Creep-ing Into Contention

Nov 1, 2016 by

Creep-ing Into Contention

The dream run continues with Gifty’s bottom 2 appearance and subsequent elimination from X Factor yielding a further two winning bets at advised odds of 5-2 and 8-1.

This follows winning bets on both Strictly and X Factor at odds of 10-1, 7-1, 6-1 and 20-1 over the previous 2 weeks. The settled bets during this autumn run of Strictly and X Factor is currently showing a +60pt profit. If you are treating 1pt as £10 a total investment of £230 will have garnered a return of £830 and a £600 profit which equates to an ROI of 261%.

As someone who, over the course of the tv betting year, would be more than happy to achieve a 40% ROI, this figure is off the chart right now. And looking ahead, the portfolio of unsettled bets is, in general, in quite a healthy state as the Strictly and X Factor markets stand today:

Advised Strictly pre-lives:
Ore Oduba – 2pt e/w (a fifth the odds) – 12-1 – Ladbrokes, Coral
Danny Mac – 2pt e/w (a fifth the odds) – 10-1 – Skybet
Greg Rutherford – 1pt e/w (a fifth the odds) – 25-1 – Ladbrokes
Louise Redknapp – Top Female – 4pt win – 100-30 – Stan James (3-1 with bet365, William Hill)

Advised X Factor pre-lives:

Outright – Matt Terry – 4pt win – 9-4 – Paddy Power, Betfred, Skybet
Ryan Lawrie – 1pt e/w (a quarter the odds) – 16-1 – bet365
Top Girl – Samantha Lavery – 2pt win – 3-1 – William Hill, Ladbrokes
Top Overs – Honey G – 4pt win – 15-8 – William Hill

In-series unsettled bets:

Strictly Outright – Greg – 14-1 – 1pt e/w – Betstars
Greg – 25-1 – 1pt e/w (fifth the odds, first 3 places) – Ladbrokes, SportingBet
Claudia – 2pt win – 6-1 – Ladbrokes

X Factor Outright – 4 Of Diamonds – 9-1 – 1pt e/w – bet365, Coral

The site has remained free-to-view this autumn. If you feel you have profited from the analysis and betting advice posted here on Strictly and X Factor 2016, please do offer a donation via the Donate link found at the top of the right sidebar and below this post. This will help with the continued upkeep of the site.

Back to the weekly review of X Factor and there has been surprise expressed in some quarters regarding Gifty’s elimination. The feeling here is, the signposts could not have been clearer she was in the cross hairs this week.

While we had been given many clues she was struggling in the public vote, to then put her in the dreaded coffin slot, singing an obscure song choice in ‘I’m In Love With A Monster’ during the Strictly overlap and then be memory-holed by Matt’s stellar performance that followed…

We also saw in the positive treatment of both Sam and Emily that the signs were there the show had given up on Gifty and was focusing its efforts on the other 2 Girls instead.

This made it a surprise, again, to see odds as big as 4.5 being dangled on Gifty’s elimination during the sing-off. On all known evidence the sing-off was much more of a coin toss and given they had stressed the ‘potential’ tag in regard to Four Of Diamonds, it would have been an odd move to ditch them one week later. Gifty’s exit has also levelled things up across the four categories.

With the ‘Girlband vs Boyband’ theme conveniently landing on Dermot’s ‘random’ wheel, there is clear narrative potential for Four Of Diamonds to shine on Saturday, receive the judges’ plaudits and bounce above the bottom 3 after consecutive sing-off appearances.

That is assuming the bottom 3 continues and Ryan finds himself the potential flashvote buffer once more. He did a reasonable job with ‘Everybody’ but you can understand his disillusion at his handling during the live shows.

Sam put in her best live performance to date singing ’Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ and received positive feedback from the judges, being told there is a gap in the market for her. She also enjoyed a very positive VT that focused on her making her family proud. She would be best served being given more contemporary songs with a rock edge or anything vaguely cooler or more relevant than a Bonnie Tyler hit or Lionel Ritchie/Michael Jackson for that matter.

Saara’s rendition of ‘Bad Romance’ was very cabaret and she did not enjoy as much vote-generating rhetoric from the judges as the previous week. Her vocal does have a tendency to get a bit screechy. She may well have been flirting just above the bottom 3 aided by the goodwill she earned putting her spin on Bjork the previous week.

There was initial talk of Sharon going to Finland with Saara this week. That sounds warning bells if it comes to pass in that it will give ample room to paint her as a quirky foreigner once more, and if you want to get subliminal it could invite send Saara home vibes to the voting audience.

Up to this point the show has been much more invested in Honey G who again got the kitchen sink treatment by way of production and was even name-checked as a potential finalist. It seems less likely they would dump their main watercooler act this year in favour of Saara at this stage.

5am’s ‘Thriller’ effort again highlighted their vocal weakness. Might the show be getting slightly concerned by their lacklustre vocals? It will be very informative this weekend to see how they are treated, especially in relation to Four Of Diamonds given the theme.

Four Of Diamonds would be better suited being given a song that focuses on the harmony rather than, as has been the case up to now, having to negotiate songs with too many solo parts and awkward arrangements which seem to have been set up to expose them individually. If TPTB change tack and decide to lavish them with the kind of support so far offered to 5am, they could still go far.

Which leaves the pimp-slotted Emily who produced a spellbinding rendition of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ combined with exquisite staging. You could envisage Emily doing an excellent job with other classic tracks like Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’ or The Cure’s ‘Lovesong’. Anything that is plaintive and poignant probably suits her best.

The worry for her is, this goes against the grain in X Factor world and risks being too downbeat and ‘alternative’ for a lot of viewers should it continue over a period of weeks. And being tasked with going the big, uptempo route is unlikely to suit her so well. Her rendition of ‘Anything Can Happen’ at 6CC a couple of years ago was very patchy vocally.

Meanwhile, Matt Terry looks set to continue doing a great job delivering well-known hits and R&B classics which should keep him in the box seat, one, because he is a good-looking solo male and two, because that sort of music territory is much more palatable for the X Factor audience.

Ultimately, the show will decide who it wants to back for the win but the main doubt at this point with Emily is whether they would be keen to ramp her past Matt when every indication so far is that he has their full backing and is halfway towards a Louisa Johnson-style coronation.

Looking into the crystal ball ahead of Saturday night’s show, it is potentially teed up for Four Of Diamonds to escape the sing-off, which suggests you should be looking in the direction of Ryan and Saara as the most likely candidates to be next for the chop. And if the flashvote remains then Ryan looks to have a get-out-of-jail-free card to play.

5-2 Saara to be next eliminated is certainly more appealing than 15-8 Four Of Diamonds but no bet will be advised today. Keep an eye on Comments below as something may emerge once we learn this week’s song choices.

In terms of the overall X Factor betting portfolio, if you have followed the advice so far it makes sense to think about getting Emily covered on the Outright at best available odds. Sam would also make plenty of appeal at 20-1 e/w if it was 3 places. Sadly, the bookies are already only offering first 2 places probably because of Matt’s odd-on status.


X Factor Outright – Emily – 2pt win – 100-30 – Coral, William Hill


  1. James

    Hi Rob. Donation submitted, and if Greg wins Strictly, I will gladly donate again

    • Rob

      Very kind of you James. I considered setting up a subscription but wanted to keep the autumn run of shows free-to-view.

      It has been an amazing run & unlikely to ever be bettered.

  2. apleximus

    Congratulations Rob on such a fantastic run, as you say, unlikely to ever be bettered.

    I just wanted to ask if you plan to preview the SPOTY market this year? With our phenomenal Olympic success it really is an exciting year for it. Andy Murray is obviously the short-priced favourite, and will no doubt go shorter if he manages to topple Djokovic at number 1 by the end of the year. But will the British public really vote for him to win a 3rd time in 4 years?
    I’m interested particularly in Trott, so talented and likeable, and already our most decorated female Olympian ever, with 4 gold medals. 12/1 looks too big to me.

    • Rob

      Hi apleximus. Definitely plan to do a SPOTY betting preview. It is a fascinating year. I can see ‘hashtag Trotty for SPOTY’ trending which will help her. Cycling vote potentially split but she looks the most likely top-3 candidate among the potential shortlisted cyclists.

  3. Matt Terry vai ganhar!!!!! Amém!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Eun

    I think there’s a big danger for 5AM and 4OD this weekend and that’s looking really bad when compared to other boy and girlbands. The theme lends itself to lots of mentions for The Spice Girls, Girls Aloud, Little Mix, One Direction, Take That, etc etc and both the current bands will suffer at any comparisons made.

    I’d place 4OD at serious danger of a B3/B2 this weekend on that alone.

  5. Rob

    This week’s XF song choices & accompanying initial thoughts:


    Matt Terry: Wham! – I’m Your Man – This will show a different ‘fun’ side to Matt but I would expect this to prove his weakest week so far during the lives. Also expect he will still cruise through.

    Ryan Lawrie – The Beatles – Twist & Shout – A fun, uptempo number for Ryan. He needs to channel his inner-Ferris Bueller for this but given he won’t be on a float going down an avenue in Chicago with a huge accompanying crowd joining in, he may get the usual ‘song too big for you’ appraisal.


    Emily Middlemas: One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful – Seemingly a chance for Emily to go uptempo with this with some movement around the stage. Don’t think this will play to her strengths because her vocal is much better suited to slower, plaintive songs.

    Sam Lavery: Girls Aloud – I’ll Stand By You – Among this week’s song list this looks one of the more likely pimp slot songs, as it will show a different side to Sam and has the potential to be impactful with the right staging. Cowell clearly likes Sam and on the back of his admission last week he let her down by choosing the wrong song for her, this may be teed up for Sam to shine.


    Honey G: Kris Kross – Jump – Looks the ideal choice for Honey G. A lot of fun, big production & Honey G likely to sail through again, avoiding the bottom 3.

    Saara Aalto: Girls Aloud – Sound of The Underground – This has the potential to be a hot mess, staging-wise, and would not be surprised to see it as the show-opener – there is a 20-minute clash again with Strictly this week.


    5 After Midnight: Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There – Interesting 5am’s song has been changed as it was initially showing as Madcon/Little Mix – Beggin/Wings which, on paper, looks much more suitable. Late song changes can be the sign of a stitch up and that Spice Girls track is a bit of a dirge, and could again expose 5am’s vocals.

    Four of Diamonds: Wilson Phillips – Hold On – At last 4oD get a song choice that, in theory, will showcase their harmonies. No difficult solo elements to trip them up. As written in last week’s review the script appears to be in place for the girls to get bigged up on the back of this and ‘This shows we were right to save you’ rhetoric from the judges to help them push clear of b3.

    In summary, 3 weeks in a row would be truly unprecedented for the site but 5 After Midnight have to be the value pre-show to end up in the bottom 2, & worth backing to be eliminated at best odds too, if only this turns out to be a good trade.


    5 After Midnight – bottom 2 – 5-1 – 2pt win – Ladbrokes
    5 After Midnight – 5th elimination – 16-1 – 1pt win – Ladbrokes, William Hill

    • stoney

      A slightly worrying song choice for Matt. Although i suppose he can’t be pimped every week. I seem to remember Louisa having a couple of strange song choices that didn’t suit her too so doubt it’s a sign of them putting the breaks on.

      • Rob

        I think he is flying so high, stoney, he can afford not to shine as much tomorrow night. Same applies to Emily as I doubt that will play to her strengths. But both of them will probably get the eulogizing of the judges regardless.

        • stoney

          I reckon he’s doing a matt cardle. Who unbelievably topped the vote with bleeding love.

          • Rob

            Yep, quite feasible.

          • Jay

            Wishful thinking disclaimer. I live in hope that the Scottish vote that we’ve seen keep Ryan safe has Emily on top. They tried to derail her but her vote stayed strong so now they have to run with her? Her treatment at times has reminded me of how Ben Haenow was constantly suppressed with early running orders and not so voiciferous praise whilst Fleur was given the full drum bang. I think the next two weeks will really give us an indication. After almost giving up on Emily I was pleasently surprised by the change in tact last weekend

          • stoney

            It’s way to early for them to be conceding that Emily would be uncatchable. If they could get Sam Baily across the line ahead of Nicolas Macdonald they won’t have any problems with Matt. Young Nick ticked all the boxes necessary to win the show.

  6. Rob

    A huge gamble developed on 5am to be eliminated pre-show only for the bottom 2 & elim bets advised here to be scuppered within the first few minutes of the live show, when it emerged the boyband had been awarded the pimp slot.

    Disappointing as it was yet another poor vocal performance by them and, if TPTB had chosen them as their targets this week, they could very easily have managed them into the bottom 3.

    Matt kicked off the show and this was a terrible performance given his previous stellar efforts on the lives. As predicted, the song didn’t suit and it seemed to be in the wrong key for him pretty much throughout.

    Poor Sam has now endured running orders positions of 2, 5, 4, 6, 2. This was a clear take-down attempt. She sang it fine, and actually shone compared to Matt who preceded her, and the staging was decent.

    But the script was there to try and contain her vote as Sharon got agitated by Sam becoming tearful – reminiscent of something similar that happened with Abi Alton a few years back.

    Honey G got another kitchen sink production and the signs are the show is keen to push her as far as it can, and with a place seemingly up for grabs in the final outside of Matt and Emily, Honey G is looking like a contender for that final place.

    Ryan was given his most vote-winning segment on the lives yet but there was still a degree of vote dampening among the judges post-song.

    Things started quite promisingly for 4oD with their VT looking to create sympathy. It was also their best live vocal performance of the series and the judges gave them a positive critique. But it still felt short of the show seriously trying to push them clear of the bottom 3.

    Saara’s staging was a hot mess, as predicted, and her VT painted her as being foreign again. She looks highly likely to be in the bottom 3.

    Once again the show refused to let Emily go uptempo but whereas ‘Creep’ was a downtempo triumph this was a rather turgid performance. The staging tried to create some beauty in it and the show is clearly keen to build her identity as a John Lewis artist, but does it risk becoming too samey every week?

    5am enjoyed the pimp but it was a lacklustre performance. Despite this, the judges told viewers it was great.

    So it looks any 3 from 4 out of Saara, 4oD, Ryan and Sam. You get the feeling the show fancies the idea of Sam in the bottom 3 tonight instead of Ryan or 4oD ideally.

    A Sam, Ryan, Saara/4oD b3 would see an interesting flashvote battle between Sam and Ryan with Sam possibly having the power to topple him.

    If it’s Sam, Saara, 4oD you would have to fancy Sam strongly to win that flashvote.

    If a Saara vs 4oD sing-off comes to pass that looks another coin toss, though you could argue the signs last night were much more showing the exit door for Saara rather than 4oD.

    With 4oD priced at 11-10 to be eliminated and Saara 9-4, the value play is clearly to back Saara for elimination.

    Given the site has already advised Honey G to be Top Over, this is one that will be passed on, but in view of the Honey G investment obviously the hope is Saara gets eliminated tonight.

    • Rob, good read as usual.

      Do you think Saara is bottom the vote? If not, do you expect them to vote her out 3-1? I think voting her out 3-1 is difficult.

      And also think 4OD are comfortably bottom personally. My view of VT was a bit different to yours, just before viewer was gaining sympathy, they told the viewer that it doesnt matter because they have each other and always be there to comfort each other and give each other hugs.

      • Rob

        I think Saara could easily be bottom of the pv. I still get the impression the show is more invested in 4oD – they got positive comments and it was a positive VT. Saara had much more of a vote-losing VT & post-performance comments.

        Given they have both been b2 twice they may want deadlock to try and show fairness but as we know there is nothing fair about the show so it will kick out the one it least wants moving forward, even if it means 3-1 & no deadlock.

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