X Factor 2017 Final Update: Rak on Track?

Producers couldn’t have set out their stall any more clearly last night for a Rak-Su victory, even if it didn’t look like every last moment had been meticulously planned – the duet staging for ‘Dimelo’ was a hot mess, with the never-introduced-on-stage Naughty Boy looking like a random bloke tapping out an email.

Still, while it may have been confusing, at least the addition of Naughty Boy and Wyclef Jean wasn’t to the detriment of the song. The same can’t be said for Grace’s duet: the introduction of Paloma Faith had the effect of thoroughly undercutting the intimate appeal of ‘Roots’. Perhaps that was the intention.

Meanwhile, this morning’s tabloids are reporting that Nicole was “devastated” not to have been allowed to duet with Kevin – without drawing the obvious conclusion about the rationale for this decision, that it would presumably have helped Kevin in the vote more than being accompanied by Tokio Myers.

The duets often feel hastily cobbled together, and much more thought looked to have gone into the first section of the show. The big picture there was that Kevin performed a song from 1969 and Grace from 1973, which had the effect of making Rak-Su’s ‘Mamacita’ feel all the more fresh and current.

There were plenty of little details to enjoy amid the general overall positivity that befits a final. Simon slipped in a “love it or hate it” amid his praise for Kevin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’, planting the thought that some might have hated it. “Kevin’s supporters were ooh la la-ing and mon dieu-ing to that”, Dermot then informed us, before throwing to Stacey Solomon in the crowd with some tricolore-themed patisserie. Kevin’s VT had featured subtitled family members and Nicole learning to say “Kevin le gagnant”.

Dermot was on top form again interviewing Grace, calling our attention to the weirdness of her boxed-violinists staging for ‘Live and Let Die’, a song choice which allowed for minimal emotional connection – brilliantly, he called it a “strings whack-a-mole slash advent calendar”. We wonder if it was deliberate that the camera angle had them framing a thoroughly unimpressed-looking violinist throughout this post-performance interview.

The Silent Assassin rounded off the first half by telling Rak-Su “people say Grace is a great songwriter but you guys are often overlooked”; Simon had also managed to work a shoutout for Rak-Su into his comments to Grace.  While comments to Kevin and Grace focused largely on how they deserved to be in the final, we were told that Rak-Su were a “phenomenon” (Nicole) who “go across the age demographic” (Sharon) and are “the most exciting act by a mile” (Louis). It looked like plenty of effort had gone into the staging for ‘Mamacita’. Simon didn’t feel the need to say anything beyond “isn’t that what it’s all about?”

As the only “neutral judge”, in Dermot’s words, Louis helpfully told us that Rak-Su had clearly won the first round of songs. Immediately before Grace’s duet, her category-mate Holly told Dermot that she wants Rak-Su to win. This morning’s on-message Sun has a story that might have been entitled “no need to vote for Grace”.

We could go on. We thought the message was crystal clear, and the only question is whether producers get what they want. They have so far this season. Usually we get a pretty good indication of which act is about to win from which winner’s single prompts a “that sounds like a number one hit record” from Louis, but with the winner’s single being the duets, it remains to be seen whether there are analogous clues this evening. Rak-Su are now down to 1.32 on Betfair, but no doubt their backers will be made to sweat.

As ever, do let us know below what you made of last night and what you’re expecting for this evening.

177 comments to X Factor 2017 Final Update: Rak on Track?

  • David Power

    Underwhelmed by it to be honest. Not wowed by anyone and am not expecting any of them to take the charts by storm. Kevin could do well on the rock circuit – there are still plenty or rock lovers who appreciate both nostalgia tours and new music – and he’ll be out of the public glare, which might be the best result of all.

    Can’t see any winner except Rak Su.

    • Phil

      Come off it mate – haven’t you seen how Rak Su have been charting already? Dimelo is going to be all over the radio over the next few weeks, they’re only going to get even bigger.

      • Jessica Hamby

        I don’t pay much attention to the charts. Which chart are you talking about? Have they been all over the radio so far?

        Tbh if they don’t reach #1 with their Xmas effort then it’s a bit of a disappointment. What happens after that is what matters. I don’t see any buzz around Rak Su comparable to what was around Fleur (one hit wonder) or Saara from last year (no hit wonder). Who knows, maybe they’ll be the next big thing but right now I don’t see it. Mind you, I’m not their target audience.

        • Stoney

          They will have about as much success as Leon Jackson did. I still don’t get why tptb have thrown everything behind this lot.

        • Jessica Hamby

          They have to make it seem as if something significant is on the line to make the show mean something, otherwise it’s just karaoke in the village hall. That’s why you get the most average performances described in such hyperbolic terms. It’s all about the franchise. Cowell finds his popstars elsewhere.

        • iTunes charts. Dimelo, Mona Lisa, I’m Feeling You all #1, Mamacita #2, I think.

          You can debate the relevance of iTunes charts to the general charts, but it’s no trivial achievement to get an original charting that well on iTunes – compare the performance of the Cutkelvins’ two originals.

        • Phil

          And herein lies the problem. Few if any of us here are within their target audience, but Daniel and a few others cannily realised right from the start that Rak Su present the shows most promising, commercial and credible act in many years. If you can’t see this, then maybe you shouldn’t be risking any money on this show, as you are clearly letting personal taste cloud your thinking.

          • Stoney

            Credible was James Arthur. This lot will be forgotten by the time X factor returns next year, if it does. Last night was the lowest viewed final ever. The show is sinking, the talent level is rock bottom. Let’s be straight about this, Raksu in the hey day wouldn’t have even made the live shows.

          • Jessica Hamby

            They’re not the first x factor act to do well in the downloads chart. That doesn’t necessarily translate to chart success. I shall follow their post Xmas single progress with interest.

            I don’t have a reason to dislike them but I agree with Stoney. I expect them to sink into obscurity. They might bring credibility to the show but I didn’t think they were anything to wow about. There are plenty of acts as good or better out there now and backing from SyCo is no guarantee of success – ask Fleur and Louisa Johnson if you need proof.

          • Stoney

            Is there anyone on here who hasn’t bet on Raksu and finds them a worthy winner that is going to go on and have a successful career in the music industry?
            Comfimation bias often makes people loyal to their selection on the basis that they are making money from them.

          • Sagand

            In terms of past contestants I find Rak Su as credible as a successful act as Louisa Johnston (with the advantage they have music ready to go), about 5x as credible as Fleur and about 5000x more than Saara. They aren’t going to be the next Ed Sheeran or Adele, but I can see a few decent sized hits over the next three years which would be enough to tour which is where the money is.

        • Ben Cook

          They’re unlikely to make #1 with the Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé duet doing so well. I expect them to make #2 with higher sales than Matt Terry last year, and the single will hang around for a bit.

          I expect Roots will come out in January and also go top 3.

          • Alan

            I predicted a CutKelvins win (although I hadnt actualy watched the show at that point) and then backed Grace at good odds a few weeks ago. But yeah I think RakSu will win, deserve to win and will have a successful career for a couple of years at least.

      • R

        The iTunes positions are distorted as the songs haven’t been available on other platforms.
        Saying that, Rak-Su’s songs have been catchy, like an updated version of the “I feel like chicken tonight” ad song, so may also get decent streaming figures.

        Again, their performances from last night have pushed the songs back up the charts, while Grace did a cover & Roots which isn’t available, so looks to have done far worse than the iTunes figures suggest.

      • India Marie

        All the talk about projected success feels Digital Spy flame war at this point. Fact is, the acts are set up to sell now and it looks like they’re doing a good job. This will open doors for them to collaborate with other artists and expand their brand without being forgotten quickly. In an age where it takes a lot to keep stans committed, this is good.

        Whether it will make them the next wave of XF long-term success stories is another matter, but it’s a step up from whatever Matt Terry’s trajectory is, 1 million less viewers be damned.

        • Jessica Hamby

          They’re selling now to people who watch them on the X Factor. The big test will come when they haven’t got a weekly show promoting them to an audience who are more fans of the tv show than of the specific act.

          Even Jay Jameson had a hit on itunes downloads.

          • Phil

            But they’ll have Radio 1 and all the commercial radio stations promoting them, as well as all the clubs and party nights this Christmas. Again you’re missing the point that they are a credible act who will do well outside the show. Their music will be everywhere. We’ll be sick of them. Guaranteed.

  • Montell

    So when does the broadcast start? I see two shows on the TV guide. 1:05pm and 7:15pm. Why there are two and which is which?


  • India Marie

    Looking back I think Dimelo should have been so much more that it ended up being. Wyclef Jean clearly had an adlib on hand he couldn’t execute because his earpiece fell off.

    I’m interested to see how much they will tip the scale for Rak-Su tonight, although I’m more interested in the voting stats.

  • Yolanda

    If the writing wasn’t already on the wall for Kevin pre-show, it was firmly daubed in permanent marker from the opening bars of the ***shudder*** joint song to kick things off. Clearly in a key not suited to his voice, the act lauded for his strong voice and musical ability was brutally exposed on the big stage as he struggled to get his vocal chords around some of the big notes.

    Anyone who may have heard talk of Grace’s diva-ish ways may have had that belief confirmed, as she attempted to dominate the stage – and the song – with Rak Su as her backing dancers/singers. Had she attempted to sing the song “normally”, she may well have pulled it off, but her vocal tics and quirky-although-its-been-done-a-hundred-times-before singing style is much more suited to slower, more intimate songs.

    Rak Su didn’t sound fantastic by any means, but the tempo and the rhythm of the song suited their laid back look-at-us-we-are-all-having-fun style, especially when placed in the middle of the two solo artists.

    Round One to Rak Su, and the competition hasn’t started.

    It seems that the verdict on the individual performances is unanimous and that Rak Su were clear winners whilst the duets were a three car pile up, with Kevin the innocent party, having had his break cables cut.

    I feel that Rak Su had their advantage rammed home following the individual performances and that none of the acts benefited particularly from their duets.

    I haven’t seen anything to change my mind from a facile Rak Su victory. With the heavy favour bestowed upon them by producers, if Grace was actually to win, then her lead going into the final couple of weekends must have been huge.

  • Dazzle

    Song choices: for tonight:
    Rak Su – Mona Lisa and Touché both orginals

  • David Cook

    Exitus acta probat – as Simon Cowell says.

  • Does anyone really think that the Rak-Su and Naughty boy/Wyclef duet is more suitable for the charity winner’s single than Grace and Paloma’s? After Grace sang, Sharon said “I hope you win so that song can be a huge hit and we can raise all that money for charity”. I know it’s her own act, but she’s rarely been off-message this series. The same wasn’t said for Rak-Su, and it’s a song all the X Factor fans have downloaded already. Also, Grace’s duet has more likes on YouTube, despite fewer overall views.

    I think if Rak-Su are to win, they will have needed to have been ahead by a decent margin as lines closed. Maybe with their vote around 40%? I have no doubt Grace has closed the gap overnight with the help of Kevin’s voters, but it might not be enough in the end…

    Also, Grace won the battle of the VTs with her homecoming. It was so brilliantly northern as well;

    “Who wants to go t’pub?”
    “I’m in’t final!”

    And in the duet VT;

    “She’s dead quirky!”

    • George

      Grace’s song sounds more like your typical charity single, but I do think Rak-Su’s would sell more in the long run which is kind of the point isn’t it?

      • I’m not sure I agree. Dimelo has been available to download for weeks now. Even though the new version would be for charity, surely some people would be reluctant to buy it again.

        • George

          Dimelo has radio potential and could hang around in the charts for a while, extending its audience beyond The X Factor. I don’t really see that for Roots.

      • Yolanda

        I’d say they both have their merits and either could chart top 5 in the UK charts. I doubt it is of much consequence for TPTB and certainly wouldn’t be a consideration to those voting.

        The studio versions are going to be significantly different (and longer) than those previously purchased by the fans.

  • India Marie

    all originals tonight

    Nothing But Words
    Too Young

    Mona Lisa

  • Anglia Chu

    Holly rooting for Rak-Su in the final feels like the show exploiting “workplace politics” considering who Grace *allegedly* wants to see join her on the tour…


    • Yolanda

      Rak Su and Grace both said they want SC on the tour…

      • Anglia Chu

        Yeah, but it probably comes off differently when Rak-Su stand up for their “little brothers” vs Grace concurring while ignoring her and Rai-Elle and Alisah. Note that Lloyd vouched for the Boys and Matt for the Overs so I speculate that something must be up.

  • Yolanda

    One thing I failed to mention in my brief summary of the show above was Paloma Faith basically calling Grace a diva after their performance. She did try to dress it up as being dedicated and quirky, but it will have reinforced some of the negative views of those that pay attention to the tabloid slurs.

    • Chris Bellis

      Yolanda. Yes, I saw that as a de-ramp too. Paloma Faith presents herself as very much not a diva, although she’s a very hard worker. I’ve seen her live a few times, and normally she is generous to her fellow singers and musicians, and quite self-deprecating about her own talent.

      • Alan

        I don’t think it was a deliberate de-ramp though. Paloma was on Sunday Brunch this morning and was very complimentary about Grace.

        • Yolanda

          Very different audience watching that programme to those watching/voting on the Xfactor I’d say.

          Paloma is also a complete troll. I remember when she took to the stage at a concert in Gibraltar and addressing the crowd as half English/half Spanish despite all the artists being briefed as to what to/what not to say.

          Not saying she had been briefed here, but they will have known full well that she’s a bit of a loon and could quite literally say anything.

    • Stoney

      I would say the actual duet was decent enough to motivate voters. Raksu my have won the 1st round but Grace won the 2nd. Wycleff and naughty boy added absolutely nothing to that performance, Wycleff took up the Mustapha roll of throwing himself about the stage, very bizarre.

      • Yolanda Cabrera

        I agree that neither of Rak Su’s guests added anything to the performance, however I would go further with Grace’s duet and say that Paloma actively detracted from the performance.

    • Loved that! I believe she used the word “mircomanage”, which is usually a euphemism.

      It would be totally understandable if Grace was being protective of her song. I wonder if she was tempted to accidentally forget to introduce Paloma and sing the whole thing on her own.

  • Nick

    Sky bet are doing Rak Su vote % if you find 2/7 is a bit short 😉

  • Stoney

    Quite a big plunge on betfair for Grace in the last 5 minutes.

  • 360

    Haven’t been watching the show so much but I feel from the recaps of last night, Grace will be tough to topple. Is voting app-only now or is there phone numbers to call? If there’s phones she might snatch it, unless Rak-Su have been the overwhelming leaders from day 1 on.

    History is just niggling for me, groups have only won once and an act has never won without doing a ballad. Furthermore, the best singer tends to win in these stages. This final is just giving me alarm bells back to the Louisa Johnson/Reggie and Bollie final.

    A lot will depend on what their songs tonight are like. They still may have to stitch up Grace or let her shoot herself in the foot to get Rak-Su past her. Before the show tonight, I feel like she might take it.

    And for the record I don’t particularly like or rate either of the acts, Rak-Su’s whole Latino thing makes me a little uncomfortable, not to mention it’s about as sure a recipe for longterm success as Fleur East’s increasingly desparate attempts to recapture the magic of Uptown Funk in everything else she put out, while Grace seems like a Louisa Johnson with less range, a Diana Vickers with less charm, and an Amelia Lily who looks less likely to shank you if you cross her.

  • Stoney

    I see there taking no chances with the running order.

  • Stoney

    No mention of the vote being close.

  • Tpfkar

    No inside info but my guess is that Rak-Su stroll over the winning line tonight, then we find out that Grace has been going slowly backwards in the vote most of the series. Females singing slow songs/dirges often do. Probably smashed week 1 but well behind by week 4. I wonder how Kevin did in week 1 when disposable and how strong the CutKelvins were early doors. The production team had to work hard to contain them at first (but had them in place for the semis) so I wonder if they got near Rak-Su early on. Best of luck everyone

  • James Martin

    Rak-Su should walk this tonight. The producers are throwing the kitchen sink at them.

    Visually though it looks great. Despite the budget cuts I see the wristbands haven’t been a casualty like they were at Eurovision this year.

  • Christ, they like their miming groups this weekend don’t they? Apart from Little Mix.

    • Tom

      5AM, CNCO etc clearly aren’t enough. Clearly everyone loves these groups and they are doing spectacularly on the charts, so SYCO are making another one to make even more money.

  • A shout out for Rak Su to win from Little Mix. And so it starts (again).

  • Tom

    Judges comments will determine it for me.

    With no suspicious bets, I am getting the impression Rak-Su have this. They’re still on last, just to make sure.

  • Everybody up North should vote for Grace.

    Don’t even think about it, everywhere else.

  • Tom

    What is this staging for Grace?

  • Dressing up someone who is apparently current as Barbara Cartland certainly makes an impact.

  • Yolanda

    Definite NQ.

    Oops wrong show.

  • Tom

    We’ve got the “No matter what happens”
    End of journey comments too.

    You’re scaring me now – Simon. How close is it? Lol

  • “No matter what happens you’ve made it.”
    “You’re such a great songwriter.”
    “I’m so happy for you right now.”

    Straight out of positive deflating comments 101 there.

  • James Martin

    Stacey Solomon has had voice coaching I see.

  • Piresistable

    All this “they wrote the song this week” stuff is utter tripe.

  • Stoney

    That was pretty pony from Grace.

    • Stoney

      This isn’t much better. Big mistake doing all original songs tonight.

    • Ben Cook

      I liked it, shows she can do upbeat pop songs too. Most of her songs sound unfinished though. She could do with getting some help to tidy them up.

    • Alan

      Gonna be a bit underwhelming if next year’s finalists don’t have half a dozen hits written. Think the show might be making a rod for its own back with this year’s finalists.

      • James Martin

        I assume thats the route they want to take it if we’re stuck with it for a few more years. That’s the only way this show can even hope to reinvent itself.

  • Jessica Hamby

    I don’t know if that song did it for anyone else but it reminded me of some sort of retro dance tune from the 1990s. Baby Don’t Hurt Me Now is hardly inspiring or empowering. It didn’t seem current or particularly credible to me. It’s the sort of thing M People might have done – music to watch paint dry.

  • James Martin

    Is it me or is the sound mix really, really bad?

    • I thought it was poor for Grace but better for Rak Su. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

      Simon somehow making it up that it’s a big thing that Rak Su have done their own song even though Grace just did the same thing.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Enjoyed that effort from Rak Su a lot more than anything from last night. Preferred it to Grace as well. Still not at all convinced they’ll be a big chart act but they should walk this (if they haven’t already).

  • Ben Cook

    That was an obscene amount of pre-recorded backing vocals on that Rak-Su track! They might as well have had their mikes switched off!

  • Tom

    I think it’s close. Simon begging for votes.

  • James Martin

    Rak-Su was awful. Neither of those would even scrape into a Melodifestivalen semi final.

    This show was gone so fucking downhill.

  • Tom

    Poor P!nk getting red and blacked.

  • Stoney

    I didn’t see them comments as a full blown ramping for Raksu. It suggests one of 2 things. They are comfortably leading or too far behind. It isn’t close either way. I imagine Raksu have got it in the bag.

  • Sharon turning it into North v South now. This is quite a heavy handed drag down – maybe not to quite the same extent as Marcus and Nicholas in years past but still…

  • James Martin

    I’m surprised they’ve not done a Christmas song round so she can do Last Christmas.

    Which will be beating whoever wins to Xmas #1 anyway in all likelihood.

  • Tom

    This is the song she won the prize fight with. However she won’t win with it.

  • James Martin

    Too Young is a good song tbf

  • Grace with Too Young beat Rak Su in the Prize Fight. Rak Su with Mona Lisa beat Grace in the Prize Fight. They’re trying to look as though they’re playing fair with this one.

    Trying. Nice long shot followed by a shot of Sharon as Grace hit the big note there.

  • James Martin

    Interesting valedictory comments from Simon there.

  • Piresistable

    Stunning song. Not a stunning performance. And another mention of Rak Su.

  • “You are POTENTIALLY a world class recording artist.”

    Oh Louis – cue him cutting that word out of Rak Su’s critique. And another mention of Rak Su in Grace’s critique.

  • Alan

    Producers to Grace “no Grace you should save ‘Too Young’ til last. You wanna start with ‘Live And Let Die’.

  • Yolanda

    Simon nice and relaxed in dishing out the praise there. He knows the job is done.

  • Rose L

    And they seem to have set out their wares for next year – original songwriters queue up here….

  • Interesting it was Nicole, a so-called ‘neutral’ judge, encouraging the crowd noise there rather than Simon. And she called Rak Su to win as well.

    I think I might vote for Grace – my votes won’t go far to spite them but meh.

  • PolarNight

    This year’s X Factor seems just along promotional series for Grace & Rak-Su songs and not a singing contest. Now Rak-Su has repeated 3 of their earlier songs during finals. Grace has repeated 2 so far, and one could expect the last song to be repeat too.

    Also the weekly Winner’s showdowns supported repeating the songs.

    I guess when repeated (given airtime) enough times, the songs may succeed in charts when they are officially released.

  • After Grace’s treatment tonight in comparison to Rak Su I think, if I was a talent singer/songwriter I’d question whether The X Factor was the right route for me. They’ve basically thrown her under the bus at the last… yes, the treatment isn’t as bad as Marcus and Nicholas got but it still hasn’t been nice to watch.

    • R

      Unless they sign her and launch her career.

      • If anything they’ve hurt her to get Rak Su over the line. Nicole even baldly called her a songwriter rather than a singer tonight and that has been a theme they’ve used to weaken her throughout the run. Yes, sometimes those who do not win find some momentum but they tend to be the ones which the show has thrown it’s weight behind – G4, Rhydian (though the early edit hurt him), Fleur, One Direction. Certainly it’s full weight isn’t behind Grace.

        • Phil

          I think you’ve been watching a different show. If their weight wasn’t behind Grace, she’d have been singing covers and probably would have gone by week 4. Her “treatment” has been more exposure of her abilities and the biggest opportunity she could ever have dreamt of. As far as I can see it’s been a fair fight.

  • Mike

    So to sum up Grace’s song are way better than Rak-Su’s but Rak-Su deliver them so much better than she does. I was an early Grace backer, and now heavy on Rak-Su, unless there’s a huge shock in the next 15 minutes I think Rak-Su have it in the bag. But the real winner has been X-Factor the brand over the last few weeks

    • Stoney

      Has it really? Its on its knees. I dont see the brand winning anything.

      • Mike

        It’s arguably in a better place than it was this time last year though. And I was one who really did lose interest after last year and was just watching this year for betting – but have been pleasantly surprised in the end. Still different strokes and all that 🙂

      • Ben Cook

        Ratings-wise it’s in trouble, but if they can make Rak-Su and and Grace successful in the real world they might save its reputation for making hits. They’ve not had any properly successful acts since James Arthur.

      • Alan

        It was on it’s knees when Sam Bailey and Ben Haenow won surely.

        Both utter shite.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Grace’s second song was much better – moving away from M People and towards Adele. Too late for her to win though. The two days have given a confusing and inconsistent image of her while Rak Su have been pretty clearly identifiable all the way along. I thnk that makes them much stronger.

  • Mike

    No comments from Dermot tonight about how the vote is too close to call….or did I miss those?

  • R

    Simon thinks there’s something in the air.
    I smell it too Simon, it’s called BS.

  • And a Grace endorsement when it’s too late – the vote closed ten seconds later.

  • I will laugh if Grace has won, but I don’t think she has.

  • At the moment I’m thinking that might be the last series for me – that was sickening. It wasn’t even the worst takedown in X Factor history but it really felt it; maybe because I’m surprised that they took someone who is still current and offers them a future and cut them down to size to get the result they wanted.

    • Alan

      It wasn’t really that bad. They just made their preference crystal clear. She didn’t get badly treated, RakSu just got better treatment.

      • Yes, that’s why I said it wasn’t the worst takedown; I note that it wasn’t harsh on Grace but they really pushed Rak Su over her which results in her being seen less favourably. Maybe I’m just a bit surprised – both offer a future, I thought they might be a bit more ‘relaxed’ about the winner than they were. Nicole was the biggest assassin of the night, first just saying Grace was a good songwriter then fully endorsing Rak Su.

  • Simon G

    Did Grace know she wouldn’t win but that she will have a recording contract with syco anyway?

    She seemed perfectly happy with 2nd.

  • James Martin

    A perfectly clean hit from the producers. TPTB are the only winners, really.

    Congratulations if you’re in the money and comisserations if not. Not a great series at all really, but maybe it’s the start of a reinvention for the brand.

    Have a great Christmas and see you in the new year for what I’m sure will be a somewhat more entertaining Eurovision season.

  • Tom

    Bye guys. See you for the winter Big Brother.

  • Wizbit

    Sickening indeed. Raksu rammed down our throats every step of the way. In every critique of Grace this evening were mentions of Raksu… every opportunity taken to big up the chosen ones. Well done to those who backed them. Not sure I can stomach another series.

  • Just gonna leave this here


    In all seriousness, enjoyable show this year, had more of a feel good factor and both Grace & Rak-Su produced some decent songs.

    See you all for Eurovision

  • Sagand

    Somewhere backstage Paloma Faith seething at a completely wasted evening waiting to duet again.

  • Alan

    No need to leave yet. Voting stats to come and hopefully a post-series article from our hosts.

    • Indeed… I want to see how close this was

      Cherry Analysts (@CherryAnalysts)
      December 2, 2017 at 6:08 pm · Reply
      What does everyone thing the voting breakdown will be like?

      After tonight I think it’ll be

      1. Rak-Su 43%
      2. Grace 30%
      3. Kevin 27%

      Grace unable to make enough gains on Sunday, finishing

      1. Rak-Su 45.5%
      2. Grace 41%
      Kevin’s votes making up the other 13.5%

      I think if Rak-Su get 41% tonight and Grace 37% it’s basically neck-a-neck, if Grace is within 4% after tonight then I think she wins it

      but also who was 1% behind Kevin, surely Rak-Su…

      were The CutKelvins anywhere near

      How Tracy polled in week 1

      and any other quirkness

  • Tpfkar

    A few quid up thanks to the Sofabet tip – chapeau to our hosts who called it 100% from the start and never wavered.
    I thought it was a decent series but never a shock all along, every target hit and no sweat for the producers at any stage. If they had problems, they hid them successfully.

    Thanks for the insight and banter – enjoyed every minute

  • dan

    Week 1 Saturday

    Grace Davies – 21.9%
    Holly Tandy – 15.9%
    Lloyd Macey – 15.0%
    Alisah Bonaobra – 11.8%
    Rai-Elle Williams – 11.5%
    Leon Mallett – 9.3%
    Sam Black – 8.5%
    Spencer Sutherland – 6.1%

    Week 1 Sunday

    Rak-Su – 22.2%
    The Cutkelvins – 17.3%
    Matt Linnen – 11.9%
    Kevin Davy White – 11.1%
    Sean & Conor Price – 10.6%
    Tracyleanne Jefford – 10.3%
    Jack & Joel – 9.2%
    Talia Dean – 7.4%

    Prize Fight Week 1

    Grace Davies – 53.5%
    Rak-Su – 46.5%

    Week 2 Saturday

    Rak-Su – 32.3%
    The Cutkelvins – 15.1%
    Lloyd Macey – 14.4%
    Sam Black – 12.5%
    Sean & Conor Price – 10.6%
    Jack & Joel – 8.6%
    Leon Mallett – 6.5%

    Week 2 Sunday

    Kevin Davy White – 21.9%
    Grace Davies – 18.5%
    Holly Tandy – 15.4%
    Rai-Elle Williams – 14.3%
    Matt Linnen – 13.6%
    Alisah Bonaobra – 9.5%
    Tracyleanne Jefford – 6.8%

    Prize Fight Week 2

    Kevin Davy White – 53.6%
    Rak-Su – 46.4%

    Week 3 Saturday

    Kevin Davy White – 25.8%
    Rak-Su – 25.7%
    Matt Linnen – 14.1%
    The Cutkelvins – 13.5%
    Sean & Conor Price – 11.2%
    Jack & Joel – 9.7%

    Week 3 Sunday

    Lloyd Macey – 26.4%
    Grace Davies – 20.1%
    Holly Tandy – 19.7%
    Rai-Elle Williams – 14.4%
    Sam Black – 11.1%
    Alisah Bonaobra – 8.3%

    Prize Fight Week 3

    Lloyd Macey – 64.3%
    Kevin Davy White – 35.7%

    Week 4 Saturday

    Rak-Su – 36.7%
    Lloyd Macey – 22.8%
    The Cutkelvins – 18.9%
    Sean & Conor Price – 15.4%
    Sam Black – 6.2%

    Week 4 Sunday

    Grace Davies – 26.1%
    Matt Linnen – 22.5%
    Kevin Davy White – 21.4%
    Holly Tandy – 16.1%
    Rai-Elle Williams – 13.9%

    Prize Fight Week 4

    Rak-Su – 61.5%
    Grace Davies – 38.5%

    Week 5 Saturday

    Rak-Su – 26.1%
    Kevin Davy White – 19.5%
    Lloyd Macey – 19.2%
    Grace Davies – 17.2%
    The Cutkelvins – 10.1%
    Matt Linnen – 7.9%

    Week 5 Sunday

    Rak-Su – 27.3%
    Grace Davies – 26.0%
    Kevin Davy White – 18.9%
    Lloyd Macey – 18.2%
    The Cutkelvins – 9.6%

    Week 6 Freeze

    Rak-Su – 41.7%
    Grace Davies – 35.4%
    Kevin Davy White – 22.9%

    Week 6 Final

    Rak-Su – 51.7%
    Grace Davies – 40.1%
    Kevin Davy White – 8.2% (Left competition at freeze)

  • Rak-Su won comfortably in the end, then.

  • George

    Easy to see from from early on why they felt so confident they could get Rak-Su over the line.

  • A few things that stand out

    Rak-Su smashed it in week two, winning their night by 17.2%
    In week three they were 0.1% behind the heavily pimped Kevin, despite performing a George Michael cover and on first in the running order

    Rak-Su lost the first Prize Fight v Grace by 7%, when they met again in week 4 Rak-Su beat Grace by a whopping 23%

    There was only 1.3% between Rak-Su and Grace on the Sunday semi, surprised by that as they beat her by 8.9% the day before (she finished 4th)

    However in the end Rak-Su have beaten Grace by 11.6%, the vote transfer from Kevin to her never materialized

    Looking at it Grace never really had a chance did she, especially when at the QF stage Rak-Su were beating Lloyd by 14% and she was sub 4% ahead of Matt

    • India Marie

      It looks like a Grand Push for Grace would have been much harder than a Grand Push for Rak-Su. Either that or the “stroppy diva” rumours worked.

  • Alen

    i think its really interesting that at the semis last week on saturday grace was actually 4th and lloyd 3rd and after that they announced a double eviction would folllow.

    were they hoping grace would actually not get into the final? on the other hand they really pushed her last sunday.

    im also surprised to see holly doing quite well.

  • That 0.1% Rak-Su were behind Kevin must have been in the region of 500-1000 votes, that’s tiny

    Good job Kevin got ahead of them otherwise they would’ve hit big odds-on that night

    • India Marie

      Considering they’re TPTB’s favourites, it’s a tad ironic that they would have topped the vote for that week had TPTB not been heavy-handed in pimping other acts.

  • India Marie

    Lessons from the voting stats:

    – 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?

  • James Martin

    I wonder if this 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.

    • 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.

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