Syco Killer?

Nov 8, 2013 by

Syco Killer?

So they’ve dusted off Big Band Week with a live orchestra, last seen on X Factor in series 6 back in 2009. It was used in week 3 and lo and behold Miss Frank found themselves bottom 2 singing… ‘That’s Life’ from trap 3.

TPTB at Syco HQ are sometimes so transparent they should probably consider patenting it as a super-power. Surprise, surprise, Abi has been handed ‘That’s Life’. She is clearly in the sniper’s sights, and could well be in line for an early slot but will they manage a successful hit?

If she successfully Abi-fies it, they will have to credit her; if it’s a shocker and they crucify her, this will encourage a sympathy vote. So you might expect them to aim for a middle ground damning her with faint praise.

It will be much the same with Sam C, the target of some barbed comments in particular from Gary Barlow last week which served only to motivate his multi-voting army of tweenies. At least ‘Ain’t That A Kick In The Head’ offers the chance for a playful, flirtatious stage performance from Sam which would likely go down a storm with his young female fans.

Expect more eulogising regarding Luke who has been handed ‘Moondance’ and another chance to shine. Tamera has the sad and soulful ‘Cry Me A River’ which, coupled with the trademark sympathy VT that follows a bottom 2 among one of the show’s big hitters, should ensure her safety.

Sam B has been given another showstopper, the wedding reception favourite that always gets drunken attendees in a circle at the end of the night high kicking their way through the Sinatra staple, resulting in a particularly sozzled aunty toppling over and showing everyone her knickers. At which point, yours truly will invariably be found slumped in a corner, quietly berating provincial DJ-ing outfit ‘Forbidden Fruit’ for choosing such a cliched tune when surely The Cult’s ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ would have been a far more entertaining event closer.

Nicholas’s song gives him the chance to do his Buble impression but is certainly a very bland, sleepy choice. Hannah and Rough Copy have been given songs which, on the face of it, should suit and in the case of Rough Copy offer the chance for them to extend their repertoire into a cheeky swing/rhythm & blues vibe as the show continues to try and sanitise them for ITV’s Saturday night audience.

Regardless of Syco’s dark arts, the view here is both Sam C and Abi have a sporting chance of avoiding the bottom 2 again. The show has now set up both of them as anti-heroes and their surprising survival is a useful storyline in a series bereft of pantomime villains.

Of the 2 Sam C looks the safer bet to dodge a bullet and our advice would be to lay him on Betfair at odds-on to end up in the bottom 2. He has found himself drawn 2 and 4 in the last 2 weeks so can be hopeful of a later slot, and after last week’s mauling may come redemption following the Abi pattern laid down over the previous 2 Saturdays.

As for elimination value, the call has to be Hannah at 3-1. She has been bottom 2 already, had her bounce last week and regardless of song suitability you sense she isn’t connecting strongly enough with XF viewers. With Tamera likely to be on late, it could well be Hannah finds herself in a vulnerable early slot too.

Here’s the full list of song choices:

Abi Alton – That’s Life
Hannah Barrett – This Is A Man’s World
Luke Friend – Moondance
Nicholas McDonald – Dream A Little Dream
Rough Copy – Hit The Road Jack
Sam Bailey – New York New York
Sam Callahan – Ain’t That A Kick In The Head
Tamera Foster – Cry Me A River


  1. Boki

    Agree Rob, coming of a bounce works like a charm these days especially when Tamera is going to suck-up Hannah’s votes, my main pre-lives bet was Hannah bottom2 at evens. She might get eliminated against SamC on deadlock and against other big hitters also so there is definitely elimination value. What are your thought about Abi vs Hannah? I think that would take a chance to finally Abify that taxi (will be easier to tell after the show of course).

    • Rob

      I’ve been contemplating that b2, Boki. I imagine they would dump Abi. Hannah has been given a great run of songs & they really have endeavoured to talk her up.

  2. I think Hannah goes over anyone barring Abi. That said, if it went to deadlock, I reckon Hannah goes and that might be the tactic this week; sending it to deadlock.

    Hannah’s song means she’s going to look miserable again. If in the early slots, I imagine she’ll be toast. I’ll be looking for some red and black this week!

  3. zoomraker

    What an amazing song choice for Luke,
    they could not have chosen a better one for him.

    He seems to be getting the full support of the show at the moment.

  4. zoomraker

    Sam B’s song definitely doesn’t seem like an end of journey song more a start of something.

    If they are going to try and deramp her at some point it doesn’t look like it will be this week.

    maybe they’ve decided she’s unstoppable.

  5. fiveleaves

    No strong views on this weeks elim, though I just favour Abi being the one for the chop this week.
    I did smile at this bit
    ‘At which point, yours truly will invariably be found slumped in a corner, quietly berating provincial DJ-ing outfit ‘Forbidden Fruit’ for choosing such a cliched tune when surely The Cult’s ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ would have been a far more entertaining event closer’

    Some great memories of drunkenly throwing myself around the dance floor to that Cult classic

  6. Frank

    Good write up, Rob.

    No obvious bets for me this week, though I can’t understand the big drift on Nicholas. Currently 5.9 on Betfair is astonishing value, I will certainly be topping up.

    • Rob

      I guess traders are thinking Syco looks to be favouring Luke over Nick, but I agree with you Frank that 5.9 looks on the big side.

  7. Jay

    I think I’m gonna wait for the show for my elimination bet. I think the producers have many different options and the productions will give us some clues on their thoughts. As for Nick he will surely be kept going into the final to perform with Buble on stage. If I was pushed for a bottom two this week I would go for a rough copy vs Hannah combo but it largely depends on what kind of reaction the new and improved Rough Copy got in the vote last week. A B2 for them may bounce them into the semi final

    • Rob

      I was tempted to suggest Rough Copy for bottom 2 again, Jay, because I don’t think they’re polling all that well, but the song choice put me off doing this. But they are definitely in the mix for b2 along with Hannah and Abi.

  8. Tim B

    I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate here and say I think Luke has a terrible song choice. There’s a big difference between a ‘great song’ and a song that’s suitable for a Saturday night TV audience. Families tune into this show primarily to watch people singing karaoke, and ‘Moondance’ is relatively unknown and hardly something to which people can sing along. Unless it’s known from a TV ad or movie, just what demo will he be delighting here? Kye Sones performed some great songs last year (like the Swedish House Mafia tune) but landed in the bottom 2 twice because they were lesser-known than his rivals’. With the whole of Scotland keeping Nicholas safe and Sam Callahan likely to receive vote-inspiring criticism from the judges, I think Luke is worth a small investment for bottom 2 at around 7.0 or so. He was on first last week but had three late slots in weeks 1-3 and so he could quite feasibly be the first of the three boys to perform again.

    • I doubt that big-band week delights the demographic of most acts taking part.

      Moondance is a very recognisable song and just because Robbie didn’t perform it at the Albert Hall doesn’t make it any less popular.

      It was big with Van Morrison and covered by Bublé. In my opinion, it’s perfect for Luke’s voice and his new support should hold up. I can see the value in backing Luke, but doubt his odds will drop much in the run up to tonight’s show.

  9. Jay

    Rob your posts are moving the markets too much! The ballooning in Sams price almost makes him worth backing for b2?

    • Rob

      I’m not sure my posts hold that much sway, Jay 🙂 It has been noticeable each week how the markets move drastically in a certain direction on the Saturday pre-show.

      It suggests there is some insider money involved. I think the narrative of the show is for Sam to survive this week, & he is due a later slot.

      The Abi song choice & negative press surrounding her this week does look like a concerted effort to get her in the b2 & possibly off the show.

      I would be looking more in the direction of dutching Abi & Hannah for elimination.

      • steve

        Hi Rob betfred have a market 4/1 both Abi and Hannah bottom 2 which seems very fair

        • Rob

          Good spot, Steve. That looks value. Sadly, I cannot get on with Betfred but hopefully other readers can.

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