Rak-Su win X Factor 2017

Manband Rak-Su became the second group to win X Factor. The Watford quartet beat Grace Davies on the final night after a weekend of programmes in which their victory was clearly preferred. When Nicole said, “For me, it’s Rak-Su to win”, the writing was on the wall.

For those wanting to get a sense of the work that went into their journey, this article is an excellent primer. Reading it will help pass the time before we get the hotly-anticipated voting stats for the whole series. Do let us know your continued thoughts below.

65 comments to Rak-Su win X Factor 2017

  • Piresistable

    First like Rak Su.

  • I think The X Factor may have lost a lot of traditional/older viewers with that result. Perhaps that was part of the idea? They might be aiming exclusively for younger, potentially commercial acts to be winning it from now on. And I can see the Overs category becoming even less relevant.

    Well done to everyone who backed Rak-Su early on. I certainly didn’t envisage that they’d be miming half of their songs, that one member would be doing absolutely nothing every time or that they would be winning despite this. It was like they were competing with a Melodifestivalen production behind them, with all its technical bells and whistles, when everyone else had to play by strict Eurovision rules.

    The outright wasn’t a bad result for me, and I’m taking a nice profit for the series. I certainly didn’t predict that rapping could go from being such a negative on the show to a huge positive in such a short space of time. I was Too Young to know better.

  • Tom

    Well done to TPTB. It was a predictable year. The writer’s 1-16 prediction had the final 2 in the right order. This was a make or break year for the brand, and it shows. If Rak-Su are sucessful, we will still be here in 2020. If not, 2019 will be the last X Factor. We’ll see Roots released next year. Kevin never to be seen again.

  • Tom

    Vote transfer from Kevin went to Rak-Su?
    0.1 between them week 3.
    Shame we never saw wildcard votes.

  • Phil

    Biggest shock in the voting stats is that on semi final Saturday, Grace came 4th out of 6 behind Rak Su, Kevin and Lloyd.

  • Mech

    Well done to Chatterbox 5200 who managed to win the predictions by a comfortable margin. Martin, Anglia Chu, Sagand and Daniel all managed to beat the Betfair Sportsbook.


    Name Rank Score (Lower is better)
    Chatterbox5200 1 36
    Martin 2 40
    Anglia Chu 2 40
    Sagand 2 40
    Daniel 2 40
    Betfair Sportsbook 2017-10-27 6 44
    Marc 6 44
    Rose L 8 46
    RichJ 8 46
    JScouser2002 10 48
    Cath 11 50
    Ben Cook 11 50
    Betfair Exchange 2017-10-27 11 50
    Lenny 11 50
    Cherry Analysts 15 52
    Justin 16 54
    Stoney 16 54
    Steve 16 54
    Joe Lemer 16 54
    Piresistable 20 56
    India Marie 20 56
    Durchfall 20 56
    Mech 20 56
    Harrow 20 56
    R 25 58
    Tim B 25 58
    Edie M 25 58
    tpfkar 25 58
    Spiidey 25 58
    Phil 30 60
    David Cook 30 60
    Fudd 30 60
    360 33 64
    jimortz1980 33 64
    @Danyal589 35 66
    Yolanda 35 66
    Panos 35 66
    Hammo 38 68
    Geoff 38 68
    Dazzle 40 70
    Henry VIII 40 70
    DeanF 40 70
    Alan 43 72
    Stu 44 80
    Kenneth Chow 45 84

    • Anglia Chu

      My needless gambits at the top and missing out on Kevin’s rise did me in but it’s nice to see that my grasp of the narratives pre-Lives is good.

      Not to split hairs (and I think it’s net neutral for me), but maybe fix the positions on double eliminations in line with the voting stats? TCK, Rai-Elle, and Sam all had less votes on their elimination weeks.

      • Mech

        That’s an interesting option, and one that hadn’t occurred to me. On the assumption that they continue to release voting data in future years it certainly seems a reasonable solution, albeit one that can only be applied right at the end of the series.

      • Mech

        As you suggest, (and as would seem likely) the three pairs of switches do not have a massive effect – I’m not going to change the results above (and can’t anyway!) but had it been done based on vote % rather than on Dermot, Daniel would replace you in the top three. TimB and Piresistable should both be clamouring for a rule change as they’d both move up the table six places thanks to an extra six points, though most people only change position by two or three places up or down. I’ll certainly consider this for next year.

  • The pimp slot was hugely effective this series in most cases.

    Holly was doing way better at the start than I had thought, especially given her so-so treatment.

    They did a great job in getting the order they wanted in the Sunday semi final – getting Grace above Kevin and Lloyd after being behind both of them the previous night.

    You can see why they felt the need to dampen Grace with Live And Let Die in the Saturday Final – she was only 1.3% behind Rak-Su after being miles behind them in the Saturday semi.

    Running order was generally very important this year once again.

    The percentages seem more fluid between weeks than they were in previous years, which was perhaps partly down to the new format changes, mixing up the line ups each time.

  • Tpfkar

    CutKelvins and Holly both polled strongly early. Had either alpha not worked out the producers could have run with either of these betas. Grace really was going backwards throughout and needed help to get to the final. Rak-Su had it won by week 4.

    • Alan

      She was only going backwards because they put her on early, gave her unsuitable songs, so-so judges comments and (possibly) allowed unhelpful stories in the press. Swap RakSu and Graces’ treatment and she’d have won comfortably too.

      RakSu’s treatment was comparable to Louisa’s – a tidal wave of positivity. They didnt need to throw RakSu’s opponents under the bus so much this year though.

      Life On Mars didnt do Grace any favours did it? Surprised they didnt make her do it instead of Live & Let Die.

    • David Cook

      Really got to feel for both TCK and Holly. Both got poor treatment for doing well, whilst S&C’s mediocre performances were praised to high heaven simply because they could afford to do it. They really did need to give Holly the terrible treatment week 4 to make sure she went. It all felt unjustified at the time but the results seem to explain the reason behind it all.
      As I posted earlier I’m sure Simon thinks that the results justifies the deeds, time will show if he’s backed the right horse.
      Well done to those who picked up on Rak-su early. Commiserations to those like me that didn’t.

      • Misty

        TCK’s were dreadful. They were only getting through on the strong Scottish vote. Had they been treated more positively they would’ve walked away with it. Hence the need to keep them in check.

  • George

    Ouch Cutkelvins. 17.3% > 15.1% > 13.5% > 18.9% > 10.1% > 9.6%. Got their worst result with the fewest contestants.

    Matt also completely collapsed in the vote the week of his elimination.

  • Uzair

    The takedown of Holly Matt and the Cuttys was brutal all polled very well early on. Holly and the cuttys were not too behind grace and raksy in week 1. They only polled bad in the week 5 merge. The only 2 acts to have not one the prize fight and had bad slots. Matt polled very well in week 4 holly polled quite well in week 3. (Holly did have a pimp in week 3) and finally the cuttys polled quite well in week 1 – week 4 depsite bad slots and arrangements. They managed a 2nd in week 2 depsite awful treatment. Week 3 and week 4 they polled decent too depsite performing 3rd both weeks. Week 5 they just wanted them above matt. They clearlt wanted them off

    • India Marie

      Brutal is Christopher Maloney’s plate for 7 straight weeks. Holly coasted in the competition until Simon’s pointed barbs in the Week 3 pimp slot. TCK were clearly a backup plan from the start (I thought the show would need to use them but Rak-Su were tremendous) so the show’s been nice to them given their purpose.

    • India Marie

      Adding to my previous point, TCK actually got really positive treatment, compared to people like Matt and Holly. Saying they were brutally attacked just means you expected them to get the Rak-Su Special, something they’re not set up for unless Rak-Su failed.

  • Wkrs

    Thoughts on this series

    – Last year the show had become almost unwatchable. The decline in viewing figures hasn’t been arrested and it’s no longer event TV, but at least this year we weren’t watching a recruitment consultant take the proverbial out of rap music like some kind of bad Harry Enfield sketch.

    – All three finalists were legitimately decent

    – Most of the acts that made it through to the lives would have been stand-outs in previous years

    – Taking the judges out of the equation has robbed the show of some of its drama, as well as making much of the old betting strategy redundant

    Overall: reminded of a quote from Clarkson re Top Gear, where he talked about a gradual realisation that the further they got from a car, the worse the show got. A reality show built around singers needs some good ones first and foremost before you add the comedy elements. Roll on next year!

    • Alan

      It’ll be interesting to see if we have the prize fight again next year. Personally I always thought that the sing-off was the best thing about the show, so blatent were it’s manipulations.

      I made a small profit on the series but only off the back of the American guy in week 1 and Tracey-Leanne. After that the elimations were all so obvious I didnt get involved at prohibitive odds. Hopefully braver punters than me made a small fortune.

      • India Marie

        The show had an easier time without the sing-off. Only one act to send into the danger zone instead of two. This probably contributes to the overall positive vibe of the series.

    • James Martin

      I have to agree that the old betting strategy is redundant. I have put down hardly anything this series. I’m a tenner up if that compared to the two ton I profited in 2014, but as always for me it’s been a bit of sport. I’m not a four figure guy, I’m too much of a chicken. I threw too much down on OG3NE at Eurovision and that bit me in the ass.

      • Chris Bellis

        Re OG3NE I too thought they were good, and would have got some small success, but for once I listened to my non-eurovision-loving friends. They said they didn’t like the gimmicky name, nor the styling, nor the singing, nor the whole look of them. They also said the Portuguese song was “pure sex”. Lesson: stay out of the Eurovision bubble when betting. I’m up on X Factor, thanks to sofabet, but it feels like strangling kittens. TPTB win, but the series has lost.When viewing figures drop to around those of Paul O’Grady’s “Love of Dogs”, surely ITV must be wondering about advertising revenue.

  • India Marie

    (reposting my hot takes from the last post)

    – Despite two lost prize fights, Rak-Su were strong from the start. Heck, they narrowly lost the prize fights
    – That said, The Cutkelvins were right on their heels and that Week 2 deramp was necessary.
    – That said, what happened in Week 5? Their numbers for the Saturday vote seem low for an act that felt like was on their renaissance? Maybe people did hate Shereen’s outfit lol don’t shame women for their outfits.
    – Holly has a strong voting bloc. Her numbers were close to Grace’s for 3 weeks. She could win the tour vote
    – If the double elimination last week was to get rid of Lloyd, they really needed that extra push
    – The World Cup Qualifier may have mattered. It looks like Ireland deserted Sean & Conor in Week 3 on a week that was supposed to be their “moment.” Explains why their numbers in Week 4 are good-ish for an act that was buried.
    – Running order matters. Sam was bottom/bottom 2 in all weeks except his pimp slot.
    – Or maybe not? Matt was bottom 3 on his pimp slot.
    – The show doesn’t just eliminate from the bottom. My girl Tracyleanne and Leon, who were thrown out Week 2, had better stats than Sam and Jack & Joel in Week 1. Maybe they took into account Leon’s wildcard bounce and Tracyleanne’s “where did that come from” bounce?

    • Anglia Chu

      How about Kevin having 4th as his lowest position? I thought he want from 0 to 60 from Week 1 to Week 2, but his standing was actually robust from Week 1.

  • James Martin

    I wonder if the pimping of the two songwriters and ultimately having them in the top two will kickstart a reinvention of the franchise? If we look at who’s been winning these sort of shows recently, there’s been an authentic or human element. I think of Salvador Sobral’s words in Kyiv and think, actually, yes – there’s a movement *against* “fast food music” at the moment. Clean-cut, manufactured and over-produced is kind of out. The winners single is as far removed as you could get from That’s My Goal or those overproduced covers from the 00s. If they can encourage writers who sing, they can ditch the “karaoke” tag that plagues the franchise.

    As we head on the road from X Factor to Eurovision, what’s everyone’s take on Saara to represent Finland, undoubtedly a decision YLE took on the basis of her incredible journey on XF last year? She’s limited by how many people she can have on stage but are my fellow Sofabetters expecting the theatrics we saw on X Factor? I’m hoping. I know we shouldn’t get emotionally invested but I got sucked in last year. She deserves the win IMHO.

    • Anglia Chu

      Hopefully XF The TV Show can keep up with XF The Music Show’s revival. If all else fails, try the American Idol hiatus method?

      I’m rooting for Saara in May (as I did XF Australia’s Dami Im from 2016). This means I should probably stay away from betting.

    • Peter

      Well considering she has Brian Friedman on her Eurovision team, I think we have our answer regarding the theatrics.

      • James Martin

        That’s interesting as he was a massive champion of hers behind the scenes. I certainly thought he played a major role in diverting the bus from her direction.

    • Jessica Hamby

      Part of the reason the show is struggling is the rise of the internet and social media. Anyone can do a cover and put it on youtube and a lot of the people doing them are really accomplished. I think that getting people performing their own songs is a good idea but that won’t revive the show to the level it was at in the early noughties. I don’t think it will ever be that popular again unless they get a truly outstanding set of people.

      The format is tired and (in part thanks to sites like sofabet and digital spy) discredited. Everyone is aware that song choice, staging, judges’ comments etc can affect the way an act is perceived. No-one thinks it’s a truly level playing field.

      And then there’s the judges. Is Louis going to come back next year? Is Sharon? Are they replacing Nicole with Cheryl? If so, is that a step forward? Louis and Sharon are both 65 and Simon is 58. Are they really the best people to judge what’s going to work in the pop charts?

      They didn’t try to force a Whitney type diva on us this year so at least they’ve moved on a bit but they’ll probably always be following trends rather than setting them so it’s hard to see how they can re-invent it.

      Maybe it’s time for a new show where they just have live acts doing a song with no judge / mentor role – just a bit of blind, non-partisan analysis or something – and then a vote. Have different acts on every show and then a battle between the winners.

      I don’t know. It’s just a back of the envelope idea off the top of my head and probably a stupid one just waiting to be picked apart but I don’t think the X-Factor can be restored to its former glory.

      If this works then Hurray.

  • Anglia Chu

    I like that article, Daniel. Rak-Su get a lot of stick from XF’s online community for not being “artistic” enough (usually compared to Grace/Kevin) but they built the Rak-Su we see on the show from the ground up.

    It’s been a great year contestants-wise and contestants-on-the-charts-wise, but YouTube views tell me their social media pull isn’t as strong as we’d expect. For the Sunday show, Little Mix and CNCO’s performance has 300k+ views; everyone else is below 40k.

    Bar Konnie Huq’s year, Xtra Factor is boring, but I kinda miss it now because it gave us the judges’ “predictions.”

    • James Martin

      It was at its best when Ben Sheppard did it in 2006, especially with the Thursday and Friday preview shows. And it certainly wasn’t as “scripted” as things are now.

    • Phil

      Funny you should mention social media. It’s struck me this year how my news feed on Facebook hasn’t been full of posts by the official X Factor account. In previous years you’d have a post after each performance which acted as a good barometer of support. I’m not sure if they’ve been posting them but they’ve certainly not been showing up.

  • Piresistable

    I’m gutted Lloyd didn’t make the final. I wonder if they ever were planning a four act final? Having watched the shows this weekend it didn’t feel like there was room for another act.

  • Gav

    The problem with the show for me in the manipulation of it all. I actually think the standard was better than it is has been for a while but the blatant manipulation is ruining it all. It was so obvious how the final was going to go this weekend. Just the judges comments and the running order etc. Getting grace to duet Roots. It’s just way too predictable. They need to just let nature take it’s course.

    • Anglia Chu

      I agree that the show is very heavy-handed, even compared to other music shows, but given that the show’s life largely hinges on gaining a lot of buzz and a lot of sales (which is already what keeps the show alive now, after losing more than half their peak viewers), it makes a lot of sense.

      I can imagine a more laissez-faire approach could have led to Holly or Lloyd usurping Rak-Su or Grace.

  • Hi everyone. I guess most of you here will be diving into Melodifestivalen now. I basically bet only on Eurovision but this year I’m considering Melodifestivalen too. Tell me one thing. Isn’t it a problem that it’s in Swedish and you don’t understand a thing of what is said between the songs, on the interviews, etc?

    • Chris Bellis

      Montell – sorry to post this so late, as Xmas has been on my mind and I’ve not looked at the site till today. Melodifestivalen isn’t that hard to follow as the songs are mostly in English, and the presenters often break into English as English is more of a universal language. I was in Sweden one year there was a commentary programme on Melfest, and it was surprisingly easy to follow, and I understand almost no Swedish. Plus they give news on the contest in English at svt.se/melodifestivalen. It’s weird how the Swedish presenters and commentators crack jokes about the contest all the time, and yet at the same time, take it much more seriously than we do.

  • Alan

    I guess the series has taught us that Prawn Cocktail flavour Skips aren’t Simon Cowell’s favourite snack after all. Good, but not his favourite.

  • India Marie

    A tribute to the poster who pointed out that XF Sam has old YouTube videos and went by the name of Sam Smith.


  • Martin

    Wow, Kevin’s week one vote held up amazingly. Considering that he seemed relatively anonymous at this point, his bad running order slot and unfavourable staging, perhaps tptb went with his seeming popularity as a happy alternative to Matt. He certainly got a lot more oxygen from week two onwards.

    A lukewarm series for me. Betting almost went out the window as I prefer eliminations to outright but having such a small window to do it really took out a lot of the enjoyment. On the plus side, it was an entertaining series – best for a long time.

  • fused

    I did another blogpost about this series of The X Factor if anyone is interested:


    • India Marie

      This feels like six weeks of Live Show analysis fused into one (sorry someone had to make that pun). That said, it’s always refreshing to hear a fellow user’s non-betting take on the show; it’s like watching WWE without taking into consideration what makes sense from Vince McMahon’s perspective.

      This leads to a point: in the US, especially during the peak of Reality TV, there are reliable-ish websites that analyze shows like Idol and The Voice week on week, with power rankings and all that (imagine something like US-based Yahoo! Music writers, who covered Jedward when they did Oops! I Did it Again, circa 2009). They had decent followings and fed the idea that Idol/The Voice are music competitions. Can’t imagine that flying here, even during 2010, especially not now.

  • India Marie

    Interesting note about the voting stats:

    Since voting stats came out, this is the year where category hierarchies are most intact; that is, 1st in the category consistently finished 1st in the vote vs their category-mates, 2nd… and so on.

    Only exceptions are in Week 1
    Top Over (Kevin) polled below Second Over (Matt)
    Third Girl (Rai-Elle) polled below Fourth Girl (Alisah)
    Second Boy (Sam) polled below Third Boy (Leon)

    Compare that to other years, where some categories had frequent shaking/total upheavals
    2016- Overs (Saara v Honey G v Relley)
    2015- Groups (4th Impact v RnB)
    2014- Groups (Stereo Kicks v Only the Young)
    2013- Girls (Abi v Hannah v Tamera)
    and so on

  • Yolanda

    Anyone got anything for PRTSD (Post Reality TV Stress Disorder)?

    Only usually get it this strong the days following the Eurovision Grand Final, but its strong for the XFactor this year.

    ✔ Acts unfollowed on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram
    ✔ Betfair direct bookmark to market deleted
    ✔ Brandwatch search queries deleted.
    ✔ Saturday night work shifts back to normal
    ✔ RSI of pointy finger on F5 button improving

    Closure is close, but still not quite there.

    • India Marie

      I’ll let the buzz fade naturally; should be easy because Christmas is coming. Also, the Instagram thing doesn’t work; they still show up in my suggested posts!

      Doesn’t help that I have a bet (size: approx. my Week 3 profit when I called Alisah going home) with friends on the “7th act on the tour” vote (we lock in our picks a day before the vote closes) so I go to my old habit of scouring through their social media feed, despite it yielding little information.

      • Yolanda

        Alisah is a penalty kick for the final slot isn’t she?

        • India Marie

          That’s what I initially thought, but here are my qualms

          – This vote will likely be dominated by stans. Who actually stans Alisah? Filipinos have less to fight for, compared to the Brits, because the tour won’t visit Manila.
          – Alisah’s Tellymix gains come from Filipino fans who are galvanised to support her, which inflates her perceived support. When all the other acts galvanise their supporters, that lead could be gone.
          – I suspect Playbuzz (who is hosting the poll for The Sun) has a way of filtering the votes by location, which will negate her “foreign influence.”

          As such, I think two contestants have an equally strong, if not stronger, case for that spot.

          Her poll numbers are the strongest among the choices and her acrimonious-in-hindsight treatment could prompt neutrals to vouch for her. Her name is on the first row, whether you vote on the phone or on mobile, so the confused will flock to her. Her social media activity suggests she has support from other people in the industry. She has a strong social media footprint (vs the others) and promotes her case constantly.

          SEAN & CONOR PRICE.
          Their poll numbers are relatively thin, but that’s because Ireland can’t vote for free. They have the largest social media footprint outside Rak-Su/TCK/Grace and they’re also campaigning hard. The show protected them from the initial Week 3 double elimination and tried very hard to make their Week 4 exit seem “shocking.” They’re endorsed explicitly by Rak-Su, implicitly by Grace/TCK/The Sun. Remember that the tour goes to Ireland before it goes to England; it will be a shame if the show’s Irish act won’t be there…

  • Anglia Chu

    Dimelo is now on Spotify. About 280k+ streams so far. Livepopbars has them number 26 in streaming.

  • Anglia Chu

    Message to XF 2018: male groups need not apply


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