X Factor 2012 Week 4 Elimination: Curse of the Jade Sore Throat

Ha, Halloween! It’s the X Factor theme that chimes most closely with the sadistic ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’ nature of the live shows. Let’s face it, from early October to mid-December, we’re witnessing a slow-motion slasher movie. The vulnerable cast are put on the altar, face the curse of the judges and are killed off one by one.

This is the week programme makers must cherish most. Last year’s young victim Sophie Habibis performed on a set which looked like Lucifer belching in hell. The year before they didn’t even open the coffins on cue for Belle Amie’s elimination performance of ‘Venus’ (both examples feature in our post from earlier this week speculating about subliminal messages in staging). They might as well have kept the coffins closed.

So who will have a fright night this evening?

So far this year, we’ve done better at predicting the target than we have at predicting the elimination. District 3 dodged the bullet in week one, and Chris Maloney is still alive and shaking despite two weeks of barbs.

It’s fascinating to see how the campaign against the Liverpudlian will proceed tonight. Perhaps they’ll portray him as the slimy shape-changing object of ray guns in Ghostbusters. He’s once again at the top of the elimination market, but having seen him survive thus far, his support is clearly more resilient than I had thought.

This week’s story that Cowell wants rid raises the possibility of a switch of strategy. In past years, this kind of tactic has been used to boost the vote of acts such as Wagner and Jedward. Having read the last two weeks as a concerted attempt to get Shakey’s vote down, I wonder if producers are now giving up on this and embracing the idea of Shakey in the time-honoured role of pantomime villain whose survival annoys the judges, Gary aside.

Or to put it in other words, borrowing Heisenberg’s cheese analogy: “most goat cheeses are aged for less than three weeks, and require regular turning and patting down… 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.”

Gary has his own pet hate in Rylan, of course, and he is generally joint-favourite at 3/1 to go alongside Maloney. They didn’t make the most out of last week’s Club Classics theme for him, and in the circumstances it was a surprise to me not to see him in the singoff once more.

However, I don’t think he’s outlived his usefulness to the show at all. He celebrated his birthday this week with a big bash, which should allow him a fun VT. The Halloween theme should really suit, too, giving the excuse for something camp and over-the-top.

Kye Sones is next up in the betting at 9/2 after surviving last week’s singoff. As Roach comments, there’s roughly an 80% sympathy bounce strike-rate – that is, acts bouncing clear of the bottom two in the week immediately after their first singoff survival (second-time survivors have a tougher time of it). Purely based on those stats, Kye should be around those odds just to hit the bottom two, let alone be eliminated.

We can dig a bit deeper here, looking at the list of acts who haven’t had a sympathy bounce after their first time in the bottom two: Rachel Adedeji (singoff survived in week 1), Girlband (1), Alisha Bennett (1), Ashley McKenzie (3), Eton Road (6), The Conway Sisters (5), 2 to go (2). Note that four of the seven are groups, and it’s five series now since an act failed to enjoy a first-time sympathy bounce having had more than one live show to build a fanbase.

So sympathy may be enough for Kye in the circumstances. After all, it’s still early days where voting totals are low and Kye, dull as he is, is more sympathetic than most of those who failed to bounce.

District 3 at 7/1 are coming down off a bounce – the phenomenon more often than not lasts only one week. However, last week was an exceptionally positive one for them, giving a big boost to their Twitter reaction on the night according to Toby’s analysis.

Sofabet commenters such as jscouser2002 are wondering if this means producers have switched boyband horses. I remain sceptical until I see further evidence. After all, Union J were also treated perfectly well last week. I woudn’t be surprised to see a deramp for District 3 this week; if so, the question will be whether the lingering effect of last week is a motivated fanbase or a complacent one.

Jade Ellis is also a general-priced 7/1 and she doesn’t have any wave of positivity to ride. I think she’s vulnerable after last week’s performance. Her sore throat VT ensured there was some sympathy for her, but judges tapped into the leisurely production by accusing her of not owning the stage or having done enough. It felt like a definite softening.

As Eddy comments, there is a bullying story from earlier in the week that producers could run with if they wanted to give Jade a boost. But it looked from last week like Jade is in danger of following the Sophie Habibis trajectory – Sophie was also given a glimmer of hope in week 2 before being softened up in week 3, and was then jettisoned in week 4.

Lucy Spraggan got every help last week, keeping Jade least loved in her category. There was another sympathetic VT, a good production for ‘Titanium’ with vital vocal help during the chorus and the chance to allow Lucy to do her own thing for the verses. Producers are clearly aware that they can sell records with Lucy; I don’t think they feel that way about Jade. Therefore, I’m not tempted by 10/1 for Lucy in this week’s elimination market.

With Jahmene’s extraordinarily powerful VT last week still fresh in the memory, Union J continuing to excite the teens on Twitter, and James and Ella getting the alpha treatment, I think they’re all safe this week.

Stakes should be kept small given the probable narrow margins between those struggling at the bottom of the phone vote, and the sense – explored by tpfkar and Chatterbox5200 in the comments – that whereas last year it felt easier to identify the order in which producers wanted acts to go, this year there seems to be more of a “disposable list” approach.

Nonetheless, I’ve taken some of the early prices on Jade this week, and I think 7/1 still represents good value for her to be this year’s Halloween sacrifice. What do you think? Let us know your spooky thoughts and more below.

63 comments to X Factor 2012 Week 4 Elimination: Curse of the Jade Sore Throat

  • Alen

    An interesting thought that the producers might have embraced Christopher actually. Maybe they even want to keep him as a back up should Rylan end up in the bottom two against someone they really want to keep.

    I think the best stragedy to let him go would def be to update him. Give him some youngish clothes, big production and a current song. Judges claiming: You have changed for the worst, this is not you, you are fake etc. His voters might be confused with the performance and decide not to vote cause its not the same cheesy oldfashioned guy they wanted.

    Anyway I think Jade, Kye, Rylan and District3 are in biggest danger. Kye might have a sympathy bounce but will it be enough? Will look out for the staging.

    Jade can be lucky if they give er a great performance. I do agree that last week was a soft redemption so I think she is in most danger.

    District3 should be comming down but I really like the thought some made here that they want to keep both bands as long as possible so none gets too big. Time is ticking though. Its all about the performance. If UnionJ get the better staging and District3 go back to oldfashioned then I see red.

    I was very suprised Rylan wasnt bottom two last week. Maybe more people warmed up to him or maybe he just got lucky.

    And finally I wonder how the departure of Brian will change the staging.

  • Lee Phelps

    I’m fully on board the Jade-to-go train. She fits the mould of Sophie Habibis, Rachel Adedeji, Laura White, who all went in Weeks 4 + 5. When you look at the digital spy list of tabloid stories on he show, she has been conspicuous by her absence two weeks running now. The sore throat maybe just boosted her enough to survive the B2 last week.

    I also think a girl will go. I have had a saver on Lucy, mainly because her best performance was her first audition. However I have a suspicion this show is a big advert for her album which will no doubt turn up on an ‘Indie’ Cowell label.

    Rylan should be safe with a big production, a fun birthday VT and Robbie Williams giving him the big licks all week.

    Obviously Jahmene and James are safe so I’m ruling ou a boy going.

    I’m happy to trust the stats and say Kye will bounce to safety and also trusting news stories that Shaky is polling well enough to be safe.

    Finally the groups. I thought Louis saying “battle of the boybands” last week was interesting and wonder I that will be used again this week to drum up support, if so both will survive if not be safe from the B2.

    Rylan and Jade B2? With a controversial Laura White-esque departure for Jade? Happy enough with 8/1 on Jade to go

  • I look for value – so not necessarily who I think will go, but rather which odds are looking decent. I wrote on betsfactor.com about Betsfactor Red Flag Alert Alarms (BRFAA’s).

    Two off the wall remarks for a Saturday. I think James polled way less than they wanted last week and my first ever BRFAA is up flashing for Lucy.

    On Red and Black, there will be plenty on display tonight. Don’t get too excited if it appears briefly during, say, Ella. It’s just one BRFAA. You generally need 4-5 to be confident they’re out to get someone. On a Halloween show, pretty much all the staging will have some negative connotations!

    Robbie’s endorsement tonight could well see Rylan safe again.

    The dream scenario tomorrow night would be Kye vs Rylan. Who was at Rylan’s birthday party on Wednesday night…? So who could “just feel that I connect with you more”. A 3 v 1 situation would be even better television! Barlow would then do more damage to the franchise over the next week, but they repeatedly seem blind to that long term issue.

  • Nugg

    Interesting read, I am off the punting for a while though, finding it most difficult to call this year.
    Personally I think both Rylan and Shakey may live to see another week. The Cowell wants Shakey out stories are surely strong enough to rally his voters to keep him out of bottom 2.
    Rylan is probably also getting enough votes now to keep him safe for at least one more week.
    Of the 2 groups left, I still have UNION 3 down as the alpha boyband, largely due to the inclusion of George and the following they seem to be building. I maintain District 3 look dated and unmarketable despite their better week last week.

    I think we might get a surprise in the bottom 2 this week, perhaps Lucy or Jahmene. Both are looking like one trick ponies now, from what I have heard from my “watercooler” . oeople are tiring of Jahmenes vocal tricks, which although impressive the first time heard , really do start to grind on you after a couple of weeks. Using the “bad dad” story so early in the competition for the sympathy votes does not inspire confidence.
    The same with Lucy, her quirky , northern, Victoria Wood like style no longer seems original by week 4.
    Both these acts would not seem to be versatile enough to adapt to new styles and keep people suprised and interested.
    Jade, IMHO, is possibly the best vocally in the competition now, I can see the reasons to bet her to go, but I think she may just be ok.
    Although I bet Ella to win before bootcamp, she is no Frankel. They seem to be making her as boring and drab as possible with staging and song choices. She is 16 FFS and should be allowed to act and sing like fun songs like a 16yo would. I maintain my view that she will go odds against at some point before the final.

    Long story, but I am a production guest at fountain studios for tomorrows results show, so will try and pick up what I can from the VIP bar before and after the show and post here.

    Also if anyone on sofabet wants to go to Sat 17th NOV live show, I may have one spare space on my ticket, will mean queueing from 8am though with myself and friends.

  • WideoftheMark

    Nugg – I quite agree with you with Ella going odds against. But at that point does that show weakness or do you feel she is still a winner but just waiting for the market to turn fickle

    Such a strong odds on from so early has really confused me, as you say she is no Frankel.

    Any gossip from the bat greatly interesting, but I think the main decision we all face in the elimination is the public vote and I can’t believe they would be shouting that around

    My moey is split via a bottom two than straight elimination between Rylan and Jade, so I think we differ on that. Not completely confident so I will be watching carefully during the shows this weekend to take a view on laying off hopefully at a profit, but even so.

    I will try not to repeat last weeks mistake of watching on sky+ 5 minutes behind real time and getting caught short on Rylan just as I was about to close the bet

  • Nugg

    Hi Wideofthemark,
    I have some experience in this from my work, the main reason for Ellas price is the large liabilites built up at 2/1 plus prices before the live shows.
    I do not think any oddsmaker pricing up fresh from a clean book would make her a 4/6 shot, more likely 11/10 or 5/4.
    She would still be my favourite to win, but no value whatsover at the current prices.
    By the same token Jahmenes price has stayed shorter than it should be due to early liabilities.
    The way the betting is leaves some good EW value to be had elsewhere.

    • Nugg – Very good point re: the liabilities, and I agree with you regarding Ella’s ‘real’ price. James has come in for support during the week, and may well go a clear 2F following tonight’s show. He is also the only act (apart from Ella) generating any water cooler buzz in my limited social circle; including awed admiration from younger males.

      Daniel – The ‘dispensable vs. indispensable in no particular order’ theory chimes well with what we’ve seen so far. It’s obvious who the former are but (as you say) difficult to predict the sequence. If forced to, I’d also probably go for Jade to fall tomorrow – but a virtual lottery.

  • tpfkar

    I have no idea who will be eliminated so I’ll just watch out for the subliminal messages on the Tshirts in the ad breaks instead.

  • Butterscotch

    Ella is not Frankel, she’s Shergar – and that nerd ih his grandma’s specs is Glint Of Gold.

    She is so far ahead – talentwise – in this competition, the others need binoculars just to keep her in view.

    However, after what we learned last year, the favourite can sometimes be nobbled.

  • lolhart

    I’m also nudging towards a Jade elimination. Last week did seem very Sophie Habibis with the lukewarm comments. I can also see Louis repeating his non-critique, “Something’s missing Jade, I don’t know what it is”. I’ll wait for her VT and judges’ comments tonight, but I think it will be very telling if they don’t run with the bullying storyline as that would usually be mana from heaven for TPTB. I could see them justifying saving most of the acts over Jade, even Shakey who they could say is improving. It could also cause a backlash against him which means he could be taken out in the following weeks. I think Jade’s only hope would be to land in the bottom 2 with Kye.

  • Boki

    Will wait for the show, Jade is indeed the most logical one if we take the ‘who’s left in danger approach’ since rylan has 9 lives, kye could bounce, shaky safe again because of press. The problem I have with Jade are the silent fans – just like Chris she has lowest hits on the social media but someone keeps voting and I suspect due to the ‘the only chick with looks’ thing. Also after two weeks of surviving chance of Rylan or Chris escaping bot2 again is getting lower so anything can happen.

  • Dan

    Sad to say it given she’s a back-to-lay bet for me but it’s make or break week for Jade tonight, although she is supposed to be making a comeback in the form of a big production dance routine. We shall see. It’ll also be interesting to see if Kye bounces back or not. According to Tellymix, he’s singing Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams. Not sure how that fits in with Halloween but seems like a reasonable song choice for him. As for the others, I think that Shakey has some mileage left despite a kicking every week from the judges, the battle of the boybands is only just beginning, however Rylan’s usefulness is beginning to wane so I doubt he has more than a week or two left in the competition. James, Jahmene, and Unstoppable Ella are safe, although as Nugg mentions above, we could be in for a surprise in the bottom two and if anyone, I’d say Lucy because I reckon we’ve seen everything she has to offer. It’s old now.

  • Dan

    Hearing that Lucy is getting a buy into next week due to ‘flu…

  • Alen

    yes x factor just confirmed via twitter that lucy is too ill (partying too much?!) and she will proceed into next week.

  • Steven

    Very strange … I guess this means they have plans for her to go a good deal further if they’re giving her this. I had assumed that James was the only ‘credible’ one they wanted to really last.

  • Oli

    Spraggan will be safe next week as well Diana Vickers got a massive sympathy vote the week after her throat infection, I think she topped the votes. Are we still due a double? If so I think they’ll do it the week proceeding a Rylan save in the bottom 2? His bounce should see him just clear and guarantee a tour spot. Hypothetically if he’s bottom 2 this week (which wouldn’t be unexpected), I can’t see them cutting him loose a double next week and if he bounces above it puts him in the top 7- comfortably in tour in fact even if he’s eliminated next week from bottom 2 on a double he’d still be top 8 and on tour.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    I will interested to see how they attempt to make Kye into something with a Halloween theme. Probably upturned collar and black eye shadow and not a lot else.

  • I have to echo a comment of Tim’s from a couple of weeks ago (which he was right to warn about and right to criticise me for) – namely, regarding the danger of viewing this year’s (very different) series through a 2011 lens. So far, this site has pursued a fairly narrow narrative of District 3 = Nu Vibe followed by Chris Maloney = Sami Brookes (2 weeks running). Despite being wrong consistently so far, we’re now apparently ploughing ahead with Jade Ellis = Sophie Habibis. I agree that she’s very obviously Gamma Girl, but given how things have unfolded so far, would it perhaps be prudent to take a broader, more open view rather that almost deciding on the show’s narrative in advance? (Especially in a year where we’ve established that eliminations are functioning very differently and there is, as you say, a “disposable list” rather than fixed targets?)

  • Donald

    It is very close at the bottom most likely with low voting, show starts at 8.25 be interesting to see what it feels like by 9.30 -10 pm, and what the running order is, will it be over by then just like few weeks ago? So careful until see running order at least I think.

  • PG

    Jade in a Jahmene and James Sandwich.

  • maccafan

    I’m loving the Rylan scream over the voice-over at the start of the show “no-one is safe”. Is this a major (subliminal) hint ?

  • TLG

    I definitely think going first is a pimp slot. But going second…..

  • tpfkar

    Jaymi, you’re the main man…red lights flashing on Union J there. Lots of little deramps – battle of boybands is live and kicking

  • R

    This is the list of songs tonight. It looks like they are really going for some killer songs tonight – Jade, Rylan & Maloney plus maybe Jahmene.

    Ella Henderson – Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

    Jade Ellis – Freak Like Me by Sugababes

    James Arthur – Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics

    Jahmene Douglas – Killing Me Softly by Fugees

    Rylan Clark – Toxic by Britney Spears and Poison by Nicole Scherzinger

    Kye Sones – Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams

    Christopher Maloney – Died In Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew

    District3–Every Breath You Take by Sting and Beautiful Monster by Neyo

    Union J – Sweet Dreams by Beyonce

  • This site is the most ludicrous I have ever had the dubious pleasure of reading. This red and black stuff is just ridiculous. Ella dressed in r&b – do they want her to go home then?

    Too much over analysis in my opinion and hopeless picks on the elimination markets to date. EG Chris (Daily Star/Liverpool) is people’s choice so why take short prices about him going home?

    Never any stakes recommended, always “keep stakes to a minimum” – why? Because you are going to do your dough if you follow the advice!

  • Bob. There are tips it’s just that they are not very good. What is the after timing to which you refer?

    • Bob

      Specifically? I would need to look back as it was a year ago but I seem to remember you constantly droning on about the bets you had on that had a +ve expectancy.

      Not what this site is about is it? We’re all free to make up our own minds from all the excellent information provided.


      Classic diversionary tactics there with Baloney.

  • Bob, if you want to check what I advised last year you can check out my blog. Five bets four winners.


    • maccafan

      Mike. For us to ‘check out your blog’ and give you a ‘pimp spot’ here you must first invest in a famous book by Dale Carnegie called ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.

      Also, with your admission to actually reading this site (ludicrous or not to some), it’s a good job that you did or it may have been ‘five bets no winners’ without the subliminal suggestions contained here.

  • Nugg

    Oh, Mike
    Didnt you bet Amelia last year,, I suppose you have called everything right so far this year ?
    This is a difficult year, different to last 2 or 3. I personally find everyones contributions intersting and valuable, although I do not agree with them all.
    Ultimately your decisions and punting are a personal thing. Most do quite well in the long run here but don;t get it right everyweek.
    I love this site, where else is there intelligent analysis and cht about XF? Digital spy ? Betfair forum? I don’t think so.

  • Nugg

    off topic
    Jahmene – Killing me softly with HER song
    This gender changing is becoming a pet hate of mine

  • PG

    Positive VT for Jade, her daughter and the council block both sighted.

  • Donald

    It might be getting close to the point where a bet on Jahmene could prove to be value. He is settling in well and raising his game.

  • shoulders

    The joke acts get to sing medleys but when the the show wants rid they get 1 song to sing lose the dancers aka Wagner Creep, the opposite to that is that act that should be good District 3 instead of the one song, they get the medley and the icing on the cake!! grave stones with RIP also who is in D3?? Louis makes a point each week of telling us each members name of UJ, and the other candidate for bottom 2 Mr Shakey was that not a classic fake judges argument to make people forget to pick up the phone, however not forgeting Wagner singing he was a creep when it’s time to get rid, they thought it was time make Jade sing she’s a freak!!!
    Either way who goes is still on the air, what I think is sure is they have steered the show to make sure Rylan will be save/saved

    • Alen

      Louis actually said the names of each boyband member btw 😉 But I agree that Jade and District3 are in most danger.

      • Shoulders

        Hi Alen, so he did!!, I think then the point is that I missed it, he seemed to have a bit more enthusiasm introducing UJ and seemed to just quickly say D3’s names, plus I was drinking!!!

  • annie

    Someone order the cab for jade. look-styling-sandwich-songchoice-comments. all pointing to the door.

    • annie

      and for some reason i don’t find kye so safe either. yeah, i know bounce and all, still, he was way to forgetable… and even a bit weird.

      • annie

        and this was the first week I actually enjoyed rylan.

      • maccafan

        Annie. I agree, Kye looked awkward and way out of his comfort zone forced into being a run-around Jagger-esque arena Rock star front man. He obviously has been pushed into this to make it look like a last ditch desperate attempt to curry favour after last weeks XF ‘engineered’ depressing visual dirge. Death spot, 1st on too and forgettable by the end of the show..

        In fact both Rylan and Shakey were disappointingly better than expected (and with better and more positive stage settings), though both still a joke in my eyes.

  • Kevin O Reilly

    Am just hoping District 3 evade bottom 2 because I think it will be a good week bets wise. Odds to lay off not too tempting. Ella odds against now.

  • Monsieur Simon "Le Chat"

    There are nine acts in at the moment and 5 of them are blokes. If a bloke doesnt go this week it will be 5 out of 8 which is far too top heavy. Any bloke getting in the bottom 3 is toast. Its between Shaky and Kye to go.

    • Couldn’t disagree more. Tonight seemed very clear cut, more so than any live show so far this year – because it’s Halloween, because there are fewer contestants and Lucy was off, and because District 3 and Jade were comically terrible (and in the second half). Kye had positive treatment and will bounce, and Maloney was on comparable form with previous weeks. Jade had a comically terrible song choice and styling (it will not delight the demo), was in a dangerous late slot and was once again sandwiched between Jahmene and James – the fact they did that again but later in the show suggests to me that it had the desired effect last week. I don’t follow your logic at all – 5 out of 8 blokes is not significantly imbalanced. You’d be wise not to focus on something like that to the exclusion of other factors (like those above).

  • Well… That was an interesting show. I’ve probably already proven that my knowledge of music is as limited as my ability as a punter, due to my early slating of JA. But, he fooled everybody – including the market (did anyone take him at 33/1?) Props to producers for transforming the ‘Tulisa acoustic mash-up man’ into a burgeoning star. I must add that it helps massively that he’s no longer mentioning his ‘bedsit’ and/or homelessness in every VT these days.

    It also helps that producers – i.e, Cowell – appear to have changed horses. Again, my theories haven’t alway been ‘on point’ (and I fully admit this is pure speculation on my part here) but could the reason for Tulisa’s perpetual bad mood this season be that Cowell has switched allegiance to Nicole? He must surely have perceived what everybody else has: that Nicole has been the surprise break-out performer of the lives. As per my bet on Ella (an expensive failure due to the unexpected flowering of James), who could have predicted that, considering Nicole’s total anonymity through the auditions?

    Other thoughts: We’ve all read it clearly enough, it would appear. Styled like a missing extra from Starlight Express, Jade’s performance was by a mile the worst of the night. However, I have to disagree with Annie (above) regarding Kye. Personally I think a combination of the opening slot, plus a solid song choice will see him through… just. Had it not been for the return to (poor) form demonstrated by District 3, I have worried about Ella: there were enough ‘red flags’ (props to Betsfactor) in her performance to mark this as her worst week by far. It will also be interesting to see what effect (if any) the prominence of flames/fire in James’s staging might have on his voting this week – considering the ‘FIRE KILLS’ theory propounded recently on that site.

    Maloney looks to have escaped again, as neither Tulisa nor Louis appear to have realised that excessively negative feedback = votes. And despite performing most of his mash-up horizontal (i.e, symbolically dead), Rylan will probably also enjoy some benefit from his birthday pimping.

    So, for me, a bottom two of District 3 and Jade… with Jade probably the one to leave.

    Taxi for Quigley!

  • I love Jade to bits but clearly the producers are gunning for her this week…

    1. Her VT starts off as more about Tulisa taking “her girls” to the Bond premiere than about Jade/from her perspective. Look closely and Jade’s half in shadow/barely in shot at the beginning.
    2. Jade made to look “normal” and “at home” in her flat, i.e. not meant for stardom? She even talks about the strangeness of the “double life” that she leads!
    3. Tulisa plugging Lucy just before introducing Jade, but why not before Ella?
    4. Jade staged in a bright cage of light at the start of her performance that distracts from her.
    5. Alienating sci-fi/futuristic/Barbarella theme for the performance. Jade in a PVC catsuit and Gaga-esque make-up/styling that her fanbase so far (from the ballads she’s previously sang) may be put off by.
    6. Jade on her own on stage for half of the song, highlighting how awkward her dancing/walking in the PVC catsuit is. Whereas for other acts the dancers appear fairly early on to distract from their (amateur-ish) dance routines.
    7. Once the dancers do appear, there are constant cuts to them that almost make us forget where Jade is on stage and stops us from seeing the expressions on her face when she’s singing the lyrics (and thus from having any emotional connection to her performance). At one point the camera cuts to her when she’s bowed down in the dance routine so she’s not even in frame!
    8. Exaggerated judges’ critiques of her performance (e.g. Nicole’s “frightening” remark) that highlight awkwardness, mediocre vocals, poor song choice, style over substance etc. – saved only by Tulisa’s (spot-on) defense that Jade is recovering from having no voice last week, that acts & judges should be able to try different things/have fun with the week’s theme, and that none of the acts arrive on the show as fully formed popstars. I imagine if she’d done a ballad again she’d be accused of being boring/a one-trick pony (like Sophie/”Bang Bang” last year), as Dermot quite rightly indicated.
    9. Finally, no mention whatsoever of this week’s “bully victim” revelations or the abuse she receives on the streets for being a lesbian, or even the fact that she has a partner of six years (which, while risky for the show, would give her a persona an extra dimension aside from the mother who wants her daughter to have a garden to play in).

    Unfortunately I can only imagine her being saved against District 3, Kye or Christopher.

  • For Shakin Scouser, another outdated song choice, lukewarm praise of death from Nicole, diversionary argument, and a Johnny Robinson style “end of the journey” VT as well. If Shakey survives this, then the producers might as well give up trying to deramp him.

    Another note on Rylan is that mentioning the celebs in the VT who endorsed him kind of felt like an “end of journey” VT, and a slight hint of praise from Borelow suggested that as well. We all know what happens to acts to suddenly win over their harshest critic, for example MacDonald Brothers, Same Difference, and most notably Jedward on the week they did Ghostbusters and Simon said they were “sort of good”. They either are doomed or in Jedward’s case survive the sing off but it’s the beginning of the end for them.

    • Which could mean that if Shakey Maloney survives this week, one last trick they might pull which may just work is he gives a performance that happens to win over the other 3 judges, he could be on his way out given past records. If he does survive, one thing’s for sure, is that he is most definitely this year’s MacDonald Brothers/Same Difference

  • Shade

    Must add, anyone else think Ella was significantly ‘softened up’ this week by aforementioned ‘lead judge’ Nicole who is perhaps the most credible opinion left on the panel. Didnt like Ella’s arrangement myself either, it wasnt a match for Amy Lee’s original nor did it, as Nicole rightly pointed out, do justice to Ella’s range or vocal style.

    • She was very much softened up, whereas a couple of other contestants (the boys, minus Rylan) were both heavily pimped. Of course, this could be a prelude to a ‘resurrection moment’… Personally, I think it would still be a surprise if we don’t see Ella in the final.

    • Kevin O Reilly

      I think they see Ella, James & Jahmene as the finalists and the possible money spinners. This week was to level the field a little by trying to push the two boys into Ella territory and they did indeed ‘soften’ her up as part of this policy. They want to make a race of it of course as opposed to a procession. That’s my tuppence anyway.

      • tpfkar

        That makes a lot of sense. If that was the final, it would make it easier for Ella to win as the votes for the boys would be split between them, rather than transferring earlier. Union J and Lucy for me are the only two acts who could butt in, it’s an interesting question which of the three finalists could make way for them.

        • @Kevin O Reilly + Tpfkar: You both make great points, and much appreciated. Clearly, your opinions are not submitted in order to make me feel better but believe me – I have a £3.5K bet running on Ella – they do. I know it isn’t huge but for me it is.

          The reality (as I see it): if we don’t have Ella and James in the final, that’s a huge shock. It looks now as if Jahmene (contrary to Boot Camp impressions) is now the favoured third act. Very probably that means Union J (less certainly) and Lucy (very definitely) being passed over.

          Note to Mr Quigley: My understanding is that nobody at Sofabet needs ‘pointers’ (or ‘tips’). We’re all capable of making our own minds up; what we appreciate is the uniquely interesting commentary that accompanies every episode (indeed, twice a week), and the intelligent comments from the large community which reads that commentary.

          To take pot shots at what is unquestionably the best reality betting site in the UK is very silly, in my opinion.

  • tpfkar

    A few notes from fright night, but I think KaraokeSauron’s post above is spot on so I’m only adding to that:

    1) jade was seriously softened last week, and lots of negatives tonight leave her in trouble. If we go with the idea that she’s an Ella-reserve option, it looks like Ella has passed her probation period and Plan B is surplus to requirements.

    2)speaking of Ella, they used the ELA WINNER t-shirt on the ad break straight after she performed. Clever, and the best response I can give to Mike Quigley is that no other site I’ve seen has spotted this level of trickery.

    3)Chris Maloney did well tonight, well known song, example of strong Liverpool fanbase- not just his Nan and If he was safe last week, surely this week ok?

    4)not impressed by either group tonight. Union J were shown moaning about having to do some work on a Monday morning, spending more time partying than working,having 5 girls screaming at them in the middle of a road, being drowned out by the backing track, and then having Jaymi highlighted the equivalent of the main man. Union j were all about improving through hard work, and although I’m not sure it as intentional, I think UJ have taken some damage tonight.

    5) I’m sure I’m not the only person posting about D3s red and black RIP graveyard, and their vocals weren’t amazing, but I think they had such a strong bounce last week they could easily survive again.

    6) James Arthur can’t do anything without being labelled a recording artist now, and a refreshing change from the sob stories. I am not sure he is doing all that well in the voting but no question he has an after show career laid out.

    7) Rylan spoke abouta ‘stripped back’ performance next week. To me this says limited shelf life. Either complacency this week by talking about next time, or the classic end of journey where next week Gary tells him he can really sing, and he sinks without trace. Gary was shown warming to him as a person tonight, so the wheels are in motion on that one.

    8) jade to go I think, but almost anyone could be b2 with her. More likelyRylan than Chris or D3 with her.

  • stoney

    oh and the red and black theory blown out of the water AGAIN lastnight, ella was caped in red and black along with negative comments, IF red and black was being used as negative tactics, would they give them to ella lastnight along with the negative comments? NO, so please let that be the end of this non entity once and for all!!!!

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