There’s been no news of a flash vote in tonight’s show, or double elimination this weekend. A story appeared in today’s Sun suggesting the franchise would go “back to basics” after the judges’ houses live reveal, which implies no such gimmick. Also, if you’re going to introduce such a measure to boost ratings, better to trail it beforehand. Still, it can’t be completely discounted.
Having found a 1-13 prediction particularly hard this year, the Sofabet team can’t wait for the first live show as a more concrete indication of various contestants’ chances. It’s worth bearing in mind that many acts get a fair crack of the whip to prove how high they can fly in the first phone vote.
But there are usually a few instances of contestants being thrown under the bus in the first live show. Last year, Blonde Electra were given horrible colour vomit staging, whilst Overload Generation were slated for their Katy Perry cover, as a way of making Stereo Kicks own Katy Perry cover look better.
As a general trend, the first half of acts to leave in each series since the categories have been in their current form, are as follows:
2014 group, group, girl, girl, boy, boy, girl, boy
2013 over, over, group, group, girl, boy
2012 over, over, group, girl, over, group
2011 group, over, girl, group, over, over
2010 boy, group, over, group, over, group, girl, boy
2009 group, boy, group, girl, girl, over
2008 group, group, boy, boy, girl, over
2007 girl, over, group, boy, girl, over
This list is testament to the vulnerability of the least popular group and over. It was the reason why Bupsi and Reggie n Bollie were in the bottom two places of our 1-13 prediction. Unfortunately, bookmakers have also been savvy to this, pricing them up at around 6/4 and 3/1 generally in the first elimination market. There’s a valid theory that it would be a shame to lose two fun acts so soon, which may be one reason why another over, Max Stone, follows them closely at 5/1.
Analysing song choices is rather speculative without knowing how each will be arranged or staged. (Though the release of song snippets on iTunes at around 6pm last year became a useful pre-show clue.) Nonetheless, of the three who top the elimination market, we’re most comforted by Reggie n Bollie’s choice of Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ which feels right up their street. We’re least comforted by Bupsi performing one of Marvin Gaye’s less iconic songs, ‘You’re A Wonderful One’. Max has the opposite challenge, covering Adele’s iconic ‘Someone Like You’, which could go any which way.
Next up in the market come Mason Noise at 10/1 and Alien Uncovered at 12/1. As commercial propositions, we expect both to be given plenty of help tonight. Mason still has to overcome a “bad boy” tag as a result of his six chair challenge outburst, but at this stage you’d probably bet on him being saved in a sing-off, at least against one of the more disposable contestants. His song choice, Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’, suggests further mileage out of his bid for redemption. Alien Uncovered have a promising number in Jessie J’s ‘Do It Like A Dude’.
Kiera Weathers is a 14/1 chance to be eliminated, Monica Michael is 20/1, and it’s 50/1 bar. Kiera’s song choice of ‘Crying For No Reason’ strikes us as lacking a big moment, but she does have a regional vote to back her up. Meanwhile it would be a surprise if Monica Michael’s moment of resurrection as the Wildcard was cut so cruelly short. You’d expect some goodwill for her in this week’s phone vote.
Overall, we believe Bupsi is a deserving favourite to get our 1-13 prediction off to a decent start. But odds of just 6/4 are not really appealing enough with no previous week’s live show to provide clues. We’ll be watching carefully for what happens tonight instead.
What do you think? Let us know your latest thoughts below on the first elimination, and your reading of the first live show as it happens.