The Joy of X: the return of Dale’s X-Factor Tipping Competition, the smart restraint of X advertising, and why a two-night schedule could be one gamble too far

here we are again.  the nights are drawing in and the leaves are beginning to turn so this must mean its time for the X-Factor Live Finals.  once again the lovely Dale is organising a tipping competition.  Mediation is of course once again taking part.  here's how it works…

each week Mediation will be picking two acts who I think will go through (my top two) and two acts I think have a chance of going home (bottom two).  for each act in my top two that advance Mediation gets 5 points.  if one of my two bottom choices gets kicked off I get a whopping 10 points.  if they are in the bottom two and don’t get sent home I get 5 points.

sounds complicated?  well it kind of is but it also kinda works, so here are my tips.  my top two are easy…

X_09_Lucie X_09_Jamie

Lucie is a gem – sweet, gorgeous voice, the nation will love her.  and Jamie is easily producers favourite – different, distinctive, brings something new and different and a nice guy.  Simon clearly believes this guy can make him some serious money.  and if its good enough for Simon its good enough for me.  as for the bottom two…

X_09_Kandy_Rain X_09_Miss_Frank

armageddon this year for Louis, didn't have much to choose from and reckon he made bad choices with what he did have.  first in my bottom two is Kandy Rain – the vocals are weak and they're not going to click with many of the voting public.  the second one is a lot harder, and Rikki was there in consideration for a good while but I'm going to go for Miss Frank.  I hope they don't go but the groups are just so weak this year I don't think they're going to garner many votes at all.

also, saw the above 48s on Tottenham Court Road.  restrained, cool, different, right.  good to see ITV / BBH investing in the show with such smart restraint (same can't be said for its News of the Screws partnership which I've seen advertised but we'll let that one slide).

it may be that this is more of a media industry targeted campaign – it is after all full frontal to where many of the planners and buyers of Vizeum, Starcom, Zenith, PHD and OMD will trot in the morning on their way to work.  in which case a lovely move too…  good to see ITV having and showing confidence after so many knocks of late…

its also likely of course that this confidence is the reason behind the splitting of the show across Saturday and Sunday…  mistake Mediation thinks.  it may generate more ratings in the short term but I'm not convinced its a long term winner.  part of the joy of X is going out after and debating the result.  chatter which always carried into Monday morning without the need for a Sunday night show.  the danger is that you leave people on Saturday night wanting more, but only deliver what's a bit of an anti-climax on the Sunday…  you need to build up all that hype again so that the jeopardy of the vote plays out to full affect.

it didn't work for Strictly, and it doesn't in my opinion work for American Idol.  the two-night schedule could turn out to be a gamble too far for the new-look Factor.

enjoy the show.


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