X Factor 2011 Week 7 Post-Mortem: That’s the way the cookie crumbles

It turns out the public are suckers for a sob-story VT after all. Misha B’s teary chat with Kelly gave her a second sympathy bounce, against the expectations of most, leaving Craig Colton to face off against Amelia Lily in the final showdown.

We had tipped Amelia Lily at 10/1 in our pre-elimination post, and while that wasn’t a winner it could at least have been laid off at around 3.0 on Betfair during the singoff.

In our immediate review of the Saturday show, we noted that all the evidence pointed to Craig Colton being “dropped like a turd in a patisserie box” asΒ Dug later put it. It was certainly a sharp and unexpected change of direction from producers considering the previous unremittingly positive coverage the biscuit boy had received.

As I wrote in response to a question from commenter taichou in the comments under yesterday’s update piece, “A Craig / Amelia bottom two would be a difficult one to call. I don’t think I’d be betting on that one.”

And I didn’t – the first singoff of the series that I’d sat out, after five previous singoffs that had seemed like finding money in the street. While the fact that Craig sang first continued the remarkable run of predictability – now 19 of the last 20 singoffs have seen the act singing second saved – there were too many nagging doubts for me to pile on Craig.

Notably, the rationale that had led us to tip Amelia Lily – essentially, that we thought it would damage the credibility of the X Factor brand for a contestant who had entered through the back door to get to the final. The fact that they allowed her to go through means that they really wanted rid of Craig this week.

We rather suspect the bottom two pairing was not quite what producers were anticipating. We would bet they were hoping merely to get Misha B above Craig but still in the bottom two, allowing them to save her on deadlock and set her up for a sympathy bounce next week.

Interestingly, the two acts in the bottom two had both got the “red and black” treatment pointed out by new Sofabet commenter Richard on his betsfactor site. He flagged up how a red and black colour scheme seems favoured when the show want to depress an act’s vote, and pointed out how this had been part of Craig’s treatment this week. Sofabet commenter Nicky pointed out that it applied to Amelia, too.

Perhaps the thinking is to put viewers in mind of Hades. At any rate, it is a fascinating new angle to bear in mind which we certainly hadn’t noticed before.

The treatment of Amelia Lily on Saturday – a gentle deceleration rather than the gear-crunching into reverse that we had anticipated – had strongly suggested to us that the intention was to soften up Amelia for a week 8 exit rather than drop her into the bottom two now.

If this is the case, the show now faces something of a headache as Amelia will be due for a sympathy bounce next week. Of course, the unique circumstances of her re-arrival into the show raise a question mark about whether she will get one – but one of the central planks of the softening-up process, breeding complacency in her supporters that she doesn’t need their votes, has now been blown out of the water.

Added to that, now Misha B has enjoyed her second sympathy bounce, she is due for a comedown next week. It may be hard for them to keep Misha above Amelia in the vote, much as we believe they’d like to.

It will now be fascinating to see whether producers decide to revert to the format of losing the singoff at the week 8, final 5 stage which has been traditional in previous series where we have headed to a three-act final. There are precedents for a singoff at the final 5 stage, of course, not least last year’s.

As far as we are aware, no announcement has yet been made of how next week’s vote will work, and last year at the final 5 stage it was unclear whether or not there was going to be a singoff right up until the Sunday show.

We’ll be back on Monday with more in-depth thoughts in a review post as usual, but for now what are your reactions to Craig being sent back to Liverpool Kirkby? Do let us know below.

46 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 7 Post-Mortem: That’s the way the cookie crumbles

  • tpfkar

    A profitable weekend without any sweat, as I was on Craig and Amelia at good odds, and Misha with a decent stake, so was always likely to collect.

    I like your theory on the last thread about them being desperate to get rid of Craig to prevent another walkout – possibly with his implicit consent.

    Just disappointed the first big test of my vote model missed Misha B’s sympathy bounce; I’ll have a good look at this.

  • taichou

    heh, i really didnt expect them to save Amelia over Craig… well next week i suppose is the BIG one, where we’ll see the whole top3:)

  • Jack

    Pretty obvious next two weeks:

    If there isn’t a sing-off next week:

    Amelia Lily sympathy bounce, Misha eliminated on public vote.

    then Amelia eliminated on Public Vote following week.

    If there is a sing-off:

    Misha B & Amelia B2, Misha saved, Amelia eliminated.

    Misha eliminated on public vote following week.

    Top 3 are definitely going to be Marcus, Little Mix and Janet now, I’m confident of it, but wouldn’t want to predict order of the final three places atm.

    • Boki

      Sounds logical, curious to see if they will encourage the Amelia bounce or not. Could they decide on Sunday if there is going to be a sing-off based on the votes ?

      • Jack

        My initial thought would be No, based on last year’s controversy. Two years in a row would really take the piss. However, I think that they aren’t stupid and they will call a sing-off anyway as it is extremely likely that Amelia will bounce higher than Misha next week. I think that if they say its down to public vote, then they will have given up on Misha. If there is a sing-off, they want her in the 4th spot role of dividing opinion.

        What I can see happening, though, is putting Amelia in the death slot and Misha B in the pimp slot and still having a public vote, confident that they may be able to prolong Misha’s bounce so she can get through to the semi-final. Producer intentions will become very clear next Saturday.

      • tpfkar

        Don’t know if this suggests inside knowledge, but betfair have a bottom 2 / combo market for next week. Not clear from their rules how they’d handle it if it was a straight elimination.

  • EM

    We’re now at 4 of the 6 acts who’ve sung first have gone bottom two and in five out of the six weeks someone who’s sung next to Janet has gone

  • Boki

    Last week I decided to skip lumping on Kitty due to my own bad feeling but this time went for Craig when I saw his face on the stage – he looked like he knew he’s certain to go (and of course was singing first). Deadlock was tricky for the nerves but long live the pattern πŸ™‚

    Re Amelia: the fact they are just repeating the excuse that she has to build her fan base from scratch made me think she will hang around a little more. She said it herself again on xtra, like they want to reverse the “back door entrance” argument.

    One more thing I noticed: again is the most obvious bottom two combo not happening. I believe that the bookies were always wrong this year regarding 2 favorites to leave, there was always a surprise. Few minutes before the show I made a small combo of Misha/Amelia and Craig/Amelia at great odds while ignoring Misha/Craig, just for fun and it came in (actually triggered by tpfkar’s post, didn’t realize the odds were so great).

  • lolhart

    I’m glad my confidence in Craig being bottom 2 paid off. I’d had a feeling he’d been hovering above the bottom the last few weeks and last night’s treatment was the death blow.

    Also, did Tulisa go a bit “loose cannon” tonight voting Amelia? I know she’d criticised both acts last night, but her behaviour seemed a bit different to when she seems to be following the script. I had a feeling she was being tactical as she seems particularly desperate for Little Mix to stay in and they’re probably fishing in the same waters for votes as Amelia.

    • Matt

      I suspect the producers didn’t care what Tulisa voted. Gary was sure to vote off Amelia and Kelly to vote off Craig. Assuming they were happy for deadlock seeing the votes Louis could simply have been voting for deadlock whatever Tulisa did.

    • Boki

      They have chosen for deadlock to look more fair while they knew Craig will go, Louis has mouth full of Amelia so Tulisa had to be the one voting her out.

    • Dug

      Gary and Kelly were tied to their own acts, Louis has always been positive about Craig but he has said he’s backing Amelia for the win (fat chance). Had Amelia been bottom of the vote, I expect Tulisa would have saved her in accordance with producer intentions but deadlock seems a fairer way to save Amelia and justify her position. It would have looked bad to send home the back door candidate over a long-standing favourite.

      • Dug

        *save the back door candidate, not send home (bloody typos).

        And I realise I just said exactly the same as the other two comments so apologies for the duplication.

  • Curtis

    Due to Amelia being due a sympathy bounce next week, I can envisage the producers not having a bottom 2 this week, killing off Misha as a lost cause, and dropping Amelia the next, giving a Little Mix, Janet and Marcus final where none of the finalists have seen the bottom 2.

    However, I wouldn’t necessary be sure of this, as they may not want to give up on Misha, and instead have her in the bottom 2 next week, save her against Janet or Marcus (they’ll do all in their power to keep Little Mix out of the bottom 2 if this is their plan, but then they always do that!), and hope that Misha can sympathy bounce her way to the final.

    • Boki

      Or they may not help Amelia bounce, not sure if that ever happened to someone from bottom two…

      • Curtis

        To be honest, I strongly don’t expect them to help Amelia bounce. However, it’s likely that she will without their help anyway, so unless they do a really good job on her I think she’ll be safe next week.

  • geoff

    well nice profit on the bottom 2 combo tonight for me which i called spot on
    covers my craig and lil mix outrights bets easily with money to spare and leaves me with a hefty big bet on janet and covers on lil mix and amelia tempted to use the rest on get more green on the mixers.
    the janet express keeps chuggin along for another week even after all the critics she must be doing something right πŸ˜‰

    • sam

      they call themself devliners,they come from far and wide and they are not just a community they are an entire race of millions so i think she be safe untill final 3,then who knows? misha looks like good ods on out nxt week or maybe amila if she dont get the bounce.

  • Dave T

    I thought they might ditch Amelia to keep the boy girl balance in check. She drifted out to 4 on betfair during the sing off so felt it was worth a shot. Ah well!

    It looks pretty nailed on then for Marcus, LIttle Mix and Janet to be the final 3. With that in mind I recommend shopping around for straight forecasts involving these. In particular you can get Marcus/Janet or Janet/Marcus at 10/1 and 12/1 respectively.

    Capitalise on the buzz around Little Mix at the moment to bag these good odds on Marcus and Janet. I like little mix but I still think it might be hard work for them to hit the top 2. Tulisa’s begging for votes indicates they may not be all that safe.

    It is also an excellent time to lay your little mix or marcus bets on betfair if you got them at long odds.

    • Curtis

      I’ll have some of that Janet/Marcus and Marcus/Janet thank you very much! Little Mix may well be headed for the top 2, but it’s certainly no certainty. Janet Marcus is well within the realms of the possible

  • Boki

    Next week will be interesting, 2 songs from each, right?

  • nugget

    It was a week without a bet for me, I fancied a little bit on deadlock to happen and Craig for bottom 2, but my entire bankroll is now tied up in a Littlemix top 3 finish, all at odds against, not a bad position to be in πŸ™‚ I discussed with my partner tonight taking our stake back for a decent free bet, but we have decided to let it ride for now.

    It was awesome being at the live show, and gave me a better idea of how things are done on the night. The whole opening sequence Dermot entering, judges entrances, introducing the first act etc, right upto the first act performing is NOT live, it is pre recorded about 15 minutes before the show.
    During the VTs the stage is changed and the judges sit and chat to each other, well Kelly chats to Gary and Louis to Tullisa. If you are close enough as I was you can hear what they are saying.
    Whilst it is not 100% scripted they do have a rough idea of the type of comment they are going to give.

    The Marcus crew were out in force for the queuing crowds giving out signed posters VOTE FOR MARCUS.

    I got chatting to some production guys about my bets, I told them I had everything riding on LM top 3, they said and I quote “Top 3 you say, You might be onto a winner there, we are desperate for a different type of act to win”

    Other bits I picked up on make me 100% certain that they will get rid of Janet the second she hits bottom 2. Kelly and Janet do not get on, I know its hard to know what to beleive about press stories, but this one appears completely true. In todays judges review of yesterdays performances you will notice that Kelly did not appear once in Janets VT. In fact from memory it seems they have hardly been in VTs together.

    Crowd were not behind Misha at all, despite a perfectly decent performance, the sympathy card played to keep her out of the bottom 2 this week can only be used once. Having said that Kelly looks to be completely behind Misha and would save her over either of her other two girls.

    I do not have a penny on Marcus, unlike most here, but now as the only male artist left it must be looking good for, at the very least, a place in the final.

    Littlemix are going from strength to strength, the crowd went mental during and after their performance , more so than for Marcus…I am not sure that came accross on TV. From the studio audience at least they got the most cheers and applause of the night.

    Good luck to all….I am desperste to get tickets for next week or the final now.


    • Pete D

      Once again Agent Nugget you are a mine of brilliant inside info there. A great read and really sad I couldn’t go with you.

      Camera back of him, where exactly were you sat behind BORELOW ?

      I am so into all the technical ‘behind the scenes’ stage production stuff being heavily into sound engineering and showbiz.
      Have tour manager mates in the high end Rock Industry and even got to know Macca’s Sound Tech guy now.

      I’m loving all these first hand little ‘nuggets’ of info. You have now totally shored up my eternal confidence in LITTLE MIX taking the XF crown for sure. “Many a Mickle makes a Muckle”.

      I reckon those guys were quietly hinting at EXACTLY what THEY ARE planning to happen (“you may be onto a ‘WINNER’ there”). They may as well have gift wrapped that one for you. Operative word being “DESPERATE”. They do have the immense ‘power of suggestion’ to make it happen after all.
      Thanks bud !

      • nugget

        Make no mistake Pete, I am happy with my current position, but would I bet Littlemix to WIN now at the current odds?? Absolutely NOT. I am able to now lay if I choose for a free bet and its something I might just do.
        The producers only have so much influence over what can be done, they can use VTs, positioning, judges comments,staging and song choices to “try” to get the results they would like but I do not beleive they are always successful.
        One thing I am sure of is that the public voting and phone vote figures are fair and never manipulated, Ofcom would destroy the show if anything like that were to happen.
        Yes I do beleive the producers want LM in the final, I also beleive they do not want Janet there but despite thier best efforts seem unable to stop this.
        I certainly would not be calling LMIX a certainty to win and Daniel, Andrew and the guys here who all got Marcus EW at double figure prices are in an equally, if not better, position than me.
        Its a tough call for me whether to take my stake back or be greedy and sit it out, reality TV can throw up some unexpected results at times and things can change quickly, I for one did not expect The Risk to be out so quick, leaving LM as top/only group left at such an early stage.
        The good news is most Sofabet followers, whichever camp they are in LM or MC,appear to be having a successful series punting wise and the only losers this year are the bookies πŸ™‚
        Oh and remember, on betfair, by its very nature, for ever winner there is someone who has lost a little more πŸ™‚

        Best of luck


        • Pete D

          Nugget. Thumbs up to all there and all good sense too. If I was starting fresh again now I would not exactly be re-mortgaging to bet at risky small odds as nowt is a certainty on XF.

          As you may no doubt know, I am happily in both LM and MC camps with very early 66’s on to win and anyway-round LM forecasts with MC (even with LM/JAN forecast covers).

          BTW, Does anyone offer a sporting TRICAST ? (I like to live dangerously, LOL).

          My ‘quickly convinced’ LM spotting came at Judge’s house well after MARCUS’s first audition and grew from there, looking for big priced options for small outlay.

          Only wish I had spotted the 10/1 sympathy bounce ‘first announced safe’ for MISHA after I got the easy seen 7/1 LM one a few weeks back.

          My best tools are my ears, and my nose for a promising talent from over 40 years in the Biz pro and part-time. Never usually gamble (save for the GN), but like to utlise my experience here with XF.

          Had the old heart attack 5 months back, so downsized biz (and unfortunately income too) to rest up for a while and recover. For me, this is just a bit of brilliant fun and brain therapy that may just give me a more pleasant Crimbo as a plus.

          Off to see Mr McCartney again (front seats) in a month in Marcusland thanks partly to LITTLE MIX (so up on cloud 9 anyway).

          Excited for the talented hard working girls though, they are going to be HUGE, regardless of XF result. Fantastic chemistry and passion which I totally relate too and building a massive fanbase already.
          I’m still so confident of a win.

          Up on the vote thing too after the Ant’n’Dec scandal, BUT the goggle-box has a mighty powerful subliminal influence. I almost bought myself a bra from M&S last week until I remembered that I don’t really need one being a bloke.

          I’m loving this new RED/BLACK ‘welcome to the gates of Hell’ theory. It’s even got Daniel and Andrew curious.

  • geoff

    yeah thats right 2 songs each boki
    this will make the competition a lot better
    in the way that 1 song choice is not so much make or break 2 bites of the apple to get it right
    anyone know what the themes are going to be yet or is it too early?

  • geoff

    nugget how do you get tickets for the x factor lives ?

    • nugget

      I got through applause store, but they are hard to get, thousands apply for tickets and you get randomly picked out. Even then you get a public stand by ticket and are not guaranteed entry and must queue early and hope.
      The vast majority of tickets goto VIPS, competition winners, sponsors, production guests, etc and the acts all get 6 tickets each.
      I have a contact who works on the XF crew and am trying to get tickets for another show, but he keeps letting me down.
      I actually had a spare this week which I offered on here all week, but no takers πŸ™

  • taichou

    so Devlin next week gets 2 nr 1 slots performing with red/black production ?:))

  • geoff

    damn ive always wanted to go but thought it was like near impossible
    is the final as hard to get tickets for with it being a big arena like wembley ?

    ps sorry if this is taking away from the subject of this weeks eliminations

  • Donald

    Been away so missed show last night but saw the show tonight, had a quick read here, watched back the VT etc. on the results.

    I thought Craig knew he was going by the look on his face, maybe he has been reading Sofabet!

    Top three is nailed on, interesting comments from Nugget re last night.

    I sweated on deadlock but didn’t have much on Craig to go.

    Some great reads hear to catch up on just by glancing, my nice loved your headline re dunking the biscuit so you have new fan.

    The red or black theory is facinating.
    Gd to be back and the Frankie nonsence all over!

    Now where do we put our Little Mix top group winnings to have a real go at the bookies?

  • Tim B

    It was my first loss so far. Had a lot on Misha B to go pre-show and some on a Craig/Misha B bottom 2. I cannot BELIEVE Misha bounced again – I was confident the public would see through the sob story but I was wrong.

    Interesting to know if there’s a sing off next week. I can see there not being one for perhaps the first time.

    Janet, Marcus and Little Mix look set to be top 3 now. I’ve been sure of this for a couple of weeks already. Still, it’s great that Craig is gone as my monster bet on Marcus is now looking fantastic!

  • geoff

    good luck on getting the ticket nugget
    looks like lil mix will pay for the expense anyway πŸ™‚

  • nugget

    Watch this again chaps and compare!


    WOW….this is an amazing example of how vocal coaching, great song choices, image makeover and staging can change a piss poor act into the complete money making package.

    I honestly don’t know how anyone could have bet LM on the strength of that performance,fair play if you did, right now though its a whole different ball game and they look fantastic, are very tight vocally and are potentially going to be huge.

    Tulissa has done a fine job with the girls, who as one commentator put it at the time, appeared to be thrown together for the sole reason that they were all about the same height πŸ™‚

    • Pete D

      Nugget. Exactly ! MARCUS being much the same hungry attitude, a raw talent sponge who is soaking it all up to raise thier game at every chance here. His stage presence is deliberate, finely timed and awesome now. A star in the making.

      CRAIG. Well you just can’t polish a turd (nice guy though).

      This is where I argue that AMELIA is not doing it for me. I am not fooled by looks, hype or fancy backdrops. I have met so many half decent Karaoke singers who go down well at the pub with thier drunk friends and over praising family and then get a shock when they come into a clinical studio situation and hear themselves back. “OOPS is that really ME”

      AMELIA screams the highs and goes off key because of it and does songs way out of her comfort zone. Would be great though with proper breathing technique for power and sustain (and self critical ears that worked properly).

      Only the top 3 final places will allow the very best to be there (if only they would pay proper attention to the job in hand). There is only one chance to make a first and lasting impression.

      I have sent singers home before now rather than take thier money (with a vocal coach phone number if I can’t easily get them through a session myself in time).

      JANET too, stuck in a deluded rut because they think that thay can’t be taught anything by experts. Much better this week though (now she KNOWS that any week could be her last from this shock point)

      BTW, cheeky bugger, I bet on LITTLE MIX BEFORE that number in the vid. I just saw a great balance of vocal power and similar style in the vocal chemistry (also with an infectious Jesy as the obvious driving force cheerleader).

      They just needed some match play under a pressuered performing situation and lots of practise, as they were thrown together in a (very well spotted and tried by TULISA) educated hunch. So wanted to hear them live there this week too after thier big promise.

      The early Spice Girl audition tapes were a joke and these girls are actually BETTER singers already than they ended up as after 10 years.

  • Malcolm

    My hunch early last week about Craig paid off, so despite being wrong about the first acts called safe, had my best week to date. Amelia was a surprise and I was dreading it going to deadlock. Lucky for me she had more votes than Craig. Reading what’s been said on here about the format of next Saturday’s show it seems sensible to wait and see what is planned before looking at eliminations.
    Watching Saturday’s show, if I’d tuned in for the first time Janet would have easily stood out as the only act with something a bit extra. She’s one dimensional agreed but given the poor treatment she’s been getting I think she is doing very well. Any other act would have been gone weeks ago, so I still think her fan base must be huge. Little mix, though manufactured and pimped enormously are quite infectious.
    I do know that the Lovettes who dipped out at judges houses were assembled on height and also had to sing for some Sony producers, so assume that little mix went through a similar selection/approval before selection.

    • Boki

      I told you it’s going to be a girl πŸ™‚

      Seriously, I noticed that this year they didn’t announce the same act twice (very weak theory though) and it was time for a girl but wasn’t sure which one so didn’t bet. Btw, when Kitty bounced they announced her first but didn’t do that to Misha on her first bounce, and this time I didn’t believe she is going to bounce anyway. So for the next time my candidates are again Janet and Amelia, will wait to see if what the treatment of both would be but it’s a risky fun bet only.

  • Thanks for the mention about my Red and Black spot! I’m now doing a bit more analysis on Youtube and basically, it appears to rarely be used in the second half of any show (prime slots).

    This theory isn’t flawless. In Week Two Marcus (who I felt they were trying to bin) and Johnny both got the treatment and survived.

    But, other times they’ve done it this year. Week 3 for Sophie (before she was culled Week 4), and maybe accidentally with Misha B in Week 4 when she hit the bottom two for the first time.

    I think if the signs are pointing to the producers wanting them out, Red AND Black being used means another ten nails in the coffin!

  • Pete D

    This Morning announcement just now.
    Next week is MOTOWN week. Great week for MARCUS then.

  • Nugget

    The Risk, Craig , Misha, LittleMix, Marcus, Janet, Amelia,

    Am I correct in thinking that at one point in this series all of the above have been favourite, joint or co favourite with at least one bookmaker.

    A record in itself surely??

  • Tim B

    Fairly important question for this weekend: If there is no bottom 2, will bookies void the bets or keep the money?

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