Like taking Kandy from a bookie

Sep 22, 2009 by

Rumours abound as to the identity of the final 12 in X Factor, as the show enters its ‘Boot Camp’ stage this weekend.

Good news for our followers is that Stacey Solomon looks a solid bet to progress through. We flagged her up as a value punt at 25s on the back of her first audition and her price has since been cut to as low as 9-2.

Danyl Johnson has drifted to 5-1 since those initial, ludicrously short prices were quoted on him. Cowell has got the ’25s and Over’ category this year so will no doubt keep telling viewers how great Danyl is, and you might expect to see his price start to contract again in the next few weeks.

In these shows it’s far and away the best strategy to try and back contenders at big prices with a view to hopefully having the chance to lay them at much shorter odds later in the series to guarantee a profit. Generally speaking, the prices have contracted to such a degree there is no value in the front five or six at the head of the market.
Possibly one of the best prices still available is the 20s on Lloyd Daniels, a good looking young blond kid who is sure to be a hit with teenage daughters, much like Eoghan Quigg was in last year’s series.

Two outsiders worth adding to your book reside in the ‘groups’ category. John and Edward Grimes are a twins act from Ireland with silly Max Headroom haircuts and plenty of Blarney. No doubt their mentor Louis Walsh and Simon Cowell will be at loggerheads over them. Cowell wasn’t impressed during their audition and it’s fair to assume they’ll continue to get up his nose while being a hit with viewers, much like Chico in 2005 (who made it to week 8).

These sort of novelty acts are a crucial part of the X Factor mix, and we can envisage the Grimes Twins putting together a decent run, much to Cowell’s chagrin, before finally winning him over. It’s how the show works. Their current price of 66s will look massive if they make it through to the 12 – and the rumours suggest they have done.

Another group that has snuck under the radar, going by their current price, is Kandy Rain. They were being talked up pre-audition but most people seem to want to write them off already after a very brief and, we believe, misleading audition segment.

Despite lurid tabloid stories about the band members being former lap dancers, this can be easily turned round by the Cowell PR machine if he decides to start supporting them –  we’re banking on ‘Forget x rated, you’ve got the x factor’ used at least once.

Female groups have a terrible record in the show – the lamentable Hope somehow made it as far as week 7 in 2007 while Bad Lashes and Girlband crashed out in the first two weeks last year – but these girls have the attitude, the looks and the singing potential to make progress and are certainly worth a speculative e/w poke at 33s, even more so in light of this comment on one of the forums: ‘Shocked by how short the Kandy Rain clip was! I was at the original audition and they sang another song too as Simon thought the first was all a bit ‘Pussycat Dolls’. The second song was awesome. I’m confused as to why they only showed the average bit.’

No group has ever won X Factor but the progress of Journey South, Same Difference and JLS shows that a group can go far given the right mix of songs and electioneering, and Kandy Rain might yet prove to be the best girl band the show has ever had.

Rob Furber

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