It Could Be All Overs

Oct 14, 2012 by

It Could Be All Overs

The running order looked a big clue again in last night’s X Factor, the front of the show loaded with its biggest hitters, and what would appear the more vulnerable contestants vote-wise placed between 7 and 12.

That’s not factoring in Shaky Maloney, of course, who was the forgettable sandwich filler in trap 2. Jahmene pimped from 1, Union J pimped from 3… it was a near exact reverse of week 1 when Carolynne at 12 proved the unpalatable filling placed between Ella at 11 and Jahmene at 13.

It seems we need to come up with a new term to describe this running order technique used to help kill a contestant’s vote  – for now we’re going with the ‘double ramp de-ramp strangle’… hmm, think this needs further refinement.

Shaky got the ‘cruiseship’ tag again, and some red and black staging, but what we came away with at show end was a sense that Chris may yet escape TPTB’s evil clutches. To be fair to him he sang well and his club-style crooning may have a certain audience. It all comes down to his base level of support and whether this is big enough for a worst case scenario third from bottom on the pv. It could be.

To cover your Chris elimination bet, advised here at 5-1, it seems a wise move to lay Chris as short as possible to be in the bottom 2 on Betfair, because if he does land in the bottom 2 we struggle to see any scenario in which he would be saved.

We are more confident that Rylan will escape the bottom 2. It was an ingenious production – starting with the Take That song before going into unashamed cabaret territory. It was reminiscent of some of the most fun Jedward and Wagner performances. A lay of Rylan for bottom 2 is one of our most confident plays this week.

So who else is in the mix for bottom 2 along with Chris? With most contestants picking up the crumbs left after Ella’s hoovered up such a big chunk of votes, there could well be only a few percentage points between 5 or 6 of the others, probably much like last week.

We even ask ourselves whether Jahmene is completely safe despite the judges’ attempts to big him up again. James probably played well to his audience, and Lucy gets a boost from her grief edit. Union J were a revelation – was a backing track being used? – vastly improved on last week and safe as houses.

Melanie let us down from her pimp slot in the sense it strayed too much into the same big belter territory that is already in danger of becoming too samey with her. We heard brief moments of her softer tones but not enough. ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ is at least in people’s minds right now as it’s used in those John Lewis ads.

The judges stuck to their script of raving about Melanie, which, along with the song choice, may be enough to push her clear of the drop zone. Talk of her Scottish roots, Tulisa calling her a MILF, and a tearful VT also suggested they are trying to build some support for Melanie and would like to keep her round for a while.

The four others in danger are Kye, MK1, District 3 and Jade. All of them had pretty forgettable song choices which is never a good thing. Jade’s VT showed her shadowing Tulisa and seeing how tough it is being a pop star. It was hardly a positive VT in our view as she looked like she had reservations seeing the long hours.

For those trying to rave about this girl’s vocal, we suggest going and having another listen. Jade has a horrible nasal quality to her voice which seems to have passed most people by. Her song possibly did too – we found it narcolepsy inducing. She got decent post-song comments but in the context of the evening she got a bit lost.

District 3 did ok with an ok song but it was all just ‘ok’. MK1 were given a song that was trying to make them more popular with the X Factor MOR audience but at the same time it took away from their USP – their urban edge. Would this have harmed or boosted their polling figure? We are not sure.

As for Kye, listening to him perform we were left thinking, ‘what the hell is this?’. He seemed somewhat anonymous last week and this was more of the same. He definitely looks a shade of value at 4-1 with Boylesports to be called in the bottom 2.

It would be the height of irony if their intended target in the Overs category, Chris, escapes, while the other 2 Overs both sank into the bottom 2 but we see this as a distinct possibility and on value grounds alone we will also be backing Melanie at 20-1 to be eliminated.

Rylan to be first announced safe is possibly worth a speculative wager at 9-1 with bet365 too, though they might try and maintain suspense by keeping him there waiting until it’s down to the last 3 on stage.

What are others’ biggest plays ahead of tonight? Do you see things differently? Let us know below.
Rob Furber

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  1. Tim B

    I’m mostly sticking with my bets that I made before the show – Christopher to go and District 3 to go. If these are the two acts that are in the bottom 2, I can see decent arguments for them wanting to get rid of both of them. It’s not a sing off situation I’d be betting on.

    Speaking of District 3, I thought their treatment was pretty bad. The VT showed them struggling and arguing and the song choice was terribly dated. Also the production was minimal and they had their backs to each other – such massive contrasts from Union J who I thought were amazing. Damning comments from the judges could also spell trouble for D3.

    I completely agree that the overs could be in trouble tonight. Kye was incredibly forgettable and boring. He’s getting many “dislikes” on youtube and is towards the bottom in all the stats. Melanie underwhelmed from the pimp slot and her win odds lengthened as a result. However I do think she will sneak through and will be safe – for now. She’s very humble and likeable and her emotional VT was a postive.

    MK1’s song seems like an odd one given their urban style, but I think they did a good job with it and there were appeals for votes.

    Bottom 2 for me is Christopher and Kye but I wouldn’t be too surprised to see MK1, District 3 or Jade in there.

  2. eurovicious

    Having been a big critic of Rylan but having loved him last night, I was completely confident he’d be safe this week – that is, until I looked at the reaction to his performance on Youtube/Twitter. Surprisingly, the overwhelming majority disliked it and still dislike him. As such, I now still see him in the bottom 2, contrary to my reaction last night.

    Agree on Maloney – he could well be safe, though unlike with District 3 last week, I’m not confident enough to lay, as his level of support is less quantifiable (ie. people who like Christopher Maloney don’t use Twitter, people who like District 3 do). With so many X Factor punters overly focusing on the producers’ supposed plans to the near-complete exclusion of thinking about who actually has public support (as we saw with the naive market consensus that District 3 would go last week, which you cannily exploited), you’re wise to emphasise that Chris sang well and could have support.

    Agree that Jahmene and Melanie could both be in danger, the latter more than the former. Jahmene’s performance was his best ever, but I basically forgot about him, which isn’t a good sign.

    Disagree quite strongly on Jade – the stats and my own research on Twitter suggest it was one of the best-received performances of the night, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Her tone’s a matter of taste and I haven’t been a huge fan until now, but her performance last night totally worked. I also think District 3 and Kye will be safe; I liked Kye’s performance a lot (actually not dissimilar to Union J’s) and as the only “attractive young straight white male” solo artist and the only credible/contemporary Over, he should pick up enough votes from viewers to get through.

    MK1’s performance, for me, had more warning bells around it than anything else last night by far. As you suggest, it was neither one thing nor the other. Voters who love edgy urban music will be alienated by the gang-show-style cheesefest, while a mainstream audience will be alienated by the rapping. Charlie’s vocal was great, much improved on last week, but I’m not sure the duet of alternating singing and rapping worked. I have a strong feeling they’ll be in the bottom 2. It was a terrible song choice.

  3. Henry VIII

    Melanie in B2 or anywhere near it (we’ll find out vote stats at end) would mean a revolution in the pimp slot effect. It was a passable performance after all.

    As for a new term for what they’re doing – “sandwiching” seems to be the most used and best.

  4. Rob

    Thanks for posting Tim & eurovicious!

    Interesting Rylan analysis, eurovicious, on Twitter/YouTube… hopefully we are looking at an extreme marmite situation so the haters will be loudest while he is now a guilty pleasure for other voters…?

    You are absolutely right that it is easy to get too caught up in producers’ intentions. It is a good idea to think outside the box with tv betting, always with a view to the value angle.

    Think Kye and Jade are tough to call in terms of their votability but my intuition is their appeal is being over-estimated atm.

  5. Rob

    Hi Henry,
    We speculated here on whether a new paradigm is required regarding the tried and tested X Factor voting rules, given phonelines now open at the start of the show.

    Maybe the advantage of a late slot isn’t what it used to be…?

  6. Bruce

    Eurovicious I appreciate your insights and find myself agreeing far more than disagreeing. This week however I have to disagree over Kye – quite dreadful vocal – which the judges comments completely overlooked. The song reprises played when the voting numbers came up were particularly bad for him (and MK1 imo).
    I can’t really see where his vote is going to come from.

    This week my hunches would be that Rylan did enough to get a weeks stay of execution at least. I think the pimp slot will be enough for Melanie and the producers may just find themselves with a very nasty Mk1 v Kye sing-off which would obviously be very unwelcome.
    If pressed however I still think Maloney will be B2 but wouldn’t be taking even money or less.

  7. Bruce

    A pre-show position of backing Maloney B2 and elimination, laying Rylan for same and backing Kye B2 means tonight will be very relaxed viewing.
    Anyone taking Rob’s advice would be similarly green I’d imagine

  8. Bruce

    One last post as I have had an about turn re Melanie and backed her for B2 and elimination.
    The show had a late finish and all the ‘good’ acts were on early. I pretty much stopped paying attention to the last few acts with the exception of Rylan and I think this may have an effect. Given her performance wasn’t a vote winner anyway 5/1 or more for bottom 2 seems a reasonable risk.

  9. Rob

    It certainly felt a long show, Bruce, & it’s another possible neg for Melanie.

  10. fiveleaves

    I’m sticking with my pre show bets too, of Chris to go and Kye B2.
    I can see the argument for Chris escaping but would rather cover Mel in particular for B2 rather than lay Chris.

    As for Rylan, yes he had plenty of negative comments on twitter, but more than enough positive ones to be safe.

    I can’t agree about Jade though Rob. I’m with euroviscious and thought it was one of best performances of the night.
    The performance the judges were expecting last week.
    As a massive fan of Bob Dylan, her slight nasal tone doesn’t offend my ears as it clearly does some listeners.
    Her performance is one of the few I’d listen to for pleasure.

    A lay of MK1 for B2 my final play.
    On my ratings they’re still the most popular group on twitter and I thought the song was perfect for a saturday night audience.

  11. Rob

    Just watching it back, Jade’s biggest issue is maybe more that she lacks any great stage presence. It was all rather limp & one paced. Think Ella is far superior in putting her spin on songs and engaging the audience.

    re. Melanie, the reason it didn’t really click for her last night was the way the song was broken down… that version didn’t work as well as it could have done.

    Backing Mel for b2 is probably a wiser strategy. Will be joining you laying MK1 for b2.

  12. Boki

    Great hint for Kye bot2 fiveleaves, whatever the outcome he’s a biggest price mover since yesterday.

    Regarding the 1st announced safe bet: last year Kitty was in the similar position and the week after her falling to bot2 she was announced 1st. Big but: they could keep Frankie for the last safe and that was a shock effect of the night. So Rylan could go either way but I still expect him to be last safe.

  13. eurovicious

    Here’s a theoretical for yous, albeit a theoretical that could easily soon occur: what happens if the bottom 2 at any point in the series is Rylan and MK1?

    Nicole: will save Rylan
    Gary: will save MK1
    Louis: has to save MK1 because they’re his act, right?
    Tulisa: pretty much also has to save MK1 given her career and musical background, right?

    So that’s 3 to 1. If and when we get a Rylan/MK1 bottom two, I’m having trouble seeing how it can be forced to deadlock to save Rylan…

  14. fiveleaves

    Cheers Boki….and I guess if that happened EV, then Barlow would do what Cowell did with Jedward and suddenly decide he ‘gets him’

  15. Tim B

    Watching the Strictly results show, and couldn’t help but notice that big bubbly Lisa Riley had the same song as Melanie Masson did last night for their pimp slots. Could this provide a wee boost for Melanie, as it would have meant more people were familiar with the song as several million people will have heard it just two hours before?

  16. eurovicious

    fiveleaves, while Cowell could get away with that, I’m pretty sure after week 1’s debacle, Gary’s credibility is more important to him and he’d never save Rylan. In the event of an MK1/Rylan singoff, could Louis betray MK1? Is there any precedent for a mentor not saving their own act? Tulisa could also possibly save Rylan instead.

  17. Rob

    So that’s 2 20-1 shots advised in first 2 weeks. Rylan lay b2 – landed, Chris – lay b2 – landed.
    Shows the importance of covering positions and wisdom of playing the markets from a value perspective.
    Hope readers had a similarly profitable night following these recommendations 🙂

  18. Well Done Rob! I doff my cap. I’m truly staggered. The good thing is that we now have a pattern, so bring on next week!

  19. Rob

    Thanks Gavster – enjoying your analysis on

    The old X Factor rulebook well and truly torn up over these first 2 eliminations – used to be a given whoever sang 1st was toast in the sing-off.

    And as you point out that’s 2 late draws, and supposed pimps, ending up bottom 2 & then eliminated.

    Phonelines opening from the start may be having an impact but reckon where contestants are positioned in relation to others is also a significant factor.

    Last night, with all the big names at the start of the show, & Rylan getting the big production, it certainly felt a bit after the Lord Mayor’s Show when Melanie sang.

    Well done Bruce btw for articulating this 🙂

  20. fiveleaves

    n1 Rob,
    An OK result here thanks to my cover bet on Mel and lay of MK1 B2.
    Also a small win during the sing-off. I had to get involved at the crazy price D3 came into.

  21. Rob

    Nice work Mr Leaves. Also layed D3 short on value grounds – made up for some of the Carolynne profit given back last week during a similarly perplexing sing-off.

  22. Roach

    Great work Rob, only just reading this the morning after on this occasion, but another good week for Entertainment Odds, I see! After an infuriating Week 1, where I called out a very early 40/1(!) on Carolynne as huge value – and then inexplicably didn’t back it; Week 2 worked out very nicely. Shakey was my clear value start of week @ 10/1, but like Fiveleaves I saw the Sunday morning 7/1 Mel for b2 as far too big, and on the same basis (I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as last week) backed the 20/1 for elimination too. Add a decent Rylan lay and like yourself, my X Factor book is very much up and running for another year! : )

  23. Rob

    Some excellent trading there Roach – well played, sir!
    These early weeks of XF often provide the biggest window for profit in terms of bottom 2 and elimination trades.
    A key point, as stated yesterday, is that voting percentages between the bottom 5 or 6 are probably tiny with Ella hoovering up such a big vote.
    And when you still have such a big field, it is very dangerous to put your eggs in one basket by banking on TPTB’s actions proving successful in trying to get Chris into the bottom 2 this week, District 3 last week.

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