The Voice 2014 Final

Guildo has done a great job covering the live shows up to this point, but due to other commitments has handed over the season finale to me.

It’s the same format as last year’s final. Each act will perform one new song, and a duet with their coach. After the first public vote the fourth placed contestant will drop out. The remaining three will then be given a chance to reprise a favourite performance from an earlier round before facing the final public vote.

Here’s my lowdown on the runners and riders.

Sally Barker – Team Tom (6/4)
With over thirty years of experience Sally is a confident and consummate performer. It’s been her ability to connect to the songs, and put in such moving and emotional performances which make her stand out. For the semi-final, ‘Whole of the Moon’ looked like a good song choice and a chance to do something different – but didn’t quite make the same impact as earlier performances.

This week we can expect her to be back to her best with some great choices. ‘Both Sides Now’ is a beautiful number – melancholy and reflective – and for Sally it’s really getting back to her roots. A note of caution – she probably needs to keep it slightly lighter in style as the original version, the later ‘Both Sides Now’ album version is too dour and introverted.

‘Walking in Memphis’ is another great song for the duet – again they need to keep it closer to the Marc Cohn original, and the voices should complement each other well as long as Tom holds back a bit more than last week’s group number. Finally the favourite song will be ‘Dear Darlin’ from the battle rounds – a great choice as this is probably what broadened Sally’s appeal most among the audience. Overall, this looks like a good mix of songs.

Christina Marie – Team Ricky (6/4)
Christina’s got a strong vocal, accurate and technically skilled, and she put up a string of impressive performances in the earlier rounds. However, ‘Bang Bang’ in the semi-final was a poor song choice and looked like a lost opportunity to show a wider range of what she can do.

Her selections for the final look much better, with Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ as the new song. It doesn’t seem an obvious choice, but it should allow Christina to show a much more stripped-back and mellow vocal, and if she gets it right it could turn out to be a good pick. It’s a popular song and should appeal to the audience.

The favourite song, ‘Power of Love’, was the stand-out performance from the battle rounds. Singing this as a solo version should allow the song to build more gradually than the battle and it could be a great choice. The risk is that it loses the impact of the battle format performance.

The song for the duet has not been announced, but I would assume that they’ll go for a rock song, which will suit both Ricky and Christina – last week’s ‘You Really Got Me’ was probably the most successful of the group numbers. Potentially these selections offer the chance to play to her strengths and to show some more variation between the song styles.

Jermain Jackman – Team Will (10/1)
Through the course of the series Jermain has proved himself to be a well-developed performer, with a very strong voice, big range and technical skill. He’s been at his best performing soulful arrangements of classic songs, and when he’s done this it’s been great (as Tom would say).

In the semi-final there seemed to be a loss of focus, with too much going on, and too much emphasis on technique which detracted from the overall performance. With this in mind the song choice for the final – ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley Cyrus – seems slightly odd.

Undoubtedly there will be a twist to the arrangement, but I still can’t see this choice being too helpful – experimenting in the final seems to be a risk. Last week the staging was a bit awkward and again it would probably be better to keep this simple. Unfortunately, Will might find it too hard to resist.

We don’t yet know the song choice for the duet, but it needs to be a much better song and arrangement than last week’s group number to give Jermain any chance. However, if Jermain does make the final three then he’s reprising ‘And I’m Telling You’ – his blind audition song – and this at least is a choice that should show him at his best.

Jamie Johnson – Team Kylie (17/2)
Jamie is the act that seems to have slipped through under the radar this year. Looking back however, he’s always put in good, consistent performances – and has become stronger as the competition developed. In my opinion, he has deservedly emerged as a finalist.

He gained most in the semi-final, with ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ showing just how well he can connect with the song – and convey that to the audience. That impressive performance allowed Jamie to close the gap with the leaders going into the final.

His solo selection is John Waite’s ‘Missing You’. Again it’s not an obvious choice – to me it’s more of a song of its time rather than a classic. It will be interesting to see if they do anything with the arrangement to make it more contemporary. I expect a musically stripped-down version to allow the vocals to shine through – perhaps aiming for a similar feel to last week, and if they get it right it could be good.

This week Jamie will have the benefit of performing the duet with Kylie – get this right and it could be a huge boost, such is Kylie’s popularity. The favourite song from Jamie will be ‘Sex on Fire’ from the knockout rounds, which looks a decent choice of a more up-tempo and powerful number to balance the first song. The two picks we know both look like solid rather than inspired choices – so the song for the duet is also looking crucial to Jamie’s chances.

Where does this leave us? If the previous two years are anything to go by the answer would be it’s still anyone’s guess. The difficulty of predicting The Voice is that the teams don’t directly compete against each other until the final, and in previous years the betting odds and the polls have been very unreliable indicators. This year adds the unknown element of free internet voting for the first time too.

In the Sofabet community, the majority are backing Sally, with Guildo, Natasha and Stoney all firm backers. Sally certainly appears to be the one to beat. She’s neck and neck with Christina in the betting, and just slightly behind in the Tellymix poll. This probably translates to being slightly ahead with the general public at the moment.

However, between the two it might still come down to performances on the night. Both seem to have good song choices and it could be very close. The short odds available now don’t make either a very attractive betting proposition, unless you really do feel that Sally has it in the bag.

Can the two boys threaten the girls? Jermain seems to have a strong element of support, but I also feel that it is below the level which Sally and Christina might be able to achieve. The song choices may try to widen that appeal – but it equally might risk losing core support. Short of a spectacular performance, I can’t see Jermain finishing better than third.

Despite presently lying fourth in the Tellymix poll, it seems to be Jamie rather than Jermain who might have the better chance – and with best odds of 17/2 available, some might feel he’s well worth a flutter. Jamie’s certainly getting stronger, and whilst Sally, Christina and Jermain probably have more underlying support from earlier weeks, Jamie seems to be the one with the momentum from the semi-final.

Many viewers may well make their decision based on the performances on the night – and his duet with Kylie could be a vote-winning bonus for him in that case. He certainly has a chance, but my feeling is that the polls won’t be as far out as they were last year, and I think it will be difficult for Jamie to win from this position.

It would probably need a combination of great performances from Jamie, and poor performances from both Sally and Christina to allow Jamie through now. The song choices are making that seem unlikely.

Good luck to everyone, whoever your backing. Please add to the debate below.

53 comments to The Voice 2014 Final

  • Cath

    I have a few pennies on Sally, so am pleased to see that her song choices appear to play to her strengths.

  • Natasha

    Kylie and Jamie’s duet – ‘There Must Be an Angel’ by Annie Lennox.

  • Chris Bellis

    My money was on Sally in the first week so I’m not going to change that now. But you never know. My bookie relative backed Jamie some time ago, but you won’t get the right price now.

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Hi David,

    I enjoyed your preview and agree with you on most points.

    Internet polls are a notoriously unreliable source of “data”, which I take into account, only to a limited extent.

    Even actual vote leaks can be misleading. In the run-up to the final of Strictly, just last year, the Star (the Gold Standard in these disclosures) revealed that Susanna Reid had been, and was, receiving twice as many votes, week-on-week, than her nearest rival.

    Unbeatable? No. She lost.

    I’m expecting The Voice will be between Sally and Jamie.

    Jamie’s first 2 songs (Thanks Natasha) are 80s classics (concerned with love) and play straight to all the mums who are watching The Voice, and all the mums who are watching this series of The Voice thanks to Kylie’s presence – having grown up with her from back in her days in Neighbours. Jamie even has something of the fair-haired look of Jason Donovan’s Scott, the love of Charlene’s llfe. (Sub-consciously many viewers will make the link, and find themselves really loving the duet more they know why. It will be making them feel younger).

    His male rival, Jermain’s first song, ‘Wrecking Ball’, can prove a hit:

    but I just not seeing it or feeling it for Jermain.

    Come on Sally (or Christina). Bugger off, Jamie!

  • David Cook

    Hi Guildo – I would agree with you to an extent about the polls. However I think I you compare last years Tellymix polls for XF against the released voting figures they’re not too bad. They generally over estimated Tamera’s vote – typically say 20% when she was actually getting 10% – but even that’s not a mile out. Other than that they’re typically no more than a few percentage points out. Last year The Voice polls were clearly wrong, yet even Andrea was effectively joint second with 18%, which is ahead of where Jamie is now. I also think that the publictity for Andrea’s audition, which got TV radio and press coverage gave her a degree of good will with the general public that wouldn’t necessarily be reflected in the polls. Somehow I just don’t see a similar result for Jamie.
    Having said that I was more than happy with the potential profits on a Christina or Sally win – so I decided to take the slight hit by placing a cover bet to break even on Jamie. As I’d always allowed for this in my calculations – I just didn’t think it was worth the risk. Only the seemingly unlikely result of a win for Jermain can upset me now.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Hi David,

      As you say in your Conclusion: ‘…in previous years the betting odds and the polls have been very unreliable indicators.’

      I’d like to discuss this.

      In an earlier thread, I poured scorn on the DS poll from last year, which predicted Andrea coming in last in the final!

      A Tellymix poll is slightly more accurate than a DS poll, but that’s not saying that much.

      For the 2012 final, Tellymix pollees had Leanne at 19%, effectively joint-bottom with Vince. The same poll produced a percentage of 38% for Bo Bruce.

      I had a bet on that final. I hadn’t seen an episode of the first series of The Voice, but took 6/1 for Leanne from a high-street Ladbrokes just on the basis of a visual check of the contestants. On sight alone, I figured Bo Bruce as a false favourite, Vince as too edgy and Tyler as untrustworthy and faintly sleazy-looking.

      Last year’s Tellymix poll, as you say, placed Andrea as ‘effectively joint second with 18%’ You follow on to point out ‘which is ahead of where Jamie is now.’

      That’s one point of comparison. True and fair. Another point of comparison is to note that Andrea’s poll percentage was 18% whereas Leah McFall (a classic false favourite) polled at 54%. In other words Leah (on the eve of the final) polled at exactly 3 times higher than the level of support for Andrea. To put it a different way: Andrea overcame Leah’s 36 point lead in the poll.

      Personally.I think Christina Marie is head and shoulders above Leah McFall. A different class of singer. For example, Leah was frequently out of tune and sometimes produced weird screeching sounds in her crazy falsetto. I haven’t heard Christina sounding out-of-tune or pitchy (Georgia’s ‘Money On My Mind’, from this series, is an example of out-of-tune, pitchy, shoutiness).

      But there does seem to be a popular meme about re Christina’s shoutiness. Worse, her needy emotionalism has turned into another label and vote-loser. ( Personally, I really, really like her – but that isn’t relevant here).

      My conclusion is that if Leah can’t win polling at 54% and with a 36% lead in the polls (and as Andrea was effectively joint 2nd – this meant there was no obvious go-to candidate for the anti-Leah vote), then Christina is going to struggle to emerge over the winning line with 41% of the polling vote and a lead of 10%.

      Imo, the biggest problem for Jamie’s poll rating is that he polled at 11% support compared to Sally’s 31%. Given Sally’s profile and her seemingly excellent song choices for the final (including the strong possibility that she assumes WGWAG status in her first song) that is indeed a bit of a chasm to overcome.

      But still, there’s another flaw with internet voting results (that I’ve never read anyone mention on sofabet), so even a (last place) 11% rating can be overcome. Then again, I must admit, David, to being a bit amazed at that 11% rating.

      That is unprecedentedly low. Jermain at 11% and Jamie at 17% (or a bit higher – 22% or so) would have been more in line with my expectations.

      But Hills’s 8/1 still looks more than adequate compensation for any concerns. And while the Kylie factor doesn’t factor in the Tellymix poll will, it will surely loom large in the Kylie-Jamie duet on the night. The reality of events on the night can render pre-polls to dust. And if Jermain is 4th (he is favourite to go) then I imagine the bulk of the votes for that strong, young, male hunk will transfer to the other strong, young, male hunk.

      In your Conclusion you also mention,

      ‘This year adds the unknown element of free internet voting for the first time too.’

      That could be the crucial ryder.

      I thought that Jamie might prosper from internet voting but there’s no evidence to support that conjecture of mine, is there?

      In the Tellymix internet vote, Jamie recieved 11% of to what intents and purposes could be translated as votes. The percentage of pollees on the Tellymix online poll who vote on-line for the final is likely to be very high. If Tellymix is representative of the average internet sentiment then Sally looks very well-positioned in every respect.

      Final thought:

      A rhythmic angel?

      Anyway, David, please feel welcome to point out if I am spouting a heap of fear-induced, biased, selectively extracted and interpreted tosh!!

      David or anyone else, for that matter!

      Christ! I have to be “up” in 2 hours. Arrggghhhh!

      Good luck everyone, with tonight’s result

      We can all form a support group if Jermain wins, can’t we?!

      Failing that, he’s a potentially useful number I’ve found:


  • Natasha

    I take it there’s no YouGov poll for The Voice then?

  • David Cook

    Hi Guildo – i’m typing on my phone so l need to keep it short. I really wouldn’t rule out any result – I’m just suggesting that a win for Jamie would appear to be an even bigger shock than Andrea. Also I don’t see why the polls would be so wrong aboutJamie – if anything the polls tend to overestimate votes for the boys.
    A quick comment on vote transfer – as I understand it this week the free internet votes will be 3 votes at anytime. So nearly all will be cast in the first vote, making the second effectively a phone vote. I don’t see too many people who’ve used a free vote for the fourth contestant then picking up the phone and paying for thier second choice.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Great research, David. I didn’t know that.

      • David Cook

        And I was even wrong about that too. I was amazed when I was able to vote again in the second round – I only tried it just to make sure – because that’s not how it appeared reading the voting guide.

  • lolhart

    My prediction for the finishing order is as follows (sorry that I’m covering a lot of the same ground as above):

    Jermaine – 4th
    He’s definitely improved over the competition and has become more likeable, but voters don’t generally tend to favour confident black men. I also think his mentor could be his undoing. Will has a tendency to make bad choices for his contestants in the final (I Will Always Love You – Leah and OMG – Tyler).

    Jamie – 3rd
    He will definitely benefit from the Kylie factor and personality wise he reminds me of a more genuine Olly Murs. However, I don’t think he’s had the “moments” that Christina Marie and Sally have had and his song choices for tonight don’t suggest that’s going to change.

    Christina Marie – 2nd
    I think she will definitely appeal to the young vote and she’s had a lot of praise from the judges. She’s also not so contemporary to put off the older demos. However, she seems to be more divisive among viewers. The perception of her being “shouty” has already been mentioned and her tendency to get over-emotional seems to irritate some. She could still pull ahead of Sally with the decent song choices.

    Sally – 1st
    I can’t really think of any reasons Sally will not win apart from the fact that she doesn’t appeal to younger voters. She’s been consistently good throughout the competition, has a sympathetic back story and the judges lover her. The song choices also suggest there’s no attempt to Tesco Mary her by the producers.

  • Rob4

    The Sally Barker de-ramp continues. awful arrangement of Both Sides Now. Hope she holds on for a place for my EW but can’t see her winning now.

  • Cath

    Jermain got search lights and flames. Certainly not a threat to the front runners!

  • stoney

    Sallys saving grace could be her duo with tom. Which has the potential to stee la March on the others. I’m not worried about the odds at the moment, Andrea was 10/1 at this stage last year

  • Natasha

    Jamie gave the best performance out the lot in that first round

  • Cath

    Will can’t resist a colour-vomit staging!

  • Natasha

    Think Christina has this in the bag and if there were a 2nd place, Jermain

  • stoney

    5 mentions of hackney for jermaine tonight. Not one single mention of sallys home town. Be surprised if she wins this now

    • Chris Bellis

      Stoney – Congratulations on calling that one correctly. I thought the de-ramping of Sally was diabolical. They gave her crap songs and the worst slot the previous week, and last night was nearly as bad. Backfired in that they didn’t get Christina, who was presumably their preferred choice..

  • stoney

    All I’ll say about that shock result is that the free online voting played a huge part in the result

    • Chris Bellis

      When we’ve all recovered from losing money, I’d like someone more knowledgeable and intelligent than I (such as yourself) to do a further analysis of where we got it wrong.

      • stoney

        Mate I’m stumped. I didn’t see a single person on here tipping a jermaine win. One of my mates at work suggested it to me and I pretty much laughed in his face. Needless to say I got a text last night lol

  • Nissl

    Very surprised Jermain won, but I stand by my prior assessment of his future pop potential. Sorry to everyone here that was red on him. Difficult to figure out what a show is going to decide to push when there’s so few episodes, no real head-to-head before the final, and they’re (arguably) less committed to pop career success afterwards.

  • David Cook

    Did anyone see that coming? During the week Jermain was the only one I couldn’t see as being in with a chance. On the night it looked like it was going to be Christina. Sally looked out of it – but I still couldn’t see it being Jermain. Polls and betting odds completely wrong yet again. I had a little bit on Jermain – but only enough to get half my stake back, and some E/W on Sally and Christina – not much more than that stake’s back – but overall not a good night.

  • Boki

    Amazingly market was clueless again, unfortunately we picked a wrong underdog. Poetically speaking
    the best way
    was to lay
    CM in play.

  • David Cook

    If someone feels able to explain the result I’d certainly be pleased to hear them. I can understand how Jamie was fourth on the night, and if we were to find out that Christina finished ahead of Sally on the night I wouldn’t be surprised either. But I still can’t understand Jermain – not based on the performances on the night. ‘And I’m Telling You’ was very strong as I thought it would be, but ‘Wrecking Ball’ seemed to suffer from the same confused performance style and OTT staging as last week – and that usually doesn’t go down well with the voting public. There were also far too many obvious vocal tricks – which seemed to be the undoing of Leah last year. The duet wasn’t exactly a stand out performance either. Therefore I’m inclined to think that he must have won it through the level of support which he’d already built up before the final. The only thing that did seem a bit surprising was the level of support he had in the studio – clearly the loudest cheers, and perhaps that should have been a clue.
    One comment I can make – in reply to Rob4’s comment about the arrangement of ‘Both Sides Now’ is that it was exactly the arrangement from the ‘Both Sides Now’ album – and if they didn’t know that this was going to be a disaster then they really are clueless. I suspected they might do this a Sally is about the same age as Joni Mitchell was when the album came out. The song works well in the context of the album – charting the course of a love affair – but on its own it’s not exactly the ideal choice for Saturday night light entertainment. Any thoughts as to whether this was deliberate or incompetence. The staging of ‘Sitting in Memphis’ was a disaster too – surely total incompetence?

    • Dan

      Hi David – frustratingly, unless the BBC changes its mind, it won’t be revealing 2nd and 3rd positions or any voting percentages or numbers. That makes it hard to look back to try and explain some of the results. The Jermain win was very much a surprise for me and so no luck at the bookies unfortunately.

      If I was to try and explain away a Jermain win, I’d agree with Stoney above that the free online voting played a very big part in it. Specifically, Jermain is well known in the local community and has a fairly high profile as an activist in the Labour Party. All it would take would be a few emails to remind members (of the community and party) to show their support by taking 5 minutes to register and vote. No doubt that there would also be multiple votes given the ease and lack of cost to register. This along with narrow voting windows, and I suspect low number of votes cast overall help as well.

      I had a feeling that the show wanted a Jermain win, although would struggle to get it. I’m not sure how commercially successful he will be but I bet he’ll do better than Leanne or Andrea.

  • You’ve got to be crazy to bet on this show. That’s three years running the favourite has lost. I think the problem is there aren’t enough live shows for any of them to build a following, so if someone does a great performance on the final anyone can win.

  • Rob4

    Jermain was a worthy winner on the night. i came out a little bit up with my EW on Sally.

  • paolobow

    Hi guys. I had only watched about five minutes of the show during the series but watched most of the final so guess I may offer a fairly fresh perspective.

    – Think how Jermain acts and looks is quite appealing to the main voters compared with the two girls. That sort of vulnerability that a large proportion of girls like I guess. Also being tall and black maybe has a perception of coolness which people may like.
    – The two girls didn’t really seem to have much gravitas on the night. Sally especially. From just watching last night I found it hard to believe how she was joint fave – I couldn’t imagine many votes.
    – people love to vote for the winner and the crowd in the studio gave the impression that Jermain was doing well
    – the show is decided over a short period of time making what has gone on before much easier to turn round. Polls and voting during the series much less robust than on XF or BB.

    Strange show really!

  • Chris Bellis

    I didn’t see that one coming. Just shows you that it’s not all about performance. Sally had the best singing voice, Jermain had a rather horrible singing style which if it were on the radio would have me switching him off. However, he had a more appealing, warmer personality than the other three. Sally came over as a very cool, slightly world weary, but highly competent performer. Christina, also very competent, but the sort of girl that steals boyfriends from her friends (don’t ask me to justify this – it’s just a gut feeling), and also rather cool (in the old fashioned sense). Jamie – all rounder and very capable, but not stand out. Leaving the performer with the most pleasing personality, but the least ability, to win. Simple to see after the event. Glad I didn’t lose too much money, but I’ll avoid this competition in the future.

  • lolhart

    Well, I was completely wrong. Glad I didn’t put any money down, because I’ve been burned by The Voice before. I think in addition to the points made by other posters, Jermaine’s song choices ultimately helped him. Wrecking Ball was a mess, but it was a song that young voters like and would know. His duet with was bizarre but stood out. And he really pulled out all the stops with I’m Telling You. It’s one of those songs that just automatically impresses people, as it’s seen as a vocal tour de force.

    I think Ricky’s plea for people to vote for Christina may have actually dampened her vote. It came across rather desperate and I still think there’s something unintentionally irritating about the way she comes across. And with Sally nothing was done to help her appeal to a wider demo apart from reprising Dear Darling. I also noticed they kept banging on about her opening for Bob Dylan (i.e. she’s already had her chance to shine).

  • Natasha

    All through last nights show my mum was saying ‘she’s crap’, ‘she’s crap’, ‘Oh I really like him’. She though Jermain was by far the best last night and wanted him to win. I’m stiff miffed to be honest. BBC shows are totally unpredictable and I for one will never attempt to bet on one again, ever!! On the bright side, BGT starts next saturday :). Time to re-coup some painful losses!!

  • Dan

    Did anyone bet on Jermain to win? Or are all of us nursing losses?

    Guildo, you were big on Sally and Christina Marie weren’t you? Ouch. 🙁

    • stoney

      Guildo hasn’t commented since yesterday hope he didn’t Plough money into Jermain for 4th which I remember him being tempted by

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Missed the final. Got back in just before midnight on Saturday night and decided to check the result indirectly, by opening my internet accounts one-by-one.

      As I checked the balance on the 4th account I had logged into, I was overcome by that sense of desolation, bit the bullet,and google-searched for The Voice winner. To my amazement, it wasn’t Jamie – it was Jermain. My jaw dropped.

      I did back Jermain EW the other week…

      …but as I recall, it was more of a token bet than anything, which I placed because I thought there was better value in 10s EW for the outright rather than the 13/8 for him to win Team Will. I can’t even find the bet! Lol.

      I didn’t have any money to cover Jamie for a big win and Jermain for a break-even position, so I went into the final, standing to collect over 4.5k for a Sally win, well over 3k for a Christina win, zero for a Jamie win, and a piddling, tiddler of an amount (about £140, I think – £10 EW at 10s) of an amount for a Jermain win (which I still have yet to track down).

      I lost horribly. Lost more money than I’ve ever lost, by miles.

      The crazy part of it all is: that it was as much a failure of cash-flow, as anything else. My 2 massive winners were trading just above evens. My 2 big losers were trading at up to 8/1 and 10/1. But I just didn’t have the money to cover them. My ultimate brain-fail was to not consider asking a friend for a short-term loan of money. £500 would have equated to disappointment, rather than devastation. I would have broke even with a Jermain win.

      I’d given up on Christina after watching her scrape past Chris in the semi-final. Shades of Leah (vs Cleo) from last year’s Semi’s. I considered that bet already lost.

      Sally began to slightly worry me during her ‘To Love Somebody’ performance the other week. She looked a little old, all of a sudden. The make-up department hadn’t done their job.

      Last week, Andy pointed out the Bonnie Tyler costume department styling of her.

      I was beginning to sense feint Ella Henderson-esque echoes. Sally looked like a steamboat running out of puff. But I still had substantial belief in her that she could just hold on. I thought her price of near to evens reflected her chances,

      I felt in a tizz and scanned for who was the emerging dark horse and was absolutely convinced Jamie could take them both.

      I was completely and utterly wrong about Jamie, who finished last in 4th. I imagined Jermain would finish 4th (‘Wrecking Ball’ as his planned 1st song, seemed to confirm another bizarre and losing song-choice decision from Will), and that the majority of Jermain’s vote would transfer to hot-to-trot Jamie,who would surge past Sally to victory. It seems that it I had it the wrong way around.

      Anyway – my mother warned me as a lad about gambling! Lol.

      I financially embarrassed myself and have embarrassed myself on this site, too. Still, that’s life. I’ve learnt some v expensive lessons, but I’m still alive.

      As this is beginning to read like a low-class version of Steve Palmer’s column in the Racing Post, I’ll stop here.

      Which reminds me: it’s the US Masters this week. Time for me to check out the elite of the Australian challenge, and have a few SMALL bets.

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        Concentrating on value, for 1st round leader have Couples, Leishman and Kuchar; for the outright I have the last named 2.

        So there you are – now you know who to swerve!

        • Guildo Horn Forever

          Was pleased with unheralded Aussie, Leishman, yesterday. He got off to a strong start, finishing 2 shots off the lead. My 100/1 for the outright looking good. Topped up at the top price of 40/1 this morning.

          Flipping delighted to see he has just birdied the first 3 holes today! and is currently leading on 5 under and at a top price of 12s.

          However, it’s v v early days and I probably will be next checking upon the golf around Sunday evening.

      • Andy

        No shame Guildo.
        We all have taken a bruise or 2 from the series.
        This site thankfully allows us to express our thought’s and sometimes we are right and sometimes we are wrong, it was only last month I posted that Beth was a banker in the dancing.
        Chin up, we will return with a vengeance.

  • Andy

    Upon reflection and with the benefit of hindsight I suppose there were a few signs that we chose to ignore, most of us picked up on the fact that Christina was shouty and was being ravaged in the comments sections of the press, I myself said I thought Christina went backwards last week and I also said Sally was not really moving forward either, I shook my head when I saw Jamie’s song choice for the final and said ”oh dear, what is the lad thinking”
    Boki asked if the markets could be wrong yet again, and Tim commented
    ”Last but not least, it is Jermain day today on the official facebook. From the likes and comments on there it’s clear he is far more popular than Jamie, and probably almost as popular as Sally and Christina. Therefore it’s far from a given that Jermain will finish 4th tomorrow night”.
    out of fear of losing heavily I sent the lad green on betfair on the night, but still lost well over 1k on the outright market with mainstream bookies to add a similar loss on DOI, Confidence taken a bit of a battering the last few weeks and got to keep fingers crossed that BGT and Eurovision a little more straight forward but I doubt it.

  • stoney

    Most of us took a battering last night, thankfully I didn’t have as much riding on this as I lay out on the x factor. Hopefully I can sniff out a jack carrol sized ew opportunity in bgt

  • David Cook

    A few final thoughts on the final. Having looked back at the performances, Jermain’s ‘And I’m Telling You’ was probably the most impressive performance on the night – not necessarily the best singing performance – but probably the one which would make the best overall impression with the audience. I thought ‘Wrecking Ball’ was a bit of a mess – but again maybe the audience went on overall impression rather than the confused styles and OTT staging. On the night Christina was solid across all three performances – but never spectacular. Sally’s favourite song, ‘Dear Darlin’ was really good, but the other two song choices let her down. Jamie didn’t reach the same performance level as the previous week – even the duet with Kylie seemed a bit lacklustre.
    But on the whole I think that TPTB must have known from the semi-final results which way the final was likely to go, and perhaps set up the running order accordingly. Christina up first gave a good solid opening to the show, with Sally’s performance of ‘Both Side’s now’ being made even more forgettable by being squeezed between the bigger performances by Christina and Jermain. Few people would have even known the song. Jamie as last act allowed the star turn Kylie to have the pimp slot before the first vote – it probably didn’t matter – Jamie probably really was as far behind as the polls suggested. With Jamie dropping out that allowed Jermain to give that winning performance of ‘And I’m Telling You’ as the pimp act before the final vote. We don’t get the voting results so we’ll never really know what happened.
    Jermain certainly has a good voice, but I still think he needs to develop further and find his own style. Based on all three performances I thought that Christina probably edged it, but Jermain gave the best single performance. I also think that it probably turned into a personality contest, as much as a singing competition, and Jermain seems to have had that stitched up – I just failed to see it. Perhaps in the age of free internet voting, campaigning and Facebook are going to become as important as the shows themselves.
    On the whole I’m most tempted to agree with Natasha – I think I’ll give this one a miss in future. In terms of viewing it’s been enjoyable, with some good performances – far better overall than XF – but it’s not easy to bet on. I will return for XF later in the year – with one eye on the possible impact of internet voting – and possibly CBB if I can summons the enthusiasm to watch 3 solid weeks TV. In the mean time good luck to those betting on BGT.

  • David Cook

    A few more thoughts on Facebook and free internet voting. Going into the final of The Voice I wasn’t really taking too much notice of the Facebook figures. Certainly in the past for IAC and CBB they’ve not been good indicators at all – but perhaps that’s missing the point. On IAC and CBB the celebrities already have a following, but that’s no guarantee that people are going to watch them on a reality TV programme, even less that they’re going to pick up the phone to pay to vote. But on The Voice, and on XF, any Facebook followers can only be as a result of being on the programme – so perhaps it is a much better indication of likely voting than for celebrity programmes. If you then give people free votes they’ll very probably use them.

  • David Cook

    Hi Guildo – as Andy says I’m sure we’re all feeling a bit like that – nobody’s come on to gloat over thier big win on Jermain.
    In maison Cook we sat through it live and still didn’t see the win for Jermain coming. Even though ‘And I’m Telling You’ was the best individual performance on the night it still just seemed like redemption for two poor performances earlier. But somehow, probably previous history, it still wasn’t a shock when they said Jermain.
    Perhaps we spent too long looking at the music and not enough time looking at personality as well.
    And let’s face it from Sally’s performances the YouTube views of Olly Murrs ‘Dear Darlin’ is way in excess of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ – that tells it’s own storey.

  • David Cook

    story even.

  • Jessica

    OUCH! Sorry to hear your tales of woe folks. I realised during X-Factor and Strictly that I’m no judge of these talent things. I’m still working evenings so I can’t watch BGT and I’ll miss the semi-finals of Eurovision. Probably a good think given my track record at them. Good luck to y’all. I pop in a lurk from time to time but I don’t have anything to add to the discussion so I just sit quiet. Wanted to say hello though.

  • Jessica Hamby

    For those of you that like a row, if they do a second CBB this year it’ll probably start in August (14 or 21).

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Spur’s manager, Tim Sherwood, has ideas on man-management and player motivation that defy belief. He seems to be possessed by some kind of implosion-wish…

    I think he must be still mentally scarred by the infamy of this rhetorical question asked in 1995 by then Blackburn Rover’s owner Jack Walker of then Blackburn boss Kenny Dalglish, who was keen on signing a (at that time) little-known French midfield player at the outset of his career:

    Spurs are 1/2 favourites today to beat Fulham. Only for the brave.

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