Frank-ly average

Oct 7, 2009 by

Frank-ly average

At last we are down to the final 12 and the first ‘live’ X Factor on Saturday evening. This year’s field looks a case of the bland leading the bland with no real stand-out performers despite Cowell no doubt telling us at some point, ‘We’ve never had a stronger final 12 than this.’X_FACTOR_SIMON_04

We’ll have the usual sagas based around, ‘You could be in trouble tonight’, ‘It was the wrong song choice’, ‘You made that song your own’, ‘That on any scale was truly world class’… and so much will depend, as always, on how the judges decide to play it over the coming weeks.

They can big up the positives, or jump all over the negatives, and it is best remembered that Alexandra Burke was way down on the voting figures early on in last year’s series.

Danyl Johnson created an enormous amount of hype on the back of that first audition and there’s a sense he is tailing off already. As such, we cannot envisage him winning.

Rachel has a decent voice but looks too much of a potential clone of Alexandra Burke which suggests to us she’s also a very unlikely winner.

The two young ladies at the head of the market, Lucie and Stacey, don’t look bullet-proof either. Lucie has a West End voice but could be limited, and similarly Stacey, while a charming contestant, may not have enough vocal range. Olly, too, may struggle once removed from his comfort zone of singing Stevie Wonder covers.

Jo’s a good looking lad with an ok voice, but everything about him screams ‘average’ and there’s a stronger case to be made for pretty boy Lloyd if they end up wanting a cute, young male winner this year.

Rikki will get the backing of Scotland but appears very one-dimensional, though that didn’t stop Leon Jackson winning.

The one that doesn’t fit so easily into any boxes is Jamie, he of the big afro hair. His ridiculous barnet could prove the x factor for this indie-lite performer who will be made to sound like a cutting edge rock star screeching out his Kings Of Leon and U2 covers concertinaed between so much bland, lightweight pop candyfloss. Jamie is 6-1 which isn’t great value but is worth a dabble, and if he drifts out he’ll definitely be worth an interest.

The groups, as per, have been bracketed as outsiders and most fancied of the three, Miss Frank, could easily alienate viewers given the harsh ‘edge’ of lead singer Graziella, who appears to fancy herself as the next Dizzee Rascal.

The Grimes Twins and Kandy Rain have both taken a tabloid kicking in the lead up to the first live show, which gives room for these acts to commence upon a redemptive journey. At the same time, either or both could bomb out in the first two weeks, the Grimes amassing an anti-support group of over 100,000 people on Facebook.

However, their continued presence in the competition stirs controversy and creates a narrative for the series. There is also an argument to be made for a group finally winning X Factor. Otherwise, what’s the point of having them in the competition? That’s why the 100s-plus Kandy Rain is too big to resist on Betfair currently, despite them being favourites to be first out the door on Sunday night.

What we know about X Factor viewers is that they are emotional glove puppets, their voting instincts controlled so easily by the whim of the judges and the show makers. As such, X Factor demands your fullest attention in deciphering how the show’s edit will impact the voting.

It’s fiendishly difficult to predict before Saturday night, and far more clues will come from watching the first live show, but from a value perspective Miss Frank are probably worth a few quid at 11-1 for first elimination, along with Rachel at 10-1 and Joe at 40s.

Rob Furber

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