Could the “Little Fix” meme become a problem for Little Mix?

The Little Mix steamroller chugs onwards. After last week’s rendition of En Vogue’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ they are the new favourites to win the contest, at shorter than 2/1 in most books. Many of our commenters believe the prize is nearly in the bag: Nugget thinks “only Little Mix can win this now”; while bunnyman reckons they should be odds-on.

It may be useful to ponder what stands between the likeable girl group and victory. In our view, there are still quite a few hurdles, some of them discussed in our 2010 review article about why One Direction failed to get anywhere close to Matt or Rebecca despite the sense that – like Little Mix – they were being given every possible assistance.

Ultimately, One Direction found last year that the Simon Cowell endorsement was not a way of winning neutrals over against the far less favoured Matt Cardle. We don’t have Simon Cowell on the panel any more, but we have an increasingly savvy set of viewers who have become more and more sceptical of the show and the way it attempts to manipulate opinion.

As the last series progressed it became common to see One Direction referred to online as ‘One Dimension’, reflecting the general perception that there was a gap between hype and reality. We are starting to detect the possibility of something similar developing this year – along with Cake Mix, Pick’n’Mix and so on, we have recently noticed some references to the girlband as ‘Little Fix’.

This reflects how obvious it is becoming that producers are going all out to bolster their support. Little Mix have been in the penultimate or pimp slot for three of the last four shows. Their VTs and judges comments have been incredibly helpful, with the exception of Gary Barlow looking for something more stripped back – and even this is teeing them up for a future performance. The contrast with the treatment of Janet Devlin, and her succession of early draws and negative comments, has been stark.

Then there is the continuing flow of celebrity endorsements from the likes of One Direction, David Walliams and Holly Willoughby. The inclusion of brief interviews with two stars of the Twilight movie during Saturday’s VT cleverly created the subliminal impression that they were on board the bandwagon too.

Also in Saturday’s VT were The Saturdays. This seemed like a risky move given that The Risk had finished bottom of the vote in the week their VT showed them meeting some established stars in the same marketplace, JLS. The purpose, we assume, was to show one of The Saturdays saying that with their girlband experience they could “tell instantly” that Little Mix are genuinely friendly, hitting on a theme that was pummelled again and again in One Direction’s journey last year.

It certainly seemed like the celebrity gold dust might be rubbing off on the Little Mix girls in their VT. While Janet Devlin looked unmoved by the whole premiere experience, we saw the Little Mixers gushing: “Being on the red carpet and strutting wor stuff was just incredible”; “this could be our life, just going to premieres… oh, it would be amazing”.

And why wouldn’t they be excited? But the sight of the girls rubbing shoulders with movie stars reminded us that in our article about Little Mix three weeks ago, explaining our scepticism about their chances of winning when they first plunged in the betting, we wrote:

programme makers have generally done their best for Little Mix, astutely positioning them as normal girls who other girls can relate to and who, in Tulisa’s phrase, won’t “steal your boyfriend”… The trouble is, while their portrayal as normal girls may have been what’s helped Little Mix to the halfway stage, isn’t it going to be a problem when it comes to winning the show?… The more they start to look like potential winners rather than against-the-odds survivors, the easier it will be to imagine them stealing your boyfriend.

During their Saturday VT and performance we thought the glammed-up girls were starting to look very much like potential boyfriend-stealers. And if we are now entering the phase where we have to leave behind the USP of them being unremarkable and instead move to a USP of them being amazing, they are going to have to start backing up the pimping and the celebrity endorsements with some standout performances.

We know many of you think they did that on Saturday. What we saw was another One Direction type performance – competence heavily aided by the backing track and washed down with over-the-top praise. We know that as punters we always have to be alert against the danger of confirmation bias – did we see a performance that wasn’t gamechanging because of our scepticism that the girls have a gamechanging performance in them? Perhaps.

But we’re not the only ones to find the use of a loud backing track an off-putting experience. This is how The Bitch Factor reviewed their performance: “BixMix were present while a machine played a recording of ‘Don’t Let Go (Love)’ and occasionally sang a line or two when they could be arsed.” (If you don’t get the BixMix reference, by the way, it’s from the most recent series of The Apprentice).

The girlband’s supporters rightly pointed out that Marcus had a whole gospel choir drowning him out, though at least this support was visible, whereas a loud backing track only enhances the sense of behind-the-scenes manipulation. Here once again, we can’t resist quoting The Bitch Factor on Marcus: “He’s got a gospel choir behind him, presumably because the show wanted to save money by using them for something else beyond pre-recording the vocals for BixMix this week.”

How well is it all working? That’s the question. Little Mix clearly have enthusiastic fans – they stormed Twitter this week, according to Sofabet commenter Toby’s blog, but don’t forget Twitter is dominated by the young and female demographic which also seems most likely to be supporting Little Mix.

It certainly seems conceivable that Little Mix may not be setting the phone lines alight. After hilariously making an explicit call for the High Wycombe vote in week 6, Tulisa’s “they are not safe” appeal this week didn’t feel acted.

Don’t get us wrong. We like the girls, think Perrie has a fantastic voice, and believe they are a breath of fresh air in the competition. We just find it hard to find anything special about their performances – their harmonies when they can be heard are not very tight, as evidenced when coming in together after Jesy’s introduction to ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music’ in their week 5 pimping.

One of our commenters, Wolfstar agrees and goes on to make an interesting point. “the main problem is that I think their look and styling as a group is really off – it absolutely screams amateur. Visually they just look like every other wannabe failed girl band from the past decade or two – there’s no overall styling/presentation concept, no uniform look, no attitude or brand statement.”

This only reinforces our sense that Little Mix have not been Plan A from the begininng, as some have reckoned. JLS were each given a colour to differentiate themsleves from the beginning, One Direction were clearly planned from long before the lives, but we continue to suspect that initially the judges’ praise for Rhythmix (as they then were) merely indicated a desire for the girlband to avoid the embarrassingly traditional first week exit.

Week 3 is intriguingly suggestive that hopes for them might not have been high. Presumably worried about losing Frankie or Kitty, producers put Marcus on in the Strictly zone followed by Janet to put him down the memory hole. And then, in slots 3-4-5, were acts that we assume were the back-up sacrificial lambs in case Collins survived, as he did. These were Sami (who did eventually leave in week 3), Sophie (eliminated in week 4) and… Rhythmix, who also faced the classic vote-dampening tactic of an argument on the judges panel over song choice.

Of course, you could see that as an indication they got a strong vote in week 2 and producers were confident they would survive. We’ll see when the votes come out – if their week 2 vote was low, it would back up our sense that producers at that stage viewed them as expendable if necessary.

The embarrassment of being forced into a name change by a legal spat with a charity gave producers good reason to want to keep Little Mix safe in Week 4, which they did with the brilliant VT showing Jesy’s tears over comments made on the internet about her weight. This was when the steamroller began – our guess is that their decent performance of ‘ET’, combined with the sense that The Risk’s revolving door was starting to make them look ridiculous, persuaded producers to give the girlband a go.

Thus in Week 5, they got the full pimping with the VT introducing us individually to each girl and their hometown, and the final slot in the running order, just a week after having the penultimate slot. That week, The Risk were lost in a double elimination – we suspect accidentally – leaving Little Mix as the only remaining hope in Tulisa’s category.

Everything since has pointed to the producers being desperate to get them to the final, and we fully expect them to succeed. But will producers be as desperate for Little Mix to win as they evidently are to get them to the final? That seems like more of an open question.

We don’t think it would be the end of the world for Syco if Little Mix don’t win. As our commenter shoulders explained, “I think that the show does not need Little Mix to win to earn the most money from them (the only reason for them to win would be to break the duck of a group not winning)”.

We also agree with how Richard expanded on this point: “I think there’s another reason why they might not want Little Mix to win. The winner’s song will be a Gary Barlow-penned ballad. Bear in mind that a lot of record-buyers don’t watch X Factor, and their first exposure to the winner will be their winner’s song. For Janet or Marcus that would be fine, but Little Mix need something up-tempo and a bit more imaginative than Barlow is likely to write.”

Coming second or third, and waiting till the following summer to release a more suitable first single after months of planning, is no barrier to success. Ask JLS, Olly Murs and One Direction.

So it may not be in the bag for Little Mix after all. What do you think about the hurdles facing Little Mix? Will producers want them to win, or will it be job done if they get to the final? How much pimping will they need, and how much danger is there of that feeding the ‘Little Fix’ meme? Do let us know in the comments section below.

115 comments to Could the “Little Fix” meme become a problem for Little Mix?

  • Rob

    i’ve been checking some internet traffic for LM, JD and MC. it seems to me that the little mix interest soars on a saturday and sunday above the other contenders, during the week it falls below janet’s but stay above marcus’s. it suggests to me that as far as internet voters are concerned they have a smaller solid fanbase than JD but are better at picking up the floating voter. marcus trails both LM and JD on the internet but i don’t think his fans are internet based as i think he commands the vote of the older audience.

  • Fascinating as always. You have now become essential reading for me!

    On the Little Mix ‘debate’ I just can’t see them winning. The Xmas single being the biggest ‘single’ problem for me. Assuming the single is in a similar vain to all previous other winners singles it will surely be a polar opposite to what they will be releasing and simply won’t be anywhere near ideal for their style. Potential for it to at best sound odd and at worst a complete disaster. Again I also would have imagined that Rhianna (who the Little-Mix blueprint must at least be loosely built around) would have been persuaded to put in a big word for the girls after her performance on Sunday, which I’m pretty sure she didn’t (apologies if I’m wrong, I may have been distracted!). I remain unsure of what the motives behind the Little-Mix ramp is…..

  • Kev

    They have the opportunity to finally get a group over the line and you think they may not want this to happen because a song that has been written for the winner (that you haven’t heard yet) will not be up-tempo enough for them?

    Comparing their performances to that of 1D seems desperate too. Their worst perforance of the series (pick any from weeks 1, 2 or 5) were all better than anything 1D did.

    Finally the whole “Little Fix” meme – I spend far too many hours on XF, visiting various forums and blogs and this is the first time I have seen this (I have of course seen various backing track mentions). With Marcus having a choir of 300 and Gary saying every performance is the best everest and with Amelia being brought back after missing 4 shows together with Misha getting all the VT treatement and better draws, I’m pretty sure hugely negative thoughts regarding the sweet sweet Little Mix girls by obsessive bloggers or desperate layers won’t gain enough traction in the mainstream. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it of course.

    I agree with a few points though but am just going out for the night………………

  • fiveleaves

    Good try Dan.

    I can find 7 references on twitter to Little Fix in the last 8 days and one of them is yours.

    I believe you’re totally underestimating the goodwill these girls have.

    • Daniel

      I really like the girls myself, fiveleaves, and have been guilty of underestimating them at moments in this competition. The point is that if they keep getting the pimp or penultimate slot, whilst the likes of Janet keeps getting drawn early, is there a danger that that goodwill could be undermined, because the show is seen to favour them so blatantly? If I were the production team, I would go easy on the relentless celebrity endorsements, as it starts to look like a condition of being on the show.

    • Kev

      Yeah fiveleaves it was an excellent try. The “Little Fix” thread on DS which links to this article now has over 3000 views.

      It might begin to gain traction. Well done.

  • bunnyman

    Hi Daniel, at odds of 3.0 for Little Mix are you a backer, a layer or neither?

    • Daniel

      Hi bunnyman, personally I am neither. I rarely get involved in the win market because it’s so beholden to the whims of programme makers. Who’s to say which act they decide to throw under a bus, is always my fear. The elimination market is where I play most, and the last few weeks, including this one, I have built up large liabilities laying Little Mix here, based on the obvious notion that they are completely safe. So financially, my main interest is in them getting through another week.

      • bunnyman

        The reason I ask is that I’m not sure what you are recommending in this article. It stops short of recommending a lay of LM, but its so negative its difficult to imagine that you intend anything else. I think many of your readers sitting on reds will have been anxiously waiting for this article and will now be breathing a sigh of relief, because you seem to think its gonna be ok. If you don’t actually think that LM are currently a lay I fear that you may be doing your readers a disservice.

        • Daniel

          Hi bunnyman, and thanks for that explanation. In return I will explain that I try not to see Sofabet as a tipping site (inevitably it will include tips, though you’ll notice it’s surprisingly rare that we do), but as a site providing analysis. The thinking behind this is that it leaves readers to decide whether they’re convinced by the arguments put forward or not.

          We also try to be a little bit contrary by providing a sceptical or alternative argument to views that seem to be gaining a consensus. Hence our arguments on why various contestants cannot win just when their popularity seems high, or vice versa in the case of last week’s piece on Janet Devlin. This article on Little Mix sits firmly in that tradition.

          • bunnyman

            Thanks for the reply Daniel. That makes a lot of sense – being open to contrarian views rather than following the sheep is essential in successful punting. The only danger is I’m convinced that people reading articles like this and the Janet one will take it as explicitly or tacitly recommending a certain course of action, when that doesn’t seem to be your intention.

          • Daniel

            That’s a fair enough point, bunnyman. When recommending a bet, we always bold up the selection in question and explicitly say we are tipping it. Otherwise, it’s just analysis that is being provided.

  • Kate

    I’m wondering how much the rise of Little Mix has been created by the collapse of the boys category this year. Traditionally – as past winners have evidenced – the best thing to be in The X Factor is the “cute, non-threatening boy” archetype that appeals to young girls and also older women with young daughters or granddaughters in that age bracket.

    The second best thing to be is the “rough-edged older boy who *emotes*”, of which Matt Cardle is the most recent manifestation. The dynamic of past competitions has been shaped, perhaps even distorted, by the power of these types.

    This year it’s all gone wonky. James unexpectedly left in the first week; the Risk, with a similar appeal, were stymied by their own Frankensteinian creation; Craig had “finishes sixth in the competition” written all over him; and Frankie… well, he was the “cheeky ruffian with heart of gold” type gone bad.

    Which leaves us, as the competition has done, with Marcus – who has some of the characteristics of the cute non-threatening boy. However, by emphasising him as a camp and old-fashioned performer – presumably because no one thought he might end up as Barlow’s last best hope, or at least not so rapidly – they’ve probably limited his fanbase.

    So suddenly Little Mix look like the best bet for capturing that all important young girl demographic. Suddenly the act with whom this section of the audience can most identify has the best chance of winning and selling records. And none of Tulisa’s girls are particularly empathic, with even girl-next-door Janet asserting her personality (off-stage at least) even if she weren’t radiating Marmite vibes.

    Which leaves Little Mix as the best commercial and demographic fit. The failure to draw them out as individuals might also help rather than hinder then because it makes it harder for them to be perceived as “the sort of girl you’re nothing like”, which is another of Janet’s drawbacks. They’re also, I suspect, the best placed act to hoover up second choice votes – but that’s another argument.

    • EM

      I’d take some convincing that the young girl demographic is all important. In the increasingly fragmented music market the young girl appeal acts are selling less and less. The serious acts in terms of money making appeal to young girls and beyond, Coldplay, Rihanna, Adele, Amy Winehouse and Katy Perry to name a few. That’s why I’d see potential in Janet to cross over in a Coldplay, Adele way. I don’t think she will but I could see why

      Where young girls do get more important is merchandise. Calendars, dolls, fragrances, poster and bedding and it could be this that they see in Little Fix.

  • AlexK

    Absolutely agree about their performance. Certainly wasn’t standout.

    It was good at the most.

    I genuinly believe that I haven’t heard a standout performance yet. Possible exception is Jar of Hearts

    • bunnyman

      I think this was the best performance by a group for at least 5 years on X Factor. Feel free to highlight a better one.

      • Curtis

        Suppose that it was the best performance by a group for 5 years on the X Factor. I actually agree with you, it probably was (with the possible exception of their own ET, which I also enjoyed). There have not been many, if any, particularly good performances by groups the last 5 years on X Factor, so I really don’t think that that fact makes it stand-out.

  • sam

    i believe from trolling the net that garry BARLOW will be WRITING the winning song ,but it will be PRODUCED by 1 of the N-DUBS mafia team,if these stories are true then i can well see that the little-mixup girls at lease getting into the top 2 ,i believe but am unshure think they are going back yo the old style again this year where the show pick the song and the to remaining acts get to sing it,if all the above is true it may stand to rights that they atlease will want the mixs to sing it,due to tusila putting in (or so she says)so much effort with them ,and all the pimping they have had over the last two weeks makes it even more plausible.
    some people love them and some people dislike them,im neither one way or the other on them personally,to me they sound ok and at time very good but its all been done before for me GIRLS ALOUD,SPICE GIRLS THE SATURDAYS and maybe thats why they have not been warmed to as well as some of the other acts,but there massive pimping up over the last few weeks has been insane,no other act has had this done to them,thats why i think top 2 for them at least

  • Annemarie

    One of Little Mix from High Wycombe? I missed that. High Wycombe is my local town. I cannot say there is huge excitement for Little Mix locally. Checked the local paper and although they are following the X Factor it is not receiving a huge amount of attention. I have a 17 year old relative who lives locally. I asked her last week who she liked in the X Factor? Surprisingly, she said Craig and that Amelia was OK. Does she vote every week? No, but maybe in the Final.

    The biggest problem for Little Mix is they appear to be aimed at the pre- 16 year old teen market. The under sixteens can vote on the Internet polls etc. but possibly are less likely to vote by phone. There is always the text vote but that is probably limited for young teens too. There is a feeling that Little Mix are being over-hyped at the moment and a sense that the fan base may not be materialising in ‘real’ votes. Is the hype working? Only time will tell. I have convinced myself now it will probably be Janet/Marcus as top two. A few weeks ago Louis Walsh stated on the Chris Moyles’ breakfast show that Janet Devlin and Marcus Collins had it all with regard to star quality. Perhaps he is right.

  • EM

    Little Fix… Love it.

    I’ve long documented why I think a group won’t win X Factor easily. The main reasons are lack of local identity, a solo artist is easier to get to know, the studio audience is too loud to sing harmonies properly, vocal groups tend to be favoured by youngsters who can’t vote as easily and one slightly off vocalist damages the goods.

    JLS had local identity and the colour gimmick to overcome some of these and they still didn’t win.

    Forget Twitter too. Justin Beiber and One Direction can storm the Twitter world but struggle to sell significant levels of music in this country. Twitter activity is only a measure of Twitter activity. Labour support ruled Twitter last year but they didn’t win the election.

    Janet is still my plan A this year. If she wins then she’s an interesting artist, how will this different non pop X Factor winner fair?. If she doesn’t she’s staring down the barrel of a Diana Vickers gun. Nice songs, nice lass, different style, where is she now? Coldplay being lined up for the final duet with her shows a confidence she’ll be there and a credible direction.

    Little Mix are being given all the help they can get because if they do well they can nail on an album next year and see if they luck on a Girls Aloud career with tabloid interest in their antics. Agree on the styling though, I was worried theyd steal my boyfriend and I’m a single guy.

    In the good ship Marcus they might see a British Bruno Mars but he’s a run of the mill winner and they’ve had enough of them go bad.

    My necks on the block here so it’s 3 Little Mix, 2 Marcus, 1 Janet.

    • Kate

      I can see Janet having a Diana-like music career. DV has been slow getting music out and seems to spend months in the studio, recently splitting with her label because she wanted to take things in a more indie direction, which is exactly how I’d imagine things would pan out with Janet. I can’t see her going into theatre and fashion though, partly because she doesn’t seem that type of personality, and partly because DV getting ‘Little Voice’ was such a fluke thing anyway. (I imagine that the odds on “Jim Cartwright watches The X Factor and says so in public” were astronomically good.)

      If Janet doesn’t win I expect she’ll get signed, though probably by someone who wants to take her in an indie direction from the get-go. I don’t imagine anyone trying to make a pop star out of her. The key difference here is surely Diana = extrovert, Janet = introvert.

  • Rob

    I don’t think Little Mix have been excessively pimped so don’t see any sort of potential resentment building. It’s only us pros, who follow the show so intently, that pick up on the intricacies of those subtle advantages thrown their way. Brian Adams said he wanted Amelia to win last Sunday, Barlow was still critical of LM, as he was the weak before, and Kelly has kept stressing how they need to tighten up their vocals. Yes, beneath the comments you can see clever machinations to try and build the LM momentum, but Joe Public wouldn’t clock that. So far they have cleverly built up a groundswell of good will towards the girls. They are defying the stats, breaking the curse of the girl band and in many ways are still very much being built up as an underdog going on this incredible journey, and will continue to be perceived this way by XF viewers despite their shortening odds. It hasn’t been the sort of shameless, in-your-face pimping we have seen in previous series, such as Cowell’s pushing of One Direction and even Danyl. I think TPTB have learned from their mistakes in the past in their handling of Little Mix. They really need a group to win as a first for the show and to justify and re-invigorate the format. I’d say if there is any resentment around it’s for the shameless and cringeworthy efforts to keep Misha in the competition. Last Saturday’s contrived sob story was truly gratuitous. That really was treating their viewers as mugs. Of course, LM still have work to do to win the show, but their opposition face far greater obstacles. Janet backers will be sweating on this weekend, when she looks primed to potentially drop into the bottom 2 with Misha. Will the judges save Janet in such a scenario? The jury has to be out on that one. While Marcus needs to show some versatility as his poor man’s Little Richard impression is clearly starting to wear thin.

    • Ronnie

      While I think you a right on most points, surely the main aim is to push Little Mix as much as possible without the GBP catching on to it. The tactic being used is practically a subliminal one whereby they (and celebs)keep telling everyone how great they are until it manifests itself in people’s minds. Like you say, we have picked up on it as we analyse the smallest details.
      Also, what makes you think that Janet is in danger of being in the bottom two this week? All the indications show she finishing high in the votes and is polling reasonably well. I agree if she does fall in she could be in trouble but I feel she will make it safely through to the last three – I’d be more worried about Marcus dropping into the bottom two this week although I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t either Misha or Amelia that goes.

      • Rob

        Some of the key polls point to Janet’s support slipping significantly, Ronnie, and if you factor in the likelihood of an Amelia ramp, and bounce, as often happens after a bottom 2 appearance, Janet could be vulnerable. That said, Marcus possibly isn’t flying as high as some might think either, looking at some of the indicators. We have seen already how adept TPTB have been at engineering eliminations in this series, and there have been enough mixed signals regarding their treatment of Janet in this series to wonder if they might want to get rid of her should she fall into the bottom 2.

        • Rob

          hi Rob, (i’m Rob without an avatar) please can you link us in to what you see as ‘key polls’. i’ve only seen the digitalspy one (not representative) and the tellymix one which puts janet 1st.

          • Rob

            Hi Rob,
            There’s the YouGov survey, which has been a decent indicator in the past. Janet not doing so well on that as previously.

          • Rob

            Hi Rob, the yougov survey is massively flawed in regard to JD as no one from NI/ROI were questioned, which is the bedrock of her support. also there was only a few percentage points separating all the acts on that survey which was taken immediately after JD’s poor treatment by the producers and her percentage had only gone down about 4 points from the previous yougoc survey. it’s not convincing me there is slippage in her core support, just that she was perhaps not picking up the floating voter at the point it was taken.

          • Rob

            Hi Rob,
            Yeah, I know it doesn’t factor in her regional vote base but I think some are of the view this will get overtaken in the latter stages, as was the case with Eoghan, if she’s losing popularity among the YouGov voters. Personally, I hope and want Janet to make the final. Janet/Little Mix reverse forecast would be a nice return, & either winning suits me fine. I see there’s a story about her possibly singing a Nirvana tune.

          • Rob

            i ahve that forecast too. clearly great Robs think alike. it’s true eggnogg never improved his percentage come the final but i think JD is a stronger contestant than him and hence more difficult to beat… i never claimm to be certain though. good luck.

    • bunnyman

      Gary Barlow sad they were brilliant, but somehow managed to make it sound like a negative! Terrific post Rob. I don’t think they have had an incredible amount of help, but as a backer I’d be happy for them to have all the help in the world and risk the public noticing than a level playing field with no help.

  • Rob

    *correction – ‘the week before’ – can’t leave that in there as a sub-editor 🙂

  • Pete D

    I have been expecting this article. So now that we are on MY subject I will tackle the backing track issues and doubters later in another post for the ‘technical’ view (with some sound samples for comparison).

    Firstly though, I did warn everyone here around 2 months ago that there was a fired up ‘STEAMROLLER’ coming and on Saturday it duly arrived and THUNDERED up to the back of the stage to deliver Tulisa’s talented “LITTLE MUFFINS”.

    With one mighty thwack and head lights a blazing through its spewing bellows of smoke and steam, it hammered on those sliding doors to hail the arrival of a newer, more sassy, more polished LITTLE MIX who walked up to those mic stands like they owned the place.

    Then with 5 gut-punching bass drum thumps and a powerful Phil Collins snare intro they asked you in ‘perfect 4 piece harmony’ (with no ‘borrowed from MARCUS’ extra choir members there sorry) “WHAT’S IT GONNA BE, CUZ I CAN’T PRETEND” ?.

    Well girls and boys of SOFABET, BITCH FACTOR and any other DOUBTING FACTOR,..THAT is the burning question for you to ponder on again later because I can tell you that ‘THEY WEREN’T PRETENDING’ (or miming; and nor did they have there voices fiddled around with like JANET’S painfully obvious little ‘pitch bending’ studio repair job in the M&S commercial).

    This ‘arrival’ was not before time either, as even I openly admit that I was getting a bit twitchy last week at the unjustified ‘new kid on the block’ panic buying interest and ‘hype blinded’ mug support for the SCREAMING PINK KARAOKE QUEEN, (who is thankfully now proving to be a damp squib and evidently now as short lived as I’d hoped for).

    The LITTLE MIX machine is now UNSTOPPABLE. So you had better get used to it and start re-thinking your betting strategy to get the most out of it …. NOW !!

    This is the ‘fully signposted’ intended year for CHANGE and the only people who didn’t like LM’s performance are the ones who might now be facing a loss by banking all their hopes and plans on other acts based on old hat historic certainty stats.

    So put away the 1D/JLS 2nd place boy band stats and the old “a girl band can’t possibly win it because they have always failed” notions. They will not comfort you from here on in. (as is evident now on here judging by the general uneasiness and the sudden “wake up and smell the coffee” swing towards LITTLE MIX).

    The stark reality is that they CAN WIN IT !

    Best plan now is just to roll with it and ‘prepare’, because having a wild groundless bitch at them may only cost you money instead of thinking this though and making something out of it instead (its called insurance).

    It maybe time now to realistically start thinking along the lines of who is GOING to come second ? Then to go and get some nice priced ‘STRAIGHT/DUAL FORECAST’ bets whilst they are still there at good prices this week. I have been saying this for weeks when they were all around 66/1 with MARCUS and JANET.

    Even worth a ‘LITTLE MIX of punts back then for the BIG rewards they would have brought.

    What these fantastic girls have accomplished in just a few short ‘hard working’ months to get to this ‘near world class performance quality’ is nothing short of astounding.

    Mark my words. LITTLE MIX are being groomed for greatness and I have been saying it all along for weeks now since just after Judges house.

    Kelly was dead right on Saturday and you could see it in her eyes that she really wanted that category for herself (as it is right up her world beating girl band street).

    “Tonight everything I’ve been wanting you to do, you’re doing. You look so much more polished, you sound better and OMG I am so happy. You could be the best girl group to come out of the UK”.

    The Saturdays, eat yer heart out babes, LITTLE MIX are going to sweep the board !

    • sam

      wow,r u a little-fix backer then? with a pimp up like that who needs the x-faxtor team,you should charge them for this as you could be there PA

    • Rob

      haha always a good read – particularly liked the ‘screaming pink karaoke queen’. but i think we also have to be realistic. many are talking one way or another that little mix are going to walk it or spectacularly fail where in fact the difference between success and failure will be a much finer line to judge as there are many things we don’t know. because it’s a littlemix thread i’ll take them as an example. we don’t know the breadth of their appeal, we don’t know if their twitter activity is translating into votes, we don’t know if they can put 2 good performances in a week (it’s harder for bands as there’s more to learn), we don’t know if they are actually plan a or just intended to get to the final, we don’t know if they have a regional vote, and as the pack narrows down we don’t know how they are going to come out in direct comparisons? i think the only thing we can be certain of is that they’ll beat misha b.
      sorry pete, i’m a backer too, but someone has to apply the breaks to the post, before it steamrollers the thread lol.

      • Pete D

        Rob. You ARE right, ‘NOBODY KNOWS’ and its the first constructive thing I have read all night. Congratulations and thank you !

        Maybe this is why (in my inexperienced understanding of betting terminology) ‘Hedge betting’ and ‘Lay-offs’ were invented.

        Seems that I am not allowed a ‘qualified’ musical opinion on here tonight without being hung for being a ‘fanatic’. So what if I am, I recognise the potential in these girls I have been right all along so far with most everything. I just don’t risk all my sick pay on it all after being laid off for a spell with a heart attack.

        It IS a music show and singing competition folks that WILL have a fair and justified public vote outcome and this is my expert field where I have offered my 40+ years of experience into the melting pot here (for free).

  • jashala

    @Pete D I couldnt have said it any better, I’ve been reading this site, and its comments lately, your post to me is spot on, I’m hoping for a Little Mix win, huge fan from the USA, and its not just teens that love these girls, I’m 30 by the way. If I was in the UK I would be voting for them all the way.

    • Pete D

      Greetings Jashala. A LITTLE news spreads a long way then eh? Thank you too for the thumbs up! We all have harmless fun over here sniping at the XF hype and fodder and hope I the dry Brit humour translates well to Stateside.

      Its now become the ‘Shock Factor’ though after LITTLE MIX’s sterling performance and folk just STILL won’t accept how good they are getting and at such an ALARMING RATE too, even when it comes up and smacks them right between the eyes.

      • Simon "le happy chat"

        Hi Pete D
        I like your uncompromising style of poist even if there is little evidence in there to support your assertion that LITTLE MIX are going to win other than your appreciation of their talent.

        They have improved, they are quite good and as they are still in the competition and are bookies favourites, of course they CAN win but whether they will is a different matter entirely.

        Here’s the thing (as Kelly would say)
        I don’t think they will have enough imopact or connection with the viewers to win in comparison to either JANET or MARCUS.
        If you’re right and I am wrong then I will will tear up my win and hedge tickets and you will go and do the Christmas shopping in yours. Good luck and may the most astute wager prevail – I just dont think it will be yours 🙂

        • Pete D

          Hi Simon. Sorry, been out all day. Yes, thank you and all good wishes and compliments returned to you too.

          If there is one person on here who I have always smilingly admired for their own unwavering support and enthusiasm for an act, it is YOUR ‘good ship’ SELF.

          As you know, I still also fly a standard for the ‘good ship’ MARCUS right from his audition night, BUT…. I ‘also’ very rapidly got swayed to LITTLE MIX too when my talent spotting nose started twitching again.

          I will also be celebrating with you if he wins and LM ‘somehow’ come 2nd for a 66/1 forecast and also a 9/1 win bet (so I won’t really be such a ‘Blue Peter’ after all).

          Good luck to you too and may the force be with your bet (and you’de better pray for a good ‘prevailing’ wind too now) LOL.

          ps. Funny you should mention the word ‘ASTUTE’ in the same breath as a nautical flavoured description of MARCUS (and with that as your indicated qualification to win the bet).

          Although HMS ASTUTE is a Submarine, you have no idea just how close a connection I have with it. Maybe it’s a good luck omen for me now and just the ballast I need ? Ha ha. Well they do say “Careful what you wish for”.

          Down periscope.

  • Boki

    Sofabet articles give food for thought and you may agree or disagree but it keeps the wheels moving – that’s my understanding at least. What I like about them is the tendency to look to a subject from different angles and to be as objective as possible (or to try at least).

    What I don’t like are the pushy comments from backers defending their choices like it’s life and death issue and telling everybody it’s time to “jump to xxx’s train now or it’s going to bee too late”. There are few very aggressive commentators here 🙁

    The funny thing is that Janet’s backers are least fanatical (read boring lol), then comes Marcus with much more support, but LMix thing is really blowed out of proportion.

    • sam

      totally and 100% agree with you BOKI,afterall its only a tv program not life an death,i do think 1 or 2 of the MOST RESENT POSTS above are way to fanatical to really have any objectivness at all and they sound way to pushy/obsessive in there view point(i think its obvious which post i am referining to).Everyone has the right to a view point and i have never read a view point that has ever got personal and i for 1 enjoy coming on and comenting on this site for that very reason it makes such a change than other sites where you get bombarded with fanatics insaulting you every 5 minutes,but you also need to be objective in your view and have an open mind on all posible outcomes even if you dont want to hear it not havein a totally onesided closed one,however it does seem some people only have 1 view and thats that.

      • Pete D

        Woah there Sam. If its mine, then just have the guts to say so and have done with it instead of veiled inferences please. I think I have always been polite and jolly enough to everyone here to have earned that much.

        FANATIACAL ? I notice you haven’t said the same about ‘the good ship’ anyone else (sorry Simon). Is this pick on Pete night just because you never listened weeks back perhaps.

        • sam

          sorry Pete D,i did not put your name in the responce because as i have said above im not in to any form of personal attact on peopless veiw points,but after reading your artical in responce to the sofabet title artical,it all seemed very one sided from your view that little-mix are going to win this show ,if this is not the case sorry ,but thats how i read it.Fanatial!reason i picked that word was i use other sites to to get ideas myself on who people think may get to the finals or even win and may get some good finantial returns on them.but again ,and if i miss read it in any way,i thought it sounded like many other people out there in the internet world where their belief is the only belief.I myself really dont get so involved in 1 acts chances as this would give little scope if they go out sooner than i thought,so i tend to look at the bigger picture for all acts not just 1 and only 1,you do sound to me anyway thats your mind is already made up no matter what other posibilities may be out there if thats the case then good luck and hope your devotion to this group pays off.

          • Pete D

            Hi Sam. All is cool my friend and written like a true Gent (or Lady ?). I like to think that we are all good chums here in this little Oasis helping each other with what we know and fighting the same enemy, the fickle deals of ‘Lady Luck’ (and XF’s twisty-turny things).

            There is so much interesting stuff written on here that it ‘can’ be a lot to take in accurately word for word.

            (SUGGESTION TO ALL HERE. Could people perhaps try to paragraph longer write-ups into more bite size chunks of around 7 to 10 lines to make it more easily readable and therefore more easy to re-reference please ? Just a thought).

            Unashamedly, I actually have Dyslexia but I don’t let it beat me and I constantly observe and learn things and rely heavily on ‘spullchock’ when writing.

            (I only realised this problem a few years ago when the Devil worship coven I joined sacked me for selling my soul to ‘SANTA’).

            My very optimistic ‘will’ says that LITTLE MIX WILL win it, but my article DOES very ‘deliberately’ and actually say that they ‘CAN’ win. I also used the words ‘INSURANCE’, ‘MAYBE IT’S TIME’ and ‘PREPARE’.

            Also, just to ‘generally’ and ‘fairly’ clear things up once and for all though for others who accused me of appearing somehow forceful. I don’t remember twisting anyone’s arm either and I left my ‘suggestions’ open for folk to explore before prices drop more, like “NOW” is the best time.

            Don’t think that I haven’t taken up other options myself ‘just in case’ and I have openly shared those ideas out for folk to explore them for themselves. I WILL WIN too even if LM don’t get the XF crown. I have straight win on MARCUS too from early on.

            I am STILL being realistic here though if people read my stuff ‘properly’, and Dark Horse JANET is the biggest threat against LITTLE MIX for me now in my eyes, so even if SHE comes first and LM 2nd, I will still win with a sizable double figure odds forecast. Just an early booked modest £ tenner, but it WILL pay my mortgage for the month.

            I am not the only one here to ‘pull up’ the article editor here and ‘pata17’ made his own feelings felt ‘independently’ of my influence.

            So too did I respect and admire the next post to it by ‘mark (mapps)’ (who wrote it more like the the header article should have been penned). He who had HIS ‘personal opinion’ but which wasn’t overlayed with empty groundless quotes from an attention seeking site who now effectively accuses LITTLE MIX’s Jesy of lying about “it being all about the vocals tonight”.

            They are not about MEME, rather more about ME ME ME in making a name for themselves.

            I don’t think the word ‘FIX’ has ever entered Jesy’s sweet mind and it is pure sour grapes to even suggest it. They obviously work hard and want to EARN their way there. I admire that girl’s GUTS living in this goldfish bowl and taking all this undeserved flack when she has done sod all to deserve it bar the crime of being a little overweight (and then taunted for it).

            Ok, we have all had a pop at the personal attributes of contestants and it is all hopefully understood as light hearted banter, BISCUIT BOY etc. They all knew what they were letting themselves in for when they signed the contracts to appear on tv.

            BUT to mindlessly infer and attempt to convince readers that ‘vocal cheating’ is going on when they CAN actually sing and harmonise well already (and blatantly proved it on Saturday) is a bit out of order really.

            These are ALL basically ‘nerve wracked’ amateurs remember and we should consider that as they quickly improve under this tremendous professional demanding pressure.

            Meanwhile the LITTLE MIX STEAMROLLER chugs on.

  • Kate

    Re-reading the One Direction article from last year, one piece of wording springs to mind: “never once did they come up with a performance to capture the imagination”.

    Arguably this is where LM has a palpable advantage over 1D. Their take on ‘ET’ was a performance to capture the imagination. That may have at least as much to do with the staging as their voices, but it was clearly the moment where online commentators went from asking “how long before they’re out?” to “could they actually win?”

  • tpfkar

    1. Yes, Little Mix can win. I am confident that they were no worse than a decent second in the vote on Saturday. Also that this was a breakthrough week for them – Tulisa’s appeal was genuine as they were not safe on Saturday, but they were crusing by Sunday.

    2. But let’s not pretend that this was some masterplan; they just got lucky. The girls have been rejected twice. First as soloists, then as groups at bootcamp, before being cut and pasted again. If they don’t win, they join Derry, Andrew and Ashford as 3-time losers in one series.

    3. In fact if they’d been Plan A all along, the producers could have taken 2 extra steps:
    a) kick out Jesy & Leigh-Anne, put Amelia Lily in, find another girl in a Newcastle pub who can sing, and say hello to Geordie Mix – all of a sudden they own the NE regional base.

    b) Like the spice girls, give them identities (Posh Mix, Baby Mix, Scary Mix, Easy Mix etc)

    4. They haven’t been as pimped as 1D. Their poor early treatment (notably Rock Week) their forced name change isn’t great, and they have had negative comments in amongst the praise. Rob makes the point well above – easy to forget a few negatives when we are looking to see how praised they are. The only area they have been consistently helped is 4 late slots; sending them out early on Saturday would be a sign of confidence.

    5. Very speculative, but I’m starting to believe that The Risk were very stealthily and efficiently assassinated in full view.

    6. I’m now moving my win positions most-least favourable to LITTLE MIX – JANET – MARCUS. Green on all, but if I was forced to call a top 3 at the moment, that would be it.

    • tpkfar

      I have to say I agree on your ‘The Risk’ point. I think they were falsely hyped so that they could be executed “unexpectedly”. Let’s face it they were rubbish, but somehow the public were made to believe they were ‘the next big thing’ and the group were suddenly in the upper reaches of the betting before BOOM!! later guys, we have slipped you cyanide pills and removed the bodies so no-one really knows what has happened.

      I personally feel they were always an expendable act, possibly so that they could ramp for more votes in the’ no-one is safe you HAVE TO VOTE for your fav act to save them’.

      I’m with you on the – ‘very stealthily and efficiently assassinated in full view’ comment.

      • lolhart

        It seems like the producers couldn’t decide who was the favoured group this year. Nu Vibe were the ones who got all the screen time before the live shows, but then fell apart when it got to that stage. Then The Risk seemed to be in favour until that messy lineup change which meant they were going to struggle to be taken seriously. I think it was only then that Little Mix became the favourites for their category. Before then I think it was more about “breaking the girlband curse” and making sure Tulisa still had acts left in the competition.

  • Pete D

    Boki. Maybe its just LITTLE MIX’s ‘proportions’ which are just getting too big for some like I warned everyone and (if that was meant for me) where I also haven’t offended anyone personally, but rather where I tried to invite folk to ‘look at’ some helpful options other than a poor 2/1.

    If everything in life was a dead cert we this site would not exist.

    As well as hard gamblers, there are also occasional timid punters like myself looking for tips and guidance who WILL defend their own corner because it is THEIR money at stake.

    And maybe its also because that some folk who obviously have absolutely no knowledge of music production are trying to punch above their weight in influencing these people with an ‘iron fist in a velvet glove, referencing, using and apparently ‘endorsing’ an unqualified overblown statement from a site which by its very name ‘The Bitch Factor’ cheapens any credibility it has for being so usually eloquently constructive and level headed.

    I will always say it with an Iron fist IN an Iron glove if I have to.

    LADS, stay with what you are good at and stick to the betting possibilities script please. You have an act here that could still make people money and so far its the ‘sound engineer’ here who is giving them more options than you are whilst you are so busy trying to ‘groundlessly’ destroy LITTLE MIX at this dizzy height stage of the game.

    If I am wrong at the end of this I will have the bottle to say that I was.

    • Rob

      chill pete, no one here is trying to ‘destroy’ littlemix. many of us like myself will make a profit if they succeed, we just like to look at it from various angles. as a ‘sound engineer’ you will know it’s not always just the vocal presentation that will win the competition – if that was the case lena would never have won eurovision. we have to look at the appeal of each package and assess who is going to vote for them. there will be differing views and by considering them all we usually profit… and on some rare occasions we won’t. i think just about everyone on here agrees littlemix have to be considered as contenders, but that alone is not a reason to back them, sometimes it’s just best to keep the money in your pocket…

      • Pete D

        Hi Rob. This was meant to be part of my main ‘musical backing track article’ as I am not going to stand by and let several peeps on here insult my intelligence (nor would you). So maybe it is they who should chill and put the cat claws away.

        I have never taken a personal stab at anyone on here and ALWAYS shown respect for peoples personal taste. Even despite the harmless acid banter too I have always said and act did a good job (if indeed they did)

        Everyone of these girls can sing and sing well with great vibrato and vocal agility and harmony. A lucky complementing and powerful vocal blend that only comes along every Preston Guild.

        They are NOT perfect yet but they ARE getting the very best coaching and they work at it day and night (a la CRAIG’s reference).

        Yes I do have a personal and monetary interest in them and therefore I have made it my business to hunt down clips and sound bites that you folk have never seen.

        Sitting in corridors relentlessly rehearsing at every opportunity ( I have been there too and have the t-shirt etc).

        They are not here to defend the ‘endorsed’ ‘Bitch quotes’ so I am doing it for them as one who IS qualified. I was abhorred by the undeserved Jesi bullying on the Internet and I sure as hell didn’t expect to find the same here on a site that is supposed to be civilised.

        They are NOT trained ‘liars’ for XF and when they said “it’s all about the vocals tonight”, they meant it. Regardless of any well aimed powerful and hard hitting backing track, it WAS their OWN powerful vocals riding high over the mix.

        The opening line knocked me back into my studio chair as I was playing an enthusiast air guitar to it during that stunning build up. You also can’t argue with the relentless applause which even Nugget said was the most incredible of the night.

  • jashala

    As far as them being cut as soloist and as a group before being put together, even though there auditions weren’t shown hasnt there been clips were Kelly is telling all 4 of them it seems during there first audition that she can she them in a girl group, so maybe when they were cut as soloist they tried different groups for them that didnt work, then they decided to put them together, To me it just seems like from the very beginning the producers were looking to get them in a group setting.

  • nugget

    I was a late convert to the LM camp but do feel that they are going to win this now.

    I have little doubt at all that they topped last weeks voting, just from chit chat to friends, you tube hits and twitter stats alone that would seem pretty clear to me.

    I think sometimes because we analyse this so much and we overestimate the inteligence of the typical X Factor viewer who tunes in twice a week. Yes, LM are being heavily pimped but in subtle enough way for the public not to realise it. I have a lot of friends who say I am obsessed with XF (and ESC) and none of them have a clue about unfairness in running order, backing vocals, staging, VTs etc. These guys,like 99% of the general public, just watch the show and vote the acts they like. When I chat to (normal 🙂 ) people about Craigs departure this week, the responses I get are “yeah, he was rubbish this week and deserved to go” NOT “yeah, he was stitched up with the song choice, staging and running order”.

    LM come across so well in every aspect needed. No stories of bitchiness, fighting, jealousy, drugs, bullying, just hardworking girls who are working hard and improving week on week. They are so normal and likeable it is unreal, acting like they never expected to get this far, modest and polite.

    No one can deny that Saturdays LM performance was superb, the general public do not care that it was heavily produced, had more backing vocals than Jedwards ESC entry, was given a late slot (again). All they care about is that it looked and sounded great (listen to En Vogue sing this live and you will realise just how good it was).

    This is the best chance the producers have EVER had to get a group winning XF, and I thin they will pull out all the stops to make sure it happens.

    Do you really beleive that they would be happy with another male solo winner, who will have a couple of hits and then be reduced to musical theatre?

    SYCO can see that the potential for LM is enormous and the publicity generated by winning XF would be the best start ever for this girlband…I am sure Simon Cowell would love something like LM to promote and take over the mantle last held by Simon Fuller and his Spice Girls……because in my view thats how big these girls have the potential to be.

  • pata17

    A bizarre article to say the least.It seems that the sofabet blind spot to the Little Mix chance is to continue,and I can’t help but wonder what the reason behind it is.
    A few weeks ago you wrote a piece discussing the main contenders,and emitted LM.At the time I felt this was strange,and when it was pointed out you stated your reasons why you felt they were unlikely winners.Now forward 3 weeks,their price has contracted from 16/1 to 2/1 and you are still quoting the same reasons!
    To constantly compare them to One Direction is a mistake.The difference in quality of performance is vast….What was the One Direction equivalent of ET or Don’t Let Go?
    As regards to the styling and the danger they are turning into “Boyfriend Stealers” the logic defies belief.They are 4 average looking girls (no doubt chosen precisely because of that)and the inclusion of Jesy seems to be a perfectly planned move,hence the powerful VT.
    You have already commented that you are not advising a back or lay at the current prices,so I can’t understand the rationale behind writing such a negative piece….Unless of course you feel you have backed yourself into a corner with your constant denial of their chances of winning and are unable to change opinion so far down the line?

    • mark (mapps)

      I’m still of the opinion that Little Mix wont win – yes the price has shortened up, but as everyone doesnt take much money to move the prices at the bookies on these special markets..

      and secondly, with shows such as X Factor during the course of the contest there’s about four/five changes in who’s trading as the favourite

      The support for LM is I would assume being hugely exaggerated – obviously the odds do mean something when prices crash or drift like a barge.

      but there have been plenty of occasions where someone has traded really short in the semi/final and ended up geting beaten,most recent example would be Ronan Parke in Britains got talent last price was around 1/8 ..he didn’t win.

      Personally I just dont rate Little Mix , but that’s my personal opinion..besides that..part of my basis for thinking they wont win is that the public much prefer to get behind a solo winner than a group

  • Jack12321

    1 Direction comparisons are way off, these girls appeal to a much wider voting base than 1 Direction ever did. They get the teeny vote AND plenty of older voters.

    On top of that, there are clearly no Matts or Rebeccas this year, the competition against these girls is extremely modest.

    But most importantly, they are viewed as underdogs by the GBP and will continue to be until the very end. The GBP loves an underdog!

    2/1, 33% chance of winning, still looks value to be honest. It’s easy to overthink these things, when the answers are actually right before your eyes.

  • shoulders

    On a show like Strictly Come Dancing, the judges are there to give their opinion on who was the best each week, and this is what they do, all be it with a bit of pantomime thrown in with good judge v’s bad judge, to get the audience booing and shouting at the telly. However Syco’s shows differ. They are there for one purpose and it is to generate as much money as possible. That money comes from the phone votes, the tour (all the same as Strictly) but where it differs is the advertising income and the fact that Simon has a record label and he wants to sell records from the people who make the final. Its for this reason that that there are no stories in the papers at Strictly judges crying FIX!!!!!!!!!, but plenty each year for X Factor. If it was just a singing contest with public votes putting through who the audience decides has the X Factor and not a show to find acts that Simon wants to release records from they would have allowed Mary Bryn to make it into the final with her higher votes than to put through Cher Lloyd that was getting booed by the audience. Its long reported from artists / song writers in the charts that they hate the shows like the X Factor as they gobble up contestants then drop them like stones when next years batch comes along. The show doesn’t want to find credible artists (although more than happy if it does) it wants to make money. I am still with my earlier thoughts that the show just needs to get Little Mix to the final and that is it as far as going on to marketed them as a chart band next year. (this is not to say that the public will not vote them as winners). Yesterday on Magic FM Dr. Fox called Simon Cowell a genius for putting One Direction together after announcing they have signed a record deal in America. Not winning the X Factor has done them no harm at all. It’s the other acts that reach the final that will need the higher finish to become more marketable and therefore generate the most income if this is what Syco want and I think it is.
    Don’t get me wrong I loved Little Mix last week, but history shows a girl band does do well. What is clear though is middle of the road mass appeal solo acts are the popular type of winner and this should not be ignored. Nobody knows for sure who is going to win this year it is all just an educated guessing game and it is good to here commentators tongue n’ cheek enthusiasm for the acts they are backing (Simon Le Chat, I have Marcus too), but no one yet knows what the phone votes are doing. Although there could be indicators, the previous years voting figures show that pimp slots make a big positive difference to an acts popularity and early slots the opposite. In recent weeks Little Mix have been getting a good run in the singing order this does seem to suggest they need help?. I’m sure Little Mix is not the only act the show wants to see in the final cue Marcus’s big production and pimp slot last week and in my opinion Janets boost will be coming soon, I’m guessing that her kinder comments last week will continue this week.
    What is going to be really interesting is after this years series when the voting figures are released they will be compared with the twitter traffic stats that Toby as excellently put together. Marcus and Janet are not doing anywhere nearly as well in the twitter traffic as Little Mix, but MC and JD fit the previous winners profile better? Who is right on a Little Mix victory?? Nobody knows just yet and it is exciting to find out. Well done on an excellent website Daniel and Andrew!!!

  • shoulders

    history shows a girl band does “not” do well, ha ha, need to correct my mistake there!!!, typing on an iPhone!!

  • Nicky

    Sob story for Janet?

    As far as I’m aware, Misha’s the only one who’s had some bad press this week (blind girl bullygate).

  • CllrMick

    Bet653 appear to have some good odds on head to head challenges. e.g. JD to beat MB = 33/1. JD to beat AL = 25/1. However I’m not sure if they are looking for a straight 1st & 2nd or just one to finish ahead of the other. Perhaps someone cam help?

  • Nicky

    Another Janet story from the Star, saying Janet feels abandoned by Kelly and is treated like a Misha sideshow.

    Not sure if this makes her look like a diva or will provoke sympathy and be a rallying cry to her fans?

  • I’ve changed my name, as there’s another Richard on here!

    I disagree with a lot of this, since I’m a deluded Little Mix fanboy and at some point I’ll post on here why. But can I ask a quick question – this is crucial for all of us.


    Traditionally the rules state the Top 5 are left alone, and it’s only on the public vote. Last year they changed this… If there IS Little Mix are pretty safe in my view. If there ISN’T it’s riskier and I would be more concerned.

    As punters this is the critical piece of information we, as a team of winners, need to be scouting out like pigs searching for truffles.

    • Andrew

      Hey Richard,

      We’re working on the strong assumption that if Little Mix are in any danger of finishing bottom, there will be a singoff.

      • Rob

        i think the rules are fluid. but i think they’ll keep the sing off this week and ditch it next week if they are confident they can get who they want in the final without it. clearly they weren’t confident last year – hence the sing off between cher and mary byrne.

        • Surely the safest thing to do is have singoffs for the next two weeks. The advantage of a sing off is it allows them to pad out a hour long show and gives viewers a reason to watch. Without it, you have just an hour of adverts for upcoming albums! It also of course means they can create their own final. Safety first? Also if they lose the singoff they have to find another 10-12 minutes of content. I can’t imagine that they haven’t decided already.

          • Curtis

            But would they prefer to reach a final 3 where none of them have touched the sing-offs? If they want to do that, then because of Amelia’s bounce, they may need to forgo bottom 2’s now. I’m not sure that they necessarily care about having an unscathed final 3 however, but it’s just food for thought.

          • Dave T

            I reckon it could be a sing-off this week and then not one the following week. That’s just my hunch. Let’s say they have a sing off when there are 4 acts left… you’ve got a very high chance of having someone in the bottom 2 who’s not been there before. More importantly if the judges put through the person who’s behind by some distance in the public vote I think the show would, quite rightly, come in for A LOT of criticism. e.g. 4th = 10%, 3rd,2nd and 1st all around %30. Whether they’re bothered by that is another matter but it’s a bit pointless them not paying attention to it as by this stage it’s so late they should (and need) the most popular to be in the final whoever they may be

  • fiveleaves

    Love your passion Pete.
    Keep it up.

    I’ve been on LM from the start for a number of reasons.

    1. The ‘ Girlbands never do any good’ mantra was just lazy thinking, so they were always going to be value.

    2. They’re all very good singers and performaers.

    3. They’re all very likeable.

    4. I don’t believe in plan A’s or chosen ones, but I do believe there is a group of acts TPTB see as potential winners/finalists and there were plenty of signs that LM were in that group.
    (fwiw I believe the Risk going was no accident)

    4. The competition looked weak. No good looking male singer who could look down a camera lens and make women go moist and no female with a voice of the quality of Rebecca.

    ofc they might not win. One of the others could produce something special in the next couple of weeks, but atm they look in prime position to me.

    • Bored

      Personally I think Marcus is very attractive (one of the most attractive males we have had in the finals). Sadly, he doesn’t play on the right team, so the women remain standing!

  • Curtis

    The press stories are looking more endearing wtih regards to Janet this week. Coupled with the more positive comments from the judges last week and the allusion to a “big song next week” from Tulisa, are we going to see the traditional week 8 game changing performance from Janet this week that I’ve talked about before? Personally, until that point, I’d have to say that Little Mix to win for 2/1 is pretty poor value. I do believe that Janet is the only act who can beat Little Mix – I’m just not feeling Marcus to win and I have laid him. I wouldn’t lay Little Mix though, they definitely are the favourites here.

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    I have just watched the youtube performances from last week and for me the most entertaining by a mile was MARCUS.
    The best singer by a mile was MISHA, the sexiest was AMELIA and the sweetest was JANET. LITTLE MIX sounded good and had a fabulous audience reaction, they are ubiquitous at the moment and I dont underestimate the sanction given to them by the TWILIGHT cast because this series of films is the biggest thing ever for teenage kids.

    However the kingmakers who make up the votes for the last performances are not kids, they are not YOUTUBE viewers, they dont do Digital Spy or Facebook, they don’t “tweet” or spend 30% of their waking hours surgically attatched to the internet on their phone.

    No, the majority of voters are the “oldies”, the average Joe and his missus aged over 30 who maybe have the kids in bed, or the kids have left home and they are pruple rinsers. They are the sort of people who like ENTERTAINING on a Saturday evening and like a good performer – that’s why STRICTLY is so popular together with the “search for a west end star” type programs – they are watched and judged by serious, mature sober adults who are looking to be entertained, and the londer this series goes on, the more of these good people are going to come to the party.

    LITTLE MIX are very good, best band yet etc but no band has got near the final before and while this one might get there, the form of the marathon that is the X Factor is against them. Favourites or not, red line through them

    AMELIA is every bit a little pop star but she is 16 going on 25, she looks hard, she does shout and great live performer that she is she is on the wrong side of endearing to a Saturday night audience who have the more likeable JANET standing comfortably on the other side of the divide.
    Red line through.

    MISHA fab, fab singer and I am not alone in thinking that if this was soley a competition judged on the best voice, then MISHA is the winner hands down. However it is not, it is about much more than singing and rehabilitating or not, there has never been a winner with one visit to the bottom 2 let alone two so red line through her as well.

    Janet. Janet, Janet, Janet. I don’t know what to make of Janet. I personally find her boring, I don’t like the “flick” yodel at the end of every line that is her hallmark, she rarely smiles or certainly not enough and apart from her youth and apparant sweetness I find it difficult to warm to her and do not understand where her apparantly substantial support comes from. Interestingly I was listening to a journalist on the radio talking about X factor the other day and he said he thought it should have been JANET that went and not CRAIG last weekend. JANET survived- well she did more than that because she was not in the bottom 2 which means she received more votes than AMELIA and CRAIG. She ahs survived in previous weeks so she must be receving more votes than MISHA. I believe JANET has a strong GAELIC following but this in itself is not going to be enough to carry her over the line- she will need to pick up some spare votes and someof middle class UK and with her conservative sweet demeanor I think this is more than possible.
    However as a PERFORMER she hasn’t yet and I don’t suppose ever will crack any pots like MARCUS and LM have. Strong following she may have but her stanging and standing again in front of the microphone week in week out suggests to me she is lacking as a performer – as an entertainer – so red line through – Runner up.

    MARCUS. Well I look at X factor as another horserace where you look at many factors one of whioh is previous winners. Solo males have won 5 out of the previous 7 competitions which is a sure signpost before you consider this particular horse’s form. A previous winner has come from LIVERPOOL so we know the regional support -for what it is worth – will assist MARCUS , especially as this was enough to keep two Liverpudlians out of the bottom 2 until last week.
    I then look at the voice. MARCUS has a fabulous, fabulous voice, we have only heard it so far in a singing and dancing routine and have yet to hear a ballad but this is surely coming on Saturday and it is likely to astonish the audience and public alike.
    Fianlly MARCUS is the consummerate professional, he doesn’t misbehave, he doesn’t forget his words, he doesn’t shout and he doesn’t sing out of tune even when he is dancing around the stage. I am told he is handsone and I can see for myself how appealing his personality is and how engaging that wonderful genuine smile is to even the coldest cynic.
    He exceeds previous male winners in entertainment and personality by a country mile – Shane, Brook, Cardle, Quinn, McIlderry – they are all below MARCUS in all round appeal and unless the producers decide to do him over- which I doubt because they need a male in the final – I believe the good ship MARCUS is unstoppable.

    I realise in saying this that I am well and truly nailing my colours to the mast but I hope the neytral finds this reasoned argument nad while it may well be the Landlord writes a heading entitled “Foundering to the good ship” before the laurels are distributed, well MARCUS owes me nothing and its been a terrific ride.

    Good luck everyone whatever you decide and keep the fab comments coming- extremely interesting and readable.

    • Oscar Diggs

      Mr. Le Chat – thanks for this, I really admire your unwavering support for Mr. C – I even profited myself on top boy thanks to your infectious recommendation of The Good Ship, so many thanks.

      “well MARCUS owes me nothing and its been a terrific ride”

      Hmmm, do I sense that the realisation is starting to manifest – Marcus can realistically finish only 2nd (at best) – only JD or LM can win as we approach the final lap. JD has the unbuckling public support and LM have everyone (that’s EVERYONE) in production pushing them on (not to mention all the celebrity endorsement they’re receiving).

      The contest for this week’s inevitable ‘gamechanger’ is on – look out for the LM acoustic set to bring the house down and have 4 judges on their feet. Sorry Marcus, your ballad will be overshadowed by Lil Mix Unplugged.

      • Simon "le happy chat"

        Hi Oscar
        Realisation is not starting to manifest- far from it because I still believe MARCUS is the outstanding candidate in this series.
        ITs interesting looking at the betting from 2010 where it was MATT and REBECCA neck and neck with a big plug for One Direction which didnt quite come off. MATT led the field from the third week and never looked back although Rebecca closed the gap near the end and with a bit more focus could have made it very close.
        Thing is the bookies have LM then MC then JD settled to fight it out and I reckon they will be about right. If LM fade for lack of support it is girl v boy yet again and anything could happen.
        If I was forced to put my mortgage on one act it would still be MARCUS because I believe he is unstoppable – although the final point I made above is that even if he doesnt win and against my expectations someone pips him, I’m not too bothered as he doesnt owe me anything having cleaned up on best boy

        Cheers all and good luck !

  • Great article and great fun to debate these weighty issues. I agree with your view that these guys were not top of the producers ideas for the final – but who cares, talent got them through. Also, as soon as it became apparent that they had talent and could, maybe, just maybe, make it – you might as well give it a go.

    – I’m not sure the viewers are that “savvy”. If they were, then acts placed first, given negative VTs and bad staging, would still progress (eg Craig).

    – I don’t think LM’s styling has been especially “boyfriend stealing” at all, even last week. It’s “threateningly sexual” that the voters don’t want. I’ve not seen an inch of cleavage.

    – The only act that you could describe as “special” would be Janet. I don’t see anything special in anyones performances this year, so I’m not worried that LM’s aren’t ‘special’.

    – I also don’t buy the idea that LM weren’t thought through from the beginning. The producers merely underestimated their chances of winning. You note JLS had colours from the start, well LM have had a sort of urban preppy style from day one – watch their judges houses performance, you are not telling me that they picked that style themselves and all four just happened to have packed those clothes in their handluggage on their Easyjet flight to Cyprus?!

    Will they win? Not sure yet – but the prices for all five acts are spot on with my own thinking for the first time this year!

  • nugget

    Just bagged my ticket to the Final…am a happy bunny today, just hope Lmix are there to share the moment with me.

    Just had a chat to my lil sis, first thing she said “what about Marcus crucifiction pose” …so it looks like some did notice and it was thought OTT.

    No more bets for me now…..just goona sit back and enjoy, hopefully with a little profit.

    Will carrying on watching the debate here with interest though, and chipping in, some very passionate people around (PeteD 🙂 ) …nothing wrong with that…..someones gonna be proved wrong at some point soon and at least one contributor may have to eat humble pie 🙂

    Great site


    • Pete D

      Nugget. You jammy bugger. You’re the sort of guy who my old late Dad would have said “if you fell in the dock you would come out with a pocketful of fish”.

      Well done matey, nice one !

      • nugget

        Took me all day PeteD, Every chance I might be at Saturdays show too either for rehersals/sound checks or for the live show…..will know by close of play tomorrow..I will of course update here if that happens 🙂

        • Pete D

          Nugget. You just remind me of me. Sir Macca BBC Roundhouse proms (6 hours on phone and net when already sold out in seconds flat, but got a very lucky credit card failure pair of tix and then Liverpool Academy again last year, Stones Brixton Academy 95 (right place right time and they stopped the queue 10 behind us).

          Countless back-stagers too to Genesis, Mike’n’Mechanics, AC/DC, Sabbath etc thanks to a tour manager mate of mine. Guess some of us are just born lucky, LOL.

  • fiveleaves

    n1 Nugget.

    Have a great time.

  • Thanks for the quote, Dan! I’m totally with you and Simon on this one. I highly doubt BixMix will win: I like them and they’re competent, but they don’t have the X Factor, their personality doesn’t come through, the only groups to have done well on X Factor in the past have been boybands (and even they’ve never won), and groups have a hard time doing well on X Factor in general, as it’s much easier for audiences to emotionally connect with a solo performer than it is for them to connect with 4 or more people. By their very nature, individual group members receive far less VT time than solo acts do; we know far more about Marcus and Janet than we do about Jesy and Perrie.

    Little Mix also still have fewer Twitter followers and Facebook fans than either Marcus or Janet. What’s more, their support on both platforms has only really swelled in the past 2 weeks. Since 11 Nov they’ve almost doubled their number of Twitter followers, a massive increase in a short space of time – yet Marcus and Janet still have more. Even after this massive rise, they still have fewer Twitter followers today than Marcus did two weeks ago! Even Amelia has more followers than them and she was out of the show for several weeks. By contrast, Janet’s fanbase has been large from the beginning and continued to grow slowly, while Marcus’s was initially solid (though not huge) but has grown steadily week by week, building at an accelerating rate.

    Also: Little Mix are marketed to kids (hence the lack of sexuality, the poppy performances, and the emphasis on choreography, show and group singing rather than individual vocals and more stripped-back harmonising) and thus won’t appeal anywhere near as much to an older audience who are likely to be more entertained by Marcus and Janet.

    As others have commented, it’s obvious that Janet is not the showmakers’ darling. She’s had a string of early draws and a lot of jury criticism (some deserved, some less deserved). This comes over as a persistent attempt by the showmakers to dampen her support as much as possible. And yet she’s never been in the bottom two, which shows her level of her support. The sympathy effect is also really worth bearing in mind: for a lot of people, every time Janet is criticised by the jury, called “boring” or gives a middling performance, this merely makes her more relatable. Nice, predictable and boring can go a long way on this type of show. After all, which past X Factor winners HAVEN’T been boring (with the possible exception of Alexandra)? Steve, Leona, Leon, Joe, Matt Cardigan: boring boring boring boring boring. And with the exception of Leona they’ve all sunk without trace. Yet they still won. The voting public and the record-buying public are two circles in a Venn diagram which only partly overlap. Matt and Rebecca (#1 and #2 last year) managed no. 6 and no. 8 respectively with their debut post-X Factor singles, yet Cher Lloyd, One Direction and even Diana Vickers from a few years back all had number ones.

  • Jake

    If Marcus is indeed struggling in the votes (hope not) I can see the producers doing everything in their power to get him to the final. (With ratings being lower this year, I don’t think the producers/itv would be happy with the idea of an all female final).

    However, I reckon once they get him there, they will do everything in their power for him not to win (poor duet partner etc.) Although I do think they will be treading a very risky fine line, because they won’t want the spectacle of the final (in Wembley no less) to fall flat with poor productions and comments for any of the acts.

  • Jashala

    While little mix are young i disagree that they are only targeted towards teens like I mentioned before I’m a 30 yr old fan, I’ve seen other forums with fans of there’s that are voting that are in there 60s so I definitelythink u guys are underestimating just who is voting for them. They definitely have a wide variety of fans from young to middle age to old. And there personalities definitely do come through that’s one of the main reasons I love them. And u cant keep sayin groups don’t do well and these girls are in the top 5 with never being in the bottom 2 so far they are doing just as good on this show as Jls or one direction so as long as they are there they have just as good a shot to win as everyone else.

    • Pete D

      Jashala. Sweetly put ! Maybe I’m getting old and senile, but even in my Rock’n’Roll manic lifestyle, when one minute I am recording a kid singing a little ditty for Mummy and Daddy onto CD; and then mixing loud Indie rock bands on a thundering 20k watts pa system, I have unashamedly become a LITTLE MIX fan too (and I AM, let’s say just ‘OVER’ the halfway mark now with a good few ‘road worn’ years on yourself).

      The appeal of them DOES indeed cover a wide spectrum and if they manage to hold that innocent (but very talented) ‘girl next door’ image and position they will be the HUGE smash that I estimate. It IS a Spice Girl (girl power) thing for sure and the position is vacant.

      I just hope that ‘the powers that be’ don’t try to make them all ‘Essex Girl’ (orange with plastic boobs, Pete Burns lips and OTT false eyelashes that you could stand a pint coffee mug on).

      I only have to look at the reaction of my sweet little 5 year old Granddaughter and her friends to see what is happening here and THAT is good enough for me.

      (OMG, just thought…. They had better win now because I am going to have one hell of a Crimbo/birthday present bill when the CDs, T-shirts, dolls and LITTLE MIX fashion designs etc come out, LOL).

      Yet, unlike the Spice Girls, they can all sing well and soulfully handle the difficult Olympic standard En Vogue harmony parts (quite admirably and getting tighter all the time too).

      Waiting now for them to inject and show off Jesy’s BEAT-BOX technique to give them yet another crowd pleasing dimension to their act (and which EVERY girl in the country WILL be trying to emulate soon, guaranteed).

      Clearly the star of the act for me, as their lovable effervescent and brave ‘Cheerleader’, JESY just on her own IS ‘every girl’ in every street who has problems and image insecurities and they can relate to her (in a folk hero way).

      It was PURE GENIUS to include her in this well designed ‘package’ and this is WHY it WILL be a WINNER.

      I believe it WAS a careful ‘plan A’ all along (because as I have said before, “It’s what SIMON COWBELL wants; and what Simon wants, Simon usually gets”).

  • Boki

    Misha Bryan revealed she’d be rapping once again in her track this week. That means she “took Gary’s advice” about going back to herself so it should guarantee bottom 2. It’s so frustrating we don’t know if there is a sing-off or not…

  • dan12

    Marcus’ page on the x factor site

    Had to laugh … Marcus’ guilty pleasure is apparently “Pick n Mix”

  • Rob

    i’ve never seen xfactor site do their own poll before – JD and LM way ahead in this one.

  • Chatterbox5200

    This article by Dan Wootton, posted by Uncle Si on an earlier thread, does indeed make interesting reading…

    Below are a few of the key points that I have taken from the article. I am aware that the opinions stated are that of the author, and may be biased, but there are some points that don’t seem to have really been mentioned anywhere else, but could soon surface to try and influence the votes (especially the last point):

    – A staff member politely asks JANET if she will be interviewed. ‘No. I need to rehearse my song,’ she answers bluntly before storming off. The Irish teen often seeks solace in a little-used loo upstairs to practise before the show.

    – Kelly leaves her dressing room for the first time to speak to MISHA B, who she appears to shower with more attention than her other two contestants

    – CRAIG complains that his tuxedo is too snug — ‘I cannot breathe in this. Literally, they’ve belted me in’.
    In a second late change*, it has been decided he will now open the show instead of JANET, which has made him doubly unhappy. ‘Nobody wants to be on at the start because of the curse of the first,’ mutters a researcher, referring to the fact that the act voted off is often the one that has started the show when many viewers are still watching Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC.
    * this is time stamped at 6:30pm in the article, backing up the evidence stated on this site, that the change was not “5 mins before the show started”

    – CRAIG heads for the contestants’ green room. But he can’t get in, because it’s been locked by MISHA B who is warbling Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing before she goes on stage. Two assistants, a make-up artist and a member of LITTLE MIX yell at Misha, who has been accused of bullying the girl band by their judge Tulisa, to open the door. Their clothes and phones are all in the room. Eventually, MARCUS, who has been next door helping with LITTLE MIX’s make-up, bangs on the door and screams: ‘MISHA, I need to get make-up from in there.’ She relents and unlocks the door.

    – MARCUS, who is the most popular contestant with the production staff, even offering to do their hair.

    – In the LITTLE MIX corner, 18-year-old Jade Thirlwall tearfully hugs her mum goodbye. Jade has used the money she earned from appearing in the M&S Christmas commercial to fund her mother’s weekly trips from Newcastle.

    • Rob

      lol i don’t doubt there are some grains of truth in this article but dan wootton comes across as so biased that not even LM or MC fans can take the article seriously? it’s been pointed out on other forums that he simply comes across as some creepy stalker who has a crush on marcus!

    • Ron

      His dig at Janet over her conversation with a production assistant seems quite ridiculous. It sounds like a completely trivial incident which he has blown out of all proportion (especially as he provides no other evidence of diva-like behaviour from her).

      • Ronnie

        Agreed. Wootton is always on Twitter saying he wants JD go and that it’s a travesty that she’s still in. I’d take all his X Factor comments with a good pinch of salt.

  • Sylvie

    Some very insightful comments from everyone, really interesting. “The curse of the first” really is quite astonishing, when you consider that in weeks 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 the act that performed first didn’t survive to the following week. William Hills are actually offering evens on the first to sing this week being eliminated. Little Mix are favourites to sing last, which would seem a little unfair if it transpires to be true, given that in the past 4 weeks they’ve had the penultimate slot twice and the pimp slot once; no other act has been given such favourable treatment, and surely if they performed last again this week it would look like blatant manipulation. Poor Janet D has performed 3 times second in the running order, which as all Eurovision fans will know, carries its own curse! Fascinated to see how it will all pan out this weekend, happy watching everyone.

    • Noisy

      Little Mix haven’t actually had the most favourable running orders of the remaining 5 acts.

      If you take their position as a decimal (ie 3rd out of 10 to perform would be 0.3) in each week the public could vote and average those figures, then Little Mix are actually middle of the remaining 5 (average 0.7)!

      Though Amelia’s 0.75 (7th out of 7 and 3rd out of 6) is based on two results so not enough for a trend really.

      Misha was most favoured with an average of 0.78. Marcus 0.56 and Janet (royally screwed) at only 0.37.

  • Pete D

    Interesting site and ‘favourites poll’ with live twitter (with tit-bits of news from members). Shows AMELIA SILLY streaking ahead along with LITTLE MIX this week.

    May have a cheeky fun b2 on MARCUS and MISHA @ 8/1 on the strength of it.

    • Rob

      Pete, i wouldn’t if i were you. i keep an eye on that poll and it isn’t often accurate imo. having said that the bet looks decent value a small stakes

    • Jake

      I wouldn’t put much faith in polls. Firstly they never really correlate with the voting but also they are quite ‘fickle’ and the contestants is only usually as good as their last performance. For instance Amelia was 2nd highest in the tellymix poll (5000+ votes) after her return, but after her forgettable performance this week she is now 2nd from the bottom. Also I think Marcus has a much higher appeal (compared to the other contestants) with the older/middle age viewers (and housewives etc.) who don’t often go online and use polls/forums/twitter.

  • Pete D

    Hi Rob. Cheers ! I only do small potatoes stuff on things like that anyway just for fun (and kicked myself when I got the 22/1 Frankie/Risk b2 and DIDN’T have a punt, DOH !!).
    A fun thing really and about enough to buy me a bottle of Tesco’s finest blend if it comes up. Keeps the heart pumping (in my case, as it IS on the list of their ‘allowed indulgences’, LOL).

    Now then…if the BIG ONE comes in with LITTLE MIX, my good lady is an A&E Nurse and will be standing by a big hook to get me off the ceiling and with the DE-FIB to ‘start me up’ again (so I can ‘move like Jagger’ to celebrate).

  • fiveleaves

    There’s a video of the girls practising their harmonies on the itv site Pete D.

    They sound great to my untrained ear.

    When I try to include the link my post doesn’t show up.

    Hopefully this will.

    • Pete D

      Cheers fiveleaves ! Got that msg. Will go take a look. Tried right click highlight on URL/save/paste ?

    • Pete D

      fiveleaves. Yep same here (weird). Great clip though. Shows them getting some ‘serious help’ alright too (only from a ‘serious’ trained vocal coach instead of the mysterious imaginary choir quoted ).

      Sort of backs up from the ‘Horse’s mouth’ what I have been saying that they CAN sing in full harmony (instead of what I have been getting from the ‘other end’).

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