X Factor 2013 Week 8 Live Show: Assumptions Overturned

Two songs each, a game of two halves – punters had a lot to assimilate tonight. As did we here at Sofabet. It was one of those curveball shows that overturned a lot of our assumptions. Here’s how we saw it as it unfolded.

The show seemed to start with further confirmation that producers would rather see Sam Bailey win this than Nicholas McDonald. For the second week in succession, Nicholas came on first. The VT set up the narrative about his lack of individuality, and the judges’ comments tried to claim that he still lacked it, despite a solid vocal performance for ‘Just The Way You Are’. Was that Gary Barlow claiming he was “too middle of the road”? Gary Barlow?!

To be fair to Nicholas, he still got gold lighting and gushing praise from Nicole who talked about his album and concert. However, it wasn’t so good for him that Sam Bailey followed, getting the slot for the Strictly crowd as they were switching over.

Her VT made her out to be a star (though a humble one) as opposed to a young boy looking for clues on how to perform. Just after Nicholas was told to use the stage more, we had Sam Bailey strutting her stuff around it for ‘How Will I Know’. The staging and styling was a little reminiscent of her ‘Enough Is Enough’ performance. Still the post-week 3 Plan A then.

Except Nicole threw a spanner in the works with her “cruiseship” reference. Perhaps it was setting up Sharon for her joke about the cruiseship being the O2 arena. The comment only referenced the staging. But… but… mentioning the ‘C word’ as late as week 8 still seemed like a surprising thing to do to the heir-apparent. As with Nicholas, I hoped comments after the second song would clear the muddied waters.

Colour vomit, a backdrop of crashed cars, distracting dancers, fire, messy spotlights. Tamera’s staging for ‘We Found Love’ was a encyclopaedia of dampening tactics. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, some anodyne judges’ comments that seemed unlikely to motivate any voters (she did get called a “popstar” by Louis and Nicole). It was the kind of treatment that seemed likely to put Tamera in the bottom two.

Louis admitted that he “hated” Luke’s first song, ‘Skinny Love’, but it got much better from there on in. There was a little bit of red in his staging but plenty of gold too. The audience reaction was huge, and so was that from the judges: Gary ticked the “individuality” and “identity” box (an implicit contrast with Nick), and also called him “one of the frontrunners”; Sharon said, “I can hear you singing that at Glastonbury”; Nicole called him a “dark horse” and a “rare breed”.

That was not a deramp – Boki said, “It looked like Luke has just become the alpha boy”. Again, I was waiting on the second performance.

Rough Copy had the first round’s pimp slot but not the pimp treatment as far as I was concerned. There was plenty of red, distracting dancers, stony-faced judges and some ropey vocals. The song title ‘Vibe’ was writ large on the backdrop as it had been in the weeks that Abi Alton and Sam Callahan exited. Overall, the effect wasn’t Middle England friendly. Judges comments didn’t seem helpful either. Louis pointed out the “good but not great vocals”, Sharon mocked the backpack and other aspects of the performance, whilst Nicole was the outlier again in saying they should be in the final.

Nicholas was shown struggling with ‘Greatest Day’ in his VT. But the staging couldn’t have been more helpful. It was goldtastic, he energetically jumped off his big plinth, he got some sparky fireworks. His vocal was adequate, though no more; he showed some nice movement and Gary gave him an understated, respectful seal of approval.

The market didn’t think it was enough – he shortened in the elimination betting through the rest of the show and is now generally 3/1 third favourite.

Sam Bailey reprised her bootcamp number ‘Clown’, and got an even better example of “winner’s staging”. The lighting, mood, Nicole’s tears, the (three?) judges’ stading ovation. She clearly still is producers’ hoped-for winner.

Louis reminded us that she’s a “world-class act” who gave us “the vocal performance of the night”. He also told us, “The competition is all about helping somebody like you.” Trust Louis to tick all the necessary boxes. Dermot rounded things off by telling us, “you could feel the electricity in the room”. Nicole’s one word was “astounding”. The ‘C-word’ seemed long forgotten.

Luke got the songwriter / musician shoutout in his VT. There was lots of gold lighting, though it was going everywhere. The judges looked like they were enjoying ‘I Will Wait’, and reinforced it with another huge pimping: Gary ticked the “identity” box again, as well as saying he was “current” and would “sell records”. Nicole said, “This is your week, my friend.” Louis called him a “Breath of fresh air,” also mentioning “relevant” and “charts”.

We always try to hold our hands up when we get a call wrong, and we got Luke wrong. Before the show we thought he looked too big at 13/8 for elimination – he’s now fourth favourite for elimination, and second favourite to win the show. Louis called Luke his favourite on the Xtra Factor.

Things got much better for Tamera in the second round. The VT reminded us of her church roots and she was wearing white and a gold crucifix belt. The staging and performance for ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ was Tamera’s big moment, take two – and this time she remembered the script. Sharon told us that “it was the first time she had connected with the song”. Gary predicted, “big things for the future”.

But Gary’s further remark that “I don’t know what happens from here on in the competition,” before telling her she would be the most successful in five years time seemed to open the door for her to leave this week. Dermot also planted a “whatever happens tomorrow night” thought. Was that valedictory? I’m certainly not as sure producers would save her in any singoff as I was before the show.

Rough Copy got some winner’s staging for the pimp slot rendition of ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. Despite some camerawork mistakes, they got a huge backing track, some church references and some great comments from the judges – Sharon called it “the best performance they have done so far”. Mentor Gary Barlow pleaded for votes.

Will it be enough? Beyond feeling that Tamera is the most likely of all to hit the bottom two, I’m not immediately sure what to make of tonight – it’s a show I’m looking forward to viewing again with fresh eyes tomorrow. The market seems similarly confused – it’s not often an act that’s due a sympathy bounce and concludes the show with a pimp slot pimping and pleading for votes ends up being favourite for elimination.

Did you see things more clearly? Please elucidate for us below.

90 comments to X Factor 2013 Week 8 Live Show: Assumptions Overturned

  • eurovicious

    I didn’t watch but it’s worth bearing in mind that week 8 is when they went all-out to leapfrog Amelia past Janet as alpha girl in 2011, and the situation with Nick and Luke has parallels – he’s been topping the vote but they’ve been deramping him because his popularity and strong regional vote (cf. Janet) poses the biggest threat to the plan A. Luke vs Sam B in the final is not a threat to her vote, Nick vs Sam B is (cf. Jai).

    • eurovicious

      Louis’s naming Nick as the winner of the two while Luke was sat there in that interview also makes me raise an eyebrow – yes, Louis is a gobshite and could easily have said it without motive, but it generates a lot of sympathy for Luke and motivates support by presenting him as the underdog. Seeing that Louis (the least liked judge) is openly favouring Nick with weeks to go, you want to support Luke. The Skinny Love hate comment plays into this too.

  • TLG

    I reckon they don’t care too much about who’s in the bottom 2 with Tamera…so long as she comes bottom of the vote.

    There hasn’t been deadlock this series, so I’m sure the producers would like that drama.

  • Natasha

    I hate to admit it but i can see nick in the bottom 2 and they will get rid while they have their chance. RC to go next week and the final 3 being 1st Sam B 2nd Luke 3rd Tamera

  • tpfkar

    I’m glad now I covered Luke in the win Market a couple of weeks back; I’ve had no handle on him throughout so thought it was safest to cover. Now looks inspired.

    Felt like quite an even show in terms of producer favour – probably Nicholas under the SCD bus was most significant. But every act was given a chance tonight and no-one was really knifed. Looks like they are happy to run with the acts as they are. I agree that Tamera’s treatment seemed valedictory at times, I wouldn’t be shocked to see her lose a singoff tomorrow.

  • Boki

    Nic just openly complained on xtra that he is getting average songs so he can’t show who he really is.

    • AlisonR

      I noted that too. If there’s disagreements with TPTB they will dump him. It seems to me that Luke is now alpha boy, if not even Plan B overall. I don’t rule out a push to Plan A either.

  • Nissl

    I was waiting for this post, because I wasn’t sure what to think either. Nick out first for the second week in a row and followed by Sam seemed like a heavy targeting, especially with those comments. However, the comments turned around in the second half with a moderately better performance. I thought he lacked power on the high notes quite a bit in both, but they’ve never called it out as an issue before, so eh. Sam had a somewhat cheesy production and got tagged by Nicole as cruise shippy in the first half, but then got incredible comments in the second half, which I agreed was very good. Tamera seemed color vomited and got a messy, apocalyptic production in the first half, but then had a “moment”, of sorts, in the second half (actual goosebumps on a few notes here), and pretty good comments. Luke got tons of help in both halves – anyone notice the 1D playing constantly in both VTs? – but Louis pegged him with the busker tag again. I liked both performances all right but thought he struggled to get power on a few of the very low notes in the second, so was surprised to see just how positive the judges were. Finally, RC seemed pretty targeted in the first half between the staging and comments, but the second half was quite helpful despite the vocal performance not exactly being overwhelming for this stage of the competition.

    It all seemed almost… fair. I feel all right saying the producers are not thrilled with the idea of Nick winning, but not sure what else. Perhaps Sam on pace to win, which will do good things for the show, with enough margin that only Nick needs some deramping? Might as well pump up the rest of the acts for a post-show commercial shot.

  • eurovicious

    Reading this article, it sounds like in terms of Tamera’s treatment, they put the nails in the coffin with the first song then brought her narrative nicely to a close (a la Abi wk 5 and Hannah wk 7) with the second. She finally had her much-predicted supposed “moment”, finally “connected”, remembered the words after her troubles in week 6 & 7, and Gary predicted “big things for the future” and basically told viewers she’d be fine from now on in. They need her out because she’s too unreliable. Thoughts from people who watched the show? (And: are they dampening Nick with a view to getting him in the B2 next week rather than this?)

    • tpfkar

      Having had some time to chew this over, I think this is about right. And they might make their decision about a sing-off next week once they’ve seen whether Nic is in range.

      • Boki

        In order to drop Nic next week they need to use abnormal semi sing-off and save the survivor of RC/Tam again. The other option would be Luke saved over Nic but that would mean RC or Tam would have to bounce to 2nd spot and that’s not likely. What are the thoughts about this, too blatant or not? They might want Nic out but I didn’t notice so much hate against him to apply such extreme measures next week.

  • BerlinChris

    Eurovicious has suggested that I post this article that appeared in ‘The Voice’ a couple of years ago…


  • Ben Cook

    If you think the staging for Tamera’s first performance was unhelpful, it surely wasn’t deliberate. It fitted with the song, and the song was, as the judges pointed out, the sort of thing you would expect her to do after the show.

    Very confused as to who is going to be bottom 2, but I think for the first time Nicholas could be in trouble.

    • AlisonR

      I chuckled at the scrapyard backdrop, what else were you meant to think but car crash

      • Chatterbox5200

        The moment I saw the backdrop, all I could hear was Gary’s comment from last week that “It’s horrible to watch a car crash!”.

        On reflection, maybe this was a subliminal way of showing that all Tamera’s bad performances (car crashes), are behind her?

  • Boki

    As Daniel says it’s maybe better to look again tomorrow, I’m also little confused. But if I try to look at the things now with a different angle I come up with these questions: why the most pimped act tonight was Luke? They certainly don’t want him in b2 this week and I have the impression they want him in the final. Why would they want two boys in the final? Why mister expendable got the alpha treatment?
    My only explanation is: he got more votes than Nic last week and they are taking a chance that he might continue to do so. I’m not sure if he can do a JA comeback but I guess they are not unhappy if that happens – anyone but Nic.

    So if I imagine SamB and Luke at the top, the problem is if Nic is not b2 this week – Tam or RC will go and the survivor might encounter Nic next week so they would need a sing-off to get rid of him against an act third time in b2 – no good.
    Nic needs to be b2 this week. Period.

  • Andy

    13 min into Xtra F when Gary asks Louis why he was jumping ship from Nicholas to Luke did any one hear Louis say.
    That’s because I’ve got to.
    orders from above dropped out by accident maybe.

  • R

    I heard it too.
    It was after he said the girls would prefer Luke to Nick based on this week.

  • Lia

    Glad to realise I’m not the only confused one tonight. Thanks!

  • Donald

    Watched the show tonight after missing last week, I think Rough Copy could be in danger, they did not come across well especially haggling with Sharon. The rest of it anyones guess at the minute. Hard to pick a clear front runner. Tamara song choice very odd and I doubt a Chris Brown track much of a vote getter for Rough Copy and the red and black theory well and truly used. If Nick was close to bottom last week they went for him again. Small stakes weekend me thinks.

  • Roxie

    Ahhh! I was wondering why they seemed to be deramping her. I’m so sure that out of all the acts today, Tamera is definitely B2 because of the colour vomit in the first performance

    But wait they switched the order of Luke’s and Tamera’s performances!! I’d think that’s more detrimental to Luke than Tamera if they were pimping him up so much! Some of Luke’s votes would go to Tamera! But if you think about it means the same vice versa. And I think with Tamera’s song (which suits the demographic perfectly) and Luke’s less-demographic friendly song, I think it does more harm than good to Tamera!

    I’m also slightly confused about Nick, because everything was so positive comments-wise but he was standing on the podium again + the 2nd performance this week I thought was terrible and really exposed the limitations of his voice. HOWEVER, I think that the fairly positive comments for the 2nd half were designed to stop any possible sympathy vote creeping in. After the comments for his Greatest Day performance I was left thinking: ‘were the judges watching the same performance?’. Combine that with new alpha boy Luke’s pimping and RC’s more boy band-like type performances…I think Nick’s been sufficiently dismantled.

    I think they are deliberately trying to get Tamera into the sing off this week to let her bounce into the final. I think that may be the idea. Why would they want their ‘Cher Lloyd’ this year to go out at this point? Surely they’d keep their most commercially viable act for as long as possible!

    I think Tamera’s a shoe-in for the B2 BUT may be saved!!!

    If it were a Nick vs Tamera sing off, I’d definitely say Tamera’s saved (I get the feeling Tamera is liked more than Nick by Gary and Sharon). If it’s RC against Tamera again then I’d think they’d give up on RC (two weeks in a row in the B2 so late in the comp would not be good while Tamera has broken the record and has been kept in since her Week 4 B2 appearance). BUT then regarding the other two acts – against Sam B and Luke. Against, the two producer favorites Tamera would probably go.

    So if it’s Nick vs Tamera, then Nick is gone. If it’s Tamera vs Luke, Tamera is gone I think. Those are the only two possibilities (IMO).

  • Chiggs

    There was a lot to analyse from this show, although I think it’s fairly obvious from the judges comments alone that the intended btm2 is Nic/Tam.

    This was the first week Tam was given poor staging:
    1) Colour vomit;
    2) The landfill site background reinforced “car crash” association from last week;
    3) If you rewatch the performance on Youtube, flaming barrels are introduced from 1m 49s;
    4) All of her previous performances have had majority focus on Tam’s face, there was much less in this performance.

    Although Tam was given good staging for the second performance, did anyone else find the song incredibly dull? (especially after the uplifting performance from Luke)

    I wasn’t impressed by Rough Copy’s first performance but they really nailed “I Believe I Can Fly” and were given a standing ovation by Nicole, Gary and Sharon.

    Nic’s first performance and VT continued the plain vanilla theme. Even though he was praised (mildly?), I thought he struggled with the long high notes in the second song. He also wasn’t given the benefit of an advert break and if I remember correctly there were no pleas for votes nor any name checking for the final.

    Luke had an incredibly positive week. Both of his performances had backgrounds which showed his face; the first song’s staging was nice and simple and the second song reminded me of the staging they gave to James Arthur; they made him look like a real musician/performer. He was given a 3 judge standing ovation for his second performance.

    Can they get Nic into the btm2?

  • Alen

    If Im not wrong some of the judges stated on both of Luke’s performances that he must be in the final (just like RC) while Nic didnt get any of that. Another possible proof they changed the male Alpha.

  • Gamblebot

    I think the only acts sure to be safe are Luke and Sam. They won’t be ballsy like that with Nicholas if they don’t have reason to (recall that Christopher had the last slot last year).

  • lolhart

    I actually didn’t find Tamera’s treatment this week to be so negative that I think TPTB definitely want her out. As has already been pointed out, the staging for We Found Love suited the song and her performance of First Time was pretty solid. After last week’s trainwreck, I think the judges giving her lukewarm comments is more fitting than suddenly praising her to the high heavens. If they did manage to pull off an unlikely Nic/Tamera bottom 2, they could easily justify saving Tamera saying she improved this week and Nic has lost his way (or something along those lines). And the show would love the outrage over Nic getting the boot.

  • Tim B

    Could St Andrew’s Day and even the Glasgow helicopter crash provide a wee bit of goodwill for Nic?

  • R

    What if it wasn’t a “get Nicky” week but a “save Luke” week?

    Based on last week’s results Nick & Sam would be safe, Rough Copy are due a bounce and Luke will be coming off a bounce.
    Add to this the possibility that Tamera’s word-flub last week may have seen her receive sympathy votes and TPTB were angry as it could have put Luke in danger of a B2 two weeks in a row.

    So what do the producers do to save the act due to be bottom of the votes.
    1. The usual mass pimping.
    2. Target 2 acts for B2. Rough Copy and Tamera.
    3. Vote transfer from the most similar/transferable contestant. Nick.

    Nick loses votes because of the Strictly crossover, poor comments and Louis mentioning Luke overtaking him etc.
    The majority of any vote transfer from Nick is likely to go to Luke.

    Made up figures alert:
    Sam B should be safe around 30%
    Luke could gain about 10% and may poll around 20%
    Nick could drop 10% to 20%
    Leaving RC & Tamera to share the remaining 30%

    The problem is previous week 7 to 8 bounces.
    2009: Olly went from 9.8% to 18.7%. I’ll assume he was pimped massively (and still is).
    2010: Cher went from 7% to 13.19%
    2011: Amelia went from 11.3% to 23.8%
    2012: James went from 13.7% to 40.7% (King of the pimps)

    2013: Rough Copy. The difference I see with them is, all the acts from previous years were pimped and RC weren’t.

    I expect a Tamera/RC bottom 2, but if Nick falls a bit too much and RC bounce a bit too high…it could be Tamera/Nick, with TPTB swapping one boy for the other.
    This would mean getting rid of Nick as soon as he hits B2.

  • Tim B

    So…criticism for Rough Copy (a proven motivator for votes in weeks gone by) as the phone lines are opening, a backstage interview with Caroline shortly afterwards and excellent treatment for the proper pimp slot (have to ask ourselves at which point would most votes be cast after two performances), and on a sympathy bounce. I’m really struggling as to why Rough Copy are favs to be eliminated here???

  • AlisonR

    Did anyone notice Tamera was on third for the first song but fourth for the second song? Was that so that she had her own standalone “wow” moment? (Perhaps her performance of First Time would have been more easily compared to the “best performance of the night” if she’d followed Sam)

  • Morning all, great to read everyone’s views and glad it wasn’t just us who found it all rather nonobvious last night.

    So broadly there seem to be two schools of thought emerging:

    1. They’ve given up on Tamera, and don’t mind who she’s bottom two against. They certainly seemed to accept the idea of her being in the singoff – they didn’t plead for votes (as Gary did with Rough Copy) or bang on about needing her in the final (as they did with Luke).

    2. They think they can get Nick in the bottom two, and will drop him if they do.

    I’m leaning towards 2 as I find Boki’s reasoning above quite compelling – why pimp Luke so heavily if you’re not seeing the possibility of ditching Nick before the final? And if you are seeing the possibility to ditch Nick, surely you’d ideally want to do it this week rather than needing a first-ever final 4 singoff most likely against an act in the bottom two for the third time?

    And agree with lolhart that they could easily justify saving Tamera over Nick. The “whatever happens tomorrow, you’ll be the biggest commercial success” vibe sounded like it might have been a happy send-off for Tamera, but could also be interpreted as setting up an “I have to save the act I think will have the best career” singoff save justification vs Nick.

    One other question I’d love to get everyone’s views on, and which Tim B alludes to above. Do you think TPTB’s view is that the second round of songs is much the most important? Found it interesting that both Tamera and Rough Copy seemed to get the “post-show positioning” styling for round 1, and the “Middle England friendly” styling for round 2.

    Presumably TPTB know from previous years when most votes are cast. Perhaps there just aren’t that many votes cast until an act has performed for the second time? (The fact that 2012’s experiment in opening the lines from the start didn’t seem to change much maybe backs up that theory). If that’s the case then it may be unwise to read too much vote-wise into the staging for round 1 songs.

    Have to disagree with R that RC weren’t pimped – they had a standing ovation and Gary Barlow twice begging for votes, having made a point of reminding us he doesn’t usually do that. Agree with Tim – RC in the pimp slot, due a bounce which historically has been strong at this stage of the competition, Gary begging for votes – it’s not obvious why they should be the favourites to go here.

    • Boki

      The answer why RC are favs looks simple: people still think they will be b2 with Tam who will be saved. I give them much more survival chance than Tam but again Nic is the key there. Louis said “I hope you’ll be in the final” meaning we have done for you guys what we could, Gary pledged for votes but now it’s down to the public. I’m not sure what the call would be in case of RC vs Tam sing-off but leaning to Tam saved, or maybe deadlock. Any views Andrew?

      On second question: I believe the second round of songs has more weight in terms of voting. The problem is I have no idea what the percentages are, is it a very big difference or not.

      • True, Boki. I guess I should have said – as you do – I’m more surprised that RC are a shorter price than Tamera to be B2.

        No idea what would happen in an RC-Tamera singoff. Last night’s pimping of Luke – which I didn’t see coming at all – told us that at least one of RC and Tamera is considered more dispensable than I’d imagined. Which is considered most dispensable, I’m in the dark.

    • lolhart

      I think the second song is also an opportunity for TPTB to redeem a favoured act if the first performance doesn’t go according to plan. The public will forget about the first and remember the second and the judges’ positive comments. Or it gives them the luxury of giving mixed or negative comments for the first song and then over-praising them for the second. An example that springs to mind for me is Little Mix at this stage in 2011. Their mashup of Baby and Where Did Our Love Go received lukewarm comments from the judges and was rather bland. Their second was Beautiful which featured the camera focusing on a tearful Jessie delivering the final line. That moment is what the public would have remembered.

    • R

      Hi Andrew

      I’ve rewatched RC’s first performance and have changed my view. They did receive pimping through VT, staging and comments.

      This now makes me feel TPTB are looking for a Nick/Tamera B2.

      But,the only reason for Nick to be B2 is so they can eliminate him at the first chance they get. They can’t allow him to survive unless they want him to have a massive bounce into the final.

  • Ben Cook

    I wonder whether Nick is polling scarily close to Sam and they think having two boys in the final will help split the vote? Or perhaps Nick is fading and Luke had a massive increase in votes last week after hitting bottom 2 and they are thinking of running with him after the show now.

    • stoney

      If he was fading after last week they surely wouldn’t have to shove him in the death slot for the second week running. Just his awful song choices would have been enough. Apparently nicholas pretty much admitted on xtra Factor that he isn’t getting the songs he wants. Although that’s been obvious for some time.

    • Boki

      That’s another possible interpretation indeed but I still think Nic had significant drop last week, time will tell.
      Btw Nic should be more careful on xtra, saying he’s been given “average” songs in a week he sings Gary’s song doesn’t look good.

  • AnnaC

    I suspect (as I may have said before) that Luke is doing well, if not the best, in the iTunes downloads. Generally, he is doing songs that are less well-known and, because of his voice, his performances are distinctive. The iTunes downloads are the best indicator of post-show commercial potential so if people are buying Luke’s performances rather than those by other contestants then that is a strong reason to keep him in for as long as possible. The iTunes download figures are only available to producers; there aren’t even any leaks so it’s hidden information that could explain producer decision that don’t make sense to the viewers/voters.

    • lolhart

      The treatment of Leah McCall on The Voice is a good example of what a useful tool iTunes downloads are for producers on these shows. The show’s pimping of her makes perfect sense when you see how well her performances did on the iTunes chart. Perhaps Sam B has also been doing well in downloads, which is why she went from being just Alpha Over to Plan A.

  • Kevin

    I cant believe how short Nick is for B2. The price drop is based on the running order & producer treatment but we can only speculate if this is calculated to dampen his chances of winning as opposed to getting rid of him. The evidence of what you see watching the show has to be viewed in context. I think bookies have overreacted but of course I am also merely speculating. It is an incredible movement in price though considering he did not even do a lot ,if anything, wrong. And we have seen regional acts can be rallied around. While the producers dampening tactics have been reasonably subtle i think it is pretty obvious given starting slot two weeks in a row now. Will his fanbase start ringing twice instead of once etc. to right the wrong? The public vote does not necessarily follow from what the stage show suggests it will of course.

    • Mark

      Interesting read.. if true I’m thinking the other way and Tamera would survive against anyone if in the B2. Laying her for elimination could be value based on this?

    • Mark

      If there was one person you wouldn’t want to go rogue against in the industry I’m pretty sure Simon Cowell would be that person..

  • Guys, after last night I think RC would be saved against any1 (bar Sam) and Nich would go against any1. Sam safe as houses.

    The combined pimping of RC and Luke could be to (a) avoid a singoff between them and (b) use Luke to de-ramp Nich, as Luke can be beaten easier in the final plus has proved much more commercially viable.

    It would be interesting to see what TPTB would do in a Luke Vs RC scenario, but I don’t think we will get to see that!! The most unpredictable possible scenario probably is Tamera Vs Luke, but I think Tamera would go after last night.

  • EM

    I’m probably flying alone here (again) but I spotted all the signs of a ‘journey’s end’ being told for Luke. Sadly for the producers I think he might have delivered a performance that motivates more votes than they tried to dampen

  • Boki

    Going through the press:

    Gary Barlow worries Rough Copy will leave! – so there is another distress call from Gary to vote.

    Nicholas McDonald isn’t happy with song choices. – quote: “We’re not sure how Gary Barlow will take Nicholas calling his songs average!”

    • stoney

      If nicholas goes rouge that would add another demographic to his arsenal. He might as well tell it as it is. He might only be 17 but he’s clearly aware of whats going on

      • Mech

        Are you thinking of him just adding a little colour to his cheeks such that he looks cute for the grannies, or perhaps a full drag makeover? Does much of the pink pound get spent on voting on X-Factor or should he be aiming at a different demo? We’ve been missing a Rylan type act all series 🙂

        • Kahdoosch

          Far as I was aware that’s World of Warcraft slang for the Rogue class,

          Pesky Rouges with their sneaky ways and their lock-picking.

          Can’t see Wee Nick as a Paladin or a Death Knight 🙂

  • stoney

    In fact if he gets through tonight he should wait til the judges start critising him next week and break down on stage. That would throw a spanner in the works

  • Rob4

    just seen it – here’s my ranking
    1. Luke Friend
    =2. Sam Bailey
    =2. Tamera Foster
    4. NicMc
    5. Rough Copy

    personally I don’t think any of the normal shenanigans or the bounce is going to work this week. I think joe public will call it how they saw it, so I’ve had a tiny nibble on RC/Nick bottom combo. was out last night otherwise I would have got nick for elimination at a decent price. no value now.

  • Gamblebot


    Too much focus on the dancers for Sam, Tamera, and RC.

    Nicholas sings “the world comes aliiive”. Fireballs fall from the sky. End of the world?

    Sam looks very matronly in her second song. Back to the start?

    Nicole’s face after Tamera’s performances are like a mum saying “you did well hun, don’t worry.”

    I actually preferred RC’s first performance over the second. They put on a show in the first but felt like non-entities in the second. They didn’t even stand out from the choir, outfit-wise.

  • Tim B

    I agree with both points that the show is quite happy to lose Tamera but they were also trying to get Nicholas into the bottom 2. Have they done enough? Let’s say Nic was probably 2nd in the vote last week. The intense pimping of Luke means that he’ll be stealing a lot of of his votes. I think he’s likely to be 2nd in this week’s vote behind Sam Bailey. He only has to slip down 2 places to 4th and he’s in the bottom 2. The question is, have they done enough to get Rough Copy above him and into 3rd place? I’m just not sure but at least on paper you have to fancy their chances of bouncing after their treatment. I’m assuming that Tamera will be 4th or 5th in the vote, probably last IMO. Nic’s YouTube views in particular were very poor so I’m going for a prediction of Tamera/Nicholas in the bottom 2.

  • stoney

    Thankfully it’s looking like a rough copy tamera bottom 2 tonight. With tamera leaving being my best result

  • zoomraker

    my take
    Nicolas – the war of attrition continues but this is not the week for the kill.
    Sam Bailey – they are happy to have her as a winner if they can’t get Tamera. Totally safe this week.
    Luke – Journeys end, bottom 2 and gone this week.
    Tamera – Still the producers desired winner but Judges don’t like her. Nicole the only one who’s fully on message. Remembered her words so no sympathy this week. Bottom 2.
    Rough Copy – very vulnerable but bounce, pimp slot, staging and vote begging should see them through by the skin of their teeth.

  • TLG

    On the advert for the X factor tour the last three acts announced were:

    Tamera Foster
    Sam Bailey
    Luke Friend

    I wonder if that’s the final three in ascending order?

  • Chatterbox5200

    Interesting choice of song from James Arthur. The opening lines of his track being “I don’t wanna play this game no more…. I don’t wanna stay around here no more” and a chorus that says “I define, I design my own recovery”. Could this choice of song be a subtle dig at being part of the X Factor machine?

    Maybe that’s why they gave him serious Red & Black-ing and put him in a glass cage…. not to mention the limited amount of time Dermot let him speak for.

  • Phil

    There is no way they’d be able to justify sending Luke home given the feedback they gave him last night. This could be awkward for them.

  • Curtis

    I feel like the odds are good on Luke to go here – but Tamera performing first has probably stopped me from backing that.

  • stoney

    The bottom 2 of the series ha ha

  • jessica Hamby

    Luke is surely gone.

    • jessica Hamby

      And that’s why I don’t bet. As soon as I heard Louis I knew it was all over. Unless she’s stellar during the tour they may decide to wash their hands of her. Syco isn’t in the business of developing acts.

  • Mark

    Sharon definitely went rogue there…

    • Curtis

      Really? I’m pretty sure that panned out as intended.

      • Mark

        I think Gary stuck to the producers with his vote, reckon Sharon was supposed to go the same way.

        • Curtis

          So you think the producers wanted Tamera to stay? It didn’t seem that way last night – they pretty much set her up for B2. I think they wanted to keep Luke to neutralise Nick – and also get in the first deadlock of the series for some drama.

          • Mark

            I think they did. Thought that looked like it really pained Gary to send Luke and went against his principles. Sharon and Louis both didn’t look impressed at all with him.

    • TLG

      I disagree, that panned out exactly as I expected (although I didn’t bet on it). Sharon has backed Luke all the time and Gary would have voted for him too had he been bottom of the vote.

      • Mark

        I agree Sharon has always backed Luke. I just think the producers would have wanted Tamera saved over anyone but Sam Bailey.

        • TLG

          Surely there’s a credibility point. It’s getting to the business end and, assuming her slip ups were genuine, they can’t afford a finalist (she’d have probably bounced into the final) to fluff their lines on the big night.

          Gary’s line about Tamera being one for the future suggested to me that they were getting ready to ditch her.

          Luke was coming down from a bounce so they did as much to help him to get him above Tamera in the public vote to allow deadlock.

          • Mark

            Yes agree there is a credibility point. Just in my view I don’t think Sharon wanted to compromise that..

  • TLG

    Okay, so a little gloat, but I had Nicole to be first to lose all acts at 10-1.

  • stoney

    Ok so Unlucky to everyone who wrote nicholas off I admit I was worried. Him going out tonight would have had me in tears. Most amazing thing in my eyes is that he is clearly at the very least still second in the voting and the hideously over pimping of luke didn’t fool anyone. Will be interesting to see if they chuck nick on first again. Thru are now playing with fire. They would have at the very least wanted to move him down the pecking order this weekend. And seeing as rough copy would have just scraped through they have clearly failed 🙂

  • Boki

    I genuinely thought Nic sucked last night (due to unsuitable song choice) and found Luke much better. TGBP obviously not.

    • Sarah

      TGBP may had assumed that Luke was safe?

      • Fudd

        I missed the show so am only now watching the performances and one minor thing which stood out for me is Louis called Skinny Love ‘whiney’ (or certain performances of it) which is exactly the same criticism that Sharon had for ‘Don’t Let Go’ last week and both ended up with the act in question finishing in the bottom two. Could be a new Red-and-Black to look out for.

      • Boki

        Honestly don’t know now but the vote percentages from previous last two weeks might tell us more.

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