X Factor 2012: Saving Private Rylan

They could have let Louis have an act like Poisonous Twin – did we really need two identikit boybands? They could have lumbered Gary with the entertaining Nicola Marie. Instead they let Rylan shoulder the novelty burden alone, and now they have a problem.

Novelty acts are supposed to stick around until just gone halfway, providing fodder for the tabloids and the wild outer reaches of Brian Friedman’s imagination, before clearing the stage just in time for the serious business of selecting a winner. If the X Factor loses Rylan this early, it’s going to be a long old series of unremittingly tiresome credibility.

Which is why they reluctantly had to cut Carolynne loose last Sunday. Unfortunately, Louis overdid the dramatic indecision thing, after viewers saw somebody having a surreptitious word in his ear (the press tell us it was Richard Holloway “telling Louis the order the judges would vote in”. Seriously, there is no discreet technological way to do this?)

And this makes it difficult to maintain the fiction, so cleverly nurtured regarding Wagner, that a vote for the joke act is a mischievous poke in the eye for the show. So how do they keep Rylan around now?

Sofabet commenter Panos sums up what several commenters have been observing: “all of Jedward, Wagner, Waissel and Kitty had at least one trait which gave a reason to at least one group of tv viewers to vote for them. Rylan maybe doesn’t.” We think that’s a tiny bit harsh. For us, Rylan has provided some of the moments of the series so far, notably his “when in Doobai” explanation for the judges’ houses outfit he appeared to have borrowed from a stewardess on the Emirates flight over.

But we reckon the show have made a couple of grave mis-steps in how they’ve set Rylan up for the live shows. They let him emphasise to Gary that, behind the fun, it’s serious for him. But it wasn’t serious to Wagner or Johnny Robinson, was it? They were simply seen as having fun, in a happy-to-be-here, take-each-week-as-it-comes kind of way.

Relatedly, when calling out the names at bootcamp who’d made it to judges’ houses, they left his name till last and dwelt on Joe Whelan’s reaction. This cemented the impression that Rylan had taken the place of someone more deserving.

Of course, this happens to all novelty acts as soon as they hit a singoff, and it’s a great source of controversy for the show – think Jedward and Lucie Jones, Katie Waissel and Treyc Cohen. But it possibly wasn’t wise to do it before even the live shows had started, and to someone in whom they’d invested quite that much screentime (if you haven’t read it, this unrealitytv interview with Joe Whelan provides some interesting behind-the-scenes snippets).

Ultimately, these two problems come back to the fact that Rylan – unusually for a solo joke act – isn’t in the overs. As Daniel told the Express on Tuesday, if Rylan was ten years older nobody would care as much. There’s a very good reason the joke acts are usually in the overs – it’s hard to get too het up about a joke act taking the place of a more deserving candidate, because there’s always a feeling that all the overs should be grateful to be getting another chance in the first place.

There is a precedent for a novelty act being in one of the younger categories, in the shape of Katie Waissel. But with Gamu Nhengu’s well-publicised visa issues and the reinstatement of Treyc Cohen as a wildcard, there was never quite as much sense that Katie had unfairly deprived someone else. Katie was also a better singer than Rylan.

We can see why producers might have felt the need to reinject a bit of credibility into the overs, having failed to provide any at all last year. But they pushed the needle too far in allowing the category to be so thoroughly Borelowed – especially when they sent Louis through with three serious acts, too. Nobody would have begrudged Louis a joke group.

And Rylan might actually have been more likely to capture public support in a group. His other series highlight, for us, was the bootcamp group performance with Gaythan and Ottavio. Was it too late at that stage for producers to have ripped up the script for Rylan and put those three into a group called Diva Hoedown?

Still, we are where we are. And we can surely expect a concerted effort this Saturday to save Rylan. So how could they do it? Sofabet commenter Nugg has some suggestions:

VT- A humble Rylan acknowledging that he should have been sent home last week and it was unfair on Carolynne. Vocal coach to be shown working with Rylan and saying no one in the competition has put more work in this week and Rylan is improving. Clips on Rylan practising 12 hours a day and everyone saying how much effort he has made.
SLOT – give him a half decent slot.
PERFORMANCE- put on a song that he can pull of reasonably well, use plenty of backing vocals if necessary and decent staging. Performance a clear improvement on last week fun and vocally quite acceptable.
JUDGES- All totally unfairly lay into and attack Rylan, including Louis. Comments like you should have gone last week, I see no improvement, I regret keeping you in, you don’t deserve to be here, you will definately be in the bottom 2 tomorrow , no one will be voting for you after that perfomance etc. Even Nicole,luke warm comments, saying that although he has worked so hard this week she has to admit that he is not upto level of the others and it may be time to go.
RYLAN on stage with Dermot, dramatically breaking down in tears and saying he has tried so hard to get it right after last weeks bottom 2 result and he is sorry if he has let everyone down and understands why no one will vote for him.

This might work, but it would be a high-risk strategy – if he didn’t clear the bottom two, and assuming he doesn’t have it in him to pull out a Ruth Lorenzo ‘Purple Rain’ style singoff performance, it would make it look even more ridiculous for the judges to save him. To keep that option open, they need Louis and Tulisa to talk about him being entertaining.

Perhaps there is scope for a sympathy vote if Gary is unfair enough. But are the nation’s voters motivated to annoy Gary Barlow to the same extent as they enjoyed the idea of annoying Simon Cowell?

The fact that Rylan landed up in the bottom two after a death threat VT doesn’t exactly suggest that there’s much scope to go the sympathy route, so we’re not sure if it would be wise to show Rylan in floods of tears. Maybe a better route would be to have him VT about how he’s having a huge amount of fun on stage and all he wants to do is entertain people, but if people don’t find him entertaining then of course he doesn’t want to stay around. Then we can have Nicole testifying that he’s putting on a brave face but of course it means a lot to him, he’s working so hard to be worthy of his place, and so on.

And as tpfkar wisely cautions, “Before we get carried away with how Rylan won’t bounce, remember we had exactly the same discussion about Frankie last year. He never hit the bottom 2 again.”

We have one last small observation and suggestion for the show. With the next-up performers being shown waiting in the wings before the ad break, we got an advance glimpse of Rylan’s gold outfit, which took away the “look what he’s wearing!” moment at the beginning of his performance. It may be only a minor thing, but why not keep the moment of surprise for the performance? Either don’t show him at all before the ad break, or have him in some kind of boxer’s gown.

What else can producers do this week to save Private Rylan? Do share your ideas below.


58 comments to X Factor 2012: Saving Private Rylan

  • tpfkar

    Good questions here and several routes it could go down. I’m not convinced Rylan is miscast as others have been saying. His first audition, the ‘Hoedown Divas’ performance, spiking Dermot at bootcamp, and ‘When in Dooobai’ were all pretty funny. But it didn’t work on Saturday. Amidst all the big production, he came over as flat as both a singer and entertainer. Where was the banter, the shock factor, the big ‘Rylan’ moment? It wasn’t there.

    His voice has got much better since first audition (I suspect they paid for lots of vocal coachig between auditions and bootcamp) but it’s never going to compete with the others, and it came across to me that he was trying to do this on Saturday. Taking the others on at their strengths is no approach for him. Neither of the other boys are comfortable moving around on stage or are likely to come up with memorable lines, this is Rylan’s strength and he should play to it.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    I think they may concentrate on engineering a situation where three judges can save him without it looking absurd as opposed to keeping him out of the bottom two. The phone voting figures would influence this of course, how far was he behind the third & fourth bottom etc. Keeping him out of the bottom two on the face of appears a difficult objective. Note: all 7/1 gone on Maloney as of now so do not hang around if thinking of getting on him

  • Slightly off topic: I think Melanie is their Joker act, i.e. someone they can get rid of in the next 2-3 weeks if necessary or pimp into the final à la Marcus Collins if the talent runs dry and options are reduced (e.g. if Kye fails to ignite).

  • xtoast

    I noticed that Digital Spy had a “Rylan gets a Gary Barlow tatoo” story today suggesting that they’re going to go down the traditonal “Stick it to the Man” route to keep him in. Well this is what the story implied to me anyway even it doesn’t make much sense.

    It’s clear they will keep the rivalry between Gary and Rylan up anyway. I know personally I hated how Gary treated Rylan last week but that clearly didn’t give him enough sympathy to resonate with the voters.

  • Leroy Cain

    Good article, Andrew. I’m still shocked Louis doesn’t have a joke group going in to the Lives, especially with the recent success of 1D & LMix meaning there is presumably no appetite for Syco to push yet another ‘take themselves seriously’ group. And then, as you point out, two identikit boybands. Weird.

    Anyway, Rylan: They want/need to keep him in but… he can’t sing. So, they need to do the old one, two… 1)Ramp him up, camp him up, back him up and then 2)slaughter anyone disposable (literally any of the bands, Shakey, Jade or Melanie). It could be very interesting seeing the producer and judge tactics next week going to town on the less favoured acts (It might be worth a drinking game in spotting all the separate tactics used in an homage to the Wagner take-down). Don’t really see why Rylan won’t get a bounce this week, he seems to have some support and not many would actually blame him directly for last weekends shenanigans. The hoo-ha could actually galvanize his supporters, after all.

  • I Found my Balls!

    Long time reader but have never posted til now…! and it’s a quick one from due to the potential of getting fired!! Also a million miles off topic….

    Just noticed that there have been two Daily Fail articles today leading with a headline about and pictures of District3. Could these be a hint that they have shifted up the ladder from being gamma group?? Just a thought that might be worth bearing in mind.

    Also I firmly believe that James Arthur is being set up as the Laura White / Lucie Jones / Aiden Grimshaw / The Risk style shock early elimination. Something has changed behind the scenes. He has gone from being cast as the serious musician to singing a pretty straightforward Kelly Clarkson song. Note how Lucy Spraggan was seen in a guitar shop in her VT firmly setting her up as the “musician” character. If Rylan can survive a couple of weeks (debatable?) then James could be first boy out. His elimination odds in 2 / 3 weeks time could well be worth a look depending on his treatment this weekend.

    • Daniel

      Welcome to Sofabet, IFMB. I hadn’t seen the articles you are referring to today, but I did see some pics circulated on Twitter showing the District 3 boys with a few of One Direction, and that made me wonder something similar.

      We will have to agree to disagree on James Arthur for the moment. Singing Kelly Clarkson was a way to get Gary to warn James not to lose his integrity, thus reminding us he has it in the first place, I reckon.

      Time will tell on both counts and this weekend will be fascinating, as you say.

    • Lia

      James has the makings of the “X-Factor unsuccessful winner” type, so I wouldn’t rule this possibility out. But then I’m led to believe they really don’t want a young male to win. Rylan will never win and Jahmene is a very risky bet with his lack of versatility and uncomfortable demeanor onstage performing anything that sounds remotely current.
      **Thinking hard**

      • Lia

        And then I’d add Kye to this mix as well. He’s in the Overs but he is more Boys type than Overs.

        • eurovicious

          Totally agree. I’ve wavered back and forth a fair bit on Kye, but the utter miscasting of the Boys category can only benefit him. His performance on Saturday was excellent and the sort of thing I’d expect to have broad appeal in a field of more niche performers. Like Matt in 2011, his relative underpimpedness will serve to benefit him.

      • eurovicious

        I think he looks too much like a bag of spanners to win. Matt in 2011 won not just because he garnered the authenticity vote, but also due to his looks and guy-next-door factor. This arguably applies to all male wins so far (Steve, Shayne, Leon, Joe, Matt).

        • Lia

          EEEEW! I find him utterly unattractive. Honestly, I quite like his voice but to this day I can’t stand to even look at him. Maybe I’m the only one… LOL

    • eurovicious

      I’m with you on both counts, IFMB.

      Don’t get fired! Unless that would be a good thing…

      All the lurkers are coming out tonight… they’re lighting up the sky tonight…

    • stoney

      union j’s twitter following is still growing at a much fast rate than district 3’s how much of a factor this proves to be only time will tell

  • lolhart

    I think their only hope of Rylan hanging around is keeping him out of the bottom 2. It would be very difficult for the judges to justify saving him against another girl such as Jade or Melanie (especially as they were praised last weekend). It usually takes them a good two weeks to deramp an act (Sammi and Sophie are good examples).

    Apart from the suggestions above, I think their best hope is to do a complete hatchet job on Shakey, maybe using similar tactics as those used against Sammi. They’ve already sown the seeds with Louis and Nicole’s comments last weekend and there have been the “diva” accusations in the press. So it wouldn’t be such a jump for the judges to vote 3-1 after a Christopher v Rylan singoff.

  • eurovicious

    What do we make of this, folks?


    I speculated earlier in the week that Gary’s vitriol towards Rylan and his walkout might be part of an act/narrative, but having caught up on Sunday’s Xtra Factor yesterday, I’m now sure in myself that a) Gary’s reaction was sincere, and thus that the above article is credible, and b) despite this, there is still an element of machination to the whole affair (see my final paragraph for elucidation). I get Gary; he clearly cares about real musical talent and about the acts on the show, not just his own – especially when they’re unfairly treated, as we saw with him repeatedly praising and standing up for Misha last year and decrying her unfair treatment. (For the record, I also think he feels a particular connection with and is especially supportive of northern acts.) On Xtra Factor, I thought he was visibly still in disbelief and coming down from an apoplectic rage. He looked genuinely stunned and furious. As he said to Carolynne: “Two years now you’ve lost out to joke acts”. A talented, decent person trying to get a break who’s been screwed over by Louis Walsh two years on the trot – that’s how I see it and I’m sure how Gary sees it. And he doesn’t like it. Additionally, while the other 3 judges were quite happy to gossip about Chris Maloney being a “diva” backstage, Gary refused to participate and said “We got involved in backstage gossip last year and it got us into a lot of trouble – let’s not go down that road”.

    As a man with a degree of principle, he’ll go along with the show’s narrative but only up to a point, as we saw with his week 3 admission to Frankie last year that he lied (“I said your performance was good last week – it wasn’t, it was awful”). I really think in certain instances, having to dance to the show’s tune genuinely bothers his conscience to the point where he simply won’t do it anymore. Apropos Frankie, here’s what the man himself had to say on Twitter on Sunday (and which has caused my estimation of him to skyrocket, not least because everything is in correct English):

    “I’m pretty sure the X Factor just showed the whole country how set up it is. Not that we didn’t know that anyway. The producers fucked it […] my shit performances proved the same thing last year.”

    For perhaps the first time, the curtain has fallen and people have had enough – it’s like the bit at the end of the Wizard Of Oz where Toto knocks the screen over and you can see the wizard pulling the gears and levers. As pointed out on here on Sofabet, Louis is the producers’ puppet in that he’s been there as a fixture for 9 years and can be relied on to make the decisions the show’s narrative requires. Controversy and headlines may be what the show’s after, and there’s always the “all publicity is good publicity” argument, but as far as I’m aware, this level of public outrage in week 1 is unprecedented.

    In a year that’s gone out of its way to make authenticity its USP, with earnest guitar-twangers and acts performing their own songs, could an early cull of Rylan be specifically envisioned and utilised to exemplify the X Factor’s new seriousness? This would go some way to explain why only one novelty act is in the lineup this year (thus sticking out like a sore thumb), as pondered above. I propose that unlike pantomime acts past, Rylan has been put through specifically to cause initial controversy before an early public kill, thereby cementing the status of Serious New X Factor Where It’s All About The Voice. What better way to underline the X Factor’s new serious approach and show that it’s changed than by Gary publicly taking the reins back from Louis and kicking Rylan to the curb?

    • Lia

      Sorry, but I gave to disagree. As I stated before, I think Gary is a self-centred, hypocritical idiot. He sells this image of “serious, relevant” musician and criticises people for doing exactly what he did on his early Take That days.
      His comments are inconsistent at best, like last year with the groups. He praised them for standing together and sharing vocals and then, after he saw them gain momentum and become a threat to his acts he started saying they were not all good singers and must have a lead singer. At that moment I wish I was part of the panel to tell him “maybe if you weren’t so selfish you would never have fallen out with Robbie first place.
      He knew Frankie was an awful singer, but he thought his appeal might help him win the show.
      He is competitive, he wants to win and I’m sure the last mentor he wanted to win last year was Tulisa, the young, not relevant, not so good singer with the groups not even Simon Cowell could take to the victory.
      He wants to leave the show because he sees he has close to zero chance of winning. He made the overs so boring that it doesn’t matter that they can sing. They are all dispensable.
      We are talking about X Factor here. If you don’t want novelty acts and bad singing you’re watching the wrong show. And we all know how well The Voice did on the ratings…
      I totally agree the producers have favourites and try to manipulate the results to have a better spectacle, better ratings and, if possible, a winner that’s actually going to sell records to keep the show in people’s minds. BUT I don’t think it goes as far as “fixing” certain aspects or it would be extremely difficult to keep it under the radar for so long.

  • Boki

    My view is that they always act by default as soon as they sign the contract. If what you say (‘Rylan has been put through specifically to cause initial controversy before an early public kill’) is true than Gary is just acting as part of the master plan.

    I’m curious to hear Andrew’s opinion on this subject: is Gary acting with his threats or not?

    • Hey Boki, your guess is as good as mine but, like you, I would always tend to default to the assumption of acting. You would assume that as with any workplace there will presumably be ego clashes and arguments, but fundamentally this is nothing new for the XF and Gary knew what he was getting into.

      • Lia

        Exactly! He knew what he was getting into and there’s probably a very nice clause in his contract saying he can’t leave without paying a hefty fine. Maybe he’s so rich he can afford that but where is his “integrity” if he abandons his other acts?

  • Tim B

    Winner without Ella market is now open on Betfair.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Andrew took the words out of my mouth when he said “…are the nation’s voters motivated to annoy Gary Barlow to the same extent as they enjoyed the idea of annoying Simon Cowell?”. Were the anti-X Factor league really anti-Simon Cowell, and therefore has their desire to register a protest vote by keeping the “joke act” in the show as long as possible, declined with his defection to the USA version of the show?

    Gary Barlow’s high profile public persona (a recognized singer/songwriter, Charity fundraiser, co-ordinator of the Jubilee concert, etc) does not really lend itself to being the type of character that people want to “get back at/give a bloody nose to/teach a lesson”, in the same way as the public did when they voted for Michelle McManus to be the unlikely winner of the second series of Pop Idol and land a record deal with Sony (X Factor winners are no longer guaranteed a record deal).

    In fact, the protest vote may be what the producers were hoping for, to keep in the joke act this year?

  • I agree… ‘The ‘miscast’ Rylan Clark presents a problem for the show, but not an insurmountable one. As someone else has said, the ‘joke act’ has now become the ‘villain act’ – an equally recognizable X-Factor archetype, and one which producers, etc, have long experience in managing. Indeed, Katy Waissel was more accurately a ‘villain’ than a ‘joke’, principally because – as you say – she could sing (and was young). The key traits of the ‘joke/novelty act’ is s/he can do neither, must be an Over, and is having a last-gasp, live-for-the-moment blast on stage (ostensibly at the expense of producers’ dignity). The ‘villain’, on the other hand, is young, hungry, ‘fame-obsessed’ and crucially ignorant of his/her lack of positive connection with the audience. Based on his current demeanour, I would have to concede that Rylan ticks all of these boxes, but as you say in your article, there were times at Boot Camp, etc, when he seemed highly likeable. One of the main problems, I think, has been his makeover. He looked a lot better – less diva-like, less ‘arch’ – when he was styling himself.

    However, whilst I agree the show would like to retain his services for as long as possible, I don’t think there can or will be any salvation for Private Rylan now. I have it on good authority that GB’s ‘sweary rage’ was authentic, and that he is fully prepared to act on his threats to quit if last Sunday’s events are repeated. So, to my mind the question arises as to who TPTB would consider more expendable: RC or GB? The answer must be obvious. The ‘watercooler’ act is only expected to hang around for 4-5 weeks anyway; personally, I expect some tweaking of the act as per your description would see Rylan avoiding the bottom two for another two shows at best (thus coming very close to fulfilling his function); but (against X-Factor form) will now be let go as soon as he lands in the drop zone… over any other act.

    This could be regarded as confirmation of Gary’s (growing) influence over the show, which sources have suggested to me as the principal reason for the songwriters and guitars this year. I am also informed that the Cowell camp (basically, everyone else) are less than pleased at being held to ransom in this way.

    Daniel – my second favourite title for an article so far! (Nothing beats ‘One Ella-va pimping!’) How long before it appears in a downmarket tabloid, I wonder? 🙂

    • Bob

      I suspect Gary was more annoyed at losing Carolynne than about being subjected to more Rylan. I think he had some sort of bond with her. I guess you could argue he may have some sort of bond with Melanie/Kye but I doubt he would care too much if Baloney gets the heave-ho in similar fashion (though a 3-1 defeat is probably more likely). I don’t think it was really about Rylan.

  • Lia

    I think you’ve noticed from my posts that the anti-Gary effect works on me a lot more than it ever did with Simon. Mr Borelow made the show as boring as he is. All this credibility can stay right out of my TV. I want to be entertained.
    I wish he would walk out of the show as he’s been threatening. That would be bigger news than Rylan leaving/staying at any point. Then the producers scramble to find a quick replacement and people tune in just to see what happens!
    I know I’m way overboard but one can always dream the producers would have such a brilliant and risky masterplan!

  • Boki

    First of all, Andrew posted this article so title credit goes to him. Secondly, he borrowed it from here
    without permission so next time I’ll press charges 🙂

  • I had noticed that, yes!

    Just to clarify: I’m not advocating for GB, merely reporting what I have been told. But your wishes may come to fruition, depending on the direction the rest of the team decide to take. We’ve had news out of the GB camp today that he won’t be back for a third series (haven’t had ‘official’ confirmation on this yet but it seems solid) so Louis and the old school may yet decide to call him out. All it would take is for Rylan to triumph in another ‘Louis-engineered deadlock’ against, say, Melanie Masson.

    Interestingly, should the threatened meltdown occur I am informed that producers already have a ready-to-hand substitute lined up in Robbie Williams.

    Personally, I can imagine Mr Walsh in particular privately relishing the opportunity to re-claim the show for Cowell and the people! 🙂

    • Kevin O Reilly

      Is there any truth to the rumour that Mr Barlow is the one judge who insists on a script before each show? This might dispel the idea that he is a loose cannon but actually the opposite! Would that be a tight cannon?

  • Tim B

    Personally I think Rylan will bounce. He has the support but the producers need to get his treatment just right this weekend. He needs the pimp slot, and there might need to be a good effort to nobble 2 acts in one week (i.e. Christopher and someone else). As someone said above, the producers have a lot of experience in managing this kind of situation. I’m hoping they succeed, especially after their spectacular fail of getting District 3 into the bottom 2 last weekend.

    • Tim B, how significant do we now think the “pimp slot” is.

      Voting lines open from the beginning now, which gives acts on early some of their disadvantage back. Met with the fact that there is no longer a SCD clash.

      It’s worth noting last weeks bottom two were last on and I think 4th last? (Maybe 5th), both were shown in the later half.

      I have no view but find it slightly concerning that despite everything that was thrown at the gmd3 last week to have them gone. They survived bottom two, how? Is there now a massive difference in running orders positional advantage.

  • Heisenberg

    Predicting multiple buzz words for Phony M’s segment on Saturday:

    “Cheese” “Cruise” “Diva”

    Only the prospect of District 3 down there with him would make me nervous.

    You cruise, you lose.

    • ifoundmyballs

      Hahaha, love that. You cruise, you lose!
      I’d add “dated” and to the buzzwords!
      I’ll imagine they’ll throw the West End line (as an insult!) at him at some stage too.

      I think District 3 are going to be difficult to kill off. I think they are more talented and versatile than UnionJ. Perhaps less “fit” idk!


      All these stories around outing Shakey as big headed and far from the nervous character he was cast as.

      He is totally disposable now I think. He is clearly not going to have a meltdown and crumble into a quivering wreck mid song rendering him useless. I expect him to be shoved under to bus to save Rylan this week. I’m torn on whether they will they will have to find someone else to force into the bottom with Chris or let Rylan end up there again with a 3/1 vote in his favour to stay. but at the minute am thinking the latter. All three other judges have already sown the seeds to vote off the Shakey Scouser with the diva comments. I expect a massive argument during his comments with Gary getting annoyed and threating to quit live on air (therefore encouraging people to tune in wanting to see Borelow and his creditability off on their merry way only to find he decides to stay as he “cares so much” about his acts!)

      Then on Sunday Rylan gets saved, they keep the villan/joker around for another week and grab all the headlines again.

      Who else could they save Rylan over and save a little credibility after last weeks fiasco? (Yes I did just use Credibility in a sentence about XF… I’VE OFFICIALLY LOST IT!!)

      I can’t see Rylan bouncing as some have said. I mean can people really vote for someone that Katie Price supports?! If she appears in his VT it’s be the worst attempt at gathering votes I’ve ever seen. Surely there isn’t a single person left who actually likes her??!!

      I can’t see anyone he appeals to… I don’t see the gay community supporting him at all which should be a huge demographic for him. Doesn’t get the housewives / granny vote either (as Marcus did.) He takes himself too seriously to get the ironic vote (Jedward / Wagner style.) Young girls are too busy choosing between 2Direction and 3Direction!!

      I don’t find him entertaining at all but then the show would be very dreary without him. If someone proves they can come out and do uptempo / entertaining (like Marcus / AlexandraBurke.com) then they could sneak quietly up on the inside.
      But who is the question. MK1 maybe? Could Jade have it in her? They have missed a trick with not including a versatile consistent “song and dance” act I think.
      Poor old Rylan got lumbered with that on top of villan and joker!

  • Couple of thoughts on this weeks elimination prices.

    Jade to go at 11-1. She was priced up at 9-2 to go in Week 1, this is a big gap. Ok she did an “ok” job last week, but she was forgettable, very. Although I think she will be safe against many, I like the look of her being in the bottom two at 9-2.

    District 3 to go at 7-2. The amount of effort put in to last week to see District 3 go, One Direction coming on and not even singing, on early. Both an effort to make them forgetable. As well as the pro Union J platform so they wouldnt be forgotten, making D3 more forgettable. Only thing I think kept them out bottom two was perhaps the early slot disadvantage now reduced perhaps was underestimated by producers.

    I think that its hard to discount that much effort and I think they will go again for D3, and think if its against Jade it makes it very easy for this to be a 3-1 vote for D3 to be eliminated.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Several commenters have questioned how District 3 managed to avoid the bottom two last week,despite the tactics employed by the producers to try see them there, and wonder if the change in the lines opening at the start of the show and the lack of a Strictly overlap is the cause.

    In my opinion, it could be related to these, but I feel it’s more to do with the fact that they already had a pre-established fan base prior to the show (unlike groups in the past that were put together on the show) who are of the right demographic to vote multiple times to keep them in the show longer, and not be so susceptible to the ploys employed by the producers as casual voters.

    This could also explain the reason for two boybands – each with existing support – as this may encourage their fan base to vote more frequently to prove their favoured group is the best. The addition of George Shelley into Union J – which is constantly referred to by the judges as the best thing they could have done – is possibly likely to do with his apparent extensive existing following.

    • Kevin O Reilly

      very interesting comments, another angle to look at it

      • But if this is the case, what sense would it make for producers to literally throw everything to de-ramp GMD3 and appear to aim to get them out first week.

        I just cants ee them going to that much effort to get rid of an act, to change their mind straight away. To me they were disposable by the producers, likely that this is still the case.

        Who knows, looking forward to find out on Saturday.

    • eurovicious

      Exactly Chatterbox. They were safe because of this, which I’ve linked to before: http://infogr.am/beta/uploads/sizes/458_1349260264.png

      …and because of the type of group they are (not comparable to previous groups to have left in the first week), which is why I and other never thought they were in any danger and laid them for elimination as was tipped by Rob. Unlike Nu Vibe’s deramp last year, I don’t think District 3 were seriously deramped on Saturday. (Going on first isn’t everything, especially – as Chatterbox points out – with no SCD overlap and lines open throughout.) I’m aware this is a minority view around these parts but for me that makes it all the more important for me to express it. Both last week regarding District 3 and this week regarding Chris Maloney, I have a concern there’s an element of groupthink going on and what starts with one or two people speculating about a certain act grows to becomes a self-confirming consensus. It’s all well and good conspiratorially focusing on what the show wants, to the point of overinterpreting throwaway comments on Xtra Factor and taking Digital Spy/Unreality TV stories as “signs”, but ultimately the show is steered not controlled (as I’ve commented in greater detail in the final paragraph here: https://sofabet.com/2012/01/16/x-factor-2011-review-part-1-how-little-mix-won-extreme-nobbling/#comment-23421). Analysing the show’s narrative is imperative, for sure, but taking a step back and looking at the show from a viewer’s perspective is perhaps even more imperative – it’s them that vote.

  • Over Maloney, no. But Melanie or Kye?

    Hell, yes!

  • Tim B

    Also doing the rounds today is this story.


    The question that provoked the “I’ve heard Chris from Liverpool is a bit of a diva backstage” response struck me as a little odd. Come to think of it, some of the other questions asked on there seem a little (how do I say this nicely?)…articulate to have been asked by someone who has bothered to call up The Xtra Factor! It makes sense though and I can believe it. The story was as much confirmed by the show spokesperson.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Not firectly related to this thread, but I saw this video on YouTube, and wonder if Charlie from MK1 is going to be given the opportunity to showcase her musical abilities. With all the publicity about Lucy Spraggan and James Arthur playing their guitars on the show, nothing has been said about the fact that Charlie plays guitar, drums and keyboards!


    The video is a bit long, but just watch from 0:13 – 0:42 to see her play the drums and from 3:00 – 3:45 to see MK1 play an acoustic version of Rizzle Kicks’ Mamma Do The Hump.

  • Tim B

    Obviously we don’t yet know for sure, but I’d say the pimp slot is still quite significant. Viewers have been watching this show a long time and know to expect to see some highly impressive performance or spectacle at the end. Also this is when floating voters are likely to vote, after patiently waiting to see all the performances.

    What the effect on the first few acts, however, is a different question altogether.

  • bunnyman

    Enjoying the comments on here keep up the good work one and all. The one thing to remember with Rylan is as much as everyone is dismissing him out of hand, he still managed to scrape together enough votes last week to avoid bottom place, and I’m confident that when the results are released he will have been within a whisker of whoever was just above him. Will those people who voted for him last week vote for him again? I imagine so, surely nothing has happened to put them off. If anything they will be galvanised by him being in the bottom two last week. If the producers decide they want to save him I think it will be schoolboy stuff for them to keep him out of the b2 this week.

    • Tim B

      bunnyman, I 100% agree.

    • R

      Agree with this too bunnyman. A little pimping for him, deramping of Chris and one other should keep him out of the bottom two. Possibly two overs to ramp up the angry Barlow theme.
      If the producers can’t manage this, then I have to question if their ability to influence the viewers is on the wane.

  • Boki’s stroke of genius going viral… Great find!

  • Really great Digital Spy piece on why Rylan isn’t working as a joke act, echoing much of what I and others have said here: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/s103/the-x-factor/realitybites/a429905/rylan-clark-is-he-the-worst-x-factor-finalist-ever.html

    • But then, this article also points out that nobody has a bad word to say about Rylan backstage. Shouldn’t it be possible to translate that apparent real-life likeability into his public persona? As tpfkar says above, they did a lot better job of this in the audition stages than in the first live show.

      And love the Saving Private Rylan poster! Great find.

  • Nugg

    word is that Rylan might be doing Gangnam Style this week? If he does and pulls it off I guess it could save him ?

  • Nugg

    If anyone does not know Gangnam Style, it could work really well on the XF stage amongst all the ballads, boyband and indie stuff …It would keep Rylan uout of bottom 2 , does not require great vocals and looks great on stage.


  • Maybe he can do ESSEX STYLE.

  • stoney

    fjts in just nicely with the love and heartbreak theme does the old gangnam style

  • Nugg

    If you read the translation of lyrics then I suppose “technicallly” this IS a love song

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