X Factor 2014 Week 2 Elimination: Hit the road, Jack?

Producers have a certain power over punters before the second live show – they know the results of the first week phone vote and will act accordingly. We can assume they want the likes of Chloe Jasmine and Stevi Ritchie to avoid polling last, or singing off against each other in another double elimination. That will mean targeting the other acts considered most disposable and vulnerable in their eyes.

Hopefully we’ll be much clearer about who that might be after tonight’s show. But amidst this caution, an elimination market initially headed by last week’s sing-off survivor before a potential bounce, followed by the two producer favourites mentioned above, has offered some value for speculative punters.

Which act you might take a chance on is very much your choice.

The one punters have latched onto is Jake Quickenden, available at 16/1 earlier this week, now down to 5/1. Despite a helpful slot and staging last week, judges comments clearly showed he was in their sights. Whether another week of further deramping is enough to get Jake to the bottom of the vote is the question. He is relying on his extensive audition screentime – in which viewers were persuaded to invest in his emotional backstory, not to mention his existing fanbase and good looks.

At the prices, there’s an argument to be made that Jack Walton, rejected in Jake’s favour at judges’ houses after much less audition screentime, who then had a more anonymous first live show in which he was shoved in the Strictly overlap at #6, represents better value at 14/1. Jack will be WGWGing his way through Paula Abdul’s ‘Straight Up’, which gives judges an opportunity to say he “put his own spin on it”, compared to Jake’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, but the latter is at least an iconic 80s song that everyone knows.

Jack’s not the only double-figure price of interest in the next elimination market. Thanks to David Cook for posting this deathly version of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)’ which represents the second strange choice for Jay James (16/1) in the live shows. It ended up working out ok for JJ last week, with helpful film star staging. A regional vote and immense initial pimping during auditions may also help him through another week.

It’s worth bearing in mind that producers can use Week 2 to turn on an act they tried to fly in Week 1 with little success – or try, try again. Last year, they gave Kingsland Road a reasonably positive first live show (at #6), from which they failed to set the phones alight. Week 2 saw them sent out in colour vomit with the coffin slot of #2 in a big hitter sandwich – which put them in the singoff. On the other hand, Luke Friend, despite a similarly poor Week 1 poll result, got another helpful late slot and plenty of praise.

I mention these examples as I think producers are more likely to follow the Luke Friend template for Fleur East. This is why I pass the 28/1 on her to go, despite the fact she’s a hard sell to an audience who prefer their black women to be overly humble and completely unthreatening. There’s a lot of rapping in her song choice of ‘It’s A Shame’, which may suit her more than the viewing public. (James Arthur and Cher Lloyd didn’t suffer too much when rapping, but there’s no way to put this politely: they’re white.)

Like Fleur, Only The Young (a best-priced 12/1 in the next elimination market) serve a niche in this competition, and my guess is that they will retain enough producer favour for a second week running. Their song choice of ‘Come on Eileen’, unlike Fleur’s, is iconic and should get the audience on side. Paul Akister (40/1) is being confined to a rather predictable pub singer’s lot with Simply Red’s ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’. Still, his higher initial profile and a popular song puts him in a better relative position to say, Jack.

I can see reasons why all of the above may attract elimination punters at those prices. On the other hand, I don’t envisage any problems this week for Andrea, Lauren, Ben, Stereo Kicks and Lola. The latter’s ‘Imagine’ has had commenters reaching for the Cher Lloyd comparison, when it was used against her with poor staging. But it’s worth bearing in mind that the song has also been used to pimp Eoghan Quigg and Jahmene Douglas in Week 1 of their respective years.

This leaves us with those three initial leaders in the elimination market. Will Steph bounce, whilst can Stevi and Chloe Jasmine avoid last place? I’ve no doubt that producers will do all they can to avoid the latter, though I won’t be surprised if either find themselves in the singoff.

As for Steph, the record on sympathy bounces in Week 2 is a mixed one: Shelley Smith and Rachel Adedeji failed where Katie Waissel and Rylan succeeded. In this larger field, with a popular song that has been done in a way that would suit her (thanks Fudd, for posting this), my instinct is it may be enough. But I’ll be looking for clues that producers have decided to accept and work with the bounce rather than counter it.

Tonight’s show will tell us far more, of course. Greater caution is advised this week, but at the prices, I have backed Jack Walton at 14/1 to be next eliminated, and for the reasons set out above, recommend that as decent enough value. Let us know your thoughts below.

78 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 2 Elimination: Hit the road, Jack?

  • I have backed Jake and Jack at double figure odds, but the act I think in the most danger is Only The Young. I saw their VT last week as negative: “We’ve been a band for two years so we know *exactly* how we want to dress, what songs we want to do, what we want to do on stage etc”. This was a very similar diva edit to what Carolynne Poole had in week 1 in 2012, who incidentally had the penultimate slot as well before getting eliminated. They also went out directly before Andrea, with no ad break, and received a mixed critique from the judges. Their narrative has them stuck in a “cheesy” rut, and ‘Come On Eileen’ gives them absolutely no chance of escaping that and finding their edge this week. Given that they’re also a group with fairly little screen time and a gamma-ish edit “We know you’re not the best singers in the world…” and are probably getting in the way of Stereo Kicks’ progression, I think they’ll be struggling and we’ll likely be seeing the back of them this weekend.

    Difficult to tell who might be dead bottom. I’d also be worried for Jay with a dirge arrangement unless the judges praise him to the skies.

  • Boki

    I still think there is a value in Jay/Fleur, unfortunately can’t watch the show tonight so will keep stakes low anyway.
    It just might happen that sympathy vote Steph receives is eating Fleur’s portion of ‘black vote’ (see Hannah/Tamera see-saw from last year).

  • Natasha

    I’ve gone with Steph and Jake but also won’t be able to watch the show so will look forward to updates on here 🙂

  • my book is looking a tad messy if Steph finishes bottom – other than that i am happy – considering i cannot watch tonight. One of Jay, Jake, Jack to under perform please, and Steph to have a blinder so i can have a small hedge on her tomorrow

  • Lenny

    Has there been any confirmation of a single/double elimination this week?

    I probably won’t bet before seeing the show, but I think it’s Jack/Jake for the bottom this week too. I’m sure Steph will bounce out of last place, but in a double elimination I can see her going in a singoff with either Stevi or Chloe Jasmine.

    • Lenny

      Actually going to change my mind about a pre-show bet. Assuming Stereo Kicks are still Plan A, Skybet have Louis for winning mentor at 15/2. Seems long enough to be worth a small bet.

  • Tim B

    Steph is on the front page of The S*n today, having received 200 death threats on Twitter since last week. Poor poor Steph 🙁

  • Donald

    Think it is a week to watch the show and decide as it unfolds but tempted to have a small early wager on Jake to go, There are so many similar acts in the male category that one at least must be in danger, Bonnie Tyler is a bit of holy grail with that song and it unlikely to stir up much extra votes and the grit comments are likely to reappear.

  • R

    Tweets from James Ingham (@Jamesinrehab), showbiz columnist at The Star from tonight’s rehearsals:


    • Chatterbox5200

      I wonder if his tweets from the dress rehearsals are in the order in which the acts will perform? If so, Lauren is set to open the show, Jay James gets the pimp slot, and Steph is either sandwiched between Andrea and Stereo Kicks, or Stereo Kicks and Stevie.

  • Luke

    Steph been on the front pages of the paper’s today with bullying claims so that’ll help her. Jake in danger for me, people won’t be given any motivation to vote for him.

  • JScouser2002

    Also I have backed Cheryl to lose all her acts first

  • Jessica Hamby

    Very positive for Jack.

    I wonder if tptb read sofabet….

    • Lenny

      I had thought they might be going for him between the death slot and the song (as a bit of an 80s fan, it’s one of the few I don’t know) but the comments were very positive. Will they hammer Jake when his time comes? Or maybe Paul?

  • Andrea I’m racist slur english people can’t cook pasta :-O

  • Jessica Hamby

    Bye Steph.

    Andrea getting star staging again. Not as good this week but enough to flush Steph.

  • Lenny

    Stars on the jacket, stars in the background, VT about how much he likes stereotypically British things……pimping for now, but they can easily turn on Andrea later on for a more “commercial” winner.

    On the other hand, Simon’s criticism is spot on.

    As for Steph, I think she’s done for this week. I can see her going in the sing off.

  • Joe

    De ramp has begun. He’s a long way from winning. During the week I stuck a few quid on Jake to hit the bottom, thought there was a bit of value in Stereo Kicks winning as their odds drifted out to 10/1. Need a good performance tonight. I think Stevi will be fun and will be saved over Steph if it comes to that.

  • Donald

    They have done a serious pulling back number on Andreas tonight.. He did loose the melody but the trash can off beat was just such hilarious.

  • Chatterbox5200

    I hadn’t noticed this before, but the songs from tonight are already available to buy on iTunes, which means you can hear a 30 second sample before the act even sings it on the show (something to do in the numerous adverts). So, Jay James WILL be singing a slowed down version of 500 Miles.

  • Paolobow

    Nice array of markets have popped up on Betfair for this week’s eliminations

  • Lenny

    Nice setup there for Lauren, make her appear to have a halo around her in the background and combine that with the white dress. Can they say “angelic” any more obviously? Be interesting to compare what Lola gets later on.

  • Chatterbox5200

    Is Mel B on a spring? After the first 5 acts, she has given a standing ovation for 4 of them!

  • Vülker

    I really can’t see Jack going anytime soon. He’s been having good support from the producers so far. Last week aiming at the teen demo with One Direction support and a big Rihanna track, today with more One Direction support, a hint at regional support and seducing the camera with another GOOD WGWG number. I’d lay him for elimination.

    Steph is a dead cert for going, I’d be saying Jay, Jake and/or OTY would join her in the B3 but let’s see how those performances go.

    Also, how hard are they trying to make 2010 happen? They even gave Mel B the Dannii bob. :/

  • MB79493

    The songs are already on iTunes. Jay is the slowed down version we all dread.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Lots of sunliminal reminders of Steph comparing her with others and making her look a bit crap.

    Always wary when Louis drags out the comparison.

    Meanwhile Fleur gets a deramp.

  • Lauren Platt’s version of Flashdance is ripping off Drew Ryniewicz from the US. Hardly original

    • Babit

      Last week she ripped off Foxes’ version of Happy and still did incredibly well on iTunes…

    • Dean

      We can say Lauren is the one stealing these originals, but its actually TPTB that are obviously giving her these versions and making us think she is more original than she is. Excellent again anyway

  • Curtis

    I’ve just joined. The “distracting argument” for Fleur, but then again they gave her a suitable song and I think she did well with it, so producers sent mixed messages to me on that one.

    And what the hell is Cheryl wearing?

  • I notice barclay isn’t being let loose on his trademark yodeling

  • Jessica Hamby

    Improvement from Little Prix. Don’t believe for a minute that Cheryl or Mel are off message.

  • Alen

    So confused about their plan with Stereo Kicks right now? Will they really split the band in the end? Second time Cheryl said there are too many! Guess they didn’t score that well last week?

  • Curtis

    The distracting argument again! I think Stereo Kicks must be plenty safe in the vote if they’re prepared to take liberties like that. Clearly the journey for this group is to win Cheryl over.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Interesting moment with Fleur kissing Simon’s cheek backstage and then the mother of his child commenting on the lipstick on his cheek.

    Casting Fleur as a sexual predator?

  • Absolute garbage from Cheryl in relation to stereo kicks hysteria in the studio. Only 300 odd get in the fountin studios and there the guests of the acts shared equally.
    Jake singing from around the same slot as blonde electra. Let’s hope he’s thrown under the bus

  • Eddy

    Lola in her VT mentions the “amazing talent” she’s up against while footage of Fleur, Ben and Lauren in rehearsals is shown… definitely not an accident!

  • Joe

    I’m going to stick my neck out and guess that jake gets red and blacked…

  • Alen

    Lola just got her first moment.

    Much better outfit, very confident, jesus light, emotional judges, two standing ovations, dark horse comment, selling records comment….check check check!

  • Jessica Hamby

    Cheryl’s earings? Not keen.

    Massive hoops on Lola.

  • Curtis

    Thanks Mel for warning us how boring Jake is going to be!

  • Jake’s face on the video wall shattering, song that’s too big for him, obvious deramp here.

  • ‘Im gonna come back next week’ wouldn’t be so sure pal

  • Vülker

    Alright, let me catchup.

    Jack Walton – It’s definitely unusual for a wildcard contestant to have such good support from the producers. So far they’re giving Jack the WGWG treatment however with enough electronic ornaments to make it appealing to younger audiences. Put a dash of One Direction support and he looks like one they would like to transform into a worthy winner.

    Steph Nala – Not much to add here really, it was definitely the final nail on the coffin tonight.

    Andrea Faustini – It didn’t really look like a deramping but more of a “alright he’s peaking way too early let’s take it down a notch so he still looks refreshingly amazingly in about 6 weeks.” Say what you want about the performance but that How to Be British segment says it all.

    Lauren Platt – She got that halo and she also had the performance of the night – so far. Definitely Alpha girl and must’ve polled excellently last week for their support to be this massive.

    Ben Haenow – Alpha Over treatment, given a band on stage in the name of authenticity, one to go far.

    Fleur East – Now, this is a tricky one. She’s consistently praised for being an “artist” and for surprising everyone as the real dark horse of the competition. However, the staging was a bit too stripper pole, along with choreography. I can only assume still testing how she polls this week after doing reasonably well last week with the current number 1. If she does well she’ll get the full Alexandra treatment – expect straightened hair at some point, and a ballad, in an effort to “whiten” her and push her for another million selling winner’s single.
    Mel B’s comments were definitely off script there or Simon wouldn’t be as defensive.

    Stereo Kicks – It’s clear they didn’t poll that well last week. And this further convinces me they want to give their demographic to Jack Walton. Cheryl’s critique couldn’t be more on point to remove them from the One Direction modus operandi. A heavy comparison after which they don’t look that well. Considering Jack’s track sold more than SK’s last week it’s shut off time for the group. This reminds me of how they didn’t want the number 8 on their name, how only half the band appears at the start of a performance, how the judges just can’t seem to take on such a large number for a boyband and how Louis is quickly losing acts. Will they attempt at a controversy and separate them into two groups? Far fetched, but worse has happened in this show.

    Lola Saunders – Here it is. “You could be the dark horse of this competition.” Still definitely testing the waters with her polling numbers as with Fleur. Clearly, according to the performances tonight, they’d rather have the big voiced white girl going further, but I guess it really depends on how the numbers are tonight for both of them.

    Jake Quickenden – Another soulless performance, although decidedly better than last week. Definite surplus, especially stealing [some] votes from SK/Jack and Ben alike.

  • Curtis

    If producers want to keep Chloe in, did they just play with fire? She could finish bottom. If Paul knocks her down the memory lane now it could be even worse.

  • Babit

    Seems like Cheryl’s comments were enough to spark the Stereo Kicks’ fans. #WEARESTEREOKICKS is trending on Twitter with loads of screen caps showing they were voting for the boyband on the app. And before that, “Stereo Kicks” was trending Worldwide as well…

  • Lenny

    Cheryl just thoroughly enjoyed a performance. Mark your “X Factor bingo” card.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Fair play to Simon. A lot of his criticism is spot on.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Stevi wobbles his legs like he’s doing the charleston.

  • Stevi talks his way into next week

  • Jessica Hamby

    Oh crap. Poor old OTY. Confusing camerawork and staging made me feel nauseous. Harmonies were poor. Red and black. Could be in trouble. VT was not positive either.

  • Im calling this now. Bottom 3 jake, chloe, steph. Jake 1st to go followed by steph

  • Curtis

    I think Only The Young will be fine. I have no idea why I really enjoyed that performance but I did. Based off the crowd reaction I doubt I’m the only one. They’re late enough in the show that surely they’re safe.

  • Donald

    Reverb heaven for Jay, they obviously on the save with him tonight.

  • Fudd

    It’s been a remarkable evening. I can’t remember the last time the production team have turned on practically every act…

  • Neeve

    Yesterday I was going to put some of my hard earned cash on Jay for next elimination. Something in my gut stopped me and am I glad now?! He is safe as houses this week.

    Jake, Chloe and Stephanie in danger. Not convinced Lola or fleur are safe either.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Tedious beswetting cheesy garbage from JJ. The deramp continues.

    It’s a little bit annoying that they rip off other artists’ arrangements and claim credit for them but it’s x factor so I suppoae we shouldn’t expect anything else.

    JJ seems to think he invented emotion.

    Imo Steph, Jake and OTY for b3 with Steph first out.

  • Dean

    All I am saying is after Lauren’s and lola’s performance tonight I think the Girls category is more of a danger than we first thought.

    Jake was awful, worst surely?

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