Ella-va Chance

Aug 31, 2012 by

Ella-va Chance

EntertainmentOdds is back from its extended summer hols, and it’s time… to face… the God awful truth X Factor is back on our screens. Horribly contrived, tawdry show; wonderful betting medium.
We approach this series with slight trepidation as we will be doing very well indeed to come anywhere close to 2011 profit levels, aided by our recommendation of Little Mix e/w at 66-1.
The first couple of audition shows have, as usual, thrown up a high number of likely looking finalists. Much of the fanfare for this series has centred around singer-songwriters being allowed to play instruments and sing their own songs… Lo and behold, Lucy Spraggan turned up last Saturday doing her Kate Nash shtick, to rapturous applause, and we were swiftly told how brilliant she is.
X Factor later stopped her ‘Beer Fear’ song being sold online as Lucy threatened to overtake Little Mix in download sales on iTunes. The worry must be, X Factor is supposed to be about unearthing an undiscovered talent, and this girl already has a professional looking website, an album, has been gigging, and looks the finished product already.
The one girl and her guitar act is surely going to wear thin come the lives – and how will she cope with those tricky theme weeks given she has a clearly defined niche already? – but if X Factor want to get behind Lucy – instead of giving her the Janet Devlin treatment and eventually tagging her ‘boring’ – then she could go a long way. But our instinct tells us she might be more of a back to lay proposition. Lucy is gay, and a little bit butch, and you also have to ask how this is going to play out with X Factor’s safe, middle-of-the-road Saturday night primetime ITV audience.
But rumours suggest she shines at bootcamp, and they are definitely pushing the ‘authentic music talent’ card in this series, so we would advise taking the 10-1 e/w with Ladbrokes and SportingBet, in the expected event she will open much shorter than that when Betfair’s Outright market commences, and then laying her at quite conceivably half those odds.
Another guitar playing acoustic singer (don’t forget, this series is all about ‘authenticity’), James Arthur, was thrust to the head of the market after his audition and requisite back story about his broken home and estranged parents. He has a set of gnashers like Shane MacGowan and our first impression was, you will find better buskers in Covent Garden. If he makes it to the lives, which he may well do as a unsubtle boost to the altogether superior Lucy, he could prove prime lay material.
As could the spooky looking, love child of Little Richard, Jahmene Douglas. We are shocked this guy is rated the AP favourite at the moment by the majority of bookies – as low as 5-1 in places. He works in Asda making everything cheaper for customers, which suits his singing to a tee, as he strikes us as a bargain basement hotel lobby performer. Singing Etta James ‘At Last’ in a hugely annoying, freestyle way, left the judges raving about him. We were far less impressed.
Kye Sones was also bigged up, and is clearly going to be pushed as a star turn in Gary’s ‘Overs’ category. You’re never going to believe this but he’s a singer-songwriter too and, get this, he only works as a chimney sweep. He wants to be the male Adele and it is starting to sound like X Factor have already found the angle with which he is going to be relentlessly plugged throughout the series.
As much as we found his voice rather dull, he looks like he could easily develop into a contender. He once had a Sony record deal as part of a band, and he is friends to showbiz titan Fearne Cotton no less. We would certainly favour being green on Kye rather than red should he make the lives.
Lastly in this first X Factor 2012 post, we would like to shine a light on Ella Henderson. She got the Devlin treatment as the first pimped audition of the series, and we liked what we heard. The 16-year-old left the XF audience reaching for their tissues after singing a heart-rending, self-penned ditty about her dead granddad. Whether she has versatility is hard to gauge but she’s a sweet, endearing girl, ticks the ‘songwriter’ box, has been receiving glowing Adele comparisons, and we expect Ella to storm to the lives. But 7-1 isn’t great value and we would hope to back her at a bigger price once Betfair opens a market on the Outright.
Our initial thoughts this series are that the winner looks most likely to come from either the ‘Girls’ or ‘Overs’ categories. A solo girl has not won since Alex Burke in 2008, and an ‘Overs’ not since Steve Brookstein in 2004.
Barlow has the most dominant, persuasive voice among the judges and we saw in the last series how he was able to keep pushing Marcus Collins even when he performed badly. The fact he is mentoring the ‘Overs’ looks a clear sign to us they would like to try and get one at least to the final.
The ‘Groups’ look doomed this series given Little Mix are only now properly launching their career and Syco’s One Direction are cleaning up in the boyband stakes. Which actually makes Louis Walsh at 6-5 with Coral to be the first to lose all acts look a shade of value, and a lay of the ‘Groups’ category on Betfair a safe bet.
Do you agree or disagree with any, or all, of the above? Please let us know your thoughts below.
Rob Furber

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  1. fiveleaves

    Hi Rob,
    Always good to hear you views.
    I agree with them all bar one.

    Jahmene an awful favourite. Can’t stand him.

    Lucy a good back to lay, but like you I’m not keen on her longterm prospects.

    Kye a poor mans Cardie.

    Ella a good fit with the audience and a real talent and if I had to pick the winner now she would be the one for me.

    James Athur I thought was amazing.
    The obvious worry is he’s a little rough looking. Like you he reminded me of Shane MacGowan. So not a great fit with the audience, so I can imagine plenty wanting to lay him on betfair.
    If he’s the right price though, I’d be a backer.

  2. Rob

    Hi fiveleaves. Thanks for posting 🙂
    I listened back to James Arthur today & he left me even more unimpressed than 1st time around. I am maybe being overly harsh but I just wasn’t buying his sound at all. Struck me as very mediocre. Also, as you allude to, he offers up a rictus of pain by way of a facial expression during his performance (not to mention those dreadful teeth). The poor visual effect was one reason I was put off Craig Colton last year. I think without the cleverly built-upon back story, & the agenda to fanfare earnest singer-songwriter types, he would drop off the radar, & as it is he’ll likely look weak, I sense, in comparison to the likes of Lucy.

  3. fiveleaves

    We’ll have to disagree on James, Rob.
    For me his audition was the best thing I’ve seen since Vickers did Hallelujah.
    He reminds me of Ray Lamontagne.
    A huge uphill battle for him to win given his look and delivery, but despite the tattoos and dodgy teeth he has a vulnerabilty about him and a possible underdog appeal.
    Being lumbered with Nicole is hardly a positive. I’d much prefer it if he was with Barlow or Tulisa, but much like Little Mix broke the mould by being the 1st Girlband to win, we could see the same this year and James being the 1st genuine ‘artist’ to win.
    I’d want 20+ though, which I’m sure he’ll be on betfair. If he makes the lives.

  4. Jack12321

    Nice summary

    I think the chart success that Lucy had within 48 hours of her audition (better than the vast majority of finalists will ever achieve) will make them bend over backwards to ensure she makes the latter stages of the show.

    Don’t think being gay is an issue if you’re a girl either, and it definitely seems they’ll change the format to make it more singer-songwriter friendly. So I’m happy to take 10/1 with a view to laying off too.

    None of the others look any value currently, quite a big book % considering only 2 auditions out of 7 have aired, and we still have plenty of good contestants to come.

    Jahmene’s odds are laughable, especially considering how poorly it seems he did at bootcamp – he just can’t hack the pressure.

    I’d be careful with betting Louis to be first out at those prices, can imagine GMD3 getting a long way in the competition (youtube them and you’ll see why), although I agree with 1D currently so huge it might be a bit too soon for them.

  5. Rob

    Hi Jack. Thanks for your comments.
    I, too, make Lucy a shoe-in for the lives, following the same reasoning that the positive response she got was very impressive & they won’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. 10-1 e/w Lucy certainly looks the only bit of value atm.
    We seem to be in agreement regarding Jahmene. Was not aware of GMD3 so will look into them – thanks for the heads up 🙂

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