X Factor 2012 Week 4 Post Mortem: Caught in a web, Ellis departs

Well, well, that was a surprise in the bottom two. Whilst we anticipated Jade in the mix, we were not expecting the supposed alpha boyband Union J to be down there with her. I topped up my previous bets on Jade to go as the price on her elimination drifted out to 1.5, and was mighty relieved to get back on the singoff horse.

The result of the duel was more predictable this time than two weeks ago. Jade was outstanding in the singoff, but she had been treated very badly the night before. Jade’s takedown on Saturday has been excellently and comprehensively covered by Eddy. There are a few things I’ll add.

We take on board the comment from eurovicious about too narrowly comparing 2012 acts with their 2011 equivalents. Nonetheless, having suggested that Jade Ellis could be this year’s equivalent of Sophie Habibis and tipped her to go at 7-1, we couldn’t help but notice that producers had taken Sophie’s Halloween spider’s web backdrop and let Jade’s backing dancers run with it.

As Eddy noted, the dancers were late arrivals, leaving diminutive Jade to jig around alone on the big stage for the first verse and chorus. It reminded me of when the diminutive Marcus Collins was made to karaoke his way alone through ‘Last Christmas’ in the 2011 final. He looked similarly lost.

When the dancers arrived, they proved off-putting in the extreme, eventually trapping Jade. The judges continued to spin her a tangled web. Even when defending her, mentor Tulisa failed to give her any praise until eventually and unconvincingly claiming she did “very well”.

The Sofabet team are sorry to see Jade go. We liked her cheery personality and the tone of her vocal. We enjoyed her week 2 performance in particular. But, as our 1-13 prediction indicated, she always looked a back-up for the bigger names.

Moving on, next week already promises a few points of interest. Lucy Spraggan should return after a week off due to illness. Will she get a Diana Vickers-style sympathy bounce, or will the opinion that excessive partying played its part and she’s being treated too favourably have an impact?

Rylan has promised us a showcase for his vocals. Does this indicate the end of his journey or a continuation of it? And just how far can Chris Maloney go? Let us know your thoughts on tonight’s result and everything else below.

71 comments to X Factor 2012 Week 4 Post Mortem: Caught in a web, Ellis departs

  • stoney

    get in there my biggest win of the series, with an 8/1 on jade, disappointed with union j in the bottom 2, but they will now get a huge bounce back which could in theory launch them in to the final. Interesting to note that for the first time we avoided deadlock, were union j at the bottom of the pile? were they saved? clearly they are still the alpha group taking these pointers into consideration

  • Anyone else noticed the expression on Jade’s face during her performance on saturday, the judges’ comments on saturday and, especially, during gary’s comments after the sing-off (with extra head shaking?). I think she knew she was being stitched up.

    • Daniel

      Hi Panos, this was another similarity to the Sophie Habibis assassination, who looked winded and angry when Louis told her that she was like a “secretary who sings at the weekend”.

      This time Nicole announced it was “frightening” and poor Jade’s face changed after a second or two when she realised that it wasn’t meant as a compliment.

  • Phil

    Agree totally with your comments about Jade. A brilliant sing-off song and a lovely girl in general, it was actually quite sad watching it knowing full well that there wasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of her being saved.

  • jake Kl

    One things for sure, i’ll never go with my instincts again. Then again, did any1 here on sofabet predict UnionJ to get the least votes?
    I did think Jade would end up there but was hoping she’d be facing D3 or Rylan.
    For 4 weeks in a row now we’ve had 8 (out of 13) different acts ending up in the bottom2. what is it gonna be next week? Ella and Jahmnene?
    One thing im certain about (except from the fact UnionJ had the least votes tonight) is that sympathy bounce is much stronger than previous years. Now that we know UnionJ’s fanbase isnt as big as their twitter followers, we can establish none of them will get to the finals and this battle seems rather pointless.
    On another note, James, Jahmene, Ella and Chris are the only acts avoiding the bottom2 which makes a pretty clear final if they manage to de-ramp Chris well enough in the weeks coming.
    Im really sad to see my favourite contestant go and hope some1 signs her cos she definitely was one of the stronger performers this year.

    • Tim B had a small stake on Union J bottom 2 at 60.0 based on value alone. That’s a really interesting point that only 5 acts have escaped B2 so far. Ella and James are surely in little danger, so I’d expect (in order of likelihood) Jahmene, Chris, Lucy to go bottom 2 first.

      • Tim B

        Not bottom 2, to go! I did have Union J bottom 2 at 7.0 though.

        • eurovicious, I think that’s the way to go this year. I also had breakeven stakes on both union j and even jamhene. at higher odds it doesn’t affect profitability that much. and I have always been placing 75% of my bets b4 the show at high odds and 25% after the show, with v pleasing results until now. Most weeks one can tell from b4 who are the 4-5 acts who might be in trouble. I was only uncovered on Ella and James tonight. I would really advise a similar approach, as last year with the janet thingy and this year with the open phone lines/rhylan episode, things have been more unpredictable.

          • Hi Panos, thanks, that’s great advice. I tend to be hesitant about putting much on before the show, and although this served me well with District 3 and Chris etc. in the first 3 weeks of the show, now that things are getting more straight-and-narrow, I’ll try to start doing this judiciously. As you say, it’s about the value/high odds. I added a break-even stake on Union J during the singoff; I didn’t want to risk losing my Jade stake given this series’s unpredictability.

            So, next week we have 6 favoured acts (Ella, James, Lucy, Jahmene, Union J, Rylan) and 3 less-favoured (D3, Kye, Chris). I’m not sure they’ll want to lose Kye or Chris next week – could it be, as the lurid gravestones portended, RIP D3? Or will their fanbase prevent that? Alternatively, if Kye only just bounced this week, will they put the nail in his coffin? Will Rylan’s serious vocal be his undoing? Or will they get the vocal coaches in and drill him to within an inch of his life, and will Gary (who’s already softening towards him) then praise his effort and improvement, thereby offering closure and redemption in the Gary vs. Rylan narrative? And would he still end up in the bottom 2 anyway because people didn’t find him entertaining? Could Jahmene be an early bottom 2? Hmm…

      • stoney

        lol@jahmene in bottom 2, ooooook

      • Jake Kl

        Well done Tim B and Panos. What made u think UnionJ would land there?
        @Eurovicious Im guessing u dont believe Chris topping the votes and Jahmene being the runner up then? i’d say Ella’s the most in anger out of these 4 right now

        • It was not that I thought they would be, it was that I wouln’t be surprised if they were. with a couple of % points causing a big placing shift in the first weeks, it was not something impossible (see The Risk). Plus, after the unpredictability introduced by the phone lines, I am putting an effort to also watch the show from the point of view of a regular viewer. I really did not want to re-watch the performances of Jade, Union J and D3. Too bored.

        • Tim B

          They were really suffering in some of the post-show polls, split boyband vote plus I just wanted to have them covered. I saw 60.0 for them to go and 7.0 for bottom 2 as really good value.

  • Alen

    Clearly Union J were at the bottom of the vote as otherwise they would have taken it to deadlock. Jade was so much better in the sing-off but that doesn’t matter anymore.

    I think Union J and District3 probably were always close
    to bottom two in the votings but if they want
    one in the final they should get rid off one to get those votes too.

    Oh they just anounced on Xtra Factor that next
    weeks theme is “No. 1”.

    • Not necessarily… much like Tulisa pretty much had to save MK1, I think Gary as a former boybander was always going to save Union J. And after her critique of Jade’s performance last night, Nicole pretty much had to save Union J too. We’ll see when the stats come out…

      • lolhart

        Eurovicious, I agree with you but Gary’s statement that he wasn’t sure Jade wanted it enough was pretty lame.

      • Daniel

        My own hunch is that Jade was rock bottom of the vote. Don’t forget how much the show has invested in Union J. It doesn’t look good if one of the two independent judges votes against them in the sing-off. This way, it still looks like the ‘experts’ believe in them.

        We’ll only know for sure right after the final, admittedly.

  • Boki

    Finally a nice predictable sing-off. Also amazed by UJ bot2 after seeing those twitter figures from Toby, it seems D3 took all the votes.

  • Good call. I didn’t bet pre-show but made just over €500 from backing Jade B2 and Jade to go after last night’s excruciating performance. I could have got twice as much but I played it quite conservatively, perhaps too conservatively, after the uncertainties of the past 2 weeks. I noticed the web thing too. And yeah, she was great in week 2. Lucy may not get much sympathy next week, unfortunately, there could definitely be an element of backlash too.

    Rylan had better get practising… if One Night Only was anything to go by, he’s likely to be in serious trouble indeed next week. Major breathing issues. People like him for the supposed “fun” and he’s survived the past 3 weeks on that sketchy basis. He won’t get votes trying to be all serious.

    As the number of acts continues to decrease and the show settles into its groove, things should become easier to predict and more business-as-usual (he says, gnawing his hand). There was no deadlock tonight, to my relief, and this sets a sign that they haven’t completely abandoned the old way of doing things. Tonight was also the first week since Rylan/Carolynne that the bottom 2 comprised a favoured act and a non-favoured act (assuming D3/Melanie and MK1/Kye were all “disposable list”). As the number of “disposable list” acts drops, I’m starting to feel a bit more confident about betting on the elimination market in advance of the show at longer odds. A bit.

    Regarding the Twitter campaign to get people to vote for D3 and the fact that UJ unexpectedly ended up in the bottom 2, this tells us something important about the binary/discrete, transferable nature of the boyband vote. I doubt very much that a large number of kids and teens are voting for both. Maybe they vote for whichever of the two they think needs it most (in this week’s case, D3) – the often-seen underdog effect. It’s like a pair of scales – the more votes for one, the fewer for the other. Another factor worth considering: as Dug’s water cooler piece suggested (and which I agree with), adults aren’t interested in the boybands. Union J were obviously by far the better of the two last night, but their performance was more mature and adult. District 3’s was juvenile and kiddie – visually it almost reminded me of Jedward’s Ghostbusters. Could this have worked in their favour? Did Union J fall through a crack by being too boring and adult (ie. not fun enough) to appeal to kids and too boybandy to appeal to adults?

  • tpfkar

    Well, I spotted some deramps for UnionJ last night but I never expected that. But the reality has never matched the hype with them. They survive but marked; could 1D have lived with a bottom 2 appearance so early?

    Well done team sofabet for calling the elimination right for the whole weekend. Hopefully we now have our eye in for the rest of the series.

  • Oli

    It seems clear to me that Union J were bottom of the votes Gary isn’t very good an actor “I think I want it more than you do” possibly being one of the lamest excuses ever given on X Factor.

    4 weeks in 8 different acts in the bottom 2 is bizzare. I don’t think it’s because of a stronger sympathy bounce I think there simply aren’t that many people voting or a lot are voting for Ella, Jahmene and James (And Liverpool are voting for Chris) so the margins at the bottom are miniscule. The declining ratings have been well publicised- maybe this is why they decided to have the lines open at the start of the show a way to get more votes?

    Rylan is now top 9 they could get him onto the tour from here now without any raised eyebrows.

    I bet the producers are annoyed they bothered with the wild-card it didn’t produce that much publicity and they’ve now got the pesky Chris around.

    I think we’re none the wiser about when is best to perform apart from away from big hitters and before 10PM but that won’t be as much as an issue in the later rounds. Union J were second with there own segment between Kye and an underwhelming Rylan they should have been safe as houses so I think there are less votes and a high proportion are going to the Big 3 (+ Chris).

  • stoney

    dont forget people jade leaving tonight was crucial in the producers mission in giving ella a much needed boost in the voting. A job well done for the producers, now i think they will need to target maloney big time, every week hes practically favourite to go, and he keeps dodging the bottom 2

  • ifoundmyballs

    I actually disagree on the boyband explaination here. It was Clockwork Orange vs Twilight tgemed performances. Very clear which was supposed to appeal to teens. District3 were stitched up and survived. I think the public have seen past UJ’s ropey vocals. The tweenies might have switched to D3 after 1D the wanted and tom daley have all tweeted support for them.

  • Lola

    First comment here but I’ve been fascinated by this website for weeks now.
    My ten year old daughter commented tonight “that once Rylan has his place in the live shows secured, he’ll be toast”. Couldn’t believe a 10 year old could spot the behind-the- scenes manipulations.
    Poor Jade tonight – she was put in front of the firing squad this weekend.

  • EM

    Web, Ellis … Love it.

    Can we now agree that Twitter followers and buzz means very little when it comes to the vote?

    And on the boyband or good looking guys front the Guardian yesterday pointed out that if you’re 14 now you were 5 when the X Factor started making it that old fashioned show you remember mum and dad watching.

    • Daniel

      Great points as always, Euan. It is worth reiterating as a follow-on that the three acts most designed to appeal to younger voters, MK1, District 3 and Union J, have now all been in the bottom two. Jahmene and Chris would arguably get the votes of older viewers.

      Having said which, Melanie’s hippy throwback stuff didn’t do her any good.

      • EM

        Thoughts on that…

        Some young people don’t think X Factor is cool. Most don’t have much money to vote lots and the passionate ones are already spending lots on established acts.

        One Direction are “the biggest band in the world” right now. They’ve only had one number one in this country and that’s with singles costing an all time low amount historically.

        “Old people” don’t want to feel old. Hence they like their acts grown up, relatable but “now”. So a hippy schtick won’t fly.

    • AnnaC

      Not only is it now “that old-fashoined show” but nine years ago mobile phone voting (and Facebook) were teenage things. The spread of phones and social media amongst older age groups almost certainly means that older people are more willing to vote than they were when the show first started.

  • Mick

    So that’s 3 out of 4 winners or me. Predicted Jade to go and my only loss is Rylan in week one. However my Twitter following theory is out of the window with the fewest followers (Chris) getting thru against the most followers (UJ) ending in b2? Wierd. Next week so much harder but now Rylan comes back into the equation.

  • Shocked with the bottom 2, but I knew Jade was gone after last night, I would be surprised if Jade didn’t have the lowest votes, I imagine the judges simply had to be decisive to prove Union J’s strength next week for a “I’m so glad we saved you” style critique. I wonder what direction they will go in next week.

    As an over earnest fan of the show I feel like UJ will gain more from staying in the competition than Jade would have. I think having a battle of the boy bands B2 in the coming weeks will make for good TV, Louis forced to decide between his bands and continual pimping in the same vein as Misha B last year.

    I really get the feeling the show is dying this year, the format feels old, the chemistry between the judges just isn’t there and none of the acts really seem like they’ll have a huge impact on the industry. I wonder if we’ll get a brand new singing show on ITV next year and X Factor will be canned.

  • Shade

    Sad for Jade to leave, but it does definitely pave the way for Ella as alpha girl in the way Stacey Solomon was left in that role or how Marcus Collins was alpha boy by default last year. Just to correct a point from above, James, Jahmene, Ella, Chris, and LUCY have not been in the bottom two as yet.

    I can see Lucy heading in that direction this coming week though…the way she’s appearing as a ladette in the tabloids isnt hugely appealing at the minute and also I think Tulisa’s not quite so popular this series..

  • Nugg

    Just back from the show, not much support for Union J from crowd in sing offs. Crowd were booing when Jade was sent home and Union J saved, not sure if this came accross on TV. Jade was awesome in sing offs but writing was on the wall.
    Gary wrote Jade on a piece of paper and give it to Nicole just before judges vote.
    Other than that not much news, had a drink with Jade and her mum in VIP after show, they took it really well and did not seem too surprised. District 3 were in good spirits and had quite a few fans hanging around them. Kye was cool and had time for everyone, as did Maloney and Rylan.
    Kye seems to be boosted by this weeks perfomance and keeping out of bottom 2. Rylan just enjoying it week by week while it lasts. Jahmene was doing his best but seemed uncomfortable with all the attention, very nervous guy he is for real.
    No sign of Ella or James after show, they went straight back to hotel.
    All the acts bar them 2 stayed in the bar till closing time 🙂
    Sorry, not much else to tell, the acts genuinely have no idea how they are doing in the phone votes. They seem aware of various manipulations (running order, song choice, staging etc) but it is very much out of their control.

    • EM

      Nothing to apologise for! Very insightful post.

    • Alen

      Now that you mention Gary writing Jade down to Nicole I did notice something like this yesterday.

      Watch the official youtube link:


      Watch around 0:16, like Gary giving or showing something to Nicole and then around 0:26 Nicole is writing something and looking at Gary. A bit weird.

      BTW I do wonder why they went to Nicole instead to Gary?!

      • Daniel

        Great spot Alen. There’s certainly some written communication going on there.

        The fact that neutrals don’t seem to agree with the decision (as the greater number of YouTube dislikes than likes on this clip indicates) reminds me that the show might feel it wise not to have consecutive unfair singoff saves. Hence the need to bring an element of normality back in weeks 2 and 3 after week 1’s saving private Rylan.

        After this one, I’m inclined to think they will do everything they can to keep Rylan clear of the bottom two next Saturday so that they’re not forced into a second consecutive week of making up lame excuses in the duel.

  • It will be interesting to see with Union J whether this will go down the 2009 route, when one of the ”leaders” (Danyl) was b2 early on, and that carried him on a voting wave to the semi final.

  • Rob

    There was a very clear case to be made why Union J were in big danger of a bottom 2 appearance last night, outlined here:
    One of the techniques the show uses is in creating a motivation to vote. This is what undoubtedly helped District 3 avoid the drop zone – they were heavily criticised which would have incentivised their fans to vote because they would have perceived them as in jeopardy.
    UJ, meanwhile, had a very forgettable segment. They weren’t heavily criticised and with Rylan following them & grabbing much more limelight, it was an apathetic slot for UJ.
    Time and again on XF the boyband vote also proves to be extremely thin indeed. UJ & D3 serve the exact same purpose on the show – the continuation of the boyband battle. Beyond that, they are both dispensable.
    We also speculated in a Friday preview, it was potentially a nice narrative for the show if UJ landed b2 this weekend – both boybands then having been on the canvas once, thus able to ramp up their rivalry further:

  • Nugg

    Amsolutley 100% know that Gary wrote jade down and passed to Nicole, whether that reflected hgis own choice or was instructions to her I could not say though.

    • lolhart

      Nugg, thanks for your insights above from visiting the show. I’ve never really bought into the idea that Richard what’s his name tells the judges how to vote, mainly because of the egos involved. Regardless of how much he’s paid, I doubt Barlow would stand for anyone telling him what to do. I think it’s more a case that each act has a “narrative” and the judges know their part in it. Also, TPTB always have Louis to rely on to vote for what’s “best” for the show.

      I’m also not surprised the acts are aware of the manipulations on the shows. They’d be foolish not to. Did anyone say anything specific that might be useful from a betting point of view?

  • Shoulders

    Gary eliminating Jade by saying “I feel I want this for you more than you want it for yourself” only to be followed by her elimination best bits VT showing her crying as she says how much she wants this for her and her daughter. No wonder she shook her head when he said it.

    For Gary its a week of him being personally rude to a co judge while sticking up for someone who has no chance of winning and then basically calling a young mum a liar for saying she wants to make a better life for her daughter. Not a great week for him, but I guess it gets everyone talking.

    On another thought who are the main voting demographic now? if Maloney is out voting boy bands it must be OAP’s voting multiple times

  • Nugg

    Nothing of any use was gathered before or after the show, last year I got to know that they wanted Janet Devlin out and that Littlemix were being pushed as hard as possible for victory. No such money making stories this year.
    Union J were well aware that the first week “Don’t stop me now” was dreadful, apparantly they had wanted to change songs but were told there was not enough time to do it.
    District 3 were all prepared to be in the sing off this week and were genuinely surprised that they were safe. We talked about their twitter following they had built up and I showed their gang the twitter stats on my phone, they seemed happy about that and they had a few fans outside that had travelled miles just for a glimpse of them…lol.
    Union J were shell shocked and not expecting a sing off spot at all……They were non to happy after the show.
    I talked with their team about how hard they are worked, some of the boyband members looked absolutely knackered. They were saying how they got back to hotel gone midnight Sat night and had to be up for 7 am for rehearsals next day . It seems pretty much the same every day for them….long 12-14 days of solid work.
    To be fair to Shakey Maloney , he was bright and cheerful with bags of energy and made time to mingle and talk to people, as did Kye and Rylan. Chris Maloney seems a nice guy.

  • I’m getting more suspicious about the Lucy thing. She hasn’t tweeted since 24 Oct – if she’s ill, surely she’d have said so? She’s a chatty, engaging sort, so it’s not like her. The others who were ill (ill enough to have their vocal cords scanned in hospital and be banned from speaking in Jade’s case) still had to perform. I smell a rat – is she being Cocozzaed? Are they desperately trying to persuade her to stay on the show? MK1 already commented in an interview about her seeming moody and unhappy backstage (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/s103/the-x-factor/news/a433245/x-factor-mk1-on-lucy-spraggan-a-smile-wouldnt-go-amiss.html). Could it be she’s only just realised that the show basically owns all of her music now? :/

    • Nugg

      Not sure how relevant it is but Lucys “TEAM SPRAGGEN” were still in attendance at the results show and in the bar on Sunday, although I didn’t speak to them (wish I had now), so presumably for this week at least they give Lucy her 6 ticket allocation.
      I agree with EuroV its very wierd, no VT from bed, no tweets, nothing.
      All of this coupled with rumours of disputes over her singing cover versions, her original song royalties, unhappyness backstage and drunken nights out.
      At the very least we were all expecting a recorded message showing how ill she was.
      Very strange, could she be “tea and TOAST” ??

  • Highlighted

    Being honest I wouldn’t blame her. James is doing well and I think he’s great but he’s being Matt Cardled. Lucy is keeping her integrity. She would probably get a record deal even now, especially if she quit for those reasons.

  • stoney

    spraggen bottom 2 @ 3/1 is well worth lumping on

  • Mick

    It’s a tough one to call this week for elimination. To date no one has been b2 twice, if that is to continue we’re running out of likely candidates. Only Chris fits the bill unless we are in for another shocker. I might hold back until after the show to how things turn out?

    • It’s not gonna continue – it can’t for much longer. I see Kye in the most danger. I’d guess he didn’t bounce by much this week, so his treatment on Saturday will tell us more. Also, Rylan is long overdue another bottom 2 appearance. And after District 3’s frightful performance this weekend, will the enthusiasm of their fans (many of whom probably began voting for them at the show’s start, before they had performed) have soured – especially given the fact Union J are now the ones in need of support? (Given the fickle nature of the young vote, I think the “need” factor – that young fans feel needed by the group – is important, as it gives them sense of ownership and connection). Are there really enough kiddie votes to keep both remaining groups out of the bottom 2 with just 9 acts left (or 8 if Spraggers buggers off)?

      More on Lucy: http://tellymix.co.uk/reality-tv/the-x-factor/114283-x-factor-2012-where-is-lucy-spraggan-singer-hasnt-been-seen-for-days.html

      If she was ill, they’d have publicised the shit ouf of it. The more serious, the better. Laryngitis? Vocal cord nodules? Stevens-Johnson syndrome? Spontaneous combustion? Demon baby? The press office would be spewing stuff out. Instead: silence. And as social media engagement via Twitter is part of the contestant package these days (those who aren’t already on it are signed up), you can bet there’s a clause governing her use of it while she’s part of the programme.

  • Nugg

    I agree Spraggen bottom 2, not a bad bet……but what happens if she walks? I have my doubts we will ever see her again.

  • stoney

    gotta go down as a non runner id imagine.

  • So are we expecting the mother of all bounces this week for Union J??

    • Boki

      Yes. But on the other hand, after last week everyone thinks they will bounce – so everyone keeps D3 alive again because UJ will bounce anyway and at the end they don’t 🙂

      • I expect the show to do everything it can to make District 3 as unmemorable as possible on Saturday. With Union J having unexpectedly gone B2 last weekend, they may want to bring the “battle of the boybands” *rolls eyes* to a close now that D3 have actually threatened UJ.

        • Tim B

          Agree. Furthermore, I’m quite expecting District3 to be on last this week. All of the safe-as-houses threesome (Ella, Jahméne and James) have occupied the slot now so you’ve got to assume the next person on last will be in at least some danger, like Melanie was.

  • stoney

    i really wouldnt be suprised if union j topped the vote this weekend

  • Isn’t it week six where the magical 5/6 most recent winners all sang last? Interesting to see who the producers have sing last and maybe even more importantly, first this time

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