X Factor Week 7 Betting Post-Mortem

The X Factor master plan went to script this week – don’t let talk from those involved in the show about being ‘shocked’ by the result fool you. This is exactly what they wanted to happen.

Most of all they wanted to keep both of their two headline-grabbing acts, Katie and Wagner, in for yet another week. That is why they unfairly gave them the best two positions in the running order. The judges heaped praise on Katie, and created controversy for Wagner. The talk was of little else on the forums before the results show.

Laying Wagner at 6-4 in the elimination market means that I have now made a four-figure sum on the brilliant Brazilian staying in the competition over the course of the live shows. The vote Wagner campaign continues apace and his odds of winning X Factor have shortened to 20/1. (But if you’re tempted, read our article on why Wagner can’t win first).

As I said in yesterday’s post, I also took 5/1 about poor old Paije finally being ushered out of the competition.

We have been saying for a while that the producers have been keen to get rid of Paije, and finally they succeeded in getting him turned over. They tried it a week ago by giving him another poor draw, but Simon overdid his criticism and that – combined with the reaction to the voting leak – saw the boy through.

This time around they didn’t give him the pimp slot – even though he deserved it far more than Katie. But nor did they antagonise his core fans with yet another blatantly early slot. In the comments they damned him with faint praise, just as they had done with Aiden. Sure enough, his voters were evidently less motivated than last week.

I added to my winnings by backing Paije at 1-4 to lose the sing-off to Cher. That may seem like short odds, but I felt it was easy money in a two-horse race.

As I said yesterday, I had expected it to be Katie rather than Cher against Paije in the singoff, but a big shoutout to our commenter Allan who singled out Cher to be in trouble at 20/1. That wasn’t a winner, of course, but bets at those odds could have been profitably hedged on Betfair during the sing-off.

I also suggested in our Sunday article that stitching up Cher with a poor draw and song arrangement suggested producers were happy with the possibility of saving her from the bottom two this week. The reason? Cher should now enjoy a substantial sympathy bounce – the last two survivors from week 7 sing-offs, Olly and JLS, went on to finish second – and so she could well be worth a look in the “top 3 finish” market.

As you will know if you were watching the Digital Spy forums yesterday, the source of the Twitter vote leak of the week before was not able to give any information out this weekend. However, we are in contact with the person concerned and hope to have an exclusive interview this Friday.

In the meantime, we will also be examining the Wagner and Katie phenomena, and Andrew will look at the battle to win in his usual Wednesday column. Do check back on Sofabet throughout the week.

Excitement is mounting at the now crucial stage of the competition. As always, we are eager for your views in the comments box below. Do you think this is a fair reading of the weekend’s events?

6 comments to X Factor Week 7 Betting Post-Mortem

  • Nick

    Trying to gauge the voting by looking at stats from various websites is proving very difficult and is clearly not an exact science. The one thing that I am learning is that each contestant has different markers to look out for and a blanket approach to everyone is not useful.

    For example, Wagner is always at the bottom of the You Tube views and iTunes comments. The voters keeping him in are motivated by comedy value and not by a love of Wagner’s music. Therefore, his stats performance is irrelevant and it is better to keep an eye on how the producer’s treat him as they will ultimately decide when to drop him.

    Katie is the opposite with a young fan base and a volatile public opinion. Her Twitter performance dropped dramatically before she was in the bottom two a couple of weeks ago. This weekend it rose sharply, giving an indication that she was safe. Katie is the same as Cher and I think Twitter is the most important indicator with these two acts. I discounted Cher’s sudden drop in activity on Twitter this weekend as she had strong You Tube views and iTunes. However, if I had looked at Twitter alone I would have had her in the bottom two. One Direction is also in this category with a young fan base.

    Mary is very difficult to read. She has an older fan base and they don’t use these sites. For several weeks I have plumped for Mary on the basis of dreadful numbers and she is always safe. I now think that Rebecca could be similar. She had dreadful numbers this weekend but was safe too.
    I think Twitter is going to be useful for Katie, Cher and One Direction with a bit of back up from iTunes. Wagner is going to be down to producer’s attitude. Mary and Rebecca could be down to performance and judge’s comments.

    I’ve found a website that analyses Twitter posts so next Saturday my Twitter numbers should be more scientific. I just wish we had more weeks for me to try to perfect a system!

    • Andrew

      That makes a lot of sense. It will be absolutely fascinating, when they publish the voting percentages after the final, to look back and see which acts were best predicted by which metrics. Won’t help us for this series of course, but should enable a flying start to next series by allowing an educated guess as to which metrics are likely to track which kind of acts.

      From your experience on these shows, Nick, do you know what sort of increase in voting they tend to see in the final or semi-final? I’m wondering if just as you perfect the system, it might become less reliable… you would think that in the earlier weeks it’s the hardcore fans voting so there’ll be a good overlap with tweeters and downloaders (for the acts to which that applies), but in the final there’ll be a lot more casual voters so the representativeness of those metrics may potentially become less.

    • Leroy

      Interesting stuff. Nick, how does Matt fare in the statistical analysis? Does he also appeal to the younger twitter/itunes crowd or is this information less revealing for him? Also wondered if being shoved out first this week, criticism of his clothing and the negative press had an impact on his stats?

  • yep well done looking back laying wagner at 6-4 was easy money i took 7-2 4 peije 2 go at 2oclock yesterday avo when i checked at 6oclock he was only 2-1 so yet again they must have been a leak i hope the bookies dont suspend betting as soon as theyve sang this week as i reckon they took a hammering i also agree 2 a point about cher i wont b taking her 2 come in thetop 3 i think shell finish 4th im gona take her 2 b top girl at 9-2 i had a monster bet on rebecca 2 win it so im edging me bets a bit she really needs 2 up her game now because i believe theys only 1 place left in the final as matt and 1direction look bullet proof 2 get there

  • Nick

    Yes Andrew, I’m really looking forward to analysing the figures once we have the true results. Hopefully it will provide a big head start on next year.

    I don’t have any numbers to show how much the voting increases but you are right that there are lots of new voters in the final two weeks in a show like X Factor. There are also a lot more multiple votes from hardcore fans which doesn’t happen so much at the beginning. I think sites like Twitter will also be very cluttered during the final so difficult to read.

  • Nick

    Matt did drop in the statistic Leroy, not a big slide on Twitter like Cher but a definite drop. He is still ahead but previously his lead has been enormous whereas the others are closer behind now.

    I think he is more a ‘Twitter act’ than Mary or Rebecca but not as much as Katie and Cher – which means I can’t work him out yet!

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