X Factor 2013 Week 7 Elimination: Birthday surprise for Wee Nick?

This time last year, a James/Ella bottom two shocked the X Factor betting fraternity. There’s a rather open feel about this week’s elimination battle too given that odds-on favourite Hannah has been given a fighting chance with the iconic ‘Hallelujah’. What with a large overlap with the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, that covers all but the last two in the running order, it will be fascinating to see who producers favour with the penultimate and pimp slots.

The use of previous acts as guest mentors in this celebratory tenth anniversary edition, also promises to advantage some rather than others. When pictures of Hannah and Rough Copy going to the funfair with judges Nicole and Gary emerged this week, it seemed like a sign of favour. Unless of course it was compensation for not getting any guest mentoring at all (we know that Sam got Leona, Tamera got Olly, Nicholas got Joe and Luke got Shayne Ward).

In yesterday’s podcast, I resolved to sit this one out until the show itself. I certainly wasn’t going to get involved at short odds beforehand. However, I haven’t been able to resist a highly speculative few shillings at big odds based on something posted in our comments section later in the day.

Let’s start, though, with the odds-on favourite for elimination. I love the announcement of the week’s song choices on Thursdays at midnight, and the two days of speculation that follows about just how they’ll turn out. We’ve seen the whole spectrum of opinion for Hannah’s song choice of ‘Hallelujah’. Ben Cook and Heisenberg think it’s a potential gamechanger, Richard Betsfactor, eurovicious and EM recognise the power of the song and the Alexandra Burke version, whilst R and Guildo Horn Forever see a danger in that. As Gamblebot says, it could go either way.

Much the same could be said for most of Hannah’s elimination rivals. Tamera’s ‘Impossible’ is unfortunate timing given the recent negative press for James Arthur, but on second consideration what’s more important is that it’s a number that could suit her very well indeed, as Dean and EM state. Boki points out that it’s a recent, successful song for the franchise. Could The Powers That Be give her a sixth late slot in seven live shows? It would be amusingly biased if they did.

Luke Friend’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ gives him an association with One Direction on his sympathy bounce weekend. Of course, judges’ comments could play this either way as Richard Betsfactor argued, but my point in response on Friday’s podcast concerned the “dude on YouTube” doing a fine acoustic version, that Heisenberg coincidentally posted the same day. Luke looks likely to try something similar.

Rough Copy face the challenge of emulating Little Mix’s standout version of ‘Don’t Let Go’ in the equivalent week of 2011. Tim B and Nissl point out that this will be hard but that backing track help can do wonders. We’ve seen no significant let up in producer favour for them, the song choice gives them a chance to rebut Nicole’s comment last week that they were “too vanilla”, and it would be no surprise to see them get a very favourable slot in the running order.

Sam Bailey has to emulate Leona Lewis singing ‘Bleeding Love’. It’s not easy, but on the other hand, the suspense of this challenge, and her association with arguably the most talented winner of them all, could cement her position as favourite for the prize. It will surely tell us once and for all how comfortable producers are with her winning the whole shebang.

Which brings us to Flower of Scotland, Nicholas McDonald. In the podcast, I felt that regional support would be enough to see him safe this week, but the VT that Heisenberg posted of him in practice really made him seem like a poor man’s Joe McElderry, and we know how the latter’s career failed to take off in the way that Syco hoped.

The clip reminded me of the week The Risk were shock eliminees after a VT with JLS made them look like inferior wannabes. Admittedly, the boyband were coming off the back of a few weeks of poor performances and a personnel change, whereas Nicholas had a standout performance of ‘Someone Like You’ in the pimp slot and celebrates his seventeenth birthday today.

However, given that his song choice, ‘The Climb’ is the most uninspired of all – as JScouser noted, whilst Luke may be bouncing back and taking some of Nick’s softer support, I couldn’t help but grab the 40/1 with Betfred for Nicholas to be eliminated. This week is far less likely to be a positive one for him, and he may suffer the post-pimp slot syndrome that afflicted Hannah and Tamera.

Why that and not take the shorter odds on a bottom two appearance? Let’s remind ourselves that he’s not got much commercial potential. Also that the show has been rather predictable this year and is in need of a big shock. I think producers would be happy to lose Nicholas if he fell into a singoff, especially against Tamera or Rough Copy. It would also be helpfully “controversial” for them to do it against Hannah, though he might just as easily win a deadlock situation here. It would be harder to get away with saving Hannah 3-1 but they could potentially use the pretext of singoff performance.

Obviously, this is not a bet one can be too hopeful about. It’s far more likely than not that Nick will be called safe tomorrow. But betting is all about deciding to take a risk at the odds, and with a lot of question marks going into tonight’s show, I reckon Nick should probably be shorter than 40/1. It’s a value call and at those odds, investments can be kept small.

What do you think? Do keep the conversation going below.

36 comments to X Factor 2013 Week 7 Elimination: Birthday surprise for Wee Nick?

  • AlisonR

    It’s a good shout and I’m tempted to jump on too, in the same way that I’ve just been looking at Hannah’s odds for the win and considering an E/W bet at 50/1. If she does do a storming performance with Hallelujah, that’ll come in and she could be on an AB trajectory

  • AlisonR

    Tamera’s Impossible was obviously meant to evoke “you can fall in the bottom 2 like me and still win it” vibes. JA press is bad timing. Olly Murs tutorial redeems a little though

  • lolhart

    As someone who prefers the original of Impossible to James Arthur’s version, I think it’s a good choice for Tamera as she has more in common vocally with Shontelle. I could see this being a moment for her and the judges even saying her version is better than the “original” (especially Louis who has made it clear he is not a James Arthur fan). Hallelujah is also a great choice for Hannah provided she doesn’t oversing.

    I’m a lot more sceptical about Rough Copy doing Don’t Let Go. Backing track or not, they don’t really have the vocals to pull it off confidently. Little Mix may not be En Vogue but they have Perrie who has a strong set of pipes. I’m sure the judges will praise them regardless but if the backing track is cranked up too much it could be one of the situations where the public don’t buy the judges’ endorsement. Nicholas’ choice does seem like a last ditch attempt to deramp him before the show enters its latter stages.

  • RC v Nick is 40-1 from 50s yesterday if anyone is interested.

    I really fancy RC bottom 2, I think its a bad song choice, they could easily be on 1st/2nd. They can be saved in a sing off which bounces them to semi finals at least.

    And as daniel mentions a much needed shock for two uninspiring song choices.

  • EM

    Brave bet Daniel! If it’s purely down to songs I’d say Rough Copy and Wee Nic have been dealt the bad hands so bottom two I could see but losing him while keeping a Luke in the show? Not so sure

  • Is Olly Murs really a good choice to be mentoring Tamera? He’s quite laddish, far more suitable to be paired with one of the boys or Rough Copy. He famously DIDN’T win the show yet has gone on to be one of the show’s most successful alumni. Isn’t this going convey the subliminal messages that she;

    a) isn’t going to win the show and

    b) doesn’t need to win it to have a great pop career.

    I don’t think it will give her much of a boost or her fans any motivation to vote. Definitely think she could be the “shock” elimination this week.

    • sistermym

      I thought it was weird as well and he would have been better paired with Luke. Then I thought that Olly Murs is the most likeable X Factor contestant (during the series, that is all we would hear from the judges). So is it an effort to make Tamera more likeable…

  • Stu

    You can tell that Tamera’s getting JA’s Imposssible to get the public thinking that she can follow in James’ footsteps and win after a bottom two appearance. Likewise, it seems weird RC getting a Little Mix cover, but clearly the producers want to link them with the only group ever to win the XF – and it was Don’t Let Go which turned it around for them. I think the producers intended for Hallelujah to help Hannah but she could end up looking like a Poor Man’s Alexandra. The same can be said for Sam and her comparison with Leona. Maybe this will be an advantage for Tamera?

  • Boki

    Off topic ESC 2014 news we missed: Serbia and Bulgaria announced withdrawal.

  • EM

    Does anyone else feel some people are over playing the importance of the guest mentors? I’m not sure the audience will see Olly Murs and think he lost the show so I’m not voting for her or hear Impossible and think oh James Arthur sung that so I won’t vote for this.

    Some of those theories feel a bit Digital Spy rather than Sofabet to me.

    • R

      The impact of the guest mentor depends on which mentor and how much they push the act.

      I doubt anything Joe Mc does will help Nick much but if 1d go all out telling their gullible fans to vote for Luke it could be the difference between B2 & top 3 tonight. I also expect Luke to get a good slot and decent praise.

      People might not see James and refuse to vote for the song, but they might see him and have a conversation about him instead of watching Tamera’s performance, only catching the back end and the judge’s comments.

      This of course is totally theoretical. Anything could happen and there’s no real way of analysing the viewer response.

  • Andy

    In full agreement with most of the above, the show this year is becoming predictable and is in dire need of a bit of controversy to spice things up, yet I agree with Tim that Tamera may be the sacrifice, Nicolas getting evicted would be controversial but it would leave a bad taste in the mouth of many viewers, The lad is hugely popular and I don’t think the show would receive any positive press by getting rid of him.
    Tamera on the other hand has proven to be a liability, bottom 2 already and possibly very close to the bottom 2 last week after forgetting her lyrics again, lots of negative press and wouldn’t be missed IMO.
    I am going for a RC & Tamera bottom 2 with Tamera to go.

  • Gamblebot

    Nicholas isn’t Shelley; get rid of him and there will be a gaping hole in the competition. Plus, kids are very fragile (he’s still one even if he’s 17 now) and his reaction will not be good TV. I think a bet on the bursting of Rough Copy’s invincibility bubble will be better.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Will this disastrous and bloody expensive post of mine…


    transpire too late for me?!

    Got my fingers burnt on last weeks XF markets, so rightly or wrongly I sat this one out.

    I see Nic’s price is kamikaze-like in its descent at the moment.

    • Andy

      That’s probably me turning oddschecker Blue Guildo.
      I have a large EW on Nic and have backed him in many markets,
      Top 3.
      Top male.
      Match bets against Tamera & Rough Copy.
      It could be a very painful weekend if Nic does go, so even though my head is telling me this lad could whistle Dixie and still pull in more votes than Tamera I have learned to listen to the advice given on this site and feel caution is the call.

  • Nissl

    I think you’re reading an awful lot into very little here, perhaps because the next couple of eliminations are looking so obvious. I doubt the producers are going to muck around with their commercial picks for the sake of surprises, though.

    That said, I never understood why Nick was such a clear commercial pick by producers given the post-show track record of bland male winners/finalists, but he sure seems to be fairly well supported so far.

  • Chris Bellis

    Interesting comments. I’d go with the form on changing haircuts/styles/glasses etc. Never goes well. That’s Luke gone (but I am nursing some losses).

  • EM

    Strike one for Daniel! Is anyone going to remember a performance of The Climb once the lines open?

  • Chatterbox5200

    Nicholas up to sing first. That’s the first bet landed….
    Now that’s see if they let Luke close the show.

  • stoney

    If nicholas falls bottom 2 this weekend ill eat my hat

  • Boki

    It will be ‘funny’ if Luke doesn’t bounce… wtf is he doing so early.

  • Hannah’s dress is virtually identical to the one Alexandra wore when she sang Hallelujah on the X Factor 2008 final

  • Kevin

    Chanced Tamera for elimination

  • Natasha

    Tameras had a haircut!! Thats why shee wasnt included in the pre live show trailer!!

  • Chatterbox5200

    Celebrating 10 years of X Factor….. Celebrating 10 years of plinths and boxes. I think Luke was the only act tonight that didn’t start his song whilst standing on something other than the stage!

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