What On Earth?

Oct 11, 2014 by

What On Earth?

Paul opens proceedings in live show 1. This was the original coffin slot; not sure if it still is. He’s struggling with ‘Ghost’ here. Proper red and black-ing in parts too. Inconsistent is the best description for this. Forgot how much the mentors b.s. until now… being very kind here.

Unconvinced by Lola here mainly because this is a song very much in her soul comfort zone and there are still a good few wobbles. She could go the way of Ella and struggle to show versatility. But the comments even more positive than for Paul though Cowell focuses on her ill-fitting dress.

Solo start to Overload is very poor. Improves when they sing together. Mel B being tough on them here. The harsh criticism could be motivational for their fanbase. Syco’s first target for bottom 3 here, it would appear.

Jay is apparently taking a risk. Will it pay off? The guy lacks charisma and struggles in the Paloma Faith high register. The judges are determined to tell us the risk did pay off but Jay had a vocal like a tortured cat in parts of this. ‘A young Kevin Costner’ is surely the most damning assessment from Louis. They are trying to give him an edge but it looks like failing.

Poor staging for Steph. Whole show feels very flat up to this point. She is singing the song adequately enough but it is very low key. She could be in danger. Yep, Cowell tells her something is missing. ‘You look amazing but sound awful,’ says Louis.

Jack Walton has his guitar and as a simple arrangement this is really good. Less is more sometimes and this is the best so far. Judges agree. Compared to the comments Steph received, Steph is clearly in the sniper’s target tonight.

Chloe already getting a sympathy edit – being picked on apparently. And she gets the boost of viewers switching over at the end of Strictly. I’ve heard some excellent slowed down versions of Toxic and while this doesn’t quite cut it, it showcases the best of Chloe. And she fascinates Simon.

First solo is very flat for Stereo Kicks, and the second solo sounds strange juxtaposed next to the first. ‘Roar’ gets going on the harmony but that is a lot of guys on stage. (James?) finishes it well – they’ve identified the best singers, it would appear. Simon says they blew Overload off the stage. Who said this show is scripted?

Stevi is no Chico singing this. Rylan or Wagner were much better entertainment too. They are going to try and keep Stevi in for a good few weeks but this all feels a bit tired already. He is teeing it up for surprising us with a ballad later in the competition.

Lauren puts her spin on ‘Happy’ and it is totally beguiling. Judges give her a positive review. Market agrees as she is down to 8 on Betfair.

Blonde Electra’s staging is best described as circus themed. It’s rather anarchic up there which is clearly their USP. ‘A bit bonkers’ says Cheryl. It’s a good summation. They are certainly getting a push here from the judges.

Ben’s vocal is a bit weedy for want of a better description and too raspy for this song. His tone is ‘samey, samey’ and the song is ‘boring’, says Mel B articulating my reaction. Cowell came back from America to find an artist like Ben apparently. That is a long way to travel in search of someone so ordinary.

Jake showing he is not the strongest vocalist here. He has no timbre to his voice. Does the later slot help him? His good looks probably help him more.

Fleur has a great image and this is the right sort of uptempo R&B tune for her. This is a current song and it is a very refreshing performance but will it be lost on a lot of viewers? Fleur is looking the strongest artist in the Overs category to be fair.

Only The Young are far and away the most polished of the Groups tonight. All 4 of them can actually sing. Reminds me of ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ which is a personal favourite. Mel is right that they are ‘way cooler than that’. The narrative is still there for them to find an edge. They look over-priced in the Outright.

Andrea gets the pimp in live show 1. Some ugly grimacing while he sings. 2.8 in the Outright has to be one of the most laughable prices ever in reality tv history. He brings nothing new to this pompous monstrosity of a song. His overblown style makes it more pompous in fact. Huge ovation. Cowell calling him favourite to win the show in week 1 has to be a negative though. Simply doesn’t wash much like Andrea’s ghastly yellow pullover.

So, who is in the mix for bottom 3? Steph, Overload and Blonde Electric for sure. The slating both Steph and Overload got could help motivate their fans. Stevi, Chloe or Fleur would not come as a surprise and is there room already for one of the solo males to fall down that far? Paul and Jay seem a long time ago now.

Let’s hope for some bottom 3 prices tomorrow.




  1. Rob

    No bottom 3 prices as of yet. Can make a case for the front 3 in 1st elim market all avoiding bottom spot. To add to the official XF 2014 betting portfolio:

    Stevi – to be 1st eliminated – 14-1 (Betfred, SkyBet) – 1pt win

  2. Rob

    Can envisage a real headache for producers with BE, Stevi and Chloe in the bottom 3 & not clear cut who would be saved out of those 3.

    Skybet have 2nd elim and ‘to be saved by judges’ prices. I think Stevi is a strong contender for bottom 3, so will also include to the portfolio:

    Stevi saved by judges – 6-1 – 2pt win – Skybet
    Stevi 2nd elimination – 7-1 – 2pt win – Skybet

  3. Henry VIII

    Nicely put Rob, I agree with most of that. I think I enjoyed the show more though, being less musically knowledgable/critical.

    I think Chloe actually suffered the overlap, they’d have turned over in the middle of her song, also having missed her VT. Probably safe though imo. Stevi must be a disappointment but I’d have him just missing B3 too, slightly ahead of BE, Steph and Overload.

    • Rob

      Thanks Henry. I write it as I watch it and aim to start articulating my thoughts before the mentors have even started talking. I think this series of XF is shaping up to be stronger and a lot more interesting than last year’s already.

      I sense there is a strong motivation for the votes to come in for both Steph and Overload, whereas Chloe and Stevi less so. Could be wrong though. I think in a field of 16, it is very tempting to lay both BE and Steph at the prices for 1st elim, & my approach is always to seek bigger odds.

  4. Excellent summary as ever Rob. Agree with most but think that Fleur may still find herself in the bottom 3. Not convinced by having her mouth on the big screen and unsure if people will connect to her singing about how boys like heavier women whilst she herself is a size 2. I’ve got myself in trouble on my outright book by trying to be too cute by over backing Steph and waiting for her to come in. If it wasn’t for her BGT fanbase she would be a goner today but they certainly did motivate her voting fans. Will be interesting to see how far they protect the novelty acts over some other acts. I’m sure they would love to make a controversial save of blonde electric over someone like Steph or Paul but wonder if they would sacrifice a jj or fleur. My gut feeling is they will follow Simons mantra of bad publicty is better than no publicity!

    • Rob

      Yep, agree Fleur may be in trouble. Gun to head I think it’s any 3 out of Stevi, Chloe, Blonde Electra and Fleur.

      And absolutely right – they would surely love to start the series with a controversial save of a novelty act. The difficulty for them will come if it ends up a sing-off between any of Stevi, Chloe & BE.

      I think BE have more to offer the show than either of the other 2 but it would be a tricky one to call.

      If Steph isn’t in the bottom 3, her odds will likely come in again, so you might be ok yet.

  5. hemsby

    Thanks for the article Rob.

    Tricky one to call tonight,especially as we don’t know the “rules” ie bottom leaves then next 2 in a sing-off,or bottom 3 in a sing-off with one saved ? On that basis I wouldn’t want to take a short price on BE as they may well be saved.

    Jay the interesting one at a big price Imo.In the SCD overlap,poor performance overshadowed by stronger males,showing up badly on Internet measures and perceived as safe.It seems he’s slipped down the pecking order in the Overs and may now be considered expendable.

    • Rob

      Yes, it certainly wouldn’t surprise to see Jay in the b3, hems – as I speculated after watching the show. Or Paul…?

  6. Rob

    Well, that was boring & not a week for value seekers. Stevi must have scrambled above the bottom 3 by the skin of his teeth. Ditto Chloe.

    So, trap 3, 5 & 11 in the bottom 3. The Strictly overlap probably didn’t help Overload or Steph. You could argue BE were sandwiched between 2 big hitters in Lauren and Ben.

    Think it’s a shame for the show to lose BE in week 1. Why were Overload even brought back? One week only for Cowell to tell the public Stereo Kicks were miles better…

  7. Rob

    Addicted To Love for Stevi next week.

  8. Rob

    And Power of Love (Huey Lewis) for OTY.

  9. Rob

    Looks like it could also be:

    Chloe Jasmine – Call Me by Blondie
    Jake – Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

    Though Jake expressed some doubts regarding his song, understandably.

  10. Guildo Horn Forever

    Watching Strictly ITT for the first time this SCD season and am stunned by Simon’s comments, on the couch with Kristina.

    To my ears, he’s complaining about the amount of work he’s had to do in the training rooms! He clearly indicates that he thought Strictly was going to be an easy ride (and that he would rather be pissing about with the boys from Blue?)! Further, he’s clearly pissed with Kristina for working him hard and is leaking passive-aggressive looks left, right & centre. The poor lad’s feeling a bit pussy-whipped & is hating it. Most amusingly he declares that usually he is expert at hiding his emotions. Lol.

    Declares he can’t be bothered with the “serious” dances, so Kristina is right to go immediately to the Charleston this Sat.

    Never heard a celeb contestant talk like Simon just has. I think he was a shade disappointed not to have left on Saturday. What a bunch of blokes Blue have transpired to be!

  11. Rob


    Andrea Faustini
    One Moment In Time (Whitney Houston)

    Jack Walton
    Straight Up (Paula Abdul)

    Jake Quickenden
    Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Bonnie Tyler)

    Paul Akister
    If You Don’t Know Me By Now (Simply Red)


    Chloe Jasmine
    Fame (Irene Cara)

    Lauren Platt
    What A Feeling (Irene Cara)

    Lola Saunders
    Imagine (John Lennon)

    Stephanie Nala
    Call Me (Blondie)


    Only The Young
    Come On Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners)

    Stereo Kicks
    Boys Of Summer (Don Henley)


    Ben Haenow
    Jealous Guy (Donny Hathoway)

    Fleur East
    It’s A Shame (Monie Love)

    Jay James
    I’m Gonna Be – 500 Miles (The Proclaimers)

    Stevi Ritchie
    Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley)

  12. Rob

    Ahead of tonight, the 3 I’m interested in for 3rd elimination at the prices are Jake, Jay and Paul.

    The value has gone now on Jake but Jay and Paul are both still attractively priced at 16-1 and 40-1 (Paddy Power).

    Steph could well avoid last spot given she was 3rd from last last week and should be in line for some pimping tonight. There have been bullying stories in the tabloids to try and garner some sympathy, and you can imagine the bullying being the subect of her VT.

    Paul, Jay and Jake’s songs all have the potential to be poor and you have to expect a big push for Stevi and Chloe to try and help them avoid the bottom 3.

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