Betting Advice and Analysis

X Factor Betting Preview & Advice

Xfactor 2012 Winner
Image of 2012 winner James Arthur
by Christina Richards (flikr)


Not everyone appreciates the delights of the X Factor. In truth the dreadful singing at the audition stage is wearing a bit thin and becoming less funny each year but many of us will still find ourselves watching the finals again this winter. Some of us not by choice but merely to rack up some points with the mrs so we can watch Super Sunday without any agro. So, if we are going to watch it for whatever reason then let’s at least make it interesting by attempting to make some money out of it!

Despite what is claimed by some members of Joe public and a few seething ‘musicians’ who have worked their way up the industry ladder, you do need to be able to sing to win the X Factor. The public haven’t yet made anyone a winner who isn’t a decent singer.

There are certain acts that have got further than they should e.g. Jedward, Rylan and Wagner but they never win. With BBC1 rivals ‘The Voice’ focusing on singing quality in the last couple of years I think it’s even more important that novelty acts gets less airtime this year and in fact none of the final 12 are novelty acts really. If you were in any doubt about the quality of the previous year’s winners look below.

Previous Winners of the X Factor

2004 – Steve Brookstein
2005 – Shayne Ward
2006 – Leona Lewis
2007 – Leon Jackson
2008 – Alexandra Burke
2009 – Joe Mcelderry
2010 – Matt Cardle
2011 – Little Mix
2012 – James Arthur

To me the winners tend to fall in to 2 main categories. Those who blow everyone away at the audition stage and stay favourite all the way through and those where there was a favourite originally but not a clear one, who then lost public support and there was a late surge for the winner. This is usually because the act is not as talented or versatile as the public originally thought or it’s because of their lack of ‘likeability’.

When an act like Leona Lewis comes along with very little competition against her it was easy to pick her as the winner. Well it’s certainly a pretty weak year this year but there’s no Leona in my opinion. The current favourite is 16 year old Tamera Foster who is a very good singer but she’s not in the same league as Leona and I have doubts about her likeability. At current odds of 4 on Betfair I’d advise a lay for now with a plan to back at higher odds later on in the competition for a risk free bet.

Cher Lloyd (season 7) and Danyl Johnson (season 6) started off as pretty big favourites but suffered this problem and although I don’t think she’s quite as unlikeable as these, she comes across a bit cold and the public may struggle to connect. She’s possibly the best singer and has a great look but it’s nowhere near a formality at this stage and odds of 3.5 are too low.

The girls are actually a pretty strong category compared with some of the others in terms of talent but I again have doubts about the likeability of fellow finalist Hannah Barrett. Hannah was very popular with Nicole Sherzinger and Mary J Blige but she has problems with her voice, never stops crying and has a bit of the ‘divas’ about her. This didn’t stop Misha B getting pretty far (4th in 2008) but I’d be surprised if she got as far as her to be honest.

Talented northerner Abi Alton is the other of the girls’ finalists and she looks like she might not be versatile enough to perform well in all the different genres, much like early 2011 favourite Janet Devlin, who just didn’t have any stage presence. I actually think there is more too her than Janet though and she is likely to trade lower in my opinion. She is certainly very likeable.

The boys are a pretty weak category in comparison to previous years and would have been a lot stronger had Dom Jolly lookalike Paul Akister got through. Neither of the big lads got through in fact despite being very good singers and this has led some to label Louis Walsh a ‘fatist’. Wee Scot Nicholas McDonald has an average voice at best and was actually given a ‘no’ by Gary Barlow at the auditions. The public will want him to do well and he could go far but he won’t win in my opinion.

Sam Callahan was lucky to get through to the live stage and I think Louis put him through on image alone. I don’t see his image being enough to take him far and I can see his cheesy performances putting the public off. He seems to think he’s more appealing than he actually is.

Completing the boys’ lineup we have Luke Friend who looks like he’s been poaching deer (Anyone remember Wulf from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves?). He has an ok voice but with an air of arrogance that he needs to wash out in addition to the dirt from his hair and I don’t give him much chance.

A boy band is yet to win the X Factor which is a surprise considering the quality and popularity of JLS and One Direction, neither of whom won. The groups however, along with the girls look like the strongest 2 categories in terms of talent and a few quid on a group at juicy odds could be a good bet.

You have the typical boy band in Kingsland Road who are a bit of a poor man’s One Direction and are the weakest of the 3 vocally. Rough Copy who now have their 3rd member Kazeem back are extremely good vocalists as are Miss Dynamix (Sounds like a Miss Dynamite and Little Mix Collaboration). They have a nice edgy sound a bit like TLC. On singing credentials alone you’d have to fancy at least one of Rough Copy and Miss Dynamix to trade lower than their current prices of 15.

The one category that the winner is extremely unlikely to come from this year is the overs (Over 28’s). The singers are very average indeed and include the instanstly forgettable Lorna Simpson who is favourite to leave first. The image of the 3 overs also leaves a lot to be desired. Sam Bailey is a very good singer but it’s hard to separate the image from the voice and she wasn’t as good as she has been at judges houses. She’s in the same ilk as Tesco’s Mary from 3 seasons ago and will struggle to go far I reckon.

Devonshire lass Shelley Smith will divide opinion in terms of likeability and those that find her annoying will find her really annoying and she’s probably priced right at odds of over 100-1.

Eliminations can be fun to bet on too and it’s often worth laying the favourite to go when they are an act who might be poorer but whom the public seem to like. As I said earlier there’s not really any novelty acts this year but there’s still sure to be a few surprises. Public popularity is a tough one to gauge especially for the older amongst us who may be a bit out of touch with the youth of today but there are plenty of popularity polls online. It’s always best to check a few different sources however as some do try and manipulate them.

Recommended value bets:

Abi Alton at 10.0 with SkyBet
Rough Copy at 13.0 with Stan James
Miss Dynamix at 17 with Betfred

Winning Category:
Groups at 6.5 with 188 Bet

First Out:
Lorna Simpson – Best odds of 4.0 with Ladbrokes




  1. Ben

    October 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    As a long time profit maker from the show, the one thing I disagree with here is that all past winners need to be decent singers. James Arthurs’ croaky warbling was unwatchable, and he only won with the show’s campaign to make him the winner.
    Likewise, Little Mix need autotuning, choirs, loud backing music and even fireworks to cover their weak vocals.

    Having said that, I do agree with your views on the current year.

    Tamera: The odds are too short for the outright win, especially with her drug taking pictures, beating up school girls “for fun” and going all out to steal other peoples’ boyfriends. Her VT was softening the public for when her real character comes out (that is, if the stories become main headlines). I think she is the type they would give a contract, so will save a couple of times to ensure a top 4 place.

    Nicholas is hard to predict. They have rarely put a full-on Scot into the live shows since the Scottish vote gave Michelle McManus the Pop Idol win. He is also the type to appeal to mothers & grans.
    However, the show have top-loaded the show with females, and seem to be pushing for a female winner this time around.
    Hannah: She had the best editing at JHs which indicates a good run in the show. Not sure she will gain enough votes to win.
    Abi: Not sure. I originally thought she was the chosen one. She is definitely willing to play the game but seems to have been sidetracked since her first audition. Plus I hear that both her songs at JHs were very shakey.
    Sam Bailey could be the dark horse. She has had great editing so far, will appeal to the same audience who were voting Maloney last year and has a decent voice. But as you say, her image is all wrong, plus she won’t pick up votes from the younger viewers.
    The rest are also rans.
    I would put the first out as Lorna or Shelley. Shelley could get a few extra votes through “character” but this weeks’ stories about Lorna’s ex Yardie boyfriend & pics of her posing with a gun aren’t going to endear her to the public. If she comes on stage singing Jolene (or any other country song) you’ll know she’ll be gone by Sunday.

    I’ll just add that, if Dynarodmix suddenly change their names to Bigger Mix, dump their boyfriends and have close ups of them crying while singing Beautiful, start backing them. (For the uninitiated, this is a joke about how hard the show had to work to get the Little Fix win).

  2. Brian

    October 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for your comments Ben. I’m pleased we’re in agreement about this year.

    James Arthur is definitely not to everyone’s taste but he did produce some decent vocals (in my opinion) but I take your point about Little Fix (LOL) and they were the one winners who did baffle me somewhat. I actually think that Perrie has a decent voice but the others are poor to average at best. Like you say, the show clearly pulled out all the stops for that one and it worked. We have to be mindful of that I guess.

    I wasn’t aware of ALL the Tamera stories so thanks for the insight. Interesting that you think Sam could be a dark horse but if Christopher Maloney can get as far as he did…

    Looking forward too seeing it all unfold. Hope it’s another profitable year for you!

  3. Gerry

    October 15, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Great article this. Lorna was out first and Rough Copy shortened to 6-1, so thanks for the advice 🙂

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