The Crucifixion Of Chris

Nov 18, 2012 by

The Crucifixion Of Chris

‘… from such a position of voting strength we are finding it hard to see Chris falling into the bottom 2 this weekend no matter what producers throw at him’.

So we wrote last Tuesday. Little did we know then quite what they had in store for poor old Chris. We would describe his treatment last night as one of the most brutal assassination attempts in X factor history. They targeted him with every vote-killing tactic possible.

To list a few, ropey backing vocals at the start of his song, distractions by way of beams of light circling him and vile red & black imagery, a shot away to Nicole looking bored, a shot away to Tulisa looking bored, and the crowning glory in this JFK moment, a terrifying giant-sized effigy of Chris behind him with terrifying beams of light shooting out of his eyes, eating him up come the end of his performance so he was near invisible on stage.

Nicole had the further temerity to call his performance ‘creepy’ because of staging effects totally out of his control. It really was a moment that demanded a stage invasion from someone announcing to the viewing public at large the evil box of tricks TPTB had just called upon in trying to take Chris down. It continued with some classic ‘killing him with kindness’ comments from the judges.

Our conclusion: they are worried, very worried. The Daily Star vote leaks are correct, and regardless of what went on last night we’re sticking by our original thought – we reckon Chris can avoid the bottom 2 again.

The bottom line is, he sang the ideal sort of song for his audience in ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ and sang it well despite the skullduggery going on all around him. They may have succeeded in knocking a few percentage points off his public vote share, but we doubt this will be enough to get him in the drop zone.

After Union J opened the show with ‘Call Me Maybe’ our instinct was to call them safe. It’s a very popular, modern tune, they performed it well and received good comments. But come the end of the evening, we felt far less confident. They have a potential bounce and some potential vote transference from District 3 coming their way but they could still fall well short.

‘The One That I Want’ turned out to be Ella’s best live performance to date and we would expect this to have built further momentum behind her public vote after last week’s improved effort. It was note perfect and spellbinding which made it a surprise Nicole was allowed to dent the moment somewhat by offering criticism.

It maybe shows the judges are allowed a certain amount of free rein and Nicole is doing her best to derail Ella and hence improve her chances of mentoring this year’s winner. They certainly keep giving her the biggest soapbox to spout her constant stream of b.s.. The last girl standing is a position of strength for Ella and should also be boosting her vote.

James’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ looked a transparent attempt to make him more viewer-friendly – more middle-of-the-road, that is. Probably his best moment came when Gary said he wants him to win the competition. This was another indirect blow to Chris – after all, you wouldn’t get Nicole saying that sort of thing about Ella, would you?

We still reckon James has likely been loitering not that far clear of the drop zone. Was it Louis who chipped in with something like, ‘No matter what happens, you will get a record deal’? Whatever it was Louis said, it told us James is not polling well.

Rylan’s ‘Girls On Film/When Will I be Famous’ mash up felt like one of his least fun segments. Post-performance he looked dead in the water only to resurrect his hopes with his witty comebacks at Gary’s expense. It was clearly all scripted beforehand and ended up looking like another concerted effort to boost his vote.

As for Jahmene, you won’t be surprised to read we found his attempt to sing ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ mediocre at best and hugely underwhelming. His VT was also full of self-pitying nonsense that has gone on far too long now.

He may go down a storm at Caister Soul Weekend but his act remains far too niche and his stage presence makes for uncomfortable viewing. You cannot win X Factor on the back of incessant sympathy and ramping alone, which are the fragile blocks in the Jenga stack they have built for Jahmene throughout the series. All of this tells us he is an absurdly short 6-4 shot and we are happy to lay him at that price.

So where does this all leave us in terms of the weekly markets? We reckon Union J were more than likely bottom of the public vote last week – hence no deadlock, so out of them and Rylan, we give Rylan the better chance of escaping the bottom 2 tonight. But it wouldn’t entirely surprise us if either of them were called safe – it can be dangerous to under-estimate the power of the bounce, even second time around, as it can multi-voting tweenies.

That said, we think a Rylan/Union J bottom 2 remains the likeliest outcome tonight. If there is a surprise bottom 2 appearance among any of the Big 3, we reckon it is far more likely to be James or Jahmene in there, rather than Ella, and we will happily back Jahmene at anything in double figure prices offered on Betfair, having earlier advised James at 7-2 for bottom 2.

We will also play bottom 2 combos involving Rylan, Union J, James and Jahmene. As stated earlier, we think Chris can overcome this latest onslaught but we won’t be laying him for bottom 2 as it really was a crucifixion, unless he goes very short on Betfair this evening.

If it does end up a Rylan/Union J bottom 2 this may not be a straight forward choice for the judges so 11-2 Union J to be eliminated looks fair value, and a wise cover if you have already backed Rylan for elimination, as we did earlier in the week at 11-8.

Overall, this is probably one of our least confident weeks, we wouldn’t recommend going in big on anything in the weekly markets, and last night only strengthened our resolve Jahmene is a lay on the Outright at anything around the 6-4 mark and 5-2 Ella is astonishing value and demands backing.

Are we misguided with our Jenga stack analogy of Jahmene, and in keeping faith with Ella? Do you agree that Chris is likely to avoid the bottom 2 again? Whatever your opinions, please feel free to join the conversation below.
Rob Furber

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  1. Boki

    Well, I’m less confident in UJ bot2 since ‘Call me maybe’ has a 300+ million youtube hits and targets their audience perfectly. Also less confident in Maloney’s escape cause of the treatment.
    My only confidence is Rylan, he is a lock for bot2 imho despite those funny moments – his performance was bad (including the staging) and had terrible song choices (on purpose for sure).

  2. Henry VIII

    I think you’ve got the weekly markets sussed as usual Rob. I also think Chris escapes but, for the first time in a while, I won’t be laying him in the 3 weekly markets.

    In the Win market I agree that Ella is value. But I won’t be laying Jahmene. He looks a final 2 cert. Also his performance had some kind of panache and excitement. Personally I much prefer Ella and she really excelled tonight and I think she has the greatest probability of winning. But Jahmene and his backing singers have a vote getting flair about them.

  3. Rob

    Hope you are right regarding Rylan, Boki, but that extended banter with Gary was disconcerting for elimination backers.

    Interesting you view the Jahmene soul ensemble as a vote-winner henry – hadn’t viewed it that way, & was of the view it was an unsubtle way of trying to add more colour to his renditions & stop him sounding too samey these last 2 weeks.

    But he is still sounding samey, & his performances never have the ability to captivate the way Ella’s can.

  4. Andrew Edwards

    Jahmene’s gushing praise this year is very reminiscent to the judges comments received by Joshua Ledet over in the USA Pop Idol Season 11 earlier this year, Joshua finished 3rd.

    Week 5, Jahmene sang Listen. All four Judges went over the top with positive comments only for Jahmene to say in the press later in the week “I have watched my performance back and realised how many flat notes there were”

    Week 7, Tulisa says I have run out of ways to kiss your Butt. When Gary B says your talent is ridiculous Jahmene shakes his head as if he doesnt believe what he is hearing,he then goes on to say “I messed up a little bit, kind of, maybe”. Nicole wades in with Yes but you carried on and thats all that matters.

    Later in the evening on the Xtra factor Jahmene tells Olly that he wants to be in the bottom 2 because it would be fun!.
    It’s like the lad knows that he is being pimped to high heaven and is embarrassed by it.
    The judges may fool a few gullible viewers into believing that he is as good as they are making out. Yet, any one who followed Phillip Phillips on Pop Idol USA Season 11 will know that real talent always shines through.

    Ella’s song yesterday will remind many veiwers who fell in love with her after listening to her sing Chers song Believe at boot camp just how talented she is. Last nights song (youre the one that I want) had a very similar feel to it and the vocals were faultless.

    Not sure Rylan can escape bottom 2 tonight, I have aready taken a combo of Rylan/Jahmene at 42/1 and Union J/Jahmene at 41/1.
    Good luck everyone.

  5. Rob

    Thanks for posting, Andrew – and a very illuminating post too. Your story regarding USA Pop Idol Season 11 is also reassuring the constant pimping of Jahmene will prove ill-fated.

  6. Rob

    Wow, what a shocker! Sensed something surprising was on its way tonight… having sniffed around the big priced bottom 2s, sadly missed the James/Ella one.

    Laid Rylan, Union J & Chris for bottom 2 when his price came in, stood to win 4 figures on James elimination, sat tight, & got stung. Thought Ella would win on deadlock.

    Outright book looking terrifyingly red. A strange series. Prods have lost control, Nicole has been given far too much rope. Hope readers managed some profit tonight 🙂

  7. Rob

    James bottom 2 also landed – forgot that one.

  8. Boki

    Double surprise Rob and not very good night indeed…

  9. Andrew Edwards

    So much for my theory about Talent always shineing Through.
    Lost over 4 figures tonight due to Tulisa being the 1st mananger eliminated, I have been sitting on Louis and Gary for a few weeks now and didnt think for a minute that Ella would be out before Union J or christopher. Ive got a feeling that many more punters have a depleted bank balance tonight.

  10. Rob

    Sorry to hear Boki.

    You won’t be the only one who lost on that market, Andrew. It really has been a devilishly difficult series to call regarding the long-term markets.

    Stand by all the reasoning given as to why Jahmene looked an unlikely winner of this series. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way & the skill is limiting your exposure while consistently landing value bets.

    Our track record speaks for itself regarding the latter, and the weekly markets have provided a fantastic profit this series.

  11. eurovicious

    OK, so in our top 5, we have 3 acts who’ve been in the bottom 2, one act who I agree with you represents a good lay and who has required massive pimping throughout to stay where he is, and our established vote-topper Chris – the people’s champion. He has to win it, right?

    Just one question regarding this week: in the article you say you “think a Rylan/Union J bottom 2 remains the likeliest outcome tonight”, then in a comment above you say you “Laid Rylan, Union J & Chris for bottom 2”. Why the change?

  12. Rob

    Hi eurovicious,
    Thanks for posting. In the preview, also made a case as to why I could see all of Rylan, Chris and Union J avoiding the bottom 2.

    After watching the show for a 2nd time on repeat, decided Rylan represented a value lay at 1.5 or lower, had already layed UJ earlier in the week & decided to let that one ride, & Chris’s lay price again dropped down so layed him too.

    Also backed Jahmene to be in the bottom 2, as outlined, and the James bottom 2 was also flagged up.

    My trades on weekly XF markets stretch far & wide so cannot list all on here, but like to think the site is extremely transparent in outlining trading plans & pointing readers in direction of wise value bets.

    The weekly markets have been hugely profitable this series whereas long-term bets have not worked out so well. It has been a very difficult series to call other than sticking by Daily Star vote leak info!!

    Chris is a huge green, so hoping he can pull off a remarkable win but the big concern is the show continuing to throw the kitchen sink at dampening his vote.

    The hope is, they have singularly failed so far & will continue to fail – the overall impression this series is that the producers have lost control, would you not agree?

  13. eurovicious

    It sounds like we’re in the same situation regarding the outright market. I haven’t been good at playing the weekly markets, with big wins in weeks 1, 4 and 5 offset by big losses in weeks 2 and 7 (and on Top Over, first mentor to lose all acts, etc etc).

    Yes, they’ve lost control, and it’s for the better. Regarding the drop in viewing figures, what with this series’s whole “authenticity” thing, it’s kids who have stopped watching more so than adults (though no doubt they also have). Hence the boybands and MK1 faring poorly, hence Chris topping the vote. The show has nothing to offer young people this year – last year it did. There are no equivalents to Amelia, Marcus, Misha etc this year. There’s no fun. No pop. Maloney’s the only one who’s pop. I think he has it in the bag. And as Gary said, of course people would buy his record – they’re voting for him.

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