Ten acts remain in the competition and the impressive Ella Henderson remains the hot favourite, with the 16-year-old having missed the first audition due to a GSCE exam although a second trial saw her into Boot Camp and she hasn’t looked back since.
Henderson is a 4/5 chance (bet365 £200 free bets) to win the 9th series of X Factor and the main opposition seems to come from Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur. Both are in the Boys category along with novelty act Rylan Clark whose birthday this week allowed the contestants to let their hair down ahead of Saturday’s show.
Douglas lacked confidence at Boot Camp although he seems to be improving every week and the bookies are wary of taking on someone who is now a best price 6/1 (Boylesports bookmaker) to pip Ella Henderson and Co.
James Arthur curried favour with Tulisa immediately when performing a rendition of one of her songs at the audition and seems to be benefitting from the mentoring of Nicole Scherzinger. He’s not look troubled as the field narrows down and can also be backed at around the 6/1 mark.
Indeed, the bookies are prepared to make the X Factor a four-horse race with Union J respected enough to be afforded a price of 10/1 (Sky Bet) about a group who will clearly be the longest-lasting in their category, although their aspirations will be greater than simply beating District3.
George Shelley, Josh Cuthbert, Jaymi Hensley and JJ Hamblett are an example of how a patched-up boy band can often work out for the best when arranged by professionals and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their fan base swell as the weeks build towards Christmas.
Perhaps the Next Elimination market is more interesting at this stage and it’s a wide-open contest to determine who is voted off on Sunday, especially as judges like Louis Walsh has already caused controversy by keeping in Rylan Clark.
Clark was out of the bottom two last week although he could be in trouble now the weaker acts have departed and the birthday boy is a 7/2 chance to be axed this week, while Christopher Maloney’s days also look numbered.
At a much bigger price, Lucy Spraggan might sink towards the bottom two and Kye Sones could also be in danger after edging out MK1 last week.