X Factor 2014 Week 3 Post-Mortem: Jake Quicklygone

The Strictly bus strikes again. The two acts to perform while Strictly was still on the other side, Jake and Only The Young, duly found themselves singing for survival. After three weeks of pummelling, and given it was about time the show lost a solo male, Jake was understandably made a very short-priced favourite by Betfair punters. Though he got gold lighting, the feel of his performance was valedictory.

Still, I had nagging doubts about piling in at around the 1.15 mark given that Only The Young had also been treated as disposable on Saturday. It seemed just about possible to me that if Only The Young had been bottom, producers might have been tempted to deadlock it for shock value. Jake drifting out to 1.25 as Only The Young murdered ‘Winner Takes It All’ indicated that there was some nervous profit-taking going on.

That said, it was obviously no surprise, given his treatment in each of the live shows so far, when Jake was disposed of by majority verdict.

One further point is worth making. There has been some debate in the comments about whether producers had been trying to strategically give Only The Young a bounce by treating them badly on Saturday. It’s something I think is possible when we get closer to the business end of the competition – we’ve seen several times an act struggling in the votes appearing in the singoff for the first time in week 7 and bouncing from there to the final (or the win in James Arthur’s case). There’s a reasonable argument to be made that Cher Lloyd’s infamous spiral staircase staging in 2010, for example, was aimed at a strategic save-and-bounce. But I don’t think it’s something they would be tempted to do this early in the competition.

Sofabet is relieved to see Jake go in the sense that we’ve used up all our headlines – and as his singoff vanquishers told us, if it ain’t punny, it ain’t funny. But we feel for Jake, who presumably was delighted to get the call back after his rejection two years ago and has borne his rather shabby treatment throughout the live shows with commendable good grace.

On to next week, then, and Only The Young should get a bounce while Stereo Kicks will be on the comedown from theirs. Who do you see drifting into trouble at this early stage? Do keep the conversation going below.

136 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 3 Post-Mortem: Jake Quicklygone

  • EM

    Headline you could have had “Sunday night Jake away”

  • Well if Stevi wants to do a ballad for Halloween week then he’ll be in the crosshairs. As I said on the last article, the producers have got work to do countering Jack’s fanbase if he survived his comments from last night.

    I’m only really watching this out of interest in seeing the signs you guys are seeing, especially after that brilliant article about Abi Alton. I’ve passed it on to a friend to help with her dissertation. 🙂

  • Did anyone notice that slip up by Cheryl on the Xtra Factor there? Talking about Lola, she was saying how her confidence issues were why she chose her as a wildcard instead of a proper contestant.

    She looked at Simon as she was saying it as if she knew she’d slipped up and Simon winked and said ‘That’s ok’.

    • Ha, yes, I thought that. 😀

    • Fudd

      Simon made a faux pas as well – when asked about Stevie he said ‘they chose him for my category’. The show has tried to give the impression that it was Cheryl’s decision so surely that should have been ‘she’?

      Jack will be the main target next week. I want to clarify what I mean with Only the Young in the previous article comments section – I think the producers will use their bounce to try and get rid of Jack and maybe one of the Cardle’s but I don’t think they’re looking to get Only the Young to the final or anything like that. Hope that makes sense. :-$

  • Dean

    I feel next week they can stop an OTY bounce and probably aim at Jack to get them in B2

    Can anyone remember who last act safe was in week 1? Last week was Jake and he’s now gone. This week Jack…

    • EM

      Jake as well I think

    • Fudd

      Yes it was Jake because they made a comment on The Xtra Factor about him being left until last two weeks in a row.

    • eurovicious

      It’s quite hard to stop a bounce, but judging by Twitter (do a search for “ABBA”) OTY lost a lot of support during that singoff performance. I actually thought the dark-haired girl was really good, just the dark-haired guy was awful and they gave him far too much of the song to carry. Simon was right to comment.

      Sad for Jake, but I suspect he knew he was going since about Monday. He understands what the show is. I have a tremendous amount of time for him and he comes over as an incredibly decent human being. It’s a shame they never let him do anything upbeat, or with his guitar, or an original – as he wanted – probably for fear he’d take off.

      • Fudd

        Depends on production treatment next week. I guess a lot of factors will come into play – how close were Jack and Stereo Kicks to the bottom two? Could they go for a shock result to get rid of a middling act and headlines at the same time? Are they hoping to do something with Only the Young post show (I reckon Simon is thinking twice about that one now)?

  • Dean

    Definitely a thing with the last act safe that shows to an extent the act they actually are targeting

  • Boki

    It’s always hard to catch up after vacation but I read the OTY treatment like this: give SK a bounce and maximize it by pulling the remaining group down, simple as that.

  • Curtis

    That OTY performance was honestly one of the worst in X Factor history. I was confident about that sing-off going in but seeing that certainly made me nervous! Was that performance so bad as to negate any bounce they might have? I guess that depends on producer treatment next week.

    Still, with Jake gone as expected again, this year’s X Factor is looking more and more like one for the gambler. My profits are already larger than they have been since 3 years ago. Here’s to more of the same!

  • I don’t actually think that OTY were that badly treated on Saturday. The song on paper was actually a good idea – it’s not the producers fault the brunette girl couldn’t pull off the verse, and the judges’ criticism was fair. I thought the staging and styling was good. As the judges keep saying every week, they have potential, so I don’t think they do want them gone. Really they ought to be giving them all the help they can – I don’t know why SyCo wouldn’t want an act like them on their books.

  • Dean

    Next week we will see which of Paul, Ben and Jay aren’t voting too well because I think whichever is the worse will be put on the disposable list and perhaps put in the crossfire with Jack. Also a possibility Stevi could end up B2 but they’d save him over Jack for shock value and ratings

    • eurovicious

      I’m genuinely surprised they’ve given both Jay and Ben the pimp slot so far. I find their respective limited singing styles increasingly grating (ditto Andrea’s) compared to Paul and Lauren.

  • Kicking myself at not taking a bet on Fleur to have her name called out first by Dermot. However, on the bets I did have, it all came to pass and I finish the weekend on a highly profitable note. Who else backed a Jake/OTY Bottom Two?

    As opposed to last week, tonight pretty much played out according to the script. Not sure how much mileage OTY have now. They’ll either bounce back or get completely nuked next week; an OTY/Jack B2 doesn’t seem a particularly far-out prediction.

    Halloween is always an important week. We may see a couple of serious game changers, particularly from Lauren and possibly Lola. Lola in particular has a hell of a lot of work to do if she doesn’t want to get Janet Devlined in a few weeks. We’re also due to see the traditional “twat act saved over credible singer” stunt pulled. I’d still back a Stevi save unless he was in the B2 with Lauren, Stereo Kicks or possibly Andrea.

  • EM

    Jack and Stevi bottom two next week. Jack is a long time target, Stevi in the hope he can beat Jack by deadlock and create some fun.

    • eurovicious

      I dunno, I think Lola and Fleur are due. Lola deserved to be B2 this week after than awful vocal last night. She’s not reliable.

      • Fleur won’t be hitting bottom2 anytime soon

        • eurovicious

          Confident rapping sexual older black woman klaxon

        • Can’t be bothered to keep repeating myself. The formula is clearly working though. Id expect something like extra terrestrial for fleur Saturday

          • Martin

            We don’t know if it is clearly working. I get the impression that she’s middle-bottom and they’re allowing her to carry on with what she’s good at because she’s livening up what would be an otherwise dull show. She could be treated worse, but if they truly wanted her to do well she’d have been given a story of some sort by now – we’ve had nothing. She’s just paddling, and I think she will fall into the bottom two over the next two weeks.

            Unless she does a ballad, and does it well. Then I’ll have to eat my words.

          • Ok the signs couldn’t be any more clearer that the show isgetting behind fleur. They also know when an act isnt polling well to remove the rap from the performance (ie james arthur) why is she in the top 2/3 of EVERY single poll available and only polling mid table. I’m interested to know this. Every week ive seen someone tip her for bottom 2. I also will look a fool if that happens any time soon but I really don’t see it

          • Martin

            You are right – all the signs suggest that she won’t poll well with voters which is why I’ve tipped her for bottom two most weeks. They will only remove the rap if they want her to do well – I’ve not seen any evidence that they want that for her. If they were truly pushing her she’d have a story arc, a journey – also why the hell isn’t she being encouraged to perform an original rap?!

          • Of course they want her to do well she’s being called a star/recording artist!

          • Jessica Hamby

            I like Fleur and I’vr said I think she’ll do well but calling her a star isn’t evidence of anything. That’s just one of the lies / cliches that the panel always spout. Treatment beyond that is much more revealing.

            It’s true she’s getting her name in lights but polls vary and imo it’s not clear at all how she’s actually doing. She’s not an obvious producer favourite like Lauren, and Lauren isn’t really a pop star at all atm. She’d fit into a british Glee or High School Musical but she’s no Miley Cyrus, not even pre short hair and twerking.

            I certainly think Fleur’s got a few weeks left in her but it’s very early days and on reflection I still can’t tell if her greatment is because she’s favoured by tptb, she’s polling badly and they want her to do well or she’s just one of the better performers to make the show more watchable. I do think she needs a standout vocal performance to be a contender and that hasn’t happened yet.

            Lauren is clear producers fave and Stereo Kicks are wanted in the final. I think they’d be quite happy to lose Andrea a week or two before the final. They definitely don’t want a runaway train. Other than that I’m still guessing.

            OT: what do people think of the standard this year compared to previous years. I think it’s much better than last year but what about others? Is it good, or is it more that there are a lot of evenly matched competitors?

        • We get it, you like Fleur East.

          • Ive provided the evidence. I’m just baffled as to people suggesting she could be polling badly in the voting when she’s pretty much the most popular contestant in a free vote show lol. Anyway no more fleur talk from me until her fate has been decided. I can lead a horse to water and all that.

          • Jessica Hamby

            I’ve been on her for a while, but I still have doubts sometimes.

          • Martin

            I think she’s an interesting case. There’s cases to be argued either way, I don’t think it’s clear cut that she’s doing well, nor is it clear that she’s struggling. She’s one of the talking points for me this year.

      • EM

        I think Fleur is doing ok and Lola has a storyline half finished

        • I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they quietly abandon the Journey storyline now and instead work towards a Stevi/Lola B2.

          By the way, can I just say that the group song was beyond awful tonight? Appalling.

          • EM

            The group song was awful, the sing-offs were both dreadful, there are precious few characters in the show.

            And they wonder why the ratings are plummeting

          • Jon

            Totally agree with that comment James. I noted Mel B referred to Fleur as the dark horse tonight. Fleur appears to be the one on a journey, and I think Simon’s patience with Lola has just about run out. Stevie has to be the shock save, and Lola is now expendable but would still be a big scalp.

          • Yeah, I can really see a Lola/SK or Lola/Stevi B2 next week, with Lola going over either.

  • Fudd

    Dermot has just openly criticised the sing off on The Xtra Factor, saying the audience picked up on how poor it was.

  • Phil

    I think it’s clear by the reactions to each of them being in the sing off that they have a lot more interest in Stereo Kicks than they have in Only The Young. Last weekend we had tears, arguments, accusations that Louis isn’t good enough to mentor them etc. Nothing like this for OTY. I doubt we’ll see Simon offering to mentor them next week like he has this weekend for SK.

  • Martin

    As most of us predicted, Jake was a clear target as were OTY. Back to business as usual after last weeks mishap.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see SK top the vote this week. Their performance is top 20 iTunes, they’ve more than bounced and if they can keep up the momentum they’ll be around for a few weeks.

    Next week is Halloween theme, right? By rights, Stevi should sail through if he gets the production that this theme allows but he’s been given the opportunity twice to say how he wants to prove he can sing with a ballad, and specifically mentioned Halloween week. If this is followed through, and that’s a big if, I can see him being in danger.

    Fleur was called first AGAIN?! I know the significance of this can be argued but that’s all three weeks so far. Surely something is up with that? Typically, Halloween week is rough territory for the girls but the three left I can’t see as disposable. By rights, Fleur should have landed bottom two already if we go by past voting trends – intimidating styling, heavy eye make up, some Halloween-whore dancing and dodgy song choice may be dangerous for her but it depends how much damage the show want to do for her.

    Simon naming and shaming Lola might be a giveaway too. Particularly after how they swept her awful performance under the rug last night. It was odd that simon brought attention to her awful vocals once lines were closed, will they carry that on this week and Habibis her? If Lauren is plan a it might make sense to clear her competition.

    The only other obvious targets are Jack and OTY. With OTY due a bounce (if allowed), I can see an early slot and a red and blacking for Jack, although he has survived the strictly bus and distracting staging once – that was when he had 1D on side.

    • EM

      Hi Martin can you give a bit more on the record that shows intimidating styling and heavy eye make up doesn’t work for the voting public and why you think Fleur has both?

      • Martin

        Not necessarily that Fleur has both, but if they wanted to nail Fleur then those methods would be best used this week on her. Misha’s hair-horn looked pretty unnerving, she had heavy eye make up which could have prevented voters from ‘connecting’ , as did Katie Waissell and they were both bottom two on Halloween week. It’s not proven by any stretch – I’m sure there are other examples, but the girls seem like easy targets with this theme as the scope for trickery is greater.

        • EM

          I could trot out a list of girls with light eye make up and lightly styled hair who have done much worse that Misha B or Katie Waisell so I’m still not quite sure where your assersion comes from.

          • Martin

            I wouldn’t call it an assertion – just something that has happened a couple of times on Halloween week that there may be something in. Not an all-encompassing rule that any girl that wears eye shadow is doomed.

          • Martin

            I’ve also just read my comment and my point isn’t made very clearly. I’m trying to say that if we take into account Fleur so far, and that we know voters don’t typically respond well to this type of act, she should have been in trouble already. Those methods I mention are used on Halloween week more often than not and if used on fleur, could do her some damage.

          • Ok top 3 in all polls + 5 free votes = undoubtably polling well in the votes

        • EM

          Martin, the Halloween week you mention with Misha B also featured Janet Devlin with heavy eye make up, came first that week and Little Mix full face make up, came second.

          And yet you think heavy eye make up and hair put Misha B in trouble?

          • Martin

            No it was more to do with the bully word being dropped that week. As I said, it was a badly worded notion but those things probably didn’t help.

          • EM

            Thanks for clarifying Martin. I also disagree that there’s evidence that “voters don’t respond well to this kind of act” but I feel like I’ve been on your case enough tonight!

          • Eddy

            I always thought it was more the fallout from bullygate that did Misha B in than anything.

          • Martin

            It’s not about being anybody’s case, it’s interesting to see whether I’m being ridiculous (which I often am). the ‘confident black lady’ thing has been raked over enough times, we know that acts similar to Fleur have struggled previously is the only point i was trying to make. If those acts are struggling anyway (with fleur we can’t be sure how she’s doing), covering/obscuring their eyes (the window to the soul etc) may hinder them further.

            We didn’t have a Halloween week last year did we?

          • EM

            Yeah you keep saying “we know” but I don’t!

          • Martin/EM, for what it’s worth, the idea of covering/obscuring an act’s eyes possibly making it harder for them to make a connection with viewers has been on our radar as a possible red flag since Nicolo Festa’s sunglasses in 2010 week 1. Thought about it most recently with Blonde Electra’s green eyebrows week 1 this year.

            Doesn’t mean to say that there’s definitely anything in it, of course, could just be a coincidence, but it does make some kind of intuitive sense.

          • Martin

            My wording is unclear on these comments, I do apologise. Andrew has pretty much made my point for me, thanks for that.
            All I’m trying to say is that typically, the public struggle to get behind these confident black female acts – Rachel Adedeji, Tamera, Hannah Barratt, Misha B etc. Fleur fits into a similar lane as these guys and so by rights, she should be struggling in the vote. Whether the public have already made the connection with her so far could be argued for or against, either way I will be interested to see how they use the halloween theme with Fleur.

    • I noticed Jack was red and blacked this week, and the raunchy dancers weren’t very helpful either, so he’s doing quite well to make it through so far.

  • Heisenberg

    Well done everyone who called it this week, especially those who nailed the Jake/OTY B2 combo.

    Here’s the updated visual landscape:


  • Nugg

    If Jake was bottom , wouldn’t they have just sent it to deadlock ? I do beleive in a bounce effect,it has kinda been proven, but OTY were so bad in that sing off and if they are bottom of the public vote it is going to be hard for them to avoid bottom 2 next week

    • Martin

      True. Steph did a below par b2 performance and her bounce was curbed. Only The Young were much worse, if the producers work against them they’d be in trouble.

      I’d also expect some unbearable simon boasting next week – he’s got four acts left, I’m sure he will ham it up. Whoever he decides to gloat most about this during may get the Simon-hater effect.

    • That depends entirely on what sort of producer help they get. A cry VT, a sob story, a late slot and helpful judges comments should. in theory, pull them back up. This is definitely a show back “on-script” now though, which is good news for punters.

    • Chatterbox5200

      I really don’t understand the song choice for OTY in the sing-off. They have so many songs on YouTube that they are familiar with and that they could have performed better.

      It makes me wonder if Louis suggested the ABBA song, and sold it to them, as it included the lyrics “the judges will decide”.

      • Scott

        Without need for further comment from me, the full lyrics for that section are: “The judges will decide, the likes of me abide, spectators of the show, always staying low”.

  • Nugg

    Just been sent a clip of Only the Youngs predicted song choice for Halloween week, this could possibly save them Thanks to Chatterbox for this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8f4YbXXJtU

    • Dean

      Would definitely save them, so I am 100% sure they would not be allowed to this, unless TPTB don’t mind a bounce and a very good one off performance for OTY with the knowledge they can throw them under a bus in week 5

      • Lol I laughed when simon said on the xtra factor that the contestants can sing what they want

        • Nugg

          whilst it would be rather unfair to let them sing a song they have already perfected singing and performing , I can honestly see TPTB letting them. Brian Freedman could have great fun with the staging if it anything like the video and would make great TV , they could always get rid of them another week

      • eurovicious

        What Dean said. Week 4 bounce then out in week 5.

        • Jessica Hamby

          The sad thing is that it doesn’t matter how they perform from now on. Their destiny is pretty much set out. Oh well… good for betting and if by now, after all the things that have been said and written about x factor, aspiring musicians are prepared to perform in the Syco Circus of Cruelty I’m starting to feel they have to take whatever they get, for good or ill.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I felt for only the young because I do like their chemistry but that sing-off was dreadful.

    • Martin

      I like them too, I did feel a bit of pity because they seem like fun and the show had hardly done them any favours so far. I felt quite guilty for not giving them any of my free votes.

  • David Cook

    I think this was probably a good result for TPTB. If Jack is hovering near the bottom at last I’m sure they’ll take the opportinity to eliminate him next week if they can as he’s got to be more damaging to Stereo Kicks than OTY. That means not being in the bottom two with OTY, as saving them two weeks in a row, and after that dreadful performance would be difficult. A bounce may be difficult, but surely Halloween provides an ideal opportunity for a fun production which could help them. Stevi singing a ballad could be in trouble and that could potentially set up a controversial sing off with Stevi saved over Jack. Ideal for TPTB.

  • A thought on Fleur, she seems to have more freedom to do stuff than your average contestant, which may explain her styling and her songs. Previous recepients include Luke Friend, Lucy Spraggan,…

  • Moon Gin

    An interesting observation from XF Facebook page. Each week, as they post pics of each act performing, the likes received by each act reflect the bottom 2/3 with one exception

    In week 1 the acts receiving least likes on Facebook were BE, Overload, and Steph (3/3 correct)

    In week 2 the acts receiving least likes on Facebook were Fleur, Chloe, and Steph (2/3 correct)

    In week 3 the acts receiving least likes on Facebook were Jake and OTY (2/2 correct)

    Can’t wait to see if Facebook likes on week 4 and afterwards would reflect the voting too or not.

  • Boki

    This Fleur thing is becoming interesting. Historically speaking, first announced safe act is someone for the shock factor (not her) or used to promote someone and make us to believe is doing great but in fact somewhere middle placed (this looks more like her). But why 3 times in a row???

  • Dan

    Well that was a terrible weekend for X-Factor. Most of the acts performed extraordinarily badly. Cowell noted that last night. The sing-off was even worse.

    So far it has been an interesting series for me what with backing Stereo Kicks as soon as the market opening and predicting Fleur to go first. I think that we’re seeing a repeat of 2012 where the groups did terribly and frequently had to be saved from the bottom two. If SK can’t stay out of the danger zone with free voting then it is doomed – I already considered my stake lost 🙁

    On the subject of free voting, we have some approximations in the number of votes to play with (“over two million” in weeks one and two). Very interesting to apply this to a comparable series like seven to see just how close the numbers were between contestants…

  • EM

    If I had to break it down to my usual categories right now I’d say

    Keep for musical/commercial potential – Fleur, Ben, Stereo Kicks, Lauren, Paul

    Keep for ratings: Stevie Lola(just) Andrea

    Not bothered about: OTY Jay

    Want rid: James

  • fused

    Most of Only The Young’s performances have been messy, but I think that’s part of their charm. But that sing-off performance was just a plain mess. To be honest, I’ve never heard a good cover version of ‘The Winner Takes It All’. I think that song only really ‘works’ when it’s the ABBA version.

    I was happy with the sing-off result though. Jake for me stood out as insufferably boring, even though it’s a dull year and even though there are more bland male soloists than usual.

    I quite like OTY, so I hope they can bounce to week 5 at least. I like that Fleur is continuing to sail through each week, she is the one who is most like a ready made pop star, but that’s part of the problem. There’s always a ceiling to how far that sort of act can go on The X Factor. The winners tend to be middle of the road and more often than not, old fashioned.

  • fused

    Sorry for the double post, but regarding this year compared to previous years, I actually quite liked last year. It might be because my favourite, Sam Bailey won, but I thought it had a reasonably good cast, and there were a few mess-ups that made it amusing. This year I’ve found it quite dull so far, a combination of too many samey acts and the decision to John Lewis every song.

    This series is so different compared to series 7, the other one that had 16 acts in the live shows (well, yeah, series 8 did to start with, but the eliminated 4 right away). Series 7 felt so much bigger, obviously the show itself was bigger then, but it felt more like a big production, and there was certainly more variety with the acts.

    One thing I find interesting this year is the Overs category. With the exception of Stevi, they aren’t much different from the Boys or Girls category. Ben and Jay aren’t massively different from Jack or Jake in the style they seem to be going for, and you could argue that Andrea and Paul while they might be younger their style is more old fashioned. Fleur also is only just an Over at 26.

    A total contrast to last year. There was a bit of a Team Older Women feel to the category last year, with Sharon as the mentor, and Shelley, Lorna (who was only 26 at the time) and Sam all styled older than their age. I think that worked badly for Lorna and Shelley, but well for Sam, as it emphasised her as a Mum.

    Quite different from when Louis gets the category as well. Louis is the joke judge, so he often gets the joke or novelty acts. Like in series 8 he got Johnny, Kitty (I personally wouldn’t consider Kitty a joke act, but I think there’s a reason these acts were all grouped together) and he would have got Goldie if she hadn’t dropped out. Or in series 7, when he had the joke act again Wagner, I think that might have been what they were planning for Storm originally. He also had two contestants in their 50s with Mary and Wagner, that was also a year when it was Over 28s which meant Matt Cardle was put in the Boys category.

    This year, the Overs does have the joke act with Stevi, but still he’s not really a joke act as such. Perhaps that has something to do with Simon getting the Overs this year, I’d say it’s unlikely he’d be given a category with no potential winners in it.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I wonder how Sam Bailey and Nicholas M would fare this year. I don’t think any of the others would do much.

    • Martin

      I’d agree with the point about Simon having a strong category – the overs this year is basically an extension of the boys and the girls and with Simon having them, it’s unlikely that he’d have no acts in the final. He’s also the only judge with all of his acts left.

      I did actually enjoy last year – from a “viewer” point of view Sam Bailey was a good, reliable watch and she was always entertaining performance-wise, too. Tamera, Hannah and Luke were decent performers too, and in terms of personal taste, Luke is up there with one of my favourite contestants – it was nice to see him allowed to progress so far. From a sofabet point of view, it was interesting to watch their tricks with Tamera and Abi – they seemed a lot more relaxed in terms of agenda last year and it was actually quite refreshing to see them accept Sam Bailey and Nick as the winners without seeing too much of a takedown.

      This year, with the return of Simon, it seems a lot more of an uncomfortable watch. I actually like Simon as a TV presence, but in terms of signals and scripts it feels like there isn’t really a guage of where they are going. It may be too early to be saying this, but even with the similar characters to 2010 it doesn’t seem to be working. They’ve got rid of Chloe, who, although a bit ropey, would have livened things up a bit. They’ve probably damaged Stereo Kicks too much with their bottom two appearance and so will have to drag them to the semi finals whether viewers like it or not. Stevi just isn’t living up to his promise and I don’t feel like any of the “good” contestants have anything special enough about them.

      In terms of personal tastes, I’ve found it hard to get to grips with any of the contestants. Ben Haenow and Only The Young are my favourites, but it’s hard to get excited about Only The Young with their trajectory so far.

  • Dean

    Having watched over most the performances again I have no doubt Fleur is being pimped up. I personally think TPTB would love a Lauren, SK and Fleur final. With probably the realisation Andrea could be there too as he already has a big fanbase (but we saw with Janet how quickly this can be dereailed). Ben also in with a shout and they do not mind him to a degree I feel, but don’t want him to win.

    Andrea so far can be really likened to Janet I feel. Great emotional performances moving into the lives, given a great song and pimp slot in week 1, then a slow deramping which caught fire around week 5 (when Janet fluffed up her lines indeed). So far they are still playing to Andrea’s strengths with these lung bursting ballads, but the moment we see Andrea doing a Janet and trying a more up tempo Jackson 5 which needs some dance moves may be the time they slowly up their deramp.

    They have not done this yet however, so Andrea is still in the unsure box for me, but I certainly wouldn’t back him at 6/4. Week 4 could be a telling week for our lovable Italian. Janet got given a creepy version of Every Breath You Take and did not get good reviews from the judges… if something similar happens to Andrea I have no doubt they do not want him to win then.

    Right now they are still delighting the demo for Andrea, but I also feel they are slowly stopping him getting any new fans with a lot of samey performances and lukewarm judges comments, but I also think the treatment is yet to be so harsh as they are testing waters.

    For me now

    Who they want to win: Lauren, Fleur
    Who they want to do well: Stereo Kicks
    Still unsure: Ben, Andrea, Paul
    Middle of the road: Lola, Jay
    Novelty: Stevi
    Disposable: Jack, OTY

    • Dean

      Sorry for double post, but wouldn’t be surprised if Lola is deramped a bit next week to be put on the disposable list. The only people I can see voting for her are the Geordies right now because she is not living up to her billing.

      Abi got more slack last year and she was far better at stages than Lola has been so far.

      • Martin

        Good points with Andrea and Lola. Another poster mentioned that Andrea has a bit of a Jahmene treatment about him so far – samey performances that allow him to do what he’s good at but pretty restrictive, not allowing him to pick up anymore fans. I suppose it depends whether the producers feel that they can take him down before the final. I’m sure that over the next few weeks, his treatment will be telling enough. His last two performances haven’t been fantastic, they haven’t had the glowing praise of week one – I wouldn’t be surprised to see what you mention play out. The only danger would be that Janet was shown to be quite dislikeable almost – refusing to play ball with the producers, her VTs made her look quite stroppy so that she didn’t get the sympathy vote when the judges laid into her. Similar treatment of Andrea may go the other way and boost a vote.

        I’ve never seen the fuss with Lola to be honest. It feels very forced with her, but after her terrible performance this week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a full deramp in effect and them ploughing all their efforts into making Lauren even more of a success.

    • Henry VIII

      Why do they want Lauren or Fleur to win?

  • lolhart

    To be fair to OTY, The Winner Takes It All is a deceptively difficult song to sing. I also don’t think their rendition was as bad as Rosie Ribbons’ from Pop Idol’s infamous car-crash performance.

    I’m really getting Alexandra Burke vibes from Fleur. Very much seen as the gamma in her category before the lives, but won TPTB over by giving some competent and exciting performances. I think there’s a difference between Fleur’s confidence and that of Misha B or Tamera. The latter is seen as threatening by Middle England because they are teens, while the other is seen as good fun.

    I still question how invested TPTB are in Stereo Kicks. They probably want them to go further so that Louis will have an act towards the end, but surely they’ve learnt from Union J that a boyband who’s bottom 2 this early is not going to have a particularly successful post-X-Factor career.

    • True to an extent but 1D never set the voting alight
      They were struggling most weeks

      • Martin

        Were 1D not pretty consistantly 4th (or therabouts?) I can’t remember their specifics.

        I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot by trying to recreate 1D (if that’s what they are trying to acheive). 1D were the first boyband they had on the show that weren’t trying to be anybody else (that includes JLS – I tend to seperate them from the usual boyband pack but on the show at least, they were Boyz II Men singing Westlife covers). 1D came out doing mostly uptempo songs, modern arrangements, nothing too matchy styling wise and no awful choreography – with The Wanted on the cusp of success at that point in time, it seemed like there was a market for it. Since then, they’ve repeated the formula and failed a few times so it just feels a little stale. Even now with SK, we’re still getting the same sort of performances you can imagine 1D doing when they were on the show, just with a few extra people standing on the end so it looks even more akward. I can’t see how they’d freshen up the format to be honest – this week seems to have gotten them back on track but they need to do something to keep the momentum going.

  • One Direction were 3rd or 4th in the voting every week.

  • uncalquera

    General thoughts about this week. I was out for the weekend so I couldn’t watch it live, and yesterday I literally fell asleep with my laptop on whilst watching the performances (JJ’s, specifically) on YT.

    Finished this morning and it wasn’t any better. Dreadful. The feeling I’m getting is that TPTB doesn’t seem to be consistently pimping anyone (yes, not even Lauren, which i thought was flattish this week) but rather testing the waters, again. Wonder how long can they keep it before deciding about who to support and not just who to nuke. Interesting things happened though.

    For me, Jack was the most interesting case. More than the red and black, for me the big defining moment was a close up with a big red traffic-like light just behind him. It doesn’t get much more obvious that that. Then the argument with Mel… I’ve read it has to do with a shirt being ripped open, but don’t really know if that’s more of an excuse. The sensation I got is that she was blaming both him and the producers (perhaps a production change she didn’t approve/know of and Jack’s playing ball with it despite being too his disadvantage?). Nevertheless it seemed just plain wrong

    Then Ben. I quite liked the song, he worked the camera, sang it pitch-perfect, and even felt emotion (if you rewatch it thinking he is singing that to his girlfriend, surprise wedding song-like, it does work). The problem for me was that he only took it half way, you were expecting a big moment, particularly singing from the pimp slot, but he didn’t really delivered it, and the general sensation was “wow, it was nice, but not quite nice as it could have gotten to be!”.

    Then the strange question of Ben going to the panel and talking to Cheryl and Mel instead of Simon has also captured my imagination. This year there seems to be quite a lot of arguing between mentors and artists. Louis got disrepected by both his acts this week, Simon argued with Ben, Mel with Jack… and then Simon suggesting himself to mentor SK. Could they be really considering a change of categories or swapping some acts? For me it would be too much of a twist, but what’s the reason for all that bickering if not?

    Finally about next week. Not sure about Jack being targeted in Halloween’s week, it seems a good topic for him to make a good performance, same for OTY. Of course Halloween has been a good week for breakthrough performances (LM have been mentioned, but for me Cher Lloyd’s Stay with me continues to be one of the best songs ever sung in XF!) but it poses a risk for more serious, bland contestants… Could you imagine anything lively coming out of JJ’s mouth? Or the likes of Lola? (Not that all Halloween songs have to be necessarily lively, but…)

    Interesting panorama in front of us, indeed.

    • lolhart

      A twist like switching mentors wouldn’t surprise me. The ratings gap with Strictly is getting a tad embarrassing – 2 million this weekend.

    • Martin

      I can imagine there being a “mentor” swap being a gimmick they’d engineer. At this point, nothing is unimaginable.

      I think Jack will still be a target – if he’s refusing to play ball with the performances, I can’t see them supporting him any further. Whether the public will play ball remains to be seen. I think an arrogant The Risk/Frankie Cocozza ladies man style VT could do him some damange, along with removing the guitar.

      Ben was a wierd one for me – his VT made him come across quite worthy, and I’m not sure whether the girlfriend stuff was supposed to helpful or not. She was mentioned frequently in the VT, lots of cutaway shots to her during the comments. I get the feeling that it was supposed to be all quite endearing that he was singing to his girlfriend but for whatever reason the judges decided to go against it. Was a very wierd use of the pimp slot for him.

    • I can see Lola being downshifted and potentially exiting as soon as next week for the same reason they knew they had to drop Tamera when she started proving unreliable last year.

  • Moon Gin

    I wonder if TPTB puts iTunes download rank as a consideration on whoi would they back. After all the iTunes download could be seen as a test market to find out which act is marketable/profitable.

  • I think the ratings battle with Strictly provides a fascinating backdrop for this series. At what point do TPTB worry less about manipulating the results and more about putting on an entertaining programme that people want to see?

    That was some pretty shoddy TV this weekend. As much as the drama of the vote plays a big part, the Saturday show should be fun to watch and be full of good performances.

    Are they deliberately sabotaging multiple acts for the wider ‘good’ of getting the right winner, are the backstage vocal coaches etc not up to scratch, or do we just have a poor selection of singers this year?

    • lolhart

      Is Yvie Burnett still involved in the vocal coaching? She seemed to know what she was doing.

      Perhaps a disparity has developed in what Simon wants out of the show and what the (other) producers/ITV want. Simon obviously wants a revolving door of acts he can sign to Syco and it’s in his interests to push the acts he favours as far as possible. This might even be at the expense of the show being entertaining. He clearly liked Ella Henderson for example, who I found dull as dishwater when she was on the show. The only reason for him to care about the X-Factor beating Strictly in the ratings is pride.

      • That clash of priorities seems really problematic – they could easily end up with a show that isn’t that popular anymore, so isn’t that helpful for creating stars. It all seems a little muddled this year.

    • Martin

      I don’t think the ratings battle is top of the agenda. Disregarding Strictly, it’s still got decent ratings. Aside from that though, they do need to up their game in terms of entertainment on a Saturday. The show feels a little disjointed and uncomfortable at the minute and I think that’s because they haven’t made their mind up about who to push.

      I don’t think Yvie is still involved, she was in a fair few VTs back when she was and I can’t remember her cropping up for a while.

  • Heisenberg

    They’re not doing JJ any favours, Louis used, “you’re going to go far in the competition,” followed by Simon saying, “you’re respecting the people who are tuning in and voting for you.” Definite attempt to make him appear safe – he doesn’t need your vote.

    Also, he was prominent in the ‘bad’ segment of Sunday’s ‘Last Night’ recap intro. I’m keeping an eye out for some transformative Halloween make-up and/or uptempo song before considering him for bottom 2 this week.

    And, I can’t believe Cheryl didn’t feel the passion of this performance…


  • Dean

    Halloween week so what act will get sweet dreams? Any predicted song choices yet?

    • Martin

      These are my predictions:

      Jay James – Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics) (John Lewis’d)
      Fleur East – Disturbia or Monster (Rihanna). Is “Maneater” by Nelly Futardo a likely choice? I can see her doing it, don’t know how well it would go down though.
      Ben Haenow – Wicked Game (Chris Isaac)
      Stevi – Bat Out Of Hell or Ghost Busters or The Time Warp.
      Lola Saunders – Dark Horse (Katy Perry) unlikely, especially considering her hash of this weekends antics but it’s about time she did a bit of moving on stage.
      Lauren Platt – I Put A Spell On You
      Stereo Kicks – Sweet Dreams (Beyonce)
      Only The Young – Monster Mash (if allowed), if not, I’ll guess at
      Jack Walton – Crazy (Gnarls Barkley) (the version that young guy from BGT did)
      Andrea Faustini – Bring Me To Life (the version that opera guy from BGT did)
      Paul Akister – Beautiful Monster (Neyo)

      I love hallween week, always my favourite theme!

  • Heisenberg

    Very interesting to see Andrea grouped with OTY, Jack and Jake in the ‘Who Goes Home’ results show edit:


  • Alen

    Jack will def be a target next week. But who else? Only the young will have a hard time to bounce imo.

    I think we’ll finally get to a Jay vs. Ben battle. They both had the pimp slot spiced with some critique. Now the producers now how both did from the same position and can decide which one to push. I don’t think they want to loose Stevi yet but singing a ballad during Halloween would be a very easy target so if he’s doing too good it would be the perfect time to get rid of him.

    it will be also interesting how much they will push Paul vs. Andrea. Paul was def pushed up to deramp Andrea last week, now they know how well it worked and can continue or stop it.

    Lola should not be forgotten as Simon critisized her and he seems to be fed up with her. I think she will get another big chance this week but if she messes it up again she’ll get a Tamera Foster handling!

    Fleur and Lauren will be safe (as in not targeted from the producers) imo.

  • I reckon Jack is well within range and they will reel him in for the kill Saturday.

    • Curtis

      I’m way more nervous about Jack than I was about Jake. I don’t know, he just seems like he might have more of a demographic to aim at. He’s been nobbled 2 weeks consecutively including a death slot last week, and yet avoided bottom 2 both times. Maybe they will reel him in this week as I’m sure he’ll be the main target, but I’m not looking open my wallet at 2/1 on him when I’m worried someone like Jay James may be polling worse.

    • David Cook

      Would that be with a stake through the heart to keep in with the theme. I suppose it could be one way to try to boost ratings, although it does seem a bit severe.

  • Heisenberg

    Paul Akister song spoiler – Sofabet exclusive.

    Mel B 0 – 1 Heisenberg


  • nugg

    OK so it is now official, myself and chatterbox will be at Saturdays live show. Is there anything in particular anyone wants us to look out for and report back on ?

    • Henry VIII

      Great Nugg. Try and sit close to the judges, you got some great stuff from Kelly last time.

      The audience reaction to each act would be interesting. In the hall the reaction is unadulterated.

  • Scott

    Jack seems the logical target this week. Stevi’s treatment is worth watching, especially if he’s shown in a deserted Harvester and/or is given a ballad, but I suspect they’ll want to keep him for a controversial save some way down the line, perhaps against Lola?

    OTY are likely to get a bounce and be targeted the following week when their fans least expect it.

    The lyrics of The Winner Takes It All summed it up for me: The judges will decide, the likes of me abide, spectators in the show, always staying low.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>