X Factor 2014 Week 1: Electra? Complex

We started the night with an introduction to the four wildcards. Lola and Stevi got personal surprise visits from Louis and Cheryl, while Jack and Overload got cursory phone calls from Simon and Mel. Now, which of those four do we think the show wants to stick around for the long term?

Paul kicked off the show with a VT setting up his journey-to-self-confidence trajectory and a performance of the latest big hit from an X Factor alum. His vocals were solid but he needs to learn to work the camera more. Next up was Lola, whose VT rushed through Louis’s visit and reminded us of her nerves (check), fishmongering (check) and grandparents (check). It was a case of solid vocals and ludicrous dress for Lola, which also plays into the trajectory of finding the confidence to be herself as the series progresses.

Overload Generation had their name changed, much as 2012’s beta boyband had in their first week, and were given a song producers had used in their 2009 takedown of Lloyd Daniels (the line “hope her boyfriend don’t mind it” sounds titillating from Katy Perry but sleazy when a boy sings it). Comments were hilarious: Mel B pointing out their lack of rhythm, Cheryl saying “there’s nothing fresh” about them (and what did she say when watching the eight-piece at bootcmap? “Fresh, fresh, fresh”), then Simon called one of them gormless. It was a classic hatchet job and their much-vaunted Twitter following will certainly be put to the test tonight.

Jay James put them in a big-hitter sandwich. He got a positive VT referencing his military background and family life. The song choice hadn’t seemed promising on paper (“This ain’t what I signed up to”), but the staging was befitting of a movie star (Kevin Costner?) and he sold it well enough. This wasn’t quite a return to the Plan A-esque hyperbole of the rooms and arena, but nor was it the under-the-bus treatment some had been anticipating after his unexpected trashing at judges’ houses.

Viewers had been told less about Steph Nala than any other act going into tonight, and her VT focused on her nerves about going on the stage without her erstwhile BGT bandmates. Was this a set up for her to smash it? No: it was a set up for Simon to tell her she doesn’t have the confidence to make it on her own. Cheryl’s defence of her was hardly ringing. Her staging will have had Betsfactor fans saying “colour vomit”. There was little here to suggest the show has any interest in keeping Steph around for long, and the debate now is whether her support on fan polls translates into enough votes to keep her clear of the singoff.

Jack has the WGWG niche to himself and Simon bestowed upon him not only a blessing but a Louis Tomlinson endorsement. There was nothing spectacular here, but it was a kind enough reintroduction and producers aren’t after him yet.

Chloe-Jasmine was timed to be the first act seen by viewers turning over from Strictly.  A VT of tears over negative press coverage is in line with her Waisell/Brucknell trajectory, as was a production that looked like Brian Friedman had spent more time on than the previous six put together. Simon summed up the show’s ethos with his “bad publicity is better than no publicity” comment. It can’t be discounted that CJ will find herself in need of a save tomorrow, but it’s difficult to imagine her either finishing bottom or being jettisoned in a singoff.

Dermot’s attempt to inject suspense into the naming of Stereo Kicks was rather undermined by their name having been flashed up on the voting list at the start of the show. The VT hit the time-honoured One Direction themes of friendship and hard work, their lyrics proclaimed themselves as champions and they got their name up in gold lights and fireworks. While many questions have been raised about how an eight-piece will work, one advantage from the show’s perspective is that it makes it harder to tell when the backing track is being cranked up in support.

Overload’s intended function in the show became clear when Simon said Stereo Kicks had blown them out of the water, before continuing the One Direction nostalgia theme by telling them they’d “bonded”. Louis completed the bingo card by calling them the “next big boyband”.

Here at Sofabet we think the show needs a Stevi Ritchie. His intro set up the theme of Simon being jokey-annoyed at being lumbered with him by Cheryl, his VT reminded us about his cute daughter while last year’s John Lewis christmas ad music played, and the staging was straight out of the Wagner playbook. Bravo, Brian! Mel B appears to have been assigned the “judge who’s annoyed” pantomime role, another essential ingredient of the mix. “The public are going to love you,” said Simon – well, let’s hope so.

Lauren has enjoyed a fair amount of backing in our 1-16 predictions and those who got their money on before tonight will be delighted with her introduction, the newly-turned 17- year-old getting the very positive “little star” and “recording artist” in the comments. The status of alpha girl looks very much up for grabs between her and Lola.

American-accented Blonde Electra could have done with a sympathic VT explaining their extraordinary backstory, but all they got was Louis mentioning that they’re British. Meanwhile, Richard Betsfactor’s head will have exploded as Brian Friedman promised us vomiting glitter. In a fun but messy production, the colour vomit theme even extended to their distracting green eyebrows, reminding us of Nicolo Festa’s sunglasses when he was bottom of the vote in the first show four years ago. Comments seemed calculated to be non-motivating either positively or negatively, and concluded with an argument about the rules between Simon and Louis – a classic tactic to distract attention from the act in what should be their big moment.

They were then memory-holed by Ben Haenow having a moment. His staging – simple gold spotlights – couldn’t have been much more positive in its connotations, or more of a contrast with what had gone before. Cowell’s “Britain at its best” comment sounded significant, and Mel’s negativity will have motivated some votes for the likeable van driver.

There was plenty of gold also for Jake’s staging, though comments were more explicit than we would have expected in pointing out how much he owes his place on the show to his looks rather than his vocals.

Last time phone lines were open from the start of the show, in 2012, Carolynne Poole and Melanie Masson found themselves in trouble from late slots in early shows. By the time Fleur stepped on stage it was starting to feel like the Chloe-Jasmine to Ben Haenow section of the show had been its high water mark. With that in mind we can probably file Fleur under “given plenty of help but might still be in trouble”. In contrast to bootcamp in particular, Fleur’s styling seemed consciously aimed not to make her seem too sexually aggressive, and Simon’s comments couldn’t have been more positive. But the fact remains that confident black women do not, alas, have the best of records on this show.

Only The Young got a cheesy and high-energy mashup which should, aided by Mel’s criticism, motivate some votes for tonight, while not necessarily boding well for the direction the show is sending them down.

Finally, loveable Andrea got the first pimp slot of the series, as Jahmene did a couple of years ago and with similarly celestial lighting. There was a predictably big audience reaction for the breakout star of the audition stages, although the jury must remain out on producers’ long term plans; Simon made sure to call him the red-hot favourite, setting him up in people’s minds as the one to beat, while fans of subliminals may have noted that the backdrop featured London being hit by a meteor.

In sum, we marginally preferred Blonde Electra over Steph as the act most likely to go before the show, and we still do, despite a flip-flop in the market. Their staging was more off-putting and judges’ comments more non-motivating. We assume, incidentally, that the same format for double eliminations will be used as in previous years – the bottom act goes automatically, and the second- and third-bottom sing off – although it’s never been entirely clear to us why they don’t just save one from a three-way singoff.

What did you make of tonight’s show? As ever, do keep the conversation going below.

104 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 1: Electra? Complex

  • Face

    seems like a fair reflection of what I saw… remains to be seen how people vote…
    as well as Steph and BE maybe likes of Fleur/Overload will be in more trouble than we think…
    I didn’t like Jay… so wouldn’t mind if he was B3…
    Jake is also pretty disposable… imo

  • missjensa

    Steph and Overload are my prime B3 candidates. With Fleur another strong possibility. I am not convinced BE will definitely go.

    I did not think Paul A treatment was favourable at all. Both he and jake Q came over as super disposable. Jury still out on JJ.

  • Lots to think about and definitely plenty more weight given to the Betsfactor theories, including an unexpected Red and Blacking of Lola. Blonde Electra are undoubtedly the nuke target of the night, and the commentary in the previous post of “free money” seems bang on TBH. Interestingly their price on the bookie I used didn’t drop between their performance and 10pm.

  • Curtis

    I think one needs to be super-careful with betting here. There are 16 acts to split the vote between – the differences between them are probably going to be very small numbers of votes. If you’re betting for say Blonde Electra in the first elimination category, bear in mind you are betting that they will come 16th and only 16th (if double eliminations work as usual).

    Whilst this is certainly a possibility I think calling it “free money” when the difference between 16th and 15th (a bet won and a bet lost) will probably be something like a couple of hundred votes, is going a bit far. Don’t be complacent.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I’ll be very surprised if BE aren’t first out. Horrible staging and poor song, no longer even ‘annoying’ to the judges and promising to do more of the same. It looked like it was done by sixth form surrealists. One wonders why they were put through in the first place.

    I think the plan is to get Andrea to peak too soon but he’s humble and the best performer by some distance so unless one of the others shows something hitherto unseen it may already be over.

    I preferred JJ to Ben today. Ben did seem a bit whiny and the bad habits Simon talked about were more obvious with a difficult song.

    I prefer Lauren to Lola and I still think Lola’s going to blow up before the end.

    I was a bit meh about Stevi Richie. It felt a bit like I’d seen it all before with Wagner who’d done it better. Oh well, perhaps he’ll grow on me.

    The targets for b3 are pretty obvious. They only need 2 of them to get a resilt. I think they’ll accomplish that nae bother.

    • Andy.

      Stephanie’s got a fan club and I do not see a reason they will not be supporting her after the criticism dished out tonight, BE in trouble and I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul struggles for votes.

      • Kenneth Chow

        Stephanie could be saved by her fans…I agree…in a group of strong acts… I think Paul is not gonna stand out and will get lost in the shuffle sooner rather than later…especially since his category is like the ones to beat…he got the death slot tonight…so if Overload and Stephanie are saved by their fans…he might be looking at a surprise bottom 3 showing tomorrow…

      • Tabitha

        Paul also has a fan club after last year, 55k twitter followers for example. I agree that it wasn’t a great week for him but I’d have thought they’d have seen him safely through this week if Stephanie’s and Overload’s would. Paul, Steph, Overload, Only The Young and Jake are all coming in with existing support that might see them through the first couple of weeks when there are so many acts in the mix and potentially so few votes between the bottom few. Chloe Jasmine also has a good following from The Face, but that might not translate to support in the X Factor; even though she was very good tonight there seems to a lot of hate for her online/on twitter. Steph is utterly charming, but she doesn’t seem to be picking up any extra support.

        Unfortunately (because I unexpectedly adored them tonight!) I can’t see Blonde Electra surviving this weekend. I hope Stevie goes with them, he’s not bad enough to be funny and he’s too nice to be a hate figure. But I can’t think who the third person in the bottom three would be if it’s not Steph or Chloe.

        • Tabitha

          I suppose one reason why Paul might struggle is the very positive (overly positive?) feedback he got from the judges that might reduce motivation to vote, but because of the five free votes people might vote for him where normally they wouldn’t bother, or wouldn’t feel that he needed their votes. I think these free votes could possibly change things a bit this year.

          Actually, I’d have thought Fleur might be in danger of being in the bottom three if it wasn’t for this DS thread http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2016909 that says she’s apparently got a ton of likes on facebook for tonight’s performance. I thought the combination of being a black female over and singing a song about being happy being fat when she’s stunning and has the body of an athlete, and having feedback from the judges that largely consisted of praising her abs, might diminish her support, but I guess not!

  • Dean

    Yes good reflection,… all I can add is Lauren for me is obviously alpha girl. I was not sure this could be before the show, but she got a lot of positive remarks from the judges with recording artists etc. being thrown around. Even the slightly confused look of the judges at first when the slow tempo song was played, but then all smiles at the end after her wonderful version (IMO) of Happy.

    Andrea, well he can win it, but this strikes me as peak too soon kind of energy, but they obviously want him to go very far and will give a great feel good factor to the show as he is a lovely guy it seems.

    For the elimination stakes its Steph or Overload for me. I agree Blonde Electra will be down there too as no real motivation to vote and could possibly finish bottom of the vote and the above 2 fight it out in a bottom 2. The thing about BE though is that they are actually not that bad vocalists, especially the 1 with the longer blonde hair. Colour vomit though for many acts that we feel could be bottom 2.

    Paul Akister was quite forgettable for me too and will be low in the votes. He went first which isn’t good, got red and black treatment and also was on a plinth. Many things this stage perceives as dangerous. He also got lukewarm comments and got blown out of the water later in the show by other similar vocalists on the show

    • Jessica Hamby

      The other thing about Paull is that he’s the harder to relate to than the other guys in his niche because despite his external changes he still seems very shy inside.

      Interesting that both Paul and Lola were red and blacked. Noone set on fire though.

  • Dean

    Red and Black as we have seen before doesn’t always mean they are out for them (James Arthur got red and blacked a few times on way to victory in a positive way)… I saw Lola’s red and black as a slightly more positive vibe… Paul’s maybe a bit more negative. He is a solid vocalist, but they have 5 guys like that in the competition and they need to whittle that down soon enough (maybe not this week though)

  • Joe

    I’m with Curtis on this. Very hard to call who will land bottom. I agree with the comments that the bottom 2 will probably come from Steph/Blonde Electra/Overload/Fleur.

    I fancy a few quid on double elimnation bet of Steph and Overload….

  • Andy

    My biggest play so far is laying the boys category, I know viewers vote for there favourite contestants but 10 weeks of Mel and her sharp tongue may well dampen her acts votes.
    She doesn’t hold back does she ? Worse than Sharon O.

    Lauren’s voice blew me away tonight. managed to get a little bit down at 10/1.

  • Eddy

    Tonight’s performances are out on iTunes and have already bombarded the ‘top songs’ list (presumably due to some iTunes screw-up):

    #24. Lauren – “Happy”/”Teardrop” (also at #187)
    #33. Andrea – “Earth Song” (also at #170)
    #42. Ben – “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
    #44. Fleur – “All About That Bass”
    #60. Jack – “Only Girl (in the World)”
    #81. Paul – “Ghost”
    #83. Chloe-Jasmine – “Toxic”
    #91. Jay – “Changing”
    #110. Stereo Kicks – “Roar”
    #113. Only the Young – “Jailhouse Rock”/”Twist n’ Shout”
    #134. Overload Generation – “I Kissed a Girl”
    #149. Steph – “Everything I Own”
    #161. Lola – “Stay with Me”

    • Face

      I wonder how telling this is of voter habits?

    • Marc

      Interesting – thanks for sharing. So Blonde Electra, Jake and Stevie missed out? A bit surprised that Lauren beat Andrea – however it could be that people are buying into the new arrangement rather than her specifically – she was one of the few (other than Jack/Chloe, really) to radically mix up the song, so buying it on iTunes makes more sense. For most other performances, which were identical arrangements to the original, you’d probably just rather get the original.

  • Marc

    I think the bottom 3 will consist of Steph, Overload and Blonde Electra (maybe with Fleur or Chloe sneaking in there) – I felt for Steph tonight, and am actually hoping she escapes based on it being a fairly OTT/obvious nuking – she seemed to know she was toast. Bit less convinced on BE being first out tonight – the show’s put quite a lot of effort into their look and the performance to the point that a few people I was watching it with commented it was like a ‘Miley and Gaga duet’. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them saved in a sing-off, probably against Overload.

    Poor Overload too – notice the dancers in rehearsals, before Brian’s comments they couldn’t dance, the dancers now gone from the live performance and Mel’s comments about no rhythm. In other words – they weren’t good enough for the show.

    What’s interesting is how they are already fast-tracking Chloe along the Katie/Kitty narrative in that her Week 1 VT was of the ‘everyone hates me’ variety. I thought this made her come across as a bit whiney rather than sympathetic as maybe the show intended – I do find myself thinking who on earth will vote for her though? What is her fanbase? Do Mail Online Showbiz readers vote in droves for someone they recognise?

    The only real surprise of the night was Lauren who showed real presence, even Simon seemed quite taken aback when he said she had a ‘bit of a moment’. I do see either her or Paul as the shock boot this year though just due to lack of a personable ‘hook’ that the bigger hitters have – Lauren in particular reminds me of Lucie from a few years back, in the sense she’s very slick and pretty much a ready-made popstar, but what is her arc? Where does she go week to week? Even ‘only 16’ is finished in that she turned 17 this week as announced by Dermot.

    Was very surprised to see Lola drifting out during the show too – the live shows are a long game and an early-show performance with a dodgy dress doesn’t warrant negative treatment as such; I saw it very much as the start of a growth story for her.

    Agree that the show should be cautious of Andreas. It was almost embarrassing how much he dominated everyone else tonight. If he gets to the final (or even the semi-final) it’s game over and I do wonder how much they can apply the breaks before then. Surely there’s no doubt he topped the vote tonight?

  • Marc

    Sorry for the double-post – but what do we think of half of Stereo Kicks not being on stage for half the performance? Found it odd for a week 1 performance – are they B-listing half of them already or was it just a dramatic ramp-up for the chorus?

  • Overload will be safe but their role in this show has been defined.

  • I don’t know why people have so many doubts about Fleur by ranking her so low in their predictions. Regardless of all the favourable pomp and ceremony, VT’s, well ‘bigged up’ vocal FX and over saturated vocal backing tracks for other acts, she was by far the most professional looking/sounding, ready made pop star on the show tonight. Even Simon clearly has a glint in his eyes (£) ($) for her if you watch it back, as she has a sassy, sexy and slick style to her performances.

    I started liking her a few weeks ago (after trying not to in favour of my friend Paul, a hopeful Overload with a ready made fanbase, and our Italian friend) and I am so pissed off with myself now for not at least taking a huge gift of a 40/1+ e/way bet last week when I had the chance, as even the market has favoured her now by bringing her in to 16’s and ranking her 6th after tonight.

    I say watch out for this hugely talented girl, the others are still nervously stumbling and learning their way out of local karaoke mode (and bad habits) whilst she has already got it ALL and is refining it week by week ready for a deserved stardom. Cheryl was right, she is in the “front line” now and I thought her act was note perfect in every way, from her dress to her commanding stage persona. Notably, Simon too has her earmarked to represent this country eventually.

    For me, the annoying Jed-blonde Electraward are for the chop this week along with Steph. Interestingly, I loved the subliminal BIG FAT DOUBLE ZERO’s that the dancers kept displaying right behind them throughout their crap performance.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Overload, Stereo Kicks and Stevi are bottom of the DS poll for last night’s performances by some distance.

    I certainly don’t think Stevi is anywhere near as entertaining as Wagner. Wagner brought a seriousness, a sort of intensity, to his performances that belied the camp euphoria of his dancers and stage sets. That, plus his look and his heavily accented english, made him hilarious. Stevi is simply not a very good singer which, so far, isn’t particularly funny. Last year he would have made top 5 on merit.

  • I love that the show used colour in a way that’s not vomit. Last year, colour was used primarily to make the staging ugly.

    Also, there seem to be big plans for Fleur. She’s being steamrolled since JH and unlike Jake and Paul, no mention of previous XF fails.

  • Kenneth Chow

    I honestly really don’t know how which way the voting is going to go and I don’t like it…lol…there are people that are absolutely safe (Andrea and Lauren)… But a number of people can be in the bottom 3 like Stephanie, Overload..but they have fan bases…or it could be the joke acts…Blonde Electra, Stevie…or could it be Paul, who got the death slot…or it could even be Jake, who is easily disposable or Chloe, the Katie unlikeable character has an outside chance of the bottom… I don’t think it will be Lola or the boy band, although they aren’t completely safe or even Fleur, who just doesn’t fit the x factor demographic… I really don’t know. .I think I might have named everyone…

  • sistermym

    Very difficult to pick out who will be going even as it is obvious who the show wants shot of. For me Paul, Lola and Steph could be in trouble mostly because of fairly forgettable performances, a combination of death slot, poor lighting, very few close ups and average judges comments. I am waiting to see how the free voting impacts the predictions. Already over 500000 dowloads…

  • Gamblebot

    A long set of notes.

    – Eye candy acts were told that girls will like them
    – Two narratives set up: Overload Generation v Stereo Kicks, Ben Haenow v Jake Quickenden

    – A plinth he never got down from, although it was not emphasised
    – Lava backdrop
    – Some lights moved but not distracting overall
    – Emphasis on him needing confidence/personality
    – Constant reminder that he was nixed at JH last year
    – Louis(?) said he will go far

    – Romantic red and black, a bit Queen of Hearts
    – Pillar lights, a la Abi Week 1
    – Focus on her dress
    – Simon saying she will be here next week

    OVERLOAD GENERATION (stupid name)
    – Can’t dance
    – They had their name at the backdrop, but it also had the song title and all those things
    – Mel, their saviour, didn’t like it at all
    – First of many skyline backdrops
    – Emphasis on their fighting spirit, plus their general mediocrity (not fresh, typical, lack of rhythm)
    – I wrote UWB but I forgot what that’s supposed to be
    – Middle guy (place reserved for “leaders”) is gormless
    – Simon saying they should work themselves out (so the show can’t help them so they should go?)

    – Military and family
    – Bad JH performance
    – Gotham-esque backdrop
    – Blinking lights that move quickly
    – Focus on him smiling for a change
    – A risk that “paid off”
    – Kevin Costner/Adam Levine (absurd?)

    – I missed the VT
    – Colour vomit, but not too awful there imho
    – Her face in the backdrop, painted many colours, partially covered by vertical stage pieces
    – Emphasis on her need to be confident
    – Simon looked bored
    – Song was flat, sounded awful, but Mel said she liked the twist

    – Wide angles galore, more prominent than with most contestants
    – Simon said he should work on his vocals but also said that Louis (from 1D) wanted him in the lives
    – Stage presence, musicality

    – Calling out the bad press, trying to make her look fragile
    – She is different and people who hate her for that ought to be ashamed
    – Classy backdrop
    – Judges shown to be smiling but only Cheryl claps after the performance
    – Fascinating, polarizing, reinforcing the fact that she is different
    – Lounge version

    – Emphasis on how they’ve became buddies despite being together for a short time and how the show is life-changing
    – Katy Perry Battle between the boy bands
    – Their name in lights
    – Half out at start, the rest come in at chorus
    – Triumphant feel, with the lighting and the fireworks
    – Everyone is riding the love train, but Cheryl put seeds of doubt by questioning their size and how it could have been better
    – Winner of the boy band battle and called the next big boy band

    – Simon emphasising that he is CHERYL’S PICK FOR THE WILD CARD (rather than just the wild card)
    – Sweet story about the daughter (little does she know what the show will do lol)
    – Plinth, went in and out
    – Vegas-like staging, throwback to the scantily clad women in Jedward/Wagner performances
    – Loud backing track, ending strip tease, Simon dollars
    – He is not the best singer or dancer
    – Mel playing the hater, Louis saying that’s how Simon dances, Simon saying he will outlast most of Cheryl’s girls

    – Happy 17th to the youngest solo Lives contestant
    – In school last year
    – Started on a plinth, went down
    – Pink, stars, bubbles, balloons, cherry blossoms; yes, she is young
    – Red, white, and pink outfit; a bit Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl) of a makeover (people will not warm up to this, compared to the girl in a basketball jersey)
    – Little star, smart song, will last a long while

    – Not normal, very very different
    – Colour vomit Alice in Wonderland hot mess
    – Moving lights
    – A proper performance, but they should “own it more”
    – Wacky, but it’s you
    – Told to look forward
    – Louis forgot his rule book because this isn’t a number one

    – Van van van van van
    – Stage lights (like JJ), little in the way of a makeover
    – Louis says he will go far, Mel says he’s boring, Cheryl says this is a Top 3 performance for the night, Simon admires his grit and authenticity
    – Simon stands up (only time he does)

    – Emphasis on his inability to connect with his eyes
    – Golden arches in the backdrop
    – Started on a bench-plinth, went down
    – He needs to be a better singer but girls like him
    – Simon plugs Ben to make him look bad, but says that because he is so popular, he will be safe this week
    – Mel says he was better than Ben, but didn’t stand up for him after the performance (he did for the other three Boys)

    – Colourful but not colour vomit
    – Tongue in the backdrop
    – A born pop star that makes Simon cool
    – Still comes from nowhere (similar-ish to Luke’s dark horse narrative)

    – Very well-defined as artists, with good chemistry
    – Louis huddle (so Lou-Lou loves them?)
    – Black and white until the second song where colours came in (also not vomit)
    – That wasn’t cool, that was Butlins
    – More talk about their chemistry
    – They will do well, they are slick, and Louis says there is a gap in the market for them (I’M SURE I HAVEN’T HEARD THAT IN YEARS)

    – He left his country and his family, who came to the show this week
    – Old gloomy city (was that London?) in the backdrop
    – Spotlight’s on him
    – He brought the house down, took the song to church
    – He has passion, is a nice guy, one of the favourites to win, had the performance of the night
    – He is here for the long haul
    – He feels at home

  • Dean

    Just rewatched Andrea and yeah it was a totally epic performance, not just his vocals, but the whole staging/lighting, the audience being shown with their waving lights and judges being all happy and smily with Cheryl not even being able to talk after the performance (did they notch up the microphones slightly by the crowd while turning down Cheryl’s or something there?) LOL. Pimp slot too

    My personal fave of the night was still Lauren’s. Brilliant arrangement. I really hope she gets to the final, but they are in for Cheryl this year. All of Cheryl’s girls had sung before 2 of the Overs, boys and groups were left

  • qwerty

    Interesting show. I think the ‘battle of the boybands’ was so heavy handed and ridiculous – giving them both Katy perry songs? Overload clearly had the worst one, and their performance was pretty naff – that said, I think their fan base and wildcard status will see them through this week.

    I’m also contesting Steph being bottom two. Her performance was ropey, yes but I think she got the worst comments – Louis calling her ‘awful’, Simons bizzare sorbet comment – if she didn’t have this existing fanbase I’d agree that she’d be toast but that, coupled with some sympathy votes may get her through this week. Plus – what on earth was her staging?! Cut off half the stage, they’d given her a band (played by dancers) after spending her whole vt moaning about being nervous about being by herself, she was in an awkward middling slot in the running order and dressed like she was going down the shop, not on stage. An obvious attack, but I don’t think it will work for this week.

    I agree that Blonde Electra are in trouble, for all the reasons previously mentioned. Most of all the bizzare green eyebrows though.

    I also think that Stevi is in trouble. There was nothing to motivate votes – his performance was obviously awful but not awful enough to inspire a rebel vote and not good enough for any real votes. There were no narked judges (Mel was, but not enough and who’s going to vote to annoy her anyway?!), and his open shirt tactic will put off voters. This happened once before with Olly and was that not the week he was bottom two?

    Paul may be in trouble too. Lola’s red and black was favourable and ended up turning into blue/gold however paul was the other way around. Plus, his entire vt was centred around telling us he had no personality, he was stuck on a pretty high plinth, wearing all black (not standing out), on first and pretty mediocre comments. I think he will be forgotten about and may be a shock bottom two contender.

    Also going to add Fleur to the chopping board. Firstly – wtf was her outfit?! I’ve noticed that over the years, voters seem to take badly to ladies wearing leather – particularly trousers or dresses. I’ve never seen anyone donning red leather trousers but that, coupled with her basically wearing her bra showing off her washboard abs (kindly pointed out by mel) all whilst singing about not being a size two and having body hang ups isn’t really coherent as a message and will be off putting.

    Also think Chloe may be in trouble but not as strongly as the others.

    I’m going with Blonde Electra out first, with a bottom two of Fleur and Stevie. Fleur out.

    Will there be a staging round up as with previous years? I always love those.

  • qwerty

    Sorry for the double post – for those who enjoyed Lauren’s version of ‘Happy’ – it was basically just her singing the version of it by Foxes from the Radio One live lounge. Check it out, it’s good. They did the same with Luke and his 1D cover last year which worked well – may be something worth watching out for if they’ve pinched another in week one.

    Also neglected to mentioned that Only The Young were treated pretty terribly. No guitars? Terrible styling. Plus after all their criticism we basically had Louis saying he had nothing to do with it and blaming it all on them. Also potential bottom two material. Can’t call it!

  • David Cook

    Watched a recording of the show late last night. Daniel’s summary is spot on so just a few thoughts on the performances.
    Paul Akister – given an opportunity to show what he can do with a current song and to my mind he managed to make it sound a bit dated. Not good for future prospects.
    Lola Saunders – to me the jury is still out – sounded good in parts but still seemed to show nerves and needs to grow as a performer. Chance for a journey if she can hold it together.
    Overload – when your singing sounds weak compared to Katy Perry then your singing is weak. Katy makes up for it by being the original artist on some great pop songs, and bringing fun and energy to the performances. This was almost exactly how not to do it.
    Jay James – I thought that this was fairly poor no matter what Simon said to big him up. Paloma Faith has such strong vocals, and I didn’t think this matched up at all. But still better than last week.
    Steph Nala – paper thin vocals not helped by awful arrangement. Only existing fan base can possibly save her even if she has been totally set up.
    Jack Walton. Next.
    Chloe – Jasmine. I actually thought the arrangement worked well and Chloe put in a decent performance (or act as the case may be).
    Stereo Kicks – when your singing sounds weak compared to Katy Perry then your singing is weak. Katy makes up for it by being the original artist on some great pop songs, and bringing fun and energy to the performances. This was almost exactly how not to do it – but marginally better than Overload.
    Stevie Ritchie. Next (OK it brought a little bit of light relief to the show)
    Lauren Pratt. Good arrangement, good vocals, good performance.
    Blonde Electra – Sorry Jessica I was wrong. However Steph was very poor so there’s still hope.
    Ben Heanow. I might be in a minority but I think Mel B had a point. Ben sang well, but to me the song requires a real delicacy of touch in the vocals which I think he missed. The balance of light and shade wasn’t right IMO. Much better than JJ though.
    Jake Quickenden. Karaoke. Next.
    Fleur East. Looked the part and sounded the part. Probably best performance of the night, and looks closest to being a current real world act. How many of the XF voting public agree remains to be seen.
    OTY – Almost forgot about them sandwiched between Fleur and Andrea. A most unsuitable song choice, but I thought they did manage a performance that was at least a bit more co-ordinated than the two boy bands.
    Andrea Faustini. If it was decided on last night’s performances Andrea would have won. The most positive thing for any of the other acts was probably Mel blurting out ‘Ha ha ha – winner winner winner’.
    Going tonight – I’m going to say Blonde Electra bottom and Steph in the sing off. Some of the acts are going to be relying on established fan base to get them through so it might be close.

  • Too close to call for who’s actually going to go first, especially when the prices are considered…

    I have Steph, Blonde Electra and Overload as the Bottom 3, so I’m gonna keep my money in my pocket until I can back Overload to lose the sing off.

    I feel there is no point to them being on the show, they represent everything that’s wrong with half the teenage boys today and having not made judges houses it’s easy for the judges to use the line

    “You were given an underserved chance and you didn’t take it”

    Blonde Electric won’t take votes away from Stereo Kicks (8 piece boyband was a better name) and can be desposed of easily at any point.

  • fused

    I rarely bother watching much of The X Factor before the live shows, and I’m even more out of the loop than usual this year, but for what it’s worth here’s what I thought;

    It was so dull! So many acts and all a bland blur now.

    I actually quite enjoyed Only The Young and Blonde Electra’s performances! They were fun at least. I agree Blonde Electra will probably go though. They don’t remind me if Jedward, if they remind me of any X Factor act it’s 2 Shoes from series 8. Of course we’ll never really know how they would have done in the competition because they did that stupid “get rid of four acts in week one without a public vote” twist in that series, but the fact they came bottom of the return vote when Amelia Lily was voted back in suggests they wouldn’t have lasted long.

    Stevi doesn’t remind me of Jedward or Wagner either, he reminds me of Daniel Evans from series 5, in that he’s not really a novelty act, he’s just very cheesy. I find Stevi likeable, but I didn’t find the performance entertaining.

    Andrea is definitely the frontrunner at the moment. He’s the one I’ve heard people in real life (i.e, outside the internet) say they want to win.

    The two acts I felt most sorry for were Fleur (the song choice didn’t suit her at all, IMO) and Overload Generation, simply because it’s obvious their only purpose is to be compared negatively with Stereo Kicks, who were rubbish weren’t they? I mean, they’re going to be around for a while as they’re the clear chosen ones and everything, but I thought they were one of the worst last night.

    Just to show what a pop music geek I am, on ‘I Kissed A Girl’, Katy Perry doesn’t sing “I hope her boyfriend don’t mind it” she sings “I hope MY boyfriend don’t mind it”, so in both her version and the X Factor’s one the intention of that line seems to be to reassure the listener that the protagonist of the song isn’t gay, which is a bit nasty really, but I guess that’s a whole other discussion.

    Kim Wilde DID have a number one in America, which she never had in the UK, but it wasn’t ‘Kids In America’, it was a cover of ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ by the Supremes.

    • Dean

      Why is every half talented young black girl branded a bully by X Factor lol

    • Jessica Hamby

      The timing does seem very convenient. The fact it didn’t come out during BGT raises questions too. I’ve never been aparticular fan of Steph but he article doesn’t move me to dislike her either, not the way the Tamera stories did. There does seem to be an unfortunate association between bullying and women of colour on the xfactor.

  • Blonde Electra received the Jedward treatment, but not the one as they started the Lives, but the one when they were on their way out.

  • Donald

    Pretty much sums it up as was presented to the viewer.

    Hard to call bottom 3 and who will go first.

    Paul was forgettable and may have been further hampered with lines open and all fans voting immediately for their favourite, especially the free voting brigade.

    Steph could be in trouble and Overload really got laid into by the judges.

    The good singers shone and glad had backed Lauren and Ben during the week at value odds.

    Not sure about Jake and how many votes he will actually get.

    Lots of gold around for few acts and the audience showing waving lights for only two acts with spectacular audience shots for Stereo Kicks and Andrea.

    Andrea will have to be got to if Stereo Kicks to win, They got him in the right place now to knobble him.

    Lauren is the real deal pop star and Simon not stupid. Only Syco tweet with Niall Horan last night at the show was Lauren.

    Thought Louis saying their British for BE and then saying their American when discussing Kids in America which could be seen as a put down, I suppose if they survive this week, next week they might be Irish/American with great great grandparents from near Louis place.

    BE just might survive, was it really “just the beginning” or beginning of the end was my thought. The show could do with them around for a while. Some of last night was pure trash.

    Overload must be in serious danger as are Steph, Fleur and if anyone looking for value Jake or Paul.

    It too close to call really and risky enough, going to chance Overload Bottom, small stakes though. have already done BE.

    Sing off could be an earner if Overload in it..

    Overall last night was long haul and very weak at times for a normal viewer, for Sofabet viewer entertaining enough.

    • Forget overload being bottom. Not a chance in this world. Don’t matter if they came out and refused to sing. I made the mistake of thinking district3 would go when they had death slot a few years ago

  • Jessica Hamby

    Watching the show again the new boyband really aren’t that great. The lead singer has no charisma to speak of. I’d hate to mess up everyone’s bets but there’s a part of me that would love to see them sing off against Paul or even Stevi or Chloe (assuming Lola has enough regional support to stay safe for now).

  • Paolobow

    Hi guys

    Not sure if this has already been covered but I am just wondering about the impact of the free voting.

    I understand that this is restricted to 5 votes but do you think there is the genuine possibility that gamblers may look to manipulate things by somehow getting round the system and casting thousands of votes while, for example, laying a short priced elimination favourite on Betfair?

    It seems tricky to get too stuck in with such an uncertainty.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I’ve already hacked it. What do you want to know?

      • Paolobow

        ha.. you piled into Stevi?

      • R

        A little caution regarding Overload:

        It seems that their large twitter following has come from a 2 year campaign of doing follow sprees, where they follow people who follow them and retweet their “follow spree” hastag.

        They actually used “New British Boyband follow spree” to get attention and unfollowed lots of people a few days later.

        I’m guessing that a good deal of their followers have no investment in them are unlikely to get caught up in the hype, or bother to vote for them. I still think they’ll survive this week but will be out a lot sooner than I initially predicted.

  • not just 5 votes but 5 votes on each of up to 6 devices .. so 30 in total for the dedicated!

  • Paolobow

    Ah.. I also hear there may be ways to disguise whether a vote is coming from the same device. Virtual Pirate Networks (VPNs) or something.

    Don’t know much about it but if people find a way to do such a thing can lead to manipulation I would guess. Just wondering if anyone knows more and whether this is a real risk or not worth worrying about or a case of wait and see..

    • Luke

      I believe the app download is tied to your device ID, as is your in-app purchase of the votes. You can’t spoof this with a VPN or a second iTunes account (I played around with it briefly to see).

      I think you would need to reformat your device in order to get new votes, which would take 30-60mins, and requires a computer per device to do.

      So if you set up to manipulate this with 6 devices, 6 pcs, and an unlimited supply of iTunes accounts, you could probably do about 30 votes per hour. Not a consideration for me, if you care that much you’d be better off just multi voting as per usual.

  • Chatterbox5200

    The impact of the free voting via the App will be interesting. In the past, as mentioned by others on here (apologies for not name-checking), the audience were regularly reminded of the cost you would incur to vote for your favourite act and was used as a tactic to stop votes.

    This may have meant that there were performances that you enjoyed, but not sufficiently enough, to make you pick up the phone and spend your money on them. However, as you now get 5 free votes, will this encourage those that have never bothered voting before to do so, and for people to vote 2 or 3 times for the act they liked best and then give the remaining votes to their 2nd and/or 3rd choices?

    There will no doubt be those that give all 5 of their free votes (or 30 if they have downloaded the App to 6 devices) to their favoured act, but it could potentially mean that those 2nd or 3rd choices – who previously wouldn’t have picked up votes – will now receive enough votes to avoid the bottom two.

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Digital Spy still has Overload and Stereo Kicks, now with Jake, in its bottom 3. I’m not on twitter so I don’t know what the feedba k is there but if stereo Kicks go b3 in the first week it’s going to be very difficult to get them in the final.

  • dicksbits

    Fleur East ‘saved by the judges’ looks quite a good bet at 9/1 this afternoon…

  • Jessica Hamby

    This poll may be more representative. It’s on the main site, not the forum, so it may be more representative. On it Overload are bottom, just behind BE and Stevi Ritchie. Fleur is 3 from top (behind Andrea and Lauren). It’s bbased on last night. Andrea is miles ahead. 3 times as popular as Lauren and noone else even reaches double figures (% of the vote).


  • Cath

    It seems to me that the way the voting part of the app is laid out favours Andrea; the constants are in alphabetical order, with Andrea therefore being the first contestant you see. With 5 votes at your disposal, some may be inclined to use at least one on Andrea before scrolling to their favorite (if not one and the same). Helps stop him being forgotten, that’s for sure!

  • Lia

    (Not so) Quick thoughts:
    PAUL – Good performance but not great to be first on out of 16. At least he sang something current;
    LOLA – I didn’t like it. She still sounded nervous. Not as bad as bootcamp. More like Arena bad;
    OVERLOAD – That was awful! The gormless comment was the most spot on;
    JAY – The parts I could actually hear him over the track were OK but got drowned by the music;
    STEPH – Poor girl! Again drowned by the music. Her voice is paper thin and the arrangements have to be very thought through. It wasn’t.
    JACK – Nice. That’s all. I liked it but forgot about it not long after;
    CHLOE – She has a killer voice and I did like what she did to the song but that’s not something that can be done week after week. Kooky monster 2.0 but I do find her more likeable than Katie Weasel;
    LITTLE PRIX – Simon picked that song for his USA frankenband he tried to make happen. It was bad and they got sky high praise anyway then. I don’t see the point of having 8 people in a band, using 1 and half lead vocalists and keeping half of them out of sight for half the performance. If they want to make this work more effort is required. They got the same staging as Overload, with more pyrotechnics and didn’t look as gloomy (except for young Charlie on the left). Battle of the boybands is just silly.
    STEVI – Ridiculous! Bizarre! Wagner 2.0 even down to songchoice and staging except he’s not as wacko but he’s more frantic;
    LAUREN – I was pleasantly surprised. I expected to be bored but I really liked it. Needs more personality on the interview. That was vanilla…
    BLONDE ELECTRA – they sang well, performed well, were colour vomited and crazy but that’s what they are and I’d take them over Stevi any time. Guilty pleasure, I kind of love them! Shame on me!!!
    BEN – He sang well and he’s cute and I adore his voice but I couldn’t help feeling underwhelmed;
    JAKE – Nice, if a bit karaoke and him trying to force his eyes open was uncomfortable. I think the judges were too harsh on him, basically to mark him as disposable;
    FLEUR – Very polished and professional performance if a little weird as a theme for her, which has already been commented here. Girl could be great if given a chance;
    OTY – Best vocals by a group by far and although I liked the performance the songs were dated and might not resonate with their core audience. Their penchant for old songs won’t do them any favours;
    ANDREA – Everything I expected from him in the first live show. Big, bold, dramatic, pitch perfect! If that’s peaking too early, we’ll have to wait and see. He’s lovely and hugable and loves pugs! LOL!

    For B3 I’m confused. My personal opinion would be Steph, Overload and Jay, but I feel anything could happen, especially with 16 acts.

  • Lia

    I’ve just been naughty: I downloaded the app and voted 5x on Blonde Electra. Just to say if it wasn’t free I wouldn’t vote.

  • Heisenberg

    Lauren Platt ‘Happy’ to be original:


    • qwerty1234

      Ah yes that’s the link – I mentioned this earlier on. I find it quite interesting that they’re passing this off as ‘her’ arrangement, much the same as they did with luke and his version of the 1975’s cover of ‘What makes you beautiful’ last year.

      Also I’ve just watched the repeat this afternoon – interesting that immediately after Paul’s performance of ‘Ghost’ they followed it with the ad trails with Ella’s version. Surely not an accident, reminding the audience how excellent her version is and how mediocre his attempt was?!

      • Jessica Hamby

        I thought that was more to make it stick in the mind. I guess you can take it either way.

      • Donald

        All owned by Sony at the end of the day, as the vast vast majority of stuff used on the show is. Lauren sang it in a minor key which was clever.

        Noticed that about Paul and the advert also, they could have easily got a media buyer to book that slot, not cheap though…

      • Dean

        Also worth noting that not many people will have heard of the above version so will believe Lauren’s was original like myself, either way I thought Lauren was one of the best vocally

  • Phil

    My gut feeling is that people are way off the mark predicting BE in particular for going tonight. I think the likes of Jay, Jake, Paul and Steph are more likely because they were all completely forgettable. Probable danger for Stevi as well – I’d say last place for him. Nothing to make anyone vote for him. I also thought Fleur was brilliant, however I have form for backing people who don’t do well.

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s certainly not clear cut for first elim or for sing off. There may be a surprise name or even two down there. Stevi certainly seems to be in danger and Overload could well be first out. I like BE so it’s win win for me whether they stay or go.

  • Heisenberg

    For fun, my week 1 prediction:


    • Kenneth Chow

      I dont see that particular group in the bottom, but who knows…???..if Stephanie does not end up with the lowest votes and she’s in a sing off against a particular group… I think they will save her to get rid of the CHOSEN GROUP’S direct competition and she’ll get another chance, but both have a fan base so who knows???

  • right – investments made! Combination of value seeking and hedging mean that I’m looking faily well balanced. BE, Jake and Paul are big winners, Steph, Stevi and Overload are modest winners, Fleur is breakeven and anyone but Lola would be a tiny loss. Lola would be a bit of a blow tbh!

    Difficult as first out is bottom of the vote so TPTB cannot influence – so will be looking to get heavily involved in the sing-off. Will oppose Overload and Jake against anyone!

    • hmmm – biggest movement (other than the main 3) in the last hour is people backing Lola to go first! (>40 to as short as 20) might have to put a saver on at BF …. (now is the time when insiders know the result of course!!)

  • Watched the first live show. Liked Fleur and OTY best. OTY best vocals of the night for my taste, all 4 are great singers and performers and they work very well together. I don’t know what their niche or market is in this era though. It’s ridiculous they were criticised on song choice when their performance was something different and did stand out from the rest of the field who were all doing modern songs, as the girl eloquently pointed out.

    I don’t think Stereo Kicks (a good name. for sure, but I’d have gone with Tim’s suggestion Ejacul8, or perhaps SP8FF or 16*Te$ticles) are gonna fly. You can’t get to know them the way you could 1D or Little Mix, they all look the same and have the same haircut, it’s just a sort of eruption of identikit boys, a Pussycat Ken Dolls of bopping quiffs in tight trousers. Where’s the cute one, the “ethnic” one, the “bad boy” one, the floppy-haired one? This being as it is, I wonder whether Syco is trying to pioneer the Japanese/Korean boyband model (a large number of very similar members, sub-groups that branch off from the main group, member turnover) for a Western audience. Cos Blazin’ Squad certainly aren’t the template here.

    After having become inured to the way the show mistreated returning auditionees like Jade, Joe and Melanie during the past few non-Simon years, I’m genuinely very surprised (and heartened) that with the return of the 2010 format (Simon, Cheryl, Brian Friedman, 16 acts) they actually took Paul Akister, Jake Quickenden and even Barclay Beales to lives (plus the girl off BGT). I do think this is a good move: audiences invest in people during the audition/bootcamp/JH stage, so we don’t want to see talented, fundamentally likeable people have their hopes raised then thwarted again year on year, we do want to see them go on a journey and progress. So this is smart. I think Jake is coming over great and will possibly be around longer than the show presently intends, but Paul – while also great – to me has lost a little of his ordinariness and underdog factor through his transformation. If he already looks like a star (and has achieved this look without the help of the show), where does he go from here? What’s his džurni? Can audiences still relate to him now he’s not as fat as them and has better teeth than them, which he bought using money they don’t have? Meanwhile Barclay just gets lost in the mass. There better be some yodelling down the line, hopefully even some lederhosen (I can dream).

    I like Blonde Electra but everything going on behind, around and in front of them was discordant. Ben is good but his vocals aren’t nuanced enough and are overly raw, Joe Whelan ticks all the same boxes but is better and h0tter (I will stop banging on about this one day). Lauren’s performance was fine but not original as trumpeted, rather a straight cover of the Foxes version of Happy as pointed out above.

    So, Andrea Faustini, let me get this straight: a nascent Italian power-bottom who ate Etta James for breakfast is favourite to win the series? LOL. More power to him though. He’s an excellent singer, just not to my taste, I actually find him creepy. For me, he’s a Stacey Solomon – great when singing, grating the rest of the time. Natty line in sweaters though. They should give him “I’m loving pugs instead” by Robbie Williams down the line.

  • Lenny

    Decided to finally take the plunge this year and place some actual bets. Been following this site for the last few years. Keeping the stakes small for now but here goes.

    1st Elimination – Blonde Electra
    2nd Elimination – Overload Generation
    To Be Eliminated – Steph

  • Ive hedged mine anyway. I need blonde electra/steph/stevi 1st eliminated

  • Gav

    I think one of 5 can win the show and the market is about right…

    Stereo Kicks

    If I was to have a bet now it would be the 20/1 on Lola. I always felt Jay and Paul were overrated and false favourites and their price is now starting to reflect this.

  • Lenny

    Have they actually told us how the double elimination is going to work? Think we’re assuming it’s the same as in previous years but that’s not guaranteed.

  • Jessica Hamby

    And they made such a mess of Jazzy’s hair too. It was bad enough that they cut Ruby’s but Jazzy’s new bob didn’t work half as well as the old one.

  • They should have run with Blonde Electra for the same reason they should have run with 2 Shoes in 2011. Really glad Steph survived over Clone Direction, though as soon as it went to Louis and deadlock I thought Steph was a gonner…

    • Phil

      I think they’ve made a big mistake in letting Blonde Electra go as well. I mean, the narrative was practically written for them. OTT performances, judges pretending to hate them, booing when they get through etc etc. They’ve just lost what should have been a big part of the live shows, and Stevi just won’t cut it in that role.

    • Lia

      The world is a sad place tonight…

  • Kenneth Chow

    Just like a predicted… Stephanie saved over Overload….

  • Jessica Hamby

    Exactly the result they wanted. Poor Steph. Two more weeks of torture and then another painful death.

    Only The Young, Jack and Jake are surely possible targets for next week.

  • qwerty1234

    yea I’m a bit gutted about BE leaving – they’d have been more interesting than stevi’s wagner impersonations.

    Looks as if we’re getting a more predictable series this year – no big surprises but I am amazed that it went pretty much to plan judging by their efforts last night. poor steph! although that should mean a sympathy bounce for next week, although sadly means that she won’t get much further than week three.

    • Jessica Hamby

      They took all the stuff I liked out of the act though. The sexiness, the attitude, the sense that they were women as well as girld. Tptb also made them a bit ugly with make up and styling, their faces looked thin and oval instead of sultry and pretty. I didn’t much care for last night’s performance. It was sirt of fun but to my mind their previous auditions weee much better and I wish they’d stayed more in that style. They should have kept the manic madness for interviews, not for stage.

  • I only punted a tenner, but that was one of the easiest £22.50 profits I have ever made, nice bottle of Red here I come. Plus…no longer can Jed-blonde Electraward offend my eyes and ears.

  • Well, that was the easiest profit I’ve made since Eurovision with both eliminations correctly called. When it came down to a Overboard v Steph singoff you just had to remember the absolute producer nuking they got last night. I’m not expecting many more weeks though where it will be that easy to call.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Also shiws how utterly unrepresentative the DS forum is. They didn’t have Steph or BE down there at all.

  • Nissl

    No surprises once we saw the B3. I too thought BE would be bottom, and obviously they would elect to get rid of the competing boyband. Lesson learned about the value of Twitter fanbases in terms of actual votes. At one point I noted that in the US shows free internet votes seemed to be, if anything, more malleable via judge comments than phone votes. Will be interesting to see whether that continues.

    Curious if Steph will bounce. They certainly tried to discourage it. I suspect Jake will probably be a second target next week. I don’t think that last 4 appearance was intended to motivate votes. Who else? OtY might be dampened if not full-on targeted yet. Losing 3 groups in 2 weeks seems excessive, but SK’s iTunes sales weren’t good and that might incline them to clear the category as fast as possible.

    Surely they’ll have to wade into the overs soon as well… but who? I’d say Fleur, but I guess I was one of the few who had a meh reaction to the performance, and iTunes sales were good. Her being called first suggests an additional nudge.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think Fleur is curreny alpha over. The “we need someone like you to represent Britain” line seemed very telling to me. There’s no point deramping Andrea unless they have someone to promote in his place. Right now Fleur and Lauren (and possibly Paul if he improves) are the only people who could fill that role. The viewers do have ears. Tptb can feed them a lot of flannel but not enough to promote Little Prix over Andrea. No way.

      • Qwerty1234

        There is a touch of the Misha B’s about her – I’d be interested to see if she a) struggles as misha did and b) if she did, whether they’d help her out like they did with misha.

        She irritates me to be honest. I don’t really like her sort of act anyway, but she doesn’t seem to have the passion/knowledge and natural ability that we’ve seen similar acts to her have in the past.

  • fused

    I was a bit sorry, but not surprised, to see Blonde Electra go, or even surprised that they finished dead last. As I said I think they were more like 2 Shoes than Jedward. I quite liked 2 Shoes as well, but just judging by the fact that they came bottom of the return vote, it looks like that sort act of act aren’t popular with X Factor voters for whatever reason.

    Overload Generation, bought back just to be thrown under the bus. They’re no great loss, and I think they should have gone just because of their boring sing-off performance. I liked that Stephanie sang Brandy’s ‘Have You Ever’, because I like that song and I haven’t heard it for a while. I thought she was one of the better ones on Saturday’s live show too, but it seems like the show just sees her as elimination fodder.

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