Suspect early X Factor favourite

Aug 23, 2009 by

Simon Cowell rocks back in his chair and tells the latest hopeless wannabe duet their singing is reminiscent of, “how I imagine a cat being squashed in Lithuania might sound like”.
It can mean only one thing. The X Factor is back, claiming to be bigger and better than ever. It must be. I’ve just watched the judges delivered by speedboat down the Thames to the first auditions at the O2.
A major plus for any contestant’s prospects is, of course, to have a heart-rending back story. Ah, here’s a single mum. That’s a promising start. “If I’m successful I can support my family,” she says. First box ticked there by 19-year-old Stacey Soloman. Now for her voice…

There’s a shock. She sings ‘What A Wonderful World’ like an angel. Finalist potential. And not the worst early punt at 25-1 with Betfred, with a view to hopefully laying her at shorter odds later on.
Last up on the night comes Danyl Johnson, 27. A good looking bloke, nervous, judges all saying it’s been a rubbish day. Hmm… I wonder how this will play out? The odds seem stacked against him…
No, never. He sings ‘I Get By’  like Marti Pellow of Wet, Wet, Wet might do. Bags of charisma. The crowd go wild. He owned it, I think is the correct X Factor parlance. This is the SuBo moment. The entire panel stands up and applauds.
“That was single handedly the best first audition I have ever heard,” says Simon.
A false early favourite if ever there was one (a laughable 6-4 with Boylesports) and potential lay in the outright market once Betfair starts trading, usually not until the finalists are revealed. Little scope for improvement and his voice largely lost in the backing track.
The voting can shift dramatically week by week. A poor song choice, the order they sing, along with the blatant electioneering of the ‘mentors’, and their own agenda to protect their act and attempt to manipulate the public vote, all have a bearing. You only need look at last year’s fluctuating voting patterns to see how volatile it can be, with eventual winner Alexandra Burke way down in the percentages early on:
We’ve got four months of this to get through but if you can stomach it and put in the homework the rewards can be great.

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