strong enough to win… but it’s a strange year!

  • Boki

    I also had a feeling that they were preparing Risk departure for the next week but it went out control. The only worry I have now as a recent Janet backer is not only she underperforms but also the way they treat her.

    I checked the results from 2008 to check Eoghan Quigg’s votes, he was doing great up to top3 but my question is: was he a good performer, was it because of Irish support or combination of both. Irish votes look good as a theory to keep her safe for a while and I would love to see her in top3 so I could lay-off but thinking also to get rid of her earlier with limited losses.

    • Rob

      egg nog is a useful case study i guess. his vote started at around 20% (far higher than most of the others including the eventual winner) and peaked at around 30% (week 7), which suggests to me that the the support was coming from largely one demographic (NI is the strong theory). his vote mainly hovered around the 20% mark except for 2 spikes, one of which he went first from and the other was the pimp slot (so not sure what you can surmise from that?). it should also be noted that he generally got good slots and was furiously pimped by simon cowell. my opinion of him was that he was barely competent. he got into the final ahead of diane vickers who i disliked but would acknowledge was way better than him.

      what does it mean for janet’s chances. it could be that once the support of NI is exhausted then she will peter out. it should be noted that Eire was not allowed to vote in 2008. i don’t know how much difference this will make as it’s a chew on for the irish to go online for the changing numbers or whether they are prepared to support a NI contestant? also will scotland support the only remaining celtic contestant? simple fact is though janet really only needs to give a good performance to get to the final – simples!

  • Dug

    In reference to your comment, “If we were them, we’d ideally like Little Mix or Misha B as our winner, as they seem the acts for whom it would be easiest to carve out a post-show career niche,” I have to disagree. I’m 100% with you on the idea that these are the two most commercially viable acts but I’m not sure if that is something that’s necessarily compatible with winning any more. With Gary writing the winning lullably *cough* sorry, ballid, it is likely to be as sedate as ever and last year’s results have shows us that losing did many favours for acts like One Direction and Cher Lloyd (even at the expense of Matt Cardle). Is it not possible then to consider that producers might prefer to have Craig or Marcus take the show and cater for the housewives market whilst more relevant artists like Misha and Little Mix could avoid the constrictions of the winner’s contract? I’m just speculating.

    I agree with tpfkar’s comment regarding Little Mix’s performance last week. ET was, for me, one of the standout performances of the series and I was disappointed so see the girlband fall a little flat on Please Don’t Stop the Music, which despite fulfilling the theme better than most is hardly the pick-up-the-phone-and-vote anthem that accompanies most pimp slots. It’s musical hopping back and forth between only two chords (one major, one minor) makes for a tone which is neither major enough to sound upbeat nor minor enough to sound soft and sympathetic. It’s an odd sequence and, in my opinion, a bad choice. I think it was the VT that saved the girls this week.

    Whilst I realise that the softened style and song choice of Proud Mary propelled Adedeji out of the bottom two (and indeed to the top of the vote), it certainly didn’t bode well for her in the long term. I worry slightly about the choice of repeating this pattern for Misha B. It almost suggests a short term fix rather than a long term reform. Whilst softening her style was a good idea after bullygate and the (potentially) even more damaging rhinogate, I think that too drastic a makeover is a bad, bad idea. Like changing a bank’s name after people have invested in it. It just gives people the heebie-jeebies.

    • Andrew

      Question is, Dug, is it just coincidence that the Venn diagram of winners and postshow commercial success does not greatly overlap, or is there some causal relationship between winning and flopping? Leona and Alexandra would suggest not. Maybe it applies only to male acts?

      I can certainly see the case that Misha B might have a better career if she doesn’t win and have to start that career by releasing a Barlow dirge, but I suspect if they could wave a magic wand they’d like to push Little Mix over the line.

  • Dug

    I think it’s safe to say at this stage that neither Frankie nor Kitty still has any chance of taking the show. I’m very confident that you can add Little Mix to that pile. I may be putting too much faith in the stats of the past but the show has a record of favouring men over women and individuals over groups. I’m also 99% sure that Misha cannot win. This is due to the confident black woman curse as well as the fact that no winner has ever touched the bottom two. First time for everything but I think that for the first time in the competition the odds look accurate. This leaves Marcus, Janet and Craig as the top three contenders to win (not to be mistaken for a prediction of ‘the top three’ – I still imagine they will lose either Craig or Marcus a little earlier to make room for the other).

    I’m feeling rather pleased at having taken odds on all three in the win market – a beginner’s strategy to avoid losses in a game with which I am not so familiar. Especially rewarding is seeing Marcus leading the pack after taking him at 25/1. That was very much down to you guys. I put just enough on Craig and Janet to cover my losses if Marcus failed. The only thing left now is to start dabbling small in the elimination markets.

  • Donald

    This week will not be easy for producers to get a new spin to promote the show. They worked hard last week but will they really have gained many viewers.

    Frankie out on the piss is wearing thin and not much to go on with the rest.

    So safe safe week maybe coming, consolidate where they at?

    One Direction on Sunday next so expect lots of teens viewing, more chance to put push on Little Mix if they want.

    I am totally confused what happening with Janet, no decent slot in weeks, maybe as said above they tested how much they could deflate her vote. Janet has coverage in Ulster but had the MTV EMA’s to compete with this weekend, Justin Bieber in town etc. Maybe they saw that as a chance that her vote would be down also.Janet is getting little or no coverage south of the border so must be her fans and Ulster keeping her going. Janet needs a big one this weekend but if Little Mix on the up will the producers or Syco want Janet coming in the way? Next weekend will tell allot I reckon but wouldn’t write her off just yet either.

    Finally remember I was told to hold on my win bet until after 19th November. I don’t know the reason but the person who told me I would take heed.

    Worried about online reports of anti show voters keeping Frankie in. Hope it dosen’t grow too much.

    Be interesting who gets Poker Face if it is Lady GaGa weekend. Craig just might but if Little Mix were to get it then head scratching for sure. Hope Marcus does.

    • Mark

      My guess would be Kitty getting Poker Face?

      • Donald

        Hi Mark,

        maybe but the way they have been giving Craig good song choices who knows.

        It will be the song to have on a Lady Gaga show though.

        Kitty going for big notes getting boring after a few weeks of it same goes for Misha B. They sound great at the start but their effect goes down week after week I think. Real one trick pony territory.

        They are romantically known as $ notes when recording but most artists use them sparingly not one after the other. Bit like a young indie band noodling the same riff on a track all the time because they like it.

        • Mark

          Hi Donald,

          Agree with that especially with Kitty. Think maybe this was perhaps the angle Gary was getting with “you can’t dance” comment although thought this was a bit strange as I didn’t think she was actually that bad. However, I think she is still up there as one of the most accomplished singers and I believe Lady Gaga suits her to tee. Craig did say in his interview on Xtra Factor he would like to do Paparazzi this week.

  • Pete D

    Brilliant analysis there again Andrew with lots of thought provoking ‘final’ alternatives. Since joining SOFABET, I am absolutely loving the ‘eye opening’ science behind this show and it has helped me win some ‘modest’ money already as I am not a rich man.

    To leave us (and you) with so many questions here though shows that XF are getting properly organised again after some silly ‘ratings losing’ gaffs (perhaps Simon IS now actively waving his ‘corrective’ magic wand over proceedings here after all). I think it’s called ‘having a dog and barking yourself’.

    For me though, this is a now two horse race and I am sticking with my well studied early hunches MARCUS and LITTLE MIX (with LM now actually looking the more powerful threat as they sweep up teen votes from the weekly jettisons ).

    GRAIG (Robbie Coltrane) COLTON’s Liverpool votes are being nurtured and saved for MARCUS until the last minute chop so that they largely don’t go anywhere else but him.
    So it could be JANET and MISHA in 3rd and 4th places.

    They can’t monopolize the final with 2 Scousers in it. That is a ‘Kingdom divided against itself’ and XF won’t be overly bothered who comes first out of MARCUS and LM as they ‘create’ 2 guaranteed sources of post show success and ongoing revenue.
    They are constantly investing a lot into LITTLE MIX now and they won’t want to waste it. MARCUS is now becoming a foregone conclusion to likely win (or at the very least to be in the final 2)

    To coin a lovely Simon “le chat” phrase ‘the good ship MARCUS’ is sailing home now, (BUT with ONE passenger on it too). Like in the film ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, XF will now be burning everything they can in the engine room boiler to get it home safely.

    • Dug

      I have to disagree with Marcus as a guarantee for post-show success. I find him a pleasant potential winner with lots of talent but really more suited to the West End than the pop charts.

      • Rob

        i’m also wary of celebrating a marcus victory. it’s been a favorable 3 weeks for him with good songs and pimping, but i get the feeling it can be easily reversed if the producers deem it necessary. i also worry about his widespread appeal. i can see him getting the mums and the the gay vote but where is the other support coming from? too early to crown but a deffo contender.

        • Nugget

          I agree Rob, Marcus is not exactly your typical teen girl pin-up, neither is Craig, and with the boyband no longer in the mix, this can only mean more votes for Little Mix and possibly Janet.

          • Dug

            Joe and Leon both won without being typical pin-ups. I don’t see it being a problem for Marcus either. He reminds me a little of Will Young and I really wouldn’t doubt his chances. I definitely think it’s between Janet, Craig and Marcus for sure.

  • Jack

    Delighted to see Marcus at the top of the betting in several places this week. He really was the stand-out performer on Saturday. I’m starting to get a little worried about Frankie. I was certain he would be in the Bottom Three this week, but he somehow escaped. I wonder if the anti-show voters are going for him. As for Craig, as someone pointed out in the previous post, does his pimping in the M&S advert mean he is in line for the final? We shall see, though it may have been edited ages ago for all we know. His performance on Saturday was good, but, as usual, unmemorable.

    Janet needs a game-changer and she needs it quickly. Her performances on Saturday was also very forgettable, save the lyric-forgetting. Things really aren’t looking good for her and if she doesn’t improve I could see her slipping into the Bottom Two very soon, though I assume there is only two more weeks of Bottom Twos? Also, I think she isn’t doing as well as people think and her being called last was to make people think she is in danger and to vote for her more next week. Misha was outstanding, as usual and Proud Mary was a great song choice for her and I do remember the Adedeji version and I think it could, potentially be a game-changer.

    Kitty will probably be in Bottom Two with Frankie next week and I think she will go. She is an exceptional singer, but, tbh, I can’t see a sympathy bounce for her this time. Atm, I think odds for Louis being first mentor out must be like free money.

    Which leaves us with Little Mix. I’m just not sure that they have enough support to win. I agree with Tpfkar. If they really are doing so well, why have producers stuck them in a late slot two weeks in a row. I wondered about them finishing in the Final 5 stage, but then that would leave us with a final four of Misha, Janet, Marcus and Craig – two from a category, so I can’t see that happening. We shall see with them. I’m far from convinced either way.

  • Nugget

    If any SOFABET contributors are interested in attending Sat 19th NOV LIVE show at Fountain Studios Wembley, and do not mind queueing for 10 hours with me then let me know as I have a spare place.

    I appreciate you are all busy on betfair, but thought someone might like the chance to see the event live. Tickets are not easy to get 🙂

  • BoomBoom

    There is no need to worry re: Frankie. Wagner had a far more concerted ‘Anti X-Factor’ campaign behind him and was still struggling terribly in the weekly vote.

    What’s more, Wagner was much more endearing to the anti-XF brigade than Frankie can ever hope to be.

    The show can and will remove him when they want, there’s no need to waste cash on covering him.

    Something that hasn’t had much chatter on here but that now takes on huge importance is 2nd preferences/vote transferance.

    From a casual glance, Marcus commands a disproportionately high # of 2nd prefs amongst viewers, and it seems to me that whichever act leaves (with Janet perhaps the only exception), he will be the main beneficiary.

    On a level playing field he would likely be a stronger fav – but I agree with the general feeling that it’s more likely than not that the producers will try and nobble him.

  • Rob

    done a bit of digging today and i think the answer to the janet situation is that she is too strong willed. it was mentioned in her VT that she likes control of what she sings and GB inferred that she needed to let kelly mentor her in his comments. it seems that she has vetoed every song choice bar one, including (imo rightly) cyndi lauper ‘time after time’. but it also shows she can make mistakes as ‘every breath you take is a clear wrong ‘un’.

    i think this accounts for the poor treatment as the producers won’t want a loose cannon winning. on the other hand if she hands back control maybe they’ll start pimping her again. keep watching closely, it may be soon time to collect the profit on the lay

    • Andrew

      Interesting, Rob – could it possibly be that her poor treatment (louis calls her boring, journalists tell her she’s not worth writing about, Gary calls her predictable, she’s shown taking control then judges tell her she shouldn’t have done) are essentially messages from the producers to Janet? “Do as we suggest, or this is what happens”? It would be a strange way of communicating with a contestant, but maybe conceivable if they’re frustrated by an inability to get through to her in any other way?

      If she is being diva-ish behind the scenes, it would certainly make you view the shy, cardigan-wearing lass of the auditions in a different light.

  • KeenObserver

    I think Janet has been winning the public vote, considering she was on second when there was a bottom three. I don’t think Little Mix have been doing particularly well and the crucial aspect of Saturday’s show was to make Little Mix get more votes than Jonny, as Jonny has probably been doing quite well in recent weeks. I’m not sure they wanted to lose the Risk, it was a pretty quick fall from grace after their excellent first two weeks.

    • Rob

      it does suggest it was one of the highest otherwise you’d expect going second and fluffing your lines would be bound to send you down the list to a sing off. but this could be a gradual softening up.

  • Simon "le happy chat"


    MARCUS is clearly going to be one. I am not alone in having been a huge fan since that first audition in his bright red top and striking smile singing “Signed sealed delivered” and getting the audience wound up to join in.
    MARCUS has many talents and is versetile, but it is his STAGE presence that has carried him so far and will project him to the final. The guy is a star, maybe not a pop star but as has been commented previously he could be the headline act in West End versions of “Grease” or “West side story” – the world is this young man’s oyster and it would be difficult to find a more worthy and humble recipient.

    CRAIG will not reach the final three. He has little stage presence or star quality and his high profile on the M & S advert only reinforces this.The competition is lopsided with boys, CRAIG and MARCUS share too much ground and there is not room for both, one of these two has to go so LITTLE MIX can be shoehorned there instead and CRAIG is the obvious candidate.

    JANET looks terribly vulnerable, as if she has the world on her shoulders, a marked contrast to most of the other acts. However she is extremely popular with the public both over here and across the water, and most musician mates reckon she is a real talent. I dont like her yodelling (as I have said many times) but I can see her appeal – she is the obvious girl soloist to get to the final and is a worthy favourite so to do.

    KITTY is a really good performer with stage presence but she is patently hyper intense and difficult to like – she is the most experienced act remaining and puts this to good use but there isnt a cat in hells chance she can trump the younger kids and reach the final. I believe Kitty will flourish post show in the West End- she is good enough to take a part in something like “Mamma Mia!” but her days at X factor are numbered.

    MISHA is the one real potential star of the show- she is a bit like a young Tina Turner and the wig last week hid those stern smug features. Remeber the week of Bullygate and Misha being pimped and then Tulisa’s first comment to her being “Misha, do you think you are being overconfident in this competition?” to which MISHA replied “Pardon?” in an almost arrogant style. MISHA will not get to the final, she is worthy of it but for the reasons avidly explored in this thread she will fall short-just.

    That leaves FRANKIE who has at most two weeks before his ribs are exposed in the bottom 2 at which point you can expect him to be swiftly dispatched by the judges. The guy is not good enough and the protest vote can only last so long because there are too many other good singers left in on musical merit. If the judges stop slating him and give him the opening slot, this Saturday will be his last

    WINNER: The good ship MARCUS of course and DANIEL and me and all of us who have lumped on him at long odds.
    LOSER: Bookies!

    • Dug

      I think it’s important to know whether or not there will be 3 or 4 in the final weekend. I’m sure producers will want Tulisa to have an act in the final and I agree with the likelihood of Janet, Marcus and Little Mix UNLESS it turns out Craig has been doing better in the votes than Marcus thusfar. I’m sure they would want to avoid Janet/Marcus/Craig as the final three. I’m sure the Craig/Marcus intentions will become clear after next week,

      • Noisy

        If they keep losing 1 a week there will only be 3 left by the final on Dec 10th.

        Unless they’re gonna have a week with no evictions as a twist…

  • Mark

    My thoughts on elimination this week is producers will want one of the boys to be go this week. I don’t think they will want 3 out of the final 6 being from one category and will want some balance to the competition. Likewise at this stage I think they will want all of the judges having an act in the competition. Think Kitty should be safe this week. In Lady Gaga week I wouldn’t be surprised if they give her the pimp slot? With sympathy bounce as well I think she’ll be fine. Obvious choice to go would be Frankie if they can dampen the support he has. If he’s lands in the B2 surely got to be a “cert” to go. If he does escape the bottom again and either Craig or Marcus lands in B2 I can’t see them saved against any of the other acts. Will be dabbling on a combination of the 3 to be eliminated pre-show.

  • Dug

    Has anyone else picked up on the fact that One Direction, Louis in particular, have been supporting Frankie on Twitter. This could really be bolstering his votes. The fact that 1D will be appearing on Sunday’s results show implies that Frankie will probably have some bonding time in his VT with the boys all getting behind him. Eek!

  • Andre

    Hi everyone – I am new to x factor betting and would never have believed how enjoyable following the show could be thanks to this delightful site and the quality of it’s contributors.I am interested in the confusion over Janet’s awful treatment. Is it possible that the public fell in love with her early on in the competition and is winning so easily that the judges would like her to ‘come back to the field’ as it were to keep their options open? Just an idea and like I said I’m new to this. Find the American audience on idol much easier to predict!!

  • Malcolm

    I suspect Janet is topping the vote most weeks, if she hadn’t been left last to be safe this week, the implication would have been that she was untouchable even when messing up her lines. She was on 2nd after johnny, I’m hoping that their plan had been to drag Craig into the bottom 2, who was on next in the order.
    Weeks into the show there has only been one ‘ jar of hearts’ moment in the whole series of live shows. Craig hasnt followed it up. Marcus is good but nothing special in my opinion, Gary’s assessment that he’d given the performance of the series last week was either a blatant lie to boost his chances, or a sad reflection of the general level of talent on offer this year.
    We’ve not gone to deadlock yet, I wonder if a frankie – kitty bottom 2 would provoke that? It would probably save frankie for another week. As the number of contestants diminishes the running order, song choice, VT and judges comments become even more useful clue in determining who they can do without, so I’m going to wait and see what Saturday shows up.

  • Pata17

    I disagree with your analogy that there has been a change of heart from TPTB.I believe Little Mix were always Plan A.
    They were described by main judge Gary as the best X-Factor Girl Band ever after their 1st (mediocre) performance.I think this must have been scripted….Has GB even watched previous X-Factor’s?
    Throw in the constant positive VT and the impressive Judges comments and the case becomes more persuasive.

    With regards to the Craig/Marcus issue,what if it was deliberate to put 2 gay,scouse singers through to the later stages,and possibly into the final 3? Imagine if the final 3 are Craig/Marcus + TCO.In this example,with the obvious vote share between the 2 boys,TCO would be handed a penalty kick to glory.

    • Andrew

      Hi Pata, I’d be amazed if Little Mix were Plan A from the start – there was no indication of it in auditions (where 2 Shoes and the constituent members of The Risk got most screentime), bootcamp or judges’ houses (where Nu Vibe seemed most favoured group). I would bet Gary’s comment was simply intended to avoid the traditional embarrassingly early girlband exit – and there’s hardly much competition for the accolade of “best X Factor girl band ever”…

  • Boki

    Off topic:
    Is there anyone also doing x-factor USA ?
    If Simon & crew went there it’s fair to expect the same behaviour regarding the contestants not wanted anymore on the show so elimination market equally predictable, just a thought…

  • Pete D

    Off topic…I do hope that XF have REBECCA FERGUSON on as a guest this year. Now SHE was one of the real stars born out of this show. Her gob smacking new single (featured on BBC RADIO 2 this week) just oozes quality and sends tingles down my spine.
    It won’t do the Liverpool votes for MARCUS any harm either

  • EM

    She is. I didn’t tell you that though 😉

  • Simon "le chat"

    One of the boys to go this week.
    Bottom 2 CRAIG and MISHA
    I believe they might go to deadlock and inch CRAIG out. Let’s see if he gets the deathslot. If he does it could be curtains for him.

  • lolhart

    I suspect that Janet is getting the Diana Vickers treatment. She was praised by the judges week in week out and was favoured by the producers (even getting a pass one week). But then she seemed to fall out of favour for some reason and stories were leaked to the press about her and Eoghan, and more damaging – backstage tantrums over song choices. With Janet, the producers are more clever as they showed her in her VT being “strong-willed” and trying to call the shots. Of course it’s possible that with Diana they were trying to slow her momentum too (she came 2nd or 3rd in the vote nearly every week) and it backfired. The test with Janet will definitely be this week. Another negative VT and mixed comments from the judges and the producers’ intentions will be very clear.

    • Kate

      I believe all the contestants have the right of one week off for illness, only being eliminated if they have to miss a second week. Of course, in Diana’s case it did create the impression that she was the favoured one and that suspicion did seem to help stall her momentum.

    • Andrew

      I’d like to see a market on whether Frankie will be back the weekend. Genius way of generating headlines if so. Problem for the show if not – they’ll be looking at a two-act final, unless they have a week of no eliminations or they bring someone back.

      • Rob

        if they bring someone back – say the risk – where does that leave the settled bets on top group?

        • Rob

          on second thoughts, it can’t be the risk as they were bottom!

          • BoomBoom

            Cue a drive on the Amelia Lily price again on BF (currently trading around 40/1.)

            If they were to return to the 4 who were removed by judges, James Michael would seem a more realistic prospect given that he would be a direct replacement for Gary losing an act.

            For Amelia to be shoehorned back in would more likely come about through a vote between the 4…?

    • Donald

      My man was right hey. He was doing his best to get booted off.

    • Donald

      “As Frankie Cocozza has left the #xfactor Boylesports have paid out on Frankie being next elimination along with voiding bets on other contestants”

      That is the tweet from @BoylesportsNMG on twitter just now.

  • Kieran

    Paddy Power just refunded all Frankie outright bets. Phew!

  • Panos

    Sportingbet considers Frankie outright win bets a loser :(.

  • tpfkar

    F***! as Frankie would say.

    What are betfair doing – I hope they will honour my day 1 lay of Frankie on the win market.

    Another contestant would be a spanner in the works, although seeing the Risk boys being eliminated a fourth time could be amusing 🙂

  • Panos

    SO, the main voting demographic of teenage girls (except for the final, cos that’s a different crowd) has no straight boy left to vote for in the top6!!! Hahahah that’s a first!

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    If Amelia Lilley is reinstated she could win this competition as she might have if she had been allowed to remain.
    I cannot see it though.
    I suspect FRANKIE was “bought off” for substantial terms including a silence clause and a place on the tour.
    Thing is he is only 18 and was not creating the right headlines and the anti-XF vote, proved so powerful in the last with Rage Against the Machine was a smoking gun pointing at the producers.
    I dont believe anyone will replace him.
    Interesting that the markets have reacted by lengthening MARCUS slightly and cutting Janet Devlin again. JANEt could well end up favourite again by Sunday although I believe we have now seen all of her box of tricks and it might not be quite enough to carry her over the line.

  • Rob

    Ok apologies for the length of this post. This is an attempt to analyse youtube views to try and better understand the fluctuating fortunes of the remaining 7 acts. I’ve compiled totals of views between 2 of the biggest xfactor channels – xfactor’s own channel and bridgers channel. I’ve included bridgers channel because it has the vt and judges comments as well. Also i know youtube can’t give you the result in itself but i’ll talk about ‘other’ support when i think it’s changing the outcomes.
    Rather than list the total views here is how the views translated to finishing positions week on week:

    Artist wk1 wk2 wk3 wk4 wk5 avg
    JD 2 1 1 1 1 1.2
    CC 1 3 6 3 3 3.2
    MB 3 4 2 4 4 3.4
    LM 6 2 5 2 5 4.0
    MC 4 7 4 6 2 4.6
    FC 5 6 3 7 6 5.4
    KB 7 5 7 5 7 6.2

    Week 1
    There was no public vote so no way to tell if any of the remaining 7 fell into the bottom 2. Just for this week i’ll assume the placings reflect the public vote. CC’s ‘Jar of Hearts’ went viral so no surprise he was first and i think the pattern proves it was because of a particularly powerful song – he went 14/16. JD came a strong 2nd from a good running order (16/16). MB was third from 9/16 so no surprise. MC came a respectable 4th (11/16) with a poor song choice. FC came 5th (4/16) with his best performance and heavy pimping. LM came 6th (8/12) with a decent draw and pimping. KB came 7th (15/16), but she came into the show deeply unpopular so no surprise.

    Week 2
    JD comes first going 4/12 and probably getting a boost from the death of her grandfather. LM comes 2nd (8/12). CC comes 3rd with a poor running order (3/12) and to my mind a poor song choice – he may be riding last week’s wave still? MB comes 4th (9/12), again no surprise given the running slot and pimping. KB comes 5th (12/12) with her showstopping ‘It’s oh so quiet’ standout performance. FC drops to 6th (5/12) in this list and bottom 2 overall – the running order and maybe his fans assuming he was safe may account for it; the hype hadn’t really kicked in at this point. MC drops to 7th (7/12) obviously in hindsight this seems due an awful song choice – ‘Russian Roulette’ and largely forgettable performance.

    Week 3
    JD comes 1st (2/12) – the public like her in rock week as there is a clear spike from the previous week in views. MB comes 2nd (11/11) but as well as the pimp slot i think this has more to do with bullygate as there is a clear spike on bridger’s channel which shows the comments – anyway she manages to avoid bottom 2 in the public vote. FC rises to 3rd (8/11) which is no surprise given the feverish pimping and sympathy bounce. MC climbs to 4th (1/11) – as well as having a better song and giving a cracking performance, this may also suggest that going first is not always a handicap? LM fall back to 5th (4/11), which is probably a result of the running order and a largely forgettable mash-up – so no surprise. CC drops to 6th (6/11) – his lowest position by far – and what seems to be the result of a rubbish song choice and mid-table running order combo. KB drops to 7th (7/11) with one of her poorer performances/running order combos and into the bottom 2 of the public vote.

    Week 4
    The beginning of JD’s downward spiral (if it’s possible to spiral down from 1st to 1st?), going 6/10 – a better slot this time but the song doesn’t suit at all and she publicly declares it wasn’t her choice and by implication is blaming the producers – is this the set up for the next week’s events? LM come in 2nd by a distance with their standout ‘ET’ performance from a good running slot (9/10) and extravagant pimping. CC comes in 3rd from the pimp slot (10/10) and more extravagant pimping – some thought this was too much praise! MB comes in 4th (5/10) – because possibly the result of a combination of negative press and a less favourable draw, with some terrible styling – this is enough for a bottom 2 place in the public vote. KB jumps to 5th with a sympathy bounce and good running order (8/10) – this suggests that 5th is the best she can do on a second sympathy bounce. Worryingly for his backers MC plummets to 6th, but this may be the result of a less than favourable running order (4/10) and a mash-up, which i don’t think the public likes as much as the producers think? FC comes in 7th (7/10) despite a favourable draw, but manages to avoid bottom 2, which i think means that his fanbase is solid up to a certain level.

    Week 5
    JD’s downward spiral continues to 1st (2/9) – the VT shows Janet taking control and the judges appear to be scripted to jump on this with little defence from Kelly (is this a payback for the criticism the week before?) – the fluffed line appears to be a bonus as only Tulisa appears to have the ability to go off script and mention it (JD still out in front but a considerable narrowing of the margin). MC rockets up to 2nd (5/9) with what I guess was the standout performance of the night with most viewers – it certainly was an i catching production with black and white footage and massive dance routine. CC is steady away in 3rd (3/9) and does well from a poor draw (the song and pimping clearly doing the trick). MB is 4th again going from 8/9 – given the great running order, sympathy bounce, popular song and softening of the image this might not be seen as such a great result? But she avoids bottom 2. LM come 5th (9/9) – again this doesn’t look a great result given the pimp slot and the ferocious pimping – clearly the public were not buying it this time! FC comes in 6th (7/9) – enough to keep him out of the bottom 2. KB comes 7th (6/9), which means her sympathy bounce was shortlived, but it has to be said it was her worst performance, song choice and judges comments so far – it remains to be seen if she can bounce back again?

    So what can we get out of this? Its suggests that JD started this process from a position of strength which has been gradually eroded, but not to the point where she is not a contender. It seems to me that one very good performance will restore her to the favourites position with everyone else playing catch up.

    MC, CC and LM positions appear to be almost interchangeable with CC being the slightly more consistent – all have had a standout performance. Therefore for their finishing position I think it really is down to whom the producers favour the most and whether they are prepared to put enough effort into overcoming JD (and/or hobbling JD enough for them to overtake). It should also be noted that I think MC and CC appeal to a far greater audience than the youtube demographic so their stats referred to here may not tell the whole story (before anyone gets excited though i’d say that JD also appeals beyond the youtube audience, but perhaps slightly less so than the two boys).

    MB seems to plateau around 4th, which is probably a product of her marmite nature. Still a force to be reckoned with, and capable of taking down any of the others in a 1 on 1 before the final, but not someone popular enough to win based on these stats (and imo).

    FC – we can now forget about.

    KB against this competition bounces along at 5th to 7th and is therefore also capable of taking out some of the more favoured in a 1 on 1 judges decision, but again can’t win the competition imo.

    Mostly written before news of FC’s departure. Any comments and other interpretations welcome.

    • Curtis

      I would be extremely skeptical of reading anything too dramatic into youtube views. Cher pretty much had the most views nearly every week last year, except the weeks of some of Matt’s better performances. However, it’s reasonable to say that Janet has more of an audience outside the youtubers than Cher did. With that said, Janet may very well be doing better than we think, possibly still in the top 1 or 2 the last couple of weeks. If that were the case, then you’d have to say that she’s big favourite as a big performance from the pimp slot could really do it for her. Marcus Collins not being able to dethrone her with the supposed “performance of the series” has to be worrying for him. Matt was able to comprehensively beat Cher when he had his best weeks last year.

      Only Craig has managed to beat her with his ‘Jar of Hearts’. He seems to have some fanbase and may stick around until near the end, but I have to maintain that the winner can only be one of Janet and Marcus. Craig would lose to either of those in any prospective final because Janet has a bigger fanbase, and Marcus is very middle-of-the-road, a very typical X Factor winner. In fact, I think Marcus would beat anyone in a final because of this middle-of-the-roadness. It’s just a case of whether he has the fanbase to carry him to the final. Based on the fact that he’s managed to survive some torrid treatment from the producers so far, the answer to that may be yes.

      • Rob

        hi curtis, i’m also sceptical about reading too much into youtube (it is mainly a certain demographic which is why i highlighted that MC & CC will probably have appeal beyond – i do feel that most of the support for the others will come from this faction though), but i think on this occasion it’s too coincidental that the you tube views almost perfectly mirror the effects of running order, performance, judges comments etc, for these particular 7 acts. it’s not really an analysis to predict a winner but to show that anyone can put anyone else out and punting may be more down to reading the producer intentions rather than assuming the best performer (or your favourite) will win.

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