Luke To Surprise Again?

Dec 13, 2013 by

Luke To Surprise Again?

You can understand why X Factor has been haemmoraging viewers when it is hard for this particular viewer to muster the enthusiasm to write a final preview.

It all seems too much of a foregone conclusion this year and an extremely dull finale. Sam B should romp to victory unless there is sudden widespread voter apathy or her raunchy rendition of ‘Edge Of Glory’ – that is rumoured to see her dancing around a pole in a mock prison set – makes viewers’ stomachs turn and puts them off voting for her.

That read like an early April Fool. Is this really going to be the staging of the song? TPTB must be incredibly confident Sam has it in the bag if this comes to pass, or has it been set up as a late banana skin?

‘The Power Of Love’ will likely be the moment for maximum eulogising from the judges. ‘Am I Telling You’ with Nicole could prove an horrific spectacle with the 2 of them trying to out-diva one another. This song from ‘Dreamgirls’ is a terrible dirge but it probably won’t stop the judges telling viewers how brilliant Sam B is.

Sam B’s one Achilles heel is that she must have very few fans among younger viewers though the same can be said for Nick.

Nick’s choices read like a final laying to rest of his winning chance. Robbie Williams’ ‘Candy’ basically sucks as a song choice. While ‘Angel’ is more suitable it is very slow and will likely wash over viewers. And then he gets to sing with a former Westlife member Shane Filan. ‘Flying Without Wings’ is the perfect MOR choice but won’t be winning him any new young fans.

If there is going to be a monumental shock this weekend it looks more likely to be supplied by Luke.

He certainly has a sporting chance of overhauling Nick for 2nd place. Since investing here in the Nick/Sam B reverse forecast when odds of 9-1 and 7-1 were being dangled, the cover has to be on the Sam B Luke straight forecast at 7-2.

You have to think Scotland will be inspired to multi-vote for Nick more than they have done leading up to the final. Trouble is, Nick is going to poll much, much worse throughout the rest of the UK whereas Luke could prosper.

Luke has ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ which helped boost his public vote in week 7. This must be a hint in itself this created a massive spike in his vote and TPTB are seeking a repeat. He also gets to sing with a current artist in Ellie Goulding. ‘We Are Young’ looks the weakest of his 3 song choices.

It is a weekend when Luke can win new fans, whereas Nick will not because they have shoe-horned him as more MOR than ever before. Grans, mums and Scots do not look like being enough for Nick.

X Factor thrives on shocks and Luke‘s Betfair price of 20 on the Outright looks worth throwing a few grenades at, especially if you have an all-green book on all 3 finalists. We would much favour this than piling into Sam at 1.26.

The 3rd placed act will be announced at the end of tomorrow night’s show. This will be the final post of this X Factor 2013 season. In a very topsy-turvy series it has been a profitable one here largely due to the weekly markets and the winning trades flagged up on this site. Some of the best recommendations include:

week 1 – Lorna to be eliminated at 5-1
week 2 – Kingsland Road to be in the bottom 2 at 5-1
week 4 – Kingsland Road to be eliminated at 100-30
– Tamera to be in the bottom 2 at 6-1
– Nicole to be 1st mentor to lose all acts at 8-1
– lay Abi for bottom 2 around Evens on Betfair
week 5 – lay Sam C for bottom 2 at odds-on on Betfair
week 7 – Rough Copy to be in the bottom 2 at 7-4
– Hannah & Rough Copy bottom 2 combo at 9-2

There have of course been losing trades along the way too, but more winning ones than losing ones, and some decent-priced winners, and that is the key to long-term profitability. Hopefully you followed all of the above and are in profit over the course of the series too. Kudos to Tim B for flagging up Sam B at series-start.

Any post-Saturday night thoughts will appear in the Comments section below this. Here is the song list in full:

Luke Friend: 
We Are Young by Fun

What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
Anything Could Happen, with Ellie Goulding

Nicholas McDonald:
 Candy by Robbie Williams

Angel by Sarah McLachlan
Flying Without Wings, with Shane Filin

Sam Bailey:
 Edge Of Glory by Lady Gaga

Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush
Am I Telling You with Nicole Scherzinger


  1. Frank

    Hi Rob,

    As always I was interested to read your write up although I see it very differently to you on this occasion. I personally think Nick will canter into 2nd and give Sam a run for her money on victory.

    Most people think this is a foregone conclusion and I can see some voter apathy for Sam. As you say the scots will multi vote Nick and being such a poor series, I think he represents value at 6/1.

    Luke has had too many chances to shine and ended up bottom 2, I really can’t see how he overtakes Nick (famous last words).

    • Rob

      You could well be right, Frank. My Sam B Luke straight forecast suggestion is on the proviso of already backing the Sam B/Nick reverse forecast, so really insurance more than anything.

      I am guessing we are going to see further dark arts tonight to try & dampen Nick’s support. I would personally love it if he overcame all this, the Scots go crazy multi-voting for him, & he ends up winning.

      • Rob

        Sun YouGov findings suggest the Sam/Luke straight forecast is still over-priced at 5-2.

        Which of the current X Factor finalists do you want to win?

        Sam. 56%
        Luke. 24%
        Nick. 11%
        None/DK 9%

        Who did you vote for last weekend?

        Sam. 42%
        Luke. 24%
        Nick. 20%
        RC. 13%
        Can’t remember. 1%

  2. Rob

    I should have also mentioned that the idea of backing Luke around 20 on BF is that this could prove a profitable trade if he makes the last 2 as he would then trade much shorter.

  3. Boki

    What’s not visible on oddschecker is that fred still has 4.5 for Sam/Luke forecast.

  4. Rob

    I don’t think Luke has done enough to finish 2nd

  5. Jay

    Trying to figure out what to do with my large green on nick, Sam is pretty much break even. Worth laying nick all off at 6.4? I actually thought they did all lot to help nick to ugly. Nicole outshone Sam and then she got buried after that with the novelty act collaboration without a vote. He first song was red and blacked with awful staging Clutching at straws really arnt I……

    • Rob

      My Outright position not dissimilar, Jay. I had some decent wagers on Nick e/w at series start. I only got involved covering Sam, at least on the high st, when her odds had shortened a lot.

      I am hoping the Scots are coming out in force and he can produce a stunning upset. Probably wishful thinking.

      On Betfair they are both the same size green for me as things stand & I personally will not be laying Nick from this point. You just never know.

  6. Louis's wig

    Hi Rob + Gavster and others,
    Just a quick line (possibly on behalf of loads of lurkers) to say thanks for your amazing analysis and tips. I follow you blind on strictly as I don’t really understand what I’m watching. Just wish I had followed you blind on XF. What I particually like is you give an early call at a good price and maybe adjust in running, unlike others sites that say “its too close to call”, “our advice is wait and see” and then tipping odds on shots.
    For the record I too am on Nick e.w. – figured if Eoghan Quigg, a worse singer in a FAR stronger year, could cruise to the final then Nick would too. Thought long and hard at covering Sam when she was 5/6 but couldn’t bring myself to do it – doh.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

    • Rob

      Thanks for posting, Louis and your kind words. Given remotely fair treatment you have to think Nick would have won this year. As it is he is probably destined for 2nd. At least you have some e/w return.

      Strictly has gone very well this year. Hope you are on Susanna, Sophie and Abbey all at decent odds. I find it hard to see Natalie winning from this point regardless of a bounce heading into the final.

  7. Rob

    Sam Bailey will sing Skyscraper while Nicholas McDonald will Superman.

    So, Sam gets a 2011 hit with 110 million hits on YT; Nick gets a 2009 hit with 10 million YT hits.

    Always good to see a level playing field.

    • EM

      Ah now if you made the same comparison last year between Let it Be and Impossible what would you have been saying?

      • Rob

        I guess the counter-argument is, EM, that ‘Let It Be’ was a very old, cliched unoriginal choice whereas ‘Impossible’ for James was an edgy, more current choice, painting him as a current, edgy artist.

        While Skyscraper is more commercial it is probably not that well known by the ITV audience, is evocative, & allows Sam to put her own stamp on it, much the same as Impossible last year.

        I think Superman is maybe too downbeat and one-paced to allow Nick to make a big impact with.

  8. Rob

    Luke would have been 2nd if they had allowed him to sing the OneD song & remotely pimp him. And maybe they were concerned he could have pushed Sam close.

    Almost as if they knew they had Nick beat so in a gesture of selfless good will, they allowed him to take 2nd place.

    Knew RC was bottom of the pv in week 7 & wrote as much. RC dumped in the semi after being so far behind in 4th.

    Week 1

    Flash Vote Saturday

    Sam Bailey 23.4%
    Nicholas McDonald 23.3%
    Rough Copy 18.4%
    Abi Alton 9.2%
    Hannah Barrett 5.3%
    Tamera Foster 4.9%
    Kingsland Road 3.7%
    Sam Callahan 3.5%
    Luke Friend 3.4%
    Miss Dynamix 1.8%
    Lorna Simpson 1.6%
    Shelley Smith 1.5%

    Overall Vote Sunday

    Nicholas McDonald 23.5%
    Sam Bailey 23.3%
    Rough Copy 16.4%
    Abi Alton 9.0%
    Hannah Barrett 5.2%
    Sam Callahan 5.1%
    Tamera Foster 5.1%
    Kingsland Road 4.1%
    Luke Friend 3.5%
    Miss Dynamix 2.2%
    Lorna Simpson 1.7%
    Shelley Smith 0.9% (Votes from flash vote only)

    Week 2

    Flash Vote Saturday

    Nicholas McDonald 28.1%
    Sam Bailey 16.8%
    Hannah Barrett 12.7%
    Tamera Foster 9.4%
    Rough Copy 8.6%
    Abi Alton 6.1%
    Luke Friend 5.9%
    Sam Callahan 5.1%
    Shelley Smith 3.7%
    Kingsland Road 3.6%

    Overall Vote Sunday

    Nicholas McDonald 27.1%
    Sam Bailey 17.4%
    Hannah Barrett 10.4%
    Rough Copy 10.2%
    Tamera Foster 9.2%
    Abi Alton 6.9%
    Sam Callahan 6.6%
    Luke Friend 6.0%
    Shelley Smith 4.3%
    Kingsland Road 1.9% (Votes from flash vote only)

    Week 3

    Flash Vote Saturday

    Sam Bailey 27.0%
    Nicholas McDonald 25.3%
    Luke Friend 7.9%
    Tamera Foster 7.7%
    Abi Alton 6.6%
    Kingsland Road 6.5%
    Hannah Barrett 6.2%
    Rough Copy 6.2%
    Sam Callahan 4.8%
    Miss Dynamix 1.8%

    Overall Vote Sunday

    Sam Bailey 27.0%
    Nicholas McDonald 24.8%
    Luke Friend 7.5%
    Tamera Foster 7.3%
    Abi Alton 7.1%
    Rough Copy 6.7%
    Kingsland Road 6.6%
    Sam Callahan 6.0%
    Hannah Barrett 5.9%
    Miss Dynamix 1.1% (Votes from flash vote only)

    Week 4

    Sam Bailey 31.1%
    Nicholas McDonald 18.2%
    Hannah Barrett 12.0%
    Sam Callahan 7.6%
    Rough Copy 7.5%
    Luke Friend 7.0%
    Abi Alton 6.7%
    Kingsland Road 5.2%
    Tamera Foster 4.7%

    Week 5

    Sam Bailey 28.4%
    Nicholas McDonald 20.2%
    Rough Copy 11.1%
    Tamera Foster 10.0%
    Luke Friend 9.0%
    Sam Callahan 8.0%
    Hannah Barrett 7.1%
    Abi Alton 6.2%

    Week 6

    Nicholas McDonald 31.4%
    Sam Bailey 26.5%
    Hannah Barrett 9.9%
    Rough Copy 8.7%
    Tamera Foster 8.4%
    Luke Friend 8.0%
    Sam Callahan 7.1%

    Week 7

    Sam Bailey 36.0%
    Nicholas McDonald 23.9%
    Luke Friend 13.0%
    Tamera Foster 9.3%
    Hannah Barrett 9.1%
    Rough Copy 8.7%

    Week 8

    Sam Bailey 27.4%
    Nicholas McDonald 25.1%
    Rough Copy 19.7%
    Luke Friend 19.3%
    Tamera Foster 8.5%

    Week 9

    Sam Bailey 29.6%
    Nicholas McDonald 28.2%
    Luke Friend 26.7%
    Rough Copy 15.5%

    Week 10
    Sam Bailey 38.2%
    Nicholas McDonald 32.1%
    Luke Friend 29.7%

    Sam Bailey 53.4%
    Nicholas McDonald 36.3%
    Luke Friend 10.3%

  9. Rob

    OT but SPOTY 2013 voting figs for those interested:

    Murray won Sports Personality with more than 56% of the vote. Full breakdown as follows:

    Murray: 401,470
    Halfpenny: 65,913
    McCoy: 57,854
    Mo Farah: 51,945
    Ben Ainslie: 48,140
    Chris Froome: 37,343
    Hannah Cockroft: 26,151
    Christine Ohuruogu: 13,179
    Justin Rose: 9,833
    Ian Bell: 5,626
    Total votes: 717,454

    • Boki

      Yougov poll published on Saturday had:

      Murray: 39%
      Mo Farah: 25%
      McCoy: 8%
      Ben Ainslie: 8%
      Halfpenny: 5%

      So they were completely wrong about Farah who was supposed to be a lock for runner-up and even didn’t make top3.

      • Rob

        The edit on the night certainly has a part to play in Farah’s poor polling, Boki. I could not believe what an underwhelming segment he was given, not to mention the fact he was a no show and there was no interview with him by way of an outside broadcast.

        I knew McCoy would not poll as well this year as there was no campaign after he previously won. Halfpenny was the value bet for a place though he looked a little hamstrung by his early slot in the r.o. Did you win on it Boki?

        I was backing Muzza from the start of the year, convinced as I was he would win a Slam and very possibly Wimbledon. I was then able to lay off at 1.1 for an all-green book. This is the way I like to play it for peace of mind even though I felt certain Muzza would walk it.

        • Boki

          I basically wasn’t involved in Spoty at all, last year won some by last minute laying Farah and backing Murray for top3. This year same story, thought of laying Farah on Saturday but than I saw the yougov and stayed away. Had no idea about Halfpenny, next year you should write an article in time (have to tease you a little bit 🙂 ).

          • Rob

            I usually try to write a couple of SPOTY articles, Boki, but this year I have XF/SCD fatigue so gave it a miss. Also, because it looked too much of a foregone conclusion, and I didn’t have a strong opinion on 2nd and 3rd other than thinking Froome would likely struggle to podium, and Halfpenny might sneak in.

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