X Factor 2010 Review

In January/February 2011, we posted a ten-part review of what we could learn from X Factor 2010 with the benefit of hindsight and the voting statistics. Here are those articles:

1. How Was Matt Cardle Allowed To Win?
We think it was pretty clear that Matt wasn’t the X Factor producers’ preferred winner. Yet when the statistics were published, we saw he’d topped the vote practically every week. Why didn’t they do more to try to dampen his support?

2. How Was Matt Cardle Allowed To Win? Part 2
Part of the answer is that producers did try – but every time another act was pimped in the pimp slot, they fell flat. In this second article, we look at how Matt’s rivals failed to take a series of open goals to dislodge him from the lead.

3. The Journeys of Wagner and Katie Waissel
Wagner and Katie Waissel hogged the headlines for much of X Factor 2010. Their respective journeys raise the fascinating question of how much of X Factor is planned well in advance and how much is made up on the hoof.

4. The Science of the Sing-Off
Continuing our review of X Factor series 7, a fascinating trend emerged with the sing-offs. Eight out of nine sing-off survivors in 2010 were the second of the two acts to perform in the Sunday showdown.

5. Reading the Runes of the Running Order
The running order has a big effect on X Factor voting, but even with the voting statistics to hand, quantifying its effect is not a straightforward matter. This article looks at the effect of the running order act-by-act.

6. Reading the Runes of the Running Order Part 2
What’s the effect of the vote on the running order? As punters, we don’t know the voting statistics until after the final. But the show’s producers do, and it would be a surprise if they didn’t use their knowledge about an act’s previous votes in the decision about where that act should perform in the running order.

7. Thoughts on the Sympathy Bounce
The sympathy bounce is something we refer to frequently on Sofabet, as it’s often a key consideration in the next elimination betting. We learned three things about it in 2010.

8. What The Judges Said
We saw plenty of evidence in the 2010 series of how comments can depress the votes of acts that find themselves in the bottom two. Briefly, they fell into four categories: diversionary tactics, reverse psychology, faint praise and justifiable criticism.

9. Can a Group Ever Win It?
It’s now been seven series without a group winning. And that has to beg the question: can a group ever win this show? Answering that question requires understanding what went wrong with One Direction.

10. The Moral Victors
Indignation is often expressed on internet forums by fans of acts who are sent home from the bottom two when they had a higher public vote. Let’s see if we can use the voting statistics to address the question of perceived injustice.