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
Groups at 6.5 with 188 Bet
Lorna Simpson – Best odds of 4.0 with Ladbrokes