X Factor 2016 Week 4 Post Mortem: It’s A Wrap For Gifty

The identity of the bottom three – 4 of Diamonds, Gifty and Ryan – wasn’t a shock, with several Sofabet commenters correctly calling it during the day. Nor was it a shock that Ryan was again saved in the lifeline vote – it’s not hard to figure out why he struggles on Saturday but sails through on Sunday, when he has the cute young lad and Scottish votes to himself.

But I was surprised that producers sent Gifty home – as were punters generally, with 4 of Diamonds trading around 1.3 during the singoff. Maybe we shouldn’t have been. After all, she did appear yesterday carrying a suitcase.


Gifty’s treatment yesterday certainly suggested that she’d been struggling in the vote and producers were expecting her in the bottom three, but I’d guessed that they might use it as an opportunity to try to bounce her. But clearly they’d decided that she was a lost cause. I end the week with a modest loss on the elimination market. Props to stoney, who called it correctly in the comments during the singoff.

Will producers be happy for Sunday to keep on being the “Save Ryan” day? Will they run with Saara for another week or two? Will 4 of Diamonds be sent up in flames again next week? As ever, do keep the conversation going below.

95 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 4 Post Mortem: It’s A Wrap For Gifty

  • Jessica Hamby

    Yes. Well done to all the boys who called it so well.

  • Scott

    I’d missed the significance of the suitcase but spotted that she emerged from Room 101, knocked on door 13 and was struck by lightning, while singing a song no-one had heard of.

    My main takeaway from this week is not to go by specific theories – colour vomit, red and black, fire. Those are all helpful in the mix, but it’s the overall treatment of a contestant, and how it makes you as a viewer feel that matters most. If something seems off, or unsettling, go back and work out why.

    • EM

      Actually with a dollop of hindsight you can see how a lot of the traditional theories on VTs, song choice, performance, narrative and judges comments came into play with the bottom three tonight.

      Talking of song choice I’m not show how ego bruising it will be for Simom et al that the bottom two were the ones who performed Syco songs last night…

  • Wkrs

    Voting stats will be fascinating this year. I’m not sure who is voting for Sam, feel like she could be in trouble sooner rather than later.

    • Piresistable

      I only watch the show because of this site, and my knowledge of music is very limited, but I quite like her. I couldn’t tell you if she is technically good or not, but she is distinctive. I’d know it was her singing if I heard her on the radio. Unlike Emily.

    • 360

      I reckon Sam appeals to guys. Maybe even dads. She’s definitely being positioned as ‘one of the guys’ and being given the closest the show goes to ‘rock songs’.

      • Piresistable

        Yes, Daniel asked whether her going to St James’ Park would hurt her prospects with Sunderland and Middlesbrough fans. I don’t think so. Had they shown her going to Old Trafford or Anfield, that would have been much worse as it would have suggested she and her family didn’t care about where they came from.

        • I dunno – there is a reasonably significant degree of football-based antipathy between Newcastle and Sunderland. Can’t imagine anyone in Middlesbrough being fussed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a non-negligible number of Sunderland-based viewers saw her cheering at St James’ and had a visceral reaction of “not voting for her any more”. Would love to see the geo-tagged app votes!

          Obviously the effect will only be marginal but I think it’s riskier than associating Louisa with West Ham last year. I suspect they might have been more cautious about that if she’d been for Arsenal or Spurs.

          Memo to Ryan: if they suggest you might like to see a Rangers/Celtic game, politely decline.

          • EM

            He’ll be well aware of that, Coatbridge is right in the centre of all that! In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if he hasn’t already lost half the votes of Coatbridge – it’s that kind of place!

          • “The support from my hometown has been incredible”

            “Half of Coatbridge is behind you, Ryan. 50 percent!”

          • EM

            Actually a Louis delivered “i want all the Celtic fans to vote for you” would be one of the biggest deramps of all time and would solve the flash vote issue in a second too!!

  • I ignored a lot of the subliminals this week because of the theme. Likewise I always ignore any Red & Blacking on Halloween Week. However, there’s definitely still merit in the “Fire Kills” theory.

    So yeah, bad night at Martin Towers. I just couldn’t see any reason for not only saving 4OD for a second time, but also doing it when the producers really don’t want them around long-term. Of course, next week being Girlband v Boyband means it makes sense. I was going with those who were expecting Gifty to bounce and the producers to work with that bounce. I don’t see 4OD bouncing. They’ve been a real let-down since their return to the show.

    • EM

      I don’t bet when I haven’t seen the full shows but if I had tonight I’m sure I would have been all in on 4 of Diamonds going for all the reasons you said.

      That being said I think Gifty is gone for reasons of clearing Emily’s lane a bit more plus perhaps the fact she’s difficult to work with.

      I don’t think the producers work with bounces or count on them ever to keep an act in longer, too risky in many ways.

  • MichaelKaz

    Think the f bomb did it for Gifty last week. 3 to 1 was pretty emphatic. Made a modest profit tonight calling her to be knived. That said the girls days are numbered too

  • Shraine

    I took 16/1 midweek on Gifty To go.
    She was clearly a target this week. And managed to take 8/1 last night. Good weekend for me.

  • Linda

    Her sing off was far superior to the girls. Even if she was the target I’m surprised the panel stayed on script and sent her home. She doesn’t appear to have taken it too well herself, absolute daggers when interviewed by Dermot.

  • Only @ 11/4, but I can’t believe the ‘Gifty’ that Skybet gave me tonight (even whilst the ‘sing off’ was happening and that she was on first). Probably not the best odds on offer. but a nice £100+ all the same. …thank-you Skybet.

  • Freddo

    Looks like we have a few aftertimers, post your bets and tips before the results show.

    • Freddo. In 2011 I was on Little Mix from the very start at Judges House and had 2 x 66/1 bets with a win and with a 66/1 for the straight (reverse) forecast final LM/Marcus bet, for a £1,340 payout. I would say that that was a well judged ‘before-timer’.

      • DannyCraig

        I believe this takes the title of “reply of the week” – congrats Sir Macca

        I placed a bet back in 2011 too, maybe you were also on it? Leicester city To Win the Premier League in 2015/16, trebled up with Ben Haenow (x factor 2015) + USA to win the Ryder cup in 2016!

        All jokes aside, anybody can brag about previous winners & how much, at what price, they had on…but it doesn’t really improve the discussions around what will happen in the future, and I guess 99% of people who read this website are looking for. Tell us who you fancy to go next week and why – will benefit everyone rather than an ego boost.

        FWIW, I’m yet to find anybody in my peer group who finds Honey G act remotely funny/interesting. My family aren’t fans of her either. No idea where she’s getting her votes from currently, but I think her time might be coming up soon, having been the last to be announced safe before the bottom 3. I’ll be having a few pennies on her to go / bottom 2 weekend. Enjoy the show 🙂

        • Hi Danny (and Freddo). I don’t actually bet on anything else apart from these tv specials (and maybe The Grand National). I am in the entertainments biz and hence it is a great game for me to play, for fun. I bet sensibly too and only with what I can afford to lose. However, what I have won has come through what I have learned from this great site over the last 7 years and what to watch out (and listen) for.

          Oddschecker is usually on the ball during sing-offs and with very short odds for both, but this time they weren’t with ‘Gifty’ (usual rule of thumb that being ‘first on’ will more than likely exit the comp from that position). There were also some 7/2 on offer too during the s/o, bit I only have accounts with a few.

          Producers seem to be playing a different game this year which is ‘apparently’ foxing the bookies and also presenting some puzzles on here too. So far from being an ‘after-timer brag’, I was merely demonstrating a good encouraging result for any newbies on here and to watch out for it in future, as there are good odds to be had.

          With ‘Little Mix’, I learned a long time ago on here that it IS, after all, Simon’s show and what Simon wants Simon usually gets (so it’s always good to listen to his little ‘throw away’ statements too). Very early on in that show, Simon clearly stated “I would like to see a girl-band win some day”. Then one was hastily formed at Judges House and ‘hey presto’ they won.

          So, a small handful of us on here heard this ‘alarm bell’ and jumped on it when the odds were up around 66/1 during Judge’s House (where I had already taken big favourite ‘Marcus’ at 9/1 long before the J/H stage). I then spotted that both were were in 66/1 forecast bets so I also took a ‘reverse’ option on those and sat on it whilst I watched producers lavish support on LM from that point.

          Simon has earned a packet from LM and they are ready to start fading out over the next few years and will need replacing. This makes me wonder if he is keeping 4oD in the comp, constantly testing the water with them, for a repeat girl-band win (or at least a second place in the final to use as a launch pad for them) as Matt is getting all the golden boy treatment that Marcus had and will no doubt be in the final (just who with, is the question?). I am sticking with my 4oD hunch though.

          Freddo. I hear you on Honey G, she is a joke. Every show has it’s anti-christ for mugs to vote on to try to spoil the result for Simon, but she will soon be toast when producers decide for her to go. He isn’t bothered though as he wins either way, because she will no doubt be a big star (for a short while at least) to inflate his bank balance even more.

          You two enjoy the show too and be lucky.

  • Alan

    Are there any stats to show if singing first or second in the sing-off is favourable? Feels to me like the act singing second have a better chance but never really paid much attention to it.

  • fused

    I was pleasantly surprised about Saara making it through again, but Gifty’s elimination this early on has to be one the biggest shocks the show has ever had! To be honest, Gifty was always a contestant I felt I ought to like more than I ever actually did, but she was probably the one with the most potential as a popstar, and they’ve got rid of her. She went in a majority judges vote. For whatever reason, they didn’t want her on the show any longer.

    I feel a bit sorry for Ryan and 4 Of Diamonds, as they are probably going to get some backlash about it on the grounds they keep getting saved, but it’s not their fault they keep getting dragged through each week, Ryan with the app vote and 4OD with the judge’s vote.

    • Alan

      Did Ryan even look happy when he was saved? He looked like he couldnt care less beforehand and I was worried that people might not vote for him on that basis. His existence on the show is completely pointless isnt it? Although it does mean my bet on him is still alive. For some reason it wont let me cash out. 🙂

  • GsP

    4oD being bottom 2 again can now more easily have Saara saved a third time next week if required.

    There’s no way 4oD will bounce high enough to be clear of bottom 3 and I think Saara will inevitably slip back in. I was surprised and delighted she made it through on votes this week.

    Both those acts are due an early starting slot after 3 weeks of being at the end.

    They can’t have Ryan surviving 4 weeks in the flash vote, if makes a mockery of the whole thing. They either need to scrap it or find a way to get him through, the desired Emily v Ryan bottom 2 is simply not going to happen.

    • Jessica Hamby

      I disagree. I’m predicting a Saara / Matt top two.

      For the X Factor to get it’s mojo back it has to be event television again. It’s not enough to see bickering between the judges and the emotional manipulation by numbers is tired and transparent. The best way to make it event television again is to create a real competition and the only possible competition is between Matt and Saara.

      Were you for Gareth or were you for Will? By the end everyone was talking about it and was for one or the other. This can be the same. Are you for Matt or are you for Saara?

      The franchise always comes first.

      • It does. Hence I said this about Honey G overnight on Saturday:

        “The attitude is one not dis-similar to the UK’s approach to Eurovision: people are only watching to take the piss. However, that piss-taking has rewarded us with many, many wooden spoons. Will Honey G harm the franchise long-term?”

        In other words, when is the bus coming?

        • Jessica Hamby

          Imo Honey G’s days are definitely numbered. She’s doing Men In Black and Ice Ice Baby. The performances are dull and pedestrian. She’s 15 or 20 years out of date. It’s not finals stuff. She’s not Wagner. I’d be very surprised if anyone is tuning in to see Honey G.

          • Alan

            I’m not sure that anyone is tuning in to see her although someone must be voting for her. What on earth is it that motivates those people I wonder?

            It is the media who are obsessed with Honey G. They’ve got column inches and minutes to fill and Honey G ticks the box nicely. Something the PR people at SycoTV can spoon-feed them. God forbid they would have to fill their pages / time slots with something meaningful or of genuine worth.

          • Scott

            On the “it’s all the nasty media’s fault” logic – I’m afraid this is a vicious circle. The show creates the demand, everyone talking about her leads to the media writing more about her, and off we go. If you look on Twitter she flies up that trending list every week.

            This is the only time I will ever compare Honey G to a political campaign, but … if you’ve ever wondered why the same soundbites are repeated over and over and over again in a campaign, it’s because you’re engaged with the process. The campaign is trying to capture those who aren’t as involved. For many people Honey G is a bit of a laugh, and many people will only have found out about her. Whereas for those of us who study this show a little more precisely than others, we’re bored stiff already.

            See also: why Heart hammers the same songs out day in, day out.

  • Michelle

    So now all the judges are down to two acts each. Is it possible the producers are forcing the eliminations to keep it even between the judges rather than have, for example Louis loose all his acts in the first three weeks and Simon take all of his to the final?

  • India Marie

    At least one of Saara, Ryan, Honey G, and 4oD will be in the top 5. Considering that three of them have been targeted a lot and the fourth is presumably a ticking time bomb, that’s slightly shocking.

  • Poker Coach

    Jessicas thinking has some credit.

    Which Final Combo would give most interesting match-up?

    Matt vs Honey G?
    Matt vs 5 AM?
    Matt vs Saara?
    Matt vs Emily?

    If it would be about singing I would say Matt vs Saara, but in the end it is not about singing.

    I think that in the next week they try to make Saara popular among the teens. If it will work, they will keep her for the final. If it won’t she will be gone within two weeks and end up 7th.

  • India Marie

    Her B3 appearance isn’t a sucker punch but her elimination is. Maybe there’s something we’re missing

  • Poker Coach

    Of course they are different species.

    Saara already have quite big fanbase who are willing to see her at concerts. Grown ups are MUCH more likely to do the decisions according the actual quality than the teens.

    To teens it is more important whether or not it is cool to like for somebody. I think that it is much easier to make Emily likeable to the teens than to promote Saara. I might be wrong though.

    • Chris Bellis

      Teens are important in the total mix, but their preferences don’t necessarily tilt things their way entirely. EG Eurovision 2016, when the teen vote went to Sweden, but he came fifth (talking of “before-timers”), as I predicted on these pages. Not boasting, because I didn’t see BG, Australia or Ukraine coming.

    • Dean

      I actually think firstly Gifty was not polling well and secondly she has a bit of an attitude problem (didn’t bratavio or a former contestant say something along those lines? And that she was a bit of a b**** in the house?

      With that in mind I think they decided to cut their ties before the tour slots.

  • A breakdown of Televoting vs App Voting would be fascinating. I imagine there is quite a difference between the two. Largely, I imagine the younger crowd are voting on the app, which is helping Ryan out of the danger zone without having ever been in a single singoff.

  • India Marie

    Ryan looked pissed when he was announced safe; he knows TPTB have it in for him and he’s doing little to hide it. Ryan to leave now that the tour slots are clinched? I reckon the *ideal* elimination sequence will be

    Honey G
    Saara (who knew she’d last this long after a disastrous start)
    Matt wins

  • Martin

    I think stoney was right in a previous comment where he said that if the lifeline vote remains, he will bounce through the final every time. It wouldn’t surprise me if the show targeted Gifty to test whether a ‘good’ act would bounce above him.

    If there are any odds on Honey G doing ‘Walk This Way’ this week, i would take them all day long.

  • Dean

    I didn’t bet this week but with a the age old theories in mind we really should have seem Gifty leaving as soon as last week

    She was announced last to be saved last week.

    She was given a song not many had heard of.

    She was on first in the strictly death slot.

    All her staging had subliminal messages of ‘exit’

    Judges comments had no motivation either way.

    • Alan

      And crucially the most important judge of all – Cowell, her own mentor – didnt make any comments as he was conveniently distracted, first by the argument about the song choice and then by the teeth. He should have been calling her world class or claiming a moment for her but didnt get to praise her at all. I thought that was the most telling thing about her treatment and gave me the impression she was disposable.

      • Edie M

        As others have said, what’s so weird about this week is that after her performance I was utterly convinced that she would be in at least the b3 (and also that producers/cowell were happy for her to be there), but also convinced that if she was there with any of the usual suspects (Ryan, Saara, 4oD) she would be safe this week. I felt like they were softening her up for an exit in the next week or so. How quickly they were prepared to drop her, esp against a mediocre act who have been in the sing-off before is an important reminder of how producer favour can shift on a dime. Also, been wondering whether there’s some agreement with Louis that his category would get a decent shot this year, or not to lose more than one act before half way or something like that? Evening up the no of acts per mentor seems especially important this year.

        • Martin

          I’d love to see an article depicting the sharp downfall of Gifty this week. They implimented almost all of the tactics they use to tear down an act on her on Saturday’s show, and still some of us were convinced she’d be saved. Things like this are a lovely reminder that the show can be simpler than it seems, no matter who the act is.

          • Rose L

            Like Edie, I felt that she was being softened up for an exit next week rather than directly sent to the slaughter this week. So I’m still surprised at what happened – it seemed a bit inexplicable while it unfurled – and suspect it must be down to something that happened behind the scenes, as others have suggested, in her attitude. I wouldn’t have thought that dropping the f bomb was enough to get an act permanently axed. Perhaps is is also to clear the way up for Emily, who seems to be coming into her own these last two weeks.
            I do think there’s great potential here for Gifty to spill the beans about her treatment – I certainly hope she does anyway. It would seem that none of the judges has bothered to talk to her since which really must suck for a girl getting standing ovations from some of them every week.

          • David Cook

            In answer to Rose maybe the intention initially was just to deramp Gifty this week. It may be that the results didn’t go quite as expected so possibly it was a late decision to let her go when the opportunity came up. I’m sure she was third bottom – certainly above 4OD or they would have gone to deadlock. The absence of any of the usual discussion / justification from Sharon and Nicole made it look like they’d just been given the instruction which way to vote and were probably a bit uncomfortable with it. There were a few reasons getting rid of Gifty made sense:
            Ryan scraping through means he makes the tour – giving a better balance of male / female acts. They could take Gifty anyway (although that bridge may now have been burnt), which they wouldn’t have done if Ryan had gone.
            Keeping 4OD means they’ve got a girl band for ‘boy band v girl band week’ – lucky that came up really.
            They’ve got two ‘disposable’ acts isolated at the bottom of the vote meaning the favoured acts should be safe for another week or two yet. Why lose one now and risk a bounce for Gifty next week.

  • Poker Coach

    I have been wondering a plan for Saara and I still think that production has been doing a very clever work with her starting from 6 chair challenge.

    From the very first audition it was very clear that if she is given the optimal material she can sing and gain popularity. Despite that they have edited and chosen 6 chair challenge and Judges houses so that people would deslike her as much as possible while still not killing her.

    Saara told in Finnish media, that in Judges Houses Robin Williams was much more positive about her in her second song and that in 6 chair challenge the show was just edited to create more drama.

    If you think about the signoffs, producers knew that they could always save her due her superior vocals. So putting an excellent singer to the bottom in the beginning of live shows does not mean that they decided to send her home at all. Most likely Simon also knew that when he sent Saara to deadlock, she would survive based on the votes.

    And to keep a talented singer in the signoffs is important to improve the quality in that part. With that they were able to create a drama and have high quality singing there.

    The fact that her best songs were during the signoffs indicates that her potential is purposedly hold back. If you would be a executive manager why wouldn’t you try to exploit the most out of the artists before letting them go?

    Saara has proven in Finland that she is not the most commercial artist so they won’t let her win. But I really believe that they want to get most out of her before they kick her away.

    I don’t know the outcome but I think it is good to consider these facts in the building of her storyline when betting for the contest.

  • Martin

    Ryan is being hilariously outspoken on Twitter today. He’s effectively done a chain of tweets saying that he doesn’t want old people to vote for him, that he’s not a singer he’s a songwriter and an artist and laid into previous Liberty X member and Daily Mail-courter Michelle Heaton after she tweeted asking who on earth was voting for him.

  • Anglia Chu

    I haven’t seen someone sulk like Gifty did since Aiden Grimshaw (that was a farce and it solidified my belief in this site). If we believe the alleged attitude problems of Gifty, the Orwellian reference feels like the perfect fodder for conspiracy theories. She was a deviant and she needed to be put in her place, that place being out of the show.

    • Edie M

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they both went out earlier than expected in 9th, and therefore just missed out on the tour. One of the worst positions to go out in.

      • Anglia Chu

        fwiw Aiden was added to the tour because people (then at the show’s peak) were furious; it’s one of two times they added to the usual tour lineup (the other being last year’s Seann Miley Moore).

        • Edie M

          Yeah but he probably thought he’d lost his tour slot when he was sulking. Wonder if they’ll decide to add Gifty? The brutal way they disposed of her suggests not.

  • HL

    I think you have not paid much attention to how Saara was treated this week. A song that did not suit her voice chosen by Sharon, distractive and messy staging, difficult choreography with extremely high heels, a black veil over her face, color vomit, piano playing both in the beginning and in the end. Saara said in her Twitter account(?), well somewhere anyway, that the whole thing had been rehearsed only once a couple of hours before the show, and also the heels had been given just before the show.

    Kitty claimed in Twitter that piano alone has always led to b2. Is this true? Kitty also said that the same song had been pushed to her in the week when she was apparently eliminated. Why did Saara survive then? By being just so damn good compared to others?

    I also noticed who were singing in the group performance before they closed the main vote. Gifty and 4oD were, Saara was one of the few who were not. Of course this might have been just a coincidence.

    So I am wondering if they are going to continue pushing her down or are they now satisfied she has passed the obedience/capability/popularity test and let her shine again.

    • Poker Coach

      Yes, She been putting through a spots that people have considered huge risk factors.

      During last show in the last training hair change failed and everything went well first time in the live show.

      What I am saying that in her case they have treated her consistently badly in the shows even before live shows but still kept her in.

      Still what she says in her twitter is that all in the production team love to work with her and that she is getting great support there. Being treated badly is only reflected in this kind of betting analyze. I think everybody should ask strongly why have they chose it like that? Either they have not cared about her destiny at all or they have preferred the drama (she should not be in the bottom 2)

      She has show value, improves general vocal quality, creates emotion and is disposable. And they can still save her couple times in sing off if they choose.

      In her case treating badly or wanting her to appear in B3/B2 does not necessarily mean that they want to get rid of her.

      • Tina

        I think they’ll keep pushing her down and will want her back in the singoffs soon. Simon’s comment to 4OD about wanting them to sound more british has now twice come right after or before Saara’s performance. Can’t see it being a coincidence.

        Saara isn’t by any means fluent in English. In every interview she struggles to understand everything and answer in a witty and funny way.

          • Tina

            I admire her ambition. My point was just that would the producers really allow a foreign contestant to do well? Would the public adopt her as their own when they have Matt and Emily etc.? As much as I would love that to happen, I fear it won’t. I just hope they allow her to stay as long as possible.

        • HL

          Well, it does not take long to become fluent if you have a large passive vocabulary (as most academic Scandinavians do). A month or two of intensive talking makes wonders. I watched that video clip David posted and then one Facebook live from Saara from Sunday evening before the results show. She sounded spontaneous, bubbly and chatty and seemed to get along well with other contestants, so I’d say the prognosis is good.

          • Martin

            There was a hilarious vt on xtra factor on Sunday involving Saara trying British food. Her reaction to spotted dick was along the lines of ‘i see why it’s called spotted, but where’s the dick?!’ – it was priceless.

  • Dana

    The producers seem on the fence over Saara- weighting their options. They could easily make her a contender for the win with a decent song choice- she would have completely nailed something like Phantom of the Opera. Maybe they wanted to see how her vote held up this week to see if it’s worth the bother?

    Can’t help but think they would enjoy the positive publicity if a European immigrant did well in post Brexit Britian

  • Woofie

    I thought last night was about maximum impact.
    Honey G last to be called safe with Gifty’s “shock” leaving.
    The flash vote doesn’t necessarily save the “singers” in the competition.

    I’m still sticking to my top three of Matt, Emily, 5AM at the moment but that may change this week.

    Is this the week for determining the tour line up?

    Normally don’t they support an act they kept in “against the grain” to keep them out of the b2 the following week as a validation that the judges were right? There was no deadlock so it was a judge’s decision to save. Could girlband vs boyband be a mini-competition? Could 4oD be allowed to outshine 5AM?

    I thought 5AM’s treatment was not overtly negative but it didn’t feel it was re-building the momentum lost in week 3, especially when you compared it to their week 2 support. The word “predictable” was used to describe their performance in the press. They looked very relieved to go through.
    Louisa named checked them as her favourite.
    I think their treatment this week will be very telling if they are for a final placing. I don’t assume that the male acts will automatically sing boyband songs and vice versa for the female acts. I believe that boyband groups doing old boyband songs is not a vote winner so song choice for 5AM will be interesting. If they don’t get the ‘pimp’ slot or full on support to cover up their live vocals I would agree they have lost producer interest for a final placing. Their week 2 performance is now in the past; voter interest and motivation needs a new compelling performance.

    I think the voting numbers after Matt will be very flat and tight.
    2.3 million votes, assuming all 5 free app votes are used there is only 460k to 500k people voting, less than 10% of the viewing public.

    At some point I expect they will lose the flash vote but I do wonder if they want to keep Ryan for the tour otherwise they are only 2 male acts left in the competition. If this is the tour line up week I think it would be seen to be fair to loose the lifeline vote.

    Saraa’s treatment is interesting. She performed it very well despite what they threw at her. Her redemption is complete, her leaving would now be respectable and commendable, however her “turnaround” is a good narrative for the show and was used by Nicole that Ryan could do the same…. Anything is possible.

  • Martin

    On paper, Saara’s treatment was concerning. The message of “Bad Romance” is cautionary, her outfit the opposite of voter friendly and there was so much distraction involved in her staging. Somehow, she carried it all off though and provided an amazing vocal to boot. Judges comments were resoundingly positive and seemed to pave the way for a sing off save if necessary, and a bit of talk about wanting to see her identity next week, giving her a bit of a journey. Very odd. I do think they’re working with her, though.

    Interesting that somebody mentioned Kitty doing this song in her year but she refused. They had a Lady Gaga/Queen week her year – if Kitty refused Bad Romance, it looks like they may have lumbered her with Don’t Stop Me Now AKA one of the most cursed talent show songs ever instead as punishment.

  • GsP

    Also if it’s correct Sharon was lined up to go to Finland this week it seems they may have anticipated a 4oD/Saara bottom 2? It’s fairly unusual survive a sympathy bounce but Saara has maintained it by being not only entertaining but very talented. She brings crazy but with superb vocals and high level of performance.

    I still think she’ll drop back down, and go against 4oD this week, with the latter going leaving all focus on 5AM. I can see a pathway of taking Saara to the final for a big number to please the crowd and make good TV but ensuring she comes third behind Matt and Emily.

    They’ll have to drop the flash vote eventually. Will they try and bounce Ryan out of bottom 3 for one week and then get rid of it?

  • Martin

    Just a small thought regarding the bottom three – did they get rid of Gifty so as to protect some of the others from falling down to the bottom two? We’re left with two acts now who’ve both been b2 twice, and ryan who is bottom three constantly. That gives a pretty clear indicator of who is performing poorly in the vote and leaves another five acts who can go another week without being tainted by a bottom three appearance. It effectively gives tptb a safety blanket of three acts they can nobble at any given opportunity, buying Honey G another three weeks where they can save her against a more ‘unpopular’ act. Not that they’ve ever needed that excuse before, of course.

  • Woofie

    A little thought what if the voting stats reveal that Gifty was 3rd from bottom yet has been sent home?

    • 360

      This could yet be the case for every act that’s gone. Only effect I can see it having on the show total is Gifty becoming even more furious and going to the press to reveal details about the show.

      She is definitely a loose cannon and that would be just another addition to her existing grudge.

      Off-topic, but given what we’ve heard already I do have some sympathy for her. I can’t remember if it was on here or on DS, but it was said that she was invited back and talked up by production staff throughout auditions, boot camp, judges’ houses. For whatever reason she had no inkling she was in danger until Nicole, Louis and Sharon turned on her in those last five minutes. I can well believe her gaining a high opinion of herself based on being fed that she was by staff behind the scenes.

      Of course, constant flattery to an act behind the scenes who shows a tendency to become big-headed could be a ploy, as it also has the effect of making the contestant become more confident/arrogant and switching the public off them. I’ve always found it suspicious – or at least, alarming – that Gifty from week 1 has been upfront in her VTs about being here not to compete, but to win. I do wonder if that was a line they fed her, or if she was asked a suggestive question by production staff to provide that soundbite, in order to portray her as cocky.

      • Martin

        I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Ryan has been bottom of the weekly vote for the last three weeks, only to be saved each time.

        I never remember contestants from audition stages but I remembered Gifty from last year. I think the show did have plans for her and she was intended to go far but she had the life sucked out of her during the shows, as often happens. I think it’s a shame to see, especially as Gifty is naturally captivating – she was my favourite contestant going into the lives but the show clearly had no clue as to what to do with her. I do think it was hard on her, especially with Nicole praising Gifty to high heaven as she sent her home. It was like she was tricking her into believing she was going to be saved.
        It should be mandatory that contestants read this site sometimes, maybe the blow wouldn’t have come so hard to Gifty.

  • Woofie

    Interesting article about Honey G:

    Some good points from an audience point of view without picking up on the show’s machinations.

    I think they have got it really wrong this year in choosing Honey G. Ok she is controversial and has generated the required headlines but to the point now that is becoming uncomfortable because of the “is it fake or is it real?”…. previous acts didn’t take themselves too seriously (although I would argue Jedward really did want a music career) but they were also very likeable and their personalities were allowed to shine through…that is difficult when the contestant is truly hiding behind a mask (including sunglasses) and is clearly a false persona and alter ego.
    An alter ego can work if it is funny and well executed look at Keith Lemon.

    Yes these contestants took other spots from more talented acts but they were “entertaining” and harmless, whereas Homey G feels different. Previous acts, Simon or another judge was the voice of reason, except for Reggie n Boilie. His endorsement of Honey G is damaging the creditability of the show and the brand because it is means it so explicit to the audience that the show wants to keep the act to the point it is exposing its machinations.

    I always thought the redemption for the show or, at least, stop the rot is to create the illusion of a real competition. When they have only one contestant who is constantly “consistent” above the others each passing week it gives the impression there is no talent pool. If there was a genuine competitive field it might actually produce a winner that the audience has truly invested in and will more likely buy their music post show. At its peak, 2010, the top 5 all produced albums with two acts producing success in the US. I’m not sure they got the winner they wanted that year but did that matter in terms of ratings and post show commercial success?

    Do you think they are picking up on it and that it is time to cut Honey G loose? I notice last week Dermot didn’t ask for more photos and that Honey G was last to be called safe… are they setting up a bottom 3 appearance this week? Could she be saved by the lifeline vote or by the judges to make the tour?

    • plinkiplonk

      Good points there. The main problem is that they made their bed when they selected only contestants that wouldn’t challenge Matt for the lives, so they haven’t really got the option to widen the competition. Looks to me like they put through Bratavio and Honey G to see in the first show which one the public would take to, and Honey G was above Batavio, so that’s who they are running with come hell or high water.

      If we are giving TPTB all the credit for the various subtle manipulations that have been either spotted or at least imagined then we need to assume that they are very aware of what is being said on sites like here and DS. And yet they maintain their over-the-top praise of bad singing, unfunny joke acts and mediocre performances, and they still claim that nothing, including the blessed jukebox, is fixed. Something feels like it doesn’t add up, but we shall see in due course, I suppose…

    • Stu

      I think she is the only act who could beat Ryan in the lifeline vote. Matt and Emily I believe are polling top 2 comfortably after last weekend. I guess 5AM could beat him but too many acts hitting the bottom two won’t be good for suspense when it comes to the later weeks.

      Maybe this weekend will be a Honey G / Ryan / 4OD bottom three with Honey saved by lifeline and Ryan disposed of?

      • David Cook

        I think the lifeline’s served it’s purpose now. It’s clear Emily v Ryan’s not going to happen. They’ve now got two disposable acts pretty much isolated at the bottom of the vote. I think that they will now just revert to B2 – if one of the favored acts does slip up they’ll still be able save them. If they’re lucky it will be Ryan v 4OD this week – meaning they get Honey G through one more week and possibly a winnable sing off against the other act the following week. Incredible – it looks like she will make top 6 at least.

    • 360

      Whew! That really is a point that didn’t occur to me, Honey G being saved and unanimously praised by the judges as a genuine urban artist and rapper, while making statements like being ‘the biggest rapper in Britain’, while consecutively, Relley and Gifty, ACTUAL black urban artists get eliminated.

      That really does give a very unfortunate message and does – unintentionally, I’m sure, but still – add credence to the claims that her act is a bit like blackface.

      ‘Urban’ is fine and loved when its made a joke of by a dumpy white woman, but not good enough when done seriously by actual black people.

      • Anglia Chu

        It’s fun when a white woman lumbers through it but it’s threatening when black women nail it. Maybe it’s the verb “nail”…

        It says a lot about Sharon’s investment in the show when she can praise HG with a straight face on weekends while working with Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood (read: black women) on weekdays.

        • Edie M


          This article is good on the racist way Gifty & her reaction to being eliminated has been treated. DS forums (and some comments on here) have been playing in to some of these stereotypes about black women in the way they have critiqued her behaviour since her exit. There is a really horrible thread ‘who is the most agressive contestant ever- Monica Michael or Gifty Louise?’ on DS.

  • Dean

    Gifty being a right sore loser now saying she was told she was going home on the Saturday (unlikely from production)

    Truth is TPTB gave alot of favours to Gifty but she wasn’t picking up the votes so producers clearly looked to different avenues.

  • Stu

    Four of Diamonds are apparently doing something unexpected this week – “switching it up” and showing their “individuality”.


    I can’t see them polling in the top 5 but I guess weirder things have happened.

  • Anglia Chu

    A quick thought:

    The girl group switcheroo gave us this. Since BW’s exit by “mutual consent”, the “cute teen” vote is owned by Ryan. Had the boys stayed, either they or Ryan would have been sacrificed Week 4 since the likely app voters are split and doing so will not cause a gender imbalance. Since 4oD came in, someone had to go:

    – Matt, 5AM, Ryan can’t go because male
    – 4oD can’t go because that’s just mean
    – Honey G and Saara can’t go because they’re adding spice to the show

    This leaves us with Emily, Sam, and Gifty; Emily and Sam must be doing better, which is why they’re still around.

  • Stu

    I can foresee a scenario where Honey G, Ryan and 4OD are bottom three. Ryan saved AGAIN, with Honey and 4OD’s fate going to deadlock. It’d be a more plausible way of keeping Honey around for a bit longer since (a) 4OD are likely to be bottom of the vote and (b) there may be less resentment towards Honey being saved if the act that got Gifty sent home last week were eliminated instead. Plus with Boybands vs Girlbands now chosen, maybe 4OD have served their purpose? Also, a bottom three appearance in week 5 may allow Honey to bounce to week 7 which is the traditional week for the novelty act exit.

  • David Cook

    I’m starting to think that a lot of what Honey G says is actually scripted – at least in outline – with the intention of winding people up. Even the way she speaks is a wind up. The thing about learning the ad libs – it just had to be deliberate. She’s just not that stupid. It’s all there just to cause more discussion about her.

  • Nick

    Think you are right David, There must be pressure for the lifeline vote to go (or changed?) otherwise it going to be very embrassing…which surely means Ryan goes…. even against 4OD.

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