With a break tonight for the footy, BGT’s semi finals resume on Thursday with a heat comprising The Luminites (best-price 13/8 at the time of writing), Robbie Kennedy (9/4), Rosie O’Sullivan (9/2), Pre-Skool (12/1), Freelusion (25/1), Joseph Hall (33/1), Stevie Pink (40/1), MC Boy (40/1) and Thomas Bounce (66/1).
The first two heats have reinforced the point Bruce makes in the comments, that in the BGT semis: “Who is going to be favoured by Syco is a dangerous game to pay betting wise.” Unlike X Factor, we don’t have the intermediate stages of boot camp and judges’ houses to help us guess which way the wind has been blowing between the filming of the auditions and the start of the live shows. While both Richard and Adam and Jack Carroll enjoyed the smooth progress that was anticipated by the consensus in the Sofabet commenter community, there were also surprises in both heats.
In the first semi, the pre-show market had Band Of Voices vying for the win, but they were mercilessly lobbed under a bus. Last night, the pre-show favourite Alice Fredenham got ostensibly better treatment – a late-ish slot, a doubling-down on the nerves story in her VT, and highly positive comments – but turned in a performance that seemed designed primarily to dispel any doubts about the genuineness of her stage-fright.
Meanwhile, not many would have predicted that the pimp slot would be bestowed on neither Alice nor Jack but on Gabz Gardiner, hailed by Amanda as the new Adele. Gabz duly qualified behind Jack, meaning our winners have performed 9th and 8th in the running order and the other qualifiers 7th and 9th. Plus ca change.
A couple of things are worth bearing in mind ahead of the remainder of the semis. First, on the all-important running order, while on Monday the acts were announced at the start of the show in the order they would go on to perform, on Tuesday they weren’t.
Second, producers will surely be looking to avoid a lopsided show on Saturday week – so far they’ve got three singers and a comedian. Having said that, last year they had seven vocal acts out of eleven finalists, a record – in previous years it was 4/10, 4/10, 5/10 and 4/10.
They’ve got the option of a wildcard to even things out a bit if needed – and, interestingly, if you read the terms and conditions, it seems like technically they could look beyond the acts rejected out of the 2nd and 3rd placed finishers:
The judges may also in their sole discretion nominate a semi-final act to appear in the final as a ‘wildcard’ act. The nominated wildcard act may be any act that previously performed across the semi finals.
This presumably explains why there is still some money looking to back Alice Fredenham on Betfair at low three-figure prices, even after her elimination last night. Would they dare?
Commenters have already been speculating about the third semi-final – at this stage JScouser fancies Robbie, Bruce is on Pre-Skool, Tish makes the case for the Luminites, and Guildo is tempted by qualification odds on Freelusion. As ever, at this stage you’re betting largely on who you suspect will get the better treatment in the show itself.
Do keep the discussion going below.