X Factor 2014: Curtains for Lola? And other questions

We’ve decided not to do the in-depth staging reviews of each performance like last year, principally because by the end of the last series we felt like we were flogging the same familiar themes and occasionally in danger of disappearing down the rabbit hole.

Instead we’re planning a more general midweek post that picks up on thoughts raised in the comments section – it’s what makes Sofabet, but we realise not all readers will have time to fully engage with all the comments – in an attempt to summarise some of what you’ve been saying, and add our own ideas. We’ll include selected staging thoughts in this.

Here’s a selection of this week’s hot topics.

1. Lauren at 6/1 or Lola at 20/1?

Dean reckons “Lauren for me is obviously alpha girl”. Donald concurs: “Lauren is the real deal pop star”. Nissl says: “I wonder how invested they are in Lola at this point.” HenryVIII on Lola: “I can’t see her coming anywhere near winning now due to her nerves”. But Marc wonders, about Lauren, “what is her arc? Where does she go week to week?”. On Lola, he says “I saw it very much as the start of a growth story for her.” Stoney compares the odds and concludes “I know which one I’d rather take!”

Here’s the thing – that ludicrous dress Lola was wearing surely didn’t result from a last-minute backstage “ah, haven’t thought about what to dress Lola in. I know, how about this?”, or a “hey, I think Lola would look great in a curtain”.


You would think that a costuming choice this outlandish was purely intended to set up this comment from Simon: “It’s really important that you dress and do what you want to do, to be the singer you want to be”. In other words, it played into the narrative arc they’ve been constructing around Lola through the auditions. Recall in the arenas, we had a suspicion they’d deliberately underdressed her so that her eventual makeover would be more striking:

Lola_arenaIf that’s the case, then the week 1 trip to the haberdasher’s looks intended as part of the plan to ultimately be able to say “Lola, what a journey you’ve been on, you’ve come so far from the fishmongers, you’ve conquered your nerves, you look amazing, you’ve found who you are as an artist” [cut to telegenic grandad, eyes glistening].

Whether she actually can conquer her nerves is another matter, but to our eyes and ears there was precious little to suggest producer negativity in her treatment on Saturday. You might wonder if sending her out second in the running order is a negative sign, but although that’s usually an unfavourable slot, historically in the first live show it has tended to be where they send out a big-hitter. In the last few series, the second berth in show 1 has been occupied by the likes of Nicholas MacDonald, James Arthur and Matt Cardle.

As we say, there’s no denying that Lauren’s cause was advanced hugely in the first live show, or that she deserves to have leapfrogged Lola in the market. But should Lola really be more than three times the price? The curtain doesn’t necessarily spell curtains.

2. Keeping a lid on Paul?

Dean says about Paul: “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.” Missjensa: “I did not think Paul A treatment was favourable at all.” Lenny: “it’s not screaming favourite.”

Indeed not. In contrast to the historical strength of berth 2 in the first live show, the very first act hasn’t fared so well of late: FYD (eliminated), Amelia Lily (eliminated in the twist), District 3 (targeted but survived), and last year Hannah (in retrospect, not a huge producer favourite). Regular readers will be au fait with Richard Betsfactor’s theory that red and black is in some contexts a negative colour connotation, and with our suspicion that large plinths distance an act from the viewing public, so there are clear danger signs here for Paul:

Paul_red-and-blackOn the other hand, there is a single spotlight shining straight at Paul, which is generally seen as a positive sign, focusing viewers’ attention on him. And the red fairly quickly becomes, if not gold, then at least a kind of lava-lamp orange. So the staging messages are mixed.

As with Lola, there has to be a suspicion that Paul’s current odds – he’s drifted out to 16/1, having been close to favouritism throughout the audition process – could conceivably look big in a week or two. There are two reasons for saying so. First, he has it in him vocally to deliver a moment, if granted the right material. Second, he has a journey mapped out for him, if producers choose to allow him to go on it – the idea that he needs to get better at connecting with people, stressed at judges’ houses and reinforced in his week 1 VT.

Those are a couple of big ifs, however, given the suspicion that Paul is not the most commercially attractive of propositions and therefore that producers might wish to limit his opportunity to gain traction with the viewing public. On the other hand, they might decide they need to turn up the heat under Paul if they want to distract attention from…

3. Andrea – uncatchable, or peaking too soon?

Jessica thinks our huggable pug-lover “may become uncatchable if he isn’t already.” Face is more cautious: “it’s only week 1… which is why I think he had the pimp slot so early… so they don’t need to give it to him again… and they can slowly erode whatever lead he may have”. Stoney: “I still get the feeling they are setting him up for a fall… felt like his final performance of the show rather than his first live show performance.”

What can’t be in doubt is that producers were happy for Andrea to smash the first week phone vote, which we can assume he did. Not only did they give him the pimp slot, they gave him angelic lighting:


And the audience got lamps to wave. But why did they feel the need to drop bombs on a rainy central London in the backdrop? (Start at 01.59)

Either a runaway pillar-to-post win or a slowly-deflating balloon look entirely possible trajectories for Andrea at this point. His treatment over the next couple of weeks will be fascinating to observe.

4. Is eight a crowd?

Eurovicious on Stereo Kicks: “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.”

Says tpfkar: “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?”

Hmm. When selecting Stereo Kicks for the win in our pre-lives 1-16 prediction, we said we were trusting producers to have figured out why One Direction underwhelmed repeatedly throughout the lives. On week 1’s evidence, the signs are unfortunately not promising. It was all set up for them – a great Katy Perry song choice to contrast with Overload Generation’s crappy Katy Perry song choice, fireworks, their new name up in lights:


But it didn’t quite come together, did it? Unsurprisingly, they’ve drifted out to 9/1 in the outright market as a result.

Mel’s mardy remark about blowing the pyro budget was surely off-script. But what about Cheryl’s comment that it seemed overwhelming with eight of them on stage? At judges’ houses, Simon had similarly wondered if eight was too many prior to putting them through, but we’d just put that down to the need to raise some kind of doubt about each of the acts in order to keep viewers in suspense. They also specifically requested no names with 8 in the title…

But we’ve never been able to believe that producers would seriously contemplate a cull, not once the lives had begun. It would look as daft as The Risk’s revolving door – and once you’ve invited fans to choose and emotionally invest in their favourite, wouldn’t irritating fans of the ones you drop outweigh any benefit?

Perhaps the sowing of seeds of doubt about eight, and the odd opening with only four of them on stage, backs up Eurovicious’s musing about the Japanese/Korean style model? It’s not yet clear to us how producers envisage this eight-piece evolving – let’s hope it’s clearer to them.

5. How far can Fleur fly?

There is growing appreciation of Fleur as a potential outsider-to-contender. Stoney has backed her for the win, suggesting: “The underdog who grows week by week and takes the crown.” Tim reminded us that being overtly sexual or aggressive is not a traditional vote-grabber for a confident black woman.

With that in mind, her production for ‘All About That Bass’ last Saturday was a fascinating tightrope exercise in making her look sexy yet unthreatening. They clearly wanted to show off her impressive abs and dance moves, but there was an attempt to make it playful rather than in-your-face. Tim mentioned the slut-drops, but these and her other moves were tamer than they otherwise could’ve been. The song also had a sweet, melodic chorus and a positive, anti-skinny message.


One only has to compare it with her more aggressive rendition of ‘Paper Planes’ at bootcamp, which started with her sat down, legs spread wide, had her donning sunglasses, and ended with her singing “All I wanna do is take your money”.



Did they get the balance right last Saturday and will it be enough to start Fleur on a journey to the latter stages? Do let us know your thoughts on these questions below.

143 comments to X Factor 2014: Curtains for Lola? And other questions

  • Agree with a lot about Lola … she is quite clearly “on a journey” and that journey has a while to run yet. With Steph and Chloe in the no-hoper zone, her odds are very large if Lauren stutters or if TPTB don’t see a star in Lauren.

    Having backed them pre-competition, I have huge current concerns about Stereo Kicks, but equally hate the way that they are de-ramping OTY (who have some great edgy stuff on YouTube showing that they could be a commercial success, but insteasd are being cheesed out of it). Can/Will TPTB do a volte face and start supporting OTY? I guess the Week 1 vote rsult will play a huge part in that deicison. if Stereo Kicks were not in top five then they will know by now that they are in trouble

    Andrea is the big loser in my outright book. No way of reversing that position now with the odds available. If TPTB have already decided “he’s the one” then he WILL win. I’ll just have to get the money back through elimination bettting.

    I have backed Fleur to be top over as she is good enough for final five – she may then start to run out of voter support because of her niche (a couple of sing-offs before then as well i think). She may eclipse Ben and at the odds on offer it’s a no-brainer wager. (and help hedge my loss on Andrea as they won’t progress Ben if he is a threat and TPTB want Andrea to win).

    Paul Akister sends me to sleep – cant see him going past half-way, but at the same time, cant see an early exit for him either. Jake or Jay for me this week. Although the boat may have already sailed on Jake’s odds for elimination so instead have backed OTY to finish ahead of him in a heads-up. OTY are no threat to Stereo Kicks and they wont dip Louis to one act yet (surely!!)

  • Joe

    Great article as always. I think most people called the bottom 3 right, I wasn’t entirely confident who would end up rock bottom so stayed out of betting for this week. Well done to Daniel though I should have had more trust in your tip.

    My feelings are that having invested so much time in Lola her story will continue to grow. The dress although may not have been the most flattering created deliberate attention on her. It became a reminder and put her front of mind after the show. Lauren has a great voice, but we aren’t emotionally involved in her as there is no story, so sadly she becomes bland. Lola top girl is where I would put my money.

    I’m a big fan of Andrea he is superb, but I don’t see him as the winner. Others have won the show having been favourite from the start but let’s not forget Christopher Maloney, he topped the vote for how many weeks in a row? Was it 6? 7? TPTB still got him with in the end, the devil eyes are still my favourite of all the manipulation I have ever seen on the show! He may well have already peaked with that closing slot on Saturday and I ferl that they will deramp him from here on in.

    Stereo Kicks are tough one to call. They have never had a boyband actually win, I said at the start that I felt this could be the year. Up to the live shows I felt they were the chosen ones and still feel they will make the final for sure. But to get them to win they need to tell the public who they are, to get people to buy into this huge group. With Overload gone their other main threat in Jack sure to follow soon they are clearing the way for them to rise up.

    • Face

      agree that the dress on Lola was a ploy to keep her in the public minds… and also that she is being set up on a journey… the nervous and shy duckling into swan thing… what I don’t think is clear at this stage is whether he journey is planned to end in a few weeks or take her to the finale… I guess how well Lauren (and even Fleur) continues to do may decide that for them…

      I also agree that Andrea is not TCO… but rather a talented, novel, feel good act they want to do well… I think they have given him the pimp slot early on… and will just get him doing the same old schtick each week… after 4 or 5 weeks if the viewing/voting audience hasn’t started to tire of it… then I expect the appropriate judges comments / staging comments to derail him to start…

    • Face

      meant to add… I still think they are undecided on Jack… I think if Stereo Kicks are not doing well after a couple of weeks… I se the Jack love starting in a push to have a teen heart throb get to the finale… but not to win… think it’s an important viewing demo for them to perpetuate ongoing success of the show and to create online buzz etc…

  • To add my 2 dinars, Paul’s staging and opening position didn’t strike me as particularly negative. I noted the plinth (broad and low, so more like a stage in comparison to the narrow and high plinth-plinths we’ve seen before). My overall impression of his segment (VT + performance/staging + comments) was neutral to positive.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Paul’s performances are overshadowed and pudhed down the memory hole by the bickering about what happened to him last year. I don’t know why they do that but it’s every time we see him and it’s not helpful.

  • Martin

    Excellent article – I have to say I’ve loved the staging reviews and I’m sad to see them go but this format is excellent. I love the speculation of this stage in the competition.

    With regards to Lauren and Lola I think we are looking for a Rebecca Ferguson/Stacey Solomon out of them. I don’t think Lola has the “identity” that a female needs to do well in this competition. Her voice is nice, but not particularly special. There’s nothing to invest in. I think Lauren seems like the Diana Vickers of the show, but has a better, more consistent voice and so I think after a few weeks of keeping them both going we will see a hatch job on one, and the other given the support through to second or third place.

    I’ve said most of the things that need to be said on Paul. I don’t think they’re trying to help him, but I don’t think they’re trying to hurt him either. He’s had vocal praise, but his comments are more focussed on Louis not putting him through or Mel and Cheryl’s dancing so far. He hasn’t blown anybody away, and he’s part of the Cardle crew – I think the show wants to keep at least two boys level pegging until the semi final to keep the Cardle vote split (he-who-ruined-1D’s chances) so Stereo Kicks can press on. Once the producers know who, out of Ben, Paul, JJ and Jake (to a lesser extent) is flying in the votes, we will get a few more tricks.

    Stereo Kicks are a wierd one. If they truly are trying to help them, week one suggests that they’re just giving them a 1D job all over again, which, if they want a winner, didn’t work – it suggests that this won’t work, particularly with more members. With regards to the “casting” of the group, I think we’ve got it as diverse as they can be without it being harmful. They clearly know the fanbase of 1D and are catering to that. You’ve got the two young’uns, the one that can sing, the older one (Tom, the football coach), the sporty/muscly one (yodeller), I believe Casey is their attempt at a cheeky/badboy type (the closest to a Harry Styles we will get), and Jake is the alternative, cool guy. The others I have no idea about, but it is only week one and if they truly are pushing them, they will need to grow into their roles and fast. I’d give them another namecheck VT this week with all their likes/dislikes, hometowns, etc. Although it’d have to be rushed with 8 of them. I’d also give a few of them some confidence issues, maybe a bullying story from when they were at school and show the other lads supporting them and showing “how close they’ve all become”.

    Andrea is an oddball. I can’t wait to see how he gets on over the weeks. He’s clearly the best vocalist, and I actually think he’d be quite marketable if the radio got behind him after the show. I do think he will win, it’s usually hard to stop this sort of act but the producers have a few strings to their bow with him – I’m interested to know if it will work.

    Fleur, I just don’t understand. I wouldn’t back her as this seems to be a “vintage” year and nothing is happening out of the ordinary. I’d be surprised if she was part of their plan and don’t see her being around too long after week 7.

  • David Cook

    Just a thought about Andrea. When he first appeared he seemed to be a made out to be a novelty act, until he sang when he became the novelty act that could sing. Each time he’s performed he’s seemed to get stronger, but still been depicted as a bit of a novelty, perhaps even as the underdog. And the public love to back the underdog. But at the weekend it was clear that he’s not actually the underdog at all, he’s the person leading the way and sweeping all before him. I wonder if this might make people feel differently about him and how they vote.

  • Tim B

    Regarding Lauren vs Lola, I noticed something when watching back the results part of the results show. When Lauren was announced as safe, the director quickly cut to Simon’s beaming face. When Lola got through, Simon’s face showed he was clearly disappointed, although it looked like he was trying to hide it. Add that to the staging: red and black for Lola, starry backdrop for the “Little star” Lauren, and I would much *much* rather back Lauren at 6/1 than Lola at 20/1. At the moment I have ChloJas outlasting Lola easily.

  • Lola’s odds drifting is to be expected since most people are still naïve about the show, Sofabet or not. We are constantly reminded that Paul was not good enough for the Lives last year (branded as a bad decision, but still reiterated) so it’s clear that his role will be like Luke Friend at best: the distraction to prevent Andrea from running away with the win, if he’s even on that way. As much as they pimp SK, I do feel that there’s a hint of uncertainty with them: they will push them as far as they can, but can and will throw them under the bus at any time. Last, Fleur CAN be top Over but because she’s a strong beautiful black woman, it will be easy to have people turn against her if TPTB wants to.

  • Donald

    Good article Andrew, it is probably a bit early to know their true intentions. They will know the voting from last weekend so be interesting how this weekends show unfolds.

    It is a long haul for Andrea, they know he needs to peak early if the Stereos to be blasting their way past him at the end. You may have spotted the first dampener applied.

    The front runners have emerged and unlikely to change, we all know what the producers capable of and with Simon back it is even more under control than recent years.

    It is early days, this weekend should clarify some more. Hard to see one coming out of the pack to win against the front runners really. There is not a lot there to challenge even with producer support and most as we know already not going to get producers support, the show has been set up for Stereo Kicks and more big $, they may not have got it right yet but they got plenty time, look at how they got Little Mix over the line.

    Song choice for Jake for this weekend says might be bottom two if it Total Eclipse. The grit comments I am really looking forward to all week.

    Other than that, sticking with the book as I have it and some £’s to invest on bottom two and who going home.

  • I had Lola as the winner in my prediction, and at the moment I think she has producer favour, but I’m now already starting to think the public aren’t interested. She hasn’t done well on iTunes or YouTube despite being vocally spot on, and with a very popular current song. She didn’t look into the camera once in her performance so she really needs to work on that if she is going to “connect”. I fear she’s heading towards a Laura White result when she should be contending.

    I thought Andrea was dreadful and Lauren dreary so I’m baffled by the good response they seem to be getting so I’m going to be very careful with my money this year!

    • fused

      I much prefer Lola to Lauren, I think Lola has a nicer voice. In fact I don’t particularly like Lauren at all, I always have a bit of an aversion to the contestants the show pretends are doing “their own unique version” of a song, when really it’s just a cover of someone else’s cover. I felt the same about Aiden Grimshaw. But I’d say it’s obvious Lauren is generally more popular at the moment.

      Looking back at other wild cards in past series, I don’t think any of them were ever intended to be anything much compared to the ones that they had originally chosen for the live shows. Throw wild card contestants in to spice things up a bit and if they work, great, if they don’t, they’ll get rid.

      The only wild card I can think of that they seemed to want to keep around (until it got to the business end of the competition at least) is Wagner. I mean, that’s not to say that I think they mind too much if a wild card does a bit better than they expected, Paije from the same series for example, but they still clearly saw him as expendable.

      Though a wild card doing a LOT better in the public vote than everyone else is a different matter. I didn’t watch series nine, so I only saw Christopher Maloney’s infamous laser eyes performance on here yesterday, but that was… quite something, even by The X Factor’s standards.

  • Nissl

    Some comments on the comments:

    Andrea as Chris Maloney – Keep in mind that Chris only dropped out of first after they lost Ella against James, apparently causing the public’s sense of fair play to kick in. Andrea has so far received so much favorable treatment, and is so strong vocally, that I think a similar effect is unlikely this time.

    Stereo Kicks as Little Mix – I still don’t feel like I have an emotional “in” with Stereo Kicks. They need specifics, a 10 second shot of bros playing in the surf or gaming isn’t going to do it for anyone outside their target demo. Remember Little Mix really got established with the bullied Jesy video. And while Little Mix got tremendous amounts of help later in the series, they also delivered some pretty good performances like ET and DLG. I’m not convinced SK have it in them. Yeah they have big-voiced James, like LM had Perrie, but LM seemed much closer than SK do.

    Lola/Lauren – I agree that Lola has been set up for the journey, and she should have another week or two of positive treatment. But there is only so long the show will stay on her side if the strong beta backup in her category keeps topping sales.

    I will admit I didn’t really get Fleur, who I thought gave a good stage performance but didn’t connect vocally at all, or Lauren, who was her usual solid but vanilla self. But they’re two of the top sellers this week.

  • Dean

    I don’t think its really curtains for Lola yet and she is definitely being given arc, but I believe TPTB will either push or drop Lola over the next few weeks depending on how she does. If she starts putting in a couple good performances vocally they may keep her around and start sending her on this journey. if she messes up anytime soon and the votes are low they will probably send her packing sooner rather than later, but she is definitely good enough to get at least mid way through the show before TPTB decide.

    Lauren on the other hand is already solid, and her performance in week 1 also proved she is not actually bland either. We may have under-estimated her star quality before the lives thinking she was just a solid vocalist who could go midway (I did too). Her week 1 performance has changed my mind, that said after 1 live show there is still a ‘journey’ for Lola, while leaving Lauren as alpha (as I feel she is now) is all done to her actual quality, which TPTB can play on, but for Lauren to win the whole thing they will need to find a story for her too

  • Dean

    Mentioned it before as I keep re-qatching Andrea’s performance. Did they purposely turn down Cheryl’s microphone or something there, wow? (at the reaction from the audience)

    • Dean

      Sorry for triple reply, but just to add regarding Andrea’s staging and the meteor hitting London at the end… well I can only take it as a metaphorical term of Andrea hitting London being a big explosion of some sort

  • Curtis

    Everyone’s getting excited about Lauren. I thought she gave a great performance but I also thought Sophie Habibis gave a great performance of “Teenage Dream” in week 1 of her series. Lauren’s a little bit too…anonymous, I suppose, for her to go far I think. Lola seems like someone with potentially more of a journey to have.

    I’m prepared to be proven wrong, and maybe the producers will change their alpha girl from Lola to Lauren this week but assuming that doesn’t happen I think Lola will ultimately proceed further through the competition.

  • Henry VIII

    I’ve just checked Cowell’s reactions to the girls being saved, from what Tim said, and I don’t think you can read anything into his expressions. He’s generally smiling throughout, and he knows who got through before he goes on stage anyway.

    If Lola was able to impress I’m sure he’d prefer her to Lauren. She has popstar looks (with some weight loss) whereas Lauren, although sweet, is rather plain in looks and personality. And, according to someone musical, Lola has a better vocal range.

    • Dean

      I guess it worked for Rebecca Ferguson. but Lola doesn’t look like someone who can perform through this 10 weeks despite a great vocal range. Lauren has a bit more of a stage presence along with a solid vocal range. I feel both will go midway before we see who TPTB really want to push on in the girls performance. Its certainly unfair to call Lauren bland when she is topping sales this week with her performance (agreed many liked the version as much as Lauren). Lets see in week 2 if Lola gets pimped a bit more or Lauren has a tougher week.

      FTR, James Arthur won from 2nd slot in week 1 with a slight criticism from Gary Barlow telling him to stay true to who he is. Then by week 3 Gary was drooling over his LMFAO track.

      Ben (with Mel B) or Lola can see something similar as the weeks go on

  • Chatterbox5200

    A few random observations from watching this week’s shows again:
    – No mention was made of Fleur’s previous appearance in X Factor, whereas both Paul and Jake’s were, as well as Steph’s appearance in the final of BGT
    – iTunes sales may have less to do with the public’s preference for the act but more to do with the arrangement of the song. At present, the top 3 selling performances are Lauren, Andrea and Jack – two of these changed the arrangement from the original track.
    – Andrea’s parents were shown in the audience, presumably having flown over very recently, as he was shown having a Skype call with them back in Italy in his VT. Will they stay for the duration of the show, or were they brought over for the first week, to lead to an “I miss home” storyline?
    – In the coverage to date, Lola’s telegenic grandparents have been shown frequently, but there has been no sight of her parents. Is this because her dad is former Newcastle United footballer Wesley Saunders?
    – When the judge’s led out their acts for the announcement of who would stay/go on Sunday, Simon was the only one who wasn’t seen holding hands or in any way connected to his acts. He actually looked a little bit uncomfortable.
    – The 14 year old member of Stereo Kicks does not appear on Xtra Factor (as it is apparently too late). How will they handle this situation if they manage to make them successful or put them on the tour?

    Additionally, “Songs from the 80’s” was previously a theme in Series 10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_X_Factor_(UK_series_10)#Live_show_details How many of these songs will be repeated this year?

    • In the UK, under 16s need a performance license in order to work on TV / concerts. Usually these say under 16s can’t be on the premises of the place of work past 10.30pm if TV (i.e. Xtra Factor) or 11pm if performing. I doubt a Stereo Kicks concert would end after 11pm, given the age of the crowd, but even if so, you can apply for extended hours.

  • Natasha

    I can not see them stopping Andrea winning imo. He has built up far to much support. He is a genuine, unthreatening , sweet loveable goof who the viewing audience have taken into their hearts and this is what i think makes up a lot of his support, most of which im confident in saying is almost solidly loyal and aid his way to victory

    • Boki

      My problem with Andrea is his transformation during singing, at least he did it last week. He made too much facials and was over-emoting for my taste. After the song he switched back to loveable goof mode, I personally find that contrast too big…

    • Henry VIII

      Ah Natasha but what about the unseen?

      • Henry VIII

        To clarify: I don’t think they’ll try to stop him necessarily, I mean the unseen/unknown generally.

        • Natasha

          I can’t see any negative stories, pasts etc coming out to be honest

          • Henry VIII

            Nor can I, but his past isn’t unknown. The unknown is unknown. Andy’s list below at 2.53pm says what I’m on about. Many XF favourites you could add to that list eg Janet, Ella. Andrea won’t have their problems but at this stage in their competitions their problems weren’t predicted.

            It’s just a note of caution I guess. I agree that Andrea is a worthy favourite atm.

          • Natasha

            My gut says Andrea and my gut hasn’t been wrong so far. I know it doesn’t mean much but I backed Collabro to win BGT after their audition as had a gut feeling and there are a few others both in and out of X Factor that I have gone with due to my gut feeling. I called Andrea out on here weeks and weeks ago and I will stand by my choice all the way. Fingers crossed eh. I do love him though lol

          • Boki

            I still see a possibility of Jahmene’s path. Pimp slot in the first week, glorified untill the final (but with same type of songs so he can’t gain more followers) and at the end overturned by someone ‘cooler’.

    • Can’t wait for the negative press story on how he loves pugs so much HE EATS THEM. One pizza pekingese for sweater boy…

  • Martin

    I really don’t understand why the show has gone with Lola and Lauren to be honest. Neither are particularly outstanding, surely there must have been better girls for the job? That said, the girls category always seems to be a hard sell, maybe they are going for the bland/vanilla type this year.

  • Andy

    I can think of 11 reasons in 11 months why I shouldn’t be taking the short odds available on Andrea.

    1. Tamera Foster. XF.
    2. Susanna Reid. SCD.
    3. Joey Essex. IACGMOOH.
    4. Ollie Locke. CBB.
    5. Richard Whitehead. Splash.
    6. Aram MP3. Eurovision.
    7. Bars & Melody. BGT.
    8. Christina Marie. The Voice.
    9. Sally Barker. The Voice.
    10. John Partidge. Tumble.
    11. Ashleigh Coyle. BB.

    Small fortunes went on each of the above acts all of whom went to very short odds.
    Ray Quinn & Gary Busey the only bacon for favourite backers this year.
    I am laying Andrea at the moment, these shows have a way of turning right around.

    • Dean

      Andrea is too short now, but kudos to anyone who got him at big odds, and if you haven’t already backed him at bigger, I wouldn’t be so sure to lay him now.

      I do agree to an extent that he can still stumble as 9 weeks is a long way to go, but at this moment he is definitely ‘the one’.

      Week 2 may show us more though and Sam Bailey won from a similar position last year

  • Stu

    What interests me most is who will be the last Group standing. In my opinion, without a doubt it should be Only The Young but that all depends on the success of Stereo Kicks obviously. Unless they significantly improve, which I’m sceptical about, I can’t see them doing well in the votes. The voting order on Saturday usually mirrors the call-out order to an extent – the several remaining “safe” acts on stage before the bottom two is announced are rarely flying high in that week’s vote. That’s one of the reasons why I believe both Stereo Kicks and Jake Quickenden are just scraping through the safe barrier. If Stereo Kicks do land in the bottom two soon, I wonder whether the producers will pull a “Hope” (series 4 girlband) and literally drag them to a respectable finishing position after multiple bottom two appearances or will they dispose of them and get behind Only The Young in order for Louis to have an act in the later stages?

    The only other thing worth commenting on at the moment is how my prediction that Jay James is this year’s Kye Sones is looking promising. Ben and Fleur are clearly being favoured far more than JJ and it’s clear from the JHs episode that Simon has lost a lot of faith in him and only put him through due to the poor standard.

  • Boki

    What interests me is Steph – bounce at least 1 place from bottom or not? Normally you would expect that but normally is the bounce also encouraged by tptb, I’m not sure if they are going to do it… still think she can avoind bottom, opinions?

  • Stu

    I should’ve also added to my original post my thoughts on Fleur East. I see that quite a few people on DS have said she’s this year’s Treyc/Jade Ellis. I, however, can see similarities between her and Alexandra Burke (whether or not she’ll go all the way like Alexandra remains to be seen):

    – there hasn’t been a real female performer with great choreography on the show since Alexandra Burke until Fleur. The choreographed performances were what separated Alexandra from the other girls in the early live shows during her year.

    – Simon’s comments to Fleur echoed the comments he’s given to Alexandra during her time on the show – “we need in this country an artist like you representing Britain”, “you are a pleasure to work with”.

    – Her under-the-radar status is also similar to Alexandra’s who was overshadowed by Laura and Diana originally. However Alexandra kept receiving favourable treatment from producers in the early weeks in order for her to remain safe until her moment came in live show 8. I’m wondering whether Fleur will have the same trajectory.

  • David Cook

    Almost always the act saved in the week one sing off has got a bounce big enough to avoid the sing off week two. One exception was Shelly Smith last year – she got a reasonable bounce in the vote which should have seen her safe, if Miss Dynamix had not been given a bye (now why did Chloe stand on a glass?).With 14 acts left the percentages at the bottom will be extremely close – so history would suggest that Steph should avoid bottom place at least. If it’s a double she’ll need to bounce three places to avoid the sing off as well which looks more difficult. Overall I think she’ll go this week after the sing off because I don’t see the producers giving her much support.

    • Boki

      I was actually assuming it’s a double. In that case, if she avoids bottom we lose out bets. I agree she might not bounce 3 places and so she’ll indeed go this week but we can’t make money on that since we have odds for next elimination only. So again, if double it becomes tricky again.

      • David Cook

        Whether it’s a single or double elimination it looks a high risk strategy to be betting on Steph being next out at the moment. Past history probably suggests that this will not be the case whilst also suggesting that the act most likely to end up in the sing off is the one that just avoided the sing off on week one. Depending on who that was I think that will determine whether they go for a single or double elimination this week. I would expect a double, just to get the numbers down, so if it is a single that would suggest that an act that they’re interested in was in trouble last week. Either way I’d like to know whether it is a single or double, and see the performances before risking money on this.

  • Martin

    I’ve just been on steph’s twitter and whilst searching for her i thought it interesting that ‘steph nala bully’ appeared in the search tab before her actual name did. I think she will be off this week sadly, her bad press coupled with the lack of producer support should safely see the back of her particularly if it’s a double.

  • Heisenberg

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry – I actually took this bet.


  • Joe

    I don’t think it will be a double elmination. Reckon they will keep that up their sleeve until they need it later in the series just to ensure they have the control of eliminating anyone they need to cull before the semi final.

    History shows that in the vast majority of cases an act saved one week does bounce the next. I think Steph will be clear of bottom 2 going on the law of averages.

    Looking at song choices I think I’m right in saying that both Stevie and Jake’s songs this week were used by Wagner and Maloney. How did it effect them in those weeks?

    • Boki

      Looking at 2010, they had 3 doubles and they need 3 this year also, right? I hope this one is a double so we can get back on normal track asap…

  • Joe

    Heisenberg I wouldn’t worry I took Stevie to win at 100/1! Backed it e/w so 1/5 of the odds for top 3.
    What are people’s thoughts?! I always back the novelty act!
    (though I did also back Little Mix).

    • The novelty act doesn’t win because it’d wreck the format’s credibility. Also, no way would enough people genuinely like and vote for Stevi (or Rylan, Wagner etc) for them to win. People want their entertainment, but at the end of the day when the competition gets serious, people do want talent and fairness.

  • Henry VIII

    A couple of people have touted Fleur as the new Burke. Wouldn’t they have to cover her up a bit and make her sing ballads? There’s no evidence yet that the increase in vote is youth. Maybe she’s more of a Misha B, but with a much weaker voice?

  • Natasha

    I wonder why the full list of song choices is yet to be revealed??

  • Daniel

    Was Friday lunchtime (around 2pm) last week, Natasha.

  • Natasha

    Thanks Stoney and Daniel

  • Phil

    Richard Arnold said on Good Morning Britain today that it’s a double elimination this week.

    • Boki

      Thanks. This could be bad news for Steph elimination backers since she only has to avoid bottom. I personally think she will but not so sure to lay at the odds.

      • Martin

        I don’t think Steph will be bottom of the vote, but will be bottom two. I’m not confident about who will finish bottom – at this stage I’d take a stab that the bottom candidates will be Jake, Chloe and Steph but Stevi’s song choice isn’t fantastic and the general attitude to him is pretty lethargic. Hopefully he’ll scrape enough votes to clear him from last place.

        I’ll be interested in seeing the song choices and subsequently how things unfold on Saturday night and see if any of this changes.

        • I think Steph will bounce. She’s endearing and likeable. But they need to give her something that suits her voice.

          • I agree with this. Far worse acts have bounced. It will take very little to bounce her off the bottom of a 14 runner pack. At this point id say jake or stevi would be more likely

          • Martin

            I’d hope that she could bounce – personally I quite like her and history does point towards it. I should really go with it – there’s just something about her treatment so far, coupled with her terrible press re: bullying this week that makes me think she might not pull in the votes, despite being due a sympathy vote.

            I’d hope I’m wrong – I think I’ve gone against too many things that historically happen in the show so far this series and it does seem to be unfolding quite typically so far.

          • Natasha

            Ive backed her to be eliminated for those exact reasons Martin

          • Dean

            She can bounce, but the struggle for Steph is gaining any new fans as she was put in the trash can last week and has not been shown much pre-lives to be given much of a chance. So unless the fanbase she already has decides to vote for her in droves, she could end up in the bottom 3 and possibly eliminated in a sing-off.

            We obviously do not know the votes from last week but if Jay or Jake are anywhere near the bottom 3 from last week, assuming Steph will have some sort of a bounce to lift her away from outright bottom, I believe it is the likes of Jake, Jay or possibly Jack that they will target. We know YT views aren’t the be all and end all, but Jack has more YT views than the likes of Jake, Jay and Paul so I think there is legs for him in this competition, at least to get to the tour.

      • James arthur had a few rap performances at the start as well

  • Marc

    Song choices out:

    Poor Jay and OTY 🙁


    Andrea Faustini
    One Moment In Time (Whitney Houston)

    Jake Quickenden
    Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Bonnie Tyler)

    Paul Akister
    If You Don’t Know Me By Now (Simply Red)

    Jack Walton
    Straight Up (Paula Abdul)


    Chloe Jasmine
    Fame (Irene Cara)

    Lauren Platt
    What A Feeling (Irene Cara)

    Lola Saunders
    Imagine (John Lennon)

    Stephanie Nala
    Call Me (Blondie)


    Only The Young
    Come On Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners)

    Stereo Kicks
    Boys Of Summer (Don Henley)


    Ben Haenow
    Jealous Guy (Donny Hathoway)

    Fleur East
    It’s A Shame (Monie Love)

    Jay James
    I’m Gonna Be – 500 Miles (The Proclaimers)

    Stevi Ritchie
    Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley)

    • Face

      not just poor Jay & OTY… the girls also have some very cheesy (and similar sounding songs) from Irene Cara…

      interesting that Chloe was initially reported as doing Call Me and now Steph now is…

      what is it with them giving 2 acts in the same category songs from the same artist again… I can only this is draw direct comparisons (of the SK v OG type from week1)… either that or someone loves them some 80s cheesy movie theme songs & Irene Cara…

      So does that mean they want Lauren to shine… and Chloe to fail… so they can push her into the B2… and then can save her against a ‘better singer’ and create some ‘drama’… and ensure she is seen as this years villain?

      Jake also looks in trouble… Stevi could actually be quite fun rickrolling… Jack will do the WGWG version of Abdul’s hit…

      Andrea back to big (dated) female ballads… not exactly relevant in the modern commercial world…

      Paul, Lola & Ben all get songs that appear to be in their wheelhouse… but it may get a bit dull with all those angsty slow songs…

    • Martin

      I’ve no idea what that song Jack has is – is it well known?! Also not familiar with Fleur and Ben’s songs so can’t comment. Will look at those later on.

      Standard/suitable choices for Andrea and Paul. Stevi could be good, looking forward to that. Jake’s is also a standard choice, won’t do him any favours though. I’m already dreading his sad eyes trying to “connect” with the audience. Urgh.

      I’m quite annoyed that they’ve taken “Call me” from Chloe. That sound would have suited her voice.Also equally annoyed that they’ve given it to Steph, wtf?! Furthering my opinion that both of them will be in trouble this week. Add to that Chloe has broken her foot and now been given one of the most iconic 80s dance songs so probably will be stationary through the performance. Then you’ve also got Lauren, who has a better voice, singing a better song than Chloe from the same film – sans broken foot. Oh dear.

      I have no doubt that Stereo Kicks will do an avereage job of Boys Of Summer but it will be hailed as the greatest performance of all time. Worried about OTY, I hate that song and I can’t see how they can change it for the better.

      JJ will be a complete massacre. Complete novelty hit with zero emotion – potential bottom two as well?

      On these choices I think we have a plethora of bottom two candidates. JJ, Jake, Chloe, Steph, Only The Young… perhaps trying to flood the acts being terrible to make Stevi look like a more appealing vote?

      • Face

        Jack’s song is the Paul Abdul pop/dance classic from late 80s… but it’s one of those songs that dozens of white dude with a guitar has covered on YT (exactly like Jack did last week with the Rihanna song)…

        Ben’s song is the John Lennon classic from early 70s that Roxy Music had a hit with in the early 80s… Donnie Hathaway did a more gritty soulful version… which I assume is the version Ben will cover…

        Fleur’s song was a RnB / dance hit by UK hip hop rap act Monie Love… that sampled the riff from the Detroit Spinners song of the same name from 1970s… interestingly… according to Wikipedia… Monie Love’s song wasn’t released till late 1990 and charted in most places in 1990/91… will Louis bring out his rule book… will that impact Fleur’s votes?

        • Martin

          I’ve had a quick flick through Youtube – I know “Jealous Guy” but from the John Lennon version, not Donnie Hathaway. I’m sure Ben will be inoffensive enough to sail through to next week.

          I’ve listened to the other two and am still none the wiser. Fleur’s choice is a bit odd – I’m sure that she will do some lovely dance moves but I’m not sure that anybody apart from Fleur fans will vote for it. Of all the 80s songs?!

        • David Cook

          So that’s a 70’s cover of a 70’s song on 80’s week. I’m with Louis on this, let’s get the rule book out.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Flashdance and Fame, not the same movir.

  • Andrea will blow the socks off the middle aged voting ladeez – that is not a derail song, that is another pimping

    Good choices I think for Paul, Ben, Fleur, Stevi and probably SK

    Dodgy for Jake, Jay (clear he is the gamma over now)

    Very interesting Chloe v Lauren battle. The lyrics will play against Chloe if they are going to set her up this week as the villain (and with Stevi the clown then i think they have to do that this week).

    Uncertain for Lola, Jack, Steph and OTY – all depends on the arrangement – Lola’s could turn into a dirge while i would question if Steph’s delicate voice is powerful enough for a “true to debbie harry” version.

    For me – despite staging and arrangement unknown – I’m comfortable with my 20/1 wager already struck on Jay for this week.

  • Dean

    Yeah the song choice for Jay is so funny, its like they are punishing him

  • David Cook

    Well the spoilers wrong footed us with the songs.
    Very disappointed that Stevi’s not doing Addicted to Love. We can probably expect a manic version of Rick Astley. His singing was crap too so at least it should sound like the original.
    Are they serious that its Steph doing Call Me.
    Fame for fame hungry Chloe of course. I can’t see her getting the vocals right on this – I think she would have been better off with Call Me.
    OTY aren’t getting a cheesy Huey Lewis song, they’re getting a very cheesy Dexy’s song. This is like cheese on cheese with an extra topping of cheese. In fact I can’t believe it. Yes I can its Louis.
    Of the spoilers only Jake’s Total Eclipse of the Heart was correct. Let’s hope he’s been eating his sand this week.
    JJ’s got to be in trouble with I’m Gonna Be – 500 Miles. The Proclaimers open their mouths when they sing. I’m expecting truly awful from JJ this week.
    Without being pedantic – Donny Hathaway what on earth are they on about. It’s 80’s week, it’s Roxy Music. But at least it’s a good song.
    Also getting a good choice IMO are Stereo Kicks. They better not mess this up. Anything better than messed up is likely to be proclaimed as world class.
    Fleur gets another good song with should suit her, and which they should be able to make sound quite current, but again I’m not sure how much it will appeal to the XF core audience.
    The others all look like solid and safe choices. I do feel it’s more of the same for Andrea – is that the policy just keep going with more and more of the same which he can absolutely nail, but hope that someone just manages to overtake him at the end.

  • Dean

    Seeing as Lauren is my actual fave now from the show I wonder what they will do with her this weekend, just watched her back from the room auditions and since she has been told by Simon in the room he will ‘remember her name’, to the arena where he called her special to bootcamp and judges houses where she put in two more solid vocal performances and in week 1 we are reminded of her being ‘a little star’ by Simon also with the staging of stars at the beginning. They also made her look more original than anyone else. Definitely alpha girl for me, and this weekend has to be Lola’s time to shine with an iconic track, if not then Lauren will be out on her own in the girls category

    • Martin

      It does seem the way. Lola has been a little overcooked and not delivered so far. Lauren is the other way around – she’s had all the compliments but I’ve always seen her as bubbling under. I think they’re holding her back so people will feel like they’ve “discovered” her themselves, she comes across a fresh to people and they won’t tire of her come the finals. I think she has a lot more legs in this competition than Lola does – despite all her help so far she is coming across as average.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I think it could be a good song for Jay. It’s lively, well known and popular and avoids him emoting and gurning (unless they’ve rearranged it to be all wistful and slow in which case eeeurgh).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Fame was changed to be a smoky jazz club number with Oscar Peterson piano and a walking bass line so Chloe and Lauren can both do well there. Opportunity for Lauren to drop a big song too if it’s like the original.

    Paul’s song is right in his wheelhouse. If he fluffs it then we will never ever ever know him as far as the show is concerned. If he nails it he’ll be safe for a while. Interesting lyric in that despite knowing a bit of backstory we don’t really know him.

    Fleur’s choice is intrresting. It’ll give her another to show some dance moces but vovally it’s not very interesting.

    Nice opportunity for Stevi to go over the top impersonating the Rick Astley style. With the right choreography this could get him some fans since iirc Rick Astley was regarded as irredeema ly naff despite being #1.

    Potentially great song chOice for OTY. Can’t remember the Don Henley song for SK but assume they’re going to get major pimpage.

    Assuming JJ isn’t doing The Proclaimers as a dirge then imo Jack, Jake and Steph are in a bit of bother. Won’t be betting till after the show though.

  • Curtis

    My word Jay has got a stinker there. Also not sure about Imagine for Lola, it certainly didn’t work for Cher a few years ago, so let’s hope for Lola’s sake they at least don’t have her sitting on a spiral staircase!

    For Lauren I think her song choice gives her the opportunity to kick on and build on her momentum from last week, or else prove that she’s not really going to hack it in this competition.

    Total Eclipse of the Heart should be a good choice to keep Jake safe another week – this is a song that his demographic will enjoy.

    • Curtis

      oh, and I’m quite looking forward to Stevi. I don’t usually enjoy the novelty acts but this is a song that will definitely be entertaining.

  • Liam

    I think people are underestimating the use of somewhat lesser known songs in the case of Fleur and Jack. They both have the potential to pull out interesting performances which could really appeal to their target demographics.

    After all who could say “Don’t Let Go” was a household hit before Little Mix topped the vote with it? I think if the performances are done well we could be onto something good here.

    • Martin

      “Don’t Let Go” was a bit more on the radar than those by Fleur and Jack though, surely?

      Fleur has it in her to pull one of those sorts of performances – not sure Jack does. I’m not sure that it’s wise to have one this early in the compeition either.

    • Face

      I view Straight Up as being a pretty well known song… of it’s time, sure… but pretty well known nonetheless… esp compared to the Monie Love song… which is from the 90s… Louis, get out your rule book!

  • Heisenberg

    Lt. Jay James Dunbar will sing such lyrics as, “I’m lonely,” “when I go out” and “the man who’s coming home.”

    A VT about how much he’s missing his kids would compliment these perfectly.


    • Heisenberg

      “Missing his family,” I should say:


    • Dean

      Lt. Jay James Dunbar could be on his way you think?

      • Heisenberg

        So much hinges on Steph’s treatment this week. If producers are kind to her then yes, I can see JJ in danger and in my opinion he would be disposed of in favour of possible sing-off opponents Jake, Chloe or Lola.

        I agree with Curtis about Lola’s song choice – they know ‘Imagine’ put Cher Lloyd in trouble a few years ago and if Twitter/YouTube stats are anything to go by, Lola’s fanbase hasn’t exactly blossomed compared to most other acts. In fact, I suspect they may have placed her on the ‘expendable’ shelf already and I don’t foresee a favourable slot in the running order for the fishmonger.

        If I ‘imagine’ a scenario where Steph receives decent support to boost the fuel in her bounce tank then all of a sudden the dutch on JJ & Lola at over 8/1 looks very appealing, especially if it’s a single elimination (yet to be confirmed, I think?).

        • David Cook

          I think Lola should do OK. She will do a version similar to Emilie Sande. Her vocals are capable of nailing this, and if she does it should pick up votes. She might not appear to be doing well on DS and so on but she will be getting a lot of regional support. The song did not do well for Cher, but that was probably because the song, and the way in which she sang it did not appeal at all to her audience. I advise avoiding spiral stairs.

          • David Cook

            Also need to consult Louis’ rule book regarding the position of 80’s re-releases of 70’s songs for 80’s week. It’s a bit of a minefield this.

    • Jessica Hamby

      With an end of journey vt he could be in trouble but bear in mind he’s an experienced performer and it’s a singalong song. Done right he could have the crowd on their feet singing the chorus. Also with a name like James Dunbar he may well have a scots connection, parent, grandparent or greatgrandparent, which if he’s smart he’ll mention to the judges of they don’t get it in the VT.

      I can see why people are saying it could be awful for him but equally it could go the other way. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

      Same with OTY. Probably everyone under 60 watching the show will have danced and sung along to C’mon Eileen at some point. It may not be cool but it’s a feel good tune and if they get the speedyuppy bit at the end in it could get the crowd on their feet again – much more than Imagine or Jealous Guy. The show needs crowd pleasers and uptempo songs or it’s a real bore.

      • David Cook

        Jessica – just to give you nightmares this might be the version JJ is going to give us.


        • Jessica Hamby

          Oh God. This is going to be it, isn’t it. Some ridiculous, stripped back, slowed dow

        • Jessica Hamby

          n nonsense, the sort of thing that supermarkets stopped using two years ago, complmented by Dunbar’s eggbound warbling.

          We will all wish for death before the end.

        • uncalquera


          • Jessica Hamby

            They don’t need him to be next elim, just b3. Could even create a nice controversy if he’s dumped and Stevi or Jack is saved.

            Assuming this is correct you have to admire the way they gave him a very suitable song and created the impression that he and Simon were working together in an atmosphere of peaceful accord and mutual admiration. I almost can’t waut for tomorrow now to see what they do.

            Young Kevin Costner. Heh. Thanks a bunch.

            Ok. I’m convinced. He’s a target.

        • Jessica Hamby

          Just listened to this again. It really is music for bedwetters. If JJ does the same sort of whiny, quavering, contrived performance he gave at JH the panel will slaughter him.

          I’d love to know why they went off hm so quickly.

    • Jessica Hamby

      And that crowd os hysterical from the minute the show starts so it shouldn’t be hard for a seasoned performer to get them to join in.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Funny comments from bookmakers about money on Andrea. Particularly liked the comment about how they could all go bust.


  • uncalquera

    Quick thoughts. For me the few favoured are Lauren, Paul, OTY and Stevie. Middle of the road for Ben, perhaps hinting that producers still don’t know what to do about him? Andrea, with his second similar big song are they starting their slooooooow derail from the top? JJ to be the object of a new master class on manipulation by TPTB? His price for next elimination is shortening but still available around mid-teens…

  • Donald

    The three acts they featured on Gogglebox, Chloe, Lauren and Andreas, no Stereos allowed a mauling.

    Bottom for Sunday night bit of a lottery, will watch the show first I think buy some value around outside of Steph. Sleeping on it

  • Fudd

    I can’t help remembering that One Moment In Time was used as the ‘failed auditionees’ song during the series 4 final:

    Has it actually been used on a live show since then? I can’t help feeling that this is the start of the deramp for Andrea – another big ballad with maybe similar staging. Give it a couple of weeks and Simon will start to pick holes if his vote is holding up.

    I think we also have to beware of the covers. David Cook posted Jay’s potential approach to 500 miles and staging and judges comments will save him or doom him if he does sing that. Steph may also have an out, as posted on Digital Spy:

    It would suit her much better and a subtle ‘welcome back to the competition’ and nice, simple staging would immediately do her a world of good. Maybe tied in with a VT focusing on the bad press saying how it’s affected her during the week and how people are vicitmising her when she’s only trying to follow her dream etc.

    I think Jake is the obvious target this week – I can’t see how he can twist the song to make it his own; he’ll have to sing it straight and that’s going to result in tough comparisons. As I read (was it here?) there are enough guitar covers of Straight Up on Youtube to suggest that Jack can make a decent fist of his song. Ben should be fine though I can’t help feeling Jealous Guy would suit Jay or Paul better. Saying that, Paul shouldn’t have an issue with If You Don’t Know Me By Now. I can’t see either Chloe or Stevie being eliminated in week two though, with a song like Fame and the connotations they’re not exactly helping Chloe out. Fleur’s choice bothers me as it’s very repetitive and rap heavy but why drag down one potential ‘journey’ they have unless they want another to blossom? And would that be Lola’s but Imagine isn’t going to be easy for her especially as, like Jake, she’ll probably have to sing it without a twist. If she succeeds they might be on to something.

    There has been a discussion surrounding Lauren singing Drew Ryniewicz’s version of What A Feeling from the US version of the show but, even if they allow her to start in ballad mode, I hope they allow her to pick up the beat as the song goes on – if they don’t I have to wonder whether she is the beta girl, for now at least.

    I think Only The Young and Stereo Kicks will be fine. I think Only the Young may go down the Lakoda Rayne route with Come on Eileen – possibly with more of a Glee feel than country – while Stereo Kicks will ‘club up’ Boys of the Summer in a One Direction vibe but if the latter are Plan A I’d think there would be clearer signs now (e.g. identification of each member and personalities as already suggested).

    • Jack

      I’m not sure if One Moment In Time was used on a proper Live Show but I definitely remember it being Lucie Jones’s “Save Me” song v Jedward.

    • Curtis

      I think Stereo Kicks could still be Plan A. A proven X Factor winning strategy is to just keep yourself in in the early weeks and then to have a break-out performance round about Week 7 or Week 8. A good introduction to all of the members could possibly wait until that time as well.

  • Heisenberg

    Chloe and Jack have been here before…

    The following takes place between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.


  • Daniel

    Just for everyone’s information, Andrew and I took the decision to delete the thread of antagonism as we have termed it. There’s an unspoken rule in the comments section on this site that is adhered to 99% of the time: tackle the argument and not the person. We are not interested in the rights and wrongs of this particular case, we would just like to move on from it. Thank you and good night!

  • Jake at 5/1 is where my money lies this weekend. Only a 3rd of what I put on Blonde Electric as this week is wide open

    • Natasha

      Do you not think Jake would get the girls vote like Sam C did last yer? Sam C was a far worse singer as well and he managed to last a few weeks

      • Differences

        Sam C had virtually no competition in the girls’s vote department
        There was no free vote then
        The competition is tighter now; last year had three CLEAR fodder acts while this year has one.

  • Saoirse

    From tellymix articles..
    Simon’s comments ahead of the show..
    -Steph will need a miracle to avoid the bottom 2
    -Jake and Paul were more boring than Ben
    -In the backstage pics, there’s no sign of Mel B, who communicates with her acts through skype.
    -Louis needs to raise his game
    -One Direction help Stereo Kicks
    -Betsy from OTY has dated Harry Styles

  • Boki

    I see 2 overs in bottom 3 this weekend, the problem is there are no b3 odds 🙁

  • Donald

    Bit of strange piece of promo and coverage this, drumming up regional support already for Stereo Kicks? would have thought they’d be ahead of that?


    Had a trawl through social media last night, that came up as top news items, some funny staging this weekend could be spotted in the various pics from rehearsals.

    Had a look at YouTube, Lauren featured in the channel video, smart urls on iTunes links. Figures low really with Andreas, Lauren and surprisingly Fleur leading the way on viewing figures, lots and lots of the rest in the same zone of 300,000 -400,000 views so it is close and lottery..ish for this weekend.

    Their 2M votes certainly did not transfer or scale up to YouTube views all week.

    Staging, song choice and running order for clues and very long show again tonight, 8PM to 10:20 PM, going to be a long haul for the viewer, running order on the voting at the start might give few clues.

  • David Cook

    As they’re going for a double elimination they must be reasonably confident of the acts which are likely to be bottom and those which should be safe. I think this includes Stevi and Chloe as they’ll surely want them to go further, and probably be part of a sing controversy rather than go out as a bottom act. Steph should bounce a bit. I doubt they’ll want to lose OTY, as that would be three groups in a row out. So to me that leaves Jake, Jack and JJ. I’m with Stoney on this I think it will be Jack. I put little bit on at 6/1 thinking the odds might shorten, and I’m not tempted to change anything yet. JJ might be a bottom three target now but still can’t see him bottom. Jack seems a bit more popular and he has a better song choice (on the face of it) than Jake. See how it goes tonight.

  • David Cook

    I should have said Jake to go.

  • Alen

    There have been backstage pics with Ben and Louis from One Direction at the studio. Im sure he will be used in his VT.

    So did he do that bad that they already need Louis to push him or that good that he is Alpha Over now?

  • Jessica Hamby

    I’ve been a big fan of Fleur since JH and saw her as a potential winner but after again consudering this weeks song choices I just don’t see it. Compared to the song they’ve given Lauren, from Flashdance, it’s clear who they want the alpha female to be. Fleur’s song choices so far are all pigeonholing her as funky mobo chick while Lauren gets an anthemic feelgood choon from a classic female empowerment movie. It also eclipses Lola’s choice imo.

    Assuming a four act final, I’m currently going with Andrea, Lola, Little Prix and A N Other (possibly Ben but tbh I don’t think tptb have long term interest in him, possibly Paul, Lola or Fleur as outsiders?).

    • Im not to worried about them playing safe and predictable to see fluer safe through the first few weeks of the lives. Better to have a moment as things start getting to the business end when more people start voting

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