The Voice UK 2013 – Final Preview

It’s been a good 2013 for short-priced favourites in TV talent show contests. We’ve had odds-on shots Denmark win Eurovision and Attraction take Britain’s Got Talent. Leah McFall attempts a hat-trick in tonight’s climax to The Voice. She’s a best price 1-3 at the time of going to press.

Her main rivals are Mike Ward and Andrea Begley. Neither offer stellar vocals but have a good backstory and other things going for them. The field is completed by outsider Matt Henry, who does have a reasonable soul voice and an engaging personality but is perhaps a little too bland to trouble the top.

The two main questions of the night are: is Leah home and dry already; and if not, who is most likely to beat her to the prize?

I should start by saying that unlike her mentor will.i.am, I don’t find her to be “the second coming”. In fact, whilst she does have an amazing range I think she (over)sings like she’s about to give birth. Plenty clearly disagree with me, taking her quarter-final version of ‘I Will Survive’ into the UK top ten.

But Sofabet commenters such as Tish are also less impressed. Guildo Horn Forever and Stoney felt that she was out-performed by her semi-final opponent Cleo, and I can’t disagree with that. Whilst it’s clear that the show is attempting to push her as its most credible winner, that doesn’t discourage our Guildo, who takes heart that The Powers That Be didn’t get the result they wanted last year, when the vocal affectations of favourite Bo proved less popular than middle-of-the-road solid Leanne Mitchell.

This leads me to gwri78’s comment that the “BBC will do all they can to push her but the youth vote they want might just not exist, worth finding out at 1.4.” The respective percentages of gran-baiting opera duo Richard & Adam (15.4%) against the heavily-hyped Luminites (6.8%) in Britain’s Got Talent remind us that appealing to a youth demographic alone doesn’t get you as far as having grey appeal too.

Leah may be the most likely winner, but I’m not sure she’s home and dry. At current prices, it’s worth looking for value elsewhere.

Which brings us to Mike Ward and Andrea Begley. Neither put up particularly impressive vocal performances in the semi-final, which is a shame as this was something Leanne Mitchell had on her side in last year’s final. 6-1 second-favourite Mike is the rough diamond who’s been Eliza Doolittled into the humble pretty boy coping with a family bereavement, under the wing of father figure Tom Jones. That’s got to hoover up certain swathes of female demographic.

I don’t have a problem with the incongruity of a northern lad trying Country – it worked for Jimmy Nail with ‘Crocodile Shoes‘ – though I do wish that he was stronger in the genre. But as Andy pointed out, his mooted song choices tonight should delight the demographic. Singing ‘Green Green Grass of Home’ with Tom Jones may prove an inspired choice that could move the market on the night.

Andrea gets me every time and not just because she’s partially sighted. It’s also the straightforward way she deals with it and enjoys performing. Like Andy, I’m not sure her duet with mentor Danny will be her strong moment tonight, but I’m hopeful for her Evanescence number and for the reprise of her audition piece, Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Angel’.

As with Mike, Andrea is capable of creating an emotional moment tonight that could see her move in the market from a current best price of 8-1. Clearly, this article isn’t going to end up suggesting Leah should be backed at current prices. But if you do think tonight is a walkover for her no matter what, waiting for her price to drift in-running, just as it did in the semi-final, could be your best option.

The field is finished off by 20-1 outsider Matt Henry, who is a perfectly good singer and has the likeable, happy personality of a Blue Peter presenter. I don’t think that will be enough tonight, despite springing a semi-final shock over Ash Morgan.

In conclusion, there’s the potential for some market swings tonight. Considering he’s doing an Elvis track as well as a Tom Jones duet, the 6-1 about Mike Ward with Stan James could look big around halfway through the show. For that reason, I’m having a little interest on him at that value price. If you agree with much of the article but don’t think Mike is vocally strong enough, then I wouldn’t put you off 8-1 Andrea.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s final? Do let us know below.

 

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50 comments to The Voice UK 2013 – Final Preview

  • Ronnie

    Ditto. Daniel, would you say the short voting window is something of a leveller?

    • It’s a great question Ronnie, though we can only speculate on something like this. You’d have thought a motivated fanbase would be even more important in these circumstances.

  • stoney

    I am on andrea all the way tonight, nowhere near the levels i had going into the BGT final night, but enough to make it interesting.
    Daniel you mention her duet with danny not being a strong point, but shes actually singing with the script, this can only be more positive than just danny, who was the highlight of last years final in my eyes when he was jumping around like a prized clown in his duet with bo

  • Dan

    Like stoney, my money is on Andrea. Because there’s less of an opportunity for an act to build up a following than X-Factor, it’s more about performance on the night, and as you say Daniel, if she creates that emotional moment then the votes will come rolling in. But I do wonder if it will be enough.

    I see no value in Leah, who they are clearly pushing as a winner and a credible artist with chart potential. I don’t think that TPTB can afford another Leanne on their hands.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Have had no further bets on The Voice since last Saturday, save for a small bet on Matt for the outright. Only a small bet because a) his odds of reward are enormous (for a four runner race) and b) though I think he will outperform his market-predicted last-of-four finishing position, I think the win is probably beyond him.
    Pity there isn’t a w/o market.

    All week I’ve been picking up in the press on the continuing (wide-ranging and v savvy) campaign for the saviour: Leah, save us from the Fall.

    http://metro.co.uk/2013/06/17/will-i-am-has-no-interest-in-meeting-his-absent-father-revealing-his-mother-played-the-daddy-role-instead-3844521/
    http://metro.co.uk/2013/06/20/will-i-am-whisks-leah-mcfall-to-cannes-to-calm-her-nerves-ahead-of-the-voice-final-3849396/
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/thevoice/4979337/William-says-Leah-McFall-will-be-The-Voices-worldwide-superstar.html

    Against this powerful level of manipulation it is difficult to continue to bet against. X-Factor MK2. Tut tut.

    I’ve bets down on Andrea, Mike and Matt but I find it difficult to be enthusiastic about any of them.
    My early losses in this series were staked on Liam and Elise. An ‘if’ moment: I’m imagining Liam in the final (say in place of Matt) and am wondering what I, in the role of trader, would chalk up as a set of odds for the final. Clearly, I haven’t got over their respective first round exits!

    Mike would probably be my best (punting) result but tbh I think he would be a worthy winner of Stars in Your Eyes. I find his performances a bit ****ing silly.
    The boy is catnip, the Green, Green Grass of Home duet should go down an absolute flippin’ treat; but is the show called The Voice or The Impersonation?

    Andrea is interesting. Her mentor was born in Dublin, while she was born in Belfast. V interesting combo: but how capital a point is is? I don’t know. I like and respect Andrea and she is a nice straight-forward singer.
    I hope she wins and I’m keen as lust that she top 3s as I’ve a plethora of EW bets on her at 12s and 10s.

    Matt. I’ve dug out a very small EW bet on him from way back in the series. There was something about his audition VT that reminded me of Danyl Johnson! Please do not ask me to explain this! Lol. I couldn’t decide whether that likeness was a positive or a negative; but I thought it was intriguing enough to warrant a very small speculation.
    He’s beaten a Scottish singer and then overcame a Welsh singer (and s**t staging) and although there are a few significant and obvious points against him, I backed him again recently because his price spoke of value to me.

    The trouble with Leah is that she is not wearing The Emperor’s New Clothes. Some of the hype is reasonable. At moments she is fantastic. Not my cup of char, but she can be good.

    Leah doesn’t stir me emotionally, but then neither do any of them. Perhaps Andrea does a bit. I think Leah’s I will Always Love You will be critical to her chances. If she can sing it “straight” then that could seal the deal but another raft of soulless self-indulgent shrieking and weird noise-making could spell trouble.

    I think Andy is in the best position with his value 3/1 bet on Leah, amongst other early value bets. Very well done, man.

  • Andy

    Hi Guildo
    My Green on Andrea is HUGE.
    Green on Mike very healthy.
    Have taken Matt like you today at 55/1 on betfair to get a slight Green.
    Leah is now a tiny Red.
    I need market movements to get them all Green.
    Andrea to shorten in price so I could lay or if Leah drifts out to around 8/13 or shorter I would be in a position to get money down.
    I am keeping fingers crossed that the Whitney track goes pear shaped.
    It could all come down to performance on the night.

  • stoney

    bad start from mike, not great at all just topped up on andrea at 10’s

  • stoney

    how on earth is leah as short as 1/6 that was absolutely horrific, she murdered that all time classic

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Agreed. That was a mess. I don’t have perfect pitch but you don’t need to in order to hear that that performance was all over the place.

  • Andy

    1st round to Andrea.
    Leah being pimped as we thought she would be.

  • Andy.

    Hall of fame the feel good act of the night so far.

  • stoney

    interesting that mike is now the outsider, after the huge gamble going on him during the day, must be a lot of pissed off punters at the moment, andrea still provides the value in this final, even more so now

  • Tish

    Eventhough I can’t stand Leah, I have to say that was a brilliant with Will.I.Am

  • stoney

    that round goes to leah, but only cos of will, leah didnt do very much singing

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I thought, in terms of singing, Matt was the best in that round too. I loved his non-threatening, fun-coloured 80s styling too. I still think he would win a w/o market.

  • stoney

    This years danny dancing around on stage like a pratt award goes to robbie williams

  • Andy

    Just tried to send a half dozen votes to Andrea’s cause.
    Phone was engaged constantly.
    I think Mike’s gonna get wooden spoon.

  • Andy

    Comments on Yahoo are slating Leah’s 1st song.

  • stoney

    WILL I AM you absolute liar, you didnt pick leah up on her pitcheyness in her first song

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Total egg on face time. Plus: I have to admit backing Matt again just before he was eliminated. Feeling very foolish.

    Consolation is that the place part of the Andrea EW bets have won.
    Also feeds me a little indirect hope that Leah will fall. If the BBC audience couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the black bloke then the old fashioned acts might be being favoured.

  • stoney

    leahs odds shortening now, lets hope for another dire leah performance then its game on!!!!

  • Andy

    I am not laying or betting.
    Staying in Andrea’s corner.

    Pimping Galore not going to work this time.

  • Boki

    I guess Leah wins it after all but had to lay her at 1.2 , no way she should be this low.

  • stoney

    GET THE F IN THERE

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Yesssssssssssssssssssss!

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Big thanks to Andy for pushing Andrea from long before even that lovely profitable semi win over Karl. Awesome.

  • Boki

    Lol
    Market clueless, the same happened in Dancing on ice this year in-play, favorite went to 1.3 and lost… nice multiplication on previous Andrea’s win, my only two bets – starting to love this Voice 🙂
    Well done Andy!

  • stoney

    my 10/1 top up earlier on tonight was my boldest move of this series, well done andy, your semi final tip got me backing andrea for tonight

    • stoney

      Also had andrea to win the voice and rafa nadal for wimbledon in a double, random i know but a couple of k coming back if he wins it

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I like Rafa for Wimbledon too. Didn’t know you could do multiples involving reality market bets. Seriously need to start getting involved in some of that! A special Lucky 15 slip is long overdue!

      • Boki

        Rafa will need to beat Federer, Murray and Nole in a row, that will be very tough.

        • stoney

          yeah of course but hes flying now after his french open win, and will be up for it after last years abysmal performance, my biggest stakes of wimbledon are on serena to win the womens, and a nadal djokovic final, i have no single stakes on the mens winner, just the money thats rolling over from this andrea bet

  • Andy

    Happy Days.
    Told you My Immortal was genius.
    Well done everyone, guessing at a few more bookies limiting stakes in future.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    I have to opine that the BBC have managed to ruin The Voice. The anti X-Factor show that finally crossed the line tonight and delivered nearly as much orchestrated manipulation, bulls**t and partiality as any Cowell show.
    The big joke is that they sold the show’s soul for nothing. It was the viewers that resisted the BS offensive and came to the rescue.
    But the brand is tainted and corrupted.

    I see that The Voice audience wouldn’t vote for Matt and wouldn’t be told what to do by will.i.am. I could have termed that differently. *Cough*

    Missed the 10/1 on Andrea when topping up (though am happy with the prices I did get) but am learning the value of in-running betting.

    Although I’ve previously slated Jessie (for her idiotic managing of Ash, in particular), the worst mentor of the series award probably belongs to will.i.am. That VT of Leah taking the private jet to Cannes to meet John Legend, to become accustomed to her projected new superstar life etc was the daftest of the daft of moves. ‘Fool’s mate’ style.

    • stoney

      Also a huge gaff from will i am was mentioning that hes from the usa while giving his final promotion on leah, you could see jessie j’s jaw basically drop as he said it, big up the british public for standing against this manipulation, this makes up for the attraction fiasco in my situation

  • Andy

    Not at semi final stage Stoney, I took 3/1 on the 5th June and 15/8 on the 7th June just before the Quarter finals. I wanted to cover my stakes on Andrea and Mike just in case.
    I wouldn’t go near her at odds on.
    I watched some massive 5 figure bets disappear on betfair this evening as soon as they appeared at 1/4 and 1/5. Many punters nursing seriously sore heads tonight.

    • stoney

      you did say that after she triumphed over cleo you thought she would win, turn coat haha.
      Them odds for leah were an absolute joke to be fair, whoever was betting on that is quite frankly an idiot!

  • Andy

    I also said I hope she doesn’t win.
    🙂

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