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Ultimately this blog is about betting; and from time-to-time, from a betting perspective, a spanner is thrown into the works - like double eliminations, a person automatically going through to the next week because of a throat infection, or eliminations being cancelled for example.

The X Factor producers have the right to do what they like, and whilst it's not always ideal when you're trying to win the kids Christmas present money, you just have to get on with it. But betting issues aside, last week's decision by X Factor producers to force each mentor to eliminate one of their own acts was completely unnecessary, and it overstepped the line, if there is such a line that is. Somehow I doubt there is.

It was billed as a big twist, except it wasn't a twist it was some grown men (or women), probably on half a million pound salaries and their careers all mapped out, messing with the hearts and minds of some vulnerable kids.

True, each and every person who auditions for the X Factor knows what is ahead of them to a certain extent and they still choose to try their luck at achieving stardom. But what they don't expect is to be taken half way round the world for a make or break audition, told they have made it to the live finals, and then told that actually they could be axed after one performance without the public having a say whatsoever.

That is exactly what happened last week. Each mentor had to eliminate one of their own acts meaning that girl band 2 Shoes, and solo singers Amelia Lily, Jonjo Kerr and James Michael have already had their dreams shattered.

I started this rant by saying betting issues aside but let's talk betting for one moment. As it turned out none of my selections were affected by this 'big twist' and actually I'm in a better position now than I was last week. But that doesn't make me happy. Singers like Lily shouldn't be out of this competition already, and anyone who backed her - the 4.3 favourite to win the contest at one point last week let me remind you - should feel hard done by. It just doesn't sit well with me.

I see nothing wrong with four acts - as a one-off - being eliminated in one week, but it should have been the public who voted with the four polling the least votes getting the boot, regardless of which category they are in.

If the X Factor is about allowing real talent to develop in front of our very eyes each weekend, and ultimately finding a recording artist who can sell millions of records, then how can a twist that would mean either Lily, Sophie Habibis, Janet Devlin or Misha Bryan would be sent packing in the first week be correct?

Apologies if you think this week's review is a bit too serious but I had to get that off my chest. Let's move on.

There were some great performances last week, especially from Devlin who I've now added to my portfolio. This girl was absolutely amazing in her audition and she was the one I wanted to back in the Winner market from that moment onwards. But for some unexplainable reason I didn't. No real harm done though as she is still available to back at 4.0 and I believe that's very fair. Devlin has an incredible voice and I completely disagree with Jack Houghton who believes it will begin to grate after a few weeks. It won't, and she will make it to the final week easily.

Massive credit to Jack though for his wager on The Risk at 22.0. My only reservation was that we'd never seen them perform in their new guise but they were easily the most surprising - for the right reasons - act on Saturday night. I'm not going to back them now at 7.0 but from this moment on they are going to be a real threat.

It wasn't such good news for the other boy band in the competition however, Nu Vibe being completely out of tune and looking completely out of their depth. They'll be gone in a few weeks no doubt but let's have a tiny wager that they'll be eliminated this week. I just hope we have no more 'big twists' to come!

Recommended Bets
Back Janet Devlin @ 4.0 in Winner market (2pts)
Back Nu Vibe in next elimination market


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