X Factor 2014 Week 1 Post-Mortem: Overload and out

A couple of years ago we attempted to reverse-engineer how many people vote in the X Factor and came up with a guesstimate of half a million for the early weeks, based partly on Dermot trumpeting over a million votes in that year’s semi-final. So with Dermot mentioning in Sunday’s show that over two million votes had been cast this week, it seems fair to assume that the advent of free app voting has had quite an effect.

The question is, is there any significant difference in people’s voting habits when they don’t have to pay? In our own first ever experience of voting, Andrew and I were surprised – as Cath noted in the comments – that the first thing we saw was a big invitation to vote for Andrea, requiring swiping to get to the other acts. In political elections there is a small but significant advantage to being listed first on the ballot paper and you would think the same might apply. It will be interesting to see if producers are happy for Andrea to retain this (presumably alphabetical) advantage as the series advances, or if they choose to switch it around a bit. It might be a small way to help an act they don’t want to lose but who’s struggling in the votes.

Not that they needed any such help tonight. In an impressive display of sharp shooting, the three acts obviously targeted in Saturday’s show were the three who ended up propping up the votes. Producers must have wished they could change the rules and have a triple elimination.

After Blonde Electra were first to leave, I had no strong opinions on which of Overload Generation or Steph would be saved. Both had been treated so badly yesterday, this wasn’t a singoff I was desperate to get involved in financially. In that sense it was a perfect week for Betfair to fail to get a market up. Hopefully whatever the problem was will be solved by the time we have a singoff featuring only one act who’s an obvious target.

In the end, producers presumably felt that the beta boyband had already served their purpose of making Stereo Kicks seem better by comparison, and/or that Stephanie would be easier to shift in the future. Will she get a sympathy bounce next week, and if so who do you see drifting down into the firing line? Do keep the conversation going below.

129 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 1 Post-Mortem: Overload and out

  • Tim B

    But who did you vote for, Daniel? 😀

    I voted for Stevi because I thought he might be in danger and for making me LMAO.

    Huge win on Blonde Electra here – my biggest ever on The X Factor. I hope everyone else had them green as well.

  • Heisenberg

    The moral of this week… a huge twitter following does not necessarily translate into votes.

    Steph (36K) vs. Overload (200K+).

    Congratulations to all winning sofabets!

  • BetFred managed, just, to get a market up for the singoff. Both results called correctly here. I’m surprised you didn’t play the singoff as it just looked too blatant to me; Overload got the bigger producer nuking last night of the two. Very healthy profits here tonight but I would be surprised if there’s many people on here down on the day.

  • qwerty1234

    I had every intention of voting but forgot. Nobody really stood out.

    I think next week will see some clearing of Stereo Kicks competition. Jack seems the obvious target, and with Overload gone now it seems like he’s the only other act who shares their demographic.

    I’d hope Steph gets a bounce – she hasn’t really had a chance yet, and on a personal level I quite like her. Realistically, if it’s a double again next week she may struggle but by week three she will be long gone.

    I would think they will try and keep the boys going a few more weeks to flood the vote and steer the Cardle/Arthur vote. They will probably be able to get away with that for a few more weeks yet – I think it will be Chloe Jasmine’s turn for a bottom two appearance next week. Also interested in what they do with Fleur – she seems to have flown this week but all her song choices have been recent hits. Not sure how her act will go down with an 80s theme.

    • Daniel

      I’d give Fleur ‘Ain’t Nobody’. It’s pretty unsurpassable in its genre and they felt it was good enough for Tamera in Week 1 last year.

      • Jessica Hamby

        In terms of the competition I’d like to hear Fleur move away from the MOBO stuff and show a bit of versatility, avoid being pigeonholed and make sure she apprals to as wide an audience as possible. I was thinking Flashdance (what a feeling) (where she can also show off any dance moves she’s got, a trick Andrea doesn’t have), Time After Time, (a classic ballad to get her teeth into, well known and liked but not cheesy) or Let’s Get Physical (she can sex it up, again something Andrea can’t do, surround herself with hunky men, maybe dance and give at least a subliminal reminder of her amazing body, another thing Andrea aint got).

        • qwerty1234

          I’d be surprised if Fleur doesn’t get “Ain’t Nobody”. I said elsewhere that she may come undone this week as all her other choices have been very modern choices and that may be all part of her build up as an act in the overs – give her modern music that will help the younger audience relate to her. If they are giving her a push, they need to be careful with her – the two things I’d do in the coming weeks (if the producers are giving her some sort of journey/story) are a) watch her song choices carefully. “Paper Planes” was a terrible choice and “All About That Bass” was risky – it was lucky timing that it was current #1 and still has a buzz. She needs a ballad too – we all know she can dance, we know she has abs but we haven’t really heard her voice properly. “Bang Bang” was a good vocal performance, but we haven’t had that “moment” that everyone always wangs on about at one point or another. I’d also suggest that b) she covers up a bit. All we have seen her in is a crop top and trousers so far – we all know that she has a nice body but I don’t think “flaunting” of it will endear her to many of the female voters, more likely make them jealous.

          Her story of “nobody knowing who she is” will not be as relevant this week, she’ll be doing an older song and unless she gets a mega ballad which proves that she can sing I’m predicting her and Chloe near the bottom.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I don’t think Fleur is the kind of woman other women are jealous of. She’s not threatening or particularly sexual. Her booty-shaking on Saturday was almost like line-dancing. Anyone could join in. It was more Betty Boop than Miley Cyrus (and her foam finger). Her tummy will be more an object of aspiration than envy. If nothing else she’s got a future flogging some kind health food when the it’s over.

            She comes across as sweet and quite likeable. Of course we don’t know her very well yet, but I don’t see anything off-putting about her so far.

            If you want a ballad, how about China In Your Hand by T’Pau? That’s a pretty big song and could provide the “moment” your looking for.

            I would suggest it’s too early for a big moment for Fleur though. I’ve not seen anything to suggest tptb want her out. On the contrary her treatment and comments since judges’ houses has been extremely positive. For now, to keep her in all they have to do is target others to get out, hopefully in a way that transfers support from them to her (nationality comments re BE and Fleur on Saturday perhaps?).

            Keep her in for a few weeks and let us get to know her and like her, then give her a big moment in earliest week 5, more like 6 or 7, after a few weeks of steadily deramping Andrea.

            Also, once we get to know her and like her, let her “express herself” with a hotter, sexier routine. By then she’s our friend so we’ll be all “you go girl” about it. If it worked, that could send her figures sky high.

          • qwerty1234

            You might be right. She’s an interesting case really – I’m not entirely sure about her personally, I’m not sold that she is all that good. She was the only one to perform “properly” in terms of stage presence etc. Saturday, but I don’t think she’s anything amazing. Her treatment so far has been pretty flexible – not much build up, a bit of flack at arenas/bootcamp but more favourable since then. She doesn’t really eat into any of the favourites demographic so I feel like the producers will let her paddle along until the public decide they’ve had enough, or she starts doing any danger and needs controlling.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I wasn’t hugely impressed by her Saturday performance either. I thought it was efficient and inoffensive but not spectacular, but then I’m don’t particularly like the song. I don’t dislike it either but it’s the sort of thing that just goes in one ear and out the other. How much of that was the song and how much her performance…. I don’t know.

            I loved Bang Bang though. She got the funk in that one.

  • Lenny

    Producers got exactly what they wanted. Possible the free app votes will come more from a younger more technically savvy but far more prone to influence demographic? If so that could result in a more predictable series.

    I managed to get both eliminations right but had also hedged on Steph to go, should have trusted my instincts but didn’t trust that they would want two eliminations in one category, even if it was Louis.

  • Happy with that result. I voted 5 times for jack as I thought he’d be a threat to the lower end of the votes. Clearly the free app voting gets more people voting that wouldn’t usually vote

  • Nissl

    I thought Overload were extremely likely to go in the singoff. Snag any fans of theirs you can in a week, but don’t risk getting any sort of real battle going with SK, who by the way barely scraped above Overload on iTunes sales.

    As for Steph, I’d actually agree with Simon that she started well but then lost me in her singoff. Common feature of her performances. I’d give her a 50/50 shot at bouncing at best. She looked pretty stricken on stage, and they’ll need to be politely lukewarm to get her next week I think.

    I will be surprised if Jake is not their second target next week. After that, I’m not sure. OtY seems a reasonable choice to clear the groups category, which bums me out, but perhaps they will be kept around another week or two for a bit of balance. The show obviously hasn’t been interested in keeping Jack around long, but his iTunes sales were 5th best, which gives me some pause. I can easily see Stevi or Chloe slipping in there and being saved as well.

    Out of the other solo males, Ben had the best sales compared to Paul and Jay, but not by a huge margin. Surely they will have to wade into the overs soon despite the uniformly positive treatment of all of them this week….

    In the girls, it’s worth keeping an eye on the fact that Lauren topped sales while Lola didn’t make the top 10.

    • The daggers may be in for Jack, Jay, and Jake soon.

    • Dean

      I find Lauren a better vocalist and probably could be more original, while Lola, especially yesterday was rather plain and forgettable. James Arthur won from 2nd spot in the order of the first show in 2012, but not sure Lola can do it this year. That said I do believe Lola was put 2nd along with Jay 4th purely to give Overload the big hitter sandwich of most likely more popular acts

      • KaraokeSauron

        I agree… If I could re-jig my 1-14 in light of last night I’d exchange Lola for Platt, and shunt Fleur up several positions in the pecking order.

        Lauren, I think, was the breakout star of Live Show 1. I’ve consistently praised her singing, and I thought her styling was spot on.

        RIP Banana Republic. x

  • Curtis

    Glad to see Blonde Electra go, in the sense that I know people here had a fair bit of money on that. Given how predictable those results were it makes me very tempted to reenter the betting market. With Simon back, maybe the show is back to its manipulative and therefore money-making best.

  • Fudd

    Song choices revealed on The Xtra Factor (these may change)
    Chloe Jasmine: Call Me (Blondie)
    Jake: Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler)
    Only the Young: Power of Love (Huey Lewis and the News)
    Stevi: Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer)

  • R

    Listening to Steve Brookstein’s commentary of last night’s show:

    “The Simon thing with Ben Haenow. He said all those lines to me…”


  • Good payout on BE …. could not find a sing off market – shame as i had stated here that I would be backing Overload to go against anyone 🙁 Sounds like Fred was offering 2/1 ?? Aargghh!! Phree monee!

    Steph to get a dead car bounce next week and be on her way in Week 3. We’ll see one of Stevi or Chloe in the singoff (and saved) possibly against Jake or Jack

  • EM

    Interesting that after a couple of years of saying what a mess the show made going for it’s targets it seems to be back on track this year.

    You wonder how much of that is driven by Cowell

  • Donald

    Good result, well called Daniel.

    The Simon back factor showed up loud and clear. Much more under control.

    Noticed when Dermot mentioned 2m votes also and said it was well up. Expect big promotion of the app during the coming weeks, Not saying too much on here re apps etc. except to say know the market and ITunes.

    Expect App to be featured in the App store etc. and then all the usual marketing tricks with it. That app is not an in-house app, it is done by a third party developer. There are many things they can do with it. They will be out to break new ground with this. Second screen marketing is the TV buzz word for it and some of it can be as controlled and influenced as the show…

    The running order within the App most likely be kept for a while and as numbers in show decrease less swiping but they may change to running order of the show. They will have the analytics of that app under serious scrutiny. Could prove a real valuable insight yet when they make that switch if they do.

    As regards next week, intrigue to see who goes in a double elimination. Even with more votes will be tight at the bottom, % wise the public will pan out across a bigger number.

    The phone numbers on the website today were in the show order from last night.

    A good start at least and lots to keep an eye on.

    Followers on Twitter etc. not fans as was well proven this weekend, unless they got naturally not by campaigns pre the show.

    Good question will Steph bounce past a bottom two next week, early answer, not a chance if they treat her similar to this week which they most likely will.

    Who else will be there? Be guess work at this stage really, but the initial front runners have emerged so back to on the night and there is allot of similar dead wood in there to be taken out.

    Cautious week maybe, be a shame to ruin a good start week two, sit and wait is good advise Daniel but no doubt by Friday some £’s will be invested, that why he here.

    Hope all had a good night, the live journey for 2014 has begun

  • Jessica Hamby

    At the risk of stating the obvious, I think it’s going to be extremely difficult to deny Andrea the win, even from this early point, and given the feelgood factor he brings to the show, would they want to? Admittedly it would be a great story if the boyband (or even Lauren or Fleur) could grow into performing at a similar level (or close enough to) and somehow be manipulated across the line to beat him, but I don’t see that happening yet.

    Of course there’s a long way to go and his treatment over the next few weeks will be interesting to see but right now, to me, he is in a similar position to Sam Bailey. He’s simply miles better than everyone else.

    • Miles better than everyone else needed A LOT of producer love for Sam Bailey

      • Jessica Hamby

        I’m not sure what this means? Do you mean Sam B got preferential treatment last year? I didn’t think she particularly did. They tried de-ramping her with that terrible dress and “cruise ship” staging during theme to Titanic, and then Louis’s “Screwbo” comment and it didn’t work. In fact I think that week was one of her best polls. They pushed and pushed on Tamera and Rough Copy and she was still polling better than anyone else (maybe Nick beat her one or two weeks, but now many) and in the end they had to go with her or it would have been ridicuous.

        That was my impression anyway.

        • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT. You think she didn’t? They stood up for her all the time (for barely above-average performances) and it was pretty clear that Tamera and Rough Copy were there to go far but not to win.

          • Jessica Hamby

            You can say barely above average (although I think she was better than that) but still miles ahead of everyone else. She got the treatment she did because it rapidly became clear that no-one else could touch her.

            In what other year could someone like Luke Friend reach the final? Seriously!!!!!! He was rubbish. If Paul Akister had been there it might have been a competition but as it was they had no choice but to end up supporting her.

          • No one else can touch her in what? Definitely not the votes! If they Screw-bo’d her to the end, Nicholas would have won.

          • Jessica Hamby

            That’s moot. The week they called herScrewbo was her best week, so the ev idence we have suggests it wouldn’t have worked. The problem thy had was that she was professional enough to nail the performance every week so they couldn’t criticise her for it. Will Andrea do the same? Are we even correct in thinking they want to detamp him? We’ll have to wait and see I suppose.

          • Silly. Her best week was the cruise ship. ScrewBo was her worst

          • Jessica Hamby

            I thought screwbo was the same week asTitanic. If not, my mistake. I’m not sure what the quibble is here anyway. My contention is that Sam B got in an unassialable position despite being at best plan C (and more likely e, f or g) and that it’s possible Andrea could do the same thing.

        • fused

          I don’t know if it was meant to be a deramp, but I actually somewhat liked the staging in Sam Bailey’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ performance. It was cheesy and a bit “on the nose”, sure, but it fitted with the song as it heavily referenced the film. There are a lot of people that call that song ‘Titanic’ after all. As for how she was dressed, to me it looked what Stars In Their Eyes might have given someone who was going on as Celine Dion. Now I guess its debatable whether this was intended to be positive or negative, but I don’t think it would have had that negative an effect, in fact I think it might have been beneficial. From the same week, I don’t think they intended for Hannah to end up in the bottom 2, I think again it was probably intended to reference the film the song was from, but as was said on here, fire effects seem to be offputting to viewers. That’s kind of a long way of me saying what TPTB intend might not always be how the audience respond.

          Anyway, I basically agree that Sam Bailey was by far better than anyone else that year and that wasn’t given particularly preferential treatment, until about halfway through when it became beyond any doubt that it was either her or Nicholas who would win, so they started a massive deramp of Nicholas.

          Back to this year, let’s say for the sake of argument Andrea is way ahead in the vote, I don’t think they’ll mind if he wins. They seem to like it for the new judge to win in their debut year, and it doesn’t matter too much if the more marketable pop stars don’t win, as long as they get far enough. I can potentially see them deramping Andrea though if he turns out similar to how Mary Byrne did. She peaked in the first week, which is far too soon, she wasn’t versatile and dear me, the bellowing.

    • You have a point here Jessica. Plus it’s gonna be really hard to get adults to vote for the boyband (which wasn’t the case with, say, Little Mix).

    • On this basis, if there’s a test deramp of him next week the way there was with Sam Bailey in week 2 last year, we’ll know his vote was really big.

      • Jessica Hamby

        The other similarity with last year is that he is the best of a group of similar vocalists. I think that makes him look even better because the comparison is so easy. Ben, JJ and Jake have all had criticisms of their vocal ability, so far Paul has been exempt….

        • qwerty1234

          I think an element of Paul being left out was because he went first. There was no comparison (within the show on Saturday) to be made as nobody else had performed.

          Interestingly, Andrea seems to be exempt from being compared to the other guys, and vice-verca. Ben seems to be the “benchmark” set this weekend. I can’t see any of them saying to Ben or Jake “you aren’t on the same level as Andrea” – if they did it would come over ridiculously. Will this work into Andrea’s favour? Who would be more harmed by this sort of criticism?

        • Jessica Hamby

          I didn’t just mean that Paul’s singing wasn’t criticised on Saturday, I meant throughout the competition. Jake and Jack have been told (more than once) that they’re not the best singers in the competition (babelfish translation: you’re a bit shit really), Jay’s got a nasal whine, Ben’s got bad habits. Mel has described them both as boring. The pump has been primed for letting them go. We won’t be surprised when it happens.

          Paul hasn’t had any of that. If his shyness turns out to be terminal then he’ll be dumped but so far he’s in the middle. He could go either way. If ever anyone needs a “moment” it’s Paul. At some point he either raises the roof or he becomes another X-Factor casualty. It could also mean, if he shows no sign of this elusive connection, that he’s a surprise dumping at good odds earlier than expected. (though obviously not for a few weeks yet).

          However, that lack of vocal criticism means that he’s the only male tptb see as a credible rival to Andrea (imo of course).

          • qwerty1234

            Good point. His vocal hasn’t been criticised yet, he’s had a bit of stick for his (lack of) personality, his arena audition was overshadowed by Mel and Cheryl’s laddance and this week he was shoved on first, red and blacked and then we had more judges bickering after his performance. His “story” seems to be more about Louis not bringing him through last year and shaming that, rather than bringing any attention to Paul himself. It’s a shame really, as you can’t fault his singing, he’s just not really that interesting and compared to Andrea he will never come off well.

          • Jessica Hamby

            That Louis nonsense isn’t doing him any favours at all. The narrative that he’s been hard done by is just tired. Aloso one wonders, if Louis made such a mistake, what the point was in him losing weight and dying his hair (in fact as far as the hair goes I wonder that anyway).

            I preferred him when he was a bit shyer and vulnerable last year. I think he seemed more accessible then. The dark, broody, mysterious stranger we have now is obviously a front and it doesn’t work. Much better when he was the intense but awkward guy who came alive when he sang. That’s not just X-Factor. That’s Hollywood.

  • Phil

    The lesson I learnt this week was not to doubt the wisdom of everyone here. I genuinely thought BE were safe, ignoring all of the signs that commentators here so expertly spot. I think it’s natural to think “it’s a new year, maybe it’ll be different” but nope, same old show!

  • Stu

    I honestly thought the app would’ve benefited Overload far more than Steph even if it was clear the producers/Simon wanted the band out first.

    Anyway, Steph’s security for next week depends on (a) if Cheryl gives her far better material. She’s even said she needs to work on getting Steph’s song choices correct and (b) if there’s another double elimination which increases her chances of being in danger.

    I honestly see one of Paul and Jake slipping into the danger zone sooner or later. Maybe not next week though.

  • Heisenberg

    ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ for Jake this week? Nothing will ever compare to this staging masterclass:


    • R

      Old laser eyes! That brings back memories. Although I couldn’t work out if Nicole & Tulisa’s emotionless expressions were part of the script or due to too much botox.

    • Dean

      Who man it is still scary now haha and the way the camera plays on it. That said though, he was actually a good singer even if very karaoke. We (as in the public) were so harsh at the time lol although we did get him to the final

      Don’t forget this was someone who got a resounding wildcard victory, until the great TPTB hatchet job came into fruition and he was a villain by the end. PPL like my ex who loved him during bootcamp/judges houses etc. hated him by week 10. What TPTB can do to these people.

    • KaraokeSauron

      The absolute nadir of X-Factor mind control right there!

      • Qwerty1234

        Oh that’s hilarious. You can almost imagine simon getting wind of Maloney’s existence the week before that performance and demanding something to be done about it – this performance being the end result. How could this happen?!?!

    • Jessica Hamby

      HOLY CRAP!!! Never seen that before. Didn’t watch much of that series. Unbelieveable. Pavarotti could have sung with that staging and no-one would listen to the song, just stare with mouth agape and cover the eyes of the children. It was like being in the presence of evil.


      • fused

        I didn’t watch that series of the X Factor either, so I’ve never seen that before, but that is hilarious! Gigantic, doughy grinning face with laser eyes staring out slowly dissolving like it’s in an enormous glass of Tizer.

        • qwerty1234

          I don’t actually get the people saying that he sounded good – is that the level of talent on display for that series?! I seem to have wiped out every memory of Maloney I have, and that series in general.

          I love their passive aggressive comments too! Genius tv.

  • Im starting to see fluer as a contender now. If she can nail a balad shes in with a chance. Shes on a journey

  • David Cook

    I agree that it will probably be another double elimination again this week, as it was in 2010 when they had 16 acts. The show on Saturday was way too long, and of course as the length of the show reduces so too does the overlap with SCD, so the quicker they reduce the numbers the better IMO.
    This will mean that they will want to be pretty confident as to who will be bottom, or at least who is not going to be bottom. It may be on a par with shooting Bambi, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they target Steph again. Her voice in the group song sounded way weaker than the other girls, and the sing off hardly elicited ringing endorsements from the judges. Can a sympathy vote and a B2 bounce save her? Other than that it would seem very careless if not a touch embarrassing to lose another group, although it didn’t bother them last year when Sharon was down to one act after just the first week. However as I doubt OTY are eating into the boy band vote too much they shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to dispose of them. Jack Walton on the other hand might be a target. It might be difficult to get rid of him in one hit this week, unless perhaps he’s third bottom and they get him in the sing off. Similarly although I felt Jake was pretty poor (singing) but he’s probably too pretty (appearance) to get out this week.
    Apparently Stevi is doing Addicted to Love – so we know what to expect – the Robert Palmer staging presumably. I think they need to be careful to make it seem more fun rather than sleazy though or he might be in trouble too.
    The other act that looked in danger of an early exit pre shows was Fleur, but she preformed really well again this week. She really doesn’t look like an act that the XF voters would traditionally support, so it remains to be seen if changes to the voting help in any way. However I think that they’ll try to get her through a number of weeks as she’s one of the few that look like a real world act.
    On the whole I think I’m looking at Steph, Jack and Jake as likely targets, possibly Chloe too although that might might be as part of a ‘controversial’ sing off.
    One way or another I feel Steph will go this week, it’s more a question of will she actually be bottom.

    • Jessica Hamby

      OTY are definitely on the down ramp. After Saturday’s attack for not being cool enough (from Mel B ffs, as if the Spice Girld were ever cool – weren’t they a band for 13 year old girls?) they’re doing The Power Of Love by Huey Lewis & The News, a dad song by a dad band. I actually really liked their performance and imo they’re the slickest of the bands by a long way but I don’t think tptb have plans for them.

  • David Cook

    Lets face it, it wouldn’t take much to be slicker than the two boy bands. Simon’s comment about the gormless one in the middle could equally have been applied to Stereo Kicks as much as Overload. When he sang the solo part it was nearly as weak as Steph. As for the act, 8 boys strung across the stage hardly amounts to a slick dance routine – so yes I think we can safely agree that OTY were slicker. If it wasn’t for TPTB being so serious about them it would almost be funny – (except I’ve bet on them making top 3).
    As for OTY they do look like they’re being pushed to the margins of the competion, safe enough to keep in but not a danger to thier plan A act. And yes Power of Love by Heuy Lewis – absolutely awful (Frankie Goes to Hollywood on the other hand – but still not for OTY).

    • Jessica Hamby

      I thought they’d be top 3 as well.

      They’re a bit of a charisma-free zone at the moment though. The main singer / spokesperson is a bit of a wet blanket and doesn’t seem that enthusiastic about it. Tbh I don’t believe him at all when he sats what great mates they’ve all become. All the backslapping and arms round each other on stage schtick is a bit tired imo and is not a substitute for musical ability.

      I hear that 1 Dimension now dislike each other so much they often travel on different planes and stay in different hotels. I wouldn’t be surprised if they need 8 taxis to get this lot from the house to the arena by the end of the show.

      And someone tell the lead guy- no amount of hair gel is a substitute for a personality.

  • tpfkar

    My main thoughts over the weekend:

    1) OTY are the only half-decent group. It’s going to be a hell of a struggle getting the Stereo Kicks to the final, let alone to win the thing. They don’t seem to have any identity as a group at all, and what was with having half of them only coming on after a minute?
    2) On Stereo Kicks, crazy thought: what if they split into 2 halfway through? I wouldn’t put it past producers to come up with a spurious reason to create a new battle of the boybands, with 2 fourpieces. They did say they didn’t want 8 in the name. The favoured side would keep the name.
    3) Fair play to Lauren; I thought she’d be overawed but she’s clearly a contender.
    4) Andrea at roughly 2-1? Not sure I see it – that’s just too short in a 14 runner field with the unpredictability of the X Factor.

    • qwerty1234

      I have noticed in a few incidents that the producers even seem to be highlighting certain members. Jake, Tom, James and Casey most prominently (I feel a little ashamed for knowing their names) – if I remember correctly they were the ones who were on stage first, they seem to be the ones that do most of the talking, featured most heavily in VT packages and always sit either at the front or in the centre in any formation (during photos, interviews etc). Also handy that it seems to be the best singer and the three best looking members. May just be a coincidence but I wouldn’t be surprised with your suggestion, particularly if the 8 piece doesn’t work.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Japanese / Korean large groups like this (and there are quite a few boy and girl bands of this size) do split up into sub-groups and release records as sub-groups as well as the origianl group.

        • Jessica Hamby


          I’m feeling smug because the only one I can even recognise is the lead singer, and that’s because for some reason his head reminds me of a fir cone.

      • Jessica Hamby

        And you SHOULD feel ashamed. You should feel DIRTY.

        • qwerty1234

          In my defense, I couldn’t name the others. Apart from Barclay (and thats due to his yodelling antics last year). The fact that they are the most attractive has almost nothing to do with it.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Ooops. Replied to wrong post.

            I’m feeling smug because the only one I can even recognise is the lead singer, and that’s because for some reason his head reminds me of a fir cone.

          • R

            This makes me feel good that I only know one and only by the name “quiff boy”.

  • David Cook

    I think that they missed the opportunity to cut them down at judges houses stage. If they do it now it just looks like a desperate admission that it isn’t working and making it look even more contrived. Somebody else commented (sorry can’t remember who it was) that the staging seemed more like a super group. I can’t see what they had apparently been working so hard on all last week – it certainly wasn’t the singing or the choreography – maybe it was just getting the hair gel right.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this or not. Here’s the source of Lauren’s cover of Happy. Not her own idea at all. A bit brazen and shameless to give her credit for it, especially to Pharrell on yesterday’s show.


  • Henry VIII

    Any changed opinions about Lola? One of the best voices but I can’t see her coming anywhere near winning now due to her nerves. The arena and bootcamp big audience experiences haven’t helped overcome her nerves because her face was riddled with nerves on Saturday, and an audience can never really enjoy such a performance. I have her for a “surprise” early B2.

    She’s in partial denial because she calls it “emotion”. She should have spent a year in pubs and clubs to try to overcome nerves before auditioning for XF.

    • Boki

      I wrote she might do Ella but after the show I’m thinking she might not live that long indeed if they continue to give her songs like this one. Nerves of not, I was bored to death, it might change but if it continues like this it will hardly be a surprise b2, pity for such a voice.
      What I don’t get is such a sudden market love for Fleur – she is great and talented but as stated many times “confident black women do not, alas, have the best of records on this show”. Don’t see the reasoning why Fleur could change it where Hannah, MB and others failed, especially when she’s not in her first youth anymore.

      • Henry VIII

        I suppose she’s still young and trendy enough for the young whom people are assuming will vote for her more than Hannah etc with the free app votes.

      • Jessica Hamby

        It’s not just about age, it’s about attitude. Fleur’s clothes, the music she chooses, her general churpiness are a huge contrast with Lola who dresses frumpy, does MOR tunes and constantly whines about being a fishmonger even though we all know she’s from a perfirming arts school (no, I don’t like her much – don’t even rate her voice).

        If you’re a teenage Fleur’s someone you might want to grow up to be. Lola maybe not so much. She’s certainly got something different from Hannah and those other girls you mentioned. Plus I think it’s good she’s not showing it all at once. It means (hopefully) she can continue to surprise and impress.

  • Nissl

    I see people are speculating on next week being a double. I’ve assumed it will be in my comments, but they will go for a single if an act they want in (SK, CJ, maybe Stevi) was close to bottom this weekend. Worth watching.

    Twitter suggests the SK sales job is coming along moderately well, not that I’m putting much stock in that after Overload came in 15th.

  • shraine


  • Odds are out for next elimination

    Steph Nala 3.25
    Stevie Ritchie 3.5
    Chloe Jasmine 7
    Jake Quickenden 8
    Only The Young 9
    Jack Walton 17
    Lola Saunders 17
    Jay James 21
    Fleur East 26
    Paul Akister 41
    Stereo Kicks 41
    Ben Haenow 67
    Lauren Platt 81
    Andrea Faustini 151

    • Steph obv favourite — think Stevi and Chloe will hang around for annoyance favctor for a few weeks. Jake could be nicely priced (but I backed him at 80/1 last Sunday so think he will go out yet – he almost certainly didn;t finish 4th bottom) … Maybe Jack is the best value though

      • stet that – Jay James looks like he may be value. One thing we learned from Sunday … Wildcards have a potential advantage in sing-off as they have two judges rooting for them – this may save Stevi over Jake for example

    • Nissl

      First reaction, isn’t Stevi kinda short? Surely they will call a single for next week if the first week votes suggest they are in danger of losing him.

    • Updated Odds – as another bookie has released prices

      Steph Nala 3.25
      Stevie Ritchie 3.5
      Chloe Jasmine 8 <- change
      Jake Quickenden 9 <- change
      Only The Young 11 <-change
      Jack Walton 17
      Lola Saunders 21 <-change
      Jay James 21
      Fleur East 29 <-change
      Paul Akister 51 <-change
      Stereo Kicks 51 <-change
      Ben Haenow 67
      Lauren Platt 101 <- change
      Andrea Faustini 151

  • Lola too long, Jack Walton too short.

  • EM

    Moving it on the acts must now be falling into four categories for producers

    Ones who they’d want to stay for talent/commerical reasons

    Ones they’d want to stay for entertainment/ratings/press reasons

    Ones they’d happily lose

    Ones they actively want rid of

    How do we see them all fit? For me

    Keep talent: Andrea, Fleur, Stereo Kicks, Lauren, Ben

    Keep ratings: Lola, Stevi, Chloe

    Not bothered: Jake, Jack, Paul, Only the Young, Jay

    Rid: Steph

    • Jessica Hambyh

      Interesting idea. At the risk of being obtuse I’d like to move it on a bit. I’ve divided the list below into 3 categories – those I think the producers are interested, those for whom their intentions are not clear and those I feel sure they are not interested in. The lists are intended to be dynamic and acts can move between them from week to week (e.g. I think they are interested in Stevi for now but at some point they will not be interested in him and he will move list).

      Below are the lists as I currently interpret them. Obviously teh acts I have down as producers not interested are those I consider to be most at risk but intentions not clear can also fall into b2/b3, as seen with Hannah’s surprise b2 appearance last year.

      Producers interested:
      Stereo Kicks

      Intentions unclear:

      Not interested:
      Only the Young
      Steph Nala

      I realise my pick for Ben for the intentions unclear list may be controversial. Personally I don’t think his voice is good enough – he has this habit of swooping down at the end of long notes that makes for quite uncomfortable listening when you become aware of it, as well as a few other things that just don’t quite work. With a pro teacher and some hard work he could eliminate a lot of those things but whether tptb will invest the time and effort of not is another question. Really does depend on their plans.

      As for JJ, imo the seeds of his downfall were sown at JH even though last week was a triumphant change of direction, and Mel B referring to his ballad singing as boring is, I suspect, a theme she’ll return to again when they deem it time to unload him.

      I’m torn with Lola. I don’t think she has a long term future and that skirt was quite startlingly hideous. It did her legs no favours at the front and the back, with that immense train, looked almost like a red wedding dress. No-one with eyes could have looked at it and thought it looked good so unless they’re going to turn an ugly duckling into a swan that was a deramp. However Simon’s comments sort of dealt with that so for now she stays on the interest list plus I don’t think she’s in danger this week (depending on the actual performance, of course).

      • qwerty1234

        I’d agree with most of that. Lola must have some sort of plan at the minute – the fuss about her at judges houses, offsetting her against Steph, plus all of the effort they’ve put into her backstory. She was surprisingly under the radar this week, whether that was intentional or not, I’m sure that after this weeks show we’ll see whether she is being actively pushed or just being left to paddle along.

        I’d also contest Paul inclusion on the “interested in” list. I think their intentions for him are pretty unclear at the minute – I’d lump him in with Jake, JJ and Ben in that they’re all there to do the same job and they’ll want to keep at least two of them going to as close to the final as possible to keep the vote split, and thus not troubling their Plan A. Until they have an idea of who to push and who to let sink I think their intentions will be to be neither favourable nor harmful. They all had a pretty mediocre Saturday – Jake was the only one who came off worse because of the direct comparisons with Ben and “grit-gate”.

        • Jessica Hamby

          I’m not sure about Lola either. I don’t think she’s as good as Lauren though. I wonder if she won’t end up getting dressed like a grown up and then the attention being given to her clothes instead of her performance, a bit like Abby and the fuss Sharon made of her shoes last year.

          Paul is an interesting one too. This week’s song may be a good guide. Last week was ambiguous in that it was nice to see him being given something modern but either it was too big for his voice or the backing track was too loud or something. Whatever you couldn’t hear him very well. If they give him Luther Vandross, Earth Wind and Fire, MJ, Prince or something you’ll know they’re still interested. If they give him Billy Ocean or something else a bit naff or inappropriate and then put him in the Strictly cross over period, well….

          I think he should be safe for this week, but I guess even the best laid plans and all that…..

          • qwerty1234

            The most interesting thing I thought about Simon’s critique was that he said “don’t dress up for the stage” – I found that a bit odd. But then I had a second thought – we had Fleur in her usual bra top and trousers, Ben in a very relaxed open shirt and Jay in all black jeans/jacket. Nobody else was really “glammed up” to the extent that Lola was – will this be a theme? Or will we see Lola in a pair of manky jeans and a tshirt like Steph was this week, or even worse her god awful grandmother skirts and trainers from her auditions?! I’m not sure where they’re trying to take her at the minute, or if they even know themselves. It’s like she has no identity, just lots of attention.

      • David Cook

        Sorry for being pedantic but I take it that they’re doubly not interested in Jack and have so little interest in Jake that he doesn’t even appear in the list.

      • EM

        Jessica, not obtuse at all. I think we both mean the same things through slightly different criteria.

        I do think though that you are in danger of looking on it as a singing competition!

    • Face

      EM & Jessica I like your thinking…

      I think EM’s approach of having multiple groupings that TPTB view positively makes most sense… as does having a ‘actively trying to get rid of’ grouping…

      in fact I would go as far as to have 5 groupings… I very much agree that acts can move between groupings…

      Group A – who TPTB are positively promoting due to talent / marketability… these are the acts they want to get to the finals/win…

      Group B – TPTB positively promoting due to ratings… i.e. the act currently fulfils a much needed role… joke, villain or just fulfilling a specific story arc / much wanted demographic… these are acts that we 100% know TPTB will tire of and relegate to a ‘lower’ group…

      Group C – TPTB intentions are unclear… are they a specific role/story arc… i.e. Group B… or are they a back-up plan if a Group A act gets an early boot… after a few weeks these acts should either move up or down the groupings as it becomes clear what TPTB intentions are…

      Group D – TPTB not interested in… cannon fodder acts… in theory after a few weeks in these should all be gone…

      Group E – TPTB actively trying to get rid of… usually once they have fulfilled their purpose… or to ensure another act stays in…

      At this stage… I would say it looks more like…

      Group A – TPTB positive due to talent/marketability… Andrea, Lauren, Stereo Kicks

      Group B – TPTB positive due to role/ratings… Chloe, Stevi

      Group C – TPTB intentions unclear… Paul, Ben, Fleur, Lola, Jay, Jack, OTY

      Group D – Jake

      Group E – Steph

      I know I have quite a few in Group C… I’d say some are probably Group B (i.e. specific role/demo/story arc)… some are just back-ups to Group A acts…

      As we have so much overlap in the guys… all vying to be this years Matt Cardle… to me it’s still not clear if it is Ben, Jay, Paul or maybe even dark horse Jack they want to round out the top 4 acts… as they have all had some good/mixed/poor feedback… but in the next couple of weeks it will be much clearer…

      I also think some are category back ups if the current Alpha slips up early on (i.e. Fleur or Lola for Lauren… OTY for Stereo Kicks…)

  • David Cook

    I wonder if this version of ‘Call Me’ by Maryvette Lair is what they have in mind for Chloe – it would certainly seem to fit her style.


    The other advantage of course is that the female dancers are already styled for Stevi’s song too!

    • qwerty1234

      I’d be very worried of them changing the style of another song from it’s original arrangement. I think this is one of the few songs that the original version would actually suit Chloe’s voice, and so they should stick as closely to it as possible. The song itself did wonders for Diana Vickers and showing how “versatile” she could be back in the day – it could do the same for Chloe.

      Interestingly, Diana was the marmite act of her year, also in Cheryl’s category.

  • David Cook

    I think you’ll find that Jacks the one who’s an average singer who picks up votes based on his looks wheras Jake is the one who’s an average singer who picks up votes based on his looks.

  • End of day update on odds …

    Steph Nala – 3.5 – lengthening
    Stevie Ritchie – 4.33 – lengthening
    Chloe Jasmine – 9 – lengthening
    Jake Quickenden – 8 – shortening
    Only The Young – 13 – lengthening
    Jack Walton – 17 – static
    Jay James – 17 – shortening
    Lola Saunders – 21 – lengthening
    Fleur East – 29 – lengthening
    Paul Akister – 41 – static
    Stereo Kicks – 67 – lengthening
    Ben Haenow – 81 – lengthening
    Lauren Platt – 101 – lengthening
    Andrea Faustini – 151 – static

  • Backed fluer today for the win. Straight on the nose. The underdog who grows week by week and takes the crown. Was going to back lola a week ago but changed my mind after watching the 1st live show

  • Heisenberg

    Mystic Meg just sent me this – Saturday, 13th December?


  • David

    Pre live shows I backed Ben and Lauren for the win. I’ve just decided to back Fleur too after watching her youtube channel performances, she’s very talented and at this stage largely overlooked, so I think she will definitely surprise people as the weeks go on. I’m pretty happy with these three bets, think I’ll just sit back and enjoy it now.

  • shraine

    I cant see Andrea winning this at all, If he is getting to far ahead, they will throw him under the bus sooner rather than later, but then again it might cause his fans to vote even more.

  • Heisenberg

    Lt. Jay James Dunbar thinks he’s being clever with subtle hints on Twitter.

    Technically this song was released in 1989, only becoming a hit one year later from the soundtrack of David Lynch’s brilliant film ‘Wild At Heart’ – so it does qualify for 80’s night, just.


    • Chatterbox5200

      Isn’t that the same song that was performed by two or more girls in the Boot Camp/Judge’s Houses stages?

      I’m not 100% certain how the need to obtain approval to use a particular song, and the royalties/fees that required to be paid, influence the song choices but it could definitely explain why we tend to hear the same songs year after year. I’m sure that explains why we always hear background music from Syco acts.

      Now I think about it, I do remember seeing acts selecting tracks from a list and being given a CD from one of several piles, during the Boot Camp coverage. That would explain why we heard several acts sing 9 to 5 at Boot camp (or is it really THAT popular?). It could also be a reason why some audition performances, that were widely reported as being impressive, were not shown on TV.

      • qwerty1234

        That song has been remixed and is being released again in a few weeks. Not too sure what label it’s through, but it could be that whatever company owns the record have flogged SyCo some sort of deal to push it before it comes out again. Seems wierd that we may hear that (relatively obscure) song this many times by this stage in the competition already.

        My friend auditioned for the X Factor in 2010 and 2011. She said that for her first audition she was free to pick her own songs (I know at one stage she did a slow version of “Sexy Bitch” by David Guetta that Paloma Faith had fashioned), although she mentioned that producers did push certain acts to perform certain songs. (Cher Lloyd was at her audition, as well as Liam from 1D and they were pretty much the only two acts that the production team were interested in). At bootcamp she was given an A4 sheet of paper with songs on and she had to choose from that. She was only ever shown on ITV2.

        • uncalquera

          Don’t think it is THAT obscure… its Wikipedia entry shows it’s been covered and used in popular culture once and again (not mentioning the fact that it is a “Baby did a bad, bad, thing” away from being the epitome of One hit wonder)

          • qwerty1234

            yea it has it’s place in time – it just seems an odd choice given the sort of songs they usually pump through each year. maybe they are genuinely trying to freshen things up?!

  • Tim B

    Fleur East is not going to win. She may be impressive at her urban contemporary style, but this is nowhere near mainstream enough for her to be a contender. In order to have a chance, they’d likely have to turn her into a Leona Lewis/Alexandra Burke-type big ballad singer, which is obviously not what Fleur is about (Not to mention kill off all her rivals…) She received many likes on facebook but almost as many people saying they didn’t think she should have been doing that song. I don’t think that slut-dropping and aggressive rapping will have seen her anywhere near the top of the week 1 vote. I also think plenty of women will have been threatened by her abs, and will have seen her as a potential husband/boyfriend-stealing type. Some people are also predicting her for the final 3? I just don’t see it – who out of Lauren, Stereo Kicks and Andrea, for example, would miss out? I can understand an argument of how she could end up being Top Over (and therefore likely signed by SYCO records), but I don’t think it would be without a couple of sing off saves, Misha B-style. It would also be somewhat embarrassing for the show, in my opinion, if the winner was someone who wasn’t even shown in the audition process until she performed with her legs wide open at boot camp.

    [Apologies for the lack of paragraphs, typed this on my phone].

  • i agree with Tim B and I have had a small wager on Fleur to be Top Over @ 4.5, given that I am still not sure what plans TPTB have for Ben (increasingly I don’t think those plans include him winning)

  • Natasha

    Is it a double elimination this weekend?

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