The Rocky Vocals Horror Show
A vintage week of XF analysis for the site with Relley C, advised at 6-1 to be in the bottom 2 and 20-1 to be the 3rd elimination, duly losing the sing-off up against Four Of Diamonds. It has been a rich vein of form in the last couple of weeks with 4 winners unearthed on XF and Strictly at odds of 10-1, 7-1, 6-1 and 20-1.
Four Of Diamonds were also advised pre-live show to be eliminated at 9-1 so it became the dream scenario when Ryan, as expected, won the flashvote again, leaving Relley to duke it out with the girlband.
It was a sing-off my gut instinct said Four Of Diamonds would win and it was surprising to see the girls initially priced as odds-on favs to lose it. The judges had gone big on the ‘potential’ tag after their Saturday night performance, while all the signs were Relley was surplus to requirements, added to which one of the Overs was due to be eliminated, with Saara, as predicted, called safe and the show clearly invested in Honey G for a while longer yet.
Gifty was also advised pre-live show and was the last to be called safe having previously dropped the f-bomb when Sam was called safe first. The show produced a Misha B-style VT for Gifty which, along with the blonde wig to try and soften her look, strongly suggests she needed help with her public vote.
While the judges did their best to talk up her performance it wasn’t convincing and it will be an uphill struggle if they want to push her to this year’s final.
Sam, meanwhile, is being clearly defined as a rock chick, but the arrangement and staging of ‘Earth Song’ didn’t do her any great favours and there has been some vocal inconsistency in her performances – a charge you could level at all 3 Girls in this year’s competition.
Early slots for her suggest she has been doing well on the pv helped by strong regional support. ‘Fright Night’ might well see Sam tackle the Evanescence track ‘Bring Me To Life’ though ‘My Immortal’ would be my choice as it would give her the chance to showcase a more delicate side to her vocal.
The choice of Whitney’s ‘How Will I Know’ hinted they might let Emily release the shackles and give the audience an uptempo performance. Instead, the show kept her firmly in the slowed-down lane. The clear worry is, if we keep getting a repetition of the John Lewis-ing of songs for Emily, it will risk becoming dull and lifeless, a la Ella Henderson in series 9.
One wonders if the late running order position and eulogising of her performance – while doing its utmost to destroy Ryan’s vote with a classic coffin slot kill on the night – was a way for Syco to test out how high Emily’s vote can go.
Emily still has solid prospects of making the final as things stand, especially given the dressing down 5 After Midnight received which would appear to have weakened their status as second favourite in the Outright.
Their rendition of ‘Valerie’ was proper car crash stuff. Having watched X Factor for over a decade now, and sat through many an awful vocal performance only to hear the judges go on to praise it, it was a surprise to hear Cowell be so scathing.
One wonders if the late running order position and eulogising of her performance – while doing its utmost to kill Ryan’s vote with a classic coffin slot kill on the night – was a way for Syco to test out quite how high Emily’s vote can go
You can argue this is teeing up a bit of a journey for them but to point out to viewers sat at home how bad they sounded – which was evident previously without being mentioned by the judges – cannot be good for their winning chance.
Even if they bounce back on Saturday, which may well be in the script – what odds ‘Thriller’ by the way? – the audience is now fully aware of their ropey vocals and unless the Syco sound engineers can work miracles they will continue to be exposed.
Matt did well again until about the last 30 seconds of ‘I’ll Be There’ when he got screechy. He has continued to solidify as favourite and with competition so thin on the ground this year, this is understandable.
Honey G was no more than adequate but Dermot telling viewers they want Granny G pics sent in next week seemed a clear signpost she has been riding high enough in the voting not to be in danger of a bottom 3 appearance, as proved to be the case.
You sense Saara’s pimp is likely to prove the high point of her X Factor 2016 experience. The view here is, she will likely be back in the Syco sniper’s sights this coming Saturday.
Four Of Diamonds seem more likely to get at least a 1-week reprieve and the chance to bounce back after their sing-off appearance. Their harmonies are superior to 5am and the girls clearly do have potential.
If you look back to some of Little Mix’s early performances on the show back in 2011 they were much ropier. The signs are, however, the show isn’t fully invested in them as the staging on Saturday was a hot mess.
You sense Saara’s pimp is likely to prove the high point of her X Factor 2016 experience. The view here is, she will likely be back in the Syco sniper’s sights this coming Saturday
Ryan might find himself acting as a bottom 3 buffer again, as TPTB happily continue to play with the Emily/Ryan romance angle. Syco has his vote under control and it knows he is likely to continue to be a flashvote winner, so it could well be a Ryan, Saara plus 1 scenario, with a view to waving goodbye to Saara on Sunday night.
Outside of Matt and Emily, the question is, who could beat Ryan in a flashvote? 1.7 million votes were cast in the flashvote on Sunday. It would be fascinating to know what percentage of those came from Scottish viewers.
The early play this week has to be Gifty to land in the bottom 2 at 5-2 with Ladbrokes. Assuming the ramping of Honey G will continue – and you would think the show is loathe to have a potential Saara vs Honey G sing-off situation – Gifty will find it tough to escape the bottom 3 having now played her bereavement joker. Only in the grief porn world that Syco operates could such a sentence be written.
Unless further background heartbreak is dug up to induce sympathy in viewers, as we have seen the show do in the past with the likes of Jahmene Douglas, Gifty will be up against it. Sam might be the other one at risk – with a Girl due to exit the competition – but Cowell seems to be a bigger fan of hers. A sing-off appearance for Gifty would also be a rap on the knuckles for dropping that f-bomb live on Sunday evening.
All 3 Girls have Tweeted this week expressing how happy they are about their song choices this Saturday. But with it being a Halloween episode and given everything we know about Syco’s expertise in putting contestants away, you shouldn’t read too much into that.
The ‘random’ theme generator landing on ‘Fright Night’ has inevitably led to ‘Fix Factor’ tabloid coverage. Amazingly, one UK online bookmaker was offering 2-1 on ‘Fright Night’ being ‘randomly selected’ for this Saturday’s theme. Well done to those who were able to snap up those odds.
As always, keep an eye on Comments for further analysis once we know this week’s song choices, and for post-Saturday night thoughts.
Gifty – to be in the bottom 2 – 5-2 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes