X Factor 2012 Judges’ Houses Part 1: Maloney baloney

Ah, judges’ houses. The moment when the ‘A Chorus Line’ absurdity of the audition process gets some added sunshine. Intensify the heartbreak for those falling at the last hurdle by breaking the news from a wicker chair on a palatial terrace. Show them a gateway to glamour before delivering the blow with the words, “I can’t take you through.”

As with the rest of the audition process, the edits were hardly subtle tonight. The most consistent way of doing a disservice to an unfavoured act was to intercut their performance with a VT interview so that we couldn’t properly appreciate it.

We started with the groups. Most pimped were GMD3 with the last slot and an uninterrupted performance. However, Union J were also reasonably favoured and continue to sound better to my ears than their boyband rivals. New member George Shelley seemed to fit in reasonably well, though I hope you enjoyed the irony of the lyrics to ‘Call Me Maybe’ (“Hey, I just met you / And this is crazy”).

It was especially notable on Xtra Factor that some kind of ‘battle of the boybands’ script is being formulated for the live shows. Based on tonight’s evidence, both seem through.

MK1 did find their audition intercut with VT, but were still more favoured than the others, whom were left pretty short-changed. This tallies with rumours that MK1 are into the lives. If the wildcard twist proves to be true, I couldn’t with certainty say who would get that slot in this category. That’s pretty damning for the hopes of any group winning the wildcard into the first live show.

The boys followed, and whilst Rylan was clearly the weakest vocalist of the six, he did provide the line of the night when asked by Nicole what he was wearing. “When in Doo-bye…” he replied, as if walking along the beaches in his hooded blouse wouldn’t get him arrested. 

As Chatterbox has pointed out, the editing strongly suggested that the Essex boy will be joined by James (who put in another strong performance) and Jahmene as automatic qualifiers in the live finals. Nathan was blighted by VT over his performance. However, his lack of overall screentime may make him a safer wildcard-not-meant-to-progress than Jake, who has a terminally-ill brother, and cute Adam.

My speculative theory that Ella could be the shock wildcard is blown out of the water after tonight’s edit. She got the pimp slot, wowed the judges and was matched up against the virtually ignored Leanne in Tulisa’s musings. She looks likely to be joined by Jade Ellis and Lucy in the lives.

The latter undertook the daunting task of ‘I Will Always Love You’ which is too big a song for most in this situation. Lucy was no exception. This seemed a way of adding some suspense about whether she makes it or not. Leanne and Jade Collins lacked favour tonight, but Amy’s kind and long edit suggested she would be the wildcard in the girls category, if it comes to pass.

Based on the edit, Brad and Nicola have a mountain to climb to get one of the places in the overs category. Of the remaining four, I’m still expecting Melanie, Carolynne and Kye to go through automatically. I reckon that Kye’s missed note was a red herring, just like Lucy’s performance.

So what about Christopher’s pimp slot? Producers clearly feel he gives good VT. As a result, he may be set up for the agonising final rejection (possibly up against Kye) before being offered the lifeline of a wildcard. He will have had more overall screentime than the other likely candidates.  On that basis, the programme may be angling for him to win the wildcard vote next week, if indeed the twist takes place. 

What are your thoughts on these theories and the performances on tonight’s show? Let us know in the comments section below.

28 comments to X Factor 2012 Judges’ Houses Part 1: Maloney baloney

  • Tim B

    I agree – I think Shaky Maloney’s coverage, emotion and Liverpool vote would see him win a potential wildcard vote. If this is what happens tomorrow night, I will back him.

  • Steven

    I’m not convinced that Ella’s very favourable treatment means she won’t get the wildcard slot. If the producers haven’t been subtle so far, why would they be subtle about which of the four they want back in the competition?

    I suppose there is a possibility that it can damage her chances to go on and win, but Melanie on US XF showed that a journey like that can work out with proper producer treatment.

  • Queen Bea

    I don’t think there is any way they can not put Ella directly through to the lives without people (ie, the general viewer) not guessing what the point is. It’s not as if this year is an embarrassment of riches is it?
    I’m very interested to see how far Rylan will get, when they’ll turn on him and whether there will be an Xfactor backlash vote behind him.

  • Nugg

    For the record it appears Jakes brother has passed away since the show was recorded, for once it appears there actually was a genuine sad story going on for a contestant. It must have been tough for Jake working through this.

    XF have made me cynical, but this lads story is very real. Howverer, having a grandad that died once, failed IVF, being brought up on a council estate or having to do a real job instead of living the pop star dream are NOT sob stories though, shame on XF for publicising this nonsense.

    Nothing really unexpected in tonights show, bookies react again by shortening Ella to 5/4, not a price I would be taking at this stage. Maybe my memory is not good but I cannot recall anyone being this short at judges houses stage.

    I am convinced now that Lucy cannot win this (although very talented in a Victoria Wood kind of way will not cope with lives, awkward in stage and poor voice), nor Jahmene ( way too nervous and fragile to cope with pressure, I guess the only danger is that they could make this a story of a shy insecure young asda boy gaining confidence and strength). I still think the biggest dangers to Ellla will come from Kye, James and possibly the producers choice of group.

    The producers will not want to be running with a one horse race through the lives, so I think we best be prepared for some heavy pimping of one or two other contenders during the first few live shows.

    I would love to see Shakey Maloney in the finals, he is very amusing on VT and not a bad singer. He might get a few quid of my money if he is wilcard contender.

    Looking forward to seeing the final 12 and wildcards tomorrow.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Far from “keeping their cards close to their chest”, the clear visibility of the preferred acts on each judge’s table, was almost as helpful as the production edits in identifying the favoured acts.

    I am sure that in previous years, the producers have always tried to make it difficult to see which act’s card the judges are pointing at, when they say things like “She’s my star” or “I’m torn between these two”. This time that was only the case with Louis’ groups.

    As mentioned in my earlier comment, Nicole might as well have held the cards up to the camera, to identify which boys she is putting through.

    It only took the press of a pause button to clearly see Gary’s cards split into three groups of two:

    Yes – Carolynne & Kye
    No – Brad & Nicola-Marie
    Maybe – Melanie/Christopher Maloney

    This is likely to lead to the decision between the challenge Melanie will face by being away from her children (a point that was heavily mentioned at Judge’s Houses) and Christopher’s issue with his nerves.

    Tulisa displayed her cards in two clear rows of three:

    Yes – Ella, Jade Ellis & Amy
    No – Lucy, Jade Collins & Leeanne.

    The decision she stated that she was torn over, appears to be whether to put through Amy – who’s card Tulisa pointed to when saying “this girl for me is the hardest decision, I feel so emotionally drawn to her” and Lucy – who’s card she pointed to when saying “I was so sure about, up until this point, but I’m starting to see cracks. It’s making me think twice”.

    Given the ground swell of public interest in Lucy (You Tube hits, etc) she could very well be the intended “Wild Card” act, giving the voting public the belief that they have re-instated someone very different to everyone on X Factor before, yet still providing the producers with a popular act they they could easily cull if she proves too popular and a risk to their planned winner.

    It will be interesting to see Judges House Part II to see if this is indeed the script.

  • tpfkar

    Thanks to Chatterbox for going back with the pause button – does feel like they are less bothered about it looking like an even playing field at this stage, neither Nicola Marie nor Gary in particular looked like they could stand each other at any stage.
    Only just seen the ‘wildcard’ twist. Based on the leaked 12 and coverage tonight, I’d take Jake Quickendon seriously, they could have featured his brother at any time but chose to tonight, and the boys category is missing a heartthrob. I don’t think his range is amazing so he could be nobbled Craig Colton style.

  • tpfkar

    One more thing – memo to producers: if you want to pimp Ella in the girls category and put her on last, don’t film outside in St Lucia, the previous act (Lucy) in near-darkness, and then show Ella in sunshine 🙂

  • Chatterbox5200

    Having now watched the Xtra Factor, it was interesting to see each act’s second song at Judges Houses, and more importantly which song those chose to showcase during the main ITV show. It seemed to indicate how the producers wanted to portray each act.

    Lucy, Union J and Times Red all performed without playing guitars on their alternative song, Kye appeared not to struggle with his second song, and Nicola-Marie did not sing a horrendous version of a Steps song!

    This also appeared to show the true order in which the acts performed, before any editing/manipulation from the producers, to pimp certain acts.

  • Louis's wig

    Well said Nugg, you took the words out of my mouth re Jake, giving so much time to contrived non sob stories while never mentioning Jakes brother is disgusting……new low?

  • Boki

    Based on what I read here, Maloney for sure one of the wildcard four, interesting to see the odds for wildcard win next week.

  • Queen Bea

    Based on what Chatterbox has said about Tulisa, Lucy is a contender for wildcard then? She would be atrue wildcard too in terms of the type of performer she is. Very clever,to allow the public the chance to vote her back in if true. Also it would explain why her records were allowed to be purchased on itunes if the desicion regarding her participation in the live shows had not already been made.

  • Chatterbox5200

    They may actually play it the other way, and put Lucy through, leaving Amy as the wildcard… having made the public think that it was a tougher decision that it actually was, so they don’t think that Lucy is a certainty.

    I expect the wildcards to be: Amy or Lucy (with the other put straight through), Adam Burridge, Christopher Maloney and Times Red. The intention being that the public take to Christopher Maloney’s nerves issue and put him through.

  • Boki

    I really started to get James after his Saturday emotional performance. Also disliked Jahmene – he has one trick in his sleeve and using it all the time making all the songs the same (true Lucy does it also but it is less annoying to me).

  • PG

    Shaky Maloney 2/1 to win wildcard at ladbrokes. Crazy!!!!!!!!!!

    • Daniel

      Paddy Power go 4/5 Maloney, 7/4 Amy so arbitrage opportunities available. I have to say Amy got a much stronger edit tonight than I expected and it’s not a one-horse race. Sofabet will be covering the wildcard contest during the week, so do check back for our take on who will go through.

    • Nugg

      I might of had a bit of the 2/1 Maloney meself, just based on my own opinions, VT’s and TPTB pimping , but I was out for dinner and by the time I got back home it had gone off Ladbrokes site.

      BUT …….

      He seems to be getting a bit of bad publicity on the DS and BF forums, someone out there really don’t like him. He is not popular at all with DS forumites, who see him a fake and an actor.

      Not sure if this will effect his chances of progressing, as only a tiny minority of obsesives (like me 🙂 ) read all the forums. It is enough to convince me to put any bets on hold, and I certainly wouldn’t take Paddy Powers 4/5 anyhow.

  • stoney

    paddy power the only site offering odds on wildcard at the moment, if any site offers better than odds on for maloney ill be all over it

  • Rob

    Lads were going 2-1 Maloney, cut to 11-8, now pulled.

  • Daniel

    The Betfair win market is now open for those who want to start trading there. Trouble is, it doesn’t include any of the wildcards at the moment. There is a wildcard winner’s market but it hasn’t opened yet.

  • Any sign of a firm offering First Act Eliminated? takes about 5 minutes to price up.

    • Nugg

      Nothing up yet, here is my own “TISSUE” 🙂

      Ella Henderson 200/1
      Jahmene Douglas 14/1
      James Arthur 50/1
      Kye Sones 22/1
      Carolynne Poole 25/1
      GMD3 14/1
      Lucy Spraggan 14/1
      Union J 10/1
      Jade Ellis 6/1
      Melanie Masson 7/1
      Christopher Maloney 16/1
      MK1 7/2
      Rylan Clark 5/1
      Amy Mottram 16/1
      Adam Burridge 50/1
      Times Red 33/1

  • tpfkar

    No shocks with the final 12, and props to team sofabet for calling the wildcards right. I still think Christopher Maloney will get through, but Amy Mottram is credible. Poor Adam Burridge & Jake Q: we’re told how Adam doesn’t always connect and gain sympathy for Jake, then it’s Adam put forward for the vote-looks like clear sabotage.
    Surprised Mk1 are at such long odds, the only vaguely urban act will likely be kept in for some time, surely they will pick a boyhand to ditch first?

  • Simon "le chat"

    I agree about MK1- top band left for me

  • AlisonR

    Amy looks like Wildcard Plan A to me, I thought this from when Tulisa said “If I could have four……” because none of the other judges said that. Maloney I’m sure would be an acceptable plan B. The others are pretty anonymous.

  • AlisonR

    So who’s out first then? There are a lot of people fishing in the same markets for me: the two boybands, Melanie/Carolynne, Rylan/Maloney, James/Kye. Under normal circumstances I would expect Rylan to be an early exit, like Diva Fever, but he’s far too entertaining to get rid of (the sight of him blubbing into Nicole’s cushion was hilarious) so I think even if he ends up in th bottom two early on, he will get saved. If Maloney gets through as the Wildcard, I could see him going off early on. If Amy gest through, I think Jade could be off early, as Amy would’ve had a chance to build a bit of a profile this week, whereas I don’t feel I’ve got to know Jade beyond the “single mum” tag. I agree with tpfkar that they’ll probably dump a boyband early on, they will split each other’s votes, so whichever one gets the least and ends up in the bottom two first will be out. I’m not convinced that it will be in the first week though. I can see Melanie being in the bottom two in the first week. I like her voice, but just can’t see the XFactor demographic voting for her.

  • So frontloading still live & kicking: 6 out of the 12 finalists were shown in audition shows 1 & 2.

  • nugg

    Bwin now have first elimination prices

    Ella Henderson 100/1
    Jahmene Douglas 100/1
    James Arthur 66/1
    Kye Sones 40/1
    Carolynne Poole 40/1
    GMD3 9/1
    Lucy Spraggan 40/1
    Union J 7/1
    Jade Ellis 3/1
    Melanie Masson 5/1
    MK1 3/1
    Rylan Clark 5/1
    WILDCARD 6/1

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