X Factor: Why I’m sticking with One Direction

Over two months ago, before the live shows, Daniel and I posted our prediction of the finishing order of the then-final 12. It was a hugely speculative exercise and has naturally proved far from perfect (although in part because the addition of the wildcards rebalanced the show). But please forgive us a moment of self-congratulation […]

X Factor Week 9 Betting Post-Mortem

The biggest story of the semi was the fact that there was a sing-off at all. This hasn’t been the case at this stage in previous series, and producers risked creating a huge backlash by instituting one this time. They weren’t even clear on this point until Dermot announced it halfway through the Sunday results […]

X Factor Week 9 Sunday Update

Before Saturday’s show it was a case of ‘Every little helps’ for Tesco worker Mary and she didn’t get it.

She needed a better slot in the running order than second, always in the same segment as favourite Matt Cardle. She needed more interesting VTs. She needed not to get her timing wrong at the […]

X Factor Week 9 Elimination Market

The rumours suggest the act with the fewest public votes will be automatically eliminated this weekend, leaving four still in for the final.

The bookmakers’ favourite to fall at this point is last week’s sing-off survivor, Mary, at a shade of odds-on. The second favourite to go is the previous week’s sing-off survivor, Cher, at […]

My £28,000 Wagner Wager

For the last few years, I have risked six-figure sums betting on the Eurovision Song Contest, my specialist subject. After another winning year I quit my day job this summer so I could focus on it full-time in 2011.

But that left the autumn to fill. And having first dipped my toe into the […]

X Factor: The Final Duets

The duets of the final weekend have emerged as a major factor in predicting the X Factor winner. It would appear that the celebrity firepower of a contestant’s singing partner significantly influences the votes cast.

In this article, we look at how the choice of partner has impacted previous years’ results, and speculate on who […]

Midweek refleXions: End of the phoney war

Finally! After weeks of after-you-no-after-you pussyfooting around at the head of the outright winner betting market, one of the leading players conjured up a performance to take this series by the scruff of the neck and shake up the odds.

That someone was Matt, and the somewhat unlikely song with which he did it was […]

X Factor: Wagner – An Anatomy of an Assassination

When the kill finally came, it was clinical. After seven weeks of doing everything they could to keep Wagner safe, skilfully manipulating the “vote Wagner” campaigners who mistakenly thought they were annoying the show by voting for him, week 8 saw producers do everything they could to get him out. They succeeded.

It was a […]