Is Emily Being Munson-ed?

Oct 18, 2016 by

Is Emily Being Munson-ed?

X Factor produced a masterclass in controlling the public vote this week, as we have come to expect from the show now. Freddy was coffin-slotted in trap 1 and informed afterwards by Louis, “The song was too big for you.”

Sympathy for Freddy was shortlived as Louis’s predictable appraisal landed a 10-1 winner for readers who took the advice here and backed this on Ladbrokes ‘buzzword bingo’ market. A winning bet within 10 minutes of the start of the show has to go down as some sort of record.

Emily was tasked with delivering a slowed down version of ’Stop In The Name Of Love’ that was staged funereally, helping to suck the life out of it. Her vocal was rather patchy. She “Emily-ed it”, she has “Emily-isms” the judges were keen to stress. These are ‘under-stated’ and ‘stripped back’, demonstrating who she is as an artist.

The worrying connotation is, who Emily is is someone who sucks the life out of songs. This was a reminder of the hilarious movie ‘Kingpin’ in which being ‘Munson-ed’ relates to the character Roy Munson who loses his hand and any chance of becoming a ten-pin bowling champion. ‘I hope I don’t get Munson-ed’ ends up meaning I hope I don’t end up a perennial loser in life.

Emily will have to go uptempo this week and presumably move around the stage performing her ‘Divas’ song. It is hard to see how this will play out positively for her. The week after we may well get a return to the funereal arrangement and presentation (‘Emily-ing’ it) and the worry for her is, this pigeon-holing could be part of a masterplan to ensure she dies a slow death over the weeks.

He delivered the song with aplomb, leading Nicole to showcase her under-carriage post-song in a way which seemed to want to convey the point Matt is capable of warming the loins of female viewers

Matt was given the chance to shine again with the ideal sort of song for him and ideal time slot as he performed as Strictly viewers switched over. He delivered the song with aplomb, leading Nicole to showcase her under-carriage post-song in a way which seemed to want to convey the point Matt is capable of warming the loins of female viewers.

Relley’s ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ was very much in her sweet spot as a performer. Despite Motown week playing to her strengths it did feel a little underwhelming and lost on the night, with lots of distracting chat following her performance. She was the last called safe on Sunday night and the view here is she was probably just above the drop zone, along with Gifty.

The arrangement of Sam’s ‘Hello’ played upon her emerging status as a rock/pop chick giving her a clear identity and seemingly lots of good will from the judges about how she can build upon this moving forward.

5 After Midnight seemed sound assisted and the show did a great job of concealing their frail live vocals. They went to town again selling them to viewers, building the live audience into a frenzy. The way they are being promoted, while other acts are slowly having their tyres deflated, it is already looking like a rather dull and uninteresting 2-horse race this year.

Ryan lost his trademark foppish fringe and this felt synonymous with a rather lifelessly staged performance of ’Superstition’. Cowell reinforced this with his negative critique. It was no surprise Ryan finished in the bottom 3, along with Freddy and Saara, before his Scottish core voters helped come to his rescue in Sunday’s flashvote.

You start to get the feeling Emily and Ryan are increasingly aware of how they are pawns in this strange Syco game. Ryan could well go rogue this Saturday promising a performance on his terms. We all know how that usually ends.

There is also a clear policy of being praiseworthy to all the contestants in this series which does a clever job in making a lot of the praise feel cheaply-won. This is probably a response to the show realising Strictly is thrashing it in the ratings on account of its feel-good nature. Syco is still cunningly providing hatchet jobs for contestants but it is more subtle going about it.

Honey G’s performance was all too similar to week 1. While the show is doing its utmost to generate a vote for her, they are going to need to be careful because her rapping her name is already getting repetitive.

Whereas in the past the public could grow to love a novelty act organically, now they are thrust upon the audience forcefully. It is all too desperate and contrived.

The choice of ‘Rockin’ Robin’ may have been an attempt to soften Gifty but again she rather shouted her way through this song and it was far from impressive. This may end up a recurring comment until she actually falls into the bottom 3, but the view here is she must have been very close to falling into the bottom 3.

“They feel you are a little bit cold,” said Louis, in reference to Saara. “They don’t warm to you.” This coldness was cleverly played upon to reinforce the idea Saara is, guess what, a cold performer, from Scandinavia, Finland, somewhere cold.

Sharon said she was ‘speechless, it was absolutely…’ before Dermot conveniently cut her off. Absolutely what, Sharon? Also, is Sharon’s forgetfulness over Saara’s name and origins a way in which she is sticking two fingers up at the prods. for insisting on her putting her through? She was very dismissive in her save of Saara following Sunday’s sing-off and comes across as totally uninvested in her.

Aside from the causal xenophobia of the show doing its best to limit Saara’s vote, she is unaided by pulling unflattering faces as she sings, and her vocal is inconsistent often turning screechy.

There seems to be a regular misconception on X Factor that a ‘big’ voice equates to a great voice – Saara, Anton, Andrea Faustini…. This wasn’t a good performance but Saara can feel extremely hard down by by the show’s treatment.

Four Of Diamonds closed the show but this was a pimp slot in name only

Of course, she is not alone. Week 2 seemed an exercise in putting away all the contestants bar Matt and 5 After Midnight. Four Of Diamonds closed the show but this was a pimp slot in name only.

Both the staging and arrangement were a hindrance. In start contrast to 5am, the girls were given no vocal assistance and had to stand at the top of steps before having to awkwardly move down them mid-song, throwing their vocals off.

The show was clearly intent on ensuring the girlband did not get off to a flyer and viewers were left feeling underwhelmed. Job done. They were name-checked in their VT and given the ‘potential’ tag by the judges post-song but whether they are remotely given the opportunity to realise their potential is open to significant doubt.

Such is the blatant favouritism the show exerts, we are already left wondering who is finishing third this year. Whoever it is, the aim will very likely be for them to reach the final a complete non-threat to Plan A/B.

Keep an eye on the Comments section as hopefully one or two value bets will emerge once we find out this week’s song choices. Further betting advice will follow Saturday night’s show.


  1. Rob

    This week’s song choices:

    The Boys:

    Matt Terry: Mariah Carey – I’ll Be There

    Ryan Lawrie: Adele – Rolling in The Deep

    The Girls:

    Emily Middlemas: Whitney Houston – How Will I Know

    Sam Lavery: Michael Jackson – Earth Song

    Gifty Louise: Sam Smith – Lay Me Down

    The Overs:

    Honey G: Vanilla Ice / Queen – Ice, Ice Baby/Under Pressure

    Relley C: Aretha Franklin – Natural Woman

    Saara Aalto: Bjork – Oh So Quiet

    The Groups:

    5 After Midnight: Amy Winehouse – Valerie

    Four of Diamonds: Lady Marmalade/Bang Bang – May, Pink / Lil’ Kim, Jessie J, Arianna Grande.

    A 20-minute clash with Strictly this week, so again, first couple of starters could be vulnerable. Freddy was first on last week & duly sacrificed.

    Ryan’s song could have impact if he is allowed to use his guitar. Saara’s song has room for big production & praise so maybe they are looking at giving her a 1-week reprieve. Kitty sang this in 2011 & was given the pimp slot with it – – & ended up with 5.9% of the vote, which would have been bottom 3. Sam’s song choice looks teed up for a moment (could even be the pimp).

    Emily’s song looks unlikely to suit & she could easily get the karaoke tag. Gifty’s track seems very under-stated and makes her look vulnerable again whereas Relley’s choice looks more suitable. Have to be concerned 4oD get a set, costumes and production that is raunchy. Honey G more likely safe with that.

    Can always make a case for value lurking further down the list but with XF in recent times we seem to get a series of favs successfully rounded up and dispatched.

    Would suggest backing Gifty to be b2 at 5-1 & 4oD & Gifty to be eliminated at best odds. If they give Saara a 1-week reprieve & Ryan is b3 with 4oD & Gifty, you’d have to fancy Ryan to win the flashvote.


    Gifty – bottom 2 – 5-1 – 1pt win – William Hill, Ladbrokes
    Gifty – 3rd elimination – 22-1 – 1pt win – bet365
    4 Of Diamonds – 9-1 – 1pt win – SportingBet

    • Rob

      We have a bottom 3 scenario this evening where you can make a case for all contestants to be b3 outside of Matt and Emily.

      Gifty got a harrowing VT about her dead mother which probably does enough to help her avoid b3 & scupper those pre-lives bets. It also suggests she has been struggling on the pv.

      5am were proper car crash & it is easy to see their vote falling off a cliff this week.

      Ryan got the textbook assassination treatment but there was plenty of vote motivation in the heavy-handed way they tried to destroy him & his dignified response to busker comparisons. He has a sporting chance of avoiding b3.

      Saara got the pimp & treatment that looked like it was all about helping to give her a 1-week reprieve and avoid the b3. My gut feeling is, it will probably be successful.

      Sam had another early slot but plenty of eulogizing among the judges. She may be b3 but probably more likely to avoid b3 with strong regional support and likeability on her side.

      Emily got another funereally-staged arrangement for her slowed down version of Whitney. It sucked the life out of it and it was hammered home by the judges this is her shtick.

      She is comfortably safe but long-term it is difficult to envisage how it isn’t going to get repetitive and dull doing a succession of slowed-down versions of songs.

      Relley had another song and arrangement that painted her as an older performer than she is and again it felt rather forgettable on the night. She looks in big danger of b3.

      4oD sounded vocally far superior to the dreadful 5am earlier in the evening and they have likeability on their side, but the staging was not good. They were also given the potential tag and endorsement of Little Mix. But they, too, look vulnerable of landing b3 tonight.

      Honey G’s performance fell rather flat but talk of Granny G lined up for next week suggests she is expected to fall safe again tonight.

      The intriguing element is, IF Ryan is b3 with any of of 5am, 4oD, Relley or Gifty, you would give him a solid chance of winning the flashvote. So Ryan is a tempting b2 lay.

      The only one I would fancy to topple him in the flashvote if she lands b3 with him tonight is Sam. So if you want to lay Ryan to be b2 at odds-on, I would advise backing Sam to be b3 as a cover.

      We have 4oD running for us at 9-1 to be eliminated & while Gifty’s odds have remained the same for b2 & drifted for elimination, she is no forlorn hope to land b3.

      With Ryan appearing to have a sporting chance of escaping the sing-off and Saara too, this is one where you have to go for all available value. Such opportunities should not be missed even if it doesn’t work out for you.

      Opening the vote from the start of the show would help an act like 5am, given the residual good will they built up from the previous week. They remain worth considering for b3 but gun to head the prediction here is Ryan, Relley & 4oD to be b3. On that basis, Relley looks worth backing to be bottom 2, & Relley’s elimination price of 20-1 looks far too big to miss out on.


      Relley – bottom 2 – 6-1 – 1pt win – William Hill
      Relley – next elimination – 20-1 – 1pt win – Paddy Power

  2. Yesterday’s preview was a thing of beauty Rob. Well played!

    • Rob

      Thanks guys. Such opportunities don’t come around that often because the XF prods. have become so deadly picking off their targets & the market has become savvy regarding the show’s dark arts.

      Very nice to nail one at a big price. Definitely one for the Hall Of Fame 🙂

      • Jake

        Yes, top blogging and top tipping Rob- you really know your stuff with these Reality shows.

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