X Factor 2014 Week 9 Post Mortem: It Ain’t Over Till The Platt Lady Sings

The big news of the day was the extent of the plunge on Fleur, who became a clear odds-on favourite across the board as punters reacted to the buzz ‘Uptown Funk’ created on social media. We observed last week that who the celebrity guests throw their weight behind is always interesting to observe at this stage of the competition, and while last Sunday’s guests backed Ben, this week Sam Bailey anointed Fleur. We also ended the show in front of the big ‘Vote Fleur East’ bus.

As reaction to Fleur’s breakout performance sank in, it began to seem a foregone conclusion that the bottom two would be Lauren and Andrea, and so it proved. We’d said in last night’s post that if we were producers we’d take Andrea in the final, as he makes for more interesting television and with two singoff appearances against none for Ben or Fleur, producers should be pretty confident they have his number.

Nonetheless, I wasn’t tempted to go in big when Lauren was trading around the 1.22 mark having been announced against Andrea, whom producers have also treated unkindly more weeks than not. That was not much different from the price I’d taken when there was still a slim chance she’d be up against Ben or Fleur, against whom she would surely have been toast, so I was disappointed that she didn’t drift somewhat when her opponent was confirmed. As she failed to replicate last week’s impressive singoff vocal, she shortened even further. I ended the night with a three-figure profit.

This week on Sofabet we’ll be publishing our usual three articles discussing each finalist’s journey. One thing that’s worth bearing in mind is that this time last year, the votes in the semi-final were 29.6% for Sam, 28.2% for Nicholas and 26.7% for Luke – far closer than most of us would have guessed, even though the end result was what most of us expected. That’s a salutary reminder that, until the votes are published this time next week, we’re all in the realms of guesswork. With that in mind, any and all thoughts and theories are welcome for debate in the comments.

As ever, do keep the discussion going below.

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86 comments to X Factor 2014 Week 9 Post Mortem: It Ain’t Over Till The Platt Lady Sings

  • Seriously burned tonight. Congratulations to the few who got involved, presumably on very large stakes.

    First question: We had three buses, all decked out in the finalists’ liveries. Now, are you SERIOUSLY telling me that in the last five minutes, someone’s driven the a bus with Lauren’s livery on it round the corner from Fountain Studios?

    Second question: Andrea’s singoff performance was awful. Throw in the staging of the two numbers into the mix and you do wonder if producers decided to mess with our heads one last time?

    Third question: Can Andrea come second, or even win it after that? They are going to have to work like dogs to nuke him now.

  • EM

    Did anyone notice Mel B’s kids on any of the busses?

    I’m sure I noticed Paul Akister underneath one of them

  • More of the same coming in the final. Ben and andrea ballad City
    Fleur provides the spark. Easy peasy

  • mb79493

    Fleur is currently #1 on iTunes. That bus worked then.

  • darylll

    1st Ben 2nd fleur 3rd Andrea i think. fleur hasn’t got a strong enough voice she’s like olly murs an entertainer not the best singer

  • Scott

    Best. Headline. Ever

    Apart from that, I wasn’t going anywhere near Lauren’s price – way too short when the producers’ main intention was to make Fleur Plan A and Ben Plan B, and to hell with anyone else. My hope was that Andrea’s price would fly out to some stupid level, and we would have a shock on our hands. Neither of those things happened, so no money from me this weekend.

    Andrea’s price did seem to plunge on Betfair shortly before the result, so I fear quite a few people may have been heavily burned. Certainly Lauren’s staging was helpful – gold lighting etc – but wasn’t up to the standard of last week. The arrangement didn’t help her much as well. So even though Andrea had dark lighting it still seemed more likely he would be kept. The fact it looked close, however, will help perceptions that he’s very much third out of three. In the same way as Fleur being announced first, being led off stage by Dermot first and the Fleur bus being first will also have done.

    Unlikely to be any money from me next week. While I’m certain producers want Fleur to win – and to a degree not known since Gareth Gates over Will Young – I can’t guarantee they’ll do it. It is not a complete disaster if she doesn’t win, as they now know. But the momentum from that breakout performance this week, plus a bigger stage which suits people who perform, should push her over the line.

  • Dean F

    Andrea can’t win they wouldn’t let him get to the final without his card firmly marked.

    Lauren better in the sing off again even if not as good as last week. A shame on the Saturday shows she gets bombed a bit with songs that do not suit.

    Fleur the chosen one as we knew for a while, but Ben is most likely still polling close if not better

  • Ronald

    Perhaps the voting is a lot tighter than the odds suggest. That VOTE FLEUR bus at the end tells me it is still too close to consider a Fleur win as in the bag. I think TPTB need to be a little more careful – they could turn people against Fleur such is the in your face nature of their support for her.
    Also, perhaps reading too much into it but Simon’s “you did it” comment to Fleur suggest she may not have been polling as well in previous weeks. Recall a week or so ago when Ben went through, Simon said something like “of course you are through” as if it wasn’t in doubt – leading the vote.
    If Fleur reprises Funk next week it’s game over. Running order will be Ben, Andrea, Fleur.

  • Ben

    Please confirm all 3 were decked out. They made a point of only showing one bus in its entirety.

  • Ben to win it next week if he’s duetting with Ed Sheeran.

  • darylll

    Duets prediction I would say are
    Ben and ed sheeran – thinking out loud or Lego house
    Andrea and Sam smith – stay with me
    Fleur and Meghan trainor – all about that bass

  • EM

    The point in the post that we don’t know how the voting has gone is a good one. Some people seem to have it fixed in their heads how it has been without any evidence which isn’t what betting on X Factor is about for me.

    It would be great to conjure up some facts and figures to support/disprove some of those other phrases that come up regularly here:

    -he/she is due a pimp slot
    -they’ll want in the final
    -they need to get rid of some boys/girls/overs
    -they’ll want all the judges in the final
    -they’ll want to get him/her on the tour
    -now he/she is on the tour they can go
    -Facebook likes call it right
    -you need to please Middle England
    -Vote transference
    -it’s little girls that vote

    • Dean F

      Yeah the due a pimp slot thing is a myth but fair to say Lauren got the worst run of performing order I have ever seen for someone who got this far. Even worse than Janet.

      Best way along with lukewarm comments to really kill vote transfers which makes me believe Lauren was polling 1st or 2nd up until week 6 then slowly slid downwards.

      With regards to who they want in the final it isn’t a bad thing to try call who they want to get that far from the first moment. I know some peoples 1-16 was already different by week 2 when I for one would have said Lauren and Fleur were ones they wanted in the final. Fleur was right, Lauren got to 4th.

  • Stu

    The thing I’m anticipating most is the celebrity duets. Would the producers dare pull the same trick they pulled in 2008 – while JLS and Eoghan got the has-been Louis walsh bore-bands Westlife and Boyzone, Alexandra got worldwide superstar Beyonce… Such blatant favouritism towards Fleur could cause a backlash with fans of the third place contestant backing whoever is up against Fleur next Sunday.

    It’s definitely the most open final ever in my opinion. There’s always been an underdog in previous finals but even though Andrea may seem like an outsider, he’s arguably got the most powerful voice which has traditionally been a key factor in succeeding in the final.

    It’s all going to be down to how competent the producers have been this series. If Fleur does Uptown Funk again (surely she will) then I’d assume she has won it. It’d be hilarious if Andrea reprises Relight My Fire!

    Up until this week, I would’ve said Ben has by far the best chance of winning but I guess if Fleur topped the vote this week with ease and can sustain that momentum with knock-out performances, she’ll surely have won.

  • EM

    Am I alone in thinking Fleur’s Uptown Funk was just good not great but made to seem great with a boosted studio audience reaction and judges comments?

  • Stu

    Also worth mentioning – there was a report (which has so far proved correct) in the media about the guest performers this series. Rihanna was mentioned and obviously she hasn’t performed yet or released new material. With two years since she was last in the limelight, there’d be a lot of hype surrounding her if she did show up in the final. Possible duet partner for Fleur?

  • Just announced that the following celebrities are performing at the final;
    Ed Sheeran
    Meghan Trainor
    Sam Smith
    One Direction
    Olly Murs & Demi Lovato.

    It’s obvious to me that Ben will be duetting with Ed, Fleur with Meghan and Andrea with Sam. They might be in the process of confirming this on Xtra Factor? I’m guessing Lauren may have performed with Demi Lovato had she made it through.

    • Luke

      I thought exactly the same, and if Stereo Kicks had made it, then either 1D or Olly would’ve been fine for them.

    • From itv.com:

      “On Saturday you will be able to feast your eyes on performances from Ed Sheeran and
      Meghan Trainor. Plus our three finalists will have their celebrity duets as well.”

      Doesn’t this imply Ed Sheeran and Meghan Trainor are in fact not the duet partners?

      Mind you, I’m a complete x-factor rookie, trying to wrap my head around this 🙂

  • tpfkar

    In better shape heading into the final weekend, very green on Ben, slightly green on Fleur, big red on Andrea who is heading to 3rd – I’d say the sing-off this week was all about tainting Andrea going into the final, rather than keeping Fleur safe.

    So who’s been winning? If Ben won this week, it’s game over. But likely Fleur has momentum. Has the show ever not got their favoured act through a final? They’d given up on getting 1D past Matt Cardle long before. So although we’ve little to compare to – none of the vital Daily Star leaks – hard to argue that Fleur shouldn’t be favourite from here.

  • Nugg

    I was at the bootcamps this years, and looking back now I challenge anyone to call Fleur as becoming the 4/7 favourite for the finals…..her Paper Planes performance was dire and did not recieve a great deal of coverage and airtime

  • Nugg

    Saturday Guests Ed Sheeran, Meghan Trainor and surprise duets

    Sunday guests One direction , Sam smith , Demi Lovato, Olly murs

    Should I even bother ???

  • lolhart

    The guests for this year’s final are pretty underwhelming unless they are in the process of trying to secure a big name.

  • Nugg

    If Ronson and Mars turn up then Fleur should be 1/7 not 4/7

  • Natasha

    Good luck everyone for next week. I put money e/w on Ben, Fleur and Andrea before the lives started so any outcome will do me just nicely : )

    Hats off to Stoney though, well done mate x

  • For what it’s worth, on The Xtra Factor Lauren said she thinks Ben will win.

    • Dean F

      Don’t think it really matters for the contestants just leaving but I think a lot of the ex contestants want Ben as he seems to be the nice guy of the house who is chilled out and there to listen. I bet TPTB would rather her say Fleur for vote transfer purpose. A portion of her diehard fanbase that also watch XtraF may go to Ben now

      • stoney

        all these possiblities will be covered, basically if Ben is anyway a threat to Fleur winning hell be shafted with song choice and comments next weekend

      • Tim B

        Predicting that someone will win (which is what Lauren did) is not the same as saying you want them to win. I unfollow most contestants at the earliest opportunity but I did notice Stereo Kicks tweeting for their fans to vote for Ben at the start of the results show.

  • Think I’m gonna be staying out of it this weekend. I got Ben for the win at 6/1 a few weeks ago, which I’ve covered with a Fleur 1st, Ben 2nd straight forecast. So barring a miracle from Andrea I’ll finish the series with at least around a 400% return on my starting pot.

  • I’m all in on Fleur have been all the way. Absolutely no covers in place. Unless the youguv results scar me I’m holding my original stakes which range from 16’s to 10. Along with 4s on top over.
    Think Saturdays youtube views are around the 1 million Mark. Number 1 on iTunes. 1/2 across the board. When bruno Mars gets confirmed ill be screaming for the hill tops. Ben trails fleur comfortably in every poll available. Its plain sailing from here.

  • Heisenberg

    The wheels on the bus go round and round…


  • Fleurs current odds say to me she won the vote this week at an absolute canter. Flying back from Spain today followed by a busy week at work. May check in during the weekend but if not good luck to all and if Fleur doesn’t win been nice knowing you all 🙂

  • EM

    I’d be keen to hear the thoughts of those who said “confident black women don’t do well on X Factor” when writing off Fleur.

    For me the mistake in that logic is that it’s nothing to do with colour – the truth is that unlikeable people don’t do well on X Factor. Sometimes that unlikeablilty is really easy to articulate, sometimes it is just a disconnection between contestant and audience.

    So while some people had put together Hannah and Mischa etc I think they go in with Katie, Cher, Danyl, Jedward etc who just don’t come across as likeable enough to win.

    Fleur has likeability in spades (as do Ben and Andrea, no coincidence)

    In fact apart from Shaky Maloney are there any other top 3 contestants who weren’t universally likeable?

    • Stu

      Rhydian in series 4 was originally painted as arrogant although after he threatened to drop out of the live shows, producers were kinder to him. I doubt he was universally likeable though. Alexandra was likeable but because she was confident, it turned some people off. The “cocky” rumours didn’t start until her career took off after the show though. James Arthur wasn’t particularly likeable even before Twitter killed his career. I can understand people being sympathetic towards him but he never had likeability.

    • Boki

      You might be right but out of your list I find Katie and Jedward unlikeable and don’t know the rest. On the other hand, found nothing “wrong” with Hannah and Mischa, not my type of music but can’t say unlikeable at all. So while I can understand why the others were “hated”, I don’t get why seemingly quite sweet person as Hannah didn’t connect with the public and first thought is color. Add rapping and lack of initial coverage to equation – no mistake that Fleur was seen as a filler by many (including me).

  • jay

    Well done Stoney, I silently laughed at you 9 weeks ago but am now eating a huge slice of humble pie washed down with some sour grapes.. They have dragged her over the line kicking and screaming but certainly not singing. Good job its not a singing contest eh. I thought the amount of favouritism shown on saturday reached new levels of shame. I think Fleur was shown or mentioned in every but one VT or intro (im including Simon “accidently” calling Lauren Fleur which then gave Mel and Cheryl the opportunity to drown out Simon introducing Ben with shouts of Fleur Fleur Fleur. It started early with Dermots opening few lines sayinmg someone will be crowned the winner and the camara honing in on Fleur and then the cherry on the top being the mother of all subliminal messages with the show closing with the view of the vote Fleur East Bus. Oh x factor how I loathe you but I shall be back next year.

    • David Cook

      I’m far from Fleur’s biggest fan, but I do find it a bit harsh the number of comments (mainly on DS) saying that she can’t sing. Clearly she can sing to a reasonable standard, like many pop artists she’s good enough for the style of music she wants to sing. Out of the sixteen finalists she’s proved over the course of the shows that she was the best all round entertainer. If she wins it won’t be undeserved.
      There were few complaints about the ridiculous levels of manipulation and sabotage meted out to some of the acts earlier on in the completion, when TPTB flagged up so obviously who they wanted to eliminate. As one of those who backed Stereo Kick’s to win despite knowing how poor they were, I fully expected TPTB to employ the levels of favouritism and de-ramping that they have employed to get the result – I just chose the wrong act. The bottom line is that you can’t really complain about it.

  • EM

    I never do the prediction game because I think I’d be rubbish at it but I did find this comment where I correctly name the top 5!


    Full disclosure – although I’ve made money on Ben this series I did also back Lola!!!

  • tpfkar

    One thing I’ve noticed (in politics as well as XF) is that having a western-sounding name can negate any negative perception of race.

    So Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis all have fewer barriers than Rachel Adedeji and John Adeleye (and possibly Misha B.) Fleur East clearly has a British-sounding name, which may dampen the “confident black woman” negatives.

  • Curtis

    I think a lot is made of the “confident black woman” thing, but honestly I think there are worse categories to be in – particularly if you’re looking to win. I think teenage girls are the real bum category.

    Nearly every series there is a teenage girl who sets the odds on fire – this series was an exception to that, but Lauren’s odds did get quite low at some points. We’ve had Janet Devlin, Ella Henderson, Tamera Foster, all big favourites at points in their series, none of them even making it past the final 5. Cher Lloyd and Stacey Solomon managed to get to the final – and finish last. Even Abi Alton had fairly low odds on her at points – hmm. Oh, and Diana Vickers.

    There has not been a single teenage girl soloist winner (pretty sure there were teenagers in Little Mix – they don’t count!), despite the fact that there’s one every single series that gets into low odds. Meanwhile confident black women already have Alexandra Burke (who was 20 when she won by the way) and are going to add Fleur East.

    If there’s something to be learned here, it’s think very hard before betting on a teenage girl to win The X Factor, because their odds seem to consistently overestimate them! Goodbye Lauren. Hello Fleur East!

  • 1st year I didn’t follow my standard ‘Follow the attractive mixed race one’ system…. and because of it I’m probably only gonna break even on my outright book…

    Broken record alert, as I’ve posted this a couple of times before… but genuine mixed raced people perform above average expectation in reality TV.

    Louis Smith in SCD was my biggest reality winner and I didn’t watch any of that show, just backed him on the basis he was a mixed races Olympian as soon as the markets opened..

    Teenage girls are the worst, they’re a massive drain on your bank balance… If only I’d listened to my mums advise when I was younger..

    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.

  • Stu

    Simon is apparently looking to bag Bruno Mars for the final so he can perform Uptown Funk with Fleur (it was to be expected).


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