X Factor 2011 Week 9 Post Mortem: Amelia rated

So, farewell then, Misha B. You were clearly the most talented semi-finalist on that stage, but you didn’t make the final and nobody was remotely surprised. To sum up Misha’s journey, we can do no better than quote The Bitch Factor’s review of the week 7 show:

Misha VTs that she doesn’t know what she’s doing wrong. Ooh! Ooh! I know! You started off being a confident black woman, which is always an obstacle on this show, then Tulisa threw you under the bus, then you reinvented yourself as someone tediously humble who gives low-key performances, thereby alienating the small but appreciative group of people who liked you in the first place. I think that covers it, right?

We’ll look back more on Misha B’s X Factor journey in the next article, revisiting the bullygate question with the benefit of hindsight. But for now let’s offer some further observations after re-watching Saturday’s show.

This morning Boki wrote in the comments: “What I have learned here is that at this stage judges tend to praise everyone but yesterday they de-ramped both favorites to win! Why is that, simple internal clash within them or still scripted?” It’s a great question.

We wrote yesterday about how surprised we were when Gary said Perrie should be recognised as the lead singer of Little Mix, given this had been used as a vote-dampening tactic for both Nu Vibe and The Risk this series. In our surprise, we hadn’t fully clocked until we re-watched it that Louis backed him up by shouting that Diana Ross led the Supremes, and Kelly also yelled out at Dermot that groups need a lead singer.

What do we make of this? Could it be that all three other judges are in revolt against the producers’ pushing of the girl band? Perhaps it’s most likely that Gary’s comments were premeditated, but dear old Louis forgot himself in the heat of the moment and merely wanted to re-establish his knowledge of the motown era, having just killed off the still very much alive Berry Gordy in his comments to Misha.

Or does the three-judge hitting of this point indicate it could have been a planned dampening of Little Mix? It seems unlikely – why then switch the order of Marcus and Little Mix for the second round of songs, putting the girlband in the pimp slot?

We don’t know for a fact they were switched, of course. But it looked very much like Gary was genuinely surprised when Dermot came to him to introduce Marcus as the penultimate act. There was a look of amused incredulity and an “OK… wow”, which seems challenging to explain in any other way.

Perhaps the de-ramping of both favourites was merely an inevitability given that they were both, well, a bit shite. Marcus’s struggles with his lower register in ‘Can You Feel It’ fully deserved the negative comments from the other three judges, and made Gary’s praise reek of similar unlikely things he said about Frankie Cocozza.

Meanwhile, the opening bars of Little Mix’s performance of ‘If I Were A Boy’ amply demonstrated why they have needed liberal use of the One Direction Memorial Backing Track this series, and why Gary was right to point out that we have a developing “Perrie and the Woo Woo Girls” situation on our hands.

The comments on Little Mix’s pimp slot were a fascinating combination of outrageous hype from Kelly with acknowledgement of disappointing reality. Louis: “If you work harder, get the styling right, this is the next big girl band”. But why aren’t they working hard enough? Why isn’t the styling right yet? They’ve had nine weeks.

Kelly: “When you guys find the strength within each other, who brings out the best in the group… once you figure that out, this group is going be so dynamic and change the world”. But why haven’t they figured it out yet? Aren’t putative winners supposed to be completing their journeys by this late stage of the show, not standing by the roadside confusedly consulting a map?

Tulisa’s comments were oddest of all: “there’s only one recording contract in this competition, and if people want to hear your music after the show they have to pick up the phone and vote”. How unaware does she think voters are? Or was she not paying attention when Olly Murs appeared on stage six days previously, and has she not heard Cher or One Direction in the charts this year? (She hadn’t heard of ‘Think’, so it wouldn’t be entirely surprising).

We suspect the de-ramping of both favourites is probably more of a cock-up than anything else. But there is one possibility we ought to consider. Could it possibly be that this is all now intended to smooth the way for an Amelia victory?

As regular readers will know, our view on this has long been the one Richard eloquently expressed in a post at Betsfactor today:

My hunch is they would have prefered Amelia to go, because if she wins it makes a mockery of the entire show. It also makes a mockery of the judges deciding who to put through and shows Kelly made a catastrophic error of judgement. If Amelia wins, Kelly couldn’t even spot that she would be popular with the public and ranked her FOURTH out of the girls. What an utterly useless and inept judge and what a utter waste of time. So if she wins, it will be shambolic for the show – but this year has been full of cock ups like that!

Though we are increasingly coming round to the view expressed by EM in the comments today:

I’ve long said Amelia winning or doing well is a storyline the producers would love. They’re quite happy to have mud slung at the judges if it means money in the bank. Look the judges got it wrong but my how Amelia and the British public told them so.

Amelia narrowly heads the pack in a tight race according to the latest Survation survey (thanks Shoulders for pointing this out). Let’s also remember that there are a couple of vote-grabbing storylines that could be trotted out in Amelia’s VTs next week – we never got the rumoured diabetes VT in week 8, and we now discover that Supportive Dad is apparently bankrupt (hat-tip Sam B).

Could it possibly be that Amelia is the new Plan A? There is a plausible case for thinking she might be easier to get across the finishing line than Little Mix, and more commercially viable than Marcus. And you would presumably worry less about embarrassing a judge if that judge might not be coming back next year.

What are your thoughts? Is the Good Ship Marcus holed below the waterline? Is the Little Mix steamroller running out of gas? Do let us know in the comments box below.

55 comments to X Factor 2011 Week 9 Post Mortem: Amelia rated

  • Ross

    I hope it’s not Amelia. I dutched Marcus and Littlemix a few weeks back and I’ve already spent my winnings.

    If I was Cowell I’d want Littlemix through.

  • Jake

    I just can’t get over the fact that Amelia winning would permanently damage the x factor franchise. I realise TPTB regularly drag it through the mud but an act being eliminated week 1, returning week 6 and then winning would completely throw apart the show’s remaining credibility. Even if the press don’t catch onto it as this point, next year with the next series these criticisms would begin to emerge.

    • EM

      It’s an against the odds underdog story with added Cowell is furious Kelly made that mistake, the press and the British public will love it.

      • Jake

        No I understand that and I agree with you, but by the next year these questions will start being raised. When Acts are eliminated there will always be that sense that they could just come back and win, which could well ruin the show.

        • EM

          They only allowed back an act that the public hadn’t voted off. They rode out the auto-tune storm last year, the Lucy Jones elimination etc etc

          They’ll follow the money and if they think it’s with Amelia they’ll take it

  • EM

    Great headline guys.

    If we look at this weekend like any other weekend there are certainly signs of de-ramping of Little Mix and Marcus going on, negative comments, unhelpful judges arguments, poor song “choice”. The fact these comments were replayed in tonight’s recaps points to them not being accidental.

    Marcus isn’t helping himself either with performances below par and is starting to come across self satisfied. Anecdotally I know a lot of people have gone off him.

    As much as I can see signs of support for Amelia Lilly you can still deduct that Little Mix are plan A. The fact no one picked up their lyric fluff and the apparent running order switch are good pointers to this.

    It’s all to play for though, no one has delivered a great game changing performance yet, Amelia looks best placed to do that but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    I’ve got bets on all three finalists including a beauty on Amelia Lilly that I got when she was out of the contest. Good luck at the weekend guys.

  • annie

    There might be a case of deja-vu x factor final from 2010. Little Mix starring as 1D, Marcus as Matt and Amelia as Rebecca.
    The producers would really want Little Mix to win…The reasons are obvious, they are girls, a group, and are actually reliable for some commercial succes, and in a weak year it looks actually possible for them to win. They weren’t pushed from day one as 1D and definitely not as shamelesly as the boys were, but as soon as they actually produced an outstanding performance they got the help.
    Well maybe now, almost at the end, producers realised that it’s impossible for them to win(again, can hardly wait for the vote stats:D ), just like it would have been obvious for them at this stage with 1D. Last year on the last 100 m they pimped Rebecca as a more desired alternative than Matt. This year I think they would want a Marcus win much much less than a Matt win last year, so I think it’s very much possible they switched to Amelia, who is at least a girl(not another male winner), looks commercially viable, so it’s definitely the lesser of 2 bads.

    • annie

      Another thing just came to my mind. At this stage they are already recording and producing the winner’s single, so gary might not like what he’s hearing little mix do to his song…the producers might not like how that sounds and maybe that adds to leaning a bit towards amelia.

  • Boki

    Congrats to all MC-goodship & LM-steamroller backers/believers, especially to those who saw them coming long time ago! Betting wise I would like LM to win but have no problem with the others also, I think no more bets for me anyway. Good luck to all and choose wisely 🙂

    • Donald

      THanks Boki, it’s been good on here, made a bad season great!

      Sofabet reigns supreme really.

      Most on here must be in good shape for the final really.

      Question is can we all really nail iT!

    • Pete D

      Boki. Thanks for the sportman-like ‘LM Sreamroller backer’ good wishes, though “It’s not over till it’s over” so they say, and when YOU too wish upon YOUR OWN ‘star’, may all YOUR dreams also come true.

      Now where the hell have I heard that before, hmmmmmmm ? (that reminds me, I must get some biscuits and a red/black singing Christmas Candle from Tesco later).

  • Jack

    No, I disagree. I still feel LM are the favourite and I stand by the theory that Amelia will be first out next Saturday, before the final two. Which I genuinely can’t call!

  • Matt

    Good article.

    Interesting watching the first half of the Xtra Factor that the 3 ‘celebs’ all picked Amelia to win, and she was first on the bench with Ollie and Caroline.

    I do wonder what Little Mix’s vote is like, possibly similar to One Direction last year? I find it hard to believe that they can be pushed into a 50% plus of the vote share in the final once third goes, but who can tell. Marcus is a bit so so at the moment and Amelia did the best of the three finalists last night IMHO.

    All that said, the article is spot on about Misha, “clearly the most talented semi-finalist on that stage”. In an average year her song tonight was the best of the series for me and the rap at the start hails the start of her path to recording star. If there was money to be had on which artist does best post show my cash would be on her.

  • Simon "le happy chat"

    The final is going to be at Wembley Arena in fromt of 10.000 fanatical fans and a TV audience of 12 million. It calls for cool heads, no cock ups and a first class performance.

    The best two live performers are MARCUS and AMELIA – when they perform they are extremely watchable – not something I would say about LM – LM are “ok” but a aband that’s going to change the world?
    Do me a favour.
    This is THEE final of the UK top talent competition and never mind what the bookies say (all three acts have been favourite at some point) I dont believe LM cut the mustard.

    AMELIA is a serious threat.
    She is not a great or stylish singer – MISHA and SOPHIE were miles better- but AMELIA is a great performer – pretty, nicely dressed and poised with stage presence in abundance. No bigger stage than Wembley and though only 17, this hard as nails kid from Middlesbrough will hold it.
    The vacuous Louis Walsh has already nailed his colours to this girl and Teesside who have never had anyone in any competition ever are going mad about her.
    AMELIA is a serious threat.

    Then finally we have the Good Ship Macus sailing on for if he had been holed under the waterline last night, he wouldn’t have got through. What concerns me about his below par performances is that the reverses were not due to him but to the material. I mean there are a host of professional music teachers, gurus and Barlow himself and of course MARCUS and I will not be presuaded that between them they have yet to discover what key he should be singing in. It’s extraordinary, it really is, Marcus is a brilliant singer but in the higher range and therefore it is elementry to steer away from low notes. I don’t understand this.
    That said MARCUS has so far been the prime example to all how to perform – he is the ultimate professional and performer – he doesn’t forget his words, he doesn’t moan, all the other acts and judges love him, he is handsome and unlike LM who cry all the time, or AMELIA who looks like a hardened landlady about to throw someone out of her pub MARCUS SMILES.
    So for me, the performer who is handsome and well dressed, popular, performs to a tee every time and has the sunniest disposition is the one they all have to beat. I have always believed this from his first audition and I saw or heard nothing last night to change my mind.

    • Matt

      Completely agree with what you say about Amelia. I think she’s a major threat and a possible winner now. I do suspect Marcus has a solid fanbase that isn’t being identified in twitter/social media trending. Good job I have both her and Marcus to win in the final on my bets. Even if they don’t I’m still ahead so whoop!

  • Simon I agree with almost everything you say. My only concern would be that happy people do not have a very good winning record!

  • zoomraker

    could it be significant that Louis, who is often argued to be the most “on message”, is supporting Amelia and saying she is the one he wants to win?

  • lolhart

    The producers have been so sloppy this series that it wouldn’t surprise me that they’re panicking now about the winner. I think that annie and Matt may be right that Little Mix are not doing well enough in the voting to get that final push to be the winners. It was interesting that the general critique of the judges last night can be summed up as, “They’re not ready”. Quite a coincidence. That leaves Amelia and Marcus, and its difficult to imagine what kind of album Marcus would make, as his musical identity during the show has been all over the place. I can’t see a record of 50s throwbacks and/or Bruno Mars soundalikes setting the charts alight. An album of Kelly Clarkson/Pink knockoffs fronted by Amelia probably seems more comercially viable.

  • Donald

    Never before has a girl group got this close, It gives them the pop act to make the £. They will pimp for all their worth I reckon.

    It will come down to the production on the bigger stage and the audio.

    Few variables here not seen before as we all know these producers know how to kill an act.

    Marcus vote won’t split, the other two finalists might swing if Amelia was to go first so that certainly would favour Little Mix maybe? but Litte Mix votes unlikely to go to Amelia?

    Maybe the good ship just sails through.

    So first out could have a bearing on result?

  • Ben Cook

    Good to see you’re starting to accept that you might have been wrong about their feelings towards Amelia winning. I’m totally with EM on this one.

    I still suspect Little Mix aren’t actually topping the vote and will do a One Direction in the final, leaving Amelia as the only credible alternative, as they surely must (as much as I like him) not want Marcus to win.

  • Lux Lisbon

    @EM – The Lucy Jones Story? Remind me of that again.

    Re: Amelia-Lily: it will be a joke if she wins after her previous elimination.

    In previous series, when an act has been booted off you could be dead certain that they wouldn’t be coming back.

    Now, with zombie acts returning from the dead, and groups being broken up, kicked out, half of them brought back, a lead singer plucked from one band to join another etc., it’s just turned into a shambling mess.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed – it’s turned into a heart-sinking final.

    AND…where is the sex? Sex appeal – right through the whole history of pop music, has been an inherent ingredient in an artist’s appeal.

    But, with this lot, it’s almost like they’ve all had sex appeal bypasses.

  • Donald

    One thing forgot to mention Little Mix were certainly given the best slot on tonights opening number.

  • I agree about the threat from Amelia.

    In general elections swing voters decide the winner. It will be the case here. Marcus lovers will stay Marcus lovers, but I think floating former LM voters could easily decide to swing behind Amelia.

    Second you are going to have THREE lukewarm judges for Little Mix this weekend. Louis has already nailed his colours to the mast (wrong ship), Kelly quite likes the girls, but will back Amelia first and Gary has been pretty anti Little Mix and will see them as a massive threat. Also by ramping Amelia instead he can be seen as the fair and reasonable guy he wants to be portrayed as.


  • jashala

    I love reading this thread, even though some of you have a tendency to over think way to much lol. I think Little Mix since ET have been doing quite well vote wise, they are in the top 3, in i think they are doing a bit better in votes compared to 1D because like I mentioned before there appeal is alot wider then 1D, I feel they have more then just teenage girls that are voting for them, read around there is alot more then just teenagers that are voting for them.

  • jashala

    The only comparision i see with 1d and little mix is their age, other then that little mix is more jls with a better chance at winning. like someone mention on another forum it could all come down to who they all get as there duets. I know alot of people felt alexandra won because her duet was much better, I didnt watch that season, but thats what i’ve heard.

  • Kate

    To be honest, I’m not sure that Marcus will be able to achieve anything more than a Pyhrric victory. He virtually disappeared last night and I thought he was in serious danger of being knocked out. He’s got two paths to victory that I can see: either he manages to dominate the stage next week in a way that he’s not managed to so far (but would make him a worthy winner if he can manage it); or he gets through on the back of being the “non-threatening cute boy” who appeals to various categories of female voter, at which point he’d be yesterday’s news faster than you can say “Leon Jackson”. (He is, I stress, better than Leon.)

    Of the other two, only Little Mix have ever come close to giving a dominant performance, and how they do will be determined by stylistic factors more than technical ones. They do need work but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed in studio, and they clearly have a lot of support online, from ex-contestants (suggesting the possibility of vote transfers) and are likeable/cute enough not to put off casual viewers at this stage. Not unless they mess up in a major way.

    From their point of view, it might be best to treat the semi-final as a dress rehearsal. Tulisa’s game plan this week should be dedicated to spotting what didn’t quite work yesterday and making sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Amelia benefitted this week from being The Girl Who Isn’t Misha. I get the impression that the vocal support that swelled round her over the weekend of 12/13 November had since dissipated but I suspect that the reciprocal animosity she generated on re-entry has also become negligible. Her trick this week was creating the impression that she was a worthy finalist, which I’m not sure was a foregone conclusion 36 hours ago. Her trick next week will be to create the impression that she’s a worthy winner; at the moment she has ‘bronze medal’ written all over her.

    So the result will hinge on what the viewers perceive the ‘X factor’ to be: charm (Marcus), potential (LM), or tenacity (Amelia).

  • mark (mapps)

    I was surprised by the price for Marcus after the results show, went out to 3/1 even though he’s progressed further? Previously he was around 5/2 after drifting slightly on the Saturday night

    I backed him for a bit more today at 5/2 thinking the price would shorten to ~ 7/4 after the results show IF 9as I hoped he was through) but it went the other way he’s now the outsider!!

    As to what to do now, I’m sticking with Marcus – I just can’t see Amelia winning, maybe I’m just being blindsighted by my want and my bets on Marcus, but I still feel it would be a complete mockery having someone who gotchuked off in the first week but comes back near the final stages..having them win the show..no credibility

    I’m not so sure x factor bosses would be happy with this scenario, if Amelia did win – surely there would be a backlash? People voting from week 1 to keep their favourite in only to have someone get put back in near the end and win? Wouldn’t it mean the end of the x factor series..people just wouldn’t bother watching in the future??

  • mark (mapps)

    Just wondering, is there any chance now at this stage that the support and popularity of Little Mix is being exaggerated and they dont have as much support as we’re being made to think they do?

    Also all this about Jess being insecure about her weight..surely this is a negative?

  • Pete D

    Kate. I just got home from a gig to find out the ‘very pleasing result’ on here and I have just sat down to watch the repeat of the show and maybe write a little something too.

    You have just saved me that latter as you took the works out of my mouth (and very eloquently and intelligently scripted it is too might I say).

    All I can add is that the semi was just an exercise to finally throw MISHA overboard and that all the Judges comms for (the real ‘safe’ favourites) LITTLE MIX and MARCUS were just ‘tough love’ to harden them up for the final.

    With AMELIA they just had to show fair and create some ‘will she win, won’t she win’ excitement (knowing quite well the real vote counts and the struggle she is going to have to rally more votes against LM or even old stalwart XF furniture favourite MARCUS).

    YouTube is a very good source to see the massive support that they are getting from ‘the world and his/her Dog’ and there are folk on there who are voting 40 and 100 times each.

    There is a LITTLE MIX phenomenon happening and it is rapidly snowballing and becoming almost a frenzy and the more they are painted with negativity the bigger it gets. Perhaps XF knew what they were doing and designed it this way to test the water ?

    As for LM’s styling, you are so right. In fact, I would like to invite any ‘think they know better’ on here to come up with something better and what THEY thing would work.

    Coincidentally I am just watching the rise of ELTON JOHN whilst waiting for XF and he certainly wasn’t an overnight success having played piano bars for years first. I wonder how many pairs of BIG glasses and platform shoes HE tried on before he found his instantly recognisable identity.

    Someone on her metioned too that you need ‘sex appeal’ too. Well LM have it in droves anyway (as well as the ‘girl next door appeal), but what about multi selling multi millionaire Mick Hucknell, Billy Joel, Elton himself in fact and even Pavarotti then ?

    I rest my case (for now) and go to watch the show now. Well done lady !!

  • Pete D

    O…M…G. Never mind the contestants and all the intense XF hype. After watching XF EXTRA tonight I was totally entertained and blown away with those 2 sweet little cherubs who guested on there tonight. What a couple of little stars they were !!

    Although so mixed up with the sheer excitement of seeing all the stars of the show at once and who they liked best, the overriding ‘copycat fashion’ brilliant emulation of LITTLE MIX is EXACTLY what I am seeing from my own 5 year old Disney Princess loving Grand-daughter and all her friends, who are going completely NUTS over LM (and tells me ALL I need to know that good old ‘astute’ Grandad is going to have a very nice time next week with the ‘final’ result).

    For me it was a totally refreshing change and completely what it was all about, as well as the very moving charity VT’s last week.

    AND LEST WE FORGET FELLOW PUNTERS (in our monetary losses and gains here), ALSO that personal appearance of those 3 wonderful kids last week who will NEVER EVER have the chance to realise even the ‘most simple’ of hopes and dreams that WE EXPECT from our longer lives.


    Daniel and Andrew, I am therefore respectfully requesting that we maybe have a dedicated ‘pledge thread’ to show that this site’s members are a lot MORE than just a ‘takers’, but ‘grateful givers’ too (“There but for the Grace of God go I”). The rest is up to the giver to make sure it gets there of course.

    What does everyone else think ?

  • Malcolm

    I think little mix have been pimped beyond their real value in this competition, as a foursome they are hard to style because they aren’t all good looking enough. The needyness of jess has begun to grate, she seems desperate, not confident and IMHO this shows in her performance and detracts from the group performance. They just don’t seem ready.

    Only little mix and Marcus go in to the final without appearing in the bottom two. Little mix were given serious help on Saturday. Little Mix were called first on sunday. But I think they have both peaked too early.

    Amelia seems to have the stage presence that could swing it at wembley. A very late plan A I think.

  • EM

    A thought on Gary and the others pushing for Perrie to do lead vocals. Gary has often lead the calls for acts to do something different next week which has duly materialised, stripped back songs, more uptempo songs and so on.

    When we see an act do something different that’s been requested by a judge it looks good. They can take criticism, they can work hard at suggestions and they’re learning from the masters.

    So if Little Mix to with Perrie on lead vocals on Saturday don’t be surprised and if she is strong it might just lead to that tipping point performance where they win by a mile.

  • EJ

    I don’t think MC should be underestimated. I like the guy but by rights he should have gone this weekend, he was the worst by far on Saturday. So to stay he must already have a solid fanbase. Add to that, the majority of  people only vote in the final  & you have to assume that he will pick up not only the older vote but the gay vote too whilst AL & LM may be fighting it out for the rest. I’m also in the camp that if 1 Direction couldn’t win it as a group then LM can’t either regardless of the arguments for/against. Boy bands will always be more popular than girls. And i just don’t think SHOUTELIA has the all round appeal. The public don’t care about the career post-show they just want the most deserving act to win. I picked MARCUS up at 18/1 thanks to the good people on this site & I’m sticking with him. He might just sail that GOOD SHIP home yet!

  • Boki

    Amelia is a real threat now but is she maybe overrated just as few acts in the past? She didn’t have a wow moment, other 2 acts simply underperformed. If we look to the facts:

    – wk 6 – comeback, better than Kitty & Misha
    – wk 7 – bottom 2, worse even than Misha
    – wk 8 – better than Misha & wounded Janet
    – wk 9 – better than Misha

    Those are the results we are sure of and it’s nothing impressive, don’t you think?
    Maybe she picked a lot of votes from eliminated Janet but is that likely (not to mee at least)?

  • Malcolm

    I wonder how many people swap their vote when their favoured contestant goes out? It might just create apathy.
    I think the final has to be viewed as a one off, who performs best at wembley arena / gets pimped the most on the night, especially as many dont think about voting until the Final. I’ll only vote if I actually care who wins. At the moment I don’t.

    Do we know who each act will be dueting with? Is Bryan Adams coming back to do one with Amelia? Is Leona only performing on her own?. She will show what standard can come out of X factor…..

    • Boki

      Hi Malcolm, you say that most people don’t vote before the final meaning anything can happen there. But based on the available voting figures we see that the winner in seasons 6,7 was winning last couple of weeks before the final so there was never a danger that he is overtaken on the final night. This might happen this year because we think it’s a tight race but we are just guessing.

      Having said that, Alexandra in season 5 emerged on week 8 as tight 1st, week 9 was 2nd but in final round 1 she got incredible vote boost. Is it because of new voters in the final or because Diana Vickers was eliminated and Alexandra inherited her votes? Probably the combination.

      • Andrew

        Hi Boki, I think this is the answer to your Alexandra question 🙂

      • Malcolm

        Boki, there is a lot of talk about x factor where I work, yet know one I know has voted yet, so although anecdotal I think it is true.

        In a poor year where the supposed front runners go into the final week with a lot of work to do, the re-emergence of Amelia as a credible contestant, the different location for the final, I still think its all to play for.
        In previous years there were much more obvious winners at this point.

        I take your point though about Diana vickers vote possibly going to Alexandra Burke, and with fewer voters maybe there is more scope for a few votes to swing it one way or another?

        Talk in my office this morning was all about Marcus, even those who clearly have no musical training thought his 2nd song choice last weekend didn’t suit his range. General view is that he cannot do anything new in the final that we haven’t seen before, ….. though with a bigger stage there is room for another 50 gospel singers.

  • Ano

    The key distinguishing feature of all X-Factor winners to date has been ‘niceness’; they appear likeable. Both Marcus and Little Mix come across as ‘nice’, in fact, this is Marcus’s strongest point, but Amelia Lily seems to lack likeability and this will limit her appeal to the voters.

  • Horace

    There could be a public support of Marcus if it is seen he is been shafted due to a lack of profit making potential.

  • tpfkar

    Only just seen the result; Misha indeed left with good grace and you could see she was ready to go.

    X Factor Tracker said MARCUS bottom.

    Tpfkar & Toby said MISHA. Take yer pick folks!

    I suspect the semi-final will only make sense once we’ve seen the final and the prior voting stats. Will post some more thoughts later, but I’ve seen that Toby made a late ‘downgrade’ on Marcus – I’ll run the figures through later, but the probably impact will be to make Little Mix hot faviourites next week.

    • Simon "le chat"

      Hi Tpfkar
      Little Mix are already hot favourites with only the plunge on AMELIA LILLY keeping them from going odds on.

      The good ship is out to 11/4 in places from his previous 6/4 favourite but he still sounds the same as he was when he drifted to 25/1 earliar in the series.
      These are the same bookies that had CRAIG at 4/11 to be top male with FRANKIE at 2/1 and MARCUS at 7/2 in a three horse race.
      I am as confident as I can be that the voting does not seep into the market and that the best act on the night will prevail.

      Bookies know about horseracing and football because they have been doing this every week for decades and have the stats. As the above odds in top male illustates, they know far less about music which is why the markets for X factor ahve been all over the place.

      I believe that MARCUS as a performer and all round appealable bloke trumps the other two hands down – the only things that can noble him are a rubbish performance on Saturday – which I will take a chance on him not doing – and a rubbish song choice and/or partner to duet with – and that is in the hands of the gods (or PTB)

  • Panos

    This Little Mix situation is reminding me of this year’s Azerbaijany Eurovision victory: after trying aggresively for a few years, they got their victory in a ”by default” manner in the year when they had their weakest entry so far, due to lack of competition and lots of luck across a range of factors.

  • Lux Lisbon

    I think we must all take into account that while my mum, my grandma, and the old lady upstairs may pick up the phone and register their vote for Marcus, there maybe some fourteen year old girl sat at home voting 60 times for Little Mix while her parents are out Christmas shopping.

    A general election, this is not.

    • Jake

      Thing is, that always seems to be a factor people argue over, yet it seems to have barely any baring on the overall results. People thought that One Direction could possibly win with the multiple voting tweens, but they came 3rd by quite a large margin.

      • EM

        Plus one with Jake. A lot of assumptions being made about voting demographics, online demographics, fanbase ages etc.

        To bet smartly on the X Factor you should follow proof and sound judgements backed by evidence.

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