X Factor 2012: What will they do to Christopher Maloney?

As well as “so who is going to win this thing?”, the question exercising us on the Sofabet sofa this week has been “just what will they do to Christopher Maloney?”

We may have the interesting prospect of a Sophie Habibis-style homecoming based on reports that only 30 people welcomed Chris on his arrival into Merseyside on a cruiseship ferry on Tuesday. That’s some impressive work by the advance team, as 30 is probably about the number of random bystanders you’d expect to wander over when a camera crew sets up. We trust they got some wide-angle shots.

Almost 1000 times as many people were reported to have turned out to see Jahmene switch on the Christmas lights in Swindon. James’s homecoming, which saw him and Nicole turn up on Harley Davidsons, also sounded somewhat more exciting.

Back to Chris, and there were reports that the average age of those who bought tickets for his homecoming gig at the Liverpool Empire was 82. This might, perhaps, allow producers to suggest visually that anyone without a zimmer frame who enjoys Christopher’s singing should take a long, hard look at themselves.

We can get further clues from the treatment last year of Marcus Collins, another Liverpudlian beloved of nans but not producers. They chose his worst-performing song of the series for him to reprise (we’ll have to wait for the stats to come out to see if they did the same for Christoper). And instead of giving him an upbeat big production for ‘Last Christmas’, they made Marcus shuffle about all alone on a big stage with only a couple of patio heaters for company.

Given how much Christopher struggled with his Michael Buble cover last week, we expect producers will have lined up something similarly unsuitable, and preferably requiring him to dance.

Most of all, though, we’re expecting him to be killed with kindness. We anticipate he’ll be told over and over again how well he’s done to get this far and how a glittering stage career now awaits whatever the result – that is, giving his fans minimal motivation to reach for the phone. Fans of James and Jahmene, however, will no doubt be repeatedly told that only a win can prevent the poor lads from being sucked back into the bedsits of Saltburn and the aisles of Asda respectively.

How have you read this week’s press, and how are you expecting Christopher to be treated this weekend? As ever, do share your thoughts below.

46 comments to X Factor 2012: What will they do to Christopher Maloney?

  • Sofabet team – No journey for James? Saving the best til last? 😉

  • And in response to this article.

    I think last week saw the first sign of any “real” praise for Chris from Louis and tulisa, when he sung his first song. This I assume,like most, will have been so if they praised him in the final it wouldn’t be so obvious, since now they have done it in the recent past.

  • Jack

    I’m still in the camp that believes that, regardless of what producers will throw at Christopher, he will win. According to all leaks so far, he’s been winning the vote by far and I just can’t see him being caught.

  • Mike F

    gutted i missed his homecoming! i live in uni halls 2 minutes from the empire (where he performed) and i was going to walk down and see first hand who turned up/the reception he got. i was in the college that marcus came to visit and everyone was going nuts for him! Doubt the producers will have wanted an 18 year old messing up their shot of all the OAPs though haha

    In regards to the article, i don’t think theres any chance of Chris getting any severe criticism if only for the reason that these are meant to be the best three artists the x factor has to offer this year and it will damage the show even more if they say one of them is crap! As many have already said, i dont even plan on watching the final but ill deffo have a good look at the voting stats when they come out!

  • eurovicious

    What Jack said.

    Don’t give them ideas. Not that these count as ideas.

    Killing him with kindness won’t have the desired effect. His fans already have sufficient motivation to vote, as they’ve proven week after week. The last thing they’re going to do is give up/turn away at the point when it matters most.

    82 is blatantly bollocks as that’s higher than the average female life expectancy in the UK, let alone in one of the country’s most deprived cities. And are we really supposed to believe they went to the trouble of calculating the average audience age? There’s no profit to be had in that, ergo no-one would bother. Moreover, look at the comments:

    “its an absolute lie, i was there last night and it was full with teenagers, parents with thier kids, couples and some old people, and how did they come up with the avaergae age, no one was stopped and was asked, utter rubish

    “I´ve seen some pictures and videos of the show and agree with Tony, there were lots of young people there.”

    • I’m sure it is bollocks, Euro. But it’s interesting to look at what “insiders” feed to the press, both in itself and as a clue to what the show might bring.

      And talking of giving them ideas, I wonder if you might have given them this one? When I read the stories making out that Chris’s fanbase is all pensioners, the first thing I thought of was this

      Who aspires to be 82? 😉

      • eurofishface

        Not that I particularly think they scour this and other sites for ideas (they’d have to be pretty hard up), but this is exactly why I’m being a lot more selective in what I post and why I’m self-editing more at this late stage in the game. As a Chris backer, the last thing I want is to post the perfect way to depress his vote (assuming I could even come up with that, which I highly doubt)!

  • EM

    Camera angles could play a big part in damaging Chris this weekend. Not only can they use a lack of close up shots to stop you feeling close to him.

    Meanwhile in the big arena wide long shots will not only make him look small but subliminally ask the question does this little guy deserve to be on a stage this big?

  • eurovicious

    X Factor Finalists As Newspapers:

    Chris is the Daily Mail. James is the Guardian. Jahmene is, I dunno, Christian Wail-a-thon Monthly. No, I’m serious: he’s the cringy desktop-published parish magazine, written predominantly in Comic Sans and full of adverts for tea dances and appeals for Africuh, that a godbotherer shoves through your flap once a month. He’s the charity envelope that they want you to put your coppers in because If You Don’t You Will Feel Bad.

    The Guardian is cooler than the Daily Mail. I read the Guardian. Everyone I know reads The Guardian. Everyone I know prefers the Guardian to the Daily Mail. No-one takes the Daily Mail seriously. The Guardian is where it’s at; the Daily Mail is a hackneyed joke, an object of mirth, a punchline in itself and a parody of itself – a cringy throwback enjoyed by women, Middle England and old people. The two papers are polar opposites.

    The Daily Mail’s circulation is almost 10 times higher than the Guardian’s.

    What would happen if the Guardian tried to boost its circulation by appealing more to Middle England (ie. if James was Cardle-ized to reach a broader public)? Richtig: it would lose its USP. Why? Middle England isn’t interested. It doesn’t care the slightest about the Guardian. Its needs are met by the Daily Mail. People have no interest in changing paper or buying a second one. So, all that this achieves is to alienate the core. (As we saw in week 7 when a schmalzier-than-usual turn from James landed him in the bottom 2.)

    Back to Jahmene. Those charity envelopes? Those junk-mail begging letters where they send you pictures of clubbed seals, po-faced Romanian orphans or a tiny bit of glazed plastic so you can see what it’s like having cataracts for about 5 seconds? Those uninvited TV ads that rudely interrupt your dinner with sullen black-and-white footage of battered and starving kids/labradors pouting into the camera while something especially plaintive from the Enya or Lisa Gerrard back catalogue plays over the soundtrack?

    They work. Certainly. Wouldn’t exist otherwise. But only up to a point. Why? Because it’s begrudging. You’re guilting people into voting. And that doesn’t work nearly as well as giving people a positive reason to vote. Battering people over the head with misery doesn’t turn them into enthusiastic supporters. It just puts them on a downer. It’s emotional blackmail. Not entertainment.

    The X Factor is entertainment.

    It is not the Guardian. (“Let’s get serious and angsty about causes while being right-on and credible at the same time!”)

    It is not a parish mag, an appeal or a charity envelope. (“This puir wee laddie has had a hell of a life. The things he’s seen. Beaten, tortured, abused, and he works in feckin’ Asda in Swindon for Christ’s sake. Worse than that, his only talent is singing like a whippet being spayed. Give Jahmene a fish, and he can put a discount sticker on it, three times a day until the fecking thing goes off. But give him a vote, and he can get a record deal which will allow him to provide for himself and his family. Help him to help himself – give him your fucking money!”)

    The X Factor is the Daily Mail.

    It’s cheesy. It’s naff. Your parents read it. (Probably while watching Strictly Come Dancing.) All those strangely anonymous and unremarkable kids you went to school with – not the thickest, but let’s face it, still relatively thick in the grand scheme of things – who are now married with kids and own a house on an estate in the same town they grew up in, while you’re still busy having existential debates about what to do with your life? They read it. They connect with its values. It’s the only paper in the market that offers something for everyone in the family.

    Chris is the Daily Mail. And Britain fucking loves the Daily Mail. What happens if you try to take on the Daily Mail? People do it all the time. It’s the one paper on the market that’s constantly ridiculed and attacked in every possible way by its many, many detractors. By the trendy, intellectual set who like the Guardian. It’s a punchline. A running joke.

    Doesn’t affect its circulation.

    Hurrah for the blackshirts!

    • Cath

      Excellent analogy Euro, I love it! You make some excellent points, I agree that as much as many of us may hate the Daily Mail, there are even more out there who can’t stop reading it. Chris is gonna storm it!

      • eurovicious

        Thanks Cath :). Exactly! I’m quite firmly of the opinion not just that Chris will win, but he will do so by a fairly considerable margin.

        So, best bets at the moment:
        – lay James for the win. It’s safer than laying Jahmene for almost exactly the same return.
        – lay Chris for third place. Patently ridiculous that the odds on this are so low. You can also back Chris to be in the final two.
        – back James for third place. To me it feels like a certainty.
        – back Chris for the win, obviously. Odds still good.
        – reverse forecast/final two combo: Jahmene and Christopher at 2.6 on Betfair.
        – winner without Jahmene: Chris Maloney at 2.48 on Betfair. Another licence to print money.
        – Jahmene to finish second at 2.75 with Bet365
        – Chris/Jahmene straight forecast at 8.5 with PaddyPower or SportingBet.
        – Chris Maloney to get over 27% of the three-way vote at 1.8 with SportingBet. Another licence to print money.
        – Chris’s “nan” to appear on-stage: perhaps unlikely in the final, but she already did it once in the audition. And if he wins, she will for sure. At odds of 21 with PaddyPower, it has to be worth a few bob.

        Good luck everyone 🙂

    • Kevin O Reilly

      It’s like reading Danny Boyle.

  • tpfkar

    I think we should start with Mike F’s question: will they really risk damaging their annual showpiece for the sake of dealing with Christoper?

    I’m not convinced they will – and they’ll need good reason to. If you are trying to come up with all the ways you can to depress Chris’s vote, there is no way you let him duet with Gary Barlow. GB’s average fanbase are certainly under 82 years old and a safer bet than Nicole’s. So I stand by the thinking that if Chris stormed the semi they will focus on putting on a good show and shifting as many Christmas records as they can.

    If they do go for him, most of the ideas in the article and comments should work, especially an uncomfortable song choice. (Not sure about EM’s idea of making him look too small for the stage as Chris is actually very tall – this would work better for Jahmene if they wanted.)

    But they will have to deal with the Liverpool issue as there will be plenty of home footage which could motivate the NW crowd. Suggesting there aren’t many fans or that they’re all over 75 (looks like they can do both of these) will help. From last year, suggesting he is from Kirkby* rather than Liverpool, and having a long live interview with the Mayor won’t help him, and if I was producing the show I’d be getting him to say how wonderful Manchester is every 10 mins…the most effective way I know of annoying Scousers.

    *insert correct bit of Merseyside as appropriate…you get the idea

  • Jake Kl

    I heard there were no less than 2000 ppl at his homecoming

  • Alen

    I think it’s far too late to damage Chris. His fans have always realized when the producers tried to bring him down so they voted even more.

    If they really try to bring him down, it will only hurt them. I think they should just wave the wight flag and just accept it. If he is indeed winning by a mile.

    If not, then expect him to either stand all alone on stage or have a rylan style performance. Plus lots of cuts to bored audience members (they could shot that before the show starts, i don’t think anybody could call them out for that), don’t cut to the judges!

    Too bad his Buble song was only last week otherswie I would not have been surprised to see it performed again in the final.

    What they must do is give his fans the feeling that his journey is completed and he must not win. Let the mayor talk to him how proud he is, what a great career he is going to have. Have Gary tell him that there are producers lined up and they will start working next monday as soon as he has time.

    But to be honest I don’t know if they will try any of this. They will surely try to pimp one of the J’s waaaaaay up.

    I’m interested to see if someone will leave on Saturday already (did Amelia leave on Saturday or during Sunday?). Cause once they are only two (let’s asume James leaves) they will def try to pimp the other J as much as they can!

    Oh just another note, have big stars say they are supporting one of the J’s and just nobodys that support Chris 🙂

  • Kevin O Reilly

    A massive plus for Chris could be the venue. A large event up North will generate votes up North you would think. And look at it this way not only is one of our lads being sullied and mocked it is happening in Manchester. That will surely heighten tribal instinct. The idea of a Liverpool lad proclaimed the winner in Manchester would stir the blood surely. It was not as aspect I had thought of previously. I think the Liverpool vote will be immense and any attempt to bring Chris down may only fan the flames. The choice of venue may be the final unforeseen error with the 13th man.

  • M

    Another negative Chris story, perfect to boost the vote:

    It looks like there hasn’t been enough voting going on i.e. less money coming in. Louis Walsh as always the mouthpiece of the production is actually egging Chris supporters to vote to ensure Chris will win.

    More stories coming out about Jahmene-poor soul- and his troubled past, again an effort to boost voting numbers.

    It would be interesting to read a journey of the series for the judges. For example, Tulisa from winning judge to obnoxious, brash loser….

    • lolhart

      This series has been a real disaster for Tulisa. I read the other day that her album is set to chart outside the top 20, although a work colleague played parts of it for me and it sounded horrendous.

      • eurovicious

        She sounded a racket on the show at the weekend. And she’s hardly doing herself any favours by being so mardy with regard to Ella/Chris etc.

        • M

          She was truly bad…Maybe we will now get odds on her getting the sack and Cheryl coming back next season.

          I will believe that the main aim at this point for the producers is to get as many people voting and that who win is quite incidental. However, thinking of next year, if Chris does not win a big demo will turn off in droves and that would be a disaster for the franchise. Surely, all the coverage we have seen for Chris is a sign that he is being pushed to win, albeit in a controversial way so as to keep a slightly credible feel to the X Factor.

  • lolhart

    I have a feeling that TPTB have resigned themselves to the fact that James is not going to win. It’s just not going to happen in the same way they could never have made it happen for Cher Lloyd. I think their objective at the Final will be to firmly establish James as a “credible” artist. Someone who is not tarnished by the winner’s brush and who we will be repeatedly told is authentic and a raw talent.

    The best tactic they can use against Chris is actually Jahmene. Remind people of his back story, how much he deserves this and what a nice guy he is. This is especially important for those who are tuning in for the first time. I predict that Nicole will well up at one point and say something along the lines of how Jahmene has touched her life and she is praying he wins. Along with decent song choices and staging, they should be able to counter any regional/sympathy vote for Chris.

    They really shouldn’t go all out to bring Chris down in the final and I don’t think they will. It would be too damaging to the show to have a negative final. Have the judges give him “nice” comments on what a good vocal he just gave, how he has improved etc. coupled with the Mary Byrne treatment of how he will have a career no matter what. Top it off with a song choice that involves choreography and they should be able to prevent a Chris win.

  • Anyone any news on song choices? Heard James will be singing “don’t speak” hope not thought it was his worst in the series (excluding U2) and had an awful
    “Rap” bit which won’t appeal to all viewers.

    Would have expected that to be his worst in line of votes this series’s.(this was awful a week where James was backed from 12s to as low as 4s, to be in the bottom 2)

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      The Echo website is suggesting that Chris and Gary will be singing ‘Rule The World’. Terrific song (and a wedding day favourite, I think) but perhaps yet another production choice that can serve the campaign to undermine Chris? With an overblown production it could seem to attach a tone of triumphalism to Chris (vision of Kinnock at Sheffield). Just watched Ella’s week one version on YouTube, a low key dreamy version, and one of her highlights, it seems.
      Love it that if Chris wins he will get his nan “a new kitchen” 🙂

  • Kevin O Reilly

    Maybe Simon Cowell will get the baby Jesus on a link to bless Jahmene’s voters.

    I get the impression here that a majority now expect Chris to win. If so the Sofabet line is the polar opposite of the bookmakers, which is strange.

    • eurovicious

      The market and bookmakers have been wrong throughout this series. And even in general, they’re no guide and get stuff wrong all the time (Eurovision 2011, The Voice, Big Brother etc). The Betfair market just reflects the average of what people think, it doesn’t necessarily represent knowledge at all. More value is to be had by going against the market in many cases.

      I don’t get the feeling that a Chris win is “the Sofabet line” per se yet, as we haven’t had a prediction piece, but it’s certainly my line and that of many commenters and of other betting sites.

  • Heisenberg

    Just been looking at amateur youtube vids of homecomings…

    James indoors at Middlesborough Town Hall singing Hometown Glory, Young, Fallin and Sexy and I know it – Nicole swagging around the stage in knee high leather boots, begging Middlesborough to vote for their boy. Then a visit to the pub where someone has made an x-factor cake for James.

    In contrast, Jahmene on outdoor stage in Swindon singing At Last and Angels. Nicole’s intro (not in leather boots this time, but fur hat and winter coat) highlighting how Jahemne is an inspiration to all, even to her personally, and then interestingly phrases her vote plea as Jahmene the winner of X-Factor 2012. The climax of Angels sees Jahmene, his mum and Nicole in emotional group hug.

    Ask this guy who he thinks will win the X-Factor:

  • tpfkar

    Don’t forget that the clientele here are looking at value as much as a simple who will win. Do I think Chris should be odds on for the win – no. Do I think he is great value at current odds – yes and I topped up last night.

  • Donald

    Chris has taken the best they have thrown at him and is still standing, he seems to have the momentum and seems to be the value bet, but with producers still against him being cautious. but they have failed to get him into bottom two and he was above Ella and James a few weeks ago, they are hard facts not relying on leaks but the Star leaks are usually reliable.

    If he is doing Rule The World with Gary that a plus song choice wise. What could they try do that they haven’t well as mentioned above as a backer at this stage not posting but there are still a few. They won’t stop trying based on Xtra-Factor last weekend.

  • Chatterbox5200

    That official X Factor Final promo, in my opinion, really seems to be pimping Jahmene.

  • Boki

    Can anyone explain why suddenly ‘all’ are in favor of Chris winning (some even say obviously, some are more cautious and say probably) but his odds keep drifting – he is almost 7 @bf and that’s higher the it was before the semi.

    • Henry VIII

      Each new poll has James top and Chris bottom so the odds movement is fair imo.

      People do forget however that James hasn’t got a series long fan support core like Matt Cardle and is less reliable in his performances. So if he nails it he’s got a cracking chance but I’m gonna wait’n see.

    • M

      My reasons are:

      1-Leaks show Chris has been topping the vote by a long way.

      2- Major pimping of Jahmene and James. If either one was leading, then why?

      3-Chris will be duetting with Gary Barlow, OBE

      4-Louis Walsh is always wrong

      5- Chris appeals to the majority of X factor viewers who will be picking the phone

      6-Chris has had the most press. Even the negative stories have been helping him.

      7-Everyone seems to be against him and his demo loves an underdog

      8-Last but not least, the anti Cowell vote could strike in the final. see the following top rated comments from DM article:

      ‘I would love to see cowells face if maloney wins’

      ‘Why publish this, now everyone will vote Maloney to win on purpose’

      ‘I hope Christopher Maloney wins just so that it annoys Simon Cowell.’

      • Boki

        Hi M, lot of reasons and I agree to most of them, just can’t see why he keeps drifting. Henry, he was always behind Jahmene and James on all polls so that’s nothing new (not to mention other social media stats, he’s always last because it’s hard to learn to use the internet at age 82 🙂 ).

  • Boki

    Ok, in the meantime I got the reasoning on bf forum, here’s the summary:

    People who oppose Chris believe that the polls at this stage will reflect the voting more than before since there will be much more floaters joining in the final who will not vote for him.
    I have no clue what’s the amount of floaters and who they are likely to choose (without seeing the show) so let’s wait and see the result…

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