However, Christopher Maloney is alive and kicking in the competition and the scouser’s popularity means that we could yet see a lesser-talented victor this year, even if several finalists may end up getting recording contracts.
There are four acts left in the competition and Maloney is a 5/1 chance (Paddy Power free bets) to become the surprise winner, with Christopher the only “Over 28” left in the competition and mentored by Gary Barlow.
Maloney clearly has limited ability and some would argue that Ella Henderson should still be in the competition although it is likely he will battle out the final with Jahmene Douglas and James Arthur who are neck-and-neck according to the bookies.
Douglas is an 11/8 chance to win (bet365 bookmaker) and continues to deliver strong performances while his difficult upbringing means there’s a story which will attract extra voters who will want to see a “rags to riches” outcome to this latest series of the X Factor.
However, a lot of female viewers will also be attracted to Arthur’s singer-songwriter credentials which sees the youngster take an average pop song and turn it into something completely different with his voice and guitar.
Arthur can be backed at 6/4 with bet365 and it could come down to a straight shoot-out between himself and Douglas, although it does appear that Union J will be the act bowing out of the competition and the programme makers will have to devise ways to avoid Maloney winning.
The four piece boy band have outlasted their rival groups although their odds of 18/1 suggest that their number is up. Josh, Jaymi , JJ and George are an 8/11 chance to be the next act eliminated compared to the 3/1 about the cruise ship singer from Liverpool exiting the competition.