The Assassination Game

Nov 20, 2015 by

The Assassination Game

At time of writing, there has been no confirmation on whether it is a single or double elimination on X Factor this weekend. We might even see a repeat of the first live show and a double only announced on Sunday at the start of the results show IF they have succeeded in getting the bottom 3 they desire.

Looking at tv schedules, it does suggest it will be a double this weekend, with next week’s show – when the remaining contestants are all singing 2 songs – only 5 minutes longer than tomorrow night’s show, surely an impossible squeeze if 6 contestants remain.

It’s been a strange series of X Factor in so many ways. There was talk of rejuvenating the franchise by coming up with more interesting theme weeks. And yet, TPTB continue to do their best to pigeon-hole this year’s finalists.

Lauren has travelled all the way from a Whitney Houston cover in week 1 to a Mariah Carey song this week; Anton also has a Mariah Carey song having had a Whitney Houston song last week.

After singing 2 songs that were originally hits in 1966 in the last two weeks, Che has progressed all the way to… actually he has regressed, to 1965 this week, covering a Marvin Gaye cover of ‘Yesterday’.

Reggie n Bollie are again offered a window to liven up proceedings and bring the fun to the show with a mash up that should suit them well. Mason has a song that was a hit single last year for Nick Jonas, should suit him well too, and at least positions him as a more modern, relevant music artist compared to a good few of his rivals.

It was interesting to learn 4th Impact were lined up for a ballad this week but after a number of song changes have finally settled on ‘Ain’t No Other Man’, a hit for Christina Aguilera in 2006.

You have to wonder if the ballad idea was scratched after their vocals didn’t come up to scratch. If singing a ballad was considered a way to differentiate 4th Impact it might also be worrying for their long-term prospects this has been shelved.

There is an overwhelming sense 4th Impact haven’t connected well with UK viewers and the whole fainting episode looked suspicious as hell last week and possibly created to try and earn them a sympathy vote and at least encourage viewers to remember one of the girls’ names.

Louisa will cover a cover of James Bay’s ‘Let It Go’, a song that was re-released earlier this year. It looked a show of confidence to put Louisa on third last week. It is interesting to note the act to perform after Louisa in each of the first 3 weeks has ended up being eliminated.

Over 2.5 million votes were cast last week. It would be invaluable to know how many of those votes came via the app. You do sense it is a completely different voting landscape since the introduction of the free app, and if the Daily Star has only been giving us a glimpse of telephone vote percentages, the phone vote is likely to be a small percentage of the overall vote now.

Despite Anton topping the week 1 vote according to the Star with Seann in third, we saw Seann drop to second last on the pv in one week, and Anton drop to third from bottom in two weeks. Those facts alone suggest the Star is only getting to see part of the overall vote.

This week looks very open indeed and difficult to get a handle on without knowing the running order. You might expect Anton to get some sort of bounce after his appearance in the sing-off last week but his song choice will not be winning him any new fans.

Mason has been on second and first in the last two weeks. It looks more likely he will get a late slot this week and if the mentors are looking to put a cat among the pigeons and are in eulogising mood with him, we can summize TPTB quite fancy a ‘shock’ or two on Sunday night. Mason certainly looks a tempting lay on Betfair to be the next elimination around the 2.5 mark.

If she is still plan A, Louisa looks due a pimp slot while Lauren and Che could find themselves on early. How the mentors react to R&B’s performance, and where they are positioned in the running order, is also going to be telling. On paper, the song choice looks even more worthy of a ramp than last week’s ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’.

Here is the full song list for tomorrow night:

Lauren: We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
Louisa: Let It Go – James Bay (Sofia Karlberg version)
Reggie n Bollie: mash up of Dangerous Love and Shut Up And Dance With Me – Fuse ODG (feat. Sean Paul) & Walk The Moon
Che Chesterman: Yesterday – Marvin Gaye cover of The Beatles
Mason Noise: Jealous – Nick Jonas
Fourth Impact: Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera
Anton: One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men

Pre-show it looks wisest to keep your powder dry as there are a few too many unknowns as things stand currently. Keep an eye on Comments below for post-Saturday night analysis. Hopefully, some value investments will emerge once more weekly markets have been issued.


  1. hemsby

    Excellent article as always Rob.

    Che was the early elimination value….I’m on at 50/1 & 40/1.

    After his pimp last week,he’s due an early slot and I’m far from convinced about his song choice.

    His YouTube & Facebook figures from last weeks pimp slot were extremely dissapointing (4th lowest on both,only beating last weeks actual bottom 3) and I feel he is vastly overrated in the current OR market.Will TPTB want another nondescript male winner?

    Can’t understand the logic behind other sites marking him down as a serious contender……a huge misjudgment IMO.

    • Rob

      That’s amazing value, hems. Agree it seems to be the same thing every week with Che, and very old-fashioned. An early slot and he could easily be forgotten.

      Been a bit slow this week checking out XF elim prices… just a shame we don’t have clarification whether single or double elim and have a bottom 2/3 market to get stuck into. Good luck with your bets 🙂

  2. Boki

    It looks like they will run “my granddad passed away three years ago and I still can’t get over it” story on Che. They look really desperate to get him to final so he can’t trouble the real TCO there 🙂

    • Rob

      Thanks Boki. You could well be right that Che is earmarked for a ‘non-threatening danger to TCO’ in the final role.

  3. Rob

    As Boki pointed out, looks like they are likely to pull out a sympathy-gaining ace for Che tonight:

  4. Rob

    After Anton’s emotional outburst, well worth a small investment on Che/4th Impact to be next elimination. Che memory-holed; 4th Impact frankly poor and judges didn’t encourage viewers to vote.


    Next elim – Che – 14-1 – 1pt win – bet365, Coral
    4th Impact – 13-2 – 2pt win – boylesports, Coral

  5. Boki

    No luck for big price punters tonight. I actually thought 4I were quite ok, Che boring as ever.

    Btw, I normally don’t believe in insider market moves but this evening pre-show was clearly the case of someone who knew the running order. Anton shortened rapidly and R&B drifted to double figure…

    • Rob

      It was a crossbar job for value-seekers, Boki, I am almost certain. Mason came to the bookies rescue. I had expected him to be a lot better than that.

      Would not be surprised if it is Che vs 4th Impact tomorrow night, in which case 4th Impact will be gone I think.

      Anton’s emotional reaction probably earned him plenty of sympathy votes.

      • george

        not sure Anton’s outburst will bring sympathy votes, I was completely on his side but he did appear a little aggressive and rightly so.
        His treatment was really shitty, he’s not to my taste but he is an excellent singer and he had clearly put everything he had into that performance so to go for him the way they did was awful.

        the more I see of this series the more I think the show deserves to be canned. why don’t they realise it’s the charmless and mean manipulation that is killing the viewing figures?

        why would they save Che over 4th Impact who bring a lot more entertainment value?

        • Rob

          I agree George. It’s been appalling for many years imho. It’s only now the wider public are cottoning on to the show’s dark arts.

          I could envisage a spike in Anton’s vote. They left him standing there at the end of the show which could also help him, as it could 4th Impact tbf.

          It looks like Cowell has attached his colours to RnB now, and his comments suggested to me he has given up with 4th Impact.

          In a sing-off there is no way 4th Impact are going to do a good job and they will sound awful in comparison to a Che/Anton.

          We all know they can still contrive a save of whoever they wish to save but the treatment of Che suggests to me they are more invested in him than 4th Impact atm.

          I could see 4th Impact losing a sing-off vs Che or Anton, and at the odds they look the value to me.

  6. Rob


    8th elimination – 4th Impact – 3-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes, Coral

    Anton has to be taken on because he has enough in his favour to avoid the sing-off tonight. A bounce from last week, plus a strong sympathy vote after his mauling at the hands of Grimmy and the way he dealt with his ‘fake’ claims with such dignity.

    A more likely scenario appears to be Che vs 4th Impact b2 and there are clear signs Cowell has lost faith with 4th Impact, and is fully invested in RnB. Even if it’s an Anton vs 4th Impact b2 there is a decent chance deadlock could be forced and Anton beats 4th Impact on the pv.

    4th Impact vs anyone other than RnB in the sing-off are going to sound very poor indeed, which also threatens their future on the show.

    Anton is very much a talking point on the show, gives Cowell an act in the competition, and he is a useful buffer for the quarter-final next week, ie, easily disposable.

    It has a similar feel to Andrea’s treatment last year and the way he was saved in the sf ahead of Lauren before being eased out in 3rd place. Keeping Anton in the competition would also protect the show against increasing ‘fixed’ claims.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *