Those who took the advice here pre-show and backed 5 After Midnight for elimination and to be in the bottom 2, knew their fate within minutes of the start of the show when Dermot revealed the running order with the boyband awarded the pimp slot.
5 After Midnight had been heavily supported in both markets. It was the tv betting equivalent of latching onto a horse to win the Grand National, watching the price plummet before the off, only for him to fall at the first fence. The best-laid plans…
The most intriguing aspect of last weekend came on Sunday when Dermot informed us there was 1% between 1st and 2nd, and 1% between 2nd and 3rd. A 4% difference among the bottom 4 was a lot less newsworthy though likely confirmed it was Ryan who crept above the bottom 3.
Given Matt was deramped – singing an unsuitable song; producing by far his weakest vocal during the lives so far; performing in the coffin slot during the Strictly overlap; and receiving his most lukewarm post-song appraisals from the judges – while his most likely pursuers on the vote, Emily and 5 After Midnight, enjoyed lavish praise once more and sang last and second last, these figures seem good news for Matt’s long-term prospects.
As a good-looking, middle-of-the-road solo male Matt still holds all the aces in this series if TPTB are happy for him to win, and don’t actively try and stop him
A bump in the road at some point seemed inevitable as they couldn’t keep eulogising him week after week without the series looking like a foregone conclusion. In fact, the concertinaing of the vote was probably done precisely with the intention of Dermot having the chance to announce a close top 3, making viewers think the competition is wide open.
Matt was called safe last on Sunday too which, following the announcement of a close top 3, was arguably an immediate call to arms for his voters. And as a good-looking, middle-of-the-road solo male he still holds all the aces in this series if TPTB are happy for him to win, and don’t actively try and stop him.
Emily’s biggest hurdle in this series is the repetition of slowed-down songs becoming dull and dreary. ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ fell well below ‘Creep’. You also start to wonder if X Factor is the ideal platform for someone like Emily if they want to paint her as something of an alternative artist putting her plaintive spin on tracks.
Presumably they will have to let her off the leash this weekend and allow her to sing something uptempo during ‘Disco Week’. They may present this as a successful switch but she is much more in her wheelhouse singing the slowed-down stuff.
Might Honey G have been among the top 3? The view here is, more likely not. While the show has done a great job of building her up, there has also been a sense of it having to push extremely hard out of fear she could fall into the bottom 3 without their premium-grade pimping.
TPTB have done a clever job in going maximum velocity boosting Honey G, while making sure Sam has been unable to get out of first gear. A succession of far from ideal song choices for her and running order positions of 2, 5, 4, 6, 2 say it all and it was ‘job done’ when she fell into the bottom 3.
It now has her, Ryan and Saara where it wants them and you have to anticipate these 3 biting the dust over the next 3 weeks. The order doesn’t really matter; you sense TPTB’s focus will simply be keeping Honey G above all 3 of them which should be quite straight forward.
The relentless pimping of Honey G really only makes sense with a view to getting her to the final much the same way the show ramped Reggie ’n’ Bollie last year
And following this line of thought to its logical conclusion, would most likely lead to a 5 After Midnight Honey G sing-off in the semi-final. Given 5 After Midnight are consistently out of tune it might not be as hard as it first appears for the judges to save Honey G on the grounds she will bring the fun to Wembley.
The relentless pimping of Honey G really only makes sense with a view to getting her to the final much the same way the show ramped Reggie ’n’ Bollie last year. Disco should also play to Honey G’s strengths this weekend.
It is just a question of at what point they drop the flashvote. With Sam, Ryan and Saara easily navigated into the bottom 3 this weekend they may allow it to stand for at least one more week.
Sunday night’s sing-off looked something of a coin toss though Saara’s treatment on the Saturday was a proper vote-killer and left you wondering if it was the end of the road for her. You sense Saara was probably bottom of the vote which is why Four Of Diamonds endured a 3-1 takedown at the hands of the judges.
It always amuses when Cowell has the audacity to spin it out as doing the right thing following a sing-off, having saved the dirty work for his 3 paid-off accomplices the previous week when giving Gifty the boot.
Looking at the side markets, Louis is now looking most likely to lose all his acts first, which is a best-priced 5-6 with Skybet at time of posting, and Honey G looks the bet to finish in the top 3 which is a miserly 4-6 with Betfred. Not really the sort of prices that appeal from a value perspective, especially thinking about how a potential Honey G vs 5 After Midnight sing-off might be priced up come the semi-final.
Things do look rather predictable from this point on but let’s see what this week’s song choices bring as X Factor always has the potential to throw a curveball and the strive will continue here to pinpoint value in what has been a hugely profitable series. Keep an eye on Comments below for an update after we learn this week’s songs.