After months of auditions, boot camp and live shows, we have three acts battling out in the X Factor final on Saturday night.
Misha B, Janet Devlin, Craig Colton and The Risk were all touted as potential winners of Series 8, although they have fallen by the wayside much to the delight of the bookmakers who installed each act as favourite at one particular time.
So now we are left with Little Mix, Marcus Collins and Amelia Lily, with the latter having been eliminated in Week 1 only to return in Week 6 thanks to Frankie Cocozza’s misdemeanours. The British public love an underdog and she has survived a shoot-out with Craig Colton to claim a place in the final.
The bookies offer odds of 5/2 (William Hill – £25 free bets) that the Kelly Rowland act claims victory this weekend, although the fact that each act will be performing a duet with their mentor suggests that it could be worth siding with Marcus Collins instead.
After all, despite trying to model himself on Simon Cowell when it comes to being a ‘bad cop judge’, Gary Barlow is tremendously popular thanks to his Take That involvement and his crooning alongside young Marcus could thrust the latter into the spotlight like never before. Paddy Power (£100 free betting) offering 5/2 that Collins takes the crown.
Then we have Little Mix, who have undergone a name change halfway through the show after it was ruled that they couldn’t be called Rhythmix. Not that it appears to have affected their chances and Tulisa Contostavlos’ maiden voyage on the X Factor judging panel could easily result in victory.
Some bookies are taking no chances on the claims of the four-piece girl band, who were manufactured after auditioning as solo artists, something which has become quite a common trend in the X Factor. Some firms are as short as even money about Little Mix, although Sky Bet do offer 11/8 for any potential backers.
William Hill and Betfred also indulge in offering Straight Forecast betting to customers; with Little Mix / Marcus available at odds of 5/2 in what could be an unpredictable outcome.