Reverse Engineering

Nov 7, 2012 by

Reverse Engineering

It can be the most painful thing to observe when tv shows don’t pan out the way you anticipated and the market moves against you. In recent days we have been confronted with the horns of a dilemma.

What with the standing ovation for Louis at television centre – and the boos of derision that rang out when he was criticised and awarded 6s for his samba – and Jahmene still being given the red carpet treatment by TPTB over at X Factor, 2 contestants we were happy to oppose at season start suddenly both look very dangerous indeed.

Successful fire-fighting is a must-have piece of armoury in the kit of any successful tv trader. Sometimes, you have to swallow your pride and accept you may have got things wrong and swiftly cover your exposure.

As things stand, Jahmene and Louis remain small losers in the Outright markets for us. Despite both of them having all the momentum right now we refuse to panic. We remain of the view the glowing praise, sympathy VTs and zero criticism approach to Jahmene will come to an end and a vote-dampening critique will arrive with a bang at some point. While in SCD we are not convinced Louis has a landslide winning vote in him.

One line of thought with X Factor is, Ella has been on the receiving end in recent weeks more with a view to giving her somewhere to go by way of perceived improvement, and a big push could still be on the cards come the final.

This could well be the cul-de-sac Jahmene is heading down. Going overboard telling the public how great he is every week, viewers might be beginning to tire of this message. In this sense his journey could be in danger of stalling.

If you recall with Little Mix’s progress last year, TPTB were clever during the last 5 or 6 weeks by giving them criticism, telling them there was room for improvement, and saying when a performance was not their best. Then, come the final, they got all the help they needed while Marcus was derailed.

There is even an argument the ‘look how far you’ve come’ Asda segment last week was the end point of Jahmene’s narrative though he does have one big card left to play – a reprise of ‘At Last’.

We do not think Syco believe Jahmene will sell more albums than Ella. Some say he has greater appeal to the American market. We cannot for a minute imagine this is at the forefront of Syco’s thoughts regarding a prospective winner of X Factor UK.

Looking ahead to this weekend, we can make a decent case for the 3 favs for elimination all avoiding the bottom 2: Rylan should get a decent bottom 2 bounce; Chris is building a position for himself on the show as the anti-Cowell, Rage Against The Machine contestant, while his existing fan base appears to remain relatively intact; and District 3 are teed up for a much improved performance.

So our instincts tell us to be sniffing around for a shock appearance in the bottom 2 from one of the big 3, as well as Union J looking potentially vulnerable.

Last week certainly raised more questions regarding James‘s appeal to the ITV Saturday night core demographic and 9-2 for him to land in the bottom 2 looks worth a speculative wager pre-show. And on the grounds Jahmene is long overdue a week in which he receives only an average VT and average praise on the back of an average performance, we’ll be looking to match him in double figures to land in the bottom 2.

Of course, the perfect climax to the boyband battle would have them both land in the bottom 2, singing off, and the judges taking it to deadlock. With the boyband vote split and both of them having been in the bottom 2 once, you could see TPTB trying to work it this weekend for this very scenario to happen.

We still think they knew exactly what they were doing last week in panning District 3 so their multi-voting tweenie fans would push them to safety. So we will be keeping a close eye on both boybands treatment this weekend with a view to potentially backing the Union J/District 3 bottom 2 combo, available at 5-1 with Paddy Power at time of writing.

How are you shaping up with your overall book positions this year and do you agree a shock appearance by one of the big 3 is possible this weekend on X Factor? Please do drop us a line below.
Rob Furber

Related Posts



  1. Tim B

    I’m liking the tips you’ve posted in this article, Rob, as they’re ones I have already. Glad to see we are on the same page. A battle-of-the-boybands bottom 2 is the ideal situation for producers in my opinion. It allows the narrative to come to a dramatic climax, with Union J surely becoming victorious and allowing them to bounce into week 8 or 9, safely into the record contract zone of the competition. The main problem for producers this week is getting Rylan to bounce, but it’s something they are capable of and I’m sure they are up to the challenge. I agree that of the three big-hitters, James is most likely to be bottom 2 so I’ve taken this at a small stake.

    In terms of the X Factor winner, I’m only on Ella and haven’t touched Jahméne as of yet. I do believe he has a good chance of beating her, so wouldn’t be comfortable laying him at all but then I probably won’t be backing him at the odds either. However there’s plenty producers can do to push Ella over the line – a reprise of Believe in the final (duetting with Cher?) could be enough to do it. I also think producers’ may go into new territory this year by allowing a contestant’s original song to potentially be their winner’s single. If this happens, she’d be able to sing her audition song again at the final in Manchester.

    On Strictly I’ve backed Denise to win but only as of this week. She’s by far the best dancer and has several weeks to build her fanbase, raise her profile and dance to victory. In contrast to Jahméne, I would feel more comfortable laying Louis in the outright market but I’m still unsure of whether or not I’m going to do so.

  2. Rob

    Yes, reckon they will go all out on a Rylan save, Tim, as you point out, to potentially try & force the boyband bottom 2 showdown.

    Someone also informed me both Little Mix & One Direction are slated for appearances on Sunday…? If true, this would offer almost perfect symmetry what with LM having been Tweeting their support of UJ, & One Direction Tweeting their support of D3.

    Denise is certainly the value bet in the SCD market – as you have noted, she is far & away the best dancer in this series & usually a sense of fair play can be relied upon with the GBP.

    In this respect, her biggest threat may yet prove a ‘journey’ contestant who coalesces enormous support in the style of Chris Hollins, though the way the judging panel are playing it this year – and the re-introduction of the dance-off – suggests they firmly want the best dancer to win.

  3. Chiggs

    Thanks for the tips Rob, I hopped on James B2 and UJ/D3 btm 2 combo. I didn’t buy Jahmene for btm 2 because even if he has a bad week the judges comments will try to boost his votes.

    I recommend buying UJ for btm 2 (currently 3.0) as they’re the most likely act along with D3 to be btm 2. UJ at 7.0 for elim is good mainly from a value perspective and also think they’d go if James was in btm 2 with them.

  4. Rob

    Those definitely look wise plays pre-show, Chiggs.
    The 2-1 UJ to be b2, & 6s to be eliminated are value precisely on the grounds you elucidate.

  5. Tim B

    According to the official X Factor twitter, Little Mix are performing on the show on Sunday and One Direction are performing on SATURDAY – a highly unusual move. It’s obviously to try and boost ratings but it can’t be good news for the boybands either and perhaps this is another reason. Another endorsement for James Arthur and we could be looking at the boyband bottom 2.

  6. Rob

    That’s very interesting if true.
    Why would they put One Direction on during the Saturday other than an unsubtle way to de-ramp the boybands, potentially UJ more so, as One D have been vocal supporters of D3?

  7. Tim B

    You’d have to think that an appearance by One Direction would be more effective at nobbling a boyband 5 weeks on from the first attempt. Total votes cast potentially increase each week approaching the final and there are now fewer contestants for them to be spread among. I would also imagine that floating voters would go for acts other than the boybands – and of course there are still two and so the split effect is arguably worse for them as each week goes on.

    Perhaps a running order with Jahméne 4th, Ella 5th, District3 6th and Union J 7th, followed by the One Direction performance would be enough to get the desired bottom 2. And if TPTB/Syco had any sense whatsoever they would put a stop to those One Direction tweets immediately. Or maybe I am just overthinking this 😀

  8. Rob

    Agree Tim – certainly looks a transparent ploy.

    Our reading btw on The Sun story regarding Maloney topping the vote:

    The show wants to keep him in for the time being. We are not sure this is a story that shows Cowell has now ‘lost The Sun’ as one of its propaganda machines.

    This is a story that surely pushes Chris to the forefront, gets people talking about him, sympathizing with him & potentially voting for him now as the anti-Cowell vote.

    Cocozza appeared in an earlier Sun story pointing out how XF set him up, & the oxygen of the show has always been controversy.

    Chris still available at 9-2 for top 3 with Boyles – looks value.

  9. Louis's wig

    “How are you shaping up with your overall book positions this year?”

    I’d like to know is it just me ?
    My head is spinning,I’m happy with Ella but i have far too much money on far too many markets with far too many bookies!
    For the 1st time ever I’ve backed when I meant to lay (doh)(Jahmene at 2.7), I have laid groups and overs from day 1 which is great but i cant free up that dosh.
    I’m a celeb starting now! (Managed to get on Brian Conley at 8’s and 6’s)

    p.s I think Rylan has served his purpose 5/2 betfred looks good to me.

  10. Rob

    Thanks for posting, Louis’s wig – nice moniker btw 🙂

    Placing bets across so many markets, & trading on Betfair certainly can leave you with a staggering array of bets during a single XF series.

    And we’ve all been there – making a hasty and incorrect lay when we intended to back.

    Nice trade on Conley – you can lay him now on BF & already ensure a profit if you so desire.

  11. jay

    Great work Rob, insightful as ever. I think there is a bigger plan with D3. Their big moment came by being safe after the horror of their hallowen performance. Lets remember that this was a post bounce performance and so were very vulnerable. They were awful that night and had no right going through. TPTB seemed to have their knives out and it was all set for them to go but they did not. On top of that union J were b2 that week. I can only infer from that that D3 have support somewhere. They were the original alpha group, union J were not even invited to judges houses hence their air time early on in auditions was more limited. That early hit has affected how poular they are now. I would hazard a guess that D3 have a bigger voting fan base then union j.
    They were always safe last week, the critique was way over the top on what was an enjoyable and energetic performance. This was clearly to keep them in.
    If they can surcive the halloween performance I think they look good to beat union J who I think will go this week. Union J had their moment with One direction in the first two weeks, they can not repeat that VT. I expect D3 to get the One direction treatment this week. If they avoid b2 and union J go then there will be massive vote transfer to D3. That is why 120 on betfair is massive value and why I believe D3 are genuine dark horses. They have made it this far without us even really knowing their names, if they get momentum they could go on a run and yes will not win but will shorten to the price that union J are now.

  12. Rob

    Can see exactly where you are coming from regarding District 3, jay, & tend to agree there is value in their big price on BF atm. If one of the boybands is going to be pimped this week, you’d have to think it is far more likely to be D3.

    You can even trace it to D3’s save when up against Melanie – many thought they were likely goners there, yet were saved, why? And the way they were roundly slaughtered last w/e had to be premeditated to ensure their safety.

    The other thing potentially in their favour is D3 have a niche for themselves that is altogether different from One Direction – something that certainly cannot be said for One D’s doppelganger, UJ.

  13. Rob

    This would appear to boost UJ’s chances of avoiding the bottom 2, disappointingly for those who’ve been tucking into the 2-1 UJ for b2 & UJ/D3 bottom 2 combo:

  14. Tim B

    I’ve read lots of this kind of thing before. It very rarely ever gets mentioned on the show. For them to do so this weekend it would be unprecedented.

  15. Jay

    What’s that smell? Yes the stench of producer desperation! Pretty cheap trick on remembrance day to flag up a dedication to a brother we know nothing about and is alive and kicking! Has he even set foot in afghanistan? I’m pretty sure each contestant could think of someone in their family tree who has served in the military! Do people really vote on the basis of a siblings occupation! TPTB seemingly taking a greater liking to UJ but the depth that they are having to go suggests they are in real trouble. Will be interesting to see the different angles on the VT.
    On a side note I think rylan is tea on toast this week, do not see who he possibly gets saved against apart from Chris but thats still a marginal one with Rylan being B2 twice before. Rylan hasn’t been the same since Brian Freidman left and his place as panto villain has been taken by Maloney.

  16. Bruce

    Fantastically well done again Rob with this tonight and also Fern on Strictly.

    Some other sites may procrastinate over shows and be flooded by ‘conspiracy theory’ junkies but Entertainment Odds delivers a consistently high level of weell argued insight and more importatntly tremendous betting recommendations.

    Keep up the good work

  17. Rob

    Thanks Bruce. It shows that hard work studying these shows & an awareness of betting ‘value’ really does pay off.
    Also feels like we’ve been able to put our money where our mouth is during this latest XF run.
    Had a similarly tremendous winning run last year but did not post on the site after the Saturday night live show.
    This year have been able to write the Sunday posts so all the advice has been there for all to read.
    Let’s hope the run can continue all the way to the final 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *