X Factor 2013 Week 8 Staging and Lighting Review

It was two songs for each act last Saturday. With Tamera Foster and Rough Copy, the staging went from urban in the first round, to virginal and churchy for round two. Sure, both went from upbeat tracks to heartfelt ballads, but it’s worth asking our readers – did the generally positive staging of the second song help negate the apparently less helpful aspects of the first?

There was more in common for Nicholas McDonald’s staging, though it’s fair to say that ‘Just The Way You Are’ and ‘Greatest Day’ are pretty similar in feel. It’s still all about the gold for Wee Nick.


Gold steps that you can jump off, in fact, as well as a few sparky bursts of fiery drizzle towards the end.


Flattering lighting and styling for Sam Bailey. Plus an exemplary case of how to use backing dancers in ‘How Will I Know’: they complement rather than distract, they follow her around the stage, and we know at all times that she’s the star.


There is a plinth for ‘Clown’, though at least it’s black, small and keeps her clear of the dry ice. The gold chandelier backdrop is implicitly referenced in Dermot’s recap, “You could feel the electricity in the atmosphere.”


Luke gets red and gold for ‘Skinny Love’.


Gamblebot’s friend said of the staging for Luke’s ‘I Will Wait’: “He looked like he was part of an obscure cover band hired at a rich family’s garden party.” Personally, it reminded me of the Toploader ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ video which was ubiquitous in its time, and fits that description.


Now we get to play spot the difference. Tamera round one – a roll call of everything that Richard Betsfactor has suggested is harmful: colour vomit styling, distracting dancers, fire and a scrapyard backdrop to subliminally remind us of Gary’s “car crash” comment the week before.


Yet for round two, Tamera has virginal white, crucifix accessories and blossoming purple flowers.


It’s similarly contrasting for Rough Copy. The first performance has the urban accessories – berets and backpacks – in red and black.


But the boys go to church for ‘I Believe I Can Fly’. They’re in white, as are the choir, there’s a backdrop of gold fireworks and spotlights trained on them. It couldn’t be more helpful.


Producers were generally doing their best for Rough Copy this week, and yet they didn’t mind going urban in the styling for the first song. What does this tell us?

It could be that producers believe the second performance is more important (and they will know when most votes are cast). In which case, Tamera’s unhelpful ‘We Found Love’ staging was to some extent cancelled out by what followed, although Chiggs makes the point that ‘First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ can be a dull experience.

Do you have any views on this? It’s something to bear in mind for the coming semi-final. Otherwise, let us know anything else you noticed from last weekend’s staging and what it might mean.

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46 comments to X Factor 2013 Week 8 Staging and Lighting Review

  • Daniel/Andrew/Everyone

    What would you make of advantages of running order when each act sings more than once? They switched up Luke/Tamera second time around anyone suggest why?

    Personally I think it was a standard switch not aimed to harm either but was mainly to mix the show up, Lukes was a bit more uptempo and to have Sam singing slow, Luke singing a uplifting song, then Tamera singing slow, better suits the entertainment part of having Tamera on straight after Sam. But interested in other suggestions.

    Is being on first as big as a disadvantage if they don’t change the running order, for example if your on first both times, then as soon as lines open your up next, I think this is a small positive, because everyone see’s you instantly when the lines open and can actually ring you.

    If you compare this this weeks running order to a running order like this (I’ll use A/B/C/D as examples for acts)

    1st A
    2nd B
    3rd C
    4th D/
    Lines Open
    5th B
    6th C
    7th A
    8th D

    Act A would have the worst slot there imo. Act A would be furthest from the lines opening both times, and by time they are on 2nd, some percent of voters may have already just voted for B/C/D.

    I think although Nick was on first last week, the fact he was on straight after lines open serves as an instant reminder for viewers to vote for him, it might of just been enough for him to avoid bottom 2 this week.

    Hoping he is on 2nd and 2nd last this week. On him to go at 4-1

    Would expect Luke to be saved against anyone, Sam also safe, since she wins :). If they can get Nick into the b2 I think they will get rid, and will be looking out for judges comments on Nick v RC, so it would be easy for them to boot him out v RC, should they both be B2. Luke v Nick would be fairly easy, just get Louis not to vote and the rest would be easy enough.

    • Gamblebot

      Lines open midway? Is that the case this week, as well? 😮

      Also, I think the worst combo for two songs is being towards the end in the first round but towards the beginning in the second. It’s practically one giant squeeze.

      • I think if memory serves me right, this has always been the way when they sing 2 songs (except for last year when lines opened at the beginning)

        But wouldn’t being on as close to the lines being open be a positive? That’s when people vote.

    • R

      I think this idea definitely is worth considering. If Nick was singing straight after the phone lines opened he would certainly be in the public’s mind. With all the gold staging, leaping off a podium & singing a TT song with inspirational lyrics, this could even be considered a pimp slot.

      So RC & Nick may have been given pimp slots either side of the lines opening, RC were given a second pimp slot before the end of the show and Sam B was considered safe.

      Certainly puts a new perspective on things for me.

      • stoney

        I would love this to be true, but after the last 2 weeks I’m in no doubt that they want him out. Hes xtra factor rant removed any possible 1%doubt

  • Chatterbox5200


    Sorry for the duplicate posting. Full details can be found here: https://sofabet.com/2013/12/01/x-factor-2013-week-7-post-mortem-no-more-tamera/comment-page-1/#comment-34448
    Please let me know if you are interested. It would be a shame to see them go to waste when so many on here express an interest in the show.

  • Danny

    “crucifix accessories” .. what better to unpick the goodwill generated by the previous “I go to church with my Nan” information than to send Tamera out with a Jesus knuckleduster! Surely coincidence that it happened in the week that the Archbishop of Canterbury had an interview saying that “Fashion is trivialising the Cross”.

  • Boki

    I don’t remember anyone commented the lighting in the sing-off. Tamera got standard blue as every first singing act before. Luke got no red&black and no gold, but something purple and completely different. Coincidence or not?

  • R

    Is the image behind Nick in the first picture a hint that he will be selling albums?

  • AnnaC

    I thought that Luke’s second song looked a bit school concert.

  • Argenta Q.

    Off-topic, but what do you make of the fighting in the panel? Louis and Sharon sounded mad as hell at Tamera and it doubled when Gary took it to deadlock, Nicole looked pissed when Tamera was voted off, and you can see Louis and Sharon looking mad at Gary after the results.

  • stoney

    Without sam bailey market. nicholas 11/10 is very good odds seeing as it’s pretty much nailed on he’s been in the top 2 all series. 11/10 for 1st or runner up represents value to me

  • “a roll call of everything that Richard Betsfactor has suggested is harmful”

    I’ve gone for the word “Quadrunuking”. There was even a hint of RnB in there as well.

    I’m running through my thoughts on the staging today, as part of a sensational Betsfactor “Everything Day”. Come and join the party at betsfactor.com

  • sistermym

    I asked this before with no answer: what do you think of the colour of the acts’ names when they are introduced?
    It seems to range from silver (usually RC) to red, purple and gold (Nick this week and Luke last week)

    • Boki

      I didn’t pay attention to this colour naming. Someone needs to make a table for all the contestants/shows if there is a pattern to be spotted.

  • Natasha

    Im expecting something really up tempo with plenty of colour vomit for Nicholas this saturday and maybe even some crazy outfit!

  • Joe

    As indicated previously whoever is bottom in week 8 is bottom in 9. So rather than do anything with Luke I’m expecting producers to pimp the hell out of rough copy again to push them closer to Luke and in doing so repeat all tactics used on Tamera on Nic. Colour vomiting, fire, nasty back drop plus enormous plinth so he can’t move around and maybe even devil eyes from last year! Will it work to get him in the bottom 2?

    • Boki

      Last year UnionJ almost caught Chris in the semi, MishaB almost caught Amelia the year before. The differences were really small in the semi despite being large a week before, so Luke still has a chance if the percentages are closer this time.
      Another thing is where do we expect Tafura’s votes will go, probably not to Sam or Nic, RC maybe the most?

  • Joe

    Apologies i meant to push rough copy closer to Nic.

  • Ben Cook

    Is there definitely a sing-off this week? I guess Dermot would have mentioned how it’s just our votes that count etc at the end of Sunday’s show if there wasn’t going to be.

  • Heisenberg

    The Matrix Mechanics Formula results as of Thursday 5th December:

    1. Luke Friend 11 points
    2. Sam Bailey 10 points
    3. Nicholas McDonald 6 points
    4. Rough Copy 3 points

    Nick for elimination at 7/2 is the the only value play for me as I believe in the event of a sing-off he would go against any other act.

  • Natasha

    FYI apparently Luke Friends Mum tweeted there is no bottom 2 this week. Anyone on twitter that can check this in order for it to be semi reliable?

    • Boki

      It’s true, @Suemamafriend tweeted that.

      Hey #friendies hope you are well. lets #getluketothefinal @LukeFriendMusic No sing off this weekend so Please #VoteLuke if you can XX
      Sue Potts ‏@Suemamafriend 4 Dec

      @VanessaScanlan no no sing off.The act with the lowest votes will go x

  • Natasha

    Semi Final Song Choices Revealed
    Beyonce and Elton John Week

    Sam Bailey: If I Were A Boy and Candle In The Wind

    Rough Copy: Survivor and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

    Luke Friend: Best Thing I Never Had & Something About The Way You Look Tonight

    Nicholas McDonald: Halo and Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

  • Boki

    So based on the song choices and the no sing-off I can only conclude they gave up on getting Nic. His songs are very decent (on paper at least) while Luke gets the least known/commercial ones. RC also gets great so it looks like they have given up on Luke?

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      So relieved I didn’t back Nic to be eliminated this week!

      Am wondering if it’s worth dutching Luke and RC for elimination?

      The w/o SB market looks v promising for Nic, at a tempting evens.

    • Natasha

      I’m not sure he can pull Halo off to be honest lol it’ll be an interesting one! And regarding no sing off, I assume they now wanr rid of RC so that there are 2 boys in the final. I expect if this is the case there’d be a vote split between Luke and Nick with Luke coming third and by this point, Sam will be so far ahead in the voting that Nicks votes will not be able to catch her up.

      • Boki

        You are right about vote split but again the songs choices are telling me the opposite. It can also be that SamB was so far away from deramped Nic that they judged it would be more interesting with RC in the final. We wouldn’t know before the show anyway…

  • stoney

    Loving this news about no sing off and actually quite happy with nicks song choices. Will be interested to see how the show goes though. At this point id say sam/nick forecast at 7/4 is a good shout and I’ll be using this to guarantee good profit from the final

  • Stevie4

    I’m now wondering if the best bet of the weekend will be to lay Nicholas for elimination (and bottom two if that market is available). According to Tellymix two acts will be in the ‘bottom two’ but the public decide who goes. Surely the last thing TPTB would want is for Nicholas to wind up in the bottom two then have a huge bounce in the final. Surely they want to sneak him in with no fanfare?

  • Press Centre, still says Sing Off.

    There is a chance that Lukes mum is incorrect, and there is a chance that Press Centre is wrong/needs updating.

  • Heisenberg

    Halo is a real challenge for Nick – I remember Craig Colton doing a fine version at judges houses, but Nick doesn’t have anywhere near the same vocal range:


  • Natasha

    Nicks put on his FB status that he doesn’t want to be in the bottom 2 tomorrow? I suppose we will have to wait for Dermy to confirm on the live show whats happening regarding the semi final voting format as theres clearly confusion between Nick and Lukes mum as to whats happening Sunday

  • stoney

    It would be daft to have a bottom 2 as that will reveal the only 2 in with a chance of winning. Which is pretty obvious I know but still, not having it would at least leave an element of doubt. Im not worried bout nick falling in bottom 2 having seen the song choices. Im covered now on sam nick final 2, Any thing other than that being a disaster

  • Nissl

    Hmm, still trying to figure out what they are playing at having a B2 at this stage. Three different mentors in the final? Luke looking commercially promising enough that they want to get him to the final? Additional elimination swipe at Nick (not that it’s likely to work, now)?

    • Natasha

      Its just to obvious, they are targetting nick and want him in the b2 so they can get him out. They used the same tactics in 2010 when they didnt want tesco mary in the final, she landed in b2 with cher and they voted mary out.

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