Louisa Johnson Wins The X Factor

Congratulations to Louisa Johnson, who has justified red-hot favouritism to win the X Factor. Congratulations, too, to X Factor producers – a Plan A has come off at last. And congratulations to Sofabet commenters who were confident from the beginning that Plan A would come off. We’ve been sceptical at times about how effectively they were selling her, but you can’t argue with the results, and I’m content to end the series with a modest profit on the win market.


With only 5.7 million people bothering to watch yesterday’s show live, however, you do have to wonder whether squeezing out the golden egg has come at the cost of half-killing the goose.

The markets had a bit of a wobble during the first round of songs, after repeated references to how Reggie N Bollie “could win” and the vote “could still go either way”. Louisa went as big as 1/3 and Reggie N Bollie as short as 9/4 in places. But wording is important here, and at no point did Caroline or Olly tell us the vote was “close”, as they surely would have done had they not been worried about incurring the wrath of Ofcom: everything they said was compatible with a large lead for one act or the other, and only a theoretical possibility of that changing. The question was, who was ahead.

It’s the comments to the winner’s songs that usually provide the biggest clues as to which is about to be released as a single. And the comments to Reggie N Bollie’s version said nothing about the song itself, instead focusing on how lovely they’d been to work with, with the appearance of kids on stage adding to the valedictory feel. If the show had been about to launch that version as a putative Christmas No 1, the judges would surely have said something in praise of it.

Louisa then got much better staging for her version, with the red X turning white and the crowd waving their torches in the darkness. All four judges stood to applaud, which they hadn’t for Reggie N Bollie. Cowell referred to the song this time, telling her “you turned a good song into a great song”, adding “we are witnessing the birth of a star”. The markets reacted accordingly, Louisa contracting to 1.08.

Now the wait begins for the high point of our X Factor season – the reveal of the week-by-week voting statistics. We’ll be back with an analysis post in the next day or two. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

99 comments to Louisa Johnson Wins The X Factor

  • And congratulations to Dean F

    Interestingly, only Dean F and David Cook did better than the overall Betfair market prediction as of the end of October, though Martin and SirMills managed to tie with the market.
    I hope that everyone has had (with the benefit of a little hindsight week on week) a more successful year than this!

    Anyway, with the limitations of displaying the score below notwithstanding…

    Predicted Finishing Positions Rank Score (Lower is better)
    Dean F 1 26
    David Cook 2 28
    Martin 3 30
    SirMills 3 30
    Betfair Exchange 2015-10-29 3 30
    Vülker 6 32
    Marc 6 32
    Dazzle 6 32
    Sagand 6 32
    mb79493 10 34
    Chatterbox5200 10 34
    Steve 12 36
    Daniel 12 36
    Snowfall 12 36
    Patrick 12 36
    Kenneth Chow 12 36
    annie 17 38
    Mech 18 40
    Panos 18 40
    Fudd 18 40
    Andy 18 40
    Jessica Hamby 22 42
    360 22 42
    Ben Cook 22 42
    Cath 22 42
    JScouser2002 22 42
    PhillipAzevedo 27 44
    Caro 27 44
    The Maestro 27 44
    Andy, No 2 27 44
    Luke 27 44
    Jack 32 46
    Tim B 32 46
    Phil 34 50
    Donald 34 50
    Oxobb 34 50
    Stu 37 52
    Alan 37 52
    Linda 39 54
    Piresistable 39 54
    Dan 39 54
    Lia 42 56
    Pimpin4rizeal 43 60

  • Tpfkar

    Blimey, that was quick. I’m guessing you didn’t bother with the backup article? I didn’t see much live, but looks like the producers were flawless in achieving objectives this year from start to finish, even if it sometimes left a bad taste in the mouth.

  • Curtis

    Congrats Louisa Johnson, youngest winner of the X Factor ever – finally breaking the curse of teenage girl early favourite. She has personally done nothing wrong throughout the series and is clearly very talented and deserving.

    Well done to TPTB also, who have got what they want here. However, I agree with Daniel, have they stomped all over their franchise to get to this point? Next year could very possibly be the last.

    Well done to people who predicted this outcome in the comments. All I ask is that next year we all get a little less personally involved in it all – heavens knows that’s the worst thing you can do if you’re gambling.

    Thanks Sofabet for providing excellent coverage yet again, and you helped make what was probably not a very good series of the X Factor great as far as I was concerned.

    Now I wait anxiously for the detailed results, because that’s when we can figure out when Louisa won it, and how right we were about our various thoughts throughout the series.

  • Ben Cook

    “you do have to wonder whether squeezing out the golden egg has come at the cost of half-killing the goose”

    Absolutely – they need to realise that by nuking everyone else that’s any good, they’re making a shit show. And even with Louisa they consistently ballsed up week after week. Why they persisted with John Lewis ballads when she was clearly more comfortable doing the likes of Man’s World I will never understand. Just make it a level playing field and only nuke when absolutely necessary.

  • Congrats on another great year Daniel.

    And congrats to the producers who were deadly accurate with their kills this year – they did what they had to do. As has been shown in seasons past, it’s not always simple to get the public to play ball.

    We’ve not seen the numbers yet, but I wonder if they had to hold their nerve once or twice!

    This evening was absurd. Same tricks, different year.

  • David Cook

    Just waiting for the voting statistics now. Surely it can’t have been close – they wouldn’t have risked the R&B version being released – they would have been a laughing stock.

  • Edie M

    God they’re really dragging this out before we get to the stats

  • Jack

    Yeah last year was almost instantaneous.

  • Martin

    Have they said they’re going to do it this year? I know they usually do, but it hasn’t been mentioned and we’re half way through.

  • Lia

    Voting stats! Voting stats! Voting stats!

  • EM

    Vote stats in Louisa won every week bar 4 and 5 (RnB and Che respectively)

  • Jack

    Ooh, the Week 1 voting leak was bogus then!

  • Lia

    They’re up on ITVs website!!!

  • Alison cassells

    But it was far from in the bag

  • Ben Cook

    Haha, Nick predicted that Josh Daniel would win the show. Yet he didn’t/wasn’t allowed to put him through to the lives.

  • James Bevan

    So there was never any real doubt throughout that Louisa walked away with it.

  • Jack

    Yeah the fact that Lauren always polled worse than Louisa meant she never stood a chance. Anton really didn’t poll that well, did he?

    The fact that Louisa polled third in Week 5 in spite of the pimp slot meant that she far from had it in the bag going into the Semi. Did Che’s lyrics flub help his vote that week?

  • Alan

    So much for the gospel according to The Star. Week 1 vote leak clearly just made up.

  • Martin

    Wow, a few close ones, percentage wise. Overall though, they had it in check. I’m amazed Louisa won week one though, that said.

  • the maestro

    Worst x factor ever and hopefully thats the end only world class singer to win it was leona its past its sell by date 6 million viewers last night pathetic

  • Dean F

    Wow crazy that Louisa didn’t win week 4 and wasn’t far off sing off in week 5 though everything was rather tight. Seems that when 4th Impact left she got a vote boost in werk 6 also because Man’s World was her best performance. She won the final easily bur they also took a risk with RnB ad their huge pimping was hitting above Louisa votes for 2 weeks

  • Curtis

    Ok, these stats warrant a closer look when I have more time than now, but what’s clear is that Louisa was never running away with it except for in the final.

    Producers gave her her best performing song as performance of the series, whilst Reggie ‘N’ Bollie did not get their best song, which seemed to be Week 4’s “Shut Up And Dance With Me”.

    Star leak was wrong.

    Week 5 saw all 5 acts separated by just 6% – no wonder we were all so confused that week. That was the night where every single act was predicted both to leave and to win by commenters here, and it kinda makes sense when you see that!

    There’s lots more to dissect, but for me, later.

  • Lia

    Monica did poll quite high week1. What a hatchet job!
    Alien were ahead of Kiera!!! Shock!
    Che bounced to first!!! Much sympathy!!!

  • Cath

    Wow, week 5 was super close at the top! Che only just edged it.

  • 360

    Week 6 was super close at the bottom – only 0.3% between Lauren and Che!

  • Kermit_The_Frog

    Sean Miley Moore never connected with the public did he? Pimp slot and praised to high heaven, yet couldn’t reach the Top 5?

  • Dean F

    What I always find strange is how Che got a huge sympathy bounce week 5 but not in the final he was left trailing far behind.

    So Louisa’s moment in week 4 didn’t top vote but she wasn’t given the pimp as RnB got that week 5 she was ill bit wad very tight. Week 6 TPTB finally hit the moment and it was with Louisa most natural performance . She could have got more of that but either way she won

    • Lia

      He didn’t forget his lyrics in the final. Maybe he should have… 😉

    • Curtis

      Second bounce is nearly always weaker, and bounces don’t seem to work very well anyway in the final. There have been 4 semis with sing-offs. The winners of all of those sing-offs (Cher Lloyd, Luke Friend, Andrea, Ché) have all been first to leave in the final.

  • 360

    Something else to note – many of us suspected RnB were barely clearing the bottom 2 most weeks when in fact they were never near it, their lowest polls being 7th out of 13 and 5th out of 9. Otherwise they were always in the top half of the table.

  • EM

    Couple of interesting ones. Week 5 was close at the top not the bottom (see here for why that can be relevant https://sofabet.com/2015/12/02/x-factor-2015-week-5-review-part-one/#comment-68133)

    Week 6 – Che got big sympathy bounce!

    Reggie n Bollie’s song of the series wasn’t their best scoring one!

  • David Cook

    Got to feel a bit sorry for Lauren, as she could have made the final if it hadn’t been for the deramp. TPTB clearly didn’t want to risk any vote split which might have let R&B through. Having said that eleven acts might be feeling that they could have done better without the deramps.

  • Donald

    Congrats to all, especially to Stoney, was not not as clear cut as it seemed and good that was generally posted and felt on Sofabet.

    TPTB got their winner.

    Louisa seemed to benefit most from 4I departure and they sure went for Che once he topped Louisa. With so many double elimatiions and pimpimg tptb had it under control. Winners song tonight was great, but even down to that audience at Wembley only allowed use lights for Louisa. That is a real good winners single!

    Over now, Louisa won. Will review stats in more details later, wine to be drank 🙂

    Thanks to all on Sofabet for great reading and comments, and to Daniel and Andrew great great effort through what really was a difficult season to watch and keep going. Sofabet kept us all going 🙂

  • 360

    Monica must be miffed that she didn’t make the tour based on the revealed voting statistics. Not only did she just miss the cut-off by coming 8th, she also polled the best on average of the remaining contestants.

    Instead she’s passed over for Sean Miley Moore who never set the votes alight in any way shape or form.

  • Martin

    Do we think that they went for Che? Whilst the lyrics flub generated sympathy, everything else that week was positive. Had they accepted a Che win at that point, but he fucked it up for himself by forgetting the words?

    • Dean F

      I doubt it, TPTB normally go with a sympathy bounce and they likely wanted Che in the final by that point anyway and representing Nick.

      Remember Amelia when she returned top poll once week was in Bottom two the next then topped poll again then B2 again…

      At that point in week 5 TPTB would have given Che the help to try reach the final but also knew that after his initial sympathy bounce they can steer him away from victory with what they did in week 6 and 7.

      • Martin

        Oh yeah I forgot he was on a bounce. Jeez, that was the week I was saying to tread carefully as they’ve been killing bounces all series.

        I thought the voting would be more sporadic than this – surprised that Lauren’s week three performance didn’t top the vote, and surprised that Billie Jean did!

  • Curtis

    In the mood for mild comic relief?


    Look at Rita’s spelling of “Johnson”

  • Jam

    No mention in the comments of the shockingly obvious throwing under the bus of RNB at the last minute – the winners song was only suitable for one person, and that was Louisa. Even the crowd at Wembley seemed completely baffled by it. They’ve done different songs for artists in previous years, no?

  • David Cook

    Well that’s XF overload for this weekend. Thanks to Daniel and Andrew for some great articles, and to everyone for the comments. I agreed with much – and disagreed with others – but it’s always good to have such a range of opinion.

  • phil

    So relieved to get my 14k back from reggie and bollie not winning. Just enjoying a big bottle of stella before bed. Next year i’ll gamble on the x factor in a complete different way. Much more aware of the manipulations and dangers to be faced with thanks to everyone on here it is a great column learnt plenty from it ☺

    • Curtis

      There’s money to be made from this game if you get it right – I’d wager it’s a lot easier than the sports market in fact. Congrats, enjoy your night knowing that your 14k is safe (plus extra 500 on the side)

  • Tpfkar

    The voting stats explain a couple of things from the final last night. Firstly Che was kept in his comfort zone – a lyrics flub could have changed everything. He won the vote on his previous sympathy bounce, and he seemed to play the nice guy last night, when he was the awkward but sexy outsider, he polled much better. I suspect he was told to keep smiling regardless – against his interests. It also explains the negativity towards him by a Simon – he could have been a forgotten lyric away from challenging for the win.

    Second, RnB had to be kept right in niche. They couldn’t prevent the energy or the audience reaction, but making then as non-mainstream as possible, and emphasising that it was a singing contest, continually before Louisa, was needed.

    This could have gone badly wrong – and I have to wonder why they didn’t push Lauren into the final, as Louisa beat her on every vote, unlike RnB and Che.

  • Lia

    Off topic but interesting. Sophia Wardman has posted an update to her blog: Judge’s Houses: Part 2


  • EM

    It would appear there’s some solid vote transfer evidence in the stats with Louisa picking up from 4I and Lauren – the theory that app voting would give some data on who shares votes with who stacks up here – potentially a Che, RnB, Louisa final was always going to give her enough votes to win

  • Curtis

    I think people are playing up the lyrics flub way more than it deserves to be. I’m sure it was a factor in Ché’s vote that week, but equally we can look at sympathy bounce, Anton vote transfer, and relatively poor nights for Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Louisa as a good explanation for this.

    I doubt that Ché topping the vote with a mere 22% (from a 5 person field) caused any alarm bells whatsoever for producers. The problem was how poor Louisa’s vote was that week.

  • Che’s “journey” is the most interesting for me.

    Week 1 pretty average (5th – 8.7%) with poor running order and decent treatment

    Week 2 improves markedly (3rd – 12.5%) with much better treatment but still a poor running order

    Week 3 he gets pimp slot and gets a small increase to 14.0% (3rd). Lauren Murray smashes One Last Time and collapses from around 17.0 to 5.5 on Betfair, in the penultimate slot. Detracts hugely from Che’s pimp slot. If it was not for Paris, she is getting deramped badly with License to Kill. She would have not gone from 11.2% to 14.1% nor collapsed on BF. She would’ve dropped to around 10% which would have made her 5th and likely to hit b2 the following week. Che’s pimp would have been more effective and he likely tops vote by a small margin. He would’ve shortened based off this.

    Week 4 he opens show. Hits b2. Is 1% off safety. Had Lauren not unintentionally detracted from him week before, he’s got enough vote extra from previous week to not fall into b2. Lauren or 4th Impact would’ve been b2 instead.

    Week 5 he forgets lyrics & tops vote. Had he not been b2 the week before, but not forgot lyrics, he nails Hello, probably tops vote anyway and goes fav outright.

    From there can’t call what happens outright.

    In the above scenario, its likely that you would have got Anton vs 4th Impact in that week 4 b2 instead of Anton vs Che. The following week, Lauren vs Louisa, huge viewing figs and probably a James Arthur passage to victory.

  • Alan

    The thing I dont understand looking at the stats is why they went after Anton so badly. He polled well in week 1 but nothing spectacular. Why pimp him through the auditions only to go after him in week 2 if he was no real threat to plan A?

  • Two things:

    Reggie n Bollie were 7th in Week 1. Everyone below him was out in the first three weeks.

    TPTB did not take any chances with Louisa, pushing her hard despite ALREADY being ahead from the get-go.

  • Sagand

    Anyone else think there is value in betting Lousia won’t be Christmas number one? The viewing figures are down a lot, it’s a poor song choice compared to past years and she’d have to stay number 1 for twos weeks. I can’t imagine many people streaming it and that is making up more and more of the chart.

  • EM

    Thinking about the Daily Star vote leak I can see a few possible scenarios now we know the full story

    1. There’s the theory that the Star are only seeing phone votes these days not app votes. Entirely possible that the leak was phone votes only with Anton clearing up with phone votes while Louisa was getting more 5x app votes from fans. Voting numbers at the beginning are so low it wouldn’t take much to cause those swings.

    2. Anton coming third in week one spooked producers enough to put a leak out to encourage non-Anton fans to vote (although if that was the case I’d pick a bigger circulation paper to leak to)

    3. The Daily Star had duff information

  • Lia

    Heard the recorded version of Louisa’s coronation song on my way to work today. Have to say I’m shocked and not in a good way: it does not sound like her! It sounds like a cheap Mariah knock off and all the richness of her tone is gone. Very generic. Big WTF moment!

  • Chris Bellis

    Thanks to all you sofabetters for an entertaining season. Much more entertaining than the show itself, which seems to have passed its time. I will be studying your tips very carefully for Eurovision, Dean F and David Cook, although I probably won’t entirely desert my winning formula of top five for Sweden and bottom five for UK.

  • EM

    Did anyone catch any vote totals across the series

    I have

    8 million for the final
    2.5 million for week 5
    3 million for week 4
    (unless I’m mistaken)

  • Meanwhile, with perfect timing SVT have confirmed their hosts for Stockholm in the last few minutes… You’ll be delighted to hear that Petra Mede returns but this time with reigning champion Mans Zelmerlow.

  • David Cook

    The release of the voting figures made it look close – R&B certainly ran it closer than I thought leading up to the final. However reviewing the breakdown I suspect that TPTB were always reasonably confident that they would get Louisa across the line, and indeed she did pull away at the end. As ever the voting breakdown reveals that more votes were cast on Sunday (almost 2/3 of the total) than on the Saturday, and Louisa managed to pick up 60% of those against 40% for R&B. As others have said TPTB have access to the voting data which must give them good information on voting patterns and possible vote transfers. Even on the weeks where it was close at the top they were probably fairly confident that more votes would transfer to Louisa rather than R&B. In the end it looks like they were happy to run with R&B into the final, even massively pimping them along the way. The winners song was late in the day to make too much difference to the vote, but shows how they could have been to de-ramped if needed. Had TPTB felt that R&B were really in with a chance I think that they would have given them a different song, no way would they risk the ridicule they would have received if that was the winners single.
    They picked their winner and got them across the line. If – and it’s a very big if – Louisa does go on to be successful I’m sure they’ll feel that the ends did justify the means, but it certainly didn’t make for a good series in terms of viewing.

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