X Factor 2014: Rise or Fall of the Roman Imp-ire?

The outright win market is looking distinctly open after week 4’s show, with favourite Andrea as a gilded lily, neither Lauren nor Fleur making a compelling claim, Ben getting the first four-judge standing ovation of the series, Jay also continuing to be praised, and yet another Stereo mis-Kick. With all that in mind, here’s our weekly pivot off your conversations in the Sofabet comments.

1. Is the Faun-stini deramp working?

Lenny: “Anyone still doubt Andrea’s getting deramped?” EM: “They threw him under the bus and he sang his way out of it.” Jess: “Deramp ain’t working. People love him.” Eurovicious: “I really think people have taken Andrea to their hearts… he’s the one who stands out.” Tpfkar: “The trick is to prevent transfers… by the end of the series, he’ll be overtaken.” Caro: “he was portrayed as a faun, not a devil… So a Roman (Italian) type of strange creature.”

So how steeped do we think producers are in mythology? Were they intending simply to portray Andrea merely as some kind of generic golden imp, or were they – as Caro suggests – thinking faun, with its Italian connotations? Props if so. Either way, producers must have even more fun coming up with this stuff than we do trying to unpick it. No wonder Simon started corpsing when it was his turn to comment.

The Italian theme continued more explicitly elsewhere (for our theory on its significance, see last week’s piece). Mel introduced Andrea as “my favourite Italian”, and his VT saw him sampling the wares in an Italian deli. Then we discovered that he knows nothing about Hallowe’en because it’s not a thing in Italy. What a strange and foreign land Italy must be!

Andrea’s staging was heavy on fire.


A couple of times his face appeared on the giant screen and was sent up in flames. He also got female devils with tridents.


All in all, our jaws haven’t dropped this far during an X Factor performance since Chris Maloney’s laser eyes. Speaking of which, blink and you missed this in the intro to Sunday’s results show:


We can’t help wondering if there are allusions in the staging that we’re missing. Wikipedia tells us that a faun is a “manifestation of forest and animal spirits that would help or hinder humans at whim” – so, much like the X Factor producers. Any theories on whether the trident motif had significance other than its associations with hell, or the giant A, beyond obviously Andrea and possibly Alien?

Simon’s opening gambit – that it was like “the alien factor” – can be seen, like last week’s “six donuts”, as seemingly-innocuous yet loaded, given the word’s connotations of unwelcome immigrant. Simon then attempted to compare Andrea to a Christmas candle but struggled to get the words out amid the giggles. And as we’re into over-analysing possible subliminals in Simon’s comments to Andrea, what do we make of candle? Something that slowly melts away?

“Oh, Andrea,” said Cheryl. “What have they done to you?” She turned to Mel. “You can’t paint him gold”. It uncomfortably skirted the line between inviting us to laugh with Andrea and to laugh at him. So did Dermot’s question, about what Andrea’s mother would think.

But did it, after all, succeed in dampening Andrea’s support? To our eyes, Andrea – remarkably – emerged with his dignity intact. He didn’t look defensive or uncomfortable; he just looked like a good sport. He sang brilliantly. His pause then “I don’t know” to Dermot’s question was pitch-perfect comic timing, and elicited an audience laugh that felt very much with him and not at him.

That said, Andrea’s Facebook likes took a hit this week. Usually we’d put little-to-no stock in that, as evidence of previous seasons suggests an imperfect overlap between social media users and X Factor voters. But we can’t ignore that this year Facebook likes have suggested which acts would be in trouble, and app voting suggests an explanation for what might have changed.

We can’t wait to see the voting figures. And we can’t wait to see how producers play Andrea from here.

2. What’s going on with Lauren?

General Hogbuffer: “Lauren seems to have all the signs of being Plan A”. James: “Really unsure what to make of Lauren. Not a performance that lived up to the teary VT.” Jon: “My big bet is still on Lauren, but I am beginning to wonder if that break out performance will ever arrive.”

On the surface, it was a mixed weekend for Lauren. Her VT focused on her lack of confidence with dancing, and mentor Cheryl stepping in to show her how it was done. We saw her fluff moves during rehearsals, causing her tears. When the performance came, it turned out the fuss had been over a few bends of the knee followed by a small kick and simultaneous head flick the opposite way – repeated once. This was a departure from the “super-confident” Lauren we had been presented with over the first couple of weeks. Which may have been the idea.

Dean made the excellent point that the “lack of confidence” journey suddenly switched from Lola to Lauren in last Saturday’s show. It was during Lauren’s rather than Lola’s performance that we got more cutaways to mentor Cheryl, in one singing along to encourage her and in another jumping up as the chorus kicked in. The impression given from VT through to performance was of Cheryl teaching her inexperienced and doubtful charge how to be a popstar.

“Welcome to the pop world,” Cheryl had said in the VT. Simon continued the journey-to-stardom theme when he told Lauren, post-song, “You turned from somebody quite ordinary last week into a potential popstar this week.” (This was a misrepresentation of his comments the week before, which had ended with him speculating that Lauren was going to be top 10 in the iTunes charts.) “You’ve got so much more potential to give,” Cheryl reiterated.

So, whilst week 4 didn’t turn out to be a standout by any means for Lauren, it set her future path. A path of “potential” in which she is now Cheryl’s sole representative, the top and only girl following Lola’s demise. As such, a push to the final seems inevitable. In some ways she is being pushed most of all: there were two occasions on Saturday when other acts spoke about the strength of the competition – the only person to feature on both occasions was Lauren. Her performance saw gold styling and highly-focused gold lighting.


Whilst her iTunes chart positions have declined from a very high start, her Facebook likes held up well this weekend, despite it not being her best. Given her overall treatment, the presentation of a breakout performance can’t be far away. That’s how we read it anyway.

3. So just who is our Alpha Over?

AlisonR: “I’ve enjoyed Fleur’s previous two performances but the vocals were thin last night.” Curtis: “Poor Fleur. She’s not MJ. First week I don’t like her”. Martin: “there was nothing to suggest they want Jay to do anything but well”. David Cook: “no-one’s going to step up and win it – there is no outstanding act… Who is the compromise candidate, the act that‘ll be left standing when all the others have fallen away? At the moment I think that it’s looking like Ben.”

It’s at around this stage of proceedings that producers will usually have a pretty good idea of which acts they want in the final and believe they can get there. We usually start to see that reflected in Louis and Simon, in particular, ramping up the mentions of “recording artist”, “record deal” and so on. The treatment of the three non-Stevi overs on Saturday was intriguing in this respect.

Ben got “in the real world you would absolutely get a recording deal” from Louis, and “real deal” from both Simon and Louis. Jay got “developing artist” from Louis, while Simon said “that’s what great artists are all about”. Fleur, meanwhile, got “best performer in the competition” from Louis, while Simon called her an “all-round entertainer” and said “this competition would not be the same without you”.

Producers, as we know, try to keep around two kinds of acts – those they see as potential money-spinners after the show, and those who keep the show itself interesting for viewers. Those comments suggest they’re thinking of Ben and Jay in the first category, and Fleur in the second. And yet Fleur is shortest of the three in the win market. Should she be?

4. Stereo Kicks and social proof

In week 2, we talked about the principle of social proof and wondered why Cheryl had been allowed to tell Stereo Kicks that nobody liked them apart from their friends and family. This week, producers tried to put social proof to its traditional boyband use, their VT showing them surrounded by swooning teens at a shopping mall. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to repair the damage and help them clear the singoff.

There has been some suggestion in the comments that producers deliberately engineered Stereo Kicks into the singoff in week 2 as part of their narrative. We’re not buying that at all. The script for them would make so much more sense if we were all still in the dark about how they’re doing in the vote, as was the case with One Direction until the final. A singoff appearance makes it much harder to pull off the impression of popularity.

Before this second singoff appearance, evidence from Saturday’s show was that producers still believed they could get them back on track – it won’t be coincidental that not one but two of them stressed to Dermot in the post-performance interview that they were aiming to win. Producers clearly hoped that their week 3 Beatles number would be seen as a turning point that would allow the singoff appearance to be put behind them, as happened to James Arthur with his week 8 ‘Let’s Get It On’.

Now they need an even bigger and more unlikely-seeming game-changer. We still quite like the idea of a mentor swap: giving them to Simon now would allow their two singoffs to be blamed on Louis. But it’s worth doing only if they’re capable of a genuinely impressive breakout performance that could then be assigned to Simon’s influence. And sadly, it simply doesn’t look like they are.

Finally, a hat-tip to Heisenberg, who spotted this fantastic application of the principle of social proof from the end of their song. Girls! This is how you’re supposed to be reacting:


As ever, please let us know your continuing thoughts below.

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119 comments to X Factor 2014: Rise or Fall of the Roman Imp-ire?

  • Hi Guys,

    I must be totally missing something to do with Lauren, any “Push” or “pimping” for her I just don’t see.

    Her best week I think was Week 1, since then what I am seeing is total decline. Without checking all again, in my head, I think it was week 2, there was a VT focused around her friends visiting the X Factor studio, and in awe of Lauren, comments like “Oh you’ve got Cheryls number” and Laurens response towards friends seemed a bit “princess” like, the image I think its created for Lauren is a little spoiled princess. This VT was a real eye opener it shown her struggle, but I don’t think in a way that made viewers sympathize with her. Cheryl almost shouting AT her “I’m not playing” “This is’nt a game” like to a little spoiled brat. Then her having a break down showed her as week. It was’nt a subtle tear it was a turn around run away from everyone sulking tears “I cant do it”

    Watching the dancing sequence I think Lauren was still slightly off and it was hardly a “break-out” moment that the VT could of been setup for. I dont see it.

    Along with that, it was’nt the most successful Katy Perry song in the UK that she sang. So far im seeing “same-same” with Lauren in each of her performance, problem with that is, it does’nt gain any extra support that she would’nt already have. If anything it perhaps gets a boring for a viewer.

    Articles in the press saying she is dating Niall Horan or Charlie from OTY, hardly presents her in a nice way. To add before Lola went her VT focused on her nice lovely boyfriend. Where as Lauren is presented in a short skirt. “Lauren will steal your boyfriend, Lola wont she has a boyfriend” is what I got from her.

    Now Lola has gone normally we would automatically suspect, as this article suggests a standard push for the final for Lauren. But why? She offers nothing Tamera/Ella has’nt done in the past and why would Simon want her on the cards, can you see Lauren performing as a guest artist on next years X Factor, sitting on a couch opposite Jonathon Ross discussing her experience? I cant

    And what makes it worse for Lauren, is now Lola has gone her natural comparison is now Fleur. You cant push both Fleur and Lauren to final so if you are producers, why would you pick Fleur over Lauren?

    Fleur who constantly performs every week, best entertainer in the competition, who dances every week and does’nt seem to be shown crying struggling with her routines despite them being harder than the one that Lauren had a 2nd half of VT based around crying saying “I cant dance”
    For me this helps Fleur hugely. Fleur has a different gear, she has room for a Ballad moment now and a search of her on youtube finds she can do ballads, that will gain extra support and some momentum especially if its pimped. I’m not sure what more Lauren can do, especially if she is now going to be competing with Fleur. Even VT’s Fleur has an advantage because they are now touching on her family background something which was lacking at auditions.

    Fleur. who i think its obvious they have pushed each week since week 1. If your looking to find a winner I think Fleur ticks every box at the moment.

    Struggling to find any faults for her at the moment…

    Looking forward to replies 🙂

  • Jon

    I would say Lauren has been pushed hard by the judges. She has had no criticism that I can think of, and numerous positive comments. The reality is her performance level has dropped off, but no one on the panel has highlighted this.

    I think Lauren fills a pre teen niche, and Cowell has his eyes on that. She has been able to shift a few itunes singles as well, so I assume they see some commerciality with her. I def see her in the final 4, but struggling to see her as a winner. Fortunately for me there are no standout acts this year!

  • Sorry for the duplicate touching on Stereo Kicks cheerleaders, I dont think showing girls lying on the back with their legs up in the air infront of a boyband which are being aimed at people under age 21?, is going to appeal to them, take a look at the appearance of the girls that are featured in their VT. Lots of them look under 18.

    I think the only effect the cheer leaders had was at the end of the song you was focused on them, thinking wtf?, it took the effect away from them. Also what was with the US styled performance? This is not what you give a band your trying to push to the final, red and black staging too?

    Finally you can add the running order as a negative straight after Only the Young whos performance was much better than expected, 3 judge standing ovation. And before Stevi who was pimped. If you have 1 vote left towards the end of show SK are not getting it. One of the other two are.

    In reflection I think that the week 3 pimping they gave SK in staging and performance, was the best they could do and perhaps when they saw the results they only went up 2 places and therefor this week they decided to not help as much anymore.

    You can say but they had the opportunity to save them, yes it would of had to be 3-1, but maybe they have eyes on pushing Fleur and by having Lauren as the only other girl is going to help Fleur too. Or maybe just a case of we cant do anything with Lola she just isnt good enough when we give her songs she was put in the liveshows for.

  • Dan

    I can see a tiny glimmer of hope for Stereo Kicks, not as winners but as finalists. However there’s a mountain to climb and TPTB need to act quickly, i.e. this week, on a reboot/game changer. I’d see this taking the form of:

    1. Cutting some members. Get rid of the two youngest and the one with the tattoos and flesh tunnels. That keeps things clean and wholesome and then everyone is around the same age. Having a 14 year old and a 21 year old in the same group is ridiculous.

    2.We need to know who they are. Saturday’s VT needs to tell us, otherwise it’s just an anonymous bunch of lads in similar clothes with similar haircuts.

    3. The breakout performance. Something big that can show off their harmonies (if they have it in them) and get them moving around the stage, not standing in the line of doom. The viewers need to see they can sing as a group, not eight soloists taking turns.

    4. Teach them some dance moves other than leaning forward waving your hand or beating your chest. For goodness sake, stop the “lead” singer with lumberjack jacket from pulling that horrendous Popeye-like squint and grimace all of the time.

    I like the sound of Simon taking over as mentor too but realistically, would he really swap categories with Louis given that three of the four overs are strong and OTY will probably bomb out in the next couple of weeks?

    Overall with SK, things can’t stay as they are, otherwise they will just keep ending up in the bottom two and that’s with multiple free votes.. Yes, they can be saved but potentially at the expense of better acts and viewer interest.

    i don’t know how realistic the above is but it could lead to one hell of a sympathy bounce.

  • Friends/Lovers,

    Firstly, love the site.

    Could I just sound a further note of caution on “Facebook Likes”. Whilst this has been another useful signal, I wonder if it would be worth pointing out that Stereokicks had way more likes than, say, JJ’s or Andrea this week. Indeed when a commentator on here did a “Like freeze”, they were fourth. Be careful friends….

    I’m lurking. You all know the red flags by now. They were taking votes away like a thief in the night.

    This series has a real “2011” feel.


    • EM

      Richard, good to have you back.

      Totally agree on Facebook likes being a distraction, even if they’ve called the bottom act right every week so far it’s not much use as it isn’t the bottom act which goes.

    • Thing with any poll or media thing like checking likes/dislikes.

      The polls in particular only allow you to vote for 1 act, generally your favourite, but I wonder now how many votes are shared around. So lots of polls will be off.

      For example 1 user might have there votes for their favourite and two votes for their second favourite.

      So what happens when two users (let’s use these as an example)

      User A loves stereo kicks, 3 votes for them but also really likes Ben, so 2 votes for Ben.

      User B loves Andrea, 3 votes for him, but also really likes Ben., so 2 votes for Ben.

      That’s 3 votes each for Andrea and SK, but 4 votes for Ben. And the winner is Ben.

      Obviously this is shorter scale. But I would assume most votes are made via App now anyway and the ones that are made by telephone are not multiple votes anyway so drowned out.

  • Dean

    In 2011 an outsider won it, who could that be Richard?

    Anyway regards Lauren I have backed her so I am still hoping, and I am encouraged by what they have been trying to do with her. My only worry was this week Cheryl ‘pleaded’ for votes, while this could just be to ensure she stayed well clear of bottom in the vote freeze, it just gave me that feeling of James Arthur or Ella Henderson before the B2 in 2012.

  • Shraine

    I would like to say I have been looking and thinking, that Ben is doing well in the votes. The reason I say this is because he has been given some very good slots and also slots that could put him in danger. Also with Simon pimping him on Twitter all the time. Why would they put Ben on first last Saturday with the strictly overlap of 15 mins. Daniel said that they wanted to start the show of with a bang, yh that’s a good point but they must be confident enough to know he will be fine by putting him on first. Also with Lola coming on after strictly as strictly finished and fleur singing after Lola that looks a nice sandwhich.

    • Dean

      Yeah very good point, I think Ben is definitely top 3 of the votes and he also looks popular with everyone and kind of a 2nd or 3rd choice for many so could pick up vote transfers. After week 3 I wasn’t sure, but he is definitely a threat here and is such a likeable person.

    • EM

      Decent spot Shraine, a convincing argument that his numbers are strong enough to play anywhere.

      Someone said all the Strictly dancing and judging was over by the start of Ben’s performance and, if so, thats probably no coincidence. But they do seem to have the confidence to place Ben wherever in the order and use him to squash weakens acts.

      • Fudd

        Yes; if viewers switched over immediately after Frankie and Kevin’s scores they would have caught Ben’s performance though missed the VT if I recall correctly.

        There’s no clash on Saturday so no Strictly bus to throw an act under should they wish.

    • Donald

      A late catch up today for me. Good point, I watched with my nieces on Saturday, the minute he came on both voted on the app, one gave 4 votes to Ben there and then and 1 to Lauren. the other gave Ben 3 and then also, gave 1 to Lauren and 1 to Paul later when Simon “was mean to him”. They are both 1D and 5SOS fans. Ben got the votes on Saturday, So being on first seemed to hold an advantage for a front runner on app votes. Just thought worth mentioning. they like Ben, Fleur and Lauren but Fleur got no votes. % wise Ben cleaned up with them being early. He got 70% of their votes. Worth noting maybe. Most of the rest of they show passed them by, they were tweeting, FB etc. and the younger one loves the funny tweets on the hashtag timeline.

      That my Gogglebox from last Saturday..

  • EM

    Totally on board with all the points in this post but the treatment of Stereo Kicks mystifies me.

    The vt was positive (even if the crowd of girls was wafer thin but shot cleverly, should have been a warning sign!) and the comments were on point but the performance wasn’t good, the slot wasn’t good and they didn’t seem to use any of the tricks that got them through last week.

    Firstly they’re not great singers but didn’t get enough backing track help. Secondly they’re not that good looking and the one that pulls his poo face when he goes for the high notes makes me laugh rather than anything else.

    Putting them on after OTY highlighted how incoherent they are as a group. OTY have 4 members who are all visually different but are able to put together a group performance around a theme.

    Der Kicks are mostly anonymous (apart from poo face and gauge boy) and just look like they’ve been told to stand somewhere on the stage, move about a bit and “sing”.

    Being slightly ropey on vocals has never been a hinderence to pop success but they’re not being helped by staging, production, styling or direction.

    All in all where the Kicks are concerned I got the impression the producers were treating it like a relationship gone bad. You don’t really put any effort in any more but it’s too much work to make a clean break so you limp on for a bit totally disinterested. The next step is cheating with someone else. I bet OTY are thrilled!

    • R

      SK seem to be receiving the same treatment as Tamera last year. On the face of it they seem to be pimped and favoured by TPTB, but peel back the layers and the rot starts to seep out.

      Firstly, they would surely have found a better group of boys to appeal to the demographic.

      The performances have been weak, with the one singer being so dominant that it questions why the others are there.
      They had very little vocal support last week when compared to some of the others.

      The negative newspaper stories have started turning up, so far drugs and being degrading towards females (their supposed main voting demographic).

      Maybe it was them and not Chloe who were destined to be the act who would constantly fall into the bottom two and be saved to the derision of the viewers.

      • MW

        I don’t think there’s been any grand plan for SK to be stuck around the bottom of the pack. Quite the opposite. The whole SK debacle strikes me as cock-up rather than conspiracy.

        They’ve been given every chance to save themselves, but it looks like even TPTB are now basically giving up on them (understandably).

        • Jessica Hamby

          Agree with this. I am very intolerant of the idea that tptb makes an act look bad in order to get a story arc. In most cases it’s easier and more sensible to make a favoured act look good and nuke the hell out of the opposition.

          You don’t shit on your own face and then think wiping it off is going to impress people. Frankly at that point the damage is done.

    • UnCalquera

      The crowd was thin, and the angles made it larger, but did so letting us know that it was not so large. ==Producers want to make us feel they are (unfairly?) favouring SK, whilst in reality they are not?

  • Nugg

    Just a brief note about Stereo Kicks, in previous years when a boyband has been in the show, there has been large groups of girls outside Fountain Studios, without tickets, waiting to catch a glimpse of their favourite groups (even bands like District 3 and Union J). This year they appeared notably absent, I counted about 6 girls who when I talked to two of them were only their cos they had heard a rumour One Direction may be making a surprise appearance.
    Stereo Kicks, for whatever reason, just do not seem to have infected large groups of teen girls into mass hysteria, which is vital for gaining votes and for any boyband to progress in the contest.

    • Fudd

      Stereo Kicks’ treatment has never screamed Plan A. There was no attempt to identify the individual members and they didn’t even have a name until the first live show when it was revealed as part of the telephone vote behind Dermot, rather than with big fanfare. They have been given little to no choreography and their song choices have been weak bar The Beatles medley.

      As an interesting aside, bar week two Stereo Kicks have been next to Stevie Richie in the running order every week (before him in weeks 1 and 4, after him in week 2).

      Also, except for week two again, Jay James has always performed after an act who is then eliminated (Overload Generation in week one, Only the Young in week three and Jack Walton in week four).

      If we’re looking for a Wagner pattern of giving an act the same phone number then switching so they perform first then Lauren has sung seventh in the last two weeks. Alternatively, they could be allowing people to get used to the number – I wonder if she’ll be in slot 7 again this week?

      None of these probably mean anything at all – they’re just fun little ‘coincidences’. 😀

  • MW

    Simon may be many things – but he’s not stupid. He must know by now that SK are really not connecting with the public in a way that’s likely ever to translate into real world popularity. Given the problems inherent in an eight piece band, there’s only so much effort that’s going to be put into flogging a mostly dead horse.

    There’s a couple of specific things which to me suggest that they may be contemplating swinging support behind OTY a bit more:

    Firstly, the fact that OTY were allowed to perform a song that was entirely their own choice – and more notably, based on an arrangement they had already used and recorded prior to the show. ‘Monster Mash’ was, to all intents and purposes, a live version of their own previously recorded video. Which is super unusual for the X Factor, as far as I’m aware. The fact that this led to probably the stand out performance of the night is not going to have gone unnoticed – they were given an unusual opportunity, but they delivered on it extremely well.

    Secondly, the fact that the recent prominent story about a supposed possible romance in the house featured Charlie from OTY, rather than any of the Stereo Kicks boys. Given Lauren’s favoured status in the competition, if they had much confidence in pushing the SK boys as heartthrobs for the teen market, they would surely have been trying to link one of them to her instead? (The story was very cleverly structured in any case – pretty much refuting their own suggestions of anything actually happening, while still getting the underlying message across).

    I still think OTY have a huge mountain to climb to survive in the competition, especially given the dismal sing-off performance last week (though they can clearly sing live just fin in most cases). But they are definitely one of the more interesting acts in the competition, and I don’t think its certain anymore that if it came down to SK v OTY, SK would necessarily be the ones thrown the lifeline.

    • Curtis

      The producers had the opportunity to switch to OTY last week rather than keep pushing SK. They chose to instead push their dead horse in SK and OTY fell into the bottom 2. Now they’re damaged goods, particularly after that horrendous sing-off performance, and I think it’s too late to switch support over to them.

      • Stu

        In regards to OTY being damaged goods, while I agree with you, their performance last week was such a big turn-around that the producers could play with it and the judges declaring that “they’ve finally found their feet in the competition after a poor start”.

  • Phil

    Maybe Cheryl could mentor Stereo Kicks? She only has one act left anyway, and she is the most critical of them.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Are they even bothering to polish the SK turd anymore. Thought it was interesting that with all the focus on Andrea’s alienness they gave SK an american theme. Ben got the union jack mug, JJ got the military shout, Fleur got my old dad etc.

    I think things are still in flux for tptb. Plan a and plan b etc are useful concepts but they are not immutable. The focus can shift from act to act as results come in, stories break etc.

    Personally I think unless Lauren and Fleur manage some more impressive performances then Ben is the one to watch although I wouldn’t count out JJ making it to the final either. Paul appears to have lost favour and we will know for certain on Saturday. Andrea has his core support and whether he added to or lost from it on Sat is hard to tell. OTY are interesting. They don’t have much of a backstory and I know people that don’t like them at all. A frirnd of mine can’t stand Betsy – apparently she’s got “one of those faces”. To me they are like children’s entertainers but if SK’s decline is consudered terminal they must be worth a push – plus the eye candy / gender balance thing.

    Interesting times ahead.

    • David Cook

      It’s an established fact that you can’t polish a turd. But if you get some gold paint you can try to make it look like a golden nugget. Maybe they painted the wrong act on Saturday.

    • babit

      Even though I am not particularly fond of Ben, I can see his appeal and he doesn’t have many characteristics that people dislike. He got a humble VT last week to compensate for the week before (and I truly believe that his previous one was meant to be a positive one like “he’s competitive and he really wants to win”. Matt Cardle got one of those and it didn’t harm him, although Ben’s came across as slightly arrogant), great voice, fitting song choices, friends with every one, attractive but committed to his girlfriend etc etc… I’d be shocked if he isn’t in the final tbh..
      OTY is actually a great prospective as they look something Disney-ish and probably would sell loads, if the producers were smart they would’ve been backing them because SK has no future.
      Also, about Betsy: she’s pretty enough to be threatening to young girls (let’s be honest, she’s rhe prettiest one left in the competition, and that includes Cheryl) and it doesn’t help that Jake said she thinks she’s too good for everyone or the Harry Styles’ rumours.

      • Martin

        I think Ben being in the final, if not winning, seems likely at the moment. It seems likely that he is picking up “leftover votes” on the free app as stated on here somewhere – another commenter also said that he appeals to the widest audience which I also agree with. Whether that will all stand come the last few weeks I’m not too sure, the only other contestants I see coming close are Lauren and Andrea. Until then, everybody is at the mercy of the producers!

        I do agree about OTY. It’s a pity that they are “tainted” (as it were) by their early bottom 2 appearance. I would hope the producers let them fly now SK are over with. They’ve got their comedown to get past first.

    • David Cook

      I think what they’ve done with JJ is to pigeonhole him. He sings in his love it or hate it style, which at the moment is probably picking up a bit enough share of the vote (say 8-10%) for him to be easily safe. But he won’t be picking up the transfer votes or gaining many new fans. I don’t think they’ll actively target him, just let him carry on and give him praise until that share of the vote lands him at the bottom. One or two acts do that every year. I don’t see any break out performance from him and I don’t really see him making the final.

  • I rewatched an old series 7 episode and the superlatives used on SK fail in comparison to what 1D got.

  • Chris Bellis

    Sometimes you read something that is so directly contradicted by your own experience that you wonder whether you inhabit a parallel universe. “Halloween is not a thing in Italy” – having just returned from visiting a friend in Rome I can categorically say this is not true. It is a thing in Italy, in the American style. Costumes, trick or treating, the lot. Before the American version, there is the Italian version,(All Hallow’s Eve) still celebrated by millions of Italians, who visit the cemeteries all over Italy, which in Rome were packed with relatives visiting the graves. It’s a Nationa Holiday for God’s sake. Is Andrea really Italian, or is he another comedy fake Italian like Bruno Tonioli?

  • Heisenberg

    “You’re going to need a bigger deli…”


  • Natasha

    Andrea has teased a ‘strong song’ for saturday. He can sing very very well so am not worried about a deramp on him this week. Unless off course TPTB use dirty tactics to get him 🙁

  • Stu

    I wonder if for comparison’s sake, TPTB will be giving Only The Young a similar slot in the running order this week to Stereo Kicks last week in order to see if they prove more popular. I think that at this point in the game it would be absolutely ridiculous to keep backing Stereo Kicks. The support isn’t there. Producers will either have to save them each time they land in the bottom two (which could be every week from now since the following bounces may not be strong) or let them go.

    If I were the producers I’d be gunning for Paul this week but with Stevi and Stereo Kicks as back-ups. Although the stories in the press do point to a possible narrative of Stereo Kicks being the “headline act” (initially Chloe’s role) who the public want to leave but they’re constantly saved against more favoured acts – therefore more headlines AND more weeks for Stereo Kicks to last in the competition.

  • With regards to Fleur… I wrote this about Tamera last year as a general X Factor observation…

    It could be argued that with all the forgetting lines, drug stories and bullying Tamera actually surpassed where she should have been…

    Anyway below is what I wrote last year and I still stand by it, by ‘mixed race’ I mean in the ‘traditional’ sense of a black African or Caribbean parent and a white parent

    If history is anything to go by then mixed-raced Tamera should go well in this show. The list of previous mixed raced contestants is a strong one;

    Leona Lewis – 1st 2006
    JLS – 2nd 2008
    Danyl Johnson – 4th 2008
    Rebecca Ferguson – 2nd 2010
    Marcus Collins – 2nd 2011
    Jahméne Douglas – 2nd 2012

    From an estimated 1.2 million mix-raced people (in The UK) I would say that the above results exceed expectation.

    I don’t know the exact reason for mixed raced people having a good record in the show, maybe they are just better performers. But I do think they can appeal to a broad spectrum of people. Obviously they can pick up votes from both black and white middle-aged people, many of who may have mixed raced children, the teen vote doesn’t really see colour and with regards to the ‘grey’ vote it’s likely that a decent proportion of them will have mixed-raced grandchildren or great-grandchildren, maybe they get reminded of this when they see mixed-raced people perform.

    • Just to add into that, that’s why I don’t really by into this confident black women aren’t voted for thing as in truth she isn’t black

    • EM

      Brilliantly made point Cherry. Just to add that, regarding the grey vote, music was one of the first areas in the western world where being of colour was acceptable. Long before there were black film stars and tv presenters there were headline acts like Paul Robeson, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jnr, Harry Belafonte.

      This isn’t a piece of social commentary implying there is no racism in the country just an observation that race has long since not been a barrier to musical acceptance.

      • Martin

        It’s a good point – regarding the “confident black woman” vote, it can’t be just coincidence that some of the black ladies in the past have struggled in the voting – Hannah, Rachel Adedeji, Tamera and Misha B being the most notable, however I don’t think the fact that they were a black lady-what-performed-good is the only factor. Misha was performing well until bully-gate but subsequently struggled afterwards. I have no doubt that a white contenstant would have struggled with similar allegations. Rachel – I can’t really remember that series too clearly and it was certainly before I was in the “sofabet” mindset but I think her appearance came off as quite intimidating – she was always dressed quite “fashion forward” which the public may have struggled with, and to me was unappealing at the time as she was like an Aldi-Rihanna. Tamera and Hannah were fishing in a similar pool for votes, I’d say. The mixed-race thing may be an issue that stands to resonate with Hannah – she was not mixed race and apart from the fact that she split votes with Tamera there was nothing to suggest that she deserved to struggle. Tamera shot herself in the foot with her forgetfulness.

        Yes Fluer, has been smooth sailing so far. No issues in the press, no other similar contestants stealing her votes and crucially, she seems quite likeable.

        • EM

          You know it could just be coincidence – cos white ladies have struggled for votes too.

          • Martin

            It could be. It seems odd that the white girls who struggle are mostly used as a shock exit when they fall into the bottom two. Laura White, Lucy Jones, Ella and Lola this year (not so much a shock but still wasn’t saved). All quite similar in style. I dont know, maybe you’re right and it just sticks out that the black ladies struggle for whatever reason.

          • EM

            Right I’ve worked it out so we can breath easy!

            Across all of X Factor UK series and looking at solo females only (and ignoring any who withdrew or were withdrawn)

            Average finishing position of white females – 7th
            Average finishing position of non-white females – 6th

            Median position for white females – 7th
            Median position for non-white females – 6th

            Most frequent position attained for non-white females – 4th
            Most frequent position attained for white females – 8th

            Appearances in the final three – 3 each

          • Martin

            Well there you have it, can’t argue with the numbers!
            I don’t know if race is really the issue here – girls seem to be a harder sell on the X factor than the men. Sweeping statement I know, but removing race from the equation – Cher LLoyd and Katie Waissell were also confident performers who troubled the bottom two a few times. Stacey Soloman and Sam Bailey however, both had heartwarming everywoman stories and weren’t in-your-face performers.
            It’s interesting looking at this and discussing it but can anything concrete be deduced from it?

          • Martin

            Also props to you for working all that out EM thanks.

          • Stu

            Nitpicking slightly but haven’t there been 4 white solo females in the final 3 and only 2 non-white – Leona and Alexandra being the non-white ones and Amelia, Sam, Stacey and Cher being the white ones?

          • Martin

            Cher finished fourth. I think you’re right with Amelia, though.

          • Stu, that’s true… however there is a far greater number of white females than there is non-white/mixed raced females, so as an expected number non-white/mixed raced contestants have out-performed their white counterparts

            As another comparison;

            Those of use that live in big cities or take what The Daily Mail or The Sun as gospel, would believe that 25%+ of the UK are now Muslims and therefore on the verge of terrorism

            However the fact is that less than 3% of people are Islamic in The UK, or to put it another way.. there are more gay people

            The general point that I was trying to get at with the original comments is that it’s highly unlikely that people won’t vote for Fleur because she has a black mother

            Fleur ticks or equally ticks a lot more boxes than Lauren for example

            Can Sing AND dance
            Is attractive

            Are two as an example

            However people are saying that her colour will hold her back, even though white teenage girls have polled worse over the history of the show

          • EM

            Stu – Rebecca Ferguson.

          • Stu

            Oh yes forgot about her and also Cher not being in the final 3. I meant the final.

            I agree about the “black confident female” stigma not affecting Fleur. She’s styled and edited in a soft manner and has such a likeable personality unlike say Misha B who, even before Bullygate, had an intimidating aura about her. It’s a very grey area though.

      • EM

        Looking at the number you could argue it isn’t Fleur’s origins that will count against her it’s her sex. 30 possible top 3 places and solo females account for just 20% of them.

  • Caro

    I’ve been thinking about ‘Faunstini’ and the ‘sexy devils’. He is wearing a large cross round his neck which surely has to be significant, and they are goading him with their forks. Chris rightly points out that in Italy the day is a religious festival (All Hallow’s Eve) so is this good v evil, or simply that sexy young ladies wouldn’t want to touch him with a barge pole (or in this case pitch fork)?
    Or was this a play on words? Faust, or Dr Faustus ‘is a scholar who is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, so he makes a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures’ (thanks wikipedia).
    Even more telling: ‘Faust and the adjective Faustian imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a delimited term’ (!!!) this applies to many an X Factor candidate, though I wouldn’t put Andrea in this category as I think that he emerged from the episode with dignity and showing he can sing.
    Look at the images of Faust that come up in a google search – plenty of little horns and tails.

    • I once saw the 1926 silent German film of Faust in a one-off cinema screening in Edinburgh with a specially composed live score performed on the dulcimer by two artsy types from Brighton. It were crap.

      Let’s see if Andrea’s pact with the square-haired Sinitta-shagging devil pays off…

  • EM

    I have to say I think you’re all over thinking the Andrea costume thing, I think the only intention was let’s make him look as weird as hell.

    Sadly lots about his depiction screams Ukip – European, over here stealing our jobs, not knowing the customs, not integrating into the good traditional British ways, shopping for foreign food…

    • Au contraire, I think his narrative (and that of the Hungarian group in BGT last year) are an excellent counterpoint to all the UKIP rhetoric being whipped up and given disproportionate airtime by the other channels (notably the BBC). Chubby-cheeked Faustini is the adorable poster child for not voting UKIP – the horny-‘n’-happy golden boy of forrener inclusion!

  • Dean

    Midway through the week, the prices


    Andrea Faustini 7/4 Bwin (out from 6/4)
    Lauren Platt 10/3 Skybet (in from 7/2)
    Ben Haenow 6/1 various
    Fleur East 13/2 Sportingbet
    Jay James 14/1 various
    Paul Akister 25/1 Coral
    StereoKicks 33/1 various
    Only The Young 50/1 Coral
    Stevi Ritchie 66/1 various

    Next Elimination

    Paul Akister 11/4 Various
    Only The Young 10/3 Bwin
    StereoKicks 7/2 Skybet
    Stevi Ritchie 5/1
    Jay James 14/1 Bet365
    Fleur East 16/1 bwin
    Ben Haenow 25/1 Stanjames
    Lauren Platt 50/1 Bet365
    Andrea Faustini 66/1 various

    • Dean

      Yes dunno if its a really bad thing or if this is a part of her potential narrative of turning into a popstar? To be seen I guess

      • Luke

        For there to be a potential narrative based on dancing you need to have more ability after a week’s training than I do after a few pints on a Friday night.

        It did however make her seem vulnerable which I don’t think has come across until now.

        • Jessica Hamby

          AGreed. Up to now she’s seemed more like 25 than 17.

          Typically tough Essex burd, mature beyond her years.

          • Martin

            If Brian has actually said those things to the press, I think we’ll see a bit of “it’s easy to forget that she’s only 17” this week, as well as going all out that she’s the only girl left (Fleur’s an over she doesn’t count).

    • Babit

      To be fair, he wasn’t lying. There was a incredibly dramatic VT for 3 seconds of underwhelming air kicks and head moves, but it might be her journey? Overcoming her nerves, proving Brian wrong and everything. The creation of a little popstar. Or maybe, just like Ella, she’s not polling very well and in need of sympathy votes…

      • Dean

        Yeah I agree, she didn’t dance much at all, but her stage presence has always been really good so far…

        I am unsure really what way they are heading with Lauren now and that is why she needs a breakout performance soon enough. Maybe such an article is setting her up for that as from what we have seen so far they are not setting her up for a fall.

        I do worry slightly for her polling at the moment, because as I said Cheryl ‘pleaded’ for votes. Would she do that if she was already polling well, or was that done just because of the vote freeze? A lot of judges pleaded for votes that night for popular acts so the latter is probably the main reason.

        Only other thing I would add is maybe last week she was difficult to work with so they give her the ultimatum… We have seen it with many acts previously.

      • Curtis

        I couldn’t believe the fuss that was made about a dance move I could’ve pulled off! I think it has to be some kind of journey idea. In reality, Lauren is actually a lot better at working the stage than a lot of other contestants of her ilk before her. Therefore, it should be very easy to get her to do a performance with competent choreography and claim that she’s “grown into a complete popstar before our eyes” or something similar

        • Jessica Hamby

          I don’t subscribe to the theory that people will collude with tptb and deliberately perform badly in order to have a “journey”. I think the acts need to believe that the competition is fair (which is why they ignore the evidence that it isn’t even when Cowell and Co stitch them up like kippers live on tv).

          Also I don’t think I’ve seen Lauren work a stage. She doesn’t perform to the audience as far as I can tell. She stands there and looks all ethereal and pretty and let’s the tv cameras and the lighting do the work.

          On Saturday she was asked to do some work and she failed.

          Ben was working the crowd. JJ, with his hand gestures and lifting one leg off the floor, thinks he’s working a crowd. Lauren is, to all intents and purposes, a stuffed dummy.

          • Heisenberg

            “JJ, with his hand gestures and lifting one leg off the floor, thinks he’s working a crowd.”



          • Caro

            I agree. I don’t see the attraction in Lauren as a performer. I think she has had camera angles and shots which have meant that she hasn’t had to work the stage so far. And as you have pointed out before, she has been given shoes to wear that have made it nigh on impossible (for her) to move around much. I’m finding her boring, even if she can sing.

          • Face

            LOL’ing at your description of Jay ‘working the stage’…
            while I agree Lauren is a more than a little static as a performer… she isn’t the 1st girl to do well without any real stage moves… Rebecca Fergusson and Stacy Solomon spring to mind…

          • EM

            I’ve spoken first hand to a contestant (fairly recent) and they know it’s not a fair contest. They realise that the producers have their favourite acts who are pushed through verious methods on the show.

            One of the most noted things they told me about was the editing of the VTs before each performance, they can be totally misrepresentive of what has happened and what is said.

            Those that realise they’re not on the producers favourites list go along with it and don’t make waves because the exposure on the show can be the difference between working in Asda and working in music.

          • Curtis

            I don’t believe Lauren colluded with the producers at all. I theorise that Lauren cried in the VT not because she couldn’t do that very straightforward dance move but more because she was being given a hard time by Cheryl and Friedman about her execution of it.

            She then proceeded to do a live show performance where she did just fine with all the choreography – it was the vocals that were flawed if anything. I made an error earlier when I said that Lauren had “worked the stage”. I misspoke. What I really meant is that she has “worked the camera” pretty easily, which is a similar skill. Compare her week 1 or 4 performances to any from Stacey Solomon, Ella Henderson or Lola Saunders for example, and you’ll see that she’s able to act up to the camera while singing a lot more.

            She’s never going to do a Fleur-style routine, but that’s not the point. Later in the competition the producers could give her a performance with genuine choreography and I think she’ll be able to do it, and it would give the judges the chance to say how far she’s come etc. etc.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Paul Akister story. Interesting contrast between headline and content.


    Paul does have a core support. We don’t know how he polled last week. Even if they throw the sink at him he may survive and give us a shock b2 (or SK again). The thing is that like Andrea he can possibly sing his way out of trouble. Looking forward to his VT.

  • Martin

    Not sure if this bears any relevance to X Factor but the new John Lewis advert is doing the rounds today. Some sort of adorable penguin with Tom Odell singing a John Lennon song.

    I remember it memory hole-ing Abi last year the week she left. Is it always first aired during the X Factor?

  • Dean

    Just your betting update.

    Lauren has drifted to 7/2 with bwin who shortened Andrea a tough. Ben is now only 6/1 at Lads having been shortened at others.

    In the elimination market Paul is now only best priced 5/2

  • AlisonR

    Lauren being linked with one of the 1D lads. Good or bad, dya think?

    • Dean

      I would say bad as all the teen girls will be jealous of her. How old r the 1D Lads now, Lauren is a bit young at 17 for them now? Or are they still younger than I think?

    • Dean

      Mind you the article I read said nothing about anyone from 1D with lauren, but rather that they wanted her to win, which would definitely be a plus for Lauren.

    • R

      It’s Nial Horan (the Irish one) and it’s good for Lauren as 1D fans won’t mind.
      It’s mainly anyone linked to Harry Styles that they hate.

      Nial tweeted Lauren a couple of weeks ago and she also mentioned that she had his phone number.

      My guess is that she finishes second, signs to Syco, and their “relationship” is leaked to the media just in time for her debut album.

      Yes I am that cynical.

      • Dean

        Cynical, but probably correct lol

      • Luke

        I don’t think cheating on her boyfriend who has been in hospital is a positive.

        Was also in the papers that she’d been having “late night trysts” with Charlie from OTY as well.

        • Donald

          From what I know the connection between Lauren and Niall from 1D is through her friend whose dad is 1D’s photographer, no more than that.

          Are we set for a group in the bottom two for the next three/four weeks until they finally send one home? OTY down from bounce this week, SK next week and OTY following week again then SK again. Take out the three front runners, makes pairing up the next few weeks for eliminations unless of course they both finish up bottom two. That my initial thinking as we head onto the weekend.

          • Martin

            Pairing up with one of 1D hasn’t done Peri from Little Mix any harm. Not too sure whether that was going on during her time on the show though.

            The boyfriend thing won’t do her any favours – but does anyone really know about that? As far as I know we haven’t seen him on the show, it’s been all about her broken family getting back together (which hasn’t been mentioned for a while, I’m sure that card will be played again at some point).

          • Jessica Hamby

            I don’t think 1D tweets make a significant difference. Certainly hasn’t helped Stereo Kicks.

  • lolhart

    There have been a lot of negative reports about Stereo Kicks in the media this last week. This is the latest one:


    I would have thought if the show was still invested in them they would be keeping a tighter lid on these stories. The groupie ones could fall under Simon’s philosophy of even bad publicity being better than none, but not the above. Will be interesting if any of the stories are referred to tomorrow.

    • Martin

      I’ve lost track of the bad press Stereo Kicks have got this week, with Jake at the heart of it. There are also a few dodgy stories ran from Tom’s birthday “night out” where some of them were pictures pulling drunk girls into a taxi, a few days after the dodgy “Ibis Hotel” story.

    • Check the date. It came out right after said SK member auditoned as a solo act.

    • General Hogbuffer

      Hmmmm – most of these seem to revolve around Jake somehow. I wonder if this is a buid-up to finally reducing their number, even if only to 7 ?

      • Martin

        Potentially. They’d have to do a Cocozza though – I’m sure if something like that had happened we’d have heard about it already?

      • Martin

        Although the lack of news suggests they’re not arsed anymore. They’re probably just going to leave them at 8, drag them through a few more weeks and let them go through deadlock.

      • David Cook

        Everybody does daft things sometimes, but Jake seems to have an ability to do daft things most of the time.Really the time to act was with the drugs thing as that was similar to what Frankie Cocozza was booted for. Reducing the numbers, plus some positive PR that they had taken action against somebody who was effectively dragging the rest of the group down – at least that’s how they could have painted it. But they’ve missed the chance now, and indeed it’s clearly too late to do anything with this group who are totally beyond redemption in performance terms anyway.
        It might be because I’m an old fart, but I wonder if the behavior is based on the fact that they know that they’re crap, and this is their chance. If they though they were going to make it, surely it would be worth buckling down for ten weeks.

        • Martin

          With the whole rapping thing they did in the bottom two performance, then with Mel highlighting it afterwards seems like they’re highlighting Jake. He’d had negative press before that obviously, but the whole treatment of SK seems odd.

  • Boki

    A source close to the band has told us here at OnePopz that Stereo Kicks will be performing their rendition of Michael Jackson’s hit “You Are Not Alone”.

    • Stu

      I remember a few years back Laura White performed You Are Not Alone during Michael Jackson week and Simon mentioned how he hated the song. This gives me a slight hunch that Simon is going to continue the narrative of “Louis doesn’t know what to do with you” or alternatively “you made me like that song”.

      I actually think, with all this bad press that surrounds Stereo Kicks, that producers have given up on the band as potential winners/post-XF stars but are instead pushing them as a talking point for the show before letting them go in a few weeks. These story leaks are definitely not accidental. Maybe the questionable song choice is an attempt to prevent them bouncing at the expense of Only The Young?

      • lolhart

        I can’t see You Are Not Alone being anything but a train wreck. The backing vocals will definitely need to be cranked up to full. Funny how Simon said that to Laura when it was used as the X-Factor charity song the following year.

        • EM

          Speculative but that could be a big success for SKs – it’s big popular tune – get one or two decent singers to do the verses in the spot lights – all 8 kicks join in on the chorus (which is rousing) and you have another Let It Be/Hey Jude

          • Jessica Hamby

            Tend to agree with this. Great opportunity for the good singer(s) to enjoy the verses and simple harmonies for the others to join in on the chorus. Wouldn’t be surprised if we hear some a capella.

  • EM

    Don’t Stop Me Now for Paul – where’s my betting app???

  • Boki

    Lol @Stevie Bohemian.

  • Face

    according to picture clues on X Factor Twitter account…
    Stevi is doing Bohemian Rhapsody…
    Ben is doing Man in the Mirror…
    Paul is doing Don’t stop me now…

  • Face

    Full song list update…
    Stevi is doing Bohemian Rhapsody…
    Ben is doing Man in the Mirror…
    Jay is doing The Show must go on…
    Fleur is doing Will you be there…
    Paul is doing Don’t stop me now…
    Andrea is doing Somebody to love…
    OTY are doing Blame it on the boogie
    SK are doing You are not alone…
    Lauren is doing I’ll be there…

    To me, it looks like SK, Stevi, Paul and Jay are most likely to be in trouble…

    Andrea, Lauren, OTY got songs that play to their strengths…

    Ben & Fleur could have a moment with their songs… or they could be rather bland and dull…

  • Reckon we’ll see Jay Jay up either 1st or 2nd

    If 2nd then it has to be either Paul or Stereo Kicks up 1st

  • Martin

    Poor old Paul. Has anybody ever done a good version of that song?
    Andrea is doing my favourite Queen song, he’ll be excellent no doubt. Uptempo, but will actually benefit him.
    OTY will probably be good, nice and fun for them. JLS did it well.
    Stevi = LOL. cant wait.
    Lauren/SK/Ben/JJ will all be okay I’m sure.
    Never heard Fleur’s song?!

  • General Hogbuffer

    “Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time, I’m having a ball.” – that’s an interesting choice for Paul after last week’s comments… could be in direct response to that, but I also read somewhere that this is a classic de-ramp song ???

    Stevi and Bohemian Rhapsody is just a travesty – it traditionally is very much top of the “best song ever” lists, but also is one of the most difficult to sing, he is going to completely butcher it in the name of LOL entertainment… predictable if nothing else.

    • Martin

      I wouldn’t call “Don’t Stop Me Now” a classic deramp song, but over the years I think Kitty landed in the bottom two with it, and Union J got a universal thumbs down for their rendition. Simon also said that it was one of his least favourite songs on Britains Got Talent. It’s very all over the place and Paul doesn’t have the command to pull it off.

      The more I think about it, I think Ben will have his “moment” this week. If he’s in the pimp slot especially. That is the golden song of the theme I’d say.

      • Jack

        Ben’s already had his pimp slot, though. I think Lauren is most likely, followed by Fleur (Though will they put the four overs in the pimp slots across four weeks in a row?) Maybe Stereo Kicks if producers are keen for them to bounce again.

  • Stu

    Looking at the song list, my early predicitions are:

    Safe: Lauren, Ben, Andrea
    Could go either way: Fleur, Stevi
    Bus is coming but will most likely dodge: Paul
    In danger: Stereo Kicks, Only The Young, Jay

    The only thing that baffles me about the song list is the choice for Fleur… What are producers playing at? It’s not a particularly well known MJ song and is neither up-tempo enough for some amazing choreography nor is it slow enough for a stand-out vocal moment. Maybe something big is planned but at the moment I’m just seeing it as a dull song choice.

  • Jack


    Lauren – Leona and Alexandra both sung I’ll Be There, so I think this’ll be Lauren’s pimp slot week. Definitely going to help her.
    Andrea – Very good song choice for him; could easily see him pulling it off. Should easily be safe, potentially a bit of a comeback week?
    Paul – Ouch. Not really his style and horribly overplayed. If Simon did say it was one of his least favourite songs, it doesn’t look promising. Looks like he’s being targeted.
    Stereo Kicks – It’s just the same old from them. It doesn’t have the interesting vibe of Let It Be/Hey Jude, its just karaoke. Maybe producers are giving up?
    OTY – Urgh, not a great song choice as its cheesy as hell, but that made them safe in Weeks 1 and 2. Don’t see them avoiding the comedown, unless Paul and an Over are targeted.
    Ben – Safe choice in general, can see him pulling it off. Should be safe.
    Fleur – Very interesting song choice! I remember Melanie Amaro singing this at Judge’s Houses in the US and it was fantastic. Not sure Fleur is quite as good vocally though and it is kinda less well known than most of the others. If she performs it well, it could be really, really good.
    Jay – zzzzzzzzzzz, really boring song choice and I think if any of the Overs are getting targeted, its him. Can’t see him doing anything with it.
    Stevi – They definitely want him to stay another week. I expect another late slot and more comments done to keep him in.

    Overall, think that two of Paul, Jay, OTY and Stereo Kicks will be in the B2. An all Group B2 wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Henry VIII

    If they weren’t thinking devil for Andrea then his beard makes a satyr more likely than a faun.

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