The Rocky Vocals Horror Show

Oct 25, 2016 by

The Rocky Vocals Horror Show

A vintage week of XF analysis for the site with Relley C, advised at 6-1 to be in the bottom 2 and 20-1 to be the 3rd elimination, duly losing the sing-off up against Four Of Diamonds. It has been a rich vein of form in the last couple of weeks with 4 winners unearthed on XF and Strictly at odds of 10-1, 7-1, 6-1 and 20-1.

Four Of Diamonds were also advised pre-live show to be eliminated at 9-1 so it became the dream scenario when Ryan, as expected, won the flashvote again, leaving Relley to duke it out with the girlband.

It was a sing-off my gut instinct said Four Of Diamonds would win and it was surprising to see the girls initially priced as odds-on favs to lose it. The judges had gone big on the ‘potential’ tag after their Saturday night performance, while all the signs were Relley was surplus to requirements, added to which one of the Overs was due to be eliminated, with Saara, as predicted, called safe and the show clearly invested in Honey G for a while longer yet.

Gifty was also advised pre-live show and was the last to be called safe having previously dropped the f-bomb when Sam was called safe first. The show produced a Misha B-style VT for Gifty which, along with the blonde wig to try and soften her look, strongly suggests she needed help with her public vote.

While the judges did their best to talk up her performance it wasn’t convincing and it will be an uphill struggle if they want to push her to this year’s final.

Sam, meanwhile, is being clearly defined as a rock chick, but the arrangement and staging of ‘Earth Song’ didn’t do her any great favours and there has been some vocal inconsistency in her performances – a charge you could level at all 3 Girls in this year’s competition.

Early slots for her suggest she has been doing well on the pv helped by strong regional support. ‘Fright Night’ might well see Sam tackle the Evanescence track ‘Bring Me To Life’ though ‘My Immortal’ would be my choice as it would give her the chance to showcase a more delicate side to her vocal.

The choice of Whitney’s ‘How Will I Know’ hinted they might let Emily release the shackles and give the audience an uptempo performance. Instead, the show kept her firmly in the slowed-down lane. The clear worry is, if we keep getting a repetition of the John Lewis-ing of songs for Emily, it will risk becoming dull and lifeless, a la Ella Henderson in series 9.

One wonders if the late running order position and eulogising of her performance – while doing its utmost to destroy Ryan’s vote with a classic coffin slot kill on the night – was a way for Syco to test out how high Emily’s vote can go.

Emily still has solid prospects of making the final as things stand, especially given the dressing down 5 After Midnight received which would appear to have weakened their status as second favourite in the Outright.

Their rendition of ‘Valerie’ was proper car crash stuff. Having watched X Factor for over a decade now, and sat through many an awful vocal performance only to hear the judges go on to praise it, it was a surprise to hear Cowell be so scathing.

One wonders if the late running order position and eulogising of her performance – while doing its utmost to kill Ryan’s vote with a classic coffin slot kill on the night – was a way for Syco to test out quite how high Emily’s vote can go

You can argue this is teeing up a bit of a journey for them but to point out to viewers sat at home how bad they sounded – which was evident previously without being mentioned by the judges –  cannot be good for their winning chance.

Even if they bounce back on Saturday, which may well be in the script – what odds ‘Thriller’ by the way? – the audience is now fully aware of their ropey vocals and unless the Syco sound engineers can work miracles they will continue to be exposed.

Matt did well again until about the last 30 seconds of ‘I’ll Be There’ when he got screechy. He has continued to solidify as favourite and with competition so thin on the ground this year, this is understandable.

Honey G was no more than adequate but Dermot telling viewers they want Granny G pics sent in next week seemed a clear signpost she has been riding high enough in the voting not to be in danger of a bottom 3 appearance, as proved to be the case.

You sense Saara’s pimp is likely to prove the high point of her X Factor 2016 experience. The view here is, she will likely be back in the Syco sniper’s sights this coming Saturday.

Four Of Diamonds seem more likely to get at least a 1-week reprieve and the chance to bounce back after their sing-off appearance. Their harmonies are superior to 5am and the girls clearly do have potential.

If you look back to some of Little Mix’s early performances on the show back in 2011 they were much ropier. The signs are, however, the show isn’t fully invested in them as the staging on Saturday was a hot mess.

You sense Saara’s pimp is likely to prove the high point of her X Factor 2016 experience. The view here is, she will likely be back in the Syco sniper’s sights this coming Saturday

Ryan might find himself acting as a bottom 3 buffer again, as TPTB happily continue to play with the Emily/Ryan romance angle. Syco has his vote under control and it knows he is likely to continue to be a flashvote winner, so it could well be a Ryan, Saara plus 1 scenario, with a view to waving goodbye to Saara on Sunday night.

Outside of Matt and Emily, the question is, who could beat Ryan in a flashvote? 1.7 million votes were cast in the flashvote on Sunday. It would be fascinating to know what percentage of those came from Scottish viewers.

The early play this week has to be Gifty to land in the bottom 2 at 5-2 with Ladbrokes. Assuming the ramping of Honey G will continue – and you would think the show is loathe to have a potential Saara vs Honey G sing-off situation – Gifty will find it tough to escape the bottom 3 having now played her bereavement joker. Only in the grief porn world that Syco operates could such a sentence be written.

Unless further background heartbreak is dug up to induce sympathy in viewers, as we have seen the show do in the past with the likes of Jahmene Douglas, Gifty will be up against it. Sam might be the other one at risk – with a Girl due to exit the competition – but Cowell seems to be a bigger fan of hers. A sing-off appearance for Gifty would also be a rap on the knuckles for dropping that f-bomb live on Sunday evening.

All 3 Girls have Tweeted this week expressing how happy they are about their song choices this Saturday. But with it being a Halloween episode and given everything we know about Syco’s expertise in putting contestants away, you shouldn’t read too much into that.

The ‘random’ theme generator landing on ‘Fright Night’ has inevitably led to ‘Fix Factor’ tabloid coverage. Amazingly, one UK online bookmaker was offering 2-1 on ‘Fright Night’ being ‘randomly selected’ for this Saturday’s theme. Well done to those who were able to snap up those odds.

As always, keep an eye on Comments for further analysis once we know this week’s song choices, and for post-Saturday night thoughts.


Gifty – to be in the bottom 2 – 5-2 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes


  1. Rob

    ‘Fright Night’ song choices & initial thoughts:


    Matt Terry: Nina Simone – I Put a Spell on You – Another chance for Matt to shine with this, should suit him well.

    Ryan Lawrie: Backstreet Boys – Everybody – If Ryan gets a big production for this, it might work, but room for the judges to go down the road of saying the song was too big for him. He did ok with One Direction’s ‘Perfect’ in week 1 but that was an easier boyband song to deliver.


    Emily Middlemas: Creep – Radiohead – ‘I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo… I don’t belong here’. This famously put paid to Wagner back in 2010. It’s Radiohead’s most commercial track & easy for Emily to deliver plaintively. Also continues the ‘sucking the life out of songs’ narrative for Emily.

    Sam Lavery: Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart – very dated but also well known to the audience. A track with a rock edge which keeps Sam firmly on that path.

    Gifty Louise: Fifth Harmony – I’m In Love With a Monster. A 2nd Fifth Harmony track for Gifty & I needed to look it up to find out about this song. Doubt many viewers will know it. If they are trying to paint her as ‘current’ it risks not coming off.


    Honey G: Will Smith – Men in Black – Week 3 last year, Mason Noise opened the show singing this and he did pretty well on the pv that week with 9.8% of the vote, bouncing out of the bottom 3 after a sing-off appearance the previous week.

    Saara Aalto: Lady Gaga – Bad Romance. Could be the ideal show opener. Potentially keeps Saara in her quirky cabaret performer lane.


    5 After Midnight: Michael Jackson – Thriller – We can no doubt expect a big production for this and maybe even a pimp slot. Script is teed up for a bounce back performance though live vocals will be interesting to monitor assuming a lot of dance moves.

    Four of Diamonds: Ella Henderson – Ghost. This song should really suit the girls – it is a song that lends itself to harmonies. Huge hit for ex-XF contestant Ella… it suggests to me this is an escape from the bottom 3 selection for 4oD.

    A 20-minute crossover with Strictly tomorrow so who performs in the coffin slot will be potentially revealing.

    Based on those choices, would still predict a Saara, Ryan + 1 bottom 3 pre-show. We know Ryan is well-positioned to win any b3 vote though Sam could possibly topple him if she is b3 with him.

    Sam has had 2, 5, 4 running order positions so looks more likely she will be on in the 2nd half of the show. Emily may find herself back on early.

    Gifty is going to need a big ramp again to avoid b3. Same applies to Honey G but the ingredients are there for her to pull in the votes again.

    Don’t think the show would want a potential Saara vs Honey G sing-off either so pre-show Gifty still looks most likely to land b3 outside of Saara and Ryan.

  2. Jay

    Hi Rob I accidently stumbled upon the 1st act called safe market on sky bet. 4oD looked a lil value at 16/1?

    • Rob

      Hi Jay. That looks worth a small investment. Also 16-1 with Ladbrokes.

      I thought Saara was worth backing last week in this market based on similar logic but Sam was called first.

  3. Rob

    Gifty is now a best-priced 8-11 to be in the bottom 2 so those who took the advice here pre-live show of 5-2 Gifty to be bottom 2 are sitting pretty.

    Gifty looks a near cert for b3. The only scenario that might see her escape b2 would be if Ryan avoids b3, & Gifty is joined by 4oD and Saara – she could feasibly win that flashvote.

    As outlined in this week’s preview, all the signs were she has been struggling on the pv & has struggled series-long to connect with the audience.

    It would appear from last night’s treatment that Cowell has given up on her as she endured a coffin slot, Strictly over-lap nightmare – Gifty telling viewers she wants to win in her VT, terrible, obscure song choice, as expected, bad styling, poorly staged, Louis telling the audience it was a song they didn’t know, distracting chat, & then firmly sent down the memory plug-hole by Matt Terry nailing a great vocal again & receiving the judges’ plaudits again.

    Matt, Emily and Sam are the 3 I would confidently call safe. All 3 put in excellent performances and were eulogized. As soon as it became known Emily had the pimp slot, it was clear ‘Creep’ would be an under-stated gem, & it was undoubtedly her starring moment of the series so far. As things stand, she is the only challenger to Matt.

    Honey G had the kitchen sink by way of production & this may have been enough to keep her away from the bottom 3, which was surely the intention.

    Four of Diamonds could well join Gifty in the bottom 3. Their harmonies were decent enough but they were exposed in the solo parts & given no help with the arrangement of ‘Ghost’.

    Their feedback was positive though & they have the small chance of a bounce after last week’s sing-off appearance.

    5am were on after Matt Terry & again their vocals were dreadful. Despite the judges best efforts to talk them up, this may not be enough for them to avoid the bottom 3, & it would be no surprise to see them dragged down.

    Ryan did a decent job with ‘Everybody’ & he was styled in a cool way. It is probably in the show’s best interests if he avoids b3 tonight after the story about him thinking the show has been doing its best to get rid of him.

    Saara’s performance was somewhat weird, extremely cabaret, & she did her usual by getting shouty in parts. They gave her positive feedback while not really pushing for votes or pimping her like they did the week before.

    So the call here this week is Gifty, 4oD and one of Saara or 5 After Midnight joining the 2 of them in the bottom 3.

    A Girl is due to leave the competition & given Gifty’s treatment last night 4oD would be no forlorn hope to survive a sing-off vs Gifty.

    So Gifty also looks worth a small investment to be the next elimination as 8-1 looks good value.


    Gifty – next elimination – 8-1 – 1pt win – Boylesports, Bet Victor

  4. M8

    Hi Rob, I don’t bet on X Factor usually as the dark arts put me off watching it, but I saw the Gifty elimination tip this morning and had a small dabble at a reduced 6/1 after seeing her running order. Congratulations and many thanks!

  5. Steve

    Well done again to you Rob! You really are on fire this year (like 4OD last night!). I have to admit that it was all thanks to your guidance over the past few years that persuaded me that 23 on Betfair on Fri for Gifty to go was huge value. I only took a little nibble (topped up at 6 today) but was really surprised you didn’t suggest it (even as a trade) if you were conviced she was headed bottom 2. So, as always,I owe you huge thanks leading me to a nice little profit tonight on Gifty and Anastasia.

    On another note Coral have refused to void my Laura bet from last week Grrrr!

    • Rob

      Thanks guys. My pre-live view was, Saara was most likely to go & I was envisioning a possible Gifty vs Saara sing-off with Gifty saved.

      I think it was that trap 1 for Gifty that was the big sign she was in the Syco sniper’s sights. If you were quick on Saturday night there was still plenty of 16-1 around Gifty to go at the start of the XF show, so I’m sure a good few managed to procure that price 😉

      4oD were given the ‘potential’ tag the previous week so it would have been an odd decision to kick them off the show only a week later, so again the sing-off odds tonight looked completely wide of the mark to me. And so it proved.

    • Tim B

      Hi Steve. I’m in exactly the same boat regarding Coral and Laura. I’ll be taking it up with IBAS once I’ve returned from holiday.

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