X Factor 2016 Week 5: Saving Private Ryan (Again)?

This week’s elimination market is dominated by Four of Diamonds, Ryan Lawrie and Saara Aalto, who between them have spent plenty of their recent Sunday nights waiting to be called safe on the X Factor stage. Ryan’s won the last three flash votes, having been in the bottom three each time, and we’ve grown to enjoy the knowing look on his face during the Sunday night process. We’ll be waiting to hear whether or not Dermot confirms tonight that the Sunday lifeline vote continues. Could it be a case of Saving Private Ryan for the fourth week in a row?


This week he’s been given The Beatles’ ‘Twist & Shout’, which has previously been given to Olly Murs with a big production, and to Only The Young as part of a mash-up.

Ryan has at least had some good press this week, being hailed as a “have-a-go hero” alongside Five After Midnight’s Kieran (they helped an old lady who had fallen over), and visiting previous X Factor charity Together 4 Short Lives with girlfriend Emily and Matt Terry. He and Emily have also reversed any unfortunate publicity over their alleged stair-romping with a sex ban to focus on their music.

Four of Diamonds have survived the last two singoffs, and promised to switch things up this week with something that shows off their “individuality”. Their song choice, Wilson Phillips’ ‘Hold On’, doesn’t have much of a track record on this show but saw The Conway Sisters fall into their first singoff back in prehistoric X Factor times – reportedly they landed rock-bottom of the vote, with half the total of their nearest competitor.

In the context of this competition, there’s perhaps a rather unfortunate subliminal to the lyrics: “Hold on for one more day.” We’ll have to see if they are treated any better than last week’s burning at the stake.

Thanks to Tina in our comments section (and Yle Tampere), we’ve seen a clip of Saara in studio rehearsals, for ‘Sound of The Underground’. Although the song, previously done by Fourth Impact, feels like it may not showcase her vocals as much, the choreography looks very much like last week’s big production.

Clearly producers have found her lane, and it’s been good for her, avoiding the bottom three for the last two weeks having survived the first two singoffs. There’s been no indication on social media of mentor Sharon visiting Saara’s native Finland, as was suggested would happen on Xtra Factor last week. If there’s a bottom three again this week, Saara has to finish top five to avoid it, most likely above Ryan, Four of Diamonds, and one other.

The springers in the elimination markets this week have been Five After Midnight, partly because of their tepid treatment over the last few weeks, and partly because of a last-minute song change from what seemed like a more suitable mashup to The Spice Girls’ ‘Say You’ll Be There’.

I yield to no-one in my love for this particular song, but it’s a slightly strange choice for the boys, as a sappy number, associated with a female band, about bickering and wanting reassurance – perhaps not a positive sign considering renewed press stories this week about the possibility of them splitting up. On the positive side, it doesn’t require great vocals to nail it.

Sam Lavery has drifted in the elimination market, with a promise that she’s dedicating ‘I’ll Stand By You’ to her father. It seems like a suitable song choice for her. It’s previously been covered by Belle Amie in week 3 of 2010, and was a singoff number for Stereo Kicks. It’ll be interesting to see if more thought goes into Sam’s staging than has so far been the case. She’s also due a nice running order slot, but that’s no guarantee of getting one on this show.

It would be no surprise to see Honey G get the pimp slot for Kriss Kross’ ‘Jump Jump’. In our midweek article we considered whether producers are intending to try to drag her to the final. After being the last announced safe at the weekend – as were Gifty and Relley in the previous two weeks, portending their imminent demise – Honey G’s polling performance has been the subject of great speculation in our comments section.

It’s worth bearing in mind that Reggie n Bollie were the last called safe in week 4 of 2015, when doing very well in the vote. It’s unlikely Honey G did as well as that, but one would think that producers will continue to pull out the stops for their headline-grabber if she’s in any danger. In a sparse crop of tabloid coverage for the show this morning, Honey G wearing a furry hat is considered newsworthy.

Meanwhile, the Mail runs an exposé on how “her real name is the decidedly more formal Anna Georgette Gilford”, as if this were somehow a revelation – she told the judges that in her first audition – and the Guardian tie themselves in knots trying to decide if Anna is a villain or a victim, while showing some amusing naiveté about how the show works. Producers must be loving the attention.

That leaves us with market leaders in the outright, Matt and Emily. Matt has Wham’s ‘I’m Your Man’, which has previously been covered on the show by Marcus Collins, Kingsland Road and Jedward (not so much ‘I’m Your Man, but ‘I’m Your Non-Threatening Boy’, then). Emily has the most iconic of 1 Direction songs, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, which may follow the template of Luke Friend’s acoustic version rather than the Reggie n Bollie production.

Tonight’s show will tell us more. Do keep your comments coming below.

Photos via ©ITV / @ThePixelFactor

98 comments to X Factor 2016 Week 5: Saving Private Ryan (Again)?

  • Poker Coach

    If there are bottom three again, do you see any chance that private ryan would actually collapse?

  • Plinkiplonk

    Leaving Ryan and his perma-resurrection via the flash vote outside for a moment, I strongly suspect 4oD to open the show during the Strictly overlap, get criticised for shoddy harmonies or at best praised lukewarm, and then get dispatched tomorrow after losing the sing off to Saara.

    As for Ryan, it is very easy: if the show actually wants to get rid of him, they will abandon the flash vote and he’s toast. As long as the flash vote stays it indicates to me that they are not finished with him, whatever it is they need him for.

  • Martin

    If I were the show I’d keep the flash vote around until the week before the semis – they’ve got a guaranteed bottom three candidate every week until then, they don’t even need to try. It means they only need to concentrate on keeping two more acts down there, by which time we can be rid of Saara and 4OD and the show can concentrate its efforts on pimping Honey G, Emily, 5AM and Matt and also sacrifice Sam along the way. If the public play ball, that is.

    Realistically this weekend I see a battle of the dead wood (Saara and 4OD) with 4OD being sent on their way. Let’s them save Saara for another week without having to go through the ridicule of saving a serial sing off candidate against somebody else.

  • Scott

    For me, this series is impossible to bet on. The producers’ priority number one, two and possibly three is to keep Honey G in the show. As a result, they’re happy to throw several acts under the bus to make sure she’s safe, which means for me all the clear indicators that someone is a goner in any given week are given to about three or four acts. Matt and Emily seem like chosen ones at the moment, and I’m intrigued by what they’re doing with Sam – there’s always the danger that they could decide to throw her under the bus with a ‘sound like a pub singer’ comment, but she’s just hiding the middle-ground at the moment.

    I would say that Hold On could expose Four of Diamonds really quite badly – it’s a song that if not done correctly can sound like a really badly out of tune hen party. 5AM getting the Spice Girls doesn’t fill me with confidence either – I remember a band being given En Vogue’s Hold On and it fitting badly, sounding needy, whereas Little Mix made it their own, to use the cliche, the season before.

    I’m not convinced they’re too bothered about either of them, to be honest, but I could also make an easy case for Ryan being down there again, and it’s too early to tell whether Saara is on a journey or is about to reach the end of the journey.

    • David Cook

      Sam’s got to be doing The Pretenders – using GA to keep it nominally within the theme.The upside is that it keeps her in the lane they’ve been pushing her. Downside is she ain’t no Chrissie Hynde.

  • David Cook

    Keeping the lifeline vote basically means they can get rid of the act that finishes third bottom in the main vote. I’m sure that’s what happened with Gifty last week. Ryan’s probably been rock bottom for all three weeks when he’s been saved. All will be revealed when we get the results at the end of the series. In Ryan’s terms ‘Twist and Shout’ is prehistoric – plus he hasn’t got the vocals to pull it off, so l can’t see him finishing anything above bottom place again. But will they keep the lifeline vote?

  • annie

    I am not sure Matt is a chosen one, I would rather think he is doing well regardless(like most telegenic, good boy vibed , good voiced guys before him…) , so they might well embrace him.

  • Woofie

    That’s the quote of the series “open competition”…

  • Phil

    Matt on first in the Strictly overlap. Decipher that one, Sofabetters.

  • DannyCraig

    Matt up first. Interesting….

  • DannyCraig

    Either he’a running away from it or they’re testing his voting strength?

  • DannyCraig

    Karaoke. Maybe they’re trying to reign him in…Simon with a distracting comment but says he loved it

  • Edie M

    Not a good week for Matt. Red & black, terrible song choice, on first during strictly overlap. Still think they’re just giving him a bit of a low week for more of a journey and storyline. Olly Murs comparison from Simon though.

  • Sagand

    The running order has been very interesting this year. Since the voting lines opened at the start all the act you would think are favoured have been at the start (apart from Emily). Matt again with the female attention at what point does it start to look sleazy.

  • Dean

    Sam with her shocking vocals again

  • Sagand

    I like how they sure made sure everyone knew the song was her choice / fault. She will have won some votes with tears though.

  • Rose L

    The VT was extremely sympathetic and likeable – and the audience shots with the choir in white reminded me so much of what they did with Louisa Johnson towards the end last year – but slightly concerned that she just said that was the first time she had ever really connected with a song in her life! Yikes.

  • Score

    Did they announce the running order at the start? If so, who’s on last?

  • Rose L

    Is this possibly the first time that much older and much younger people have actually related to rap, via Honey G? It suddenly struck me that she isn’t being aimed at the 20s – 40s, but at the old and very young kids, who are perhaps really unfamiliar with the genre.

  • Curtis

    Really mixed vibes from that from Sam. The choir seemed super helpful for her, the VT was good (I think one of Sam’s major strengths is how people find her relatable and her VT certainly played on that). On the other hand the song choice was not great, and it was made clear that that was on Sam.

    Oddly Sam did a good job of saving herself with her “this song connected with me” thing, and that made Nicole’s comments seem perhaps more unreasonable than they were.

    Also, as a personal opinion, unlike many here I actually really like Sam’s vocals. They’re different, I think the little bit of uncleanness helps. But yeah, that was a fairly weak performance.

    For Matt it was definitely a minor deramp, probably as part of a greater journey.

    Edit: Running order also unfavourable for Sam, sandwiched between Matt and Honey G, and just before the Strictly turnover.

  • Edie M

    God that VT plus staging plus 4jso equals major pimping.

    • DannyCraig

      But is it to drag her through the competition, or is it to make her win & launch a career?!

      She’s the only joke act that I’ve been concerned about in years gone past…and she’s definitely jeopardising my matt emily 5am tricast right now at juicy odds!

  • stoney

    Upmost confidence in putting matt in the death slot

    • DannyCraig

      Maybe they want a bad week where he finishes 3rd bottom with a possible view to getting Ryan out of the competition?

      I called SLavery to be down there after last week’/ shows. Stand by that right now. Think her, 4oD and Ryan will be in danger

  • Simon Cowell: The Nigel Farage of Reality Television.

  • Phil

    Honey G will top the vote this week.

  • Sagand

    You can listen to the later performances on Spotify already. No suprise Emily is John Lewising WMYB.

  • Alan

    For someone who hates Honey G I actually found her performance relatively enjoyable this week. Obvious backing track help for Ryan there, he stopped singing and the vocal continued.

  • Dean

    4oD the target it seems

  • Edie M

    So Ryan and 4oD were given back to back cyber bullying VTs.

  • kingston

    when in ryan’s VT, nicole told him she doesn’t want to see him in B3 again and be saved ha ha ha

  • Rose L

    Massive praise for 4OD from the judges but none of them stood up for them, in terms of a standing ovation, so all a bit contradictory. The girls actually did sound as good as I have heard them to date, but they were rather dull. I can’t see that being too motivational, votes-wise.

  • Curtis

    4oD were the target? Honestly I thought the show did everything they reasonably could for them. I don’t think it’ll be close to enough, I just don’t think they’re able to garner the votes required, but honestly I thought the producers did more for them than any other act so far, excepting Honey G of course.

  • Poker Coach

    40d and samantha in sing off. ryan escapes again. Samantha will be dropped.

    Motives to say good things about 4od are still unclear. That band is quite awful.

  • Rose L

    oh-oh, we have the first subtitling of Saara! Not good news for her

  • Alison cassells

    Both those VT ( ryan and 4OD ) full of gifty went home ( subliminally “should have been you” undertones) all the tweets reinforcing ” you’re rubbish/ terrible”. Now saara. Speaking in her own language – you’re foreign. Think the signs are there confirming everything most thought during the week

  • Alison cassells

    They’ve raided anneka circa 1980’s wardrobe

  • deathfromabove

    They are othering the hell out of Saara

  • Dean

    Saara did amazing again but she is definitely in danger. Could see a bottom 2 save again which would be pretty good publicity

  • Rose L

    Saara’s performance was a bit of a mess, to be honest. She looks terrible tonight and most of it was inexplicable and unrelated to the song. And Simon’s comment was sadly spot-on and possibly damaging. Add to that the subtitling and I think she is in danger this week.

  • Curtis

    As suspected, Sound of the Underground is never a good song choice. Saara’s being allowed to fall back into the Bottom 3, but I do think she’ll be saved again.

  • Cath

    Sam’s staging couldn’t have been more favorable; spotlights on her, gospel choir, stars in the background, nothing distracting etc
    But comments were not great, particularly with karaoke references. I think she’ll have saved herself though with her talk of connecting to the song and getting emotional.

  • Gosh, the guns were LITERALLY out for Saara tonight! 🙁

  • Alan

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. wake me up when Emily has stopped.

  • Poker Coach

    Yes, but you need to think about big picture. Saara was sabotaged heavily but the question is why.

    Clearly they grounded well her saving in a singoff. My own gut feeling is that her succesfull theatrical performances were challenging for honey G vote count. They cannot afford let Honey G go into bottom three.

    That’s why they want to lower the votes for Saaras performances. They know that she can be saved in a sign off easily.

    That’s what I think about it. Sam will be gone most likely.

  • Alison cassells

    Alan you’re right, it’s boring……I kept thinking she would pick up the pace, but alas…oh of course simon, they’re creating ” a sound”

    • Alan

      It actually makes me wonder if its a minor deramp, a way of keeping a lid on her vote. Surely to win you have to show a bit more diversity than turning various classics into dreary dirges week in week out?

  • Dean

    Was a step back on Creep but Emily should still be comfortable in the vote in 2nd place I’d assume

    Just think Emily will struggle to pick up floating votes if she continues on the same theme but at the same time she may not need too many with all of Scotland behind most likely behind her.

  • Curtis

    I think Sam could easily be sent home were she in the bottom 3, but to think she’ll be there means she has to poll lower than 4oD, Ryan or Saara, which after the week they’ve all had seems unlikely to me. I find it hard to look beyond that Bottom 3, and if at this point we just assume Ryan gets an automatic save I think 4oD will be sent home against Saara.

  • Dean

    Is it bottom 3 definitely?

  • Poker Coach

    Something to get a note also. Sharon said something about Saaras record deal (and honey G’s deal).

    If they are planning to give a deal to Saara they are most likely to keep her there still couple more weeks.

  • Keen Observer

    It seems as though they’ve switched horses with the gentle deramp of Matt and full on Emily pimping, paving the way for the Scottish voting behemoth to take hold.

    • Alan

      Scottish or not I cant see Emily beating Matt. 5am getting a fill on pimping now too. Sam to be cut loose soon I think. Not this week though.

  • Rose L

    The guns weren’t just out for Saara tonight – she was even straddling one rather suggestively. Meanwhile Emily’s stagiing was lovely but I agree with Alan and Alison, it’s so boring.

  • GsP

    Saara sabotaged but I think it’s to push her below Honey G but be primed for a signoff save (hopefully).

    There were huge red flags in her VT and performance, but I think it’s to drag her back down rather than kill her off just yet. She’s giving the show huge publicity in Scandinavia, that’s a great pop market for Syco to get a foot in, wouldn’t be surprised if they have a half mind on signing her up for that market, and they need a couple more weeks.

    Plus, the show will be incredibly boring if she goes.

    • Poker Coach

      Do TPTB try to increase the quality of sign offs by purpose? Is it delusional that they want to sent Saara there to avoid having again two weak performances?

  • Alison cassells

    Nicole that didn’t sound like stevie wonder to me

  • Rose L

    Ha! Four judge standing ovation for Five After Midnight. The boys are back in the frame, it seems.

  • Curtis

    Well look who’s back in the good books. To DannyCraig who has the Matt Emily 5AM forecast, don’t write it off just yet.

  • Edie M

    5AM back in contention

  • Fudd

    They definitely looked to sink Saara tonight but they might not be looking to get rid. I don’t think tonight’s show will change anything – bottom three of Four of Diamonds, Ryan and Saara, Ryan saved again with the girl group leaving on a relative high.

    Did Simon really just say all the great groups make their own decisions? After the show fired both barrels at them in week three?!

    • Curtis

      With regards to the “all great groups make their own decisions” thing, have the last 3 weeks just been a story arc for 5AM finding their own way?

      • Fudd

        Very possibly. Instead of a shot across the bows, was the week three performance just kick-starting a journey of self discovery? Though the VT was a bit severe for that, with the sweating etc.

    • Curtis

      Or alternatively, was the subtext of Simon’s comment him saying “See, when you just do what you’re told, we’re happy to give you all the credit for the decisions we made for you.”

      • Fudd

        There’s plent of leeway to turn on them again if they wish to do so – Louis was conspicuous by his absence whilst they were decision making; it’d be very easy to chuck in a ‘he doesn’t care about you’ if they see fit.

  • As we must assume the flash vote will save Ryan again, I think they might prefer a Sam/Saara B2 with Saara going. But 4oD will probably be there even with their best performance and reasonably favorable treatment, and it’ll be hard to save them 3 weeks in a row.

  • Pro punter

    If 4od are not in the bottom 2 il never bet again they r stone wall certs to be there

  • DannyCraig

    So I think we are all certain of one thing:

    Favoured: Matt, Emily, 5am, Honey G
    Unfavoured: Saara, 4oD, Ryan, Sam

    Can they push Honey G above 5am into the final?

    Will Emily overtake Matt at the top of the market?

    We know who finishes 1/2. We know who finishes 3/4. We know who finishes 5-8.

    Where is the value now?

  • annie

    so i just watched saara.
    wow, what was brian smoking this week?? i want some of it. or not… it was definitely wacko, but I think in a crazy way it worked. and her vocals really shined.

    i like 4oD this week, but I wish they would have styled them classy like in the beginning. that would have definitely helped them stick around this week.

    emily is getting so boring I won´t be surprised if the ever predictable emily vs ryan sing of isn´t that far off. she is completely riding the ella henderson memorial lane of straight to bottom 2. (why on earth are they doing this to her anyways? pre lives and 2014 she was a stand out for her quirky, fun style. they killed that of completely… why??? )

    • DannyCraig

      I disagree about emily.

      You have karaoke being mentioned for matt vs original emily. Wouldn’t be surprised if another week of positivity and they’ll be switching places at the top of the market

  • fused

    Well, that was the most boring live show this year. It shouldn’t have been, there were a few uptempo ones, but it was so dull. Well I guess Saara and 5AM weren’t, but they were both a bit “WTF!?!?”.

    To be honest, I think Emily was probably my favourite. She’s getting singled out for being boring on here and I didn’t expect to like it as I thought Emily doing that particular One Direction song would turn out to be overly sugary, which in a way it was, especially with the heart made out of butterflies staging, but in the context of this week’s show I kind of liked it, compared to every other performance anyway.

  • One thing really amused me about Honey G’s VT. They did their best to address the “racism” (lol) scandal by sending her to a school with loads of black kids in, and showing said black kids really enjoying her performance and asking her questions.

  • Alan

    Way to kill the party at the final when Emily performs 3 dirges in one night. Do TPTB really want that?

    • Curtis

      Actually now you mention it I do wonder how they’ll deal with her once they move to 2 songs each. She surely can’t be putting in 2 identical performances in one night.

  • Poker Coach

    After reading sofabet other forums about the contest start to be interesting in a different way.

    Most people claim that the performers have been annoying in VT, that they have chosen bad songs and other stuff.

    It is actually quite shocking to see how well that manipulation works. Even though people are aware of part of it, it still works.

    IT is like knowing that Trump is manipulative person with his accusations, but they work regardless.

  • Probably doesn’t mean much, but 4oD just put Hold On to #30 on UK iTunes. Don’t see any of the other tracks in the top 100.

    • Martin

      I think ‘Hold On’ is one of those songs that has a bit of a cult following but has been a bit forgotten, in this country anyway. Much like ‘Stay’ by Shakespeare’s Sister and that En Vogue song little mix did when they were on. Not that this was any such turning point for 4OD as it was for those two. Most viewers using iTunes will either not care about the other songs performed, or already have them.

  • Henry VIII

    How likely is this nightmare scenario?
    Towards the end people tire of Emily’s arrangements (they tired of Emma Henderson and Janet Devlin). Matt tries to be more and more like Olly Murs and fails. Honey G powers through to win.

  • Nick

    After sussing the “saving private ryan” train…we’ve had decent priced eliminations the last two weeks.
    Can we get the same this week?
    As at Sunday 2.30pm……
    Assuming the Ryan vote continues, he’s safe at 9/2.
    Surely the only way 4OD stay is if they arent bottom two…so are favs at 11/10 …obviously no value.
    So if 4OD somehow avoid bottom 3 then the bottom 2 should be Sara 9/4 and Sam 10/1.

    Therefore for me…..value and a bet in Sam and a safer bet on 4OD.

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