Expecting Dynamite

Nov 27, 2015 by

Expecting Dynamite

In this year’s X Factor pre-lives analysis, it was written: ‘The market leader is Louisa Johnson and whether you believe her current best price of 9-4 is value or not probably hinges on whether or not you believe Syco has enough expertise to guide her to victory.’

So far, you would have to say Syco’s handling of her has been close to exemplary as she now trades at a best price of 1-2. That article expanded on the mitigating circumstances surrounding Ella and Tamera’s failure to win their respective series. There was always the sense that with Cowell back on the show, and the selection decisions made prior to the lives, they would be able to exert far better control over their preferred outcome in this series.

It was also remarked: ‘With Simon Lynch, Josh Daniel and Ben Clark all being culled at judges’ houses, the message conveyed here by TPTB is they are very wary of another Ben Haenow-type winner, an inoffensive MOR male voting magnet, which also has to be viewed as a negative for Che’s chances.’

It was further suggested the Overs category looked dead in the water. Sadly, at the time of posting the value prices on ‘Cowell to be the first mentor eliminated’ had already dried up.

Che unsurprisingly found himself in the sing-off last Sunday. The question with him now is, how far will he be allowed to bounce? Adele’s ‘Hello’ is a big hit song to take on while ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ sees him go further back in time with his re-imagining of old school soul, as this was originally recorded in 1932.

It would be surprising if they don’t give Che enough of a ramp tomorrow night to ensure he bounces above the bottom 2. TPTB may still see him as ideal finalist material in the sense of not posing a threat to Syco’s preferred winner.

While the weekly X Factor markets have offered slim pickings to date and the pre-lives value picks were wiped out early on, the e/w first 3 investment advised on Reggie n Bollie at 14-1 back on November 12 is very much alive and kicking

The article posted the following day posed the question, ‘Are They Ghana Be Finalists?’ supporting the view their fun, uptempo songs would be an ideal ingredient in the final. The market has started to agree as they are now pushing for 2nd favouritism on the high street and have already reached that position on Betfair’s Outright market trading at 7.8 at time of posting this article.

If nothing else Reggie n Bollie have already proved one of the trades of the series for those who snapped up prices as big as 170 on Betfair early on and well done to regular Comments contributor hemsby who has been banging the RnB drum since the auditions and who would have jumped on at those huge prices.

After Cowell name-checked them as finalists last week, they have had a very strong week, reinforcing the view the show is more invested in them compared to their Group rivals 4th Impact. The question that now needs to seriously be posed is whether, in fact, they could even push for the win. It would certainly make for a feel-good story.

Looking at their song choices for tomorrow night, ‘Dynamite’ really should be dynamite for them, ‘Silento’ maybe not so much but it could well be they perform ‘Dynamite’ second which would have the biggest impact on the voting audience.

4th Impact give us their long-awaited ballad performing ‘I’ll Be There’. This could see their vocal frailties exposed while Iggy Azalea/Gwen Stefari doesn’t look like helping them stand out in particular.

Again, they look likely to be in the mix for the sing-off. The quandary with the 4th Impact vote is how much of a boost they might be getting from their patriotic Filipino fans who are all over social media voicing their support.

Granted a level playing field, the feeling here is, they probably only just escaped the sing-off last week. It will be interesting to see their percentages when Syco releases its end of series voting figures.

Both of Louisa’s songs look, on paper, rather under-stated and lacking any ‘moment’. Less, of course, can be more and judges’ comments will likely focus on her conveying the emotion of the song with ‘Jealous’ which could turn out to be the second of her songs. If nothing else Bieber and Labyrinth songs again frame her as a modern, relevant music artist and Louisa still hasn’t received the pimp slot throughout the course of the live shows.

Lauren has endured a tough time in the media this week following the pushing incident. Kygo’s Firestone is at least a modern hit but could prove a tricky vocal assignment for her much like last week’s ‘We Belong Together’. Perhaps ominously, her second song has still not been revealed at the time of posting this article and her softening up last week did feel like the prelude to a possible take down.

As ever, it is all about trying to second-guess producers’ intentions, but gun to head the call here for bottom 2 pre-show would be Lauren vs 4th Impact. If that comes to pass, it would be a tricky sing-off to call. Lauren is vocally far superior and Grimmy has expressed his love for Lauren. It would likely come down to Cowell whether to give 4th Impact their marching orders or send it to deadlock.

The show probably wants to clear the way for Louisa in the final, which would likely see Lauren’s exit before the final. It looks a similar story with Reggie n Bollie, so there would be potential incentive to dump 4th Impact. You might then be looking at Che vs Sunday’s sing-off survivor fighting it out for the last final place IF the Reggie n Bollie pimping continues apace.

With over 3 million votes cast last week, the app has worked its magic in stopping voter apathy. You also get the impression it has shifted the goalposts with the voting demographic towards a younger voter now dictating the winner of X Factor, with the phone vote percentage surely dwindling significantly in terms of the overall vote.

Keep an eye on the Comments section for post-Saturday night analysis.


‘without Louisa’ – Reggie & Bollie – 7-2 – 2pt win – Paddy Power


  1. Do you not think its a possibility that the constant pimping of RnB since week 2 has been because TPTB had other targets.


    All a priority to get out ahead of them? Putting them on last last week with a flash vote, gives this indication to me.

    • Rob

      Hi JScouser. You could read it like that but Cowell has name-checked them as finalists and it would seem odd to suddenly stop the positivity towards them and all the good will.

      Cheryl was on Radio 1 earlier this week and couldn’t have made it clearer she is fully behind R&B.

      • Yeah, totally agree regarding Cheryl having favourtism towards RnB. But not so sure that Simon name checking them as finalists will matter so much to the general viewer. If they do get negative treatment this week, it will be forgotten about. Sure I saw similar switches in comments a few years back when I wasnt sure who Alpha/Beta of each category where. Again if they were near the bottom, then i assume they would use all methods they could to get them above their targets.

        Leaning towards the idea that 4th Impact are and were always Plan B, with obviously Louisa Plan A

        Both on Audition Show 1
        Both part of the same Group at Bootcamp.

        Keeping in mind at the time of filming Bootcamp, 6 chair will obviously of not been complete, so they seem to have left the options open to run with whoever of the two as Plan A/B, prior to that.

        Think after 6 chair we next saw them at Judges this is were they put the breaks on 4th Impact, without damaging them. This was done by trying to give Alien a slight push, perhaps knowing that it wont get Alien near the top but it would be an attempt to take some votes from 4th Impact, to try to prevent 4th from being top so they could see just how good Louisa was and if they were needed.

        A comparison for some of this is treatment of James Arthur in week1/2, totally different to how he was treated from week 4.

        Now if above is correct, and Louisa IS comfortably top, what do they do with Plan B? do they ditch or do they let it play out.

        And of course if Louisa isnt top of the vote comfortably, then they roll with Plan B from here….

        • Rob

          I’ve not seen anything in 4th Impact’s treatment to suggest they are a Plan B behind Louisa. I don’t think there is a plan B, as such; this series is all about ensuring Louisa wins so their ideal scenario is to manoeuvre 2 other acts to the final who are zero threat to her. That, to me, would most likely indicate RnB and Che.

          • Find it very unlikely that producers wouldnt of had a Plan B lined up should something unexpected of happened with Louisa.

            Even if it is unlikely, things like Forgetting lyrics, backstage issues, a story appearing that nobody knew about.

            Someone was a Plan B, a backup to Louisa. I have it as them.

          • Rob

            By the same token, why not Lauren? Why not Reggie n Bollie? I’ve not seen anything in 4th Impact’s treatment throughout the live shows to suggest they are wanted as substitute winners up to this point. Not dissimilar to Che.

          • Like I said, 4th Impact appear to of been held bet, yet not significantly damaged or targeted. Also explained why prior to 6 chair it could of gone either way who they pushed for Plan A of the two.

            RnB been pimped. Would they Pimp RnB if they were at the top of the vote in danger to Louisa?
            Lauren we assume was set to be targeted on license to kill, I think she was targeted last week too.

          • Rob

            It seems to have been an X Factor of wildly differing opinions 🙂 Let’s see what Syco have up their sleeve for us tomorrow night.

      • Boki

        Ok, positivity will not stop but the real question is do they get the votes to be close to the top or they just survived?

        • This is were I am at. Do we think RnB’s vote has increased week on week?

          If so why, whats the difference to treatment each week, its pretty much full pimp. If you voted for them in Week 2, your still voting for them in Week 4. But if you didnt vote for them in Week 2, you’re probably not voting for them in week 4.

          Now its yet to see how effect 4th Impact ballad is executed, but if its given the pimp they will be going “UP” in the votes. They will of known this last week hence not allowing them to do it when it was clearly all about getting Louisa top last week… and possibly getting RnB above Flash Vote/B3

          • Rob

            I don’t see why RnB’s vote wouldn’t have increased over the weeks. I would suggest it is far more likely other acts’ vote has stalled in comparison including 4th Impact and obviously Che.

            Why would a ballad see 4th Impact suddenly gain new fans? I see it as far more likely their poor vocals will be exposed.

          • Because it shows something different, its variety. It gives them more appeal to wider audience.

            Same way Louisas song choices have not been “same-same”, she will have appealed to a wider audience.

  2. Rob

    Lauren’s 2nd song: Grace – You Don’t Own Me (Audio) ft. G-Eazy

    Not sure about that. The staccato sections of the song could be a struggle before the chorus kicks in.

  3. hemsby

    Great article as always Rob (especially the part about me 😉 ) and interesting reading the comments section so far.

    I’ve been in the RnB corner since before even their audition aired,and have backed them at all rates from 25/1 (embarrassed emoticon ) out to 130/140 on betfair,and down to current levels (trading along the way).

    It’s been interesting reading the negative comments about them from certain people as the series has progressed ….initially it was “won’t make the lives,not good enough,not even shown at Bootcamp” then it was “3rd favoured group behind Alien and 4th Impact” then it was “just a novelty act,will go out around mid competition” then it was “will be nuked/deramped/thrown under a bus” when the time is right” …..and so on and so on.

    The facts are they have been incredibly favoured by the programme ….arguably even more so than Louisa.A series of mid to late slots in the running order,the biggest productions the show has used this year,every single judge singing their praises…..anyone in any doubt really should listen to that Radio 1 piece on Grimmy’s breakfast show with Cheryl and the groups,it was a constant ramping of RnB.

    Also worth looking back at their VT’s ….a textbook case of making the viewers connect and like them…family guys,having fun but also working hard,humble and polite.

    We can use the “struggling for votes so need the pimping” argument with any favoured act.The truth is we just don’t know until we see the voting figures and work back deciphering just what it all meant.

    At this stage we simply have to make an educated guess as to how the voting is going….certain bookmaker’s,noticeably Bwin have constantly had RnB as elimination favourites/short in the betting and biggest price for top group….they may well be correct ultimately,but IMO they’ve read all the available evidence badly wrong and are in danger of doing their conkers …..actually I take that back,I’m pretty sure nobody with any degree of savvy can get a bet layed by Bwin 🙂

  4. EuNM

    Props to hemsby for landing on R&B early. Wish I had had that foresight.

    It’s obvious Louisa is the chosen one but R&B haven’t been dealt a bad card all series, great pre performance VTs, great song choices, big performances.

    In contrast Fourth Impact have had mixed treatment, never negative but lukewarm at times since the live shows started.

    I just can’t see either winning but I know which one my money is on to make the top 3

  5. Boki

    After several variations I finalized my prediction for the next 2 weeks that will please everyone 🙂

    This week 4thI will be treated neutral as usual and escape b2 since their vote is too solid. RnB will be pimped of course and end up higher in the vote than Lauren who will depart on deadlock.

    Next week RnB will enjoy a bounce, at least big enough to avoid bottom which will be reserved for Che who will leave silently since tptb will skip sing-off. In that way the final will be fun with Louisa and two entertaining groups.

  6. Rob

    Sometimes, you just have to say, ‘too difficult’ and that is the conclusion heading into tonight’s XF qf result.

    A difficult show to work out last night. It appeared like Lauren was in producer’s sights but she managed to make the best of a bad lot with her 2 songs.

    Louisa was on 2nd but then finally got her pimp slot in the 2nd round of songs. She was clearly under the weather and struggling vocally. Her make-over was really poor too for her 2nd song. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if Louisa finds herself in the bottom 2 tonight as there were a few hints she maybe isn’t topping the vote.

    Che struggled with Adele’s song and while they tried to talk him up after his 2nd song, it felt rather flat. He may struggle to bounce above the bottom 2 but it did seem in the original script they wanted to get him out of the bottom 2 or at least above last place on the pv.

    4th Impact’s treatment looked very much like targeting them for the bottom 2. Poor staging and sound mix. The screeched notes were the most memorable.

    Cheryl pointed the way again that RnB are her favoured group as she joined them on stage dancing. RnB did fall a bit flat on their 2nd song though and they might land b2.

    All too difficult to call. Having previously flagged up RnB as value at 7-2 in the ‘without Louisa’ market, if Lauren avoids the bottom 2 tonight she looks the one to consider a cover on. Will hold off for now though.

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