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Sound Off

Nov 7, 2018 by

Sound Off

X Factor endured its worst ratings in its 14-year history last Saturday, averaging 3.7 million viewers. The show’s downfall was captured for posterity by sound issues causing Danny and Anthony’s voices to be distorted during their pre-recorded performances.

Some embittered viewers (aka, yours truly), aware of the show’s dark arts and how low it will stoop to try and derail contestants, wondered briefly whether this was a new weapon in the Syco armoury.

It has allowed The Sun and its handy show source, aka ‘X Factor insider’, to spin out a story regarding Anthony’s disgruntlement and paranoia that it was purposely done.

The Sun remains the show’s trusty mouthpiece and back in the day, this type of tabloid story would have been pounced upon as a clear sign of producer intent and indicative Anthony is not wanted.

Some embittered viewers wondered briefly whether the sound issue was a new weapon in the Syco armoury

Meanwhile, Scarlett enjoyed a positive Sun story about receiving goodies from Harrods from knight in shining armour Cowell as a pick-me-up after her family’s home fire trauma. This might go on to prove only short-term good will as Cowell’s previous tagging of Scarlett as a pub singer still rings loudly in the ears and a deramp could well be just round the corner.

United Vibe and Molly’s early running order slots, sandwiched by series big hitters Dalton and Shan, hinted strongly they were the two firmly in their sights for elimination. And TPTB got their wishes as both were duly dispatched, despite having to serve up a full re-run of performances on Sunday night shorn of editing tricks.

It was very much a week of keeping the main contenders in their lane. Shan is starting to look in danger of suffering a death by a thousand slow ballad cuts, reminiscent of Ella Henderson. ‘The Sound Of Silence’ was competent enough, just rather dull. Dalton did a better job with ‘Creep’ than anticipated and is looking far and away the most likely winner of the series at this stage, reflected by his current best odds of 11-10.

Shan is starting to look in danger of suffering a death by a thousand slow ballad cuts

Cowell still looks eager to promote Bella among the Girls. It’s just that she is a difficult sell to the audience mainly due to the obsession with shoehorning rap into all of her performances. ‘In My Blood’ at least gave her the chance to showcase more of her vocal than the previous two weeks. She did a fine job with the song but it wasn’t quite the moment for her Cowell appeared to be seeking.

Bella’s chance of making the latter stages of the competition hinges to a large degree on song choices and finding material that allows her to be more accessible while maintaining her edgy shtick. A softening of her image might also be of benefit.

It was no surprise Acacia & Aaliyah hit the bottom 3 after their predictable rendition of an unimaginative choice for them in ‘Jump’. They showed more teeth in their sing-off performance of ‘Big For Your Boots’. A&A could still end up Top Group as Misunderstood are weak competition for them in this category and again put in a lacklustre vocal performance with ‘Thriller’.

We might see a clearer indication this Saturday of which of the 2 Groups the show is keenest to navigate towards the show’s latter stages.

Among the Overs, Gio being given the pimp slot highlighted he is favoured over Danny, who endured another early r.o. position. Danny is hanging in there at the moment courtesy of his loyal regional vote but as the numbers dwindle you sense this is gradually being eroded away.

We might see a clearer indication this Saturday of which of the 2 Groups the show is keenest to navigate towards the show’s latter stages

As for Brendan, he was given a one week stay of execution enjoying the penultimate r.o. slot. The problem is, ‘Youngblood’ revealed yet again what an acquired taste he is. He may well come crashing back down the app vote pecking order this Saturday.

With 10 acts left it remains unclear at this stage whether we will have 3 more double eliminations leading to a 4-act final for the first time since 2010, or they contrive a triple elimination at some point to ensure the usual 3-act affair. While a Group or one of the Overs (in other words, Gio) could feasibly be navigated to the final, this is certainly not a given, and it could still go many different ways.

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1 Comment

  1. Henry VIII

    The Anthony thing may just be fake news rather than trying to damage Anthony. While XF loves controversy in the press but I’m yet to be convinced that they like allegations of them fixing it. It’s that (correct) idea that has largely lost them their audience.

    Also now with the suspicion of foul play on him raised then any actual foul play to follow would seem too obvious and damaging to XF.

    But they are stupid. We’ll find out either way on Saturday.