Predicting X Factor, Part 4: The sympathy bounce

What’s the “sympathy bounce”? It’s when an act survives being in the bottom two, and then the following week avoids being in the bottom two.

On the face of it, we should be surprised when this happens. When an act survives the bottom two, you know for sure that it received the lowest public support […]

Predicting X Factor, Part 3: Judges’ comments

“You’ve gone from pub singer to wedding singer.”

“I’ve started to believe in you as a group.”

“Most emotional performance of the whole night.”

“You’ll be the last girl standing”

“You’re totally out of your depth.”

“You’re an unstoppable machine.”

What do these comments have in common? Nothing on the surface, ranging as they do […]

Predicting X Factor, Part 2: The running order

It’s a well-established fact that when it comes to voting in reality shows, people have short attention spans. Other things being equal, therefore, the later acts to perform have better chances of getting more votes than the earlier ones. This is because people have short attention spans.

Did we mention that people have short attention […]

Predicting X Factor, Part 1: Conspiracy theories

Welcome to a five-part series of posts on X Factor betting strategies. We’ll have plenty to say about this year’s crop of contestants after judges’ houses, but in the meantime we’ll be covering some general principles that we’ll want to refer back to during the live shows.

Predicting X Factor is very different from predicting […]