X Factor 2013 Week 5 Staging and Lighting Review

Last week we discussed how we thought it’s generally a good sign to have your name up in lights. This week they put obvious elimination target Abi’s name up in lights. Oh well. At least we enjoyed the amusement value of seeing our elimination preview post title served up in a neon cocktail glass – as Jessica put it in the comments, “reminiscent of the ironic toasts we’ve all made when things go, or are about to go, tits up”:



Nicole is a terrific actress, so when she’s pictured in a reaction shot with an obviously forced smile, our bet is that she hasn’t been told “look like you’re enjoying this”, she’s been told “do an obviously forced smile”:

week5_nicoleIt’s interesting that Nicole had a big flower in her hair – mirroring Abi’s, and a visual motif that’s been consistently associated with “delicate flower” Abi ever since her audition. Was this decision made because producers noticed that last week Nicole’s hairstyle mirrored Tamera’s and Tamera ended up in the bottom two? We’re puzzled as to what the causal explanation would be here, though – why might act-mentor hairstyle commonality depress votes? Theories welcome below.

As Jessica said of Abi, “It seemed like she was in a different show, separated by time, colour, staging…”.  Yup. The next section of the show had more gold than a Dubai souk. Sam B sang in front of gold rotating New York landmarks, on a starry night:


As TimB noted, “her staging had celebratory fireworks going off above the New York landmarks – doesn’t get more positive than that!”


Gold musical notation for Wee Nick McBrylcreem:




Slightly more of a base metal feel for Luke’s abstract fractal-type backdrop:week5_Luke

And another great point from TimB, picking up on a point about Abi’s glasses made by JScouser: “Abi “the one with the glasses” had far less underdog appeal without them on. Similarly Luke “The one with the hair” had less of an identity this week with this hair tied back.” (At least Luke doesn’t have to worry about Louis turning up with the same hairstyle).


Back to a more golden shade for Hannah’s… um… what is that? Some kind of inner workings of a machine? Because, um, ‘It’s a Man’s World’, and men… know how machines work, and… stuff?


A couple of weeks ago, Danny commented “I can’t make my mind up whether all those graphics (for all acts) are custom made for the individual performance or if they’re from some kind of stock of images/animations”. We’re intrigued, too. This one seemed to have Microsoft Clip Art written all over it, or are we missing a message in Hannah’s staging?

Rough Copy get their name up in lights:


Now, what colour does Tamera get?


A curtain of fire – like Sam Bailey’s post-song tickertape last week, that’s “winner’s staging”:


And yet, Caro says “I found Tamera’s staging a little bewildering. Yes there was lots of gold, but there was also an awful lot of long range shots which made her look very small on the stage. Also the very bright lights totally obscured her at several points during the performance which was odd. This was to a certain extent offset by the screens to the sides showing her face, but considering that she is someone that is failing to connect with people, I don’t think that this was, overall, a positive staging. Contrast that with the treatment of Rough Copy who had their name everywhere, used the whole stage and were in and out of the audience, literally connecting.”

Another big performance with dancing girls for Sam Callahan. His backdrop told us he is the King of Hearts, the “K” made up of a silhouetted female form:


If you’re the kinda gal who’d pay £20 for a Future Mrs Callahan t-shirt, is this the kind of context in which you’d like to picture your prospective husband?


Evidently, enough Callafans were enthused to keep the man and his dancing girls around for another week.

As ever, the discussion in the Sofabet comments underneath our post-mortem on Abi’s departure has been lively and insightful and well worth reading in full. The broad consensus so far seems to be that Hannah will struggle to enjoy a second sympathy bounce, and may find herself in the bottom two again this week against either SamC or Tamera; that logic dictates the time has come for producers to give up on Hannah, if they want to push Tamera as far as possible in the competition; and that they may still want SamC to stick around for another week or two, for the entertainment.

Agree or disagree with this? We’d love to hear from you below, and also your thoughts on how the business end of the series is shaping up. With his treatment on Saturday seeming to indicate that producers are cooling on “busker from Devon” Luke, are we headed inexorably for a final four of SamB, Nick, Rough Copy and Tamera? Or do you expect to see someone else in the mix?

And which of them won’t make it to the final? Is SamB unstoppable or has she peaked too soon? For all his consistency, is Nick failing to achieve escape velocity? How well are Rough Copy connecting with the public? Is there no battering ram big enough to get Tamera to the last three?

As ever, please do keep the debate going below.

76 comments to X Factor 2013 Week 5 Staging and Lighting Review

  • tpfkar

    It was only a few weeks ago we were talking about how they’d deliberately weakened the boys category to give the girls a cleaner run to the latter stages.


    • The overarching presence of Nicholas forced the producers’ to push the other Boys so he won’t get the votes, but it’s killing off the Girls instead?

      Back to the staging, one more negative part about Sam C’s is that he’s short and practically hidden behind all the dancers. Abi also got the fake smile in Week 3.

      As for Nicole imitating, I think it gives the viewer the idea that “Why vote for the wannabe on stage when the real thing is already there? She’s even a judge!”

  • Heisenberg

    Has there ever been an act like Hannah, meaning – an act that receives nothing but favourable comments for 5 consecutive weeks but B2’s twice in that time?

    Also, did we get the message loud and clear that Nicole’s family and Tamera’s family sit and cheer together in the studio audience? Thanks Dermot.

  • zoomraker

    I don’t know what dark methods of psychological manipulation they are using but I actually felt myself starting to like Tamera this weekend.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Can anyone remind me when they usually start advertising the auditions for next year’s contestants?

    I could be wrong, but I thought it was usually about the half way stage of the competition, which would be now. I haven’t heard anything and it’s making me wonder if the falling ratings mean that there hasn’t been a decision made about next year yet.

    That brings me to my thought about the winner of this series. When X Factor was first aired it was positioned as a competition where age was not a limitation, and in the first series, the winner came from the “Overs” category. Since that first series, the category has generally been seen as the no-hopers, with the highest position achieved being 2nd in Series 2 with Andy Abraham and then again in with Olly Murs in Series 6 (when the category was adjusted down to over 25’s, instead of over 28’s, or Olly would have been in the Boys category).

    As we are now on Series 10 (or Series X if using Roman numerals – coincidence?!), if this is indeed the last series, having a winner from the Overs category would round off things nicely. Even if it is not the case, and the show continues, an Overs winner would show that this category is not pointless.

    It’s been proven that winning X Factor does not necessarily mean commercial success, and having the label as “X Factor Winner” can actually be detrimental (Joe McElderry, Leon Jackson, Matt Cardle) whereas being a finalist can prove to be more beneficial (1D, JLS, Olly Murs). If SyCo want to invest in both Rough Copy and Tamera this year, they may not actually be that worried about trying to make them the winner, but ensure they make it to the final and gain a lot of public awareness along the way.

    From the first live show this year, many people that I have spoken to have stated that there’s no point in watching the rest of the series, as it’s obvious that Tamera is being lined up to win. So, a win for any other act, would give the public the impression that they have stopped the show’s chosen winner from taking the crown.

    Sam Bailey was given a lot of air time during the first audition show, is proving popular with the general public (especially if you see the reaction she receives on Gogglebox on Ch.4), and is the favourite of many guests on the show or Xtra Factor. Therefore, having a winner such as Sam Bailey would justify the need for an Overs category, bring some feel-good factor to the show (for making a working mother a success), and justify why it should remain a staple of Saturday evening television.

    • Carla

      I think this is absolutely spot on. Add in the feel good factor of the ‘triumphant’ return of Mrs O as category mentor ending in a win and you’ve got a heartwarming Christmas tale for all the family to enjoy. I’m sure similar was said about Little Mix the year they won too, having a group win proved that it wasn’t a pointless category to have.

    • Kevin

      Very difficult to disagree with your logic.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I agree.

      From: X Factor 2013: The Midway State of Play

      I hope they XF gets behind Sam B and don’t dampen her like they did Mary B or crucify her like they did Chris M.

      Otherwise, there is no point in the thousands upon thousands of contestants over the age of 30 who dreamily/delusionally take their place in the queues each year seeking to get through the series of auditions and win the XF title.

      They may as well save their time and money and stay home..and watch Strictly.

      From: X Factor 2013 Pre-Lives 1-12 Prediction: Home in on Barrett

      2) Sam shape-of-a-castle Bailey – In a skenky year like this one (they should recall Tulisa as a 5th judge to add the final, finishing touch, I think the nicer (read: blander) contestants will prosper and rise to the top (hence my predictions for 1st and 3rd place), but for their 10th anniversary series the XFPTB will want to push a “special” winner, an unprecedented winner.

      If Tamera was Plan A then Sam B must be Plan B. If Tamera was to win she would be wearing the XF crown, would represent the show. But who knows what future headlines she will be embroiled in. Her Wembley Arena song was a Whitney Houston number. That could be seen as a foreshadower in two distinct ways.

      XF ditched Tulisa because they knew of the media shit storms on the way.

      So, Plan B is the new Plan A. I’ve a feeling I’m confusing matters here by mentioning Plan B (he’s a real life rapper, ain’t he), but you know what I mean.

      Sam B is controllable and (arguably) an even unlikelier winner than Little Mix were.

      1) Nicholas one-Happy-Meal-too-many McDonald – Defualt winner. As I lengthily noted a while ago: Leon Jackson MK2.
      Sam B is pushed hard for the win but comes up just short of short Nic.

      Actually, I’ve talked myself into a switcheroo. I think Sam B is the one. She could be TNCO – The New Chosen One.
      So, I’ll switch Nic to 2nd and Sam B to 1st.

      2) Nic. M.

      1) Sam. B.

      Thank you.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Actually, and this is going even further back, I recall someone argued strongly why 5/1 (if I can remember) was a value bet for the overs to win this year.

        I produced a historical stat attack for why it wasn’t, but then another commentator pointed out the Olly Murs correction. And added to this with a sustained dismantling of Joseph Whelan’s chances (back at that time he was believed to be a contender). I believed that any potential value in backing the overs was undermined by inclusion of this overhyped no-hoper (imo).

        Another commentator, I think, pointed out the 8s or 10s (or thereabouts) for Sam Bailey was the better value bet.

        Does anyone remember this exchange and where it is located in the sofabet archives?

    • Ben Cook

      I believe it’s usually much nearer the end of the series they start advertising next year’s auditions, and in any case there is zero chance that the show is about to be scrapped. It may be down year-on-year again but it’s still one of ITV’s biggest shows, and it seems likely that Simon will call time on the U.S. version and return to rescue the UK one next year.

      However I do agree with what you say about Sam B. She has to be preferable to Nicolas who I can’t see selling any records. Sam might not have many hit singles but she is marketable enough to shift albums to a certain demographic. I expect them to continue pimping her to win because Tamera does not have a prayer.

    • eurovicious

      Added to which, X Factor has avoided the (ridiculous, overhyped, meaningless) Christmas number one battle the past two years, to allow the Military Wives (must-read: http://bakercatherine.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/who-are-the-military-wives-the-military-wives-choirs-and-the-new-british-patriotic-popular-music/) and the Hillsborough thing to take the festive top spot instead. This year, X Factor is competing for the Christmas number one again for the first year since Matt Cardle.

      I’m coming round to the Sam B position. She has the nation behind her and is topping the polls by a massive margin. She’s the act that people tune in for, she’s “activated” a huge swathe of ordinary people. And while the Boys and Girls category are practically crooning zygotes, the show can hardly be said to be chasing a young demographic – in previous years where we had Halloween week and Dance week, this year we’ve had disco week and big band week and all the contestants got really dated songs in both (And both shows were far more enjoyable than the first three live shows.) Not to mention Sharon replacing Tulisa and being given the Overs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there hasn’t been an over quite like Sam Bailey before.

  • Jessica Hamby

    It was interesting that practically the last line of the Sam B / Michael Bolton VT, which along with the John Lewis tweefest banished Abi from memory, was “This is the beginning”….

    Perhaps I have my tinfoil hat on again, perhaps not, but I thought it an additional shove into the background for Abi.

    The coming week is going to be fascinating. I would add Rough Copy to Nick and Sam B as an act I think is safe from b2. The other four are all potentially there. Interestingly Tamera has tweeted another mea culpa. I’m not on Twitter so here’s a link to it on Digital Spy.


    I’m beginning to warm to Tamera as a person. Her obvious fear of b2 on Sunday showed some vulnerability that humanised her for me. Perhaps it is that she is an inarticulate 16 year old rather than that she is aloof which makes her difficult to warm to in interviews.

    I found her performance on Saturday somehow uninspiring. Everything was in place and it should have made me go wow but it left me feeling indifferent. Am I somehow prejudiced against her? Is she a bit of a singbot? I don’t know. I feel as if I ought to like her performances but they seem a bit meh to me.

    I’m looking forward to finding out what the song choices are and won’t be throwing any imaginary money behind anyone until then.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Would also add the hand-holding with Abi, whom I have liked from the beginning, also humanised her. That was clearly a producer’s ploy. No-one else has been holding hands like that, not even the members of Miss Dynamix.

    Help Me. I’ve been bodysnatched!!!!!

  • zoomraker

    I found Tamera uninspiring on Saturday because it wasn’t believable. As good a singer as she is she doesn’t sell the story of a song. This is always the problem with the young ones but I even more so in Tamera’s case. I just didn’t believe Tamera had ever cried a river over anyone.

    • Ben Cook

      She’s not even *that* good a singer. IMO people have got too carried away with her from the outset. She has a decent voice but not strong enough or distinctive enough in comparison to Leona and Alexandra. I’d actually rate Lorna as a better singer from what we saw. But of course Tamera has “the whole package”.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Zoomraker. If ever there was a case for leaving someone a few years it’s Tamera.

    • eurovicious

      They want to get her early while she’s young, naive and needy enough to be puppeted. Then they can mould her. Also the younger the better as far as selling hit records to kids is concerned.

  • Ben Cook

    Can’t help thinking rabbit hole again when you talk about Nicole putting on a forced smile for her own act and deliberately making them both wear a flower in their hair.

    Agree with what Caro says about Tamera’s camera shots though. She often seems to have too many wide shots. Although it’s unlikely be to deliberately harm her, it doesn’t help.

  • R

    Madcap theory of the week:

    Week 6:
    Hannah loses her voice and is given the week off for vocal rest. As her voice seems to be faltering & the show have made note of her vocal issues since JH’s, there is a possibility they could use it as an excuse to give her the week off.
    Tamera takes enough of Hannah’s votes for the week to escape B2, leaving the show to drop Sam C & Luke into B2.
    Sam C goes.

    Week 7:
    Hannah is back but gets the backlash for missing a week so B2. Luke bounces. Tamera loses her Hannah vote & is also B2.
    Hannah goes.

    Week 8:
    Luke comes off bounce and is B2 for a second time.
    Tamera is B2 again, unless she can bounce enough. In which case it may be Nick.
    Luke goes.

    Week 9:
    Tamera bottom and goes.

    Nick, who started high but hasn’t been gaining votes finishes 3rd.
    Rough Copy 2nd
    1st is Sam B. They’ve invested way too much time & Bolton to have her as an also ran. Acts like Bolton & Celine D are bringing in the viewers who will vote Sam B. Even Gary Lineker was tweeting his support at the weekend.

    • Definitely played the first scenario through my mind, but they made such a big deal out of the disadvantage of skipping a week with Miss Dynamix, that it’d mean curtains for Hannah next week and it’s unlikely they’d want it to happen again. It is meant to be a singing competition, after all.

  • EM

    I’ve been trying to get my head around the lack of critique offered by Gary to Sam C.

    I can fathom it out two ways. The video of Louis and Sam B laughing at Gary’s opened mouth look struck me an unusual at the time, it was disrespectful and made Gary look a bit simple. I can’t imagine it happening to Cowell so it’s possible he took offence and decided not to play ball. It’s a world of egos after all and Barlow’s may have been punctured here.

    On the other hand showbiz is a small world. It’s easier to see out your contract professionally and play the game, keep the apple cart upright and keep your good name intact.

    So if it was planned, what was the purpose?

    It could be the voting is very tight with no runaway winner right now. They might be worried that by picking on Sam C too much they create a runaway winner they don’t want, perhaps they saw a massive swing in vote after last week’s mauling.

    In which case they could dampen that by having Gary not say too much which still infers he’s not a big Sam fan but without the huge swing that a direct punch would induce. Another week of that frostiness (still creates the buzz) or maybe the classic “I’d like to see you perform without all the theatrics and dancers” and then Gary can be all “oh I quite liked it, well done” after a stripped back performance and boom, it’s bye-bye Sam.

    • I don’t know of people remember stuff like I do, but Sam C did 2 performances (Weeks 2-3) without the bells and whistles, and there were comments in Week 3 that triggered the use of a full stage in the controversial Week 4.

  • Neve

    Newbie here! Long time reader though and fascinated with all the chatter that happens here. Have religiously watched X factor originally as a fan in my late teens, now as a physiological exercise in the mid twenties! I don’t necessarily come here for betting tips, but because this is what makes xf watchable for me now.

    Just wanted to point out something that only came to my attention upon looking at the stills in this article. All the acts have obvious gold staging, as noted, except for three. The bookends Sam C and Abi – we all understand why! But whats more interesting at this point, Rough copy have a very clear silver theme. What does silver mean compared to gold?? Second place. NOT A WINNER. They were name checked as finalists. But not potential champions. Could RC be about to follow a similar trajectory to JLS and Marcus Collins? Marcus story has been well documented in these parts. A “star” up until and including the semi final, then thrown under the bus when the time came for Little Mix to prevail. JLS kind of followed a similar path. The tactics weren’t as blatant or prevalent in those days but they were given favour throughout until the final when they sang with Westlife (vs Alexandra and BEYONCE!!) and had Last Christmas against Silent Night for Christmas song. (hmm anyone remember what christmas songs LM and MC sang…??! Funny that). Rough copy have been compared to JLS a lot, Marcus was slightly similar in that he is a black male with a slightly old school sound.

    It looks to me like RC are being lined up for a Rough ride all the way to the runners up spot on the podium! But how can we read this silver lighting. 1. They are not polling well enough and we need to start seeing them as potential runners up so syco can sign them (simon is believed to be sorry he never signed jls) 2. They are polling well enough that its ok to show them as potential runners up and not winners at this stage so plan A can still beat them? 2. They are polling TOO well and the deramping of them as winners must begin?

    Interested if anyone has any thoughts on that.

    Just as an aside, For me at the moment I see the final placings as:
    1: Sam bailey
    2: Rough Copy
    3: Nicolas or Luke (I can’t choose! I’m swaying towards Luke possibly with McNic as a shock exit after a bottom 2 with Tamera? I’m typing this as I debate it in my head!!!)
    4: Tamera
    5: The other of Nicolas and Luke
    6; Sam C
    7: Hannah

    Sorry for going on a bit!

    • Daniel

      Hi Neve, welcome to Sofabet, and thanks for posting. It’s interesting you should mention that about Rough Copy’s silver backdrop. I noticed it was a rip-off from this year’s film The Great Gatsby, except most of that design is in gold, not silver. Example of the soundtrack sleeve here:

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think intebtions for Nick will become much clrarer when this week’s songs are announced.

      The last two weeks he’s struggled because he’s had songs that require a sense of rhythm. If he gets something similar or something that needs edge, aggression or sexuality / sensuality then he will stfuggle again. If he gers something sweet, angelic and middle-of-the-road eg The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, that sort of thing, he’ll shine.

      He’ll also struggle with anything that needs to come from personal experience. I suspect that even a Lionel Ritchie ballad would be a struggle for him. He’d hit the notes but miss the feeling.

      Anyway,to sum up my thoughts, MOR=ramp, anything else = deramp.

  • Neve

    Thanks Daniel, that’s interesting. I thought it looked familiar! I wonder if we can read anything into it.

    Agreed Jessica, I think this coming week will provide some answers on who now stands as alpha boy.

    • I actually thought that Luke’s wings were being clipped last weekend, hence establishing Nicky’s status as Alpha… but if Hannah’s second time tells us anything, if you get OTT and very undeserved praise, your votes may be pulled down and Nicholas gets that by the barrel.

  • Next weekend will be huge for Nicholas. He’s singing in some Scottish thing and if that’s in his VT and he gets the pimp slot, it’s game over for everyone except Sam B.

    • Scottish thing? Have you got a source/link or anything? Cheers

      • AlisonR

        “I would walk 5 hundred miles” I wonder?

      • Chatterbox5200

        He’s due to sing”Flower of Scotland” before the Scotland v USA football match on Friday.
        Here you go….

        • This will no doubt feature in his VT.

          I wonder, the theme is British week? right? What if he sung a very English song, and the word English is used by judges?, this could be a de-ramp.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Could be that the best thing tptb could do to deramp him is get Alec Salmond, Sean Connery & Alec Ferguson to enforse him at semi-final or final. At that stage english (and possibly welsh and irish) voters would turn elsewhere – and there are a lot more of them. Plus don’t forget Andy Murray and SPOTY on finals night.

          • Natasha

            I don’t think that would make a difference IMO. If the voting demographic mostly female then why would they rather watch SPOTY? Yes blokes will probably prefer to watch this but as evaluated by previous commenters, men don’t tend to vote on XF. There is also the possibility that as a Scot won SPOTY, maybe Scots will want a double whammy and vote like mad to get a Scot winning X Factor too. The downside with Nick singing at the Scottish & USA game is that his attention is being taken away from X Factor with less time to rehearse for Saturdays live and this could be used against him after his performance should they want to de-ramp him. On his Twitter on Monday, he made a comment about absolutley loving the song he has for this coming saturday. But then again, this is what he said when he had Rock with you and look how that turned out!

    • Jessica Hamby

      Could well demotivate non scots from voting for him though…..

  • Henry VIII

    Hold on, it’s too soon to bin the name-in-lights theory. Abi’s name was in a dull pulsating purple but the main corrupter was what it spelt: “That’s life Abi”!

    Caution those who think this XF is wrapped up. People thought it was wrapped up in week 5 of the previous 9 XF’s too. They were right once and wrong 8 times.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Agree with your caution. They managed to make Tamera a bit more likeable last week despite a story about backstage staff disliking her. I think Rough Copy and Tamera are still the top priorities.

    • Caro

      I agree re the name in lights theory. Yes, her name is in lights but look at the context – there are lots of other words there too: ‘welcome’, ‘starlight lounge’. It’s a mess.

  • Heisenberg

    My main pre-show investment is in critical condition and they’re all laughing at me:


    I have a glimmer of hope in the top girl market which would see me break even, otherwise Greggs owes me a shedload of sausage rolls.

    Another glimmer of hope is that if Hannah can survive this week then she makes it to week 7 when Mary J. Blige is one of the special guests. She was of course a key part of Hannah’s emotional judges houses experience (see video reminder below).

    On the flip side, Hannah could be gone before week 7 and all the Mary J. Blige endorsement would transfer to Tamera, for example, “When I heard her sing for the first time I thought to myself – this girl is a superstar in the making, she can sell millions of records worldwide.”

    Come to think of it, that’s a really big incentive to dispose of Hannah this week – isn’t it?


  • Danny

    About the animations .. I’m leaning towards them being custom made, especially with contestants’ names sometimes being incorporated. It’s clear that the show or their agency spend more time working on some than others though and there’s proably a few general purpose ones knocking about to use when the original idea didn’t work out quite like expected.


  • Heisenberg

    Two words of hope for Hannah: Rachel Adedeji

    This is the VT she will be hoping for:


    • What’s shocking about her topping the votes is that she performed early that week!

      … but it’s a hard sell because she has no family to talk about her, she has already showed her “happy side”, and celebs are too busy loving Sam B.

      The Misha B treatment might be more feasible.

    • Yes, caution is advised this week because we don’t know what they want to do yet with Hannah. If they want her to bounce, she probably will. Remember people have already voted for her in weeks 1, 2 and 4 whereas they only voted for Rachel A in week 3 (she was bottom 2 again and out the week after topping the vote). I’ve got a feeling they haven’t milked Hannah’s story for its full worth yet and so we could see a good VT for her.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Here’s my take on Hannah’s prospects this week:


        And then there’s this:

        Week 3 Hannah B2d (singing Skyfall, for crying out loud!).
        Week 4 she sympathy bounced – and who B2d that week…Tamera.
        Week 5 Hannah B2s again!!

        (My take on her performance is here:

        It’s now week 6 and do XF want to try to bounce Hannah? There’s no upside to investing any more effort into this lame duck. She is no help; only a small disliked hindrance.

        Also, I can imagine vote transfer from Abi going to Sam Bailey or Luke Friend before I imagine any going to Hannah. Plus, I imagine vote transfers from a torpedoed Hannah going to Tamera before anyone else – week 4 provides circumstantial evidence of this link, a link XF were once promoting.

        The trouble with XF production is that they seem to have become pig-headed about sticking with their grand plans for Hannah – despite the fact that those ideas were wildly misjudged and should have already been discarded.

        It’s as though someone’s head is on the block over this (and all the other crap casting choices made this miserable series) and there’s a personnel need to at least meet a target week for her.

        The only other alternative could be: they want her to be up against Tamera in a shock B2 and save Tamera and try to replicate the Ella-James Arthur storm from last year.

        But given that Hannah has been B2 for 2 of the last 3 weeks (despite all the pimping in the world) she is a busted flush who can’t even be sacrificed to enact that strategy.

        XF must surely now accept that she cannot be moulded into Jahmene MK2. The public aren’t buying this brand, this fabrication.

        Time to recall the product that is Hannah from the shelves and discontinue that line.

  • tpfkar

    Great discussion – and what a first post from Neve.
    That 1-7 placing would make a lot of sense from here.

    Hadn’t thought about Hannah using vocal issues to skip a week. If the issues were that bad, they could easily have kicked her off last week. And unless they think they can keep saving her every other week to fourth, I don’t see why they’d give her that help now as it would probably mean saving her against Tamera at some point. Maybe Sharon’s comment on Xtra Factor was planned and horses have already been switched. With a couple more contestants in play, they could have run a double elimination at the weekend which would have served their purposes pretty well and cleared the field for Tamera.

    I also wonder whether they are worried about the gender balance. We started at 5 vs 7 (M/F) and are now at 4 vs 3. If Hannah does go next, it’s at 4/2 and as I posted the other day, that probably means they need the boys to go consecutively to get Tamera to the final, all else being equal. So it does make sense to get rid of a male act – including Rough Copy – next week to keep that on track.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Personally I think if they can get Rough Copy and Tamera in the top 3 they’ll consider it a successful series. If one of those two can win, even better.

      Watch out for a major charm offensive on Tamera from now on.

  • Caro

    Some thoughts on the flower/s in the hair, since it can’t have been a coincidence (this is X Factor).
    They were ‘Hawaiian’ style flowers, so they naturally linked well with Nicole’s persona, her tropical coloured dress, her family being there, Dermot speaking Hawaiian, etc…
    My first thought on seeing Abi was – ‘she has the same flower as Nicole, how nice’ (solidarity). Then I thought, ‘oh – Abi’s not wearing her glasses, she’s not looking ‘hippy chick’ with her garland in her hair, she’s moved on to a sexy flower: she’s aspiring to be more glamorous – she’s even got a split in her skirt!!!!’. I admit her styling went with the cocktail lounge staging, but as Anglia Chu said above, it may have invited (unfavourable) comparison with the superbly glamorous and successful Nicole.
    The flower also reinforced that she was not wearing her glasses as it drew attention to that part of her face. As several commentators have pointed this was important as she was missing one of her trademarks.
    Was the lack of glasses also trying to distance her from the Andrea Begley comparisons that had been made increasingly that week on Twitter and elsewhere? After all, Andrea is a winner, who had also been an underdog.

  • tpfkar

    They are half-way there: she’s pretty offensive already 🙂

  • A note about Sam C: imho he’s probably the most interesting case this year as far as the producers’ intentions are concerned. He’s had bad comments about things that would be ignored if he were an Alpha, but they are mixed along with opportunities to show everyone that he’s hot, he works hard, etc. He’s been given early slots repeatedly before last weekend, but they also make him a talking point (compare that to Wagner who had late slots until his show death). His treatment seems to be a weird mix of deramping and taking out. And so on…

    Also, Louis has started telling the viewers that “the public are voting him through to next week” and that “the girls like him.”

  • lolhart

    I have a feeling TPTB won’t give up on Hannah just yet. They didn’t really give up on Misha B until it got down to the final 4. Tamera is clearly their priority, but I don’t think they need to ditch Hannah to get Tamera to the final. In fact, a Hannah and Tamera bottom 2 would probably be TV gold for TPTB. Rather than a Rachel Adedeji VT, I’m expecting something similar to the one with Kelly Rowland and Misha for Hannah this week.

    • eurovicious

      Misha B was amazing though and it was primarily her character assassination by Louis and Tulisa on live TV that scuppered her, whereas Hannah has had every help from the judges but is simply not popular due to her very unrefined vocal style. They probably will go all out tears-and-snot in the VT though.

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