X Factor Week 1 Elimination Market

This article comes with not one, but two warnings. The unknown variable of the ‘wildcards’ and how they will be included in this weekend’s shows makes betting on the elimination market a riskier proposition than usual.

Secondly, we have to take on trust the rumoured running order of the first show, on which many of our calculations will be based. But even bearing this in mind, there may be some reasonable value about who will be first to exit.

Here’s that rumoured running order:


Mary Byrne

Rebecca Ferguson

John Adeleye

Nicolo Festa

Belle Amie

Aiden Grimshaw

Cher Lloyd

One Direction

Storm Lee

Matt Cardle

Katie Waissel

I think it’s believable, as the order of each category’s acts is close to what I would have estimated. FYD on first with Katie or Cher on last also seemed obvious choices.

If it’s true, it’s very bad for FYD – the first to sing in the last three years have been in the bottom two. They are also followed by two relatively safe contestants – Mary will have Irish support, and Rebecca is unlikely to finish so low.

John Adeleye’s early draw won’t help him, especially coming before the charismatic and eccentric Nicolo. Fans of Belle Amie should also be worried, given they are buried mid-show and the poor record of girl bands.

The last five in the running order all have excellent draws, indicating some level of support from the producers. Storm Lee got more VT time than the others in his category during judges’ houses, and is given a much better spot here – he is being established as the anti-Simon act.

Based on this list, One Direction is predictably the last of the groups to perform and should be safe, and it’s good news for the previously threatened Katie Waissel who has the ‘pimp slot’ as last to sing. Leaving this for the most controversial inclusion in the final 12 seems entirely plausible to me.

I have backed John Adeleye at 8.6 and FYD at 7.8 on Betfair to be eliminated. I will add a saver on Belle Amie, currently at 8.4, as it would be too frustrating to see them eliminated given the rotten run of girl bands in the competition. These are huge odds given the running order suggests these three may be scrapping for survival near the bottom.

The reason for this is much to do with the question mark over the wildcards. But the elimination market on Betfair, which had seen ‘Any Other’ to leave first backed at 2.42 a few days ago, is now seeing that possibility drifting, strengthening the idea that we ourselves suggested on Thursday that there will only be a vote on the four wildcards against each other this week, with the winner added to next week’s shows.

Here’s more evidence. The opening show was 2 hours in 2009 and 2hrs 15mins in 2008, so they’ll have to go at a considerably faster pace to fit 16 acts into 2 hrs 30 mins – especially as they will have to devote some time to explaining what exactly the other four are doing there, and this is a show that rarely misses an opportunity to spin things out.

It would be perfectly valid for cautious punters to decide to sit out this week’s elimination market, given the various uncertainties. However, there will often be the possibility of surprise built into the show, and some of this week’s odds still represent good value despite everything. 

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