Keep XF Wagers Small

Dec 2, 2012 by

Keep XF Wagers Small

The X Factor semi-final played out pretty much as expected. James got the pimp slot and was pimped to high heaven. He is TCO but this series has shown us the massive disconnect that exists between what the show wants and how the public votes.

James’ first song ‘One’ didn’t really work for us but ‘The Power Of Love’ certainly did and was one of the few stand-out efforts during an extremely underwhelming night. We are pretty confident TPTB will get their way with James and he will make the final on the back of this.

Chris started the night with the ideal tune for him and an excellent delivery of ‘You Raise Me Up’. You could see the judges’ tactics this week were not to be critical, give him kinder comments, but also to try and point out, ‘Chris, you’ve done well to make it this far’ (subtitle: ‘but your journey ends here’).

Will this new style of Chris critique do its job in killing his vote enough? It may depend on how many more casuals were watching and voting tonight and whether this has a big enough impact on overall vote shares.

He received criticism following his second song, he gave it the sullen face, his fans in the audience booed. The more modern Buble song was clearly not right for him and another clever tactic to try and take him down. But he also had a decent VT with his nan after his first song… Overall, there was probably enough there to keep people voting for him in big enough numbers to see him safe.

Jahmene got his by now trademark sob story VT. With Nicole leading the way with the tears, it all came across as rather desperate and disingenuous, and for those who have watched the show series-long, like deja-vu. Given the fact he’s not been able to get in front of Chris following this same sort of treatment every week for the best part of 2 months now, we see no reason why he will now.

‘At Last’ is his biggest tune, but with his usual warbling turned up to the max on both his songs it didn’t hit home as anything outstanding. We get the feeling more viewers are becoming tired of his ‘sound’ and immune to his sympathy VTs than are blubbing into their tissues in between putting their phones on re-dial for him.

There were no pleas for votes for him from the judges either, so if there’s one contestant on the night who might have encouraged voter apathy we reckon it was him.

Should Jahmene make it through, we are also wondering where they can go next with him? Is there yet another, even bigger sympathy edit they can conjure up? More importantly, does he have a ‘wow’ performance left in his locker for the final as he seems to have played all his aces? We are also left wondering why on earth they got rid of Ella given the lack of real star quality throughout tonight’s show.

As for Union J, it felt like 2 very poor song choices for them that really missed the target. But there is a nagging sense, with the screams of the teens in the audience ringing out, that they might yet survive. They have the bounce and they have multi-voting tweenies in their favour. Louis also took them to Ireland on Friday night to perform on The Late, Late Show which could also secure them a very healthy Irish vote.

So where does this all leave us? Mostly feeling uncertain and uncomfortable. We certainly do not see any value in Union J’s elimination odds, and as a pure value play we would advise taking best prices on Jahmene being eliminated instead, and we are happy to snap up anything over 14 on Betfair.

Having taken 5-6 Union J to be next eliminated earlier in the week, we are happy to be green on both UJ and Jahmene in the elimination market, and small red on Chris and James, but overall we have had a hell of a run on the weekly markets this series and would advise only small plays this week.

Do you think Chris and/or James are more vulnerable than Jahmene? Are you super-confident Union J are goners? Are you like us, and cannot wait for this series to end now as the antics of the judges and the show itself continue to go beyond the pale? As always, please join the conversation below.
Rob Furber

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14 Comments

  1. JAY

    Yup I think I actually spewed up when Jahmene pulled the “dead brother” back story out of the bag last night ! Either that or my Saturday night pizza tasted decidedly acidic with a touch of bile on the accompanying garlic bread.

  2. hemsby

    Good article Rob.

    I found it a pretty underwhelming night.You could feasibly make a case for any one of the four going,but as the market indicates UJ by far the most likely.If pushed I’d say Chris’ elimination price is too short,and James’ too big,but not by so much that I’m tempted to get involved this week.

  3. Rob

    Thanks for posting, hems. Underwhelming is certainly the word. Could also see any of the 4 departing which is why Jahmene is maybe worth a poke at the odds.

    But overall, no confidence this week & a lot of confusion heading towards the final.

  4. Rob

    And Jay – sure you are not the only one who felt that way. The way they have played on Jahmene’s background relentlessly through the series has taken contestant exploitation to new depths.

  5. Chiggs

    Jahmene had a killer night due to sob story + emotional performances + judges’ love. I wouldn’t recommend buying him even at the inflated odds for anything but a small stake.

    James looks far more likely to go and despite shortening odds is in fact still great value given possible UJ bounce.

    My recommended plays as of right now are to buy UJ to go (currently 1.83 on Betfred) also buy James for elim and buy Maloney in the winner market.

  6. Rob

    You may well be right, Chiggs. Given Chris’s survival up to now maybe viewers are now a bit more clued up by way of the shows manipulative ways which gives rise to hope Jahmene’s 2 month long sob story is now leaving the GBP cold.

    Certainly expect Chris’s price to come in in Outright if he survives. A case also to be made for backing UJ on Outright if backing them to be eliminated as again their price will come in if they get through.

  7. Chiggs

    Definitely considered UJ in winner market but don’t see the outcome ever occurring given 3 btm 2 appearances, general success of boybands on XF and lack of super pimping from judges.

  8. Rob

    Yep, that’s fair enough Chiggs. Just wonder if they have one more ‘shock’ in store for us tonight – there seems to have been a shock virtually every week & it’s very much part of XF’s lifeblood.

  9. bunnyman

    Hi Rob, just a quick comment.

    Not sure that people will be tiring of Jahmene’s 2 month long sob story. I think what he has gone through goes well beyond a sob story, I don’t think it has been milked, in fact they have barely scratched the surface of what a tragic life he has had. I don’t recall them mentioning his brother before, let along saying that he committed suicide after a lifetime of abuse and torture at the hands of an evil father.

    I too backed him to go at 10/1 – I thought he was running out of steam, but I’d be amazed to see him go after last night.

    Great site btw, well done on a storming series.

  10. Rob

    Hi bunnyman, thanks for posting & the kind comments.

    Yes, you can understand Jahmene’s elimination odds drifting on the back of his VT last night. Sensed he definitely lost ground over the previous 2 weeks.

    With James getting the serious pimp, having started to build momentum the week before, & knowing Chris led the pv for 7 weeks courtesy of the Star, there is still a case for it being UJ & Jahmene fighting out 3rd & 4th spot.

    It’s ultimately a value call more than anything but that has been the best strategy this series trading the weekly markets – still frustrated to have missed Ella/James b2, & Ella being eliminated.

  11. Tim B

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/4677507/X-Factor-finalists-face-ban-on-sex.html

    Unbelievable…now they are alleging that Chris has been cheating on his partner.

  12. Rob

    Dear oh dear – they just won’t stop until they achieve their goal.

  13. Rob

    Thanks Boki. That tellymix story has come from today’s Sun story found here:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/x_factor/4679435/Nation-backs-Chris.html

    What The Sun has done is make out it has more information than the stuff we learned from the Star story previously regarding Chris topping the pv for the first 7 weeks of the show.

    It’s a bit of con trick, essentially, to try & make it look like it has new information when reading the article it has no new information.

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