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The worst aspect of penning a X Factor review on a quiet Sunday afternoon - when you're at the peak of your writing powers - is that there's always the possibility of the X Factor results show later that evening forcing you into a complete re-write.

That's what has happened here. I had this article penned by four o'clock yesterday afternoon, I was on the lash by five o'clock, and by seven o'clock I was throwing money behind the bar for the locals in anticipation of collecting my X Factor winnings.

But that's as good as it got. At exactly 8:37pm on Sunday evening (I know the exact time because there's an outgoing call on my mobile to the local hospital) Dermot O'Leary said the word, "Fraaankie", - meaning the sleazy rock star wannabe had survived another week - and I turned a ghostly, sickly pale colour. "Give him some water, he'll be fine", said the nurse on the other end of the phone. And I was, until Mr O'Leary said the words, "The Risk", - meaning the group was immediately eliminated from the competition courtesy of finishing bottom of the public vote.

Apparently I was only unconscious for 15 minutes, which is just as well because it meant I missed Johnny Robinson being eliminated also. Not only had my Frankie Cocozza wager lost, but my strongest bet of the competition - Robinson in the Over 25s market - had gone belly up too.

So what exactly is going on? Why are the public keeping Cocozza in, and why are they failing to vote for decent acts like Sophie Habibis and The Risk? I'll be damned if I can explain.

On Sunday afternoon I'd written about X Factor themes ruining the competition, and that Saturday night's 'Dance Floor Classics that Can Fill A Floor in a Club' theme (or whatever it was), was another example of a theme taking acts out of their comfort zone.

Quite frankly, who cares if Janet Devlin can't sing dance songs? I will only buy her album if it's a compilation of soft ballads sung in her unique, beautiful way. Her recording voice is perfect for that type of song, and not for singing up-tempo numbers that she doesn't feel comfortable doing. Lady Gaga has hardly failed to sell millions of pop records because she can't do a heavy metal number has she?

So please, let Devlin sing whatever song she feels comfortable singing, and don't dictate to her what songs she can or can't sing by having a completely pointless theme week. If The X Factor is about finding a recording artist, someone who can sell millions of albums, then I'm afraid there's only Devlin left in the competition who fits the bill.

As good as Craig Colton and Marcus Collins have been in recent weeks, if any of these guys win this year's competition then you will have an artist in the Leon Jackson mould - one that we will never hear of again after that initial bit of success.

I'm not for one second suggesting that Colton or Collins won't win because after what happened on Sunday night nothing will surprise me anymore. Both sang really well, and not for the first time. They are ultra consistent and don't appear to have any problems adjusting to whatever theme they have to abide by. But neither are good enough to sell millions of records, and therefore I hope neither of them win.

Collins is the 3.8 favourite in the Winner market after being available to back at 27.0 just three weeks ago, whilst Devlin and Colton can be backed at 4.6 and 5.2 respectively. Next in is Misha Bryan at 6.6, Rhythmix (Little Mix) at 7.8, and then complete outsiders Kitty Brucknell (65.0) and Cocozza (90.0).

I haven't got a clue about this week's 10th Elimination, but for information purposes Cocozza is the 2.06 favourite, just ahead of Brucknell (3.7). My money is staying firmly in my pocket, though I have had another bet on Devlin to win outright. The British public and X Factor producers will come to their senses sooner rather than later... won't they?

Recommended Bets
Back Janet Devlin @ 4.6 in Winner market (2pts)


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