X Factor 2012: Richard Betsfactor’s ‘State Of The Union’ Address

We know nothing. Let’s not pretend otherwise. If we genuinely knew what was going on we’d be millionaires by now. In so many areas in life it’s tough to predict the fickle wants of the Great British Public, and again, if you can you’ll be rich. The sensational (but semi mothballed) site www.betsfactor.com seems to be on an incredible roll, but it might just be an (extremely) long list of lucky correct calls.

Keep that disclaimer in mind as you read the rest of this. None of us know anything, if we did we’d be betting far bigger stakes.

I’m Richard, I set up a blog last year called Betsfactor for a laugh, looking at the show and what they were up to. I loved Sofabet, they were always generous linking to the blog, this year they asked me to write a couple of bits, so why the hell not. This is one big, happy, TV betting site community after all.

After a succession of screw ups last year; at the start of this ‘season’, there was one thing that I thought they were going to try and bring to the show this year. To try and save the franchise. It’s what I’d call ‘perceived credibility’. Now, we’ve all got a friend who listens to 6music, reads the Guardian, drinks a tea we can’t spell and travels to Equatorial Guinea on holiday. The music they like is properly credible. Guitars, lyrics that weren’t written by a “writing team” and not a piece of computer software in sight. The credibility I’m talking about, is what a housewife in Croydon would feel was credible; not what your friend Yasmin, with her fair trade bike, would think was credible. By credible, I mean, authentic, not manufactured, original. So we’re looking for what the average viewer perceives as being credible.

If I had to guess, the second thing that has come to light, to try and save the franchise, has been an order from on high to “mix it up a bit, make it less predictable”.  The Daily Star is like clockwork – it has the headline “Fix Factor” every 36 days on it’s front page, so “The X Factor is fixed” has been a common and very very lazy line for newspapers and Barry down the pub to spout out for many years now. There’s a difference between fixed and manipulated. It’s not fixed; but manipulation goes on all the time and it’s an easy thing to prove (see pretty much every post on Betsfactor last year!). They need to nip it in the bud, which is what they are doing this year, and why James Arthur has been Red and Blacked and Kye Fawked in the last two weeks; that’s why acts they want to slay are being put on towards the end, to “mix it up a bit”.


– Perceived Credibility
– “Mix it up a bit”

We’ve already had the disclaimers, but to repeat I am, not confident enough to say who I think will win at this stage.

I can say what I think the CURRENT league table looks like.

Perceived Credibility:

1. Jahmene (5/2 – looks long)- This is the contestant they want to get to the final and are helping as much as they can. He doesn’t write his own songs so isn’t as great for “perceived credibility” as the next two….

2. James Arthur (7/2 – about right) – I’m yet to be convinced that they want this guy to win.  Writes his own stuff. Credible and real.

3. Ella – They are still throwing their weight behind her, for instance, which Britain’s Got Talent “oh my ^£%* how the hell did we get him winning” song did they give her last week?! Writes her own stuff. But….. Bombshell: At 2.2, I’d oppose her. I don’t think she’ll win it based on what I’ve seen so far. This is not a tip, just an evolving opinion! Why? She’s off key too often and a bit too young, we’ve also seen way too many favourites not win public votes recently (Janet, the people on the Voice etc).

Plus. Lucy – She is the most obviously “perceived credible” candidate. But with uncertainty over whether she’ll return to the competition, I’m not giving her a league table position at the moment.

Two of the final three are songwriters in their own right – boom – perceived credible final.

Mix it up a bit:

The rest just aren’t in any order at all. They just don’t care who goes when now, because they need to mix it up. Who cares if Union J go in week 4, they won’t make the final, so let’s “Mix it up a bit” and nuke different contestants each week. For punters this is proving a nightmare – but equally there is great value out there – long odds shouldn’t be ignored. Small stakes on a couple of longer shots might be worth it, – they certainly were last week, and in other weeks (eg Melanie in the singoff).

Boyblands (UJ 20-1 D3 66-1 – About right)- Both had dodgy staging last week, they just don’t care and want them gone. By ramping one then the other each time, it’s a lot easier to split the vote and therefore make sure they avoid the risk of either doing well. Cowell will not want any competitor to One Direction at the moment, although Louis probably fancies another crack at it, given how emotional he got when he saw his opportunity to manage a new boyband drain away last Sunday.

Christopher (40-1 – a little too long)- They’ve created a monster here. Even before the show began they said to the Great British public, who were desperate to start spending 35p on someone… Here are the 13, 14, 15 and 16th best contestants, which one do you really want to spend a week getting behind and supporting? Liverpool and someone who misdialled in Dundee, picked Christopher. Because people picked the underdog, they will go on supporting him, because the first 35p they spent was on Christopher, they can’t switch to someone else and admit they were wrong and that they wasted 20 lots of 35p. The producers have decided that they will tolerate it for the moment, get the 80’s stuff on, drip drip that he’s cheesy; he’s a useful “Rylan II”  to keep the judges arguing.

Rylan (80-1 – about right) – He’s got two or three weeks left before he’s surplus to requirements, with Christopher still on the scene, he’s expendable from anytime now, but one more “judges save” against Christopher or Kye would be ideal…maybe this weekend! This ballad could be the turning point one way or the other.

Kye (80-1 far too short!) – So completely expendable it’s embarrassing. This week is way too unpredictable, but I would say it’ll be Bye Kye, “you’re going to have a great career ahead of you” as the most likely of many possible outcomes.

This is just one person’s opinion on a snapshot of where we are right now, today, feel free to pull it to pieces, and if you’ve not enjoyed the planet’s greatest blog –  Betsfactor – go and have a read…. You never know, I might be working on a couple of new theories to maybe come out before the end of the series.

8 comments to X Factor 2012: Richard Betsfactor’s ‘State Of The Union’ Address

  • eurovicious

    I almost never use all caps, but… SUPERB.

  • eurovicious

    Also, hilarious. I LOLed.

    For the record, I read the Guardian, drink funny teas and go to weird places like eastern Slovakia on holiday (you can’t beat Bardejov in the springtime), but I’ve never listened to 6music and I have a hard drive full of ABBA and the Vengaboys, so that counts me out on the credibility front, haha… perhaps I should move to Croydon…

  • eurovicious

    You think Jahmene is long at 5/2?

  • Shade

    In all honesty, I think with the swing in voting power to an older section of the viewing audience, Jahmene is the most likely winner now. I’m not sure if they have time to set up a significant de-ramp after already employing the child abuse storyline.

    In terms of the other two you’ve identified as top 3, both more credible, but they can use the oft-referenced “Ella’s only 16” against her and no doubt as soon as she gets into trouble they’ll give her ‘age-appropriate’ songs to sing that’ll only land her in hot water, like Diana Vickers’ horrible attempt at Avril Lavigne pop a couple years back.

    James Arthur I don’t think has the looks or the clean-cut appeal of Jahmene, who I see as coming out of the pack as the Joe McElderry of this series, with the added bonus of being a clean-cut Christian who doesnt seem to be raring to burst out of the closet any time soon.

    The only way Lucy’s staying in is by nobbling enough of the other acts every week to push her just above the bottom 2 I think. Maybe they could push her friendship with Rylan as he seems to be proving popular.

    This is a very odd year; none of the contestants we have, though they seem to fit the bills of former stereotypes, seem to be like ‘modern X Factor contestants’. Instead I’d describe them as a mix of Pop Idol and BGT entrants, a lot of the arrangements this year have been very karaoke and outdated, not so ‘glossy’ and polished as last year’s – although perhaps not trying to appear so manufactured?

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  • Alen

    Breakin news: Lucy is officialy out 🙁 Not being replaced.

  • Henry VIII

    I agree with the article – they’re interested in the top 3 and the rest they play about with and keep changing their mind. It would have been different if some real talent had emerged outside of the top 3

  • Richard… do you think after Sofabet and your own blog last year, the producers might actually be onto the fact that we’re onto them? There’s been many theories bought out and a lot of them – notably, I think, your “Red & Black” one – hold water.

    For many, the weekend of Rylan’s save will have been like when you found out the truth about Santa. You wanted to believe that the red-suited, white-bearded dude was real but deep down you knew it was bollocks. Then your mum, or whoever, confirmed the worst. For many, it will have confirmed that the judges had no power whatsoever with who to save. They will have wanted to believe there was some sort of autonomy, but Rylan’s save (and, let’s be honest, the constant attempts to save Katie and Misha B in previous series) just proved, for once and for all, what a set up it was.

    So now, I can’t help thinking that there’s a far wider audience than the betting community who can see right through the show.

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