The Britain's Got Talent live semi-finals return this evening with nine acts set to perform in an attempt to reach the final in 12 days time. Mike Norman runs the rule over tonight's betting opportunities...
"Band of Voices' vocals and harmonies are fantastic and they ought to be the second act to qualify tonight - available to back at around [1.6] in the To Qualify market."
If there's one golden rule when betting on Britain's Got Talent semi-finals then it's a very simple one. Oppose the favourites at your peril!
There is absolutely no need to over complicate matters. One act - or in other words, the favourite - will top the public vote each evening, and another two acts - errr, the second and third favourites - will come next in the voting and have to face the judges' decision.
Ok, maybe it's not quite as simple as that, but it's not far off.
You see, what happens here is ITV, Simon Cowell, whoever, want who they perceive as the best 10 acts in the live final. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and you'd be absolutely correct.
So those 10 acts are then split between the five semi-finals, five or six mediocre acts will join them with perhaps one or two who could threaten, and away we go. There's nothing rigged about it, it's just an exercise to get as many of the best acts as possible into the final so that we can all enjoy a great show.
Unfortunately that great show - the final - will undoubtedly have a high percentage of singers and dancers. That's just how it is. For whatever reason, modern day comedians and magicians and the likes just don't do well.
Evidence of that can be seen by quickly glancing at the 12 acts that have filled the top two positions in the six series to date. Incredibly, 11 of them were either a vocal or dance act in one way or another, and even last year's winner, Ashleigh and Pudsey was a dancing dog act, so I suppose you could say it's 12 of 12.
Which leads us nicely on to tonight's first semi-final, where quite possibly, vocal acts could fill the first three places.
Brothers Richard and Adam are the favourites on the exchange, trading just a shade under evens at present but should be available at around the [2.5] as the day goes on.
They're an operatic duo who stunned the judges during their audition with their powerful voices. They're not my cup of tea, but that matters one jot at this stage. Singers with powerful voices, performing songs from the opera/theatre - Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, and last year's runners-up Charlotte & Jonathan for example - do very well in this show. They'll be difficult to beat.
Band of Voices are the second favourites at around the [3.0] mark, a quintet of performers who have been together for just a short while. Previously they have all had jobs as backing singers to some famous names but together they have the potential to go right to the top. Their vocals and harmonies are fantastic and they ought to be the second act to qualify tonight - available to back at around [1.6] in the To Qualify market.
The only spanners in the works that I can see from tonight's other semi-finalists might come from 11-year-old singer Arisxandra Libantino, and hilarious impressionist Philip Green.
Green doesn't need to do impressions however, he's just naturally funny, and somewhat likeable. He could poll a lot of votes tonight and might be worth a few pound to qualify, but in all seriousness I'll be very surprised if the front two in the betting don't make it to the final.