X Factor 2012 Week 3 Post Mortem: MK Gone

Maloney lives to shake another day. We’d thought he was worth chancing at the odds, but props to those Sofabet commenters who were sure he’d be as safe as houses.

Given Maloney’s survival, we have to look again at considering whether the Star’s alleged voting leak is correct. Here’s what it said:

In week one, Chris bagged more than double the votes of his nearest rivals Jahmene Douglas, 21, and Ella Henderson, 16, while last week he bagged a quarter of the vote, 10% more than Jahmene in second place.

We were deeply sceptical, but the Star do have form in this arena from previous years. Then again, if this is right, Ella will have scored less than 15% in week 2 and probably no more in week 1. In which case, what is she doing at 8/11 to win the whole competition?

Onto the elimination, and after sustained shortening of Jade during the day, the Betfair market moved sharply towards Rylan in the minutes before the lines closed with Kye drifting rapidly as someone seemed happy to lay him at any price. Oops, on all counts. There were suggestions that an insider might have been playing the market this year, after the dramatic Sunday plunge on Carolynne in week 1. This week stands as a counterexample.

There has also been much discussion about whether “late is the new early”, with the voting lines being open from the start. Both sides of this debate can find succour here, with MK1 hitting the singoff having sung second and Kye third-from-last.

We noted in our Saturday review article that MK1 seemed to be being offered up as sacrificial lambs, given mixed comments and immediately shoved down the memory hole by that incredibly powerful Jahmene VT.

Then again, there has been plenty of negativity around Kye these last two weeks, with his staging sending him up in flames in week 2 and putting him on a funeral pyre in week 3. Despite the positive comments he received after his performance yesterday, it was noticeable how much effort the show had gone to in his VT to point out how hopeless he’d been the previous week (“32 flat notes”).

There has also been a lively debate in the Sofabet comments about what’s going on with Gary. On one side, some commenters have confidently argued that Gary would not be left with only one act so early in the competition. On the other side, there has been speculation that producers might be out to get Gary, for whatever reason.

The market reflected this general sense of uncertainty, with MK1 hesitantly favoured to go, trading at about 1.7 to Kye’s 2.5. The former camp now stand vindicated. But this still leaves us with the puzzle of why Kye has been deramped so much these last couple of weeks, landing him in the bottom two. With one of his acts damaged goods having been in a singoff this early, and the other Mr Warm Cheese Toastie, Gary is already dead judge walking.

It’s fair to say that we’re not feeling like we’ve got a handle on this series yet. Irritatingly, if we’d simply ignored everything we’d seen since judges’ houses and gone with our picks in our speculative pre-lives 1-13 prediction, we’d have got the last two weeks’ eliminations right.

If you’re a believer in superstition, Jade and Maloney are the next two exits predicted in that just-for-fun list. It doesn’t sound beyond the realms of possibility, although with District 3 coming down from their sympathy bounce they must also be contenders for next week – and frankly I’m amazed at how Rylan avoided the singoff this week.

What’s your take? As ever, do let us know below.


40 comments to X Factor 2012 Week 3 Post Mortem: MK Gone

  • RG

    Made a few pennies by betting on Kye when the bottom two was announced and selling off the bet after Tulisa put it to deadlock – it went to evens on both acts at that point.

    But that was luck rather than planning. I really have no idea what is going on, apart from random weak acts losing out. That could be what they are doing, though – Saving Private Rylan, confident that the rest of their favourites are safe, and just letting the dice fall where they may.

    • Boki

      I had a same impression, just go to deadlock and don’t care for both Mk1 and Kye. Btw this time the act on Dermot’s left side (Kye) didn’t go home.

  • CBC

    With reference to Gary I’m wondering if the answer might be a lot simpler than we think? Could the solo tour dates this week be the real reason? After all with a tour starting in November how much dedicated mentoring could Gary give? So clobber two of his acts early on, set the other two up for mid series exits and hey presto Gary can go on tour with a clear conscience. Has he had a discussion and come to agreement with TPTB?!
    I might be being naive here but thought it worth considering.

  • At last, the act giving me the biggest profits was eliminated. been a while! also, successfully layed lucy for elimination and D3 for bottom 2. but the question remains: what’s goin on with gary? next week should be funny, with 3 acts coming down from recent sympathy bounces. I think there’s a pool of 5 acts they don’t mind losing now, with Rylan being one of them.

  • I would say I was surprised that MK1 were bottom, that dire rap probably had something to do with it. As I kind of indicated on here earlier, I’m not surprised about Kye. I’m doing Kye Fawkes night on http://www.betsfactor.com to explain why it was bye for Kye (hope you don’t mind the plug), then I will write something for Sofabet more generally, because I have some controversial views, that may as well get a bigger(!) audience.

    Tonight, I’ll basically be pointing out that fire and red and black don’t mix – but then we’ve said all that before. Also the producers seem to have a new tactic to dampen support that I don’t think we’ve really noticed yet.

    I don’t think the producers wanted MK1 in the bottom two personally. I think they would have liked them for the tour etc and they were given some favourable editing.

    I honestly think if they could have done they would have loved for Kye to have vanished. Either way, he’s damaged goods! Bye Kye.

    Producers can change their minds. District Three were in the danger zone a couple of weeks back, now the producers seem to like them!

  • jake Kl

    Well for me those results were predictable. MK1 had been bottom2 material since last night’s slot (Right between a great VT from Jahmene and our winner of the public votes Chris). I’d have said Jade was in danger too instead of Kye but completely misregarded the sympathy votes she’d get with the whole sorethroat incident (a la Diana Vickers). Now i think of it, she was probably up there with district3 and Jahmene for the most votes. About chris: For me, im willing to say hes semi-final material, thnks to all his votes till now. IMO kye’s still producers top over but theres little hope of him staying for more than 4 weeks.
    Acts near the bottom2 this week, as well as in danger next week: Lucy and Rylan

  • Next weeks elimination views for me

    A bottom two featuring Jade/Lucy would have been a bit better this week. But a good week anyway.


    Next week is a lot harder their are more contenders now both Louis/Gary can go to down to one act, cant dismiss them the same way dismissed Chris/Kye to go this week.

    D3 had a great production yesterday, alot of effort went into making their performance look good and keeping them in this week. I dont see any reason to ignore that, so at 8-1 I would be leaving them alone and discounting them to leave this week

    Kye, as normal I usual ignore acts the following week after they have been in the bottom two as they normally “bounce” the next week and stay clear. However this applies more in the earlier weeks then middle/end. as their are less acts and the percentage between votes of each act starts to get bigger. His current odds are 11-4 I wouldnt touch that what so ever.

    Rylan has bounced enough times now for him to start being a contender to be the bottom two again. Wouldnt over look him this week.

    Christopher I have said now most of this week that the bad press was purely because he had polled high in the first few weeks. Some deemed the bad press as an effort to get him out this week, I dont think so I think it was an effort to get him away from the top of the votes! So that when they chose to get rid of him its easier as he would be lower down in the viewers pecking order. Im going to give Chris one more week, he is getting stories written about and Gary reminding viewers last week he “The Publics Choice” and “The Wildcard Winner” this translates to “YOU voted him in remember, YOU like him” Think further comments like that will encourage the same people that voted him in, in the first place, to vote for him to stay.

    From the outsiders Im discounting James/Ella/Jahmene. But not discounting Union J, with the favoured production for District 3, this comes at a price, and the price is as D3 gain fans and votes it will be at the expense of Union J. I do NOT think they would go but are likely to be around 9-1+ mark for bottom two. I would take that. I’d also take note that this time last year The Risk were the same price as Union J to win and they went as a “Shock” during a double elimination. Would’nt rule that out if rumors surface its a double elimination this week.

    As normal I will be backing Jade to go at double figures to go because she is FORGETTABLE, only thing that might have saved her this week is the sore throat, they cant use that twice. So this week her at 14-1 that paddies have gone up as first, is the first bet I’ll be placing for this week.

    Lucy to be in the bottom two, I think Lucy wins majority of sing offs so cant bringmyself to back her at 12-1 to go (despite expecting it to be a bit shorter), Ill be looking to back her to be in the bottom two at 11-2+ should that pop up anywere.

    (Aswell as a small bottom two combo the above, when someone goes up at around 40/1+)

  • Kevin O Reilly

    Jade had a negative weekend and now looks in danger. She does not give me the impression that she will bounce back with determination, there seems to be a resignation about her. The 10/1 on offer now will almost certainly look big next Sunday I think.

  • Ronnie

    If we think The Star are accurate with X Factor stories, should Union J fans be worried about the paper’s front page tomorrow(Monday)?

    “Cowell’s plot to nobble boyband” reads the headline – states Cowell will wreck Union J’s chances as they are too similar to One Direction and could cost him a fortune.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    James without Ella sounds a good bet I must say. He has been a revelation. Surely a cert for the final.

  • Henry VIII

    To take up a common theme that they’re trying to get rid of Chris or, what Jscouser said, that they’re worried about his high voting – I think they care about viewing figures more than any individual act’s progression. And I think they fed the press stories about him just for the benefit of the show. Publicity. And if he’s popular then stories about him create more publicity than stories about other acts.

    • Henry, what you say makes perfect sense as a modus operandi for running the show, but it would be a major departure from how they seemed to feel last year, wouldn’t it? Then they really did seem to care very much about individual acts’ progressions. This was true even when the act in question was popular and provided plentiful fodder for the press – see Johnny Robinson, whose character-assassination-by-tabloid resembled Maloney’s last week.

      • Henry VIII

        Yes, I guess they juggle getting a good show and protecting their TCO. The show comes first but maybe even more so this year because of viewing decline.

        Last year producers’ postmortem: SCD overlap crippled us – let’s stop the overlap.
        Week 1 postmortem: no overlap but viewing down, partly due to new lateness – so let’s front-load to grab viewers.
        Week 2 postmortem: with front-loading many switch off half way through – let’s keep a big act to open but otherwise have more balance.

        They change aims as necessary and, if they were trying to get rid of Chris before, this week they wanted him to open. And gave him a good sympathetic VT and good judges comments (Tulisa criticised but was unfair – I think it helped him).

  • Simon "le chat"

    Voters will always feel sorry for Ryaln because of the way Gary turns on him. Rylan said in answer to the judges comments that he is “not bothered about Gary any more” and I reckon Ryaln has a few weeks to go yet. He will go but I reckon this will only be when there is a deadlock and he is bottom of the voting.
    I thought District3 were better than Union J on the night and could have a few weeks left yet.
    Kye was pretty dreadful – in fact both acts in the sing off were pretty awful during it (contrary to what Gary said). MK2’s time was up, who is going to vote for them?

    Kye will find it hard to bounce back from this setback. He might look cute with his “Shaggy from Scooby-doo/Rodney Trotter” look but as a singer and entertainer he is a long way behind some of the others. Lucy is also having her limitations exposed but the blue rinse brigade have warmed to her. As for Shaky I don’t poo-poo the Star at all- they have been proved right time and tmie again.
    Jehmaine comes across a bit creepy but his voice will keep him in for a while yet. James Arthur is the surprise package for me- I have really changed my mind about him and think his “couldn’t care less” painful voacls are very appealing.
    A great week. Love the comments on the board Daniel- some gret contributions from the regulars.

  • shoulders

    On the Xtra Factor judges phone in Gary was asked if his acts didn’t appeal to young voters, in his answer he said that “Chris was nowhere near the bottom two this week”, if this is true it means so is the Star leak and also that The judges are fully aware of the voting stats even as soon as the loser is announced, you can switch over straight away for the ITV2 coverage.
    My other thoughts is that 3 weeks 3 deadlocks, in previous series I think a deadlock is only used once or maybe twice in the whole series, It seems to me that either the person they wanted out got the least votes or they couldn’t care who goes out of the two so they are happy to let it go to deedlock so the public feels they are in control of the show abit more amongst the increasing band of “the show is a fix” opinionators

    • Tim B

      On The Xtra Factor as well a viewer asked Louis if he thought his boybands were splitting the vote. The exact same question was posed to him on the show 2 weeks ago.

    • Tim B

      @shoulders I noticed that. You definitely have to wonder if Gary was aware of the voting percentages and it was a slip of the tongue .

  • jake Kl

    Also, When asked on Facebook if these were the right bottom2, I noticed alot of people saying Rylan and LUCY should’ve been there. Looks like her drunken antics have given her a bad name. I predict Jade will go further than Lucy in the competition since having her worst week to date still kept her in. Rylan’s definitely in the bottom2 this weekend. Chris isn’t although one thing i avoided about him till now are his slots. He’s had a pimp slot and one place after the pimp slot (week1 was his wildcard vote that got him through). So him winning the votes every week is not only thanx to the liverpool and wildcard votes. I’d be curious to see how well he does in the death slot or between 2 memorable acts (e.g Ella and James).
    Kye doesnt have a big fanbase either like we saw this week, i expect him to bounce this week and fall back to the bottom2 the week after where he’ll probably go home.
    At last, between the 2 rival boybands, you only have to look at the twitter followers. District3 had a good week and probably did overcome UnionJ in the votes but will fall back to what they were before this week. The only way i can see this playing differently is if District3 only have great performances and comments from now on and at the same time, poor performances every week from UnionJ.

    • AnnaC

      I don’t think it’s only Christopher’s slots that have kept him in. Chris appeals to the nan-voter and she would love to go on a cruise so the ‘cruiseship’ tag that would kill any other singer is probably boosting his votes.

      • jake Kl

        Yep we’d established that already. I was just saying that his slots have gained him even more votes that he already had going from probably 3rd in the votes to 1st.
        Also i forgot to mention, Early favourites USUALLY dont win the competition (Laura White, Diana Vickers, Danyl Johnson, Janet Devlin) . I think its not the case with Ella this year. She’s favourite to win in the bettings but not topping the votes meaning she’s a favourite and an underdog. Also she sang the ultimate winner song this week- ”you got the love” (sang by ex-winners little mix and matt cardle)

    • Jake, I think it’s confusing to throw around the term “pimp slot” for first to sing. Don’t forget that the origin of the term “pimp slot” is that going last in the running order tends to coincide with massive pimping by the judges (because this allows the show to finish on a high note) – this was obviously not the case for the first to sing in either week 1 or 3.

      Also don’t forget MK1 sang second this week and finished bottom – clearly the new voting system has changed some things, but it hasn’t simply reversed everything.

      • jake Kl

        Sorry maybe i didnt express myself correctly. When i say ”pimp slot” i mean the place where the contestant will usually get most votes (aside from producers interfering with comments/red and black etc’). About MK1, I said in my earlier posts they’d been placed between Chris and Jahmene , the 2 acts gaining the most votes from the public. If they’d been at the same spot but between less popular acts, say Kye and Lucy they’d have gone through

  • TommySauce

    Long time reader of this site – first time commentator.

    I’ve been fascinated by the theories developed based on previous XF series on this site and elsewhere, and it’s made the change in voting even more fascinating to try and work out.

    Some thoughts, for what they’re worth:

    As said above the new voting system hasn’t reversed everything and *some* producer tactics will still work, but perhaps with new nuances – for instance, does “memory hole” dumping still work as well when people can vote for acts before, or as they are singing?

    Other potential effects?

    In the old days the “lines open now” used to immediately cause the system to clog and (certainly in our experience) you’d have to try multiple times to register your vote. Might the new system have changed this, spreading the load over the whole show? If so, uncommitted viewers who might have voted on a whim in previous years, but given up the attempt after being unable to register their vote, might be adding to the totals this year (will be interesting to see the total votes cast comparisons to last year under the new system). Might this mean some demographics – the older and technophobic are having their votes counted more?

    There’s also the issue of multiple voting – are people more likely to cast votes for lots of acts across the evening, rather than just support one person once the lines open? This could mean people cancelling out their own votes, or perhaps “novelty” acts and sympathy voting having more of an effect.

    Ad breaks could work either way – you’re already out of your seat and heading for the kettle, rather than bothering to vote for an act pushed hard against the break, but perhaps some acts will benefit from the additional voting time?

    Hit and run voting – you don’t need to endure the whole show any more. You watch up to your favourite act, vote, switch over or go out and do something less boring instead. In fact, do you even need to do that? Just watch the start, get the number of the act you’ve predetermined you want to win (will external media coverage of acts be a greater factor under this voting system than previous years perhaps?), ring and turn the TV off.

    I’d imagine this will certainly make a huge difference for the “everyone in [a place]” support voting – all those in Liverpool, for instance, don’t have to wait until phone lines are opened at the end of the programme to support Shakey. For uncommitted viewers who want to support their local act, but can’t be arsed to sit around to the end, this might mean they register support where they wouldn’t have done in previous series.

    It also potentially means a truly awful performance might not have the same effect with acts already racking up a certain amount of votes before they open their traps.

    That no-one, including the producers, seem to have worked all the new wrinkles out has revitalised my interest in XF – and the fact we can watch them re-evolve their tools and tricks in real time, makes it even more fun!

  • Heisenberg

    I’m sensing complex flavours developing for Cheesy Maloney, please indulge my analogy for a moment…

    “Cheese improves over time. Different cheeses require different treatments. For example, most goat cheeses are aged for less than three weeks, and require regular turning and patting down.”

    [Note: We are 3 weeks in and Maloney has been thoroughly turned and patted down – but without success – producers now realise that he’s not made of goat cheese as originally suspected]

    “Sheep and cow’s milk cheeses can be aged for longer and many of them develop more complex flavours as a result.”

    [Note: The next few weeks will likely reveal that Maloney is indeed made of sheep and cow’s milk cheese, with his performances embodying such complex flavour and appeal that a ‘people’s champion’ phenomenon begins to emerge.]

    “That said there is also such a thing as a “dead” cheese. The cheese probably sat on the shelf for a little too long, and has started to lose some of its spark. It may still taste OK, but it quickly becomes forgettable.”

    [Note: Following the peak of the sheep & cow’s milk cheese phase, with mutterings of making the final beginning to circulate – the producers decide that gloves are off and operation “dead cheese” begins – quick, painless, and lethal. Thankfully the duration of most cruises doesn’t surpass sheep & cow’s milk cheese phase and Christopher sails off happily into the sunset never having to succumb to “dead cheese” treatment again (probably with his nan).]

  • Kevin O Reilly

    Backing both Jade & Kye to go, skewed stake to win same amount if either walk. I think both are flagging badly and previous supporters may even desert them as hopeless causes. All the other acts have some form of positive spin but these pair are lifeless, dull and as has been said before “forgettable”. . That song Kye sang in a club/ disco week tells it own story. The judges did not comment on that though as he must not have been a target.

    And dear God both were ill all week, such tales of woe & misery almost begging for sympathy. That is a card you can use only once I imagine. Going to have a cut off this as I think odds are more than fair with Shaky & Rylan perhaps not as unsupported as the bookies seem to think.

  • Eddy

    Hello, long-time reader first-time commenter. Love the articles on this website and all the discussions!

    Just a heads up that there’s a sob story being woven for Jade in the tabloids today, I wouldn’t count her out just yet… depending on whether the producers bother to incorporate this into her next VT of course:


    We’re approaching Week 4, the same week that Little Mix were given the ‘Insecure Jesy’ VT treatment last year that sent them on their way. Just pondering, of course!

    • Thanks, Eddy, hadn’t seen those.

      In the Mail one it refers to “speaking to the Sunday People”, so maybe this might have helped her a bit last week. As you say, will be interesting to see if producers choose to bring it to a wider audience.

    • stoney

      cant see them given jade too much help to be honest, they will be looking to throw her under the bus this week to improve the flagging ellas chances

  • Maybe those millions of viewers the show has lost were mainly young ppl who couldn’t be bothered anymore, so the grannies are taking up a greater market share now and they r voting frantically for chris while daydreaming of him bringing them their après-midi tea.

  • Esme

    Panos – I had exactly the same thought. I work in TV and have access to all the viewing stats and data. And while ratings have fallen off a cliff the % of the core younger demographic remains exactly the same as 2011 suggesting the fall off is across all age groups. I should do a much more detailed analysis when I get time but that is what I picked out today.

    • Esme, Panos – have wondered about this, too.

      I’d guess that the main effect of falling ratings on the vote is that the kind of viewer who votes casually will be more likely to drop out of the show, and the kind of viewer who votes loyally and perhaps multiply for their favourite act will be more likely to stick with it, increasing the power of the latter bloc.

      Athough all demographics must contain some of each type of voter, I’ve always assumed the loyal multiple-voters are more likely to be teens, while grannies are more likely to vote judiciously with an eye on the landine bill. But have we ever had any evidence on this, or is it just an assumption? If Maloney really is storming the vote, that would call that assumption into question.

      Would love to see a more detailed analysis if you get the chance, Esme.

  • AlisonR

    My thoughts:
    1. It hasn’t resolved our argument over the draw, as MK1 went from an early draw whereas Kye also made bottom two from a late one. Mid draw is still a good place to be though. Jade’s draw suggested to me that they were doing all they could to keep her, though I still wasn’t convinced she would escape. The last three left standing on stage as they read out the results, I could pick at that point which two it would be.
    2. Tulisa commented on the battle of the boybands in the recap, as various commentators here had predicted. So I figured both would be safe and they were.
    3. Media statistics may still have an influence. On Friday I called Jade, Kye, District 3 and MK1 to be the four bottom acts from FB stats. District 3 then gave a blinding performance on Saturday and will have gained some new fans. I suspect Jade only just escaped.
    4. Does actual performance have an influence the following week? MK1 and Kye were the weakest two vocally by a country mile in week two, then find themselves in the bottom two in week three. On that basis, should we be worried about Shaky and Rylan, and maybe Jade, next week?
    5. On the other hand, Gary’s comments in Xtra factor about Shaky “nowhere near” the bottom two, reinforce the story that he is polling well.
    6. Have Distict 3 had a “little mix” moment? (thinking of the girls in Halloween week last year)

    • In response to 1)

      I am struggling to understand why the majority of users are assuming we have only 3 weeks of information? We have 8 series. The facts are that in 8 series in the first 2 weeks the bottom two have always come from the first 4 in the running order.

      Yet not only were the bottom 2 in the first 2 weeks of this year, both from the second half of the show. The acts with the Least votes were last and second last!

      Doesnt even mention the fact that in past years nobody from Pimp slot has ever been in bottom two (apart from the final 2 weeks)

      People now saying that because MK1 where on second this means above theory might not matter.

      Well lets have a think if the lines didnt open until the end, and MK1 performed second last, We would probably not discount the effects of the running order.

      So I find it very hard to use the fact that week 3 featured an act from 2nd position, to discount 8 series of information.

      Surely the first two weeks are extremely significant and should not be overlooked or discounted.

      • Curtis

        Without going into the deeper stats of what you have said, your logic is wrong. Just because the first two weeks were a good indicator of the trend up to now does not mean that given the changed system they’ll be such a good indicator now. For me it would be very easy to envisage equality of each slot merely based by the results we saw in those first two weeks (though in reality, I do not believe this to be the case at all)

        My view is that the people at the end have struggled up to now but as the show’s ending time gets earlier this will become less of a factor. We’ll see.

      • Hi JS,

        We have only three weeks of information about the new system, to contrast with the 8 series of information about the old system.

        Just to correct a couple of things. “The facts are that in 8 series in the first 2 weeks the bottom two have always come from the first 4 in the running order” – that’s not true:

        Week 1 – 1, 5
        Week 2 – 3, 7

        Week 1 – 1, 10, 12 (of 16)
        Week 2 – 1, 7, 12 (of 14)

        Week 1 – 1, 2
        Week 2 – 4, 9

        Week 1 – 1, 9
        Week 2 – 3, 4

        Week 1 – 1, 9
        Week 2 – 4, 6

        Week 1 – 7, 8
        Week 2 – 6, 8

        “in past years nobody from Pimp slot has ever been in bottom two (apart from the final 2 weeks)”

        Almost true – Ashley McKenzie in week 4 in 2006 is the only exception. But also don’t forget that Kitty Brucknell (like Carolynne, a relatively hard-to-sell female over) escaped the bottom two by ony 0.7% from the pimp slot in the first vote of 2011. And don’t forget that the show was on unusually late when Melanie went from last position – a third of the audience had turned off by then.

        I don’t think anyone’s saying that nothing’s changed, just that it’s early days to be definitive about concluding exactly what has changed.

  • In addition to keeping the battle of the boybands alive, maybe the D3 pimping was also partly to take advantage of their sympathy bounce to push some1 else into the danger zone (Chris?), just like they did last year the week they got rid of Her Majesty, Janet Devlin, with the Amelia bounce.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>