There are eleven acts remaining at the live finals stage and Ella Henderson is as strong an early favourite as there ever has been in the X Factor, with the bookies offering a best price 8/11 (Sky Bet) about a singer who already seems universally popular with men and women alike.
Henderson is just sixteen years of age although the girl from Grimsby has barely put a foot wrong and being mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos seems no bad thing, with the N Dubz singer affording her special treatment thanks to her age and huge potential.
However, we should know better than to think Ella is past the post and there are several other acts that could yet come into the reckoning. Jahmene Douglas looks to be the pick of the boys and there’s a story behind the 21-year-old (he’s never kissed a girl) which makes him perfecting marketing material.
Sportingbet go 13/2 about Douglas, while James Arthur is also in the Boys category and can be backed at a similar price. The Teesider is an interesting act who can play the guitar as well as rap which seems to be the prerequisite for many male solo artists these days.
However, the third act in the Boys section is the X Factor’s novelty act this year and Rylan Clark is simply there to cause anger among the viewing public who have already been left seething as the 23-year-old remains in the show at the expense of more talented singers.
Clark is the 100/1 outsider and clearly won’t be allowed to win this talent contest although he is likely to avoid elimination for several weeks yet. Indeed, it appears that Christopher Maloney is the likely act to exit on Sunday, with the scouser having made it through as wild card winner.
Maloney is a best price 9/4 to bow out this weekend, with Clark backable at 4/1 and MK1 could also be in trouble, not least because they sound like a nightclub in Milton Keynes. This urban hip-hop duo were previously a three-piece and 11/2 with bet365 seems reasonable about them bowing out next.
The group with the best chance of having that Christmas number one are Union J who will hope to emulate One Direction and they appear to be amassing a global fanbase which could yet catapult them to stardom.