Why we think Janet Devlin can still win the X Factor

Janet Devlin, the star of audition show 1. Janet Devlin, golden girl of bootcamp. Janet Devlin, the last act we saw going through to the lives at judges’ houses. Janet Devlin, recipient of the week 1 pimp slot for ‘Fix You’. Oh, Janet, where did it all go wrong?

For the fourth week in a row, Janet got negative comments from the judges. In week 3, Janet was called “boring”. In week 4, she was called predictable and told to do something different. In week 5 she did something different and – in a classically-executed reverse ferret – was told to stick to what she knows.

Most recently, week 6 saw Tulisa say “your style is a bit one-dimensional” and Gary add: “I’m starting to lose interest in you… I just don’t feel like you’re making enough of an effort.” In a highly unusual move, in the Sunday reprise including backstage reactions even Kelly was negative about her own act: “I don’t know what happened… it was just an alright performance”.

It’s hardly surprising there’s a majority view in the Sofabet comments box that (as Curtis puts it) “the producers clearly want Janet out”. However, we’re not at all convinced that’s the case.

Sure, if it turns out Janet hits the bottom two this week and is dropped like a hot potato, you’ll be able to say the writing was on the wall. But something doesn’t feel right about the idea that the show has given up on Janet. Up to week 2, she could do no wrong – and then suddenly, from week 3, she has been able to do no right. If something changed, it changed between week 2 and 3. What could it be?

One possibility is that programme-makers decided Janet isn’t as marketable as they first thought. Now, there is a case against Janet’s being marketable, and Dug makes it: “Janet is aiming at an extremely over-saturated corner of the market… I think that the charts are currently experiencing a bit of a comedown from the ‘unique’, ‘haunting’, ‘ethereal’ trend which has been dominating for a while.” But is it really credible that programme-makers hadn’t thought about this in months of planning, and then were suddenly persuaded of it amidst the heat and fury of organising the lives?

Another possibility is that they changed their minds about Janet herself. Along with her unhelpful VTs and negative judges’ comments, the last four weeks have seen a stream of rumours suggesting that Janet is difficult behind the scenes. Last Sunday, the Mirror reported:

Kelly Rowland, 30, is barely talking to Janet Devlin after losing patience with her constant strops…

Backstage sources say 16-year-old Janet – originally considered the shyest contestant – has become impossible to work with, refusing to wear outfits picked for her and arguing about song choices.

Could it be that the show failed to vet Janet sufficiently before deciding to focus so heavily on her in the audition stages, and it was only a couple of weeks into the lives that they realised she was a nightmare and decided they didn’t want to set her up for a post-show career after all?

Maybe, but we doubt it. We reckon there’s a much simpler explanation for what might have changed between weeks 2 and 3 – this was the first time producers had got to see figures from a public vote. What if Janet absolutely creamed it?

There is suggestive evidence that this might be the case: the Daily Star, who have form in this area, reported an alleged leak on Sunday that Janet has been topping the vote every week; the performance in the early weeks of 2008’s Eoghan Quinn suggests the power of the Ulster vote; and the YouGov survey of earlier in the series had Janet also leading the pack on the mainland.

Let’s assume for a moment that the first public vote told producers that they had substatially over-egged the Janet pudding. On the face of it, if producers wanted Janet to do well, what would be the problem? The problem comes if it starts to seem like the winner is a foregone conclusion, because that could affect ratings. And given the weakness of the field, producers may have calculated from the first week’s results that they could not afford to keep giving Janet positive comments.

However, if we assume that they also wanted to maintain Janet’s credibility as a potential winner, then the dragging down would have to be carefully done, to create the impression of struggling without inflicting any lasting damage. And if we re-interpret Janet’s treatment since week 3 in that light, then it arguably starts to make a whole lot more sense.

Consider the week 3 VT, which showed tabloid journalists telling Janet “we’re writing about Kitty, we’re writing about Frankie, we’re not writing about you” (implication: you’re not interesting), “it’s a popularity contest” (implication: you’re not popular) and it’s part of the X Factor package to have a “personality” (implication: you don’t). We saw Janet replying that “if people don’t think I have the X Factor, they shouldn’t vote” – and, at the time, we were confused about why the show would want to plant this thought in viewers’ minds.

However, you can also view the hidden message in the Frankie and Kitty comparisons as being that Janet is a serious musician rather than tabloid fodder – a message backed up by other parts of Janet’s reply: “I’m here for the music… I’m not going to be someone else just to get votes… I have that respect for myself.”

Janet’s week 5 VT had her saying “I’ve taken control of pretty much everything… I chose the outfit… I’ve even had my input into how the staging is… I know what I like and I know what’s me.” We saw her rejecting suggested outfits and saying she didn’t want dancers on the stage as it would detract from the music. Kelly called her “feisty”.

At this time, this looked like an attempt to feed the rumours that would later be summarised in the above Mirror quote as Janet becoming “impossible to work with, refusing to wear outfits picked for her and arguing about song choices”. However, what is that quote really telling us about Janet? Let’s rephrase it in a more positive light: She knows who she is, and she takes no shit. Is this really supposed to be a bad thing?

It certainly makes for an unexpected and favourable contrast to the supposedly much more self-confident Misha B, who has apparently been content to have the bejesus styled out of her in the last two weeks, with no obvious beneficial effect.

Advancing further into the realms of cynicism, one might wonder whether Janet has been deliberately fed some duff advice to create the storyline of her being difficult to work with and the reported rift with Kelly. And one might wonder whether the confusing advice of recent weeks, to do something different then to stick to what you know, might actually be intended to stir up sympathy for Janet. Dermot even pointed it out in his post-performance interview this week: “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.

In the comments after this weekend’s shows, HenryVIII observes: “Gary calling Janet boring on her birthday actually gives Janet votes… Janet’s mentor being cold with her will also help her votes. So they are achieving the opposite effect to their plan, if derailing her is their plan.”

“If”, indeed. And if derailing Janet is not the plan – well, doesn’t it make perfect sense? If producers were asking themselves after week 2 how they could make it seem like Janet was not on a winning trajectory without actually pulling her off that winning trajectory, then giving her criticism that will strike many viewers as unconstructive, contradictory and overly harsh would certainly have been one possibility.

Can we even be confident that the reported bust-up with Kelly Rowland is intended to rebound negatively for Janet? Kelly’s stock is not as high as it was before sicknotegate, after all. Janet’s latest VT showed her listening to Kelly and saying, almost plaintively, “I just want to be myself”. Are voters going to think the worse of her for that?

Rewatching the judges’ comments for Janet’s latest performance, ‘Someone To Love’, also reveals an interestingly ambivalent message. On the one hand, we have the unflattering visual of Tulisa and Kelly clapping perfunctorily while Gary and Louis don’t applaud at all, then the criticism from Tulisa and Gary quoted above. On the other hand, the following things are also said:

  • Louis: “We’re looking for a recording star, you are a recording star”;
  • Tulisa: “I can see there’s a market for you… there’s people out there who are going to buy your albums… I’d have to be in a certain mood to listen to your album, and that’s the only problem for me” (is there any album you don’t have to be in a certain mood to listen to?); and
  • Gary: “You need to take these opportunities and think of them as if you’re presenting us with your first single”.

In other words, three times the judges planted the thought in viewers’ minds that Janet is going to have a post-show career. Even in the middle of Gary’s harsh criticism, there was a clear subtext – it’s taken for granted that Janet is going to have a first single. Is this really the behaviour of a show that is intent on casting its former favourite into the Siberian darkness?

After her most recent pummelling, Janet has drifted out to a top price of 5/1 in the win market – the longest she’s been since before bootcamp. Here’s our case for believing that this might start to look like pretty good value come the final.

We’ve said all along that it would make dramatic sense to have each of the three new judges with a horse in the final, and this seems to be on track. Tulisa’s one remaining act, Little Mix, are getting heaven and earth thrown at them. We also see no reason to change our long-held view that there is room for one – no more, no fewer – Scouse boy in the final. (Which one it will be, we’ll consider in the next article).

Which leaves room for a girl. Which girl? We made the case in our previous post for why we think it would be suicidal for the format to have Amelia Lily last that long. And after Misha B’s second bottom two experience, it’s starting to look like it would require the Glazers and Sheikh Mansour to join forces to fund the phone votes.

So let’s make a leap and postulate a final of Little Mix, Craig/Marcus and Janet. And let’s make a further leap – a speculative but not outlandish one – and imagine that voting figures will tell producers that Little Mix, like One Direction before them, are too far back to be helped over the line. In such a situation, if you were in charge of the show, would you throw your weight behind Craig/Marcus or Janet? We know who we’d choose.

So there’s our case for not giving up on Janet. Have we convinced you, or are we going to end up with egg on our faces when Janet lands in the singoff this weekend and is unanimously dispatched back to Gortin? As ever, do let us know below.

108 comments to Why we think Janet Devlin can still win the X Factor

  • Curtis

    I have considered the view that you hold since the live shows on Sunday. I said in another article:

    “If it’s true that Janet topped the votes the first 5 weeks, then I suppose that means there’s still the off chance that the producers are saving her up for a big finish, safe in the knowledge that she will survive each week’s vote. ”

    And I suppose there are obvious motives for them doing this that you mention. To stop the show from being predictable. One look at the betting market and how it’s been changing throughout the weeks tells us that they succeeded in that regard if that was their goal.

    If this is the case, I imagine that we are going to find out in 2 weeks time. Week 8 is a traditional time for a good performance from the winner, look at Matt Cardle and Alexandra Burke, and if it happened any later she might not seem like a worthy winner. Next week seems to be Little Mix’s, but if the Daily Star leak is to be believed then there’s no necessity to rehabilitate Janet just yet.

    At the moment I just don’t quite know what to believe about the producer’s intentions with Janet. It looks for all the world like they’re trying to get rid of her, but I can’t think of why they would be so determinedly doing that. I’m not impressed by any of the explanations. I’m sure that the officially released voting percentages are going to give some clarity to this series, already excited to see them!

  • geoff

    nice article andrew i hope your right that janet can still win as she was my big bet from the start.
    one question to your theory about over egging the janet pudding .even if janet was creaming the public vote what difference does this make?
    nobody apart from the producers would know the public wouldnt have a clue she had stormed it until after the final.
    also wouldnt it be easier to just keep overhyping someone else. matt cardle won nearly every week and they did nothing to stop him.

    personally this situation is worrying me usually the acts who are praised make the final and the ones who are criticised dont
    last year matt rebecca and 1d hardly had a bad comment against them
    as i say though i really hope your right

    • Andrew

      Cheers Geoff. I guess the thinking is that there is some overlap, however imperfect, between the votes they’re seeing and the metrics we look at to try to get a handle on it – so if they’re concerned about the risk of it looking like a walkover, the easiest way to avoid that is to ensure that it isn’t in fact a walkover.

  • dan12

    If they push Janet too hard, could she snap and walk off the show?

    What would the producers do then – phone vote to reinstate an act kicked out at judges houses stage?

  • sophie

    That’s an interesting theory.You may be right. I quite hope,no… i REALLY REALLY hope your right 😉 being a dvelinator and all :p it does make sense.Why make her out so bad after showing her as the golden girl before the live shows? The obvious is because they didnt know she would be so bad.But the x factor never seem to have such a clear reason,theyre always so complicated.Thats why i think you may be right,hopefully 😀

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    That is another excellent article.
    Janet at generally 9/2 is a really, really attractive bet because there has to be a girl in the final and JAMET is by far the most talented and followed on the internet.
    MISHA is undergoing the last rights, LILLEY looks too hard and ruff for 17 and the contrast will be marked.
    JANET a sure fianlist and 9/2 for any of them is a very attractive bet.

    HOWEVER the one I like the look of is JANET DEVLIN TOP GIRL at an incredible 6/4.
    I am having some of that before it goes this weekend

  • Rob

    Excellent article and I can see the reasoning. My one counter-argument is that they might be de-ramping Janet and Marcus as they are perceived as Little Mix’s biggest rivals (being at the top of the phone vote currently), and the show really wants Little Mix to win. And to enable Little Mix to win, they would ideally like to engineer the weakest opponents for them in the final, or have opponents who have been seriously softened up, and de-ramped if they can’t ‘manage’ either of Janet or Marcus’s fall into the bottom 2 in the next 2 weeks and get rid of them. On balance, Janet may yet go and fetch her guitar and receive glowing praise, but the de-ramping could also continue, especially if her vote is considered a predominantly regional one. I see no reason why Little Mix cannot defy the stats as I sense their appeal is broadening all the time, and all the messages from ITV are to get behind them – countless celebs are in the LM camp and we have Jessie J appearing on the show a week on Sunday who is guaranteed to endorse them, like One Direction did last Sunday. On balance, it looks a Little Mix/Janet 1,2 is most likely but probably best to do the reverse forecast. For more thoughts, check out EntertainmentOdds – I’m sure Daniel and Andrew won’t mind that shameless plug 🙂

    • Andrew

      Hi Rob, Plug away! 🙂

      I’m sceptical that they’d care that much about the winner. The experience of the last few years suggests that getting to the final is much more important than winning in terms of post-show positioning.

      Unlike our commenter Euan (who I really should call EM) I suspect they care a bit about who wins, as it’s good for the brand to have a commercially successful winner, but I’d be shocked if they’d want weaker acts in a therefore-less-entertaining final just to get the winner they want.

      • EM

        Andrew that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week! Cares about the brand? The current custodians of the X Factor brand look like they’re trying to remove every last piece of value from it this series!

        Broadly agree they don’t want a Wagner or Jedward figure winning it but convinced they just want 3 or 4 marketable acts

      • Rob

        Hi Andrew,
        I still think it can be perceived as a softening up of Little Mix’s perceived main rivals. And given the way they have refused to say anything negative about Craig, why not have him as a buffer they can keep hold of all the way to the final, while knowing he hasn’t got enough support to actually win? And his presence in the final wouldn’t weaken it, as they appear to see him as someone who could have a post-show career. Same with Misha. Not to say this WILL happen. It all rests with TPTB (the powers that be). Many have refused to budge from a ‘3rd place at best’ argument for Little Mix but they have so much more going for them, and tick many more boxes, than One Direction. They were largely written off in this series purely because ‘groups don’t win XF’ which for me was and is a weak stance. Stats are there to be broken and XF knows more now than it ever did about managing the public vote to a very large degree. All in all though, this series has felt like trying to crack The Enigma Code :)) and sofabet’s analysis has been terrific.

  • I don’t think you can ignore the market. Janet (and Craig) are very weak on betfair in contrast to Little M.

  • Noisy

    I’d started to feel the producers had switched horses from Janet given their treatment of her, but have been swayed back by your article.

    At the start of the live shows I’d pictured her being the main act from week 1 and be sick of her yodelling by now with her being eliminated in 4th/5th place (a la Diana Vickers). As it happens, I’ve been too surprised by continued disappointing performances to get annoyed by her.

    Maybe they’ve just slow played her so she has less time to irritate people to help her stay the distance?

  • lolhart

    I think if the producers still want Janet to win (or at least make the final), they’re playing a dangerous game. I think one of the reasons an act who’s been in the bottom 2 has never won the show is the stigma of being in that position. Even if Janet lands in the bottom 2 this weekend and is saved by the judges, she will have an uphill struggle to come back.

    On the other hand maybe Janet has been doing so well in the voting that the producers are comfortable playing this game. After all, if there was one week where her vote dropped significantly she could get the pimp slot the following week and positive comments by the judges for being “back at her best”. No lasting damage would have been done.

    I think the Diana Vickers comments are very apt. She’s a good example of someone who started out very strong and then lost momentum and interest from the public towards the end. Maybe the same thing is being avoided with Janet?

    • Andrew

      Hi lolhart, agree with this, and with Noisy above. The theory outlined in the article definitely supposes that she must be doing well enough not to be in serious risk of the bottom two – if she lands up there, the theory goes out the window.

  • Kate

    “She knows who she is, and she takes no shit. Is this really supposed to be a bad thing?”

    The track record for assertive women on The X Factor is not bad but not good either.

  • sam

    just read your artical from start to finish and it has its merits.However if what you are saying is true it appears no matter how you, me, or anyone else votes ,regardless of choice or tallent then certain people will be in the final no matter what,as this has already been pre decided by x-factor producers.i myself like janet and have voted for her, not cus she 16 and looks vonerable or out of sympathy but because i actually like her stlye and voice,she could be 36 and look like a tramp it matters not i still like that style of music,but if using reverse psychology by both producers and judges of this show is what is happening then the producers of this show and mr cowell are way more intelligent than i have given them credit for,i only hope that if this is true or even partially true then this does not affect janet in latter life after xfactor cus screwing with someone to make them more or less popular week by week is seriously wrong.I hope janet does get to the finals and wins but because she is the best singer not because she being manipulated by the shows hierarchy.

  • Shoulders

    well they did give her a guitar for her B’ day on the X Factor show, so maybe she will be playing it on Saturday, if she still is the plan for victory they surely can’t go another week of giving her bad comments, I mentioned in my post that although betting on her to go my doubt came from the judges mentioning selling albums, I think as chaotic as the show seems big bucks are involved and probally not much in what they do is being left to chance. I certainly wouldn’t be confident of betting on her to go this week, I think if the excessive praise, pimping, song choice , and regional begging for Mecha votes was because they knew she was in bottom two territory, it looks like the same could be on the cards for little mix as the comments were along the same lines, no bets this week!!

  • Jack

    Another great article. I agree with you. In fact this is how I see the competition panning out:

    6th: Misha B (In sing-off with Craig)
    5th: Craig Colton
    4th: Amelia Lily
    3rd: Little Mix
    2nd: Marcus Collins
    1st: Janet Devlin

    Misha obviously doesn’t have enough support for a sympathy bounce unless they throw their weight behind her (and that includes a pimp slot etc) Considering the support she got last week, I am inclined to believe that they will remove support next week.

    I think that, in spite of the support Craig is getting from producers, he is far behind Marcus in the votes, hence the excessive pimping he’s receiving. He needs to go soon for producers to finally choose the last boy. I think he’ll be saved in a Misha sing-off, justified by all the positives he’s received, before being dropped at the Final 5 stage.

    Amelia Lily’s support will stay high next week, a la Diana Vickers (Who was second in the voting the week after she won the vote) but then her support will drop off, as the British sense of fair play starts and she’ll exit at the semi-final.

    Little Mix are getting every possible aid to get into the final. Their early slot last week is justification for two more late slots in the next two weeks. I think the producers will get them into the final, but won’t have enough to get them any further.

    Marcus has enough support to be in the final and I think he will get into the final 2. Unfortunately, I don’t think that he will have the sufficient support or the help from producers to win though.

    Janet, I think will have the support to win and, like last year, the early favourite will win.

    I still hold out hope that Marcus can win. Alexandra didn’t establish herself until Week 8 in 2008 and Eoghan won 6 of the first 7 public votes. You know, there are so many comparisons with 2008 so far (Particularly Amelia/Janet) that it just might happen…

  • Jack

    Oops meant Diana/Janet.

    • Kate

      I believe the differences between Janet and Diana outweigh the superficial similarities. Diana usually gave very upbeat performances, which Janet hasn’t; had no strong regional base, which Janet does; had decent momentum over at least the first four weeks of the live show; had Simon come out and name her as the likely winner; and had the misfortune not to be around in the week of 2008’s “shock exit”, which turned her into a ready-made scapegoat for aggrieved Laura White fans. We also know that she was more or less consistently second placed in the voting after Eoghan, while all the indications – admittedly unreliable and anecdotal – are that Janet is storming it this year.

      Where I feel they are likely to be similar is in transferable votes. Diana’s star waned because she wasn’t picking up enough 2nd choice votes from supporters of eliminated acts. She was too polarising and ultimately lost ground to acts with a more universal appeal like JLS and Alexandra. I can see this happening with Janet in the next couple of weeks, though I think it will depend on who else remains in the competition. If LittleMix or Amelia goes out then I suspect their vote is likely to transfer disproportionately to the survivor than to Janet.

  • zoomraker

    interesting article,

    if things are as you say how do the judges turn around and say “actually Janet you’re brilliant we’ve got it wrong for the last 4 shows” It’s not as if Janet is going to do something radically different.

    • Curtis

      They won’t say it like that though will they. The judge’s comments only very loosely correlate to the actual quality of the performance put in front of them. Janet’s rendition of Somebody To Love could have easily be branded as “brilliant” and “unique” from a pimp slot on a night when they wanted her to do well, and it’s surprising how much positive judge’s comments do for a contestant.

      • Andrew

        Agree with this Curtis, one thing this show has never been short on is chutzpah. If they want to, it’d be easy enough to give Janet the whole “you’re back on form, this is why we fell in love with you at your auditions” treatment for a performance that’s much the same as the ones they’ve been slating.

  • tpfkar

    Great article. Although I’d argue that if your main theory is right, they will end up with a tainted product at the end, it’s no less daft/inconsistent than many of the other decisions made.

    I think from general vibe, backed up by my analysis, that a Janet/Marcus (or Craig but I doubt this) / Little Mix final is pretty likely. My main doubt is that they might choose to dump Amelia in the final if she is seen as more interesting than Janet. Risky, but possible, and if they went down this route, it’s possible they could lose Janet earlier.

    As an aside on the Sun poll, note the word *facebook* – treat with caution!

  • Noisy

    Hi Andrew,

    Doesn’t the talk of a contestant being a shoe in for a post show career normally suggest the producers are trying to dampen public voting for an act as they want the public to percieve they no longer need to stay in the show to have success (from last year’s articles)? You’re showing it as a positive thing here (just after last week’s judges’ comments) or does it vary depending on the act/situation?

    • EM

      You could call it either way. The whole original article make sense but leaked “good” voting figures, negative judges comments and comments suggesting they’ve achieved their dreams (the assuming she’ll be a recording star one) are all signs of them wanting rid.

      Too mixed to call for me.

      • Andrew

        When they did it with Mary Byrne last year, it felt very much to be part of a suggestion that she’s reached the end of her journey – “whatever happens now, you’ll have a career, you’ll sell records” – which isn’t a vibe I’ve picked up with Janet (yet). Counter-example is biscuit boy, whose “I can see you selling records” a couple of weeks ago was from the pimp slot and clearly intented to enthuse.

        You could certainly interpret the leaked voting figures as a vote suppression attempt, it’s true.

  • sam

    to me the x-factor franchise is like playing poker,all the players are sat at a table (thats the producers/judges of the show) and you all have a hand of cards(thats the x-factor contestants )and they all want to play the game(thats the x-factor voters) now none of the players know what each other has in their hands and they dont know anything about each other but to play the game you need to have cunning,wit,and and good poker face if you want to win and if you want to win you have to be prepared to risk it all,now if all the cards in the game were winning hands then nobody would win the game however if you get one good player who knows how to manipulate everyone else in the game into revealing there hand without showing you their cards then your gunna win the game .

  • nugget

    What the producers have in mind for Janet may be very different to what Janet herself wants.
    I got the distinct impression a few weeks back that she didn’t really want to be there anymore and this has been reinforced in recent weeks. She knows she has a hardcore of voters, regardless of how well she performs. I was honestly half expecting Janet to walk this week, voluntarily.

    Do you think she is enjoying the whole experience? She will sell albums even if she leaves now, she is the first act I can remember who is in serious danger of winning the XFactor but doesn’t seem to badly want it !

    I am confused betting wise about Janet, so am steering clear, my main bet now is little mix top 3 finish position, I also have a little on Misha EW placed before the live shows started which is likely to end up as toilet paper soon. Not even had a bet on elimination this week yet, although I am getting tempted by the 15/8 Misha to go, if she hits the bottom 2 again (likely) then surely she cannot be saved a 3rd time??

    • misky knoodle

      it really does nt matter to producer/syco what janets wants from the competition or whether she wants to walk because all the contestants are sighned upto a twelve month contract which was sighned well before the live shows and because all the contestants pretty much wanted what was on offer they signed their lives away for twelve months and have to say how high when asked to jump so no i don t believe janet has any kind of say in the matter and plus i don t think that the x factor really care who wins because they ve made their money with advertising revenue.

    • nugget

      Thanks taichou…..her whole face and demeanor in the live shows just cries out I wanna go home! Interesting she says she wants to try something upbeat in that interview….will we finally get her “skater boi” moment and shock us all?

      • taichou

        its movie theme so not skater boi for sure:))
        hope she does Regina Spektor, or Gary Jules – Madworld..

        • nugget

          Movie theme eh…

          I am there this week for the show, was hoping for 2 songs each this week but hey thats life.
          Just going to stick a small bet on Misha to be eliminated and enjoy the event this week.
          Not sure if attending the show will help from a point of view but it’s something I have wanted to do for a while.

          • misky knoodle

            looking forward to your honest account of the live show because i ve heard its shrowded in secrecy and what happens at the x factor lives stays at the x factor lives!.Enjoy!

  • Dan

    I believe that there is a huge disconnect between the people who pick up the phones to vote and those who buy the records. If you noticed in series 7 last year, the acts being desperately pimped were dreadful Cher Lloyd and Wand Erection. Regardless of my views on them, they are high marketable to the tweens/early-teens and teens respectively and these are markets that download a lot of songs. In fact, they have probably never bought a CD and if they have credit on their mobile, they’ll text their friends, not spend £1+ on an X-Factor vote.
    Janet is simply not going to appeal to this market which would explain the pimping of Pick ‘n Mix and the return of Amelia Lily. These are the only two acts in the competition that have any chance of selling singles/album tracks in the sort of volumes that Syco demands.
    Matt Cardle was top placed in all weeks bar one but his second single and album disappeared from the charts as quickly as they entered. Janet would probably go the same way if she won.

  • Pete D

    Thanks for the semi-convincing article Andrew, it actually HAS been a help even though I am not a fan of the GINGER WHINGER and it will never sway me to put a win bet on her.

    There would be more chance of FREDDIE STARR getting through CELEB JUNGLE without another heart attack than that happening (God forbid, and bless him for trying).

    Realistically, I can still see how she is fairly likeable/marketable to the yodelling fan masses, BUT she will ALWAYS be the ‘TAIL TRYING TO WAG THE DOG’ deluded minx that managers and record labels have nightmares about when stumping up hard cash to invest in record deals with feisty prima donnas like her. Seen it all before.

    XF have had this taped too for weeks now and have realised the error of thier early folly. This has been the reason for all the head scratching ‘smack downs’ and hurriedly desperate oust-plans; and even the (rather obviously inconciderate on her special day) personal insulting verbals for a birthday present. YES, even I have a heart sometimes.

    It is plain that she is just a spoiled mollycoddled bratt who will take a strop if she can’t get her own way. The camera doesn’t lie and even clever editing is not so good that they could just make it up. She is trouble with a capital T.

    How they will get out of it now, without publically being seen to twist her thumb screws any more ? IT is to do what they have been doing with the far more managable and lucrative LITTLE MIX…PIMP THEM TO THE SKY.

    Although I am now firmly planted in LITTLE MIX’s camp to win ( along with my MARCUS cover), I have to now have the courage to stay ‘somewhere’ in the hope for a decent lift without risking a lot of smaller ‘thinly spread’ hedge bets, BUT there STILL has to be a 2nd placer to go with them.

    In this respect I am now into doing ‘straight forecasts’ to get the BIG odds.
    I had LM on with MARCUS (both ways) weeks ago at 66/1.

    And, as covered in my later post in the last thread, now that SHAM-ELIA has arrived I also have her 2nd place to LM at 28/1 (and DROPPING at around 16’s).

    NOW that I have read this article, I just managed to grab a 33/1 of LM with JANET on PaddyPower (NOW GONE TO 28 as I write BUT 33 still with SKYBET…so HURRY !).
    28 too still if you like what ANDREW has written for her to win with LM second.

    NO JOKE, the bookies lack of pick-up on LITTLE MIX options is a bloody GIFT for you people right now.

    Any of these combos will pay very well now should LM come up trumps for me, hence I won’t miss what little I invested on the other staraight forecast hedges.

    So ANDREW, I could just be thanking you again for this article in a few weeks.

    • nugget

      Hi Pete

      I too am in the LM camp now, although joining much later than you, EW@ 12/1 and final 3 at 13/8.
      I am not sure that they can be pushed over the line as winners, but it will not be through a lack of trying…..a place in the final looks nailed on though.

      Are you up for SAT Wembley??


      • Pete D

        Hi Nugget.
        Was just about to hail you. Better keep hawking that ticket as I am still trying to see if I can cover the trip cost and I will have to take my chances rather than hold you up.
        Have worked out (if 9am Saturday queueing) that I would have to come to London Friday and then home Sunday (300 miles). Involves more hotel fee, Ugh.
        Will deffo let you know asap if can do it at all and many Thanks!

        OK, then think about this. On those odds I wrote/saw, think WHOEVER but + LITTLE MIX 2nd then. There are only 2 main (but 3) decent options and a small bit on each could pay big divs if one comes up. Just a thought as they will not be there when they have stunned the world with their promised close harmony surprise next weekend.
        Sample practise previews of it so far are world class.

  • Boki

    Nice music for my ears Andrew, no problem to convince me because I hoped already in such a explanation and you just confirmed it 🙂

    One thing bothers me, why didn’t they try to stop Matt Cardle if OneD was the plan? Or did they learn a lesson there so pushing LM comes with downgrade of Janet?

    Btw, I see now LM odds on betfair just shorter than Janet. What do you think Janet’s odds will be if she makes top3 without being in bottom 2 (let’s say together with a boy and LM)?

  • nugget

    Does anyone else think we are due a “deadlock” this week ??

    Assuming the act with the lowest number of public votes is NOT littlemix then I think the producers will be happy to use deadlock this week to add to suspense of the show..as its not been used yet this series..6/5 looks ok to me for a daft £50

    • tpfkar

      I was wondering about this earlier this week, I’m wondering if they have chosen to get rid of the act who is bottom several times, because the judges look stronger making a decision and keeping control, even when they don’t need to? No idea if there is anything in this.

      Seems a mighty coincidence if the act they want to get rid of has been 2nd last 5 weeks in a row.

  • bunnyman

    Sorry guys, as much as I love this site and look forward to each new article with great anticipation I can’t join in with the plaudits for this particular piece of work.

    It feels like you are micro analysing small details and again coming up with subjective and speculative conclusions, whilst glossing over the big picture, which is they have destroyed her for three weeks. No-one is going to persuade me that you undermine your main asset to that degree to keep up the pretence of an open contest for the benefit of ratings. ‘Lets tune in to see if that girl who we keep getting told is boring can win X Factor.’ It just doesn’t ring true. Has a subsequent finalist, let alone a winner ever been undermined this much in the past?

    The majority of the audience now see her as a boring one trick pony. They might be able to win round a few back round if she suddenly starts hitting the ball out of the park, but how can she do that? Like Diana Vickers her confidence and aura has been destroyed. Bear in mind that Diana was clearly favoured by TPTB and they did everything they could to hype her up at every opportunity, but once she had lost the zeitgeist there was no getting it back.

    Here are some facts which haven’t made it into the article:

    Daily Star article. It said that she lead the vote had up to 25% of the vote. Hardly an insurmountable lead, or evidence that she is romping the vote. Do any readers believe that she is gaining new fans? Surely she is losing them at an alarming rate?

    One trick pony. This is an overused phrase this year, but there was a great deal of fuss made about the need for her to show that she can do something outside of her comfort zone. When this much heralded performance came it was a disaster. No-one is talking about her doing something different now, so where does she go from here? Can we look forward to 8 or 9 more performances in her comfort zone?

    The Sun Poll. For every 80 votes that Marcus got she got one! Ok this beggars belief, but however flawed the methodology of the poll, it doesn’t look good.

    US Idol. Drew is very similar to Janet, but much better, more reliable and even younger. Cowell seems to love her and she is joint favourite. No way will he want two such similar winners in the same year. It could be this fact alone which has resulted in her fall from favour.

    The draw. We can all speculate what the producers or judges may or may not have intended with this comment or that. But since week 2 her treatment in the draws has been brutal.

    Week 1 16/16(4th of 4 girls)
    Week 2 4/12 (1st of 3 girls)
    Week 3 2/11 (1st of 3 girls)
    Week 4 6/10 (3rd of 3 girls)
    Week 5 2/9 (1st of 2 girls)
    Week 6 4/7 (1st of 3 girls)

    Guys, this is a betting site, yes we all accept she can still win, but you have failed to address the key question is she value at prices around 6.0-7.0 where she currently sits? In my opinion the answer is a resounding ‘no’ but the air of positivity in this article could lead your readers who, with have justifiably built up a great deal of faith in you, to believe that you are recommending a back of her at current prices. A quick scan of some of the comments suggests that this may be the case. Is this your intention?

    • Pete D

      Very well put (and some good useful factual info there too form yourself). As you can tell, the article has not swayed me to win bet her, or to EVER even vote for her to save her from a well deserved ‘wake up and smell the Coffee’ smack round her face from a frustrated Kelly.

      A CD of hers in my Crimbo Stocking would be about as welcome as a fart in a space suit.

      However these guys here do/share a lot of homework and read our opinions too (sometimes gracefully standing corrected, as they did when I ‘chance’ predicted something that they did not spot with Frankie). It is ‘chance’ and improbability after all that rules betting odds.

      After reading US, they also have to play Devil’s Advocate to help us reason and think again and to share our own ideas and whatever info we can find to pool. It all gives us food for thought and has indeed paid me some divvies by what I have learned.

      Its only thoughts, words and ideas and we don’t have to use it as an official betting bible. It gives us chance to vent our spleens too, and if they have ever caused you to win a penny more than you would have without reading anything here, then it is a grateful plus.
      None of us can bet on ANY of us getting ANYTHING right really as nowt is certain except for birth and death.

      Great Newton’s Law input though too as JANET’s twitter figures on the XF Extra show and the STAR leak phone poll figures do show an equal and opposite picture of support.

      (ps. Nothing personal or patronising meant here as there are always newcomers looking in like little old recent me and we want to encourage their ‘great anticipation’ too).

    • Kev

      Bunnyman’s post is the best on here by a mile.

      The thought that the producers would allow a potential winner to be utterly destroyed for 3 weeks running as part of a big plan to ressurect her is utterly ridiculous.

      Her core vote was always going to be enough to have her topping the vote for a few weeks ala Eoghan but never enough to actually win the thing. The only new votes she can now gain are sympathy votes as Gary and Tulisa have ruined her.

    • Andrew

      Hi Bunnyman, I think your post itself answers the question it raises – we assume readers can form their own conclusions. As Pete says in reply, it’s all intended in the spirit to “help us reason and think again and to share our own ideas and whatever info we can find to pool. It all gives us food for thought”.

      The way it’s phrased in the article expresses what we think about Janet’s current price – “might start to look like pretty good value come the final”. If the theory in the article is right, and Janet makes the final after getting some more positive comments, we’d expect her to be lower than 5s. Of course, the theory might be wrong.

      • Kev

        Please tell me you’re not saying she is value because she will be shorter than 5s if she gets to the final.

        So we have to imagine she gets better comments(this alone wouldn’t be enough imo as Gary has ruined her) makes the final, comes up against an underperforming Little Mix and then the producers throw their weight behind Janet rather than Craig (an adorable Marcus destroys her in a head to head Sunday). Then she might look like good value if you took 5s?

        Good luck with that.

      • bunnyman

        Thanks for the reply Andrew. I agree that exploring contrarian possibilities is a key part of your role and its interesting to read your thoughts of how Janet might come back into this. But the fact remains that the likes of Simon “le Happy Chat” and Jack are taking comfort from this article and seeing it as endorsement of their personal views that Janet is value at current prices. Do you believe that Janet is value at current prices? If not I think you should make this clear.

        • Andrew

          Hi Bunnyman, I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that question.

          If producers are determined to prevent Janet from winning, 5/1 is awful value. If they’re merely trying to keep the contest looking open, it’s great value. Either one of these things is true or the other, and I don’t find the concept of value a particularly helpful way to think in such situations.

          To answer the spirit of your question, though, I’m green on Janet and happy to remain so.

          • bunnyman

            You and Daniel provide a fantastic service and your output is incredible, so even though I think you’re well wide of the mark on this one its probably time to let it drop. I’ll just take comfort in the fact that if this is the best argument that guys as good as you can come up with in favour of Janet, then I can be comfortable with my red for now 😉 Keep up the good work.

  • nugget

    I think this stage it is useful to look at second prefernces of voters should their favoured act drop out. These are people who do vote so are important, and as I said in an earlier post, many people watch , have an opinion but dont bother to vote.

    For example, should Misha go this week her votes are likely to be split mainly between Amelia and LM with a few to Janet.

    Craig goes then Marcus picks up votes and vice versa.

    Amelia goes then her votes likely go to mainly to LM, with some to Misha/Janet.

    If Littlemix go , actually FORGET that LM are going nowhere this week 🙂

  • nugget

    For those who do not mind waiting a while to be paid out, Littlemix are 2/1 with Ladbrokes to have a UK number one in 2012.
    Cher LLoyd, Matt Cardle, JLS, Wand Erection, and numerous others have managed it. Got a feeling LM will do this win or lose in XF

  • Shoulders

    wasn’t Danyl Johnson an act that came into the live shows a favourite from the auditions, only to be dissed by the judges, especially Sharon, he finished 3rd, was that a deliberate attempt to stop him winning?? and will not what they are doing to Janet stop her, may be the majority of the audience are forgetful and a couple of weeks of good comments for Janet all the bad weeks will be forgotten?? In the past the journey too the final has been one of building confidence, story’s of been hard to manage and a boring singer seems to be a dangerous stragergy from the producers for Janet, my view is they are damping her support in the hope they can get some of her votes to switch to little mix and mecha

    • lolhart

      Danyl may have been an early favourite, but I think the producers always had him set up as a marmite/controverial character. He got a lot of praise for his audition but then criticism over his boot camp and judges’ houses performances. He was also branded arrogant a la Misha B and accused of bullying. Olly Murs was the chosen one for that series. When they revealed who the judges had tipped to win at the end of the series they’d all chosen him bar Dannii I believe.

      • Andrew

        I actually thought they were trying their hardest to turn it around for Danyl towards the end. In the semi-final he got the pimp slot, with Olly up first, and he only just missed the final – 0.8% behind Olly, 0.6% behind Stacey. By that stage they must have known Joe had it in the bag, though.

  • Malcolm

    Janet is definitely a strong character. I thought she was a bit up herself when she did the barefoot thing at judges houses. Her twitter page says nothing about being an X factor contestant….

    “Music’s the motions of my mind of which I don’t have to speak, for you can hear them without verbalization” ….odd?

    Anyway she seems to be the only contestant who is able to dictate anything over song choices and performance to the producers . So she holds some power over them and I suspect that comes from a huge chunk of the vote each week.

    The comments on here about numbers of people voting rings true with me, hardly anyone votes unil the final. Faced with Janet Marcus and little
    Mix In the final , and the great British public voting, I can see Janet coming out on top. At that point they will be hyping all the acts, so all the current negativity around her will have gone.

    And I say all this as someone who has never been that keen on her. I thought her quirky singing style would quickly become a bit diana vickers and boring. What do I know? (lascel wood and Melanie McCabe :oD )

    Janet Marcus little mix final would be a good final. With misha so easy to get rid of now when they want I think Craig will go this week to save any awkward choices later. Misha can follow next week.

  • dan12

    Does the daily star article about Janet topping the vote actually exist?

    Can’t find it on the star’s website and Andrew’s post only links to a sofabet forum post which quotes a digital spy forum comment which itself provides no proof/link.

  • bob

    As I said a while ago, I think the producers wanted to avoid the scenario from last year where Matt was around evens or lower from 6 weeks out. It does explain the building up and bringing down we’ve seen of several acts. I’m just hoping that TGSM (Marcus) has enough wind in its sails to ride out any brooding storms ahead.

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    I dont believe the producers care who wins it, but rather that the chosen few get to the final.
    Many beaten finalists flourish after the show and their stock exceeds the actual winners.

    Get the cream to the top and let the voters decide.

  • Boki

    Amelia still gets good headlines like:

    Oh no! Amelia Lily is ‘hated’ backstage on The X Factor!

    Susan Boyle backing Amelia Lily!

    Read more: http://xfactor.tellymix.co.uk/news/59076-x-factor-2011-susan-boyle-backing-amelia-lily.html#ixzz1drV7mMBg

    While Janet article does not look encouraging
    X Factor 2011: Kelly Rowland tells Janet Devlin she faces the axe!

    Read more: http://xfactor.tellymix.co.uk/judges/59185-x-factor-2011-kelly-rowland-tells-janet-devlin-she-faces-the-axe.html#ixzz1drVlBIoG

    • Curtis

      Actually, Janet’s articles today look helpful. Most importantly, they seem to indiate that Kelly and Janet are on friendly terms. They also suggest that Janet’s working hard this week, (in direct contradiction to one of Gary’s comments last weekend) and that she thinks she’s in trouble, so they could entice some form of a sympathy vote.

      I’m still not sold on the idea of this article, but I’m not going to write it off just yet.

  • Bob I’m not sure the betting impacts on people that vote. After all many of them are not old enough to bet. Therefore Matt being evens for a long time would not necessarily impact on the show’s audience numbers. And of course the voting figures were not public until the end.

    In contrast I bet on these events but I would never ever dream of wasting money on a vote!

    • bob

      Yeah, sure, not saying they necessarily do but they the odds generally reflect public mood and people are usually aware of who the favourite is. The point being, as the article mentions, that if “everyone knows” who is going to win there may well be less interest.

  • Shoulders

    does anyone know that this weeks theme is??

  • Nicky

    I find the gist of your argument plausible, but am not totally convinced. Yes, I can still see Janet winning based on the depth of her fan base and improved performances, but the show’s intentions seem very unclear.

    How would the return of Amelia be anything but bad news for Janet? This would surely be an extrememly risky move if you’re hoping to keep the under performing golden girl on track?

    The judges comments for Janet were hardly homogenous last week. Louis’s rave review seemed ridiculously over the top, rendering it hollow, and his assertion that she was the most consistent performer was laughable. What I found curious was Kelly’s lukewarm attempts to defend her act, which reminded me of Cowell in assasination mode.

    Referring back to your article about the judges and how they might vote, I get the impression this year’s panel are actually a bit more maverick and less malleable than usual. Big names have big egos and are very competitive. However, this is then contradicted by the over-hyping of Amelia’s supposedly ‘sensational’ rendition of, as she sang it, ‘Show must go on’. Perhaps no-one would have dared deviate from the script on this one as it would have been too damaging for the show.

    The other issue is Janet’s performances. All acts have good and bad weeks but no winner has ever sang as poorly as Janet on the last three shows. This has to be worrying for the show, surely, not only in terms of credibility, but because they are obliged to make an album with the winner.

    • Pete D

      Great positive alternative view there to pull the subject theory back round a bit, (though hats off to ANDREW for injecting a fairly sobering theory for the old grey matter to ponder on).
      As the editors have already admitted “we are in unchartered waters now with the new AMELIA twist”.

      I think it is acedemic now that MISHA and BISCUIT BOY will be gone soon (and very likely ‘first’ and in that order too whilst the great female mud-wrestling contest brings in the viewers for another couple of weeks).

      Whilst we are ALL trying to work out just what XF’s masterplan is (whether it actually BE planned for JANET to stay, BUT to stop being a ‘stubborn know it all minx’, OR be it just blind panic at HOW to finally axe her because she is proving to be a ‘too much hassle’), your paragraph 2 ‘logically’ says it all for me.

      Staying on the theme that JANET ‘is’ being groomed for for the BOOT or just a further downsizing to a sure 3rd place.

      The TELLYMIX poll (above link) now indicates AMELIA-ticket SILLY way ahead of the GINGER WHINGER (and in 1st place now).

      The momentum of this new interest in fresh meat ALONE could now be enough to take the heat off the Judges in having to publically degrade JANET any more, as AMELIA automatically takes the flack for a (fairly seen) usurping of her votes, and purely by her own distracting ‘new kid on the block’ popularity with mug teen voters.

      Her hyped up arrival could have been the ‘prayed for’ Manna from Heaven for XF, which is perhaps why she WAS (over)-praised for her naff performance (and after all, she IS easier to destroy than JANET if/when they so wish).

      The way I see it is, that as a similar aged solo girl threat to JANET now that MISHA has self destructed, the PINK WITCH is simply being used by XF JUST for the purpose of this very task. To either ‘possibly’ beat her in a popularity contest sing-off OR to just take votes off her to make sure that she runs a ‘WOUNDED 3rd’ at best in the final, behind the earmarked front runners LM and MARCUS (as it is clear that these are the flagships that they want there now in 1st and 2nd place, either way round).

      THEN XF start to degrade AMELIA instead to get rid to 4th (or even a considered possible 3rd) after out-living her usefullness. After all she DID say that she preferred to make it on her own WITHOUT XF.

      XF WILL have undoubtedly taken that knee-jerk bad loser snub on board.
      So she might just get her ‘two faced’ wish now after her free ride.

      Logically, at 4th, her new found teen votes might then largley transfer to LITLLE MIX in the final.

      Nobody takes any notice of the laughable Court Jester Louis’ comments any more anyway so his OTT praise for JANET is exactly what you say it is.

      I also get the album scenario. As I have said before, Management and Record Companies will NOT cast their seed on stoney boring ground or risk being told what to do by a deluded, smug, tree hugging yodelling dreamer who lives in a Disney Princess bubble.

  • Has anyone clocked the big drift on Craig? Now a massive 7.6 on betfair and clear outsider of the five with a chance(sxcluding Misha of course).Surely he’s a goner.

    • Simon "le chat"

      Hope so Mike.
      Yes, I noticed it too – maybe others are catching on to the fact that he is very limited in his appeal. Ok, he sings a good ballad but so does the bloke who sang “Just one Cornetto” on TV.
      CRAIG is not final material.
      I wish him well in his career after he has left the field open for MARCUS.
      Daniel, I am looking forward to the next of your excellent assessments re MARCUS and CRAIG.
      You’re not really going to abandon MARCUS after all we’ve been through with him are you?
      Will respect your assessment as always though.

      • Curtis

        I’m expecting him to answer one of the big questions of this series (or at least attempt to). Why has Craig been pimped to infinity and beyond, whilst Marcus has been left out to dry.

  • Dug

    Anyone know what’s with Little Mix jumping Craig in the odds today? Has there been something in the press or did it just take a while for the weekend’s dust to settle?

    • Simon "le happy chat"

      Hi Dug
      It’s not just Craig LM have overtaken in the betting- they have also leapfrogged JANET which is crackers in my view


    • Pete D

      Dug and Simon.
      This is why I have been drawing attention to the very high priced LITTLE MIX with ANYONE ‘straight forecasts’ combos whilst they are still there (which will now follow suit and quickly come in after their promised ‘close harmony’ party piece on Saturday).

      Good insurance if LM take the crown methinks imho.

      • Dug

        But what I’m asking is why? What causes these midweek shifts if there’s no show?

        • Pete D

          Its likely to be exactly what you said and with no particular mystery surrounding it either, because if there ARE any valid reasons behind the shifts, you are likely to read them here FIRST as the Jungle Drum news arrives in from all quarters via the tip hungry eyes and ears amongst us.

          You can bet your sweet bippy too that the bookies also read SOFABET (and others) for trends and ideas. It’s their job.

  • EJ

    Hi all, first time commenting but have been reading for a while & love the site. I just had one thought. As we know, the show often plays on the regional vote and, in particular, Louis has ALWAYS backed & over-hyped Irish acts yet I can’t recall that he’s ever once asked Ireland to pick up the phone for Janet this series. That just doesn’t ring true for me and I do wonder if it’s a sign that Janet is easily topping the vote and they really don’t want to encourage further voters otherwise she’ll just run away with the show.

    • Andrew

      Hi EJ and welcome! You could be right. I’m increasingly thinking there could be something in the theory that was raised here a while ago that the regional vote appeals indicate poor performance rather than (as I’ve always assumed) a simple desire to get more cash from phone votes… the Misha B Manchester stuff certainly suggests so. Would be interesting to do an analysis.

  • AlexK

    I don’t think Janet will win.

    I am still behind Marcus. I believe he still has ballad or 2 to sing. Although he is not being marketed that way currently, from recent comments I reckon he could pull some standout performances yet. I dont believe we have seen the best of him yet.

    Janet & Craig im bored of already. When the numbers get small will people really vote for their favourite as opposed to someone who delivers a stand out performance. (As long as they aren’t hated, which Marcus isn’t)

    Marcus is also far more likeable than the other 2 imo. Looking at past winners, I would say that the winner always has everything. Singability, Likeability, Marketability. Ok marcus maybe lower on the last one but has been the same in past years. I think if Marcus did win, his career wouldn’t be too long

  • AlexK

    Oh and Little Mic will never win. Look at stats. No band as every won…it will be no different this year. Why would it be.

    In comparison you cannot get behind a group as much as a solo artist.

    When lookng at a solo artist you can get behind one story and liken it to your own (or own imagination) and have that connection (no matter how made up in your brain)

  • Pete D

    On the contrary there no stats for Irish yodellers either as one has ever won before to my knowledge, so why should this year be different for them ?

    Also, in no other year have XF thrown their mighty weight behind a girl group or boy band like they have so plainly done this year. Pimping them at every single opportunity (even through guest’s top tips for the crown ).

    Never say never as that is what makes ‘gambling’ on chance just what it is. That’s why we explore the most likely possibilities in depth here (even the outside ones).

    However, good explanation behind your reasoning would be welcome if you know something that we don’t.

    • tpfkar

      I’d argue they pushed 1D as much last year. Little Mix seem to have been a late decision (we all thought they were fodder at first) but they’ve made them more interesting and credible – easy to forget they were another band who took 2 attempts to put together.

      This article has tempted me to top up on Janet; I don’t think she’s going this weekend so expect her odds to be tighther this time next week, and we can reassess then.

    • Andrew

      Hi Pete, I agree with tpfkar, I think 1D were pushed to the maximum last year and from a much earlier stage – 1D were clearly very carefully planned right from the audition shows, whereas all the signs are that Little Mix were chucked together almost at random and had the producers’ finger of fate alight on them only around week 4 or 5.

      We wrote a review article on what might be learned from 1D’s failure last year, not sure if you’ve seen it

      The main argument for Little Mix being able to outperform 1D is that this is a much weaker year. Matt and Rebecca were both stronger contestants than anything we have this time around.

      • nugget

        I hope you are wrong Andrew, I NEED Littlemix to make the final, I have quite a lot riding on this, lots of 13/8, just topped up with another £250 @ 5/4.
        Assuming they survive this week I am hoping to lay a little back at about 4/6 cos I have quite a lopsided position on this now 🙂

        • Andrew

          Hi Nugget, don’t get me wrong, I’m sceptical about whether they can win this but I think they have a very healthy chance now of getting to the final – at this stage it does look like producers will move heaven and earth to get them there.

          The main danger looks like week 9, which should now have 4 acts (barring any new twists), as traditionally by the 4 act stage it’s down to the public vote alone. Although having said that, judging by the Cher-Mary singoff last year they might not be averse to breaking with tradition if needs must. 🙂

          • nugget

            Hi Andrew

            LittleMix “odds on” everywhere for top 3 now except Boylesports who still going 5/4.

            The profitability of this series for me is now wholly dependant on this result.

            If it comes down to last 4 and they are still around (which they should be) I may have to start laying it and lock in a profit.

            I still think its a great bet though 🙂

      • Pete D

        Fair comment on my uninformed inclusion of ‘boy band’ there then regarding 1D as I was not around here last year (but still got on Matt very early with my one modest win bet).

        Though as a musician and fan of the show, I do not consciously remember it being as constant and heavy a bombardment with 1D as with LM still. They were not poor young ‘Internet bullied’ girls and certainly not as colourful, pretty and sweet (therefore with no attention grabbing sympathy or girlie subject matter to go at as with the girls here). I watch for EVERY clue.

        Thier harmonies were no where near as strong and tight as LMs are at this point either. The chemistry was looser too with a couple of suspect egos threatening to clash.

        The Girl band history info though WAS what I picked up here from you guys in your LM thread.

        Even so, with lITTLE MIX I have been watching EVERY single move, sign and word from XF and the public right from day one as they tested the water with them and so far I have not been wrong with my prediction of thier current ‘Steamrolling’ status, as you know (now top 3 betting, above your own hope JANET even).

        If I am wrong then it will have been a great entertaining ride and I will not have lost much, as my style of betting pleasure is to spot winners at long shot big prices early on.

        However, if my well studied hunch pays off (and others benefit too from my infectious enthusiasm and homework), I will be enjoying some nice 66/1 wins PLUS varied forecasts with MARCUS, JANET or AMELIA in 2nd place (covered by a smaller early priced MARCUS win bet (also with LM as 2nd forecasts). If they do bomb 1st or 2nd too and he just wins, it gives me my stake back at least with enough left for a good Crimbo drink).

        The time is right and the gap in the market is right and I don’t believe for a minute that X-Factor have NOT been doing thier homework and preparations for this very opportunity to fill it from thier own jug (with a big smug ‘I told you so’ grin from SIMON COWBELL to match).

        Anyway, as is my always my wish to inject some light hearted humour into the proceedings, I leave you with a scenario that you all just COULD be facing come the night of the final.


  • Uncle Si

    My first post – I’ve been following the site for a few weeks and it has brought an intriguing new dimension to watching the X Factor. Thank you Daniel for your carefully argued articles.

    I think we shouldn’t forget the human element in this. Perhaps the notable promotion of Craig is simply because Gary likes him. Just as the bashing of Janet is because they find it harder to like her, if we believe reports.

    My fear is that Janet needs only to do another Your Song in the final and she’s got it in the bag. All the dodgy intervening performances would prove irrelevant. I hope not because I think Marcus and Little Mix are far more worthy. Marcus for his talent and cheery character, and Little Mix because they seem to be forming into a genuine group before our eyes.

    Re. Craig and Misha, someone mentioned it above and I would add the analogy of a snooker ball hanging over the pocket. It’s an easy pot but you actually leave it til next time as you know you can pick it off when times are harder. So Misha if she enters the bottom 2 might actually be saved this week. Craig to join her there and leave in a ‘shock aXe’.

    I’m in the Janet-is-storming-the-vote camp. I think Little Mix and Craig are being pushed because they’re hovering above the relegation zone each week. Likewise Misha who they want to push as long as possible to set up a career. I reckon the producers will feel they’ve done a good job if they get Little Mix and Marcus into the final to join Janet.

    Then in the final, Little Mix 3rd, and Marcus if he keeps his momentum possibly 1st.

    The stats will make fascinating reading after the show!

    • Andrew

      Hi Si, welcome to the site! I have wondered about that explanation for Devlin… it would be pretty unprofessional of them, though, to let personal feelings get in the way of what we assume must be a larger plan (whatever it is! :-))

  • nugget

    Be careful…I nearly got caught out a moment ago

    Was just about to have a daft little bet on Craig to be saved by the judges at 10/3 with skybet.

    Now skybet are quoting prices on all 6 acts for this and betting to 120%. Not brilliant but fair enough I guess if you can spot some value.

    Then it suddenly occured to me , that its act is saved then presumably all about 50/50 (IMO) that it goes to deadlock this week. If it goes to deadlock and your these “saved by the judges” bets are losers…this means they are betting to 170% on a 7 runner race!!, if you include the price of 6/5 “no act to be saved by the judges.”

  • fiveleaves

    They’ve been behind Little Mix from the off imo.
    Everything from Brazier pushing them on This Morning before the Judges House show went out. To Jessie J saying she’d fallen in love with them. Tulisa saying the boyband market was saturated but there’s a gap for a girlband. Other judges have said the same since.
    The casting was perfect.
    4 very normal likeable girls. All very good singers. 2 from the North East to tap into that strong regional vote. Also having one slightly overweight in Jessy, I’m sure was planned and the vt of her being upset about the comments all ready to go whenever it was needed.

    Talent wise they’re much better than 1D, who were always going to struggle to win over the votes of anyone over 14, given they had Cardle and Rebecca to vote for instead.

    They’re much more on a similar level talent wise as JLS who would have won with help in the final.

    • nugget

      I hope you are right fiveleaves 🙂

      This X Factor is getting hard work….

      Bring on Eurovision, its so much easier 🙂 The last time I had so much at stake was opposing France in ESC….hope this works out as well

      • fiveleaves

        Surely a positive for the girls 🙂

        N-Dubz rapper Fazer has confirmed plans to produce this year’s X Factor winner’s single.

        The producer – real name Richard Rawson – has been appointed by Simon Cowell to work with the winning act.

        “I’ll be producing for the X Factor winner, it’s been decided,” he told The Sun. “This isn’t just a hook-up with [girlfriend] Tulisa [Contostavlos], I’m going to work with whichever act wins.

        “I’ve been talking to SyCo about working on a few different things for them.”

        Fazer added: “We really want to give a new flavour to the X Factor acts. It’s going to suit me. I have rock influences, hip-hop, pop, whatever.

        “I have produced Dappy’s new track and songs for Tulisa too. I’m hoping for the Christmas numbers one and two.”

        It was previously reported that X Factor judge Gary Barlow will be writing the song for this year’s winner

  • shoulders

    Congratulations Andrew 100 comments!!! the site is going from strength to strength, can Janet still win has certainly got people typing!!, I’m loving all the different view points, is Janet going to come out and smash it this week, or will it be 5 weeks in a row of bad comments?? were certainly going to find out on Saturday. Reading all this is definatly making this a great series to watch, without Sofabet, I’d have probally stopped watching by now, the acts are not at the same standard as previous years. Any way morning everyone and looking forward to the Craig / Marcus article, keep up the excellent work Sofabet team !!

  • dan12

    Maybe this VT explains a bit more about Janet and rebellion against the stylists.

    laury’s lowdown

    I’m getting a sense of the sponsor angling to get the gear they want to flog to twenty-somethings this season modelled by teenagers.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>