The X Factor Big Twist Part II: What On Earth Are They Thinking?

We were promised an announcement at lunchtime today. Evidently the sandwich boy didn’t turn up till the evening, as it has only just been announced that the four contestants eliminated in the initial first week big twist are to be put to a public vote starting tomorrow (Thursday), with one of Amelia Lily, James Michael, 2 Shoes or Jonjo Kerr returning to the competition to sing alongside the other six acts on Saturday. Which act has been voted back in will be announced on the Saturday show.

The sharks have certainly been circling around this series of X Factor, and with this announcement, it would seem that the show has decided to jump them.

The consensus in our comments box yesterday was summed up by nugget: “To allow someone to join that process half way through after the others had gone through 5 gruelling weeks of live shows would make a mockery of the whole competition”.

Dug also put it very well: “I can’t see any possible way of this happening without a public backlash. However manipulated the public are, they are still under the impression that their votes so far have shaped the competition.”

Punters monitoring the Betfair win market were pre-warned, as Amelia Lily’s price came in to 12 in the minutes before the announcement, having been nibbled at in the last few days (whoever laid the £86 that was traded at odds of 1000 must be kicking themselves for assuming they were hoovering up some easy money).

However, the Middlesbrough lass still has to get past the public vote, which is no foregone conclusion. James Michael is a good-looking lad with a regional base, after all. 2 Shoes are very endearing and can sing, and also have a potentially strong regional base behind them.

And Jonjo Kerr is… well, a soldier. Some speculated before the big twist was announced that the military vote might carry Jonjo a long way in this competition. We never bought that idea, given how poor a performer Jonjo is, but now we will get to find out. We would certainly be amazed if producers are hoping for Jonjo to be the returnee.

The fact that the returning act is to be selected before the show, rather than having all four acts sing and then invite the public to vote, adds an unexpected complication. It would seem that which act gets the most media coverage in the next couple of days – and local media could be pivotal in motivating support – will likely count for a lot.

So, we assume, will each act’s capacity to motivate their supporters via social media. With that in mind, we checked Twitter just now and it would seem that Amelia Lily has 90,000 followers, 2 Shoes have 53,000, James Michael has 34,000 and Jonjo Kerr has 300 13,000 (h/t Curtis).

While we will post further on this when the dust has settled and some odds are up, our instant reaction is that we would be very surprised if whoever comes back in were to go on to win. As Dug’s comment continues, they will surely be seen as “a non-deserving contestant in the ongoing competition. Big Brother Favourite Nikki Grahame was placed back in the house toward the final (having been eliminated whilst she was a favourite to win) but came very low in the final vote.”

For now, let’s speculate about how much of this was planned. Could keeping Frankie at the weekend then kicking him out on Tuesday and having this twist have been in the works for a while?

This amusing video of an unprepared Kelly Rowland being informed of Frankie’s departure by a journalist certainly suggests that this particular part of the story was a decision taken on the hoof rather than part of a masterplan (as well as hinting at gross incompetence behind the scenes – how could they have failed to brief her?)

However, we can’t help remembering a comment made by Donald that an alleged insider had advised him to hold his bets until November 19th. Is that what this was about, and it has been brought forward a week? One thing that may give us a clue is whether the US X Factor (on which we posted this morning), which also eliminated contestants in a similar manner, go on to do the same thing.

What do you make of it all? Do let us know in the comments box below.

48 comments to The X Factor Big Twist Part II: What On Earth Are They Thinking?

  • At least if it’s Amelia she’ll have a “journey” now!

    • Daniel

      Yes Mike, they were always struggling for a backstory with her (we joked here at Sofabet that the best they could come up with was that her father loved her very much), but we have one now 🙂

  • BoomBoom

    The Amelia Lily price looks a little bonkers, not least for the reasons you’ve mentioned but also because Saturdays vote is a short sprint which will be so easily manipulated that the show will get the extra that they want.

    Will they really want someone who would stand a decent chance of winning and making the show look even less credible? Or one of the others just to flesh out the numbers for a couple of weeks…

    Having hovered most of the 1000 on James yesterday I hope it’s the latter!

  • Tim

    With the Liverpool base strongly behind Marcus and Craig already, it probably isn’t very likely that they would jump ship to James and vote him back so late in the competition.

    • Dug

      Aha, but people from Liverpool don’t have to jump from Craig or Marcus in order to vote James back IN. They could still very well stay loyal to the remaining acts in the overall competition but get behind James in this mini-contest to return.

  • annie

    It’s all so wrong that i can’t imagine they thought this through rather than a spur of the moment decision. you can’t even count the reasons for which is unfair towards others and just wrong. But i guess they thought if the public accepted the previous ridiculous decision, of making the eliminated ashford part of the game again, then anything goes.
    The fairest decision would have been to reinstate the last eliminated act, johnny. But I guess they worked hard enough to get rid of him, and were really afraid of the sympathy bounce the whole situation would generate, cause they sure didn’t want him to go further. I WONDER if he’d swap places with the Risk, ie the risk were the last eliminated rather than johny would they still do this ridiculous twist.2? what do you think?
    speaking of the spontanity of the whole decision… didn’t someone say amelia’s numbers were strangely shortening, before the whole news about frankie being kicked out spread? there are soooo many posts and comments I can’t find it right now, but I’m sure someone wrote somethng like that, I remember being surprised and wondering why or how…
    This year is truly useless…

    • annie

      ps. My personal favorite would be James Michael, but I would sooooo love if 2(3:D) shoes would win the public vote,that would be a slap on producers face, as I was always under the impression the twist was partially invented to get rid of the talented pregnant contestant in an elegant way.

  • Ronnie

    Just a point – if the public have to vote a contestant back in on Thursday or Friday, will they really pick up the phone to vote for them again on Saturday or Sunday?

    I’m sure Mike and others with fancy prices will though!

    I reckon the person who goes through could well be in the bottom two the same week due to the close proximity of the phone votes.

    Also, if I can get anything above evens on Jonjo being bottom of the vote between the four, I’m getting involved.

    If James Michael gets through, what will that do to fellow scousers Craig and Marcus’ fan base?

    The whole thing is a bit of a joke really.

  • EM

    Looks like the 50s I got on Amelia last night and the punt I took after her audition might be good value after all

  • Noisy

    This series has been so lacking in outstanding performances that if Amelia (or any other for that matter) comes in and blows us away she could easily get enough support to go on and win no matter how undeserving.

    Also, people may feel they’re undeserving to be here, but they may also feel they were unlucky to go home pre phone voting so this may be seen as a bit of justice for the victor.

    Who knows, we may even get one of the initial groups who applied for the show through to the public vote after all!

  • Donald

    Hi Daniel, my alledged insider worth listening to over the years. Great definition also!

    Never far out, always some stir when points something out.

    It’s a joke now. At least top group paid out.

    I’m off to WRC and Welsh Forests for few days but will keep in touch here evenings.

  • this is getting wierd. Going to point the twitter cannon and see what it picks up 🙂

  • shoulders

    Hi Daniel, at the start of the competition I had an each way bet on 2 Shoes to finish in the top 3 that has been settled as a loss after the judges ditched them, do you think if they were reinstated the bet would also be reinstated??

  • Noisy

    Maybe the producers have given up on Janet as plan A for being too controlling (and surprisingly poor!) and are trying to switch to Amelia as she was the 2nd favourite at the last 16. They made sure they ditched her before the public could keep her in when they were backing Janet… Bit desperate though.

  • shoulders

    Just checked my bet slip and my 2 shoes bet is now back listed as open

  • BoomBoom

    Oops, didn’t realize there is just a vote, rather than a sing off plus a vote.

    Ignore the point about manipulation then…makes the decision seem even more bizarre as a lot of viewers outside the x factor bubble who just watch on a Saturday will be oblivious to all of this and just see someone turn up on the Saturday.

  • Curtis

    I’m hoping to see the return of Jonjo, just so he can be voted out first week and then we can get back to a proper competition again! Incidentally, Jonjo has about 13000 followers. The one with 300 is a fake. 13000 is obviously still significantly less than the other 3 though.

  • taichou

    so guys what do u think they will try to play her? give pimp slots, good songs? and if so who’s votes she’s going to get from the acts who left?

  • Jack

    Have they lost their minds?

    I would seriously worry about this series getting an extension to next year with this latest debacle. Its getting ridiculous now and the show is almost losing all credibility.

    Amelia Lily must be a shoe-in to return. She had masses of support prior to her unlucky elimination. In most polls I saw, she was equaling or beating Janet, usually ahead of the other 15 finalists. James Michael had his supporters, but his limited screen time compared to Amelia seems to indicate that he won’t have as much as a following. Jonjo Kerr is only a threat with the so-called solider vote. As he was abysmal in the first live show, I’m not sure he will get in. 2 Shoes will be a threat as they have had plenty of screen time, but they weren’t in Amelia’s league vocally.

    I’m convinced Amelia will return. I wouldn’t be surprised if she received well over 50% of the vote to return. She could even win the show, such was her support before she was on it. If she does return she needs a good performance on Saturday. I could see her doing Lady Gaga well. Whoever is voted in, I think that they will have the pimp slot.

  • Dan

    Well, I said last night that it wouldn’t be fair to bring back any of the four that went out in week one and now look what they’ve done! What’s really done for this series is the groups though – mix and match, eliminated and brought back, line-up changes, name changes, etc. What a mess…

    Anyway, I suspect that whoever gets voted back in (Amelia Lily probably) will get a major pimping and a bye into next week. Kitty and Janet in the bottom two. Based on the theme, this is Kitty’s week and despite not being popular with the voters,I reckon the judges will save her over Janet, who I think will struggle with either Queen or Lady Gaga.

  • Tim

    If Kitty is given a decent slot in the running order, say right before Amelia’s pimp slot, then she could avoid the bottom 2 and we could be looking at Misha B/Little Mix/Craig there instead.

  • Rob

    expect there will be an ofcom complaint of some sort?

    amelia lily will of course be reinstated but there is little time for her to prepare a performance so i won’t be expecting anything great this weekend and tbh i don’t think she will be a threat to those established. to be fair her performance on the first show was one of the worst so its really to early to be touting her as a game changer.

    • Jack

      That was with a terrible song choice though. As far I know, her popularity was on a par with Janet’s before she got eliminated. That was why there was so much outrage over her elimination and the Big Twist.

    • mark (mapps)

      Guaranteed to be an ofcom complaint! Agree with Rob, don’t really see anyone who goes back as being a threat of winning – coming in too late, half way through the competition, as others have said the public will see this as unfair, and not a deserving winner

      add to that that by now, surely most of the public have decided who they support and wont jump ship and support someone who joins half way through the competition after having been sent packing in the 1st week?!

  • Tim

    The 6 remaining weary acts must be wondering what they still have to do to win it or will some take a half hearted approach from now? The viewing and voting public must contain a sizeable number feeling a tad manipulated. If Amelia wins it, a distinct possibility, it will seem very very odd.

  • Nicky

    I agree with Dug, Nugget and all; total farce! It all seems a bit contrived as well, what with stories in the press last week saying Frankie was trying to get the boot, plus Amelia’s odds shortening before he left and the comment about keeping hold of old betting slips from Donald’s mole.

    Part of the competition is consistency, versatility and staying the course. It’s like allowing a new horse to join the Grand National on the second circuit. If you back a horse, you do so based upon the competition you know it’ll be up against. Is this mockery legal?

    It’s taken six weeks to work out that Janet isn’t as good as people thought. If it takes as long to suss this out about a new contestant, they’ll already be in the final.

    In a genuine contest of any kind, a disqualified competitor would cede their place to the next in line, which is Johnny. Poor Johnny’s been stitched up again!

    Hopefully, the eventual outcome won’t be affected and this nonsense will turn out to be a money making oppurtunity for everyone.

    Personally, I thought Amelia Lily was dreadful in the first show and never liked her. She seems to force her voice and sings out of tune in places. So she’ll probably inherit Frankie’s fanbase.

  • Nicky

    This may be a conspiracy theory too far, but could it all be a ruse to depose the yodelling one? If, hypothetically, her huge youth following meant she was topping the votes and Scowell was worried about her flaky abilities, Amelia could be the antidote. Amelia’s army of Twitter and Facebook fans could dilute Janet’s influence. Also, Frankie Cocozza, who has the largest Twitter following of all, could urge his disciples to vote for his friend Amelia, as One Direction did for him.

    Hopefully, 2(and a half)Shoes will get through instead!

  • Pete D

    Listen up folks. I was one of original three who headed a worldwide forum (with top Lawyers on board) to beat Harvey Goldsmith on the recent Led Zeppelin concert free draw for the O2 gig (and we WON).
    It was as simple as contacting HIS Camden Trading Standards for contravening ‘terms and conditions’ laws.
    As I see it XF have made a mockery of ALL MONEY PAYING VOTERS so far if they continue with this farce, therefore EVERYONE deserves a refund if they bring back contestants who were not there at the time of voting in this final. Simples !!

  • alsy

    Of course the cynical observer might now be wondering if this hasnt been planned since the start?Maybe all this time Amelia has been practising her Lady Gaga routine under the watchful eye of the producers so she can return in a blaze of glory to return on her journey…

  • Boki

    Too many conspiracy theories me thinks, it’s now out of proportion and we’ll never know the truth.
    Btw saw on twitter Amelia begging for votes while others keep it cool. If I was a die hard Janet fan I would vote for James or 2Shoes just to prevent Amelia returning…

  • fiveleaves

    I agree Dan, no masterplan , but something cobbled together at the last moment.

    The early indications/rumours were they’d do the simplest thing and bring back Johnny.

    Last out, 1st back in.

    Rumours then started circulating that they’d do this imo ludicrous twist.

    6 acts have performed and given their all over 5 live shows, survived elim votes and yet now they have to compete against someone who hasn’t been through that but has been parachuted in having being discarded the 1st week.

    Not too disimlar to Nikki being voted back into Big Brother.

    That was one twist too many for plenty of BB viewers and the show has declined ever since.

    The same could well happen to XF.

    It wouldn’t amaze me if this is the last XF.

  • mark the bookie basher

    complete and utter farce the show has been a joke since judges houses anyone placing a bet on the xfactor outright market shud feel cheated and rightly so i have a huge bet on janet 2 win and top female which imo looks very fragile now amelia will get back in and have ahoneymoon period ov at least 2 shows also im not marcus collings biggest fan but id rather him win it than someone who is let back in half way through i truly believe amelia is a big danger and 6-5 with betfair a female solo winner is surely a must bet janet amelia and misha coupled

  • Dug

    Whilst I think a backlash is unavoidable, producers could minimise this by focusing on a few things. Firstly, the ‘housemates’ greeting Amelia’s return with open arms and smiles, talking about how she has brought fresh life to the house and people have missed her. Secondly, focusing on the fact that she was ‘robbed’ in the first place – Kelly could apologise for overlooking her and Gary could talk about how much she DESERVES to be on the stage. Thirdly, she could be portrayed as a total underdog – the people’s champion. Fourth, she could smash her song out of the park – for anyone who watches Xtra Factor, Amelia’s rendition of Gaga’s ‘You and I’ at judges houses was quite the belter and the competition is seriously lacking in the kind of ‘belt’ that took Alexandra and Leona all the way. Misha has a powerful voice but the style is totally different.

    If all of this happens, I see her odds improving drastically in the short term. I still think that the late entry to the competition will ultimately leave a bad taste in the public mouth and prevent a win.

  • Rob

    next elimination ‘any other act’ @10.0 betfair seems a reasonable speculative bet. the forums are split on the return of amelia lily (there is an ‘undeserving’ tag being applied) and i can’t imagine that many people will be motivated to vote for her as they’ll have their favourites now, so she’ll be relying on the fanbase that were outraged by her original elimination – is that enough? also she won’t get the rehearsal time of the others so less likely to be as polished. her twitter post begging for votes is also a negative – if i was a tabloid i’d pounce on that! if she ends up in the bottom 2 would the show dare to save her? if yes, i think that would compound the negativity already surrounding the show… so i suspect she’d have to go! i may have a small dabble.

  • alsy

    For someone who’s from Middlesburgh isnt it a bit stange that shes been ligging with the rest of them the last couple of weeks in london clubs? She is turning on the xmas lights next week in Tunbridge Wells according to last weeks local paper .Thats a long way from Teesside..

  • nugget

    I can’t speak for the other acts involved but I have it from a very good source that Amelia Lily was warned some time ago that in the event of anyone dropping out there was a possibility she may be asked back to the show, presumably all the 4 acts eliminated were told the same.

    I am leaving this week alone (for now at least) betting wise and just going to watch and see how things develop.

  • Pete D

    I don’t know how anyone else here feels here about this FARCE, but the way I see it we have all done a lot of hard homework and the majority of us have a lot of money invested in the contestant format the way it is.

    Amelia Silly (who is a hypocrite anyway and said she didn’t need the show) could actually and possibly smash this with all the publicity she will no doubt get by winning the ‘new enrty’ vote.

    What right minded punter would let a fresh horse join a race halfway through after ‘the off’ without going crazy about it.

    So,if like me you are unhappy about this FARCE, WHERE ‘ALL’ YOUR LONG PRICED ADVANCED BETS (and also the public’s votes) FOR CONTESTANTS SO FAR WILL BE WASTED by letting someone fresh join the race halway through, then complain by email to Ofcom, ITV complaints, Trading Standards, The Mirror, and M&S ….… for apparently supporting it too with their advert.

    I have already tonight

  • dan12

    “However, we can’t help remembering a comment made by Donald that an alleged insider had advised him to hold his bets until November 19th. Is that what this was about, and it has been brought forward a week?”

    I guess we find out today.
    Advertised recent running times:
    12 Nov 90 mins ( 7 acts + twist voting)
    19 Nov 75 mins ( 6 acts )
    26 Nov 105 mins ( 5 acts )

    Timings could fit with either 5 acts each singing twice next week or some other significant thing happening.

    Pesonally I think the twist got moved forward a week, but I’ve taken a nibble of Any Other Act on betfair at 999/1 just in case.

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