X Factor 2015 Week 2: Stormy Weathers

Who says the X Factor has become too predictable? Two of the three acts who had been shortest in the pre-show elimination betting for most of the week drifted to double-figure prices after surprisingly positive treatment in Saturday’s show, as punters concluded that the other of the three – Kiera Weathers – looks to be under the biggest cloud.


There’s plenty for us to digest, and it felt like a show that – even more than usual – demands a Sunday rewatch. But here are our first impressions.

Starting off the “reinvention” theme were 4th Impact with an anodyne VT of tourist activity in London followed by the kind of drama over song choice we’ve seen a thousand times before. Their staging was a disappointment – urban colour vomit, with the sisters isolated from each other far more than last week – and vocally they were poor.

Judges’ comments were positive – when they got round to talking about the performance, that is; for the most part they held distracting conversations, with Cowell and Cheryl referencing the VT by bickering over the song choice. This wasn’t an encouraging week for backers of the pre-lives second favourites in the win market, and it wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world to see the Filipino foursome in trouble this week – especially with the extreme positivity that later surrounded Reggie N Bollie raising the surprising question of whether we may have a new alpha group on our hands.

Mason Noise followed, with a positive VT that featured him talking about the friends he was making in the house – he also later popped up bromantically in Che’s VT – and focused on his heart-throb status, as indeed did the post-song comments. I found the arrangement and staging not my cup of tea, with cheesy winks and gyrating hips – but it reminded me a little of Justin Bieber’s performance on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man, so perhaps I’m just falling behind the times.

Rita and Cheryl disagreed on the merits of the performance, with Cowell saying “the audience got behind you… there’s no-one like you in the competition and there’s a gap in the market for you”. Mason’s elimination odds shortened slightly, reflecting the sense that his overall treatment suggested producers seem hopeful of keeping him around but sending him out second in the running order hardly paints it as an overriding priority.

“Good luck” were the words with which Simon introduced Anton, and he’ll need it. The VT followed a pretty standard struggle against a change of direction, and so it proved. Anton had kitsch Vegas-style staging with throne and big staircase, and dancers dressed as speakers. He was overly louche at times, but there were moments of fun amid the mayhem and Anton remained as personally likeable as ever, apologising to Nick when the latter compared it to “a really bad musical”.

The overall vibe was reminiscent of when they gold-painted Andrea Faustini and stuck a pig’s tail on him, and we can only assume the intention – to dislodge Anton from the top of the votes, where Popbitch reported he finished last week – was the same. It would take quite the fall from grace to go from top of the pile to bottom three in one week, however, and Cowell’s “you’ve got guts and a sense of humour” should have motivated some sympathy.

Kiera wasn’t given a great deal of help with her bounce. There was nothing much wrong with her VT, which portrayed her as enthusiastic and hardworking, but song choice and styling felt like a Kiera that we didn’t know and didn’t particularly care for. The hair was even more strongly pulled back than last week, there were two significant dance interludes, and overall the choreography was off-putting. Nor did the song choice show off the tone of her voice, which is her USP.

Judges comments were lukewarm, as they typically are when the show isn’t looking to motivate votes – Cowell patronisingly gave her an “A for effort, at least you tried”. And having followed one of the big-name acts in Anton, she was promptly memoryholed by Che Chesterman and Louisa Johnson. As the only one of the pre-show likely-seeming eliminees to receive the expected unhelpful treatment, it was no surprise to see her elimination odds shorten.

After another positive VT, Che was given the first simple and effective moment of the night, with twinkly backdrop, lots of close-ups, and a four-judge standing ovation. Nick looked close to tears during the performance, and Rita said afterwards: “I wanted to cry. It was so beautiful.” Cheryl said: “You have a place in the market right now.” Simon continued the high praise by saying: “You’ve turned this competition upside down.” It was a pimping for Che, that reinforced the idea of him as a possible backup winner should Louisa prove impossible to get over the line.

Louisa’s VT started with her wearing glasses and being consulted for her ideas, then showed her chatting to friends and living the pop star dream at a photoshoot. “Louisa has personality”, appears to have been the intended message. The staging and song choice was an interesting departure from last week, with choreography and a rockier look. The powerful voice was still in evidence.

It was Nick who revealed most about what producers hope to achieve when he said: “Last week it was vocally incredible but ‘who is she?’ This week I saw who you’d be when you make music.” So this can be considered a partial reboot, which may suggest that her public vote last week wasn’t all that had been hoped.

Seann Miley Moore came next, with another anodyne VT agonising over song choice. Production was again all about Seann himself, which is no bad thing when he fills the stage so effectively, although quite how Middle England will have reacted is open to question.

The clue to the judges’ reactions came when Nick stood, Rita hesitantly followed and Simon failed to applaud at all. After great praise from the other three, Simon said: “That was lazy… it was very comfortable, very safe, very so-what.” He ended by saying it was less pop star, and more “someone who turns up to sing at a talent competition” – a criticism that viewers may feel cuts to the core of their reactions to Seann.

Monica came next with what felt like the evening’s clearest hatchet job. There was a fire backdrop, overly suggestive styling and a jarring arrangement. Monica looked far less comfortable than last week, and the judges made sure we all noticed it. Simon said: “I didn’t love it. I hated it. I hope the public forget about you tonight. What have they turned you into? You’re not this person and you can’t allow this to happen…. it was just an okay version of a Beyonce song”.

Amelia Lily went from wildcard vote-topper to singoff in the space of a week in 2011, albeit with far fewer acts left in the competition, and Monica’s treatment suggests producers are hoping that her burst of public goodwill is similarly short-lived. Punters quickly made her second-favourite for next elimination, which feels fair enough.

Max Stone was reinvented from WGWG to WGWU, and appeared to have been upgraded in the pecking order judging by a VT which allowed him to show emotion by referencing his auntie’s funeral and featured him discussing with Anton how to open up. As Cowell said at the end of the VT, “the quiet ones can be dangeous, they creep up”.

His staging – a chilled out desert island evening, with groupies sitting around him – struck us as nicely positive, and the judges’ criticism that followed (an uncharacteristically harsh Nick said these “weird people” looked like they’d “washed up on a beach to play pass-the-parcel”) seemed calculated to be harsh enough to motivate votes; it’s worth noting that amid the criticism were callouts to Max being “cooler than this”. Cowell reinforced Max’s credibility with “you’re honest, you are what it says on the tin”. It certainly looked to us like producers are in no hurry to sink Stone.

Also having clearly been upgraded in the pecking order were Reggie N Bollie, who were granted a heartwarming VT partying with their families including telegenic young children (and with Max playing guitar in the background) and given the biggest production of the series so far, with “R” and “B”-clad cheerleaders. Liam Payne’s approval was referenced multiple times, and Cowell’s “on paper this shouldn’t have worked but I absolutely loved it, there’s something so infectious about you guys” appeared to sum up the general mood in the studio.

It’s rare to see an act drift from 2/1 to 20/1 in the elimination betting, but it felt justified – producers could hardly have done more for the likeable Ghanaian duo.

Lauren Murray continued the Hannah Barrett Memorial Beta Girl Running Order Trajectory, following up her opening show death slot with the second show pimp slot. As with Hannah in 2013, it perhaps wasn’t quite the moment it could have been, but she certainly was given every assistance: the VT featured clips of her being a dental receptionist; the staging featured stars, a gospel choir and a curtain of fire; there were cutaways to a grinning Rita; and Cowell called it “the best I’ve heard you… a great singer, a great person… and we’ve still got more to come from you”. Lauren’s pimping reinforced the sense that producers are not feeling particularly sanguine about Louisa’s prospects of victory.

The show closed with Olly and Caroline inviting us to tune in to see who is next eliminated; if there was a clear mention of a double elimination, we missed it, but it had been explicitly promised on Xtra Factor and Simon Cowell’s Twitter account before tonight’s show.

How did you read the show? Do let us know below.

171 comments to X Factor 2015 Week 2: Stormy Weathers

  • Edie M

    I wonder if Max is now alpha over? I thought that fewer live shows might work to revitalise the show but instead it seems to have led it to kind of eat itself- the need to both simultaneously pimp & deramp faster means the manipulation is just cruder and more manic.

    • Jessica Hamby

      It’s a short series so they need to maintain some control to stop it becoming a dirgefest. Seann, Anton, Monica and Keira all tend towards intense and emotional. Too many performances like that would kill the show. Having said that, today seemed very harsh.

  • Lia

    Think I need more time to digest this one. I might actually have food poisoning…

  • Jessica Hamby

    Well done on getting something out and keeping to the salient points. There was a hell of a lot going on today.

  • Curtis

    Interesting point is at the start of the show when they listed the contestants, the order that they went in for each category. Now, I might get the ordering wrong here because I can’t get X Factor on catch up, but for example I believe the girls went Louisa, Lauren, Monica, Kiera, which seems suspiciously like their pecking order in the eyes of the producers.

    With that said, the groups were definitely listed as Reggie N Bollie, Fourth Impact, which would seem to go with Daniel’s proposition that the alpha group might have changed. The overs were also listed as Max, and then Anton, and Max did appear to have the superior treatment of the two. I can’t remember the order the boys were in, but if it were Ché, Seann, Mason, that would seem to basically go with what I’ve said.

    Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t, but for anyone who does rewatch the show I suggest looking out for it!

  • Jessica Hamby

    During Anton’s performance at JH Simon said he saw a ghost. In the live JH results show he said it was a demon. I wonder if that is now affecting his perception of Anton and so influencing Anton’s treatment. This is a series where a running motif has been to “go with your gut”. After the headclash and all the stories about Anton I can’t help but wonder….

  • Jack

    Initial reaction is Kiera and Mason are in trouble but I think it certainly merits a re-watch. It’s difficult to see Kiera bouncing high enough to be safe though. Thought Lauren was very good but Che was the best of the night – he was absolutely outstanding. Starting to think more and more that you’re pre-lives winner pick will come off.

    Also wanted go add that I think it’s far far to premature to assume that there’s a shifting in the pecking order in the groups and overs. First Impact are, after all much more marketable than RnB and I think the latters treatment was about keeping the novelty act safe for a while. As for Max, with the criticism, his treatment hardly reeked of positivity.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I don’t think you should discount the marketability (is that a word?) of Reggie & Bollie. Live shows are just as lucrative as recorded music since the advent of downloading, maybe more so. They could get any venue bouncing, even a packed O2, maybe even a stadium. That’s a lot of beans for one night’s work. On top of that there is merchandise and this is a bamd that could appeal to all ages. Then there is the blended family factor ,step kids, multi racial, children and babies…. These two are marketing gold.

    • Snowfall

      I would have thought they’d want to keep both remaining groups in long enough to get them on the tour, they have a lot of energy and fun that would be a good complement to the intense ballads that some of the likely final few might bring.

      Plus I just adore Reggie and Bollie 🙂 I think Jessica’s spot on about their appeal and marketability, both their performances in the lives have been pretty decent and they’re completely charming.

      Unlike everyone else it seems, I quite enjoyed Fourth Impact this week, though that’s maybe just because I really, really like Sound of the Underground (was that Luke Friend’s tram prop getting another outing?). There were way worse acts than them.

      If Anton really did top the voting last week I guess he’s not going to be bottom three yet, but he was my worst this week by a long way (but then, I didn’t like him last week either, or before).

      I think a bottom three from Kiera, Max, Monica and Mason, with Kiera probably bottom and straight out. I suspect they might keep Monica if she ends up in a sing off, but I really couldn’t call anything :/

    • RnB remind me of Rough Copy, with less pretense and a better attitude.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Plus they sing in tune.

        • Chris Bellis

          Well, most of the time…but you can get away with not being exactly in tune with reggae and West African influenced music, as part of the charm is the slightly out of tune guitars, singing and off the beat rhythm. I agree they are much more likeable than Rough Copy. I made money on Rough Copy as they went further than anyone thought they would or indeed deserved. This band should go further.

          • Jessica Hamby

            Yes. There’s almost a singalong, audience participation element and the slightly scratchy vicals and sound are a part of that. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out they can sing quite sweetly too, but it isn’t their style.

            In a way it reminds me of Washington DC go-go, which is also all about audience participation and best heard live, although that tends to be more call and response than singalong. Troublefunk Live In London sounds like the best gig that ever happened. I feel a bit jealous I wasn’t there every time I hear it.

            As for Reggie & Bollie, I’m sure thr show would be delighted for them to catch on. They’re wholesome, all ages entertainment who could not only sell gig tickets but be on lunchboxes and star in a cartoon series. They’ve got a brilliant, distinctive image, an international feel and a really warm vibe. You could see the two of them in silhouette with their caps on and you’d recognise them.

            The thing that gets me is the friendship. It runs through their performance so strongly that you don’t even need to mention it or acknowledge it. That’s what made Ghostbusters and Star Trek and Back To The Future, the relationships. That’s gold. Right there.

            Reggie without Bollie or Bollie without Reggie wouldn’t work, but together….

            *reaches for tissue*

          • Jessica Hamby

            (The tissue was to wipe away a tear because I wss so moved by my own rhetoric)

  • Anglia Chu

    I can imagine Max getting a “Simon’s favourite Over” arc (while he lasts): Simon saved him in the 5CC, put him through to the lives over more high-profile acts, and so on. The camera kept panning to Simon during his performance, looking unsure, but it’s more out of concern than out of disgust (but still).

    RnB had very distracting staging, but the judges (+Liam Payne) are showing a lot of love for it. Pair that with Fourth Impact’s equally bad staging and loud backing track to drown out their vocals (supposedly their strength), Groups to get wiped out first overall?

    Che to win seems juicy now. Not convinced he’s generic enough but he’s very MOR and has a good voice. The need to nuke Anton makes him a necessary evil at worst and a viable winner at best. SMM is not getting more votes any time soon; the show’s demographic will not warm to him. Mason without the villain role will not last.

    Louisa did fine for me, but if TPTB want a Girl winner, they are right to prepare for backup. Lauren seems to be preferred.

    Kiera to go first. Monica out next in favour of Max/Mason/SMM/Group?

  • EM

    On the groups I think Fourth Impact backfired on them rather than being a dampening. First up suggests solid votes last week, mash ups are nearly always helpful, positive comments on the singing despite them being awful, even the distracting judges could be down to an attempt to cover up how dire they were. I think they’re safe but if bottom 3 I see them saved over almost anyone else.

    I’d also bet RnB did relatively badly last week so it was safe to give them a feel good and near top billing slot.

    Very definite attempts to pimp Lauren, how many times did they mention she used to work in a dentist? However (as an early Lauren backer) she missed her moment, it was good, not great.

    Louisa continues to be mostly about the voice.

    If the series continues with the voting patterns we’ve seen time after time Che is on course to win the whole thing.

    • Edie M

      I would pretty much agree with this about FI, the disconnect between performance & comments means it was intended to be a fun show opener not the disaster it was. The death slot danger to me these days seems to be second/third rather than first as they’re early but easier to memory-hole.

  • EM

    And nothing we didn’t know here but revealing all the same from Dermot https://twitter.com/radioleary/status/663114634665328640

  • Tpfkar

    Saw the show for the first time last night. V interesting how what I saw matched how I’d guessed the acts would be like from comments here and in the media. A couple of thoughts:

    1) groups. If I’d done my prediction on time, I’d have put Alien as first elimination, just an impossible sell. 4th Impact not much higher. Girl groups need something amazing to work on X Factor, and just because one doesn’t fly, it’s no guarantee the other will. Think Nu Vibe and The Risk. I’m not convinced 4th Impact will last and have always though R&B likely to be last group standing – but groups to be eliminated first looks like a great bet.

    2) overs. With the majority here. Anton faces a long hard slog if he won the vote last week but tptb don’t want him to win. Max who?

    3)boys. Seann – this a joke right? Not a prayer. Che looks more like Craig Colton than a winner. Mason could go long, dark horse In my view.

    4) girls. Louisa may well have enough to win this, both Lauren and Monica seem competent and likeable, I felt plenty of sympathy for Monica last night, if she avoids b2 this could be quite a journey for her. Looks like an all-girl final is the ideal outcome at the moment.

    Good luck

  • Lia

    I’m still recovering, but I’ll try:

    XFactor has become XFactor USA. And I don’t need to remind anyone it failed miserably. The same way the world series used to cut XF short, the rugby world cup cut the live shows down to 7 weeks and that brought the manic manipulations we are seeing. We have always seen the manipulations but that way out of hand last night. And in the same way, chosen acts get overpraised and undeserved standin Os.

    I had never ever seen a live show that bad. If they were already rushing through contestants, why would they bring a wildcard back to dress her like a hooker and rip her apart? She would have been better off staying at home in a dignified eliminated at Judges Houses way.

    The distorted themes are a big problem too. This is me is, in theory, great for a first show. It’s open and could have been used to put on a great show and gather the public perception honestly. Instead there was no ME for the contestants.

    Last night the theme went from song reinvention to personality reinvention, which is way out of order. It was make a song your own then suddenly it became sing something that’s not you. That is just as bad as it gets. They simply forgot they still need to entertain people. It’s a TV show! So make great TV! Throw a couple of people under the bus (so we can bet) and let everybody else have an honest shot with honest critiques.

    Rant over! Sorry!

    • mb79493

      I actually really loved The X Factor USA though. It was the definition of hot mess, but it was interesting watching it go from one disaster to another. I also thought that the USA contestants were pretty talented in all series. I was really disappointed to see it go.

      That was just an abomination. This is actually a decent year in terms of talent, and they’ve just wasted it. Uh.

    • Edie M

      The point you made here about Monica is something that’s been on my mind since last night. Why bring her back to treat her as utterly disposable after only one week, esp. when she did a stellar peformance in the first show? I wonder if the only explanation is that she topped Louisa in the voting last week, and went from feel-good to threat. If she goes tonight the whole thing will leave a really horrible taste in the mouth.

    • David Cook

      That’s not a rant, it’s just telling it exactly the way it is – I couldn’t agree more.

  • Jack

    Well here are some more concise thoughts now I’m awake:

    I think Lauren, Che, Louisa and Anton are most probably safe. Anton likely has enough support to survive this early, whilst the other three all had good enough nights to steer them clear.

    I really think they’ve risked Mason coming absolute bottom here, which is bizarre considering they likely think he’s a decent commercial prospect, but maybe they’ve decided he’s outlived his usefulness? I’d be shocked to see him out of the B3 and think he’s the favourite for first out tonight. The only thing that might save him is they did their best to ‘Nala’ Kiera and how successful that was will likely dictate if Mason survives or not. I’m uncomfortable backing someone on a sympathy bounce for elimination, but I’d be surprised if she bounced higher than 3rd bottom.

    Others have backed Monica for the sing-off and whilst I agree her treatment was poor, it felt like a planned Week 3 kill to me (leave a massive negative impression in voters’ minds and make her forgettable next week) but if she is in the B3 I think she’d go against Mason but saved v Kiera. I could well see Max in trouble. Comments were non-motivational in spite of a decent performance and again, he’s barely received focus thus far.

    Seann, FI and RnB, I put into a category of most probably safe, but could still be B3. Whilst I agree Fourth Impact weren’t great, personally I doubt producers wouldn’t have put them on first if they weren’t confident of them surviving. I bet Reggie n Bollie only just scraped the B3 last time; that’s how I read their treatment. Producers have likely done enough to save them but not guaranteed. In fact I could potentially see Seann slip down. He was buried in the mid-pack a bit with a song that felt drowned out in the backing vocals. Plus I still question his appeal to Middle England. He’d be saved against almost anyone likely to be in trouble though and I doubt he’d be outright bottom.

    So in summary:

    Safe – Lauren, Louisa, Anton and Che
    Most likely safe but not guaranteed – Seann, FI and RnB
    In danger but could well survive – Monica, Max
    Probable B3 – Mason, Kiera

    Thing is I can’t tell who’ll be B3 with Mason and Kiera; there are reasons to suggest they all could survive and Max and Monica felt like prep for Week 3 kills. Plus I’m not comfortable predicting someone on a bounce to be B3 either. It’s the best I can come up with though!

  • Martin

    Wow, quite a show. I’ve just caught up on it – such a frustrating watch. I have nothing more to add really – this article sums it all up concisely. I’m going to add my thoughts anyway though!

    I don’t actually think 4th Impact were too bad. The staging was less colour vomit and more colourful. They’re clearly aimed at the kids – and the brighter the better. The mashup was very nursery rhyme, the Girls Aloud song is still on those ‘pop party’ CDs, the train thing at the start was like the opening of a concert, I loved it. The vocals weren’t as good as they have been but I think putting them on first was a show of confidence, not throwing them under the bus (or train).

    Mason was okay. I like him, the performance was nice but I question whether his vt, the song or the comments will motivate votes. It seemed like a chance for him to slip into the bottom three so he can be saved. I’m not sure why though. He isn’t entertaining anymore – his function in the competition has gone. At least he’s a commercial prospect.

    I think Keira will be bottom. I can barely even remember her performance. Anton was appalling – I put a tiny bet on him going this week and if they manage to get him bottom three by some miracle I have no doubt that they’ll dispose of him immediately. Che was great, and Louisa actually proved herself – she looked like a star and performance wise, I saw some actual star quality. It was a bit 90s Britney and I loved it. Seann may be in danger – it just wasn’t memorable. I think Monica is guaranteed bottom three – it wasn’t even as if she was upset by her comments to motivate sympathy. They seemed fair because she did look so uncomfortable. Max was as unremarkable as ever – I have said he’s occupying a niche by himself and j think that performance will have delighted his demo, I think he’s safe.

    By the time Reggie and Bollie rolled around I felt like crying it was such a relief for some fun. They’re infectious, and I love them. I do think them being on so late with the mother of all pimpings isn’t a great sign but I’m glad the show hasn’t given up on them – they have their place and the show needs them IMO. they’ve had my five free votes! Lauren was ok. Nicely on reserve for Louisa if she balls up.

    I think Keira out, with Mason, Monica and Seann in danger.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I try and like Louisa but I can’t. It feels like she sings at you, not to you. She turns the volume all the way up to 11 right from the start and then does all those runs and things that sounded amazing when Christina Aguilera started doing them 15 years ago but everyone does them now, and she overdoes them.

      Technically she’s very capable but in my opinion she’s missing something. It’s as if she’s aiming to impress me with her voice instead of moving me with the song, so all her performances end up sounding similar. It’s like going to see a magician who does one marvellous trick. The first time it’s amazing, the second not so much, by the third ,the fourth and the fifth I just get bored.

      I don’t know if others, specifically voters, will feel the same. That, I suppose, is the big question.

      • Martin

        Before last night i would have said exactly the same, but I was surprised at how comfortable she was with the choreography. The look suited her, she threw her hair about in all the right places and sounded excellent whilst doing it. Granted she’s no Michael Jackson, and a lot of it was probably complimentary camera work and flattering dancers but if they work around that, it could work for her like it did Fluer.

  • george

    anyone else notice sean wearing a t shirt with “dump him” written on it during his vt?

  • Phil

    I loved Monica’s response to the judges comments – I can’t remember her exact words but it was a quite sarcastic sounding “well don’t make the theme reinvention”.

    I can see her having a Ruth Lorenzo journey – a couple of controversial-but-actually-well-deserved sing off saves.

    Anyone else agree the biggest problem with the show is too many contestants? The shows are tooooooo looooooong.

  • David

    RE: Max

    During his performance Simon looked uneasy, he definitely wasn’t enjoying it. I’m not sure what it is, was he looking hard for critique, or was worried at how good it was, or was he just anxious for Max to do well.

    And then at the end when they are clapping Cheryl looks all confused and worried about what she should say. They appear to be confused about Max. He is dangerous.

    • Linda

      Grimshaw’s slamming of Max was so laboured and forced. Calling a ukulele a “small guitar” and saying the staging “looked like Playschool” which Grimshaw has probably never seen. I agree the other judges looked confused. He is probably polling well and they are not at all pleased. Max himself looked like he didn’t give a fcuk.

  • Stu

    According to a poster on DS, the Daily Star have “leaked” the top 3 of the week 1 vote:

    Anton 23%
    Louisa 13%
    Seann 12%

    It sounds highly plausible but I would’ve expected Che up there.

    • stoney

      Daily star are never wrong in this department. I’m happy with lj’s polling there. Anton wont be allowed to gain any more support from here where louisas vote will grow and grow as the younger relevant acts go out week on week. I imagine tptb are happy enough with that opening week too (aside from anton topping)

    • Linda

      Not surprised if Anton is topping the poll. His “Bang Bang” was brilliant. Pure Vegas, I loved it. I hope he doesn’t lose confidence with those staged comments.

      • stoney

        I can assure you he wouldn’t have topped the vote with bang bang. One of the worst x factor performances in history

        • Linda

          We’ll have to agree to disagree there. I loved it as did all of my (disinterested) household. We all hated Che last night but had liked him up to now. Took himself far too seriously and a lazy uninspired performance.

    • David Cook

      If this is correct then top three have almost 50% of vote – which wouldn’t be unusual. As ever probably very tight at the bottom. It’s possible that the bottom four or five all around 2 – 3 %. With so much going on last night very difficult to predict how it will pan out. One way or another I still think Keira will go tonight.

    • Tpfkar

      Hang on. I trust The Daily Star. I don’t trust a poster on DigitalSpy quoting the star. Has this been verified anywhere except DigitalSpy?

    • Fudd

      That explains Simon’s comments towards Seann last night. In another show, that might have been a widely pimped performance but he put the brakes on. I assume the X Factor team will now act on it, make Seann even more of a niche act than he is and isolate his vote.

      Out of the top three, they only want one of them in with a chance come the end.

  • David

    I think Nick, Rita and Cheryl were all suppose to give him negative comments, but Cheryl ended up doing it half assed because she couldn’t justify it.

  • Dean F

    I didn’t see the show in full but my two cents.

    4th Impact should be safe. Or at least they won’t be bottom and can be saved against almost anyone. But they were put on 1st not to deramp but surely for confidence they will be staying

    Mason is in danger. I think he will be bottom 3 but perhaps saved if against another disposable but last week did feel like he served his purpose on the shoe

    Anton was a clear hatchet job designed not to pick up any more floating votes. He will finish 3rd or 4th. Maloney route.

    Keira was forgettable and is most likely Nalad

    Che was excellent. Clear alpha male and his purpose was to memory hole Keira. Hes a finalist they want.

    Louisa further memory holed Keira and this was not her best performance but the star quality is there. I expect they are ensuring she doesnt peak too soon and next week could be the week for that.

    Seann. Well he could be I’m trouble for me. Potential B3 to be saved similar to a Ryan journey but we need more fun and banter from him.

    Max was very good and for me it’s just so confusing. I assume they are happy to keep him around for his niche but they know he can only go so far but u was certain they’d plunge him this week.

    Monica was shafted. I’d be surprised if she isn’t B3. IMO I think last week she wasn’t far off B3 and they see her as disposable. Would beg the question why the wildcard?

    RnB were fun and got all the help they could get. But I do believe they want them to stick around but their votes maybe weren’t too great last week. This week was designed to keep them around with an almighty push. It likely worked.

    Lauren for me the pimp slot showed they want her around and the pimping suggested they want her to finish in the quarter finals at least as opposed to Monica for instance. Beta girl.

    One last thing. On a LOOOONG show like these I actually think middle order is a good place to be. That’s why Che and Louisa went there and perhaps Seann too. It’s too early for big gun pimp slots though the pimp slot with a moment is still more helpful (as with Lauren this week) than going on 1st or 2nd.

  • Martin

    I was just about to mention that middle of the pack seems to be the best place to be. For two weeks now Che and Louisa have had similar slots the past two weeks which may reinforce that.

    The more I think about it, the more I think Louisa is on track for where tptb want her. Her VT was fantastic last night – I think younger viewers will have loved it and older viewers will have found it endearing. She looked comfortable during the choreography – there is nothing that a hair flick cannot save in my opinion. She owned the show, along with Che vocally whilst Reggie and Bollie saved an otherwise dull spectacle.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Watching again I really feel for Monica. She told them she didn’t want to do the song or wear the clothes and they made her do it anyway. Unlike all the other acts she wasn’t given the opportunity to change. Then they punished HER for what THEY did.

    F#@king disgusting.

    • EM

      As with every act you only know what you saw in the VTs which are highly edited to the point of manipulation and mis representation.

      Beware making any decisions based on face value

      • Jessica Hamby

        Sure. I’m not betting on elimination. I think she was poorly treated. Regardless of VT her post song treatment was harsh and unnecessary and it was clear she was doing something she didn’t want to do. The kicker for me was that Cowell told her she needed to be true to herself as if she had any part in the decision. We know she didn’t.

    • Alan

      It was sickening wasn’t it? They actually edited it to make it look like she had changed the song to be that way and had chosen the dress etc. Then Simon did his “don’t let them do this to you / it’s not you” speech completely contradicting his defence of Anton’s treatment earlier in the show. So hypocritical.

      It made me laugh at the start of the show when Cowell claimed he didn’t know what any of the acts were singing this week. He obviously doesn’t have any say in such things.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Haha. Exactly. And as we’ve seen in the past, if you make a fuss or don’t go along with producers’ wishes you’ll be portrayed as awkward, difficult and worst of all ungrateful.

        • Fudd

          Exactly; Jack Walton being the case in point. He refused, apparently, to have his shirt ripped open in week three presenting an image of him being awkward. In week four he was dressed as a camp extra from Pirates of the Caribbean and bitten on the neck halfway through Bleeding Love.

          They’ll get you either way.

  • Fudd

    Just watching the ITV repeat and one thing I passed on first time around – in the preview Nick said ‘Simon only has two acts left; both could go this week’ so that’s a further confirmation of a double.

    In relation to Kiera’s song choice, does anyone think Return of the Mack was meant to be Alien Uncovered’s song choice for this week (the intention being to ditch Kiera alongside Bupsi last week) and they just moved it across when Kiera stayed? I wondered the same last year when Lauren was somehow lumbered with Stay Another Day and Story of My Life, which seemed good choices for the departed Stereo Kicks.

    • Martin

      I did think the arrangement was very Alien Uncovered. I actually quite liked it but Keira was lost in the noise.

      The week Miss Dynamix were given a bye, their song was due to be Dreams, which they performed the following week upon their return. With the Lauren Platt – Story of my Life performance, that was the week after the public vote theme where that song was an option but Don’t You Worry Child was chosen instead. I think they were banking on the 1D song being voted for by the public and simply moved it to the week after.

      • Fudd

        Ah I forgot about the Public Jukebox. Though I think Stay Another Day could have been intended for Stereo Kicks; it didn’t really work for Lauren.

        I know many song choices are not meant to work but in this case it seemed right up Stereo Kicks’ street. Just as Return of the Mack felt like a decent pick for Alien Uncovered.

  • Chelsea

    How accurate are the TellyMix polls usually when it comes to X Factor? Shockingly Kiera was third favourite performance last night according to their poll even though on most bookies’ sites she is favourite to be eliminated next. Anton was least favourite as per TM poll. I realise 6500 is a pretty small sample size but still, it’s the only poll I could find for last night that we have to go on:


    • 4th Impact fans from the Philippines are ruining all the polls this year.

      • Jessica Hamby

        Are you sure about this? Is there any confirmation or evidence? I know there’s been a lot of talk but is there a significant effect. I wouldn’t bother voting for someone on an overseas x factor just because she was british.

        I’m not trying to be awkward it’s just that sometimes rumour or speculation can become accepted truth even though it is not accurate. I love having evidence and facts when it comes to things like this.

        • I’m pretty sure. Filipinos are pretty passionate about their own and want to help them in every way possible, even if that means only spamming online polls. I just hope the X Factor app voting can filter out their votes.

          • Chelsea

            That would explain why 4th Impact are topping the poll but not why Kiera is in third place with 700 votes and Anton is bottom with just 80.

        • David Cook

          4th Impact still running away with youtube views this week.They ended week one with 5 times as many views as anyone else The numbers are so big that if these were mainly british views- and you could get perhaps 10% voting with 5 votes – then they should have topped week 1 vote easily. If DS is correct then whoever is viewing youtube clearly cannot be voting in significant numbers.

      • stoney

        While there is no concrete evidence of this a quick glance at the voting numbers and percentages on telemix show you that overseas voters are flooding the polls and distorting the true figure

  • Martin

    Did anyone notice Seann’s Phillipino mother crawling out of the woodwork this week, too? As well as Max’s Swedish parents also suddenly appearing!

    • Fudd

      After which performance did Nick bring up ‘Britishness’? I thought it sounded shoehorned in at the time.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I think it was after Monica.

        • Fudd

          Thanks. Slightly random if so considering they did a hatchet job on her otherwise.

          Part of me thinks they overdid it and she’ll get a sympathy vote.

      • Alan

        Everything Nick said felt shoe horned in. He has definitely been given the Louis role. He looked particularly uncomfortable a couple of times last night before he had to stick the knife in. It actually does make u realise how good Louis was at being the voice of the producers.

  • stoney

    The odds movement would suggest to me monica is in serious trouble of rock bottom tonight. Im on that

  • Sagand

    I’m betting on Mason to be rock bottom tonight. The song didn’t have popular appeal, the dancing was off putting, being between 4th Impact and Anton and being on second all lead it to be perfectly forgettable.

  • I’m saying:

    3rd Elimination: Kiera
    4th Elimination: Mason Noise
    Bottom Three: Kiera/Mason Noise/Monica
    To Go: Kiera/Mason Noise

    I’m predicting a Ruth Lorenzo “Purple Rain” moment for Monica Anton’s deramp was of Biblical proportions, but I still think he has enough support. Mason’s performance wasn’t bad, but I wonder if the whole “dress like Simon Cowell” thing was a subiminal way of saying that he dresses like someone whose TV persona comes across as a bit of a wanker. Boos in the auditorium as well. If they can mask booing in a huge concert hall in Vienna, they can mask it in Fountain Studios.

    • R

      The whole Mason Noise trajectory seems to be to bring him back into line. He got through as the credible anti-Cowell act. Week one he sings “Sorry” by Bieber. Week 2 he now even dresses like Cowell!

      All anti-Cowell votes disappear along with his street-cred.

  • All getting a bit like Eurovision, with this apparent insider money

  • Leaks in the final are fine for me… I make money of them, but leaks every week is just takes some of the interest away for me.
    Bupsi backed in last week
    Monica this week

    Hope it’s just coincidence, but looks unlikely

    • stoney

      The market movement is there for everyone to pounce upon though. If anything it’s a blessing in disguise. Gives you a chance to cover a potential early punt loss. I was on Bupsi last week before the price crash but this week monicas price coming in is not to be ignored. This is nothing new its been happening for years now. Doesn’t always come true but more often than not it does.

  • Stu

    Monica’s odds are shortening rapidly on Oddschecker for next elimination. Hmmm…

  • I like the market movement. Makes it more exciting. I’m holding my nerve and just hoping she hasn’t polled rock-bottom. If she has, though, that is one clean hit from the producers.

  • Donald

    They made serious efforts in one way or another to de-ramp so many last night that with narrow margins in bottom voting early shows could be risky enough outcome yet tonight. Small stakes but think Kiera, Monica and Mason look most likely. While they pimped last two as hard as possible maybe show was over for audience but would expect them to be saved.

    Billie Jean an awkard song, not a great vote magnet but Louisa had good night while 4I had bad night at office and were far from helped. What theh did to Anto and Monica crazy stuff. Wonder if all this parent stuff is lining up an Anton situation. Also these tourist trips do sublimilay mean going home soon.

    Theh seem to be all out to get Louisa over the line by any mean means possible. Uncomfortable viewing last night.

    Let’s see what they do tonight.

  • Curtis

    Scared about Monica going! Not enjoying her shortening odds, should’ve hedged during performance yesterday

  • Fudd

    1% splits the bottom three. By telling us I’m not sure they have the exact result they want.

  • stoney

    Ben Haenow this is how it’s done!

    • Fudd

      They tried to push Fleur over the line last year; they needed a firmer take down of Ben to manage it but either decided it couldn’t be done or thought better of it.

      • stoney

        If they had of put the same efforts as they did in taking down nick Mcdonald they would have pulled it off. Not sure why they didn’t

        • EM

          Aye they gave up trying at some point – probably realised Ben was too popular to be really nasty to without blowback and Fleur would be big enough without the win

  • Alan

    Still think Max has a real chance of being dead bottom. Didn’t top up as his odds drifted though as not sure Kiera will get the sympathy bounce needed.

    PS – Thought Fleur rocked it tonight and goes to show commercial potential isn’t solely based on vocal ability.

  • Fudd

    X Factor producers will be watching this thinking ‘colour vomit whilst dressing someone in flowers against a flower background is a fantastic idea’.

  • stoney

    This is tragic compared to Fleur. This performance would get ceelo in the bottom 3!

  • Fudd

    Cee Lo states Che is the front runner for him.

  • Fudd

    Saved Order:
    4th Impact
    Reggie & Bollie

    So they did create a sympathy vote for Monica then…

    • Edie M

      Yep, they went too far with her. Sean & Mason just had quite meh performances last night (although I actually thought they were ok), so I suppose it makes sense there was not much motivation to vote.

  • Well it’s fair to say that wasn’t in the script!

  • Jessica Hamby

    I don’t hate to say I told you so. I’m just gonna come out with it.

    SEAN IS B3.



  • Ferret

    seann bankrupts us all ???

    surely he didnt finish plumb last ???

    ok result for me on Mason — Kiera is a winner for me – Seann is a big negative hit though

  • Linda

    I knew SMM would be down there, no surprise.

  • EM

    Well I hope no one lost too much piling on Monica as she shortened

  • George

    Middle England…

  • stoney

    I reckon she missed it by a very very narrow margin. So if keira finishes bottom we have a complete shock moment here. Id actually say they would be likely to save mason over seann

  • mb79493

    I didn’t expect Seann, but I’m very happy he’s there.

    Who is out? I have no clue. Kiera definitely.

  • Fudd

    Kiera’s a gonner either way. If the sing off is Mason v Seann which way will they sway? Mason is more commercial but Seann is more memorable.

  • Well, I’ve won something. Just need Mason out now.

  • Linda

    Grimmers won’t be happy with two boys in bottom three. These retrospective visuals in the backdrop are horrible.

  • End Of The Road… this is over and the market is reflecting that. Not getting involved on the singoff.

  • Fudd

    Mason singing ‘End Of The Road’. Suggesting a goodbye?

    I say singing; he’s struggling.

  • Edie M

    Why would you pick ‘end of the road’ for your survival song?

  • stoney

    They can’t save him after that lol

  • Fudd

    Nick pushing Seann ‘traveling across the world’ before introducing him.

    Recapping their X Factor journey on the backing screens in the Sing Off seems to be a new thing.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Seann has to stay after that.

  • Linda

    I fkin knew it!!!!!!!!

  • George

    As soon as Rita u-turned it was obvious.

  • stoney

    Lol no surprise at all. Keira finishing bottom set that up just nicely

  • Fudd

    I honestly thought Seann had one of the better performances last night, even with Simon pouring cold water on it.

    There goes the ‘credibility’ from last week’s sing off…

  • Suppose it set up a shock elimination nicely. Didn’t see it coming though!

  • mb79493

    Title: Seann No Moore

    Make it happen.

  • Ferret

    yup – RESULT for TPTB. Mason very diosposable in a few weeks time – get rid of Seann before the risk of momentum taking hold …. And calling Anton 4th last has wounded him as well

  • 360

    OOOH shocker.

    Off-topic, but I’m really not enjoying Caroline Flack’s perky presenting style. Have a bit of gravity of the situation, please! Cheery and brisk to a fault.

  • Fudd

    Have the incompetent assassins of 2012 returned? I don’t think they wanted to get rid of Alien Uncovered last week and it wasn’t really time for either Seann or Mason to go this week.

    • stoney

      Don’t think that’s strictly true. The bottom of the vote both weeks has been executed to perfection

      • Fudd

        Possibly but the next two up haven’t been so neatly executed. I would say they could have got away with it last week if Alien Uncovered hadn’t murdered their song last week but that didn’t stop them from saving Mason tonight.

  • George

    You’d think with the ratings situation they’d have learnt from this kind of stunt!

    • Jessica Hamby

      Agreed. This is exactly what brings the show into disrepute and makes people despise it even if they continue to watch. No amount of rationalisation about rules and public votes can make up for the fact that Seann was obviously tbe better singer in the sing off. Even Mason said so.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Oh well. Terrible result. Was Seann really 3rd last week? I find that hard to believe. Was that a good result for tptb? I don’t think it will hurt them too much, even if it is a week or two before they intended.

    Great performance in the sing-off though. Shameful to turf him out on the public vote after that.

  • Martin

    What the hell?! Seann could have bounced in epic proportions! Why didn’t they keep him?!

    I’m puzzled. Could have made money if Mason went, I’ve broke even this week with Keira going.

    • Fudd

      I think you answered your own question there – Seann could have bounced in epic proportions. They’re already trying to get Anton down there, without trying to hold Seann back as well.

      • Martin

        Yeah but he’d have been back down in the bottom two in week four. I suppose they’re just taking out Louisa’s competition – the hints were there. I’d say Mason’s comments were more favourable than Seann’s last night.

        • Fudd

          If that’s the case was Seann actually 3rd last week and they somehow managed to drag him down to 10th? If he was struggling in the votes he would not be a long term threat.

  • Alan

    Love the way they made the new judges do the dirty work on the sing-off. I was looking at Grimmy’s face whilst Seann was out-singing Mason and said to the Mrs he’s got the look of someone who’s been told to save Mason. Rita looked pretty uncomfortable too and just rushed through it. Didnt even justify her decision. At least Grimmy could hide behind the letting the public decide cliche.

    Aside from a small win on Bupsi last week my predictions and bets are looking dreadful. Who the hell is voting for Max?

  • Fudd

    I think there’s enough about Max that they can pick on and drag him down if necessary. I have the feeling they’re hoping for him to make the final but not win, so Simon’s record is maintained. Depending on the votes I think they’ll be hoping they can get Anton out before then.

  • Gutted that my biggest green is out, but on the flip side, I did manage to lay Mason at 1.10 in the sing off. He received gold lighting whereas Seann did not, and I thought the prices should’ve been closer together given the potential for a “shock”.

  • Stu

    I’m actually gob-smacked they let Seann go as early as week two! Surely they would’ve wanted him for entertainment value? Surely they would’ve wanted him for his individuality? Surely they would’ve wanted him for the tour? I don’t know whether they got rid of Seann just for the “shock” factor and to hype the show up in a bid to get higher ratings but if the producers did then they are extremely hopeless. As a viewer, I loved both of the boys in the bottom three but getting rid of Seann this early is truly a WTF situation.

    Also, I am really shocked Monica escaped the bottom three considering her odds for elimination were shortening at a suspicious rate pre-results but I’m sure she just about dodged the sing-off this week.

    I think Mason could well receive a “moment” next week, especially if there is a double elimination. I think the producers will go all out in ensuring he bounces and is well clear of the sing-off.

    I’m intrigued to know where Anton polled this week. Is there a clear link between being called safe last and polling in a certain position in the phone vote? If he was not far off the bottom three this week, I wonder if the producers will be nicer towards him next week. Especially with the press/twittersphere accusing Simon of sabotaging him this week.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think the tour talk is a red herring. It’s traditional for it to be the top six or the top eight or whatever but they can have whoever they want on it. It’s not, as far as I know, in the rules (assuming there are any). The rules seem to be that they can do whatever they like whenever they like including changing the rules anyway.

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