X Factor 2014 Week 4 Post-Mortem: No Plaice for Lola

It’s so easy to be cynical about how acts are portrayed to us – to think of everything as artifice, to forget that behind the carefully constructed image is a fallible human being. Producers chose to present Lola as a collage of nerves, grandparents and fishmongery, but the nerves – alas – were all too genuine. Every indication was that week 3’s ‘When You Believe’ was Lola’s moment to pay off the journey that had been laid out for her since the audition stages, and stake her claim to be alpha girl. But nerves overcame her and after that it was always going to be an uphill struggle.

It was the first singoff of the series where I felt confident betting large amounts. I was able to get a five-figure sum on at odds of around 1.2, taking advantage of some profit-taking among punters who had backed Lola throughout the day. However, I had also been scrambling since week 3 to close down an early position on Lola in the outright market, so it certainly wasn’t an exceptionally good night for me.

So now we see what producers have in the file marked Stereo Kicks: Plan C. How about a mentor swap, with Louis taking Stevi? Short of a member cull, that’s about the only halfway-plausible reboot scenario we can imagine. And the natural order of the universe would be restored if Louis got the comedy over.

And what do producers have in mind for Paul Akister for the coming week? The look on Simon’s face when Paul called his criticism unfair is worth rewatching: annoyance, then the flicker of a sly smile. If we were Paul, we’d be worried.

Still, Only The Young are due to come down from their bounce, and we saw with Stereo Kicks that bounces more often than not last only one week. And can we really get past the halfway point without a single over getting into the singoff?

As ever, do keep the conversation going below.

62 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 4 Post-Mortem: No Plaice for Lola

  • Curtis

    They worked really hard to keep up SK’s momentum from last week and they failed. It doesn’t bode well for OTY, who will not get nearly so much help. The game’s wide open for the other spot in the B2 and I almost certainly won’t be getting involved in the elimination markets until after the show this week.

  • I honestly didn’t expect that result. I thought Paul was firmly under the bus and Little Prix got more than enough producer help. Only correct call for me was Jack’s elimination, having had Lola as a combo bet with Paul and then Paul to go, which has stemmed the losses slightly.

    The low prices on Lola to be bottom two (outside of a combo bet) and later on to lose the sing off, meant I didn’t want to get involved.

    Burnt this weekend. I hope after a good run I’m not getting fat and arrogant!

    As always, congratulations to all who called it, especially those who laid Lola early on.

  • Piresistable

    No doubt the TPTB will be out to get Paul, but what’s he got to lose? Some viewers may have quite liked his retort to Cowell and if the show makes it too obvious that they’re after him they may create support for him.

    The question is, how well do we think Paul is doing? He is was called safe last which can be interpreted either way. I do think Lauren being called safe first suggests the show wants to help her.

    • Fudd

      And (I am not saying this is the case before people saying I’m stating things without evidence) it has signs of a redemption arc – like Only the Young who were bickering and at odds last week to a positive upbeat VT this week. Obviously redemption isn’t fully needed because he didn’t drop into the bottom two but I think they might try and give him a ‘feelgood’ moment before booting him (like Abi last year who was given an uplift before being chucked).

      Surely it’s time to target the Overs next week? The groups are vulnerable and the girls are down to one. Ben seems to be alpha male and Fleur appears to be a chosen one which leaves Jay v Stevie… as Andrea has be shown to be competent at ‘joke’ performances will they get rid of Stevie as he’s had his ‘moment’? Or will they throw Jay under the bus? Or will they just pin Paul anyway and have a scenario where they have only one boy, one girl a couple of groups and four overs?

      • Dean

        None of it was really a surprise lets be fair. I noticed how when Ben changed his song last week he got negative comments. Go against TPTB and this is what you get, luckily for Ben he is being given a 2nd chance it seems.

        Jack and now Paul, maybe not

        • Jessica Hamby

          He should never have entered the competition. I thought all musicians know that for most of them it only brings heartbreak and it sets back their careers.

          • uncalquera

            But he was only seventeen! (Seventeen: inexperienced and fame-thirsty, and much wiser now he has passed through it).

  • Scott

    I feared I may be a week early with Paul and that proved to be the case. Thankfully backing Lola to go in the sing-off covered my losses. More conservative betting from me next week I feel.

  • Glad I decided to stay out of this one.

  • Donald

    Good weekend for me, got bottom two right and Lola going. Nerves of steel required but was happy enough with the logic of coming down from bounce and double app voting to have a decent go. Small margins to get well ahead and find the all important value. Would have been early Xmas if SK went but more than happy with weekend.

    Wonder will they introduce some change to the app voting but the public are not biting on another group with 1D around and they on the show next week.

    No double app votes next weekend, OTY obvious bottom two based on SK tonight. Will be a tricky enough weekend as beyond that is guesswork amongst a few. See running order, song choice and staging and play safe again until during and after show.

    There should be a decent few more profitable weeks ahead in the bottom two and elimination market.

  • Lenny

    Early prediction – Stevi falls b2 next week. TPTB engineer either Paul or OTY against him. Stevi is saved, bounces to week 7 before a gracious exit. Controversy ensues.

  • Face

    i have suspected all along that as the males (be they boys or overs) leave… their voters are most likely to switch to Ben… as he appears to cross over the most with the other males… he’s attractive, older, but not too old, to have some ‘sex appeal… seems like a nice, humble, likeable, family friendly guy… sings crowd pleasing songs that will appeal to men & women…

    I also now wonder if building him up is now also part of the Andrea de-ramp… assuming (after last night) that they now want Paul out asap…

  • Martin

    I was sure Paul would be bottom two. Maybe with this free app it is more of a singing competition this year.
    Not at all surprised with Lola and SK being bottom two – Lola hasn’t really delivered in the live shows and deserved to go. I amazed that after their treatment on Saturday Stereo Kicks didn’t manage to pick up anymore votes but clearly people just aren’t that into them. I will be eagerly interested to see how they are dealt with next week. We’ve raked over all the possibilities of what to do with them quite a lot, I’m curious to see if any of them turn up next week.

    Shout out to the curse of the spider too. I know it’s probably a small factor considering but I do love these theories.

    I’m sure with it being club classics week next week we will see paul dragged down to holy hell (if he didn’t get that this week) – if that wasn’t the look of playful hatred in simon’s eyes I don’t know what is. Terrifying stuff. I’m hoping for a nuking of Janet Devlin proportions.

    I’ve been saying for weeks that we should be seeing the takedown of an over coming into play at some point but it’s week four and we’ve seen nothing concrete to suggest that. By rights Fleur should have troubled the bottom two and Mel’s suggestion that she needs to up her game tonight could either be the setting up Fleur’s ‘moment’ vocally (although on club classics weeks it seems like there should be more fancy choreography) or they could play on it, one more poor vocal could be dangerous. Not sure they’d prefer to be left with just one solo female at the half way point though. Jay and Ben seem to be going strong and Stevi is fun – it seems odd that simon is left with four acts and potentially two judges could have one each after next weekend.

    Expecting OTY to get a hammering next week, although vote transfer doesn’t seem to be as clear this year I can imagine at this point they’d prefer to give SK every chance and eliminating the only other group may help them.

  • Andy

    Well done Daniel.
    I felt uneasy about the outright market so left it well alone.
    I did manage to snap up Ladbrokes 4/1 this morning for a SK bottom 2.
    Kudos to Simon for keeping all his acts again, he is surely going to lose one next week.

  • Heisenberg

    So close yet so far. I was quietly confident with my Paul/SK B2 combo at 20/1. Oh well, back to business, it’s Remembrance Sunday next week – now, if only there was an act with a military background…

    The Hunger James: MockingJay (Part 1)


  • Neeve

    This was the order the acts were called safe…
    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was not in fact “no particular order” and was indeed the actual vote order tonight.

    Only the Young

    • EM

      One thing is for sure, the last name called safe this season is definitely someone they’d be happy to leave next week

      Lola/Andrea (more debatable)

    • General Hogbuffer

      I think I would disagree; Lauren seems to have all the signs of being Plan A now that the SK project seems to have faltered again, so calling her first would be just another subtle hint that she’s the deserved leader. In the same vein, leaving Paul last could suggest that he’s just scraped outside the B2, in the same way that they left him standing til last yesterday. I would not be surprised if Andrea was still polling well, regardless of de-ramping and facebook likes…

      Wonder why they changed the theme for next week from the boyband/girlband theme to Club Classics – who do we think will benefit from that ???

      • Disco = up tempo. So very few of them

        • General Hogbuffer

          Ha – wait and see what they make of disco classics on this show…. I would bet a month’s salary that they will JohnLewisify the majority of the songs into some painful, overearnest angsty ballad.

          • Martin

            Out of curiousity what did dermot actually call the theme next week? Club classics and disco could be very different themes.

          • Jack

            The theme is Disco.

          • Martin

            Ugh I hate disco – such a dated theme and is far too happy for my liking however it as stoney said it will force them into uptempo performances and so from an entertainment point of view it may beneficial.

            Good news for OTY, Fleur (although she needs to sing good too). Bad news for pretty much everybody else?

          • Luke

            Mark Sidaway ‏@marksidaway 3m3 minutes ago
            Disco just died. We’ve a new theme coming……

  • Heisenberg

    Here’s the updated visual landscape:


  • The facebook likes call it again

  • tpfkar

    Stereo Kicks can’t have been far from going home last night instead of jack. I thought such a late slot would be ominous. Will they dare giving them yet another late slot next time? They are due a very early one.

    I was also on Lola in the outright; Ben is my remaining hope here.

    I think the Maloney comparisons with Andrea are right, but not quite the way some have said. The trick is to prevent transfers. Everyone who has liked him through the auditione will stick with him, but by criticising performances and making them look like a figure of fun, they won’t be a magnet for those who didn’t go for them inthe first place. And by the end of the series, they’ll be overtaken.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Mixed weekend for me. Lola going was excellent because I’ve been agin her from the day after she was brought back. Also trivial profit from SK b2. Ben’s popilarity is a concern. I don’t want him to win but if Lauren falters (and imo her peak week so far was Happy) and the Andrea deramp succeeds he’s in a fine position to swoop in. He’s definitely the act with momentum at the moment but it’s early days and disco / club classics doesn’t look like it’ll be help him.

    What will tptb do if SK go b2 necxt week? It’s not unlikely. They can’t send them to anither shopping centre or it’ll just look ridiculous. Nobody seems to care much about them but it’ll be embarassing for Simon to have to dump them because he made clear they are his personal pet project.

    Saving them over Paul would certainly create controversy, but it wouldn’t help their popularity. Can they survive another b2?

    One would think that disco should play into Stevi’s hands. It’s mase fir an ott production. Andrea should like it to, given his relight my fire.

  • Dean

    I think Disco is a great theme to continue on this very impressive week for the X Factor. Also think it could be a good theme to really go in for the kill on Paul.

  • Why was there a double axe this week? Were they confident in taking down the acts they wanted, or is this a TV decision? Because this doesn’t look ideal on both fronts.

    • AlisonR

      It’s a bit of a producer fail imho. If they’d only had the normal sing off, they’d still have got Jack, and Lola would’ve bounced. Now SK really are tainted beyond repair. I don’t think Lola was really the second target, it was probably Paul with her or Stevie as back up.

  • Halloween has claimed yet another female soul, following the tradition of Belle Amie, Sophie, and Jade.

  • Blake

    Theme is changing to two “iconic acts”. Thank god for that!

      • Jessica Hamby

        Ben reminded me of Freddie, the way he strutted and prowled around the stage with his half microphone stand.

        Don’t Stop Me Now would be perfect for him, and maybe another vt of him ‘avin’ a cup o’ Rosie Lee out of a Union Jack mug wiv ‘is ol’ mam while Andrea stuffs his face with that foreign muck and talks his jibber-jabber.

        We’re still waiting on a breakout vocal from Fleur and Lauren also needs to deliver or soon people will forget why they liked her (that’s the problem with claiming other people’s work as your own Lauren – you’re expected to stay at that level and you can’t).

        Pinbal Wizard, Back In The USSR, Satisfaction, there are a lot of classic rock tracks Ben can do between now and the final and that kind of music is due a UK revival (plus it’s clearly the genre he’s most comfortable with).

        I have some thinking to do.

      • Jessica Hamby

        M OT but if this happens then Storm Lee will be fuming. Bet they won’t be dyeing Ben’s hair pink and giving him We Built This City On Rock And Roll.

        • Martin

          He seems to be taking a bit of a Ben Mills (whooooo) direction – I bet Joseph Whelan is pissed too, pretty much the exact same act and ben only had to audition one year.

          Re: Queen – I think one of the papers said they are guest performers in a few weeks. If that is the case surely they wouldn’t do Queen week this week? Although linking guests and themes isn’t really a thing anymore, that seems like a silly thing to do.

          • fused

            One thing I am glad they have stopped doing is deciding a theme week based on who’s going to come on to plug a single that week.

  • David Cook

    After each weeks performances I’ve asked myself if I’ve spotted the winner yet – and each week the answer comes back a resounding NO. Yet in six weeks one of these acts will actually win the whole shebang. After yesterday’s round of performances the penny finally dropped – of course no-one’s going to step up and win it – there is no outstanding act. I’m looking for the act that doesn’t lose it. Who is the compromise candidate, the act that‘ll be left standing when all the others have fallen away? Who will be the recipient of those transfer votes from the acts that weren’t quite good enough? At the moment I think that it’s looking like Ben.

    • Dean

      Well the name checks have started. Lauren the potential pop star or little star. Ben has been called a recording artist a number of times now. Fleur has been getting all the big productions. For me those 3 are the preferred final for TPTB and I would be surprised if these 3 are at least not in the final 4.

  • Blake

    The theme for next week perhaps is because they’ve realised a similar thing and are going to throw their support behind Ben.

  • Nugg

    Went to Saturdays show with Chatterbox, not much to report other than we got great seats, they got their targets and it was a bloody good night.
    The dampening of Andreas vote continues and I suspect he was the leader by quite a big margin after week one but no longer is.
    The show is looking a bit unbalanced on the male/female side at the moment, which can only mean good news for Fleur, Lola and OTY over the next few weeks. TBTB will not want to be left with a totally male dominated show.
    It’s all getting a bit predictable on the elimination side of things, with the strongly supported market leader going out each week, good for punters I guess, but I think we could get a shock elimination soon, one of the big guns, maybe not next week but perhaps the week after.
    If Stereo kicks cannot stay out of the bottom 2 after all the effort the producers have made then I suspect they are a lost cause as far as getting to the finals is concerned. Once they have secured their XF tour place I reckon they will be gone.
    It is about this stage I always start to think, who wouldn’t they want on the tour, I suspect Jay and Paul would both fit the bill as being pretty disposable over the next two weeks (in either order) to create a good balance for both the tour and the remaining shows.

    • Babit

      The male-heavy show has happened before, though, with Stacey Solomon (2009) and Ella H (2012) being the only remaining girls in their respective years.
      On the other hand, I do believe they’re going after Paul (and maybe Jay?) next week and that Lauren and Fleur have enough support to carry them for a few more week.

    • EM

      Nugg you say they got their targets, did you feel Lola was a target? I didn’t (in fact I said I could see no reason for her favouritism so what do I know?!!). Just wondering if you had that sense from being there.

  • Nugg

    sorry I meant Lauren not Lola, my god I will be forgetting the names of all the Stereo kicks next lol.

  • EM

    Big Band week the week after next

    • Face

      Queen / MJ and then Big band… They appear to be trying to make it more entertaining (aka win back some viewers) as well as appealing to Simon’s Overs… especially Ben and Fleur…

  • Alen

    I think Paul, Stevi and Only The Young will be targeted this week. Especially Paul and Stevi so they can save Stevi over Paul (“he enjoys the stage more!”).

    I think they will do everything to keep Fleur and Lauren cause they are the only females left now.

    I knew they’d save Stereo Kicks over Deadlock cause I figured they’d have a few more votes than Lola probably cause of young votes. Mel B had to do the dirty work cause she didn’t make any sense with her reasoning.

    I would drop Stereo Kicks and put all my effort on Only The Young if I was the producers, SK are just not working but maybe Only The Young didn’t bounce that high so they want to push SK more.

    So the theme got changed from the rumoured girlsband vs boyband to the announced Disco to MJ/Queen now? I guess the reasoning is that there are barely any females left but who could fail with these theme? Paul would be good doing Queen so watch him get a MJ song..

    • Still not convinced TPTB even want OTY out. Apart from showing them moaning about song choices, they’re getting good treatment. It’s not the producers’ fault when they sing out of tune.

      • Dean

        I think OTY would be an asset for the tour especially with their Monster Mash hit, would be great song for after the shows. That is why I believe they would save OTY over Paul as this would also be a slight shock, and this is obviously what they may be aiming for.

  • Dean

    Lets ignore what could suit these guys first… what Queen or MJ songs are used to kill acts?

    • Martin

      Is Queen and MJ confirmed now?

      As far as songs go, “Don’t Stop Me Now” has a pretty poor history with Kitty and Union J both suffering with it, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure that Simon said it was one of his least favourite songs when a creepy child dance act performed it on BGT, too.

  • Dean

    Why do TPTB constantly put in an act who they do their best to deramp. With Janet at the time we thought sometime between week 1 and 3 she became a nightmare to work with. That seemed genuinely a possibility as she wanted to stay true to herself, but then would they have not seen this before her pimp slot in week 1?

    With Chris Maloney we saw it as them not realising the monster they built and tried to crash.

    What excuse do we have for Andrea? The guy is likeable, can sing, if they backed him to the very end the guy would at least be a feel good winner and probably give them at least a good debut album which would sell well. Doesn’t seem unpopular behind the scenes either and looks a joy to work with.

    It is still to be proven if TPTB will go in for a major deramp Chris Maloney or Devlin style on Andrea yet, but it looks very likely even if slightly different in its attempt.

    Do they just enjoy giving themselves this challenge? Do they feel it makes great entertainment having that one person on such a high after the lives and week 1 pimp slot to then attempt to burn them at the stake?

    Or do they read sofabet and just enjoy doing it for our benefit? 😉

    Either way I am still convinced they will continue to deramp Andrea, but not at the cots of huge sympathy, so he will still get enough votes to get him to at least the last 5 or 6.

    It has to be said Andrea got demo delighting performances up until week 3 anyway, but Relight My Fire with his dance moves was like WTF? Janet Devlin also got demo pleasing performance up until week 3, while Chris Maloney got demo pleasing performances all the way through. TPTB just know how to limit the transferring votes, but why do they give themselves this struggle to begin with every now and again? (Andrea’s pre lives screen time then week 1 pimp slot with epic staging) Who can answer that?

    • EM

      Music and entertainment is very much a crap shoot. Although they have some idea of what the public will like no one really knows for sure how the audience react until the audience actually reacts.

      Hence acts like Chris Maloney, without the hindsight they might well have expected him to be the slightly square cruise ship singer who everyone thought was a bit naff but a large amount warmed to him so they had to take action because they didn’t want to end up with him as the winner.

      Also the acts are people so like in Janet’s case they thought they were getting one thing and when they got another they had to manage her out. It’s like any work situation, some people give great interviews but suck once they start work.

      In Andrea’s case it could be a repeat Maloney. They thought he’d be the strange little guy who could sing but wasn’t pop star enough to get votes and people fell in love with him. They don’t want him to win so they’re managin him out. Or they think he’s so popular they want to derail him a bit to make it a more interesting watch on TV.

      Final thought is Andrea’s SuBo factor. Very similar in the beautiful sound from the most unexpected place. Two thoughts here. 1) given SuBo they should have expected his popularity or 2) Despite many thinking it was a slam dunk SuBo didn’t actually win.

  • fused

    I don’t think Lola was a target as such, but was considered expendable at this point. They had created a narrative for her to “go on a journey”, but she was just staying where she was. To be honest, I think the show was worse for Lola than she was for the show. Her sing-off and what I saw of her auditions (I don’t watch much of the audition stages) were a lot better than what she was doing in the live shows. I think they probably spent too much time trying to create a narrative for her, and not enough time seeing what sort of artist she could be, but such is The X Factor.

    And with the Boys and Girls wild card out in one week, like Series 7, the last wild card remaining is the Overs joke act. They obviously don’t care much about the wild cards, certainly not at the expense of people they wanted to go into the live shows. I wonder (as someone who didn’t watch series 9) if that’s part of the reason they seemed to go to such extremes to bring down Christopher Maloney.

    I suppose if you count Amelia Lily as a wild card, then she’s the only one I can think of that they showed much support of, but then I think series 8 is a bit of an exception, because so many of the early frontrunners imploded for various reasons.

    Getting back to this, the dominance of the Overs is remarkable. Not only are they all still there, but none of them have been in the sing-offs, again quite remarkable considering there is more danger of ended up there this year with the double eliminations. The Girls category has all gone apart from Lauren, and it’s amazing at how quickly the Boys category seems to have fallen in just a couple of weeks. Jake and Jack gone, Paul almost certainly gone the second he ends up in the Bottom 2, and Andrea’s popularity seems to have eroded a bit.

    As for the groups, I agree that it would be a lot better for an entertaining show if they focused their energies on helping OTY, but they are determined to drag Stereo Kicks through, but only so far before they dump them.

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