It’s EVERYTHING Day here at Betsfactor. Before we vanish once again, we’re just going through everything, one last time. If you’re new to the party, a warm welcome – have a look at the “Welcome” section and have a good old read. You need to start at the bottom and work your way up though – read the last three main articles first! 

We’re all strange in our own way… One of the things a handful of handpicked, delighted women who have been in a relationship with me soon realise, is how much I dislike that first meeting with their friends or their parents…

We’ve all been there. Male or Female. You are going to meet them. You don’t want to meet them. You want to watch TV on your Youview box, and then enjoy a Skype chat with your mum on a Samsung tablet. The friends, or the parents, are meeting you in order to judge you and form a soundbyte summing up that judgement, that they can then wheel out to anyone who will listen over the coming months. Two hours that could affect the relationship forever. Annoy the parents and it won’t be forgotten. You’ll have to have another ten perfect dinners before it’s wiped out. Make an inappropriate gag about her friend’s Kirsty’s breasts, or fail to be charismatic and charming, have a bad day and the friend will blacklist you for a year. The person you’re dating won’t be very impressed either. When people gossip, they won’t necessarily say you’re a moron, but it’ll be implied. When she asks “so what do you think” to Kirsty whilst you’re in the toilet, she will mute her praise like a judge does to Abi Alton. Once people form and express an opinion, they don’t like to change it.

That’s why I find these events very very stressful. If you’ve heard the Betsfactor podcast by now, you’ve probably realised that I say what I think and can be a bit of a “danger” at social events, if I don’t watch myself.

Every word matters. Needs to be thought through. That joke might be funny in front of people who really know you, but that exceedingly dry remark or “ironic” statement might not be as funny as you think it is at Uncle David’s BBQ in front of a 10 year old child and her gran.

There was something about the way the judges seemed to be holding themselves when critiquing Tamera that reminded me of Uncle David’s BBQ and Kirsty’s breasts.*

Every word in both critiques seems calculated. You could see the look of intense focus and concentration on Gazza’s face. Even Sharon seems 90% on message.

Gary managed to find a way of saying “you’re not ready for this competition yet”, in the most wonderfully positive way.

“Fast forward five years…”.

“you’ve had a fantastic night” (one night), Louis was delighted that she’d remembered the words. Nicole rambled on about Everything. Louis called the second performance a “Leona Lewis moment“. Wow – a Leona Lewis moment! The greatest X factor contestant in history… but, not much to suggest they really looked forward to seeing her next week…

It was all so positive, and looked so wonderfully calculated. The judges were at Uncle David’s BBQ and watching every single word. Not a hint of negativity; this sausage might be burnt, but every bite is hot and tasty, and it’s got that authentic smokey taste. You made this BBQ your own Uncle David. Notice how the audience wasn’t whooping much… and nor was there real emotion from the judges. Their reactions were very very calculated, exactly like my critique of her mum’s roast dinner. Nothing that could be interpreted as criticism.


Well, I’m not sure exactly how much influence the producers have on the judges. Let’s pretend it’s “not at all”, in which case I would hope that they have learnt their lesson – I think they realised with Abi, and maybe Tamera last week, that if they go completely over the top, the vulnerable girl looks wounded and people pick up the phone. It was as if they were all aware that they must not motivate anyone to dial. This is a great point our friends at Sofabet have made many times and I’d like them to get the credit for this one!

The whole point of this second performance was that it appeared a big success, but it didn’t motive people to vote for it.

Why didn’t it motive people to vote…. Well, let’s look at our old friend “Delight the Demo“. On one of the first Betsfactor Podcasts, I defined Tamera’s demo as “anyone who annoys you in a McDonalds”. The Rhianna song was a quadrunuking  Car Crash we agree, so will any of the audience be motivated to vote for Tamera’s interpretation of a Roberta Flack song? This demo has the shortest attention span of all the demos still in play, and frankly, I’m not sure they will have lasted a full lyric. Elongated notes, the whole thing just dragged and dragged. The song, whilst sung well, was dreary, didn’t do anything and just sounded a lot longer than two and a half minutes. The giant crucifix ring is not the most tasteful way to express your love of Jesus Christ, just for the record stylists.

I didn’t think the backdrop was helpful either. Were those flowers all blossoming? Or were some of the flowers closing during the chorus. I’m no botanist, but I often see similar white flowers at funerals. Either way, in my view it was distracting, messy and unhelpful right the way through the song.

Let’s go back to our friends the producers… Do we think by now they have any idea what staging is correct for something they want to make out to be good or having a Leona moment…? I might have noticed a pattern over the last ten years for blue and white, or gold lighting. Strange. This “Leona moment”, which they will have seen a few times in rehearsals, was not lit or staged like a Leona moment? What a strange coincidence. They must have just dropped the ball on that one. An innocent mistake. Like the car crash subliminal, the week after car crash TV.


Rob toyed with his lid.

“OK… so why aren’t you putting your house on this?”

“Well, this is where the element of risk comes in. Are we sure that the public will play ball and am I certain that the plan is to get rid of her?”

“Well, she was one of the favourites wasn’t she?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t see it personally, but the market loved her. She reminded them of a young Leona Lewis. She was continually pushed over the last few weeks, but I think it all changed when she forgot her lyrics again, just when they had set it up for a “wow” moment last week. I think they have decided that they can’t have that happen again – they’d given her so many chances. That’s just what I think – I don’t know that, and that’s where the element of risk comes in, there’s a small chance that this massive nuking is to sympathy bounce her into the final… Make people aware she’s not safe and then that could push her into the final.”

I then went through my “six songs” theory, that you can enjoy on last week’s Betsfactor Podcast.

Rob looked at his phone.

“Are you bored yet?”

“No no – it’s interesting – but how do you know it’s going to happen?”

“Well, this is where the risk comes in. How confident are you that these techniques will make the public do what you think they want. I would say I am 99% sure that the producers want her in the bottom two, I’m 80% sure they want rid of her, but I can’t say whether the public will do what they are told. I always read forums, and comments on sites like Sofabet, people are saying different things and you start to question what you’ve seen. Then you read polls… like Digital Spy. Who sang best… They have Nicholas bottom at about 6%, Luke at about 7%, Tamera at about 16%.”

“Yeah, but it’s not a representative audience”, Rob interrupted.

“True, how many OAP’s read Digital Spy, but you look at these votes and they knock your confidence. People are saying she gave them goosebumps… I can’t ever be sure – that’s why if you read Betsfactor today you’ll see my tip is full of warnings. I am pretty certain this is what they WANT, it’s just whether the public will do what they are guided to do, and that is why my nonexistent house isn’t on it. In fact I’d only ever put a house on the X Factor if I had at least a hundred houses and I’d carefully read the details on responsible gaming at Gambleaware.co.uk.

“What’s that site – I’d like to make sure that I am playing within my means and never staking more than I can comfortably afford to lose, and well aware of risk and the dangers of gaming.” Rob enquired with interest.

“Gambleaware.co.uk” I replied.

“So it is very risky.”

“Well, let’s not get into risk right now – but accept that I was very sure that the producers wanted her in the bottom two, but you can never be sure that the public would follow suit. Generally they do, in fact they often do – otherwise the producers wouldn’t use these methods. But you’re never sure.”

“Well, that’s interesting – shall we go and queue?”.

“Er… that’s not all. Does this place have wifi?”

Richard Betsfactor was about to do what he always does on the world’s greatest multimedia brand. Blow his audience (of one) out of the americano with irrefutable, but ultimately completely ignored by everyone, evidence that Tamera going was the plan.

Rob didn’t know it, but his life was about to be changed for ever.

8pm – Memories of 2010

10pm – The Rope

* Neither of these incidents ever really happened – just for reference mum.


Posted on December 4, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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