I've been really getting into www.sofabet.com which gives a betting analysis on reality shows. For a perfect example of this and a really interesting read, see their article 'Abi Alton: A Case Study In Manipulation' Anyway, from reading this, I am older and wiser when it comes to how X Factor really works. And we have a perfect case in point tonight:
Sam Bailey and Nicholas McDonald are going nowhere. We know they have huge fan bases, they've never been bottom, one has an entire country voting for them. So really this week is all about the judges choosing between Rough Copy and Luke Friend.
For some unknown reason, the producers desperately want Rough Copy in the final - I suspect because Simon Cowell wants to replace the hole in his pocket left by JLS - he's got a lot of nappies to shell out for in the near future. So here we have a last ditch attempt to throw everything but the kitchen sink at pimping Rough Copy and playing down Luke. For a start they bring back the sing-off for the semi final, which they have only ever done once before. Yet again Luke is given the death slot, and introduced as a 'little boy', which is sure to alienate his girly fans. Rough Copy are given the pimp slot. Luke has faint praise to avoid rebound voting. Then for his second song he's given the same styling as Big Band Week, which was the only time he got bad comments (subliminal, folks!) I've seen it all before - it's shocking how blatant it is.
As for the performances themselves, I won't do it act by act this week as there are only 4 of them left. Instead, I will say that I love Sam Bailey and she deserves to win. She reminds me so much of the very underrated Jennifer Rush, who you younger readers probably don't remember. Nicky had a terrible week. Luke's first song was awesome but the second was disappointing. And Rough Copy were pleasantly surprising with their naked, stripped back vocals on 'Sorry Seems To Be...'
Obviously, we will have a Luke vs Rough Copy final, and my only hope is that Sharon 'goes rogue' as Sofabet put it - ie. she goes against what the producers have told her to do (keep Rough Copy) and sends it to deadlock. If RC really have polled bottom, that would be a great two fingers up to X Factor manipulation. Viva La Revolution!