It's the grand final, and Jack Houghton thinks that, although Louisa Johnson is the most likely winner, things will be much closer than some are predicting...
"Johnson is now a ridiculously short 1/6. Yes, she is a probably winner, but she would not be the first act to enter the final as favourite yet finish a runner up..."
What Happened Last Week?
As tipped, Lauren Murray departed last week, after failing to rediscover her earlier appeal. She was joined in the sing-off by Che Chesterman - an unsurprising pairing given that they were the only two acts to have appeared in the bottom two before.
Perhaps telling - as we look ahead to the final - was that Chesterman beat Murray in the public vote despite singing first in the second round of songs. Statistics tell us that this puts an act at a disadvantage, and it is worth remembering that the only two occasions Chesterman has been in trouble were those evenings when he sang first. So although he may be the outsider of three, he may not be as far behind the others in terms of public support as it may seem.
Who Are The Likely Winners?
All the way through I've stuck doggedly to the belief that, although the most likely winner, Louisa Johnson has been terrible value. I stand by that view, although those who took the 21/10 at the start of the series are probably feeling more confident of profiting this year than I am right now.
Johnson is now a ridiculously short 1/6. Yes, she is a probable winner, but she would not be the first act to enter the final as favourite yet finish a runner up. Think Gareth Gates, Rhydian Roberts, Jahmene Douglas and Fleur East. True, none of those were quite as overwhelming favourites as Johnson is, but reading reports of her facing bed-rest, and envisaging a final where Reggie N Bollie provide the most entertainment, I certainly wouldn't be lumping on at odds-on.
For all the latest price movements on the X-Factor, head over to Betfair Predicts:
What Will Happen This Week?
Three songs, one of which will be an, as yet, unconfirmed duet. In the past, two acts have left at this stage, before going on to preview the winner's single on the Sunday. Quite what the single is - and how the same song could possibly suit three acts who are so different - is uncertain. What is clear is that Reggie N Bollie have the most entertaining of the songs confirmed. This will be closer than many people are predicting.
Profit / Loss on Settled Bets: -6.67pts
Previously Recommended Bets:
6 points Reggie N Bollie at 11/2 in Outright Winner Market - OPEN.
5 points Che Chesterman at 7/2 in Outright Winner Market - OPEN.
1 point Che Chesterman at 11/2 in Outright Winner Market - OPEN.
1 point 4th Impact at 11/2 in Outright Winner Market - LOST.
1 point Alien Uncovered at 8/1 in Next Elimination Market - LOST.
1 point Monica Michael at 9/1 in Third Elimination Market - LOST.
1 point Mason Noise at 6/1 in Third Elimination Market - LOST.
2 points Monica Michael at 15/8 in Third Elimination Market - LOST.
2 points Anton Stephans at 8/1 in Outright Winner Market - LOST.
2 points Reggie N Bollie at 7/2 in Seventh Elimination Market - LOST.
10 points Lauren Murray at 5/6 in 10th Elimination Market - WON.
5 points Lauren Murray at 3/1 in Outright Winner Market - LOST.