Is Ella X Factor’s Equivalent Of Frankel?

Sep 25, 2012 by

Is Ella X Factor’s Equivalent Of Frankel?

So, the Ella Henderson pimp slot duly turned up on the 2nd Boot Camp show on Sunday night & Ella has since been smashed in the betting into a best-priced 9-4. We highlighted Ella’s credentials in our first post of this X Factor series and she certainly has the look of the producers’ Chosen One ahead of the lives.

Ladbrokes briefly pushed Ella out to 10-1 at the beginning of last week. We hope our followers were at least able to get stuck into the widely-available 7-1 on Ella, as spoilers made it clear she was set to shine with her rendition of ‘Believe’ and also told us betting market rivals Lucy Spraggan and Jahmene Douglas would falter during the 2-day confected soap opera we got to sit through at the weekend, largely in a state of disbelief, we might add, at the new depths of contrived narrative the show plumbed.

Spoilers are also directing us towards thinking the final 12 will be Boys: Jahmene, James, Rylan; Girls: Ella, Lucy, Jade Ellis; Groups: GMD3, MK1, Union J (formerly Triple J with George Shelley bolted on); Overs: Kye, Melanie, Carolynne.

The latter is the category with the most doubt attached, it would appear, with shaking Christopher Maloney possibly sneaking a place ahead of one of the others. If he makes it or not, he has the look of an also-ran.

Looking at the available prices today, and projecting towards next Sunday night when the Betfair Outright market will open for business after part II of Judges’ Houses, we need to try and work out where the remaining value still lies.

Kye Sones bores us to tears but could conceivably have a long run in the show as he has that safe, male, middle-of-the-road style that invariably proves a vote winner on XF. No doubt his mentor Barlow will do his best to big him up, but will Kye’s former incarnation as band member in Diagram Of The Heart, signed to Sony Music, come back to haunt him?

The show has so far sold him as a humble chimney sweep looking for a big break. XF is shameless in the levels of deceit it incorporates and if it can continue to sweep (pardon the pun) his professional past under the carpet, it probably will. 10-1 e/w with Ladbrokes certainly looks fair value though as a cover for your Ella green, as we could quite conceivably see Kye make the final, assuming he’s through to the lives.

James Arthur is also available at 10-1 e/w with Ladbrokes. He may well trade bigger than this on Betfair but he certainly impressed us a little more over Boot Camp weekend and you could see a degree of styling having already taken place with the glasses adding some authenticity to his worthy, busker-done-good shtick.

Keep a close eye on his makeover next Sunday because if they’ve fixed his teeth, neatened up his image, and tried their best to effectively turn him into an edgier Tom Dice (ESC 2010, Belgium) ahead of the lives, this might suggest he is set for a decent run and he could certainly have some appeal in Top Boy betting.

James has also been exposed as something of a charlatan (tends to be the way in XF land) – his back story of terrible hardship, a broken home, sleeping rough and being homeless actually equating to staying on a friend’s sofa one night after falling out with his mum. His ability to exaggerate is clearly right up there with Jay from The In-Betweeners.

We certainly prefer James’s long-term credentials compared to camp Essex boy Rylan – who has the role as this year’s cabaret act who will outstay his ability in time-honoured XF fashion – and Jahmene.

It was annoying they decided to concoct that edit of Jahmene over the 2 days of boot camp – by the way, ‘Moves Like Jagger’ must surely now be added to the long list of X Factor contestant grave digging effects, up there with the red and black stage imagery observed last year.

We would have preferred Jahmene to have just been shown blowing the audience away as it would have meant he would have been priced up shorter on Betfair, and we would have been at the ready hovering over the lay button.

It was also disappointing to see his segment cut over MK1’s moment on stage. It suggests they are considered dispensable and leaves us much colder over their long-term prospects. The Jahmene soap opera could well run and run but we cannot see him making it to the final for the simple reason that despite all of his vocal gymnastics, his quirky-little-soul-boy-lost persona lacks longevity and isn’t a vote winner beyond early sympathy.

In the Overs we also struggle to see Carolynne Poole making any sort of impact. She has a very bland country & western sound, reminiscent of Shania Twain, and looks primed for an early exit.

Many will think the same regarding Melanie Masson. We think she has a much stronger and more versatile voice than Carolynne and potentially could have a decent run in the series if given the chance, but we would want a much bigger price than 20-1 as she looks a back to lay candidate at best. By the way, if you haven’t read, Melanie has also concealed a professional background as a session singer for the likes of Kasabian.

Jade Ellis strikes us as making up the numbers among the Girls in this series whereas Lucy Spraggan‘s trajectory on the show is probably the hardest to call. Her YouTube hits far outweigh any other contestant’s and ‘Beer Fear’ was flying high on the iTunes chart before being pulled. So all this points to her being a highly sellable artist for Syco.

The sly tactic of ‘make her look rubbish and then big her up when reverting to her comfort zone’ they subjected Lucy to this weekend – also applied to Jahmene – may give us a clue as to the potential downfall of both these contestants come the lives. They certainly both look very easy to nobble, their respective Achilles’ Heels already exposed.

We wonder if Lucy must have to accept a Janet Devlin-type run. We expect her to be bigged up in early weeks but the wheels to slowly fall off as her Kate Nash routines rapidly grow tiresome and start to grate. That said, with the onus this series on artists who can sing their own songs and play their own instruments, TPTB could, just could, conceivably pimp her all the way to the final, so 14-1 e/w with SportingBet looks reasonable value purely as a cover bet. Like Misha B, they probably need to get her to the latter stages to endorse her recording success post-series, and in her favour she clearly has a big fan base and seems likeable enough.

Probably the best value bet in the X Factor market as of now is the soon-to-be newly formed Union J. We saw Triple J out-sing GMD3 time and again at boot camp, yet TPTB decided it would be fun to have the boybands sing-off for that last remaining place at Judges’ Houses.

Predictably, given the much longer editing time afforded to them over the course of the series, GMD3 were given that final berth over Triple J. But with Triple J replacing Rough Copy at Judges’ Houses, and the cute-for-the-tweenies George Shelley drafted in to form Union J, there is scope for producers to let this new look boyband overtake GMD3 and become the alpha Group in this series.

We still think it is more likely all groups fall short of winning this year, after Little Mix winning last year, and One Direction’s continued chart success, but we could imagine a scenario in which Union J made the final and certainly see value in Ladbrokes‘ quote of 25-1 e/w Union J.

Looking at the comparative weakness of the Boys category this year, and how badly she seems to be coming across, we would also suggest a bet on Nicole Scherzinger at a widely-available 4-1 to be the First Mentor To Lose All Acts, as a cover for Louis (mentoring the groups) at 11-10.

This series really does look like Ella’s for the taking assuming no major hiccups, illness or meltdowns standing in her way. Do we have a bullet-proof, steering job on our hands, and will the skinny looking 9-4 end up looking like an outstanding bet come December? Where else is the value? Your thoughts, as always, would be appreciated below.
Rob Furber

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  1. Tim B

    Hi Rob, I completely agree that Ella is this year’s Chosen One. I can see her doing a Matt Cardle and walking it, topping the vote every week apart from week 1 where it could easily be Lucy Spraggan, who will no doubt still be riding a wave of hype. I have a win bet on Ella, and I strongly believe she will win and be pimped as being “even better than Adele – and only 16”.

    I decided to have a bet on Kye at 12-1 E/W as he is male, good looking, boring, safe and middle of the road – so looking good for the final already. No doubt he will be strongly pushed by Gary Barlow in his comments.

    I disagree with you in the boys, however, as I think Jahmene could be the last boy standing. They seem to be pushing him as a “worldwide recording artist” and I think they will continue to do so in the lives. Given the right song choices and rehearsal time will see him smash it vocally. Housewives will want to mother him and I think he’ll be in the final but his odds are too short for me and I don’t see him actually winning it. James Arthur has a chance of replacing him as alpha boy but for now, I’d go for Jahmene over him.

    In the overs, Carolynne should be fodder and Melanie will easily sail through the first few weeks (unless there’s a heavy nobbling) as the only vaguely Scottish contestant. Jade Ellis also looks like fodder to me.

    The groups are a bit more difficult. Union J look to be the favoured boyband, with the addition of an extra member. However, with GMD3 there as well they should cancel each other out. Given that One Direction didn’t do well with the all-important housewife demographic, I can’t see either of these groups making the final. MK1, however, are different and could be pushed as something unique and never seen before on X Factor. I still think the groups are easily the weakest though, so won’t be covering my bet on Louis first manager out.

    A question remains, however, over the possibility of wildcards. The first live show runs from 8pm – 10.20pm, so is a little long for just 12 acts. We should therefore again expect some sort of week 1 twist.

  2. Rob

    Great write up, Tim 🙂 You’re right – they are clearly pushing Jahmene, but my sixth sense says his strained warbling is not going to go down well with the GBP & he will struggle in the pv. They might well continually save him if he drops into the b2 & we could end up with a similar scenario to Misha B last year.
    Was also very keen on MK1 but worried by the editing they have been getting & isn’t there talk of a 3rd member being grafted on? They certainly do stand out compared to the boy bands… it will all become clear when we witness the live shows & the hatchet jobs they create each week which will no doubt be blatant.
    It’s a shame we don’t have 4 in each category as it makes for better value when they price up the categories – looks like prices will be very short, unless there is a twist & further finalists are added in that 1st live show.

  3. hemsby

    An impressive summary Rob,and very difficult to argue with.Ella looks a very worthy favourite,but no value at current high st odds.Lucy is the joker in the pack whose progress could go either way depending on the prods depiction of her,and Triple J/Union J seem the most likely of the groups.They would be my 3 against the field.
    James has potential musically but his personality seems a touch dour,conversely Kye will be bland musically,but appears to have some kind warmth/appeal personality wise.Melanie and Carolynne are decent vocalists,but with no charisma,GMD3 sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks and MK1 aren’t perhaps the correct fit for the average viewer demograph.
    Jahmene is a disaster waiting to happen and far poorer vocally than he has been sold to the viewers,Jade looks like a Sophie H early departure and that leaves Rylan.Like you I think he’s likely to survive quite a few weeks,possibly saved by the Judges if necessary.There may be some angle opposing him in the early eviction markets.

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