Jake In Trouble?

Oct 18, 2014 by

Jake In Trouble?

A 25 minute crossover with Strictly tonight. Jack is on first and this is a rather strange version of ‘Straight Up’. He put his spin on it and the judges are unanimous in liking this. They could have called it underwhelming, because it was, but they chose not to.

Steph: this is a definite improvement on last week and Strictly viewers will be seeing this. Cute, sexy, and a song that suits her much better. Judges are positive aside from Mel B who describes it as boring. No sign of the Internet bullying in Steph’s VT which would have been sympathy gold so maybe they’re not overly invested in helping her escape the bottom 3.

More overblown fair from Andrea who really does have an ugly grimace on some of his notes. The backing choir help him a lot here too. Cowell says he lost the melody and pulled too many faces. Well I never, Cowell speaking the truth for once.

Has the first big hitter over-shadowed the 2 before him? Not really as Andrea didn’t impress there with Cowell’s poison taking the wind out of his sails.

Very good again from Lauren and she gets the full halo effect on the stage. A vocal masterclass says Louis and the judges eulogize her but as a backer the concern is they look like they might be sending her down the same route as Ella Henderson.

That could be perceived as a flawed strategy because of Ella’s demise. Of course, the flipside is, if the judges had saved Ella over James in that infamous sing-off she may well have built up a similar head of steam as James and gone on to win. And tonight, they are sucking the colour out of a lot of these uptempo 80s songs by slowing them down. Lauren comes in further to 4.6 on Betfair. Genuinely surprised she isn’t vying for favouritism.

Ben next which is arguably the 3 biggest hitters in a row helping wash Jack and Stef down the memory plug-hole. He is doing his usual shtick here and it is sending me to sleep. He really does only have one way of singing and it is already getting very tired. They are all saying he is good though and that is what matters most.

Fleur is turning into a star, according to Cowell. She is showing her abs again and rapping again which is a potential double negative and, in this instance, a double negative doesn’t make a positive. She performs this well. Mel B says she didn’t hear her voice as it was over-powered by backing vocals. Mel B and Simon start rowing which can be a distraction tactic.

Stereo Kicks are having a friendly bundle in the house. It warms the cockles, it really does. They get to sing an iconic 80s tune and it is horrible to listen to this as well as being visually jarring, including the grimaces made by the tall one. It doesn’t look like this is working despite Cowell’s attempt to big them up. They are teeing them up for an a cappella performance later in the series. That may come sooner rather than later, in a sing-off, the way they are shaping up right now.

Lola singing ‘Imagine’. Something missing here. An iconic song but Lola doesn’t have the pipes for this. Maybe the arrangement is failing too. They are trying hard to tell us she did a great job. Cowell calls it an 80% performance. My take is, that was 100% but she is consistently falling short vocally.

The arrangement for Jake’s song is dreadful, exposing his weak vocal. Now he is over-singing to try and compensate and he is going out of tune. Not good. Cowell says there were parts of this that were terrible. Mel B says he stepped up to the plate. The selling plate, maybe (a horse racing reference there for readers).

Chloe’s arrangement is a triumph compared to Jake before her. Her vocal isn’t the strongest either but she gets away with this because it is something quirky and interesting in the context of the show. She captures your attention. Mel B’s credibility as a judge goes downhill even more here as that was a song that suited Chloe well yet she claims it didn’t. Cowell says she is in trouble which usually means the opposite.

Paul doing his David Brent impression here. His delivery is top notch if the x factor is singing in the style of an ‘over-blown hotel lobby performer’. He only has one way of singing, like Ben.

Stevi is the full Butlins tonight. Rick Astley couldn’t sing this live at the Brits nearly 30 years ago; and Stevi is a worthy tribute act as this is seriously off key too. He is this year’s variety act but does the public buy into this any more? Cowell trying to persuade the public that they like him.

Only The Young are questioning the song choice. And rightly so as this isn’t right for them. What is Louis Walsh doing? What are Syco doing? Apparently trying to scupper them. Mel B then tells us, they got it so right tonight. Eh? Cowell is giving them his support too. Louis pleading for votes. This is all very odd.

Another slowed down version, this time for Jay who gets the pimp slot which possibly tells us he was close to the bottom 3 last week. This arrangement has made this a very simple song for him to sing. Cowell still wants to push this guy but Cheryl sows the seeds that is was ‘odd’.

Over-riding impression is, Jake is in trouble tonight. More trouble than Chloe perhaps even though Cowell told us Chloe is in trouble. If it was the old format of lines opening at the end, you would seriously worry for both Jack and Steph. They are probably down there too, flirting with danger. Fleur could be a bottom 3 contender also, and Stevi.

This needs a night’s sleep, more rumination tomorrow, and more markets from the bookmakers before deciding where to invest.


  1. Rob

    In a 14 runner field, the value approach is to seek an alternative to Steph in the 3rd elimination market. She has the sing-off bounce in her favour and tabloid coverage of her being bullied on Twitter should also help her. It also wasn’t a full on hatchet job from trap 2 with the judges focusing on her improvement.

    While Jake was poor, he has good looks in his favour & good looking solo males often go further in the competition than their talent merits. Similarly, it is easy to see Jack having enough of a fan base at this early stage. But of the 2, Jake looks more vulnerable.

    At the prices, the 1 of more interest to land in the bottom 3, and possibly even be next eliminated, is Fleur. Mel B banging on about Fleur’s backing track could well have been damaging and the combination of rapping and Fleur’s bare abs are 2 further potential vote dampeners.

    Chloe got poor comments despite a decent rendition and she isn’t a sympathetic character. The show would probably love to save her controversially in a sing-off.

    The interesting potential dilemma is, what they would do if it is Fleur vs Chloe in the sing-off?


    Fleur – to be in the bottom 3 – 9-2 – 4pt win (Betfred)
    Fleur – 3rd elimination – 40-1 – 1pt win (Boyles, Stan James)

    Possibly more to follow if we get a bigger array of odds quoted by the high st later today.

  2. Jay

    I think fleur would def go vs Chloe. If fleur is in the bottom 3 it will prove syco can’t make her a successful artist regardless of their pushing of her. Chloe is press dynamite. They will want her in the top 8 for the tour. I was pretty worried for OTY, late slot past ten pm awful vt and looked sulky. I did find it interesting that Simon tried to help them in the interview with dermot by making a big smiley face with his fingers to prompt them to look happy….. Looks like he wants them to stick around?

  3. Rob

    Another disappointing night at the XF office. But XF is a marathon, not a sprint & hopefully some value gems will land in the coming weeks.

  4. Rob

    Looks like the XF Outright market on BF is catching up with my view after watching Saturday night’s show – Lauren is closing in on Andrea, currently trading at 3.9 to Andrea’s 3.75.

  5. Jay

    Im not convinced that Lauren will be the winner of this based on previous years casting of roles. Jahmene and nick over the last two years have been the angelic singers with the halo staging and whilst both were given strong support neither was given the push in the final two or three weeks. Maybe they will change fact this year and allow the sweet innocent one to win?

    • Rob

      It’s very much up in the air at this stage, Jay, but I see far less flaws in Lauren than the rest of the field.

      I never thought Jahmene or Nick would win. While it is usually harder for a Girl to win, Lauren has a lot more going for her compared to Tamera or Ella – she is much easier to warm to, no worries about her forgetting the words & I think she has the vocal gears to produce a spellbinding performance or 3 further into the competition.

      My worry would be, the poor handling by Syco in the past with talented solo Girls. Both Tamera and Ella were given the wrong songs & I just hope they don’t keep giving Lauren slowed down cover versions that suck the life out of songs.

      ‘Happy’ was still uptempo the way Lauren sang it, & a lot of last Saturday night’s songs were slowed down efforts, so I don’t think we can jump to the conclusion yet that they are shoe-horning her down that same route as Ella.

  6. Rob


    Andrea Faustini
    Listen by Beyoncé from Dreamgirls

    Jack Walton
    Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor from Rocky

    Jake Quickenden
    She’s Like The Wind by Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing

    Paul Akister
    Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding from The Commitments


    Lauren Platt
    Let It Go by Demi Lovato from Frozen

    Lola Saunders
    When You Believe by Mariah Carey from The Prince Of Egypt


    Only The Young
    Boom Clap by Charli XCX from The Fault In Our Stars

    Stereo Kicks
    Let It Be/Hey Jude (Medley) by The Beatles from Across The Universe


    Ben Haenow
    I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith from Armageddon

    Fleur East
    Lady Marmalade by Pink, Mya, Christina Aguilera and Lil Kym from Moulin Rouge

    Jay James
    Skyfall by Adele from Skyfall

    Stevi Ritchie
    Footloose by Kenny Loggins from Footloose

  7. Rob

    Initial thoughts are:

    Jay James could really kill ‘Skyfall’. Tough song & he hasn’t got the vocal ability to do it justice. Will be all in the arrangement but could potentially bomb, esp if on early which he could be after pimp slot last week.

    Jack singing ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ rings bells too – but it might be a clever arrangement of this & they may go with the ‘you made it your own’ tactic here.

    Many of the rest are in their comfort zone & offering up exactly the same sort of stuff we already know they can deliver – such as Fleur, Ben, Lauren, Paul, Andrea…

    Will they continue de-ramping Andrea – that is the interesting question because his song has been over-done on these shows & will be the exact same over-blown effort we have already seen from him.

    Lola’s song seems an extremely bland choice while Jake’s ‘She’s Like The Wind’ could well play well to his voters. Stevi’s ‘Footloose’ is going to be the same karaoke nonsense from him with lots of production.

    Stereo Kicks might well get the pimp with their song as one last big attempt to thrust them on viewers.

    OTY’s song is quite promising in the sense it is a bit more edgy than previous efforts while likely to be loved by their demo.

    Lola, Jack, Stevi or Fleur could be vulnerable this week. I certainly wouldn’t be piling into Jake at 9-4 for next elim.

    A shame no bottom 2 prices but at the prices Jay and Lola make some appeal, both available at 20-1.

  8. Week 3 female pimp slot trend should continue and out of the two female ballads, I believe Lola’s has the most impact. Furthermore, Lola looks set to continue her ‘journey’ narrative, which was hinted at by Cowell last week (80%). The song ‘When you Believe’ contains a strong message and suggests it might designed to boost Lola’s profile from sleeper to contender.

    That song choice was also given to Melanie Amaro, the winner of X Factor USA (SE1). I still fancy Lola over Lauren given the investment to date and how much further they can still invest in Lola’s humble life and close-knit family. I still know very little about Lauren, other than she’s now 17 and has a great voice.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Thought Lola’s performance of Imagine was terrific.

    • Rob

      I think Lola’s song choice is extremely old hat, Gav, & doesn’t leap out at all. Lauren’s on the other hand is at least more modern & has been a massive recent hit.

      Lola has disappointed me, to date. Vocally, I feel she is falling short & will probably continue to do so. I say that as a backer. Lauren has been far more impressive.

      I’m not convinced they can spin out Lola’s story much more & I don’t think it’s especially compelling. Are viewers really that invested in her? Again, I’m not convinced.

  9. Guildo Horn Forever

    Have caught up a bit with this XF series by watching YouTube vids. Found myself repeat viewing on 5 people: Andrea (his audition piece), Lauren; Lola; and the 2 girls from Only The Young (particularly the blonde one with the superstar looks who, if she had entered as a solo act, might be trading in the top 6 in the market).

  10. Tim B

    I think Jay has it in him to pull off ‘Skyfall’. He did a good job of Paloma Faith in week 1 and I see her voice as kind of similar to Adele’s. ‘500 Miles’ is still riding high in the iTunes chart and as probably the most diverse artist on the show, they won’t want to be losing him yet. In fact, this may sound fairly controversial, but I’m expecting him to be in the final 3 and winner of the Overs category.

    ‘When You Believe’ is a great choice for Lola, in my opinion, *IF* she can pull it off, which I’m not totally sure if she can. I liked her rendition of ‘Imagine’ but she tends to go a bit shouty places. She won’t be a Whitney or Mariah, but should sing this adequately enough. If I were a producer, I would be giving Lola the pimp slot with this to make Lauren’s likely course to victory seem less obvious. With losing two of Cheryl’s girls last week, they won’t want to be losing another yet. Speaking of Lauren, ‘Let It Go’ is going to be a triumph for her, and with such a popular song, is going to be a pimping from anywhere. It’s fundamentally a kids’ song, and I question whether a 10pm will be a bit late for some young ‘uns to be seeing her. Lauren will sell approximately 7 billion downloads of the Oscar-winning anthem in the next week.

    I’m a bit confused as to what’s going on with the groups. Stereo Kicks have popular traditional songs but not ones that play to their demographic, whereas Only The Young have something fresh and far more exciting by comparison. But if Stereo Kicks are bouncing, Only The Young could find themselves in trouble by default, especially if they open tonight, which I’m expecting.

    Jake has been given a song that’s intended to be forgettable, and I’d be amazed if he wasn’t the number 1 target for elimination. Problem is, it’s in his comfort zone and housewives could quite possibly lap it up. Other people in trouble this week could be Jack, because of his song choice, and Fleur, for reasons already explained. Jake will be ditched vs absolutely anyone in the sing-off, if he’s there tomorrow night.

    • Tim B

      I forgot to say, there was a story fed to the press the other day about Jack being bullied at school because of his ‘lesbian’ mum. Surely this is an attempt to divert votes from Jake onto Jack this week.

  11. Rob

    Lola has come in for strong support on the Outright in the last 24hrs so she may well have the pimp slot based on the BF money for her.

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